Danico, 25, a bartender from Woodbridge, told me that she had another conflict in her work with the Passion. Her live-in boyfriend, environmental engineer Josh Jarzyk, will be one of the coaches.
Danico said she's tough. Though her esophagus was jammed by an errant shoulder during her May 13 tryout, she shook off the pain. Asked if she was worried that an injury might derail her modeling, she replied: "A little, but it's worth it."
Hot Potato Cafe in spotlight
Chef Gordon Ramsay - here and gone. The potty-mouthed reality-TV host arrived Tuesday at the Hot Potato Cafe in Fishtown, observed the operation for two nights with his Kitchen Nightmares camera crew, ordered an overnight remake in time for dinner Thursday, and flew out Friday. The Flyers' Mike Knuble, who attended a test dinner at the new Hot Potato with his wife, Megan, on Thursday, told me that Ramsay was a pussycat in the dining room. "He didn't lose it at all," said Knuble. New touches include a comfy waiting area, brown paint, and a menu including five kinds of stuffed potatoes and two kinds of potato salad. Fox will air the episode in the fall.
'Rip' ripped off?
Richard "Rip" Hamilton, the Coatesville-born guard for the Detroit Pistons and a member of the University of Connecticut team that won the 1999 national championship, said he had a sinking feeling after he opened his American Express bill about six months ago.
He was unable to access his account because his personal info didn't match Amex records, his lawyer said.
After Hamilton consulted with an accountant, he discovered that he was missing about $1 million.
Hamilton, who lives in suburban D.C., went to federal court here, and court papers accuse his onetime UConn confidant Josh Nochimson of misusing his charge card and his checkbook, raiding his bank account, and commandeering his Amex frequent-flier miles - 1.4 million of them. Hamilton's complaint was filed by Alan Milstein of Sherman, Silverstein, Kohl, Rose & Podolsky of Pennsauken.
Nochimson's lawyer did not return a request for comment.
Not a good time for broadcasters. Ion Media Networks, whose 60 TV stations include WPPX (Channel 61), says it will keep operating after Tuesday's filing for bankruptcy protection. The Florida company cited more than $1 billion in debt, according to court papers.
Radio advertising was off 24 percent in the first quarter of the year, as the Radio Advertising Bureau reported last week. Fallout: salary cuts, layoffs, a rise in "voicetracked" (or recorded) shows, and a greater reliance on syndicated programming.
Last week saw a call in the U.S. House for a bailout for minority-owned broadcasters - whose ranks include Radio One Inc., which owns Philly's WPHI (The Beat 100.3), WPPZ (103.9), and WRNB (107.9). Some top Democrats wrote to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to seek emergency loans, according to the Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill. The reps, including Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina, Barney Frank of Massachusetts, and Charles Rangel of New York, told Geithner that "many jobs are at stake" while emphasizing "the government's fundamental interest in promoting a diversity of voices, including service to underserved communities." The members want a meeting among Geithner and minority broadcasters.
Seemingly not hurting in this economy is Q102 alumnus Chris Booker, who is selling his New York condo and headed West. He starts June 1 doing middays on Los Angeles' KLSX, CBS's new top-40 station known as AMP. Booker had been collecting severance pay from Clear Channel (whose Q102 let him go a year ago) and CBS (which axed his show in New York in March after two months). He and former CBS3 anchor Alycia Lane are still together.
The Last Airbender, the M. Night Shyamalan film being done at the Navy Yard in South Philly and at the old Budd Co. plant in Nicetown, marked the midpoint of shooting two days early. Shyamalan threw a party last week at World Cafe Live in University City, inviting New York DJ Johnny Stuart to spin. Filming is due to wrap July 2 or thereabouts.
WPHT nighttime talker Dom Giordano will host Thursday's show from the Inquirer and Daily News Building from 6 to 10 p.m. Guests will include Gov. Rendell and CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo.
Comcast SportsNet and the Phillies are holding an online drawing (CSNPhilly.com) whose winner gets to host the World Series trophy at work for a day.
The Chelsea, the non-casino boutique hotel in Atlantic City, has brought in Center City's Premiere Hospitality Group to market its Fifth Floor (the Living Room, the Cabana Club, C5, and Chelsea Prime restaurant) to Philadelphia professionals, rather than the New Yorkers targeted for its debut last year. Premiere's Justin Fine and Michael Steinberg are to open their own lounge in Center City in the fall.
Contact columnist Michael Klein at 215-854-5514 or firstname.lastname@example.org.