Randy Jackson has “stepped up his game” to be like Simon Cowell, Idol (PR) “sources” say

A rumor leaked from the set of American Idol 10‘s auditions suggests that Randy Jackson is no longer the most ignorable judge, but that he essentially become Simon Cowell, in addition to taking the former judge’s chair.

An “Idol insider” leaked the following super-secret information to E! News, which needed two reporters to gather this information from “sources on the set.” That person said, “It’s been like Randy has stepped up his game and is being more blunt and bottom line. He’s definitely not wishy-washy. He’s, like, rebranded himself a little.” And Ryan Seacrest said on his radio show that Randy has become “the one to shut it down the most.”

Considering how skeptical some people are about the new judging panel, never mind Randy Jackson’s ability to say anything insightful, constructive, or coherent, this seems like Fox using a willing media outlet to prop up and promote its series. Then again, Randy (and the other judges) did improve when Kara DioGuardi was added to the panel during the show’s eighth season, so perhaps he really is better, dawg, you know, yeah man, ooh, dawg.

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.