Survivor Panama cast split into four tribes

The cast of Survivor Panama was revealed this morning, and for the first time, they’ll be divided into four tribes of four. In addition to the exile island twist, those tribes will be split by sex and age: old men, young men, old women, and young women.

The men are ages 24, 24, 25, 32, 35, 46, 52, and 58, so apparently the 35-year-old gets lumped in with the old guys, which should do wonders for his self-esteem. The women are 24, 24, 27, 31, 32, 35, 45, and 48, so again, being in your early 30s means you’re old.

The cast includes a retired astronaut, a woman who was cast for Survivor Guatemala but pulled out because her teenage child was killed a week before production began, and the author of a novel, Somewhere Beyond Here, that one Amazon reviewer said works as “an expensive coaster or a good way to start a fire.”

The new season debuts Feb. 2.

Update: Variety reports on the tribe structure for the rest of the show.

Survivor Panama [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.