“Crazy Aunt” Judy Not Fond of Patti's Jungle Politics

Reality contestant uses politics to cope with jungle life

Thanks to Illinois politics, Patti Blagojevich may be more prepared than she thought for her stay in the jungle.

Cohabitating with a new person can bring its fair share of headaches, and the celebrities on NBC's I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! have begun to grow impatient with each other. Camp life in the jungle isn't all fun and games as the famous names learn how to cope with each other's personalities and bad habits.

One source of frustration is American model Janice Dickinson, who has been accused by her fellow jungle dwellers of taking whatever she wants—hair ties, underwear, towels—whenever she wants it, without asking permission from the item's owner. Stephen Baldwin remarked that she doesn't seem malicious; she just doesn't understand boundaries.

John "Spider" Salley wasn't quite as patient with Dickinson though when he discovered that she was sleeping on his pillow. Patti Blagojevich helped soothe his anger by advising him on how to handle the difficult woman.

"My husband had this campaign where he was running against this woman who was a little bit like her," Patti told Salley. "And he thought of her as, as like a crazy old aunt. That he had to kind of like suffer and kind of like, and kind of just like, roll your eyes at. Like she's the kooky old aunt. You had to be respectful to her because she's your old aunt."

On Friday, the former governor confirmed  on WLS-AM talk radio that he did indeed refer to Judy Baar Topinka, who ran against Rod Blagojevich for Governor of Illinois in 2006, as "a crazy old aunt" -- but "in a good way."

 "Kooky" is probably one of the nicer words Topinka's opponents have ever used to describe her. Many locals know her to be "colorful" and "interesting."

According to the Sun-Times, Gov. Blagojevich had a perfectly reasonable explaination for his name calling.

“Yes, it’s Judy Baar Topinka,” Rod Blagojevich said this morning. “When you're in a campaign and you have to be with your opponent from time to time, sometimes they’ll do things to you that you think are unfair. They’ll twist things. I’m sure they think the same thing about you. For me, I try to get myself in a mindset where I could love my opponent and not let it [get] personal. To discipline myself, I tried to imagine, like a method actor might, that Judy Baar Topinka was one of my old aunts. That deep down she was a good person and when she would say the things that she would say or do the things she would do, it was more amusing than anything else. And I think that really probably is who she is. You know, crazy aunt -- in a good way."

Topinka, however, didn't take kindly to the reference -- either from Rod Blagojevich in 2006, or from the jungle-bound Patti on last night's episode of the Costa Rican contest -- and, while appearing on the same radio station Friday, first listed her many accomplishments as lieutenant governor, then said, the Sun-Times reports:

“They are shameless. They certainly have no respect for the system. They have no respect for the people of Illinois. It’s all about them. You can’t tell me that — as she sits there looking sane, with a bunch of has-beens and wannabes and goofs — she looks better by comparison. This is the same gal with the potty-mouth who was yelling on one of these transcripts of a phone message ..."

Back in Costa Rica last night, Patti earned the respect of Salley during an obstacle-course challenge. The trial required teams of two to race through a "swamp" and collect puzzle pieces one at a time, assembling the puzzle as they went along.

Patti was partnered with retired professional wrestler Torrie Wilson. Unfortunately, the two did not win the competition (in fact, the women's team has yet to win anything), but victor John Salley did compliment Patti's dedication.

Matt Bartosik is the editor of Off the Rocks' next issue and a contributor to Reality Shack.

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