Idol producer: banter isn’t scripted, but if it was, Ryan and Simon “would have both come out”

The executive producer of American Idol denies a tabloid report’s claims that parts of the show are scripted or planned in advance.

“I don’t make notes. Simon keeps to himself in his trailer before the show with a feed, so he can listen to the music,” Nigel Lythgoe tells TMZ.

The tabloid claimed Lythgoe “watches the rehearsals and writes notes on who Simon should make snarky remarks about,” and also said that “Most of these rifts [between host Ryan Seacrest and Cowell] have been outlined.”

Lythgoe said that wasn’t true, either. “If I would have written any of that it would have been a lot funnier, to be frank. I wouldn’t have kept this gay angst going for so long. They would have both come out by now in my story,” he said.

Simon Is Not Nigel’s Bitch [TMZ]

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.