Tag Archives: Reality television

Jon & Kate Plus A Whole Lot Of Hate

Back in 2007, the Discovery Health Channel premiered Jon & Kate Plus 8, a series following the daily lives of a couple with one set of twins and one set of sextuplets. At the start of its third season, the show was moved to TLC and by the fifth season, the series became one of the network’s highest-rated programs, with a record 9.8 million viewers tuning in for the season’s premiere.

Then, in 2009, the show threw in its biggest plot twist yet: divorce.

The sixth season aired under the new name, Kate Plus 8, featuring Kate Gosselin as a single mother raising eight children with occasional appearances by Jon.  In 2011, the show announced its final season, after receiving numerous letters from Jon’s attorneys demanding immediate cease of production and evacuation from his property, which was owned by both Jon and Kate at the time.

But the show’s finale did not put an end to Kate’s quest for stardom.

THEN                                               NOW

In addition to continuing the show for two more seasons after the divorce, Kate attempted to launch a talk show with Paula Deen and a new TLC show called Twist of Kate. She has co-hosted the View at least three times and appeared on Dancing With The Stars, Say Yes to the Dress, and Celebrity Wife Swap with Kendra Wilkinson.

Not to mention her many appearances on the cover of People Magazine.

Most recently, she released her fourth book and first cook book, Kate Gosselin’s Love Is In The Mix.

Jon, on the other hand, claims he “lives in the woods” with no address, internet, or cable and works at a Pennsylvania restaurant as a waiter.

“I wish her the best in all that she does,” Jon stated on the OWN show, “but [we’re] just moving in totally two different directions, just totally not on the same page at all about anything.”

Jon also told OWN that he fears his kids have development issues with their peers and “wants and needs, and manners and morals and what’s right and what’s wrong,” due to growing up on television.

Jon statements led Kate to respond on her blog by writing, “I find it very heartbreaking that my children’s father chooses a public forum to discuss his current opinions of the ‘development’ of our children.”

However, Kate admitted to TODAY that two of her children have anger issues, but are not related to their on screen appearances. In fact, she persisted that it would be “in their best interest to remain reality TV regulars.”

In August, Kate filed a lawsuit against Jon “accusing her ex-husband of stealing a hard drive from her house and using the information contained therein to hack into her personal computer and cell phone”. Kate accused Jon of leaking the information to tabloid reporter, Robert Hoffman, who wrote “Kate Gosselin: How She Fooled the World.”

Five days ago, Kate dropped the lawsuit against Jon, but continues to press charges against Hoffman.

It’s been more than four years since the Gosselin’s divorce, however the couple’s troubles seem anything but over. As the most recent lawsuit between the two comes to a close, we can’t help but wonder when the next one will open up.

What do you think? Will the couple ever be able to settle their differences? Did reality television create development issues for their children? Will Kate ever stop chasing her desire for fame?

American Idol’s Love Connection

Most people remember American Idol in its glory days, as a place where we tuned in every week to watch stars being born on the stage. In more recent years, the show has been struggling to compete with the singing competition shows like The VoiceX-Factor, and ­The Sing-Off, which have all put a fresh spin on the performance show genre.

With these new shows taking over, what better time is there to reminisce on the better days in Idol history and revisit two former contestants giving The Bachelor a run for its money!

Diana DeGarmo
Diana DeGarmo

Diana DeGarmo, the 16-year-old singer who was runner-up to season 3 powerhouse Fantasia Barrino, was the youngest contestant to make it to the top 10 in Idol’s early days.

Her spunky and charming personality led her to become a fan favorite and crowd favorite while she was on tour with the rest of the top 10 in the summer of 2004. But despite fans voting her all the way to the finals, Diana’s debut album disappointed and sold less than 200,000 copies.

DeGarmo turned her focus towards theater, which had always been a passion of hers. She landed the role of Penny Pingleton, the dorky sidekick to Tracy Turnblad in Broadway’s Hairspray in February 2006 and performed for almost a year. Little did she know that her next big role would lead to a lot more than a Broadway future.

In 2010, Diana signed on to play the role of Sheila in the Broadway revival of Hair alongside another Idol alum – and now her husband – Ace Young.

Ace Young
Ace Young

Ace Young finished in 7th place on season 5 of American Idol, shocking his female fans across the country with his early exit. Ace, the nickname he had gone by all his life, became synonymous with his soulful sound, bright smile, and that head of hair – often hidden under his trademark beanie hat! He quickly became the heartthrob of his season.

In the fall of 2006, Ace released his first single called “Scattered” to see what he could do without being signed to a major record label. The song broke into the top 50 of Billboard’s Hot Adult Contemporary chart, but never made it big.

While his own singing career wasn’t exactly taking off, Ace was dabbling in professional songwriting. Ace wrote the chorus to “It’s Not Over”, a hit single from a major breakout star and one of his best friends from the show, Chris Daughtry.

Following in the footsteps of some other former Idol contestants, Ace made his Broadway debut in 2009, playing the role of Kenickie in the revival of Grease.

After a year-long portrayal of the popular Grease sidekick, Ace was cast in another Broadway production. He signed on to play Claude Berger in the revival of Hair, alongside an Idol counterpart, Diana DeGarmo.

Though American Idol wasn’t where their relationship began, it was the experience that brought these two songbirds together. This is probably why Ace decided to propose to Diana on stage during the live broadcast of the season 11 finale episode. The sappiness starts around the 1:00 mark!

The drawn out proposal we all knew was happening from the first second seemed a little overly dramatic (or maybe that was just me), but for two people who chose careers in the spotlight, I’m sure it was everything they wanted!

wedding

Ace and Diana were married on June 1, 2013 and are currently starting their happily ever after in Los Angeles, CA.

Were They Cut Out for Cutthroat Fashion?

Why do we all love reality TV? In the case of Lifetime’s Project Runway, it might be our innate fascination to watch ordinary people transform into stars – and also to be fashion critics while sitting on our couches.

The show has continued to be successful throughout its 12 seasons and 3 “All-Star Editions”, but whatever happened to the aspiring designers from the show’s early days on the Bravo network?

One of the most memorable characters was Santino Rice, the 3rd place finisher in season 2. Santino was definitely a memorable personality who most viewers had a love/hate relationship with. His kooky designs and sarcastic comments were featured parts of every episode.

Santino’s impressions of Project Runway mentor, Tim Gunn, were a standout part of the season. As well as much needed comedic relief for the designers!

Since his early runway days, Santino has appeared as a judge on the Logo reality show RuPaul’s Drag Race, a talent competition for drag queens.

He was also featured in another Lifetime show On the Road with Austin and Santino, where he traveled the country with another Runway cast-off, Austin Scarlett, and designed clothes for ordinary women.

Another standout who appeared in season 4, Chris March, was known for his larger than life personality and designs. He finished in 4th place in his season, as well as 4th place in a special Project Runway: All-Star Challenge episode that aired before the season 6 premiere.

One of the weirder moments from his season came when mentor Tim Gunn visited the designers at home to check on the progress of their final collections.

Chris’ “unique” human hair trimmed pieces became a major talking point of the final episodes. Project Runway fans know Tim is all about encouraging different points of view, but there is a limit to everything…

Tim Gunn Visits Chris March

Chris worked as primarily a costume designer prior to the show, and has returned to his eccentric roots since then. His clientele reads as a list of the biggest personalities in the music and movie industries, including Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Madonna, and Meryl Streep.

As for his latest ventures, Chris has segued his successful costume career into a line of Halloween wigs for Target.

For those of you who have always wanted to get your hands on an original piece from a Project Runway alum, this is your chance! It may not be the ball gown or perfect pair of jeans you were expecting, but at least you’ll have a standout Halloween accessory ready to go for next year.

To check up on your former favorites, current contestants, or take the ultimate trivia challenge, check out the official Project Runway site.

Intervention: Inspiring or Insensitive?

Over eight years and 243 episodes later, A&E finally pulled the plug on one of its most successful shows, Intervention; however, as the show comes to a close, the stars of it live on (or at least, the majority of them).

From substance abuse to compulsive shopping, Intervention covered nearly every kind of addiction imaginable. Although each story featured different people with different stories, the storyline remained the same throughout every episode, every season following a pattern of observation, intervention, & rehabilitation.

Intervention exposed each individual at their lowest point, revealing their past, filming the present, and leaving the future in their hands.

So, what did the future hold?

According to A&E, 156 individuals are currently sober of the 243 interventions conducted since its premiere in March of 2005– a figure just under 65%.

Allison

Allison (Season 5, Episode 69) may be the most famous episode of Intervention ever. As a pre-med student studying to be a surgeon, Allison was forced to drop out after being unable to cope with her addiction to inhalants. Allison would huff up to ten duster cans per day, an addiction that is almost unheard of considering 22% of people who die from inhalants die are first-time users, according to Foundation for a Drug Free World. In other words, nearly 1/4 of people who try inhalants die at the very first breath.

Today, Allison remains sober, but still feels that some of the actions taken against her during Intervention were unfair. In her follow-up video, she explains that, “just because you’re sober doesn’t mean life is any easier”.

And the numbers go to show you that not every story is a successful one–at least ten post-intervention deaths have occurred.

For Dillion Brewer (Season 3, Episode 40), his addiction to meth eventually led to his suicide after assaulting his girlfriend & stepfather and then holding a standoff with authorities.

But nonetheless, 65% is more than half of the shows contenders.

Sarah (Season 8, Episode 114), an oxycodone using mother, Mikeal (Season 11, Episode 150), a full blown-heroin addict, and Elena (Season 12, Episode 175), a methamphetamine and prescription drug abuser, all have found serenity after their interventions & remain sober today.

Intervention is a five-time PRISM Award-winning series and was awarded the Emmy® for Outstanding Reality Series in 2009. With such dramatic & disturbing events, it’s no wonder why these people’s lives serve as such a strong form of entertainment.

However, the question arises if the show actually was inspiring or insensitive to those featured. Because now, we are forever invested in the lives of the people Intervention exposed without their knowledge, whether they like it or not.

For some, Intervention may have truly saved their lives, but for others, publicizing their problems may have only worsened their condition.

For more updates on the stars of intervention, check out A&E’s Follow-Up Videos.