Sunday, February 25, 2007

American Idol: Update on The Antonella Barba Show

Some of you may have heard of the toilet and topless pictures that have been floating around of Antonella Barba of The Antonella Show on American Idol. Looks like this might end badly for her, though. A whole slew of nasty pictures have surfaced recently, including some that give her the nickname Antonella "Blowjob" Barba. I'm not going to link the stories here, but it's probably really easy to google them.

With Frenchie getting axed in Season 2 for scandalous pictures, this is quite promising for those out there who want The Antonella Barba Show to end. If she does get kicked off, does it mean only one girl goes home this week? Does it mean Amy Crabs or Nicole the Spaz get to come back for another try? Does it mean they bring back someone that was cut in the Narrow Elevator episode? Someone named Tatiana McConnico? I can only hope. That seems unlikely. But for all it's worth, Tatiana would have made much better use of an opportunity like this.

If you're planning on trying out for Idol and you know there are pictures of you floating around, you might want to reconsider if you don't want them seen by the American public. Or maybe you don't want to get photographed like that in the first place.

Antonella, you took the spot that so many girls wanted. They would have sang their hearts out and come up clean on the background scan. There wouldn't be nasty pictures of them floating around. Tatiana McConnico. Tami Gosnell. Marisa Rhodes. They thank you for taking their spot on the show and then throwing it away. I hope you get kicked off. And really, I hope they give some previously cut girls a chance to get back on the show. That could be an interesting twist. It probably won't happen, which is sad.


The Apprentice Episode 6

Last week on The Honey Whore and The Alliance:
We were not shown footage of Jenn getting honey squirted in her mouth. Surya and Derek went all Rob and Amber on us and asked Aimee to be their Lex and save Surya in the boardroom. Aaron got screwed over by the alliance and Surya got really really pissed off.

This week on Apprentice Goes Bachelor and Lex Gets Screwed:
So here are my overarching themes in Apprentice so far: (1) Trump is stealing ideas from other shows. He's already done Project Runway, Top Model, Top Chef, and Survivor. This week, Tim and Nicole get a little frisky. (2) Kinetic is playing a game. Much like when Rob saved Ambuh in Survivor All-Stars by using Lex and then throwing him away, Derek saved Surya by using Aimee and then turned on her later. (3) On the Kinetic side, it's Heidi's show. Heidi is running the game. It makes her both brilliant and really annoying. I don't like that she's the big alliance leader and whomever she is intimidated by gets the ax. (4) Stefani's glasses only appear every other episode.

Okay, this sucks. I like to write my recaps in the order that the shows were shown. So unfortunately, I had to get through Survivor and The Amazing Race to get to this recap. Those two shows are still in their early stages and are really hard to recap. The Apprentice, however, is my favorite to recap and I probably would have done a better job had I done it after I watched the show. Oh well.

Remember how mad Surya was at the end of last episode? Well, he's definitely fired up as he and Nicole head back into Trump Trailer Park. He says he basically needs to be PM for this task. That's apparently what he wanted to tell Trump when he made the rookie mistake of trying to say something after a firing. He goes on and on about how Aaron lied and that's just not cool. He's either about to burst into tears or about to throw a chair at a wall.

So according to interviews that Aaron has done, Surya is exactly this crazy in person. Aaron said that just because he didn't assign roles like Kinetic does, doesn't mean that he didn't expect Surya to step up in marketing. Anyway, who cares about all this. Surya's little tantrum is annoying and boring. Moving on.

This week's task is getting people to sign up for something or other. Another lame task. Where the hell is Ivanka?! You take Carolyn and her hilarity away and now Ivanka is missing for, what, three weeks now? The Priceline people whose names Trump doesn't know are going to be his eyes and ears. What lame eyes and ears.

The teams brainstorm and we are shown very predictable footage. On one hand, Kinetic is assigning roles. Surprise. And a lot of the team are not happy with their assigned roles. No, Kristine, because you're not assigned an afternoon role doesn't mean you should go home and take a nap. Can't they just try to work as a cohesive unit? You can't predict issues that will arise. Why should you micromanage so that it becomes hard to deal with problems later? And why have you all decided already that Aimee is leaving? Kinetic pisses me off.

On the other hand, Arrow is sitting in a conference room where Surya wants Frankie Suits to right a five-sentence paragraph in his composition notebook about how he's going to go about doing this task. Frankie Suits is the type of guy who shouts out ideas and works them out by talking through them. Surya cannot call himself a good leader if he cannot adapt to work with all sorts of work styles. Frankie passes around a picture he drew of Surya on a napkin which is a pretty good caricature of him. Everybody is laughing while Surya is still dead serious about this paragraph thing. And before all this, Tim is the one who brings up the good idea of auctioning off travel packages. Kinetic is also doing this, but every half hour instead, and rather than auctioning packages, they're giving away $1000 towards a trip, which is much less appealing for people to hear.

At some point, on Kinetic, we get to see the Octopus fight, which probably was nothing during the task and was blown way out of proportion to make Aimee look crazy. Worked. They also like to film Aimee when she's thinking and not aware she's on camera. They often get her in her thoughtful phase and she looks a little out of it. An easy way to make her look like she's not a strong leader. As you see, I am generally supportive of all the contestants except for two in particular. I am very wary of the editing, however. I don't doubt at all that Aimee was just as good of a leader as Heidi, except she probably had a much different, less annoying style of leading.

Anyway, what's going on? I think at this point is when Jenn and Derek go on their meeting with the mall manager or whatever she's called. The lady points out that about half of their customers are Hispanic. I understand that some people might not get this, depending on where they're from, but if you're familiar with the area, you know that if a high percentage of the people around look Hispanic, there's a good chance that many of the adults do not speak English fluently. It was not a racist comment that Jenn made in the boardroom. It's just that she knows this and wasn't aware that Aimee wouldn't also know. Aimee is from the Chicago area, so it's understandable that she isn't as familiar with the area.

I would also like to make fun of Jenn for going to ASU. No doubt she got a great education and is great at what she does. I don't want to make fun of ASU's academics. I want to point out that if I was told one of the contestants went to ASU, I would have put money on Jenn being the one. She's got a little bit of the ASU tint. I just don't like ASU gymnastics that much. Not a big deal. I like Jenn. I think she's really funny.

Anyway, so at Arrow mall, Frankie Suits is being a great salesperson and is actually physically bringing people to their kiosks. He's great at this. I know I was harsh on Suits in the first recap, but he's really done a 180. He was just too excited the first time around. So all of the Arrow kids are working it. And where is Surya? He's walking around with all of his notes.. I have no idea what he's doing. He's obviously not a good salesperson. What he doesn't realize and what Heidi definitely doesn't realize is they're difficult to relate to. They present themselves as important and have a hard time transitioning from talking professionally and talking to average people. And they take themselves way too seriously.

Heidi and Kristine (I think) are over at Kinetic mall walking around doing a poor job in pulling people in. Heidi definitely thinks she's above all the people in the mall. She looks down on the ones who don't understand her because she thinks any reasonable person can speak English and understand what she's saying. She thinks she now needs to simplify what she's saying and it irritates her. She doesn't like to be the one making compromises and adapting. Tell me I have this read right. I know the Heidi type. And while it's easy to edit people's actions and often their words, it's really difficult to put a facial expression onto a person's face. Or to give someone a different demeanor. Heidi annoys me.

So it comes down to Arrow doing a great job drawing people in with their big personalities. Kinetic relies on Derek and Muna, who speak Spanish, to translate for those who don't understand.

In the boardroom, it's Donny Jr. that joins Trump. Boo. I want Ivanka. First, Trump asks for standouts in the task from his eyes and ears whose names he does not know. Suits is named for Arrow and Derek (I think) for Kinetic. I hope they also mentioned how Surya wasn't around. Because for whatever reason, Trump thinks Surya is the reason this team wins. It's true they blame Surya when they lose and don't say anything about him when they win. Because they're not stupid. Why would you speak up if you won?

Anyway, Arrow wins, which is great. They get private surfing lessons from two pro surfers. At reward, everybody suits up and everybody except Stefani goes into the water. They're all having fun until Nicole gets hurt when a huge wave comes in. She thinks she's twisted or broken her foot and they wrap it up while it still has sand all over it. Then she gets into the van and Tim goes with her. Big surprise. When they get to the doctor's, he tells her she's been stung by a jellyfish. She's a little embarrassed and asks if most people would have continued surfing. The doctor says most people from the area probably would.

When they go back to the mansion, we get the big makeout scene. It was kinda awkward how the entire thing was filmed and the cameraman was just standing there. And Tim's holding Nicole's head at a weird angle and I'm sure it would have been better if it wasn't filmed and then broadcast all over the country. But hey, they signed up for this show and I'm not at all saying anybody did anything wrong here. Anyway, that's all I have to say about that.

In the boardroom, the main topic is the language barrier. Everybody blames Aimee and Aimee blames Jenn. For some reason, Derek is invincible. In two cases now, he's been at the source of the disaster in a task and his name hasn't even come up. He was with Marisa during the El Pollo Loco task and she was considered a disaster (wrongfully, though). He was with Jenn at the meeting, but not telling Aimee about the language issue seemed to end up being blamed on Jenn.

Aimee brings Jenn and Derek back into the boardroom. This is where Surya does not blindly defend Aimee like she did for him the past week. Lex anyone? Neither Rob nor Amber tried to save her (Aimee). They throw her under the bus. Aimee fights hard, though, and really gets on Jenn's case about the language barrier. I see the entire issue as a misunderstanding. Aimee did not understand by looking around that there would be the problem. Jenn did not see how it wasn't obvious and probably didn't think twice about not mentioning it to Aimee. In fact, that probably didn't even come to her mind. They made it seem as if she made a conscious decision to not give Aimee that information. I don't think so.

Anyway, Aimee is fired like I predicted (kinda) last recap. As Aimee gets into the car to leave, and as the car is pulling away, she is staring daggers at Jenn and Derek. It's all kinda funny because you know they looked back at that and laughed when it aired.

Next time on The Apprentice:
Apparently, somebody says two words that cause The Donald to do the first double firing of this season. I really hope it's on the Kinetic side. Although saying something stupid sounds like an Arrow mistake, what with all their talking and stuff. I do see Jenn leaving soon because I don't think Heidi has any need for her. Maybe hopefully Heidi will get overthrown soon. I'm sick of the Heidi show.


Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Amazing Race 11 Episode 1

This week on The Worst Ending Ever:
We're back! Ten of the most memorable teams to ever run The Amazing Race are back. There's also this pretend team running around like they deserve to be there.

Let's start off by saying I'm really pissed. I've calmed down since the show aired a week ago, but I'm still pretty pissed. CBS made a plane come back to the gate. How could they have not stolen Eric and Danielle's car engine or something?

As far as the teams go, nobody really did anything unexpected or out of character. Unfortunately, true to character, John Vito and Jill had trouble with directions. Eric and Danielle were annoying. Ian said "Hoorah" like five times. Rob and Amber ran a great leg. Mirna talked in her own dialect, which I call The Mirna, or Mirnian. It's weird how the spell check on this campus computer knows the word "Mirna." I guess it's a real language.

So yeah, nothing was particularly out of character. Except I love how the teams all know each other and some are fans of each other. Danny and Oswald wanted to take care of Charla and Mirna, which is nice. Rob actually stopped the shuttle for Danny and Oswald who led them to the airport. That might have been a little surprising although I've always thought Rob was a decent guy. Just look at how he treats Amber. She's like his princess. I've always thought it was sweet when a tough guy like Rob treats his girl really well. You can see it in his eyes when he looks at her. He adores her. You don't see that very often anymore these days. So it's nice.

The first challenge of the race is figuring out that American will arrive first even though it departs later. I'm surprised that so many of the leading teams figured this out almost intuitively.
This leg was basically a blur with a bunch of running teams and no real tough tasks. I won't go through all the minor details because I'm lazy and it would just piss me off. Basically, at some point, John Vito and Jill get really really lost. Drew manages to trip on nothing and twist is leg or something. The two of them are really annoying for this leg and actually get a flat tire which they disregard and continue driving. Actually, Drew is so out of shape, Charla beats him in the initial foot race. Charla's really pleased about it. And she should be.

Rob and Amber run a really clean race. My friend thinks Amber's had some work done on her face, but watching the show, I don't really see it. Teri, on the other hand.. her eyebrows are in a suspicious location relative to the rest of her face. She mentions at one point that "Mirna and Shmirna" are coming and wonders if they have a show nickname. I'm pretty sure it was the Asshat and his wife back in their season. I don't know, I don't mind them that much.

We find out in the episode that John Vito and Jill are open to reconnecting. Which is great news because like any other JV and Jill fan, I want them to live happily ever after and have gorgeous babies. Speaking of babies.. apparently Uchenna and Joyce's marriage is one the rocks again. Not that they seemed to have any problems in their previous season when they said they were having problems. They still haven't had the baby and I think it's really time for adoption. Joyce is 48, I believe, and why they're not getting pregnant could be affected by her age. Starting at 25, women's egg supply begins to decrease. I read it in Time Magazine like three years ago.

We find out that Eric and Danielle have a perhaps not so 50-50 relationship. He says he's the boss and she repeats to us that he's the boss. Although I guess if I were in a relationship with someone like Danielle, I would want to be the boss, too, in fear that she may lead us to the North Pole.

Mary and David, America's favorites from last season, are back on the show to act as the crazy fans that run around asking for autographs. They mention that they're fans of a lot of the teams, which is nice, because it means they've really been watching the show. David is so excited to meet Rob and Amber that he calls them Rob and Kim, which is a huge diss. He apologizes and it's kinda funny because he's like a little kid meeting Michael Jordan or something.

Mary and David, on the other hand, are not pleased to see Dustin and Kandace, two of the greatest female racers of the show. I am very happy, though. The Barbies run a clean first leg, nothing spectacular but no real mistakes.

I want to give a shoutout to Kris and Jon and Colin and Christie. Wish you all were on the race. Rob and Amber are in a different league than most of the other teams. If CBS was looking for a good match-up, they would have given Rob and Amber some competition besides Dustin and Kandace.

Charla and Mirna, by the way, were completely predictable in this leg. They found their own local tour guide, which they were always great at doing. Mirna talked in her own language the whole leg. They both really just wanted other racers to like them, and were pleased when Danny and Oswald helped them out.

Guidos were pretty tame this week. They made a crack about how they're just two gay grandpas on this race and nobody should be that afraid of them. They also joked about Rob and Amber having their own television network. I'm most surprised that the Guido dog is still alive. It has been quite a few years since their season. Glad to see their mascot is still around.

Did I miss anyone? Well, if I did, they just weren't memorable. Next week's recap will be a better attempt at covering what actually happened. Unless my next favorite team gets the ax, I'll be in a much better mood about the episode.


Survivor 14 Episodes 2 & 3

Two weeks ago on An Ethnic Adventure:
Sylvia micromanaged the building of a shelter that she ended up not being able to live in. Hahaha. Moto won immunity and thus got to live in luxury forever. Ravu got a pot. Jessica was voted off.

Last week on The Story of the Saddest Tribe Ever:
This season hasn't been that exciting yet. I'm sure it will soon, but it's still early. I'm not quite sure I remember everything that happened in this episode, but we'll highlight the important parts.

Moto is living it up and Ravu is dying. Great. The twist for this season really makes things fair, doesn't it. At least on The Apprentice, living in tents doesn't mean you'll end up dying. I mean, they all clean up well because I can never tell they're living outdoors.

So at some point, Ravu is so thirsty that they're licking leaves. That's just sad. Anyway, Sylvia shows up and starts suggesting they do a lot of things. This is how I see it. I don't particularly like Sylvia, but I don't really dislike her either. She just seems like a typical Asian mama. I don't know, I guess it's something I'm used to. When I'm at home, I hear "You should do this" a lot. It's not trying to be rude or obnoxious, it's just the cultural divide and the difference in how things are phrased in the two cultures. It's much harder to unlearn than you would think.

Anyway, let's see.. on the Moto side, Lissi does this weird animated voice. She's the eccentric one, I'm sure. I don't know how I feel about most of Moto at this point. Except I like Lilianna. For whatever reason. It's not like she's said five words on the show yet.

We see Boo whacking at some wood with an ax or something and even if the previews didn't hint at it, it's pretty obvious he's going to hack off a finger or two. Yup. He cuts his hand and goes and gets it bandaged and lies down. Somebody makes a crack about how useless he is with his one hand, one leg, and one eye. Oh, right. He got something in his eye that makes him look kinda comical. Then he goes and lies in the hammock and the hammock breaks and he falls onto the wood floor.

At some point, Ravu searches for fruit only to realize they had a bunch of pineapples growing in basically their backyard.

So challenge. Their challenge was to paddle through a course attaching bags to this spool of rope attached to the boat. It's Michelle and Stacy spooling. And I'll say it now. I like Michelle. She might be tiny, but she's done a pretty respectable job so far. Last week, she untied those puzzle pieces really fast. This time, she did a good job with the spool thing. Better than Stacy at least, who got it caught a few times.

Once again, Ravu is ahead going into the final part of the challenge. They have to assemble this pole and then raise it to win immunity. At some point, Ravu is being stupid and Moto catches up. Erica is screaming and screaming about which pole should go next and it disturbs the flow of the tribe a little. Basically, Moto overtakes the lead and wins immunity. They get fishing gear. Ravu gets a big dose of sad. Earl gets sent to Exile and will return next episode.

Back at camp, a lot of people are ticked off that Erica flipped out. Particularly Mookie and Rocky, Erica's ally from last episode. Sylvia is pissed that Erica had to scream instead of just working through it methodically with the other team. Some people think she had no place to say that and was just being annoying, but I can kinda understand. If Muna (Apprentice) was there, I'm sure she would have been ticked off too. Sylvia strikes me as similar to Muna in that they both see the bigger picture on all things, are sensible and practical, and don't understand when other people aren't. But I like Muna so much more than Sylvia.

So it's pretty much a consensus that Erica gets the boot and Sylvia gets spared. Great. That's what happens. To me, it seemed like they took Erica's behavior a little out of perspective. Erica would have probably been a better physical competitor for the following week. Saving Sylvia for a week just to kick off someone who was a little over-the-top doesn't seem like good strategy. I don't know, it doesn't really matter.

Erica is voted off.

This week on Let's All Laugh About Papa Smurf Until He Tells Us He's Dying:
The Subtitle of this episode should have been "What the hell, Rita?" Regarding her vote.

So I just watched this episode and I felt like if I didn't recap it right away, I might forget again. We see Earl returning from Exile. The tribe tries to ask him about the Idol clue. He doesn't tell them that Amy Krebs was voted off. Instead, he just kinda mumbles something. Yeah, I know, weak reference.

Michelle goes on to prove that while she might not be able to stand up anymore, she is still superwoman. Not only has she been a great competitor for Ravu thus far, but she decides she will go and make fire with glasses. First she asks the sun to come out and play and anybody watching was probably thinking there's no way she's going to make fire. Well, it happens. She's persistent and eventually a little fire is started and she hands it off to Anthony who, with the help of others, is able to nurse the fire to full flame. This is kinda amazing. Michelle's own special way of sticking it to Sundra and Becky who needed an hour with matches to get something going.

At the first reward challenge of the season, Ravu announces that Michelle made fire and Michelle looks really proud. Jeff tells her that it's a rare occurrence on Survivor to make fire out of scratch. In his head, he was laughing at Sundra and Becky.. you know it. He gives them flint since they were able to get fire on their own.

This challenge involves sliding down a muddle, slippery lane to retrieve a ball with a particular number and then make a basket. First person per round to do so gets a point and six points wins them a choice of three rewards. The first is their luxuries from home. Which nobody wants. You can just tell. The second is an identical set of fishing gear that Moto won last time. The third is a fruit basket. Which is really random. Both teams seem to have a good amount of fruit around camp.

Anyway, we start off by watching Gary take two huge falls, which look painful. And his tribe laughs. At some point, Sylvia makes the saddest attempt at moving down the slippery lane. She does an exact imitation of "swim frightfully" that Michelle did on Top Model. I'll get the clip up here soon if I can. I'm telling you.. imagine Tyra standing there watching this saying to Sylvia, "Okay, girl, you get 'swim frighteneneningly'."

Yao-man is last up against Dreamz and when Jeff announces this, stupid Lissi who isn't even competing laughs at the pair-up. Both of them suck at throwing the ball, so shut up, Lissi. Anyway, eventually, Moto wins reward. And they choose the fishing gear, which is probably smart. I was sure they'd be stupid and pick the fruit.

Moto gets to send someone to Exile and it's Sylvia again. Surprise. Except she gets to come back before immunity so she can get voted off later.

When Moto gets back to camp, they're sitting around laughing about Gary's big fall at the challenge. Until they realize that Papa Smurf is in a great deal of pain and might have broken a rib or two. The medics come and basically say it's nothing and say to let them know if it gets worse. So, my own personal experience lately with doctors has me doubtful about the medic's nonchalance about it all. I find that when it's not openly obvious that you have a particular ailment, the doctors I've come across at least, tell you it's probably nothing and then give you some basic drug that doesn't work. At least that's my case right now.

Cassandra seems the most affected and is really sad in a confessional. I hope Gary is okay. Him saying he didn't know where he was or what his name was really alarmed me and I'm surprised nobody thought it was important.

Next is immunity. Their challenge is an eating contest. It's back. They do this weird rotation where the teams pair a girl against the other team's guy and vice versa all throughout the competition. Not that significant, except you have to think it's tougher for Michelle to get the food down compared to a big guy.

Ravu is ahead at one point, but true to form, they eventually fall behind and the nail in the coffin comes when Anthony chews his pig snout like he's got all day. Moto wins immunity.

Back at camp, Mookie and Rocky are pissed. They don't like that Anthony was whining so much. So they've devised a plan to vote out Sylvia but throw votes at Anthony in case Sylvia whips out the idol. They tell Sylvia they're voting out Anthony, which basically defeats the purpose of throwing votes for Anthony if Sylvia's going to be voting for him now anyway. If she had the idol, Anthony would be going home and they wouldn't even need the rest of the tribe's throwaway votes. So basically, I'm sensing that part of the tribe actually just wants Anthony gone. Stupid rationalization. Who decided to listen to Rocky and Mookie anyway?

So at tribal council, Mookie comes out and says he was really pissed at Anthony's performance. Stupid. He thinks he runs this tribe right now and really needs to get his ass handed to him sometime. It comes down to what could have been a 4-4 tie if Rita had not randomly voted for Earl. She mentions that she doesn't want to go with the tribe on either vote choice this week and why she chose Earl is beyond me. I wonder what it would've been like had it come down to a tiebreaker. Maybe Rita doesn't like Earl because he writes too small. Every week, he's written his vote under a microscope and then tried to pass it off as legit.

Sylvia is voted off. 4-3-1.

Next week on Get Him Some Real Medical Help, Please:
Gary still isn't feeling well and I want him to bow out and go to a real hospital somewhere. On the Ravu side, Rocky is yelling at Anthony. Sounds fun.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

American Idol: Hollywood Week

This week on Apparently a Lot of People Know How to Love a Woman:
I think the viewing public has reached a consensus on the fact that Hollywood Week was way too short. I want to get to know some contestants. I want to know who the people are in the quick flashbacks. I want to hear more than three people sing. I want to have an opinion on people besides the ones that producers want in the finals. And most importantly, I don't want what happened to Allison on SYTYCD to happen ever again.

Let's talk about that. I was not an Allison fan during the past season of So You Think You Can Dance. Not because she wasn't the best dancer on the show. Actually, it was precisely because she was the best. The producers showered her with compliments all the time. They predicted her as the winner really early on. As the weeks went by, to me, she seemed increasingly cocky and above everyone else. It's a good thing I watched the routines after the show was over. It's a good thing I was so obsessed. Had I not been, I may have never realized what had happened while the show was airing.

People cheer for the underdog. For the Ivans out there. I love Ivan. But just as Ryan boosted Heidi to the finale with his insulting comments on the first pairing day, Ivan probably held Allison back with his amazing story. Not that it's any of his fault. It's just how things play out. And with the judges constantly telling Allison she was the best dancer ever, it became annoying for me after awhile. As we know with past Idol experiences, constant ratting on contestants often wins them extra votes. Similarly, sometimes when judges compliment a contestant, it's detrimental to their progression in the competition. Allison did nothing to suggest that she wasn't exactly what the judges were complimenting her on. It was the character that they inadvertently prescribed to her. It's unfortunate, but only now do I realize that she was the best dancer, was wrongfully denied a spot in the finale, and should have won the show.

Anyway, I'm afraid that by pushing certain people in our faces, the Idol producers are actually going to cause America to vote the mediocre through to the finals. Then there's always the problem with not showing certain people and not allowing the viewers to built a connection with those contestants. Basically, I just wish there could be equal time spent on each contestant. Or is it even too difficult to ask for some time spent on each contestant?

Here's my rendition of Episode 9, the basic Hollywood round that is usually cut down to two days. And by cut down, I mean even when it was a two-day show, it was short. Now they've given it just one day.

We see some people we met in auditions either get shot down or get through. For some reason, Jorey, the girl who hung out with the Queen of England, gets cut right off the bat, but Perla, the Shakira impersonator, gets another chance. We see the army girl with her husband at war get cut. We see a lot of whining and crying and some excitement. This, by the way, is the girls section. There was an actual attempt at covering it. There are a lot of short snippets featuring Amanda and Antonella.. apparently this week is the Amanda and Antonella week. I need to discuss Antonella later.

I don't even remember what we see. A lot of clips of people getting cut. Some girl's sob story about wanting to please her mom and singing a virtually unknown song. Anyway, it's not until the end of the girls' segment that I find out that two of my audition favorites, Melinda Doolittle and Tatiana McConnico, have made it through. Which I figured since I usually have decent picks. We see Melinda celebrating, but if not for my sharp eye, I could have missed the two seconds they showed of Tatiana on stage being the only one moved through in her group of six. Thank you for deciding for us who our favorites should be, producers. I refuse to listen.. Tatiana is good. We'll talk about that later. I see this being a long recap. Maybe it'll make up for the short week we were given.

Anyway, next we see about three minutes of guys singing. What did they even show? Another military person getting cut. Ugh. This was the saddest recap I've ever seen. They did not even really scan through who made it through.

We get a bit of group drama. Amanda and Antonella have decided to be in the same group. And they've strung on Bailey.. or Baylie, or however it's spelled. She's along for the ride. Some girl can't find a group and is sad until a really sweet guy asks her to join. The boy whose mother doesn't love him enough or whatever is having a hard time finding a group.

Anyway, it is the Amanda and Antonella show, let it be known. We get some Glockson drama tossed in there, too. So Amanda and Antonella are bickering about song choice. It seems like probably just the type of routine they go through where in the end they're fine, but they really just need to yabber at each other. Of course Baylie (I think that's how it's spelled) has not idea how the Amanda and Antonella show works, so she's stressed that their group will fall apart.

They choose a song that neither Amanda nor Antonella knows very well and start practicing. At some point, Amanda gets frustrated and leaves to go flirt with the only group of guys she can find that don't tell her to go away. They were probably too nice. So the other two head off to bed. Then, sometime between that scene and the scene of them practicing the next morning, Amanda and Antonella both do learn their words. So I think they did work harder than the footage suggested. Because in the morning, it's Baylie who is struggling with the words.

Their performance is decent except for the part where Baylie just stands there until Amanda helps her out. Which is actually really nice of her. I think Amanda is aggressive and likes to be the HBIC, but when it boils down to it, is actually a nice girl. This will be mentioned later as well. Anyway, when Baylie is cut, she totally disses the other two and Amanda is rightfully pissed that she got dissed after helping the girl out.

So cut to the Gina Glocksen and Co. drama. It's Perla. They decided to be the Salvation Army and took Perla into their group. Along with Gina and Perla, there are two other girls, one of which is the Marisa girl who cannot stop crying in the next episode. Basically, they've realized quickly what we all knew for awhile now.. Perla cannot really sing. She's been getting through on the fact that she's a spicy Colombian who is dragalicious (def: acts like a drag queen, not meaning she looks like one.. just to be clear).

So in short, Perla is cut and the other three make it through. Surprise.

Chris Sligh and Rudy Cardenas and Blake the beatboxer and some Thomas dude have a great performance that gets a Paula ovation (def: similar to a standing ovation, but without the sanity of a normal person doing the clapping). It is good, but a little boy band-ish, which appears to be the theme of the show. Also, you know what, producers and judges? I call BS on the guys being strong this year. Some are strong. But as a whole, if going back to season 1's "guys whose names end in 'jay'" thing is considered strong, then this show has gone downhill real fast.

So the judges have narrowed it down to 40 contestants, split into two rooms, with the rest of the remaining contestants waiting to be cut in a separate third room. We learn that the Amanda and Antonella show has been split up. And the adorable sibling duo of Sanjaya and Shyamali have also been split up. We first find the Gina Glocksen group is going through and I spot my girl Melinda Doolittle there. I think Chris Sligh was also in this room. It's trivial who was in what winning room, though. Next, the room of Antonella and Sanjaya gets through. This makes for an anticlimatic ending for the saddest room of all. The third room gets the shortest clip of all and we aren't really shown any devastated people.

As the two rooms unite as one happy winning room, Antonella and Sanjaya are both bummed. Sanjaya especially, who goes down to comfort his sister. This is adorable and just wonderful to watch. Children (he's only 17) who actually have some compassion and a total lack of selfishness. Sanjaya was so upset for his sister.. that's really sweet. And I don't see that as being some sort of producer's edit. I could tell from the moment they auditioned.. Sanjaya is the sweetest boy to enter this competition. I don't know how much that'll help him.. we'll just have to wait and see.

And to cap it off, Amanda seems completely happy for Antonella, which to me confirms why Antonella is friends with Amanda. We saw a lot of Amanda's aggressiveness and cockiness earlier in the Amanda and Antonella show. But it appears that the two of them have a great dynamic and perhaps a lot of Amanda's personality was edited in. I have no doubt that she's very aggressive. That's not necessarily a bad thing.. just really easy to edit into the bitch character. Anyway, I'm glad Amanda leaves us on a good note.

Now, I have Episode 10 comments.

This part of the recap is The Narrow Elevator and Long Silent Room:
In a way I love this episode and in a way I hate it. They often show too much of some people and too little of singing in general. This time around it was okay. We'll go over the important stuff.

Sanjaya is the first to make it through. From what I hear, which are only rumors, Sanjaya actually replaced someone in the group of 24 who leaked information about the show and got kicked off. In this case, him going "first" for this portion and last in the dancing segment totally explains it. Otherwise, I'm just seeing things that aren't there.

Next, we get Anna Kearns, the tallest woman to ever make it this far. She is cut and tries to reason with the judges. She says they've never had someone like her and Simon calls her out for trying to use her height as a selling point. She tries to slide out of that and Paula tries to help her, but she was totally trying to say they've never had someone that was so tall on the show.

Then, we get a lot of fast axing. Bernard Williams. Aaron something. And Tami Gosnell. No reason for her cut. Basically, the judges probably told her they were there to sell the Antonella and Sundance show. (No actual connection between the two of them, but they're the ones the judges are really pushing for.)

My favorite, Melinda Doolittle is next, and really? Is this even a question? She's through but not before Simon mixes it up a bit and says she's always been a background singer because someone's always been better than her. She's really excited when they tell her she's through and Simon gives her a hug. Simon has always loved the talented but humble ones and it's really sweet that he's kinda attached to her.

Then we get another background singer, Brandon Rogers. He's good, but not as good as he thinks he is. He's the opposite of Melinda.. he seems slightly outraged that it's taken so long for him to be discovered. He gets through.

Gina Glocksen is next. I think she's next in line in the Antonella and Sundance show. She comes off a little cocky, though, and not just complacent like Antonella is. Oh, by the way, the title of this recap comes from the fact that like ten of the contestants are recapped singing the same song. I know they probably had like five to choose from, but after awhile, I was like, "So how do you love a woman?" So Gina is through, but not without a mention of last year's disappointment.

Jimmy McNeal and Eric.. Johnson? get about two seconds of airtime for their rejections.

Then we get pleasantly surprised by Haley Scarnato. She sings "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" in a clip from earlier in the week. I love that song, even if it is a Celine Dion song. I don't know.. I'm weirdly attached to some random songs. She sang it nicely a Capella, and gets through to the next round. She's wearing really short shorts, but they're the cute trendy kind, not the ass-grabbing hoochie kind. At least she's wearing shorts (See: Alaina Alexander).

Phil Stacey makes it through and I'm not sure what I think of him yet.

Chris Sligh makes it through, of course, but not before inserting his own special funny into this episode. He says the judges are probably wondering why he called this meeting. I like him. I think he's probably a really cool guy. I hate that the show is pimping him out like they did with Taylor Hicks. Chris Sligh is probably going to win. Unless the Antonella Barba story hits theatres first. The jury is still out of whether this show turns Chris Sligh into a really annoying caricature.

Out of the rest of Chris Sligh's boy band group, only the Thomas dude is cut. Blake the beatboxer and Rudy Cardenas both make it. That's impressive. Those guys really chose their group well. I don't want to go into the Blake deal until I hear him sing an entire song with no beatboxing. Right now, I think he's more entertaining than he is a good singer. Rudy Cardenas is unclear with me now as well.

Paul Kim has decided that he will not wear shoes on this show ever. That sounds like a lame gimmick to me. Okay, maybe some of my favorites in the past have also "happened" to wear certain namesake items over and over (Camile's wristband and Jasmine's flower.. and Ruben's entire 205 getup). I just don't like that he's chosen to not wear shoes for no apparent reason. And he's wearing the same boxers that he wore at all the other cuts. Which means he smells gross.

Jordin Sparks is another surprise. She has a great booming voice. She's one of the youngest ones, at 17. She gets through and proceeds to hyperventilate all the way down the Narrowest Elevator Ever.

We get about two seconds of Oliva Quiba-Hurt, Tatiana McConnico, and Monique Vieras getting cut. No explanation again. I like Tatiana a lot. I think she was my Vonzell in the making. If you know me, you know that Vonzell is perhaps my favorite Idol ever, closely tied with Tamyra, the original favorite. Anyway, Tatiana had the powerful voice that Vonzell had. She had great style like Vonzell. And what Vonzell didn't have, Tatiana was one of the smallest girls I have ever seen. Small-boned. But huge voice. Why did she not get through? You're telling me she didn't have one of the top voices in this competition? I'm not happy about this one. I hope a certain someone gets kicked off for not wearing pants and Tatiana can come back.

AJ Tabaldo is moved on. This is his fifth time trying to make it on Idol. And perhaps proof that this season does not have the strength in contestants as past seasons.

Stephanie Edwards is moved on. I don't know anything about her.

Leslie Hunt is a pleasant surprise. She's not the typical female singer. She has a unique style and a unique voice. I'm glad she's in this competition, even if I'm not sure if I'm necessarily going to like her performances.

Nick Pedro is moved on. This is the guy who quit last season and will never hear the end of it from this show, huh?

Alaina Alexander time. Hey Alaina? You forgot your pants. She's wearing what looks like a button-up sweater. It's long enough for her to consider it a dress. But not long enough to not look ridiculous. She talks about how she always cries. She also doesn't want to sit down at first but the judges tell her to stop being annoying and sit down. Then, after they let her through, she asks them what she can improve on. Just go away. You got through. Go. Go put on some pants.

Chris Richardson is a mystery. The clip of him singing is horrible. He got through, though. Don't ask me.

Sabrina Sloan is a real surprise. I've been saying everybody's a surprise, but this one's up there as being possibly a new favorite for me. The girl has a distinct and powerful voice. I'm really impressed. Bring it on, girl. If you're good, no matter what the producers want by not showing you, we'll put you through. This one I'm excited to hear next week.

Jerome Chism is cut. Joelle something is cut. Princess is cut. Yes, Princess. Too bad she wasn't shown at all. Reality TV finally finds its next Princess and we're only shown like ten seconds? Disappointing.

Matthew Buckstein is also cut.

Next is Lakisha, the single mom. We replay her sweet story and apparently she's supposed to be in the final five or something. Right there with Chris Sligh, Antonella Barba, Sundance, and Gina. She gets through, but only after the judges get her to start crying. She's a sweet lady and it's just a shame how they're exploiting her story. Eventually we'll get tired of hearing she's a single mom. Ever heard of Fantasia? Yeah, unfortunately me too.

Nicole Tranquillo, my "Melissa McGhee" of the year gets through. I don't want to explain. Just think about it.

Amy Krebs gets through.

Jared Cotter gets through.

And we're at the final four people, two spots left. We watch Antonella of the Antonella Story and Marisa the nonstop crier go up first. Of course, Antonella is through, whether or not Marisa can sing. I'm sure after Alaina got through, they decided they could only have one lame crier on this show.

And it's Sundance and Tommy Daniels. Who will get through? The one who has gotten through on crap performances round after round? Or the one who slept with Antonella Barba? It's looking like Sundance gets another free ride. Sweet. I don't understand.

The Antonella Story: I don't like how it's developing. I have no idea if I like her or not. The producers have really just spun this out of control. She's the new Kelly Pickler. Except she doesn't even have a sob story. I think the deal is this: a lot of people identify with Antonella. A lot of people have been the second-in-command to an aggressive friend. A lot of people have been in that position and wished to finally be able to outshine the pompous friend. In Antonella's case, it's a success story in the eyes of those who've been there. I'm not that excited to see how they continue to spin this.

And on that note, this entry is way too long and it's way too late. I need to get up tomorrow.


Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Amazing Race All-Stars Preview!

Ten Seasons Ago on The Amazing Race:
A little reality show was born at the beginning of a new era of television. Its concept was simple: Send teams on a world-wide treasure hunt. Have them complete tasks and race to each pitstop mat. Along the way, all but three teams would be eliminated and only one team would earn the right to cross the finish line in first place. The prize was huge. A million dollars and a priceless trip around the world.

For the past six years, 112 teams have raced around the world. All but ten of them have come up short, many of them in more ways than one. Families have raced together. Couples have raced together. Best friends have raced together. Now, ten teams and one fake team have returned. They have come back, some after ten seasons, to a completely different race. They all have only one goal in mind.. don't get stuck carrying around a slab of meat, two backpacks, and your whiny teammate. Or at least that will be Charla's goal.

In the first season, it was Rob and Brennan. In the second season, it was Chris and Alex. In the third season, it was Zach and a dead weight. In the fourth season, it was Lance Bass' broke down lover and Chip. In the fifth season, it was Chip and Kim. In season six, it was unfortunately Freddy and Princess Kendra. In season seven, it was Uchenna and Joyce. In the season they all refuse to talk about, it was Nick, Alex, Megan, and Tommy Linz. In the ninth season, it was BJ and Tyler. In the most recent season, the tenth season, it was Tyler and James. Who will it be this season?

This season on The Amazing Race 11 All-Stars:
We have eleven returning teams. I have been waiting for this for a long time. So we will go through each team carefully and decide how well each will do in this go around. I will score each team based on (1) Past Performance, (2) Athletic Ability, (3) Mental Ability, (4) Driving/Directions, (5) Aggressiveness, and (6) Roadblock Rule--the ability to cope with the roadblock rule that was put into place after the Bowling Moms were royally screwed. By the way, lack of Bowling Moms really upsets me. But we'll get to that later. My last section will be dedicated to who deserves to be in this All-Stars edition.

For each category, there is a max of three points and a minimum of negative three points.

Kevin and Drew:
Fraternity Brothers/BFF
Finished 4th in Season 1.
40 and 41 years old.

They competed so long ago, I barely remember their racing style. Of course, I have seen the first season since then, but it's still hard to predict how they will do in a race so different from its original form. They really built a bond with Nancy and Emily and were crushed when the Guidos squeaked by.

(1) Past Performance: 4th place (-1 point)
(2) Athletic Ability: Not bad, but they've gotten six years older. (1 point)
(3) Mental Ability: Not the brightest bulbs in the shack, but as far as the race goes, they're no Heather and Eve. (1 point)
(4) Driving/Directions: If I remember correctly, they weren't perfect navigators by any means. (0 points)
(5) Aggressiveness: They weren't cutthroat but they weren't Michael and Kathy. (1 point)
(6) Roadblock Rule: They will deal fine. No problem. (3 points)
Total: 5 points

Oswald and Danny:
Finished 4th in Season 2.
36 and 41 years old.

Everybody was really into Team ChaChaCha or whatever they called themselves. I recall them being entertaining and being the first team to find a local guide to take them to their destinations. I don't really remember them being the greatest at navigating.

(1) Past Performance: 4th place (-1 point)
(2) Athletic Ability: I think they're decent (1 point)
(3) Mental Ability: Finding a local guide was a smart thing. I think they'll probably be good at using resources (2 points)
(4) Driving/Directions: I remembered them not being so good. (-1 point)
(5) Aggressiveness: Not overly so, but I don't think they'd get stepped on. (1 point)
(6) Roadblock Rule: They'll be fine. (3 points)
Total: 5 points

John Vito and Jill:
Formerly Dating :(
Finished 5th in Season 3.
32 and 29 years old.

Anybody that knows me race-wise knows that I love John Vito and Jill and back when their season was on, saw them as the most awesome couple ever and wanted them to get married. Now that I know they're separated, I think it's great that they're doing the race together again and hopefully they'll get along. I wonder if we'll find out in the first five minutes who was the one to call it quits.

(1) Past Performance: 5th place (-2 points)
(2) Athletic Ability: Jill was the first real female powerhouse. Still looks good. And John Vito is built. (3 points)
(3) Mental Ability: I would say they need to learn to ask for help more quickly. They did do very well for themselves, though. (1 point)
(4) Driving/Directions: Unfortunately, I have to deduct on this. They had a lot of bad luck with directions. (-2 points)
(5) Aggressiveness: When it comes to the physical tasks, they're really aggressive. When it comes to interactions with other teams, they try to stay out of the drama. (3 points)
(6) Roadblock Rule: They're going to be fine. Mixed gender groups should get extra points. But that's not really fair. Not that this system I have going means anything. (3 points)
Total: 6 points

Uchenna and Joyce:
Finished 1st in Season 7.
42 and 46 years old.

Loved them on the show. I did agree that their win was probably one of the more suspicious ones. That plane that came back? Tricky, CBS.

(1) Past Performance: 1st place (3 points)
(2) Athletic Ability: I'd say they're not how they were twenty years ago, probably, but they've certainly maintained themselves. (1 point)
(3) Mental Ability: Well, they did win the show. I can't say they're as strategic as Colin or Boston Rob were. (2 points)
(4) Driving/Directions: I think they had a couple glitches, but all in all they were okay. There was that taxi debacle at the finish line that was hilarious, though. (1 point)
(5) Aggressiveness: They were pretty aggressive in taking on the race. (2 points)
(6) Roadblock Rule: It was already around when they competed. (3 points)
Total: 12 points

David and Mary:
Married- Coalminer and Wife
Finished 6th in Season 10.
33 and 32 years old.

They're back because they were funny and charming and America loved them. While I do think they're great characters, this is All-Stars. No Kris and Jon, no Colin and Christie.. for this? I don't think so.

(1) Past Performance: 6th place (-3 points)
(2) Athletic Ability: No. (-3 points)
(3) Mental Ability: They were smart to make an alliance, so I won't take off the full points (-1 point)
(4) Driving/Directions: It's kind of hard to gauge because they were always following somebody. They would all get lost often, though. (-2 points)
(5) Aggressiveness: Willing to give the race up to their friends. Not so aggressive (-3 points)
(6) Roadblock Rule: They did it before, but they didn't get to the end where it gets tighter. (0 points)
Total: -12 points

Charla and Mirna:
Finished 6th in Season 5.
30 and 30 years old.

For a team that finished in the same place as David and Mary, I sure do remember them as a much stronger team. They're kind of my favorite team to watch because Charla is always out there carrying a slab of beef, two backpacks, and Mirna on her shoulders. I do not like playing the disability card, though. I didn't like it when Sarah did it last season. I don't like it when people play the old card, either. I don't like cards.

(1) Past Performance: 6th place (-3 points)
(2) Athletic Ability: Neither is out of shape, but neither is very fast. (-2 points)
(3) Mental Ability: They're actually both pretty sharp. I say actually because Mirna uttered some ridiculous things in their season, but they were very strategic players. (3 points)
(4) Driving/Directions: I think they were decent. (1 point)
(5) Aggressiveness: Not physically aggressive necessarily, but they were fierce when it came to playing the game (2 points)
(6) Roadblock Rule: I think they were in the first season to feature this, right? I only would worry that the producers decide it would be funny to make Charla do things that are very physically difficult for her. Remember Sarah from last season? I guess that was primarily Peter's fault. (1 point)
Total: 2 points

Rob and Ambuh:
Married Famewhores
Finished 2nd in Season 7.
30 and 28 years old.

They're famewhores. They know it. We all know it. They were great players, though. I think they've earned the right as the best reality duo out there. Being successful in two shows and getting their wedding paid by CBS qualifies they as the best famewhores out there. Although Omarosa sadly is tough competition. She does manage to get her scary face on television when she wants to.

(1) Past Performance: 2nd place (2 points)
(2) Athletic Ability: They're in great shape, but I wouldn't say Ambuh is in the same league as Jill at all. (2 points)
(3) Mental Ability: Rob does the thinking for them and he's one of the greatest reality strategists. (3 points)
(4) Driving/Directions: They excelled at getting help with directions. (3 points)
(5) Aggressiveness: It's Boston Rob. He's pretty aggressive. And since his mentality runs the race for the two of them, although Ambuh is not aggressive at all, when she's with Rob, their team is considered pretty aggressive. (3 points)
(6) Roadblock Rule: I believe they were a part of this rule. I still think Ambuh slowed them down a little, though. (2 points)
Total: 15 points

Teri and Ian:
Married Parents
Finished 2nd in Season 3.
53 and 54 years old.

Teri has a new face. Or at least new eyes. These two were fun to hate for the most part of the race, but then ended up being a good story to root for in the finale. Their season was awhile back. I'm interested to see how they hold up this time around.

(1) Past Performance: 2nd place (2 points)
(2) Athletic Ability: No, but they try. (-1 point)
(3) Mental Ability: They took risks. They made calculated decisions. (2 points)
(4) Driving/Directions: I think they were pretty good. (2 points)
(5) Aggressiveness: They were aggressive, but I don't know how much translated into the actual game (1 point)
(6) Roadblock Rule: This is interesting. I'll say Teri has a hard time with some of the more physical tasks. (-2 points)
Total: 4 points

Eric and Danielle:
Fake Team- Dating
Finished 2nd and 7th in Season 9.
28 and 23 years old.

I don't really want to talk about this. This upsets me and makes me rather angry to think that it's possible that Kris and Jon were turned down for this. Of course, it's possible that Kris and Jon were the ones who turned down CBS.

(1) Past Performance: 2nd and 7th place (-5 points just because they make me angry)
(2) Athletic Ability: Danielle will hold them back (-1 point)
(3) Mental Ability: Nope. She's a definite no and he's a no because he's with her. (-3 points)
(4) Driving/Directions: Who cares (-3 points)
(5) Aggressiveness: How do you judge a team that's never worked together? (-3 points)
(6) Roadblock Rule: Honestly, didn't Danielle suck on her season? (-3 points)
Total: -18 points

Life Partners
Finished 3rd in Season 1.
56 and 53 years old.

Guidos were the ones everybody loved to hate. They were the fly that you keep trying to kill but keep missing and it just comes back and buzzes around your head all the time.

(1) Past Performance: 3rd place (0 points- it was not a deserved 3rd. They didn't finish.)
(2) Athletic Ability: They've gotten older (-1 point)
(3) Mental Ability: I have to admit they were pretty strong. (2 points)
(4) Driving/Directions: They were pretty good here too. (2 points)
(5) Aggressiveness: If you look up the word, there's probably a picture of them. They were even overly aggressive. Since that was annoying, it drops them down a point. (2 points)
(6) Roadblock Rule: I'll say they're okay but they're old. (2 points)
Total: 7 points

Dustin and Kandice:
Beauty Queens
Finished 4th in Season 10.
25 and 25 years old.

Anybody that knew me in November, or whenever it was that people were being obnoxious about this team, knows that I loved Dustin and Kandice. I'm glad they get a second chance to prove themselves. These girls are great for this game. Actually, the episode where they got eliminated is the only episode of the race that I haven't seen. I'm not quite sure when I'll get around to seeing it. I kind of don't want to.

(1) Past Performance: 4th place (-1 point)
(2) Athletic Ability: I'm really biased, but there's no denying this team is in great shape. (3 points)
(3) Mental Ability: I thought they were great. Not exactly Rob Mariano.. (2 points)
(4) Driving/Directions: They were good until they got lost in that horrible episode that I did watch before they got eliminated. (2 points)
(5) Aggressiveness: They weren't annoying about it. They were confident, knew they could win, but didn't push it in people's faces. (3 points)
(6) Roadblock Rule: They were fine. (3 points)
Total: 12 points

That gives us Rob and Ambuh with the highest total and Dustin and Kandice and Uchenna and Joyce right up there. I'm disappointed that they didn't go all out and pick the best strategic and physical teams and just make this a race about actually racing other teams.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Survivor 14 Episode 1

This week on An Ethnic Adventure:
We meet the most ethnic group ever on this show. We got all ethnicities, all different backgrounds, all different lifestyles. It's great. And Jeff mentions that one chick had a nervous breakdown the day before they were sent out and so we have 19 Survivors this season.

We start off with all 19 rowing to shore together. Once they get there, there's no tribe flag, nothing to signal what's happening game-wise. They soon find their water source and a lot of fresh fruit. Introductions all around and then Jeff flies by in a plane and drops a box with a parachute. They all decide it would be a good idea for like ten of them to row out and get it. Then a bunch of the macho guys try their hardest to break open the box by smashing it and tossing it around. Up comes Yao-man, who tells us, obviously the weakest points are the corners of the box. He drops it on a corner twice and the box busts open. Everybody thinks Yao-man is awesome.

Let's see.. there's too much chaos for the first half when they're all together. I do recall Cassandra is very smiley and seems really good-natured. She was hanging with Yao-man. For the first few minutes, Jessica and Rita confused me, but I quickly realized Jessica was the younger one, and besides, it won't matter anymore.

Anyway, so in the box is a map to where a bunch of supplies are stored for them to build the most elaborate ridiculous shelter ever. So Mark Burnett decided to save time and gave Apprentice and Survivor exactly the same premise. Sylvia is an architect. So is Laura Bennett from Runway. I didn't like Laura. We'll see about Sylvia. Not that I judge people on their occupation..

Sylvia tells everybody what to do and they put this ridiculous jungle castle together. They take a break for water at one point and Sylvia gets all worried that they won't finish. She starts using big five-letter words like "askew" and James, who we can call Rocky, says its too hard for him and he wants to go back to third grade. Then, Sylvia explains what askew means by saying "not orthagonal." Hahaha. Classy.

So Sylvia was right and because they don't finish the shelter, they all are miserable in the rain with a tarp draped over everybody. So the next day they finish building. We start to see the beginning of the sad alliance. Sad because it lasts like eleven minutes. Erica wants to team up with Jessica. Sad, sad alliance.

I guess this second day goes by fast because the next thing I remember is Rocky flipping out about Dreamz. So apparently this season you couldn't get on without a nickname or four. James is going by Rocky and people call his other things like Boston. Dre tells us that he came up with a nickname for himself, which is lame. Lame because you're supposed to get nicknames from inside jokes and stuff.. and your friends or family are supposed to give them to you. Also lame because Dreamz? Really? That was the best you could come up with? And the seventh grade spelling of it really takes the cake. At some point, they mention Papa Smurf is Gary's nickname and someone calls Michelle "Monkey." Either because they're racist or because she's like a ball of bubbly fire. Which makes no sense.

Okay, so the Rocky v. Dreamz catfight is ridiculous. Dreamz is like making proclamations and speeches every five seconds when everyone is trying to sleep. Rocky has enough of it when Dreamz kinda taunts him. So they fight about basically nothing.

So we go out to meet Jeff and you can see a challenge lined up. This means teams are happening. Like Trump did with the tent task, Jeff asks who stood out during the shelter task. Everybody agrees that Sylvia did. So Sylvia gets to choose the teams. She splits them up rather systematically, splitting the girls first, then the guys. She splits up Rocky and Dreamz, which is probably wise. Then she finds out she's going to Exile. She will join the losing team after the tribal council.

This week's immunity challenge is to race chariots. Two people will be riding each team's chariot and the rest will be pulling it. Along the way, they'll have to untie three bags of puzzle pieces. They'll have to grab a flag and circle around, completing a full cycle of the course. Then four people will have to complete three puzzles that spell out three numbers. They'll have to spin this wheel according the the combination and if they're right, they'll find a knife to cut down a rope and release a flag.

It's Stacy and Lissi on the Moto chariot and Jessica and Michelle on the Ravu chariot. Jessica gets the first bag slower than Stacy does. Stacy does all of the bags for Moto and Michelle gets the last two bags for Ravu. Ravu gets the lead when they reach the puzzles, but Moto gets through the puzzle more quickly. They get the knife and chop their rope and win immunity! This means they get to live in the nice camp, which will receive a couch and a shower. Ravu, on the other hand, will go to another camp with only a machete and a pot. Hahaha. It's kinda stupid as a twist, but it's still funny.

We see Moto go back to Survivor Hilton and we see Ravu go to Probst Trailer Park. Or basically just a normal camp. Everybody tries to stay positive but Erica's pretty upset.

We get to see Sylvia on Exile Island with a bunch of sea snakes. Yuck. She finds the first immunity clue that says the idol is on the beach at home. This kinda makes Exile just a sad sad place. The best Exile moment is still when Danielle and Austin had to survive the biggest storm ever. Oh wait.. no, the best Exile moment is when Candice was there for like the eighth time and crying about it, yet I felt no sympathy. Only joy.

Anyway, the team's pretty sold on getting rid of Jessica while Erica, Rocky, and Jessica were agreed on Rita. I do think Jessica screwed up a couple times in the challenge. I'm not sure who would have sucked more in the long run. Basically, though, there was nobody I really hated and wanted to leave. Which is nice on an episode of Survivor. Rocky and Erica refuse to vote for Jessica, so end up throwing their votes random places.

Jeff asks some introductory questions.. no harsh ones. They vote and Jessica is voted out like 4-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1 or something ridiculous. It's a little sad.

Next week on Survivor:
Some idiot cuts his finger and then goes to lie in a hammock, which then breaks. Hahaha. I don't remember who it was. We'll see next week.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Apprentice Episode 5

Last time on The Episode That Was Completely Misleading:
From listening to and reading interviews with Marisa, I have grown increasingly ticked off at Trump and his shotty editing crew. Not only did Arrow use the El Pollo Loco chicken suit to attract customers, but everybody knew it and still Marisa got fired. I could tell that Heidi was threatened by someone so vocal, and knowing how manipulative Heidi is now, I'm pissed that she didn't suck this episode. Marisa seems like a good person with good intentions and this was perhaps the only time when a firing was basically unfair. It is true that she wouldn't have been able to work with that team after that task anyway, but it's really not her fault for not wanting to be another one of Heidi's lap dogs. Visit Marisa at and support her causes.

This week on The Glasses Are Back!:
I don't think anybody understands how much I love talking about Stefani's glasses. I just think it's really funny how low she wears them because it kinda makes her looks like a middle school librarian glaring at the stupid kids being loud in the corner. It's like Arrow has an extra member on their team.. Aaron, Tim, Suits, Nicole, James, Surya, Stefani, and Stefani's glasses. Now I sound crazy.

So this week brings out an aspect of this Apprentice that I hate. Alliances are for Survivor because Survivor is not a merit-based game. The Apprentice, however, is, and I feel that alliances are exactly what this show is not about. Especially because contestants are often asked their honest opinion on other contestants. I know there has been a lot of talk of alliances in the past, but I have always seen them as merit-based, and therefore not considered actual alliances. People have protected others who may have had small mistakes that Trump could end up blowing up, but it's always been so the team can get rid of dead weight, or someone who is less qualified. Anyway, we'll talk more about this later.

The task this week is Sue Bee honey. Ummm. They're in LA. They're a fascinating group of people. Why do you keep giving them lame tasks, Trump? And all of these tasks have basically been selling stuff. Bring back some of the interesting tasks from before. Work with fundraising, work with car companies, do something interesting. Honey is so not interesting. Although I have to say Sue Bee honey and I go way back. But we're not going to go into that because this isn't my show. Apparently it's Heidi's.

The first segment of the show is the teams harvesting honey. Which is almost as exciting as punching Rachael Ray in the face. Actually, no, that would be really exciting. I don't know why I bring up Rachael Ray except maybe because I think Heidi's annoying like her. But Heidi's much more conniving. I might have liked her on Survivor or Big Brother. Not here.

Anyway, so the best part of the honey harvesting is Stefani being petrified of bees and the editors being really adamant in playing that up. She even gets them to tape up any openings where the bees could get through. It's pretty funny but impossible to explain why. Kinetic's harvesting isn't that interesting except Derek gets stung a lot, which is kinda awesome. I bet Marisa hired them to get back at him for throwing her under the bus.

So while most of Kinetic was harvesting honey, PM Aimee and the hilarious but unseen Jenn are trying to come up with a name for the honey. Which according to the highly edited and highly untrustworthy footage, takes them four hours. Ultimately, Kristine suggests something and they go with it. Meanwhile, there is confessional after confessional of people talking smack about Aimee. Maybe this is leading up to Trump firing her next week. Who knows. Apparently, Heidi's the only one who knows how to be his sidekick in the boardroom.

I won't comment on what they show of Aimee and Jenn because I think it's probably a complete exaggeration. I think both of them are probably great and that's why people are now trying to take them down. Who knows. I don't trust the confessionals even.

In the Arrow planning committee, Surya is using a lot of business jargon and it's annoying. I don't think either Surya or James is completely correct in their approaches on business.. they just have different styles. Surya is like the systematic people on Kinetic. Arrow is much more big picture. They just don't mesh. Why did they pick Surya? If I recall, both Aimee and Marisa volunteered to go to Arrow. I think they both would have been better than Surya.

They show Arrow packaging the honey later that night, just so they can show how Tim sucked at keeping his spot in the assembly line. Frankie Suits and Tim get into a good-natured fight about how Tim is getting all the bottles sticky because he sucks at the simple task. They throw in friendly banter and laughter and a few comments from Nicole on how cute Tim is and Arrow becomes even more likeable.

So they show Aimee walking around buying stuff and Muna and Derek moving the boxes of honey out to put on the shelves. Muna is hilarious and asks how they're going to sell the honey if it isn't out on the shelves. I think Muna is extremely sensible and it kills her when people don't get things done in a reasonable manner. I think she's awesome.

Here's how the teams sold their exciting Sue Bee honey:

Arrow: Stefani and her glasses were shown doing most of the selling. Apparently everybody had a booth. Aaron sends Tim and Nicole to get some bulk sales and they spend the entire time making out in the van. No, actually they just have no luck because honey isn't something that people will get excited about buying in bulk. Because honey is a stupid stupid task, Trump.

Kinetic: They start off seeming scattered. Then Derek decides to put on a beekeeper's suit. Yes, a suit. A costume. Not unlike a chicken suit. Actually, more ridiculous than a chicken suit, given the situation. And someone comes up with the brilliant idea to finally use Angela's gold medal status. Hell if I was there, I would have bought a hundred bottles of honey if a gold medalist told me to. Yes, I'm easily influenced. And I really like the Olympics.

Then, we get the most staged circus parade ever. Trump is at some convention in Minnesota. He gets someone to tell Sean exactly when to call him and then has this big Tyra "I'm so important right now" moment. Ridiculous. Sean tells him that Kinetic won by like $77 or something. Arrow just looks defeated and I'm sad because I really like them.

So we get to see Arrow move back to Trump Trailer Park. We get to see Kinetic visit the Lakers and get some basketball lessons. I'm not at all interested in recapping that. We get to see Tim and Nicole getting really close and that's much more interesting to me. It's kinda like Big Brother when Drew and Diane hooked up. Except hopefully less of a showmance. I liked both Drew and Diane and I like both Tim and Nicole. So it's not like when Sean and Tammy had their awkward moments last season.

The part of this episode that pissed me off the most was the complete backstabbing by Surya. Trump has fired people for being disloyal to their teams. How the hell is going to the other team for help not qualify as a warranted firing? Surya goes to Derek, whom we all know as the designated instigator of the tricks in this game. Derek goes to Aimee and basically says she needs to save Surya. Here's the thing. If you think Surya's great, as a part of an opposing team, you want him to leave. He is not Amber, Derek is not Rob, and Aimee is not Lex. But let me tell you, I can see Aimee getting a Lex-style ax and I hope she watches out.

So the entire boardroom is basically a joke. Surya keeps blatantly asking for Aimee to back him up. Aimee comes out really aggressive and then tones it down when Trump says he doesn't necessarily like her style that much more than Aaron's style from last week. By the way, how did the first few clips of the show not make it obvious that Aaron would be in trouble?

About half the team blames Surya, and Nicole and Tim kinda begrudgingly say it's Aaron's fault. This is why Arrow is filled with better people than Kinetic. How ironic is it that Kinetic went after Marisa like a pack of jackals and then Arrow gets berated when some of them go after Surya? At least Arrow had some reason to blame Surya. And if Trump fired Marisa because she didn't fit with her team, then it would have been in line for him to fire Surya. I wish he would at least make an attempt at being consistent.

And the rest of the boardroom consists of Trump being totally inappropriate and prying into the Tim and Nicole thing while Tim and Nicole handle it extremely well and pretty much say let's keep it professional in the boardroom. But Trump will have none of that and keeps prying. They get into this would you marry her stuff, which is really weird and must have been so awkward for Nicole, who laughs it off. Really like these two.

Basically, Trump doesn't want to hear what Aaron has to say, which is funny because that's what he berates him about.. not saying anything in the boardroom last time. Wow, Trump, you need to stop getting ideas from other reality shows.. you're turning into Tyra.

Aaron is fired. And Surya is so pissed he's shitting a brick. He talks us to the end of the show and Nicole just politely and quietly nods and tries to get him to calm down. This just shows that while Arrow is loud as a team, when it comes down to it, they're calm under pressure, which obviously Surya doesn't know how to be. I liked Aaron. It's too bad an alliance beat out people who wanted to play fairly.

Next week on The Apprentice:
More of the Tim and Nicole saga. And I don't mind it for once. It means neither of them is getting fired and means there's a greater chance of someone obnoxious getting fired.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Top Design Episodes 1 & 2

Okay, here's the deal.. I'm extremely busy right now. I have a lot of midterms and papers to deal with and it sucks. The deal about Top Design is I don't want to recap it. It's really boring as far as drama with the contestants. Nobody is that intriguing and I'm sitting here waiting for the Project Runway and Top Chef type of touch to be put on Top Design. Until they make it less boring, I'm not going to waste my time.

I will be recapping Survivor, The Apprentice, American Idol, The Amazing Race, and America's Next Top Model. That's a lot of shows to do. So Top Design, you can suck it. I am due on a recap of the new Survivor, which was awesome. I will do a recap of a surprising favorite of mine right now, The Apprentice, soon. We'll go from there.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Top Chef Episode 13 (Finale)

Last time on Some Sort of Deal Went Down Somewhere:
Instead of Sam and Ilan, the final two were announced to be Ilan and Marcel. Probably some sort of deal went down that the villain had to stick around so he could be taken down in the finale. The deal probably involved someone stealing the villain's fish so he would blame it on his team and look like an even bigger villain. I think it would have only been fair to Sam if he was in the finale. I know, I know, Sam's got the personality of Tammy (from the previous Apprentice), which is the personality of a rock. Still, something went down. Sam was almost a Harold. Maybe another reason he couldn't be in the finale. What if Ilan made Saffron pancakes with Saffron ice cream on top? Sam would make a boring winner. Nevertheless, he was screwed by the politics of this show. Somehow, somewhere, something went down.

This week on The Least Exciting Finale Since That Amazing Race Finale:
I haven't recapped this episode yet because I totally forgot that I hadn't covered it. I thought I already recapped it.. that's how memorable it was.

The six previously cut chefs, minus Cliff the assaulter, return in hopes of helping one of the finalists win.. what do they win? Kenmore products? $100,000 I think. They go down the line and say who they want to work with. The surprise is four of them want Marcel and only Elia and Betty want Ilan. So Ilan chooses them and Marcel chooses Sam and Mikey. Yay Mikey!! This means Frank and Mia get rejected from this show yet again. Hahahaha.. I don't like Frank.

So the chefs and their teams have to design a menu and serve dinner to some of the most influential food people in the world. They pick knives to determine where they will be serving and Marcel gets the Japanese restaurant. Which doesn't mean he'll have to do anything Asian, which makes the picking-the-restaurant process pretty pointless.

Let me take a minute and express how much I dislike Gail. I watch this show with a friend and she and I both don't like Gail at all. She seems like the girl in class who always wanted to say something but everything she said was completely meaningless. Gail is like Paula, but not funny. I don't mind Paula actually. She's gotten over the time when she was just horrible and distruptive and now she's just really funny. Gail is not funny. Gail never seems like she's on drugs. She also never claps like a seal. And she also never slept with Corey Clark.

So here's my theory: I think all the other judges hate Gail. Or at least I think Tom and Padma are annoyed by her. Because everything she says is so useless. She states facts like they're her opinion and she says them over and over. She's probably frustrated that nobody cares about what she says so she has to comment about everything so something she says makes it on the show. She'll be like, "Ilan, you stuck with your Spanish roots here and used saffron." Yes, Gail, we can see that. At least Tom's weird analogies are trying to get at something a little deeper than pure observation. Basically, I cannot stand Gail on the show. Lately, I've had this fascination with wanting to punch people when they're obnoxious. It would have been hilarious if that Wiley Dufresne guy punched Gail.

Anyway, what should we talk about? Marcel has learned this trick with encapsuling a vinaigrette in this teardrop made of sugar, I guess? It looks pretty awesome, but like Cassandra Jusino's vaults, the rate of success is about 1-in-10.

Ilan has decided to go Spanish, which is a huge shock. And surprisingly, while Marcel has brought his molecular gastronomy kit, Ilan has brought his saffron. These two always have something up their sleeves.

I don't really remember what's going on throughout the bulk of this episode. Maybe they show them shopping for food? They spend time prepping and then take turns cooking and serving the next day. Which technically means they could have used the same kitchen for service. I think Ilan's cook time and service goes pretty well. Betty messes something up a little but they get over it. They serve and the judges eat and comment. Or in Gail's case.. eat, observe, and repeatedly state things that are common sense.

Marcel is the one with the cook time drama. For some reason, he's lost all of his fish. Oh, right, because of that deal that went down that screwed Sam from being in the finale. Maybe Sam stole the fish. So Marcel manages to misplace an entire tray of raw fish. He also finds out that his vinaigrette teardrops don't work. He blames it on Betty and the humidity. Actually, he just blames it on the humidity.

The guests there are all highly qualified food judges. Some of them have been guest judges in the past, like Michelle Berstein. Some of them are named Wylie Dufresne.. the one person Marcel wants to impress. Marcel wanted to show off his vinaigrette concoction to Wylie and is disappointed when he can't.

At judging, the four assistant chefs are brought out first and asked about the two finalists. Elia and Betty say that Ilan should definitely win because he works with others well in the kitchen and has good food. The judges get on their case about not even working with Marcel that day and having no idea what it was like in his kitchen. It's a little irritating that Marcel has become the teacher's pet because he's always picked on. Anyway, the best part is when they judges go to Mikey and Sam and they confirm what the girls said. Marcel wasn't a good leader. And he lost the fish.

So they bring out Ilan and Marcel and talk to them for a bit and then finally announce that Ilan is the winner! Which is neither surprising nor that exciting since it wasn't surprising. And the judges go congratulate Ilan. As my friend said, if someone were to ask Ilan what he did right after he won Top Chef, the answer would be he hugged Gail. Hahaha. Gail is the first one to hug Ilan because she wants us to remember she was on this show and a crucial part of deciding the ultimate winner. And we'll end on that note.

It appears that Bravo is doing Runway, Top Chef, and Top Design as their yearly schedule. If this is the case, we'll be seeing Top Chef again next winter.


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