So who thinks 'Boogie' Mike Malin is doing this for revenge? 'Once I was a lowly Big Brother contestant. But now I co-own multiple restaurants. I'm rich! I associate with celebrities all the time! I'm one of the few alumni from my series who hasn't landed in jail!'
And now he gets to live the dream of so many former contestants: move into the host chair. Make up the rules himself. Possibly change a few of them as he goes along. He gets his very own contestants to abuse -- and they're low-level celebrities lining up for the honor of having him take their money! That's right: the prize for the winner? Is the right to hand him a check. The show makes him money and then he gets more. Whether his latest eatery succeeds only matters for Season #2. Which means he'll make sure it does succeed, because he's smarter than anyone on NBC. (Which is not hard. But still.)
...no, I'm serious. Our low-level celebs are competing for the right to give Mike money. They design a restaurant together and the winner gets to invest in it. Admittedly, these are very low-level celebs, so this might feel like an actual prize to them -- even if they have to borrow money to make it pay off. Sure, a very large percentage of new places fail, and the one Mike's handing over might just be a recent fall-apart in need of revamping, but hey -- camera time!
How low can we go? Look at this lineup.
Heidi Montag (Has restaurant experience in the family.)
Ashley Dupre (The official show site joke is that she knows customer service. If the name looks vaguely familiar, it's because she was involved in an NY gubernatorial scandal.)
DJ Paul and Juicy "J" (members of the rap group Three 6 Mafia. Oscar winners.)
Danielle Staub (Oh, look, a Real Housewife. Wonder if she can Really Cook.)
Vincent Pastore (Continuing the Rodman Quest to do every reality show there is.)
...wait for it...
...those of delicate constitutions may wish to leave the room now...
...Jake Pavelka (needs no introduction.)
Is there anyone there you can root for? Will you show up just for the train wreck? Would you dare to eat the food? Who just wants to see Jake fail in a new medium? And can the resulting place close faster than Soul Daddy?
Sundays at 10 p.m. EDT on VH1. BYOHI.
(Bring your own health inspector.)
Heidi looks like the clear favorite to me.