Family Amazing Race teams revealed

The cast of The Amazing Race 8, the family edition, has been unveiled today. There are just 10 teams racing. As USA TODAY points out, those teams include “two groups of grown-up siblings, a dad with three sons-in-law and a widow with her three teenage kids.” However, “half of the teams have at least one contestant younger than 18, and one Virginia family includes brothers ages 11 and 8.”

Casting director Lynne Spillman, who also casts Survivor, says she “was scared” about the concept. “But it was so much better than I ever thought. The people we ended up with were pretty adventurous and excited. From the kids’ point of view, they were ready for anything.”

As for rumors of the race being “softened”, they are true. The race travelied just 30,000 miles, less than half of the distance covered by other seasons. And along with “fewer non-elimination episodes,” “more family-friendly, less-crowded locales were chosen,” USA TODAY reports.

But creator Bertram van Munster says we shouldn’t hang ourselves yet. He says the challenges and game elements like the yield “are more effective and more frustrating to people than (they’ve) ever been.”

Families compete in new ‘Amazing Race [USA TODAY]
The Amazing Race 8 [CBS]

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.