Is he smiling behind that gag?

One "Survivor" contestant might be giving away the goods, despite a silence agreement; Spinal Tapster lets us crank it to 11; Roberto Benigni promises more annoyance; and more. Plus: Sting gets stung, dot-com style.

By Amy Reiter
July 28, 2000 10:00PM (UTC)
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If you ask me, the smart money really is on Gervase Peterson to take home the "Survivor" dough.

And not just because someone tipped off about CBS's little-red-X Web site glitch (to which the show's creator keeps demanding -- like some kind of anti-Willy Loman -- that attention must not be paid).


Or because Vegas bookies are laying 2-12 odds on the swim-challenged cow caller. (Pouty Colleen's odds are 15-1.)

Or even because I've started to find his grandfather's homespun sayings kind of endearing and his eliminate-key-obstacles strategy rather compelling.

Nope. It's all because his friends back home are blabbing to their hometown paper. His buddy Suzan Robbins tells the Cherry Hill, N.J., Courier-Post that she suspects Gervase won the million bucks, even though he's not acting like it.


"When we go out, does he pick up the tab?" she says. "That would be, no."

Then again, he's been cruising around town in a new Jeep Cherokee lately.

What's more, Gervase himself sounds suspiciously giddy about his newfound fame, which has scored him both an agent and a tryout for a part in John Travolta's next flick. He also says he has hopes for "TV commercials, movies, endorsements."


He doesn't even mind getting mobbed when he tries to zip out to the local Red Lobster for a bite of dinner. "I love it. I actually love it," he tells the paper. "It's something I always wanted for myself. If I could trade my personal life for fame, it's a fair trade-off."

Especially if it comes with a million bucks.


And no, I won't eat beetle larvae if I'm wrong.

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Open sack, insert hand

"Satisfied? Yes, and no. Yes, because it's the end of a legal process, which has left me very bitter. No, because I have to open my sack and hand over billions of lire."


-- Luciano Pavarotti on how forking over $12 million to settle his epic tax evasion case doesn't exactly feel the same as getting a standing O, on Italian TV.

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Back to Stonehenge

When the foil-wrapped cucumber landed in my mailbox a few weeks ago, I knew it could mean only one thing: The return of Spinal Tap.


And now the hype surrounding the September re-release of "This Is Spinal Tap" in theaters and on VHS and DVD has been cranked all the way up to 11. This week sees the launch of, where you can download a new song by the band, "Back From the Dead."

Spinal Tap's more astute fans will note that the scope of the MP3 offerings on Tapster is not quite that of, say, Napster. But then again, notes lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest), "Napster's a bit complicated, really, what with all of the songs available. One of the brilliant things about Tapster is that there's only one song to choose from."

And you know, there's a fine line between skimpy and brilliant.

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Juicy bits

Get ready to cringe: The wild man of Italian cinema is back. Roberto Benigni has announced that his next film will be a live-action version of "Pinocchio," in which he will again costar with his wife, Nicoletta Braschi. "It's been 20 years, or maybe ever since I was born, that I had a desire that my nose would grow long," Benigni explained. "Finally while lying in bed, thinking, I felt as if someone had taken my hand. It was Pinocchio." Jiminy Cricket's gonna have his hands full with this guy.

And here's another movie I know you won't want to miss: Angelina Jolie starring opposite Kevin Costner in Oliver Stone's "Beyond Borders." Word is Jolie is atop the list for the part that Catherine Zeta Jones and Meg Ryan were each formerly slated to play.

Michael Jackson: victim? A former secretary for the lawyer who represented the young boy who accused Jackson of molesting him back in 1993 is shopping around a book in which she claims the case was all about extortion. Geraldine Hughes tells the New York Daily News she can prove the King of Pop's innocence. "So much about the case never came to the public's attention. I was there, and I know," she says. Does this mean the world will finally get to the bottom of those "distinguishing characteristics"?


Poor Sting. He'll always be king of pain. And now he can't even win the rights to the URL An Australian arbitrator has ruled that a computer game player named Michael Urvan can keep the name he's been using for the last eight years. His reasons? A) The ex-Police man never registered his name as a trademark or service mark. B) Sting is a common English word. And C) it isn't even the rock star's real name. Is still available?

Fans of "The X-Files" can breathe a little easier. Gillian Anderson has signed a contract to keep searching for the truth through the 2001-2002 season, according to the Hollywood Reporter. She'll appear alongside newly cast Robert Patrick, who'll replace David Duchovny. The show's creator, Chris Carter, meanwhile, has committed for only one more season. How's that for paranormal?

Live, from New York ... it's Saturday night without Tim Meadows or Colin Quinn. Meadows is skipping out to join the cast of NBC's Michael Richards Show, although a SNL spokesperson tells TV Guide Online he'll stop in and visit the show from time to time. As for Quinn, the "Weekend Update" anchor has told the New York Post he's skipping out to pursue a movie career, but that he, too would "like to come back sometimes." That's his story and he's sticking to it.

Amy Reiter

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