Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here: "Pilot"

Illustration for article titled I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here: "Pilot"

I should start off by saying that I’m probably the wrong person to write about I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! It was only by some strange twist of fate (I volunteered while very drunk) that I ended up here in front of you, about to explain the intricacies of a show I know almost nothing about. Like you, I saw a couple of commercials, and I think I understand the premise: Celebrities are put into the wild, and they somehow try to get out. I also understand that the show is quite popular in the UK, a land whose national condiment is called “brown sauce” and that brought Simon Cowell to our shores. (I know, Limeys, I know—The Beatles, The Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Smiths… We’ll call it a draw.)


Here’s something I know for sure, based on the commercial: I really don’t know who most of these so-called “celebrities” are. I’m aware that Sanjaya was on American Idol, though I have no idea if he won. Heidi and Spencer are from one of those horrible fake-reality shows that my wife likes, but I’m not sure if it’s The Hills or Laguna Beach. And the others, let’s see… Heidi Montag, Spencer Pratt, Sanjaya Malakr, John Salley (no idea), Janice Dickinson (okay, I know who she is), Stephen Baldwin (a lesser Baldwin, to be sure, but he was in The Usual Suspects), Lou Diamond Phillips (my Richie!!!), Torrie Wilson (no idea), Frangela (is that those ladies from Best Week Ever?), and Patricia Blagojevich (wife of disgraced governor Rod). Let’s let the show teach me something!

Ah jeez, it’s two hours?! I don’t want to learn that much.

“11 celebrities, thrown into the jungle, stripped of every luxury, facing their worst fears. Celebrities, like you’ve never seen them before. Live, four nights a week. They’re locked in competition. Desperate to win. America, you decide who stays, who goes, and ultimately who will be crowned king or queen of the jungle.”

Okay, two minutes in and I already really, really hate this Spencer guy. He’s apparently my worst nightmare, according to him, and he may very well be correct. From the first few minutes, this just looks like Celebrity Fear Factor (is that a real thing?), but I guess we’ll find out. Our hosts Damien and Mylene have taken us inside the Costa Rican jungle, live. And apparently, as viewers, we get to decide who stays, who goes, and who has to eat bugs. I’m not sure whether I’d rather see Spencer eat bugs or get kicked off the show. Both would be cool.

They’re here for three weeks, and they’re raising money for charity. Ostensibly this is a good thing, but after two hours of torture, I don’t think any money donated to charity could make up for the bullshit that a show like this puts into the world. Let’s get back to this Spencer kid, which is exactly what he wants us to do. A rich little prick, he’s playing the part of an asshole in order to get famous, and he’s very, very good at it. (Because he’s clearly just an entitled little prick. After watching him for five minutes, I wished on him some kind of unshakeable humiliation, like being caught fucking a dog or something. But then I realized that he’s completely shameless, and he would just embrace his celebrity as a “the guy who got caught fucking a dog.”)

15 minutes into the show, Spencer and his horrible little shrew of a wife (whom he will one day beat nearly to death and who will subsequently forgive him) have already decided to quit the show, mainly for two reasons: They don’t think they’ll be able to fuck, and their fellow celebrities aren’t famous enough. Hours into their journey into the Costa Rican jungle, Spencer gets NBC’s Ben Silverman on the phone and says this, with a straight face: “I’m too rich and I’m too famous to be sitting with these people and cleaning up their shit in the jungle, my man. This cast is devaluing our fame right now. I’m sitting next to VH1 comedians I’ve never seen before. This is just not the show… Stars of shows get treated like stars, dude! I’m supposed to be cleaning up John Salley’s shit in a bucket, dude?”

So Spencer and Heidi quit, almost as soon as they get there. But of course it’s just a bait and switch for more screen time for his pathetic blonde beard—this guy may be rich and/or famous, but he’s more desperate for screen time (even on a piece of grand shit like this one) than anyone else here. He nearly starts a fist fight, declares himself a villain, tells a monkey to shut up, and prays. This would make a hilarious fictional character, as long as said fictional character got some comeuppance at the end. We can only hope that someday, after God and his bruised wife have forsaken him, Spencer will attempt to kill himself, but fail and have to live with the consequences of that. (He’d probably just make a TV show of it where he scares children or something.)


Anyway, the rest of this horrible, obnoxious, and—worst of all—boring show played out just like you might think it would. Assholes in the jungle, with most of the attention paid to Heidi and Spencer because they’re obnoxious, with a little bit of love given to pragmatists Lou Diamond Phillips and Stephen Baldwin. It took more than an hour to get to any sort of challenge, and that was simply “eat some disgusting shit!” Sweet, you ate a rat tail. Can I have my two hours back, please? Is there any way that I can take money away from the charity that you’re representing?

And don’t even get me started on Patty Blagojevich, who’s using primetime TV to defend the criminal actions of her husband, with a straight face. If anybody should know better, it’s her. The rest of these people are from Hollywood, where delusion is a part of every day life, and the word “celebrity” has become so loosely defined that if you’ve fucked Mini Me you’re famous. There’s no challenge here, and no fun—just an excuse to get a bunch of people together to argue. To paraphrase Billy Madison: What you’ve just shown is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever seen. At no point in your stultifying, ridiculous program were you even close to anything that could be considered rational entertainment. Everyone in America is now dumber for having watched it. I award you the rare F, and may God have mercy on your soul.


Grade: F

Stray observations:

— Spencer: “My goal is to make the public realize that I’m the next level of villain.”


— Heidi: “I feel like everything has been taken from me, and not in a fun way.”

— Heidi, after being outdoors for a few hours: “This is borderline real torture. I would do this to Al Qaeda.”


— Heidi: “My husband is a very new Christian”

— In conclusion, fuck this show and everyone on it.