Thanks to the pioneering work of Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth on the first season of "The Apprentice," producers of the so-called unscripted TV genre have a template to work with when casting and crafting a successful reality show.
Reality rule No. 1: You need an Omarosa. You know, the show’s villain, the anti-hero, the hellraiser, the bully.
MTV and VH1’s latest crop of reality shows embrace what I call the "Omarosa Effect," with a slew of series villains that raise Omarosa’s over-the-top antics one step higher. Here’s my list:
*Amanda Lorber, the cheeky editatrix from MTV’s "The Paper," comes across more like an Andrea Zuckerman archetype from "Beverly Hills 90210" and less like a real high school editor. However, it’s her off-the-cuff remarks to "The Circuit's" staffers like when she commented on news editor Giana Pacinelli’s first-day-of-school wardrobe that earns her Omarosa-in-training status.
*ANT, host of "Celebrity Fit Club," has his claws out in the new VH1 series "Celebracadabra." After approaching singer/talk-show host Carnie Wilson to join his "magical alliance," a strategy she rebuked, he successfully staged an Omarosa-esque coup d'état which resulted in the Wilson-Phillips singer to get the boot. Based on the season sneak peek, ANT is out for blood.
*Dustin Diamond, known for his compelling work as Screech on "Saved by the Bell," maintained his Omarosa status in a return visit to the boot camp version of "Celebrity Fit Club." However, it was little Miss Joanie Cunningham also known as Erin Moran, the former spunky sis from "Happy Days," who became the show’s ultimate Omarosa by sabotaging the red team with her lackadaisical "I’m in it for the money" approach. By not giving a damn, she cost her teammates thousands in prizes.
*If Gigi Hunter, the human lie detector on Danny Bonaduce’s "I Know My Kid’s a Star," spent more time coaching her daughter Alai Divinity and less time raising hell and calling her fellow cast mothers liars, she would have a shot at winning the "Kid Star" title. In fact, the daughter Alai acts more like an adult than her Omarosa-esque mother.
*Vinci Alonso, the 26-year-old bad boy model from MTV’s "8th & Ocean," is starring in the new reality show "VH1’s Viva Hollywood!" and promises to knock off his cast members one by one. After being thrown into the "La Massacre de la Mascara" and ultimately winning the duel last Sunday, Alonso’s lion within is plotting to devour his teammates.