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Top Chef’s Aaron arrested; Randy Jackson quits Idol again; Kim Kardashian’s butt

Recent news about reality TV show cast members

  • American Idol judge turned mentor Randy Jackson is finally leaving the series, apparently for real this time. In 2013, he quit the show, and then was added back as a mentor. In a statement, Fox, FremantleMedia, and 19 Entertainment said he “has been such an integral part of American Idol since Day 1, both as a judge and as a mentor.”
  • Top Chef Boston‘s Aaron Grissom was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence last Tuesday; he was booked and released on bail Wednesday. Aaron is the chef who gets into angry verbal altercations with the other chefs.
  • If you’ve always wanted to see Kim Kardashian’s bare butt, Paper has published an artistic naked photograph of her in an attempt to “break the Internet.”
  • Jon Gosselin wants to be back on TV with Kate, but for the kids, of course: “I would consider appearing on ‘Couples Therapy’ with Kate. … We’re divorced, but why can’t we co-parent? I was thinking Kate and I could do a televised sit-down with a doctor and work out our differences, because our kids are suffering.”
  • Deion Sanders, whose OWN series Deion’s Family Playbook just started its second season, told Larry King what he thinks about being gay (“It could be” a choice; “The God I know don’t make mistakes”) and Michael Sam, the first openly gay NFL player: “I’m not saying I condone it, but I don’t condemn it. I don’t love what he do, but I love him as a man and I just wanted him to understand the burden and the weight that he’s carrying.” Meanwhile, he thinks Ray Rice should get a second chance: “I would hope so, because everybody I know, especially the person I see in the mirror every morning, has gotten a second or third chance at life, who are we not to give someone a second chance.”
  • Clay Aiken was followed by camera crews throughout his failed bid for Congress, and that will become a four-part Esquire reality series filmed by Oscar-winner Simon Chinn (who directed both Man on Wire and Searching for Sugar Man) and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Jonathan Chinn (who’s produced series from Hotel Hell to 30 Days). The news has irritated some donors who went to a fundraiser and agreed to be filmed for the documentary; they say they thought it would only air on the BBC and not in the US.
  • Jessa Duggar and her new husband Ben may or may not have been caught having sex in the church after being married, but they most definitely say they waited until marriage to even kiss, and posted a hot photo of themselves kissing to Instagram. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar wrote on Facebook that they “are so grateful [Ben and Jessa] waited to share their first kiss until after marriage,” so they issued a challenge: “We challenge all married couples to take a happily married picture and post it here.” That prompted Jezebel’s Anna Merlan to sarcastically write, “this is a time to celebrate heterosexual, God-sanctioned, Christian, maritally-bound lovin’. It is not a time to troll the Duggar’s Facebook page with any of the following: Photos of yourself kissing your same-sex spouse; Photos of yourself kissing your same-sex not-spouse; Photos of yourself kissing someone you have no intention of marrying and whose last name you’re honestly a little fuzzy on.” As of right now, there are well over 4,500 comments on the post, some of same-sex couples.
  • Shark Tank star Mark Cuban told Rolling Stone that he’s approached a lot about investing in businesses, including from guys on his team (“I always tell my guys they should bring me deals and some of them do”) but said that makes it impossible for the person to ever appear on the ABC show: “In general, the number of pitches per day is insane. Fortunately, I’m able to say that if I discuss this with you, you can’t be on Shark Tank. It’s against the rules and I give them instructions on how to apply to be on the show. The rules of the show won’t allow any business that has had dealings with a Shark. That would give one Shark an advantage.”
  • The Chair winner Shane Dawson versus Zachary Quinto, round 600: Of Shane’s win, Quinto said, “congratulations to him, I’m glad that he now has a chance to deepen his experience as a filmmaker in the next foreseeable future because he has this money. But I hope he use the time to actually deepen his experience, and not just continue to step out into the world with little to no regard for differing opinions. It was not the fact that I felt like I was troubled by the content of his films, that can change, it was his inflexibility, and his opposition to anybody who saw things differently than he or his fans. It was arrogance.” Shane: “I don’t have any hatred or bitterness towards him — well maybe a little bitterness — but to say I didn’t collaborate just showed how out of touch he was with the making of my movie.”


News about reality shows

  • Amazon’s first original reality series pilot will be The New Yorker Presents. Produced by Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions and Conde Nast Entertainment, it will include “scripted narrative and documentary segments based on the magazine.” As is Amazon’s usual procedure, the pilot will be free to watch, and the decision to make it will be based on viewership and feedback.
  • The return of The Comeback was watched by just 300,000 people, less than one-third of the audience who watched the season one finale. Of course, that is just overnight ratings, and many may watch on demand or on DVRs this week or later.
  • Two TV producers, Patrick Moses and Kevin Kaufman, are suing Bravo and Scott Dunlop for $5 million, claiming that their ex-partner took their joint idea for The Real Housewives behind their backs.
  • France’s M6 pulled its version of Rising Star two weeks early, because it also lost ratings during its run. Earlier, as RealScreen reports, Germany’s RTL ended the show early, and the UK’s ITV said it won’t air a version after all.
  • The crash of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo and the death of one of its pilots, may affect NBC’s Mark Burnett reality series Space Race; NBC told Deadline it is “gathering information” about it.
  • Exes who remain friends and want to help each other find new romance are being cast for a new reality series that has the working title of EX-scape to Paradise and is being produced by 495 Productions.
  • A new A&E series from 44 Blue will follow Donnie Wahlberg and Jenny McCarthy, who will also executive produce their series, Donnie Loves Jenny. The show will air in early 2015.


Fun fact

  • For Thursday night’s second episode of E!’s True Hollywood Story: Life After Reality, an NBCUniversal representative asked if they could use a screenshot of an article I’d written. I said sure and signed the release–but then said no thanks once they revealed that they wouldn’t attribute it to reality blurred: “company police does not allow us to credit a website.” I assume “police” was a typo for “policy,” but I do like the idea of NBCUniversal police being all, “NO! NO YOU CANNOT CREDIT A WEB SITE! THE INTERNET IS NOT A REAL THING!”

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About the author

  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means. Learn more about Andy.