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Clay Aiken releases third album

Plus: What happened to "Monster House"; update on Rhonda from "Starting Over."
/ Source: msnbc.com

More on "Starting Over": After we published our article about how , we've been deluged with mail about the show. Devoted fans keep writing us to see if we think there's any hope for "Starting Over" to return, and we have to echo our article of last week: There's almost no way.

For more of an insider's view on the show's cancellation, check out . She writes in her Aug. 27 entry that she was never even told that the show wasn't coming back, she only learned it when her contract was not picked up.    —G.F.C.

Have a question about reality TV? You can also — your answer may already be there.

Q: What happened to Clay Aiken, is he another Justin [Guarini]?    —Brenda

A: Oh, Brenda. Good thing you didn’t give your last name, or else you might be visited by the Clay Nation. I’m kidding, of course, but as Clay’s fans — and much of the music world — all know, Clay’s third album comes out today.

It’s called “A Thousand Different Ways,” and features four original songs and 10 covers. The original songs are titled “Lonely No More,” “These Open Arms,” “Everything I Have,” and “A Thousand Days.” That proportion may be disappointing to those who hoped his first record in two years would be full of new music.

In a press release, Clay says that he and his producer “started out with one or two covers,” and then “slowly discovered that it’s harder these days to come by songs that are as superb as the songs that I grew up on.” He also says “[t]his new album has much more of me in it.”

When he hasn’t been recording, Clay has been busy touring and playing to enthusiastic crowds across the country. (See our .)

By the way, Justin Guarini hasn’t completely disappeared; although his post-“Idol” label dropped him, he produced a second album, “Stranger Things Have Happened,” late last year, and AllMusicGuide called it “a surprisingly successful reinvention.”    —A.D.

Q: What happened to “Monster House” on TLC? Will it come back and what about Steve the host?      —Lisa, Maryland

A: “Monster House” was sort of the original “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” Steve Watson and his ever-changing crew didn’t dismantle houses and rebuild them, but they did make them over such that the original rooms were unrecognizable.

The show, which aired for three years, redesigned rooms with major thematic builds that turned the houses into mini-Disney Worlds. The themes, such as “Mini Golf House,” “Motorcross House,” and “Pirate House,” were implemented by a team of craftspeople, who had to finish their builds within a certain deadline in order to win cool tools and other prizes. The is still up and running, and features photographs of some of the various makeovers.

After 55 episodes, the show aired its last makeover earlier this year; as confirmation that the series is not returning, the last build was called “Farewell House,” which fittingly took place inside Steve’s house.

Speaking of Steve, he has a new show upcoming on HGTV called “Don’t Sweat It.” It’ll be debuting sometime in October, November, or December, so stay tuned.    —A.D.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper is MSNBC.com's Television Editor. is a writer and teacher who publishes , a daily summary of reality TV news.