Paula Abdul officially on board X Factor as its auditions begin; hosts announced

Live auditions in front of audiences begin today for Fox’s fall series The X Factor, and the network officially confirmed the last bit of unconfirmed but already known news: that Paula Abdul would join the show as its fourth judge. This has been dragged out for 15 months, since Paula first hinted she’d be on the show in Feb. 2010.

The real question with Paula is whether she will be crazy Paula Abdul or subdued Paula Abdul. On Twitter, Paula thanked her fans for their patience and gave them a hug, and tweeted a photo of herself and Cheryl Cole.

Yesterday, the network announced the show’s hosts: Nicole Scherzinger, who has appeared on many reality TV series since her debut on Popstars in 2001, and Steve Jones, a model turned British TV host. Piers Morgan reported last fall that Nicole would be a judge, but although she did that job as a guest judge on the UK edition, she was pretty awful on The Sing Off, the NBC series she presumably won’t return to now that she has a gig on another network.

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.