Ex-gov wants shot at 'Survivor' show

April 15, 2009 (CHICAGO) The program will be taped in Costa Rica and Blagojevich needs the judge's permission to leave the country.

The reality TV show is a Celebrity Survivor style show that once aired on ABC, but ended because of poor ratings. NBC is now going to try it. The network has offered Blagojevich the job, but he needs the judge to loosen travel restrictions placed on him as part of bail.

The show is set to air June 1st.

First, Blagojevich was seen hanging out in Disney World. Now, he might be headed for the jungles of Costa Rica. The indicted former governor hopes a federal judge will allow him to participate in "I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here".

The program is a British version of the NBC Survivor –style realty show where participants test their skills. Blagojevich would be competing against former figure skater Nancy Kerrigan. That is, if the judge says it's OK.

"I wish the judge would not allow that because he is just making a mockery out of our state," said Ben Weinberg.

"I don't think he should. I don't think he should have been able to go to Florida when he went to Florida. He's been indicted. That's not right," said Michelle Spodarek.

"They are letting him do everything else. It's like, you know, you might as well," said Andrew Jones.

For U.S. District Judge James Zagel's decision on whether or not to let Blagojevich go to Costa Rica will be based on the conditions of bail..

"Unless there is a flight risk, which there is not, or a security risk in which he is a danger to others in a physical way, there usually are not terrible restrictions on somebody, so he should be allowed to go," said Leonard Cavise, Depaul University School Of Law.

Some legal experts say easing up on restrictions in the U.S. is one thing, but travelling out of the country is a whole different legal matter. Former federal prosecutor Joel Levin said it is extremely unusual for a federal judge to allow a defendant to go out of the country.

"There are sometimes extraordinary reasons the judge would allow people to travel to another country...if a close family member is dying, something of that nature. Generally, it is not allowed so someone can make money," said Joel Levin, former federal prosecutor.

Blagojevich's attorney is expected to argue that the money will help pay for legal defense. The former governor would make $80,000 a week until he's voted off.

"I do not think his need for the money is going to be sufficient to sway court to travel to another country," said Levin.

Blagojevich's legal defense is expected to cost millions.

Joel Levin says another factor the judge will consider is Costa Rica's extradition law. Levin said it is very difficult to have someone extradited from that country.

Some legal experts say that alone could shut out Blagojevich's chances for making some extra dough on a reality show.

Copyright © 2023 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.