Tribune employee wins NBC's 'Love in the Wild,' Art Smith returns to 'Top Chef Masters,' Rashida Jones dines at Sunda

Gold Coast resident Yanina Beccaria and her partner Ken Barrington won season 2 of the Jenny McCarthy-hosted NBC reality show “Love in the Wild” Tuesday -- just as many had expected.

The couple clicked from the beginning, unlike other contestants who frequently switched partners, and thrived during “Survivor”-like challenges. Beccaria, a Tribune employee who works in advertising, and Barrington, a Miami resident, fell for each other and have continued to see each other since the show ended.

"We are both busy with work so we take turns on visiting each other every weekend if possible," Beccaria wrote by email Thursday.

They sat side-by-side during the “Love in the Wild” finale viewing party Tuesday at Market and were congratulated with cake and confetti. Also on hand at the party was McCarthy and their competition on the finale, Benjamin Clark and Michelle Sacco. The grand prize for the winning couple was a trip around the world.

"We are thinking about starting through the ... French Polynesian islands," Beccaria wrote, "then moving over to Thailand and India and finishing up with a South African safari before we head back."

Who is the master? Table Fifty-Two chef Art Smith made it all the way to the Champions' Round on season one of "Top Chef Masters" and is back to compete on season four of “Top Chef Masters,” which premieres Wednesday on Bravo. Smith, who has lost over 100 lbs. and has become more open about his sexuality since the first season, told me by email, "I return slimmer, but I'm way, way OUT." For more on Smith and "Top Chef Masters," go to redeyechicago.com.

Yes, another one: Singers Joe Jonas, Gloria Estefan and John Rich and rapper Nelly will shoot The CW’s upcoming singing competition, “The Next,” in Chicago Sunday through Tuesday. The four music mentors on the Queen Latifah-produced show will follow four Chicago aspiring singers around at work and home for 72 hours to prepare them for their performances.

Big ups: Chicago rapper/actor Common will meet with children from The Night Ministry Thursday at the Virgin Mobile flagship store on N. Clark Street before his benefit concert for the poverty-focused charity later that night at The Metro.

Miami heat: Supermodel and Glenbard East High School alum Joanna Krupa has been added to the second season of “The Real Housewives of Miami,” which premiers in September on Bravo. Krupa, who has also appeared on the reality shows “Dancing with the Stars” and “The Superstars,” is engaged to Miami nightclub owner Romain Zago. "U won't be disappointed..." Krupa tweeted Wednesday. "A lot went on in my life those months during filming...the good w the bad unfortunately."

On the record: "It’s a character study about people who do things that you can’t pay people to do –- you can’t pay people to run into a burning building.” – Legendary producer Dick Wolf talks about his upcoming NBC firefighter drama, “Chicago Fire” during the Television Critics Association Summer Press tour.

Sightings: Former "Office" actress Rashida Jones dined at Sunda Tuesday. ... “Saturday Night Live” cast member Jay Pharoah had dinner Sunday on the patio of Kings Lanes, Lounge & Sports in Rosemont. … Former reality TV star Kristin Cavallari picked up take out Friday from Mixed Green in River North. … Several Blackhawks players, including Jonathan Toews, Viktor Stalberg and Dave Bolland, dined Friday at the newly opened Untitled in River North before heading to the bar area. … I saw MTV’s “Underemployed” filming Tuesday at Gold Star bar in Wicker Park.

Twitter @aboutluisgomez

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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