Last Comic Standing finalist Mike DeStefano died

Comedian and Last Comic Standing 7 finalist Mike DeStefano, who came in fourth on the show, died yesterday. His death marks the second from that season of the show; judge Greg Giraldo died last fall.

AOL reported that he “died from a heart attack,” and noted that his “recovery from heroin addiction fueled his no-holds-barred comedy”; he started using at 15 and at 30, “kicked his addiction and began working as a drug counselor. A spontaneous decision to entertain a crowd of fellow addicts turned into a full-fledged career in comedy.”

Punchline magazine reported that he “was HIV positive, [and] had overcome severe drug addiction and the death of his wife; a lot of his material, especially his new show, centered around these things.”

In a statement to the magazine, his management, 3 Arts Entertainment, said, “We are indeed incredibly saddened by the loss of this amazing man. He had touched the lives of many with his unique brand of comedy and was looking forward to sharing the same with so many more. Mostly, we will all miss his huge heart and incredibly loving and selfless passion for people. Our friend Mike DeStefano passed away on March 6.”

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.