Back in September the Game Show Network announced that the popular High Stakes Poker show would begin filming season six very soon. The new season will release in early 2010 but without AJ Benza as the co-host. Benza has been dropped by the show and it is rumored he will be replaced by Vanessa Rousso.
AJ Benza is not happy with the decision since he has co-hosted the show with Gabe Kaplan since the show first began in 2006. Benza took to his blog to share his feelings about what went down:
I was co-host with the very professional Gabe Kaplan on a show that posted No. 1 ratings for five straight seasons on GSN – the station that usually feeds you repeats of Lingo, Password and Family Feud – without Richard Dawson kissing his female contestants.
Last week, I had a conference call with a couple suits at GSN about the possibility of dropping me for a chick to work with Gabe Kaplan. (Sounds sexy already, but…).
I flat out told the guys who will remain unnamed – oh screw it was Bary Nugent and David Shiff – that if you got the best pizza in town for 5 seasons, why try and add licorice to it? I also told them I am the guy who does my own publicity for the show because GSN has NEVER set up not even as much as a radio interview for me. So I scour internet poker sites and make myself available and – voila! – instant publicity.
Benza went on to say to Schiff and Nugent: ….”Let’s talk man-to-man and father-to-father.” They said,”Absolutely.” I unashamedly told those two guys that if I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get my gig back…..”youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re basically putting a man and his family on the street. Is that what you want on your conscience?”
Benza even stated that he would take a pay cut to stay on the show. He went on to say that he hopes the viewers of the show Ã¢â‚¬Å“like the female they toss in front of youÃ¢â‚¬Â and that he hopes the Ã¢â‚¬ËœreparteeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ between she and Gabe is like his and GabeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s interactions.
Benza ended his blog with the mention that if the new girl stinks then he might be back for High Stakes Poker season seven. It will be interesting to see if the new girl is Vanessa Rousso or another woman in poker.
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