Our long period of national instability and anxiety is over: American Idol has judges again

American Idol has finally announced its new judges, who are together for the first time judging people in New York City today.

Besides moving the show back to the four-person judging format that was such a success before, this also means that much of the entertainment press will have to find something else to write about, having been consumed with doing market research for the show and/or getting singers publicity as they reported non-news and/or planted stories.

Joining previously announced judge and relevant, current singer Mariah Carey are Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban; both have been rumored to be coming on board for some time, so this is not a surprise.

Fox’s Mike Darnell said in a press release, “Nicki’s an unbelievably captivating international phenomenon who has made an indelible mark on rap and pop. And Keith is another great addition to Idol–he’s one of the biggest stars in country music and I know that our fans and contestants will fall in love with him.”

Oh, and Randy Jackson’s coming back.

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.