Next Iron Chef winner Jose Garces deep frying his Thanksgiving turkey

Next Iron Chef 2 winner Jose Garces beat Jehangir Mehta on Sunday’s finale of the Food Network series, and will appear on Iron Chef for the first time in mid-January. He was selected by the annoying judging panel–seriously, has there ever been a more excruciatingly whiny group of judges than Donatella Arpaia, Jeffrey Steingarten, and Anya Fernald?–and Iron Chefs Flay, Morimoto, and Symon, who was last season’s winner.

Because of the judges, and the overall industrial feel to the show, I’m not a huge fan. I’m also not fond of the challenges, although perhaps all of it’s just to prepare them for the not-quite-reality show that is Iron Chef. I’d much rather have two seasons a year of Next Food Network Star and Susie and Bob.

Anyway, Garces be hosting Thanksgiving dinner for his family and three others at his house, and he plans to deep fry a turkey after brining it for 24 hours. Deep frying “locks in all the juice and flavors and cooks in much less time,” he told USA TODAY.

New Iron Chef Jose Garces has much to be thankful for [USA TODAY]

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.