CMT’s Gone Country celebrity competition debuts tonight

CMT gets into the celebrity reality series game tonight at 8 p.m. ET with Gone Country, on which “John Rich, of the hit country duo Big & Rich, … takes seven established performers from every realm of the entertainment and music industries and immerses them in all things country for a chance to break out as the next big country superstar,” according to CMT.

In other words, it’s Dancing with the Stars, country music-style. Unlike the ABC series, though, CMT’s cast is relatively well-known and all have backgrounds in singing, if not country music. They are Bobby Brown, Carnie Wilson, Dee Snider, Diana DeGarmo, Julio Iglesias Jr., Maureen McCormick, and Sisqo.

The Boston Globe’s Sarah Rodman says it ends up being “The Surreal Life: Nashville,” although “the cohabiting ‘celebrities’ are given a goal beyond simply extending their fame for the duration of the seven episodes.” And The New York Daily News’ David Hinckley says “it’s unlikely this group will yield the next George Jones or Patti Loveless. But watching them wade in this unfamiliar water could prove oddly fascinating.”

Gone Country [CMT]

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.