Gauntlet 2 Challenge debuts tonight

Tonight at 10 p.m. ET, a new season of The Real World/Road Rules Challenge debuts on MTV, and not a moment too soon. The Gauntlet 2 pits veteran MTV whores against rookies (people who’ve appeared in less than two Challenge shows).

The new season has new rules, including ones that force team members to compete against each other, but trying to understand the rules is a one-way . Instead, just enjoy the drama, and there’s plenty of it: At least one rookie has no idea what s/he signed on for, and flips out, although the climax comes during next week’s episode, not tonight.

Tufts Daily writer Jessica Simoncelli artfully explains the appeal of the series: “The Real World/Road Rules challenges have provided a creative mix of casts from both MTV shows, and combining physical and mental challenges with cash and prizes has proved a lucrative direction for the network to take their reality series.”

It’s also just fun to watch 20- (and 30-, and maybe even 40-) somethings who have nothing better to do with their post-MTV lives than get plastered, hook up, and beat the crap out of each other during “competitions.” Only 11 more hours until it all begins.

Gauntlet 2 [MTV]

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.