Spencer, Heidi returning to U.S. after Heidi hospitalized due to “torture,” Spencer claims

Attention whores Heidi and Spencer Pratt were all over the news this weekend after Heidi was taken to a hospital from the set of I’m a Celebrity 2, and they are now reportedly on their way back to the U.S. after apparently being allowed to return to the show despite the cast voting no. After tonight’s two-hour episode, which will resolve show us what really happened over the past few days, they’ll hopefully be gone for good.

Early Monday, MSNBC’s Courtney Hazlett reported “The Pratts were on a plane back to Los Angeles at press time, and could not be reached for comment.” She was seeking a comment from them about a production source’s insistence that they weren’t tortured as part of their night in the isolation chamber.

That’s what Spencer claimed to TMZ and what his sister Stephanie Pratt wrote on Twitter: Stephanie wrote in two tweets, “Im really saddened to hear that nbc felt it was ok to punish speidi so harshly–and torture them as if they were criminals–that Heidi was” “Rushed to the hospital and has an IV in her arm after being locked in a dark room for 3 days w no food or water. Pls pray she will be ok.”

Also on Sunday, citing “a cast member,” TMZ reported that “Heidi was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with a gastric ulcer, after being held with hubby Spencer Pratt in a dark room for a day and a night with only water, rice and beans,” and said “a cast member tells us NBC execs tried to convince Heidi to stay on the set rather than take an ambulance to a hospital for treatment.” The source also said “Spencer has fired his lawyer (who wanted him to stay on the show) and is now planning to sue NBC over the show.”

That source was Spencer himself, as those super ethical journalists at TMZ revealed, outing him in an update less than seven hours later that reported producers “taking aim at Spencer Pratt for his allegation that he and Heidi Pratt were effectively tortured by NBC, resulting in her hospitalization.” ITV Studios’ official denial said “[t]he health of the celebrity participants are of the utmost importance” and “allegations of the celebrities being deprived of food and water are completely untrue.” (The direct links to these TMZ stories inexplicably don’t work, although the stories are still live on their home page.)

Whatever happened, it appears as though the couple was being allowed to return to the show despite the cast members’ vote to refuse to allow them back. Angela Shelton, who was voted out last week, told AOL that the cast’s vote didn’t matter: “We had a vote, we voted no — and they’re still getting the opportunity to come back. So that shows you how useful the voting is. [Laughs.] We voted no and it’s still an issue. [Laughs.] It’s a good group of people who will give them a second chance. But they don’t really have a choice.”

I’d have some sympathy if I didn’t find this all to be part of a calculated effort on Heidi and Spencer’s part to catapult themselves into a greater level of stardom than acting out their fake lives has already brought them. Tonight will probably be the final test to see if their antics can draw viewers: Thursday’s episode had a nine percent increase in viewers 18 to 49 from Wednesday, according to TV By the Numbers, but it still came in fourth place overall, drawing fewer viewers than repeats of Fox’s Bones and CBS’ The Big Bang Theory.

Heidi & Spencer tortured? No way, source says [MSNBC]
5 Questions With: Angela V. Shelton [AOL]
Heidi & Spencer — Tortured? and Producers Fire Back at Heidi & Spencer [TMZ]
Updated Thursday Ratings: ABC, NBA Finals, Lakers Crush Rivals [TV By the Numbers]

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.