Adam Lambert, Kris Allen lead iTunes downloads

American Idol 8 finalists’ popularity on iTunes has been exposed, apparently accidentally, and it has revealed (unsurprisingly) that Adam Lambert leads downloads, but (surprisingly) Kris Allen is a solid second. Danny Gokey, the presumed front-runner, has never been higher than third.

MJ’s Big Blog has the details, but they break down like this: of the top 10 most-popular American Idol 8 songs on iTunes, Adam Lambert has six (1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7), while Kris Allen has three (3, 8, 10), and Danny Gokey just one (9). There is a caveat: MJ notes that “this list is created from an iTunes rolling chart. It only reflects downloads sold recently. We aren’t sure how wide the window is.” In other words, these are the most popular downloads–and thus contestants–right now, not necessarily over time.

Two commenters on her site broke down the list, ranking all 58 Idol 8 iTunes songs and theme week-specific rankings. For every week’s theme, Adam leads and Kris is always second, except the “year you were born week,” when Allison Iraheta came in second.

Speaking of Allison, she first appears on the big list at 11, and later at 15 and 19. Otherwise, the men dominate. That makes a final three of Adam, Kris, and Danny seem more likely than ever before.

However, iTunes is not necessarily a perfectly accurate predictor of popularity on the show, though: Last year, iTunes rankings were exposed twice, revealing the David Archuleta was more popular than Michael Johns and David Cook, in that order, and earlier that Jason Castro and Archuleta were the most popular, followed by Cook and Johns. The right people, but not the right order.

The iTunes Popularity Bars are Back! [MJ’s Big Blog]

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.