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Reality TV news for Nov. 2022: 2 DWTS exits, Survivor winner’s election, and more

Reality TV news for Nov. 2022: 2 DWTS exits, Survivor winner’s election, and more
Len Goodman waves after announcing his retirement from Dancing with the Stars after season 31 (Photo by Raymond Liu/ABC)

In this news round-up, I share curated links and brief updates about what’s happening in the world of reality TV this month. I also highlight pieces that I loved—along with plenty of sarcasm, skepticism, and/or snark when appropriate.

I’ll continually update this story throughout the rest of November, making this into a one-page version of what reality blurred was like in its early days.

Please feel free to send me links or suggestions—especially for great longreads or in-depth pieces—any time: just send me an e-mail message!

November must-reads

Top Chef All Stars LA winner Melissa King is returning for Top Chef Portland, season 18 of the Bravo show
Top Chef All Stars LA winner Melissa King is returning for Top Chef Portland, season 18 of the Bravo show. (Photo by Ernesto Ruscio/Bravo)

While spooky season may be over, Travel Channel’s focus on “ghosts” and the paranormal is not going anywhere. Hannah Sampson looks at its two-decade-long shift from Anthony Bourdain to reacting to noises:

In this profile, Top Chef winner Melissa King discusses her experience on the show (“I didn’t want to do the second time either. I was exhausted from competing. It can be a traumatic experience”), their career, and shares a bunch of their favorite restaurants:

I admit that I ignored the Kardashians move to Hulu, just as I’d ignored them on E!, assuming there was nothing new about their show. But this essay by Primetimer‘s Claire Spellberg Lustig makes me curious to see how they’re breaking the fourth wall—in ways that are obviously intentional, but also interesting:

November 2022 reality TV news

Dancing with the Stars 31 judges Carrie-Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, Derek Hough, and Bruno Tonioli after Len announced his retirement
Dancing with the Stars 31 judges Carrie-Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, Derek Hough, and Bruno Tonioli after Len announced his retirement (Photo by Raymond Liu/ABC)

Mark Burnett is out from his job running MGM TV, which is Hollywood for “bye bye!”. In this brilliantly scathing piece, Kim Masters points out that Burnett has an “outsize reputation as a prolific unscripted hitmaker” but was a “footnote” at MGM because he “generated no new hits during his eight-year tenure,” perhaps because he “tended to meddle in areas in which he had no defined role, and would frequently badger and criticize staffers and fellow executives.” [Hollywood Reporter, 11.30.22]

JoJo Fletcher and Jordan Rogers’ dating show The Big D—which was cancelled at TBS before it even aired to help Warner Bros. Discovery save money—has been rescued by USA Network. [Deadline, 11.29.22]

One of Kate and Jon Gosselin’s kids, who was a cast member on Jon & Kate Plus Eight, is now 18. And Collin Gosselin said he thinks the TLC show “tore us apart.” He lives with his dad and doesn’t currently have a relationship with his mom. [Entertainment Tonight, 11.28.22]

The hotel featured on the Magnolia Network show Inn the Works isn’t yet complete. Its owner, Lindsey Kurowski, told a Boston Globe reported that “It’s like ‘Hey, here’s the stuff we did for TV, isn’t it great? And now here’s the 80 percent that I still need to do over time.’ I’m not independently wealthy. So every year I’ll just reinvest back into the place.” [Boston Globe, 11.25.22]

The BBC’s revival of Survivor UK is now casting UK residents who are 18+. The show’s prize will be just £100,000, or US$121,000, so less than RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Channel 4 has launched 4Reality on YouTube, which it says is “the home of everything drama, sass, and iconic pop culture from your fave Channel 4 shows.”

Below Deck Adventure star Kyle Dickard was arrested for running onto a football field—and then trying to bribe police. [People, 11.24.22]

Jinkx Monsoon is heading to Broadway to star in Chicago as Matron “Mama” Morton starting Jan. 16, 2023. [Playbill, 11.22.22]

Variety published a piece of fluff in which Chip Gaines insists he and Joanna are politically neutral: not “right wing or left wing or moderates or versions of those concepts in between” but “human beings that are looking out for the betterment of other human being.” Meanwhile, they gave money to Chip’s sister, who, while running for school board, was endorsed by a Republican who said she’d “push back against the racial socialist agenda and their indoctrination of students.” Yep, no politics there! [Variety, 11.22.22; Dallas Morning News, 5.19.21]

Lizzy Savetsky, one of the new cast members of the all-new Real Housewives of New York City, says she quit the show because she’s been “on the receiving end of a torrent of antisemitic attacks,” as she wrote on Instagram. Bravo, brave as always, did not condemn those attacks—and we all need to be condemning the increasing antisemitism—instead saying in a statement to People, “after thoughtful consideration and discussion with Lizzy, we have reached the mutual conclusion that Lizzy will not be a cast member.” Update: Why the disconnect? The New York Post reports that she actually “left the show after her husband repeated the N-word on set while recounting a discussion between two of its stars.” While both things could be true, that’s a very different reason. [People, 11.16.22; New York Post, 11.22.22]

Netflix said it will add Big Brother seasons 10 and 14 (on Dec. 2) and The Amazing Race seasons 17 and 31 (on Dec. 4), plus The Hills seasons 1 and 2 (Dec. 15). But it’ll drop The Challenge seasons 12 and 15 (on Dec. 14). [11.22.22]

Todd and Julie Chrisley are going to prison and their show was cancelled. [11.21.22]

Cheryl Burke is leaving her longtime role as Dancing with the Stars pro after 26 seasons, writing on Instagram that “I honestly don’t know who I would be today without [her DWTS family]. I also know that it is time for me to begin the next phase of my career, although dance will always be a part of me.” [11.20.22]

Don St. Claire, who was on The Amazing Race 6 with his wife Mary Jean St. Claire, died at age 87 on Aug. 31, 2022. [Legacy.com]

Fletcher Peters makes an argument for firing Matt Lucas from The Great British Bake-Off—I don’t disagree with any of her evidence, though I’d argue it’s really some producers who need to be fired for allowing GBBO’s hosts to be so annoying. [The Daily Beast, 11.18.22]

Supporters of The Vow subject and NXIVM founder Keith Raniere—who was convicted of sex trafficking, racketeering, wire fraud, and more—are using sponsored articles (i.e. an ad, not actual journalism) “to cast doubt on his 2020 conviction,” Best Evidence reports, noting that it is “is attempting to hijack crime reporting.” [Best Evidence, 11.18.22]

Love is Blind has become a shitshow, just like its cable predecessor Married at First Sight, and Alex Abad-Santos analyzes how it “went from a sociological fairy tale to a reality TV nightmare in just three seasons.” [Vox, 11.18.22]

This Is Life With Lisa Ling, which is airing its ninth season, has been cancelled by CNN. (CNN is in cost-cutting crisis mode.) Lisa Ling said she’ll try to find a new home for it: “I’m not done. I personally don’t want to live in a nonfiction world of cooking shows and true crime. I think there is an audience for depth.” [L.A. Times, 11.17.22]

Len Goodman will quit/retire from Dancing with the Stars at the end of season 31, saying “I’ve decided I’d like to spend more time with my grandchildren and family back in Britain.” He’s been with the ABC-turned-Disney+ show since 2005, and judged Strictly Come Dancing from 2004 to 2016. [ABC News, 11.15.22]

Nick Wilson, Survivor David vs. Goliath, immunity challenge win
Nick Wilson after one of his three immunity challenge wins during the Survivor David vs. Goliath finale. (Image from Survivor via CBS)

Survivor winner and Republican Nick Wilson has been elected to Kentucky’s House of Representatives. He did not have an opponent. [Nexstar, 11.11.22]

The Hollywood Reporter published its list of the most-powerful reality TV producers, many of whom are great producers, and most of whom are white guys. Hollywood—and The Hollywood Reporter!—do better. [Hollywood Reporter, 11.11.22]

Love is Blind’s Nancy Rodriguez talks about talking about abortion on reality TV—and why her conversation was so rare but so necessary. [Pop Sugar, 11.10.22]

Singer Aaron Carter—who starred in House of Carters, competed on Dancing with the Stars 9 and Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off—died at age 34. [E! News, 11.5.22]

Whose Line is it Anyway will film one more season, Colin Mochrie said. [Twitter, 11.4.22]

Surprise: another Bachelor franchise couple is over (does this even count as news any more?). The Bachelorette’s Gabby Windey and Erich Schwer are done. He didn’t even show up to see her Oct. 31 Dancing with the Stars performance! Gasp. [E! News, 11.4.22]

Producer Effie Brown talks about being shut out of Hollywood after Project Greenlight, just for daring to challenge Matt Damon’s bullshit in a single moment that she says “That “was like… a Tuesday. That happened all the time.” [The Daily Beast, 11.3.22]

The robot-smashing competition BattleBots is becoming a live Las Vegas show. BattleBots: Destruct-A-Thon tickets go on sale Nov. 14 for performances starting in February; they’ll be held at Caesars Entertainment Studios behind Paris, Las Vegas. [BattleBots, 11.3.22]

ABC announced The Prank Panel, a prank competition judged by Johnny Knoxville, Eric Andre, and Gabourey Sidibe, produced by Jimmy Kimmel. I have an idea: how about just no, never, stop. [11.2.22]

Top Chef Masters seasons 1, 2, and 3 judge and restaurant critic Gael Greene died at age 88. [Eater, 11.1.22]

Jeopardy! champion Zach Newkirk shared some amazing behind-the-scenes photos of the set. [Twitter, 10.31.22]

Baga Chipz didn’t even win either of the seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race she appeared on, and made “at least a quarter of a million. It might be more” in the past year, and says “I can make 30 to 40 grand a week in total sometimes” from appearances, Cameo recordings, meet and greets, and other things. [The Sunday Times, 10.29.22]

Artist Barbara Kruger talks about reality TV, which she says “was an escapist lifeboat” and “a delivery device for sanity.” [The Drift, 10.20.22]

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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.

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