The sight of Patti Blagojevich, Illinois' former first lady, praying with Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag, during the Monday debut of "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here" was much weirder.The impromptu prayer session took place about midway though the two-hour premiere of the reality show, which has 11 "celebrities" competing to be the last one left standing in the Costa Rican jungle. NBC -- and the clock -- said the premiere was two hours long. But it felt much, much longer.
The broadcast was a meandering mess of arguments and celebri-tantrums, many of which came from Pratt, whose main claim to fame is being Montag's husband and the chief nitwit on the MTV series "The Hills."
At one point, early in the competition, he declared that he and his wife were going to leave. Soon he was on the phone with NBC co-chair Ben Silverman.
"I'm too rich and too famous to be sitting in the jungle with these people and cleaning up their [expletive], my man," Pratt told Silverman. "This cast is devaluing my fame."
Later Pratt asked Blagojevich why her husband "is facing jail time."
"I can't really get into it too much, except that, yeah, they made a big hoopla about something that wasn't even the truth," Blagojevich said. "My husband was governor for six years, and you know was always about doing the right thing for people."
Oh, the cruelty! In addition to scanty food and rough accommodations, the contestants also had to endure a Blagojevich pity party.
"I look at them as the Heidi and Spencer of politics," Pratt said when Patti's impromptu defense of her husband finally ended. Truer words were never spoken.
Blagojevich was upstaged in the premiere by the odious Pratt, but she did have one scare near the start of the show. On the way to the contestants' rudimentary jungle camp, she got swept away during a river crossing. However, she made it across the river.
In the tradition of reality contests through the years, Blagojevich and other contestants had to attempt to choke down various critters. Blagojevich managed to eat a dead tarantula during one challenge. Second City veteran Frances Callier of the comedy duo Frangela choked down a large green bug.
The final challenge had the celebrities suspended over a pit full of insects and tarantulas, but the segment wasn't finished when the live segment ended. There were no eliminations in Monday's episode. Viewers have to tune in Tuesday to see who got eliminated.
Tuning in to this mess four nights a week? Talk about things that are hard to stomach.