Thursday, March 30, 2006

'Survivor: Exile Island' - Ep. 7 -or- "When Tribes Merge, Shane Remains Obnoxious"

Ah, finally! A new episode of Survivor: Panama - Exile Island! I had fear I'd forget their names in the three week forced Mad Marchness hiatus. Yeah, I know they had the recap show on one off night at the beginning, but that doesn't count. I went through Survivor withdrawal. I almost went as far as to tattoo "Boston" on my chest, but decided against it.

10 are left. Who will be voted out tonight?

At the Casaya camp, it doesn't look like Shane's apologies at the barbeque meant much to Danielle and Courtney. They still want him out. I respect them for that. Even Aras is still worried about being able to trust Shane. Bruce just wants to make the merge. I don't think he cares much about any of them.

Meanwhile, Sally is happy off at Exile Island. She's digging for the hidden Immunity Idol and pleased to be off the chopping block. Peace and tranquility are hers ... for the time being, at least. At the La Mina (sans Sally) tribe camp, the boys' club gets tree mail. And, it's actual tree mail, unlike the ceramic pot mail we kept seeing on Guatemala. The rhyming letter indicated that a treasure could be found on the back beach and they'd be more comfortable tonight. Nick and Austin automatically thought food and beverage. Terry was more reserved. While technically, in the end, they were right -- it was a boat with some firewood and wooden crates. There was a map to the Casaya camp and an admonition not to open the boxes until they arrived there. The merge is on! The La Mina men vowed to stick together with Sally as an alliance knowing the numbers are right for Casaya to pick them off one by one. All they need is a flip of one from the other tribe for a tie, two for a majority vote. Terry knows he has the hidden Immunity Idol from Exile Island, but he's not sharing the news.

Over at Casaya, they're enjoying a lazy day eating rice when they spot the La Mina tribe coming in on the boat. They quickly vow they'll be the final six and pick off La Mina one by one. Then they chow down eating all the rice they can so they don't have to share their food. Oh, but then they go greet La Mina like they're childhood sweethearts. No sooner are the La Mina men ashore than Sally gets dropped off to join them. One big happy family ... of schemers and would be wheeler dealers. Inside the crates were the paint supplies and new buffs for the newly merged tribe. Also in the crates was food. Glorious food. The new tribe named themselves Gitanos (saying it means gypsies) and enjoyed chocolate, fruit, pickled stuff, wine, crackers and cheese.

Terry, in my opinion, was a bit too blatant as he campaigned for a flip from Casaya. I could understand him approaching Bruce as they were on the Older Men tribe together and have a bond. But, he approached Cirie and Shane! Cirie (dang, I get a kick out of her) said in confessional that she had an encyclopedia and there he was trying to sell her a dictionary. What the heck is wrong with him? I thought Bruce would flip, but when Casaya saw Terry talking to him, they started buttering him up with how valuable he is and what a great leader he is for them. @@ <-- I need to roll my eyes at that one! Will he flip? He seems to know the score. He knows he's sitting pretty with both tribes wanting him in their numbers game. Shane doesn't think Terry has the Immunity Idol and vows he'll be voted off first chance they get.

Of course, it didn't help matters for La Mina that Nick hit Bruce in the face with a machete. Nope, that wouldn't help their cause at all, accident or not. There have been spoiler rumors since before the season aired that Bruce got hurt and had to be taken away. The promos before the hiatus showed a helicopter. But if that happened with this injury, it wasn't shown on tonight's show. Maybe he'll get hurt again! Actually, for a machete blow to the face, it wasn't all that serious. He may have needed a stitch or two on the inside of the lip from how it looked.

Tonight, with the merge, it was the first individual immunity up for grabs. The contest was a physical one. On horizontal wooden poles the castaways had to hang upside down holding onto the pole with their arms and legs. One by one they fell leaving Terry last man hanging. So, he has the hidden Immunity Idol and won the first Immunity Necklace. He's safer than safe at the upcoming Tribal Council.

Terry campaigned again with Casaya folks, but no one outright committed. Nick just wants to make the jury. Austin said in confessional he pretended to be weak and drop because he knows either Nick or he will be voted out. Nick knows it's between those two, too. Terry keeps on campaigning. Then, Creep Me Out Shane loudly calls a meeting of the ex-Casaya tribe and they all agree to vote out Nick. Shane actually wanted Austin out, but the rest wanted Nick.

And, so it went. The voting went strictly according to previous tribal lines - four votes for Shane from the four La Mina and six votes for Nick from the Casaya.

"Nick, you must leave the tribal council area immediately."

He didn't make the jury. He tossed something to Cirie on his way out, but I'm not sure what it was. His goodbye speech was odd, not mentioning the show at all. It was something about young hungry people working on their dreams and changing the world. Maybe he had too much wine; I don't know.

I hope that we're not going to see La Mina decimated one by one for the next four weeks. I'd rather see a flip or even a mutiny with Shane being voted out. Did I mention he creeps me out? What did you think of tonight's show?

'Survivor: Exile Island' East Coast Update 3/30 - Boot

The voting went strictly along tribal lines with no flipflopping -
6 votes for Nick to go; 4 votes for Shane to go.
Nick was voted off.

'Survivor: Exile Island' East Coast Update 3/30 Immunity

The first individual immunity was won by Terry.

The new tribe name from the merge is Gitanos.

I'll update the boot when it happens and a full report will be posted late this evening.

'Survivor - Exile Island' East Coast Update

For the West Coast (and Hawaii!) --

The merge is on. La Mina got a boat with some supplies and scroll telling them to go join Casaya for the merge.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

'American Idol' East Coast Update

The bottom three are ... (are you seated?)

Lisa, Ace and Katharine. Yipes.

Ace goes back to his seat.

Lisa got the boot.

'The Amazing Race 9' - Ep. 5 -or- "Lake is Just a Big Meanie Pants"

Do you know what "good television" would be? I personally think good television would be seeing Lake's head explode like in a cartoon! If I were more talented with digital imaging or knew someone with a cool digital imaging center, I could create it myself. Oh, what I'd have come out of his head! Bananas, cat excrement, boxes of Fiddle-Faddle ... the possibilities are endless. After all, what the heck is in his mind?

Here'a brief lowdown on what happened on last night's show:
The teams started out from their last Pit Stop in Munich, Germany. Jeremy and Eric (the HornDogz) had been the first to arrive there at 2:15 PM, so they were the first to leave at 2:15 AM. The last team to depart was Danielle and Dani (Double D's or Pinkies, though I hate the latter) at 7:28 AM. So, there was quite a time difference betwixt first and last and the DD's wouldn't be able to hook up with the Dogz this time 'round. Who would they hitch onto this week? Would they sink or swim on their own? I'm getting a bit ahead of myself here, but they sank a bit on their own and partly a Lake sank 'em. A mean, nasty despicable Lake.

While I find BJ and Tyler perhaps my most favorite team ever, they waited for Lake and Michelle while leaving the Pit Stop! Ack! Boys, boys, boys ... stay away from them! Lake is an evil meanie pants! He'll cut your throats while extracting your teeth with no Novacaine just to watch you bleed! He may have shot a man in Reno just to watch him die! Stay away from him. Wear garlic if you must be near him! I personally would love to see a team made up of Jonathon Baker and Lake. I know we'd be seeing exploding heads there, right?

The teams had to go to the airport to catch flights to Palermo, Italy. BJ/Tyler used those Ivy League brains and purchased tickets for the earliest flight on the Internet while Lake got ticked at Michelle because she couldn't understand enough German to pick up a ticket in the same manner. Ditzy Monica proclaimed how un-ditzy blonde she is by repeatedly pronouncing their destination as PAL-or-moe. Yeah, I know they probably edited that to make the situation look ditzier, but I snickered. Her oh-so-unditzy boyfriend Joe actually substituted a totally different word. Heh.

I know there are folks out there upset that Jeremy/Eric and BJ/Tyler played with the airport wheelchairs. Don't count me in as one of those folks. I've been around people in chairs for most of my life. I myself am a veteran of more than a few knee surgeries. Wheelchair sports are actually a big thing. They're fun for those involved and it's not in any way a mockery of those who need the chairs to get around. I don't know anyone in a chair who would have been offended by the guys racing and playing around in the airport's wheelchairs. Had they deprived someone who needed one to play, that would be another matter. I think they would have immediately handed over the wheelchairs if someone was in need. Pick your causes well and get over it (directed at those who think it was insensitive)!

The absolute best part of the airport waiting was watching Lake get madder and madder. I so wanted his head to explode! Now, you know the why behind my opening paragraph. He acted like a cornered cockroach frantically trying to figure a way out when he realized not only was he not on the first flight, he didn't make the second flight either. Heehee! Hmmm ... maybe I want him to stay in the race just to watch him implode. Perhaps I have a mean, evil streak myself.

Once the teams made it to Palermo, the next clue led them to a Detour. Their choices were Foundry or Laundry. In Foundry, the teams had to go to a metal works foundry to retrieve a 110 pound bell, load it onto a little truck thingee, drive it to a church and then carry it for quite a distance up steps to hand over to a priest for their clue. Laundry wasn't physical, but it could be time-consuming. The teams were faced with 2400 pieces of hanging laundry and had to find an Amazing Race label marked tag inside. There were only ten tags amongst the laundry, if memory serves. Most of the teams chose the laundry, but the teams who chose the bell seemed to make good time. Yolanda was so proud of Ray as he carried the bell solo. Joe also carried the bell solo, but Monica's reaction wasn't as sweet as Yolanda's. Over at the Laundry task, BJ and Tyler were so cute as they politely kissed the Laundry Woman and thanked her in Italian. (Is there a language these guys don't know?) The stragglers to Laundry were frantic and frustrated. Said stragglers would be Lori/Dave, Dani/Danielle and Lake/Michelle.

The clue teams received after the Detour warned them there is a Yield ahead, one of two in the race. BJ/Tyler, in the lead, clicked their heels and went on about Yielding the "Fratboys" - which would be Jeremy/Eric. However, once they hit the Yield, both in unison sang they chose to Yield ... nobody. It would have been a waste to use it, anyway. They had a good lead. They next hit a Roadblock, a task only one member of the team can complete. It was assembling the statue of David, but there was a hitch to it. Once properly assembled, there were two extra pieces. Eventually a team would cost themselves the race due to those extra pieces. Poor Lori had a breakdown trying to assemble the statue due to them. And, her equally poor David, lovebird that he is, cried actual tears because he had gotten frustrated with her as she freaked out over the statue. (Now, I'd like to see Lake go there, huh?) BJ/Tyler sailed through the task and were instructed to walk a mile to the Pit Stop where "one team may be eliminated."

No one was using the Yield until ... Lake came along. Michelle had told him she wouldn't use it; it was his decision. He knew that Dani/Danielle were a bit behind them, but also that Ray/Yolanda were even behind them. Out of some sort of pure mean dark soul kind of action, he used it on Dani/Danielle. Don't get me wrong -- I think they (DD) aren't a good team. I even had a cyberbet elsewhere that they would be eliminated this week as they're such a poor team overall. They hitch onto others, they frustrate easily, they aren't worldly. They had a lot going against them. But there was absolutely no need for Lake to use that Yield against them. They weren't a threat to him or Michelle. He's just plain mean. I bet he didn't use it on Ray/Yolanda because either one of them could whip his butt in the race (or elsewhere). He chose the girls because they're fairly defenseless in his mind. Nasty man, I tell you. Mean-spirited, sexist and plain ol' nasty.

Ray and Yolanda ended up passing DD at the Roadblock when DD furthered their woes with the two extra pieces of the statue. I watched The Early Show this morning. DD said that Ray/Yolanda had about ten minutes on them and it wasn't a race to the end at all as both R/Y are runners and they (DD) aren't.

Here's the finishing order at the Pit Stop:
1. BJ/Tyler - Won a digital imaging center. Maybe I can get them to digitally make Lake's head explode!
2. Jeremy/Eric
3. Monica/Joe
4. Fran/Barry
5. Lake/Michelle
6. Dave/Lori
7. Ray/Yolanda
Last and Philiminated: Dani/Danielle

My final thoughts on the remaining teams? Well, I want to know how many times we're going to see Fran and Barry walk by clues. I swear they have blinders on and no peripheral vision. I don't think we'll see them last a lot longer on the show. I'm pleased that BJ and Tyler are doing so well. Perhaps they're a bit of a gimmick, but they're enjoyable to watch. They're polite to the native folks in the various countries. They're respectful and even have a basic knowledge of most of the languages so far. They're nice to the other teams, but focus on doing well each leg. And, they're having fun with it all. I can take or leave the HornDogz. Yeah, they're male eye candy. I sort of wish they weren't as strong a team as they are -- the more I see of Ray and Yolanda, I'd like to see them take the reins up near the top. I still like the Nerds, Dave and Lori. I don't think they're a particularly stong team, but they're kind of like the representative of Normal Folks on the show - not too well traveled, not in fantastic shape, but in the adventure of a lifetime. As for Monica and Joe, they can go. I think they're a stronger team than the Nerds or Franberry, but they've done nothing to endear themselves to me. And, after all, it's all about me, right?

Heehee! What do you think?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Today's TV Newsy Bits - Mar. 28, 2006

Bet your sweet bippy, I've got bits for you!

Here are the television and entertainment related newsy bits links I found today --

'Amazing Race' East Coast Update - Finish Order and Philimination

For those of you on the West Coast who just can't wait --

1. BJ/Tyler - Won a digital imaging center. "Whoa! A digital imaging center!"
2. Eric/Jeremy
3. Monica/Joe
4. Fran/Barry
5. Lake/Michelle (Who YIELDED DD when they weren't even a threat!)
6. Dave/Lori
7. Yolanda/Ray
Last and Philiminated -- Danielle/Dani

A full recap/review will be posted in the morning.

Monday, March 27, 2006

"The Apprentice 5' - Ep. 5 -or- "Whose Ship Was Sunk Tonight?"

It's Week 5 of the 15 week "interview." I'm finally getting to know some of the names of the quieter folks or those not really highlighted by the show's editors. After tonight, I got to know who Leslie is. And, um ... Dan.

The show opened with the candidates wondering who would be fired. The Synergy folks really wanted to no longer see Brent while many of Gold Rush were hoping for Brent's return because of his detrimental inflluence on the team. All were shocked that Brent was gone. Some relieved; others wondering if they need to worry about Synergy now. Andrea went at Roxanne for saying that Tammy did a better job as a Project Manager. Ohhh! Catfight! Well, not quite. I personally don't think Roxanne's a really strong candidate for winning, but at least she's personable. Andrea irks me. Be gone, witch!


This week's task for the teams was a bit more along the lines we've seen before. They were brought on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship, the Norwegian Jewel, and instructed they must make a 30 second television commercial touting the cruise line's new "freestyle" cruises. They're cruises without any organized events time schedules. (Okay, that's a cruise I'd like!) The hitch was that the teams only had 3 hours to complete the filming with a crew and equipment provided. If they didn't finish by then -- the ship leaves port. And, but of course, they're stuck on a cruise. Hey ... that doesn't sound so bad, does it?

Dan decided he wanted to be the Project Manager for Gold Rush and the team instantly liked an idea Lenny had with a storyline of a castaway coming aboard and showing all the fun activities. They set about with the film crew. Over at Synergy, Roxanne went for the Project Manager position much to the dismay of Andrea. They came up with the idea to contrast traditional cruises with the more fun and exciting freestyle ones. Now, Roxanne did look a bit bewildered and overwhelmed at times, but Andrea irked me more. Please, please get her off my television set!

The foreshadowing of the error a team would make came after a commercial. This time it was the quote "Listen to your people" along with a little lecture by Trump. Okay. So, we know one Project Manager wouldn't listen to his people. It was so easy from that point on to see who would lose the task. While Roxanne didn't particularly listen to Andrea (can't blame her), she listened to the others on her team. Ah, but Dan tried to do everything by himself, didn't delegate tasks and, more importantly, didn't listen to Lenny when he said that text alone wasn't good, the commercial needed a voiceover, too. When Bill Rancik peeked in on the team, all was chaos. Dan was more worried about Lee shmoozing with Carolyn and Bill than he was about actually assigning Lee a task.

The results were pretty clear. I knew the castaway part of the Gold Rush ad and the first thing that struck me was you didn't know he was a castaway! Synergy easily won and with no help from Brent! They won big time, too. They got to go to a secret (yeah, right) Brinks diamond vault where they played with diamonds and got to select $30,000 worth of them to take home.

Gold Rush was in turmoil. Lenny came up with the castaway idea which, even beyond the confusion, didn't fly well with the thought of a cruise. Tarek shouted down Lenny's balking at the text only on the ad and pushed that as it's something he can do well. Dan wasn't a good leader at all. He didn't delegate tasks and he didn't listen to his people. Tarek told Dan he would back him up in the boardroom, but then went on to say he (Dan) didn't have any friends in the boardroom. The plot thickens!

Once the whole team got together in the boardroom with Donald, Bill and Carolyn, all heck broke loose. They argued like little kids. Here's the corporate future, eh? Dan decided to take Lee into the boardroom mainly because he doesn't like him. Lee really didn't do anything wrong on the task. He didn't do much, but he wasn't asked to do much. Again, no delegation. Dan didn't want both Lee and Lenny in there and Leslie actually spoke up for herself, so he chose Tarek. I thought Tarek was going to be a goner, but Donald fired Dan because he didn't bring Lenny in and the whole concept was his idea.

"Tell Lenny he hasn't long to go!"

The best line of the night was Trump to Tarek: "Mensa should change their test." I'm sure that Mensa is rescinding Tarek's membership right now.

Next week's show will be on at 10 PM instead of 9 (ET). Until then ...

Dollar bills, y'all...

Today's TV Newsy Bits - Mar. 27, 2006

Bits! Bits! Get yer fresh bits here!

Here are the television and entertainment related newsy bits hyperlinks I found out on the web today --

Thursday, March 23, 2006

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

Where's the bits? Who's got the bits?

Here's the bits! I've got the bits!

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

CBS Madness - Quick Takes on Tonight's TV

Why oh why can't March Madness basketball be on any other network besides CBS? On Thursday nights, I watch CBS for the primetime block. Thankfully, a new Survivor will air next Thursday, March 30.

So, what did I watch tonight?

Everybody Hates Chris - Chris's grandfather died. That grandfather was Jimmy Walker, the old Dy-no-MITE guy from the TV show in the '60s (early '70s?). He looked old. Now I feel old. I like this show, but the 1983 Brooklyn looks a lot quieter than I think a lot of sections of Brooklyn were back then. One funny moment was when Chris's friend was at the wake and the relatives freaked out that Chris had a white friend. Not a bad freak out, but falling over themselves to be nice to him. Of course, Chris and his friend are just friends. It happens. ;-)

American Inventor - I still have the debut of this taped and not watched. But tonight I caught the second episode. It's a Simon Cowell created show and it works very similar to American Idol. It reiterated my own personal feeling that the world has its share of nuts. Some of the inventions are okay; some are off the wall. Some people seem driven to ruin themselves chasing after an improbability. I can't see missing C.S.I. to watch this, but I'll probably be taping and catching up on Sundays with it. I like the occupied public restroom door plastic doohickey. Restroom doors are very annoying!

Primetime - I like news magazine shows. I usually miss this one as I'm watching CBS on Thursday night. Interesting show. They had various scenes with actors such as a little boy being bullied by other boys, couples fighting (with both black and white actors) and racist taxicab drivers starting up conversations. I like to think I'd do the right thing. Knowing me, I'd probably break up the boys. They were just little kids. With the couples, I don't know if I'd step in, but I do know I'd call the cops if I saw a man shoving around a woman. I may step in. A lot would depend on if there were other people around. The racist cabbies? Most likely I'd just ignore 'em and hope they shut up.

So, that's it. Even Letterman is a repeat tonight. Darned basketball!

LOST Last Night - More Questions, No Answers

At last, a new Lost aired last night. You know me. I was all kinds of excited. I even taped the American Idol boot so I could watch my Lost! So many questions! You would think they'd hit the saturation point of questions without answers by now, wouldn't you?

Um, no.

New questions.

It's revealed that not only is Sun pregnant, but flashbacks show that in the past she and Jin had fertility problems. Their doctor first told them that she was unable to conceive and then told Sun it was Jin who had the problem, not her. So, a new question or several. Is Jin the father? Could she have been raped when she was attacked? Has she had a fling with Hurley? Oh, and the spelling freak within me noticed that in the subtitles for the doctor/Sun flashback, they had "you're husband." Ack. A popular television show mixing up "your" and "you're." Unbelievable!

We still don't know if Henry is an Other or not. Promos shown for next week seem to indicate a balloon exists. Locke had Ana Lucia go talk to him and she managed to get a map of where the balloon was out of him. I feel compelled to note that Ana Lucia still has linebacker shoulders -- she must be eating okay. At the end of the show, Henry said a bizarre thing about if he was an Other, the map could lead to a trap. He's an odd duck. Who knows? Ana, Charlie and Sayid went off following the map.

I want to know where Walt is, forget new drama!

What did you think of the episode?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

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

Yes! Bits! Bunches of bits! Bitty bits! Big bits and bits that are just right!

Here are the television and entertainment related newsy bits links I found perusing the web today:

'American Idol' East Coast Update - Booted

I had the bottom three nailed, just not the order.

This is the order:
Lisa, Bucky and Kevin.

Kevin is history.

Tonight's (Wednesday, Mar. 22) TV Viewing and Blogging Plans

Good. Bones is now on at 8 PM. I'll be watching that.

Good. Lost is finally a new episode this week. I'll be watching that.

Bad. The American Idol results show starts at the same time as Lost. Sigh. I'll be taping that, but will have it running (no volume) in sight of my other TV (where I'll be watching Lost). As soon as I see the boot, I'll make an East Coast show night spoiler entry for any interested folks on the West Coast.

Bad. This new FOX show Unan1mous looks intriguing. I'll have to tape it as I tape Idol because I'm watching Lost.

Bad. They've switched the time slot for Law and Order to 9 PM. Kiss of death, at least right now - against Lost and American Idol. What were they thinking. Sorry, L&O -- I'll have to catch you on the rebound. Er, rerun.

I may give Heist a try. Hmmm...

Remember to stop back for the AI boot! I say BYE-BYE, BUCKY, bye-bye!

'American Idol' 50s Night Quick Thoughts

Last night was 50s night on American Idol and I think it redeemed last week's rather poor showing with the Stevie Wonder songs. Not anything against Stevie Wonder, of course. I would have loved to see Kevin Covais singing, "When I was a nappy-headed boy, hangin' out with those hoodlum friends of mine..." ;-) And, though I have the utmost respect for Stevie's music on the whole, his own performance on the boot night show came across to me as a Boz Scaggs imitation. The song didn't hold to the high level of his works from the 70s. Sigh.

But, to last night -- a quick take on the songs and singers:

Mandisa sang "I Don't Hurt Any More" with such natural talent that it's sure that if she doesn't make it to the end (which I don't think she will), she will be able to hold onto a singing career. While I'd like to see their fashion folks do a bit better with her outfits -- they're way too tight -- she looked much better this week. Her hair and make-up were perfect, highlighting her beautiful face.

Bucky Covington sang "Oh Boy." Oh, boy ... get him gone this week. He should have never made it this far. He's not horrible or anything, but when they talk about having "it" he thought they said something else and told them he already went. What the heck is going on with his hair? Someone put on net on that!

Paris Bennett sang "Fever." I thought she sang the song very well; she had the notes, the moves, the act down pat. She looked cute, she sang cute. Ho-hum. I like her and I think she'll keep on going, but in the long run she (like many previous and present AI contestants) isn't going to be anyone whose music I'd run out and buy or whose performance I'd feel I have to watch. Sweet kid and talented, but...!

Chris Daughtry sang "I Walk the Line." Now, here's where AI is growing on a musical level. While it was the song Johnny Cash sang, it wasn't that song at all. Chris changed it around and interpreted it on an entirely different level. No, it wasn't his own personal best vocal, but it was one of the most intriguing things ever done with a song on the show. If this guy wins it all, he's someone who I'd be interested in watching perform or perhaps even buying his music. This is what happens when AI goes beyond the teenybopper kiddie show contestants.

Katharine McPhee sang Ella Fitzgerald's hit "Come Rain or Come Shine" and it was a striking performance. Like Mandisa, she's a natural talent. No schoolgirl cutesy ways about her, although she's very attractive. Watching her perform is like watching a seasoned pro. Kudos to her!

Taylor Hicks sang "Not Fade Away." Knock his dancing all you want, Simon Cowell! With Taylor, his personality and showmanship are as much a part of it all as his singing. I liked Barry Manilow's description of his voice -- a whiskey tenor. Even more than Chris, Taylor's the guy I have to stop and watch. He looked so handsome and dapper and he's got IT (that Bucky hasn't a clue about). I liked the dancing. I liked the show. I liked the singing. I can't get enough of Taylor's performances! He's a joy to watch!

Lisa Tucker sang "Why Do Fools Fall In Love?" next. I think she's talented, but all in all it reminded me of a scene out of Grease or something. She looked adorable in the little outfit and played the cameras/crowd well. But, the whole thing came across as out of a show called American Idol: The Musical. Yes, I think she's probably a lot more talented than lots of pop stars currently on the charts, but I don't buy their music either.

Kevin Covais sang "When I Fall In Love." Yes, he has a nice voice and he looked like such a lovable innocent little twerp singing the song. But he's against actual men in the contest. Unless that site which promotes voting for the worst singers keeps him in, his days are numbered. And, yes ... they're pushing him these days. That site is responsible for John Stevens staying in the show as long as he did last year. Or was that the year before?

Elliott Yamin was up next singing "Teach Me Tonight." You can tell the AI people are working on his looks -- he's sporting a goatee now and other changes seem to be being made each week. His voice is stunning. I personally think he has one of the best voices week after week for the guys on the show. Alas, he looks more like someone who'd play a mobster in a Mafia movie. I think we'll see this guy go on to having a career in music. He's got the talent. Will he be the American Idol? Probably not.

Kellie Pickler sang Patsy Cline's "Walking After Midnight." I'm not a Kellie fan, per se. The ditzy country bumpkin persona makes me laugh, but usually her singing just isn't my cuppa. That said, I think she performed magnificently last night with the song. If she keeps that up each week, I may just have to start liking her. ;-)

Ace Young sang "In the Still of the Night." Okay, he does the falsetto well, but so did Frankie Valle and a Beach Boy or two. Yeah, he has those cute boy band looks and tries to put girls (and perhaps guys) in his Ace Trance. But I'm growing a bit weary of him in the long run. In my opinion, he's a One Trick Pony. He should outlast Kevin, but he shouldn't win.

My predictions for the bottom three tonight?

Bucky, Kevin and Lisa. Buh-bye, Bucky.

'The Amazing Race 9' - Ep. 4 -or- Lederhosen Me to the Gnomes!

Hmmm... I don't know. Perhaps it's only episode 3B, but we'll call it 4. I certainly hope this is it for the "to be continued" legs of the show. I'm easily confused!

Nine teams remain. Who will be eliminated next?

We last left the teams in Moscow, Russia, where they were all starting to meet up with Phil Keoghan on the Red Square. Last week we saw Jeremy and Eric arrive first thinking they won the leg only to be handed a clue envelope from Phil and be told the leg wasn't over. They looked exhausted. It's still not over! Will Jericmy retain their lead? Will BJ and Tyler take over the race once again? (I hate calling them the Hippies. Long hair doesn't a hippie make, but I guess I'm just a 60s purist, eh?) It's kind of interesting to compare the teams' arrival order at this time to the actual end of the leg. Well, at least interesting to me! So, here's the placing at the Red Square: Jeremy/Eric, Lake/Michelle, Ray/Yolanda, BJ/Tyler, Fran/Barry, Dani/Danielle, Desiree/Wanda, Monica/Joe and placing last was Dave/Lori.

The clue received in Moscow directed teams to fly to Frankfurt, Germany. Once there, they had to take a train to Stuttgart to the flagship Mercedes-Benz factory. Jeremy and Eric really lucked out -- they were the only team on an early flight, thus increasing their lead. Once in Germany, they managed to catch a train just before it left. How lucky can these guys get? The second flight leaving Moscow only took two teams -- Lake/Michelle and BJ/Tyler narrowly squeaking in. The rest of the teams all made the last flight, leaving in the morning. Once again, in typical TAR fashion, the time difference didn't mean a heck of a lot as the Mercedes-Benz place didn't open until the moming. So, instead of a 12 hour or more difference between teams, it was pared down to just a couple of hours.

Now, I would have found the challenge at the Mercedes-Benz factory a bit more um ... challenging if they had to drive it themselves, but the teams each had a driver racing them through the oldest test track in the world affectionately called "The Wall of Death." Oh, this one looked cool as the cars went horizontal on the curve! I want to try it! Oh, Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes-Benz, my friends all have Porsches, I must make amends! While it indeed looked cool, all the teams did was go along for the ride. Sigh. Nothing more to see here; let's move along.

Teams then had to drive 200 miles on the Autobahn to a field where they'd face a Roadblock. Here's where Wanda/Desiree screwed up royally by going in the wrong direction for over twenty miles ... twice! So did Dani/Danielle as they were fool enough to be following W/D! Sheesh. First Dani and Danielle clung to Jeremy/Eric until they loused that up by forgetting their bag. Now they're clinging to Wanda and Desiree? Don't these girls think for themselves? The Roadblock (a task which can only be completed by one member of the team) wasn't anything scary, but it was the epitome of product placement. The team member had to find the Travelocity Roaming Gnome hidden in a large field. There were ten gnomes hidden under cones, gnome half sculptures, etc. Of course, this task got tougher with each one found and later teams really depended as much on luck as strategic methodical searching tactics.

Oh, no ... it's onto a Roadblock! Teams finding the gnomes had to bring their gnome along to the Bavarian Film where they had a choice of Break It or Slap It. This is the kind of event that makes me smile at the show. In Break It, teams were faced with a table that held hundreds of prop bottles and had to smash a bottle over their teamate's head hoping to find one with a label which had PROST (German for Cheers!) inside. Oh. They also had to wear lederhosen and only break a bottle each time the cuckoo came out from its cuckoo clock roost. All depended on luck and eventually the maddening native musicians and dancers made for a rather surreal bad comedy act task. In Slap It, teams had to learn the dance steps to a native German dance and perform to the approval of the dancers while also wearing lederhosen. Nothing was funnier than Fran/Barry and Ray/Yolanda in lederhosen! (Well, I'd be funnier, but thankfully I'm not on the show.)

From there, the teams headed to the Pit Stop with Jeremy/Eric retaining their lead. They came in first winning a trip for two to Africa which includes whitewater rafting, a safari and a trip to Victoria Falls. The arrival order of the other teams was: BJ/Tyler (running backwards for their own odd reasons), Lake/Michelle (boo), Fran/Barry, Dave/Lori, MoJo, Ray/Yolanda, Dani/Danielle and ... last and Philiminated -- Wanda and Desiree.

So, that's what happened on the show. Now it's time for me to go into a bit of what I think of the season. It's so much better than the family-safe family edition last season! I'm really liking the teams and their interaction with each other this season. I don't think we've ever had a TAR season where the teams got on so well together. Even the Evil Lake will work with other teams. Teams are sharing taxis, following each other (sometimes almost to ruin) and honestly seem to like one another. I love how BJ and Tyler are rooting for Fran and Barry! Call me a dork, but I still like Dave and Lori -- I'm thrilled they're making a comeback and getting a bit strategic. I want to be offended at Jeremy and Eric's shallow sexist ways, but I have to laugh at the Horndogs. Will all this togetherness between the teams end as the race goes on? I mean, they can't be so congenial forever, can they?

My personal favorites for the win are BJ and Tyler. No, I won't call them hippies. But, these guys have a great sense of adventure, are funny and smart. I couldn't help but notice they knew enough German to get by. They seem to have a high frustration level and I think they're perhaps one of the strongest teams ever on the show. They may overdo their schtick a bit, but they're the team to watch.

I would love to see a Final Four team list like this -- BJ/Tyler, Fran/Barry, Ray/Yolanda and Dave/Lori. Will it happen? Who are your favorites?

Oh ... and I'm not all that sad to see Wanda and Desiree go. While I think Desiree was a good race candidate, Wanda was really getting on my nerves. If you go on a show like The Amazing Race, whining at every task isn't the way to win. You defeat yourself and you tick off the viewers. Next, Lake can go. He's on my nerves, too. After that, Dani and Danielle can go bye-bye. They're followers, not leaders. Get 'em gone. Then I predict that Jeremy and Eric will have a secret rendezvous with two Swedish milkmaids and miss a plane. After that, out with MoJo! I still don't know these two much at all so they'd be no great loss. I know. I'm horrible, aren't I?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Today's TV Newsy Bits - Mar. 21, 2006

A bit in every pot! A bit for you! A bit for me! Bits for all!

No. I'm not running for office. If nominated, I won't run. If elected, I won't serve.

Here are the television and entertainment related newsy bits links I found on the web today...

'The Amazing Race' East Coast Update - Phinish and Philimination

The teams arrived at the Pit Stop in this order:

1. Jeremy/Eric - Won a trip for two to Africa with whitewater rafting, a safari and a trip to Victoria Falls.
2. BJ/Tyler - Arrived running backwards
3. Lake/Michelle - boo
4. Fran/Barry
5. Dave/Lori
6. MoJo
7. Ray/Yolanda
8. Double D's
9. Wanda and Desiree -- Philiminated

Tonight's 'Amazing Race' Blogging...

I'll be watching the show here on the East Coast. At the end (approximately 11 PM ET), I'll post the finish order of the teams and the Philimination. Either much later or tomorrow morning, I'll post a full review/recap.

So, if you're West Coast and just can't wait, stop back a bit later!

Dang, I wish it was still in the 9 PM slot here. Grr.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Today's TV Newsy Bits - Mar. 20, 2006

Bet your sweet bippy, I've got bits for you!

Here are the television and entertainment related newsy bits I found out and about on the web today:

'The Apprentice 5' - Ep. 4 -or- "Aw, Grape-Nuts! Only TRUE Leader Fired!"

Well, well, well ... it's about time. But, I'm getting ahead of myself, aren't I?

As the show opens, the candidates are worried. Tarek knows one more time in the boardroom could be his last time. Charmaine bursts into tears and climbs in bed when she's told that Trump wanted to know why she wasn't called into the boardroom. After all, it was she who secured the lewd comedian and then paid said lewd comedian the full amount. It was she who should have been fired. Oh, woe is me! Everybody's worried except "What? Me Worry?" Brent. After all, why should he worry? He's done nothing wrong.

The two teams are summoned to the Trump Tower Bar and Grill where they learn their next task will be to create a billboard touting Post cereal's new product -- Post Grape-Nuts Trail Mix Crunch. (My own advice would be that the name of the cereal is too long, but I wasn't consulted. What exactly is a "grape-nut" anyway? I don't think I want my grapes to have nuts. But, I digress.) Carolyn is absent this week and it's the posing pretty progeny Ivanka Trump along with George who'll be looking in on the teams' progress.

And, so it starts ... Tammy stepped up to be the project manager for Synergy and Brent immediately volunteered his expertise in presenting to the executives. Oy! She tried to politely tell him it was a healthy product and that she didn't think he was best suited to present it -- plus, he messes everything up and he's an embarrassment to the team. No, she didn't say the latter to him, just on camera and with the others. She made him in charge of selecting the clothes. Now, there's an important task. Brent may be batty, but he isn't stupid. He also thinks she called him "fat" when she actually didn't go that far at all. Ivanka peeked in and immediately made the Brent plan -- don't let him touch anything important to the task.

When the commercial break ended and the show intro was just a "Keep it Simple, Stupid" logo, the good ol' KISS Theory, it was a dead giveaway that one team would overdo things. Ah, but which team?

Over at Gold Rush, Charmaine took on the project manager role in hopes to redeem herself from last week's faux pas. Now, watching her, I have to say she did very well. She solicited ideas from all and decided a "less is more" approach is best as folks don't really pause to read billboards -- something should just jump out at them and make a quick impression. (See the KISS Theory.) Oh, and now it's easy to figure which team will win, isn't it? Bryce came up with the idea of someone chugging cereal because "it's just that good!" The team went off looking for a healthy All American girl for the photo shoot.

Meanwhile, Synergy is in flux. They have way too much going on! Their graphics and pictures don't line up. They decided to go with a "new generation" of cereal theme, hiring what they presumed to be an older man with someone they thought looked like a daughter. The guy was nowhere near old enough looking to be her father! Eek! And, then the graphics were all over the place.

Task completed, the teams went off to New Jersey early the next morning to meet the Post people. Well, one team went early. The other team waited for a Brent Without Pants to iron and get ready. They were a good half hour behind. Once there, both billboards actually looked pretty good, but the chugging cereal was the obvious winner -- clear, concise, exactly the right model for the shot and a quick glance would convey the idea. Synergy's next generation just had much too much going on. In the presentations, Synergy's Sean got tongue-tied and blew it. Two strikes. Gold Rush wins.

The reward for Gold Rush didn't seem all that to me, but the team seemed to enjoy it. They got a chance to go cook with Chef Jean-Georges, the world acclaimed chef at the Trump Tower. Lenny was a bit embarrassing, but it looked like they all had a good time and quite the feast. The team sang the praises of Charmaine's leadership. She is redeemed.

And it's to the Boardroom for Synergy! Woohoo!

The team so wants Brent gone. Since they didn't give him any real responsibility, they don't think it's going to happen. They think Tammy may be blamed as project manager, Sean blamed as he blew the presentation or Andrea because she was the one responsible for the too-busy graphics. Of course, Brent is confident: "Save my seat here (at hotel). I will be back stronger and more powerful than ever! Keep me out of the boardroom or you'll be sorry!" Yipes. He's reminding me of the old Twilight Zone episode with the talking doll that killed Telly Savalas and then told his wife, "If you're not nice to me, I'll kill you too!"

The Boardroom never got to its second stage. Brent proved himself a liability, an embarrassment and probably a bit of a fool. Tammy didn't have to choose to take anyone into the Boardroom at all. It never got that far. With the full team there bickering mostly about Brent, Trump hit his Brent Limit.

"Brent, you're fired. Out! Over! Go! GO!"

It's about time.

Dollar bills, y'all...

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Best Laid Plans...

So, I worked yesterday and then into the night and through early this morning I watched the shows I had taped during the week.

And then ... I got sick. So sick. I'm not sure why unless it's a stomach bug or something. I usually don't catch those things, but it's something.

I'm sure it will be out of my system soon. It better be.

In the meantime, if you're interested, the concert review I did for can be found at Concert Review: Ten Years After - New York City - Mar. 15,2006

Friday, March 17, 2006

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

Bits! Bits! Get yer bits here!

Here are the television and entertainment related newsy bits links I found out and about the web today!

I hope everyone had a great St. Patrick's Day, even if you're not Irish...

My Apologies

Oops! I went to B.B. King's Blues Club in NYC on Wednesday night and was out past my bedtime. Well, I got in after 1 AM and had to be up by 6 AM for work, anyway. I missed posting the Melissa McGhee boot from American Idol -- I have the show taped and still haven't watched it. Then, last night, after a long day at work, I closed my eyes for just a few minutes ... and ended up sleeping for over ten hours. I got up in time to go to work. Sigh. So, no TV Newsy Bits yesterday.

I'm quasi back on track today, but another long workday and the basketball shows are driving me crazy. I have some shows taped that I'll be writing about over the weekend and a few other things in the works.

I won't go out carousing on a work night again. I fear I'm too old for a quick recovery. ;-)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

'American Idol' Stevie Wonder Night Quick Thoughts

I loved seeing Stevie Wonder on last night's show. Unlike the American Idol contestants, I grew up with his music and still have all of his older works in vinyl. Do the contestants even know what vinyl would mean in relationship to the music industry?

Here are my quick thoughts and miscellaneous ramblings which went through my mind while watching last night's show:
  1. Although I think Chris Daughtry's fantastic and I'm liking him more each performance, I can't believe he didn't know "Higher Ground" was a Stevie Wonder hit. I would always think Stevie Wonder before the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but I guess it's my age talking. This was the performance of the night both vocally and on the entertainment level.
  2. Taylor Hicks. My man Hicks. What a neat guy! If not for Chris, I'd name this one the performance of the night. My issues with the song was that while he looked great, that suit didn't match the atmosphere for the song. The song is gritty; the suit was um, provided by fashion consultants. He also has a bit of a misconception about the song. It's not about ANY city. It's about New York City. Excellent performance, though. I love watching him. No need to dye that hair.
  3. Mandisa, Paris and Lisa -- all good. I didn't expect any less of them. We'll see these three well towards the final arena.
  4. Kevin Covais cracks me up, but he's not going to win. He was cute and the performance was good in a high school talent show kind of way. That said, I enjoy watching him. He just ain't gonna make the grade.
  5. Elliott's voice is gorgeous. If he had Ace's looks, he'd win the show hands down. Alas, in the kid oriented American Idol, the fact that there are cuter guys like Ace will play a hand. I think he'll do well outside of American Idol and should secure a record contract. That voice is golden.
  6. Kellie Pickler - she makes me laugh when she talks. Can anybody be that ditzy and naive in this day and age or is it all an act? Of course, making me laugh at what she says doesn't mean diddly in making me like what she sings. And, this is a singing contest.
  7. Melissa McGhee - I like her okay, but I think she can pack her bags and head on home after tonight's vote results.
  8. Katharine McPhee is someone to watch. Until Simon mentioned it, I wasn't thinking Kelly Clarkson, but I can see it. Strong vocalist and nice performance.
  9. Ace. What can I say about Ace? I think his looks are working for him as much as, if not more than, his voice. He's not my favorite (that goes to Taylor Hicks), but I can tell the votes will keep on coming in for him.

What did you think of last night's show?

And, Now a Word From Our Sponsor: The SPRINT Commercials

I know I'm no marketing genius. Not only do I not play one on TV, I've never been in the marketing business. However, I am a consumer and I'm an observer. I know what catches my attention and what just bores me. In my last "Word from Our Sponsor" entry, I talked about the GEICO gecko which I think is the best television commercial campaign on the tube these days. Even before the gecko takeover, GEICO has been eyecatching and creative in its commercials. Part of the latest success is tying in the gecko with GEICO. Now, perhaps a lot of folks can't help but to think GEICO when they see a small lizard. That's success in company recognition due to advertising.

Another ad campaign I think is in the same sort of campy zany vein as the gecko -- the SPRINT commercials. I'm not sure why they've backed off the Sprint Dude in the Trench Coat. I always found those ads humorous, clever and I didn't even have to see the Sprint Dude to connect him with their product. I know his voice and recognize it immediately. They should bring him back. I think he's recognizable as the spokesman (so to speak) for the product and the ads are catchy. The company claims he's on hiatus, but I think the Sprint/Nextel merger offed him. Bring him BACK!

Looking at two of their latest commercials, one just bugs me (not a good thing for Sprint) and one I'm lovin' -- I pause to pay attention each time it airs. The one that I find "eh" to "annoying" if I see it too much is the ventriloquist commercial. It was okay the first time I saw it, but I'm over and done with it. It's most certainly not the best I expect of the creative marketing folks at Sprint. It connects with the product okay, but just doesn't snag me in at all.

The one I'm lovin' and pause to watch? Well, the one where the two men are in the locker room each bragging about the features on the phone. One claims it's also a theft deterrent in addition to phone, videos, etc. To prove it, he tells the other to try to steal his wallet. Then he throws the phone at him, thunking him in the head. Heh. Each time I see that commercial and its ending listing the features ending in *theft deterrent, I have to smile. The only way they could improve that one is to have the trench-coated Sprint Dude appear.

As for the merge with Sprint and Nextel, you don't want to know what I think of those darn walkie-talkie things while I'm commuting on the train to work. If I could ban a product, I would. Are people reliving their childhood adventures with those or what?

Sprint ads - love 'em or hate 'em or just don't care? What say you? Should the Sprint Dude return?

'The Amazing Race 9' Episode 3 3A ... er ... To Be Continued ARGH

Forgive me for I must rant. If you're squeamish or just plain sensitive, you may want to skip down past the next paragraph. This isn't going to be pretty.

I hate continuing sagas. When I see the words "To be continued..." I freak out. I don't watch soap operas or even continuing dramas such as 24 partly because I hate the feeling that if I miss an episode, I'm lost. As a matter of fact, Lost is one of the only continuing stories I watch and that's because I'm masochistic, I guess! (With all the repeats on that one, I must be masochistic.) Yes, I know the whole existence of the reality show genre is a continuing story and yes, I've learned to live with that idea. But I want my Amazing Race to end each week at the end of a leg. I don't care if it's a non-Philimination leg or not. I want a finishing order. I want someone winning the leg; I want results! Concrete results! Is it too much for a show fan to want? Am I micro-managing my television watching? Am I alone in wanting some sort of conclusion to the show each week? ARGH!

Now that I've got that out of my system, I'll talk about last night's episode - or partial episode or whatever...

The show opened at the Brazilian coffee plantation which was the site of the last Pit Stop. As always, the departure times went according to arrival times. BJ and Tyler were the first team to leave at 4:48 AM while Dani/Danielle were the last to leave at 7:07 AM. Quite a time span, eh? Well, it didn't really mean too much in the long run as the clue directed teams 3 miles away to take a nifty zippy zipline trip which didn't open until 7 AM. So, most of the teams just gathered awaiting the opening and even the last teams weren't so far behind. That is, unless they got lost like Lake and Michelle. (Heh.) BJ and Tyler were a hoot during the wait. They pounced upon or jumped out in front of arriving teams and had a good time of it all. I think these two are adding a lot of outright fun to the show. While they're serious and good competitors, they're thriving on the fun and adventure aspects and creating an atmosphere we don't always see with the teams -- laughter and good times. Kudos to 'em!

I would like to ride a zipline; they look like a heck of a lot of fun. But all in all, I don't think they're much of a challenge. You're harnessed in and just glide down. The first few ones were neat to watch, now they're just sort of a required once each season TAR redundancy. So, let's move along. The clue at the bottom of the zipline directed teams to the airport where they would head to Moscow, Russia. Yep, Moscow, Russia as opposed to Moscow, Idaho. I'm glad the clue specified the country, aren't you? All teams ended up on the same flight, so the scramble would be on upon landing.

Lake whined and fussed that he didn't want to go to Russia because it would be so cold. I hoped they'd dunk him in frigid waters. And, so they did! Once teams arrived in Moscow, they were directed to go to Chaika Bassein where Olympic swimmers train. Oh, no! It's a Roadblock! That, of course, is a task only one member of a team can perform. In this Roadblock, one member from each team had to "take the plunge" from a 10 meter high diving platform into a pool, swim the length of the pool and then dive down to retrieve the next clue. Most of the teams did okay with it. Yolanda balked a bit as she can't swim, but did fine in the end.

Who was annoying and set the team way back? Wanda! I was waiting for Desiree to slap her to get her out of her hysterical hissy fit. Sheesh! What is with that woman? Now, I like Desiree, but she is not her mother's mother! Sigh... instead of slapping her, Desiree teared up saying how proud she is of her Mom. Gag me. They took so long on the Roadblock that Dani/Danielle managed to make it back to retrieve their left behind belongings and go again.

That brings another thing to mind - the teams, not just BJ and Tyler, seem to have a lot more camaraderie a'goin' on this season. I know the Horned Toads (Jeremy and Eric) have a thing for the Double D's (Dani/Danielle), but to keep waiting for them? Not a real bright policy to get ahead in the race, guys. At least they let the girls go back for their stuff alone and didn't blow their lead time. All of the teams seem to be actually more friendly than past seasons. I'm trying to decide if that's a Good Thing or a Bad Thing. I don't like to watch teams fight all the time, but a bit of a spat amongst teams (not amongst team members themselves) is often the spirit of the race. If everyone likes one another it's nice, but will it dampen the competitive spirit? I guess we'll see.

From the dip in the pool, teams faced a Detour - Scrub or Scour. Yes, they sound a lot alike, but they're not. In Scrub, teams had to locate a trolley depot where they would clean a trolley car inside and out, inspected and approved before they could move on. In Scour, there was no cleaning at all. They had to scour Russian nesting dolls for a clue to the next stop. This was a classic TAR bit - the nesting dolls were in a theater with dancers and musicians creating madness as teams frantically, yet methodically, sought the elusive clues. As Ray said, "That music is playing with my head!" It's sort of like a maddening acid-induced Russian dream or something. I loved it!

For some reason, the first teams taking on the Detour had problems finding the trolley depot and ended up going for Scour. The later arriving teams seemed to find Scour okay, perhaps with some lost time. Don't ask me why. I don't know.

Jeremy and Eric were the first to get the clue to move onto the Red Square where they would meet Phil. Thinking back, it didn't say Pit Stop. And, it sure wasn't. At the Red Square, Phil handed them a clue and said, "This leg's not over." ARGH! (Go reread my first paragraph!)

I'm liking these teams. At this point, the only team that bothers me is Lake and Michelle. It frightens me that he's overbearing and a dentist. I'd like him to go away. I'm not all that thrilled with Fran's defeatist attitude. I expected more from her, didn't you? She's reminding me a bit too much of Gretchen. I think the other teams are fun to watch - even Mojo is growing on me. Perhaps they can put Lake, Wanda and Fran in seclusion and then the teams would be perfect.

And, now... this report is TO BE CONTINUED.

'LOST' Repeats Again

Hopefully it will be a new episode next week. We're certainly overdue for fresh Lost. I'm going to show my age a bit here -- did you know that years ago TV series ran from September to May with all new episodes? Shocking, ain't it?

A new commenter, Lindy, (welcome!) stopped by my last Lost review asking if I knew where she might find recaps of all the episodes so far. I thought that was worth an entry to point any seeking the same to the official ABC TV Lost site. They've got a bit of everything there and it can take a few hours to explore around the island... er, site. The recaps can be found at Lost Episodes

Maybe we can all study up and use our collective Lost thinking power to get us a new episode next week!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

'Amazing Race' East Coast Update...

To be continued...

Yep, they did it again. Jeremy and Eric were the first to reach Phil in Red Square only to be handed a clue and to be told it wasn't over.

I'll be doing the recap/review in the morning.

Today's TV Newsy Bits - Mar. 14, 2006

Bet your sweet bitty, I've got bits for you!

Here are the television and entertainment related newsy bits links I found out and about the web today:

Tonight's 'Amazing Race'

The show airs at 10 pm ET/PT. Here in the eastern edge of the country, I'll post the finish order and Philiminated (or non-Philim leg) as the show ends here.

Sometime way late or tomorrow morning, I'll post a full review/recap!

I hate the later hour. Grr.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Today's TV Newsy Bits - Mar. 13, 2006

Bunches o' Bits! Get yer bits here!

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

'Apprentice 5' - Ep. 3 -or- "Chaos on the Course"

Are you ready for more Brent shenanigans? Well, I think that as long as he lasts on the show, they should be expected.

After the recap of last week's show, we see Andrea absolutely freaking out because Brent wasn't fired. Oh, not to his face. She shut herself in a room for some cry time, then announced she was okay. She decided she wanted to be the Project Manager on the next task and she will manage Brent. Will she get her wish? Will she be able to manage him? Heck, it sure gives more incentive to watch after the debacle with Brent Management (or lack thereof) last week!

Over on the Gold Rush team, much to the dismay of Lenny, both Lee and Dan leave the team to observe the Jewish holiday. Lenny claims to be Jewish himself, but wouldn't desert the team. Dan and Lee feel they have a right to go and I agree with them, although I may have stayed had it been me. But I feel religion is a personal thing and no one can really dictate to another how strongly to follow their beliefs. Lenny, however, is very judgmental and says that if the team loses the task, he will blame them because they left. Bryce, barely seen in the last two episodes, agreed with Lenny and was quite outspoken about both Dan and Lee.

I found this week's task a bit more challenging than the ones so far this season. The teams had to organize a corporate retreat and introduction of the 2007 to General Motors sales folks. It was supposed to be classy, motivational and informational. Now, you could tell something was going to have to be improvised or changed as Trump did a bit on "Plan B" - flexibility is needed or you'll never be successful. Hmmm.

Gold Rush headed to the War Room and promptly went into a cacophony of ideas with Theresa as the Project Manager. She appointed Tarek in charge of creative ideas and then promptly interrupted him every time he tried to talk. She started going on about models, comedians, golf courses and horse-drawn buggies. Yipes! As I was thinking she was all over the place and what the heck did any of those things have to do with the task, both Tarek and Lenny voiced the same concern in confessional segments.

Meanwhile, over at Synergy, the flow was unbelievable. They started talking about the Tahoe and learning about the vehicle, connecting it with both nature and class. William came up with a theme of "Nature Refined" and they worked off that. Um ... Brent said something about being naked, but they shut him down pretty quickly. Leading the task, Andrea pulled the team together on a nature inspired rock climbing, fly fishing and skeet shooting bit while promoting the Tahoe.

For Trump's side, it was Carolyn and Bill checking out the tasks as George was observing the Jewish holiday. (Clue 1 to Gold Rush: Don't trash someone for observing the holiday!) At Gold Rush, they encountered chaos -- the models who supposedly learned about the car and were to teach the GM folks knew nothing, horses (horses?), a golf course set in what looked like a dog park run, a comedian (Cory Kahaney from 'Last Comic Standing') who was lewd and inappropriate for the event and just a total disaster. The team was fighting amongst itself and it was horrid all the way around.

As for Synergy, at the last minute they found out that skeet shooting wasn't allowed in the park. Andrea substituted golf cart racing which ended up being a big hit with the GM people. Andrea even managed Brent. She gave him important tasks such as strategically setting out the trash cans. Brent had spent a good chunk of the War Room time chowing down and not being helpful, but at least he didn't really hinder the team.

When the teams were brought into the Boardroom after the tasks, there really weren't any surprises. Synergy won the task while Gold Rush couldn't have done any worse. So, it would be reward for Synergy and the Boardroom where one person would be fired for Gold Rush. Synergy's reward was a trip to Atlantis Marine World where they swam with sharks, bonded and had a grand ol' time.

Dan and Lee returned to join their team in the Boardroom. Blame got tossed at everyone except perhaps for one who really made bad choices -- Charmaine. Lenny blamed Dan and Lee because they left and Theresa for being a bad leader. Bryce blamed Lenny as he didn't get a generator (which Bryce secured without incident). Theresa's dislike of Lenny made him the scapegoat for all going wrong. It was just as much a mess as the task was. I noticed that Charmaine wasn't mentioned at all when it was she who secured and paid the comedian who so turned off the crowd. Oh ... Tarek was also blamed.

Theresa chose Tarek and Lenny to go to the Boardroom. Trump did the right thing -- "Theresa, you're fired." She led the task and, inevitably, she was responsible for its failure. Trump said she should have brought Charmaine in. I disagree. In my opinion, Theresa was the one to fire. What do you think?

Dollar bills, y'all...