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Donny Osmond shows no ‘Fear’

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When you think of Donny Osmond, you don't immediately think of a trash-talking daredevil covered with bugs. But you might after Tuesday's celebrity edition of "Fear Factor" (7 p.m., Ch. 5).

Osmond faces off against rapper Coolio, "Baywatch" stars David Hasselhoff and Brooke Burns, Joanie Laurer (a k a Chyna of the WWF) and actress Kelly Preston — none of whom took him seriously. But some of those who mocked Osmond fared worse than he did during the course of the competition.

And Osmond gets off the best line of the night at the expense of the "Baywatch" stars, whose performance isn't quite up to par. Donny suggests, "They're just used to doing everything in slow motion."

According to host Joe Rogan, Osmond came to the game ready to play.

"Donny's a very competitive guy, and he was very excited," Rogan said with a laugh. "He had his game face on probably more than any of the other competitors the entire time. He was the first one to start trash talking — almost immediately. When everyone was walking up, Donny was the first person to start saying he was going to win everything and put everybody else down.

"He was really into it. He really had a lot of fun."

The "Fear Factor" competition in this celebrity edition is as weird and gross as ever. Oh, trying to grab flags off the top of a moving, double-decker bus or climbing around on a high-wire act of sorts is scary but not all that outrageous.

The middle stunt — sticking your head in a box filled with worms, centipedes, millipedes and scorpions — is just plain disgusting. But Osmond doesn't shy away from the challenge.

"I'd known Donny from before," Rogan said. "I did 'The Donny & Marie (talk) Show' twice, and I recently did a pilot with him for "The $100,000 Pyramid.' (Osmond hosts a revival of the game show that's in development.) I was pretty friendly with him so having him come on the show was pretty natural."

As much as anyone appearing on "Fear Factor" is natural.

"Doing it with celebrities, it's a whole 'nother cup of tea," executive producer Matt Kunitz said. "It's a ton of fun. It's a whole different show."

Actually, the only real difference is that in the celebrity edition you know who these people are. And, according to the producer, the idea for the celebrity show came from one of the celebrities. "It all started with Kelly Preston," Kunitz said.

It seems that Preston and her husband, John Travolta (who makes a cameo appearance on Tuesday night), are "big fans of the show" who had called NBC to request tapes of episodes they'd missed.

"And Kelly said, 'If you ever consider doing a celebrity episode, please think of me,' " Kunitz said. "She's pretty much the person who made us say, 'Hey, that's not a bad idea.' "

And not as hard to do as he had feared.

"I thought that they were going to be really difficult to work with and that they would want to be pampered and would come with their whole entourage," Kunitz said. "And they didn't. They showed up, for the most part, on their own."

For the most part, that is.

"Kelly Preston had five people with her and a yoga instructor," Rogan interjected. "Come on, man."

So much for full disclosure.

At any rate, the celebrities "had a good time and they played the game, and they took it very seriously," Kunitz said. "They weren't just out there doing this for charity, although this was a big charity event. They were doing it to win."

E-MAIL: pierce@desnews.com