ABC is at it again. Hoping to capitalize off the hard-earned success and popularity of CBS’s “Survivor,” the network that brought you “Are You Hot?” now offers the viewing public “I’m a Celebrity: Get Me Out of Here!” This show, which ought to be titled “Celebrity Survivor,” provides viewers with celebrities nobody cares about to create a show nobody will really care about either. All the immunity challenges in the world won’t help this show from falling to the bottom of the ratings list.

Todd Weiser
Courtesy of ABC
Smile for your paychecks … I mean camera.

For 15 consecutive nights, 10 celebrities will live in the Australian rainforest and have their fates determined by the live viewing audience via phone and Internet poll. They’re given rice and beans, cots and a few other necessities such as an outdoor toilet. To earn more food, the viewers choose one person to compete in a “Fear Factor”-type challenge called the Bush-Tucker challenge. For example, one contest involved putting critters in your pants while another involved diving into a pit of alligators to get food. The show is a replicate of “Survivor,” only with a nicer camp, more extreme challenges, and the fact that group dynamics, an attractive quality from “Survivor,” doesn’t matter in the slightest. The cast of characters isn’t exactly the top tier of the most famous people either. When you combine J-Lo’s ex-husband (Cris Judd) with an MTV personality from 10 years ago (Downtown Julie Brown), then add Joan Rivers’ over-dramatic daughter (Melissa Rivers) and the guy from “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” (Robin Leach), you’ve got trouble. Former Olympian Bruce Jenner, Stuttering John Melendez from “Howard Stern,” a paranoid Alana Stewart, former Barker Beauty and Playboy Playmate Nikki Schieler-Ziering and actress Maria Conchita Alonso round out the cast of quasi-celebrities.

The ability to force Joan Rivers’ daughter to dive into an alligator pit is the only redeemable quality viewers at home will get out of this. In addition, it can also be kind of fun to watch millionaires squirm when they are taken away from their masseuses and limousines. Other than that, “I’m a Celebrity” is nothing more than a combination of shows viewers have grown tired of already. After one of the challenges, Rivers said, “This show is about humiliating us.” Sorry, but you’re wrong there, Melissa. You’re doing a fine job of that yourself.

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