Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler didn’t quit, they were fired from Idol, report says

Jennifer Lopez finally formally quit American Idol on Friday, 24 hours after giving another obnoxiously coy statement about her alleged indecision. She told Ryan Seacrest on his radio show that she was leaving and blamed her children: “As the kids get a little bit bigger it started feeling like it was a lot and something had to give.”

Her stalling and ambivalence might have been genuine, but also could be read as a negotiation tactic, and one report says she was angling for more cash to stay–but Fox decided she was out. The Wrap reports that she “was actually dumped by Fox when she asked for a $2 million raise in salary to $17 million,” and “Fox also opted not to pick up Steven Tyler’s option” because “Fox executives Peter Rice and Kevin Reilly want to revamp the show, and that Rice has told colleagues he wants an ‘Idol 2.0,’ of which host Ryan Seacrest would be the only essential ingredient.”

With Seacrest in–essential? I suppose. He’s excellent at his job. But meh.–that leaves only Randy Jackson. I’d guess he’ll exit, too, and the new judges will take the show in a different kind of direction. Teen pop stars? Or something ridiculous and dumb, such as Charlie Sheen and Jerry Lewis?

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.