teenager designed the immunity challenge that Jeff Probst screwed up.

teenager designed the immunity challenge that Jeff Probst screwed up.
The word scramble immunity challenge that found the contestants rearranging the letters in Survivor Pearl Islands to form new words was devised by a 14-year-old. Still, Jeff Probst managed to screw it up. He declared Burton the winner even though Burton misspelled liaison. The challenge’s creator wasn’t there to supervise, though; in fact, she had no idea it was being used until she saw it on TV. That’s because she’s 14. After Kylie Cusick told challenge designer John Kirhoffer that she could create a challenge, he told her to go for it, and offered $100 (cheap bastard) if her challenge was used. For her efforts, “she received a package including tiles from the game, the original tree mail, and, of course, that $100 bill,” Entertainment Weekly reports.

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.