$1 million couples Fear Factor concludes.

$1 million couples Fear Factor concludes.
Fear Factor‘s multi-week, $1 million competition between couples concludes tonight at 8 p.m. ET. The show has shifted somewhat from separate episodes with grunting orangutans and airheaded morons doing stunts to episodes that follow contestants over multiple episodes or feature familiar faces. Most of the season five episodes leading up to this six-episode Couples edition have had special themes, from
siblings to “favorite winners.” Coming up are more themed episodes; next week is the “Las Vegas Pairs Show.” And on Feb. 28, just in time for the end of sweeps, is an episode featuring other reality TV show stars. Those who will compete: Omarosa from The Apprentice, Ryan Sutter from The Bachelorette, Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca from Survivor, Reichen Lehmkuhl from The Amazing Race, and Nikki McKibbin from American Idol. And NBC’s press release says that “[a]s a bonus, Trista … is on hand to cheer for her husband Ryan, and is surprised to find she must face a challenge of her own.” Not sure when seeing Bachelorette Trista qualifies as a bonus, but let’s hope she has to eat something really gross, like Alex Michel’s uterus.

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.