Gauntlet 2 challenge falls apart

On this week’s episode of The Gauntlet 2, there was no orgy-esque challenge–well, except for the oil-covered guys wrestling in the sand. Anyway, there was an alliance conflict on the rookie’s team, which was too pointless to even summarize, but the episode really stood out for being an example of outstanding reality TV challenge craftsmanship and planning.

During a strength-based challenge, the teams had to push large, quasi-geodesic spheres across a field. As the veterans pushed their giant ball, it broke into a dozen pieces of plywood and 2x4s, probably all with nails jutting out. Host/moron TJ called this “bad luck,” but really, it was just crap-ass construction on the part of the producers.

Next, the teams had to fill a flatbed truck with bricks, and then just two people had to push the truck–full of bricks, all of their teammates–to the other side of the field. Once full of people nad bricks, however, neither truck moved, because apparently no one thought about actually testing this to see if it was possible.

So, in the best tradition of the Challenge, producers pulled something out of their ass and had TJ change the rules before the four people pushing the trucks developed hernias. He told two more people to help push, and that worked–although not for the veterans, because Ace “I’ve been driving a stick shift my whole life” Amerson forgot to push down the clutch.

Episode 8 [MTV]

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.

Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.