This week: The prostitution whore! returns, as does Joan Rivers

Here’s our weekly look back at last week’s reality TV news, and look ahead at next week, the first week of May 2010.

The Past

Bravo spoiled an episode that was currently airing, and fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race stupidly accused RuPaul of racism because they didn’t like the results of the show’s second season. The SYTYCD top 24 and all-stars were revealed well in advance, as were the sponsors of American Idol whose product placement filled most of the results show.

Finally, there was more alleged violence against women by former CBS reality stars: one was arrested for beating a pregnant fiance, another for battering a woman.

The Forward

  • Monday, May 3
    The Real Housewives of New Jersey returns [Bravo, 10 p.m.] with the aftermath of the “prostitution whore!” drama, and based on the previews, it looks like we’ll get something that tops last year’s insane table-flip. This also means that the two best versions of the franchise will be airing simultaneously; The Real Housewives of New York City is in the middle of its season, airing on Thursday nights.
  • Tuesday, May 4
    Deadliest Catch‘s tragic season continues [Discovery, 10 p.m.] as Phil Harris swaps his temporary deckhand for his son, but the transfer between the Northwestern and the Cornelia Marie, which involves the two men jumping into the Bering Sea, doesn’t go quite as planned. American Idol [Fox, 8 p.m.] gives its final five a chance to mangle Frank Sinatra songs after being mentored by Harry Connick, Jr.
  • Wednesday, May 5
    Joan Rivers returns to TV, which depending upon how you feel about the obnoxious old bat, is either a good thing or a bad thing. Her show is How Did You Get So Rich [TV Land, 10 p.m.]. Meanwhile, Fly Girls [The CW, 9:30 p.m.] ends its first–and probably/hopefully only–season of following Virgin America flight attendants.
  • Thursday, May 6
    Survivor Heroes vs. Villains [CBS, 8 p.m.] continues the post-merge drama with a two-episodes-in-one double-elimination episode (two immunity challenges, two Tribal Councils). And MTV continues to give shows to idiots, although at least it admits that in this case: The Dudesons in America [MTV, 10 p.m.] follows “four Finnish extreme stuntmen and pranksters” who “want to live out their American dream — to do even stupider stunts and pranks than they did back home,” according to MTV. In other words, it’s Jackass 2.0.
  • Saturday, May 8
    This has nothing to do with reality TV, but Betty White is hosting Saturday Night Live [NBC, 11:29 p.m.], and that better be awesome because she is awesome.

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.