C-listers to endure boot camp on NBC's 'Stars Earn Stripes'
At least the job market for fading celebrities is improving. On "Stars Earn Stripes" -- a new reality competition debuting in August on NBC -- they'll compete in military training exercises.
According to EW.com, contestants will include Dean Cain, Nick Lachey, Todd (I'm-so-much-more-than-just- Sarah's-husband) Palin and "Biggest Loser" trainer Dolvett Quince -- in addition to boxing champ Laila Ali, former NFL player Terry Crews, Olympian Picabo Street and WWE star Eve Torres.
They'll partner with experts -- an obvious "Dancing With the Stars" grab -- to tackle missions including helicopter drops and long-range target shooting. Each week, one team will be eliminated.
Co-hosted by former NATO commander/2005 presidential candidate General Wesley Clark and "Entertainment Tonight" personality Samantha Harris, the show will be co-executive-produced by Mark ("Celebrity Apprentice") Burnett.
So, instead of being fired at the end, does that mean the loser will be fired UPON?
"Stars Earned Stripes" will premieres Monday, Aug. 13, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
Two bachelors go home -- one stirred, one shaken -- in Croatia
By Diane Vadino
Special to MSN TV
This week, the bachelor pack travels to Croatia. Shooting any iteration of the “Bachelor” franchise in a tourist spot can impact that destination’s bottom line by huge amounts of (American) dollars (er, we imagine that if “Bachelor Pad” traveled somewhere, it would actually make people less likely to go there, but they’re the exception), so it's easy to imagine the Croatia tourism crew alternately going wild with delight and despair as Emily et al tour the historic walled city of Dubrovnik, drive along its scenic coasts, and shoot a massive advertisement for a film set in another country: Scotland. (It all has to do with this year's movie tie-in, "Brave.") Was Scotland unavailable? Weren't we in London last weekend -- just a short train ride away from kilts and highland games? "Croatia is the perfect place to fall in love," Jef says. Maybe just not quite as perfect as Scotland.
Emily tells us she' using this week's dates to weed out the weaklings. (Not in so many words.) "I couldn't ask for a better date," Travis says blandly, as he says pretty much everything he says to Emily. "He just has a good heart," Emily says, equally blandly. The entire date -- a tour of Dubrovnik -- is like watching two bland people walking around the blandest town imaginable. They head to dinner, and Travis says he's hoping to "bust out of the friend zone." He's like the anti-Ryan. "Tonight, I'm really looking for that romance," Emily confirms. "If it's there, I'm going to find out tonight." As dinner progresses, it becomes clear, if it hadn't been for the last several hours, that it's just not going to be, even if Travis is a cutie with a sad story about an ex-fiancée and no other girlfriend for the past two years. "I don't want you to think you did anything wrong," Emily says, trying to let him down easy.
Next comes this year's egregious movie tie-in, "Brave," which is all the more egregious because it is actually in total conflict with, for example, being in Croatia. But: cue the bagpipes! And the kilts! ("The difference between a skirt and a kilt in nothing," Jef says. Then, so egregiously: "But then, love takes bravery." The producers seriously must pay them to say this stuff.) What happens next is not quite as good/mortifying as the open-mic comedy night of "Bachelor" seasons past, but it's still pretty funny. Well, Chris is pretty funny, as he holds the bow and arrow like -- I mean, maybe you'd say, "like a girl," but obviously Katniss would shoot an arrow right through his wobbly heart. ("Chris puts out an interesting vibe when he shoots a bow and arrow," Doug says.) "Hopefully I stand out enough to Emily," he says, and this is pretty much a case of getting what he asked for but not what he wanted. Then he can't exactly hoist a tree trunk (Sean manages to break his in two), and makes the foolhardy decision to challenge the super-built Doug in a Scottish variation of a tug-of-war. He is roundly humiliated in every contest, but Emily (pityingly?) gives him the "bravery" award. They reconnect at the cocktail party. Isn't there something just slightly off about all their interactions? "If I do get that chance, I'm going to take it ... it's just going to get better, I promise," Chris says. Emily interrupts him to go grab something red and flowery. "I'm not giving out a rose based on who threw a tree the furthest," Emily says. That's obvious, since she's giving it to Chris. Also, Jef and Sean kiss her again, while Arie goes for a more full-on make-out session in front of a shop window.
Back at the house, "everybody at the house is up in arms against Ryan -- everyone has caught on to his game," Jef says. This is because he has the night's one-on-one -- and the first second one-on-one of the season. "He shaves his legs and plucks his finger hairs -- it's weird!" What follows is the evening's best exchange (of course, it's Ryan with himself): "The world is our pearl," Ryan says to Emily, when she arrives to pick him up. "No, it's not, it's our oyster. See, I'm always seeing the good in things." The best thing about this is Arie's visible and urgent discomfort. "He's a *%!%," Arie says. (I think it was "douche.")
Back to their date. "I don't really know what to think about Ryan," Emily says as they drive around the coast, ultimately ending up on an oyster boat. "This ain't exactly putting me in the mood," she says as they swallow some oysters. "It's as good as it can get -- this may be the woman that God has chosen for me," Ryan says. Then, idiotically, he tells her again that -- if she's really, really lucky -- she can be his trophy wife. "Trophies dont' talk back," Emily says, unhappily. "She is going to be somebody's trophy wife," Ryan says, "and I'm pretty sure I have a good chance of making her mine."
What happens next is the evening's second best exchange: "I wrote down 12 things that are qualities I would like to find in my wife," Ryan says, which are basically 12 ways a woman can make Ryan's life better. They include: faithful, loyal ("stands by my side good or bad"), logical ("somebody that thinks before they react"), “an encourager” ("always lifting me up and never ridiculing"), confident, a few more that are vaguely repetitive of what’s come before, and magnetic ("somebody people are drawn to -- and I think you have that!") Lucky, lucky Emily. The way it's edited, it seems like Emily's immediate response is this: "Can I be honest with you? Sometimes I feel like when I'm around you, I need to be perfect all the time. I don’t want to be married because I fit into their mold." Ryan does see this as the game-changer it is. "Your list of things you look for in your future wife -- to be honest, at the top of my list would be a loving family and not a perfect one. That would be at the top of my list, and it wasn't on yours. While I do have so much fun with you...I don't know if what we want out of a relationship is the same." No rose for Ryan! He's in absolute disbelief. "That is very shocking," he manages. "I think the potential to have something is there. I can't help but maybe think you're making choice." Emily wobbles, but stays firm: Ryan's going home, and he’s hoping that the show won't portray him as an "arrogant ass." Win some, lose some.
Inspired by last week's discussion with Emily -- in which she told him to watch out for her better -- Arie stops by Emily's room to make out with her some more and reinforce her decision to kick out Ryan. She gives him a secret rose. It's a little bit like Mel Gibson and his first wife in "Braveheart," speaking of Scotland. "I'm definitely in love with Emily," Arie says. "I could ask that girl to marry me tomorrow.
The rose ceremony is more interesting than it should be because Emily can't totally choose between Doug and John. Doug is a funny one: It seems like we're getting to know him better than Emily is, as a totally stand-up guy with a gentle but sharp sense of humor and the confidence to bring the whole debacle with Kalon to the fore. John also seems like a nice guy, even if he brings out the grandparents-funeral-card thing to sway her. What can we do, other than cut them both in half and stitch them into one? Emily dashes out of the rose ceremony to find Chris (he's not there the whole time? What?) to share her concerns: She can't choose! Chris reminds us that "there are no rules" (except for the one about her not running off immediately with Arie), and though she starts to fake us out with the whole "I can't give out one final rose tonight" (emphasis: "one"), Chris soon arrives with two. We're keeping everybody!
"The Bachelor" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Executive producer ready to prove why his reality series is no 'Big Brother' rip-off
Kenny Rosen is more excited than a randy groom about to marry a hot lingerie model.
The executive producer's show, "The Glass House," will debut Monday, June 18, on ABC as planned, despite CBS' attempt to stop the broadcast. Rosen used to produce "Big Brother" for CBS and the Eye network is accusing him and ABC of blatantly ripping off their show.
A judge ruled that because viewers will dictate how things go on "The Glass House," it is different enough from "Big Brother" and should air.
After the show debuts, fans will also be able to keep up with the 14 contestants by logging onto ABC.com and following them live from noon to 1 p.m. PT Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
MSN TV caught up with Rosen to talk about "The Glass House" and why he thinks reality lovers will enjoy it. "The Glass House" debuts Monday, June 18, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
MSN TV: How are you doing? Are you semi-excited about the show?
Kenny Rosen: Semi-excited? I’m excited through the roof.
By now, I’m sure anyone watching the NBA Finals has seen the promos for “Glass House.” That must feel good.
They are awesome promos, aren’t they? I have a lot to live up to just based on the promos. We’re shooting it and we’re editing it and we’re prepping it. And we’re moving forward. I’m just trying to produce a TV show at this point.
So what is at issue here? At a glance, it seems like CBS is upset that you were a former producer on “Big Brother” and that a number of crew members from “Big Brother” followed you to work on “Glass House.” What is the deal?
Our format is completely different than anything that has ever been on the air before and our format is all about viewers controlling the game. Viewers control all the important aspects of the game including the most important aspect, the elimination every week. Each week, at the end of each episode, two people will leave the house in limbo and then the viewers get to vote which one of those people they want to see re-enter the game and which person is eliminated from the game forever. We’re turning complete control over to the viewers. We’re letting them run our game.
That’s a lot of control for viewers.
That’s the idea. We’re letting them decide on food, we’re letting them decide on things inside the house. We’re letting them basically invent the game. It’s our first season so we’re letting them create this on the fly, both our contestants and the viewers. And their interaction kind of dictates what happens. We’re not forcing things upon them that they don’t want. We’re letting the viewers decide.
Has there been another show like this where viewers had this kind of power?
Not to this extent that I know of, no.
Is everything glass? How does that work?
The main area of the house is a big glass box and you can actually see pictures if you go to ABC.com where we have gorgeous pictures of our set. It’s a very modern, sleek look. And of course, there’s robotic cameras all throughout and camera blinds where the cameramen can roam behind the walls and the contestants won’t know they’ve being shot. There’s glass in each room, and there are mirrors in each room and so it is truly and fully a glass house. Even the shower stall doors are made of glass.
How do you deal with the glass shower doors when people are showering? Do you blur out the nudity?
Well, we’ve got frosted glass in some areas so you won’t be able to see everything.
What’s the breakdown of the cast?
We have seven men and seven women ranging in age from 21 to 48, and they are very diverse. I’m talking geographically and their backgrounds and their jobs and their interests in life. And we really tried to cast people we thought America could get behind and want to protect and want to see go far in the game. And we’ll give viewers to chance to protect their favorite characters.
Will viewers also control who betrays whom?
Every week, we have a formatted element of our show called “Fanswers” and it basically if answers with an “F” in the front. It’s a chance for the players in the game to pose a question to the viewers. It’s an A or B question, and it’s always a one-word answer. You can ask the viewers “Who should I trust?” and the viewers can choose up to two people. They can ask a true/false question or a yes/no question. They can even ask nonsensical questions if they’re not concerned with strategy or the game play that week and they’ll get an answer for the viewers in less than 24 hours. That element of the show always happens after the challenge and before the vote out at the end of the episode. Whether or not the contestant wants to use the viewers answer is entirely up to them. We can’t control how they play the game in the house. We can only let them know what the viewers stated through polls.
Will there be a confession booth or is that not necessary when you have a glass house?
We have a confessional but our confessional is going to work a little bit differently than every other confessional. Because usually confessionals on reality shows are places people go and really pour their heart out and tell the truth. But our contestants realize that that might not be the best strategy knowing they’re playing a game both inside the house and outside the house with the viewers. Because the viewers are more important, they might not want to tell their innermost secrets because it might have negative repercussions for them in the game.
What if they don’t trust the viewers?
Then they might do the opposite of the what viewers are telling them to do. They won’t always know where they stand with the viewers so it’s a matter of them trying to figure out what their standing in the world is. There’s a lot of layered strategy that this show has. It’s a brand new game and we’ve played in my office a few times but we haven’t really seen how it’s going to work with the players and the fans interacting.
Do you think viewers are ready for this kind of control?
I think the reality TV fans out there are sophisticated enough to know what they want to see. And hopefully, they’ll help us out and make some great TV for us.
It’s like that movie “The Truman Show” except the players are in on it.
Exactly. They’re in on it. It’s very “Truman Show” and a lot of people have also compared it to the electronic game “The Sims.” I’m not familiar with it but I’ve seen clips. But you basically build your city and everything for the players and that’s what we’re hoping the viewers will embrace. We just want to let the viewers decide if they want to watch the show or not.
"The Glass House" premieres Monday, June 18, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Report suggests Sophie's singing received mixed reaction from the judges
According to Britain's Daily Mail, Sophie -- who co-stars on her father's A&E reality show, "Gene Simmons Family Jewels" -- earned a mixed reaction from Simon Cowell, Britney Spears, L.A. Reid and Demi Lovato at the show's Season 2 San Francisco auditions.
Distancing herself as far as possible from charges of nepotism, the Mail reports that the hopeful music star didn't tell her parents about her Father's Day audition until Saturday -- to prevent dad from, um, making a few calls.
Yet a day's notice was still enough time for him to charter a private jet from Las Vegas. And, quite frankly, having Gene Simmons around to attract the show's cameras punched a gaping hole in Sophie's argument that "this isn't about my dad; this is about my audition."
According to the Mail, Reid asked Gene: "She's your daughter. It should be a yes?" Cowell then said: "No, that's not going to happen. She's just going to get a fair shot."
Although the Mail reports that the judges "didn't all agree on Sophie's performance," there's no word on whether she made it to the next round.
Season 2 of "X Factor" premieres in September on FOX.
Nicole gets second chance to passive-aggressively evaluate talent
Demi-soloist spills on her relationship angst with Rex, casting drama and the competition
ABC announces the spin-off's third round of slightly unbalanced housemates
Report: Three girls bounced from VH1 reality series
According to the gossip site, Reed was bounced because she can't get along with the other wives or discuss her baby daddy, Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, due to a 2009 gag order. Williams is "too big a liability" after suing Nia Crooks for slapping her this past season. And Nichols was just "too boring."
Also: TV's boys of summer | Summer reality TV fare
The decisions were apparently all made by show executive producer (and Shaq ex-wife) Shaunie O'Neal. On Monday, she told The Insider: "If I would like this franchise to keep going, yeah, three would have to go."
TMZ would not speculate on who might fill the vacancies, and VH1 had no comment about the report.