Paula Abdul also fired from X Factor

And the firings continue: Paula Abdul is also out of The X Factor, as her friend Simon Cowell let her go along with Nicole Scherzinger (who left to work on her music, right) and fired host Steve Jones. That leaves just Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid to have fake fights with each other.

Deadline reported Paula’s exit, saying “none of the three left on their own accord and that it was cleaning house day at the so-so rated reality series.” While trade publications have been able to confirm with Fox that Jones and Scherzinger are out, there’s no official word yet that Paula is out.

Paula’s exit is the biggest surprise among the three, both because she and Simon are close (she first started hinting she’d rejoin him on TV almost two years ago), and because she wasn’t exactly bad. She was saddled with mentoring the awful groups category and its artificially constructed groups but was still somewhat improved from her American Idol self–which isn’t to say she was a great judge, but especially next to Nicole, she was fine.

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.