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Reality News Update: Divas, Dancers, and Fakers on Cable, Plus a Marine on ‘American Idol’by David Bloomberg -- 01/29/2003
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Between American Idol and Star Search and the upcoming Nashville Star, you’d think there are already enough outlets for superstar wannabes to get on reality TV. Apparently, VH1 would beg to differ.
Yesterday the network announced that it will show Destination Diva: The Search for a Superstar. Hmmm. The subtitle there seems to ring a bell… Anyway, they will apparently be looking for both vocal talent and an attitude – because I guess you just can’t get enough of bitchy singers. I’m sure Fox could give them a list just from the American Idol tryouts.
The show will premiere April 14 and will not restrict itself to the U.S. for tryouts as they hit London as well as New York, Philadelphia, Miami, and Nashville (perhaps they will find some talent in Nashville, which seemed to be missing when American Idol had its tryouts there. The show will then move on to New York for something described as “diva boot camp.” I guess this is where they learn how to be rude and make outrageous demands. The winner will get instruction from the best as they perform with other divas in VH1’s annual “Divas” special in May. So it begins in April and they have a winner performing in May? Rather quick…
But VH1 isn’t the only cable channel with a new American Idol knock-off. ABC Family Channel is bringing back Dance Fever, produced by Merv Griffin (who produced the original) and Bruce Nash (who is currently producing My Life Is a Sitcom for ABC Family and Meet My Folks for NBC).
The specific format of the show is not yet clear, but it will be an hour long and will feature dance competitions in various forms, such as salsa and hip-hop (though Griffin said not to expect to see the Minuet), plus contestant profiles. There will apparently be celebrity judges a la Star Search, but none of these have yet been named, nor has a host.
And speaking of American Idol, there were news reports that the mother of Lance Corporal Joshua Gracin, who made it to Hollywood in the first round of tryouts for the show, has been telling people that the Marines are giving Gracin special dispensation to stay and complete the show as far as he can get, even if his unit is called into duty. The Marines have now come out and denied this claim, saying that his unit is scheduled to stay near San Diego – there is no current plan for them to head to the Middle East for a possible attack on Iraq.
However, they did say that they see recruiting value in Gracin’s appearance on the show. I wonder how many times President Bush will be calling in if Gracin makes it to the top 32.
In other news, TLC will be premiering a show called Faking It, brought over from the UK, on March 7. Produced by the same people who brought us Junkyard Wars, the premise is that they take somebody out of their natural habitat, train that person intensively for several weeks, and then see if they can fool a panel of experts. Kind of like Joe Millionaire every week, but without the dating. The UK version has had shows that, for example, made a vicar into a used-car salesman, turned a naval officer into a drag queen (don’t ask, don’t tell), and a punk singer into an orchestra conductor.
The first show here in the U.S. will apparently feature “Chicago Bill,” captain of the U.S. Beer Drinking Team (I kid you not), who is flown to San Francisco and made into a win sommelier. Watch for it on TLC.
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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