Giada de Laurentiis will judge Food Network Star, which has changed its name

Food Network’s excellent summer competition series Next Food Nework Star, which has changed its name by dropping the word “next” from the title, has added a new judge to its panel: Giada De Laurentiis. She joins Bobby Flay and the series’ real stars, Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson.

There’s no explanation for the name change in the press release, which simply refers to the series as Food Network Star, as does its web site.

The 15 contestants have been announced, and Food Network also revealed/confirmed its guest stars, including Paula Deen, Ina Garten, Rachael Ray, Michael Symon, and Courtneney Cox.

The seventh season debuts June 5 with a two-hour premiere.

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.