Reality TV saves teenager’s life

Some good news to start 2011: Discovery’s Man vs. Wild and Survivorman were credited with saving a 14-year-old’s life. He spent nine hours in -17 degree temperatures and stayed warm by constructing a snow cave, and says he used strategies he learned from Bear Grylls and Les Stroud.

The teenager “stranded on an Oregon mountain while skiing on New Year’s Eve said he used skills learned from reality television to find his way out of the woods,” ABC News reports. Jake Denham told ABC’s Bend, Ore., affiliate, “It started getting dark, and I saw the stars. I saw Venus — it was red and bigger than the North Star. I dug a canal, and it went up a hill, so the wind would blow over it so the wind wouldn’t hit me. … I went down and then when I got lost, I got down on my hands and knees and followed the [ski] trail again. I walked down, and then I saw lights.”

The teenager said, “I learned all this from Man vs. Wild and Survivorman; I love those shows.”

Reality Shows Help Boy Lost on Frigid Mountain [ABC News]

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.