The new season of the Amazing Race marks a decade of entertainment from the CBS series, so expect to see lots of new twists and turns.
The nineteenth season is highlighted by a cast headed up by former Survivor winners Jenna Morasca and cancer survivor Ethan Zohn. Joining them are a retired NFL player, Olympic snowboarders, a set of twins, the youngest person ever to sail solo around the world, and, of course, a pair of former Vegas showgirls…just to name a few.
This year’s race around the world will span four continents, twenty cities, and almost 40,000 miles of global travel. The eleven teams will start their trek in Southern California before heading to Taiwan. Thailand, Denmark, Malawi, and Indonesia will be other destinations for those fortunate enough to survive elimination.
This season, hosted by Phil Keoghan, also boasts a new “Hazard” penalty and the first ever double elimination. The new season of Amazing Race premieres Sunday, September 25, on CBS. Meet the teams below!
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Silver bells, silver bells! It’s Christmas time on Teen Mom. Amber deals with a tragedy from the past, while Maci can’t decide whether to drop out of school. Catelynn receives a surprise visit from her long-gone father, while Farrah tours Arizona with her family.
Amber and her old friend/new boyfriend Clinton are decorating her new house for Christmas. Clark Griswald called, and he’d like to borrow that inflatable Christmas tree. Gary sends Amber a video text of Leah attempting to use the potty (really Gar?) while a huge bouquet is delivered from her “wink, wink” secret admirer. Amber looks lovingly at Clinton for pulling off such a romantic gesture, but he’s cursing Gary’s name for upstaging him…Clinton apparently did not send the flowers. As any sweet girlfriend would do, Amber calls her ex, putting him on speaker phone so her new dude can hear. Gary asks, “Did your day just get better? That’s five dozen roses.” WTF Gary? Stop spending your hard-earned MTV money at the Bunny Ranch and FTD! Put that cash aside for Leah! “Five doz? They are so heavy,” responds a dazed Amber.
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In the wake of Russell Armstrong’s sad passing, several media outlets are gathering more information about the events that transpired that could possibly explain what he was thinking when he took his own life. E Online has compiled a timeline charting some of Russell’s legal woes, substance abuse issues, and abuse allegations. The entire situation is truly tragic.
October 10, 1995 – Russell’s legal woes begin in the mid 1990′s. On October 10, 1995, he is charged with felony tax evasion and is sentenced to five years probation and 150 hours of community service. Two years later, in December of 1997, he finds himself in trouble with the law again. After being charged with misdemeanor spousal battery after a fight with first wife Barbara, Russell must attend mandatory therapy and bi-weekly AA meetings while awaiting trial.
March of 1998 – After Barbara shows up at Russell’s house, the couple gets into another altercation in March of 1998. Russell pleads no contest to a charge of misdemeanor battery and is sentenced to three days in jail. He receives three years probation and must complete 50 hours of community service. Additionally, Russell must spend at least a year being counseled for anger management, attend 50 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and donate $1000 to a local women’s shelter.
August of 2004 – Barbara seeks a temporary restraining order for the couple’s then six-year-old son Aiden and files for divorce, citing, “His physical abuse of me was one of the major reasons that we separated only months after Aiden was born.” Included in the TRO filing was a sworn statement from Claudia Haro, Russell’s ex-girlfriend, who alleged that she saw Russell slap his son. She also claimed to be the victim of Russell’s abuse. In a sworn declaration from Russell, he claimed that Child Services had investigated the allegations and could not find any evidence of “inappropriate conduct.”
October 16, 2005 – Russell files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and marries Taylor Armstrong a mere eleven days later. On March 22 of the following year, his bankruptcy is converted to Chapter 11.
July 15, 2011 – just two months after her rep issued a statement denying break-up rumors, Taylor announces that she has filed for divorce. She believes the split will be in the best interest of the couple’s five-year-old daughter Kennedy. Her petition requests primary physical custody and joint legal custody of Kennedy, as well as restoration of her maiden name. Less than two weeks later, on July 29, a $1.5 million dollar lawsuit is filed against the couple, claiming Russell’s company misappropriated funds, which Taylor helped him to spend.
Russell commits suicide on August 15, the day Bravo sends out the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills press release. The release cites Taylor’s “loveless marriage” as her main story line. The following day, Russell’s first wife Barbara speaks out, expressing her disdain for Taylor and basically blaming her for Russell’s actions. She tells an online media source, “I don’t care for her at all. I think she’s the reason for this.”
Meanwhile, the 911 tape of the call that was made moments after Russell’s body was discovered has been released today by TMZ. The call was made by Russell’s friend though Taylor was present during the call. “My friend just hanged himself, do you understand? Come over here and stop asking questions,” stated Russell’s pal.
In the tape, the caller can be heard comforting Taylor. “Come here Taylor, it’s alright. It’s alright, it’s alright.” A sobbing Taylor then says, “I need my psychiatrist.” Even more heartbreaking is the fact that Taylor & Russell’s 5-year old daughter Kennedy was also at the house. At one point the caller says, “Taylor, have your daughter go away please.”
And finally, Los Angeles Times is reporting that Bravo plans to address Russell’s suicide in the form of a special. The network reportedly shot the special on Monday and it included several RHOBH cast members — Lisa Vanderpump, Camille Grammer, Kyle and Kim Richards, and Adrienne Maloof. Taylor apparently was not included in the filming.
There’s no word yet on when Bravo plans to air the special. The report also adds that the new season is still set to premiere next Monday on Sep. 5.
The entire situation is tragic, and my heart goes out to Russell’s children, family, friends and colleagues.
It’s like Christmas, Jersey Shore style with two new episodes airing within 72 hours of one another. And of course, MTV needs to capitalize on the VMAs by finishing the Rawn/Mike smackdown right before the awards show airs. Brilliant.
The show begins with Sammi stupidly placing herself between a roided Rawn and a flipping out crazy insane Situation. Mike loses it and slams his head into the concrete wall before crumbling to the ground. Intelligence just abounds on this show. JWoww attempts to get some sort of reaction from a dazed and confused Mike, while the ever gentlemanly Rawn mocks Sammi’s tears and blames her for not telling him about Mike’s gossip sooner. “Stawp Rawn!” Poor Sammi is able to get out the way before being manhandled by her sensitive (ex) boyfriend.
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In an effort to keep that money train going–her words, not mine–Basketball Wives star Evelyn Lozadadishes to VH1 about her cast mate Meeka Claxton, being a villain on the show, and her now settled feud with Tami Roman plus the update on her Non-factor tshirts. Check out excerpts of her interview below, followed by head b*tch in chargeShaunie O’Neal’s thoughts on Meeka and her potential return next season.
Do you ever worry that people see you as a villain on this show?
You need to have a really thick skin to be on this show. I know Suzie can’t even watch the show after we’re done taping because she can’t take it, but you have to get used to that and expect that people will label you. I think people take me being honest and straightforward as me being a bitch but I don’t see anything wrong with that. I’d rather be a villain than a sweet girl, that’s not me.
Honesty is such a big issue on the show.
Everyone’s not honest though. That’s why there’s problems with certain cast members. They aren’t honest and they create drama and lies. That’s why there’s the drama we have on the show. Meeka running around and talking about everybody, it got her in a mess. Meeka just came on as a fan of the show, she sent her picture in, she really wanted to be on the show, the producers didn’t search for her. She tried so hard to fit in instead of just being herself and that’s where things backfired.
You never had direct drama with her, that we saw anyway. Was there any more to your relationship?
After watching the show and seeing certain comments that she made like “I felt that they wanted me to choose sides,” it pisses me off because we made it very clear when we first met and it was on film, “Make your own opinions.” We told her how we feel but base your own opinions. But during filming, I told her to her face, “I don’t like you and I don’t hate you. I feel nothing toward you.” She hasn’t done anything to me directly, it’s just that, why would she say that? And this bullsh*t lawsuit she has with Tami, I think it’s ridiculous.
Even before the fight episode aired, Tami had been saying that Meeka was not a victim and that, you know, she raised her hand up and all that. From what you saw, is that what happened?
Look, this is my thing, everybody handles things differently and as anybody knows, Tami has a temper and especially if you’re lying about her and Meeka was twisting around Tami’s words and it’s kind of…maybe you wouldn’t handle the situation that way but when you’re talking about Tami…
Did you ever think Tami’s lawsuit against you would happen?
No, I thought it was ridiculous. I continued to sell the shirts and I’m still selling them.
So what’s the deal with that, didn’t you max out at your 500 shirts?
You know what, I could probably guess that I sold more than 500 but I didn’t look at my quarterly numbers. I didn’t want to come here lying, so I just chose not to know. I didn’t check.
Don’t you worry about breaking your word with Tami? What if she’s upset that you went over that limit?
I’d say that everyone’s here to make money, everyone signs on to this show for a reason, to promote something, so this opportunity came to me, it was a topic of conversation on the show, and I would be an idiot not to profit from it. Listen, it’s a recession!
What does Chad think about Jennifer’s comments about him?
Chad doesn’t really care about anything. We ran into her at the movie theater and they didn’t talk and that made me very uncomfortable, so obviously the fact that he hasn’t said anything says a lot. I feel like I’m in the middle. And it stems from the interview.
Do you ever watch the show and regret anything or wish the fights didn’t happen?
I think everyone does. But you’re forced to deal with things you normally wouldn’t deal with. So you’re already going into filming pissed and and then things happen and it just builds and builds and builds and things happen…We really are nice people though, I swear.
Also adding her two cents about Meeka is ringleader producer Shaunie O’Neal. Of her costar, Shaunie says, “I didn’t spend a lot of time with her, I experienced her on a few occasions, but the most time I spent with her was in Rome and that’s when I figured out that she was a little sketchy…but I still gave her the benefit of the doubt.” However, it was that fateful trip to Italy when Shaunie realized that their friendship wasn’t going to work.
She continues, “I knew she was not going to mesh with any of us. I just don’t find her to be an honest person at all and I think her intentions, I don’t know exactly what they were. We have a mutual friend outside the show who let me know that she wanted to come on and be this star and shine, but the way she chose to do it, not so much. All of us could probably take a vote right now and never want to see Meeka again and that’d be just fine.”
As for a potential season four of the show, Shaunie admits that she’d be just fine if Meeka didn’t return. Um, doesn’t she have control over that? Of course, since Shaunie just simply hates drama (eyes rolling), I’m betting we’ll see Meeka at least a little bit next season.
THOUGHTS ON EVELYN AND SHAUNIE’S COMMENTS ABOUT MEEKA? SURPRISED EVELYN IS STILL MAKING THE NON FACTOR T-SHIRTS? DO YOU WANT MEEKA WILL RETURN FOR SEASON FOUR?
Last night’s Jersey Shore begins where last week’s ended. Mike didn’t end up in a menage a twin, Sam and Rawn are googly-eyed and in love, and Snooks is still livid at Mike for trying to sabotage her relationship with Jionni.
The slutty twin wakes up, but her purer version wants to sleep in with Vinny. After she leaves, Vinny describes to Ronnie the tag-team/robbery that Deena pulled on him last night. They both hooked up with the “good” twin, and I’m starting to wonder if there’s just one slutty twin and MTV is using Parent Trap cloning technology.
The Situation is telling the guys about Snooki cheating on Jionni with him two months ago. Across the via, the girls are likewise gossiping about the dudes. After all the crap Mike has been talking, Snooki doesn’t want to eat Sunday dinner with him. The girls also laugh about Vinny getting Deena’s sloppy seconds in the bedroom. Not as humorous to Deena is the guys teasing her about her lady lovin’ as they prepare the family meal. She gets super mad and storms out of the kitchen. Vinny predicts it’s going to be a great dinner.
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Taylor told the story of Russell’s proposal, and how he had one of his son’s present her the engagement ring so she knew she was accepted by his children. She also discussed the cross Russell always wore which was engraved with his children’s initials. He added Taylor’s initials to the cross as well, hoping she would help him keep his children close. “I will keep that promise,” Taylor said in her speech.
Neither Russell’s two sons from a previous relationship or Kennedy, his daughter with Taylor, were in attendance. Radaronline reports that Taylor thought her daughter would be too young to understand what was happening.
An insider reveals, “Taylor doesn’t think it’s in Kennedy’s best interests to go to the memorial. It’s very hard to grasp as a 5-year-old, and given the way in which Russell died, well, Taylor doesn’t want Kennedy to accidentally overhear someone talking about Russell’s suicide. Taylor is protecting Kennedy, period. This little girl has been through enough with her parent’s divorce, and now having to deal with her dad’s death.”
Russell’s family was absent from yesterday’s funeral, which was not filmed by Bravo. A second service is planned in his native Texas. Russell’s body was cremated, and his ashes were divided between Taylor and his parents.
While her daughter was absent, Taylor had the support of her fellow Beverly Hills cast mates. UsWeekly reportsLisa Vanderpump, Adrienne Maloof-Nassif and husband Dr. Paul Nassif,Kyle and Kim Richards, as well as New York Housewife Ramona Singer. Even though some of her relationships with the ladies were rocky, she decided to invite all of them to the memorial service.
A source claims, “A lot of thought and consideration went into Taylor’s decision to invite the entire cast. In the end, Taylor didn’t want to exclude anyone, and even though she doesn’t get along with all of them, Taylor wanted them there. The girls have been very supportive to her throughout this entire tragedy. Taylor needs her friends around her more than ever.”
Photos are below of the RHOBH cast attending the funeral.
Meanwhile RadarOnline is now reporting today that Taylor is telling her close friends Bravo is not to blame for Russell’s death and that she wants the network to go ahead with its scheduled Sep. 5 premiere.
A source close to Taylor states that Taylor feels “Russell’s suicide wasn’t caused by the show or Bravo. Russell just simply cracked over ongoing legal and financial issues. The show bears no responsibility for his death, neither does the network.” The source continues, “In fact, Bravo has been extremely supportive of Taylor during this tragedy.”
And despite a report that stated Bravo had decided to postpone the premiere, the source states the network will likely go ahead with the scheduled premiere. “It looks like the show will indeed premiere on September 5. Editing is still being done on the show. Russell is either going to be edited down, or completely out of the show. However, Bravo and the show won’t be ignoring the Russell’s suicide. They simply can’t, to do so, would be disrespectful to the situation and what Taylor is going through. It will be addressed in a manner that is dignified and appropriate,” the source adds.
Photo credit: WENN
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE LATEST & TAYLOR’S REPORTED COMMENTS? SHOULD BRAVO GO AHEAD WITH THE PREMIERE? SHOULD RUSSELL’S SUICIDE BE ADDRESSED?
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On last night’s Teen Mom, Maci has baby fever, Catelynn and Tyler work towards another visit with Carlie, Amber fixes up her house AND gets a date, while Farrah is going back to Cali, to Cali, to Cali.
Maci has dropped most of her classes to spend more time with her son, so it makes sense that she takes him to daycare. While I agree the little guy could benefit from socializing with other toddlers, wouldn’t putting him in daycare free her up to actually attend school? And now, does she even have much school to attend? Ridic. Bentley enjoys the classroom, but has a meltdown when Maci and Kyle leave. Maci hates to see him so upset, but Kyle is able to go back into the classroom to calm him. Awww, Maci thinks he’d be such a great dad if when they decide to pop out some babies.
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