Remember Lauren Cleri, the original terrible "Moment of Truth" contestant who sold out her husband and her marriage on live TV, only to walk away with no money at all? Well FOX has helpfully put a brand new update interview with her on YouTube. Seems she's having some relationship troubles now! Her husband is hurting. She's hurting. Everybody's hurting! But you know what? This experience has helped make her the strong woman that she is today. What hasn't gotten stronger, though: her sense of judgment, for doing this updated interview in the first place. The full video is after the jump.
The Moment of Truth—the bold Fox reality experiment that promised to pulverize real lives into a fine confetti by hooking average Americans up to a lie detector and having them answer brutally personal questions about their crotch-stuffing and philandering habits—has failed to really deliver on its promise.
So, anybody catch last night's episode of Fox's show, "You're A Dirty Whore, Aren't You?" Okay, I see here the formal title is "Moment of Truth." Last night, a blonde, curly-haired hostess/ model from New York hit the trifecta by insulting her mother, insulting her friend, and proving herself to be a dirty, bad girl. Whoa, Fox was just as outraged as you were! Why is it so hard to find clean-living people for these reality shows? In perfect form, the guest proved that both her current and former boyfriend are smug assholes (simply by allowing them to show their faces), and then proceeded to confidently continue to sell her honor past the point of no return. And how much money did she walk away with in exchange? The highlight clip is below. This show makes my soul feel weird.
The New York Post this morning puts a total of four reporters on the trail of Lauren Cleri, the bad woman who ruined her husband's life on national television this week by revealing her cheating heart on the Fox show "Moment of Truth." She wasn't that hard to track down, but you need some support in touch and go reporting situations like this. The stunning headline: WIFE: I DID IT FOR THE TV MONEY [NYP]. She's still telling the truth, at least. Cleri said she was surprised at the attention the couple's meltdown in front of 8 million viewers got, because she didn't think they were "going to stand out." Well then. It's hard for her too, you know; a message on her MySpace page (below) trumpets the depth of her despair.
· "If I could bottle the sexual tension between Bonnie Franklin and Schneider, I could solve the energy crisis." At least that's what Troy Dyer said while watching a One Day At A Time re-run in the seminal Gen X opus Reality Bites. We can only imagine how depressed he would've become at the sight of a menopausal Bonnie Franklin. Even worse would've been the look on his face after seeing the visage of the now irascible Schneider sans his trademark pencil-thin pornstache. Reunions ain't always what they're cracked up to be. However, we think he would've gotten a good chuckle from Arnold Drummond's surprise appearance on the set.
· The next time you make your way to Jupiter, Florida, be sure and stop at the Burt Reynolds Museum! We hear that the cryogenically frozen corpses of his Cannonball Run co-stars, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr, are worth the trip in and of themselves. [Burt Reynolds Museum]
· Everybody's favorite underage film critic, Sexman, is back with a brand new review of Jumper ("It sucked. It sucked major. Rambo 3 was better than that piece of shit.") This goes without saying, but if you are related to Hayden Christensen, you won't want to watch this. [YouTube]
· We stopped watching Fox's Moment Of Truth after two episodes, mainly because it failed to be as sadistically voyeuristic as we had been led to believe. Looks like we stopped watching too early! [Vulture]
Don't know if anybody caught Fox's new honesty-promoting reality show "Moment of Truth" last night, but if you did, you may still feel a bit dirty. They should go ahead and rename it, "Destroy All You Hold Dear In Exchange For Thousands of Dollars, Then Be Crushed In A Stunning Twist For Our Collective National Amusement." Yea, that's better. In the clip below, our heroine, having already broken her husband's heart with her painful true answers about her lack of love for him, receives her ironic comeuppance. This show would only be justifiable if they put, say, Rupert Murdoch in the chair.
Even if Fox's The Moment Truth never lives up to its Apocalypse-beckoning advance billing , the show will have provided a valuable service to the very society it's so far failed to destroy in exposing a disturbing deception far more widespread than we ever could have imagined: the artificial enhancement of male "packages" by means of designer jean/Dockers/mankini stuffing.
While it's still too early for new hit The Moment of Truth to officially resort to desperation stunts like a celebrity-boosted format, evil Fox reality TV mastermind Mike Darnell has expressed a refreshing willingness to tinker with the series in hopes of ratcheting up its initially disappointing tension levels, and it never hurts to experiment in a low-stakes environment.
· After two high-rated (but Idol-boosted) episodes of The Moment of Truth, Fox picks up 13 more episodes of their lie-detecting semi-sensation. Evil mastermind Mike Darnell renews his promise to fix the show's pacing problems, and claims that even though these first two episodes have largely failed to shock, they've still been effective enough to induce a number of planned contestants to drop out. [THR]
· Sounding a characteristically gloomy note on the State of the Strike on Day 89, Var points out that even though the WGA and AMPTP have been engaged in informal talks, no date has been picked for the start of formal bargaining, say that "some" worry that the strike will drag on long enough for SAG to walk out in July and "stay out at least into the fall" with the scribes, and claim there's a "tacit deadline" to make some progress before CEOs storm out of negotiations again. Hear that, writers? Doomsday clocks are ticking everywhere, so better take whatever deal's on on the table, whether or not it's a good one! [Variety]
Moment of Truth, that hideous new game show that precariously rewards people for telling the truth about their embarrassing lives, seems to be a hit. Fox is reporting the highest retention rate of any post-Idol show ever; 94 percent to be exact, for a total of 23.2 million viewers. Mike Darnell, president of Fox's ominously titled "alternative entertainment", is quoted as saying "What I care about is it is causing a dialogue about telling the truth." Ah yes. No better grease for the gears of public discourse than a rabid public watching someone shame themselves for the promise of money. [AP]
Though the 23 million or so viewers who stuck around after American Idol to check out the series premiere of The Moment of Truth surely provided all the validation he needed, Fox president of the Dark Alternative Programming Arts Mike Darnell has been reveling in the critical scorn heaped upon his lie-detecting masterwork, knowing from experience that such an outpouring of vitriol probably means he has a huge hit on his hands. Pausing briefly from the celebratory soak in his office's Cristal-filled Jacuzzi he'd been enjoying since the release of this morning's preliminary Nielsen numbers, Darnell spoke to TV Week about Truth, acknowledging complaints about the debut episode's sluggish pacing (they're working on it!), and pledging that future installments of the show will deliver all the deception-induced human misery a rubbernecking, TV-watching nation can handle:
While last night's disappointing, agonizingly slow-paced The Moment of Truth ("That answer is...[pause for 30 seconds of cuts between the contestant and host Mark Wahlberg barely resisting the temptation to check his watch]...TRUE!") failed to make us feel as irredeemably filthy as we'd hoped it would, the ratings were, in a word, huge. Not only did the show retain 23 million of American Idol's viewers, it was the best-rated debut on any network since similarly highbrow Fox sibling Who Wants To Be Humiliated By A Not Particularly Bright Ten-Year-Old? bowed last year. We suppose we have to see how many of those eyeballs return next week for the resolution of Truth's "Did the guy with the hair plugs and gambling problem lose his son's college fund in a craps game?" cliffhanger. [TV Week]
Perhaps Mike Darnell, Fox's President Of Alternative Programming and Slowly Destroying the Fabric Of Our Society, slightly oversold his much-anticipated lie-detector show, The Moment of Truth, when he claimed back in November, "You're either going to love it, or think it's the end of Western civilization," as last night's premiere was maddeningly short on the kind of shamelessly exploitative moments we'd been hoping for; neither of the show's first two contestants, confronted with the possibility that their lives could unravel because of a nationally televised confrontation with The Truth, suffered the kind of debilitating stroke or heart attack teased during the pre-release hype.
Remember those old, seemingly ubiquitous ads for the Hair Club for Men with the guy who wasn't just the president, he was also a client? Of course you do, they were everywhere. Then, they just kind of disappeared. The anti-balding industry had faded. Until now! Last night an only slightly apologetic contestant on Fox's Moment of Truth admitted to being a member of the Club. I could never have guessed from the the big, bushy pine cone sitting atop his forehead. This morning "Hair Club for Men" is one of the hottest searches on Google. Also, the New York Times ran a story today about the recent upsurge of that other bald dude juggernaut, Rogaine. Their new success is mostly due to some sort of icky foam. Here we have an ad for the product which, for the first time ever, the Times reports, is being directly marketed to gay men. Well, on the Logo channel. So about twelve gay men. Maybe the Hair Club for Men is doing the same thing, because that guy? On the show last night? Uh, let's just say that if he gets to the $500,000 question next episode, it just might start with "A" and end with "re you a homosexual?" Awkward! But with beautiful hair!
Mark L. Wahlberg, host of other proud and noble Fox shows Joe Millionaire and Temptation Island, is now our emcee for Moment of Truth, a "game show" that Entertainment Weekly calls "Genius" (or, maybe not). Tonight was the grand premiere. It's pretty much the nadir of the contemporary challenge show, which began so innocently with Regis Philbin shouting at poor, trivia-spouting office assistants. Contestants are asked to answer a series of horribly awkward questions (Would you have your wife get lipo if she got fat? Are you a gambling addict?) while three friends, lovers, or family members watch on in sweaty, money-craving horror. Are they telling the truth? Are they lying? Only predetermined lie detector test results will tell. The longer you tell the truth, the more you win. Watch here as Ty, a former professional football player and current personal trainer who has already admitted to checking out other dudes' "privates", takes the plunge, much to the chagrin of wife Catia. He leaves with nothing. Not even his dignity, which he traded in not at the door, but at some indefinable date years ago, when all of us gurgling Americans threw up our hands and said "Fuck it, gimme some cash."