Jeff Fraza leaves because of chicken pox; Peter Manfredo returns; Najai loses.

Jeff Fraza leaves because of chicken pox; Peter Manfredo returns; Najai loses.
As reality blurred revealed last week, Peter Manfredo returned to The Contender after one of the remaining boxers left. Our source got the reason wrong, however, as Jeff “The Hell Raza” Fraza left because he contracted chicken pox. (To my ears, “broken wrist” and “chicken pox” sound about the same when delivered with a New England accent.) Beyond that, the episode had added weight as it focused on Najai Turpin, who killed himself just over a month ago. In the competition, Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora faced off against Najai, who told the camera, “I can’t let my daughter see me lose. I just can’t.” However, he lost, and left the competition. Sugar Ray Leonard appeared after the episode to talk about the Anyae Chapple trust fund that’s been established for Najai’s daughter, although he didn’t mention that Najai killed himself. On the show, Jackie Kallen said of Najai, “He’s a sweet guy. He’s just very distrustful of people. He reminds me so much of a little animal that has been mistreated.” But she told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he sometimes “slept on the floor in his closet.” Earlier, Reality TV World wrapped up all of the possible reasons why he ended his life, and his suicide’s connection to the series.

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.