This curated, frequently-updated list of reality TV news highlights what’s happening in the world of reality TV this month—and a few must-read pieces—with some sarcasm, skepticism, and/or snark when appropriate.
This isn’t every piece of news, and certainly not all the celebrity gossip, but the stories I find to be the most notable, important, and interesting.
And, as always, I welcome links or suggestions; just send me an e-mail message!
Two terrific profiles of two The Real World New Orleans stars:
- Melissa Beck profiled by Vox: What happens when The Real World turns you into an “Angry Black Woman”
- Danny Roberts profiled by The New York Times: A Gay Icon From Reality TV’s Early Years Makes a Hesitant Return
Joshua David Stein’s in-depth look at Top Chef:
- The Real Prize of Top Chef: How the Bravo reality show redefined fame and success for professional chefs
Alexandra Schwartz’s profile of Couples Therapy star Orna Guralnik:
Matt Flegenheimer’s profile of Guy Fieri:
This conversation between Siesta Key’s Madisson and Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley about “her journey in coping with the loss of her baby Elliot in a stillbirth”:
May 2022 reality TV news
A group of 12 organizations wrote a letter to NBCUniversal, Andy Cohen, and Truly Original about The Real Housewives of Dubai, saying that “you are helping the UAE dictatorship hide its male rulers’ misogyny, legalized homophobia, and mass violence against women,” and asking them to take “immediate steps to clearly demonstrate your opposition to the women’s rights violations, homophobia, and horrifying violence in Yemen.” [5.27.22]
Love Island UK cast members will receive “video training and guidance covering inclusive language around disability, sexuality, race and ethnicity, behaviours and microaggressions,” ITV says, and they’ll also give the cast information about “how to cope being filmed 24/7, the interaction they will have with producers in the Villa, the support provided to family members, dealing with social media trolling, and adapting to life away from the show.” [ITV, 5.27.22]
19 Kids and Counting star Josh Duggar was sentenced to prison for 151 months—about 12.5 years—without the possibility of parole. [Department of Justice, 5.25.22]
American Idol season 20’s winner, Noah Thompson, was born in 2002, the year the show premiered. In other news, I am old. [ABC News, 5.23.22]
Todd Chrisley’s attorney told a jury (Todd and Julie are on trial for tax evasion) that Todd’s claim on Chrisley Knows Best that he spent $300,000 on clothes every year is made up for TV: “It’s all part of the sizzle. It’s all part of the show. It’s all part of the act,” he said. [Insider, 5.21.22]
The Challenge appears to be recruiting family members and/or enemies of past contestants. Have they already run out of contestants? [ScreenRant, 5.17.22]
New Supreme Court justice Ketanji Brown Jackson is a Survivor superfan: “I love Survivor. It’s the best show ever,” she told the Washington Post. “Because it’s like a social experiment. It’s human nature, what do people do when they’re starving and how do they react to one another? It’s like this Hobbesian state of nature: How are we going to deal with this situation? I love it.” [Washington Post, 5.16.22]
Todd and Julie Chrisley’s trial for tax evasion and bank fraud started this week. [Associated Press, 5.16.22]
Camila Cabello is joining The Voice to coach alongside Gwen Stefani, John Legend, and Blake Shelton. That means Kelly Clarkson is out after eight seasons.
Worst Cooks in America winner Ariel Robinson was convicted of killing her 3-year-old daughter and sentenced to life in prison. [NBC News, 5.13.22]
The Staircase’s creators say the new HBO Max drama based on the documentary series “recklessly blurs fact and fiction,” according to Vanity Fair. That’s understandably frustrating—except what did director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade expect? (He’s a paid EP on the new series but didn’t even read scripts!) There’s no reason to make the new series except to blur fact and fiction! [Vanity Fair, 5.13.22]
Bravo renewed Top Chef, Project Runway, Married to Medicine, Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, Summer House, Winter House, Family Karma, Below Deck, Below Deck Mediterranean, Vanderpump Rules, and The Real Housewives of Orange County, New Jersey, New York City, Potomac and Salt Lake City. [Bravo, 5.12.22]
Alton Brown talks about leaving Food Network for Netflix’s Iron Chef, and working with Kristen Kish [EW, 5.12.22]
Eddie Lucas left Below Deck, and said “we are the lowest-paid cast members” on Bravo. [New York Post, 5.11.22]
Todd Chrisley is getting another show, in addition to a 10th season of his show Chrisley Knows Best. Speaking of just what the world needs, it’s a dating series, where “he guides one unlucky-in-love single on a whirlwind day of speed dating that will hopefully end in the date night and match of their dreams.” [USA Network, 5.10.22]
A new Jackass is coming thanks to “the success of Jackass Forever,” Paramount Global’s CEO said. [Hollywood Reporter, 5.5.22]
The new The Circle has two Spice Girls, Mel B and Emma Bunton, who are playing as “Jared.” [Los Angeles Times, 5.4.22]
Amazon Freevee announced its order of three new reality shows: “a new cooking competition series called America’s Test Kitchen: The Next Generation, the coming-of-age drama Beyond Black Beauty, the family competition series Play-Doh Squished, and the music documentary Post Malone: Runaway.” [Amazon Freevee, 5.2.22]
The true-crime focused CrimeCon held its first Clue Awards for true crime content this weekend. The three television awards went to Fall River, Cold Justice and Escaping Captivity: The Kara Robinson Story. Two of those are on Oxygen. CrimeCon was also sponsored by Oxygen. [Variety, 4.30.22]
Alan Cumming will host Peacock’s The Traitors, which sounds like The Mole with many moles: “Twenty contestants come together to complete a series of challenges with the objective of earning a cash prize. The catch? A number of the contestants coined ‘The Traitors’ will meet in secret to devise a plan to eliminate their fellow players” [Peacock, 4.29.22]
Remember when Danny from The Real World New Orleans was on Dawson’s Creek? I completely forgot! [Primetimer, 4.27.22]