Newlyweds Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt sparked chaos among TV executives at NBC over the weekend (30-31May09) when they cried "I'm a celebrity, get me out of here" before the new U.S. reality series started.
The couple, dubbed Speidi by the U.S. media, arrived at base camp for the jungle survival show in Costa Rica and immediately decided they wanted to go home, prompting TV bosses to jet to the set and attempt to stop the pair from bailing on the show, which debuts on Monday night (01Jun09).
Reality TV executive Paul Telegdy was among those who flew to Costa Rica to persuade The Hills stars to stay and he tells Los Angeles radio presenter Ryan Seacrest he was alerted to the problem late on Saturday (30May09) and told to "get down to the jungle" because "Heidi and Spencer have walked".
He adds, "They are back in, they've calmed down but all I can say is what's unfolding here is some of the most extraordinary TV that I've ever witnessed in 20 year as a producer.
"I think Spencer thought he was about to arrive in some jungle-top Four Seasons (hotel), not a camp in the middle of the jungle... He does make much of the fact that he's very pampered. He said to me, 'I can't do this; I eat five times a day and everyone of those meals costs at least $40.' I said, 'Well Spencer, everybody else is doing fine on rice and beans.'
"He's calmed down and he has slept and he has eaten but we had some tempers thrown yesterday. He can be quite a frightening young man... Heidi's being a trooper. She had a truly devastating day... but she wolfed down a rat's tail like she was quite used to having a small piece of cartillage put in her mouth."
The newlyweds have joined former supermodel Janice DICkinson and actors Stephen Baldwin and Lou Diamond Phillips in the jungle for the celebrity survival show.