Surreal Life 5 season ends but the insanity lives on via the new DVD

The fifth and perhaps most simultaneously confrontational and touching season of The Surreal Life ended yesterday, and it delivered what we’ve come to expect from this series. We had Omarosa calling Janice a “crack head,” Janice egging Omarosa on and then flipping out when she took the bait, Bronson crying, Jose showing us yet another side of himself that we never thought we’d see. Janice even climbed out a window and bravely quit the show–although just a few hours before the cast was leaving anyway.

The story of this season will forever be the battle between Janice Dickinson and Omarosa, two reality TV stars who imagine themselves to be a lot bigger than they ever will be. Cary Hart summarized the season perfectly. “It turned into a pissing contest between Janice and Omarosa because they both like being the center of attention,” he said.

That pissing contest, though, made the series very popular, and for the first time, VH1 has produced a DVD of the series. Right now, it’s only available at VH1.com (for $29.99) and via Amazon ($17.99), and promises “over 80 minutes of new footage” that’s allegedly uncensored.

Surreal Life 5: The Last Straw [VH1]

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.