American Idol 10: now with more technical screw-ups, and some new judges

American Idol 10 had its big reveal of its new judges at 1 p.m. ET, and streaming the event live was a colossal failure. The video didn’t start until minutes after the event apparently did, and once the video went live, there was no sound until the very end. And even then, it was the opposite of clear.

Technical screw-ups are nothing new for the show, despite the fact that it’s the most-popular series in the country. So it’s kind of sad that this is what we’ve come to expect. At least this announcement wasn’t important, since we’ve known what was coming for almost two months.

From watching the muted version, I learned that Steven Tyler is less important than Jennifer Lopez, who got to emerge from a cloud of well-lit fog (a diva demand?, while Steven Tyler just walked out from behind a partition. When the audio kicked in, J Lo said she wanted to find the next Michael Jackson. Finally, Randy Jackson may have been introduced first, when the video wasn’t working, but he just seemed like an afterthought, coming out to stand next to Steven Tyler and J Lo, who look remarkably similar to one another.

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.