Archive | March, 2012

“It brought me to mild tears” — Survivor: One World Episode 7

28 Mar

There have been other seasons with unlikable players, but has there been one with this many dumb players?

I hate to dignify the departed Colton with another mention, but some have speculated that he’ll probably be brought back for another season. If he is, I can’t see him being anywhere near as effective. If his fellow players have seen this season they’ll get rid of him quickly, and even if they haven’t, I can’t imagine he’d end up with groups as stupid as the ones from One World.

Jonas and Tarzan, two of this season’s B-listers, took center stage in this episode. It began with a reward challenge for the merged tribe, which was divided up into two artificial teams. As so many challenges do, this ended with a puzzle, and the team members assigned to solve it were… Jonas and Tarzan? I think I’d sooner choose Refrigerator Perry and Gilbert Brown to be designated pole-vaulters.

Then came an immunity challenge involving balancing multiple balls on a plate (won by Troyzan). Afterwards the former members of the mixed-gender Salani tribe resolved to take out “the strongest players” of the Manono tribe and clarified that they meant… Jonas and Leif? No wonder Manono is in trouble.

So Jonas was voted out. He was likeable, and had interesting analysis in his confessionals, but any IQ he showed talking directly to the camera disappeared when he went back to actually playing the game.

Meanwhile, Troyzan is playing the game, and moved up my favorites list even before he found an immunity idol in this episode. In addition to his other assets, he wears those interesting shoes that have each toe in a different compartment like gloves for the feet. Those are kinda cool. Although the next time I step in dog poop, I’ll probably be glad I’m not wearing that kind of shoe.

Speaking of poop, the biggest laugh of the season so far was provided shortly after Tarzan insisted to all that his “skid-marked” undies simply had dirt and not traces of you-know-what on them. When Chelsea went to boil her undies a bit later, we suddenly saw Tarzan toss his on top of them, to Chelsea’s horror. Since both were in boiling water it really didn’t matter much, but Chelsea wasn’t looking at it on a logical level. It probably was also no consolation to her that these weren’t nearly as gross as the briefs worn by Phillip Sheppard on Survivor: Redemption Island.

In my rankings this week, I have moved Troyzan up and Michael down. Has Kim gotten on anyone’s nerves this season? I think not, which in my mind solidifies her as the #1 favorite.

Favorites: 1) Kim, 2) Chelsea, 3) Sabrina, 4) Troyzan, 5) Jay, 6) Michael, 7) Kat

No-chance list: Alicia, Tarzan, Leif, Christina

Jury and who I think they’d vote for: Jonas (Chelsea)



Survivor One World Episode 6: Ice Cream and Other Treats

21 Mar

My strong need to punch Colton in the face is gone… but only because of the appendicitis attack that caused him to leave the show. I know from experience what that feels like (appendicitis that is), and it hurts even more than a punch in the face!

Colton, meanwhile, delivered a slap in the face to his alliance-mate Alicia by keeping the idol for himself even after Jeff Probst spelled out that he could give it to someone. Very selfish. I was about to say that cost Alicia any chance she might have had to get far in the game, but now that I think about it she might be the perfect person to take to the finals since she’s so abrasive I could scarcely see anyone giving her a million dollars.

I’m sure when you’re writhing in pain and a doctor is asking you questions, it’s quite annoying to have a TV host interject by asking the doctor why he’s asking the questions! But since it’s evil Colton we’re talking about, I don’t care. By the way Christina must be some kind of saint to be the one to soothe Colton after he spent the first half of the show being mean to her.

Thankfully Colton did not make it to the jury, so we’re spared having to listen to his nonsense at the final tribal council. No doubt he’s composing and practicing zingers for the reunion show as we speak.

Theoretically this leaves the men with the power in the game, since (assuming they have Christina on their side) they lead 7-5. But these dudes are no masterminds, and I can’t help but think they’ll find a way to blow it.

Other observations:

– Mike is a fast talker, a common Generation Y trait that I have never understood.

– When Leif uses his hands, he moves like a 4-legged animal. Makes sense because his legs and arms are about the same length.

– Kat is 22 … a bit old not to know what appendicitis is? She had a worried look on her face when the subject came up, perhaps fearing someone would sneeze and she would catch it.

– It’s pretty lame to have a merge just one week after the tribes were changed up, but the producers no doubt figured that the blue tribe would just win every challenge from here on out. Perhaps they didn’t want that because they figured the more interesting characters were all on the orange tribe. I would say they’re more annoying than interesting.

Favorites: 1) Kim, 2) Sabrina, 3) Chelsea, 4) Michael, 5) Troyzan, 6) Jay, 7) Kat

No-chance list: Alicia, Tarzan, Jonas, Leif, Christina

Tribal shakeup winners and losers on Survivor: One World Episode 5

14 Mar

You have to give the Survivor producers credit: they know when things are about to get boring and take measures to liven things up (I don’t want to think about how boring the Fiji season would have been if they hadn’t changed up the tribes a couple of times). I think they picked exactly the right moment to mix up the tribes this time.

However, entertainment and fairness do not necessarily go hand in hand. The second they had formed the new tribes the first thing I scribbled down was “Monica’s chance to win is hurt,” and indeed she got voted out despite being one of the top 4-5 players of the season.

Winners of the Switch:

– All four women on the blue tribe (Kim, Sabrina, Chelsea, and Kat). They kept their core group intact and replaced some annoyances like Alicia with athletic guys who they can essentially use and then vote out.

– Christina and Leif. Both were almost certain to be the next person voted out in their former groups and at least got a chance to gain a foothold in a new setup.

Losers of the Switch:

– Monica, as discussed above.

– Colton. While he’s inexplicably running the show again in his new group, it’s a weaker group that is sure to be way down in numbers by the time of a merge. It’s likely to be mostly women, and the gals are smart enough to realize he’s not to be trusted and oust him. I hate to think the guys aren’t, but if you saw last week’s show you know there’s no other possible conclusion.

Not really affected:

– While Troyzan, Jay, and Mike are suddenly down 4-3 numbers-wise in the blue tribe, that’s balanced out by being with a group that should win challenges and the chance to find better allies than they had.

– Alicia and Tarzan had no chance to win anyway, so it’s a wash.

– Meanwhile Jonas confesses that he’ll be “Colton’s bitch” if he needs to be. And he was essentially that already, unfortunately.

The One World (sharing a beach) concept seems to be over for the season, and based on the four shows it lasted, I bet we don’t see it again. Interaction can provide conflict and therefore drama, but it’s much more fun when one tribe doesn’t really know what’s going on with the other.

Commercial Break: Since there are two Tarzan wannabes on this show, it’s only fitting that there was a trailer for a movie based on another Edgar Rice Burroughs creation, John Carter of Mars. Now, when you hear the name John Carter of Mars, what’s the most interesting part of that? Mars, obviously. Yet the movie is just called “John Carter.” The result of consulting some ridiculous focus group, no doubt.

Back to poor Monica — how disheartened must she have been to look at her new tribe: a nutjob, a lazy schemer, an outcast, a loudmouth, a midget, and a wuss. At least I give the Wee Man-esque Leif credit for doing OK… at a basketball challenge! His tribe still lost, however.

At tribal council, we got the most ridiculous sentence in Survivor history with Tarzan saying he would “drop my assertiveness to a different lodestar (sic).” Leif’s comment was “He’s a very… wisdom kind of guy (sic).”

In my rankings, I have to move Kim up to #1 now that she has an idol.

Favorites: 1) Kim, 2) Sabrina, 3) Chelsea, 4) Michael, 5) Troyzan

Not sure about them yet: Jay, Kat

No-chance list: Colton, Alicia, Tarzan, Jonas, Leif, Christina


Bachelor Season 16 Finale: Some “judgy” comments

12 Mar

Gruezi mitenand from Zermatt! (Er, I’m not there, but Ben was).

Observations on the finale:

– Dimpled chins on women are not always cute, but the one on Ben’s sister is.

– As mentioned previously, Ben’s  travels seemed to take place in an alternate universe where almost nobody lives in the respective cities. Based on this show, the population of Zermatt is about 9 people. The Europe I used to live in was never like this. I certainly never got in a gondola that was empty of any other people, and certainly not one that had a fondue pot all ready to sit down in front of.

– Courtney mentions offhand that she never saw Lindzi as running particularly deep. Nor did I.

– I had only heard of Neil Lane from his annual Bachelor appearances, but apparently he’s a well-known guy. I would expect no less of Mills Lane’s brother. Yes, I just made that family connection up.

– There is probably a suburb full of McMansions called Mills Lane somewhere in the USA. “Prices from the low 400s.”

– An unusual way to broach the breakup by Ben to Lindzi: “I have fallen in love with you………But…” Shockingly, it kind of works, since she tells him to give her a call if things with Courtney don’t work out! Jamie and Nicki having said basically the same thing, the dude has a waiting list! And I’m not even counting the US Magazine girls.

– One thing about the Ben/Courtney breakup I don’t understand: how did the engagement ring get back into Chris Harrison’s possession? Methinks Neil Lane is a bit of an Indian giver!

– JP seems way more likable than he did on his season.

Readers, I’m sorry. This is the final post of Bachelor season 16. Take a moment, say your goodbyes.


Immunity for Dummies — Survivor: One World Episode 4

7 Mar

Well, at least this season has a memorable moment to call its own, the first time a winning tribe has ever given up its immunity.

Words can scarcely express how disgusted I am by the whole thing. I suppose it’s not much different than throwing a challenge, which has happened a couple of times, but the teams who have done that have always regretted it.

While Bill seemed somewhat over-the-top, I’m sorry to see him get voted out as he was turning into an interesting character. And I can’t believe the way the guy kept his cool through this episode. (I was somewhat mystified by his comment “I just want to squash some beef between the two of us,” though in any case Colton swatted down that olive branch).

Time to try to sort out the contenders from the pretenders, and of course almost all of the men are the latter. Colton’s “no chance to win” status has not changed, despite his unlikely status as a puppet master right now. Even if he somehow makes it to the end, the jury is never going to vote for him to get a million dollars.

Early favorites: Sabrina, Kim, Chelsea, Monica, Michael

Not sure about them yet: Christina, Jay, Kat, Troyzan

No-chance list: Colton, Alicia, Greg (Tarzan), Jonas, Leif

Tarzan: Where did they find this idiot, and has he seen Survivor before? He was one of the driving forces behind the catastrophic decision.

Jonas: The sushi chef unwittingly came up with the most ridiculous line of the episode when telling about the insane plan: “What was I going to say… no?”

Leif: No Phi Beta Kappa in his own right. Also a bad liar, which is a major handicap in this game.

I’m ashamed for men.

A classic episode of The Bachelor! “The Women Tell All” … and show almost all

5 Mar

This one delivered entertainment, no doubt. But just as the show saved the best for later while first looking in on some ex-contestants, so will I.

In case anyone didn’t realize that the Bachelor reunions excerpted tonight made up the pool of potential future Bachelor Pad contestants, the producer made sure to show someone every ten seconds saying “Hmm, he would be good on Bachelor Pad,” or words to that effect (see my picks for who might make it from the current season here).

One of the first shots is of Kasey sucking face with a girl I didn’t recognize (not Vienna). I hadn’t heard about their breakup, but since they averaged about one fight per day on Bachelor Pad I am not shocked. I am kind of shocked that there seem to be other women vying for Kasey’s charms. His voice sounds like he has half-swallowed something, he gets a tattoo with a woman’s name at the drop of a hat, which is creepy, and his freestyle singing is horrendous. For all that, though, he does deserve better than Vienna, who is evil.

Then we see “Ryan Sunshine” from Ashley’s season and are told the ladies have all been making a beeline for him. Hmm, the fact that he is a very successful guy apparently did not go unnoticed. As Kanye West would say, they ain’t messin’ with no broke [individuals]. I really hated Ryan, but it is unfair that he gets grief for talking to Ashley about water heaters. You know why? Because when he did, it was in response to her asking him to talk about water heaters!

On to the “women tell all” part. They’ve got nothing to hide… certainly not skin. I find it hard to believe all of them would be ho-in’ it up to that degree, I think it’s more likely that the producers picked all of the outfits, what little there was of them.

By no means did they only invite the girls who made it relatively far — there were a few from very early on including Amber, the girl from Nebraska who was eliminated on the first show. She was not heard from on the entire special today, which is kind of a relief because I didn’t want her to mention eating sheep balls again (it might have been some other animal’s balls, but the objection is the same). Unstable Jenna was there too and only got about one sentence, unless you count her amusing rapprochement with Monica as the closing credits rolled.

We soon hear from Brittney (the blonde from Colorado who brought her grandmother the first day), who tells us she had zero attraction to Ben. Makes sense, though that doesn’t explain why at the time she called quitting the show the toughest decision of her life.

Then we hear from Samantha the ex-beauty queen on… well, just about every topic. Now, this being reality TV, it was no big shock to hear her say t*ts or even c**t. But did she really say “face-***king” on national TV? I think I ruled Samantha out too prematurely as a potential Bachelor Pad choice!

Our first guest is Shawntel the mortician, back to face the gals who gave her such an icy reception during the season. Ladies, do you really want to cross someone who knows how to dispose of corpses?

Meanwhile, Emily has analyzed her season with her PhD candidate’s brain and reached a conclusion she should have reached much earlier… Ben is not that great. No. Kidding.

Of course, the big highlight is when Courtney comes out to face the music. Monica gets things started by noting Courtney’s “a liar, vapid, manipulative, not nice, and hurtful,” and it continues from there. Though the lamest criticism came from Jennifer: “We were like six days in and you didn’t know my name.” Women worry too much about these things. With guys, it would have to be six months to be considered a big deal. Maybe a year.

Back to Courtney: she made no attempt to defend anything and apologized profusely for everything, but the daggers were not sheathed even after several mea culpas! It was riveting TV. Finally it was time for Courtney to leave and I was expecting some nice hugs from her former (?) rivals, but no! We even overheard Nicki, the #1 sweetheart of the show, mutter to Kacie that there would be no hug from her, and Samantha lowered the boom with “she’s a c**t, end of story.” (By the way, the part about t**s hanging out and face-you-know-what-ing was in regard to Blakely, not Courtney.)

Then it was time for Ben (Monica could have just as easily called him vapid) to come out for a bit, and for Chris Harrison to build suspense about the final two. Or is there suspense? Courtney did not sound like she was speaking as Ben’s significant other, that’s for sure.

Snap! Killshot!


Which Survivor season had the best casting? The answer will shock you.

3 Mar

It’s always dangerous to come up with a conclusion and then do the research to back it up.

As I ranked the Survivor seasons in a recent post, I wondered which season had the largest quantity of memorable characters.

I figured if I went through and counted later, those numbers would dovetail neatly with the best years of the show.

I was wrong.

Take Samoa — one of the most entertaining seasons ever only had two characters that stand out when I look back: Russell Hantz (an all-time great) and helmet-haired Shambo. And I’m not so sure about Shambo.

Meanwhile, the season with the most characters who proved to be memorable was … Gabon?

Let me do a quick recap of them and see if you don’t agree.

Randy: The wedding photographer was such a hit as a cynic/grump that they brought him back for an all-star year.

Marcus: Handsome, athletic, and brainy, the type your girlfriend runs off with, and also the guy who would have won Survivor if not for a memorable blindside vote.

Corinne: Biggest bitch in the history of the show. I think that might even have been her goal!

Crystal: Vexingly unathletic Olympic gold medalist. The producers couldn’t possibly have forecast her ineptitude, could they? It was entertaining.

Kenny: Asian videogamer who became a strategist.

Sugar: Bettie Page wannabe who cried a lot. Also got an all-star season, though less deservingly so than Randy.

Bob: Physics teacher who could make a darn convincing fake idol and had other skills too.

Ace: Pretty good player with a British accent that may or may not have been faked.

Gillian: Spunky South African grandma who was entertaining the brief time she stuck around.

That’s nine characters that stand out years later, or half the cast.

Further proof that my original theory was nonsense: look at the worst season, Nicaragua: there were some pretty memorable characters in that one! Jimmy Johnson; Jimmy T. the paranoid loudmouth older guy; Marty who said with a straight face that Guillermo Vilas was a chess grandmaster; NaOnka who shoves cripples; Brenda the “mamba snake”; Sash the schemer; and that affable stoner Fabio.

Is that a memorable group? Yes. A likeable group? No: would you want to share an office with a mamba snake, someone who pushes the handicapped, and Jimmy T? Heck no.

End of self-inflicted debunking.