Ellen’s shoes, Kara and Randy lesson more popular than Simon’s shirt in Idol auction

An online auction to raise money as part of Idol Gives Back features items from each of American Idol‘s four judges may reveal who’s the most popular judge–or maybe just who has the most affluent fans.

A pair of shows autographed by Ellen and four tickets to a taping of her show is currently (as of 1:30 p.m. ET) at $11,300, while a black v-neck t-shirt autographed by Simon Cowell is just $401.

Kara DioGuardi and Randy Jackson are offering time with the auction winners in the form of a one-hour private voice lesson that’s currently going for $5,300.

With that huge disparity in bids, maybe Simon Cowell won’t be missed next year, or maybe it’s just that no one wants one of his t-shirts. The auction runs through April 20.

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.