new books offer advice for surviving a reality show, cast members’ life lessons.

new books offer advice for surviving a reality show, cast members’ life lessons.
Two new books tackle reality TV in a pragmatic, rather than academic, angle. The Reality TV Handbook is a how-to guide that teaches you how to become a reality TV whore. Its subtitle sums it up: “How To: Ace a Casting Interview, Form an Alliance, Swallow a Live Bug, and Capitalize on Your 15 Minutes of Fame.” Written by John Saade, an exec at ABC, and Joe Borgenicht, a guy named Joe, the book exists “partly for those wanting to prepare for a show, partly for those wanting to imagine what they would do in a certain situation and partly for humour,” Saade tells the Calgary Sun. David Volk’s new book The Tribe Has Spoken offers “Life Lessons from Reality TV” as learned from the mouths of reality TV cast members. Volk finds the best quotes from different shows, and then distills the lesson to be learned from the cast member’s wisdom. For example, Nicole Richie said during The Simple Life, “We should have a threesome with him. Let him have something.” The lesson to be learned from that? “Give of yourself. Even if you aren’t all that attractive, it’s the thought that counts.”

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.