IdolVoter iPhone app makes American Idol voting easier; win a free copy

A new iPhone app makes voting for American Idol contestants easy–assuming, of course, you want to vote for anyone who’s on this weak season.

The IdolVoter app, which costs 99 cents, is simple: each screen shows a list of the performances that night (scrolling to the right shows the previous weeks). During open voting windows, tapping a contestant’s name calls that contestant’s number. Once voting has closed, the app allows you to easily find that contestant’s performance on iTunes.

There’s no way to text votes, which would make sense, and of course the phone numbers show up on TV, but like most iPhone apps, it’s just another way of making life slightly easier so we can be even lazier.

Semimagic, the company behind the app, has given me four free codes to give away that will let you download the app for free. If you want one, send an e.mail message with “IdolVoter app” as the subject line, and send it from a working e.mail address. I’ll randomly pick four entrants at noon ET on Tuesday and e.mail you the code, so you can have the app by the time the finalists show up to mangle more songs. Or just go buy it for 99 cents. No purchase necessary, et cetera.

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.