Just when you think it’s impossible to do a better parody of The Bachelor comes The Baby Bachelor from Jimmy Kimmel Live. Its second episode was released this week, and while Burning Love did a great job of sending up the ABC series, I think this is my favorite.
The quote-unquote series, starring Kimmel’s nephew Wesley, is both hilarious parody and impossible cuteness all in one. As with all reality TV, the authentic, unplannned moments between the babies are much funnier than the scripted/coached ones, and make this a must-watch.
Cochran’s famous piece of academic writing about the Survivor jury system is “not even a good essay,” he told HitFix, saying it’s “literally five pages long” and “was just a cute thing” that “wasn’t showing any great insight. … That’s why I haven’t released it.”
Dawn and Brenda made up at Ponderosa after the teeth incident, Dawn told Gordon Holmes, but they didn’t stay connected. She also calls Cochran “My very best friend in the whole wide world.”
Rob Cesternino makes a case for promoting Survivors’ Twitter handles, and I agree that there’s value in it for the network to help their stars have more of a following on social media. I don’t agree with his assertion that “if there’s anything that Jeff Probst seems to loathe, it’s the self-promoting reality star,” both because of the evidence in the reunion (Boston Rob, ugh) and also because the obsession with returnees is about turning one-time players into self-promoting stars with more fans who justify their returns.
Erik Reichenbach did a Reddit AMA that is incredibly insightful and really makes me think he got a shitty edit, and is a lot more complex than the dolt the editors turned him into. He confirms that the camera operators are unintentional but useful clues about the location of the idol (one followed him when he went to pee) and says “Brandon teetered on the edge the whole time he was there. He claimed he had some kind of medication that he was not allowed to bring but I don’t know if there’s any validity in this.” Most fascinatingly, he offers pretty pointed criticism of Jeff Probst:
“He has changed a lot. It has been 4 years in between though, and I am sure I have changed too.
… Jeff Probst Micronesia filming is 100 times greater then Jeff Probst at Caramoan. He was much more fair and generally pleasant during Micronesia compared to Survivor 26. His bias for specific players is not only unfair it is kind of ruining the future seasons. Survivor 22 is one of the worst seasons I have ever watched.
…Jeff Probst has gone from Host to show-runner I believe in the last few years. He has much more creative control which is bad in my opinion. He is a great host, but he is making some very poor choices.”
Intervention will end after airing five more episodes, having been cancelled by A&E.
A press release from the network spins the cancellation by announcing that it “returns for its final five episodes.” Those start June 13, airing Thursdays at 9, and the last episode is, the release says, “one of the most difficult and dramatic episodes in the series’ history.” (For some insight into how challenging is to even film the show, a camera operator answered questions a few years ago.)
A&E EVP of programming David McKilliop said in a press release, “we’re proud to have paved the way for such an original and groundbreaking series. We’re honored to have been a part of the 243 interventions since its premiere in March of 2005, leading to the 156 individuals that are currently sober to this day.”
Having found considerably more success with the scripted series Duck Dynasty, this cancellation is not a surprise. A&E also appears to have cancelledHoarders, though it has not yet said that officially, which would mean the end of its sometimes controversial but truly reality-driven reality series that illuminated challenging but important subjects. Sad.
This season of Kitchen Nightmares delivered what was easily the series’ best episode, and since that aired, there has been a lot of off-camera drama thanks to owners Samy and Amy Bouzaglo—and viewers who responded strongly to what they saw. Their restaurant, Amy’s Baking Company, has received threats from the show’s producers and had a re-opening yesterday, in addition to being subjected to hacking and parody, including the mock ad below.
After the episode aired, the restaurant’s Facebook page was flooded with all-caps comments lashing out at viewers, much as they had lashed out at customers on the episode. Eater archived all the posts, which are hilarious as performance art or parody.
The restaurant’s owners later said they’d been hacked, though even that post seemed weird, because it insisted “our Facebook, YELP, Twitter and Website have been hacked.” Yelp hadn’t been hacked, it had just been flooded with negative comments (though Yelp’s policy is to delete those if they’re from non-patrons) just like their Facebook page.
Earlier, the server who quit during the episode did an AMA on Reddit and insisted what was on TV was 100% real and confirmed she’d received hourly pay of $8/hour, higher than a typical server. But several people pointed out this Department of Labor guideline that says employers are “prohibited from using an employee’s tips for any reason other than as a credit against its minimum wage obligation to the employee.” She also revealed that Gordon Ramsay left a $20 tip.
Meanwhile, Samy, whose full name is Salomon Buozaglo, may be deported; The Arizona Republic reports that he “is involved in a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement case to revoke his residency status, his lawyer said Tuesday. Scottsdale immigration lawyer David Asser said the case against his client started two years ago and was the subject of a removal hearing Monday.” It is apparently unrelated to the TV show.
As a result of the negative publicity from the show, the restaurant planned a Tuesday night relaunch, for which they hired new employees who hadn’t watched the show. They promised “a portion of proceeds will benefit a charity organized to bring awareness to cyber bullying” and insisted, “Customers will be able to decide who is correct: a famous celebrity chef or the marketplace that has supported the small, locally-owned business for six years.”
But despite saying they had 1500 reservations, only “a thin crowd” showed up.
A representative for Amy and Samy announced the grand opening in a press release, and in it, Samy said, “We are very upset by what has taken place, apologize about the acrimony that has ensued but now must fight back to save our business. We hope and believe much good can result from what has transpired. We ask the public to keep an open mind as we begin to tell our side of the story.”
“If you disparage the show, its host, or its producers, you will breach your obligations under Paragraph 10 of your Personal Release and Paragraph 14 of your Participant Agreement. These agreements prohibit you from speaking publicly about Kitchen Nightmares, other than to acknowledge ‘the mere fact of your participation in the Series in personal publicity relating to yourself.’ Your conduct exposes each of you to liability for liquidated damages of $100,000.”
Of all the stupidity that has transpired during and since the production of the episode, that has got to be the stupidest. Threatening them and essentially preventing them from talking accomplishes nothing except making it seem like Samy and Amy have valid claims about how the show misrepresented them and/or their restaurant, making them look stupid.
Amy’s Baking Company was doing just fine doing that on their own.
The X Factor has new judges: Destiny’s Child’s Kelly Rowland, who also judged on the UK version of the show, and Paulina Rubio, a Latin pop star. Their addition probably brings more credibility than its panel last year, but probably doesn’t change the fact that it’s a giant, unwatchable mess.
Why was Bret Michaels missing in action on The Celebrity Apprentice’s finale? His time on the show didn’t exactly leave him looking good, but Bret tweeted that he was absent because of previous commitments: “Unfortunately I won’t be able 2 attend tonight’s #celebapprentice finale due 2 a private event & my daughter’s b-day.” He also wished Penn and Trace good luck.
NBC will air a scripted series, Siberia, that’s about contestants in a competition series who have to “band together in an effort to survive” injuries and “strange occurrences.” In a press release, NBC executive Jeff Bader said, “We believe a scripted series that offers an insightful behind-the-scenes view of how a reality concept comes together — especially when things don’t go according to plan — will connect with our audience in a very satisfying way.” Hopefully it’s more insightful than The Office’s weak, scripted look behind-the-scenes of a reality series.
The Real Housewives of New York City cast members held up production over new contracts, but Deadline reports they “took the modest pay increases Bravo was offering for season 6 rather than continue to hold out for big raises” and Bravo “also threw in a few more contractual baubles like covering expenses for additional hair and make-up for the cast..”
Want some one-on-one time with an executive at a production company or other people in the entertainment industry? Bid on several opportunities by Tuesday afternoon, including Shed Media’s US GM Pamela Healey, Fremantle North America SVP of Nonfiction Development, Alex Demyanenko in LA, producer Basketball Wives Troy DeVolld, and Bob Barker (yes, from The Price is Right). Proceeds will benefit the Caucus Foundation, which says it is “helping to launch the professional careers of student filmmakers (television, film and interactive) from groups currently underrepresented in the industry.”
America’s Got Talent host Nick Cannon said that American Idol’s producers and network “feed into” the drama between his wife Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj; he also said that Mariah predicted the panel wouldn’t work.
The first-ever all-star Celebrity Apprentice concluded with Donald Trump breaking from tradition and selecting the finalist seated to his right, Trace Adkins, as the winner of the $250,000 prize, which goes to his charity, the American Red Cross.
Overall, Adkins raised $1,554,072 for American Red Cross, while Penn Jillette raised $698,655 for Opportunity Village, according to NBC. Jillette’s total for his charity, which helps people with intellectual disabilities get jobs, included $100,000 for having the best-selling Walgreens ice cream. As a reality TV character and contestant, I liked Penn better, and wish he’d won, but Trace made a compelling argument for why he should win, not that Donald Trump has ever used evidence in his decision-making.
Overall, the celebrities raised $3.332 million for charity, some of which came from the show and its sponsors. Trump also gave Lil Jon $100,000 for the American Diabetes Association, apparently as a way to make up for firing him for no actual reason.
But the celebrities also dragged down the show. The money raised for charity is the high point in a season that really sucked the life out of the franchise by retreading familiar ground and giving us nothing new in its returning celebrities, who we already knew and/or were really sick of. Its ratings recovered, but NBC didn’t give it a vote of confidence by saying a renewal decision would come in the future.
I think the format still has the potential to recover, if the show can find the right cast, and also pull back a little: for starters, the live spectacle finale is pointless, because Donald Trump is no Jeff Probst, and also the show no longer justifies a live finale. I’d rather have more standard discussion and decision-making at the end of an episode rather than hear the live audience make noise.
The show needs a bold shake-up, and I’d start with replacing Donald Trump with Ivanka. He’s a complete asshole who alienates viewers. She’s much smarter, more engaging, and a better judge, one who can get past the bullshit and really weigh evidence.
Trump could still make appearances and pretend it’s his show, but it never will be the show it once was (and still is in his mind), because his shtick is tired.
Here’s the fascinating thing: Despite Trump’s irrationality, the show remains an authentic competition, just one that literally has no rules. Penn Jillette told Hitfix that the show is “capricious and arbitrary but all that is out front,” and insisted “Every other reality show I’d ever done, and I’d done a bunch of ‘em, were deeply dishonest. And The Celebrity Apprentice isn’t. Everything is straightforward. They don’t even redo things. You know, on every other reality show they say, say that same thing but over here. They don’t do that.”
The world needs more authentic series, and again, the format has a lot of life left in it. It just needs to fire the right person.
They played a version of Family Feud (during which the Swamp People cast members demonstrated some remarkable Kardashian knowledge) and told stories about the show’s origin. They’re not exactly new to doing media or interviews, and are obviously confortable in front of cameras, but still, they’re funny and charming and comfortable with being themselves, and that works.
Later on the episode, some blowhard talked for a few minutes about why rural reality shows are popular right now:
The Celebrity Apprentice’s sixth season concludes Sunday, and it may be easy to tell who which of the final two celebrities will win the prize for their charity: that’s because Donald Trump has always chosen the celebrity sitting on his left as the show’s winner.
Maybe because that’s how Trump remembers who he’s supposed to choose? It’s possible this could just be a five-time coincidence, but if Trump does pick the person on the left Sunday night, that will be crazy/predictable.
The final two are Trace Adkins and Penn Jillette; both are strong finalists, and not just because they’re not grating and annoying like some of their competitors. As more than one person pointed out this season, Trace kind of checked out and sleepwalked through part of it, so I’d rather see Penn win, and not just because he dished great dirt on Trump and the production.
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