Hanging with the D-list
Summer TV Press Tour 2006 kicked off today in Pasadena very short on star wattage. Tom Skerritt was a no-show; ditto Hunter Thompson's widow. Joan Rivers, who was billed to show up at the TV Guide Channel patio dinner party to plug her upcoming 1,000th trophy-show red carpet interview, stood up critics in order to hawk something on a home shopping network.
"Mom would love to be here," daughter Melissa told critics at the Ritz Carlton Huntington Hotel in Pasadena. No one bought it.
"How many faces have come and gone?" Melissa asked rhetorically which, presumably, was not a reference to her mother's evolving sliced-and-diced look, but to the mugs of the 999 slobs who've already endured a Joan Rivers "interview."
If Joan Rivers conducts an interview, but does not know to whom she is speaking, does it qualify as an interview? So many questions but no Joan to put them to.
Instead, critics had to settle for the TV Guide Channel hostesses who headline or are correspondents on various shows on the network, including, most notably, former "American Idol" contestant Kimberly Caldwell.
All of the TV Guide Channel hostesses at the party were wearing the same look: flimsy dresses with belts under their bosoms. Which was a nasty look the first time around and should not be encouraged under any circumstances, however campy.
Caldwell was in a purple strapless tunic dress with a wide yellow patent belt-under-bosom. She's sporting a Rod Stewart-ish mussed up short blonde hairdo with newly blackened roots under peroxide blonde hair. She's also fairly heavily tatted: Chinese lettering - "without regret" on one wrist and "sister" on her neck -- as well as a star under her right ear, a musical note on one shoulder and an angel on her ankle.
"How long do we have to stay here?" Caldwell whined to another TV Guide Channel hostess as they moved around the party in a pack, reaching the line for the bar.
"Kimberly!" shouted a guy with a video camera which he has pointed at her.
"What?" she asked, bored, then, turning and seeing the guy, "Oh, Hi! What's up TV Guide Channel!" she shouted, vamping for the camera.
Caldwell reminded one critic who approaches her that she was on the second edition of "Idol."
"I had really big hair," she confided as she yanked up her purple dress. "It was empowering for me to cut it off" she said of her "Texas big hair."
More recently, however, her "life ended" the night Chris Daughtry was booted off the most recent edition of "American Idol."
"He was my favorite Idol ever, ever , ever!" she explained.
On the other hand, she loved Elliott Yamin's major makeover on the last edition of the singing competition, losing the "chin strap" beard in favor of a hipper look.
And while her TV Guide Channel gig is her "day job instead of waitressing," her real love remains singing, she assured the critic.
Chatting with Kimberly Caldwell, you can learn a thing or two. For instance, "American Idol" contestants spend a couple hours after their performance shows voting for themselves via telephone. And Baccardi-and-Diet has no calories - this from her former personal trainer.
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