Knoxville resident Brook Roberts didn't go to "The Amazing Race" seeking a spot for its new season. The show came to her.
"It was nothing in a million years I thought I would do," she says.
A casting agent for the reality show contacted Roberts earlier this year and said the show was looking for a home shopping host to be in the cast. They had seen her in action on Gem TV and liked what they saw.
Her first reaction to the show asking her? "I thought, 'What?' Reality television is not where I saw my career going," says Roberts, who hadn't watched the show much before now. "It was not my passion."
Roberts, who recently moved to Knoxville from Reno, Nev., now works as a host on Jewelry Television. When she took the Knoxville job, she had to stay mum she was doing a reality show. A clause in her "Race" contract prohibits her from doing any other television.
So now she's off from Jewelry Television until mid-December, when "Race" wraps its current season.
Roberts could not say much about her "Race" experience or how well she did. The season debuts at 8 p.m. Sunday on CBS. Since she has to be on the down low, she says she'll use her time off the air to travel and have some fun.
YouTube viewers could see part of what came out of her "Race" adventure: She's part of a viral video in which she and her "Race" partner, Claire Champlin, were involved in an accident with a wayward watermelon launched from a giant slingshot.
As far as her teamwork with her friend on the show, Roberts says that is clearly defined. "I am always 'go-go-go-go-go,' and Claire is the voice of reason," she says. "I tend to fly by the seat of my pants and rush into things.
"Claire is, like, 'We need to focus. We need to look at the clue.' She is that calming force."
Roberts says she is proud of how she and Champlin performed on the show. "I don't regret it," she says.
"Life has its twists and turns, and it's a wild ride."
n Reunion. The second annual "October Sky" Fall Festival will feature a reunion of Rocket Boys extras. The festival is set for Oct. 15, according to press information provided.
"A Rocket Boys Extras Reunion has been added to recognize those who worked on the movie and helped bring Homer Hickam's memoirs, Rocket Boys, to the silver screen," the release states.
The Rocket Boys Extras Reunion is set for Friday, Oct. 15, at the DAV Building in Oliver Springs, beginning with a chili supper at 5:30 p.m. Cost of the meal is $5.
To RSVP, call 865-435-5064 by Oct. 1.
"October Sky," which helped launch the career of Jake Gyllenhaal in 1998, will be shown during the evening. Artifacts from the movie that were collected after the production shut down will be on display.
More than 20,000 people applied for the 2,000 jobs that were posted for the production throughout East Tennessee, where the movie was shot (mainly around the Knoxville area and neighboring counties).
n Airing. Farragut native Jake Thomas will guest star on an upcoming episode of CBS's "Criminal Minds." He started shooting the episode beginning Wednesday and will continue on it through Oct. 1. An air date for the episode has not been announced yet.
"Criminal Minds" can be seen at 9 p.m. Wednesdays.
According to his father, WNOX personality Bob Thomas, Jake will play "a bad guy who tries to redeem himself in the end."
Jake stars in a Lifetime movie called "Maternal Obsession," which will air 9 p.m. Saturday. In it, he plays a teen who gets his girlfriend pregnant, and the counselor from whom she seeks advice wants the child for herself.
Terry Morrow may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 865-342-6445. His blog can be found at http://blogs.knoxnews.com/knx/telebuddy/. You can follow Tele-buddy on Twitter for the latest celebrity updates.
© 2010, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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