Tonight at 9 pm/ET, in the fourth of Battle of the Network Reality Stars' six episodes, a big twist (followed by a bigger one) will shift the playing field for the remaining contenders. We already know that The Love Boat's Ted Lange will be stopping by, and that a new team will be added into the mix. So what are we talking about here, putting piranhas in the dunk tank? Better yet, a surprise visit from The Fall Guy's Heather Thomas in the dunk tank? Andrew Cohen, Bravo's vice president of production and programming, gave TVGuide.com an exclusive preview of what's to come.
TVGuide.com: What have you got cooking tonight?
Well, it's Episode 4, and the big news is that the episode starts with a bang, as each team has to send two players packing. I'm not going to tell you everybody who gets kiboshed, but... there are definitely some surprises. Adam Mesh (Average Joe) and Coral [Smith, The Real World] have not been getting along for the entire run, so watch what happens there. I will tell you that Nikki McKibbin (American Idol) gets the ol' heave-ho, and she is p---ed off. She is out of her mind, in tears, very upset, and she really lets everybody have it. And another big hint is that though these people are voted out, we may not be seeing the last of them. They will definitely be back.
TVGuide.com: Has this been your plan all along?
Yes, absolutely. This is the episode where new alliances are formed and people get very upset with other people and where one of the teams starts to fall apart. It takes them through the end of the series, with the team kind of finally [crumbling].
TVGuide.com: What causes that team's implosion?
Infighting, leadership issues....
TVGuide.com: You know, my idea was to have the new team that gets introduced tonight be comprised of original Battle of the Network Stars players, like Scott Baio and Farrah Fawcett.
Oh, that would have been fun. That would have definitely been fun.
TVGuide.com: Any more on-screen catfighting to tease?
I'm trying to remember if this happened on camera or off camera.... [Roving reporter] Omarosa (The Apprentice) and Nikki McKibbin are not the best of friends, and they I guess had been fighting when they were both on Fear Factor [in February]. I guess [tonight's episode] was the week where Nikki was so p---ed about being voted off that her flare-up with Omarosa kind of boiled over into overdrive as well. But that pretty much happened behind the scenes.
TVGuide.com: That's a damn shame. But overall, have you been satisfied with the series?
I've been really satisfied. I think that people who love reality-TV or remember the original [Battle] love our show. The premise of the original was always, "What are all these people doing together?" and that, I think, is the premise of ours as well. I think it's funny that Coral and Adam Mesh hate each other; I think it's funny that Evan Marriott (Joe Millionaire) talked about how dumb he was; I think it's fun to watch Wendy Pepper (Project Runway) and Duncan Nutter (Show Biz Moms & Dads) in a relay race. Anybody who "gets" that is amused by it.
TVGuide.com: What are the current Las Vegas odds of doing another Battle?
That's a good question. We would love to do it again. I know that a lot of these guys want another shot at it, [and] felt like some of their teammates brought them down.
TVGuide.com: I know that an early criticism was that, while the original got to show actual TV stars with their guards down, this version was about people whose guards had already been let down. But we still seem to be getting new looks at familiar faces.
Yeah, for sure. And these guys are just really game, really fun and really up for it.
TVGuide.com: Well, that's what got them into this "business" in the first place.
Cohen: You are right, you are right!