FOX vetoes Idol contestants if the network “believes [they] will damage the show”

American Idol‘s executive producer said today that the network essentially vetoes contestants without explanation. He also detailed his proposal for a songwriting competition in a call with reporters, but said that plan has not yet been approved by FOX.

“We are informed at the end of the day [by Fox] that you can’t invite this person or persons, and we don’t ask why. To be frank, we’re not interested. If Fox believes it will damage the show … then it’s best they just don’t come along,” Nigel Lythgoe said, as Newsday reported.

He was referring to Akron Watson, who was disinvited before the Hollywood round. Apparently, anyone the judges send to Hollywood can be removed from the competition, and the producers don’t care about the effect of that on the show’s integrity. Sorry, I just forgot what show and network we’re talking about here.

Lythgoe also told reporters about his proposal for the songwriting competition. “My idea is [for viewers] to give me 10 songs and then I’ll bring back 10 ‘Idol’ finalists to sing them on a special. I’ve pitched to Fox and they have yet to come back to me to say yes or no,” he said.

‘Idol’ all-star show may happen [Newsday]

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.