The Most Ridiculous Celebrity Competitions

Nick DimengoFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2014

The Most Ridiculous Celebrity Competitions

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    Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images

    This might take away some of the little street cred that I have, but yes, I have auditioned and been a finalist for not just one, but two reality competitions.

    That might not be front-page news, but nevertheless, it goes to show that anyone and everyone at least has the ability to become a reality star.

    The sad thing? That includes athletes and entertainers.

    While we like our athletes competing against each other in their sport or entertainers giving us the music or movies we enjoy, when it comes to a TV challenge, well, we should all be a bit turned off.

    And these are just some of the most ridiculous celebrity competitions ever seen.

Mark Philippoussis ('Age of Love')

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    Felipe Dana/Associated Press

    First off, who the hell knew that former tennis player Mark Philippoussis looked so much like New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez?

    Second—and more importantly—what made the Aussie make decisions like Sanchez did when on the gridiron, agreeing to get a spot on the matchmaking show Age of Love?

    As the prize that numerous 40-something cougars and 20-something kittens tried to win, Philippoussis actually subjected himself to this garbage.

Ronaldo ('Fantastico')

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    Silvia Izquierdo/Associated Press

    He may have scooped up the Ballon d'Or in both 1997 and 2002, being recognized as the best soccer player on the planet. But former soccer player Ronaldo also let his stomach balloon out following his playing days.

    In order to help relieve himself of the beer-drinking routines he fell into, the Brazilian landed on the TV show, Fantastico, and, though credited with losing 37 pounds, only got there thanks to loads of Gangnam dancing and topless Pilates.

    Not exactly the greatest way to admit losing weight—especially when it's all getting recorded.

Johnny Weir ('Skating with the Stars')

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    He may not be an Olympic figure skater anymore, but Johnny Weir has proved to still capture headlines thanks to his outlandish attitude and style.

    While Weir is helping in the coverage of Sochi 2014, he might best be remembered on TV as a judge on the reality competition Skating with the Stars.

    That's because the flamboyant Weir didn't exactly see eye-to-eye with contestant Bethenny Frankel, who had some choice words for the former Olympian.

John Rocker ('Pros vs. Joes')

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    STEPHEN CHERNIN/Associated Press

    Former MLB player John Rocker "rocked" the sports world with his strong—and inappropriate—opinions on the city of New York back in 2000.

    And while the lefty did have a few good moments in his six-year career, otherwise, when he showed his face on the TV show Pros vs. Joes, he instantly dropped himself to the B-list.

Anna Kournikova ('The Biggest Loser')

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    With great looks, a smoking body and the competitive mentality from being a former professional athlete, execs on the popular TV show The Biggest Loser thought that Anna Kournikova would make a great trainer to replace Jillian Michaels a few years back.

    There was one big problem—and it wasn't the contestants.

    Kournikova was accused of being a bit snotty towards producers and failed to ever really connect with the contestants, earning her the boot after one season.

George Zimmerman and ??? (Celebrity Boxing)

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    For all of you celebrity boxing fans out there, I'm sorry to report that the scheduled bout between rapper DMX and George Zimmerman—from the Trayvon Martin case—will not be happening anymore. Promoter Damon Feldman announced the cancellation in since-deleted tweets, as noted by Sean Newell of Deadspin (h/t USA Today's Jayme Deerwester).

    I know you're all sad to hear the news.

    Wait, what's that?

    Oh, you didn't even have any clue about this being in the works? Yeah, initially, neither did I.

    Let's all raise a glass to celebrate that these two will not be putting themselves into a ring and actually getting paid to act like boxers.

    Ed. Note: According to TMZ, the fight might be back on without DMX. 

Laila Ali ('Stars Earn Stripes' and 'Dancing with the Stars')

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    Chris Pizzello/Associated Press

    When you have the last name of Ali, and happen to be a boxer, there's only one thing that I can think of—greatness.

    Yet, when the daughter of legendary fighter Muhammad Ali, Laila, agreed to do not just one, but two celebrity competition shows, it wasn't the greatest of decisions.

    I understand appearing on Dancing With the Stars since numerous big-named athletes have salsaed on that stage.

    But what's with doing the military training show 'Stars Earn Stripes'? The show flopped—as did Laila's TV career shortly after—I hope.

Jimmy Johnson ('Survivor: Nicaragua')

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    I honestly forgot that former NFL coach Jimmy Johnson had appeared as a contestant on the popular TV game Survivor: Nicaragua.

    One reason is because he seems to be so white-collar, what with his perfectly-styled hair and flashy Maui Jim clothing and shades.

    The other is because he only lasted a few episodes—not without some drama, of course—becoming the third person voted off in his season.

Jesse Palmer ('The Bachelor')

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    It wasn't bad enough that former football player Jesse Palmer flamed out in the NFL, lasting just two seasons with the New York Giants—sadly, still longer than I can brag about having.

    But then the former Florida Gator quarterback went looking for love in all the wrong places, agreeing to become the man every girl wanted when on the romantic reality show The Bachelor.

    I guess having 30 women trying to win a dude's heart shouldn't be a bad thing—also something I'm unfamiliar with.

    As a good looking, former football player, though, did Palmer really have to do it on TV?

John Elway and Serena Williams ('Fast Cars and Superstars')

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    Boy, it sure seemed like John Elway was looking for anything to pass the time before accepting the Denver Broncos opening as the team's executive vice president of football operations in 2011.

    Same can be said for tennis player Serena Williams, who, for whatever reason, believed that sitting behind the wheel of a race car would be a good idea for her still-booming career.

    Both were featured, among other celebs, on the TV competition Fast Cars and Superstars, which Elway may have won, yet still didn't help appeal to too many people—as the show got axed after just the original seven episodes.

Jose Canseco (Various)

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    Susan Walsh/Associated Press

    While I've mentioned a few other B-list celebrity athletes on this list, there might not be one more depressing than former major leaguer Jose Canseco.

    The guy has become obsessed with stardom since leaving baseball, agreeing to do shows like The Surreal Life, Celebrity Apprentice and even celebrity boxing matches—which he had his twin brother stand in for him for a fight, costing him $7,600 in a lawsuit.

    If Canseco's name is on the cast list, there's a good chance the show is going to be bad.

Dennis Rodman (Numerous)

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    It's appropriate that NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman follows Jose Canseco on this list—since both have become remembered as sideshows more than what they accomplished in their athletic careers.

    From being a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice—twice—all the way to hanging with the leader of North Korea, "The Worm" hasn't done a wise job of staying in the news for the good reasons since calling it quits.

    It didn't help Rodman that his two stints on Donald Trump's show ended with being fired for partying too much, and then for an obvious spelling error.

Emmitt Smith ('Dancing with the Stars')

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    As the NFL's all-time rushing leader, former running back Emmitt Smith used a variety of moves to avoid tacklers throughout his Hall of Fame career.

    But am I the only person who thinks that Smith is too big of a star to be competing on a show like Dancing With the Stars?

    I'm well aware other big-time athletes like Jerry Rice and Clyde Drexler have done it. But these guys aren't former athletes looking for attention, so I'd rather have them hold themselves to a higher standard.

    In saying that, Smith did put on quite the show—winning the event in his season.

Jeff Kent ('Survivor')

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    Former MLB second baseman Jeff Kent may be remembered as a good player—with a very jerky attitude—but he showed that he was an even bigger jackass than anyone could have imagined when he was a contestant on the popular TV show Survivor: Philippines.

    Hearing him say that he made, "$60 million playing baseball" and then complain that the $1 million prize handed to the winner is actually only $600,000 sounds like pouting to me.

    However, it got epic when he declared himself as a "Game 7 World Series loser," which, for the life of me, I can't imagine is something anyone would ever want to brag about.

    Maybe it was the mustache that caused him so much angst?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ('Splash')

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    I can't hate on Hall of Fame center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for what he did on the hardwood.

    But I certainly can for Kareem opting in on the celebrity diving show Splash—which he debuted last summer.

    I'd think that Dr. James Naismith would be rolling in his grave knowing that the best scorer in NBA history put himself in an awkward, shiny diving suit to attempt something like this.