GM pays $12.5 million for Survivor placement; Eliza hasn’t received her car.

GM pays $12.5 million for Survivor placement; Eliza hasn’t received her car.
USA TODAY examines one of the Survivor franchise’s longest running product placement partners, and finds that “General Motors has given away nine different car and truck models to Survivor contestants, and none is seeing particularly robust sales.” Still, the company keeps its automobiles on the show, which “reportedly costs the automaker more than $12.5 million a season.” GM exec Betsy Lazar says that cars are different than, say, Doritos. “The automotive category is so much different from packaged goods. Every month, only 1.5% of the population will buy a new car or truck. So to see an immediate lift, it just doesn’t happen.” Speaking of immediate lifts, Eliza Orlins won a Pontiac G6 on Survivor Vanuatu, but she “hasn’t yet received her prize,” USA TODAY says. “But she says she’s considering selling the G6 and using the proceeds to help pay for law school.”

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.