Thursday, November 30, 2006

'Survivor 13: Cook Islands' - Ep. 11 -or- "No One Likes You, Nyah Nyah"

Eight are left. Who will be voted out tonight?

Hey, I thought they chose to stay at the campsite with no rats - Raro's original camp. Why did Night 27 open with rat shots? Unless, of course, they were symbolic rats. I've noticed that either rats or snake shots happen before Jonathan is shown.

In my own opinion (mainly because I find her annoying), they could have been symbolic Parvati rats, too. She was lighting right into Jonathan about his flipping at Tribal Council. And, Jonathan couldn't hold it in any longer. He told the ex-Raro group (Parvati, Adam, and Candice) that Yul indeed had the hidden Immunity Idol from Exile Island. They were too busy calling him a filthy miserable rat to pay much attention to that important news.

Now, to me, Jonathan is as bad about Parvati as she is about him. In the morning, he went on and on about how she's been on the island for 28 days and she hasn't cleaned a fish, nor does she have a clue how to go about it. Jonathan mentioned how lazy Parvati is as he tried to keep in good graces with the ex-Aitu bunch (Yul, Ozzy, Becky, and Sundra).

Parvati won the bid for the bubble bath.This week's episode marked the just about mandatory Survivor auction for reward-type items. There are usually a few duds under covers mixed in with the good stuff. Each castaway was issued $500. They could lend and borrow money amongst themselves, but they couldn't share any of the winnings. Jonathan went to town winning a hot dog meal with beer (that he spilled) and pizza (which he licked). Parvati won the bid for a bubble bath and a piece of chocolate cake. Ozzy won ice cream. Sundra got a booby prize of a sea cucumber.

Ah, but it was Becky who won the best prize of all. It was a mystery note which Jeff said would hold power in the game. Borrowing money, Becky bid $640 for it. Inside the envelope? A chance to send a player to Exile Island. She decided to send Candice there for a fourth time. Talk about crumbling someone!

Jonathan licks his pizzaYul, for some reason all of his own, decided it was time to announce that he had the hidden Immunity Idol. I'm not sure of his thinking process there. Well, he could have figured that most of the people knew it and he already used it for a power play in flipping Jonathan. Also, just knowing he has it will keep others from voting him off and make them leery of who has the second highest number of votes.

Back at camp, while Candice was whining, crying, and fussing over on Exile Island, Jonathan made another faux-pas in the game of getting along with others. He was the one who didn't want Cao Boi bringing the Immunity Idol to Reward Challenges and such, right? If I recall correctly, he said it was like "rubbing the win in their faces." So, what does he do? He goes on and on about all the food he won at the auction.

Grimacing CandiceYul and Becky, as well as Ozzy, noticed the bad behavior and seriously considered dumping Jonathan. But, you must remember, Jonathan's not the greatest competitor in challenges, plus he's a great person to be with in the Final Two - he's the least popular player of them all. The ex-Aitu see his "true character" but need to decide if they can use him or take their chances with ex-Raro.

The Immunity Challenge was done in two rounds. The castaways had to correctly answer questions about the past 30 days on the island, use numbers derived from the answers, do some physical tasks in the second round, and raise their individual flags. The first three to finish the first round went onto the second. Adam, in a confessional, said he knows he's a target and he must win. Oh, my. He actually did win! Scary, huh?

Back again at camp, Candice figures she's a goner. (And she figures Jonathan is a snake.) Instead of focusing on the game, Adam and his harem cuddle in the shelter. Not too bright of a move, eh? Meanwhile, Jonathan knows he's skating on thin ice with all and returns with fish. Ozzy, Becky, Sundra, and Yul join him in cleaning and cooking the catch, then chowing down. Oh, the cuddlers realized that the ex-Aitu (and Jonathan) are eating without them!

Adam trying to walk on waterA verbal brouhaha broke out as Candice confronted them, calling out comments Yul made about Jonathan, calling Jonathan names, and more. Ozzy claimed "no one gets a free lunch." Candice called Yul the "ringleader" and blamed him for Jonathan while trying to alienate the group from Jonathan. I like brouhahas. They should have them more often.
Of course, that made the very rational and smart-playing Yul question again whether keeping Jonathan would hurt his chances with the jury. The editing tried to make us viewers think it was Jonathan's turn to go, so we (or, at least, I) knew that wouldn't be the case.

At Tribal Council, the brouhaha went on all over again while Nate hammed for the camera from the jury box. "No one likes you, Jonathan!" "Yul is a puppetmaster!" Even Ozzy called out the laziness of the three cuddlers. And, in the end, ex-Aitu (and Jonathan) all voted for Candice to go, while ex-Raro voted for Jonathan to go. 5 to 3, Candice was asked to leave the Tribal Council area immediately. Or, in this case, after an extended smooch from Adam. Gag me now.

'Survivor 13: Cook Islands' - East Coast Update - 11/30 - The Boot

Candice was voted off with all of Aitu (and Jonathan) voting for her. Candice, Parvati, and Adam voted for Jonathan.

A full review/recap will be posted late this evening. Stop back!

'Survivor 13: Cook Islands' - East Coast Update - 11/30 - Immunity

Adam won Immunity.

TV Newsy Bits (and Stuff) - Thursday, November 30, 2006

Yes, last night was the infamous Return of Richard Simmons to the Late Show with David Letterman. Other than being sort of mean to him and almost setting him on fire, Dave controlled himself rather well. I wonder if he'll use the little matching "Harry" shirt - I can bet he won't wear the "David" shirt after Richard wore it. Huh... a $300 tie? Yikes!

Tonight is Survivor 13: Cook Islands night and, as usual, I'll post East Coast Updates of important events (Immunity, Boot) as they air here in the NYC area. Late tonight, a full recap/review will be posted. If you're not seeing what you think is the most recent post, use the November 2006 Archive link you see in the right sidebar of the main page.

Although I must watch C.S.I. tonight (the miniature crime scene killer returns) and I'm not a huge Scrubs fan, I'll be setting the VCR for the Scrubs season premiere (I think... I'm so confused by fall finales). It's on at the same time as C.S.I. (9 PM ET/PT) and, the kicker is... The Blue Man Group! Yes!

UPDATE: Although CBS has been running a promo for next week's new C.S.I. episode all week (in which the miniature crime scene killer returns), tonight's episode is a repeat. Why do they do that? Grr. Thanks to a commenter for the heads up!

In other TV Newsy Bits:

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

TV Newsy Bits - Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Well, if I can just get my computer and Blogger to cooperate with each other, I'll be fine. And, here I am!

I want to start with a bit of a rant. What the heck is with this fall season finale stuff? It's caught on like wildfire - first Lost, now Jericho, next week Heroes. I swear it's the shows I like best out of the reality television realm that are being affected. Is it a plot against me? Is the man trying to keep me down? Although I don't watch the show, my friends over at BuddyTV mention that Prison Break is also a victim of fall finales.

I appreciate that they'll be showing 12 to 13 new episodes starting in January or February, but why such a long hiatus? I'm old school TV, y'see. Back in the days when we walked nine miles uphill both to and from school in -20 degree weather in three feet of snow, we had almost 40 episodes of shows each season from September to May! Yes, we did! Really! It's a nefarious plot of ne'er-do-well production staffers to produce less while reaping in more cash. Can I get a witness?


That said, here's the TV Newsy Bits:
  • Set those VCRs or DVRs, or your TIVO... whatever technology you have on hand! Tonight is Richard Simmons return to The Late Show with David Letterman after a six-year absence. It's going to be one heck of a show.
  • There are mild promotional kind of spoilers for the upcoming episode of The Amazing Race 10 in this Celebrity Spider article.
  • Celebrity Spider has similar spoilers (not the boot) for tomorrow night's Survivor 13: Cook Islands.
  • They also covered mild spoilers for the next Heroes episode. Which, I must add, is the fall season finale for the show. Don't get me started on that again.
  • If you can make it through the rather poorly written transcript, Media Fiends has Nate's (Survivor) appearance on The Early Show.
  • Reality News Online (RNO) has a much better interview with Nate. IGN has an even more extensive interview with him.

Tonight, I watched Criminal Minds, a first for me. Well, I sort of watched it once before, but it didn't keep my attention. Tonight's episode did it - kept my attention. Of course, once Lost returns, that time slot isn't any good for me. But, until then, I'll be giving CM a shot.

Last night I watched the Charlie Brown Christmas show. My goodness, I haven't watched that in a good decade or more. I think I can still recite the lines for each character as it goes along. Ah, the memories. The first time I saw it (the first time it ever aired), we only had a black and white TV set. We didn't get a color set until Christmas that year and, by then, it was too late to see it in color. That was a long, long time ago. Yet, I think the show still holds up well despite the way the world has changed since its first airing. Cool, Charlie Brown.

What have you been watching?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Holiday Television Programming: Nov. 27 - Dec. 1

Yes, yes! This week's holiday television programming includes some old favorites, as well as new holiday-themed episodes of current shows. The latter is always fun for me. How can I think of holiday television shows without thinking of Mary Tyler Moore volunteering to work all alone on Christmas Eve at WJM-TV, only to find her friends truly cared about her? Alas, I'm not seeing the episode ("Christmas and the Hard Luck Kid II" - orginally aired in December, 1970) anywhere in the listings. Oh, well. I have it on videotape somewhere.

Although this list isn't all-inclusive and doesn't cover local programming specific to areas outside of NYC, here's what I found for this week:

Monday, November 27:
  • 8 PM ET/PT - A Holiday to Remember (movie) on the cable station ABC Family.
  • 9 PM ET/PT - Unwrapped "Holiday Treats" - the FOOD Network.
  • QVC seems all holiday-themed, all around the clock.

Tuesday, November 28:

  • 7 PM ET/PT - Elf (the movie) on the USA Network
  • Get ready to do your Snoopy dance - A Charlie Brown Christmas airs on ABC at 8 PM ET/PT. For sentimental reasons, this has always been a favorite of mine.
  • 8 PM ET/PT - Scrooged with Bill Murray on the ABC Family Network.
  • 9 PM ET/PT - USA Network, The Great American Christmas - six diverse families discuss the meaning of the holiday.
  • 9 PM ET/PT - Road Tasted "Gift Guide" - holiday food gifts on the FOOD Network.
  • 10 PM ET/PT (repeated the next hour, too) - The Nip/Tuck holiday episode on FX Network.

Wednesday, November 29:

  • The USA Network has holiday movies galore with Stealing Christmas at noon (ET/PT) and Elf at 2 PM ET/PT.
  • Starting at 6 PM ET/PT, although not holiday-related, the SciFi Channel is having a Heroes marathon, beginning with the pilot episode. So, if you've missed Heroes, here's your chance to save the cheerleader, save the world.
  • 7 PM ET, local NBC affiliate WNBC (NYC) - Christmas in Rockerfeller Center - the tree lighting ceremony. I could go, I guess. But it's a lot less crowded and hassle-free to watch it on TV.
  • 8 PM ET/PT - Christmas in Rockerfeller Center - the national version of the above show with the glitz, glitter, and singing pop stars. NBC
  • 8 PM ET/PT - Mr. St. Nick (movie) on ABC Family Network.
  • 10:30 PM ET/PT - Ham on the Street, unique food gifts. FOOD Network.

Thursday, November 30:

  • 8 PM ET/PT - Santa Claus: The Movie on the ABC Family channel.
  • 9 PM ET/PT - Golf and Christmas? It's A Miracle on the 17th Green on the Lifetime cable channel.
  • 10 PM ET/PT - Men in Trees - Thanksgiving-themed episode on ABC.

Friday, December 1:

  • 12 PM ET/PT - I'll be Home For Christmas (movie), Lifetime cable channel.
  • 2 PM ET/PT - Eve's Christmas (movie), also on Lifetime.
  • 7 PM ET/PT - Frosty's Winter Wonderland, narrated by Andy Griffiths, on ABC Family cable network.
  • 7:30 PM ET/PT - ABC Family Network kicks off a Harry Potter-infused weekend with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
  • 8 PM ET/PT - The Polar Express on ABC TV, a welcome addition to the holiday line-up!
  • 8 PM ET/PT - Emeril's Happy Happy Holidays on the FOOD Network. Hmmm, I've never had goose for the holiday.
  • 9 PM ET/PT - Noel (movie) on the Lifetime cable channel.

Now, if I could just stay home and watch it all!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

'The Amazing Race 10' - Ep. 11 -or- "What comes around, goes around... and around... and around."

Time is running out for the Amazing Race. With four teams still in the race and two shows left to go, you know it's time for a non-Philimination leg, right? Unlike Survivor, it's a race between the Final Three to the finish, not the Final Four.

Ah, but which three teams will make it? Right now the race is too iffy to tell. The strongest two teams, in my opinion, are the BoyToys (Tyler and James) and the Evil Beauty Queen Blondes (Dustin and Kandice). But, even what I perceive as the weakest team, the Alabama Moms (Lyn and Karlyn), can sometimes surprise me. What never surprises me is the ongoing car problems faced by the Dating (not bickering so much as of late) Couple, Rob and Kimberly.

The BoyToys were the first team to leave the Pit Stop in Kiev (the Ukraine) at 7:33 AM while the 'Bama Moms left last at 9:08. So, this time we're talking about 90 minutes separating first and last. That's not really a heck of a lot of time. The clue the teams received instructed them to fly to Quarzazate, Morocco, where they were to go to a Kasbah (sort of like an oasis in the desert) and collect a "good luck" charm. Yes, now I have "Rock the Casbah" by the Clash stuck in my head. Thank you, TAR.

The Blondes took a risky connection flight while Rob/Kimberly and the BoyToys gathered on another flight. Rob showed his distaste for the Blondes by telling them he got an earlier flight which didn't exist. The only shame was he admitted he was joking. He should have stuck with the lie and let them panic a bit more. The 'Bama Moms had a three-hour layover and wisely spent the time gathering and studying maps. While they aren't the most physically fit team, they're definitely thinking ahead as the race goes on. In the end, all the teams ended up on the last connection flight to Morocco.

And, due to studying the maps, the 'Bama Moms actually made it to the next clue (Atlas Studios) first, snagged their good luck charm and the next clue, thus amazing all the following teams. No one knew for sure how they got ahead, but Tyler and James mentioned more than a few times during the leg that they're good with directions, as did Rob and Kimberly. Now, that has changed since their reputation of the Six Pack. There's something that us viewers must have missed.

Uh-oh, the clue not only directed them to a Kasbah, but warned them that a Yield was ahead. And, but of course, it turned out to be one of the infamous (and often annoying) bunching points for the teams. While the 'Bama Moms actually made it there first, the opening time was 8 AM. So, even the seemingly hopelessly lost Blondes were on even keel once again.

Yielded As the gates opened, it was a foot-race to the Yield box. Neither the BoyToys or Rob/Kimberly Yielded anyone. Then it was the Blondes as the 'Bama Moms just can't run fast at all. The Blondes Yielded 'Bama. Eep, talk about steam coming from the ears! Those Moms are now officially ticked off (more than they were before) at the Blondes and kept on sizzling as the hourglass did its thing.

As the Moms waited at the Yield, the other teams took off for a Roadblock - a task only one member of a team can complete. This one looked fun, a chariot race reminiscent of Ben Hur. While being "driven" by a local, the team member had to pluck two flags from the course. Although they went last, the 'Bama Moms made up time. I think it was sheer determination leading the way.

Chariot RoadblockThe Blondes got lost... again. Rob and Kimberly had car problems, this time a flat and a jack which just wouldn't come out of its place, again. Because of those woes, the BoyToys and 'Bama Moms hit this leg's Detour first. A Detour is a choice between two tasks and both members compete. The tasks this time had to do with job staples in Morocco. Teams could Throw It or Grind It. In Throw It, teams had to make two clay pots to specification on a potter's wheel. In Grind It, teams would have to grind and pack olives. It was first come, first serve and only three teams could perform a task at a time.

Olive Grinding So, all the teams chose Grind It. I don't know why pottery scared them so. The BoyToys took a while to figure out that they would have to make the pots, not throw them. (And they're not blond!) Because they were so lost, the Blondes had to wait out the other teams. The grinding had the teams physically pushing a pole which in turn operated a large churning wheel to grind the olives. It wasn't easy.

From the Detour, teams had to take the Road to Marrakech, which reminds me of either a Bing Crosby/Bob Hope movie or a song by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. Take your pick. They were heading to the Pit Stop, in the middle of the desert with the route marked.

The BoyToys (James/Tyler) made it there first and, not only that, but the good luck charm they picked up earlier in the leg matched the one of the local who was with Phil at the Pit Stop. They each won a Sprint Treo 700P. The 'Bama Moms had been in a foot-race against the Boys, but obviously can't beat those two. They came in second. Then it was Rob and Kimberly.

And, coming in last, it was Dustin and Kandice. But remember what I said about the numbers of teams aPhilnd the remaining shows we have left? It was a non-Philimination leg. So they're marked for elimination, but still in the race.

Okay, we have two shows left. I still have no team to cheer on. I don't really want the BoyToys to win because I feel there have been a few too many young male team winners in the past. It's a toss-up with the other three teams. I was more impressed by the 'Bama Moms this week because they really put themselves in gear. Huh. At this point, I'm ambivalent towards the remaining teams on the whole. I'll watch, but I refuse to cheer.

'The Amazing Race 10' - East Coast Update - 11/26 - Pit Stop

Arriving at the Pit Stop:
  1. Tyler and James - Due to a good luck charm picked up earlier in the leg, each won a Sprint Treo
  2. Lyn and Karlyn - Despite being Yielded by the Blondes
  3. Rob and Kimberly
  4. Dustin and Kandice

It was a non-Philimination leg, so all teams are still in the race with the Blondes marked for elimination. A full recap/review will be posted late this evening.

'The Amazing Race 10' - Nov. 26th Blogging

Yikes! The Amazing Race began on time here in the NYC area. A Pit Stop arrival listing and Philimination will be posted approximately 9 PM ET. A full recap/review will be posted late this evening.

More Pants, Please - Coming This Week on 'The Late Show with David Letterman' - Nov. 27-Dec. 1

Late Show with David Letterman
I'm sure he's due for a vacation soon, but never during November sweeps! It's All Fresh Pants for The Late Show with David Letterman this week and here are the scheduled guests:

  • Monday, Nov. 27: Kate Winslet and a musical guest I'm eagerly anticipating - Tom Waits! Woohoo! Tom Waits is amazing and he just doesn't do enough television for my liking.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 28: George Clooney (isn't he the World's Sexiest Man according to People Magazine once again this year?) and The Decemberists.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 29: Richard Simmons returns after a six-year absence. This one is a Must See for any Letterman fan. How's it going to go? Musical guest is Ciara.
  • Thursday, Nov. 30: Jennifer Connelly and Tom Dreesen. Um. Okay.
  • Friday, Dec. 1: Danny DeVito, always interesting, and musical guest Silversun Pickups.

There, that's the Fresh Pants for the week.

TV Newsy Bits - Sunday, November 26, 2006

Welcome home, all you holiday weekend travelers -- I hope everyone had a fine Thanksgiving Day!

Yes, it's the holiday season, but TV Newsy Bits doesn't take time for a holiday. TV Newsy Bits scoffs at holidays and comes up with even more bits o' television news for your perusal!


In the best bits out there, here's the scoop:
  • After being suspended and shackled in a gyroscope over Times Square for two days in the rain, David Blaine freed himself within fifteen minutes of getting the go-ahead for his escape. He plunged through a plywood stage 50 feet below and walked away with a noticeable limp. The latest escapade was a charity bit which would give 100 needy children a shopping spree at Target. Now, what would have happened if he was seriously hurt in the fall?
  • For those of you who are catching up on the news -- David and Mary Conley from Amazing Race 10 will be on Amazing Race 11: All Stars. The cast also includes Romber... again. According to the New York Post (and other sources), some previous teams are feeling very snubbed.
  • Someone in comments asked me about Meerkat Manor - its regular time is Friday evenings at 8 PM ET/PT on Animal Planet when it runs back-to-back episodes for an hour. I could be wrong, but I think they have indeed aired all of season two at this time. (In other mere cat news, a mouse actually got into my apartment and my cat actually killed it. I didn't know the 13-year-old never-saw-a-mouse-before cat had it in him. It was a bit like Wild Kingdom in my living room. Yikes.)
  • MSNBC had an article about the Reality TV Turkeys of the Year, naming Paula Abdul's questionable state of mind during American Idol and more. It's a fun read, even though we're the real authorities on reality television right here in this blog. Right?
  • "Save the cheerleader, save the world." Actress Hayden Panettiere, who plays the cheerleader Claire on Heroes (my new television obsession), was interviewed in this Newsday article. Her Dad is a retired NYC firefighter. I'm sure he had to save a cheerleader or two over the years.
  • Penn and Teller will host a new game show called Identity, set to debut December 18 on NBC. This Celebrity Spider article has the skinny on that.
  • Has Travelocity's Roaming Gnome gone missing or been replaced? Oh, no! Whatever will the Amazing Race or Big Brother do sans Da Gnome challenge?
  • According to this spoilers article, Cheech Marin (of Cheech and Chong fame) will make an appearance as Hurley's father in a Lost episode set to air February 28. Now, that's a perfect Dad for Hurley, eh? Beware if you go to the article - spoilers on many shows abound.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Holiday Television Programming: This Weekend Nov. 25-26

Fa-la-la, Thanksgiving is now a not-so-distant memory and we're immersed in the holiday season once again. What's on my mind as we head into December? Well, holiday television programs, specials, and more... of course!

Here are some of the special programs and holiday shows lined up for the upcoming weekend:

Saturday, November 25

  • QVC is in full holiday mode, starting at midnight and going on... and on.
  • HGTV continues showing its holiday fare - Gift Show 2006, Toy Fair 2006, Gift and Gear 2006, etc. - starting at midnight and running into the wee hours.
  • CourtTV continues its Forensic Files marathon, again we're talking from midnight on.
  • Top Chef's Thanksgiving episode will be shown again at 4 AM ET/PT on BRAVO.
  • HSN has holiday shopping through to dawn and beyond.
  • 12 Days of Christmas Eve (movie), USA network at 1 PM ET/PT
  • The Cartoon Network has a solid block of holiday 'toons starting at noon (ET/PT)
  • BRAVO has its Six Feet Under marathon starting at 1 PM ET/PT and running into the wee hours of Sunday.
  • Cable SuperStation WGN is airing White Christmas (with Bing Crosby) at 3 PM ET/PT.
  • Stealing Christmas (movie starring Tony Danza) - USA network at 3 PM ET/PT
  • Emeril Live: Hilda's Holiday Classics at 8 PM ET/PT on the Food network.
  • Italian Christmas at 9 PM ET/PT on the Food network.
  • Holidays at Walt Disney World at 10 PM ET/PT on the Food network.

Sunday, November 26:

  • Although not a holiday movie per se, TNT is showing Gone With the Wind at 10 AM ET/PT
  • The USA network starts its Monk marathon at noon ET/PT. Holiday episodes are on the slate for the late evening hours.
  • The Family network has Richie Rich's Christmas Wish on at 6 PM ET/PT
  • I'll be watching The Amazing Race at the 8 PM ET/PT time slot, but also in that time slot is a new 7th Heaven episode called "Thanks and Giving" on CW.
  • The Family network has Home Alone 3 on at 8 PM ET/PT.
  • HGTV runs their holiday-themed shows once again in primetime.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

'Survivor 13: Cook Islands' - Ep. 10 -or- "A Pivotal Moment Instigated by a Dirty Whack Fruitcake"

Nine are left. Who will be voted out tonight?

Due to last week's double castoff (Rebecca and Jenny), the tribes are closely matched in numbers this week. Aitu is still the underdog with four members to Raro's five, but they're a solid powerhouse. Raro isn't organized and tends to not work towards a common goal.

And, I'm far from the only one who's picked up on Raro's mis-strategy in the game. Jonathan, their recent mutiny addition, seemed to be at wit's end with them in the opening of tonight's show (Day 25). As he fishes, they sleep in. Or, Adam smooches with Candice or snuggles with Parvati. Nate bristles whenever Jonathan tries to lead the tribe, though goodness knows they need some kind of boot in the butt to get their act together. Oh, woe is Jonathan. Although he's outlasted three of the Raro members, he knows he's not in with the in crowd. Yet, he keeps pushing the envelope and making Nate bristle so much that his hair goes wild.

Over at the Aitu tribe, although they're tight, they're suffering. Yul complained of his leg hurting, as well as feeling achy and a bit ill. Sundra showed Ozzy a huge scrape on her knee and they're all hurtin' puppies.
The Merge Feast
Ah, but the game switches up. Instead of going to a Rewards Challenge, Jeff announced they had paints, brushes, and new buffs. The merge is on! The tribes decided to live at the ex-Raro campsite as it lacks rats. They named the newly merged tribe Aitutonga (a mix of Aitu-whatever and Rarotonga). The castaways enjoyed a feast catered by the locals and a boat ride back to camp. A good time was had by all. Or was it?

Jonathan, in confessionals, once again complained that the "kids" were partying too much and not thinking of the game. Now, I know where he's coming from, but I think that he tends to be too intense and always playing even though he tends to make some bad decisions. What bad decisions? Well, the mutiny, for one. He's lucky to still be there. Another bad move is his tendency to lead and be bossy. Yes, he has a reason, but it still alienates some of the tribe members and makes that target on his back a bit bigger.

After settling in at camp, the others turned to thoughts of the game. It's obvious that the tribes will work along tribal lines for any voting. That puts Aitu at a disadvantage due to being one member less than Raro. Nate and the rest of Raro pledged to stick together as they can indeed count. So, the dilemma turned to the fact that Aitu has to flip a Raro to their side.

Yul approached Jonathan with a hypothetical "if I had the hidden Immunity Idol" scenario (like the "If I Did It" - yikes!). He pointed out that Raro would probably target him (Yul) and Aitu would probably target Jonathan. Then, if he used the idol to save himself, Jonathan would be voted out instead. Although he made it hypothetical to Jonathan, he told both Ozzy and Sundra that he has the idol. So, they'll vote whatever he says and they know someone must flip from Raro - Jonathan is their best bet.

Yul didn't hang on for longThe Immunity Challenge was one of endurance and actually easier for smaller folks (like women) than the larger folks like Adam, Nathan, and Yul. They had to hang onto a pole, not using the top, until they couldn't hang on any longer. There were bands of rope around the poles for foot and hand grips. As Yul said, "This is why elephants can't run up trees." The men, with the exception of Ozzy, did poorly. In the end, it was Candice who looked oh-so-cool-just-hanging-around for so long against Ozzy. Ozzy nailed it and won the first individual Immunity.

So, the scheming went into full force back at the camp. For not doing a heck of a lot of work, Adam sure thinks he can run the tribe. He pushed mightily for a Yul vote from the Raro members while telling us in confessional that Ozzy's too strong and must go soon, too.

Candice is confidentYul admitted to Jonathan that he has the hidden Immunity Idol, no hypotheticals involved. Although, in a way, it's blackmail, it's not an unfriendly blackmail. It leaves Jonathan the choice to vote with Aitu or be picked off as the runner-up against Yul. He was put in a quandary and there's only really one way out for him - Yul's offer. Jonathan hinted to Raro that Yul might have the idol without ever breaking Yul's secret. They didn't think so.

Aitu gave Jonathan a voice in deciding which Raro member to target so that the ex-Aitu vote would be unanimous. Despite me saying "Adam! Adam!," Jonathan felt Adam had protected him and that Nathan should be targeted.

And, so he was. At the Tribal Council, no votes were shown as they were made, but the votes went down tribal lines with a Jonathan flip back to Aitu. He really had no choice if he wanted to stay in the game. Although it puts him in a bad light with the ex-Raro, it all started with his decision to mutiny. Nathan was voted out 5 - 4 with Raro votes all for Yul to go. Yul played it right. He didn't have to use the hidden Immunity Ido. Jonathan played it right or, more like the only way he could play it and stay in the game.
Immunity Challenge
Hey, remember Cao Boi wanted to force the Immunity Idol to put into play? He had a reason, y'know. Without even being put into play, tonight's episode showed the idol can be used for a power play to shake up the game.

How did Nathan take his plight? At Tribal Council, he looked dejected, rejected, and terribly sad. In the parting words during the credits, he was just mad: "That dirty stanky whack fruitcake sold me out!"

'Survivor 13: Cook Islands' - East Coast Update - 11/23 - The Boot

Jonathan flipped. Nate was voted out 5-4, along tribal lines plus the flip.

'Survivor 13: Cook Islands' - East Coast Update - 11/23 - Immunity

In an endurance challenge, Ozzy won the first individual immunity of the season.

'Survivor 13: Cook Islands' - East Coast Update - 11/23 - Merge ON

The Merge went down instead of Reward. They have a huge feast and decided to live at the Raro campsite (no rats).

Erwin and Godwin Cho Spread the Karma

Love the ChoBros!
Fan favorite nice guys team, Erwin and Godwin Cho, from The Amazing Race 10 want to spread the good karma.

Early into the season, or perhaps even before the season but after the casting was announced, I found Godwin's blog, In Search of Godwin. At the time, I mentioned how intriguing he was just from reading the entries. The blog had been last updated in May, just prior to the brothers jetting off on the show. In the entries, there was no mention of Godwin and Erwin even applying to be on the show, but Erwin had been mentioned in a few entries. So, I put two and two together - there can't be too many brothers named Erwin and Godwin Cho living in northern California, right?

Well, the blog was updated Tuesday, dashing my hopes that they'd be on the next season All Stars show. After all, teams seem to have left Miami last week, so a blog update this week nixes that. (Grr.)

In the latest entry, Godwin wrote: "We ran the race without regrets. I believe we ran the race with integrity and dignity (aside from all my crying)." He then went on to link to a new business started by his brother and himself, A Little Karma. Erwin describes it as "Ebay with a conscience."

Inspired by the rewarding feeling they had from helping David and Mary Conley, they want to help others - good karma. From the entry: " is an online company dedicated to inspiring people to do kind things for others by performing “acts of kindness” funded by profits from the sale of unique art and clothing by other budding artists/entrepreneurs."

The idea is exactly the type of thing I'd expect from a ChoBro (or two). No, they probably didn't run the race well as they didn't have the cut-throat edge and were way too nice, but these two young men will always be winners. A gander at the company, or a look through the entries on the blog, say it all. Those Cho Brothers are really nice guys.

Happy Thanksgiving - TV Newsy Bits - Nov. 23, 2006

I hope everyone is having a great holiday full of food, friends, family, and fun!

A quick word about the image -- I first came upon this little fellow with just his tail and hind legs sticking out of a pumpkin some time back and took a series of photos. Because he so obviously knows the meaning of feast, I thought he was appropriate for today's entry!

Tonight is a new Survivor 13: Cook Islands and I'll be posting East Coast Updates as Reward, Immunity, Merge (?!), Boot, or any other important events happen as they air here on the East Coast. Late this evening, a full recap/review of the show will be posted.

Also on my viewing plans for this evening:
  • C.S.I. has Roger Daltrey of The Who fame as a guest star. I had such a crush on him in the days of "I Hope I Die Before I Get Old." Of course, neither of us are old. And, he's older than I am, anyway.
  • I'll be staying up late to watch Late Show with David Letterman as I always do, but I have to see his Mom's appearance and the yearly pie-guessing bit. His mother seems like such a sweet woman and I can't miss her!

In other TV Newsy Bits:

  • Some spoilers are in this article about the next leg of The Amazing Race 10.
  • Basic spoilers for tonight's Survivor 13: Cook Islands are here. (Nothing boot-related; not much more than they're showing in the commercials right now, but interesting nonetheless.)
  • If you're a Letterman fan, mark next Wednesday night on your calendar. After a feud and a four-year (I think, maybe six?) estrangement, it's the return of Richard Simmons as a guest. I saw the episode which did in their relationship (so to speak) and, to be honest, I always laugh out loud when he's on the show. This one is a Don't Miss for me.
  • Today I watched the Homicide: Life on the Street rerun on WGN. It was the "Requiem for Adena" episode from the fourth season. Huh. I forgot that Chris Rock made an appearance as a killer/rapist on the show. Dang, I wish that show had gone on a few more seasons. You can go back and it's still so darn good.
  • The Reality TV World website is reporting that CBS has confirmed that the next edition of The Amazing Race will be an All-Stars season. (But, we knew that.) Confirmed racers, according to their site, are: Rob and Amber, Uchenna and Joyce (both teams from Season 7) and... get this... David and Mary Conley of Season 10. Yes, you heard me. Keep in mind that I'm just reporting what others are reporting. Supposedly Christie and Colin, and Charla and Mirna (both teams from Season 4), are still on for the season as I previously reported a while back. It's rumored that other teams include The Guidos from Season One - Bill Bartek and Joe Baldassare - and also Jill Aquilino and John Vito Pietanza from Season Three, still dating after all these years. Production began last week in Miami and sources have the new season slated to be aired in the first quarter of 2007, so we won't have to wait long at all!
  • Meanwhile, the main page of the CBS website has links to applications to be on CBS' Pirates (don't ask me; I'll see what it's all about and report back at another time), Amazing Race 12, Big Brother, and Survivor. Here's your chance! Live dangerously! Go for it! I'll stay here and write about your adventures.
  • Can't get enough Amazing Race? Reality News Online, known affectionately as RNO to us reality TV buffs, has transcribed the latest Insider videos from the CBS website.
  • Secrets are to be revealed on next week's Heroes. This article has mild spoilers, but you know you want to look.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Holiday Television Programming: November 21 - 24

Can't you feel it in the air? It's the holiday season! Thanksgiving is in just a few days. Before you know it, there will be folks decking the halls and making snowmen. Holiday television programming, from specially themed shows of your favorite series to movies to tree-lighting, special concerts, holiday decorating tips, glorious foods, and beyond start this week.

Now, this isn't an all inclusive list of special programs, but hopefully it's a good representative of what's out and about for the next few days. On Friday night (or Saturday morning), a new list will take us into the next week. Bake up a batch of your favorite holiday cookies, sit back with a mug of hot chocolate and your gift list by your side... and check out what's on TV!

Tuesday, Nov. 21:

  • Tony Bennett: An American Classic (NBC) 8 PM ET/PT
  • Emeril Live (Food Channel) 8 PM ET/PT - Traditional Thanksgiving cooking
  • Rachael Ray's Thanksgiving in 60 (Food Channel) - Thanksgiving cooking
  • Holiday Home Solutions (HSN) 10 PM ET/PT

Wednesday, Nov. 22:

  • Madonna: The Confessions Tour Live From London (NBC) 8 PM ET/PT
  • American Eats (History Channel) 8 PM ET/PT - Holiday foods
  • All Star Thanksgiving (Food Channel) 9 PM ET/PT
  • Top Chef (Bravo) 10/11 PM ET/PT - Thanksgiving episodes

Thursday, Nov. 23 (Thanksgiving Day):

  • Thanksgiving Day Parade (CBS) 9 AM ET/PT
  • Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (NBC) 9 AM ET/PT
  • Forensic Files (Court TV) All day marathon
  • Rachael Ray (ABC) 10 AM ET/PT - Thanksgiving-related episode
  • National Dog Show (NBC) 12 PM ET/PT
  • The Closer (TNT) Marathon beginning at 8 AM ET/PT
  • Romancing the Bird (Food Channel) 11 AM ET/PT - Secrets of a moist turkey
  • Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade Thanksgiving (Food Channel) 12 PM ET/PT
  • Rachael Ray's Thanksgiving in 60 2 (Food Channel) 1 PM ET/PT
  • Home Improvement (TBS) Marathon begins at 1 PM ET/PT
  • I Love the Holidays (VH1) 3 PM ET/PT - Celebrities comment on the holidays
  • An American Thanksgiving (CW) 4 PM ET/PT - Bryant Gumble
  • Deal or No Deal (NBC) 8 PM ET/PT - 2-hour Thanksgiving show
  • Full House (NIK) 9 - 10 PM ET/PT - Back-to-back Thanksgiving episodes
  • Roseanne (NIK) 10 - 11 PM ET/PT - Back-to-back Thanksgiving episodes

Friday, Nov. 24:

  • Meerkat Manor (Animal Planet) Marathon begins at 7 AM ET/PT
  • DIY Holiday Wish List (HGTV) 7 AM ET/PT
  • DIY Holiday Open House (HGTV) 8 AM ET/PT
  • Christmas Room by Room Style (HGTV) 10 AM ET/PT
  • Decorating, Holiday (HGTV) 11 AM ET/PT
  • Forensic Files (Court TV) All day marathon
  • Saved by the Bell (TBS) All day marathon begins at 12 PM ET/PT
  • Without a Trace (TNT) Marathon beginning at 12 PM ET/PT
  • Holiday Design on a Dime (HGTV) 12 PM ET/PT
  • Divine Design Christmas (HGTV) 1 PM ET/PT
  • A Very Merry Curb Appeal (HGTV) 6 PM ET/PT
  • Shrek 2 (ABC) 8 PM ET/PT
  • The Christmas List (FAM) 8 PM ET/PT
  • Gift Show 2006 (HGTV) 8 PM ET/PT
  • Holidays with Style (STYLE) 8 PM ET/PT
  • Toy Fair 2006 (HGTV) 9 PM ET/PT
  • Gift and Gear 2006 (HGTV) 10 PM ET/PT
  • I Want That! TECH (HGTV) 11 PM ET/PT (Holiday geared tech goodies)
  • I Want That! (HGTV) 11:30 PM ET/PT (Holiday gift ideas)

Check your local listings for times in your area and for local shows.

TV Newsy Bits - Monday, November 20, 2006

So, did you watch Heroes? Save the cheerleader, save the world. Oh my, my namesake Jackie had her brain removed. I know sometimes I feel like I'm mindless, but...!

On The Late Show with David Letterman tonight, there's an unusual happening. Jerry Seinfeld is the guest, but apparently Michael Richards (Kramer on the series) went into a rage at a heckler in a comedy club and hurled racial epithets and all. Yikes. He's going to appear via satellite to apologize. I've seen bits and pieces of it on the evening news, but Letterman has the whole thing.

In other TV Newsy Bits:
  • I found a Singapore online newspaper article interviewing Mary and David Conley (The Amazing Race). The questions were mostly about Kentucky's relationship with the Cho Brothers. It's an interesting read.
  • Heh, both the O.J. Simpson book and FOX network special have been canceled, as they should be. However, I'm still left with the nagging question regarding ethics in this situation. No, not O.J.'s ethics. It's not like he himself has anything to lose at this point. But what was going through the minds of the people who approved the project? Dollar signs, for sure. They should have thought about the reaction of the world. Sheesh.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

'The Amazing Race 10' - Ep. 10 -or- "Nice guys finish last."

I never quite know how to number episodes such as this one - unfinished legs from the previous week. As you recall, the last clue we saw read, "Keep racing, this leg isn't over." But I'll call it episode ten anyway. I like to live dangerously.

At the risk of sounding repetitive -

Five teams remain. Who will be eliminated next?

We last left the teams in Helsinki where they were rappelling face-first down the 236 foot high tower at the Olympic Stadium. Yipes! Most have a fear of heights, and we know from previous episodes that the Cho Brothers, Erwin and Godwin, both are afflicted with that fear. I was on the edge of my seat cheering them on as they struggled down the tower, but they made it!

BoyToys James and Tyler had finished the rappel first, followed by Beauty Queens Dustin and Kandice. They only read the beginning of the clue last week. The end was that they had to fly to the capital city of the country where Chernobyl is located. Reading it prompted one of the Beauty Queens to comment, "That's where the atom bomb went off." A nice dunce-like sound effect was edited in. The BoyToys were a bit more on the money with one saying he didn't want to grow a third eye. For me, the problem was trying to remember whether it's in the Ukraine or Russia. It's the former. Make a dunce sound effect at me, please. Ah, but once I realized it was the Ukraine, I knew Kiev! Take away that dunce sound!

The teams ended up on two different flights and it was the Beauty Queens and BoyToys arriving first due to a delay for the other teams. As the shots focused on the BoyToys, it finally dawned on me exactly who Tyler reminds me of... Bob Geldof in his younger days, the Boomtown Rats or even as he played Pink in The Wall. That's been bugging me all season.
James driving his tank
In Kiev, teams faced a Roadblock, a task only one member of a team can complete. This one was one of the best I've ever seen on the series - "Who's ready to take command?" They got to drive an armored tank through a muddy training course at the Oster Tank School, a military training school. Because they had such a lead, it was Dustin and James competing against each other on the course. Dustin won, girls rule and all that stuff.

The pace was already set at this point with the BoyToys and Beauty Queens apparently well in the lead as the clue received at the Roadblock merely told them to go to an apartment in Kiev to pick up their next clue. The ChoBros, 'Bama Moms, and Rob/Kimberly were woefully behind and it was obvious that one of them would finish last this leg, just not which of the three teams.

After finishing the tank drive, Rob (who's nice again now) said that Kimberly is "a superhuman creature from outer space." Okay, that's nice. Creature, eh? Well, it's better than when he yells at her.

And, while I love them dearly as much as one could love a team on TAR, the ChoBros are royally screwing themselves by waiting for the 'Bama Moms (Lyn and Karlyn) all the time. It's a RACE! Sheesh, Chos, you're real sweeties, but you're in a damn race. No other team would do for you with the exception of David and Mary who were eliminated already.

Bama Rap in the Ukraine
Rob and Kimberly had car troubles on their way to the apartment building in Kiev, but managed to make it there before the Chos and Moms. The Moms were following the Chos and fussing that they stopped too often for directions and were too indecisive. Yes, they're right. Argh, Chos! I like you so much, but you have to race in a race!

The clue at the apartment led them to a Detour, a choice of two tasks, this time dealing with the musical heritage of the country. Gee, I didn't know rap was part of said musical heritage. The choices were Make Music or Find Music. In Make Music, teams had to write and perform a rap song incorporating all the countries through which they've traveled. In Find Music, teams had to go to the National Music Academy, find sheet music for Tchaikovsky's "Concert Fantasy," then find a pianist to play it, and watch the performance.

Tyler and James surprised me by going for Find Music while Kandice and Dustin gave a memorable rap. When the other three teams made their lap through, they all wanted to do the rap. Alas, the 'Bama Moms blew off the ChoBros as the guys got lost once again. The alliance is over and, if you ask me, alliaErwin in a tuxnces do not work on The Amazing Race. So, the Moms did the rap while the ChoBros ended up going for Find Music as it was easier to find than the dive rap club. At least we got to see them wear tuxedos!

From the Detour, it was a not-so-much of a race to the Pit Stop, the War Memorial at the Patriotic War Museum in Kiev.

The Pit Stop arrival order:
  1. Tyler and James - also won a trip for two to Mexico.
  2. Dustin and Kandice
  3. Rob and Kimberly
  4. Lyn and Karlyn
  5. Sigh... the ChoBros, last and Philiminated in the dark of night. They had been stopped by the police holding them up more.

Yes, the ChoBros were my favorite team, but I think it's more because they seem like such nice guys. And, we know the saying - "nice guys finish last." Well, they didn't finish last. They beat out many other teams, most more determined to win the race than they themselves were. They're probably very good pChoBros lookin' fineeople, but being good people doesn't fare well when you're in a race for a million dollars. They made a lot of mistakes while being nice. As much as the 'Bama Moms can irk me at times, they were right. The ChoBros were too indecisive and too cautious.

Who am I cheering on now? Well, none of the teams left rock my world. I could go with the Evil Beauty Queens in hopes that a female team will win for the first time. I could go for the 'Bama Moms just for the fact that they're bound to be such unlikely winners as they're out of shape and not well-traveled. I don't know. I'll still watch, of course.

East Coast Update - 'The Amazing Race 10' - Finish and Philimination


The Pit Stop arrival order:
  1. Tyler/James - won a trip to Mexico
  2. Dustin/Kandice
  3. Rob/Kimberly
  4. Lyn/Karlyn
  5. Erwin/Godwin - Philiminated


A full recap/review will be posted late tonight.

Tonight's 'The Amazing Race' Blogging - 11/19

As usual with the Sunday night programming, The Amazing Race was delayed due to football coverage in this area. I'll be posting the Pit Stop arrival and Philimination in about an hour as the show just started. Late tonight, a full review/recap will be posted.

Get Yer Pants Here - Coming This Week On Letterman (Nov. 20-24)

Late Show with David Letterman
Although it's a somber time - Impressionists Week is done and over - this week's guest list for Letterman is winning me over. Plus, it's Thanksgiving week with all new shows throughout the week, including the holiday. Dave's holiday show usually features bits from the staff and I have to see what they're up to this year!

Here are this week's expected guests on The Late Show with David Letterman:
  • Monday, Nov. 20 - Jerry Seinfeld (what's he up to these days?), DJ Shadow and Q-Tip. (Um, okay to the latter. One thing I love about the show is he often exposes me to music acts with whom I may not be familiar.)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 21 - Chris Elliott, Hugh Jackman and the Nextel Cup Winner. Chris Elliott is old-school Letterman and I always get a kick out of seeing him on the show. As for the Nextel Cup Winner? I haven't a clue. Maybe it's the Annoying Walkie-Talkie King or the Most Obnoxious Cell Phone User In Public Places Queen. We'll see.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 22 - Matthew Broderick, Lupe Fiasco & Jill Scott. Matthew, of course, is starring with Danny DiVito in the new holiday movie Deck the Halls, but I'm once again clueless on the latter two guests. It makes things more interesting that way, don't you think? I enjoy seeing Matthew Broderick on the show... he's always an entertaining guest.
  • Thursday, Nov. 23 (Thanksgiving Day) - Eugene Levy (For Your Consideration) and John Mayer. Eugene Levy is usually a hoot! And, though John Mayer isn't always my musical cuppa tea, he is very popular. As I previously mentioned, I think we can expect some staff bits on this show, too.
  • Friday, Nov. 24 - Oh, the only guest listed is Helen Hunt (Bobby and Mad About You fame). I like seeing her, but I would also guess there's more to the show than solely Helen Hunt. I love surprises.

There, that's the week ahead for The Late Show. Did I ever tell you about the time I stood outside the filming of the show with the masses by the Roseland and excitement ensued?

TV Newsy Bits - Sunday, November 18, 2006

It's Sunday! Of course, you know that I'll be watching tonight's Amazing Race. Did you see the promos? They have the teams in armored tanks. Now, that looks interesting. May the ChoBros rule!

In comments, blog reader Sydney mentioned seeing a TV show promo while watching the most excellent new James Bond movie. The advertised show intrigued her and yes, I can help. I wrote a brief preview of the upcoming My Boys show which will premiere November 28 on TBS (the very funny station). It's one of two new original sitcoms I previewed thanks to screeners from the good folks at Turner Broadcasting. The other show is 10 Items or Less - both innovative and funny. That one will premiere Monday, November 27.

In other TV-related news:
  • I'm tired of hearing about Tomkat's wedding. Make them stop! I'll admit it's a cool castle, though.
  • Sarah Ferguson Begs For Spot on Dancing With the Stars - Do you think Fergie has a chance?
  • FOX Orders Additional Episodes of "Standoff" - I haven't watched this show as of yet, but the premise sounds interesting. Are you watching? Should I check it out?
  • Gordon Ramsey, the ill-tempered chef of Hell's Kitchen, has opened a new restaurant in Manhattan. I'm tempted to make a reservation, but I'm sure it's a bit out of my budget.
  • Can't get enough Amazing Race? Reality News Online has transcribed the latest "Insider" video from the CBS website. Find out what we didn't see on last week's show before we see what we will see on tonight's show!
  • It seems that The Bachelor has been renewed for another season.
  • Save the cheerleader, save the world. (Yeah, that's my new favorite TV tag line.) Not only is tomorrow night's Heroes episode a crucial one, but some new cast announcements are out and about. Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston and George Takei (Sulu from Star Trek) will be added to the cast. Takei will be playing Hiro's father. Perfect! Dang, I love this show.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

'Survivor 13: Cook Islands' - Ep. 9 -or- "Time (to go) in a bottle."

Eleven are left and the jury has its first member. Who will be voted out next?

And, my own added question, aren't we due for a numbers crunch? Remember, the season started with 20 castaways. Normally there are 16, some seasons 18. The finale is scheduled for December 17. We have four weeks and eleven castaways. You do the math. (I'll just go on writing...!)

The show opened on Day 22 looking in on the Raro tribe. Jonathan, recently mutinied from Aitu, was still working, fishing, and making fire in an effort to prove his worth to the new tribe. He now realizes that he made a very bad move by mutinying. "I'm a wandering Jew without a tribe," he said. The other Aitu mutineer, Candice, is fitting in better thanks to her relationship with Adam. Their thing for each other is hitting fling phase now that she's teamed up with him once again.
Over at Aitu, the small Can Do Tribe, Ozzy's attitude has definitely changed. Without Jonathan (in particular) around, he's meshing with the others well. Aitu has become a tribe to be reckoned with, for sure. "We're the underdogs and I'm happy," Ozzy said. Yul also spoke about what a solid bond the tribe has since the mutiny of Candice and Jonathan.

Treemail brought the tribes nautical flags which signify letters of the alphabet, so both tribes went to work studying. The Rewards Challenge itself had the tribes using given coordinates to a huge compass in the sand and two tribe members digging up four treasure chests per tribe (one at a time). After all the chests were collected, they opened them to find nautical flags which they had to use to spell the word "victory."
The agony of defeat
Raro did horribly at the challenge. I don't know who was worse - Jenny and Jonathan almost refusing to work together or Adam and Candice just not working well together at all. Nate, Parvati, and Rebecca just kept cringing on the bench as they watched Aitu work well together and claim victory.

Aitu won a plane ride to a nearby island where they would partake in a local feast called an umu. There would be pork and an alcohol-laden homebrew beverage. They announced they were sending Candice to Exile Island with a "1, 2, 3... Candice" cheer. I know why they're targeting her, but I thought they might have gone for Jonathan this week. I guess they were closer to her all along and still feel betrayed. I realize they have a reason, but my own personal feelings say it's kind of mean.
Yul and his dancing partners
While Candice fussed on Exile Island - "it's horrible when people you like want you to suffer" - Raro was all bummed out (once again) at their camp. The talk turned to ousting Rebecca if they lose Immunity. Rebecca hasn't proved strong in any challenges, nor mental or physical ones. Jonathan has been busting his butt being Mr. Provider and his plan seems to be working. For now it's working, anyway.

The hit of the show was the umu. No, not the emu, but there was a hog! Aitu was greeted by native islanders wearing grass skirts and men in tribal sort of gear. It looked a bit frightening, but soon became reminiscent of the Munchkins leading Dorothy down the yellow brick road. I was just waiting for three of the men to step forward and start singing about the Lollipop Guild.

Two rather large women took a liking to Yul and both bumped and grinded against him, muchA new crush on Yul to his embarrassment. One jumped on him as he fell (see photo). The reward seemed to be the most fun I've ever seen them have and it was a hoot to watch, too. Poor Yul. But, hey, he seemed to have a good time!

The next treemail had a map of the Cook Islands. Again, the tribes studied. The Immunity Challenge had the tribes swimming out to a floating platform, diving for a bundle of island names and swimming them back. They had four members competing as there are only four Aitu members and each retrieved one bag.

Once again, Raro fell apart while Aitu rocketed. They retrieved their island name bundles quickly and placed them right in the puzzle within a minute or two while Raro was just bringing in their last bundle. In a new twist, Raro was given a bottle with a scroll inside. They were directed to bring it to Tribal Council, but warned not to open it - it would be read after the vote was cast.
Parvati looks at the bottle
When I heard the instructions and knew that we had to double an eviction soon, I guessed what it was. Raro tried to guess and I think they knew the possibility of a double castoff, but were afraid to think in that direction. The talk at camp was mainly for a Rebecca eviction, but Adam mentioned that Jenny was getting very untrustworthy and out for herself. Plus, he figured she would target Candice. So, she should be next - more dangerous than Jonathan.

At Tribal Council, Jonathan should learn to shut his mouth. He bragged about catching 22 fish since the day before. I understand he's proud, but I think it would be better to quietly serve up the fish. The votes were cast and Rebecca (the one who's the make-up artist for The View) was voted off unanimously with the exception of her own vote for Jonathan.

Then came the twist. The bottle was opened after Rebecca left. "You've just voted out one member of your tribe, you'll now vote out another." That was it. No time to plot, scheme, or even think much about things. In the second vote, Jenny was voted out. She and Nathan voted for Jonathan, the rest voted for her.

She wasn't a happy camper. In the ending shot as the credits rolled, she just about spit venom. They didn't show Rebecca's parting shot, but I would think she'd be polite.

So now the tribes are a lot more even, five to four. While Jeff hinted there might not be a merge at Tribal Council, I think he may have been saying that just to throw off the contestants.

Another very entertaining episode. Hey, that's two in a row! Let's try again next week!

'Survivor 13: Cook Islands' - East Coast Update - 11/16 - Castoff

Rebecca was voted off with her vote the sole one not for her (Jonathan).

The note: You've just voted out one member of your tribe, you'll now vote out another.

I'll add to this post when the vote is known.

Update: Jenny was the second voted out - 2 votes Jonathan, 4 votes Jenny.

A full review/recap, along with some interesting screencaps of Yul dancing with native women, will be posted late tonight.

'Survivor 13: Cook Islands' - East Coast Update - 11/16 - Immunity

Aitu won Immunity. In a new twist, the losing tribe (Raro) was given a sealed bottle which they must bring to Tribal Council. The cannot open it. It will be opened at TC after the votes have been cast.

'Survivor 13: Cook Islands' - East Coast Update - 11/16 - Reward

Aitu won Reward, sent Candice to Exile Island. They won a plane ride to a feast on a nearby island.

TV Newsy Bits - Thursday, November 16, 2006

It's another very stormy night here - high winds, thunderstorms, flood warnings - but I plan to post East Coast Updates as tonight's Survivor airs here in the NYC area (power and cable TV willing). Reward, Immunity, the boot and any other important happenings will be blogged real time and a review/recap should be posted late this evening. So, if you're West Coast, or just want to outcry an event as you watch, check for those entries. You may have to refresh the blog page or click on the Archive for this week (right sidebar on main page) to see the most recent entry.

In other Bits o' Blog Business, blog reader Sydney (hi!) missed Dancing With The Stars last night. I found that ABC doesn't seem to have the show in its entirety online, but has many video clips posted at their website. I haven't checked YouTube, but would guess clips are also there. If anyone has any other ideas, speak up! She knows who won, but would like to see the show if it's out there anywhere.

I received an email from a gentleman involved with the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston. He knows there are some Grey's Anatomy fans here. (Yay!) Kate Burton, who plays Ellis Grey (Meredith Grey's mother on Grey's Anatomy) will be appearing on stage in the Huntington's production of the play "The Cherry Orchard" from January 5 - February 6. Alas, I don't foresee a Boston trip in my future at that time. But if any of you are in the area and are interested, more details are available here. If you think you might want to go, please let me know! It would make for interesting discussion.

The thunder is getting louder here, so I'll call this an entry. All of those folks camping out in lines for the PlayStation 3 must be getting drenched. Since I can't beat Crash Bandicoot on my plain ol' original PlayStation, I don't see PS3 in my future - a trip to Boston would be more likely.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Best Reruns You Aren't Watching

Homicide: Life on the Street
I'm usually not home on weekdays in the daytime hours. But when I am, I'm bored with a lot of the television programming. Since Ellen DeGeneres has moved to the afternoons here in the NYC area, the morning and noon hour is a bit of a vast wasteland of Jerry Springer and The Maury Show.

Now, nothing against those fine gentlemen - they've both made their mark in their genres and seem successful - but they're just not my cuppa tea, not at all. If I had children, I'd know who the father was and drag queens duking it out can only hold my attention for so long.

So, there I was, channel-flipping today. And there it was. I now have a new must-see 11 AM program on any weekdays I happen to be home. A series which ranks amongst my personal all-time favorites is regularly shown on Superstation WGN (cable). Perfect! And, today, the day I made the discovery, aired one of the most notable episodes from the series. I'm beside myself with the glee. Yes, truly I am!

The series is Homicide: Life on the Street. In my opinion, it remains one of the best police shows ever on television. I have the boxed DVD set of the first two seasons, but it doesn't include the show I (re)watched today. The show enjoyed a six-year run from 1993 through 1999, so my two-year collection is only a taste. Seeing today's show is going to make me hit up the boxed set again, but now I have Homicide fever once again. I may have to tape daily shows on WGN.

Today's episode was "The Hat" with guest star Lily Tomlin. I found her performance as Rose Halligan mesmerizing and chilling. The role garnered her an Emmy nomination and was certainly worthy of winning (although it didn't). Rose was a prim and proper opera fan and voice coach suspected of murdering her husband. Detectives Lewis (Clark Johnson) and Kellerman (Reed Diamond) were assigned to pick up Rose to transport her back to Baltimore for questioning, yet lose her on the way. They take a liking to the unusual, but oh-so-respectable murder suspect. After all, she could be a great aunt. She couldn't be a cold-blooded killer, could she?

Ah, but yes, she certainly could be. Rose escaped from them with the goal to return the hat of the woman who had an affair with her husband. It was the hat she wore throughout the episode. Well, that is until the end, when her friend and reason for killing her husband wore the hat - as she lay dead on the floor while Rose sat singing an opera tune outside on a porch swing.

This is one of the finest episodes of that season, but I never saw a "bad" episode of the show. And, it's one of the best reruns on daytime television that I haven't been watching. But I will be from now on.