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, . Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, MSNBC.com's Television Editor, and Andy Dehnart, creator of the ,will try to answer them.
Q: Considering that [recent "Apprentice"] tasks have been public events, have these been picked up by local media for coverage or mention? I noticed that [a recent] task involves retailing on QVC. Did this actually occur or was it a staged event in order to present the image of reality? —Sam, Birmingham, Ala.
Filming a show in New York City and keeping it a secret is definitely a challenge, and indeed, news of some of the tasks that have been performed by the two teams have been reported on — and they were very real.
Last summer, The New York Daily News in its gossip pages, reporting that, in Washington Square Park, Mosaic paid "a plump 51-year-old woman" $20 to haul boxes of toothpaste, which left her exhausted and delirious, and eventually she passed out. Although cameras were rolling, we didn't see that on TV.
Additionally, before this season began, some attentive shopaholic viewers may have already seen the Apprentice candidates on TV. A QVC spokesperson says that the task we saw on last week's episode did, in fact, air on the shopping network. And as we saw on the Oct. 7 episode, as part of their reward, the men's team returned to QVC on Oct. 11 to sell their panini grill live on the air. —A.D.
A: Fans have been wondering this since mid-September, , with nice-guys Chip and Kim McAllister winning.
Originally CBS had announced a Sept. 25 premiere for the sixth season, later bumping that to Oct. 3, both Saturdays (an odd day choice for "TAR").
TV Guide even published , who include a former Playboy Playmate and her husband (who dyed his hair blue); an ex-CIA operative and his daughter (paging !); and a male/female team of professional wrestlers.
But just weeks before the scheduled premiere, CBS supposedly decided it needed to put more space between the seasons (there's some evidence that they had actually fallen behind with production), and announced it was holding the show until an undetermined date. I checked in with CBS, and they told me only that they may announce a new premiere date this week. (Emphasis on the "MAY.")
Fans can only hope that the new date involves a move off of Saturdays, which does indeed seem like the timeslot of impending doom. says it's only further proof that "TAR" is the of reality series: Two Emmys, no respect.
Semi-related: E! Online has reported that there may be plans for an (Please, , please, no Flo...)
And fans of "TAR" host Phil Keoghan (and who isn't a Phil fan, really?) can check him out in his new Discovery Channel series, in which Keoghan helps participants fulfill exotic dreams. Mmm, Phil and exotic dreams... —G.F.C.
UPDATE: On Oct. 21, after this column was published, that "Amazing Race 6" would premiere on Nov. 16 and will run on Tuesdays. —G.F.C.
Q: [I'm] interested in "The Apprentice" soundtrack. Can you tell me the names of the songs/artists? —Vickie, Virginia Beach, VA
A: NBC senior press manager Jim Dowd reports that there are currently no plans to release an "Apprentice" CD soundtrack. But if by "soundtrack" you mean "theme song," you're in luck.
The catchy "Apprentice" theme song is "For the Love of Money," as performed by the O'Jays. According to , the song was a #3 R&B hit and #9 pop hit back in 1974. If that's the song you want, buy one of the O'Jays CDs that offer it (including "Ultimate O'Jays").
But be forewarned: Once you hear the , which include the lines "Money can fool people sometimes / People! Don't let money, don't let money change you," you may wonder if the show shouldn't require the contestants to actually listen to the words.
There also are some available for free download on "The Apprentice" site, if you want to hear Donald Trump's lines from the show remixed a la Max Headroom. Me, not so much. —G.F.C.
Q: Whatever happened to Zach and Flo of "Amazing Race" 3? Zach's my nominee for best reality show contestant ever because he singlehandedly pulled Flo into the finals and across the finish line first. —Jeffrey, Overland Park, Kan.
A: Zach Behr and Flo Pesenti famously won The Amazing Race 3 despite Flo's meltdowns and Zach's stubborn refusal to even simulate competitiveness.
Their web site, flozach.com, now redirects to a page that announces "this domain is for sale," which suggests that things aren't going well, at least as far as their potential couplehood is concerned. Indeed, Zach, who has cut his hair, has moved on and is dating someone else. In August, Zach for The New York Times about his experience traveling around the world with Flo, offering tips for international travel based upon his Amazing Race experience. His bio identified him as "a freelance television producer currently working for NBC at the Olympics in Athens."
Although Flo seemed to have gone into hiding for a while after the series, she's now working at Glamour Magazine, as she reveals in a with Singapore's Channel 5. She says that she and Zach "talk all the time," and even watched this past season of "The Amazing Race" together. —A.D.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper is MSNBC.com's Television Editor. Andy Dehnart is a writer and teacher who publishes , a daily summary of reality-TV news. Every Tuesday, they answer readers' questions on reality TV.