Monday, April 26, 2010

Don't Ruin Your Rep, Reality Stars!

(Image via TLO)

Another season of Project Runway has (relatively boringly) come to an end. And with the end of a season of a competitive reality show come the inevitable reunion shows and the interviews with the contestants. Unfortunately, this also tends to be the time when reality show stars feel the need to stick their feet in their mouths. Sometimes that's fine - when Richard Hatch convienently forgot to pay taxes on his million dollar prize, none of us was especially surprised. And of course, "I wasn't there to make friends" is the supreme cliche of reality TV at this point, so that's just white noise. Plus, we tend to be able to forgive a lot when the show is running - the exhaustion, the editing, the totally bizarre environments of these shows...I'm not sure that Mother Teresa would necessarily be a fan fave.

But what about people who have come off pretty well on the show? In this post-season of Project Runway alone, we've got two really great examples of this. First, Jay Nicolas Sario was the last designer eliminated before Bryant Park. He showed a gorgeous collection in the tents and came off pretty low-key on the show. Alas, he then spent the reunion talking shit about a model that he had never even worked with, telling her that she's the reason he "won't hire models with bad teeth and big legs." Not to mention some unfortunate misogyny and just straight-up rudeness in post-show interviews. Classy, kid.

And what about Anthony Williams, also from this season of PR? He was far and away the fan favorite of the year, and when he was able to come back after his elimination to replace a designer that had quit, the internets - including us - rejoiced. Unfortunately for all involved, once he got eliminated a second time, he decided to put our love to the test, by giving an interview with EW that included soundbites about how you shouldn't listen to Tim Gunn. That's just a start, and doesn't include the bits about ignoring the blogs (uh-oh) and his not-very-apologetic apology to Mila on the reunion. (Although, I have to be honest - I'm totally stealing his "I can't give her a kidney" line, because I am just that bitchy.)

Survivor is also rife with these examples. I mean, take the adorable Elisabeth Filarski from seaon two, Australia. She had the super-cute pigtails, the self-made immunity headdress that she brought as her luxury item, and her sunny and charming personality - she wasn't the last person left on her tribe (finishing fourth overall) by accident. But now? Elisabeth Filarski has morphed into Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the slightly crazy and definitely shrill right-wing-representation on morning chatfest The View.

And speaking of Survivor winners pissing away America's Goodwill, I'm not sure anyone can even begin to live up to Brian Heidik, who did porn, went on Survivor, won the hearts of viewers and a million dollars, went home and SHOT A PUPPY. WITH A BOW AND ARROW. There's really not much more to say after that.

Rob and Amber, who you probably know from Survivors: Australia, Marquesas and All-Stars, as well as The Amazing Race 7, are on another end of this spectrum. While some of us love them (I definitely watched their 2-hour special about their wedding), many more of us love to hate them and their dumbassery on reality television. But have you noticed? Away from TV, these two are refreshingly low-key. I mean, did you even know that they had a baby almost a year ago? Probably not, and you know why? They're not selling EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS! to Us Magazine, giving infuriating (or even charming) interviews, or any of the rest of it. Yes, Rob just did Survivor: Heroes vs. Villans, but when he got eliminated, away he went.

And then, of course, there's Jon Gosselin, the King of this post. Jon is someone who had all the sympathy coming out of his marriage and his show. According to the internet message boards and the tabloids, Kate was the unreasonable, OCD shrew who had browbeaten this wonderful guy into an emasculated and unhappy shell of the man he once was. And we all know how that one ended up: in a cloud of blonde rebound girls, new vehicles and Ed Hardy. He turned the tables on himself completely, and suddenly found himself on the opposite end of all those exclamation-pointed headlines. Of course, Dancing With The Stars hasn't exactly helped Kate's image much, so...let's all take up a collection for the kids' therapy and proceed to ignore their parents, shall we?

Basically, this entire post is a plea to our current favorite reality star, the hilarious and charming Chad OchoCinco. We love his enthusiasm, his flirting with Cheryl, his name change, his celebrating, his enjoyment of McDonald's, his friendship with Erin Andrews and, most especially, his fantastically delightful Twitter, wherein he lays out his requirements for a relationship (McDonald's, weekly mani-pedis, and time to play Call of Duty), asks Oprah out on dates, and has long and thoughtful discussions with his followers about successful women. Who knew we could get all that from a silly football player who spends the off-season on Dancing With The Stars? And so we hope that Chad, once his days of dancing are over and he starts giving interviews about his experience on the show, will stop, think about how so many of us adore him, and not piss away this country's goodwill. Of course, I've never gotten the impression that he is anything less than totally psyched about DWTS, so I'm not too terribly concerned, but still...don't fuck it up, Chad!


  1. I feel the need to specify that OchoCinco's mani-pedi requirement is for him, not his future woman, because that is my very favorite part.

  2. Also, OchoCinco regularly invites his twitter fans out to movies or food etc. with him and pays for them all. A few weeks ago he had two different movie nights with fans, and paid for the tickets, food and drinks for all, and he just now posted on Twitter inviting people to breakfast with him. Yay for 85.