Amazing Race 17 now taping, cast identified, includes four beauty queens

The Amazing Race 17 started production a week ago today, and already, several of the teams and their destinations have been identified.

The teams were heavily photographed when the race began last Wednesday in Boston, which is a nice change from the series of Los Angeles starts. As always, the frighteningly resourceful Reality Fan Forum posters have identified several of the teams. (The site is also compiling sightings from around the world and possible eliminations in this timeline thread, which obviously contains spoilers.)

Continuing with the beauty queen kick that the producers seem to be on (Ericka, Caite), the cast includes not one but four beauty queens/pageant winners/whatever. Four! According to the site, they are Mallory Ervin, Miss Kentucky, who’s racing with her dad; Miss South Carolina Stephanie Smith, who’s paired with her boyfriend; and Mrs. Colorado 2009 Megan Yarberry and her friend Mrs. Nebraska 2009 Jennifer Hart.

Among the other racers is YouTube star KevJumba, Kevin Wu, is racing with his father, and a team of two Princeton grads who are members of the a cappella group the Nassoons. The University Press Club has details and interviews with Connor Diemand-Yauman and Jonathan Schwartz.

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.


Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

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.