Murtz Jaffer (above right) is Reality Obsessed. So much so that he has his own show about his obsession. It's in its second season and airs tonight at 7 p.m. ET on TVtropolis.
The half hour series follows Jaffer as he attempts to face the same sorts of challenges that reality show contestants put themselves through--learning tricky dance steps for shows like So You Think You Can Dance, become a back-stabbing weasel for shows like Survivor, etc. The series picked up a Gemini-award win last year in its very first season.
The Toronto-based entrepreneur has plenty of street cred among the Reality crowd. He's blogged about it for a decade and bills himself as "The World's Foremost Reality Show Expert"; I think he's even got a trademark on that phrase. He's the guy with the goods on shows like Celebrity Apprentice, The Amazing Race and Survivor. He parties with guys like Boston Rob and Jonny Fairplay and has everybody else who's ever been through the reality wringer on speed dial.
Some networks see him as a little too connected and try to keep him arms length from their events (he was banned from last month's Survivor 10th Anniversary party at CBS Television City, for example), but Jaffer eventually finds ways to get the scoop just the same. If he can't crash the network deals he throws his own, usually making some dramatic entrance dressed in his lavender suit, complete with purple fedora and a babe on each arm. If Jaffer were a Batman villain, he'd be The Reality Avenger.
I've known Murtz since my days at The Toronto Sun when he used to call to complain about my cranky Survivor coverage. If only he could get over his humility and shyness, he might get somewhere in this self promotion racket. The dude makes Donald Trump look like a shrinking violet. I've learned not to underestimate him; he's like Jay Leno, always coming back.
He called last week to say tonight's episode of Reality Obsessed is one of his favourites. In it, former reality show contestants Jenn Grijalva (Real World Denver on MTV), Onch Movement (Paris Hilton's My New BFF) and Blue (Winner of MTV's From G's To Gents) all compete to become Jaffer's very own new best friend forever. "I give them each a necklace with five Murtz Heads on it," he says. "Every time they lose a challenge, they lose a Murtz head."
The person with the most Murtz heads at the end wins. CBS, I'm thinking, would like to have a Murtz head on the end of a stick.
Among the strange things the contestants have to do to win Jaffer's affections on tonight's show:
- Buy a purple outfit to match the one he wears suitable for use on the red carpet. They only get a half hour to do this and can only spend $80 bucks.
- They have to play "What Would Murtz Do," a trivia game demonstrating how well they know our hero.
- They have to introduce Jaffer to a reality star he's never met before. I'm not sure such an animal even exists.
Jaffer's pals Michelle Yi (Survivor Fiji) and Luke Verg (winner of Brody Jenner's Bromance) act as his advisers.
Next Thursday night is Murtz's All-Stars 2, featuring Eric Sanchez from Amazing Race All-Stars, Jen Johnson from Big Brother 8, Ruthie Alcaide from Real World Hawaii and Rob Cesternino from Survivor All-Stars. As Murtz says, it's the perfect lead in to the Feb. 11 Survivor Heroes vs. Villains premiere.