By Lanford Beard
Updated August 03, 2011 at 09:15 PM EDT
Credit: Getty Images

My how the Heidi have fallen. Former Hills stars Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt came out today to bemoan their downtrodden situation, claiming they’re broke and fundamentally unemployable after their stint as villains on the hit MTV show. The couple gave The Daily Beast an interview during which they spilled behind-the-scenes secrets, put to bed the were-they-or-weren’t-they questions about their 2010 divorce drama, and generally demonstrated how sad the life of a washed-up reality star can be.

Now just an occasional blip on the radar of Perez Hilton and the weekly tabs, the has-beens have been squatting in Pratt’s parents’ Santa Barbara beach house because they don’t have money to pay rent. They’ve reluctantly embraced the simple life: “Now all we eat are tacos and burritos. Whereas we used to eat at [L.A. celebrity hangout] Cut.” Added Montag with a bit too much pep, “We’re watching movies. I do a lot of laundry. A lot of laundry. We’re training our dogs, so I’m cleaning up less poop inside, which is great.” These very same dogs have become on corner of her support system (the other is Pratt) since she severed ties with her family.

Most of their swift descent, they admitted, was of their own doing. From the guesstimated $2 million they spent on Montag’s album (which only sold 1,000 copies in its first week) to CrystalGate to millions spent on clothes and other extravagant purchases, they blew whatever money they did make (a combined total of $165,000 per episode, according to reports). And that’s before they started bossing around, then outright threatening producers, ultimately landing themselves in exile and on the black list at the show’s glittering premieres. Said Montag, “I made a lot of wrong decisions too quickly. So many wrong rights and lefts and then you’re just off the road.”

Saged Pratt, “What we learned is: You can be too famous.” It’s statements like this in the midst of the Pratts’ sad sack pity party, in the face of their hangdog insistence that they’ve had an epiphany and changed their ways, that you wonder if they’re actually angling to legitimize a new destination for reality celebrity — the Reformed Reality Actor. It’s nothing new. Paris Hilton has claimed in the past that there’s a difference between Paris the Person and Paris the Character.

Sure, Spencer makes statements like “Everything we were doing, in retrospect, was a mistake. The second we continued on our quest for fame was a mistake,” and “This isn’t a business. That was the big thing I didn’t get: Reality TV is not a career. Anyone who says, ‘Oh, you can have a career in reality’ — that is a lie.” Yet it’s clear that neither of them is willing to give up the world they claimed has chewed them up and spit them out. Montag is currently appearing on VH1’s Famous Food, and Pratt admits that he’d be on a plane in a second if, say, the producers of Jersey Shore asked him to join the show.

Perhaps they’re trying to avoid the Grey Gardens-style end that the article evokes: The two of them sitting alone in a feces-stained borrowed home. But try as they will to make the case that they’ve improved, the taint of their fame addiction may be something they can’t shake, and this may be one continuous train wreck that can’t be avoided.

Do you believe Speidi, Popwatchers? Do you think they’ve learned their lesson? Or do you think this is just another attempt at relevance? Would you watch another show featuring one or both of them? Or is their place on reality’s exile island well-earned?


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