Sergio Mora wins The Contender.

The final two fighters left on NBC’s The Contender faced off live at Caesar’s Palace, and Sergio Mora beat Peter Manfredo after a unanimous decision (69-64, 68-65, 70-63), keeping his undefeated record intact. With his million dollar prize, “The Latin Snake,” who reads Oscar Wilde, Nietzsche, Sun Tzu, pledged that his 60-year-old mother wouldn’t have to work again. He also won a Toyota Tundra; after his win, he acknowledged Najai and apologized for trash talking to Manfredo’s corner. For his part, Manfredo receives $250,000.

They fought in front of a star-studded, sold-out audience; even Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz emerged from seclusion to watch the fight. First, Alfonso and Jesse faced off for the Battle of the Bronze; Alfonso beat Jesse, even though Jesse was the favorite. He won $200,000. Earlier in the day, the fan favorite bouts aired online (where they’re still viewable), and Jeff Frazer beat Brent Cooper, Ishe Smith defeated Anthony Bonsante, and Jimmy Lange beat Tarick Salmaci.

Both fights were shown in their entirety, and suddenly, the value of editing and post-production became clear: boxing is significantly less dramatic without fake sound effects, slow motion, and cuts to family members at just the right moments. To compensate, the two most inarticulate men on television, Sly Stallone and Sugar Ray Leonard, offered color commentary. (By the way, their hosts’ autographed desks are now available on eBay.)

watch the entire final bout [The Contender @ Yahoo]
episode 15 recap [Yahoo]
Fan Favorite Match Ups [Yahoo]

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.