Reality TV isn’t for the faint of heart. This is especially true of competition shows, which require you to be likable (lest you’re fine experiencing the wrath of social media), have a good social game and be equipped with whatever physical and mental abilities you need to win. For whatever reason, Jamie Lynn Spears, who’s far from America’s sweetheart at the moment, has decided that unscripted TV is her new career path—until it isn’t.
Over the past year, this unlucky nepo baby has been cast on three reality competition shows, only making it a few weeks in before getting the boot or voluntarily leaving. And this week, she made a very predictable choice to exit her latest competition after being triggered by a piece of chocolate.
In one of the funniest yet most predictable news stories you’ve ever read, Jamie Lynn quit the British reality show I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here “due to medical reasons” this week. In a statement to The Guardian, ITV called the former Zoey 101 star a “fantastic camp mate who has triumphed at trials and bonded well with her fellow celebrities.” Her last episode aired on Wednesday night, making her the second contestant to leave the program this season because of their health.
To be clear, her health issues—as far as we know—are emotional, as Jamie Lynn has talked about missing her family and children on the show. (Viewers online have poked fun at her frequent crying through the series.) To be fair, this program, which plops a bunch of C- and D-list celebrities in the Australian jungle for a Survivor-like competition, seems truly hellish. But this complaint from Jamie Lynn is a bit ironic, given she’s willfully hopped from reality show to reality show this year. In the episode prior to her exit, she officially broke down after sharing a piece of chocolate with her castmate Tony Bellew and being reminded of the outside world.
Jamie Lynn’s most recent exit from a reality competition is funny enough. But add in her other failed attempts to compete on Special Forces: The World’s Toughest Test and Dancing With The Stars this year, and you have one of the worst entries into the reality sphere we’ve seen in decades. On Special Forces (another hellish contest I can’t necessarily fault anyone for quitting), she made it to Episode 3 before deciding it was too much. And on Dancing With The Stars, she only got to do the tango and the cha-cha-cha before America decided they were done watching her dance. She also received some pretty rough scores from the judges.
While I’ll never drag a mother for getting a check, Jamie Lynn’s reality career can’t be separated from her rather obvious attempts to rehabilitate her image, following her feud with her older sister Britney Spears. The “Toxic” singer accused her less famous sibling of conspiring against her, along with her other family members, and doing nothing to help terminate her former conservatorship. It didn’t help that Jamie Lynn published a memoir in the midst of this drama. In the book, she painted a sob story of her life while hardly offering any sympathy for Britney’s situation.
Two months later, she popped up on Special Forces with the goal of achieving something for herself after having to live in her sister’s shadow her entire life. (Britney rightfully dragged her on Instagram, given the timing.) By the time DWTS came along, the Nickelodeon alum had seemingly learned to shut up about her sister. Instead, she made it as an opportunity to give back to the acting community during their strike. (Whether SAG-AFTRA knew about this or received her paychecks, we don’t know.)
On I’m A Celebrity, she claimed she learned not to talk about her sister publicly before ensuring her castmates that she’s “never taken anything” from her. She also downplayed their feud, as if anything about their dynamic can be described as normal sisterly drama. She even said that Britney was probably watching her on the show. (I doubt it!)
Unfortunately, I don’t see Jamie Lynn’s reality endeavors stopping here. Her role in the Zoey 101 movie earlier this year hasn’t exactly reignited her acting career, based on her IMDb. Although, I’m sure she could nab a part in a Lifetime movie if she tried. I also just feel like she was put on this Earth to be on Celebrity Big Brother UK. If she somehow ends up on The Traitors, though, I’ll have to protest.
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