Film and TV

In honor of Balloon Boy dad Richard Heene: Reality TV's top-five attention whores

We at Westword can't help feeling a little bit responsible for prompting the spectacle that was Balloon Boy. After all, our cover story this last week counted down Denver's top-ten reality stars, likely inspiring Richard Heene to try to join their number. Yeah, he lives in Fort Collins, but we probably would have made an exception. We're easy like that...

Now, however, Heene has prompted another list: reality-TV's top-five attention whores -- the personalities who, like our Dick to the north, so desperately crave closeups that they're willing to do anything and everything to keep cameras pointed in their direction. Here they are:


5. The Kardashians

You may think of Kim, Kourtney and Khloé Karshashian as separate individuals. But to us, they're one big attention whore -- a three-headed celebutante monster willing to chase (and even marry) star athletes, strut red carpets in outfits that are all about the ass, and flaunt every triumph or trouble (like the reported theft of Kourtney's jewelry) for the vicarious pleasure of undemanding voyeurs everywhere.

4. Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth

Once a person with a legitimate career (she served as a political consultant for Al Gore), Omarosa first became intoxicated with that demon bitch fame after becoming a slithery villain on The Apprentice. Since then, by Wikipedia's count, she's appeared on over twenty other reality shows, including Celebrity Apprentice -- proof that the term "celebrity" has never meant less.

3. Jonny Fairplay

The man born John Dalton made Survivor history by winning a challenge with the help of a dead grandmother who was really alive and well, then further enhanced his "credibility" by appearing on any other reality show that would have him, getting into an altercation with Danny Bonaduce and briefly pursuing a career in a field only slightly more honorable than reality-TV attention whore: pro wrestling.

2. Heidi Montag

Crested Butte's own Montag parlayed her portrayal of an evil fem-bot (aka herself) on MTV's The Hills into media omnipresence that's included increasingly desperate attempts to establish herself as a singer, a fashion designer and a person worth caring about -- an effort undermined by her relationship with the equally unctuous Spencer Pratt. As a bonus, she thinks Al Roker is out to get her -- and we hope he is.

1. Octomom Whether Nadya Denise Doud-Suleman Gutierrez demanded additional embryo implantations after already giving birth to six kids due to an unspecified psychosis or a mania for stardom is immaterial. After all, these two potential causes are virtually indistinguishable at this point. Whatever the case, she trumps the Heene parents, who didn't have their kids just because they needed props for TV.

As far as we know...