49-city American Idol 7 tour will feature “10 mini-concerts”

The top 10 American Idol 7 finalists will tour this summer, visiting 49 cities (fewer than the 56 cities it visited last year), and the tour will change its focus to allow them to sing as individuals.

“As opposed to hearing duets and trios sing, this year it’ll be more about the individuals. We’ll give them the space and freedom to do their own set. Think of it as coming to see 10 mini-concerts,” 19 Recordings Iain Pirie told USA TODAY. Tour producers will “create a distinct mood for each singer” on the stage, he said. But that mood will be similar to the TV show, because they’ll be forced to stick to songs they’ve already performed. “We really want the experience to echo the television show, so expect to hear a lot of the songs that did well during the season,” he said.

The tour starts July 1 and ends Sept. 13. Last year’s tour suffered from low attendance and made just $20.9 million, never mind its child labor law violation fines. This year’s cities were chosen based upon “how big the fan base was for the show,” Pirie said.

Idols take show on road this summer [USA TODAY]
American Idols Live 2008 [Fox]

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.