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‘Idol’ viewers thought they were seeing double

Does Ace Young have a twin? Plus: Casting call info; Probst at tribal council; going through customs on "The Amazing Race."
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Ever since we published our latest , readers have been clamoring for more. Here's some information on a few more shows.

We're often asked how contestants know how to audition for shows that are brand-new. Many networks have all-purpose casting pages and list new shows there. features a number of new shows, as well as application info for returning shows "Tiara Girls," "True Life," "Pimp My Ride" and "The Real World," among others.

Bravo's "Top Chef" has been renewed for a second season, and is looking for new culinary whizzes. The online information form, as well as dates and locations for on-location casting calls, . Open calls start this week.

And when we last posted our round-up of applications, the deadline had passed for "Amazing Race." But we just checked the application again, and now the , so it looks like your window to apply is open. Get in before it slams shut again, interested viewers.

Q: In “American Idol,” does Ace Young have a twin brother?    —Sandi, New York

A: Not a twin, but an amazing simulation. Ace (his real name is Brett Asa Young), who was voted off "American Idol" on April 19, actually has four brothers. Josh, Duff, Marc and Ryan are the older four, but brother Ryan is the one who bears the most resemblance to Ace. contributor Stuart Levine in which Kevin Covais was voted off. He says that Ryan Young was in the audience, and his resemblance to his singing brother had the young girls in the audience shrieking with delight. A good-natured Ryan waved to them, causing more shrieking and swooning.    —G.F.C.

Q: During “Survivor” tribal councils, it often seems that host Jeff Probst knows more about the tribe on the hot seat than he lets on. Is he kept informed about the state of the tribes or does he only know what he experiences with them during the challenges and tribal council? If that’s the case, what does he do with all of the downtime between challenges?      —Joe, Georgia

A: First, let’s acknowledge how much Jeff Probst has grown as a host. He’s much more in-tune with the contestants now than he was six years ago, and he’s also more aggressive about challenging the contestants on their statements. In the first season, his questioning wasn’t quite as astute or on-point as it is now.

Jeff Probst is not, however, all-knowing. He tells TV Guide, “I know the big events, like if a camp burned down from a fire. But in terms of the minutiae from day to day... not much. If somebody’s just whining, I won’t know about it, because everybody whines. But if there’s a legitimate concern that a person may quit tonight at tribal council, then yes, I need to know that.”

Also, don’t forget that Tribal Council lasts much longer than the 10 minutes or so it appears on TV. Jeff questions the contestants for about an hour, sometimes more, sometimes less. All of that discussion is informative and provides information he can use in follow-up questions, which, if we see just the follow-up, makes it seem like he knows more than he otherwise would.    —A.D.

Q: Why don’t they ever show the contestants going through customs on “The Amazing Race”? As a regular traveler, [I know that] this can be a long process. Do they get special treatment because of the program?    —Anonymous

A: I think you answered your own question: It’s a long, boring process, and it makes for equally boring television. “The Amazing Race” is fast-paced, and a few minutes of watching teams stand in line at customs could kill that tension.

However, we have seen teams navigate through customs more than once on the show — but only when it’s especially entertaining or dramatic. For example, during “The Amazing Race 6”’s “special” recap episode, we learned that Lori and Bolo pretended that Bolo needed assistance in order to skip ahead in the line.

During “The Amazing Race 3,” hyperactive Flo tried to convince passive partner Zach to switch lines. They were in separate lines, and Flo’s was shorter, but Zach refused, and they were the last team to leave the airport. (They still won the race, though.)

Perhaps the most famous “Amazing Race” customs incident, however, came in season one, when Nancy and Emily, Drew and Kevin, and eventual winners Rob and Brennan tried to get through customs.

There, they encountered Bill and Joe, a.k.a. Team Guido, who positioned themselves in the way and argued with officials to delay the other teams; as Bill said, “It might just be one or two minutes, so let’s hold them up.” Kevin said they’d caused “an international incident,” but ultimately he and Drew, plus the other two teams, made their flight, and the Guidos’ plan failed.    —A.D.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper is’s Television Editor. Andy Dehnart is a writer and teacher who publishes reality blurred, a daily summary of reality TV news.