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'The Challenge': Let's hand out superlatives from the 'Free Agents' premiere!

MTV’s jacked-up reality competition The Challenge returned for its 25th(!) season on Thursday night, adding one deliciously cruel twist: No one is safe. Now, most times when a show makes that grand claim, it’s all hype. But this season’s Challenge, subtitled Free Agents, really is taking no prisoners. None. Zero. Zip.

Get a load of this: Even after the Challengers — who are all competing as individuals, or “Free Agents,” this season — are forced to stir up internal friction by voting two of their fellow players into an elimination round, the rest of the players are still at risk of fighting for their lives thanks to a giant new ”screw you” from producers called The Draw. Regardless of performance in that week’s Challenge, the Challengers must select cards until both a guy and a girl pick one with a skull and crossbones on it, which signals he or she going into the elimination battle. Consequences? Anyone could go home any week. Some people will probably be a victim of The Draw multiple weeks, maybe consecutively, stronger players can no longer rely on their brute force or wits to keep them on top, and alliances now have essentially no value.

Let that sink in (and stop reading now if you don’t want any SPOILERS)… READ FULL STORY

'Real World Ex-plosion': Can you guess who said what at the reunion taping?

The Real World closed out its 29th-season Ex-plosion on April 2, and now it’s time for the reunion special, where cast members update the status of the O.G. roommates and their exes. EW was at the taping, which will be edited down to make up Wednesday night’s hour-long special. With a gang this ornery (and, let’s be honest, drunk), it’s no surprise strong words — and maybe even kung fu kicks — were flying as the gang reconvened months after living together, in a house, and starting to get real.

Below, peruse the soundbites — a mix of on-the-scene interviews and quotes from the taping itself — and see if you can identify which Real World-er said what.* READ FULL STORY

PopWatch Confessional: I haven't watched this much MTV since high school

There are currently three different shows that I look forward to on three different nights on MTV. Three. And that’s not including when Catfish is on, or when the tragically though understandably cancelled Buckwild earned a DVR season pass last year.

I am currently watching—and what’s more, I’m eagerly anticipating—as many MTV shows now as I did in high school, when watercooler talk was discussing a Road Rules challenge in first-period bio or raving at lunch about the True Life episode where they go to fat camp. For me, high school was Next and Made, The Osbournes and Newlyweds, afterschool reruns of Singled Out and Undressed and Elimidate and Daria and Celebrity Deathmatch.

Well, those times are now far gone, and truth be told I’ve seen MTV’s programming lineup come and go these past few years with little piquing my interest save for the addictive Catfish. I’ve been unaware of the network for years. This could be because I’m no longer in high school, of course, but I do believe that good material can always be consumed by multiple demographics (hence why your grandma is reading Mockingjay).

That’s not to say that the programs I’m relishing on MTV now are particularly good, per se — but for whatever reason they’re working for me, and I’m digging this random new resurgence.
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MTV's '16 and Pregnant', 'Teen Mom' helped reduce teen birth rate, says study

In 2008, 40 out of every 1,000 girls between the ages of 15 and 19 gave birth. By 2011, that number had fallen to 31 out of every 1,000. And according to a new study, the recent decline in teen births means we should all be thanking … MTV?

Wellesley economist Phillip B. Levine and University of Maryland economist Melissa S. Kearney recently conducted a study that showed how the decline in the U.S. teen birth rate accelerated between 2008 and 2011, and how shows such as MTV’s 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom played a crucial role.

For those who haven’t see the shows, each episode of 16 and Pregnant follows a different teen through her pregnancy, childbirth, and first weeks of parenthood. The show’s spinoff, Teen Mom, picks up with a handful of the new mothers and continues following them through their first months, sometimes years, of parenthood.

Levine and Kearney’s study found that the two series led to a 5.7 percent reduction in teen births. Therefore, the shows can account for about one-third of the decline in teen births for the year and a half after the shows were introduced. READ FULL STORY

'The Real World: Ex-Plosion' react: MTV's most unreal season yet

You know how a few years ago people started using “literally” as an adverb so much that you just had to start disregarding its actual meaning altogether? And then you started saying it inappropriately yourself because it was so ingrained into your consciousness and you had to forcefully make yourself stop? And now the word has been redefined altogether in the dictionary to mean both its original definition and the opposite of its original definition? As in, now literally, by definition, also means figuratively? That’s where The Real World is in its 29th season. Whereas it was once literally about the real world, now it’s just…well, “literally” about the real world. READ FULL STORY

'Teen Wolf' react: The teens open the door to a world of crazy in season 3-B

Teen Wolf has always been a show that teeters on the precipice of being too much; just a heartbeat away from getting a little too big for its mythology britches and then blaming it all on a dream sequence. I’m not saying that was the case with this dream sequence, and its dance with the overkill devil is certainly what keeps me tuning in for more. I’m just saying that the dream-within-a-dream-times-infinity was a nerve-wracking way to start 3-B. READ FULL STORY

MTV names Miley Cyrus best artist of 2013

Stick that on your sledgehammer and lick it.

MTV announced this morning that its music and news teams have selected their Best Artist of 2013: Miley Cyrus. Past recipients of this relatively new honor include Katy Perry and One Direction. (And, er, only those two; this is the third year MTV’s named a Best Artist.)

This year’s pick should come as no surprise; the channel says that Cyrus’s MTV artist page was visited more than any other on its website, and her “We Can’t Stop/Blurred Lines” VMA medley with Robin Thicke was its most watched video of 2013.

Cyrus isn’t the only one winning accolades from MTV: The net has also put together a full list of the year’s top 10 artists. After taking into account album and single sales, touring, airplay, social media, Internet, and “overall impact,” here’s who made the cut:

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Ke$ha on her first celeb crush: Will Smith 'was my everything' -- VIDEO

Few people may be able to relate to Ke$ha’s plight with the ghost in her vagina, but her crush on Will Smith? Yeah, we’ve all been there.

The singer opens up about her days of crushing on the Fresh Prince and more in this EW Pop Culture Personality Test, taken a few weeks ago while Ke$ha was promoting the new season of her MTV docuseries Ke$ha: My Crazy Beautiful Life. The show, which airs Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m, ET, premiered last week.
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Artist Shepard Fairey surprises USC class for MTVu

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Students at USC are used to seeing celebrities at school: This year alone the campus has hosted Elton John, Steven Spielberg, and many other bold-faced names. But usually tickets to those events are hard to come by, even for students, and the guest speaker is announced months in advance. So it was a real treat for one small digital media class Wednesday when artist and activist Shepard Fairey, sporting a Sex Pistols t-shirt and black leather  jacket,  made his way into their lecture hall, surprising the students who’d studied his work with a talk that spanned the influence of the Internet and technology on art, the Occupy movement, President Obama, and a new series he’s executive producing for MTV, Rebel Music.

“The age of being an artist and only being in galleries is not particularly relevant anymore,” Fairey told students. “You need to figure out ways to engage people, taking into account there’s potentially a very short attention span.” Fairey held up some of his most famous prints, including his now nearly 25-year-old Andre the Giant “Obey” poster, the Obama “Hope” poster, and more recent prints like one created for the Occupy movement of “The Protester” (which was featured on the cover of Time), and one made to raise funds for the Japan tsunami victims.

As for that most controversial Obama poster, Fairey had a few things to say about the current administration.

“I have plenty of reservations about everything Obama’s doing now – I’m not so into domestic drones, I’m not so into spying,” Fairey said, acknowledging that his famous image was representative of a certain time in history and in his own life.

Check out an exclusive clip from the event, which will air as part of MTVu, below:
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Catfish: The TV Show react in GIF form -- Michael & Caroline, plus 'The Reunion Show'

This season’s Catfish: The TV Show, which premiered Tuesday, June 25 at 10 p.m. on MTV, features so many OMG moments that it is best to analyze each episode with equally expressive reactions. And not just text-based or still image reactions — GIF reactions.


First and foremost, I send my condolences to the family and friends of Mike Fortunato, who died on Saturday. As a fan and viewer, I appreciate that Nev and Max acknowledged his passing prior to the airing of The Reunion Show. You will be missed, Mike.


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