'The Masked Singer' Pepper Boasts List of Famous Friends ... Leaning on 'Em for Debut!!!

SPICING IT UP
TMZ.com

The wild card for Wednesday night's 'Masked Singer' was able to put together a whole performance in just one day, in part because they've got a phone filled with some music biz heavy hitters.

The singer will appear as Pepper when they hit the stage, but came on "TMZ Live" sans the big red costume -- but still concealing their identity -- to tell us the crazy story of how they ended up on the show.

After another contestant had to drop out, producers dialed up our hot-headed friend here ... giving them very little time to get their act together. Pepper says it set off a whirlwind 24 hours filled with learning dance moves, trying on costumes and the big hurdle of getting clearance to sing famous songs.

BACKSTAGE AT "THE MASKED SINGER"
Fox

Pep definitely made it seem like that last part -- getting the songs -- was easiest, because turns out they happen to know a bunch of big-time performers ... maybe even Bob Dylan, based on a little quip they dropped with us.

Look, we couldn't figure it out, but there were plenty of hints -- so, see if you can figure it out. Either way, Pepper will make its big debut on "The Masked Singer" tonight.

And, watch this clip for one more big hint ... involving tissues. 🤔

Food Network 'Halloween Wars' Pumpkin Carving Gets Axed ... Thanks a Lot, COVID-19!!!

COVID-19 is still ruining spooky season traditions -- virtually killing off any chance of pumpkin carving on a popular Food Network show, and it's seriously pissing off fans.

Sources familiar with the situation tell TMZ ... yes, as some eagle-eyed viewers have sourly noted during this season of "Halloween Wars," slicing up the traditional winter squash is NOT happening at the moment. And, we have more bad news ... it's gonna continue that way, at least for this year.

The reason ... we're told it's because of the pandemic, and the timing of production -- something that's out of the hands of showrunners, who are doing their best to adapt.

As you may or may not know, a lot of these shows film at different points in the year -- including 'HW,' which our sources say has often filmed well before Fall in years past ... where pumpkins were plentiful, and they were able to knife 'em to their heart's desire.

That, unfortunately, hasn't been the case this year ... and it's all due to COVID screwing up when and how TV networks have been able to shoot.

You can count "Halloween Wars" among the programs falling victim to that. We're told they weren't able to start filming until recently ... and, as a result, there was an actual shortage of pumpkins available for the competition. Seasonal demand, an already-stressed supply chain and new COVID-safety protocols for shows with group settings made it impossible to pull off on 'HW' this year.

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It would appear procuring pumpkins, in the abundance needed for TV filming, is, apparently, more difficult than just heading down to your local patch set up in a grocery store parking lot.

In any case, our production sources tell us Food Network is happy with their final product, and the involvement of one Zak Bagans, who definitely brings the Halloween vibe home ... pumpkin or not.

Carve your heart out, folks.

Dog the Bounty Hunter Cancels Hazzard Fest Appearance ... Focus on Laundrie Search

Dog the Bounty Hunter is skipping a scheduled gig with fans to keep grinding on his search for Brian Laundrie -- speaking to how seriously the guy's taking this manhunt.

A rep for Duane Chapman tells TMZ ... Dog will NOT be appearing this weekend at Hazzard Fest in Tennessee, where he was booked for a celeb meet-and-greet alongside the likes of folks like 'Duck Dynasty' stars, 'Swamp People' stars and other A&E famous faces.

Dog's presence at Hazzard was announced in mid-September ... and he was probably booked well ahead of that. However, in light of his recent involvement in the Laundrie search ... we're told he's forgoing Hazzard to keep working -- which is his top priority right now.

In his place ... Dog's son, Leland Chapman, will show up and shake hands on behalf of his pops.

Long story short, it's clear Dog is taking this assignment to heart ... and, as it turns out, he plans to see it through 'til the end -- no matter how long it takes, we're told. His rep says Dog will stay on Laundrie's trail so long as viable tips come in, and there's still belief he may be out there and alive.

For the time being, that certainly seems to be the case ... at least according to Dog himself, who told us Monday that he does think Brian is still breathing, and surviving in the wilderness ... but perhaps struggling along the way.

CLOSING IN
TMZ.com

TMZ broke the story, Dog has gotten offers for a potential TV series to be made out of his search for Laundrie -- but that's secondary to the task at hand, which is tracking the guy down and bringing him to justice.

We've confirmed a report that stated Dog's potential Laundrie special won't appear on A&E -- a network Dog and his family used to call home -- honchos passed.

Dog the Bounty Hunter TV Show Offers Rolling In ... As He Hunts for Brian Laundrie

Dog the Bounty Hunter's return to TV is imminent ... or so it seems based on the interest he's garnering since joining the manhunt for Brian Laundrie.

Sources familiar with the situation tell TMZ ... Dog's been contacted by multiple networks over the past several days that have expressed a desire in resurrecting a television show with him as the star.

We're told Dog caught these TV folks' attention when he joined the search for Gabby Petito's fiance and instantly began trending ... so now they're shooting their shot to get him back on the small screen doing what he's known for.

Our sources say since Dog has been on the manhunt for Laundrie, there's been no filming involved other than his wife, Francie, documenting some of it on her cell phone.

We're told if a new Dog show gets launched, Francie's footage may be used ... and she'll be involved in the series with him.

CLOSING IN
TMZ.com

Dog tells TMZ ... when he joined the Laundrie manhunt, he didn't have an ulterior motive trying to land a TV show. He says he was in the middle of his honeymoon when news broke Brian was missing, and he only got involved "because of my unique skill set and the fact I was only an hour away from where he was last seen."

He adds that he's gotten close to the Petito family and truly wants to help them get closure. That said, if his recent actions spark interest in a new TV gig ... he tells us he'll consider it, because he still enjoys that.

BTW ... we just spoke to Dog on "TMZ Live," and he's adamant Laundrie is alive -- but probably not well -- and using his survival skills to evade capture in the Florida Everglades.

10/3/21
DOG DOWN IN THE SWAMPS
@duanedogchapman / Instagram

And, we know Dog's not afraid to get dirty while trying to find the guy ... but so far, he's come up just as empty as everyone else.

Audrina Patridge Final Custody Agreement ... With Estranged Husband

Audrina Patridge and her estranged husband Corey Bohan will be splitting time with their 5-year-old daughter ... this according to the judge's ruling in their final custody judgment.

According to new legal docs, obtained by TMZ, Audrina and Corey share joint legal custody of their daughter. As for physical custody, Audrina will get the bulk of the time, while Corey gets 8 hours of visitation a week with Kirra.

The docs say Corey's visits with their daughter will be supervised, either by a professional or someone Audrina is down with ... and he's footing the bill for the sup.

And, get this ... the docs also say Audrina's ex can't be listed as the emergency contact for Kirra at her school or daycare ... but the exes will still have to work together on issues related to Kirra's education, health and welfare.

As we first reported ... Audrina filed for divorce back in September 2017, and there's been plenty of custody issues with Corey along the way.

Brielle Biermann Jaw Surgery Recovery's Been Grueling ... But There's One Bright Side

READY FOR IT TO BE OVER
TMZ.com

Brielle Biermann sounds like she's been through hell recovering from double jaw surgery -- both physically and mentally -- but she's staying positive ... with her sights set on Thanksgiving!!!

We got the "Don't Be Tardy" star at LAX, where she gave us an update on the gnarly procedure she had done in August to correct some major biting and breathing issues she's dealt with most of her life.

As you see ... Brielle's still in post-op mode with a splint in her mouth, and tells us she's several weeks away from being able to eat foods, like meatballs.

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She says her limited diet's resulted in her dropping 15 pounds, but the silver lining -- if there is one -- is her doctor's instructing her to have a daily milkshake to get her weight back up.

Brielle says the recovery process has been incredibly challenging, and she's been feeling down lately ... what with missing her friends and socializing.

The good news -- Brielle tells us the end of her eating woes is hopefully near ... and she should be able to celebrate on the holidays by gorging herself like everyone else!

Joan Collins Blasts Kardashians Over Plastic Surgery

Joan Collins has gone all Katie Couric in her new memoir, slamming the Kardashians for their penchant for plastic surgery ... and that's just for starters.

Collins took aim in her memoir, "My Unapologetic Diaries," first saying she's a friend of Kris Jenner's, but goes on to blast those who got cosmetic surgery ... "Those lips people have done, I think they look ludicrous ... I'm sorry. And, if people want to go round looking like that I'm going to laugh at it."

In one of the passages, obtained by Daily Mail, she writes, "Kris Jenner, the mother, is a good friend of mine and I don't want to be rude about her children, but there's an awful lot of surgery there and I've talked to my friends about it, as I'm sure you have, the bottoms, the tiny waists."  She's definitely not a fan.

Collins trashed her "Dynasty" co-star Linda Evans whom she says was a fan of going under the knife, saying, "Are you supposed to ignore somebody when they come in with tape on their eyelid?" adding, "Every one of the other actors was saying, 'What do you think she had done?'"

It's clearly hunting season for autobiographical authors.

NeNe Leakes Georgia Mansion Hits the Market ... Lookin' for a Double Up!!!

NeNe Leakes is looking to part with her massive estate outside Atlanta ... and make a pretty penny doing it, too.

"The Real Housewives of Atlanta" star recently listed her 5-bed, 7-bath mansion in Georgia for $4 million ... nearly double the $2.1 mil she paid when she snagged it up in 2015.

The Mediterranean home is nearly 10,000 sq. ft. with a resort-style pool with waterfall features on the main level ... and boasts all the amenities you'd expect the 'RHOA' powerhouse to have -- including a massive walk-in closet.

We're told Nene bought the house as a shell and poured a ton of money into it.

The property's also nestled in a gorgeous, gated country club community right next to a golf course ... so the views and the landscaping are top-notch. Elaine Richardson with Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby's International Realty has the listing.

Sadly, NeNe putting her house on the market comes just weeks after the passing of her husband, Gregg ... who died at 66 after battling colon cancer.

'The Masked Singer' Wild Card is a Major Hollywood Player Calls in A-List Favors for Last-Minute Performance

The upcoming wild card on "The Masked Singer" had a wild ride leading up to their performance ... and we've learned this celeb is a major player in Hollywood.

Production sources tell TMZ ... next week's wild card contestant was cast just 24 hours before their first performance on the hit FOX show. The problem -- there were no costumes, no song choices ... nothing was in place for the performance.

Our sources say the celeb was at home making dinner Sunday when the call came in from "Masked Singer" honchos, and the celeb immediately dialed up costumers, stage producers, clue producers and more to get ready to be on set the next day.

BACKSTAGE AT "THE MASKED SINGER"
Fox

It's pretty wild ... this secret star even had to call friends to help clear songs for the show in a very timely manner ... and the celeb had to learn the songs ... and fast!!!

We're told there's no question ... this celeb had a ton of pull in the industry to move mountains, so if you're guessing who it might be ... 86 C-listers and below, and maybe even B-listers.

Stay tuned!!!

Khloe Kardashian Topless Ad Too Sexy for TV ... Networks Won't Play It!!!

TOO HOT TO HANDLE
Good American

Khloe Kardashian's latest ad campaign's got it all -- she's topless and rolling around in bed -- but you won't catch even a glimpse of the ad in it's intended glory on TV, because networks say it's just too sexy.

TMZ's obtained the commercial for Khloe's Good American clothing company, which was intended to launch a brand new "Find the One" campaign to promote its denim jeans.

As you can see ... the ad features a topless Khloe rolling around in bed wearing only those sexy, skintight jeans before she drops the new slogan.

We're told Good American sent the video out to broadcast networks to air this week, but it got rejected during the approval process ... because it was deemed too risque for TV audiences.

This was supposed to be Khloe's company's first-ever TV campaign -- and we're told Kourtney had a commercial in the hopper too. The good news? Our sources say a less-sexy version with less side-boob and skin will be edited to eventually make it to TV.

BTW, her spot feels like a total callback to a classic 1980s Brooke Shields ad for Calvin Klein, where she declared "nothing" comes between her and her CK jeans.😉

Here's the weird thing ... it stirred a ton of controversy, because Brooke was only 15, and yet, it still aired all over the country!!!

The times they are a changing.

Kenya Moore Bravo's Ultimatum ... Housewives or 'DWTS'!!!

Kenya Moore's decision to join "Dancing With the Stars" pissed off her bosses at the network where she got famous -- so much so, they tried to force her into a very tough decision.

Sources connected to 'Housewives' production tell us ... when 'DWTS' approached Kenya months ago about being on its new season, she immediately ran it up the flag pole at True Entertainment, the production company behind "Real Housewives of Atlanta," and there was no issue.

However, the problems started when we broke the story Kenya was officially signed on for the 30th season of 'DWTS.' We're told that's when Bravo came to Kenya and told her to choose one show or the other.

What's bizarre about that is ... lots of other Housewives have done 'DWTS' before without Bravo raising a stink. Erika Jayne, Kim Zolciak-Biermann, Nene Leakes and Lisa Vanderpump were all on the ABC show ... and Lisa even filmed for 'RHOBH' during the dance competition.

Ultimately, we're told Bravo blinked in the standoff with Kenya, and relented she could do both shows, but with one condition -- there won't be any crossover, a la Vanderpump.

Bravo won't feature Kenya's time in L.A. shooting for 'Dancing' when the new season of 'RHOA' begins.

Kenya's been killing it with her dance partner, Brandon Armstrong, but once her ballroom time is up ... our sources say she'll be back in Atlanta to shoot for the 14th season of 'RHOA.'

Kim, Khloe and Kourtney First Look at New Reality Show ... We're Back, On Hulu!!!

The Kardashians are coming back for more reality TV ... and here's the first look at their new show on Hulu.

Kim, Khloe and Kourtney started filming their new show Tuesday at Lucky's in Malibu, and they were dressed to the nines.

It looks like Kim's keeping in line with her look from the Met gala ... dressing in all black and covering most of her face. Meanwhile, Kourtney's showing some cleavage in a yellow top and blue jeans, and Khloe looks like she's ready for autumn in the Bu.

As you know, the Kardashians are moving on to the streaming service after 14 years and 20 seasons filming "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" for traditional TV.

The Kardashians have a multi-year deal with Hulu to produce new content all over the world, with their debut set for later this year, but details on the show have been scarce ... so it's interesting to see the first day of filming.

Stay tuned!!!

Jesse Palmer Takes Over As 'Bachelor' Host After Chris Harrison Scandal

Jesse Palmer is the new permanent host of "The Bachelor" ... replacing Chris Harrison, who was cut loose after his racism scandal.

The move keeps it all in the family, so to speak ... because Jesse's a former 'Bachelor' himself, and now he'll be the face of the ABC franchise for its upcoming 26th season.

Jesse says he's humbled by the opportunity to return to the show as host, and he's looking forward to offering the next 'Bachelor' advice as production is about to begin.

Some of that advice might involve being certain about names of the women in the rose ceremony -- something Jesse learned the hard way in 2005 in one of the show's most infamous moments.

7/27/21
FEELIN' FREE
TMZ.com

TMZ broke the story ... Chris says he has no hard feelings over his 'Bachelor' exit, telling us he's happy to have his Mondays back and seems at peace with the end of his era.

Chris hosted both shows in the franchise for 2 decades, but he found himself embroiled in scandal this year after he excused historical racism during an interview with ex-'Bachelorette' Rachel Lindsay.

3/4/21
COMMITTED TO CHANGE
ABC

CH caught a ton of flak, went on an apology tour and ultimately left the franchise ... and now ABC is handing the keys rose to Jesse.

Dog the Bounty Hunter Finds Campsite Possibly Linked to Brian Laundrie ... Alerts Authorities

7:53 AM PT -- 9/28 -- According to our sources ... the possible evidence that Brian's parents were at the campsite are 2 camping reservations under their name from Sept. 1-3 and Sept. 6-8. It's been reported the Laundries were seen driving with a small camper, so it's believed this is where they went ... but there's only speculation Brian was with them.

We're told Dog received a tip that Brian was spotted at the campsite as recently as Saturday, and he plans to head to the Fort DeSoto Park area himself to continue tracking leads he's received.

Dog the Bounty Hunter is right on Brian Laundrie's tail ... or at least it's possible, and authorities are looking into it.

A source with direct knowledge tells TMZ ... Dog -- who joined the manhunt for Gabby Petito's fiance a couple days ago -- has been in the Florida woods looking for him, and found something he thinks may finally lead to his capture.

We're told Dog got a tip that led him and his new wife Francie to a fresh campsite that might be linked to Laundrie ... who's been missing for a week and a half now.

Our source says Dog has alerted authorities to the campground location because he believes it could be a major clue in the manhunt, and he's currently waiting for their arrival.

There's more -- we're told Dog believes he's also uncovered proof that links Laundrie's parents to the campsite ... though it's unclear what that is.

Of course, this could also be a false alarm -- just like the trail cam footage and the look-alike sighting in Canada -- but we'll have to wait and see.

As you know ... Gabby was found dead in a Wyoming state park a little over a week ago, and the feds have issued an arrest warrant for Brian for unauthorized use of a credit card right around the time Gabby went missing.

Gabby's family held a funeral for her this weekend in New York.

Originally Published -- 9/27 3:59 PM PT

Ex-'Drag Race' Star Lucian Piane's Very Whimsical Arrest For Felony Vandalism

SINGING WHILE SEARCHED
TMZ.com

Lucian Piane -- former producer, composer and judge on "RuPaul's Drag Race" -- is in trouble with the law for the second time in a month, but he doesn't seem to have a care in the world about it.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... Lucian was busted by police in the San Fernando Valley Monday afternoon after cops got a call from a bank, claiming he broke a window by ramming a shopping cart into it.

We got video of the arrest which shows Piane singing a parody rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" as cops search him. And, ya gotta love this ... he name drops RuPaul, and cracks jokes about officers pulling his pants down, saying it'll make him more famous!!!

All jokes aside ... Piane was barefoot and yelling as cops hauled him off in cuffs.

Our law enforcement sources say he was booked for felony vandalism -- the window he allegedly smashed was more than $1,000. He was released early this morning, around 1 AM.

Piane seems to be on quite the bender lately. As we reported, he was also arrested in late August in Oceanside, CA for public intoxication, after cops say he made a series of bogus, drunken 911 calls.

Cynthia Bailey I'm Leaving 'RHOA'

Cynthia Bailey -- one of the main stars on "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" for over a decade -- is calling it quits on the popular reality series.

Cynthia says she's thought long and hard about it, and has made the "very difficult and heartfelt decision" to not return for the upcoming 14th season of 'RHOA.'

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The Atlanta Housewife -- who's married to Fox Sports correspondent Mike Hill -- says it's time to move on to her next chapter and seek new adventures, but before she does ... she's thanking all of her castmates for "eleven of the most unbelievable years of my life."

Bailey's also sending out kudos to Bravo, the production companies and her fans, adding ... "I could not have done it without your blessings, love, and support. Without the fans, none of this would be possible. I love and appreciate all of you."

Cynthia joined 'RHOA' in 2010 in its third season as a friend of NeNe Leakes. The show also featured her relationship with Peter Thomas and her eventual split with him.

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As we first told you ... Bravo was in talks to film her wedding with Hill last year, but bailed over COVID concerns, which was just fine with Cynthia because there was a lot less drama.

Looks like that's the route she prefers from now on ... good luck, girl!!!

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