Food Network Star gets a makeover: adding mentors, tribes, viewer vote

Food Network’s usually strong competition Food Network Star is getting a makeover, which will hopefully help to pull it out of its increasingly familiar rut when it returns for an eighth season this summer.

Judges Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis will no longer judge, but instead will be joined by Alton Brown as mentors for teams of contestants that they choose. Thankfully, Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson will remain as judges, with guest judges joining them each week. But viewers will ultimately select the winner, Variety reports.

The series, which dropped the word “Next” from its title last season, is also moving back to New York City from Los Angeles.

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.