More Celebreality!

Aussie version of I’m a Celebrity

So it was announced a couple months ago that Channel Ten and ITV have gotten together, and are making an Aussie version of I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here.

I’m sure they made the announcement so that all the potential talent would know it was coming up, and that this would happen:


Quite a brilliant move actually. Instead of hunting down potentials, only to be turned down, why not just have everyone who thinks they want to eat worms and be covered in spiders come to you? I can understand why everyone is lining up too. The UK version is a massive hit, and really does wonders with people’s careers over there. A “celebrity” gets to push their own personal boundaries, they get to help out a charity of their choosing, and they might make some new friends. (Or if you’re Peter Andre, an ex wife) With not  a lot of work in Australia, it’s seems especially appealing to even the B listers. Of course you’re not going to get A listers on there. They’re already working. Plus, honestly, they’d be boring. It’s always much more fun to watch someone who doesn’t have “a brand to protect”, or who thinks they’re way too special for this, and gets taken down a peg or two.  I do hope though, they don’t follow the US route and purposely pick a cast that they know will be a train wreck, like they did by putting Heidi and Spencer Pratt on there. It’s much more interesting watching the polite British who are so cordial to each other slowly unfold, than go straight in with the punches. I think there’s enough drama watching grown men cry while getting spiders on their face without having Heidi cry because someone took her dry shampoo…. I’m sure there will be a token foreigner on there. It seems like there’s always a foreigner on every Aussie celebreality show. – Please don’t put Speidi on there. Please.

I think it will be interesting having it in Africa. As long as nobody gets Ebola. I know there are people who think it should be filmed in Australia, since they already have a set there, but the whole point is to take people out of their comfort zone. Sticking a bunch of Aussie’s in the “outback” of NSW probably isn’t going to phase anyone. At least in Africa you’ve got some new wildlife. Plus, who wouldn’t want a free trip to South Africa?

celeb10So, good luck to everyone trying to get on there. Better watch some of the foreign versions of YouTube so you know what you’re getting in to! Ya’ll know I’m a sucker for celebreality, so I’ll be watching.

Just remember, chew, chew, swallow. 😉

If you’re a sucker for celebreality like I am, you can keep up with the new Aussie version of I’m a Celeb on Twitter, or go to their FB page.


Tiny House Movement

Joining the tiny house movement, kinda.

I’m pretty excited to see that there’s about to be a TV show starting called Tiny House Nation on FYI channel.

John Weisbarth and Zack Giffin of Tiny House Nation

I’m a huge fan of the Tiny House movement. I also love Earthships, Eco Domes and other forms of natural building. I love the idea of being off-grid, and leaving a smaller footprint. I’m not into stuff. I don’t collect designer handbags or watches. I don’t covet expensive things. I don’t need a mega mansion. I’d rather use my money to travel, or have experiences. I’d rather collect memories than stuff that will just sit on a shelf somewhere.

I first got interested in Earthships several years ago. I was wondering what we could build down at the ranch. It’s pretty remote, and I love the idea of being completely self sustained. If there ever is an actual Zombie Apocalypse, I want to be somewhere far away, and not be relying on anyone to save me. I’ve always said if there’s ever a major glitch in the system, while ATMs are down, and everyone is freaking out about no internet, or electricity, the Hamish will be fine. Well, until the guys with guns show up and take their stuff…


The Earthship is a pretty hefty investment, and one has to live in it full time for it to really work. So then I was looking at eco-domes. I thought about building one of those, until I started an earthbag kitchen at the ranch. It’s a LOT of hard, heavy work, and the summers here are just too hot for any kind of manual labour.


While I’ve been deployed, I have been living in a vintage Airstream. I loved her. She is old, and was pretty gross when I bought her. I’ve done lots of work on her, but she’s really small.

My 23' vintage 1972 Airstream Safari
My 23′ vintage 1972 Airstream Safari

I absolutely loved living in her. She was small and cozy, and had everything I needed. It’s perfect for the dog and I. However, when Matt would come visit, it wasn’t fun. It’s got twin beds, so not so romantic. It’s also very small, and Matt is claustrophobic. He would hit his head on the door every time he stepped inside, and he grew to hate it with a passion. I think it set back my quest to get Matt to join the tiny house movement.

One day though, Matt woke up, realized that since he works from home, and could work from anywhere, while I work in a city 2.5 hrs away, he decided he’d rather live small with me, than live in our 2400 sq ft house in San Antonio without me. We knew we couldn’t live in the Airsteam together, and so we started looking at more practical options.

5th wheel toy hauler

We didn’t build a tiny house. Matt is a Texan and I just don’t think I’ll ever get him in a true tiny house. We did however end up with a 5th wheel toy hauler. We wanted something to be mobile, because we still like the idea of traveling. When I’m tired of working here, we can pick the next place on the map, and just move our house there. We love the idea of moving to Florida, but not packing boxes and unpacking boxes. We ended up getting a toy hauler, because it has the garage in the back, which Matt uses as an office. After traveling in a Class C motorhome for a couple years, we understood it was important to have a separate room for him to work. Plus, when we do finally move, we can put all our outdoor stuff back there while we’re moving.


It’s not really all that tiny either. At 44′ it’s actually pretty damn big. Probably the biggest one in our RV park! But it’s certainly way smaller than our house. In fact, it’s probably smaller than our Master Bedroom at home. It’s got everything we need though, and find we are actually way happier in it than we are on the weekends we go home to our stick house. I’ve even got veggies growing in pots down here. We’re still on the grid, but figure we’ll get off grid eventually. Baby steps. At least it’s got a big generator in it for if the power goes out. It’s even got it’s own gas tank with pumps near the back.

Lots of room inside
Lots of room inside

So now we’ve got our house in San Antonio for sale, and we hope it sells quickly so we can just enjoy being full time RVers. We love living in the RV park. No, it’s not the same as a trailer park. There’s a trailer park up the street. They are “mobile homes” but there’s really nothing mobile about them. RV parks have a great mixture of people. Where we are, there’s full timers, who are mostly retired people, and there’s a bunch of oil field workers. Then in winter, we get all the snow birds, or “winter Texans”. There’s also regular travelers who pass through for a few days while exploring the nation. We don’t have to mow the lawn, or clean the pool. Everyone is social, and people get together for pot luck dinners, or a beer after work. We pay a monthly slip fee, but it includes everything except electricity. No more property taxes, water bill, cable TV bill or trash collection fee. Being fully self contained, we got a traditional mortgage, so it’s not even a huge monthly payment for the RV. This one is high end, but my airstream was under $7k, with repairs. It was cheaper to live in that than an apartment. (Yes, I’m very frugal)

We love the RV life so much, I’m actually thinking of buying an RV park if we ever do move to Florida. Even more than that, I’d like to start a tiny home community. I’d buy some land, or an existing RV or mobile home park that has lots of green space. Then set up a tiny home park, with communal vegetable gardens. – I must sound like such a hippy!

Anyone else dream of getting rid of their solid home, and living small? Or anyone already gone off grid? Do you love it, or hate it?


Copycat Television

Where’s the creativity in TV?

We like to play movies at work. It makes a nice distraction from the news on the other TV. Today someone wanted to watch BeetleJuice. While looking for it, we found there’s going to be a BeetleJuice 2.

neighborsIs everything from the 80’s being remade? I mean, it’s one thing when they re-do Neighbors. Nobody remembers the 1981 Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi version. I don’t know anyone else who has even seen it.  Plus, it seems while it’s the same name, they changed the concept slightly. But when they’re remaking everything else, Like Point Break, it’s just getting ridiculous. Point Break doesn’t need a remake. We all remember the first one. It’s a classic. Please don’t fuck with it.

TV isn’t much better. There’s nobody with an original idea there either. Or not many. Because one person comes up with an idea, and then all the other networks, instead of coming up with an idea, just take that idea, and call it something else, and put it on their channel. How many cooking shows are there? Hells Kitchen, My Kitchen Rules, Come Dine with Me, Iron Chef, The Great Australian Bakeoff, plus a few more. It’s one thing on American TV, where there are literally hundreds of channels to pick from, but in Oz, where there’s less channels than I have fingers, it’s too much.

Singing shows? The Voice, The Voice Kids, It Takes Two, Australian Idol, The X Factor, Popstars, etc.

Then you’ve got your dancing shows. Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, Everybody Dance Now, and now they’re bringing in Strictly Come Dancing, and I’m sure there’s more. Personally, if I was in charge, I’d change it up some, to at least make it a little interesting. Like DWTS. Come on, every season they’ve only got a couple of actual “stars” on it. So why not go all out and do a Dancing with the Former Child Stars? You could get a mix of Aussie and US former kid stars. Lets face it, Aussie networks always have to have a token American. Candice Cameron Bure is on the current US version, so she’s probably out, but I’m betting you could get Jodie Sweetin. Corey Feldman did Dancing on Ice. I bet he’d come to Oz to do DWTS. What’s Jamie Croft doing these days? Remember Radames Pera? He was the Young Grasshopper on Kung Fu. He’s an awesome guy. I could put together a whole list of formers….  Its a win win for everyone. The audience gets a title that accurately reflects the show, but they get to see all their childhood idols all grown up. The kids get to hang out and get back into shape while dancing up a storm. A charity gets some money. I think I might go ahead and pitch that one! Lemme know who you’d want to see on there.

I really wish networks would be willing to take more risks. Its sad when they try a new show, and if it doesn’t rate well in 2 episodes, they shelve it. You’ve got to give new programs time to find an audience. Like I thought the concept for Excess Baggage was brilliant. Everyone always says if they had access to chefs and trainers like the stars did, they’d look awesome too. So here was a chance for that, and it only saw two episodes go to air before it was pushed off to another station. Apparently nothing could compete with The Biggest Loser….

Alas, I can complain all I like, but I’m not in charge of programming. All I can do is vote with my remote. So can you. If you’re tired of the same crap on every channel, switch it off.

For the network executives, please, please, take a risk. Try something new. Trust the audience to watch something new. Then give new shows the time to find their groove before shelving it and going back to the same old shit.




The Voice Kids

Entertainment or Exploitation?

It was announced yesterday that Kylie Minogue and will be joining The Voice Australia, and that Delta Goodrem and Joel Madden will be working on The Voice Kids. Not sure who else will be on the kids version yet, but I sincerely hope they’re picking people who are good with kids. Even better if they pick people who were actually famous as kids, and can understand what the kids are going through.

The adult version of The Voice is going to be cut throat this year. The networks are going to put Kylie and Dannii against each other on rival singing shows. I can only imagine how ugly it’s going to get.

So what does that mean for The Kids version? Will it play nicely? Will they really push the kids to be even more entertaining? Do we even need a kids version?

I get that if there’s a bunch of kids who want to be part of The Voice, it’s better that they have their own version. It’s not fair to put kids against adults. In the acting world, you wouldn’t send a kid in to audition for the same part as an adult. But singing isn’t really a competition for the same part. Each person is recognized for their own talent. But on these shows, you just can’t compare an 8 year old with a 28 year old.

The Voice Kids has stated that they’ve got a team of clinical psychologists on board. Co-executive producer Geraldine Orrock told The Sunday Times “layers” of protection had been set up for the talented youngsters who made it to the Channel 9 set.
“We have a whole team of clinical psychologists who will be there to deal with anything that comes up at all times,” she said.
“The children will have their own guardian with them at all times. And we are hiring the right people, who have worked with kids before.”

Given how much has come out over the last couple of years about kids in the entertainment industry, let’s hope they’re really being careful about who they have working with kids. I hope they are doing background checks on everyone, and making sure the parents really are with the kids at all times. My mother was on set with me at the beginning, but then she would drop me off and pick me up. When I turned 12, and broke my leg, I started getting a taxi to work. I was driven home by a crew member. The only time she was there was on Saturday night. I hope the parents on The Voice Kids don’t get lax, and start thinking they don’t need to be there. It’s going to be very emotionally grueling. There’s going to be lots of ups and downs. The kids are going to need their parents there for them.

I also hope that the producers are watching out for Stage Parents. There’s nothing worse than a talented kid who is only there because the parents are pushing them, living vicariously through them. Or who see their kids as a meal ticket. Or who are not supportive. Are are generally just shitty people. There are shitty parents everywhere, but their shittyness just gets magnified on a set.

The kids, who so far have been watching The Voice, and who just see an hour of glamour, probably don’t realize just how much work goes into producing an hour of television. I doubt the parents have any idea either. They also won’t understand how much their lives will change. There’s all these articles in the paper lately along the lines of “What it’s like to be Asian/black/whatever in Australia”. Someone needs to do an article on what it’s like to be an entertainer in Australia. Especially a child entertainer. EVERYBODY is teased as a kid. We all get picked on for somehow being different. But it is much bigger when you’re on TV. These kids need to expect for everything to change. Kids at school will either think they’re awesome, or they’re going to beat the shit out of them. They’ll probably go through periods of both. It’s one thing in the US where there are literally hundreds of TV channels. People may never see The Voice, and nobody will recognize the kids. But in Australia, everyone will know their faces. It will be hard for them to go out and not feel the effects.

Fame is a weird thing. It changes people, and not just the person who becomes famous. It changes the people around you. Friends get weirded out by the experience. Some don’t want to be around you when you’re being followed by photographers. Others, who didn’t like you before, will suddenly find you fascinating. It’s hard for kids to work out who their real friends are, and who is just a hanger on.

Even if the kids make it through the whole thing, dealing with the ups, downs, cuts each week, what happens at the end? Are they going to be offered a deal like the adults? Will they be turned into mini record moguls, like Justin Beiber, or Miley Cyrus? (Will they end up like Beiber and Cyrus?) Will they be given a taste of fame, and then when the season is over, the networks just return them to suburbia where they came from, and the kids are expected to work out how to go back to normal?

I think, given the right environment, and the right people, The Voice Kids could be a good experience for kids who are serious about becoming singers as adults. I don’t think it’s a good place for sensitive kids who aren’t good at rejection, or who have spent their life being told they’re the most awesome kid on earth. I don’t think kids today can handle rejection well, although it might be a good life lesson for some of them. But my main concern is that it’s not show play, it’s not show fun, it’s show business. Business means work, and I’m not sure if everyone understands that it really is going to be WORK.

I’ll be keeping an eye on the show. It’ll be interesting to see how they handle it.


Could Kelly Osbourne be headed for AGT?

Kelly Osborne on her way to Australia

So Kelly is on her way to Australia, where she is going to be a columnist with Cleo magazine.

Australia’s Got Talent is also set to announce their 4th judge on Monday; the seat that was left vacant by Mel B. We all know AGT wanted Sharon Osbourne, so I wonder if they’re going with Kelly instead? Kelly is hugely popular in the US right now. She’s on Fashion Police on E! And is a regular at all the big events. Kelly would be a huge get for AGT. We know they wanted an international star, and the timing of her arrival is spot on the the announcement.

She is super sweet, so I guess she would balance out Kyle on the show. Guess we’ll have to wait till Monday and see….


What would Ryan Lochte Do?

Ryan Lochte is not a winner.


Ryan may be an Olympic medalist, but he’s not a ratings winner. His show premiered on Sunday night in the US, right after the Ryan Seacrest interview of the Kardashians. It only rated 807,000 viewers, which is bad even by US standards. I watched it tonight, just to check it out.
Remember The Girls Next Door? Think how pretty they were, but they weren’t real smart. They were looking for love, but you had the feeling they just didn’t get they were looking in the wrong places. Kendra had that really distinctive laugh that was mildly amusing at first, but then got really irritating. Lochte has some really weirdly unintelligent things come out of his mouth, and he has this stupid catchphrase, “Jeah!” Which he is trying to get trademarked. I already hated the word from the commercials for the show. Hearing it over and over during the program made it very difficult not to just switch channels. Like the girls, he’s also trying to find love. He takes all the dates to the same restaurant and he looks like on of those college frat guys who has no idea how to talk to a chic. Just like a hot chic thinks her boobs are all she needs, Lochte thinks his medals will get him by. No intelligent conversation needed.
I can’t tell if Ryan is just trying to be funny and acting daft for the cameras, or if all the chlorine from the pool has seeped into his brain.
I know E! isn’t known for hiring people because of their smarts, but this one is a real dunce.



Dive in to Splash

So anyone who reads my blog knows I’m a bit of a reality TV tragic. I figure the format isn’t going to go away, so you may as well embrace it. Besides, some of it is interesting. A lot of scripted TV shows just don’t hold my attention anymore, or they become so predictable it’s boring.

So tonight, when presented with the choice of my old favourite NCIS, or reality selections including a Kardashian special, Hell’s Kitchen, The Voice or Splash, I started out on the Kardashians, well, mainly because I had been watching E! news and it just came on. That’s when I looked at the TV guide. 😉 Now since I’m not in the mood to actually pay attention to the TV, which NCIS requires, coupled with the fact that I can watch it again in repeats, preferably in a marathon on a lazy rainy day with my husband, I decided to give Splash another go.

Now, I know you’re all thinking I’m crazy. Yes, it’s a show about a bunch of kinda celebs diving into a pool. But I think Channel 7 may have been onto something when they picked this show up. I mean honestly, when the concept of Dancing With The Stars was first announced, how many of us were like, WTF? Really, a show about dancing celebs? Ballroom, Tango? Why do we care? But look how successful that show is. Well, Splash is kinda like DWTS, and here in the US, Splash is on at 7pm, and DWTS follows on the same channel at 8pm.

Now just like Dancing, you’ve got some TV types who are learning a new skill. One that’s way out of their element. What I didn’t expect was what a train wreck this show was going to be. You don’t really think of diving as a dangerous sport. However, there’s already been several people on the US version who’ve had serious injuries. Chuy, the little nugget from Chelsea Lately broke his foot in training. Last episode one of the guys overturned and smacked the back of his head and was really disorientated.. Tonight, someone flopped on their face and got a black eye. Seriously, a black eye. There’s lots of bellyflops and ouch moments. Let’s face it, we all like watching people hurt themselves. That’s why we love Jackass or those sports clips with all the car wrecks.

It’s also nice to see people who we think have everything show a human side. Kendra was terrified on the high board. She did the show to overcome her fear of heights, but it was too much for her. Some people made fun of her for not jumping, but I think a lot of people would back away on the 10m board. Just because you’re on TV doesn’t make you super human.

Just like DWTS, it’s about the competition, but it follows the same format of showing the rehearsals, and a peek into the personalities of the contestants.

If it’s got nothing else going for it, it’s on at dinner time and you don’t actually have to pay attention to it. You can have it on, and look up occasionally and know what’s going on. Let’s face it, sometimes we don’t want to have to actually watch, we just want some background noise on. After a long day at work, I don’t want to have to actually think when I get home and watch TV….

So make fun all you like of Seven’s upcoming Celebrity Splash, but I bet it rates well for the first couple weeks at least. If nothing else, people will watch the first episode to see how good, or bad, people look in their swimwear.


Shouldn’t talent shows be about the Talent?

Who is more important, the contestants or the judges?

I get that on some of these talent shows, the judges are super important. Especially shows like The X Factor or The Voice where the judges are also coaches. You really want high quality stars who can help mold and shape a contestants career. On shows like Dancing with the Stars, or even Celebrity Splash, you want judges who are technical, and who can actually judge the sport.

But then there’s some shows where I think you don’t necessarily need a big name judge, or even someone who is skilled in that area. For example, I don’t need to be able to cook an awesome apple pie to know a good one when I taste it. Maybe if you’re going to win a restaurant, you want a Chef as a judge, but a lot of chefs don’t actually run restaurants, they just cook there. Head chefs don’t even usually cook anymore. They just stand around yelling at people, or hide in their office. But do you need a model to judge models, or should you have a combination of judges? Photographer, agent, magazine editor, etc. It seems like on some of these shows they’ve got a variety of judges. Like Got Talent has a selection of people. Which is appropriate, because they have a selection of talents. It seems silly to only have singers as judges, if you’ve got dancers, jugglers, magicians and all kinds of other random acts. I get that the judges are also a big part of the show, and that’s why networks fight over celebrities and pay massive amounts of money for those sitting behind the desk. BUT, shouldn’t the talent be more important than the judges? They’re spending millions of dollars on judges, but the talent only gets paid if they win, and even then, it’s only a fraction of what the judges make. Yes, judges work every episode, and put their reputations on the line, but I think instead of fighting over Spice Girls and paying millions to steal them, get some lesser known judges, and maybe even unknowns, like actual talent agents, and put the focus back on the stage. When all these shows started, people like Ryan Seacrest weren’t famous. He had hosted several programs, but he wasn’t the megastar he is now. These shows made the judges and hosts famous, or at least revived the careers of several people. Wouldn’t it be awesome if these shows could also be a launching platform for the hosts as well? Rotate them out every few years so they can move on, and also to give the audiences something new.

People are whining about which judges are on what show, but I don’t think talent shows should really be about the judge. We already know they’re talented. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be up there. We are all judging from home. Because I’m not getting a million bucks, does that mean I’m not allowed to have an opinion on if someone is good or not? Lets go back to focusing on why these shows exist; To showcase the new talent out there that hasn’t been discovered yet.


Eeny Meeny Miney Mo

Will the next Spice Girl come on down?

Ok, so Mel B has been banned from joining Australia’s Got Talent. Now, the rumours are that Nine is in talks with Geri, aka Ginger Spice. Before Mel B was announced, everyone was trying to get Posh Spice to come to Australia.

Now, if you were Sporty or Baby Spice, would you feel a little put out that you’re name hadn’t been tossed around yet? Well, I guess Sporty is at least working with the Jesus Christ Superstar thing. Anyone know what Baby is doing? Maybe the next reality show that pops up will announce her. It seems like it’s de rigeur to have a Spice Girl at the moment.

All Power to the girls for being so popular. It seems like all the 90’s bands are having a resurgence. But can’t they work on the UK versions of these shows?

I don’t get why none of these shows want an Aussie judge. Of course, I look at Delta Goodrem on The Voice, and people are just downright mean to her. Aussie’s say they want an Aussie host or judge, but when they get one, they’re pretty disrespectful to them. Even Danni Minogue gets mixed reviews. It seems a little better for the men. Keith Urban, even though people in Australia aren’t big on country music, seemed to have a little more respect for him.

I can see why the foreign judges are all about doing it. You get to come to Australia for a few months, revive your career in a foreign market without your local people seeing it. That means that there’s no hate from your own local crowd. Back in your home country you can boast you were a judge on a major show, and hopefully then get a job for big money at home. Even the couple of Aussie’s, Keith and Danni are also working overseas. The UK versions of these reality shows have Danni, American Idol has Keith, so maybe it’s just a mixed bag of nationalities that play music chairs on all the versions of these shows.

So now we just have to wait and see who takes the last chair on X Factor and Australia’s Got Talent. Would you like to see another Spice Girl? Or would you like them to pick a total random? Do you care if it’s an Aussie, or you just want a big name star?


Mel B officially banned from Nine

Channel Seven wins case to stop Scary Spice moving to Nine.

So Mel B won’t be moving to Channel Nine and now there’s an open judges seat on Australia’s Got Talent.

Now, instead of taking this opportunity to pick an Australian judge for Australia’s Got Talent, the names being whispered as back up plans are Ginger Spice, Chris Isaak  and of course, Sharon Osbourne.

Come on Producers. It’s not like the shows are internationally syndicated so you need foreign talent so foreign audiences will watch. This show is for Australian audiences. It’s got Australian talent. Why are networks so against hiring Australian judges?

What do you guys think? Do you want to see another Spice Girl, or do you think they should find an Aussie to fill the spot?