Dilemmas and drugs: reality hosts swap stories

Mon Jun 7, 2010 3:13am EDT
 
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By Matthew Belloni

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Does a roundtable with Kathy Griffin and Dr. Drew Pinsky even need a moderator?

Plenty of questions were prepared for Griffin ("My Life on the D-List"), Pinsky ("Celebrity Rehab"), Randy Jackson ("American Idol"), SallyAnn Salsano ("Jersey Shore"), Craig Piligian ("Dirty Jobs") and Phil Keoghan ("The Amazing Race"), but barely any were asked.

Instead, the panelists eagerly quizzed each other about drug testing and offered candid admissions about the impact pf their shows.

WHAT'S THE TOUGHEST PART OF YOUR JOB?

Kathy Griffin: It's a lot of being "on." When I do a show at (Madison Square) Garden or at Universal, it's a two-hour show. But on "My Life on the D-List," it's 12 hours a day of being "on" -- because if I'm not "on," there's no scene. I don't have the luxury to be like, "Hmm, what should I say?" I've got to be bringing it all the time.

Drew Pinsky: The part that pops into my mind is the fighting I have to do to protect the patients that go on a reality television show. I have to fight to protect that their care is good and that nothing happens to them. Because television doesn't care about anything except getting eyes. Which is great and I understand that, and I have to capitulate to that because nobody learns anything if nobody watches. But I'm the one that's responsible to make sure that people get good care.

Randy Jackson: People say it all the time, especially on "Idol": "Oh, Simon doesn't really care about the contestants." But actually, we really do care. We have souls? What a concept!

SallyAnn Salsano: I do a lot of crazy shows, but every single cast member and their family has my direct cell phone. When someone has a particularly difficult episode (about to air), I always call and say, "This is what's coming up; you know what happened that night. It's going down just like it did. I probably wouldn't watch this episode with your grandmother."   Continued...