My Name is Boop, and I am a Reality TV Junkie (June 3, 2009)

It is time to admit my problem. I am an addict. Though only recently I wrote this post excoriating the likes of AI and DWTS, recovery my friends is not a linear process. Just as I threw off the shackles of reality behemoth American Idol, I have succumbed to the latest reality drug. That of course would be fourth place network NBC’s reboot of I’m A Celebrity: Get Me Out of Here.

For those of you weary of the spring rain and cool temperatures as I have been, it is easy to fall down the summer crap TV rabbit hole. In years past, I am only mildly ashamed to admit having indulged in old favorites like the CW’s Beauty and the Geek, or the double threat of Fox’s Temptation Island and Paradise Hotel. Apparently there’s something about summer which enhances my appetite for watching “normal” Americans make fools of themselves. This festival of fun is only enhanced when those humiliating themselves are the semi-famous.

So it is with I’m A Celebrity. Intially I was very skeptical of NBC plans to air the program four days a week. I thought to myself, “Is four hours of Speidi really necessary?” Turns out it is, because I am hooked! To use a well worn euphemism, this program is more enticing to the eye than a 10-car pile up on I-94. Though I must warn you of the program’s one downside: If at all possible, record the episodes to your DVR before enjoying. That way you can skip through the painful intro segments and banter of hosts Damien Fahey (formerly of MTV) and Myleene Klaas. They are about as natural as rubbing vinegar in your eye.

If you can forgive NBC for their poor choice of emcees, the rest of the program promises to be a feast for the eyes and ears. See Spencer and Heidi threaten to walk off no fewer than three times! One of these attempts involved an actual ploy to make a run for it, Spencer trying to bumrush a line of angry producers like a playground game of Red Rover. During another of these attempts, he got on the horn with Ben Silverman, Co-Chairman of NBC Universal and accused him of using his “superstar status” to upgrade the cast of C-list losers. This tirade was filled with expletives. I marveled at the chutzpah. I would say that Speidi will not be invited back to appear on anything for the network, especially now that they have finally left. But how could NBC resist? I have never watched The Hills, and thus never understood the appeal of the Pratts (or the “Bratts” as they are known by the rest of the cast), but I do now. Spencer is a mastermind of self-promotion. In a cast that includes heavyweights no less than Janice Dickinson and Lou Diamond Phillips, Speidi completely stole the show. I am truly sorry to see them go and worry for the next three weeks. Rumor has it that alternate players will be introduced tonight, but if one of them turns out to be Daniel Baldwin as I have heard, well that’s just no substitute.

The second biggest surprise of the season is the mad jungle skills of Sanjaya Malakar. You may recall him as the mohawk wearing Indian kid on the 6th season of Idol. He finished his run in 7th place, far more than his talent warranted, and I prayed American had seen the last of him. And yet, I have been floored by his pleasing attitude, survival skills and frankly, his bad ass nature. For evidence, witness Sanjaya’s triumph over the likes of a former NBA great John Salley in the Trauma Tank of Episode 1. Little Sanjaya also swallowed a croc’s tail in one bite. Enough said. When Sanjaya decides to finally come out of the closet, he will be the skinny Rambo of homos. It will be great for his love life.

I almost forgot to mention this, but dare I leave out that Patti Blagojevich, disgraced wife of former IL Gov. Rowdy Roddy, is included in the cast?! You can’t make this stuff up people! Ok, so she is boring, and to my great annoyance, she had the nerve to come off as sympathetic when telling her story to Heidi and Spencer in episode 1. Then those two good Christian servants led Patti in a prayer for the “truth” to be revealed during Blago’s pending trial. Gag me with drama!

I am starting to pant again with excitement as I write this. Don’t take my word for it. Tune in yourselves. Then come back and post your comments. Let’s discuss.

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