Blogging from prison, Matty explains “how I went from Big Brother to the Big House”

Matthew McDonald, aka Matty from Big Brother 9, is blogging from inside a federal prison in Mass. where he is serving a three year term for distributing drugs. And his three posts so far are probably the most honest and surprising pieces of writing by a former reality TV cast member that I have ever read.

In January, Matty pled guilty to being part of a drug ring that included his season’s winner, Adam Jasinski, who sentenced to four years in prison. Matty is now serving three years in federal prison, after which he’ll have five years of supervised release; he also has to pay a $50,000 fine.

In three blog posts, Matt is surprisingly apologetic, contrite, and honest. (The one thing he doesn’t address directly is the still-pending charges after being arrested for beating up his pregnant fiance; he only says, “I DO NOT hit women. I love women. I may have been an asshole when it came to matters of the heart, but I don’t hit–it’s just not who I am.”)

In Big Brother, he “got so addicted to the whole ‘fast life’ after the show: money, cars, trips, women, drugs, and my then new found fame…faster than I got addicted to those pills. I never took into account where all these pills were going and whose lives I was ruining while I was making money. It sickens me to even think about it. For that, I truly apologize.”

In his second post, Matty discusses the his most recent post, Matty repeats his apologies: “I’d like to sincerely apologize once again to my friends, and most importantly, my family…for ALL of my actions…not just the drug dealing over the years that led me to this foreign land of embarrassment and shame.”

That’s quite the contrast from, say, the reality show cast member who’s still unapologetic about using his own feces to write his name on his jail cell wall.

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.