producer, cast member of Vegas Elvis reality show kills herself, press release says.

producer, cast member of Vegas Elvis reality show kills herself, press release says.
A producer and cast member of a self-described “experimental reality show that features the film crew as part of the featured cast” has committed suicide. Melanie Bell worked on Vegas Elvis, an apparently network-less show being produced in Las Vegas that follows Elvis impersonator Jesse Garon. Besides the suicide itself, this is disturbing because the production company issued an appalling press release in which it brags that the show “became the second reality program in less than two months to suffer a cast member suicide.” Then it talks about The Contender‘s suicide and how theirs was, basically, better: “Unlike Najai Turpin of “The Contender”, Bell’s family and friends knew she suffered from severe depression which stemmed from her battle with Anorexia.” The release also kindly reveals that “[s]he was recently released from an undisclosed eating disorder clinic in Alabama where she had successfully gained almost forty pounds in less than six months.” In its non-self-serving report, The Las Vegas Review Journal noted last week that “Bell joined the crew a week earlier and continually asked about the Stratosphere.”

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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.