Read a book (on reality TV of course)

Posted Jan. 22, 2009, at 7:10 p.m.

It’s time to turn off the TV and curl up on the couch with a good book. OK, maybe not a good book but one that I will be forced to buy in the near future. That’s right, this reality junkie is clicking off the TV to check out the latest reality star memoir from sixth-season “American Idol” finalist Sanjaya Malakar.

It’s obvious that he can’t sing and his sense of style is a little off, but he has to be good at something. So all we can hope for is that his tell-all book is better than his “Idol” performances. There must be a juicy grain of gossip worth reading in there since the book is 256 pages long and a hardcover at that.

“Dancing to the Music in My Head: Memoirs of the People’s Idol” is available at www.amazon.com for about $16. And while you’re there, pick up a copy of “Chicken Soup for the American Idol Soul.” You might as well make your TV timeout as miserable as possible so that you’ll be truly grateful for all the wonderful reality TV out this season when you finish reading and tune back in.

In addition to mildly bashing a book I haven’t read, I feel it’s appropriate to criticize a show I haven’t yet seen. While I’m a fan of “Top Chef” and find myself sucked into the culinary creativity and commotion of the kitchen, I think we have enough cooking on reality TV and don’t need NBC’s latest addition to the buffet, “The Chopping Block.”

The title might be clever, but all they’ve done is taken the restaurant wars portion of “Top Chef” and turned it into a seasonlong show with contestants vying for $250,000.

The only difference is that, in “Biggest Loser” fashion, the contestants are couples whose drama could add to the heat of the kitchen.

If you haven’t had your fill of reality cooking, tune in to NBC at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 11.

And speaking of turning up the temp in the kitchen, if you’re hungry for more drama, Gordon Ramsey is set to boil over and host a fifth season of “Hell’s Kitchen” starting next Thursday on Fox.

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