Stephen Baldwin quits 'I'm a Celebrity,' Holly Montag also leaves again
By Reality TV World staff, 06/23/2009
I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! lost two more celebrities during last night's broadcast, with Stephen Baldwin quitting the three-week NBC reality competition only days before its finale and Holly Montag getting eliminated a second time after being allowed to return as a result of Baldwin's decision to leave.
"I think it makes sense to stay if you want to be here [but] I'm just not in that place," Baldwin explained before he departed the celebrities' Costa Rican jungle campsite. "I'm a pretty tough guy and I have a pretty joyful spirit and that's really been really beaten down. It's just time to go."
Although they seemed to save most of their criticism until after he left, the rest of the show's remaining cast was critical of Baldwin's decision to quit the show on Friday morning -- only five days before its live Wednesday night finale.
"I understand that he was homesick, I understand that he misses family but even more important than that, I couldn't let me kids see me quit something like this, especially so close to the end," Patti Blagojevich said.
"It would never cross my mind, I don't care how miserable I was," Torrie Wilson said. "I don't think I could ever quit."
"When someone is voted off it's out of their control, there's nothing they can do about it," Lou Diamond Phillips said. "But when somebody leaves it's like 'Wow man, you let the game beat you. You let the jungle beat you.'"
"What a lame thing to do," John Salley said. "Am I disappointed in Stephen Baldwin's decision? Yes. I don't know if he's gotten anything out of the jungle experience."
"It's definitely revealing... to have lasted that long and then stopped? Yeah," Sanjaya Malakar said after Salley told the remaining celebrities that Baldwin's decision had "kind of pissed me off."
The reactions presumably came as a surprise to Baldwin, who had stated that he expected the other celebrities to understand his decision before he left.
"I would say that the only thing I'm going to miss is the great friends I've made here and I believe those guys will understand," he said during a private interview.
Although I'm a Celebrity's broadcast made no mention of the issue, Baldwin released a pre-broadcast statement in which he said he quit due to an extreme allergic reaction caused by the more than 125 insect bites he had suffered during his time in the jungle.
Once Baldwin departed, I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!'s producers allowed the five remaining celebrities to decide whether Montag or Janice Dickinson -- who had both been eliminated on Thursday night's live broadcast -- would get to return to the competition.
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After listening to both women plead their cases about why they should be selected to return, the celebrities selected Montag in a unanimous 5-0 vote.
However Montag's return proved to be short-lived when she lost a gross-food shake challenge to Salley and was immediately eliminated from the competition one day later.
I'm a Celebrity had originally announced the two celebrities that received the fewest votes from home viewer voting which was conducted after Thursday night's broadcast would have to compete in the challenge, however Montag ended up being forced to automatically compete in it due to her prior elimination.
Salley -- the celebrity who had received the least votes in the home viewer voting -- managed to win the challenge three rounds to two by downing a glass of blended hot pepper chilies a fraction of a second faster than Montag.
"I got one more day... at least [the challenge] was close," Montag said. "I tried my best so I have no regrets and, more importantly, I absolutely know that everybody that's left in camp will be a friend for life."
I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! will eliminate two more celebrities on tonight's NBC broadcast, after which one of the three remaining contestants will be crowned the competition's winner during Wednesday night's live finale.