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Reality based TV is the new trend in television. Averages Joes are replacing celebrities in numerous successful productions.
There has always been a question as to why people would give up their privacy for exposure on national television.
The common belief is that this kind of exposure results in guest appearances on the Early Show, commercial endorsements and guest starring roles on soap operas. Fame of course follows, as well as untold wealth and unadulterated admiration.
But is this true? We decided to contact former participants and find out what really goes on. We will bring you updates in upcoming months as more casualties appear.
This week: Trading Spaces and the Weakest Link.
Keith: My former best friend and I appeared on Trading Spaces a show where best friends redecorate a room in the other's house in a 48 hour period with a $1000.00 budget.
Patrick : It seemed like a great idea. We'd get a room redecorated for free--but best of all we'd be on TV. I'm only in it for the experience of course but who knows what can come out of that? I mean if Krista from BB2 can judge a pageant who's to say what could happen? Keith and I are very goodlooking and personable ...but like I say we were only in it for the experience. Before the show we told each other our likes and dislikes so there would be absolutely no surprises. I'm definitely a contemporary kind of guy and Keith is more traditional. I hate pastels, he hates primary colours. Simple right? If only.
Keith: We'd been friends since college it is so sad to see things sink like this. I don't really blame him, he never has had any common sense. I blame the designers--maybe there was a mix-up? Maybe I should have had Frank and he should have had Genevieve? I guess I'll never know the answer to that one.
It was hard to concentrate on what the designer was saying because of all the commotion. I found myself making suggestions but in the end I bowed to her judgment-- after all she had a scrapbook and I didn't.
I don't like to say this but I have a sneaking suspicion that Patrick didn't even make my taste known. He was too busy flirting with Alex, telling her about his breakthrough performance as Happy in our high-school production of Death of a Salesman and shooting hoops with Ty.
Patrick: It took a great display of my acting ability to keep from ripping Keith's heart out and jamming it down his throat during the reveal. My leather couch had been stenciled in a patchwork quilt pattern as had the walls, the coffee table the aquarium.
At some point they must have decided my living room was too small, so they they knocked out a wall (I'm not even going to get into the fact that it was a supporting wall) and enlarged the living room by combining it with the next door bedroom. Great. Do you know what it does to a marriage to have three kids sleeping with you?
Keith is jealous of me, I think that's what is behind this. In the seventh grade I made out with his girlfriend and I don't think he's over it. Also I'm better looking and much funnier. That's gotta hurt.
Keith: When I moved in it took me a month to restore the hardwood floors and the the original moldings. The design team covered the floor by gluing linoleum and replaced the moldings with white-washed rope.
They thought the dining room was too dark and "dingy" so they installed a skylight. Now the guest room above it is virtually unusable.
Patrick: OK, a wall of moss? A wall of moss? I don't ever recall saying to Keith "boy, do I wish this room looked like a swamp." No, I would have remembered saying that. Why didn't he just spray paint "I hate you" on the living room walls? It would have been subtler.
Keith: They crackle-coated my Chippendale sideboard. The overcoat is pink and the undercoat is green. Pink and green. Chippendale.
I don't really blame Patrick for that because from what I heard after the taping, he was too busy schmoozing with the cast to actually do any work, but still.
I just want to get on with my life. I wish Patrick would just let it go, but he won't. Now he's filed a lawsuit and submitted it to Judge Judy, Judge Joe Brown, Judge Mills Lane and for some reason Divorce Court. He said it's a first come, first serve thing.
Patrick: If the case is not resolved to my satisfaction I will submit an application to Neighbours From Hell I hope it will give me some closure or at least a walk-on role in a sitcom. If not, I'm going to videotape him through my bedroom window and send it into America's Funniest Home Videos.
Keith: He got drunk and started a fight with me on my front lawn. He was in his underpants. I guess he figures if nothing else he'll get on Cops.
Sheldon Thorson was a contestant on the Weakest Link.
Sheldon: I was on one of the first episodes, I thought it was going to be like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and I was really excited. I am a trivia buff with a photographic memory and felt very confident. I wasn't concerned about the money or the exposure I was just in it for the experience.
I couldn't wait to tell everyone I knew that I was going to be on the show. Everyone felt certain that I would come home a big winner. Boy were they wrong. I had no idea what Anne Robinson was like. I knew I was in big trouble as soon as she asked the first question.
She allegedly asked me what size the Canadian territory of Nunavut is in square miles. What I heard was "Qwaziw Kanatjun terty nuumvitin sqwamos?" which I took to mean what are Canadians tired of? I quite naturally answered Quebec which of course was wrong. Her second question to me "Redlballh woo shamma sellla donna fa" stumped me even though I asked her to repeat it four times.
The other team members unanimously voted me out after the first round. She polled them and they were absolutely ruthless. Words like "freak" "dumbass" and "loser" were thrown around freely. These people were my friends in the green room. I felt so betrayed.
That wasn't the worst of it though. Before dismissing me with "You are the weakest link. Goodbye." She took time to tell that not only was I the weakest link, I was the oldest, stupidest, fattest and ugliest one. She then she criticized my toupee, said I had bad breath and B.O. and told me my fly was fully undone during the entire show. She said my attempts to turn her on made her redefine the world revulsion. (And just for the record it was my shirt tail hanging out.)
I tried to go back to my job as a grade-school gym teacher after the show aired but school officials felt it would be better if I found other employment for various reasons.
Everywhere I go people stare and point and say Smelly Shelly or Jelly Belly Shelly. or Shelly the Perv. Parents look at me in alarm and pull their children closer to them when I walk by. (IT WAS MY SHIRT TAIL) I felt like I was a prisoner in my own home until my landlord said it would be better for all concerned if I found new lodgings. My wife said that she needs some time alone she says she has to think of the children.
I've been getting some counseling but it really hasn't done any good as my therapist keeps asking me thing what Anne Robinson is really like. My medication makes me very drowsy so I am unable work.
My agent says that is a double-edged sword. If I wait until people forget then I won't have a career but if I pursue roles now I will be typecast as a perverted slob. I have a meeting next week with the producers of Yes, Dear so I guess I'll just have to wait and see what the future holds.