Survivor couple one of Amazing Race 25’s teams

Two former Survivor cast members are among the teams on the 25th season of The Amazing Race, which began this morning in New York City’s Times Square. CBS has taken the atypical approach of announcing the cast and start of the race on the day it began. The show moves to Friday nights at 8 this fall.

Among the cast members are two CBS reality stars: Survivor South Pacific contestants Whitney Duncan and Keith Tollefson, who had an affair on the show that ended her marriage. Whitney divorced her then-husband, and she and Keith are now engaged.

Other cast members include pro surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm to a shark and inspired the film Soul Surfer, which was based on her autobiography; she’s also appeared on shows such as The Biggest Loser, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?, and 19 Kids and Counting. She’s competing with her surfer husband Adam Dirks.

Here’s the full list of cast members from CBS, which includes pro wrestlers Brooke Adams and Robbie E. Strauss:

Bethany Hamilton and Adam Dirks: Married Surfers from Princeville, Hawaii
Kym Perfetto and Alli Forsythe: Urban Bike Racers from Brooklyn, N.Y.
Amy DeJong and Maya Warren: Food Scientists from Madison, Wisc.
Lisa Thomson and Michelle Thomson: Realtor Sisters from Miami, Fla.
Michael Ward and Scott Strazzullo: Firefighters from Boston, Mass.
Brooke Adams and Robbie E. Strauss: Dating Pro Wrestlers from Houston, Texas and Woodbridge, N.J., respectively.
Tim Tsao and Te Jay McGrath: College Sweethearts from Pasadena, Calif.
Isabelle Du and Dennis Hour: Model and Accountant, respectively, from Tustin, Calif.
Keith Tollefson and Whitney Duncan: Engaged Couple from Nashville, Tenn.
Misti and Jim Raman: Married Dentists from Columbia, S.C.
Shelley and Nici Porter: Mother/Daughter from Detroit, Mich.

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.