Controversial donkey semen episode pulled
Donkey bottoms up!
"Fear Factor" viewers tuning in on Monday, Jan. 30, were supposed to have witnessed the guzzling of donkey semen and, for a chaser, donkey urine. According to reports by TMZ and Britain's Daily Mail, several contestants completely drained their glasses -- which was the only way to qualify for the next round.
Bing: More about 'Fear Factor'
Instead, NBC will rerun the show that aired on Jan. 2. The episode with the vilest college drinking game of all time -- shot last summer and titled "Hee Haw! Hee Haw!" -- no longer appears on its website schedule.
For the first time ever, NBC is afraid to air an episode of "Fear Factor." And that probably represents a positive thing for society. Don't you think?
Well, they're apparently sure now. According to TMZ, Peacock execs originally gave "Fear Factor" producers the green light, but saw red after reaction to details of the challenge leaked online. Here's a TMZ video that posted on Jan. 26th:
Would the hope of $50,000 be enough for you to complete this challenge? A guaranteed $50,000 might not be enough for me to watch you complete this challenge.
"Fear Factor" airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on NBC.
Texas offers up a couple of problems but also a few solutions
By Carla Patton
"American Idol" in Texas, y'all! So, Houston. Would you spend that much time outside in Houston by choice? I don't know that I would. Even the judges didn't: They are in Galveston!
So, Houston, do we have a problem? A couple, but also a few solutions:
Skylar Laine was the cute little girl with the accent and the struggling family store. She's adorable, and her voice is so great for country. Her friend is obsessed with Steven Tyler, apparently -- which makes me wonder if anyone's friend is obsessed with Randy? Come on. Just someone be a huge Randy fan.
Baylie Brown was turned down five years ago, and someone grew up. She looked like Denise Richards then and looks like Denise Richards now. She forgot the words in Hollywood when she was 16, but now she can go to all the karaoke bars to practice. It's off to Hollywood with Baylie, after Randy pretended to remember her.
Kristina Osorio is 28. It's her first and last opportunity to make it -- which would make things sad enough, but she's about to be a single mom of 3! She's struggling to find work, so shouldn't she be sending resumes out? Instead of paying her divorce lawyer, she bought a plane ticket to audition. Oh, god. I mean, I like her, and she's a great singer. But someone who shirks her financial responsibilities to be on TV can never have my full respect.
Cortez Shaw, a sometimes-homeless product of a single-parent household (back when single parents couldn't audition for "American Idol"), sped up an Adele song. It was an "interesting" choice, but he sounded great. And he loves Randy! Jennifer didn't believe it, and neither did Randy. But it was a good angle. I was genuinely happy for him when he got sent to Hollywood.
Phong Vu is an instant classic. He loves all the camera action in his face! Is he really 25, though? There's no way! He described the experience, emotionally, as "so phenomenon." He loves female pop artists, like "Selena Dion." He sang "Un-Break My Heart," and in the process, re-broke ours. Still, I love him and his "iconic moves." "Is he for real?" Randy and I wonder.
Alejandro Cazares wants to revolt against … the production schedule? The revolution was here. And the revolution left without a ticket to Hollywood. Bleh. Why was his tongue blue? Too many blue-raspberry Jolly Ranchers whilst planning the revolution? Good for that bouncer for making him leave.
Julie Shuman -- she of the tight, gold pants -- did not make it. Neither did Vanessa Hernandez, who was awesomely terrible. Eric "Nire" Kettl also re-broke Toni Braxton.
The guy who sang "My Prerogative" kicked off a montage of Texas' "wacky" auditions, all of which I just loved. There were a bunch of terrible guys trying to imitate Scotty McCreery, which prompted Jennifer to say, "OK, this is at the point where I'm like, 'What is going on?'" More of this, please!
Baby, lock them doors and don't let this guy sell you any encyclopedias
Jennifer vs. the boys! Sometimes I was with Jennifer, who seemed to love everyone, and sometimes I agreed with Steven and Randy, who don't want Hollywood to be a glut of just-decent singers. I was definitely in agreement with Jennifer on Linda Williams, who was kind of screaming/screeching. I love seeing Jennifer pissed, though -- so beautiful, even when she's mad. And the production staff got some more use out of "Eye of the Tiger."
Formerly-earless youth pastor, Ramiro Garcia, had too sad of a story for us to really see him sing without a bias. But it was a pretty cool story. Did he have to sing "Amazing Grace"? He's a good audition story, but I don't know that he'll make it too far in Hollywood.
What did you think of Thursday night's auditions?
"American Idol" airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
The competition gets down to the wire as the molecular madman gets the boot
Last week we lost Beverly Kim on "Top Chef:Texas." This week, it's molecular madman Chris Jones. With the competition getting down to the wire, the loveable kooks who can't cut it in the kitchen are getting cut from the show. Chris was full of ideas, but he had trouble executing and frankly should have been booted a few weeks ago. But we will miss him and his fountain ponytail. At least we still have Edward Lee to count on for weird antics and delicious food.
For this week's Quickfire, the chefs had to pair up and prep their mise en place and then cook with their remaining time. They frantically made fettuccine, cut corn off the cob and butterflied shrimp. Fresh pasta, corn and shrimp? Sounds like our perfect dish. Pasta Queen Sarah Grueneberg and Lindsay Autry finished first, but their tarragon seasoning didn't pass muster with guest judge Cat Cora. Paul Qui forgot the shrimp for his dish with Edward, and so the quirky twosome of Grayson Schmitz and Chris came out with the win. Unluckily enough for Chris, this time the win came with just cash and no immunity.
For the Elimination Challenge, the pairs went from partners to competitors. They had to face off against each other, cooking the same dish for a picnic fundraiser. Grayson, whose lack of creativity is often suspect, wanted to make a chicken salad sandwich. Are we watching "Top Chef" here? But Chris Jones didn't have any better ideas. Edward and Paul went all Asian with Korean barbecue and Lindsay and Sarah chose meatballs. Of course there's a rub: host Padma Lakshmi told them to make the healthiest possible versions of their dishes for the challenge. Freakouts ensue.
Top Chefs have proved in the past that they aren't the best at coming up with "healthy" ingredients. Paul avoided rich meat options and instead went for turkey for his barbecue, while Edward chose the fatty shortrib still and just cut off the fat. Grayson still went for mayo and dark meat in her chicken salad, while Chris Jones experimented with a tofu emulsion instead of mayonnaise. Sarah also picked turkey for her meatballs, while Lindsay made her lamb and veal meatballs "healthy" with Greek yogurt.
Paul's turkey barbecue served in lettuce cups with a fresh peach kimchi was a hit with the judges. Grayson triumphed over Chris Jones with her made-to-order chicken salad sandwiches, and Lindsay's meatballs, despite being less healthy, still won out over Sarah. But when it came down to flavor and health, Paul won with a dish that Cat Cora said "was a healthier version of a classic, executed perfectly, and basically just rocked." But being on the winning side wasn't all roses. Grayson got into an argument with head just Tom Colicchio for choosing chicken salad. "Did you ever ever think on win-lose side I'm going to win with a chicken salad sandwich?" Grayson retorted that yes, she thought she could make an elevated chicken salad sandwich. Tom looked skeptical. "You have to win this against other dishes that are potentially much more exciting than a chicken salad sandwich." Grayson has shown she can execute, but creativity is her Achilles heel. "I feel like I just got brutalized," she sighed.
But it was her partner who suffered the most. The judges took Chris Jones to task for pre-making his chicken salad sandwiches, and the result was both the meat and the bread were dry. They also criticized Edward for cutting the fat out of the short rib, which made it healthier, but less flavorful and also felt his bread was dry. Sarah's meatballs just didn't reach the standard of Lindsay's flavorful ones. But Chris, despite his healthy attempts, had the dish with the least flavor. "With him time and again, idea idea idea, cannot execute," Tom commented, before the judges sent him home.
Grayson was beating herself up over Chris' departure. "Jonesy goes home tonight. It’s completely my fault. Chicken salad was my suggestion." But Grayson, Jonesy didn't have any better ideas, so off he goes. And now we are down to five: Paul, Edward, Sarah, Lindsay and Grayson. In all honesty, Grayson can't really compete against the top three -- Paul, Edward and Sarah -- and we'd like to see hard-edged and uninteresting Lindsay get sent home, but sweet, cheerful Grayson will definitely have to step it up to make it to the Final Four.
"Top Chef: Texas" airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on Bravo.
Aspen finally delivers some bad auditions -- with avalanche jokes to boot
By Carla Patton
Do you believe in a just and merciful Nigel Lythgoe? I suppose I do, because Wednesday night's episode of "American Idol" auditions is only an hour long. A more vengeful, Old Testament Nigel would have stretched the Aspen, Colo., auditions into two hours, but here we are. What type of Ryan Seacrest do you believe in? I'm sorry, I shouldn't just assume you believe in a Ryan Seacrest.
So, they "finally" made it to Aspen, where it's great to vacation but where few people are likely to live. These auditioners will prove you (me) wrong! Randy thinks we "could find a winner here," but we all know that nothing Randy says means anything anymore.
Where this season may have stumbled is that they are showing us too many good auditions and not enough terrible ones. Why else would we watch the audition shows? There's a formula for success here, and Season 11 isn't nailing it. Aspen could give us the old formula, though! Let's see how it shook down:
The guy who sang "I'm Not Moving" by Rascal Flatts, and the guy who sang "Hey Jude." I missed their names because my reception was blurry, but I heard them, and they were good! Oh, and then there's that Scotty McCreery-sounding fellow named Richard? Good for all three of them.
Curtis Grey -- who I would not want to hang out with -- needs to work on his star quality. But the judges loved him, I guess.
As much as I hate the "wacky Steven Tyler is wacky" montages, I kind of chuckled at the one of him eating to the song "Hungry." Haha!
Shelby Tweten from Minnesota with bipolar disorder. If she's off her meds, she's not herself. So this is a story of triumph. Of course she was good! I don't know if she's Top 24 good, but she's Hollywood good for sure. The sad stories always like to sing "Temporary Home," don't they?
"Lover" Jairon Jackson captivated the judges with an original song, Jennifer in particular. Hollywood! He is the "real deal" and a "real artist." He's going to have to artist some of those lights back in that he broke.
Telena Hedgespeth, the twin sister, was awful and a victim of the judges' cattiness. J.Lo whispered to Steven, "If you ask her for another song, I'm gonna kill you." Not nice, Jennifer.
Alanna Snare, who taught the judges what Rocky Mountain oysters really are, sang "Jolene," and I wanted her to be good. She was dreadful, though, and they dubbed mooing over her audition, which was pretty rude, I think.
Lots of auditions! Last week we were really missing some downright bad auditions, and it looks like the Aspen finally delivered -- with avalanche jokes to boot! This is what we've been waiting for.
Magic Cyclops, who has a lot of gambling debt, is just here for laughs. "People avoid me because I look homeless," Magic declares. "Yo. Come on, Aspen," Randy says. And I tend to agree. "This is really silly. I just want to tell you guys," Randy said to preface this stupid audition. Do homeless people wear skinny jeans? Maybe in Aspen. Confetti cannon! And Randy is out. I'm glad the production team obliged to play the "Incredible Hulk" theme as he walked away, though. It was a good request, hilariously granted.
The Confusing (But Still Good)
Loud, obnoxious Jenni Schick, who loves Steven Tyler, needs attention, people! She is this season's Ashley Sullivan, so I am fine with it. Just crazy enough to make it! Hollywood and/or an asylum would welcome her with open arms. She kissed Steven Tyler, but we all know that.
Log-cabin dweller Haley Smith. Someone does live in the mountains! But is she just the second poor-man's Crystal Bowersox this season? Did you think she was going to be good? I sure didn't! You go, girl, I guess? I know I categorized her under "confusing," but she is an early favorite for me, just because she's different.
Angie Zeiderman is "a waitress and part-time singer," so I was skeptical. Good for her being a "vintage glitter queen," though. She sang a show tune (which polarized the judges), then sang a different song that made everyone fall in love. It is the dawning of the age of the vintage glitter queen!
What did you think of Wednesday night's auditions?
"American Idol" airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
'X Factor' mogul teaming up with Will Smith for latest reality competition project
It's handbags at dawn as Emily and Courtney circle for the kill
By Diane Vadino
Special to MSN TV
We're in Park City, Utah. Are they airing the Park City episode tonight because Sundance is happening in the very same place, at the very same time? This has to be maxing out Park City's media notices for at least the next few months. We're here so Ben can enjoy nature with the ladies. It actually might do a lot for the ratings this season if we took more of a "Hunger Games" approach here, but we're not so lucky. (Yet. Courtney would so like to cross-bow her competition to death.) Chris appears to inform us that there'll be one group date tonight, and two one-on-ones -- and Rachel is first up. Kacie B. is so not cool with it: "I wish [the show] was over and done, and we were going to the grocery store. I don't want to see [Ben] go on a helicopter with another girl." This being "The Bachelor," a helicopter is exactly what she sees.
Part one of Rachel's date is canoeing, and kissing. Given the doubts that he later expresses about Rachel's compatibility, it's interesting that he opens with kissing, but he had to get that in before having, or at least trying to have, a conversation. When that happens, it doesn't go particularly well, and involves a good deal of squinting into the sun and mumbling about "crow's feet."
We take a break from this beyond-boring date to return to the ladies' suite, where everyone's discussing the upcoming group date -- which involves Courtney, Kacie B, and Emily. Courtney asks what Ben looks for on a group date: "I think he wants to see people that are friendly with everyone else," Emily says, while Courtney screws up her face. If there was a picture in the dictionary to illustrate "sucking a lemon," it's Courtney, at this moment.
We return to Ben and Rachel's date just long enough to hear a observe a lot of uncomfortable silence, followed by Rachel's hasty explanation that she's really bad at communication and it's had for her to open up. Ben says something, Emily replies, "Yeah, this fire's hot," and he still gives her a rose because, as he puts it, "I like kissing Rachel."
Next is our group date. We're going fishing -- or, as Courtney aptly puts it, "it's not really about catching a trout -- it's about catching Ben. I've caught a lot of men before, and it's all about when to make a move -- these other girls don't have their eye on the prize, and I do." It's interesting how Courtney manages to say the same sort of aggro stuff as Michelle Money from Brad's season, but without any of her humor or self-awareness. "I just see her trying to steal hiim away and everyone going ballistic," is Emily's take on Courtney.
Love her or hate her or think she is just a really rude, unpleasant person, Courtney offers a master class in how to handle a group date. Let's begin: She's not especially interested in fly-fishing, but as soon as she sees Ben spend time with Kacie B., she finds a way to move things into a high gear. She asks him to take her slightly upstream, isolating her prey. She has her ridiculous Courtney conversation, and then she catches a fish, while Lindzi looks on unhappily. Ben and Courtney talk, literally, about condiments ("mustard's my favorite," they agree), and all the other girls are sad and irritated.
The worst moment -- Courtney's coup de grace -- is yet to come, though. After intuiting (like a shark) that Kacie B.'s about to steal her group-date rose, Courtney lays her final trap of the evening. After smooching Ben, she pulls back and (a) stops kissing and (b) starts complaining, about what a difficult time she's having: "It kind of spoiled what I was feeling for you," she says. "To be honest, I've lost sight of everything." Ben is shocked: "Of us?" Yes, she agrees solemnly: of us. And then Ben, scampering away like a chastened puppy, runs away to fetch the rose and retrieve it for her.
Elsewhere at the group date cocktail, we have one spectacular flame-out: Samantha, who sequesters him to investigate why she's been on three group dates, and only three group dates. "I'm not sure what that means," she says. Ben says he's observing how they each get along. "So what are you observing?" she asks. She seems both confused and extremely aggressive, and it's at this point that Ben flips: "In your actions, I don't see [you getting along], and that's why you're on group dates," he says. "I don't see I see this going very much further." He escorts her out of the hotel as she weeps, and the other girls interpret this as Ben's serious nature. Meanwhile, Kacie B. does much better with Ben, who leads her to his own hotel room: "I wanted to kiss you so bad in the creek, but there were all these other women just glaring." Kacie B. should get used to it.
Back at the house, the girls are gabbing about Courtney, who is continuing to drive Emily insane. Monica, who has taken on the role of mother hen quite admirably, isn't worried about it: "True colors will shine," she says. If only she could convince Emily of this. We pause in the Emily-Courtney showdown to observe Jennifer's date, which she terms "the best night of my life." That night included jumping into a cave, getting soaked in the rain, and seeing a Clay Walker concert. But she also gets the rose, so she's cool with it. But back to the main event: Emily's concerned that if Ben's interested in Courtney, then he couldn't possibly be interested in someone "real and genuine and intelligent and...like, normal."
Against all better judgment, Emily goes to Ben with her concerns at the night's final cocktail party. Ben isn't hearing it, because he's super psyched he's getting to make out with a model, even if she's insane. He rebuffs her, and Emily, stupidly, tells her story to a group of women that includes that only girl who seems to like Courtney, Casey. Casey immediately relays this all to Courtney, who hisses something like, "I'm a nice person -- don't [mess] with me." She is the Voldemort of "The Bachelor" this season.
It's time for the roses. Will Emily get one? She sweats it out while they go to: Lindzi, Jamie, Nicki, Kacie B., Elyse, Blakeley, and Kasey S., along with rose-holders Jennifer, Courtney, and Rachel. And the last one goes to...Emily, rather than Monica. This is a shame as it seemed like Monica was definitely one of the more interesting people in real life, and capable of having a conversation. Now, we've got more Courtney and more profound discussion of mustard, to look forward to.
Next week: It's the skinny-dipping episode.
"The Bachelor" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
This time he's the lone celebrity, only nobodies need appy
Dr. Drew Pinsky is removing the "celebrity" from "Celebrity Rehab."
VH1's newly retitled "Rehab With Dr. Drew" is currently seeking another class of addicts torn between giving up hope and Oxycontin. And only nobodies need apply.
Sorry, Leif Garrett and Nikki McKibbin. Not that you aren't nobodies. But somehow, you'll now need to try getting better someplace without manufactured drama and cameras recording everything except your bowel movements.
One can argue that the trend toward non-celebrities was happening anyway. (See last season's Jeremy Jackson, Jessica Kiper or Bai Ling.) However, the straw that probably broke the format's back was the flak aimed at "Celebrity Rehab" following the tragic deaths last year of two of its alumni: Jeff Conaway and Mike Starr.
Now the only celebrity will be Dr. Drew, whose addiction is -- quite obviously -- to being on television. (Can you name another doctor with his own production company?)
To apply for a free course of 30-day treatment, check out the notice at Doron Ofir Casting.
Because the only thing more important than helping addicts get better is keeping Dr. Drew on television helping addicts get better.
Vanessa Bryant a better score for VH1 than for Kobe
According to this TMZ report, the producers of "Basketball Wives LA" are about to make Vanessa "an extremely lucrative pitch" to feature her in a lead role.
Vanessa is the wife Kobe famously cheated on in 2003, when the L.A. Laker admitted having an affair with a 19-year-old woman, which he only did because she filed sexual assault charges. (Those charges were dismissed, but the episode cost Kobe -- to begin with -- an apology ring to Vanessa worth a reported $4 million.)
Says a TMZ source: “Vanessa has more than enough storyline and would bring the show to another level.”
VH1 issued a non-denial denial, saying only that "production has not reached out to Vanessa at this time.”
But still, was enduring all that anguish and betrayal really worth it to Vanessa in the end?
Yes, it was.
"Basketball Wives" returns Wednesday, May 30, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on VH1.