Maksim quitting DWTS; Survivor beats X Factor beats Survivor; MIT reality show; Mr. Wizard is still a dick

  • Maksim Chmerkovskiy is quitting Dancing with the Stars after this season, and told the New York Post it’s because he isn’t focused enough on himself: “I loved doing it. But to be honest with you, at 32, I am at what-about-me time.”
  • Survivor beat X Factor in viewers, and increased its viewership over last fall, but had fewer 18-49-year-old viewers than the Fox show, but lost some of those in the key demographic compared to last fall. Meanwhile, Big Brother‘s finale was down 14 percent compared to last season’s.
  • Bethenny Frankel’s talk show will be back on the air after a six-week test this summer that performed well in the ratings. I, however, will stick to watching this impression of Bethenny by comedian Amy Phillips that is somehow both more annoying and more tolerable than her actual on-air persona.
  • SyFy’s Collection Intervention called itself Master Collecters during production, apparently to get people to sign on and working editing magic later to turn it into an intervention.
  • GQ titled its feature story about Grand Rapids’ $250,000 public art competition So You Think You Can Paint, and that’s an appropriate title, since the public selects the winner of ArtPrize.
  • MIT’s first-year students take a class called “Chemistry Lab Techniques,” and the university’s OpenCourseWare site followed 14 of those students for a reality series called ChemLab Boot Camp. The trailer and first episode are online.
  • My Honey Boo Boo nickname is “Ava Dumpling,” although I tried again and it gave me Aishlynn Daisy Duke.” Make up your mind, Honey Boo Boo.
  • is developing a competition show for “creative people” and “innovators,” a show he thinks “will be great TV and great for society.”
  • I watched Mr. Wizard religiously when I was a kid, an early signal of my love for reality-based television. I haven’t ever watched it as an adult, so when the first Mr. Wizard’s A dick compilation came out, I was stunned, and laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe and nearly wet my pants. Hilarious what we don’t notice as kids–and how powerful editing can be. The creator of the original video has just released a sequel, appropriately titled Mr. Wizard’s (Still) a Dick, and while it isn’t as immediately funny, it builds to amazingly hilarious dickishness.
  • Review: Married at First Sight

    Marriage At First Sight

    In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

    Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

    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.