I was never a real big fan of Rob. His "Ain't I A Stinker?" persona went stale on me before he got booted off Marquesas, and it just got more irritating each time he slurped up somebody else's fifteen minutes. I was less than enthused to hear that he was on this season's Race. That being said, I have to respect the skills (and have noted so before). Winning three legs in a row on the Race is pretty tough, and I'd probably like him even with the overexposure if he weren't such an arrogant bullying prick.
Charla and Myrna, on the other hand, fall in the category "Reasons I Wish Somebody Would Invent A Selective 'Mute And Blank Screen' Button." I don't want to hear them, I don't want to see them, I just want to forget them. They make my stomach hurt every time they appear, and the sooner they're gone, the happier I'll be.
That being said, I'm glad Rob was eliminated Sunday night instead of the harpies. The way I see it, they're no threat to win and will probably be gone at the next available opportunity (I think they'll also finish last next week, but in a non-elimination leg, much to the chagrin of my wife, who loathes them more than I do (if that's possible) and rather liked Rob), while Rob would have been a real threat to win if only he'd known how to spell 'Philippines.'
As usual, here is my instant and terribly biased evaluation of the racers in this season's Amazing Race:
Update: Great job of handicapping there, Chris.
[Warning: Survivor alert]
Judd was an obnoxious, overbearing, stupid (he lost the immunity challenge in the second move by not using both squares adjacent to his starting square) bully - in short, every bad stereotype the rest of America believes about "Joisey."
And he must have jumped on one of my hot buttons about twenty times just last night - if you're the perpetrator of some offense, you don't get to say "No hard feelings," you have to ask "No hard feelings?" The offended party is the one who grants forgiveness by saying "No hard feelings."
I kinda hope Stephenie and Rafe are the final two just so Judd has to vote for somebody who turned on him. That'll drive him nuts.
I won't have a detailed entry on last night's Amazing Race ep because I was installing the trim on my front door and had my back to the TV most of the time, but I can sum it up like this: Lamest. Episode. Ever.
Yes, that's how much worse this season is: before, I would always record it on my PC and put it on a CD so I could take it to work and look at scenes again to answer questions that would come up when my coworkers and I were discussing it. Not to mention that I'd take detailed notes and write something like, well, most anything in this category. Now, I kind of half-listen to it while doing something else. I had some hopes after last week's ep that the show was improving, but having "go to this particular BP station" as a task was pretty much the final straw.
Oh, yeah, one other thing - Widow Weaver, Lake Pontchartrain is not a Great Lake. In fact it's less than 1/10th the size of the smallest Great Lake (Ontario).
You'd think an elementary school teacher would know that.
Episode 3 of The Amazing Race: Family Edition was last night, and several previously-identified instances of watering down the Race idea have been dealt with. For instance, they went back to a 12-hour pit stop (the teams' departure times ranged from 2:26 AM to 3:05 AM), and that really took a toll on a few teams, especially the Weavers. I don't think I've ever seen Killer Fatigue hit so early, especially in such a lightweight Race. The Waffle House Breakdown will be recorded in TAR lore.
About that breakdown - the Weavers are the team who constantly ask God or Jesus for help in whatever task they're performing (I counted 3 Gratiuitous Weaver God References(tm) last night), which kind of bugs me. Do you need Jesus' help to read a map? Maybe the Rogerses did, but that was last week. Anyway, when the Weavers were in the bathroom of the Waffle House, and one of the daughters was having a breakdown, I was expecting Mom to circle the wagons and lead the family in a prayer. It would actually have made a lot of sense for her to do that, but she didn't! You ask God to help you in the race (which, objectively, means He would be hurting the other racers), but you don't ask His help when it looks like you could really use it? Strange.
Amazing Editing Moments:
Wow! Moment: The Gaghans (third week in a row), for making the mud run their bitch on the first try.
Key Play: The Bransens hustling off the second plane. Hustling to the Visitors' Center to catch the early bus. Hustling, hustling, hustling. Gives hope to us middle-aged fat men, it does.
It Was Over When: The Aiellos hesitated aboutthislong before checking in at the Roadblock, pulling the last ticket. See above as to why this killed them.
Next week: One of the 4UnfortunatelyNotNonBlondes comes out of transmit-only mode long enough to take offense at something. The other three, still locked in transmit-only, fail to notice. Also, the Weavers (recall that Mr. was killed in an accident during a race at (I think) Daytona) have to go to Talledaga for a task. flower_goddess thought this was horrible; I think I'll really like it.
Leg 2 of The Amazing Race managed to water down the race concept still further. Clearly they're not running 12-hour pit stops, since everybody seemed to arrive in the early-to-mid afternoon and leave eightish the next morning. So far, there haven't been any grueling drives, either, unless you count gridlock outside of DC, and the entire leg took less than 12 hours! The real race right now is between my ability to bond with one or more teams versus my overall 'meh' about how this season is playing out - I'm TiVoing My Name Is Earl and The Office right now, but The Not-So-Amazing Race is rapidly playing itself onto the bench, so to speak.
Wow! Moment: Once again, it's marathonfamily, medevacing five wounded soldiers with just mom and dad providing any useful input.
Key Play: The Rogers kept marathonfamily in the race by pointing out that they were at the wrong reflecting pool. Without this, they might still be there. And the Rogers might still be racing.
It Was Over When: I can understand how you can get lost, even in a part of the world as well-mapped as the eastern U.S. What I cannot understand is how you can stay lost on a well-marked highway especially with THREE non-drivers available to read the map! The Rogers family managed to pull this off, and now they're on their way to Sequestersville.
Hopefully they won't get lost.
When I first heard that The Amazing Race was going to do a Family Edition with four-person teams, I thought "Great. Twice the bickering."
What I failed to realize is that it would be actually six times the bickering (do the math - it's nCk for n=4 and k=2). And although not every team is bickering, Garbageman's family is picking up the slack for ALL OF THEM! If they're not gone soon, I'll either stop watching or Brick my TV. And I don't want to buy a new TV. Actually, I do, just not right now. Anyway, on to the observations.
Wow! Moment: marathonfamily absolutely pwned the buggy push. Of course, they were working with a 200-pound weight advantage. But still.
Key Play: Garbageman's family leaving the campground in the last group but finishing the leg sixth. Dammit. I still want them gone, but props to one of the sons for being the only one to notice the 'hot dog' vendors were really The Frats from Season One!
It Was Over When: The Black family made an unspecified navigational error between the Detour and the pit stop, allowing the Linz family to make up the fifteenish-second gap and avoid Philmination. Don't let the editing that showed two trucks neck-and-neck approaching the pit stop fool you; both those trucks were black and the Blacks and Linzs drove gray trucks.
Some Survivor 'inside baseball' here; feel free to move along if that ain't yer thing.
Memo to Morgan: honey, standing around doing nothing but looking pretty and pointing to things might work OK as a magician's assistant, but it won't get you very far on Survivor. How self-absorbed do you have to be to not notice that everybody knows you didn't do a thing around camp?
Normally it's a question that does that, so I didn't know how to react when I suddenly realized the answer to this question:
How come so many people on Survivor misspell the name of the person they're voting for?
Maybe this was immediately obvious to everyone but me...
Because it's not like you're going to be hiking to tribal council and ask somebody "So how do you spell your name, anyway?"
A couple of quick thoughts on last night's TAR finale.
1. FINALLY, they went someplace I've been to; specifically, Potters' Field Park in London:
The Tower Bridge is in the background (it's NOT the London Bridge, which is several hundred yards upriver to your left, and is just a regular concrete bridge now that the original is in Arizona), the Tower of London is across the Thames just out of the left side of the picture, and just off the right side of the picture is where David Blaine hung out for 40 days in the fall of 2003 (I was there on day 3 of his stunt and didn't know what all the fuss was about until I got to the hotel that evening and saw it on the news - it was still Britain's top story at that time).
2. Once the doors of an airliner are closed and the jetway is pulled back, that flight has DEPARTED. I've never heard of the pilot saying, "Uh, never mind, hook us up again so we can let two more people on." I have to admit that it sure looks suspicious, like the producers bribed American to allow two teams on the first flight so that we wouldn't have a boat race ending, and I say that as someone who really wanted Uchenna and Joyce to win.
Quick thought on last night's Amazing Race: If I'm at the airport waiting for the second leg of an itinerary that I know all four teams have, and two of the teams don't get on that flight, I don't gloat about how 'stupid' they are - I worry that they found an earlier flight!
And let's look at WHY the other two teams found the earlier flight - because Rob fucked with them by telling them there was one (when he 'knew' there wasn't), prompting them to go find it!
Look for a White Trash Wednesday entry later today.
So far, I'm doing OK in my picks - three of my bottom-feeders were among the first four out, and the other was one of my mid-pack picks. Of course, I took a big hit when final-four pick Ray & Deana didn't make it to halftime, but it was worth it getting them the hell off my TV.
Rob and Amber are extremely dangerous. If you still think of Rob as the doofus wannabe Mafioso of his first Survivor gig, you need to re-evaluate that opinion. Rob has proven to be very adaptable - he was the first player in Surivor: All Stars to recognize that it's a completely different game when you play against people you already know (some would say that he's the ONLY player who recognized that). For Amber's part, she knows her place and doesn't challenge him, and team harmony is a real factor in the Race, especially late (Hayden and Aaron, I'm looking at you). My friend Paul (and why haven't you started blogging yet, dude?) says "They're a perfect match. He's scruple-free and she's personality-free." And speaking of scruple-free, Rob is not above bribing, which should come as no surprise to those of us who recall his pre-reality-TV-fame career of working construction in Boston. I could really like them if they weren't so gloaty.
Patty is such a little girl, and it has nothing to do with his being gay; he's just a little girl. And if he's tired of his mother seeing the glass as half-full, then he needs to stop trying to empty the glass. Off my TV, and don't come back!
Lynn and Alex continue to prance their way to top-group leg finishes. They're a lot of fun to watch, and I hope they stay in for a while.
Ray and Deana are like the anti-Hayden/Aaron. Where Hayden broke down because she didn't think Aaron was taking things seriously enough, Deana's going to break down because Ray's so overbearing. And from the way the editors consistently included Ray's fixation about beating Meredith and Gretchen ("We're not going to lose to the old couple," "They're about 20 years too late", "There's no way we can lose to such a weak team"), I have a suspicion that that's exactly what's going to happen.
The Amazing Race starts again tonight. As usual, I will provide hasty judgements on the teams based solely on their bios. Let's begin:
There was much rejoicing at the Dangerous Logic Galactic HQ when everybody's favorite manic-psychotic couple, Jonathan and Victoria, got Philiminated from The Amazing Race. They lasted about eight episodes longer than I would have liked, but you take what you can get.
At first, I felt bad for Victoria, having to endure Jonathan screaming at her all the time, because this is America and you don't have to put up with that (specifically, it's California, where not only do you not have to put up with that, you can walk away from it and take half its stuff with you!). As the Race went on, however, I lost all sympathy for her because she's about as shrill as anybody I've ever seen on the show (including season 3's Flo). I've come to the conclusion that they're a perfect couple, because this way they're only ruining each other, rather than each of them screwing up someone else's life.
Now if we can get rid of Rebecca and her girlfriend Adam next week...
Let's cut right to the chase here: if neither you nor your teammate know how to drive a stick shift, you have NO business being on The Amazing Race. I was discussing this with a friend this morning, and he said he felt kind of sorry for them.
I don't. I feel sorry for the team that missed the final cut to be on the show, in favor of these two navigationally-challenged ladies. I bet they could drive a stick.
For the first time (as far as I can remember), we were told the actual arrival time of the first team to the Sphinx pit stop (Colin/Christie, 11:27 AM). From this, I've put together my scenario for everybody's departure times. If you don't watch The Amazing Race, there's really nothing more for you to see here.
Update: I did OK in some spots; others, not so much.
I think the one lesson we can take from Survivor: All Stars is this: don't play a psychological game for a million dollars against your friends.
[Another Survivor post. You have been warned.]
It sure looks like Survivor: Amateur Hour has become a boat race (these Einsteins are the All-Stars? They sure aren't playing like it!); so much so that I'm prepared to call the finish order: Rupert bites the dust next, then Jenna, and Amber beats Boston Rob in the final by 5-2 or worse.
If I were Rupert, here's the endgame gambit I would try. If nothing else, it would allow him to recapture the pirate mentality he embraced in the first episode of Survivor: Pearl Islands. I call it 'Rupert Gone Wild:'
Credit to my friend Paul for the 'Amateur Hour' reference and my friend Joe for 'Rupert Gone Wild.'
I've been getting a lot of hits from people searching for Omarosa (Assorama... Horrorosa... the hits just keep on coming!). Since I live to serve (even though I'm still too busy to blog anything resembling original content), I invite you to check out this collection of ad 'campaigns' featuring everybody's favorite [fill in the blank].
Another reason it's so much fun to snark on Omarosa is that her name is so mutilatable. I hadn't heard 'Omatrocious' before, but that's not the only reason I link to this TV Guide article:
BEGUN, THE MELTDOWN HAS : That whole N-bomb debacle is continuing to haunt Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth. The Apprentice diva walked off the set of ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live last night after she allegedly spotted a lie-detector machine on the set. According to a Kimmel spokeswoman, the equipment was set up for a comedy bit with show regular Uncle Frank and was unrelated to Om's appearance. "The producers attempted to reassure [her] that they did not intend to ask her to take a lie-detector test," says the rep, "[but] she became upset and left." Kimmel kept the show going despite the sudden guest shortage, and even brought a producer onstage to explain what happened. "Apparently, her 15 minutes ended the second before I introduced her," Kimmel later cracked. "I felt like Jessica Simpson standing alone at the airport."Today held a one-two schadenfreude punch, because TV Guide also reports this:
No doubt fearing a backlash from consumers, Herbal Essences has washed Omarosa right out of its hair. A spokeswoman for parent company Clairol confirms that the one-woman train wreck has been clipped from its upcoming "Streaking Party" commercial. Says the rep: "After reviewing the film... a decision has been made not to use the Omarosa take." The news likely hit Omatrocious like a ton of ceement.
I'm thinking about making Omarosa the poster child for this site, since she can be counted on to act Dangerously Stupid.
Anyway, I thought the last time I discussed her would be the end of her fifteen minutes. Alas, she's gone into Warhol Overtime. This week's People discusses her tenure as a 'worker' in the Clinton/Gore White House and Commerce Department. [All quotes from the 19 April 2004 People print edition.]
Perhaps unsurprisingly, she doesn't come off too well. First, there was a stint on what, yes, technically was a job on algore's staff, although I think calling her position 'social secretary' would simultaneously insult both real secretaries and social coordinators:
At her first White House gig, answering invitations received by Vice President Al Gore, "she didn't do her job and it got everybody in trouble," says a former Gore staffer.Next, she was transferred to the White House personnel office. Not much comment on her job there, but I'm guessing she didn't distinguish herself, since she was later transferred to a job at the Commerce Department. She was transferred to another Commerce job because, "says another former administration official, 'because she couldn't get along with people.'"
For the coup de grace, we manage to get somebody to speak on the record:
At her last [job at Commerce], "she was asked to leave as quickly as possible, she was so disruptive," says Cheryl Shavers, the former Under Secretary [sic] for Technology . . .. "One woman wanted to slug her."
So now you have to figure she knows she's busted. Au contraire:
"I'm a moving target. As soon as they think they've figured Omarosa out, I've already moved on to a whole different industry."Yeah. As in "Moved on one step ahead of getting fired, to somewhere they don't know me."
Despite being cold-busted as a liar by The Donald on live national TV, she still claims she's "inundated with job offers," to which I can only reply "There's a sucker born every minute."
Speaking of which, we have this Einstein weighing in on the issue in this week's MailBag. According to Crystal C. Brown, of Houston:
Black women who are assertive are always labeled aggressive and often singled out in the workplace. Omarosa is beautiful, intelligent, and savvy, and I'm certain she will find continued success without sacrificing her morals, ethics, or integrity....only because she doesn't have any of those left! NSA Rice is assertive. Oprah is assertive. Whoopi is assertive. I'd trust any of them with my life before I'd trust Omarosa to find out the correct time.
Fair warning: this post is mainly about Survivor, and is rated R for language. If you're not a fan, but adult language doesn't bother you, pick up your reading where indicated on the extended entry.
I bet Lex is wishing he kept Ethan and Jerry around. Ethan is a good friend and could have been counted on to stay loyal, while Jerri had no loyalty at all to anybody other than Lex. If Chapera had gone into the merge with Lex, Ethan, Jerri, and Kathy, they would only have had to swing one Mogo Mogo person for the vote to come out in Lex's favor. Maybe it didn't matter; I don't know. What I do know is that Lex was an idiot for taking Rob up on his offer, and he was even more of an idiot to think that Rob would hold up his end of the deal. If there's one thing you can count on about Rob (who is playing pretty much the same way he did in Marquesas (although not as overtly aggressive), but this time there's no stronger counter-alliance to squish him early), he sticks to deals as long as they benefit him and not one second longer.
For Rob even to make the 'You take care of Amber, I'll take care of you' offer to Lex is a sign that Rob was motivated by pussy. Guys will do just about anything to get the strange they want, and once they got it, they don't never ever wanna lose it.
[Non-Survivor fans can pick up here] 'Motivated by pussy' is one of my favorite concepts. As a teenager, I once rode a crappy bike 25 miles uphill because I was motivated by pussy. It can affect men of all kinds, in any era, prince, president, or king. Never underestimate the ability of a man to do something stupid because of lust.
Good evening. This afternoon, in this room, from this chair, Monica Lewinsky moved onto my staff and my private parts - even Presidents have private parts - and that is why I am spanking Monica Lewinsky tonight. Indeed, I have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that's nobody's business but ours.
In fact, it's love with Miss Lewinsky, not only fucking Monica Lewinsky, but, in fact, a fucking that no American citizen would ever want to watch. But I told the Grand Jury today, and I say to you now: I fucked with the people, including even my wife. I deeply regret that.
I can only tell you I was motivated by pussy, and I say to you now: I intend to lie, to hide or destroy evidence. I must do whatever it takes to get on with fucking Monica Lewinsky. And so tonight, I ask you to turn away from the spectacle of me or my fucking wife.
It is time to stop the prying into my relationship with Monica Lewinsky. It is private. It's nobody's fucking business but ours. Thank you, and good night.
Another concept I first heard about on Bob & Tom (a Mr. Obvious bit) is the idea of "'Fuck you!' money," having enough money so you can afford to tell your boss, "Fuck you!" I someday hope to have Fuck You money (I doubt I'll actually tell my boss "Fuck you!" since he's a pretty decent guy).
The last concept we'll discuss today is 'scoreboard,' which I first heard from sports talk show host Jim Rome. Basically, it means this: you can rationalize however, blame whoever, analyze whatever, and it doesn't matter. At the end of the day, the scoreboard tells you everything you need to know; indeed, it is the trump card to almost every sports argument. It works in a lot of other places outside the sporting arena, too: elections, Survivor, TV ratings, and more. Just remember not to call 'scoreboard' until the game's actually over. Boston Rob, I'm looking at you.
flower_goddess and I are big fans of The Apprentice. This is another one of those posts where if you're not already familiar with the show, you're probably not going to get a whole lot out of this. As the series has played out and Omarosa has acted like, well, Omarosa, flower_goddess remarked "I wonder what Omarosa is thinking now that she can see what a total bitch she is." Leaving aside the idea that calling her a bitch is too easy and that she is instead an asshole, I replied: "She'll blame it on selective editing. She won't see what everybody else sees - people like that never do." This is, of course, another reference to what is rapidly becoming my favorite psychological study:
People tend to hold overly favorable views of their abilities in many social and intellectual domains. The authors suggest that this overestimation occurs, in part, because people who are unskilled in these domains suffer a dual burden: Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it.
You always run the risk of breaking your arm when you pat yourself on the back, but that's a chance I'm willing to take, because I called it:
"I was crucified because I was mature and professional," says the 30-year-old Omarosa, whom Trump fired in the show's ninth week. "There were people backstabbing, lying, sleeping with..." She cuts herself off. "And I became the villain. It's quite puzzling."My first thought: I think it's puzzling only to her. My second thought: she worked on algore's staff (we think). Surely she at least has a passing familiarity with backstabbing. My third thought: sure, editing can show you in a bad light. But it can't make up something you didn't do, like playing basketball mere hours after deciding she was hurt too bad by a piece of falling plaster to help renovate the apartment her team had to rent out.
--People, 29 March 2004, p. 101
And about that alleged concussion:
"Even though I was walking around with a concussion and taking strong pain medication, I was still functioning 100 percent better than my colleagues".A doctor looked at her and said 'no concussion.' The ER wouldn't see her - so she didn't qualify as a neuro exam candidate. So where did she get the 'strong pain medication?' On the other hand, claiming that she was still functioning 100 percent better than her colleagues is probably evidence that she wasn't thinking clearly after all. Or maybe she was just plain incompetent (from the APA study):
This study also supported Prediction 3, that incompetent individuals fail to gain insight into their own incompetence by observing the behavior of other people. Despite seeing the superior performances of their peers, bottom-quartile participants continued to hold the mistaken impression that they had performed just fine.
Omarosa did have one good point, though, although you need to get over the fact that her entire hand was composed of race cards to see it. Back to People:
She thinks racist stereotypes influenced the way she's depicted: "In 10 years of reality shows [10 years? Survivor:Borneo aired in the summer of 2000!], close to every African American woman is portrayed as hostile, aggressive, defensive."
Well, the NFL wives weren't too bad in TAR 4, but the next three black women I can remember on reality TV certainly weren't sterling examples of sisterhood: Earth Mother Linda from Survivor:Africa and uptight Bible-thumper JoAnna from Survivor:Amazon certainly fit Omarosa's characterization as 'hostile, aggressive, defensive'. Even Vecepia, who won Survivor:Marquesas, was one of only two former winners not invited to be on All-Star (used-car salesman sleazebag Brian, who won Thailand, being the other (and talk about cliches coming to life there)), but I think in that case it was a total lack of personality that prompted her snub. [You may or may not also count Osten from Survivor:Pearl Island, the first person ever to quit Survivor, as a big ol' girl.] since I have to think that thousands of black women apply for these reality shows; surely Burnett et. al would be able to find one who would be ratings-friendly in a positive sense.
Omarosa brought nothing but strife to whatever team she was working with, and I really don't remember her contributing anything of substance except continuous mispronounciations of Isaac Mizrahi's name. It's "mizz-RAH-hee." Please make a note of it.
flower_goddess and I did a happy dance when she got fired.
I've been watching My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance, mainly to see how far they can push the joke before somebody blows it or Randi climbs a tower with a rifle.
In case you're not familiar with it, the premise is that two strangers -- Randi and Steve -- try to convince Randi's family that after a whirlwind romance (that the family had no idea about), they're going to get married in two weeks. If she can convince her family to accept this and go through a wedding without protesting, they both win $500,000.
The catch? Her betrothed is a fat obnoxious slob, and her family (as is she) are the most tightass WASPs ever to appear on network TV -- and I'm including Al and Tipper Gore. At least that's how Randi sees it, although I doubt she would acknowledge the tightass part. In fact, Steve is an actor, and he's going out of his way to irritate Randi and antagonize her parents.
Since this is a Fox show, I've got a real strong feeling that we're in for at least one major twist. Here's a couple of possible scenarios:
Scenario 1: Her family is in on the joke.
Scenario 2: Everybody is in on the joke, including Randi; the joke's on us.
I was on the stairclimber this morning about 6:25 when I saw Ozzy Osbourne doing the perp walk on CNN! I couldn't read the caption across the workout room, and the TV doesn't have any sound (because it disturbs the guys working in the lab on the other side of the wall). What's up with that?
Update: I guess I should always make sure I Google before I blog - turns out he was in an ATV accident, and the CNN footage showed him shuffling into the hospital. Accordingly, the title has been updated from My Guess Is He Was Arrested For Crimes Against Enunciation to Did He Even Realize He Fell Off?
All week, Survivor teased us with previews strongly hinting at a conspiracy against Rupert. The whole first half of the ep was nothing but different subgroups (including Rupert's Bitches) discussing how to take him down (um, by voting against him) and when to do it (like, now!). So when the Immunity Challenge comes up and it's one of those designed to take down a frontrunner (no matter how many questions you get right, you can't stop anybody else from moving you one step closer to elimination), I thought it was all over for everybody's favorite pirate. Lo and behold, NOBODY TOUCHED HIM until the very end, by which time it was too late and he won anyway!
This season is showing every sign of being a boat race, with the lazy-ass Morgans getting rolled up over the next three episodes (Lil last), with a possible pause to make a move on Burton. CBS is editing their asses off to make the show look more interesting than how the reality played out. And the only chance I see for them to stop Rupert is a rebellion immediately after they dump Burton, because nobody's going to stop him in the traditional 'stand in one place as long as you can' final immunity challenge.
Emboldened by my relative success in calling The Amazing Race's order of finish, here's my prediction for the remaining eliminations:
Just tickled pink that The Amazing Race won the Emmy for Outstanding Reality/Competition Program (actually, the Emmy was for last year's TAR 3, not the recently-completed TAR 4). This makes it a near-certainty that will be a TAR 5, which I was very concerned about. The show got good, but not great, ratings during the summer, and didn't always beat Friends reruns.
Well, I almost called the final four in exact order. Too bad David & Jeff got stranded in Sydney; it would have been cool to have the three teams separated by only a few minutes at the end, like last year. How big a mistake was it for D&J to head straight to Sydney (besides the obvious answer "Big enough to knock them out of the running, dumbass!")? First, heading for a bigger airport as soon as possible without all-the-way-through tickets in your hand is generally considered a bad idea. Second, I think they would have been better off staying in contact (i.e., on the same flights wherever possible) on the basis that they would beat the other two teams in a footrace. If this opinion puzzles you, take a close look at how Reichen runs (what do you mean, you haven't been capturing and zaprudering every episode all along?). He looks like a shambling Frankenstein speeded up maybe 20%. He has the gait of someone with bad knees and/or ankles, and when I had achillies tendonitis about ten years ago, that's exactly how I looked like when I tried to run.
I could tell from last week's previews that nobody was really going to flip their SUV, but Chip got pretty damn lucky that he didn't get stuck, or get a flat tire, or hit something--anything that might have delayed them long enough to not be able to get a plane ticket. Dammit.
It looked like Reichen & Chip and Kelly & Jon finished sometime around 8:30 Mountain time (based on Reichen saying "It's about 8:00, traffic is starting to pick up" as they approached the final park), but I'm not sure how much time they spent on the bikes. I don't think it was very long, and I think they could see the finish line from the bike pickup, because they didn't seem to be in any hurry on the bikes. So that means that when David & Jeff get to the volcano at 5:30 AM local (three time zones back), and their clue said that the other two teams had finished, they must have just finished.
Well, the finale of The Amazing Race is tonight, and I'd like to point out (again) that I called the final four -- and the final three -- before the series started. Soooo... lets compare what I said then to what I think now.
Incidentally, the travel probability I alluded to yesterday is now up to 85%. But that'll probably change before I blog again.
OK, we're a quarter of the way through this season's TAR, so let's revisit my
Over on Television Without Pity, I recently opined that another reason SlackerJosh may have pointed the NFLWives to the middle bus rather than letting them flounder on the late bus was that he wanted to keep a 'weaker' team up high, increasing the chance that a 'stronger' team would be eliminated. I've also seen seen this (twice in a row!) when I was in the studio audience for Jeopardy! in 1990. Making the comparison would have been seriously off-topic for the TWoP forum, and they're pretty strict about staying on-topic, but I can elaborate here (disclaimer: all details accurate as of August 1990, so if (f'rinstance) they've changed how many episodes they tape in a day, sorry).
In the third episode taped that day, the leader going into Final Jeopardy bet such that if A) he got the question right, B) the second place person bet it all, and C) the second place person got it right, they would tie for the win (the person in third place was not a factor). Lo and behold, that's exactly what happened. This is pretty rare; it generally only happens when two players are tied for first going into Final. Jeopardy! rules in such an event are to pay both contestants and bring them back for the next show as co-champions. That's how Sarah Cox, a schoolteacher from Bangor, Maine, won her first Jeopardy! game--on the coattails of someone who let her.
At the time, the dinner break was after the third show of the day. So as we're chowing down on the Soul Train set, I got into a conversation with a guy named Steve, and the topic came up. I said that I couldn't understand why Paul (I think his name was Paul) would let Sarah back into the game like he did. Steve replied that he thought it was a very Machievellian move, and his theory was that Paul thought he could handle Sarah in the next game and that way he'd only have to battle one unknown instead of two.
Did I mention that Steve's a lawyer?
Naturally, Steve got selected to play the next game. Going into Final Jeopardy, he was in exactly the same situation Paul was in the previous game (Steve leading, Sarah close, Paul not a factor). He bet exactly the same way. Final Jeopardy played out exactly the same way.
We'll never know just why Paul dragged Sarah along. But we know exactly why Steve did.
I'm a big fan of The Amazing Race, so I'm anxiously awaiting tonight's start. I've gone over the mini-bios on CBS' site, and here's my pre-race
jump to conclusions analysis:
To everyone who thinks Flo is watching herself now and thinking, "Oh my God, I'm such a screeching bitch," I disagree. I'm convinced that she was one of the bottom-quartile experimental subjects in this study. She shows the same lack of awareness of how little she's contributing to the team. Word to whoever said that if they win, she owes Zach her share plus every dollar she earns (dog calling? repelling mosquitos? what kind of job would she be good at?) for the next five years.
On the cell calls: I had just finished pontificating to flower_goddess about how there's no way the racers would be allowed to tell their families anything specific about their situation (since all we'd heard to that point was 'Love you,' 'Miss you,' and 'Dude, Where's My Credit Card Payment?') when Ian said "We're still in the race." flower_goddess was gracious enough to only laugh a little.
Did I hear Phil correctly when he said they had to assemble a Swiss Army Bike? I was thinking "What does it do, unfold into a submarine?" Then I thought, "Switzerland doesn't need any submarines." Then I took my medication.
Zach: benefit of the doubt on the 'pantleg caught in the chain' thing. But couldn't you have A) done it when the Swiss guy was inspecting your bike, and B) only unzipped the leg on the chain side? 20-20 hindsight, I know.
When Ian said something about how cotton underwear would have been impractical, I thought "Oh, jeebus. He's either wearing silk panties or going commando."
John Vito and Jill: couldn't you have peeked under the cheese chunks to figure out which ones you had to eat, rather than playing a twisted gourmet version of 'Battleship?'
When the first group was running (downhill) to get to the detour clue, did it look like there was almost a six-racer pileup (and indeed, it also looked like they were one rail fence away from a long long fall sans bungy)? Dangit - I've got to tape the ones I watch live so I can verify this kind of stuff later.
When Teri dumped her bike for no apparent reason, I thought "I bet Ian made her ride the bike he built, and it broke."
Finally, I was disappointed when K&G ran into the Singaporean TV guy and didn't do a Austin Powers-esque "Mooooooooole."
I was listening to the Bob & Tom Show on the way into work this morning, and they were interviewing Vecepia. One of the things I've always wondered is why they voted out Hunter, Mara-morons' strongest member, so early. Evidently, he'd led the charge to vote Peter out first, based on Hunter's perception of Peter as a threat (and all this time I thought it was because Peter creeped everybody out). Vecepia then said, and I quote, "God don't like ugly," meaning (I guess) 'what goes around comes around,' so the tribe turned on Hunter and ran him at the next available opportunity.
God likes ugly just fine, V. If He didn't, you wouldn't have won.
One last thing, you good Christian woman, you--are you planning on tithing with that million?
I originally planned on running a big analysis of the Survivor finale last night, but it basically boils down to this: I am really really tired of people who do something they know is wrong, then figure it's OK since they asked God to forgive them. If you watch Survivor, you know what I'm referring to. If not, you don't care, so there's no point in me going on about it.
About Rosie O'Donnell hosting the reunion episode: I've added a new entry to the list of Things I Never Thought I'd Say--"Bring back Bryant Gumbel!"
(This really should have been LAST Friday's entry. Oh, well.)
I'm a big Survivor Fan, and although there are lots of places where you can discuss it to death, there's a couple of things I'd like to throw out here.
John was a wannabe-Richard. He put together his Gang Of Four and thought he could ride them to the finals, but he forgot two things:
1. Everybody's seen Season 1, so they're on the lookout for overt alliances. Richard kept his secret until it was too late to stop him; John's alliance tipped their hand one vote too early, about which more later.
2. Right up to the end, Richard was seen as a nice guy by most of the others (despite how he was edited to look more like a chubby and occasionally-naked Snidely Whiplash). John never came off as anything but a scheming weasel, although this could also have been an editing trick.
About overplaying his hand: when the Immunity Challenge was revealed to be a knock-out-your-competitors contest like they seem to do once every season (BTW, anybody want to bet that the last IC will be "How long can you stand on one post with your hand on another?"), I thought it was rigged against Sean--the alliance would make damn sure he was the first one gone. As the challenge played out, though, and the alliance outed themselves by never targeting each other until everybody else was gone, the Clue Train finally arrived at Happy Naive-town Station and Sean was able to convice Kathy, Neleh, and Paschal that John's endgame plans didn't include them.
2001.03.30 Ding, Dong! The Witch Is Dead!
I'm a big fan of Survivor,although I don't spend nearly as much time discussing it as I did the first series. And this morning, I've got to tell you, the sky looks a little bluer, the sun a little brighter, and the birds a little cheerier because JERRI GOT RUN! Per usual, Burnett et. al did their little editing thing, leading us to believe that Elizabeth (The Colleen Of The Outback) would be exiting sans torch this week--certainly it was the obvious play in the Ogakor-rolls-up-Kucha strategy, given that Nick earned immunity--even going to some length to show Keith and Colby discuss ousting Jerri, and then deciding not to. Then the vote announcements:
"Elizabeth." (Sigh. It was nice knowing you, Liz.)
"Jerri." (Yeah yeah yeah, just get on with it.)
"Jerri." (Big surprise.)
"Jerri." (OK, they're just wanting to add a little drama to it, fine.)
"Jerri." (Wait a minute--that's four votes! SOMEBODY TURNED!)
Then a short pause for effect, during which I realized that it was already over; worst case was a 4-4 tie, which Jerri loses by having votes against her previously. Then Outback Jeff dropped the hammer:
"Jerri." And cue the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
That being said, was doing Jerri the smart move for Colby, Keith, and Tina? Hell, no, for two reasons: