He’s not a celebrity, and it’s not clear whether he’ll even participate on the show, but Rod Blagojevich was easily the star of NBC’s Friday morning press conference for “I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!”
The Peacock officially unveiled the summer series’ cast, which had pretty much leaked in previous days: John Salley, Spencer Pratt, Heidi Montag, Sanjaya Malakar, Torrie Wilson, Stephen Baldwin and Janice Dickinson (who presumably has a leg up, having appeared in the U.K. version of the show).
And then there was Blagojevich. Sitting on a stage in Pasadena, the impeached Illinois governor told reporters that he wouldn’t appeal a federal judge’s decision barring him from traveling to Costa Rica for the show. He also indicated that had he been allowed to join the show, he wouldn’t have been a flight risk.
“The judge’s decision is one I will follow and abide by,” Blagojevich said. “With respect to what the judge said, I appreciate the points he made.”
NBC and producer Granada America are still trying to figure out a way to keep the ex-Illinois governor on the show, however, but declined to speculate on some options.
Blagojevich, meanwhile, appears ready and willing to keep showing up in front of cameras and behind the microphone. The ex-guv said he took meetings while in Hollywood on Thursday and has been presented with a variety of possible offers.
“I’m not ruling out staying active in causes and issues, but at this point, I’m looking for a new line of work,” Blagojevich said. “I’m trying to pursue a way to earn a living and do some interesting things. This is a chance to do something new and entertaining.”
Blagojevich first compared himself to Arnold Schwarzenegger, whom he described as “my favorite governor” — well, now that he’s no longer governor of Illinois.
“(I’m pursuing) the reverse career path of Arnold’s,” he said.