Judge Blocks Blago's NBC Debut
An unfeeling federal judge in Chicago has denied us the opportunity to see former Illinois Gov Rod Blagojevich and former "American Idol" tweener heartthrob Sanjaya Malakar fight over hair care products in the wilds of Costa Rica.
"I do not have confidence that things will not go astray if I modify bond conditions," U.S. District Court Judge James Zagel said today in response to the indicted Blago's request he be allowed into the Costa Rican jungle in search of gainful employment on NBC's remake of "I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!"
Blago, who was removed from office in January and is facing multiple corruption charges and a possible 25-30 years in the hoosegow, says he needs the money. NBC would pay him to be part of the summer series -- as much as $80,000 an episode.
"I have to do it for my kids...I have to support my family," Blago told the Chicago Sun-Times before his court hearing. NBC's stab at "I'm a Celebrity" is scheduled to debut June 1 and, for four weeks, would follow a group of D-listers, including Sanjaya and supermodel and famed reality-series harpie Janice Dickinson, who got rave reviews for her tour de force performance on the British version of "I'm a Celeb." Rounding out the cast: celebnalist Geraldo Rivera, A&E star Duane "Dog the Bounty Hunter" Chapman, and "The Hills's" Speidi [Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt].
That's right, NBC planned to give us Blago, Speidi and Sanjaya -- in one jungle.... Sigh.
"I don't think this defendant in all honesty...fully understands the position he finds himself in," Judge Zagel said in court.
The judge stood firm even when NBC offered to hire two court-picked security guards to keep an eye on Blago in Costa Rica. We blame the cranky pants who pointed out it would be really tough to extradite him from Costa Rica -- even with a signed waiver.
Lisa de Moraes
April 21, 2009; 2:52 PM ET
Categories: Add category | Tags: blagojevich, i'm a celebrity
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