LOS ANGELES, Calif.–For Murtz Jaffer, the line between reality and fantasy hasn’t just been blurred, it’s been erased.
A University of Toronto grad, Jaffer used to heckle me at The Toronto Sun when I was the cranky guy whinging about having to cover Survivor every week. He loves reality television, eats, drinks and sleeps it, boasts that he watches nine hours of TV a day (way past the recommended dose) and is the go to guy for inside info on any reality show. Don’t take my word for it, check out his high traffic web site, http://www.insidepulse.com/.
If Mike Myers is The Love Guru, Murtz is, among fans at least, the Reality Guru. CBS tried to ban him from Survivor parties after he spilled too many spoiler beans at insidepulse. Murtz just threw the parties himself or wound up covering them for legit media outlets.
Which is why Murtz immodestly bills himself as “the world’s foremost reality show expert.” After apprenticing at places like Entertainment Tonight Canada, he’s taking his own brand toTV later this year as the dude at the centre of Reality Obsessed, a new series premiering on TVtropolis.
Murtz has been in LA shooting the first 13 episodes of his series and invited me to a taping yesterday at the historic Farmers Market area on Fairfax, just south of CBS’s mammoth broadcast bunker, Television City. Murtz was tricked out in gear the kids used to wear down her on Venice Beach in the ’80s, including a wacky checkered cap and tie and red vans. He looked like Cheap Trick’s brown brother.
Jaffer’s show throws him into many of the challenges found on reality shows. He gets to sing like an Idol contestant, go through obstacle courses like a Survivor man. Yesterday he was spinning like a So You Think You Can Dance grad, busting moves after an intense, four day workshop with Lauren Gottlieb, who performed on the last season of the popular dance series (seen in Canada on MuchMusic).
Director Daniel Oron describes Jaffer and the show this way: “This is the armchair warrior finally getting a shot at it.” Reality show fans will also tune in to see a steady parade of their favorite characters, including reality’s No. 1 villain, Jonny Fairplay.
Several reality survivors came out to cheer Jaffer on at yesterday’s public dance demo, including Audrey Evans (from the third season of The Apprentice), Chelsia Hart (Big Brother 9) and Amber Rood (Ultimate Love Test). Jaffer’s routine was judged by professional dancer Bryan Tanaka as well as Dancing With the Stars vets Elena Grinenko and Snow Urbin.
Won’t give away how they rated our boy Murtz but, to me, he didn’t look out of place next to Gottlieb. Me, I would have needed a dance double.
Reality Obsessed is going to score with anyone who ever wanted to be on a reality show or hang with the party kids who have survived these things over the past several years. (Get more info about it here.) Me, I’m just glad Jaffer didn’t pull anything yesterday, except perhaps a few more legs.

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