Katharine McPhee’s album debuts at number two

Katharine McPhee’s self-titled debut album, sold 116,000 copies in its first week and debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 chart.

Right behind her on the chart is her fellow American Idol finalist, Chris Daughtry, whose record also debuted at number two and eventually climbed to the top spot.

Her record label says this “is the highest-charted bow for a debut artist this year, and the fourth largest overall in 2007.” Of course, it’s also February 9.

And Zap2it.com calls those numbers “tepid,” and points out that Katharine’s debut is “right in the middle of the first-week sales pack for ‘Idol’ runners-up.” Specifically, Bo Bice’s album debuted with first-week sales of 225,000, which itself pales next to Clay Aiken, who sold 613,000 copies in his first week. But Katharine does beat Justin Guarini’s 57,000 copies and Diana DeGarmo’s 47,000.

Better ‘Late’ Than Never: Jones Debuts At No. 1 [Billboard]
Katharine McPhee Bows at #2 on the Chart [RCA press release]
McPhee Can’t Keep Up with the Jones [Zap2it.com]

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.

A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.