Simon Cowell says he made “a very significant, very significant six-figure” donation

During Idol Gives Back, the only celebrity who said they were donating money to the cause was guest host Ellen DeGeneres, who pledged $100,000. Beyond that, we were only told about News Corp.’s cheap $5 million contribution; other sponsors haven’t revealed their donations, nor did American Idol‘s cast say they were giving any money.

But Simon Cowell tells Access Hollywood that he contributed. “I did make a very significant, very significant six-figure sum. But I didn’t feel comfortable saying that on the show,” he said. Good call: telling a tabloid TV show instead and repeating the phrase “very significant” makes you seem a lot more humble.

Cowell also says the charity show “changed everyone who was involved … You can’t see what we saw [in Africa] and not be changed by that. But we were very very careful on the show that we weren’t going to preach to people or get political, because that was never our intention. … Our intention was, make people aware and then they make their own decisions.”

He added that they will do another Idol Gives Back–but only if viewers want it. “When we’re given an opportunity, I think once a season we would try our best to do something like that, yes. Providing that what’s our viewers and audience want though. I mean that really is our consideration,” he said.

Simon Cowell Reflects On ‘Idol Gives Back’ [Access Hollywood]

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.