Jonathan says they were “playing it over the top”; CBS says it doesn’t “judge.”

Jonathan says they were “playing it over the top”; CBS says it doesn’t “judge.”
Jonathan Baker has yet another excuse for his behavior on The Amazing Race 6. (Recapping briefly: first it was the editing, and later it was stress and illness.) Now, he tells Access Hollywood that he and Victoria are playing carefully crafted characters, and only some of their behavior is real: “We went in playing it over the top, and CBS kind of helped it along with their storyline. … I’ve had to do a lot of apologizing to a lot of people because they actually think it’s real. And yeah, some of it’s real. But you know at the end of the day we really wanted to play it campy, over the top, you know. But we do love each other.” The couple has also updated their web site with cheery holiday and new year messages.

Meanwhile, while some who’ve sent e.mail messages to CBS report that they’ve received no response, others may have received a response like the following, which was forwarded to reality blurred by reader John Connors. In it, a a CBS rep notably says that producers and networks don’t “judge the behavior” of contestants. What a lie; expelled Big Brother contestants Justin Sebik and Scott Weintraub would probably disagree. Here’s the response in its entirety:

Thank you for writing to CBS regarding THE AMAZING RACE. We have noted your comments and concerns regarding the December 14 episode of this reality series. Please understand that THE AMAZING RACE is a program which chronicles a decidedly stressful experience that brings out strong emotions in its participants. Understandably, neither CBS nor the producers of the program judge the behavior or offer opinions about the relationships of the participants.

Nevertheless, at all times during videotaping of the program security officers are close by and ready to intervene should a contestant be in danger of harm, either from the elements or even a co-competitor.

Each series in the reality genre has its own contest rules that govern contestant behavior and the producers carefully consider any aggressive acts as they may apply to those rules. In addition, when extreme outbursts of frustration or emotion do occur on camera, a case-by-case decision is made whether or not to include such footage in the final edited program. We apologize if our decision in this case has caused you distress or concern.
We appreciate your taking the time to write. Your comments have been shared with the senior executives at CBS.

Cordially,
Ray Faiola
Director,
CBS Audience Services

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

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.