Big Brother’s background checks won’t necessarily “take you out of [the] running”

Ever wonder how Big Brother ends up with quasi-psychotic criminals on the show? The series’ casting director says that most things that might come up during the background check are dealbreakers.

“There is not much in the background check process that will take you out of running,” Robyn Kass tells Reality Wanted. “In short tell us everything up front. If we find you did something that you did not disclose prior there may be a problem. Don’t lie. Surprises are the worst. If something does come up, we may assume there are additional things you are hiding from us. If we know everything prior, we are not blindsided and we can properly deal with those issues,” she said.

The admission is not all that surprising, considering that season three cast member Chiara was arrested for DUI while the casting process was underway, and plenty of other contestants have had criminal pasts.

The show is currently casting for Big Brother 9 contestants, and Kass says they need applicants because most interested people “don’t take the time to apply and send in an audition video. The majority of tapes are repeat applicants,” she said. Applications are due April 13, 2008, and will be for next summer’s show, assuming the series doesn’t air an edition in March.

Interview With Big Brother Casting Director Robyn Kass [Reality Wanted]
Big Brother application [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.