Amazing Race 5 adds new game twists and Big Brother 4 cast member.

Amazing Race 5 adds new game twists and Big Brother 4 cast member Alison.
CBS has made an odd decision to merge its trashiest reality TV series, Big Brother, with its classiest, The Amazing Race. The two shows will premiere together on July 6 at 8 p.m. ET. They’ll air weekly at 9 and 10 p.m. respectively, with Big Brother 5 also airing two other nights every week. CBS’ scheduler tells Variety that “having an established brand like ‘Big Brother’ leading into ‘Amazing Race’ can really help us get the show even more exposure with younger viewers.” Another way they’ll try to draw viewers of that show into The Amazing Race 5 is by adding Big Brother 4 runner-up Alison Irwin and her boyfriend to the cast. Alison is the delightful woman who called cast member Robert a “Cuban faggot” and said she planned to vote him out by saying, “I vote to evict your sorry motherfucking Cuban ass out”–although CBS neglected to include any of that footage on the live broadcast. The Amazing Race 5 will also include two other new twists: “yields” that allow teams to slow down a team that’s behind them, and a provision that causes last-place teams to lose all of their money during nonelimination legs.

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.