It's been a busy week, so get all your reality news here, now
We weigh in on fake reality TV, Lady Gaga and Cher's duet and more
Melinda is back in town, and we had so much to talk about! Although we both reminisced over our brief encounters with the late James Gandolfini (R.I.P.), we also disagreed about a lot -- including whether or not "Blurred Lines" is a "rape-y" song and whether or not all of the bachelors looking for true love on "The Bachelorette" are full of crap. Listen in. We had a great time, so we hope you will, too. Here's the rundown:
Watch the fatty food pusher apologize for her use of the N-word
This week was not about good eats for Paula Deen. After a scandal broke over her admitting to her use of the N-word during a discrimination trial, it seems the Food Network has decided not to renew her contract according to TMZ. Her contract was due to expire at the end of the month.
In the trial, Deen and her brother Bubba Hiers stand accused by a former employee of sexual harrassment and a hostile work environment in their restaurant, Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House. In testimony, Deen admitted to having used racial slurs in the restaurant.
When news broke, Deen released a video statement apologizing for her use of the N-word and backed out of a scheduled appearance on the "Today" show. In the video she said, "I've made plenty of mistakes along the way," but begged for forgiveness. The video was yanked from her official YouTube channel and another version was posted today.
In the second video, Deen addressed her cancellation on 'Today.' "I have to say I was physically not able this morning," Deen said. "The pain has been tremendous."
Watch the video below. What do you think of what Deen said and the Foot Network's decision?
It turns out Joe Francis is just as much of a jerk as you thought he was
Once long ago, VH1 had cornered the market on pimping out D-list celebrities for embarrassing and potentially revealing docudrama. "Celebrity Rehab," "Celebrity Fit Club," "The Surreal Life" were memorable for inviting people we'd mostly forgotten about to reveal their drinking problems, upper arm flab and general nuttiness to the public at a time when not everyone was doing it. VH1 shows did a remarkable job of tarnishing the golden memories of our youth, or simply confirmed stuff that we always suspected (like Screech really was a jerkwad in real life, too).
But now it's understood that when an acting job doesn't come your way, it's time to hit the reality TV circuit, exposing yourself for free food and a basic cable paycheck. "Couples Therapy," now in its third season (Wed. at 10:00 p.m.) is remarkably like "Celebrity Rehab" with its group therapy sessions and gimmicky bonding activities, with the exception of the so-called professionals at the helm. Where Dr. Drew radiated a certain amount of calm, collected confidence in his abilities, Dr Jenn Berman communicates mostly by yelling. When she wants cast member (there's no way to call him a patient or client without rolling your eyes) to pay attention to his wife's pain, Dr. Jenn (that's what everyone else calls her) shrieks, "You bleeping laughed at her!" which just makes Flavor Flav laugh a little more. It's pretty clear that, though all of the celebrities on the show clearly need help, they don't expect to get it here.
In season 1, the sorta-celebrities are Joe Francis and Amber Wilson (smut peddler and model), Tyler Baltierra and Catelynn Lowell (unprotected sex partners on "16 and Pregnant" and "Teen Mom"), Chingy Bailey and Tempest Poteat (rapper and model), Heather Marter and Dustin Zito ("Real World Las Vegas" co-stars) and Flavor Flav and Liz Trujillo. I often forget that Flavor Flav was actually in Public Enemy. He's been peddling ridiculous on VH1 for so long it's hard not to think he was a sideshow freak or a cartoon creation by the network itself.
In this week's episode, the focus is squarely on Joe, Amber, Flav and Liz. It's not unlike a battle between two couples to prove which one is more screwed up, but as they're both train wrecks we can start with the less nightmarish of the two. Joe wants us all to know he's absolutely about empowering his live-in girlfriend. Yes, the guy behind "Girls Gone Wild" is alllll about female empowerment. Those drunk chicks flashing their hooters for creepy guys everywhere? I'm sure that was about helping them own their sexuality!
Anyway, Joe tells Dr. Jenn in group that he feels really, really bad that he didn't notice that Amber had a severe eating disorder. Hell, I noticed Amber had a severe eating disorder when she put on a tank top and looked like she was auditioning for Skeletor. Anyway, Dr. Jenn screams at Joe that he's a control freak. He's not! He's not! Amber, you should have defended me, he says in a calm, serial killer kind of way. Amber apologizes profusely as if she's about to be hit. Temple points out that Amber seems pretty afraid of Joe, though he certainly can't understand that. He's a slimeball, though a rich slimeball, and he refuses to see that he picked a neurotic, anorexic girl 14 years younger than himself because she's sort of like a whipped dog he can legally have sex. Dr. Jenn is so mean to him! She called him controlling, waaah!
As a bonding exercise, they climb a rock wall together, which mostly consists of her saying, "I don't want to do it anymore," and him screaming at her to put her foot on the green doodad and then the blue doodad. When he finally stops yelling, she scrambles to the top and he's so relieved. She didn't embarrass him after all! Now he can just complain about how Liz is ruining all their group therapy outing fun. If you're unclear, Joe Francis is a narcissistic ass who doesn't realize how much of a narcissistic ass he really is. Go figure.
Admittedly, Liz is a pain in the ass. Flav tries to cajole her and sweet talk her and then laughs at her and tells her he's not giving her access to his bank accounts, but still, Liz just sulks around the set, threatening to pack her things and go when she's not sullenly staring at things. At the end of the episode, she glumly agrees to hold a rope so Flav can climb a small tower and play junior acrobat, but it's not much of a win.
What's more interesting is watching their therapy session with Dr. Jenn, during which we learn he was in a committed relationship with her while he was doing all those awful "Flavor of Love" series. Yes, reality TV eats itself yet again, exposing network fakery on yet another fake reality TV show, though as usual the D-listers always reveal more about themselves than they ever intend.
Do you watch "Couples Therapy"?
The self-confessed cheater reveals who he'd pick to win if not him
While I don't think James Case is going to make the final two on "The Bachelorette" (though I could easily be proven wrong), after last week's one-on-one date, he established himself as a guy who just might be able to win Des' heart for at least a little while. While the Chicago-based ad executive's confession of cheating on a longterm girlfriend may have cooled her jets, she appreciated his honesty, and on this show that's got to count for something. In a conference call with reporters, James talked about his helicopter tour over Superstorm Sandy devastation, why he isn't jumping at "The Bachelor" just yet, and why he decided to confess his past to Des.
The upbeat show creator says fighting cancelation 'was exciting, really'
It seems only fitting that a TV show about a character who cheats death would itself come back to life after cancelation. That's exactly what happened to Lifetime's "Drop Dead Diva," which returns for a fifth season Sun. June 23 at 9:00 p.m. despite having been given the axe after last season wrapped -- and just as the show had tossed in a direction-changing twist. Needless to say, fans mourned first -- and started campaigning next.
The final challenge will decide who wins $50,000 and a dream job
It's time for the season finale of "The Big Brain Theory," which finds astronaut and guest judge Buzz Aldrin joining host Kal Penn to see if the final two contestants are up for the toughest challenge yet: creating a portable bridge that can be deployed from the bed of a truck. You mean that doesn't come included?
Some have already emerged as the ones to beat
We now have our "So You Think You Can Dance" top 20, and the good news is that it seems like a talented bunch. In past seasons, there have definitely been some people who squeaked through on personality and an impressive core competency (cough, Cyrus, cough), and while that will might be true this season as well there's still a lot to like. Finding any dance who can sashay seamlessly through hip hop to ballroom and Sonya Tayeh routines is sort of like finding a diamond in your sofa cushions. Not impossible, but pretty rare.
The finalists make their official Hollywood debut
It's time to walk the green mile, dancers! This is the point at which the show finally starts getting interesting. Not that the auditions aren't interesting, but it's impossible to get invested in anyone when there are so many people (and so many of them go home). This is really the first time we get to see the chosen few with customized choreography, actual costumes (and not sweats) and the benefit of some rehearsal on a few hours of sleep. While Vegas Week seems to exist to test exactly how much crap they can put up with and still perform in a relatively good mood, we're now at the part of the series where we can see what everyone's got, without the "Survivor" element at play.
If you simply can't wait to see the final 20, go ahead and click here for our photo gallery.
Watch as a woman preps to fake it for a team of scientists
National Geographic Channel dives into the science behind arousal, orgasms, partner preference and sexual dysfunctions in "Sex: How It Works," a two-hour special premiering Tuesday, June 18, at 8:00 p.m. ET. In this HitFix exclusive clip, a woman prepares to fake an orgasm as well as experience a real one while her bodily reactions are monitored in an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machine.