Top Chef Masters preview spoils episode

Bravo had a special punishment last night for those who watch commercials and don’t fast-forward through them: a preview for next week’s Top Chef Masters gave away the results of the episode that was currently airing, one that featured the cast of Modern Family.

In the preview, annoying Bravo voiceover guy (his voice inexplicably transitions from nasal and annoying to crazy annoying with some echo/auto-tune/treble effect) says, “Next Wednesday, the real competition begins with the first champions’ round.”

As he said that, a few of the chefs were shown, starting with Jody Adams, who appeared in last night’s episode for the first time. However, she won the “high stakes” Quickfire (not sure why a non-Las Vegas season has a “high stakes” challenge, but I digress) and was sent directly to the champions’ round, which starts next week, so her appearance in the trailer wasn’t a spoiler.

But Susur Lee was also shown twice in the preview, once in a close-up, and once working on some kind of tower of food. The episode returned to the Critics’ Table, but the network had just given away who won, eliminating tension for anyone who saw that preview. He did end up receiving the highest elimination round score in the history of the spin-off series, 19.5 stars.

Bravo’s promos have always been horrifyingly bad, especially when they lie and say something like “and every Monday, catch a new Kell on Earth” but air that weeks or months before the show actually debuts. And don’t get me started on the awful voiceover man or their new branding campaign that looks like an excuse for someone who just found clip art in Microsoft Word to play around.

This was likely just a screw up, but it should be a wake-up call for the network to rethink its promos.

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.