Heidi and Spencer return, of course, to Big Brother wannabe I’m a Celebrity

Heidi and Spencer were back, of course, on I’m a Celebrity 2, and they blamed the devil for quitting the show. “We realized that we made a big mistake and that the devil got to us and said, ‘get out of the jungle,’” Heidi said near the end of the live broadcast. The couple is going to spend the night in the chamber where they did the challenge during Tuesday’s episode, and the cast is going to allegedly vote on whether or not to let them back in.

I think it’s becoming increasingly clear that they not only planned all of this quitting nonsense well in advance, but that NBC is in on it. Only two celebs, John Salley and Janice Dickinson, voted live last night for Heidi and Spencer to be allowed to return, but I’ll bet they’re back tonight and we see the rest of the celebrities “change their minds,” i.e. be forced to accept them. At the very least, NBC is enabling them, and why not? It’s working, bringing attention to a show that otherwise might be ignored.

Speaking of, with all of the attention on Spencer and Heidi—and I would really rather ignore them—I haven’t been able to discuss the other interesting thing about the show: it’s essentially Big Brother in the jungle. On Tuesday, when a shirtless Sanjaya sat with the mic around his neck, leaning back against the couch during his interview, he totally looked like he was in the Big Brother house; he needs to just go directly from Costa Rica to L.A.

I’m a Celebrity has everything its CBS counterpart has. I’m kind of glad that I’m going to be traveling away from prime-time TV for 10 days or so, because I can only take one of these kinds of shows a summer. And really, NBC’s revival of the ABC show is like a C-rate Big Brother, and that show is already C-rate.

The challenges are completely unimaginative, and basically every single one has been the same thing, insects and snakes and mice crawling on and biting the cast members. At least Big Brother’s challenges are often patently unfair or break down, which provides some entertainment.

The hosts, Damian Fahey and Myleene Klass, really make you appreciate Julie Chen and how much she’s grown over the past eight years. The hosts can barely manage the cast during live segments, like Julie Chen, although she has the good sense to stay away for two of three episodes per week, and what she says is nowhere near as useless and annoying. They did have a great moment last night, though, when Damian put his hand on Myleene’s, and she said, annoyed, “Did you just touch my hand?”

Mostly, though, I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here is tremendously boring. Between Janice Dickinson’s acerbic nature, Frangela’s breakdowns and humor, Patti Blagojevich’s presence (her charity has rejected her, by the way), Sanjaya’s increasingly flamboyant behavior, Daniel Baldwin’s introduction into the group, and Stephen Baldwin’s utter ridiculousness, there should be a lot of drama, but the format just doesn’t let that all work the way it should.

That’s why they-who-should-be-ignored will most likely be back. They make the show. “I live for being famous,” Spencer said, and that’s what he’s becoming with this time on a prime-time TV show. Beyond his desire for fame and money, I don’t buy anything Spencer says or does, especially his religiosity, which seems to be an act for Heidi’s sake and to further enrage people, but I think the once genuine thing he said this week. In a flashback, talking to producers, Spencer expressed shock that they actually had to live and sleep outside. He’s so used to living a fake life on camera that he couldn’t imagine this situation. Hills producers, look what you’ve created.

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