Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
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Wednesday, March 17, 2021

In the half-century since Stanley Milgram’s famed psychological experimentation on unwavering obedience to authority, it seems that little has changed about human impulses, other than the need for television cameras to go with the simulated electrocutions:

The producers of [the French television documentary] “The Game of Death,” set to air Wednesday night, wanted to examine both what they call TV’s mind-numbing power to suspend morality, and the striking human willingness to obey orders.

“Television is a power. We know it, but it’s theoretical,” producer Christophe Nick told the daily Le Parisien. “I wondered: Is it so important that it can turn us into potential executioners?”

In the end, more than four in five “players” gave the maximum jolt.

“People never would have obeyed if they didn’t have trust,” Nick was quoted as saying in the paper’s Wednesday edition. “They told themselves, ‘TV knows what it’s doing.’”

I’m a bit dumbfounded that none of the participants recognized the Milgram template, which was copied step-by-step. It should have been a dead giveaway that something fishy was going on. I consider that historic episode to be near-common knowledge to anyone who went to school in the States. Maybe it’s not as widely known in Europe? (Then again, I’m sure far too many Americans probably would whiff on this too.)

In fact, this is worse than Milgram’s experiments. Back then, the test subjects at least had anonymity to mask their actions — they could rationalize that no one outside of a Yale University lab would ever know what they had done. But adding in the modern-day convention of a (fake) reality show means that the French participants carried out their deeds knowing full well that millions would be watching. Draw your own conclusions on how that reflects current societal mores.

Despite the false-front this time around, Europeans seem to approach reality TV a bit too seriously:

In the Netherlands in 2007, a game show titled the “Big Donor Show” was branded as tasteless and unethical for offering a kidney as top prize. Its aim, to raise awareness about those awaiting for organ transplants, appeared to work: over 12,000 people registered as organ donors after the broadcast. That was at least three times the normal average - for a month.

Silly Euros! Don’t they know that true reality television, a la the American iterations, has no redeeming value? At best, it produces forgettable celebrity and even more forgettable gross-out spectacles. No additional electricity required.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 03/17/2010 06:37pm
Category: History, RealiTV Check, Science, Society
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Tuesday, March 16, 2021

The reinvention of Mike Tyson continues: He’s literally going to the birds, via a reality show on Animal Planet.

Tyson, a life-long pigeon keeper, will star in a series about bird racing… “I may have stopped fighting,” says the former heavyweight champ. “But I never stopped flying birds. It’s my first love.”

The show, to be called “Take on Tyson,” pits Tyson and his birds against the best racing-pigeon owners in New York.

Apparently, pigeon racing is an organized sport, governed by something called the American Racing Pigeon Union. Presumably, the world of cockfighting would have been Plan B.

I don’t doubt Tyson’s devotion to his winged friends, as displayed on this old “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” segment. Still, don’t be surprised if one of the signature moments from this show ends up being Tyson taking a bird-sized bite out of an under-performing flier.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 03/16/2010 11:39pm
Category: Celebrity, Other Sports, RealiTV Check
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Saturday, January 23, 2021

Not to be outshined by the newly “Jersey Shore”-burnished guidos, New Englanders are coalescing into their own obnoxious subculture:

They’re called Massholes. Though there is some disagreement about what, exactly, constitutes a Masshole, there are several characteristics present in all definitions. A Masshole is a resident of Massachusetts — though sometimes Rhode Island, New Hampshire, or Maine — who possesses a nearly carnal love for the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, and Bruins; operates motor vehicles in an aggressive fashion; drinks Sam Adams; and overuses the adjective “wicked.”

Coming soon to a reality show near you, presumably. The days of regionally-confined objectionableness are long behind us, it seems. I only hope that New York, being caught in the resulting geographic nexus, comes out intact.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 01/23/2010 05:05pm
Category: Pop Culture, RealiTV Check, Society
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Saturday, August 22, 2021

I’m not one indulge in the typically voyeuristic media coverage of a high-profile murder du jour. But the grisly details of a Southern California model’s death have, I admit, snared my attention:

When Jasmine Fiore’s body was found in a Dumpster in Buena Park, Calif., Aug. 15, her fingers had been cut off at the second knuckle and all of her teeth had been pulled out. But authorities were still able to identify the swimsuit model from the serial numbers on her breast implants.

“We actually have had several cases where we identified the victim or the defendant in that way,” Orange County District Attorney spokeswoman Susan Schroeder tells PEOPLE. She says implants carry serial numbers “because of the potential for recalls.”

Body parts removed in such a way as to betray the desperately calculating state of mind of the killer — and the horrific task winds up not being thorough enough. I’m sure DNA testing would have identified Fiore if the implants couldn’t have; to go through that level of minute mutilation indicates that the killer was just trying to buy enough time to escape, knowing that everything would be revealed sooner rather than later.

And all indications are that Fiore’s ex-husband, real-estate millionaire Ryan Alexander Jenkins, is the killer. Adding to the case’s twists is Jenkins’ visibility on recent reality TV shows on VH1, which he qualified for despite a documented criminal record in his native Canada. He’s currently on the run, crossing the border into British Columbia en route to a hideout either in Canada or elsewhere.

I hate to say it, but as disturbing as this whole situation is, I can’t help but compare it to something out of a Bret Easton Ellis novel. The callous disregard for human life, the mindset of the privileged class, and the celebrity subculture all combine into a nihilistic mess. Ellis’ dark visions were limited to his fictional Los Angeles; Fiore’s murder hints of real-life LA intruding upon a similar brand of darkness.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 08/22/2009 12:51pm
Category: Celebrity, Publishing, RealiTV Check, True Crime
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Monday, August 25, 2021

In what amounts to a cast-chemistry change, reality show standard “American Idol” will add a fourth face to the judging table, with professional songwriter Kara DioGuardi joining the familiar trio.

I guess this is the reality TV equivalent of jumping the shark. Specifically, this would fall under the “New Kid in Town” category, ala “The Brady Bunch” and Cousin Oliver. Randy, Simon, and (especially, given the added shot of estrogen Kara brings) Paula are no longer as cute as they were when this abomination began, so it’s time to import some fresh blood. Hopefully, it’s a sign that the end is neigh for this reality greybeard.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 08/25/2008 06:35pm
Category: RealiTV Check, TV
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Friday, June 06, 2021

No, I don’t watch MTV’s “The Hills”, despite a New York Times highbrow seal of approval. If I should ever start following any reality show, it sure as heck ain’t gonna be some BFF-fueled drama queen contest.

But I’ll give props where props are due: Show participants (and mutual squeezes) Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag win coolness points for naming their official joint fansite Speidiweb.com. Not only is it a cute mashup of their names, but it also nicely marries the old spider motif to the World Wide Web, and more than anything brings to my mind a certain Marvel Comics webslinger.

What does the future hold for Speidiweb? Given that Heidi and Spencer are budding Hollywood celebrities, they could cement their power-couple potential by getting married. After which, one or both will come to their speidi-senses, and subsequently file for a speidi-vorce. I don’t need to get spider-bitten to see all that coming.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 06/06/2021 11:22am
Category: Celebrity, Internet, Pop Culture, RealiTV Check
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Thursday, May 22, 2021

Even I cannot avoid the cultural black hole that is “American Idol”. Solely through media-consumption osmosis, I know — just like you do, admit it — that 25-year-old David Cook is this season’s big winner.

What I did not know was that Cook probably owes his victory to the show’s strong middle-aged (and up) women viewers, who consider him to be safer sexual-fantasy material than boyish-looking runner-up David Archuleta.

Apparently these women weren’t just smitten with a younger man, they were motivated, too: In a landslide victory, Cook, from Blue Springs, Mo., beat Archuleta by a margin of 12 million votes out of the record 97.5 million cast by viewers.

“American Idol” had slipped in the overall ratings this season, but Wednesday’s finale was seen by 31.7 million people — about a million more than the year before, according to Nielsen data — suggesting the show swiftly gathered momentum after it boiled down to man vs. boy.

And the biggest viewer erosion in season seven was right in Archuleta’s voting bloc. Ratings fell 18 percent among women aged 18-34; and 12 percent among teenagers 12-17. Also apparently in Cook’s favor: Viewership has risen among people aged 50 and over, and the median age of an “Idol” viewer, once in the mid-30s, is now up to 42.

You can bet FOX wasn’t envisioning a mommybopper demographic when it originally greenlighted this show. Far from embracing it, they’ll be retooling the talent-herding process during the summer in an effort to lure back the youngsters.

Here’s some first-hand MILF idolation for Cook. Look for the backlash at that and similar URLs this time next year, when all the love from Season 7 is spurned.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 05/22/2008 11:08pm
Category: RealiTV Check, Women
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Friday, April 04, 2021

Pondering: If some TV exec dreamed up a new reality series centered around a strip club, would the resultant marketing come up with the term “Realititty Television”?

It seems like a natural — even if the featured titties wouldn’t be.

Think such a concept would never fly, either with the TV industry or the nudie club business? I beg to differ. On the television side, this hardly scrapes the bottom of the reality barrel, and the surefire ratings from featuring nekkid women (even with the naughty bits pixelated out), aided by the built-in controversy it would attract, would dismiss any objections. As for the “gentlemen’s clubs”, the increasingly corporate nature of the business means they’d welcome the exposure (no pun intended — mostly).

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 04/04/2021 12:57pm
Category: Business, RealiTV Check, Women
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Thursday, April 26, 2021

Reality television certainly is popular — a reliable source of watercooler fodder. But is that the main reason why the powers-that-be have doubled down on them, instead of traditional scripted programming?

Harvard professor emeritus Richard E. Caves, in his book “Switching Channels: Organization and Change in TV Broadcasting”, makes almost the opposite argument: As the viewing audience for traditional broadcast networks fragments and gravitates toward cable and Internet, the economics in producing traditional programming makes less sense.

The programming is a fixed cost — networks pay for the programs even if nobody watches. If paying an extra $1 million to get a star onto a show, for example, raises every customer’s love of the show by the equivalent of $1, the investment more than pays off if there are 10 million potential viewers. But the $1 million investment would be a terrible flop if there were 10,000 potential viewers…

With the big shift to cable and satellite television (we now watch more cable than broadcast programs), cable networks have had a big incentive to upgrade their product, while the incentive for broadcast networks has moved in the opposite direction.

So the increase in reality programming is not just a matter of broadcasters wanting to save money. It’s that a shrinking potential market gives the networks less incentive to spend money. They can’t recoup it with enough viewers.

But this doesn’t explain why cable networks are flooded with so many reality shows as well. If anything, this indicates how much trending accounts for strategic decisions in television programming: It’s assumed that ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC will continue to bleed away viewers, and so the cost-cutting is implemented now.

More importantly, those viewers aren’t going to congregate to an equivalent handful of cable network equivalents — the audience will remain fragmented across dozens of niche channels. Certain events, like Super Bowls, will score tons of viewers in one shot, but those will be exceptions. Plus, the Web will continue to siphon away eyeballs from cable as well as broadcast. So there’s no inverse trending toward cable, and so channels there follow course and keep their production costs low as well, leading to even more reality shows.

And advertising ties it all together. The buy-in from sponsors ensures that lower production values will fly. There’ll be a bottoming out, looping back to audience preferences, but as long as the ad money keeps flowing, the business will hum. The opportunity for niche-audience product targeting only sweetens the deal.

So the explosion of cable channels led to the rise of “Survivor” and the like. As YouTube and other user-generated/submitted content sites draw more eyeballs, the race to the bottom hasn’t ended yet.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 04/26/2007 10:00pm
Category: Business, Internet, RealiTV Check
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Thursday, March 29, 2021

So, when Country Music Television drops your tiara-wearing ass, where’s a beauty queen spectacle to go?

I’m guessing well off the basic cable grid. Maybe they can condense and fast-forward it into a compact enough video presentation that Current will grant it a 6-7 minute broadcast window.

I’m thinking it’s time for the Miss America Pageant to give up the ghost already. Even a reality television makeover for the venerable beauty contest didn’t spur enough TV audience staying power. Short of going all-nude, I can’t imagine what would bring this relic back from its deathbed.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 03/29/2007 11:07pm
Category: RealiTV Check, Society
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Friday, February 09, 2021

The atmosphere in Kobe Club is described in a recent restaurant review as “part samurai fantasia, part torture chamber and packed with chunky guys on expense accounts”.

But that’s only if you look around you. Slide your eyes upward, and you get the real show:

Hanging upside down from the ceiling in the nearly pitch-black dining room are sharp, gleaming samurai swords, about 2,000 of them. The server volunteered that number, appended with an assurance that the blades, firmly anchored, shouldn’t cause any concern.

Maybe it’s this unsettling Sword-of-Damocles ambience that contributed to all the lousy reviews. Or maybe it’s just another grossly overpriced eatery, from the same restauranteur who brought you Rocco’s on 22nd (the setting for the contentiously short-lived reality show, “The Restaurant”).

It just so happens that Kobe Club is a block away from my office. I would try to get in there some time, just to see this spectacle for myself. I doubt it would be worth the bill, though.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 02/09/2021 04:23pm
Category: Food, New Yorkin', RealiTV Check
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Thursday, September 14, 2021

outwit, outlast, outrageous
So today’s the day: The latest iteration of “Survivor” premieres in primetime tonight, with its gimmicky made-to-order controversy over racially-determined competing teams.

If I gave a rat’s ass about the show, or for reality television in general, I guess I’d be sure to be parked in front of my set tonight. As it is, this strikes me as typical behavior for a ten-year-old series that’s inevitably getting stale.

But hey. If CBS and producer Mark Burnett really wanted to spice things up, they should have borrowed a couple of my favorite vote-off-the-island concepts:

- “Survivor: South Central”. Forming alliances? Try aligning yourself with the right street gang on Crenshaw — or else get a cap busted in your ass!

Survivors will compete in many challenges including a dash from Rosecrans all the way to Atlantic Boulevard which crosses seven different gang territories within the 2 mile journey. Every three blocks, contestants will change into shirts that bear the color and tag of that neighborhood’s most hated rival gang.

- “Survivor: Jihad”. Sleeping in a straw hut on some tropical island, or hunkering down in some cave in Afghanistan — which would you rather watch some namby-pamby contestants endure?

It’s the reality show everyone is talking about. Sixteen contestants. Sixteen beards. Fifteen martyrs. One survivor. Don’t miss “Survivor: Jihad” — only on Al Jazeera.

Not to fear — I’m sure these parodies will become all too real in “Survivor” seasons to come.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 09/14/2006 08:38am
Category: Comedy, RealiTV Check
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Wednesday, September 13, 2021

What Springsteen said, times 20 or 30 — that’s the state of today’s television landscape. With digital acreage so vast that you’d think just about any distinctly-niche channel could find a home, networks are paradoxically more and more indistinguishable from one another, despite the disadvantage that brings when trying to attract targeted ad dollars.

“Cable has obviously changed,” said Harry Castleman, a TV historian and co-author of “Watching TV: Six Decades of American Television.” “In the old days — 10 years ago — cable was niche broadcasting. You had the sports channel, you had the movie channel, you had the women’s channel, the arts channel. Then when all the major conglomerates began buying up all the cable networks, it changed. They said, hey, these are great platforms we can use to be able to deliver our product. They’ve done that.

“So, A&E? Not much arts and entertainment there. Bravo? Not too much high brow. AMC? They don’t even call it American Movie Classics anymore. TLC is not The Learning Channel anymore. The cable channels are becoming interchangeable.”

Even more irony: Reality television, that supposed reinvigorator of televised content, has a lot to do with the industry’s copycat syndrome:

Nowhere does the distinction between cable channels become more blurred than the arena of reality shows, which took off in 2000 when CBS’s “Survivor” became a surprise hit. Viewers of “Dog the Bounty Hunter” (A&E), “American Chopper” (Discovery Channel), “Hogan Knows Best” (VH1) and “Gene Simmons Family Jewels” (A&E) may not identify with the branding of the channels those shows are on, because there’s no reason why any of them couldn’t air on different cable networks.

It’s not like this is new. As they became established and more mainstream, a lot of cable channels adopted broader operating objectives, because that’s what brought in the most money. To this day, MTV — which “used to play music”, as the cynical joke goes — is the poster child for this dynamic.

That was fine last century, when it was still expected that broadcasted television would still occupy the biggest chunk of consumers’ leisure time. Now? The Web, quick-release DVDs, videogames and other media options are starting to cut into viewing time. Advertisers see this and follow the eyeballs; it doesn’t matter to them what the medium is, as long as the audience is there. In this environment, television can’t rely upon being the chief media outlet anymore. The old rules for broadening appeal are changing.

Not that this is an overnight phenomenon. For now, TV is still the big cheese, and that counts bigtime. But the sands are shifting, and the industry will have to shift along with them to stay on top.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 09/13/2006 06:55pm
Category: Business, RealiTV Check
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Tuesday, March 07, 2021

Sign of the times: Childless English baron Sir Benjamin Slade, on the lookout for an American heir to his Maunsel House estate, is developing an “Apprentice”-style reality show to help him winnow down the candidates.

Sir Benjamin is looking forward to ejecting the losers with his own aristocratic catchphrase: “You’re disinherited.”

I’m sure NBC is desperate enough to slot it into its primetime lineup. They’d probably even provide the $140,000 in annual upkeep the estate requires.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 03/07/2021 10:22pm
Category: RealiTV Check, Society
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Monday, March 06, 2021

face time
To coincide with this week’s season premiere of “America’s Next Top Model”, the West Coast branch of the Writers Guild of America is releasing “Top Model for Sale”, a parody video short expounding upon what the Guild considers to be egregious product placement on that particular reality hit.

I particularly like the Nike Swoosh temp tattoo on the forehead of the Tyra Banks character. They should have gotten someone hotter to play Tyra, though.

Here’s the iPod-friendly M4V file. I’m sure MPEG and WMV formats will crop up soon enough (although, as of this writing, I don’t see it on usual suspect YouTube.)

This clip is part of Product Invasion, a broader effort by the WGA to protest rampant advertising content insertion into shows:

“We’re trying to get the attention of our employers, the companies that own and operate show business,” said Patric M. Verrone, president of the Writers Guild, West, referring to entertainment conglomerates like Walt Disney, Time Warner and Viacom. “But they’re managed so far to avoid us.”

“We’re trying to make a mark by calling attention to some of the companies doing this branded entertainment by counterbranding their products,” Mr. Verrone said. Procter was chosen to be parodied, he added, because it is “America’s top integrator” of products into programming.

Left unsaid: Reality shows, being lightly scripted by nature, are perceived as a threat to writers who rely upon traditional scripted television series for their livelihood. So there’s certainly a cynical edge here in the WGA’s motives. But in that sense, it’s genius to frame their campaign this way — no one’s a particular fan of creeping advertising.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 03/06/2021 10:14pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Comedy, RealiTV Check
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Tuesday, February 07, 2021

So how do the casting agents for “Wife Swap” find suckers contestants to come on the show?

Apparently, they troll the myriad mommyblogs out there for takers.

An online farm system for reality television. It almost makes me wish blogs had never been invented.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 02/07/2021 12:29pm
Category: Bloggin', RealiTV Check, Society
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Saturday, January 21, 2021

tv star
When “The Daly Planet” was announced, I predicted it would be a monster hit.

Well, the review is in, and it looks like neither John Daly nor The Golf Channel know how to work the reality TV angle:

What Daly needs for a successful reality show - even if it isn’t what Daly needs to maintain his sanity and career - is a crazy, camera-hogging family, an obnoxious agent, maybe a Tin Cup-like performance in a big event.

But this is the Golf Channel, not Bravo. If Daly has any of these to offer fans of reality TV, the producers didn’t let us see it. But in this episode, there wasn’t much to offer golf fans either.

Like I said before: Too bad Daly’s not still drinking. It would beat watching him try to launch golfballs over Niagara Falls.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 01/21/2006 09:37am
Category: Other Sports, RealiTV Check
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Sunday, November 20, 2021

Hoping to capture a buzz akin to that of “The Osbournes” or “American Chopper”, The Golf Channel will be showing a reality series starring golf bad-boy John Daly, dubbed “The Daly Planet”, starting January 18th.

Does this have “monster hit” written all over it, or what? Daly, the PGA‘s anti-Tiger Woods, could use a jolt after fading out over the last couple of years. And, like many other niche outlets, The Golf Channel could use programming that appeals beyond its core audience. Daly’s predictable antics should fit the bill nicely. (Too bad he’s not still drinking…)

I was unaware of Daly’s role as movie inspiration — prior to the fact:

Daly’s life has seemed the stuff of fiction before. At a 1998 tournament, Daly shot an 18 on one hole, hitting shot after shot into a water hazard, an effort virtually mimicked by Kevin Costner‘s character in the 1996 movie “Tin Cup.” In the movie, Costner plays a regular guy — a driving range owner — who has a chance to win the U.S. Open before stubbornly hitting balls repeatedly into a pond.

“I still say they made that movie after me,” Daly said at the time.

I guess his audition in ’98 has finally paid off. Then again, his whole career could be construed as a reality TV audition.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 11/20/2005 12:03pm
Category: Movies, Other Sports, RealiTV Check
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Tuesday, November 15, 2021

If fans of “America’s Next Top Model” are expecting to see the show’s winner attain supermodelhood, they’re heading for a letdown. The consensus among fashion insiders is that all the contestants on the reality show are too old, too fat, and — the kicker — too American to make it in the current modeling game.

I’d be surprised if most “Top Model” fans really think the show’s going to produce the next Cindy Crawford, though. Like any reality show, the appeal is in all the manufactured drama. The fact that the protagonists are catwalking Barbie dolls instead of faux survivalists just gives it a hook among the likeliest 18-34 audience:

“I see girls sitting on the No. 4 train to Brooklyn saying, ‘Omigod, I have to get home because the Tyra show is on,’ ” said Wayne Sterling, the editor of Models.com, a slick Web site that obsessively rates model status. “The show has become their spectrum, a Midwest, middle-of-the-road simulation of what the business is like.”

I was unaware of the exact order of non-Americans flooding the modeling ranks: First Brazilians, then Belgians, then Eastern Europeans. (If anything, I’d have guess the opposite order of procession.) And who knew that the classic American look was poised for a comeback (even if it’s not coming from “the Tyra show”):

Whether a banner season for one young mannequin augurs a major taste shift in the modeling business and perhaps even a return to what some forecast as a resurgence of classic American sportswear it seems early to predict. “Does it mean we’re going to see a comeback for American models?” [IMG president Ivan] Bart asked. “Who knows? But I can tell you that nobody but nobody wanted Hillary [Rhoda] until Paris, and then Nicolas [Ghesquiere] cast her. And then suddenly this whole American in Paris thing kicked in and she was totally, totally the top girl of the week.”

All I know is, you’d better work it, girl.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 11/15/2005 09:29pm
Category: Fashion, RealiTV Check, Women
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Sunday, November 13, 2021

youth demographer
Who would think that the oldest member of the “American Chopper” Teutul trio would be the most popular with the kiddies? Goofball Mikey enlightens on one part of Orange County Choppers’ mass appeal:

But this family’s unique brand of bikes and bickering flat-out works.

“It’s my father,” Mikey says. “He’s a spectacle.

“You know what’s the interesting thing about him? Children love him. I think it’s because he looks like a cartoon character. I swear to God. Kids cry when they see me. But they smile when they see him. They go for his mustache.”

Paul Sr. as a cuddly Yosemite Sam? Tarnation!

So what does that make Mikey?

“Man, what about when I’m a has-been?” Mikey says. “Are people going to treat me like Vanilla Ice?”

Slice like a ninja, cut like a razor blade, Mikey? Let’s hope not.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 11/13/2005 04:11pm
Category: Pop Culture, RealiTV Check
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Tuesday, October 25, 2021

No lie: While walking back to work today with my lunch, I saw this dude at the corner of 2nd Avenue South and 3rd Street (downtown St. Pete) who looked like a dead ringer for Mikey Teutul from “American Chopper”.

Well, actually, this guy seemed taller. But otherwise, just like idiot Mikey (the real article pictured above).

It’s a strange era we live in when looking like Mikey is actually something to shoot for.

Incidentally, the Teutuls’ Orange County Chopper shop is right down the road from where I grew up. My cousin Bill claims to know somebody who knows somebody who was a business partner with big-scary Paul Sr., just before the TV show came around.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 10/25/2005 11:19pm
Category: Celebrity, RealiTV Check
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