Michael Kearney wins $1 million on Gold Rush

AOL’s Gold Rush has concluded its first season, and 22-year-old Michael Kearney walked away with the $1 million prize. He defeated 18 other people in a pop culture competition that aired online and on Entertainment Tonight.

Michael, who earned “a college degree before he became a teenager and two master’s degrees by age 18,” according to the AP, is being very humble about his victory. In an interview on Gold Rush’s site, he said, “I am now a pop culture genius. I beat out 11 million people. I’m the best of the best.”

Mark Burnett told the AP that another season is coming. “We look forward to launching another exciting season of Gold Rush next year and make yet another lucky person a millionaire,” he said.

Man wins $1 million in ‘Gold Rush’ game [AP]
A Conversation with Michael Kearney, Our First Gold Rush Champion [Gold Rush Glog]
Gold Rush: Finale [AOL]

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.