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September 16, 2014

reality television

Reality Stars Not Actually Stars: Nobody Attends Reality Rocks Expo

by Jean Bentley, posted Apr 11th 2011 5:15PM
Vyxsin, Kent, The Amazing RaceThis weekend, the Los Angeles Convention Center played host to the Reality Rocks Expo, a sort of Comic-Con for reality TV fans. The convention promised intimate access to such luminaries as the goths with the pink hair from 'The Amazing Race' (Kent and Vyxsin), Judge Lynn Toler from 'Divorce Court,' and early 'American Idol' castoffs.

Though our friend Andy Dehnart at Reality Blurred reports that the staff projected an audience of 15,000 attendees, come convention weekend, nobody actually showed up. Seriously -- check out these photos of the event from B-Side blog, featuring crowds as large as 12 amassing to watch former 'Idol' finalist Andrew Garcia, empty autograph lines for 'Paranormal Files' hosts, and a 'Big Brother' panel with the same amount of panelists as audience members.

Even The Los Angeles Times, which co-sponsored the event, posted two devastating recaps on its Showtracker blog. Events featured "embarrassingly small audiences," and the lone high point from Saturday's write-up was that "the food lines were short."

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'Top Chef All Stars' Eliminated Chef: 'I Get Portrayed in a Certain Way'

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 21st 2011 2:30PM
top_chef_all_stars_logo_bravoThe war raged last night on 'Top Chef All Stars' as the chefs picked up their knives and went into restaurant wars mode. It was a fierce battle, but not so much between the two teams. It turned out that the Etch team - that was the name of their pop-up restaurant - had more turmoil and tension among themselves than they did with their competition, team Bodega.

The cause of all the Sturm und Drang was leadership and it wasn't a shocked when the chef in charge of Etch was given the heave-ho.

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Fox Renews 'MasterChef' for a Second Season

by Catherine Lawson, posted Sep 8th 2010 9:15AM

Gordon RamsayGordon Ramsay fans rejoice: It's been announced that the potty-mouthed chef will be back for another series of 'MasterChef.'

The competitive cooking show launched last month as the Fox network's biggest ever summer debut. It also grabbed the number one spot in the 18-49 audience age range, which is the demographic most coveted by advertisers and networks.

Talking about the show's success, Ramsay said, "It's amazing and refreshing to see how much passion and raw talent there is from amateur home cooks across America. ... It's extraordinary the amount of energy and excitement the show brought in Season One, and I'm thrilled to be back at Fox for a second season."

Ramsay's now in the enviable position of having three successful series on Fox (the other two are 'Hell's Kitchen' and 'Kitchen Nightmares'), which puts him neck-and-neck with 'Family Guy' creator Seth MacFarlane, who's also courted controversy by dropping the F-bomb in his shows.

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'Flipping Out' - 'Hot Streak, Lots of Baggage' (Season Premiere) Recap

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 11th 2010 1:15AM
Jeff_Lewis_Jeni_Flipping_out_Bravo_2010(S04E01) When Jeff Lewis referred to the changes in his business early on in the season premiere of 'Flipping Out,' for a while there it seemed like it was all for the better.

After all, the Ryan Brown smoke screen had been lifted -- a Google search snafu that resulted in business never reaching Jeff because it was diverted to Ryan -- and the job offers were up four times what they'd been before. But enough about the work, what about the baby in the office?

Well, it wasn't Jenni and Jeff's. That much hadn't changed. No, it was Jett's. Between the baby -- an occasional visitor -- and the unruly dogs and willful cats, the Jeff Lewis office was more a variation on last season than a real change.

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The Latest Eliminated 'Top Chef' Contestant Was 'Ready to Go'

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 29th 2010 4:15PM
art_smith_padma_lakshmi_top_chef_bravoYou might think that when Padma Lakshmi tells a chef to "pack your knives and go," it's the worst thing that could happen. However, this week's eliminated cheftestant from 'Top Chef: DC' had a very different take on leaving the show, and in retrospect, won't let the experience affect what's next.

Who was it and how did he/she reach this conclusion? Find out in the exit interview below.

WARNING: Spoiler Alert!

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'Top Chef' - 'Power Lunch' Recap

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 29th 2010 12:30AM
top_chef_tom_collichio_padma_lakshmi(S07E07) Pea puree. Say that five times fast. Sounds pretty funny after awhile, don't you think? The pea puree was a really big deal on tonight's episode of 'Top Chef.' In fact, this might be the first sign that there's something interesting about this group of cheftestants. Up till now, they've been a rather bland bunch.

Before the pea puree became an issue, we had Kenny believing that the others were out to eliminate him because he was such a beast in the kitchen.

The other hot topic was Tiffany's suspicion that Angelo had been sabotaging others -- like Tamesha, who was sent home last week.

The Quickfire Challenge was simple enough. The chefs had to create gourmet dishes that fit on a single toothpick. Since it was a high stakes challenge, the winner would collect $20,000 plus immunity.

The least appealing were Alex's scallop with bacon, along with Kelly's scallop with watermelon, and Ed's tuna two ways. The top choices were Kevin's pork kabob, Angelo's cucumber and shrimp, and Stephen's beef stick. Stephen was practically spending the money, but the winner was Angelo.

Kevin was ticked off. He said that Angelo was constantly making Chinese food. Can you say sour grapes?

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Rating 10 TV Chefs: Who Would You Want Teaching You How to Cook?

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 27th 2010 7:00PM
gordon_ramsay_masterchef_foxIf you're a bit of a foodie, you probably watch a lot of TV chefs. There are a bunch of them, all over the dial, sharing their knowledge of food and how to prepare dishes -- whether it's a bowl of chili or a beef Wellington. Tonight, for example, Fox's resident chef Gordon Ramsay will be launching a new cooking show called 'MasterChef.' (Not to be confused with 'Top Chef.')

'MasterChef' (9PM ET, Fox) is based on the Australian version of the show -- not the BBC model -- in which a large group of hopefuls from across the country audition with their best dish, and if they pass the judges, they move on to the semi-finals.

But have you ever thought about which of the celebrity cooks and chefs on television you'd want to teach you? We took 10 popular TV chefs and rated their teaching abilities from 1-10 -- 10 being the best possible teacher, 1 being the worst. Let us know if you agree with our ratings ...


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Death on 'Deadliest Catch' (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted Jun 23rd 2010 2:05AM

Death on 'Deadliest Catch'Reality TV has existed in America for several decades now. But there comes a time when we have to ask -- what is appropriate for television and what isn't?

The latest episode of 'Deadliest Catch' (Tue., 9PM ET on Discovery) follows the death of Captain Phil Harris. He suffers a stroke on the show, which leads to his death a little more than a week later. The camera watches the panicked reactions of his son and the ship's crew members, as they attempt to revive him. Eventually, Phil has to be lifted off the boat in a stretcher, in order to be taken to the hospital.

We have to ask -- is this even something that should be shown on TV? Is this necessary? It all seems to be in very bad taste.

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Reality Check: Both Holly and Bret Won 'The Celebrity Apprentice'

by Joel Keller, posted May 24th 2010 1:09PM
Holly Robinson Peete, Bret Michaels and Donald Trump in the finale of 'The Celebrity Apprentice'After a pretty interesting season, the finale of 'The Celebrity Apprentice' took a left turn when Bret Michaels' health problems began. Think about it for a second: When Michaels and Holly Robinson Peete were executing their finale tasks sometime last fall, neither of them thought they'd be sitting at the live finale talking about anything but how they did in the finale and defending the moves they made.

But, months later, all anyone could think of and talk about was Michaels and how miraculous -- and risky -- it was for him to be sitting across the table from Donald Trump last night, just over a month since suffering a brain hemorrhage and less than a week after suffering a mini-stroke. Indeed, seeing him shuffle to the boardroom table, the hospital visits having taken a toll on his weight and strength, was a pretty inspiring sight.

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'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' - 'Knights of the Round Table' Recap

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Mar 12th 2010 2:28AM
James goes down hard on 'Survivor'
(S20E05) In the image above, it looks like James is surrounded by a bunch of schoolyard bullies on 'Survivor.' Well, he is surrounded, but things aren't always as they appear to be. The same can be said for the strategies of some of these all-so-great returning players, too. While some strategies remain consistent (a snake oil salesman isn't going to turn into the Avon lady), others are baffling me this season.

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Sony PlayStation Joins Reality TV Game

by Aimee Deeken, posted Feb 12th 2010 1:00PM
PlayStation 3The video game industry wants to try its hand at playing something else: reality TV programming.

Sony Computer Entertainment America has partnered with producer 51 Minds to launch a reality TV series, Variety reports. The program, titled 'The Tester,' will be available only to PlayStation 3 owners, running exclusively on the PlayStation Network.

This is the industry's first foray into original programming modeled on the broadcast network format. PS3 has previously offered an original anime series, coverage of upcoming games and a behind-the-scenes look at the video game industry.

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Teams announced for The Amazing Race 16

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Jan 21st 2010 7:06PM
The cast of The Amazing Race
Before you know it, it will be time for another whirlwind race around the world as the Emmy-winning reality show, The Amazing Race, returns for its 16th season. The new season is set to premiere at 8 PM ET/PT on Sunday, February 14. Today CBS announced the teams we'll be loving or hating as we vicariously travel around the world with them from the comfort of our own homes. The official CBS website is up and running with in-depth bios of the teams.

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Pet Psychic Encounters goes to the dogs

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Jan 21st 2010 8:30AM
You too can have a Pet Psychic Encounter with Corky.I saw a stand-up comic a few years back that noticed the weakness in the whole "pet psychic" premise. Whenever the animal clairvoyant -- someone who is supposedly able to read pets' minds -- enters a home to "sense the thoughts" of a house pet, they always ask the same question first:

"What's your pet's name?"

What? Couldn't Fido or Mr. Fluffy-Kins give you a psychic business card?

With the prime time arrival of Pet Psychic Encounters on Saturday nights over at Animal Planet, we have yet another show that exists comfortably in the realm of the unprovable. You can't disprove that series host Sonya Fitzpatrick is a pet psychic because an Alsatian is very unlikely to hop up and scream, "No, I did not say I prefer dry food to leftover meatloaf! I object, sir!" You can't prove a negative. The same rule holds up for the endless march of ghost shows on "reality" TV.

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BBC's The Choir turns reporters into singers

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Jan 18th 2010 9:03AM
Gareth Malone stars in BBC America's The Choir.The star of the upcoming BBC America reality series, The Choir pulled a fast one on the assembled reporters gathered for the network's press conference during the TCA proceedings this weekend.

The reality show features choirmaster Gareth Malone (right) as he attempts to forge a top-notch choir in England's cash-strapped schools and underprivileged neighborhoods. The 13-episode series will run this coming spring on BBC America.

So, Malone showed up in Pasadena this weekend to promote the show to the assembled TCA throng. After the standard clips and Q&A were winding down, Malone ducked out of the quick and easy farewell and invited the reporters to come up on stage and form their own flash choir.

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All Brad wants for Festivus

by Brad Trechak, posted Dec 10th 2009 11:02AM
Doctor WhoAnother year come and gone, and now I have to give another wish list regarding the state of television and what I view as my ideal. Since I know that my tastes are very different than those of the general public, I'm not expecting much in the way of agreement. But that's okay. We're all different, and that's a good thing.
  • The end of reality television - I just want this genre to die a horrible, slow, painful death, preferably involving leeches. I recognize that there are some gems in this pile of crap, but I loathe those sorts of shows that appeal to the worst and most gossipy nature within us. Get rid of them all. Except for those on the Food Network, because that channel is cool.
  • A stellar fifth year of the new Doctor Who - Admittedly, I was hesitant when they hired Matt Smith as The Doctor, who only yesterday just learned to walk. However, the brilliant Steven Moffat is behind the show and my expectations are very high. And disappointing a man with a television blog at his disposal is a bad idea, Steven.

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