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Speidi, Sanjaya, a Baldwin and, Yes, Blago: NBC's New Celebrities

Heidi Montag, Spencer Pratt, Rod Blagoevich, I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here Paul Drinkwater/NBC

Forget Tahiti or Fiji. Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt will be honeymooning in Costa Rica. And they're being joined by a cast of personalities that would make even the undiscerning talent-herders at Dancing With the Stars balk.

NBC unveiled a partial list of competitors this morning for its upcoming nightly reality bonanza I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, which will see a group of nine "stars" engaging in gross-out challenges and otherwise fending for themselves after getting dropped into the middle of the Costa Rican jungle.

Competing alongside the nearly hitched Pratts will be reality vet and self-proclaimed world's first supermodel Janice Dickinson; Best Damn Sports Show Period host and former NBA star John Salley; American Idol hair disaster turned national laughingstock Sanjaya Malakar; wrestling champ and beauty queen Torrie Wilson; and—because no reality show is complete without him—Stephen Baldwin.

Disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich will not, on judge's orders, be a regular castmember on the show, but is "not ruling out the possibility of being involved in some capacity."

NBC will announce the final three castmembers and the show's host sometime next week.

While no hints were given as to who the new semifamous faces may be, it was rumored earlier this week that Fox News' Geraldo Rivera and Duane "Dog" Chapman were among those being courted.

Though fat chance they'll be able to deliver the type of delusional soundbites Blago has become famous for.

"When I was the governor of Illinois, my second-favorite governor was Arnold Schwarzenegger," he told reporters at the show's press conference. "Doing something like this would sort of be the reverse career path of Arnold."

But the governator isn't the only politico Blagojevich, who dominated the press event despite the fact that he may not even appear on the show (Speidi was not present as they were otherwise engaged), sees a kinship with.

"I wish I could go," he said, adding that being away from his family was "a sacrifice I was willing to make."

"I've prepared myself mentally and sold myself on the idea that this is my little way of being a modern-day Teddy Roosevelt."

Albeit to Costa Rica, not South America. Not to mention for purposes of fame and money, not an expedition for self-betterment.

As for Dickinson, who appeared on the U.K. version of the show two years ago in the Australian outback, she's ready and eager to return to the reality scene.

"Life is a jungle," she said. "I'm very excited about doing the show because it's a marvelous experience and very enjoyable…It's an amazing opportunity to donate large amounts of money to charity."

And while she claims to have "mastered the art of reality," she insists that she's "not a bitch."

Not that fellow competitor Wilson doesn't have a game plan in place on the off chance she's lying.

"If Janice gets out of line, have no doubt I will be tackling her."

But back to Blago…

While he and producers are "discussing possible options" for his participation on the show—he will likely choose not to appeal the judges' decision—he said that he is still "excited to promote it and talk about it."

Not to mention, make predictions about it.

Blago said his choice to win the four-week-long show, and thus get to donate the biggest pot to his favorite charity, is Baldwin, simply because "the Baldwin brothers are known to be Democrats."

For the most part.

The reality show kicks off on NBC June 1 and runs Monday through Thursday on NBC for its month run. Repeats of the show will air Sundays on MTV.

(Originally published April 24, 2009, at 11:04 a.m. PT)


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