Marcus Samuelsson replaces Brian Malarkey on The Taste

ABC’s The Taste, which is returning for an improbable second season, has replaced its winning judge/mentors, former Top Chef contestant Brian Malarkey, with Chopped judge Marcus Samuelsson.

Malarkey’s contract wasn’t renewed; he said in a very nice statement earlier this summer that “Being a part of ABC’s The Taste was a great experience, especially mentoring one of my chefs all the way to the finish line and taking home the win. I am of course disappointed to part ways and not return for season 2, but onward and upward!”

If anything, I hope his exit means the end of the lame fake rivalry nonsense that the producers pushed during the first season between Malarkey and Ludo Lefebvre, who is returning. Perhaps producers and the network will also fix the show’s other problems, too.

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.