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Celebrity Zoo: Celebrity Fit Club,
Season 3

Sad fat celebrities

Starring: Tempestt Bledsoe, Jeff Conaway, Countess Vaughn, Bruce Vilanch, Kelly LeBrock, Young M.C., Chastity Bono, and Bizarre

Week One: Off to a Waddling Start (1/1/03)
Week Two: Grease Burns (1/8/06)
Week Three: Volkslauf: It isn’t a German Beer (1/15/06)
Week Four: Bellies Round Like Zorbs (1/22/06)
Week Five: Surf's Up, and so is Countess' Weight (1/29/06)
Week Six: You Never Forget How to Ride a Tricycle (2/12/06)
Week Seven: Grease Stains (2/19/06)

Week Four


Day 43: Thankfully, Dr. Papadopoulos is gone, off somewhere winning a major award "for her outstanding work." This made all of us watching laugh in unison. No one on the show cracked a smile.

This week's challenge is to run a golf course in hamster tubes without any sides (it's a zorb not a zurf, Ant). Gunnar and Countess are very enthusiastic, but Tempestt looks bored. Their reward for winning: two weeks of yoga instruction and some exercise apparel. Bruce had to sit out due to his health peril, so Young M.C. had to hamster the race twice (which has been done in past seasons when some lame celebrity didn't show up for fit camp). It's never fair - good thing the prizes are so lame or you'd have whiny celebrities. Of course, Young M.C. collapses and Ebony Flame loses. The experience induces M.C. to say the F-word a lot.

Video vignettes include:

  1. Bizarre goes home to Detroit where homeys tempt him with fried foods and hot dogs. Which is just ignerent. Purveying attitudes of hatin' on intelligence and good health in this country is stupefying. It's no surprise, Biz doesn't lose weight this week. He also didn't fill out his exercise and food diary either. And he won't accept Harvey's challenge to work out on the spot to show his commitment because he's "not gonna be made a mockery of." Uh...did I miss something? I learned a new ghetto phrase this week: "I aint wanna do that." I'm going to try that out at work.
  2. Bruce gets his stress test at Cedars Sinai. Bruce loses seven pounds this week and has everyone on their feet cheering, including Harvey who says it "made his doggone day" that Bruce bought an elliptical machine.
  3. Countess is counseled by Dr. Papadopoulos for being separated from her husband. We see no actual counseling going on, just Dr. Papadopoulos dragging out the story and eliciting tears from Countess. Maybe all that helpful direction was edited out. Countess blames her woes on rushing into relationships and loving too hard. Zen and the Art of Falling in Love talks about this relationship problem and recommends loving a little less, just in order to learn how to get love in return better. This may sound wacky but it's better than anything Dr. Papadopoulos said in this episode. Countess gains two more pounds, thereby taking her team farther in the wrong direction. She claims she has been too sad to eat. Harvey recommends she work up a sweat to release her stress.
  4. Tempestt visits a casting director and gives the "I just gotta be me" speech. She says she won't straighten her hair and hates to hear that she should lose weight. In her defense, it baffles me that in our current pro-hip-hop culture that black gals can't be hefty with fros. If not now, when? However, Tempestt's attitude is so off-putting. She's so full of herself. There's a difference between being too proud and having self-respect. Harvey gives her his DVD as a workout aid and she leaves it on her chair - so disrespectful, Stormy Cosby Girl. She does lose five pounds but who cares.

The Rest of the Weigh-ins:

Kelly renamed her team Kelly's Bellies. Cute, but I still feel Bizarre must have been out-voted. Kelly got to go to a spa for being so swift at the Volkslauf. She wears another inappropriate dress for the weigh-in. I wonder if these are all Oscar dresses she saved up and never used. She loses five pounds and admits she cheated once with a piece of flourless chocolate cake, eaten to kick start her metabolism. It seems she's gone all vigilante on her diet. The diet guru, Dr. Smith, doesn't recommend her tactic or reprimand her, which is infuriating. (He does disparage this type of metabolism manipulation in his book The Take Control Diet, which I've just received in the mail. More about this interesting and informative book next column.)

Now that Kelly is motivated by her success, Harvey gives her a measly three pounds to lose. I just don't get it. Kelly claims to be a good team leader, calling in and checking on everyone, but I don't feel a sense of team cohesion.

Gunnar harped on his mother's treatment of him again in this episode and said she was "missing the mother gene" which is so strong a statement it just sounds vengeful. Take the upper road, man. Chas ain't complaining this much and her Dad voted against gay issues in Congress. Gunnar loses five pounds, which is not surprising considering he seems obsessed by the child-star demon (see Danny Bonaduce). He says it's a good thing to eliminate wheat and dairy but then admits he's had two liposuctions for love handles. Dr. Smith says this is somewhat extreme and Gunnar retorts that he was "encultured" by Hollywood to expect a lot of results without a lot of work. He then complains that other contestants don't appreciate the gift of the show and that Harvey could push them harder. I hope Harvey turns the screws on Gunnar next week. Harvey gives the 5K challenge he once made with M.C. to Gunnar. This made me feel bad for M.C. - he's being dumped for bad shins.

Speaking of M.C., up to this point, he has lost 22 pounds in 28 days. He loses five more pounds.

Chastity stays the same weight which makes her say the F-word really loud. She has cut down on her smoking, from 20 to 8 a day. Harvey says "I have faith in you, grasshopper."

The pounds shed score is now Ebony Flame 51; Kelly's Bellies 45.



When it comes to gay Hollywood Squares icons, I would have always picked Paul Lynde over Bruce Villanch. So it surprises me that I'm liking Bruce so much on this show. Over the past two weeks he's dropped a lot of his schtick and also dropped some pounds. Unlike the other stars, he doesn't come up with excuses, personal crises, or any other reason why he can't lose weight. When he was judged unfit for some of the boot camp exercises, he found an exercise that worked for him - he stripped off his trademark T-shirt and got in the pool with the old broads for water aerobics. I'm rooting for Bruce, although I think he could spend more time getting to know his teammates and cheering them on. He's a bit aloof.

Harvey is another revelation. I had thought all he was capable of was Full Metal Jacket bullying. Here he shows his tender side, encouraging Chas to buck up when she hasn't lost any weight. I have a theory on why Chas isn't losing weight. I think Elijah Blue sneaks into her condo at night and feeds her McDonald's shakes through an IV. That's the kind of stuff bratty little half-brothers do.

This was a pretty ho-hum episode, except for Countess' revelations that she is going through a divorce. Given that news and the fact that she's barely overweight, the show should give her a Jeff-Conaway-style hall pass. The other drama came from Bizarre's chili dog binge - when in Detroit, eat as the Detroitians eat. Harvey admonished Biz and questioned his commitment, urging him to leap onto to an exercise bike right at the weigh-in. Biz seemed to overreact, saying that Harvey was mocking him. I'm not sure what's such a big deal about 20 minutes on the exercise bike. Was he wearing Timberlands instead of Nikes?

Gunnar and Tempestt continue to add nothing to the show but annoyance. Tempestt goes to a casting director who tells her there aren't many roles for fat gals. What a revelation! I had no idea. Gunnar admits to having liposuction. I guess they couldn't turn the hose on his face. How many nuts are you carrying in there, little chipmunk Nelson?

Coolia's rankings (1/22/06)

  1. Bruce - He lost a surprising amount of weight.
  2. Harvey - I like the kinder, gentler Harvey - he seems more human.
  3. Young M.C. - still likeable and now losing weight at a normal rate.
  4. Chastity - I feel for her but the drama is getting to be too much - I wish she'd stop beating herself up.
  5. Kelly - she lost weight and proved to be a capable leader.
  6. Countess - I'm glad she opened up about her divorce. Clearly, she has bigger things on her mind than the size of her thighs right now.
  7. Tempestt - Her flirtations with Harvey make my blood run cold. I'm not feelin' it.
  8. Bizarre - slipped on his diet and was unnecessarily hostile to Harvey over the exercise bike challenge.
  9. Gunnar - He's even more annoying than he was in his brief moment of fame in the 80s.

Nerdia's Rankings (1/22/06)

  1. Bruce - I find everyone's enthusiasm for Bruce infectious.
  2. Young M.C. - I feel sorry for M.C. this week. He was used and abused.
  3. Chastity - Chas acted surprised when Countess laid out her woes which caused her to gain two pounds. As team leader, she should've been over at Countess' house telling her men are freak pigs.
  4. Kelly - Good trick with the flourless chocolate cake..or was it?
  5. Countess - She should be winning the weight-loss challenges as revenge. She's instead wallowing in her victim-hood.
  6. Bizarre - Real friends are like Eminem - they want you to live long and well. Beware of fat killaz bearing cheese dogs. Your fear of looking foolish makes you look foolish. But you've still got that killah-cute smile.
  7. Gunnar - You need to be super-glued to a zorb and left there for 24 hours until you've learned not to be so self-obsessed.
  8. Tempestt - Too much disrespect for others. Demands too much respect she does not earn.


    Read more Celebrity Zoo reviews

    How do you feel about the celebrity fat epidemic? Please refrain from dropping any Jeff Conaway sympathy in our forum. Many thanks.


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