Sunday, September 25, 2005


New 'Amazing Race' kicks off

The thought of spending a summer travelling with the family instantly makes some people's skin crawl.

Add in a erratic sleeping hours, the inability to eat when hungry, limited bathroom breaks and a $1 million US race and you've got the vacation from hell.

That's the brilliance behind this season's The Amazing Race: Family Edition.

Unlike the first seven seasons, the new edition of the hugely popular show features four-member teams comprised exclusively of family members (including young children on some teams) rather than pairs who have a "pre-existing relationship."

Host Phil Keoghan says the new formula makes for some incredibly entertaining TV.

"On the Amazing Race, it's always difficult for two people to make a decision about what they are going to do. Make it four and that becomes an impossibility," he says, adding there is a different dynamic when you put family members together.

"You don't chose your family. There are certain people in your family who are sometimes challenging to get along with. If you put people like that into a race, you're guaranteed to get something interesting."

However, the inclusion of children does seem to have impacted the show.

Although CBS has not yet confirmed rumours The Amazing Race: Family Edition only visited North and Central American locations, the network did tell USA Today the teams travelled about 30,000 miles (about half of the distance typically covered on the show -- 48,000 km).

CBS executives also said they selected more historically significant and "family-friendly" locations this time around.

But, while there are four competitors under the age of 14 in two of the 10 teams, Keoghan does not believe the young ones are at a disadvantage.

"The Amazing Race has never been about your physical abilities. Amazing Race has always been about ... a combination of brains, brawn and team work," he says.

"It's not going to come down to the size of a person or the physical ability of a person."

The Black family, from Woodbridge, Va., has the youngest racer on its team -- eight-year-old Austin. But dad Reggie doesn't think that will hurt his family's chance of winning.

"We're going to win this whole thing because we are a family with a lot of drive. We're a family that can solve problems together," he says.

College student Megan Linz, who is running the race with her three adult brothers, says her biggest fear is losing to an eight-year-old.

"Not to say they are not good competitors, but I'm 21-years-old -- that doesn't look good."

The Amazing Race: Family Edition premieres tonight with a special two-hour broadcast at 8 p.m. on CTV and 10 p.m. on CBS.


The 10 teams competing on The Amazing Race: Family Edition are:

Godlewski Sisters
Sisters Michelle, 42, Sharon, 39, Christine, 37, and Tricia, 26, from Des Plaines, Ill.

Weaver Family
Linda, 46, and her teenage children Rebecca, 19, Rachel, 16, and Rolly, 14, from Ormond Beach, Fla.

Gaghan Family
Bill, 40, his wife Tammy, 42, and their children Billy, 12, and Carissa, 9, from Glastonbury, Conn.
Black Family

Reggie, 42, his wife Kim, 40, and their sons Kenneth, 11, and Austin, 8, from Woodbridge, Va.

Linz Family
Siblings Tommy, 19, Megan, 21, Alex, 22, and Nick, 24, from Cincinnati, Ohio.

Rogers Family
Denny, 46, his wife Renee, 42, and their two kids, Brittney, 22, and Brock, 19, from Shreveport, La.

Schroeder Family
Mark, 40, his wife Char, 38, and Mark's two children Stassi, 17, and Hunter, 15, from New Orleans, La.

Bransen Family
Walter, 51, and his three daughters Lindsay, 20, Elizabeth, 25, and Lauren, 22, from Park Ridge, Ill.

Aiello Family
Father Tony, 57, and his three son-in-laws, Kevin, 31, Matt, 31, and David, 26, from Mansfield, Mass.

Paolo Family
Tony, 52, his wife Marion, 52, and their two sons DJ, 24, and Brian, 16, from Carmel, N.Y.

Friday, September 23, 2005


Nelly gets his own reality TV show

Rapper Nelly is to join the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears by starring in his own reality TV show.

MTV News reports that Nelly is teaming up with the producers of the US show 'The Swan' for the series.

The series is expected to reach US screens next year.

Commenting on the new series, Nelly said: "I look forward to showing my fans what my world is about and bringing more attention to my non-profit organisations."

Nelly funds the organisation 4Sho4Kids, which helps children born with developmental disabilities and drug addictions, and has also worked on campaigns for bone marrow donation. Nelly's sister, Jackie Donahue, died from leukaemia in March.

The rapper is also set to star in a new film called 'Crenshaw Blvd', which is currently in pre-production.

Friday, September 09, 2005


'Survivor' Winner Indicted on Tax Charges

Richard Hatch, who won $1 million on the first season of the reality show "Survivor," was indicted Thursday for failing to pay taxes on his winnings from the CBS show.

Hatch faces 10 charges, including tax evasion, filing a false tax return, wire fraud, bank fraud and mail fraud. U.S. Attorney Robert Clark Corrente said Hatch, 44, did not pay taxes on his "Survivor" prize, income from a radio show and rental income. The Newport resident also allegedly used donations to his charity, Horizon Bound, to cover personal expenses.

Prosecutors charged Hatch with two counts of tax evasion in January. He agreed to plead guilty, but backed out of the deal in March, saying he thought CBS was responsible for paying the taxes on his prize. CBS has said Hatch was well aware of his obligations to pay taxes on the money.

On Thursday, Hatch was on a plane headed for Houston to help hurricane victims at the Astrodome and could not be reached for comment, said Rod Mitchell, a spokesman for Hatch's lawyer, Michael Minns.

The grand jury, which received the case after the plea deal fell apart, indicted Hatch for filing false 2000 and 2001 tax returns, which omitted his income from the reality show, $327,000 he was paid to co-host "The Wilde Show" on a Boston radio station and $28,000 in rent on a property he owns in Newport.

The indictment said Hatch had two accountants prepare tax returns that included his "Survivor" winnings but did not file them when he learned he would owe hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes. In 2002, he had one of the accountants prepare a second return that did not include his TV show winnings. He filed that one, which called for a $4,500 refund, the indictment said.

Hatch was also accused of misusing $36,500 from a nonprofit camp he set up, Horizon Bound. For example, he allegedly kept for himself a $10,000 donation made in return for his appearance on the NBC game show "Weakest Link." He spent the money from the game show on a construction project at his house, the indictment said.

Hatch faces a maximum of 75 years in prison if found guilty on all charges. He also could face millions of dollars in fines.

On "Survivor," Hatch stood out for being a cunning and ruthless competitor, and spent some of his time in the nude. He won the show's first season in August 2000. He has since appeared on other TV shows, most recently the "Battle of the Network Reality Stars" on Bravo.

Since the TV show, Hatch has weathered a series of legal battles. He was arrested in April 2000 on a charge of abusing his then 9-year-old son. That charge was later dropped. In 2002, Hatch was found innocent of assaulting his ex-boyfriend.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Ex-'Survivor' Contestant Arrested for DUI

Katie Gallagher, a contestant on the CBS reality television show "Survivor: Palau," was arrested for drunken driving in her hometown.

Gallagher was held overnight and released Thursday morning, said Merced County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Scott Dover. Her next court appearance was set for Oct. 31.

Gallagher took home $100,000 in prize money after finishing second on "Survivor." The former radio advertising representative spent 39 days on Palau, located about 530 miles southeast of the Philippines in the South Pacific.

More than 20.3 million people tuned in for the final episode, which aired May 15.

Sunday, August 21, 2005


Donald Trump Producing Chinese 'Apprentice'

China will soon have its own version of the extremely capitalist reality TV show "The Apprentice," according to a news report.

Donald Trump will be the executive producer of the Chinese show, which will be hosted by a Beijing property mogul, the South China Morning Post newspaper reported Sunday.

The report said the version in the communist country would closely follow the U.S. original, in which contestants use their business savvy to compete against each other, and the winner gets a job with Trump.

No release date was given, and the paper said the details of the deal are under final negotiation.

The paper quoted Trump as saying: "China is going to have its own version of 'The Apprentice.' There have been 11 (unofficial) copies of 'The Apprentice,' and every single one of them has failed."

The Chinese show will run in direct competition with "Wise Man Takes All" - another mainland-based show inspired by "The Apprentice" and backed by a busness associate of Trump's, Vincent Lo Hong-sui - the South China Morning Post said.

Lo, chairman of the Hong Kong-based Shui On Group and one of Shanghai's biggest property tycoons, is involved in a legal battle with Trump over the proceeds of a $1.76 billion property sale in New York, unrelated to the TV shows.

Saturday, August 20, 2005


Big Brother spoiler

Secret slips through 'Big Brother' blackout?

Despite a blackout placed on the ‘Big Brother’ 24/7 live Internet feeds, the identity of the second eviction victim might have slipped out.

Due to an intentional or accidental slip-up by the producers, the blackout on the ‘Big Brother’ feeds was reportedly lifted for less than a minute or so on Friday night. Viewers saw The Disciples Alliance consoling each other. Jennifer Vasquez, the 27-year-old arena football dancer, was nowhere to be seen on the feeds. It is assumed that Jennifer has been voted out of the house.

CBS announced on Friday that the live 24/7 feeds from the 'Big Brother' house were being blocked until the conclusion of tomorrow night's episode.

"BIG BROTHER 6 24/7 is temporarily unavailable so that certain competitive results are not revealed in advance of Saturday's broadcast. BIG BROTHER 6 24/7 will resume Saturday, August 20 at 9pm PT/12am ET," read a statement from CBS on the matter.

At present, all of the 24/7 Internet feeds are displaying audio and video from the fish tank in the house with the message "Big Brother 6 will be right back!". This is the standard feed viewers receive when the producers don't wish to air competitions, copyrighted material or slanderous statements made by the HouseGuests.

Each time viewers logon to the feeds, there is a statement by the producers saying that they reserve the right to halt the feeds at any time to preserve the integrity of the show.

On the RealNetworks login site, there is also message warning fans that the feeds are temporarily not available.

"It's the Summer of Secrets and even live feed subscribers aren't immune to some CBS secrets. Until we return to action, sit back, sip a drink, listen to the fish tank, and catch up on highlights from the house in the BB6 archive," reads the statement.

Reaction from fans has been swift with some fans voicing their displeasure.

"Everyone here should NOT WATCH tomorrow's broadcast in protest. This is a despicable move to boost ratings that has alienated the true fans," wrote 'reverendmediocre' on

"I guess we can all leave our feeds of the FISH now instead of waiting around for nothing. Boy, that sucks...big time," wrote 'lean' on the same site.

Others took the situation in stride joking about holding their own endurance competition until the life feeds return.

"Everybody relax! Spend time with family! Read a book! Go out to dinner! Have fun with being surprised on Saturday night," wrote Winston Smith on

Before the live feeds were thrown to the fish tank on Friday afternoon, the HouseGuests were preparing for the Veto Competition, the eviction of another HouseGuest and a Head of Household Challenge all in the same day. The eviction twist will see two HouseGuests evicted this week and two Heads of Household crowned. Janelle won the first Head of Household Competition on Thursday night's broadcast and Kaysar Ridha, the 24-year-old graphics designer whom viewers voted back into the game last week, was sent packing for a second time.

Monday, August 15, 2005


Survivor: Guatemala cast announced

Survivor: Guatemala cast announced - Tired of spam? Click here

Manhattan, Kan.

Tonganoxie, Kan.
Sports Radio Talk Show Host

Chardon, Ohio
Family Nurse Practitioner

New York City (originally from New Milford, Conn.)
Ivy League Student

Naples, Fla.
Zoo Keeper

46 (turns 47 on August 21)
Grand Haven, Mich.
Ex-NFL Quarterback/Real Estate Developer

Providence, R.I. (originally from Pittsburgh)
Ivy League Student

Northglenn, Colo.
Retired Fire Captain

Decatur, Ill.
Magician's Assistant/Waitress

Lakewood, Wash. (originally from Okinawa)

N. Hollywood, Calif. (originally from Douglas, Ga.)
Water Ski Instructor

Revere, Mass.
Police Sergeant

34 (turns 35 on September 13)
Ridgefield, N.J.
Hotel Doorman

Santa Monica, Calif. (originally from Hood River, Ore.)
Law Student

Dallas, Texas
Commercial Real Estate Broker/Model

21 (turns 22 on Oct. 29)
Edmonds, Wash.
Retail Sales/Make-Up Artist

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