Amazing Race wins its second Emmy.

Amazing Race wins its second Emmy.
The Amazing Race won its second Emmy in a row last night, validating its standing as the best reality show on television–or just showing that even when it comes to voting for reality TV shows, Emmy voters prefer to stick with tradition (e.g., Kelsey frickin’ Grammar won his fourth damn Emmy, beating a dead sentimental favorite and a bunch of funnier nominees–although at least The Sopranos and Arrested Development won). The award was presented by two real people who were flown to Hollywood and brought on stage blindfolded, where they finally found out where they were. “I swear to you this is not a bit,” host Garry Shandling said; one of the two people started crying and the other kept saying “shut up” (they’ll appear on Good Morning America today). The losing shows in the Outstanding Reality-Competition Program category were American Idol, The Apprentice Last Comic Standing, and Survivor Pearl Islands. The AP says framed their loss this way: “Donald Trump and ‘Survivor’ creator Mark Burnett found themselves looking on from the audience as a less-popular show … won best reality series for the second year running.” Throughout the entire evening, reality TV’s influence was clear: Donald Trump towering over Simon Cowell as Simon read bad jokes awkwardly off the teleprompter as the two presented the award for supporting actress in a comedy series, the people-who-died-last-year segment including a tribute to Real World co-creator Mary-Ellis Bunim, CBS’ Les Moonves and HBO’s Chris Albrecht pretending to bid for a pretend reality TV series concept mentioned during Shandling’s monologue. The most hysterical, though, was a retrospective of the best moments in TV from the past year that included clips of Fantasia from American Idol 3, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition–and The Bachelorette wedding with Trista and Ryan.

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.