Splash injury, death on China’s Splash; Chopped All-Stars spoiled; NeNe’s spin-off; on board the Top Chef cruise; celebrity bowling

  • An 18-year-old connected to a celebrity on China’s version of Splash drowned in a pool during training. On the ABC version, Nicole Eggert was injured and hospitalized during training on Thursday, but is apparently okay.
  • NeNe Leakes is getting her own Bravo series; it’s called I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding and will follow preparation for her wedding.
  • In a related story, Bridal reality shows create unrealistic expectations for people who are getting married. Of course, so does the wedding industry.
  • Chopped All-Stars airs its best episode tonight, with the show’s own judges competing, but the outcome has been spoiled by a promo for the series, which shows two of the chefs in the final round, including one of the judges.
  • AMC announced that it is producing a series called All-Star Celebrity Bowling, which should fit nicely with its brand and Mad Men and Breaking Bad. The network also plans Cancelled, on which “six households will be outfitted with cameras that will give them the chance to compete for ‘ratings’ that will determine which household has the most-watched reality show,” and Geek Out, which “takes the ultimate super-fan of a specific film, comic book, author, actor, athlete, musician, video game, or television series on an adventure that emotionally connects them to their obsession.”
  • The first Top Chef-themed cruise ended last week, and here’s a report and photos from the cruise, in which the writer notes that Tiffany Derry and Spike Mendelsohn were the most accessible contestants. The oddest detail: Top Chef Masters contestant and guest judge Hubert Keller acted as DJ every night.
  • Cake Boss star apologized Cousin Anthony apologized for his tweet blaming immigrant “animals” for the Boston marathon bombings. Earlier, he responded to criticism of his original tweet with thoughtful remarks such as, “typical liberal attitude.” Last summer, he apologized for calling a transgender woman “it.”
  • TV critic Terry Morrow died last week at age 52 of pancreatic cancer; his funeral was Friday. I met and knew him only through my twice-annual treks to L.A. for the Television Critics Association press tour, where he was always an incredibly joyful presence. His obituary in the Knoxville News-Sentinel, the paper he wrote for, reveals that he connected with many people, including his subjects, some of whom became friends. One of them, Johnny Knoxville, said that when they were filming MTV’s Jackass, Terry would “always say ‘And if you wanted to pull a prank on me, it wouldn’t be the worst thing that ever happened …’ We’d never tell him what we were going to do. We may have even stun-gunned him a time or two and there was a rat trap. … In ‘Jackass’ we’ll do anything to get the footage and Terry would do anything to get the story. So there was a sensibility that we shared. He was a good writer and a good friend.”
  • American Idol producer 19 Entertainment is producing an a capella singing show that follows the International Championship of A Cappella.
  • Big Brother winner Ian Terry is back at Tulane taking classes, and the Times-Picayune reports that “his Tulane classmates have been pretty cool overall about having him back on campus.”
  • Randy Senna, the proprietor of Randyland who appeared on the episode of Hoarders I wrote about in Playboy, has self-published a book called So You Want to be on Reality TV: The Reality of Reality TV?.
  • Reality TV’s fascination with Alaska will continue as Discovery, TLC, and Animal Planet have announced plans for many new Alaska-set reality shows.
  • Kristin Cavallari said she will encourage her kid to not do reality TV.
  • I once suggested that the ratings-plagued and drama-filled Today Show needs its own reality series. We have the next-best thing: behind-the-scenes stories about the drama. Starting with the first scene in this story about Ann Curry’s departure from The Today Show, I was hooked; luckily, it’s an excerpt from a book by New York Times reporter Brian Stelter that’s out this week: Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV.
  • This also has nothing to do with reality TV but it is mesmerizing. What happens when you wring out a wet washcloth in space? The high school students who asked the question correctly predicted the amazing results. Also, this video made me want to go into space.
  • 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.