What’s the best reality TV season ever?

Last year, New York Magazine’s Vulture determined the best sitcom of the past 30 years (The Simpsons) and the year before, determined the best TV drama of the past 25 years (The Wire). Vulture does this March Madness bracket-style, and this year, has 16 reality shows facing off–though the competition has been narrowed to focus on specific seasons.

There are match-ups between similar series, such as Flavor of Love 1 versus The Bachelor 13, but mostly disparate match-ups such as Survivor Borneo versus RuPaul’s Drag Race 4. That’s fun and occasionally frustrating; the writers who judge each round have to weigh strengths and weaknesses of two very different shows to find a winner.

I’m judging the semi-final round, which will be published later. In the meantime, read about Reality Rumble or check out the full bracket; click the name of a winning show to read the essay that explains why it defeated its opponent.

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.


Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

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.