Biggest Loser sued for weight; Survivor to Fox News; Challenge fights; Below Deck’s reality

  • Former Biggest Loser contestant Tara Costa is being sued by, and is suing, the company behind ilovekickboxing.com; the company claims she was “in material breach” of her contract after gaining weight.
  • Survivor Australia cast member Elisabeth Hasselbeck, best known now as the politically conservative member of The View (EW has her greatest hits), is leaving the ABC daytime talk show for Fox News, where she’ll be on the morning show Fox & Friends, replacing Gretchen Carlson and joining Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade. She’ll fit in more there far more than she did at The View, and I cannot wait for the SNL parodies.
  • American Idol winner Scotty McCreery is being sued by a former manager for pay he says he’s owed; Scotty said in a statement that “I have offered to pay Todd more than once, but he wanted an unreasonable amount for only five months of work. … This is just an attempt to embarrass me and my family.”
  • Mad Men and Deadwood costume designer Janie Bryant is developing a reality competition series on which contestants would “create a garment in the style of a classic Hollywood film, or a celebrity’s signature style (think Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Warren Beatty, etc),” according to Deadline.
  • The Bravo series Below Deck chartered a boat and then cast a crew to replace the boat’s real crew, except its captain, first officer, and engineer. The Triton’s fascinating story includes an interview wtih the captain of M/Y Cuor di Leone (renamed M/Y Honor for the show), Lee Rosbach, and also its executive producer, Rebecca Taylor, who talks about adapting her real-life experience into a not-so-real reality show.
  • NatGeo’s fun–and educational!–series Brain Games comes from a former producer of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, who told Wired he was inspired to create the new show because “I started realizing that the TV shows we make are very often entertaining but for the most part are passive and not surprising and rarely inspiring.”
  • History is spinning off a character from Ax Men into a new series that debuts in August: The Legend of Shelby The Swamp Man.
  • There’s legal drama between the Kardashians and Robert Kardashian’s ex wife.
  • The top 10 fights from The Real World/Road Rules Challenge are ranked; these are also pretty much why I don’t watch the show. I have no interest in watching drunk assholes punch each other.
  • 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.