While it seems to be partly staged... everything is just a little too contrived and we still can't figure out why they don't offer a 24-hour paid feed as Big Brother does (if they're doing this for charity, it would be the logical way to raise extra $) - so I guess my burning question about this show would be "Are they really out there for the entire time or just trucked in for filming?".
Most of the celebrities are... well... not quite so famous. I have to say that with the exception of Lou Diamond Phillips and Stephen Baldwin (even he has hit the made for TV movie scene) I'm not sure that I've ever heard of any of these people. Okay, Patty Blagojevich (famed, shamed former Illinois Governor's wife), who I'm not exactly sure you could classify as a celebrity is at least someone I've heard of previously. In addition to these three pseudo-celebrities, we've been dealt Daniel Baldwin (older brother of Stephen), Kleptomaniac Janice Dickinson (whose claim to fame is that she once had a relationship with Sylvester Stallone - and she tells us... often), John Salley, former NBA star with an extreme fear of spiders, Sanjaya Malakar - billed as "Pop Star" (probably he should be labeled "Former American Idol Contestant" as I'm not sure the word "Star" would accurately describe him), Torrie Wilson - former WWE wrestler (she appears to be one of the more sane people in this group), Frances Callier and Angela Shelton who are better known as the comedy duo "Frangela" - provide us with a humorous view on the other contestants and... well.... Heidi and Spencer Pratt - the "Stars" of MTV's The Hills. Now, I know I'm probably too old to be watching much MTV so I'm not surprised by the fact that I had never heard of either The Hills or Spencer and Heidi before this show. But the most hilarious thing about this duo is that they claim to be the biggest stars in Hollywood.... c'mon.... what???? I'm pretty sure they're blowing their whole star-thing waaaayyyy out of proportion.
Even though it's very surreal, it does provide some great no-brain entertainment. I mean, the love-affair that Heidi Pratt has with her "dry shampoo" is a gut-busting story unto itself. Some great moments last week were the discovery that Janice Dickinson is a sort of kleptomaniac and seems to be pilfering other contestants belongings on the sly. Stephen Baldwin baptizing Spencer Pratt in the river (who would really want Stephen Baldwin baptizing them????). But by far, once again, the biggest controversy on the show last week was the voluntary departure of Spencer and Heidi (better now known as "Speidi") - yes, they left the show, once.... then twice, only to our chagrin to return. At the week's conclusion they were back... again, asking the group to take pity on them as according to Heidi, " The Devil had gotten to them" and they now knew how wrong they were. The promise to tell us whether Speidi will return was not lived up to by the end of Thursday's show so we will have to wait until Monday to see what happens.
So in the end, whether the whole thing is staged or celebrities are even people we've heard of before it's definitely an entertaining show that will have me tuning in for the next two weeks.
Full episodes and clips from all four episodes are available for free at Hulu.com
It has been reported that after spending the night in the Tomb (or whatever it's called) filled with creatures, that Heidi has been hospitalized in a Costa Rican Hospital, possibly due to either injury (doing what, exactly - trying to get the last of her dry shampoo out of the can???) or an infection. Of course, Spencer accompanied her. Does this mean they've made their third exit from the show??