This week: Amazing Race tries to make history and Andy Cohen goes nightly

It’s not quite the end of the year, but this past week had news about things coming up in 2011: Brad Womack’s second appearance on The Bachelor was spoiled, so you can find out who he picked, if he picked anyone, while one of the Biggest Loser trainers is leaving the show after next season.

Meanwhile, we learned how much money reality stars get; that The Apprentice filmed two endings, one for each possible hire; the Big Brother groupie who received naked pictures from at least two cast members might actually be a male college student. Americans are totally over David Hasselhoff, whose show was cancelled after just two episodes; and Sarah Palin hunting got reaction but not many people watched.

Finally, we started to celebrate the 12 Days of Reality TV: Richard Hatch sitting in a tree on Survivor, two dog bites in the vagina from an aggressive dog on Bravo’s Showdog Moms and Dads, and three people fighting on The Real World (“it wasn’t not funny!”).

The Past: last week’s most-read stories

  1. Big Brother’s Brendon admits to cheating on Rachel via Skype affair, naked pic posted
  2. Nude pictures of Big Brother’s James Rhine posted by person who was accused of being a fraud a year ago
  3. IM conversation adds to evidence that Big Brother groupie Molly Shephard is fake
  4. Amazing Race 18 will be an all-star season and is now filming; teams identified
  5. Brad Womack’s second Bachelor season spoiled
  6. Jillian Michaels quitting Biggest Loser to have a kid

The Forward: what to watch this week

  • Sunday, Dec. 12
    Tonight, The Amazing Race 17 [CBS, 8 p.m.], ends its so-so season, hopefully with a long-overdue win by a female team. With two strong teams of women and one arrogant couple left, the women have odds on their side, at the very least. But will they have a good cab driver? Basketball Wives returns for a second season [VH1, 8 p.m.] with a new cast member: Tami from The Real World Los Angeles. And starting tonight, Andy Cohen takes his half-hour cable access chat show, Watch What Happens Live, nightly [Bravo, 11 p.m.]. The amazing part is that Andy is able to draw big-name guests, such as Anderson Cooper tonight and Amy Sedaris and Denise Richards later in the week.
  • Monday, Dec. 13
    The reality show that follows the brutal reality of the lives of addicts, Intervention, returns for its 10th season [A&E, 9 p.m.]. Earlier, the feel-good holiday competition The Sing Off [NBC, 8 p.m.] continues as the final six a capella groups perform.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 14
    The Biggest Loser ends its 10th season [NBC, 9 p.m.], and we’ll see if the person who lost the most weight actually wins the cash. On a Dirty Jobs clip show [Discovery, 9 p.m.], Mike Rowe will look back at holiday-themed jobs he’s tried out, such as working with reindeer or cranberries. Also, The Fashion Show [Bravo, 10 p.m.] returns after taking a week off; this season is better than the first, which was a bad Project Runway clone, but is it worth watching now that there’s so much more personal drama?
  • Wednesday, Dec. 15
    It’s Survivor Nicaragua‘s final Wednesday episode [CBS, 8 p.m.], and previews reveal it’s the always-emotional family visit episode–and Jeff Probst says someone will be executed. What?! Later, Hell’s Kitchen ends its eighth season [Fox, 9 p.m.]. As is becoming tradition, last season’s winner didn’t get the announced prize, so it’s unclear why the show continues to bother with chef prizes; they should just give cash.
  • Thursday, Dec. 16
    The beer-themed series Brew Masters ends its first season [Discovery, 8 p.m.], while a new, not-quite-holiday-themed series debuts tonight with back-to-back episodes: The Peacemaker: L.A. Gang Wars [A&E, 10 p.m.]. It follows a man who mediates between warring gangs.

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.


Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.