Bunim-Murray casting process finds candidates who’re “just ‘crazy’ enough.”

Bunim-Murray casting process finds candidates who’re “just ‘crazy’ enough.”
What does it take to be cast on a reality TV show? Salon’s Benjamin Wallace sits in on the casting for The Rebel Billionairer, and finds that “Many of the questions in this vetting process, therefore, are aimed at determining not whether a candidate is too crazy, but whether he’s just ‘crazy’ enough.” Produced by Bunim-Murray, that show was cast by Sasha Alpert, the woman who “pioneered the casting methods now standard to the industry.” She says her “model is World War II movies–you know, the hayseed, the urban kid from Brooklyn. This is the opposite of everyone from the same family. It’s everyone from a very different family.” Salon also gets Mike Darnell to admit that when he casts, “I want the crazy bitch, the nice guy, and as much conflict as is humanly possible.” For those wanting to fake their way on to a reality show, Survivor casting director Lynn Spillman says that it’s all about “consistency: ‘They need to be a bitch on tape, a bitch on their application, a bitch on their answering machine.'”

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.