Carrie Underwood’s second album is #1

Carrie Underwood’s second album is the number one album in the country, and is now the second-most popular first-week American Idol release ever; only Clay Aiken sold more records his first week.

Carnival Ride sold 527,000 copies, “the second-best initial sales week for an American Idol, behind Clay Aiken’s Measure of a Man, which bowed with 613,000,” USA TODAY reports. That also makes her album “the best opening week for a female singer in 2007.” And Billboard notes that it’s “also the best sales week for a female solo country artist since Shania Twain’s ‘Greatest Hits’ started with 530,000 in November 2004.”

Carrie’s first album is the best-selling album by a show contestant ever, with just under 6 million copies sold.

High ‘Ride’ for an Idol [USA TODAY]
Underwood Leads Three Country Debuts Onto Chart [Billboard]

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.