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 Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.

Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.