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Thursday, July 30, 2009 08:23 pm

REALITY%u2008CHECKS

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Patti Blagojevich

Now that Patti Blagojevich has been voted off “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!,” who is going to “support” the family? Former Gov. Rod, of course, was the Blago originally approached for the gig; he was denied his opportunity to eat tarantulas and hang out with plastic-enhanced blondes by the mean ol’ judge who refused to allow an indicted felon to leave the U.S.

But if nothing else, Patti’s TV tenure proved to the world what Illinois already knew – that the Blagos can be charming and likeable, in small doses, as long as you don’t put them in charge of a public trust such as a heartland state or a senate seat. Here are a few shows on which we’d love to watch Rod, Patti, or both:

The Apprentice – Who’s better suited for NBC’s “ultimate job interview” than the person who, in the face of a political corruption probe and woeful job approval ratings, survived the cauldron of Illinois politics to get himself handily reelected to a second term? Nor would the booted governor be daunted by Donald Trump’s catchphrase, “You’re fired!”

Strategy: Establish alliances, even with foes. Basically, be the anti-Rod. In the boardroom, he should genuflect to The Donald’s coifal prowess. As a bonus, victory provides entrée to other lucrative Trump-involved franchises, such as Miss USA pageant and World Wrestling Entertainment.

Dancing with the Stars – The world has watched as Rod danced his way around alleged pay-to-play schemes, conspiracy charges and unabashed loathing by Illinois politicians and citizens alike, so we’re thinking he’ll do just fine on the dance floor. The ABC show pairs professional ballroom dancers with celebrities, letting TV voters have the final say in which celebrity has turned out the most grace, rhythm and perfection after weeks of competition. Since he’s proven that he’s stubborn, competitive and just doesn’t know when to quit, Rod will make the perfect match for Cheryl Burke. We hope the no-nonsense, all-business veteran beats Blago into a dancin’ fool.

Strategy: Blago should pull that mane of his back in a sweatband, but if tights of any kind enter the equation, the ousted governor probably won’t find much favor with the frenzied female audience.

Wipeout – Anyone who’s gone jogging through Springfield’s Washington Park on one of the rare occasions Rod visited our humble burg or caught his on-the-run interview with Chicago TV news reporters after his arrest last year knows that the man is in pretty good – physical, anyway – health. The producers of ABC’s “Wipeout” promise “all the fun of Fear Factor with none of the gross,” which is a bit of a disappointment for those of us who’d like to see Milorad scarf down a millipede and maggot horseshoe. If Patti also signs on, they increase their chances of capturing the $50,000 prize on this wacky obstacle course.

Strategy: Rod, try not get your hair wet. Patti, try not to break the big rubber balls.

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