TAR 14 teams include nude model, three gay men

CBS announced the cast of The Amazing Race 14 on Monday, but while the network’s press release and web site highlighted some interesting characteristics of its cast, it left out a few fascinating details.

For example, while CBS identified Mel White–a former speechwriter for Billy Graham, Pat Robertson, and Jerry Falwell who later founded Soulforce, a religious gay rights group–as gay, his son’s bio doesn’t mention his sexual orientation. But Mike White, a screenwriter and actor, is bisexual, as he revealed in an interview with The Advocate.

The show’s first-ever deaf contestant, Luke Adams, is also gay, according to his Facebook profile, a fact his bio doesn’t mention. It does, however, note that he’s a super-fan of the show, and is completely deaf (he doesn’t even read lips, so his mom will translate for him).

Finally, while her bio doesn’t mention it, Jennifer Hopka apparently modeled nude in 2003 [NSFW], and she (or someone with the same name and appearance) was part of The Ultimate Playmate Search, also in 2003. The caption on the naked photo says “Jennifer Hopka works as a nurse in South Carolina” and was “a contender for the 50th anniversary Playmate.” Her CBS bio says she “is currently studying nursing during the day and bartending at night.”

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.