American Idol’s online voting will be via Facebook only

Fox officially announced American Idol‘s new online voting today, and there’s a catch: Only people with Facebook accounts can vote, and votes will be limited to 50 per person.

Executive producer and co-creator Simon Fuller said in the network’s announcement that “Facebook has offered us a secure solution and we are ready to go.” Voting will take place on the show’s web site, and viewers “will be required to log in using their Facebook account to access the American Idol voting page, which will feature the name and photo of each of the current contestants. To vote, fans will simply choose their favorite contestant, complete the security verification and submit their choice.”

The announcement notes that, besides restricting votes to a particular window, each person gets “up to 50 total online votes for that evening’s performances,” and only people using Facebook “in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands will be able to cast their vote(s) online.”

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.