Picks and Pans Review: Battle of the Network Reality Stars

updated 08/15/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/15/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Bravo (Wednesdays, 9 p.m. ET)

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Did you know there are now more reality stars than there are people in the entire state of Wyoming? We need to find constructive, healthy activities for these celebrities, whose main accomplishment is having met or failed a meaningless challenge on national TV. Battle, a riff on ABC's cheesy old series pitting stars against each other in physical sport, is just the ticket. Participants, who include Survivor Richard Hatch, The Amazing Race's Charla Faddoul and The Swan's Rachel Love-Fraser, build team spirit picking captains, running obstacle courses and so on. Unlike The Surreal Life, Battle also allows stars to keep their dignity. Even Omarosa, wielding a microphone as interviewer, is well-behaved—stiff, in fact. Not that there's much need for you to watch, any more than you'd be expected to keep watching hamsters after setting up a wheel and play-tunnel in their cage. What matters is that they have an outlet. But every so often the weirdness of it all pulls a viewer back in. When Faddoul swats Love-Fraser with a paddle, an announcer pipes up, "She's trying to readjust the Swan's new face!"

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