Wednesday night's "I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here" was the first Speidi-less episode, and sadly, the magic was missing. Without the MTV stars hogging the spotlight, Janice Dickinson stepped up as the attention whore, and her shenanigans weren't anything I hadn't already seen on "America's Next Top Model" or "The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency." Over it. Plus, you know producers are desperate when they devote 20-plus minutes to a John Salley/ Janice Dickinson argument about whether she spilled water in his boot. No, thank you. (Not to mention that John's subsequent meltdown/apology after calling Janice a filthy word was just plain depressing.)
The show wasn't a complete wash, however. Aside from Speidi's bizarre return (more on that later), I must admit that I'm still delighted by watching "celebrities" forced to degrade themselves on television. The food challenge involved the stars sticking their hands in a hole filled with different creepy crawlies (tarantulas, earthworms in cow dung, and, uh, frogs?) in order to blah, blah, blah, not important. All you need to know is that Lou Diamond Phillips' arm got chewed off by rats, and then after he got fixed by the medics, he compared his experience on the show to that of the brave men and women who fought in the Vietnam War! Say what?!!
Also, Daniel "Black Sheep" Baldwin joined the cast, much to the delight of Janice, who saw the addition as an opportunity to get more screen time. She's already announced that she plans on seducing Stephen's brother. Gross. But Daniel's debut was upstaged by ...
THE RETURN OF SPEIDI!
Yep, in the show's highlight, Spencer and Heidi appeared in the live portion of the show and blamed the devil for making them leave the jungle Monday night. (I'm not making that up.) Their three-minute grovel-a-thon was hilariously transparent. They begged America to keep them on the show because they wanted to do it for their charities, but it's obvious that other motivations are involved. Spencer pleaded insanity and said producers should have put him in a straitjacket. (Don't give producers any ideas, Spencer. They still have two more weeks of challenges to plan!)
Producers aren't making it easy for them, though. Co-host Myleene Klass told the duo that they'd have to spend the night in the Lost Chamber, a pitch black room inhabited by snakes, spiders, cockroaches and eel sperm. (Unclear whether they're expected to sleep there or just complete the challenge that sparked their departure earlier this week.) And the rest of the celebs have to agree to accept them back to the camp. (You just know NBC execs are going to strong-arm the cast in allowing Speidi back on the show.)
The entire saga makes me think this was all pre-planned by Speidi to begin with, and I love them for it. They know how to make good television, and they've managed to get their names in headlines much more than if they had just stayed there and played along. They've mastered the art of media manipulation, and their over-the-top personalities (devil and Jesus-loving angel) are so overdone, it borders on performance art. I can't get enough of it.
Heidi and Spencer's live appearance ended as you'd expect it to: with an impromptu prayer. Like an overexcited 8-year-old girl, Heidi clasped her hands together and squealed, "Please, Jesus, let us back in the camp!"
I know somewhere up in heaven, Jesus is rolling his eyes, while Andy Kaufman and Andy Warhol are rolling on the floor laughing.
(If you missed any of "I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here" this week, I'm told MTV is re-airing it in a "mini-marathon" this weekend.)
What do you think of Heidi and Spencer? Annoying, spoiled brats or media-savvy geniuses?