Stars are forgoing the Hollywood high life for reality-show low jinks
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Kelly Preston, Fear Factor
Credit: Kelly Preston: Chris Haston

Seated in her trailer in the desert 35 minutes north of L.A., Kelly Preston is bad-mouthing a rival. ”I thought Donny Osmond would go down yesterday,” says the star of ”For Love of the Game.” ”But Donny is different than what you’d expect — he’s very competitive…thinks he’s going to win it all.”

In bringing back its summer reality hit ”Fear Factor” with a first-ever celebrity edition (airing Nov. 27), NBC has assembled the oddest collection of personalities since Gilligan and the Skipper set sail. In addition to Preston and Osmond, there’s ex-wrestler Joanie ”Chyna” Laurer, rapper Coolio, and ”Baywatch” alums Brooke Burns and David Hasselhoff, all primed for sweeps humiliation. Imagine a 21st-century ”Circus of the Stars” with fewer sequins and more adrenaline — and a $50,000 prize going to the winner’s fave charity (the others are guaranteed $25,000).

Six stars working together for good causes? Well, not exactly. Between standing on top of a moving bus and sticking their heads into a tank of live worms, the contestants are busy making sport of each other. Laurer loudly announces, ”Who’s the man!” Meanwhile, Coolio tells Hasselhoff that he’s going to lose because the competition isn’t shot in slow motion.

”’Fear Factor’ is like going to the ultimate amusement park,” says David Goldberg, president of Endemol USA, which produces the show. ”When other celebrities see it, they’re going to want to be on the next one.”

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