Jeff Foxworthy, Heidi Klum added to summer shows with “America” in their title

Heidi Klum joined the judging panel of America’s Got Talent, joining Howard Stern, Howie Mandel, and Mel B to create a four-person panel for the first time in the show’s history.

Meanwhile, CBS’ version of The Great British Bake-Off has been given a dumbled-down name and host: The American Baking Competition, hosted by Jeff Foxworthy. He has experience hosting game shows–GSN’s The American Bible Challenge, Fox’s Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader–and while he seems like an odd fit for a baking competition, the UK version is hosted by comedians, too.

As to NBC’s show, Heidi started work with the show’s first judged auditions yesterday in New Orleans, where also new judge Mel B was booed, apparently by actual people, and not just by a laugh track.

Why is she on the panel? NBC’s press release called her “a major star,” but certainly the show doesn’t need Project Runway‘s fan base. She’s an interesting choice, because Heidi is a terrific judge, and while she’s no Michael Kors, she’s not Padma: she has quick wit and can make incisive judgements.

Then again, so can Howard Stern, but his presence didn’t really change anything about the show. And do we really need a fourth judge to make an already over-long show go even longer?

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.