VH1 is riding the wave of its “celebreality” success, and plans to continue with its next installment of The Surreal Life. The show, which ran for two seasons on the WB before moving to VH1, is planning its fifth season and has become the highest rated program in VH1 history, according to USA Today. The new season began filming last Monday, and will premiere September 4. The new cast includes more has-beens like Bronson Pinchot of Perfect Strangers fame, singer Sandi “Pepa” Denton of the group Salt-N-Pepa, and Jose Canseco, a retired baseball player. Plus, veteran reality stars Omarosa, from season one of The Apprentice, and Janice Dickinson, a panel judge on American’s Next Top Model, will be part of the dysfunctional ensemble. Whether any of the new Surreal cast members will find a love connection like Brigitte and Flav…. that remains to be seen.
American Idol finalist Scott Savol has a criminal background that may affect his future on the hit reality TV show. He was taken into custody for felony domestic violence in 2001 after behaving aggressively toward his son’s mother, according to MSNBC.com. In addition to this incident, Savol has also faced trespassing charges before his days as an “idol.”
During the 2003 American Idol season, a finalist was disqualified from the competition due to a criminal record. It is not confirmed if the judges or any of the program’s representatives are aware of Savol’s criminal history.
Celebrity Attorney Johnnie Cochran died of an inoperable brain tumor last week. He is most notable for defending O.J. Simpson in the 1994 “trial of the century” in which Simpson was acquitted of murdering ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. Cochran has also represented Michael Jackson, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, and Tupac Shakur in the past. In addition to his celebrity clients, Johnnie also defended victims of police brutality and civil rights violations, according to the New York Daily News. Cochran’s family and law firm issued a statement saying, “Johnnie’s career will be noted as one marked by celebrity cases and clientele. But he and his family were most proud of the work he did on behalf of those in the community.” Cochran had been keeping a low profile about his tumor since he was diagnosed in 2004. His wife, Dale Mason, and his sisters were by his side until his death. Cochran was 67.
Last Thursday marked the 10-year anniversary of Latin music icon Selena’s death. The successful singer was shot and killed a decade ago by the president of her fan club, Yolanda Saldivar. Selena was only 23-years-old when she died, but her music has not been forgotten. Many people, particularly in the Latin community, consider her to be a wonderful role model, and someone who was proud of her heritage and talent. In a statement in The Seattle Times, Selena’s father Abraham Quintanilla said, “Selena touched a lot of hearts. Her fans viewed her as a positive, humble person, and I’ve always believed that in Selena’s case it was just not the music but the person who made an impact.” The Grammy-winning artist is remembered fondly by her fans. There will be a concert held at Houston’s Reliant Stadium this Thursday in her honor, which her family will attend.
Lisa Thompson can be reached at email@example.com.