Phil Keoghan’s Amazing Race blog is a real-time, behind-the-scenes look at the race

Official reality TV show blogs are usually these are worth avoiding; more often than not, they’re self-serving, boring, or both. Thus, I never visited Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan’s blog at It’s new this season, although the site has had Phil-centric features before, such as a video diary and uncut “mat chat” video.

But Phil’s blog is sometimes even more fascinating than the episode itself. At the very least, it adds to our enjoyment of the race–and to the wonder of how this incredible production comes together. In large part, that’s because it appears Phil actually wrote his blog entries while on the race; he’s not reflecting on the show now, but commenting on it in real time. (In his episode 9 comments, he mentions talking into a Dictaphone, so that explains how he managed to keep detailed records.)

More significantly, he adds to our understanding of the production and the demands placed on both him and everyone else. He’s unquestionably the hardest working host in the business: At the end of episode nine, he notes, “I have two shows from season 8 to do voiceover for. We’ll set up a makeshift voiceover booth in a hotel room.” During his episode five commentary, Phil notes that he coincidentally ended up on the same flight as BJ and Tyler, and Eric and Jeremy. Later, he and his producer were, he writes, “rushing to get to the Pit Stop before BJ & Tyler get there. They had about an hour and a half lead on us, they got through the Detour very quickly.” Phil beat them to the pit stop, where he said that he’d have to “do a quick hair wash in the parking lot.”

Washing your hair in the parking lot: Ryan Seacrest, I dare you to do that before the cameras start rolling.

Phil’s Blog: episode 7 [CBS]

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

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.