If the TV Academy were to dole out awards for some of this season’s most compelling reality TV perfs, who would get the honors? The possibilities are endless…
Performance by a J.Lo Ex: Cris Judd (“I’m a Celebrity…Get Me out of Here!”) The five people who actually watched this show got all choked up right alongside the chrome-domed dancer when he opened up about love and J.Lo.
Performance by a Ryan Seacrest Clone: Clay Aiken (“American Idol”). Those new duds! The highlights! Throughout the season the aw-shucks North Carolina boy got all single white male and slowly, but surely, became the glistening white host. Hey, quit laughing — his plan worked. Almost.
Supporting Performance by an Inanimate Object: Lorenzo Lamas’ laser pointer (“Are You Hot?”). Continually picking apart well-chiseled egos from the nation’s Hot Zones, the only thing more dastardly than Ol’ Red Eye was Lamas’ vest-heavy wardrobe.
Outstanding (Unintentional) Comedy: “Man vs. Beast.” No, not the show, but its creators for actually thinking people would watch.
Performance by a Recovering Bitch: Jerri Manthey (“The Surreal Life”). Hey, maybe it was the editing. The wicked witch from “Survivor: The Australian Outback” made a complete personality comeback while shacking up with Emmanuel Lewis, MC Hammer and others. But who wouldn’t look good next to Corey Feldman?
Supporting Performance by the Help: Paul Hogan, the butler (“Joe Millionaire”). Quit the “Crocodile Dundee” cracks right now, because if it weren’t for Hogan’s dapper charisma it would’ve meant more Alex McLeod screen time.
Best Performance by a Revenging Nerd: Ben Reb (“High School Reunion”). When the former square reluctantly admitted that he was a millionaire, he suddenly looked a lot more handsome, didn’t he?
Performance by a Strong and Silent Type: The polygraph operator (“Meet My Folks”). This non-speaking Dennis Franz doppelganger became the lone ranger of truth in reality TV by answering nervous parents’ questions with a simple thumbs up or thumbs down. Every household should get one.
Performance by an Ex-Boyfriend: Zack (“The Amazing Race 3”). As if his Justin Guarini ‘do didn’t offer enough wind resistance, he was able to lug his “we’re just friends” ex-girlfriend around the world — literally — to the million-dollar win.
Outstanding Directing, Drama Series: Rob (“Survivor: The Amazon”). He lied, he manipulated, he ruled the game with a balance of conniving wit and goofy charm. Even Jeff Probst gave him props. The only thing he didn’t do was win.
Performance by a TV Mouthpiece: Monica Lewinsky (“Mr. Personality”). Yeah, this is a cheap shot, but, sorry, couldn’t resist.