Paris Hilton searches for a pal in MTV's "My New BFF"

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Paris Hilton searches for a pal in MTV's "My New BFF"
HOLLYWOOD — Paris Hilton has gone on television to find not just a new best friend but a new best friend forever. In MTV's "Paris Hilton's My New BFF," which airs Tuesdays, complete strangers vie to fill that empty spot in Paris' life.

There are some kinds of celebrity that are apparently immune to scandal — neither sex tapes, nor jail time. This is because she seems really, really nice.

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It's my own inclination, too, to give her the benefit of the doubt. From out here, however, it's difficult to discover anything of substance about her — it's all parties, promotions and the increasingly rare bit of damage control. But she seems, you know, nice.

Her show is not always as nice. In the first "challenge," blindfolded contestants were nastily interrogated by Jeff Beacher, a Las Vegas impresario, as Paris and boyfriend Benji Madden looked on. "Do you think you're hot?" "Are your breasts real?"

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The contestants represent a cross-section of types and styles and backgrounds, none as fabulous as Paris'. What they share primarily are a kind of mystical belief in the star and the hope that her reflected glory might make their own glory apparent. They will be judged on taste, class, "business savvy," ability to party, realness, devotion to Paris — "and, of course, they'll have to be hot."
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Some seem sweet; some are just annoying. In the way of these things, they are all shut up together in a kind of Barbie Dream House by way of Candy Spelling. Players include the androgynous Onch, who feels he represents "the best of both worlds, an amazing girlfriend and an amazing boyfriend"; and Baje, pronounced, "beige," who declares, "I haven't met anyone more mean than me," though I wasn't sure she meant among her competitors or in the entire world.
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Paris Hilton searches for a pal in MTV's "My New BFF"
As a contest that combines infatuation with a famous person with the desire to serve her, it's somewhere between "Flavor of Love" and "I Want to Work for Diddy." Because all the power belongs to Paris, the proper term for these aspiring BFFs is not friend but minion.


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