Tuesday, February 28, 2006

'The Amazing Race' Season Premiere: East Coast Update Arrival/Philimination

This is just a quick east coast airing update especially for those in other time zones who like show night spoilers. A full review will be posted tomorrow due to a looooong night of TV watching!

Teams arrived at the Pit Stop in this order:
1. Jeremy and Eric (won $10,000 each)
2. BJ and Tyler
3. Wanda and Desiree
4. Dave and Lori (I adore these two!)
5. Lake and Michelle
6. Mojo - Monica and Joe
7. Ray and Yolanda
8. Fran and Barry
9. Dani and Danielle
10. Joni and Lisa

11 and Philiminated: John and Scott

Monday, February 27, 2006

TV Newsy Bits - Feb. 27, 2006

Bits! Bits! Two bits! Four bits! You name it!

Here are the entertainment/television related newsy bits links I found out on the web today:

'Apprentice 5' Debut or "How Many Mensa Members Does it Take to...?"

Well, maybe I'll be more faithful about watching The Apprentice now that it's in a new time slot away from Survivor and C.S.I. That's my thinking, anyway. The last few seasons I've been hit or miss on the show. If I didn't tape it, no big deal. Sometimes I taped it and never watched. Since there are no favorites on my viewing slate in the Monday at 9 PM slot, as long as my interest stays, I'll be watching. Oh. And blogging about it, too!

The first shows are always a bit hard to report on as I'm not sure of all of the candidate names, so here's some quick impressions on those who seemed to stand out in the premiere:
  1. Tarek - This guy reminds me of Dr. Will from Big Brother 2, perhaps not as quick on the uptake. His claim to fame is that he's a Mensa member. Ohhh, I'm so impressed, aren't you? I was liking him at the start, but he didn't come through in the end.
  2. Lenny - The Russian who knows East Brunswick, NJ. I think he's going to be very interesting to watch. He has his own ideals. They'll probably work against him in the long run.
  3. Summer - Lots of hair. Not a team player.
  4. Allie - A Harvard business school grad, blonde, cute and smart. I like her. She has spunk.
  5. Lee - I think this one is perhaps not polished enough to make it through to the end, but he's honest. That could be to his own detriment.
  6. Brent - Oh. My. God. Where did they get this guy? I know he's an attorney, but...! Yes, he had some good ideas, but the way he presents himself and his ideas are a turn off.
  7. Sean - The Brit. Or, at least the accent. Perhaps not strictly British. I suppose I could check the site to jolt my memory. His accent seemed to impress Allie and the female clientele. We'll see.

Yes, there are other candidates; I could rattle off some names. But those are the ones at the forefront of tonight's episode and the ones who made either good or bad impressions on me.

Trump chose Tarek and Allie to be project managers, then had them do a schoolyard pick of their teams. The last chosen was Brent who commented he was used to it from school athletic events. I'm no armchair psychologist, for sure. But I think his lack of personal self-esteem may be why he turns to being so overbearing and egotistical. He really overdoes things and practically screams for attention, then wonders why he's ignored.

In my opinion, the task assigned was a bit "eh." The teams had a Goodyear blimp each to design the marquee pushing customers to Sam's Club where they would sell or upgrade as many memberships as they could. The only cool thing about the task was that I'm actually familiar with the Sam's Club in East Brunswick, NJ -- one of the ones chosen for the show.

Allie's team named themselves "Synergy" after striking down Brent's suggestion of "Killer Instinct." (Again, I ask... where did they get him?) Tarek's team decided on "Gold Rush." In the task itself, I could see that Synergy had more of a solid plan. They played off the Sam Club slogan "Big Deal" for the blimp marquee, then set up at the front of the store with free manicures and such. They snagged the customers the second they walked in and their approach was very upbeat. The customers fell for it (and for Sean's accent). Brent first wanted them to offer haircuts, but the women voted him down. It turned into the manicures, so technically his idea played a wee bit into things. I guess he planted the seed for the thought process. I'll give him that much.

Meanwhile, Gold Rush really had no solid plan. The blimp told people to stop today, but didn't really indicate what was going on, if anything. They gave away gift bags with no gifts in them. Heck, instead of the 485 Sam's Club tote bags they handed out, they could have made it 200 and had cheapie gift stuff in 'em. Summer, a restaurant owner, was asked to call local restaurants. She made one call and not an incredibly into it call at all. Then she gave up.

Trump said something about changing the team and how they would rid themselves of the team members they didn't want. Then it cut to who was sent up in the blimp. Synergy chose Brent and one of the women. Gold Rush sent Summer and Lenny up. Supposedly Lenny was sent because he knew East Brunswick.

In the end, Synergy sold 43 memberships while Gold Rush sold 40. To the boardroom with Mr. Mensa and his team! Before the boardroom, most seemed to agree that Summer wasn't a team player, didn't do the one thing asked of her and should be fired. Lee was a bit of a holdout -- he felt that the project manager (Tarek) holds the ultimate responsibility, that they didn't have a creative plan, etc. He told Tarek his thoughts, but Tarek was bound and determined that Summer should go and asked Lee to be quiet in the boardroom. Lenny had a talk with Summer telling her that they're both Tarek's targets and that she should be quiet in the boardroom.

Sure enough, when it came to choosing who would go to the boardroom with him, Tarek chose Summer and Lenny. But, because Lee didn't keep quiet and spoke his mind, he took him in as a third. In a talk between George, Carolyn and Donald, they seemed to have their minds set on firing Summer. Tarek almost blew it for himself with his childish choosing of Lenny and even moreso by selecting Lee because he didn't back him up. But, in the end, Summer blew it for herself by interrupting Trump and insisting on talking when he was almost ready to fire Tarek.

"Summer, you're fired."

Trump told Tarek that Summer saved his ass prompting Lenny to say, "But not for long." Thoughts of the Wicked Witch saying, "I'll get you and your little doggie, too" rushed through my mind when he said it. Once along in the boardroom, Trump turned to George and Carolyn and said, "Tarek's highly overrated." Now, c'mon Donald! It was you who rated him as such! Mensa doesn't always mean common sense, nor people skills! Sheesh!

Overall I think this season's off to a good start despite the "eh" task. It's definitely off to a better time slot!

Did you watch? What did you think?

Actor Dennis Weaver Dead at 81

This is quite a streak of actors who impacted my childhood passing away over the weekend. In today's news, it was reported that actor Dennis Weaver died this past Saturday.

When I was a young child, my father's favorite television show was Gunsmoke. Of course, back then most homes only had one television (if any at all), so watching it was the only choice. Whenever any of us hurt a knee or ankle growing up, we ended up being called "Chester" after Weaver's character on the show. I called someone with a broken toe Chester a year or so ago. All I got was a strange look. I guess it's an age thing.

This obituary really delves into Weaver's accomplishments. Dennis Weaver was much more than your typical actor in Hollywood. He will be missed, but his work and ideals will live on.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

TV Newsy Bits Weekend Edition - Feb. 25/26

Although there are three passings to report this weekend, there are also some other entertainment and television related newsy bits I found while carousing the web.

So, what's the buzz? Here goes:

RNO: Ruth Marie ('Survivor: Exile Island') Interview

Reality News Online has its Ruth Milliman interview up at this link. Yeah, more of "I was betrayed!" and "Sally outplayed me!", but a few new tidbits o' insight into things.

Here's an excerpt:

RNO: Considering the dire food situation your tribe was in, did the fact that Sally lost the fishing spear ever come up in discussions of who should be voted out?

Ruth-Marie: Prior to Misty’s departure, it certainly was discussed that Sally was going to be the one going home and part of the reason was due to the lost spear. In the game of Survivor, you are always looking for a reason to send people home. However, it was discussed that Misty “underperformed” a bit in the challenges that week therefore providing an opportunity for Sally to be saved.

Aha! So, Sally's losing of the spear hasn't gone unnoticed! I think it may still come into play in voting, but the Boys Club mentality is dooming her even more. What do you think?

Fare Thee Well, Don Knotts and Darren McGavin

I was saddened to hear that Don Knotts passed away Friday at the age of 81. There are many obituaries regarding him out and about the web, such as this one or even this one. To be honest, I didn't know he had won five Emmy Awards. All I know is that Don Knotts was a brilliant actor who created the memorable role of Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show, a character I loved in my childhood days. No one else could have done what Knotts did with the role. He was the total Barney Fife package from the sight gags to the voice, he embodied Barney. Some years later I liked what he did with the Furley character on Three's Company, but in my mind he'll always be the superb Barney Fife.

Darren McGavin also passed away this weekend. He was 83. For me, his most memorable work was that on Kolchak, the Night Stalker. I loved that show and he was Kolchak all the way! Obituaries on the web for McGavin can be found here. Yes, he was perhaps more famous for other roles such as playing the father on The Christmas Story, but for me it was the Kolchak role I'll remember the most in my sometimes rather unusual television viewing habits.

A sad weekend indeed, rest in peace.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Getting Psyched for 'The Amazing Race'

Tuesday! Tuesday! Two hours of The Amazing Race! I'm so ready for this season, aren't you? No more "safe" race; it's logging the second largest mileage count in series history! Woohoo!

Tuned In: 9th running of 'Amazing Race' returns show to familiar format:
"It's the most number of miles we've done in that short an amount of time," Keoghan said. "People clearly wanted the international element. They missed it. The places are as much the stars of the show as the people themselves. That was illustrated when you look at season eight. People were missing that exotic element, the fish-out-of-water element. That is a huge hook."

The 11 teams racing for the $1 million prize immediately head for foreign soil, flying out of Denver to Sao Paulo, Brazil, and along the way, nicknames for contestants quickly emerge: "Ken and Barbie," "the Frat boys," "the Hos," "Scott Peterson," "the hippies," and "the Frosties" for a team of prone-to-screaming sisters with frosted hair (they're hilarious).
Then there are several articles in the Australia online news pages, like this one. I find it very interesting that the same series which starts here on Tuesday starts there on Thursday. Not even enough time for jet lag, eh? Here's a tidbit from that one:
Keoghan says the distance of 96,540km is the secondest-longest Race in the history of the show, which throws a huge array of challenges at the competitors.

"It has a dramatic impact on the teams and we have an abundance of fresh locations this season, everywhere from Russia to the Middle East."

A seasoned traveller, Keoghan says culture shock and jetlag all lead to friction and tension during the race.
So... what are you doing on Tuesday night?

'Survivor: Exile Island': Ruth Marie on 'The Early Show'

Her torch snuffed on Survivor: Panama - Exile Island, Ruth Marie Milliman made her appearance on this morning's The Early Show. The interview can be found at CBS News Shocking Betrayal On 'Survivor' February 24, 2006 11:35:15 Although she was even more betrayed by many who've been booted on the show, she seems to understand some of how things went down the way they did. An excerpt:
As for the question of who was to blame, Ruth Marie says she simply got outplayed.

"I think Sally out-gamed me," she said. "Sally wanted it so bad and she worked Austin, as you should. Austin kind of went back on me just a little bit. But we can't really blame him for keeping the 27-year-old. We're going to cut him some slack on that."
Another interesting tidbit in the interview is that even though it appeared to us that Terry was keeping his hidden idol find a big secret, the others most likely knew:
Another big development last night was when Terry, on Exile Island, unearthed the idol, which will grant him security up through the final four players. Ruth Marie says Terry was evasive, but she figured out his news immediately.

"I knew for certain he had the idol," she told Syler. "I think, probably, everybody else did, too. It was too much gibber jabber the way he was explaining it. And no one was asking him directly, so I sort of sensed that everybody kind of knew. I could be wrong because I didn't discuss it with anyone. But I was pretty certain of it."

Today's TV Newsy Bits - Feb. 24, 2006

Bits! Bits! Get yer bits here! Your television and entertainment related newsy bits links I found out on the web, that is.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

'Survivor: Panama - Exile Island' Ep. 4 -or- "Super Terry, his Talisman and the Psychotic Joke"

I know Survivor has its own titles for each episode. But I always prefer to name the episodes myself. After all, I'm the audience! The very least I can expect to get out of the show is to make my own episode title.

So, tonight's show is titled "Super Terry, his Talisman and the Psychotic Joke."

13 are left. Who will be voted out tonight?

The show opened with La Mina at Day 9. Sally was feeling like a fifth wheel, isolated from the alliance which makes up the rest of the tribe. Dan, Terry, Nick and Austin approach Ruth Marie to make "kind of a fifth person" in their alliance. That's how Austin put it, at least. Right off the bat, it's not a strong fifth. No, not a fifth of alcohol! That would knock the faltering tribe off the map!

Over at Casaya, Bruce, Shane and Aras were gathering tasty escargot for a lovely feast. And, then it starts -- a brouhaha! Shane and Aras question Danielle's work ethic around the camp. She points to a sleeping Bobby in defense of her own actions and Cirie looked like she was going to burst into spontaneous laughter. Cirie decides it's best to stay out of all the drama and just keep working; if the previously established alliance self-implodes, it's all that much better for her.

The Rewards Challenge involved swimming out to and diving down to unclip huge puzzle pieces, lugging them up and over a retaining wall puzzle ring one by one, then assembling the puzzle. Casaya won! Oh. I should mention what they won, huh? It's a brand new spiffy outhouse! With it, fresh towels, soap, a loofah and 5 gallons of fresh water.

They also won the right to choose someone from La Mina to go to Exile Island. They made the obvious choice (which may come back to bite at least some of them) -- Terry. Like Bruce, he's the leading man type and the strong player.

The Casaya Brouhaha continued as Aras and Shane thought the towels and other things should be stored in the spiffy new outhouse rather than using it for a toilet. Bobby immediately closed himself in there to take a dump. I was surprised they didn't argue whether the water should be used for washing or drinking. Cirie kept smiling and, in a confessional, she called Shane a "Psychotic Joke." Yes, that's part of my title. I thought it necessary, don't you?

Wait! Over on Exile Island, Terry's putting together all the clues for finding the hidden Immunity Idol ... he's looking ... he's digging ... he's digging... he's got it! It's actually a talisman rather than a full-sized Idol. And, with it, there's a note saying it's good up to and through the Final Four! Woohoo! So, there's the Talisman for my title. Super Terry? Soon, I promise, soon.

Back over at La Mina, the tribe is falling apart. They can't start or keep a fire going. No food; can't catch fish no matter how long Nick tries. They fuss. They lament. They miss their Super Terry. (There.)

Ah, Immunity is back up for grabs. Neither Terry nor Bruce give any hints about the hidden Idol when Jeff mentions it. The challenge (see image) had them hooked in pairs, walking on planks over water, filling buckets, bringing them to a huge bucket filler person while another sat on a balance scale doohickey (technical term). As the bucket filler person filled the huge bucket, the sitting on the balance person rose into the air with the object being to raise high enough to spring the tribe flag. Have I confused you yet? If not, I can keep going with the technical terms!

Casaya won, so it will be La Mina at Tribal Council. (We know who's safe, we know!)

Then it starts. Sally knows she's a target for the vote and fairly calmly points out how incredible she did at the challenge in an attempt to show them she's someone they should want to keep. Both women know it's a Boys Club and, while they don't campaign against each other, they each campaign for themselves. In the end, Super Terry not only has the talisman, he has the power of suggestion. He said that Dan was the only one to shake hands with Ruth Marie and they should keep Sally instead. And, so it went.

At Tribal Council, Sally stayed and Ruth Marie was voted off. Dan? Yep, he kept his word to Ruth Marie and voted for Sally. The vote was 4 to 2. Sally and Ruth Marie voted for each other, very politely.

The tribe has spoken, Ruth Marie. It's time for you to leave.

I've groused in other entries that I was finding this season a bit lackluster. Well, tonight's episode got me in my Survivor fan mode once again. It's about time!

What did you think of the show? Has the season started yet for you?

Today's TV Newsy Bits - Feb. 23, 2006

Here are the television and entertainment related Newsy Bits links which caught my attention while I frolicked on the web today:

'American Idol' East Coast Update - Booted

Out of the running are:
  • Becky O'Donohue
  • Stevie Scott
  • Bobby Bennett
  • Patrick Hall

'Survivor' East Coast Update - Tribe Has Spoken

Ruth Marie was voted out 4-2 (Sally).

'Survivor' East Coast Update - Immunity

Casaya wins Immunity.

East Coast Update 'Survivor' - Hidden Idol Found

Terry has the hissen Immunity Idol and the note said it would keep him safe up to and through the Final Four!

* 9:13 PM ET Note: Hidden. That's what happens when I take notes, watch TV, update blog, load FTP and update web page while glancing at the other TV running 'American Idol' and taping it. Maybe the idol hissed a bit, too.

'Survivor: Exile Island' East Coast Update - Reward/Exile

Casaya won the Reward Challenge (bathroom stuff) and chose to exile Terry from La Mina to Exile Island.

Tonight's 'Survivor' Blogging Schedule (Feb. 23)

Once again, as important events on the show occur (deaths, who goes to Exile Island, any hidden Idol finding, reward challenge, immunity challenge and the boot)... I'll be slapping up quick details here. If you're on the West Coast and like East Coast airing show night spoilers, this is the place for you.

Within moments after an entry here, blog entry links will be added to my Jackie's Survivor Blog/Web Links Reference

There isn't an immediate way to get notice of an entry, but you can check here or there during the time the show airs in the east. A hint -- sometimes the new entries don't show immediately on the main blog page, but if you hit the February archive in the sidebar, it will show.

Sometime after the show (hopefully before 11 PM ET), I'll be posting a full recap and would love to know your thoughts about the episode!

* West Coast 'American Idol' fans who want East Coast spoilers -- after I post the 'Survivor' boot, I'll check my tape and post the 'American Idol' boots

Survivor fans ready?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Blogging 'American Idol' - It's the 12 Dudes, Dawg

Okay, it's supposed to be the Boys' Night. So, guess what? They're recapping the girls from last night. Okay, I watched the show; it's too late to vote for them. Get on with the male songsters! Sheesh!

Here I sit with keyboard on lap in anticipation. These blog notes are typed as I watch the show and posted to the blog immediately when the show ends, so please forgive any typos or dancing cows.

Finally, Ryan's introducing the guys. And, now the judges. Simon thinks there's potential. Oh, let's watch their journey to Hollywood. @@ <--- my patented eyeroll. Hopefully all will get started after this commercial break. I was very impressed by the gals last night, so my appetite has been whetted to see what the guys bring to the table. Oh, my... this block of commercials is neverending.

Why is there a tire in the table in the Red Room?

Patrick Hall is first up. He chose "Come to my Window" as his song. Darned if I know whose song that was. I'll look it up next commercial break. Hmmm... I do know the song. Melissa Etheridge? He's doing it technically okay, I think. But, it's not doing much for me. He sounds like any so-so boy band singer, nothing spectacular. I liked his last Hollywood audition stuff better. Randy - Not your best, but good. Paula - Stick to what you do best. You're an amazing performance. Simon - You looked uncomfortable. Average performance. I agree with Simon. This song tonight by him wasn't that hot. 1 866 IDOLS 01

David Radford, that cute kiddie crooner, is up next. His song choice is "A Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Queen. Dang, he looks like he's crooning to a rock song. He's got kind of an Elvis thing goin' on. I like him. I doubt he'll win it all, but he's a fun performer. Randy thought it was terrible. He panned him! Paula disagrees with Randy. Not her favorite, but he was true to who he is. Simon thought it was a bit of a joke. He thinks the audience at home will like him, but he should take himself more seriously. 1 866 IDOLS 02

[I think poor David looked a bit rattled at the criticism.]

Bucky Covington hits the stage next. His song is "Simple Man" by Lynyrd Skynyrd. It sounds like a good choice for him. Ah, he does it well -- it's perfectly suited for his talents! I don't think he's as good as Bo Bice in the genre, but this is a strong performance. Judges? What say you? Randy thinks he sang too hard, pushed too much, but cool. Paula, of course, is nurturing. Simon? "Thousands of bars with someone like Bucky..." The others defend him.
1 866 IDOLS 03

Ah, commercials. I wonder how much time costs during the show as the ratings have been so high... but, when will they end? If I weren't blogging live, this show would only take an hour zapping the commercials away!

Will Makar, the Peter Brady Lookin' Kid, is heading to the stage. Heehee, he sings "I Want You Back" bu the Jackson Five. Um. Rats. I'm not all that impressed. He's cutsie, for sure. But cute will only keep him in for so long. He'll get the teenybopper vote, but this wasn't a strong performance. Randy is favorable, he was entertained. Paula says he's adorable. She thinks it's Bobby Brady... no, PETER! Simon gives a reality check. He said vocally that it was completely and utterly average. Hey, I agree. 1 866 IDOLS 04

"Where there's a Will, there's a Sway" -- Ryan's line, not mine.

Jose "Sway" Penala goes for "Reasons" by Earth, Wind and Fire. He does the falsetto well. Now, midsong, he had to strain for a few notes. But, I think he may get a good reaction. He's not average, as Simon would put things. Randy -- very happy, congrats! Paula -- Amazing. Simon disagrees. He thinks it was a pimpy third rate copy of Earth, Wind and Fire. 1 866 IDOLS 05

Chris Daughtry performs "Wanted Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi... cool! Ah, good start. I think it's the strongest performance so far. Now we're talkin'! Judges reaction? Randy -- Really, really good. Great recording voice. Paula -- wowed. Simon -- very good choice of song, for the first time tonight I'm hearing someone with potential. Great recording voice. Work on the charisma! 1 866 IDOLS 06

The youngest contestant, Kevin Covais, is up next. His song is "One Last Cry" by Brian McNight. I'm not sure a ballad is the best follow up to Chris's strong rock performance. A very nice voice. I think he sang it well. Randy -- honestly talented; that was the bomb, man! Paula - you make me beam. (Reckless abandon?) Simon pans him. "Vocally, it was excruciating." I disagree.
1 866 IDOLS 07

Gedeon McKinney is ready to take the stage. He's going to sing "Shout" - let's see if he can perform. He's doing it well. I could see him on the stage in the 50s doing this. I think this is a very solid performance for him. Randy liked the song choice and likes it all. Paula - A great surprise. (Paula actually captured a bit of my thought about seeing him in the early rock star setting. That's scary. I'm not a Paula!) Simon - It was like watching the line up for the Chippendales. Simon doesn't like his smile, either. Me? I'm pleasantly surprised. Gedeon hasn't been on my favorites list, but he moved up a bit with "Shout."
1 866 IDOLS 08

Elliott Yamin goes up next. "If You Really Love Me" by Stevie Wonder is his song. He says he gets karaoke requests for it all the time. That will go over big with Simon. He's singing it well enough. It's an okay performance, but will it win the hearts and calls of fan? Quite possibly. Randy loves it. Paula gushes. Simon -- potentially best male vocalist they ever had.
1 866 IDOLS 09

Bobby Bennett will sing Barry Manilow's "Copacabana." Dang, he's reminding me of a twisted Jackie Gleason/Barry Manilow Nightmare. He's singing it well enough, but he's so darn busy through it all! Randy -- More entertaining than vocal. Paula - Entertainment and great showmanship. Simon -- Pans him. Complete nightmare. Umm, weird that I used the word "nightmare" before Simon did, but not in the same context. 1 866 IDOLS 10

Ace Young sings "Father Figure" by George Michael. Very nice, although I don't really care for the song selection all that much. I think he nailed it, though. Kind of mesmerizing. Randy - worked the room and can really sing! Paula -- monotone gushing with a little helium hello. Simon - Not the best vocal so far, you have the X Factor. He likes the choice of song. The judges seem to think that amongst the guys, Ace has it aced. 1 866 IDOLS 11

Taylor Hicks, the one I find most intriguing, is up next. Ah, he's going to sing "Levon" - a personal favorite of mine from the early Elton John days! A good performance, not as unique as I was expecting from Taylor. Solid enough, though. Randy - Not perfect song choice for him, but he has it goin' on. While Randy and Paula gush, Simon looks very pensive. Simon's up... says he was wrong about Taylor not making the finals. He's interesting. More positive feedback about Taylor than anyone else on the show. Heehee, this guy is a hoot! I love him even if that wasn't my favorite performance. 1 866 IDOLS 12

The voting sarts at 10 PM ET and last for two hours. (Gee, how does that get handled on the West Coast?)

My favorites or ones that I'm sure will make the cut? Chris, Taylor, Ace, David, Kevin, Elliott, Jose.

The cut? William Makar and Bobby Bennett or perhaps Patrick Hall. Maybe Gedeon. I don't know

Looking in on the "Official" 'Survivor' Blog

I was reading through this season's 'Survivors Strike Back' blog at the CBS website. I read last season's version on and off, mostly to get giggles from Coby's entries.

Who's the Blogstar there so far this season? I have to give Brian of Guatemala that title! First, he writes well. Believe it or not, some of these ex-castaways really need editors although most come off as functionally literate. (Phew!) What I enjoy about Brian's entries is that it shows how much insight he really has into the show. Now, I had picked the "Platinum Kid" as solid material for the Final Four last season. We all know how that worked out! But, he's got such knowledge of what works well and what doesn't that he could have gone much further had circumstances been a bit different.

Back to the blog -- Brian obviously is a bit smitten and has something for Survivor women in cowboy hats. :::snicker::: A quote from one of his entries:

Misty, I thought you were awesome, and I’m so sorry to see you go out so early. You fell into the Brianna-Varela-Memorial-Beautiful-Brunette-With-a-Cowboy-Hat-Third-Voted-Off trap.

Heh. Check out the blog over there -- it's got Cindy, Bobby Jon and more posting their thoughts on this season. Need I mention they all think Shane is a nutcase?

Today's TV Newsy Bits - Feb. 22, 2006

I apologize for not posting Newsy Bits for the past two days, but these will catch us all up to date! Well, at least with the television/entertainment related newsy bit links that caught my attention, that is...

My First Blogcritics Entry Is Up

I recently joined in on Blogcritics -- "A sinister cabal of superior bloggers on music, books, film, popular culture, technology, and politics." My first article is basically an edited version of my previous entry here on this blog -- Blogcritics.org: American Idol - Girls' Night Up. The real difference between the two articles is that I wrote the one posted here as I watched the show with keyboard on my lap. Yeah, that's as close as a laptop as I get. Sigh. The Blogcritics one I touched up to make things consistently past tense, perhaps with a bit less spontaneous commenting. Oh... and I fixed any typos as what I post here while live blogging tends to have a few.

Why am I doing this? Well, inevitably, for more exposure. Plus, it's interesting. I have someone looking over my work and editing. I've been so used to being my own editor and typing in train of thought that this is bound to change my style. Or not! ;-)

Will this change my posting entries here? Nuh-uh! Although I have been a bit behind a few days -- I will be resuming TV Newsy Bits today after a two day absence -- that's been more due to the Olympics and reruns rather than any other factors. Dang, it's bad when I'm not excited about what I see on my TV screen!

Oh. Tonight's Lost is a repeat of the pilot episode. I recommend it for anyone who hasn't seen it, but I think I've watched it at least four times already. I'll be blogging the "Boys' Night on American Idol."

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Blogging 'American Idol' - The 12 Girls

"No more crying cowboys, no more Brittenum twins."

It's Girls Night Out on American Idol. The top twelve girls are performing tonight -- two will be voted out on Thursday night. The boys (boys?) will sing tomorrow night.

When Ryan asked, Simon claimed he hasn't gotten any criticism, that he's been defending Ryan. Paula said she's impressed with this season. Randy thinks a boy will win this season. Is it a ploy to get the girls psyched?

Flashbacks to the auditions and other related drama. Yawn.

Mandisa is up first. She said that she didn't hear Simon's "fat" comment until she viewed the show at home. "Never" by Heart is her song. She wants to show "sisters can rock, too." Hmm... the outfit looks a bit like a red silk camisole with black lace. Eep! Thankfully she has black gaucho pants and a jacket thingee over it. Performance? I liked it a lot. She has a very strong voice. Randy overall favoring. Paula - "phenomenal." Simon says hi and asks how she is. He says it wasn't perfect but unbelieveable personality. "I think we'll see you through to the finals at the end of the show." 1 866 IDOLS 01

Oh, geeze, Kellie Pickler is crying again. Is she going to spend this season bawling? "How Far" by Martina McBride. She's dressed rather simply. Really not for me. I guess she's okay, but I'm not hearing anything really special. Randy -- thinks it was good. Paula - unpretentious, no diva factor, has likeability factor. Simon thinks she did well. I dunno. They're focusing more on her personality and all rather than the voice. Let's not set a precedent there, judges. 1 866 IDOLS 02

Becky O'Donohue is going to the stage. She's really a very pretty young woman. Her song is "Because the Night" by Patti Smith. It was the first CD she ever owned. What's that wrinkling her nose bit she does? Is that supposed to be sultry or sexy? Performance is good, at least I think so. That nose/forehead wrinkling has to go, though. Randy loves it. He thinks she does the whole thing well. Paula, of course, is favorable but mentions some notes were a bit off. Somon says better than he expected. Visually a 10, voice of a 6 1/2. He says it was okay, but some of the girls in the group are great. 1 866 IDOLS 03

Ayla Brown has to be at least a half foot taller than Ryan Seacrest. I think she's very well-poised for her age (17). "Reflection" by Christina Aguilar is her song. Hmm. I personally don't like the song choice. She is doing it fine. Whoops, a bad note. Overall, she's putting a lot into it. Let's see what the judges say. Randy was pleasantly surprised. Aight. Paula agrees. Simon -- a hard worker. He thinks there's a limit to her voice; he saw emotion. (Remember, he had called her robotic before.) 1 866 IDOLS 04

Paris Bennett. I thank the heavens her singing voice is not like her speaking voice -- kinda like Daffy Duck on helium. Ohhh... she's going to sing "Midnight Train to Georgia" by Gladys Knight and the Pips. Now, there's a song I love. Um. I'm not thrilled by her performance. She's jumping up and down too much. Her hair is fluffy and bouncy, too. The song isn't supposed to be that upbeat. Randy was blown away. Paula thinks she's her idol. Simon loves her, too. Oh, my. Hmmm... I liked her other songs so far this season, but her performance of this song really didn't do it for me. It was like putting "Midnight Train to Georgia" to the tune of "Play That Funky Music"... or something. She is a cutie, though. I'll forgive her for going disco on the song. 1 866 IDOLS 05

Stevie Scott, trained in opera @@, thinks she's very unique. She's singing an opera song "To Where You" Are originally sung by Josh Groban. Her voice is good. I'm not pleased so much with the song selection. Boring, but I think she was technically good. Randy daydreamed. Good. It wasn't just me. Paula says nice stuff, blah blah blah. Simon disagrees with Paula. He claims an utter mess. He's being very rough on her. "I will sing the songs which will make America happy." It may be too late. In my predictions, I called her as out. Let's see.
1 866 IDOLS 06

Ryan's not AS cheesy as in previous seasons.

Brenna Gethers is next. Her personality really turns me off. She will sing Stevie Wonder's "You Are The Sunshine of My Life." Started a bit flat. Maybe I'm tone deaf? I think she's, as the judges say, pitchy. Hmm. Is my dislike of her personality affecting my thoughts about her singing? Randy not all that impressed, said she chose a safe song. Simon defends her personality and says horrible, completely and utterly horrible. Oh, Simon , don't encourage her to bring the claws out. Let her bad self just get voted on out. Please. I want her to "gether" her bags and go home.
1 866 IDOLS 07

Heather Cox. Now, I like her personality as opposed to Brenna Gethers. "When You Tell Me That You Love Me" as sung by last year's Idols. Well, um. It's okay. I guess. I'm not blown away. Nice note at the end. Randy wasn't slayed. Ah, neither was I. Paula agrees with him. Simon says it's a forgettable performance. I agree. 1 866 IDOLS 08

Melissa McGhee is going to sing Faith Hill's "When the Lights Go Down." Another song choice which far from thrills me. I'm not thrilled at all. Enough. She can stop. It's not that she's horrible. It's just not doing anything for me. Randy... some pitch problems and came together in the middle. He says not amazing. Paula calls it a shining moment ofr her. Amazing. Simon says she had been overshadowed by the bigger personalities. She pointed out that it's the first time she's actually sung on the show. 1 866 IDOLS 09

Lisa Tucker. Her song is "I'm Changing" by Jennifer Holiday. Ohhh... I'm impressed. This kid has got it! She performs without overdoing the performance (my problem with Paris tonight) and has a tremendous voice. Yay! Best performance of the night! Judges...? Randy was very impressed. Paula purple prosed her, but ended up saying she's a star. Simon was very favorable!
1 866 IDOLS 10

Kinnik Sky is up. Her song is "Get Here" by Oleta Adams. Okay. I think she's singing it well, strong and on key. A good performance. Randy thinks the middle was rough. He gives it a 6. Now, it wasn't my favorite song choice, but I thought she sang it well enough. Paula thought performance was powerful, good showmanship. Simon says her problem was the incredible performances from such younger girls. It was a caberet performance according to him.
1 866 IDOLS 11

Katharine McPhee is up. She still reminds me of Valerie Bertinelli. Her song is "Since I Fell For You" originally sung by Barbra Streisand. Oh, nice. Her movements are a bit jerky, but I think it's a fantastic performance. Paula is up and dancing, so... Randy says wow. He thinks it was great! Paula is happy. Simon puts her as the best of the "four really good vocalists." Spot on, Simon!
1 866 IDOLS 12

The votes should be for the contestant you think was the best. By the time I post this entry, the lines should be open. They will be open for two hours.

My predictions for voted off tonight? Stevie Scott and (hopefully) Brenna Gethers. Am I wrong?

My favorite performance of the night? Lisa Tucker with Katharine McPhee as a runner up.

Jackie OUT.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

TV Newsy Bits Weekend Edition (Feb. 18-19, 2006)

Brr! Though the weather outside is chillin', I'm here to warm things up with the television/entertainment related newsy bits links I found while seeking warmth on the web. Oh. And, just to let you know, warmth by a fireplace is better than the computer monitor!

Are We There Yet? I Want My 'Amazing Race'!

Oh, I'm so looking forward to this season of 'The Amazing Race.' Last season was okay; it kept me sort of kind of entertained. But, it wasn't the thrilling 'Amazing Race' I've encountered in past seasons! The new season premieres a week from this coming Tuesday and I'll be anxiously awaiting it here. I've already taken a closer look at each of the teams and poked around for what I can find on the web. I'm ready! If you're a big 'TAR' fan and you don't want to muddle through the blog for my 'Amazing Race' entries, they're all listed for your convenience at 'Amazing Race 9' Blog Entries.

In the meantime, here is some Amazing Race related "schtuff" --

THE REAL RACE Australia - Inspired by the amazing race, a luxury adventure tour that will revolutionize the way people travel... -- um, no. I'll pass, thank you. (Although it sure sounds spiffy keen.)

Fame & Fortune: Uchenna and Joyce Agu -- An interview with Joyce and Uchenna from 'The Amazing Race 7' -- Very interesting read. I had forgotten how much I really liked these two.

New York Post Online Edition: entertainment -- Need registration to review the whole article, but it goes into the actual cost of running the race out of your own pocket using TAR7 as its basis. An excerpt: "Between planes, trains, automobiles, rickshaws, boats, horse-drawn carriages, lodging, and travel visas each "Amazing Race" fan would have to shell out around $11,000 to run the 30-day, 40,000 mile course around the world with stops in South America, Africa, India, Europe and the Caribbean."

The Amazing Race: Here We Go, Baby, Off to Win a Million Bucks! - TV.com -- Not a heck of a lot there yet, but a few destination spoilers.

TARflies Times: a place for fans of The Amazing Race -- Always a great site to visit once the race is up and, well, running. They didn't like last season, though!

The Amazing Race 6 - The Official Site of Jonathan Baker and Victoria Fuller -- Eww! Jonathon likes BJ & Tyler, Jeremy & Eric, Ray & Yolanda and Lake & Michelle. Hmmm... if memory serves, I thought (with dread) that one of the couples would be Baker-ish. Eww.

The 12 'American Idol' Guys - Who Will Go Home?

In my last entry, I focused on the girls/women in the 'American Idol' Top 24. They will sing on Tuesday night and the guys will sing on Wednesday's show. Now, I'm finding it hard to call this group either men or boys. With the women, the age variance isn't such a big deal. But, with the guys, it looks like grown men are competing with young boys. I actually like this whole group for different reasons. (As long as the Brittenum Twins are nowhere in it!) Will the show fans separate the men from the boys on Thursday night's result show? Will age matter? Will fan bases rule the voting? I guess we'll just have to wait, huh...

My thoughts? This is going to be a toughie for me. Unlike their female counterparts, there isn't even one I outright dislike due to personality. So, let's get it on...

Ace Young: Will be in the Twelve Finalists. Not my favorite, but the online buzz seems to be liking him a lot.

Bobby Bennett: He's only 19? I thought he was older. Alas, I don't believe he'll be in the finals.

Gedeon McKinney: Although I think he's very talented, don't think he'll be amongst the Treasured Twelve slots.

Jose "Sway" Penala: He seems to "sway" judges, but will he sway the voting public? I don't think so.

Bucky Covington: I like him. I like him a lot. I don't think he's got the fan base to make the cut, though. Out before the 12 chosen.

Chris Daughtry: I'm on the fence with Chris. May or may not make it to the 12 -- doubt overall winner.

Kevin Covais: Will make it to the 12 Finalists, but not much more than that. (He's adorable in his own way and sings great -- just don't think the show fans will make him a top runner.)

Patrick Hall: Another on the fence. I think he should be in the Top 12 due to talent, but not sure if the voters will get him in there.

David Radford: How cute is he? He'll make the cut for the 12 Finalists, but will the voting public go for a crooner in the long run? I dunno.

Elliott Yamin: Hmmm... don't believe he'll make the cut, but I could be wrong. I don't see a strong fan base out there for him.

Taylor Hicks: The most distinct in both talent and looks. He's a shoe-in for Top 12, may take it all.

Will Makar: Oh, my... I'm having flashbacks to Peter Brady! He'll get the votes to make it to the 12 Finalists, but won't be THE American Idol.

So, there are my predictions. I'm still hung up on the age bit. Is it fair to pit a Will Makar at 16 against a Taylor Hicks at 29? Probably not, but that's 'American Idol.'

Who are you rooting for? Who's going home on Thursday when the first two get sent packing?

12 'American Idol' Girls - Who Will Go Home This Week?

The 24 Finalists have been chosen on 'American Idol.' In this entry, I'm going to give my thoughts and predictions on the 12 girls (women?). Who will be amongst the final 6? On Tuesday night, we'll see the girls go for the gold. Oh, wait... it's not the Winter Olympics! On Thursday night, the votes will be in -- two girls will be sent packing. For home, that is. For the next three weeks, starting this week, the girls will perform on Tuesday nights, the boys on Wednesdays. Thursday nights will be the results show. After the three weeks, the field will be narrowed to the 12 Finalists.

If you click on the images below, you'll see a slightly larger picture. Of course, for the real skinny -- head to the 'American Idol' website!

My thoughts? Okay, here we go:

Paris Bennett: I predict she'll make it to be one of the 12 overall Finalists and has a good shot at making it near the Final 2 of the women, at least.

Stevie Scott: Who? 'Nuff said.

Katharine McPhee: Hmm... I think she'll be gone before the final 6 girls are voted in. Not first out, but not making the six. (Oops, I spelled Katharine as Katherine in my image. Not gonna change it, but yeah... I just noticed. Oops.)

Kellie Pickler: I predict she'll make it into the Final 12. She's not my favorite at all, but I think she's developing a fan base which will carry her far.

Kinnik Sky: I'm on the border with this one. Iffy on the edge of the Final Six Girls, doubt she'll take it all, for sure.

Lisa Tucker: I think this gal has a lot of talent. I predict she'll make it to the 12 Finalists, but I wouldn't go so far as predicting she'll be The American Idol this season.

Ayla Brown: I think she'll make it to the ranks of the Six Finalist Girls, but out soon after that.

Becky O'Donohue: On the fence. Doubt she'll win; may or may not make it to the Final Six Girls.

Mandisa: Top 12, a shot at taking it all. If nothing else, I think I'm really going to be entertained by her!

Melissa McGhee: Out before the 12 Finalists.

Brenna Gethers: Out THIS WEEK -- mostly due to a personality the show fans won't like.

Heather Cox: Out before the 12 Finalists.

All right, that makes me feel these five will make it to the Final Six Girls: Paris Bennett, Mandisa, Kellie Pickler, Ayla Brown and Lisa Tucker. On the fence are Becky O'Donohue and Kinnik Sky. Out before the finalist round: Melissa McGhee, Heather Cox, Brenna Gethers, Stevie Scott and Katharine McPhee.

Of course, each and every one of them sing better than I do!

What do you think? What six girls will make the cut to the 12 Finalists? Feel free to disagree with me or agree... I'd like to read your comments! I'll be posting a similar entry about their male counterparts soon.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Argh, TV Frustration!

Now, don't get me wrong. I believe in the Olympics. I actually like the Winter Olympics better than I like the summer ones. (Yes, you can read into that that I don't watch any of the Summer Olympics.) As an ex-ski racer, although certainly not of Olympics caliber, I like watching the freestyle skiing and skateboarding events. But...

The darn Olympics have turned my favorite shows into Rerun City or, in the case of the few NBC shows I watch, knock them off entirely. What I've watched this past week that was indeed new and I enjoyed: American Idol, Survivor, Late Show with David Letterman and Lost. I taped Bones and will be watching that tomorrow. But every other show I watch or wanted to watch was a repeat! Sheesh!

And, now it dawned on me that American Idol will go to three nights next week. Um. Tell me not Thursday at 8 PM, please! ARGH! Sure enough, the third night is against Survivor, darn it all to heck! Right now my plan is to keep blogging American Idol "live" - posting my entry when each show ends - on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday, I will watch Survivor and post the east coast updates while taping American Idol. Immediately after Survivor ends and I post the boot, I'll look at my tape and post the American Idol boot. I plan to continue doing a recap/review of each Survivor episode. I don't think I'll do that with the Thursday night American Idol episode, but I'll probably give my opinion. That you can take to the bank. (Of course, the bank will laugh, but there ya go.)

Oh, well. Maybe it will snow again and I'll get to watch David Letterman play with snowballs once more.

'Amazing Race' in a Box? New Board Game Created by Clowns!

I found this article (alas, I missed the show itself). Cool! Jon Weiss and Al Rios, the Clown Team from Season 4, have created a board game which is due for release in May.

An excerpt from the article:
Jon Weiss and Al Rios were eliminated from the real race, but are hoping to hit it big with their brand new board game, "Amazing Race." The pair met up with Dave Price on The Early Show plaza Tuesday to demonstrate the game, which, they say, "picks up all the essence of the actual reality show." The game includes pit stops and questions from all eight seasons of "Amazing Race." It will be available to retailers in May.

Hey, I think my bad knee will let me race that Amazing Race! What do you think? As an 'Amazing Race' fan, would you buy the game?

Friday, February 17, 2006

Today's TV Newsy Bits - Feb. 17, 2006

If not for 'American Idol', these would be just itsy bitsy bits. But, due to 'AI' we're talkin' lotsa bits, lotsa! So, here are the television/entertainment newsy bits links I found out there on the web today:

Here are online articles (not needing registration) regarding some of the 24 'American Idol' Finalists:

'Survivor - Exile Island' - Misty Giles on 'The Today Show'

CBS has the Misty Giles 'The Today Show' interview up on their website - CBS News Flirting And Backrubs Can't Save Misty February 17, 2006 12:04:36.

I thought while watching last night that Cirie was immensely powerful in the Immunity Challenge. Apparently, I'm not the only one to think it. Here's an excerpt from the interview:

Last night's episode included the most physical immunity challenge seen so far, in which the tribes had to fight over a black bag buried in the sand. And Misty said she just didn't stand a chance against Cirie. "When you are with Cirie, she tosses you around like a loaf of bread," she said. "That woman was strong. She was very pivotal in their win. She was quite a power player."

Thursday, February 16, 2006

'Survivor: Panama - Exile Island' - Ep. 3 or... It's Twister Pillowball, Dude!

Hmmm, here we are with three episodes done and over with... and I think I'm still waiting for my 'Survivor' fever. This season still isn't grabbing me as I thought it would. When I first looked into the new castaways, I was hyped to the max, per se. And now I just feel let down. Sigh.

Tonight's episode was officially named "Crazy Nights, Snake Dinners" -- I'm renaming it to "It's Twister Pillowball, Dude."

Oh, well... let's get it on. Fourteen are left. Who will be voted out tonight?

The show opens with Casaya on Night 6. Bruce really started leading and while I personally thought he was a bit over the top and would alienate the others, he didn't. Except for Shane, that is. But do I care what Shane thinks? Nope. That Reverend Jim Gone Bad Lookin' Psycho Boy annoys the heck out of me. I think I'm not liking Boston these days due to that silly Boston tattoo over his left nipple. Most of the tribe seemed to genuinely appreciate Bruce's survival tips. I'm kind of surprised they didn't get sickened by his water filtering system, but... good for him.

Over at La Mina, all they're catching are poisonous pufferfish. Terry caught a small edible fish and became Hero For a Day.

The Rewards Challenge had four members of each tribe balancing on a beam over water trying to catch a ball catapulted in a sling-like doohickey by the remaining three tribe members in roatation. Yawn. Some of the catches were cool to watch, but it seemed a bit easy -- no one really had problems aiming. La Mina won. What did they win, you ask? A tarp, kerosene lamps and fuel for them, pillows, blankets. They also were allowed to choose which Casaya member would go to Exile Island. They chose Bruce as they think that he had brought spirit back into Casaya. Okay, I'll give them props for making a very strategic move. Poor Bruce.

Back at the camps: it looks like the early Casaya alliance is falling apart as Shane and Courtney bicker. Cirie observes the rift between the two and comments how it's foolish to have an alliance between people who hate each other. La Mina has its own oddness going on as Misty flirts and massages thinking it will make friends and influence votes. Sally wants to be pal to all. Austin thinks everyone trusts him. Okaaay...

The Immunity Challenge looks tailor-made for February sweeps -- sex sells, y'know. The tribes in rotation of teams such as three men, three women, one man and two women, etc., had to find a buried pillow and then get it to their goal line. Lots of body contact and I thought it looked like Twister Pillowball. Thus, my episode title "It's Twister Pillowball, Dude!"

Casaya won Immunity.

I think that could be because La Mina seems to have an other worldly being on their tribe. Just look at Dan! EEK! A ghost!

Dang, I thought I was a pale person.

He wins the Ghostly Blinding White Contest. But his tribe will face Tribal Council.

I got the impression as Tribal Council approached that Ruth Marie would be a strong target. I was wrong. Misty got booted with both her and Sally being the only ones to vote for Ruth Marie. All other votes were for Misty. Hmmm... the Tribal Council was rather uneventful compared to most.

And, so that was that. C'mon, Survivor... liven things up! I expected a lot of entertainment from this season and I don't see it getting delivered! How about readers out there? Am I alone in this? Like the Pale Person Amongst the Tanned?

Today's TV Newsy Bits - Feb. 16, 2006

Not many bits out there today. Here are the television/entertainment newsy bits links I found on the web:

'Survivor: Exile Island' - East Coast Update - Tribal Council

Misty was voted out.

A full recap/review will be posted later tonight... stop back!

'Survivor: Exile Island' - East Coast Update - Immunity

Casaya won Immunity.

'Survivor: Exile Island' - East Coast Update - Reward/Exile

La Mina won the Reward Challenge (blankets, pillows, lamps, tarp, etc.). They also got to make the decision who from Casaya would go to Exile Island. They chose Bruce because he "brought Casaya back."

Tonight's (2/16) 'Survivor: Panama - Exile Island' Blogging Schedule

Once again, as important events on the show occur (deaths, who goes to Exile Island, any hidden Idol finding, reward challenge, immunity challenge and the boot)... I'll be slapping up quick details here. If you're on the West Coast and like East Coast airing show night spoilers, this is the place for you.

Within moments after an entry here, blog entry links will be added to my Jackie's Survivor Blog/Web Links Reference

There isn't an immediate way to get notice of an entry, but you can check here or there during the time the show airs in the east. A hint -- sometimes the new entries don't show immediately on the main blog page, but if you hit the February archive in the sidebar, it will show.

Sometime after the show (hopefully before 11 PM ET), I'll be posting a full recap and would love to know your thoughts about the episode!

Survivor fans ready?

Bloggin' About Last Night's 'LOST' - Feb. 15 Episode

Ohhh, 'LOST' is back in synch with me with the latest episode. After a few lackluster eps, now I'm intrigued once again. Of course, no answers -- something they really have to get on sometime or another. I do truly wonder if the writers even know where they're going with this show. Yeah, I'm addicted to it, but I have a feeling that all mysteries will never be solved. But, onto last night's episode, titled by ABC as "One of Them." Here's my impressions, not necessarily in the order of occurrence...

The show focused on Sayid more than any of the other regulars. In flashbacks to the Gulf War, we see him being used by a government type (Kate's father?) to glean information from his fellow Iraqi Tariq. The flashbacks continued throughout the show, eventually showing how Sayid became a "torturer" for information as well as how he swore he would never do it again.

A frog's ribitting was driving Sawyer batty. He enlisted Hurley's help in searching for the frog, mainly by blackmailing Hurley as he discovered him with a food stash which included about a 5 pound jar of ranch dressing. Unlike the previous Sawyer hunt the baby boar incident where Kate set the boar free, Sawyer dramatically squished the frog as Hurley pleaded for its life. Possible significance? Hmmm... well, it shows the Heartless Sawyer once again. I was thinking the frog could be poisonous, too. Maybe. We may see. Or we may not.

Danielle Rousseau sought out Sayid and led him to where a man was suspended in a tree trap. She insisted he was one of the Others. Sayid cut him down anyway. The man went to flee and Rousseau shot an arrow through and through his shoulder. "If I wanted to kill him, I would have." She supposedly wants Sayid to use his torture/interrogation skills to get the man to talk.

Sayid takes the man back to the hatch for Jack to doctor him up... and so he can torture information out of him. Locke plays along with Sayid's request to change the combination to the gun locker so Sayid can do his "stuff" with the man and Jack won't be able to interrupt.

The man's name is Henry Gale and he says he was rich (past tense), crashed a hot air balloon into the island four months ago, his wife died after suffering a fever for a few days. Now, Sayid thinks he's lying, that he is indeed an Other. I think something's up with the guy, here's why: his name. His name, Henry Gale, is a character from 'The Wizard of Oz' -- Dorothy's Uncle Henry, the one who flew the hot air balloon. Wasn't that how the Wizard of Oz got stranded in Oz? I may be misremembering. But something's up behind the naming of the character and how he got 'Lost.'

In his um... rather intense questioning, Sayid touches on the fact that Henry didn't remember details about where and how he buried his wife, yet had all the numerical (too many for me to do number trails) details for his balloon. When Henry turned to ask if Sayid lost someone he loved, Sayid went berserk and beat Henry mercilessily.

Jack, meanwhile, is trying desperately to get into the gun locker to save Henry. He finally forces Locke to open the combo as the computer needs its button pushed to save the world as they know it. Locke does it, Jack saves Henry and Locke rushes to the computer to enter the code to reset the timer. He screws up the code (which I found odd -- he knows that code backwards and forwards) and odd glyphs show for a second before it resets upon the right code entered. Hmm... I couldn't make any sense of them. Glyphs aren't quite my area of expertise. Anyone out there have any inkling into these?

Wrapping up the episode was a scene with Charlie and Sayid. Sayid said he knew the man (Henry) was an Other and Charlie would know it, too. The others (not to be confused with the Others) may not see it because they weren't scared enough, but Charlie, Claire and those who were hurt/captured by the Others would know.

Hmmm... your thoughts on the episode?