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Celebrity Knock-Off

Nearly sixteen years ago, the editor of Spite Magazine, Bradford Contemporary wrote, ‘I would rather be chained to a cheetah and dragged through a street of knives than listen to another Alanis Morissette song.’  Through a strange act of serendipity, this is precisely how I felt squirming uncomfortably as I tried to sit through Food Network’s foetid New Year’s treat called Rachael v Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off. Not because it had any songs by Alanis Morissette in it but because watching it was like watching a value brand version of The Worst Cooks in America combined with all the worst bits of The Next Food Network Star – including the now infamous magical number of 150 hungry people – crammed together into one unpleasantly stale wad.

I don’t know if it was simply having two of the loudest and most obnoxious (and by far my least favourite) Food Network hosts on one programme for a full hour which made this thing so intolerable or if it was the bizarre cross-section of celebrities. I wouldn’t expect to see Anne Hathaway or George Clooney on something like this but – really? – Aaron Carter, Joey Fatone, and Coolio? Is Coolio even relevant any more? And poor Leslie Wunderman wearing a Botox and plastic Taylor Dayne mask might not be quite as gruesome as Donatella Versace but I often found myself wincing in anticipation of something going horribly wrong whenever she attempted to smile.

In sharp contrast to these Where Are They Now? pop stars and looking terribly out of place, Lou Diamond Phillips and Cheech Marin rounded out the 70s & 80s contingent, whilst sports announcer Summer Sanders (of whom I had never heard because I am blissfully ignorant of nearly all things sporting except for Amy Williams) and Alyssa Campanella, Miss USA 2011, brought us into this century allowing viewers under the age of 50 to have someone recognisable to cheer for.

I know that these celebrities are playing for charities and that’s all very wonderful and special and awfully commendable of them and everything, and I certainly don’t think badly of them for participating, but that harsh scraping sound of Food Network raking their sporks across the desolate bottom of a rapidly-shrinking Idea Barrel frequently caused me to walk out of the room, scream at the television, or just face-palm myself from sheer embarrassment. As such, chaining myself to the nearest readily available cheetah is preferable to any notion I might have temporarily entertained of re-capping this agonising and unwatchable programme.

But here is a picture of Sandra Lee holding her breasts.




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