Read part 1, "A brief history of privacy."
By Linda Felaco
though at least one contestant has ended up serving prison time as a result). The Pious brothers from Barrington took home the $1 million first prize on The Amazing Race last year. And narcotics officers Louis D. Stravato of Bristol and Michael Naylor of Warwick, another of the teams on The Amazing Race, told the Providence Journal that although they noticed other people plotting how to impress the show’s producers, they just went on and were themselves, and it worked. Stravato says, “Mike and I are characters. We stuck out. They saw our video. They saw we were crazy. It’s good TV.”
Readers who’ve been following Progressive Charlestown’s ongoing investigation of Lisa DiBello’s business dealings no doubt remember how Lisa won an Oldsmobile Alero on The Price Is Right in 2001—a car that she pledged to donate to her charity, A Ray of Hope, though as it turned out, her idea of “donating” it apparently meant giving it to her housemate, Ray of Hope board secretary Deborah Dellolio. Lisa was coached to her big win by her big brother, Mark Anthony, the self-proclaimed “minister of reality TV,” who runs a sort of cottage industry conducting bus tours for church groups to appear on game and reality TV shows. The Price Is Right segment has the highest readership of the entire series.
Progressive Charlestown has since learned that DiBello and Dellolio also appeared in a 2008 episode of Judge Mathis.
On the show, DiBello “sued” Dellolio, her longtime housemate, for “rent and property” totaling $4200—and again won. (Winnings, incidentally, are paid by the show, not by the “defendant.”) Internet archivists list the salient details, but alas, Progressive Charlestown has been unable to dig up the actual footage. The show’s online archives don’t go back that far, although we have a request in to the show’s producers for a copy of the video. In the meantime, if anyone has any info, please e-mail it to email@example.com.
And to think Lisa isn’t even a native Rhode Islander. Heck, I’ve been told I’m not a real Rhode Islander because my parents weren’t born here. Then again, it appears Lisa didn’t make it to the showcase round on The Price Is Right, so who knows how well she might’ve done if she’d been a real Rhode Islander.
Phone lines were buzzing all over Charlestown a couple of weeks ago with the news that Lisa DiBello’s big brother, Mark Anthony, was appearing in a special two-part “Before Your Vows” episode of Divorce Court that aired November 14 and 15 in which he and his fiancée sought Judge Lynn Toler’s advice on whether they were ready to be married. Except as Judge Toler intoned in the promos for the show (see clips below):
“Something funny happened on the way to Divorce Court. Mr. DiBello got on a plane, and Ms. Lyon didn’t.”
After a flurry of negotiations during which the show’s producers had nearly cancelled the entire segment, Ms. Lyon had agreed to appear on the program—via satellite. On November 14, when the first part of the show aired, Mark posted a rambling, 15-minute video on YouTube that he calls “Divorce Court Pre-Show” (below) in which he tells the behind-the-scenes story of his latest reality TV appearance.
Like many couples, money seems to have been a particular bone of contention in their relationship. Mark’s (now presumably ex-)fiancée apparently is financially secure and is concerned about the fact that Mark doesn’t have a “real” job; she thinks he’s in a hurry to get married for financial reasons. Mark on the other hand claims to have supported her business ventures prior to her becoming successful and wants her to tithe to his ministry as payback, which she refuses to do. Much of the video is, frankly, what the kids call “TMI.”
One wonders if Lisa and Mark teamed up as kids to secretly tape their siblings: The video includes a couple of audio clips of the argument between Mark and his fiancée that led to her refusal to accompany him to appear on the show (at almost 10 minutes into the video and then again around 13 minutes and 40 seconds in). But I guess when life is a reality show, you always have to make sure you have the footage.
Coming in part 3: Your government spies on you. You spy back.