MODESTO -- As promised, I've been tuning into "The Amazing Race" on Sunday nights to see the progress of Modesto native Meghan Camarena and her partner, Joey Graceffa, on the popular reality/competition show.
So far, so good for Meghan and Joey, as they've survived the first two challenges and currently stand in fourth place going into Sunday night's challenge No. 3.
Which, as far as I can tell as a "Race" newbie, means absolutely nothing. They quickly could topple to the bottom of any challenge, it would appear, based on whatever may befall them at any given moment.
Still, they're cute as buttons and it's nice to have someone to root for when you've latched onto these competition shows. Otherwise, you find yourself rooting against people.
Um, did I mention I'm totally rooting against people on this show? That snooty couple, Max and Katie, who've been pulling up the rear but seem to think they are all that and a piece of cake? They're coming off as super mean-spirited and completely unpleasant.
Otherwise, the field seems filled with pretty likable folks. It's been sort of sad to see the two teams kicked off so far go particularly the twin doctors who just couldn't get over their fear of water in time to complete a mission diving in the ocean off Bora Bora.
Seriously, though, guys, if you're going on "The Amazing Race" and it's known for sending contestants all over the world on a series of grueling physical challenges, shouldn't you have been prepared for some deep water action? I've barely seen the show but still could have predicted this.
As sweet as those docs seemed, you had to wonder what they were thinking being out there in the first place, given their fear of water.
Nevertheless, I am prepared to send my son and husband off to the next "Amazing Race" season to compete for the $1 million prize. Watching, they seem confident that they could handle the challenges no problem, mind you thus far.
Me? I'll be content to watch the action on TV and plan how to spend their winnings.
Former Los Banos and Modesto resident Ryan Scott is making a name for himself in celebrity chefdom. After competing in the fourth season of "Top Chef," Scott has been bouncing around between his work as a chef and his work on television, online and at foodie events.
Most recently, Scott made a return appearance on daytime TV's "The Rachael Ray Show," hobnobbing with über-celeb chefs and Food Network mavens Ray and Sunny Anderson (and if you don't know a Bobby Flay from an Ina Garten, trust me, these are big names in the chef/foodie world).
Scott did a little mini-relive of his "Top Chef" competing days, facing off against Anderson in a toaster oven cook-off. (He won: You go, Ryan).
While that was fairly high-profile on network television, Scott also has been appearing on his own television show on the lesser-known Live Well network, "Food Rush," which airs Sunday nights. The Live Well Network doesn't appear to be available in the Modesto region (it's not on DirectTV or Dish, either), although it does air in Fresno, Sacramento and the Bay Area.
File this under "better late than never": My last column was Feb. 15 and talked of ex-Modestan and former reality TV star Jeremiah Brent, who it turns out won't return for the fifth season of "The Rachel Zoe Project" on the Bravo network. Nevertheless, he seems to be doing well in his interior-design career and in his personal life, notably dating celebrity designer and former TV host Nate Berkus.
Right after that column ran, I went on vacation for a week, but not before I got a call reporting a local sighting of the celebrity couple, forcing this late gossip report:
Berkus and who we assume was Brent were spotted antique shopping in Oakdale on Feb. 2.
According to Karissa Bishop, manager at Remember When Again in Oakdale, Berkus and another man were in her store and made their way through the other antique stores on Third Avenue, much to the giddy delight of customers.
Bishop said she didn't know who Berkus was, but others in the store did and asked for autographs, some even "chasing him down the street."