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Playing the pretty boy on ‘Beauty and the Geek’

There's a new twist in this season's "Beauty and the Geek" — there's a boy beauty and girl geek in the mix. But if the pretty boy looks familiar, it's probably because he's an actor.
/ Source: msnbc.com contributor

Wondering about how a certain reality show pulled something off? Have a question about a certain contestant?

Whether it's "Survivor," "American Idol," "The Apprentice," "Real World" or another show, . Andy Dehnart, msnbc.com's Television Editor and creator of ,will try to answer them.

Before you send in your question, — you may be able to get your answer right away.

Q: On the new season of “Beauty and the Geek,” the twist is to have a girl geek and boy beauty. When I saw the boy beauty, he looked very familiar. I swear he is an actor. Can you confirm? — Maria, Rockville, Md.

A: Sam Horrigan is, in fact, an actor. That's not to say he's acting on the show, but he has worked as an actor for at least 13 years. Perhaps he'll be involved in a future twist on the show, or perhaps the casting directors just went with an easy choice for a dumb, hot guy, the series' first such twist on its format (smart, socially awkward geeky men; dumb, socially aware hot women).

While he's identified by the show as a "party promoter" who wants to be a "club owner," that bio omits Sam's other resume items as an actor. He has even appeared on one of The CW's former shows, "One Tree Hill." He also guest starred on "Desperate Housewives" as the underage biological father of Lily, Gabrielle and Carlos' temporary adopted baby, and, according to his IMDb listing, .

Perhaps most notably, he was the second actor to play Quentin, the son of "Grace Under Fire's" title character, and he's currently the reason that most viewers .

Maybe he'll now appear as the reason why viewers think "Beauty and the Geek" jumped the shark, too.

Q: I want to know how the professional dancers on “Dancing With the Stars” pick their partner. Are they randomly selected or are numbers drawn? Please let me know. — Jane F., Huntington, W.Va.

A: The producers pair the dancers with their professional partners, and neither the dancer nor the quasi-celebrity has a say in who they'll dance with — even though, as , that pairing is rather significant, especially for determining how long the pro will last.

“The producers match us up based on personality and how we look together," Cheryl Burke wrote last season in a .

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"It's pretty simple. I'm sure there are a few other things they consider, but to the best of my knowledge, those are the major factors," she said. Cheryl also revealed that the dancers and celebrities have no idea who they're paired with until they meet on camera for the first time.

Those criteria were confirmed by one of the other professional dancers, Louis Van Amstel, who participated in the first three seasons. He said on his MySpace blog that he couldn't participate in the fourth season because "all the female celebrities are 5-foot-9 or taller. Since I am 5-foot 8, I am unlucky this season." (There were rumors at the time that he wasn't asked back due to personality-related issues, and he did not return for this, the fifth season, either.)

Q: On “Top Chef,” do the chef-contestants have to clean up their messes in the kitchen after the challenges? — LR, Cedar Falls, Iowa

A: The chefs do not have to clean up after themselves in the kitchens. The show's production manager, Bill Egle, is "the lord of the kitchen," one of "Top Chef's" executive producers, Shauna Minoprio, recently told .

He is responsible for “‘turning the kitchen,’ as in basically getting everything cleaned, getting it all back to shipshape again for shooting. He's basically in charge for all of that stuff — all of the equipment and cleaning and keeping it looking nice and any adjustments that need to be made.”

Incidentally, not only do the contestants not clean up, but they also don't set up, either. Lee Anne Wong, one of the show's first-season chefs, is now the show's supervising culinary producer, having started as a consultant during the second season.

On her , Lee Anne identifies all of her responsibilities on the show, including setup: "Responsible for setting up the kitchen with all food supply, equipment and dishware, and also ensuring transport of all necessary supplies for off-site filming. Worked with suppliers, purveyors and chefs in obtaining specialty products for challenges. Worked with art department in set decorating for camera. Responsible for budgeting and organization of culinary department."

is a writer and teacher who publishes , a daily summary of reality TV news.