Reality show update: Yung Joc (‘Scared Famous’), Desiree Williams (‘Survivor’), Kenya Freeman (‘Project Runway’)

Posted on Monday, October 23, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Yung Joc, an Atlanta rap star, morning radio host and “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta” regular, found himself spending time in a haunted Savannah mansion for a new VH1 show “Scared Famous” to raise up to $100,000 for Ludacris‘ charity foundation.  It debuted this past Monday.

“I ain’t scared,” he said on the show as he entered the mansion. Indeed, in an interview, he said it takes a lot to scare him. Maybe this show will test that premise.

“Savannah Georgia is haunted as a bitch,” host Redman said. “What you are about to experience is some spooky s***.”

Yung Joc was happy to see Redman: “He made it fun and made it more entertaining. He came in and gave us clues on how to win and how to stay alive and not die. He didn’t stay with us.”

In the opening episode, reality stars from VH1 shows such as “Mob Wives,” “Love and Hip Hop,” “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and “America’s Next Top Model” gather and most seem to know each other. In the first episode one star starts bleeding spontaneously. Another (Atlanta’s Eva Marcille) believed a ghost pulled her hair. A third heard voices. It’s hard to say how much of these shenanigans were created by the producers, were in the minds of the contestants or the product of actual spirits.

VH1 reality show veteran Tiffany “New York” Pollard (“I Love New York” and “Flavor of Love”) is the matriarch of the group in more ways than one: she has the closest connections to the spirits and senses them. “We have to protect each other,” she said.

Yung Joc’s take on her: “She was way over the top. She was very cool, very fun to be with. Sometimes, she’d get a little too crazy… I couldn’t tell if it was for the cameras.”

His favorite scary movies go back decades: “Pet Semetary” and “Poltergeist.”

He said he believes in “energy,” not necessarily ghosts per se. “I think the body is a receptacle,” he said. “The body is temporary. Once you leave, that energy moves to another place or space or body.”

Yung Joc said his strengths to win this type of competition is being perceptive.

It’s inherently tension filled because the contestants have to decide to eliminate each other “Survivor” style. Redman’s departing line is far more hip hop than most: “You have been voted off this beeyitch!”

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“This is Why You Play Survivor” – Desiree Williams on the sixth episode of SURVIVOR 35, themed Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, airing Wednesday, November 1 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Robert Voets/CBS ©2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved

How’s Atlanta’s former Miss America/Universe contestants Desiree Williams doing on the 35th season of “Survivor” after five episodes? So far, so good. She has not been threatened and has gone to tribal council only once.

Otherwise, she hasn’t gotten much airtime so it’s difficult to gauge her strategic plans as of yet with 13 players remaining. At least she hasn’t annoyed anybody enough for the “Survivor” editors to showcase.

She was originally part of the “Healers” team vs. “Heroes” and “Hustlers.” The teams were scrambled episode four and she found herself with one other “Healer” named Joe, who saved himself that episode with an immunity idol. Until this past Wednesday’s episode, the Healers were in the best shape but lost its first member this past week Roark Luskin, a woman who appeared to be a super fan but got played by Chrissy Hoffbeck.

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Kenya Freeman on Thursday remained in the top five on Lifetime’s season 16 of “Project Runway,” finishing in the top three yet again but not winning.

In fact, she is the only remaining designer without an outright win despite landing in the top 3 seven out of 11 challenges and being in the bottom three twice. As she told me a couple of weeks ago, “always the bridesmaid, never the bride.”

Despite much fretting, Freeman designed a solid blue “warrior” dress that the judges found impeccable. They admired how much work she put into it and loved how it fit her plus-sized model. But they were more wowed by favorite to win Brandon Kee, who has never received a real negative critique as of yet and won his third challenge, more than anybody else.

Ayana lfe is another likely finalist. She has won twice and almost won again Thursday night with a superbly imaginative outfit. She seems to be getting stronger as the competition goes along.

The other two contestants – Margarita Alverez and Kentaro Kameyama – appear to be on far shakier ground to make the final three and make it to coveted Fashion Week. Mentor Tim Gunn in fact helped get Margarita back into the competition this past week using his one save.

Kenya in a solid position to be in the finals but she will face an uphill climb getting past Ayana and Brandon.


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