Top Chef All-Stars cast officially announced; Anthony Bourdain, Muppets will judge

The cast of Top Chef All-Stars was revealed yesterday when Bravo confirmed the existence of all-star competition. The show’s eighth season will debut Dec. 1 and feature Anthony Bourdain and Gail Simmons alternating as the third judge, and challenges featuring Jimmy Fallon and Muppets–Cookie Monster, Telly, and Elmo–as guest Quickfire judges.

TV Guide reported these details and also declared it had an “EXCLUSIVE” on the all-star season. Even though they did report on the challenges and reveal the full cast, someone at the magazine needs to look up the definition of that obnoxiously over-used word because Eater NY had that news last month. I guess news that doesn’t get fed to a publication by a publicist just doesn’t count.

Eater has the list of 18 contestants broken down by season, and besides the previously revealed cast, it includes Elia Aboumrad, Jennifer Carroll, Jamie Lauren, Dale Levitski, Antonia Lofaso, Casey Thompson, and Tre Wilcox.

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.