Confessions of a Teen Idol – Episode 1 Recap: Theater of Pain


This week’s episode of Teen Idol kicks off with a red carpet event that turns out to be way more of a test than any cast member bargained for.

Jeremy Jackson arrives first at the house.

The former Baywatch star talks about his glory days as a child actor and growing up in every parent’s nightmare scenario — partying with adults, surrounded by sex and drugs. Years later he was arrested for manufacturing meth amphetamine and tells us that was the “turning point” of his life. He reached a point where he didn’t care anymore and “slammed the doors” of opportunity in his own face. He would be overjoyed to be famous again – that’s his motivation for being on the show.

Jeremy checks out photos of his fellow idols, totally surprised at who his housemates are going to be.

Next up is Chris Atkins, known as Christopher Atkins when he rose to stardom with his his movie The Blue Lagoon, which also starred Brooke Shields – the softcore sexiness of the teen flick was an absolutely huge event in 1980.

Chris talks about becoming a major movie star literally overnight, the Studio 54 days, and the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle that went along with fame. He apparently lost the lead in a little movie called Footloose due to his wild ways. His career stalled, and Chris ended up owing a quarter of a million dollars to the IRS. He lost his house right after his daughter is born. He now makes pools for a living – yes, digging holes in the ground, pouring concrete, etcetera. He tells us that his daughter is his motivation for doing the show, as he leaves his house to join the show she tells him to “really go for it”.

Bill Hufsey of Fame the TV series joins the cast.

He now looks the part of his current role as a business man. Bill is nostalgic for the days when he was pursued by female fans and wants that old rush back. He’s sure that as a “triple-threat” performer, he still has something to offer Hollywood, and has an “insatiable desire to make it again.”

Fans of the original Beverly Hills, 90210 will recognize Jamie Walters, who also had a hit song and dated Drew Barrymore at the height of his fame.

When his career slowed down, he left the business and became a firefighter and a Dad. You have to ask: does he really want to get on this rollercoaster again? He seems to be doing awesome, working a meaningful job and taking care of his responsibilities. “At the end of the day” he says “if I get a record deal out of this, I will be really, really excited.” Plus, there’s one other thing he wants us to know: he definitely did not throw Donna down the stairs.

Cast member David Chokachi arrives.

Like Jeremy, David has suffered the Baywatch career curse. While he was living large, flying high on private jets and hanging out at the Playboy mansion, life was good. Then his career came to and end. He says hopes the world will see that he “has depth and an education, and that he’s done a lot of things” and warrants another chance at the spotlight. Maybe I’ve been watching too much Celebrity Rehab, but compared to many other faded stars, he’s still pretty hot – albeit in totally-ordinary-and-not-my-type-kind of way.

The Baywatch guys reunite.

4-Adam-30, it’s Adrian Zmed from TJ Hooker!!

Adrian walked away from the popular cop drama at its prime (it also starred William Shatner and Heather Locklear for Pete’s sake). Unfortunately, the phone stopped ringing after that. He now entertains on a cruise ship, but would love to be back on a huge TV show. “There’s nothing like it,” he says.

Eric Nies was host on MTV’s The Grind, before he went on to become a cast member of The Real World. One of the original reality TV veterans, he explains that he got entangled with a manager who sucked the life out of his career. We don’t learn any more details, but things in his life got so bad that he almost attempted suicide. He ended up going home to his mom to get “back to the beginning.” He claims to have refocused his life, but the cast is dubious of his mountain man-like appearance – shaggy hair, baggy t-shirt, beard, the works. He’s also carrying something that looks like one of those home exercise things you buy from a late-night TV commercial for $19.95 and never use. On which he does this:

But he also brings a message of “truth, love, and healing,” which can’t be a bad thing. Can it?

The guys get a call sheet telling them they have a mandatory meeting behind the mysterious black doors in an hour. Eric sprays some “super-charged” water to cleanse their chakras before the meeting.

Why do all that yoga when a simple spray can fix those chakras right up?

The doors open dramatically and there stands Cooper Lawrence, a therapist red of hair and of dress. She introduces herself as one of the foremost authorities on celebrity and fame. She tells the group she’s worked with a lot of A-list celebrities and helped them through hard times. The guys bristle noticeably when she says, “That’s why I’m here, to help you guys.” She explains that her work helps kids realize that stardom isn’t easy. She also wants to help the guys get to the next level in their careers.

During the group therapy session, Jeremy tells of his downward spiral. Seems he took his career away from himself; he got the freedom he wanted, but ended up in crack houses, penniless, and wearing other people’s clothing. Eventually he was arrested for manufacturing meth. The rest of the group looks taken aback by his story.

Eric tells his story, of how he went full steam ahead for many years, then got involved with a manager who ruined his career. The manager wrecked his relationship with MTV, he says, after which he was basically rock bottom for about 15 years.

David Chokachi talks about how the “inconsistency of the entertainment business” can wear on the soul, and says that what he wants to get back to work on a primetime show that’s really well-written. Adrian breaks in and says that if he’s offered a TV show, he’ll take it, but he’s been doing his own show in a cruise ship and is “quite content” with his life. Adrian is shocked when Cooper tells him that what he’s saying is a cop-out. Jamie wonders aloud if he had stayed in the business instead of bailing, if he wouldn’t have become an even bigger star.

Chris Atkins, in an emotional moment, admits he wants to be back in the business. He “made a lot of people happy” and wants to “step back in.”

Bill Hufsey launches into a goofy but heartfelt speech about how he wants to sing again.

After the group therapy session, they guys share the love.

The next day, Eric offers up some of the strange fruits from his raw diet. It’s not Bill’s idea of food, clearly. The call sheet comes in, announcing that hundreds of their fans will be gathered that evening for a red carpet event celebrating their return. They are psyched.

The guys prepare for their big night. Jeremy’s been working out!

In the limo, the beer and hubris flow. Bill talks about past glories and how they can just hop back into show business whenever they like. Feel a train wreck coming, anyone?

In a set up to what has to be one of the harshest reality TV moments ever, the limo pulls up to a red carpet scenario, complete with paparazzi and screaming fans.

Jamie, however, says he was thinking that something wasn’t right.

They wait backstage, listening to the screams of fans as they are introduced. They take the stage behind a curtain. When it opens…

THERE’S NO ONE THERE…except Scott Baio and Jason Hervey.

Some of the guys take it better than others.

David is one of those people who smiles when they are absolutely furious. These people freak me out.

Scott explains that the show is going to explore the addiction to fame, why he and the rest of the people on the show have it. Then the curtain closes.

In the limo, the guys are fuming. Back at the house, David’s rage takes hold. Refusing to take the chance of being humiliated again, he packs up his stuff and storms out.

Eric and Jeremy go after David and talk him into returning. Jason Hervey is called and soon arrives at the house.

Jason breaks it down and defends their stunt, telling the guys they have to get a good look at themselves to know if they want the fame back.

Ultimately, the guys laugh about it. What else can they do?

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  1. Christy Cramer says:

    LISTEN GUYS! You ar all very great looking.We all age. Yes HOLLYWOOD has the projection that everyone has to be young. I don’t care how old you are. I grew up watching all of you. Thought everyone was so goodlooking. GUESS WHAT? You still are. Go for for it. This Tennessee woman is ruting for everyone of you. Older is “SEXY” don’t change for anyone. Be happy with who you are. In my book You all haven’t lost anything you gained. Take care

  2. Erika says:

    Hello this message is to all the teen idols. There is nothing worst that to wonder about what could of been. I think this is a wonder full opportunity to fight for what you want to face the music again and let the sunshine down on you. This will be the time you need to see what your future holds and let things fall where they may. Whether you succeed or not you will know in your heart you gave it your heart and , remember your life might have a hidden purpose to it. So keep searching or you might already have it. Wishing you all the very best. Big Fan.

  3. R Smith says:

    The show is very good. Well done

  4. Terri Martinez says:

    Wow! I love this show! What can I say! Finally a show where everyones seems to have such great heart! You just need your confidence back! Thanks for making all my years great!!! I have to say how can anyone not love Jaime’s voice, and Christopher I loved the pirate movie, Adrian grease all the way! You all still make my heart thump and my stomach flutter. Im a wife and mom and boy do I wish I could have been in that focus group! Sorry it was so negative! I cant wait to see you all in the future! Keep smiling!!!!

  5. Steph M says:

    I love this show!! It is so cool to see people like Billy Huffsy and Chris Atkins again!! I love Chris and hope tey all do well.

  6. Dani Marsh says:

    Like the rest of the women across America, I could not be happier to see every last one of these iconic celebrity men back on TV. It is very honorable that you all have made your way back to the screen to dip your toes in the water once again. I record the show and watch with my girlfriends and recall the shows and movies in which made you famous to begin with. I know that this past week (episode #2 Focus Group) was hard to sit and listen to, but it only makes you stronger. Remember that women are extremely critical and had those ladies known that you were behind the two way mirror they would have been clawing their way in to get each and every one of you. I look forward to seeing every one of you back in the acting world should that be your true calling. I’m sure that your families are proud of you no matter what.

  7. Kikki White says:

    Rember that you all are special, if you were not then why would Scott have you on the show. You are still love adored and admired from all your fans. So Just go with flow and cleanse yourself. You have been happy in your life and now its time to face the “what if” thought.

    Your fans look forward to your return, but remember so what makes YOU happy not what you think others will make you happy.

  8. John D. says:

    Take it from a ‘sixty-something’ who is really not too familiar with a few of you men: You are all absolute beauties. David and Chris are much better looking now than those ‘several’ years ago. Your intelligence, warmth and humanity are very much apparent and outshine your outer beauty. I apologize for never hearing of Eric, but he is an absolute ’10′ stud with an excellent mind. He should just learn to relax around people and stay within his own karma no matter what ‘nonsense’ he is in the midst of. Also Jamie, tho I never watched your show, you, too, are a ’10′ in looks and personality. I would be very interested in your musical talents based upon the intelligence, manners and demeanor. The rest of the guys are also totally exceptionally attractive and seem pretty much grounded. I have never written something like this before, but I also am not a fan of reality shows either. I find them very mean spirited and demeaning. Someone always seems to be looking to verbally stomp on someone else’s ego for the sake of a snappy put-down or quip that can be spit into someone’s eye for the sake of meanness. I was cringing when the focus group sat around ‘entertaining’ the room with their ‘hilarious’ bon mots. They were (I’m pretty sure) experiencing their 15 minutes of fame. I presume they were aware that they were being filmed. Even if not, just the fact that they were in the room gave them a sense of empowerment, tho temporary.
    Anyway guys, I doubt if I will watch another episode. I will, however, be watching for all of you to break back into the kleig lights with the talents you have, which are on temporary hiatus! Good luck and bless you all.

  9. Kimmy says:

    I totally agree with Christy, this show actually pisses me off! I mean who do the women in that room think they are that all chopped you guys up, they are ABSOLUTELY nothing special, and if they were all put into a private room and chosen to talk of, I couldn’t even imagine! It would be brutal. Also, the woman, whom I will never remember her name who was your “fashion critique”, wow! She needs to take a good long hard look in the mirror. You guys are great, you’ve matured into individuals, you aren’t the stereotype “hollywood phony’s”. Don’t change who you are for ANYTHING!! You have families, interests, uniqueness, and so many wonderful qualities that only develop as you mature and age, and listen you ALL look amazing! You are handsome, independent and caring individuals. Keep your individuality, don’t listen to what these foolish and shallow people say that you are coming to contact with during this show. UGHHH! Be yourself, if you do, everything will fall into place as it should! Those women in that room should be ashamed of themselves! I couldn’t even imagine talking about a stranger as they did!

  10. Tracy says:

    Hello Billy,

    Well I know you wouldn’t remember me but I always wondered what happened to you. Well I met you in the 80′s at the Red Onion in Woodland Hills, CA and you were really nice, and the I saw you in a club in Hollywood and you bought me a drink which was way to strong, then aked me if I got a boob job weel no I didn’t but I never forgot you, you still look good and don’t worry what people think of you but behave because people can be very cruel.. And for all your buddies on the show with you are still good looking to, no one is perfect not even me, Glad to see your face on TV again don’t be a stranger, get your acting skills going again.

    Love Tracy Old Red Onion Friend.

  11. jill twigg says:

    I was really surprised that Jamie Walters was not more known from the focus group. I remember his “hold on” song from the show and radio and in fact have it on my ipod now. I thought he was wonderful and hope he does get a record deal even though he has made a success with his life otherwise. Keep up the good work!

  12. tish says:

    I really think this show is great!!! I remember seeing these guys and drooling over them, and to Billy, YOU ARE STILL SEXY AND HOT. Those women in focus groups should look at themselves before judging!! They look like they need a make-over themselves..Makes me wonder what their guys look like????????

  13. Christina says:

    All of you guys look great in your own skin. May be some of you need a little of TLC to meet the irrealistic standandards of hollywood. You all deserve a second chance in your careers, all of you were in household name tv shows that I used to watch. Some of you were on the covers of my school books. I would like to see more of you in other shows. Each one of you represent something good from each decade. Be humble and do be afraid to put your foot on the door to be back in showbusiness.

  14. Jacque says:

    Can anyone please let Eric know that “pupule” does not mean “an abundance of poop” in hawaiian….it means CRAZY!!! LMAO!! That has been irking me since I saw the first episode. BTW….they are ALL still hot!!!

  15. Dawn says:

    I remember u all in my teen years. I loved watching u all, and enjoy seeing you all still have strength within to complete this tasks for a second chance. I am cheering over here for u guys,hoping to see you all real soon on tv again. only u can stop ur dreams. therefore believe in yourself again as u did before. because i believe in you too.

  16. Christina F. says:

    I had a huge crush on Christopher Atkins in the 80s and remember fondly writing a letter to him and getting back a postcard (mass produced) with a photo on the front. Nonetheless, I was so excited I could barely contain myself.

    He is as beautiful today as he was back in the 80s…just more distinguished. The lines on his face show that he is a hard working guy who is trying his best to support his family. They give him character.

    I just hope that all these guys have learned from past mistakes. This is their second chance at fame and they should grab on to it and never take it for granted.