Wondering about how a certain reality show pulled something off? Have a question about a certain contestant?
Whether it's "Survivor," "American Idol," "The Apprentice," "Real World" or another show, send in your questions. Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, MSNBC.com's Television Editor, and Andy Dehnart, creator of Reality Blurred,will try to answer them.
Before you send in your question, check our archives — you may be able to get your answer right away.
Q: I thought that you had to be 21 before filming started to be on 'Survivor.' How did Frosti get on Survivor China? He will only be 21 in Feb 2008. --Terry
Andy says: That’s a good question. Survivor’s application says, “All contestants must be 21 years or older at the time of application.”
But Michael “Frosti” Zernow’s official CBS bio identifies his birthdate as February 15, 1987. That means he won’t turn 21 until next February, long after the show is over.
Why, then, is Frosti on the show? Has the minimum age been reduced to 20 or even 18?
A CBS spokesperson told me that the age requirement has not changed. Instead, “(t)he producers decided to make an exception for him. They have the right to waive eligibility requirements at their discretion.”
Gael says: I'm sure the producers do have it written into the fine print that they could cast anyone and break their own rules, but if I were someone who'd applied to "Survivor" and been rejected for not meeting the show's guidelines, I wouldn't be too thrilled with this.
It's unclear from his online bio why Frosti was considered so great that they broke rules for him. He definitely has traveled in Asia before, mentioning a Hong Kong trip, and is part Japanese -- was the show desperate for an Asian competitor in this first-ever season set in China? The rest of his biography sounds like a shill for Parkour, which is described as "essentially making the environment into an obstacle course." So he may do well in the show's physical challenges, and could go far in the competition, but it still doesn't seem fair to me when so many people apply who DO meet the show's own stated requirements.
Q: Who won 'Pirate Master'? —KM
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A: Ben Fagan won the show's $500,000 prize, and his winnings from the entire show totaled $587,624. The runner-up, Christa DeAngelo, won $70,416.
Q: A few years ago, there was a reality show on TV about two families competing on an island to win a fantastic island home in Fiji or somewhere like that. One family was black, one was white and boy did the sparks fly. Right in mid season, the show just disappeared and we never found out what happened. I cannot remember the name of it, but I have always wondered what ever happened. I believe it was on the air on one of the major networks in 2002 or 2003. Think you can find it? —Anonymous
A: That would be "Under One Roof," the UPN series that debuted March 22, 2002 and that has the distinction of having been cancelled twice. The show followed five families who competed for a house in Fiji.
Two episodes aired that spring, and UPN temporarily pulled the plug. The show returned on July 2, and after airing three episodes (including just one never-before-broadcast episode), was cancelled again.
Contestants revealed after the second cancellation that the Skofield family won the house. Interestingly, long before this year's "Kid Nation" controversy, the show was criticized for the contestants' ruthlessness, and for involving kids in that kind of competition. —A.D.
MORE GAME SHOWS
“I am starting to get fed up with reality TV. The only 2 programs I enjoy (are) 'Dancing with the Stars' and 'American Idol.' The primetime game shows are good. They should put more of them on during the 8-9 hour. Then the whole family can sit and enjoy a program together. They should put all the crime dramas after 9. 'DWTS' and 'AI' are great because it is family entertainment also. The fillers are ridiculous though they have to think of something else to fill the time than these interviews that play over and over again with the same stupid questions.” --Lori
IS ‘LOSER’ LYING?
“As I watched 'The Biggest Loser, 'I was astonished by the amount of weight that was lost by the contestants in 1 week. I don’t believe the oldest contestant lost over +30 in one week. I have been working out every day for 4 months, including 3 hours of cardio and 1 ½ weights/abs and keeping my calorie intake at 1300. I have lost 35 lbs. I don’t believe a person can lose over 30+ in one week. Sounds very suspicious.” --S
CELEBRITY AND CANADIAN ‘SURVIVOR’
“I think that they should make a celebrity 'Survivor'. ...ya I know there might be a lot of acting but it would be nice to see celebs suffer a bit, also i think that they should allow Canadians to be on 'Survivor.' ” --Chrystal
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