Challenges return to MTV with The Gauntlet 3

Just when it seemed as though MTV had given up on the Challenge shows as The Real World‘s star fades, the network has announced a debut date for a new season of the show. The Gauntlet 3 will debut Jan. 23 at 10 p.m. ET, and again features 16 “veterans” and 16 newcomers who will “fight it out for over $400,000 in cash and prizes,” according to MTV.

For the series’ 15th season, which taped in Mexico last summer, the network promises “[i]nsane challenges, heart-stopping Gauntlets, crazy fights, surprising alliances, unexpected departures and more hook-ups than ever.” TJ Lavin returns to host, or whatever you want to call that thing he does when he talks.

The trailer for the new season–note to the people who run If you’re going to offer embeddable video, that video actually needs to play when it’s embedded, rather than just turning into a big, worthless link that says “This video available only on” If that’s true, then why the hell does it offer 2,182 characters of “Video Embed Code”?!–suggests that there’s more of the same, although the older people, like Coral and CT, look like they’ve tumbled around in the dryer a bit too long.

Gauntlet 3 [MTV]

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.