Thursday, January 31, 2008

Extremely Quick Take on 'Celebrity Apprentice'

Of course I missed the first hour due to Lost, but ...

... the women finally won a task to do with Croc shoes!

Apparently Piers sent Vinny to go spy on the women and he helped them because he wanted them to win.

In the boardroom, Vinny tried to resign from the show saying it wasn't a good environment for him. It's actually Piers who's the problem for him more than anything else.

Vinny resigns and Trump accepts the resignation. Piers sweat it out as Stephen Baldwin and Trace said they'd rather Vinny stay. Only Lennox wanted Piers to stay.

Buh-bye, Vinny. I'll have to watch the first hour I recorded because this is all a bit confusing.

'Lost' - "The Beginning of the End"

Jackie's TV Blog, Lost

Finally, after last night's convoluted subtitled repeat of "The Looking Glass" episode and the recap show "Past, Present, and Future" -- it's the new episode! And graphic artist Zoetawny made me a new logo for the show!

The present day mainland Hurley story--

Jack is watching television when he sees a car chase being covered ala O.J.Simpson. It's a '70s model Camaro and, surely enough, it's Hurley being chased by cops and helicopters. When the cops capture him, they know who he is and think someone he saw in a convenience store spooked him. After all, he's one of the Oceanic 6! (Only 6?)

The cops question him -- one cop knew someone on the plane. Oh, Ana Lucia. She had been the cop's partner. Hurley denies ever knowing her. What's up with
that?

Hurley watches himself on the tape but then turns to a fishtank. He hallucinates someone swimming towards him and breaking in. It's back to the nuthouse for him.

Back in the hospital, Hugo has a visitor. Why, it's Major Daniels from The Wire! Er, an attorney for Oceanic Airlines on this show. He offers Hurley an upgrade in hospitals. Hurley turns him down. He reminds Hurley he's not fine and in a mental institution. He had no ID and then asks Hurley if "they" were still alive. Hallucination?

Charlie? Charlie's visiting Hurley in the hospital? Yikes! It was Charlie in the store! Charlie tells him that he's both dead and here, slaps him to prove he's real. Charlie tells him that he knew he'd die when he went on his mission down in the Looking Glass. He wants Hurley to do something. "They need you. You know they need you." He vanishes.

A clean-cut Jack arrives to visit. He's supposedly back to surgery. Jack tells Hurley the reporters are leaving him alone, but he still gets asked for autographs. He tells Hurley he's thinking of growing a beard.

Hurley thinks that Jack is checking to see if he's nuts or was "going to tell." Hmmm ... Jack goes to leave. Hurley tells him he's sorry he went with Locke, should have stayed with him. "I think it wants us to come back, it's going to do everything it can..."

"We're never going back!" says Jack. "Never say never, dude," Hurley replies.

Meanwhile, on the island

They're happy to be in preparation to be rescued. Jack tells Kate that if Locke comes back, he'll kill him (for trying to stop them from leaving and attacking Naomi). Sun and Claire are talking babies. Apparently they don't realize that Charlie died in the Looking Glass. Hmmm...

Ben wants Rousseau to take Alex and stash her. She tells him that Alex isn't his daughter.

Hurley tells Bernard about his winnings, then it's off to do a cannonball.

Yikes! Desmond comes ashore to stop them from contacting Naomi's ship only to find out that they already did. And Hurley finds out Charlie is dead.

Jack is talking to the "rescuers" but getting interference. They want to redo the radio settings and ask him to put Naomi on. Instead of telling them she's dead (by Locke), Jack tells them she's getting firewood. Then he heads to Ben at a tree and asks "where is she?" Naomi, that is. She;s not dead after all.

Sawyer, Jin, Hurley, Sayid, Desmond don't want to tell Jack the boat wasn't sent by Penny and raise suspicions. Uh-oh.

Jack, Rousseau, and Ben go off to look for Naomi. Kate thinks she headed west across the island. Kate seems reluctant.

The Know About Charlie and Naomi Crew arm themselves. Hurley looks determined. The crew is walking in the dark. Now Hurley's alone and my TV is digitally pixeling out on me. Whispers. An uh-oh, a commercial.

The blood trail of Naomi ends. Ben is snarky. Ben tells Jack that Kate took the phone when she hugged him and probably followed the right trail to Naomi, too. Sure enough, she's following the trail. The phone rings, so she answers it. She tells the guy on the other end that she's looking for Naomi ... who drops out of a tree and demands the phone from Kate with a knife to her neck.

Naomi talks to George (the guy on the phone), tells him she's hurt, had an accident. "Tell my sister I love her." Dies.

Hurley got separated from the rest of the crew and comes across Jacob's shack. He looks in the window. A face looks out at him! He runs! And there's the homestead place of Mikhail, the door opens. He thinks it's a hallucination and falls over. It's Locke.

Locke asks how Hurley got separated from the group and why he was shouting for help. Locke questions Hurley about the "Not Penny's boat" message on Charlie's hand. Locke wants to to get Jack to believe them so Charlie didn't die for nothing. Hurley meets back up with his crew and Locke comes along.

Sayid wants to know why Locke destroyed the submarine before he accepts his help. Aw, it's reunion time. Everyone but Charlie, that is. Hurley goes to Claire. Cries, tells her that Charlie's dead. They both cry. Locke, Desmond, and Sayid look pensive.

Jack punches Locke to the ground, then tries to shoot him, the gun isn't loaded.

Sawyer and Sayid yank Jack off oh him. Locke defends his actions saying everything he's done has been in their best interest. Kate arrives, gives the phone to Jack, and tells them that Naomi is dead and covered for them. Locke tries to convince them to come with him so they can live. More crying for Charlie. Hurley tells them the last thing Charlie did was warn them that the rescuers in the boat aren't who they said they were.

He tells Jack he won't listen to him, he'll listen to his friend Charlie. "Anyone else?" Locke.

They all start to go with Locke. Ben asks Jack's permission to go with John Locke. "he's all yours," Jack tells him. Rose refuses to go with Locke. Kate confronts Sawyer about going. He tells her he's survivng. The rain starts.

The groups seem to be about half and half, those awaiting a bad rescue and those hiding.

Kate and Jack awaiting rescue in a storm by the fuselage. A helicopter! A parachutist! The music heightens! It's someone I feel I should know ... "Are you Jack?"

And that's it. Who the heck was that guy who parachuted in? Dang. They have too big of a gap between bizarre seasons. I wonder how there are only six in the Oceanic Six, yet Hurley's there and he wasn't with the group awaiting rescue. There were more than six in the group with Jack.

I'd imagine the big secret they're so concerned about would be the rest of the people left behind on the island.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

'American Idol 7' - Live Blogging the Miami Auditions

Jackie's TV Blog, American Idol
The show has started and they want us to think it's all going to be hot action in Miami tonight.

Shannon McGough is slated to be the first featured audition. She knows how to belch and reminds me of a flapper girl from the '20s. She handles meat. And she screams. Not sure what's going on with her, but I hope she doesn't make it.

Phew. She's out of there and it's a shock to her and her family. Poor deluded folks.

Robbie Carrico, an ex-boy bander, is up. They didn't say what boy band and I'm not all that familiar with the more obscure ones, but he can sing. He makes it.

A bad audition run of guys follows a good pretty girls clip.

Ghaleg is up. He's crashing into love. He wrote the song himself. Simon thinks he'd like Ghaleg or is it Ghaleb if he (Simon) was drunk. Paula brings up his accent but says he has talent. Randy says yes just to counteract Simon's no and make Paula decide. Say what? He's going to Hollywood? Now that's bizarre.

Uh-oh. Two rather heavy girls of color are up. They like men. But can they sing? Corliss Smith sings first. She's not bad. Randy has fallen into her trance. Oh, my ... Randy has patent leather red shoes on. Brittany Wescott (?) sings next and gets the judges all happy. Simon says yes to them both, so does Paula ... and then Randy. They make it through to Hollywood!

A sob story from a girl who became a single mom at 18 after her man left her, Suzanne Toon -- takes the stage. She can sing. She's blonde ... sort of. I think she has pretty eyes. She makes it through. She seems to be playing the sultry single mom card.

Filipini-American girl Ramiele Mulabay goes for "Natural Woman." Not so bad. I didn't expect that. Simon thinks she's good, but more like a hotel singer. Simon says no, but Randy and Paula knock her through to Hollywood.

Onto the second day ... Randy is wearing a purple blouse, hopefully without bright red shoes.

It sounds like the next contestant has read THE SECRET or something -- positive thoughts result in positive outcomes for her. She has a father who struggles with substance abuse, but it's not so much a sob story as one of recovery and love. Aw. Syesha Mercado goes for an Aretha song. She's cute, perky, and has a big voice. Once again, Simon doesn't like her so much. Randy thinks she's one of the best so far in Miami. All three judges say yes.

A streak of good auditions follow -- two girls make ti through.

But how are the guys doing? Not so hot. We see sme clutching golden tickets, but only hear the whacked out. One sings through his nose.

A girl from the top 20 in American Juniors four years ago, Julie Dubela, goes for "Me and Bobby McGee." She's no Janis, not even a Kris Kristofferson. Simon thinks she's acting very precocious. She's a no, not ready yet. She won't stop singing.

The end of the second say is coming and it's down to one contestant. Brandon Black is another odd duck. It's another creepy love tribute to Paula. Um. No.

17 golden tickets were given out, two less than Omaha. So much for hot hot Miami, eh?

Next week it's off to Atlanta.

TV Newsy Bits - Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I think it's enough to keep me out. Well, maybe the tall fence topped with barbwire does it for me, too. This sign is near the Bridgewater (NJ) Train Station surrounding an abandoned parking lot. But it looks radioactive, doesn't it?

Today was rainy then blustery here with high wind warnings, but so far we've escaped much of the bad winter weather to date this season. My bad knee is thankful. On the knee topic, I have an orthopedic surgeon appointment set up for the day before the start of Big Brother 9. Not to worry, though. Rather severe surgery may be ahead, but since it's not an emergency I'll be covering the feeds reports and schedule things for between seasons. Of course, if the doctor has a miracle up his sleeve, I'll go for that rather than scary surgery and a hospital stay.

In today's TV Newsy Bits:
  • I'll be putting up a live blogging post of tonight's Miami American Idol auditions if the scheduled outage for Blogger ends as expected. I'm not sure if the outage for maintenance will affect viewing the blog, but as long as it's out I can't post. It should end before the show starts, but I'd rather mention it now just in case it goes kerflooey. Plus it gives me a chance to use the word kerflooey in a sentence.
  • If you're not a fan of football (I'm not), TNT is having a The Closer marathon all day for Super Bowl Sunday. While I don't watch football, I say "win it, Big Blue" for the sake of territorial fanship.
  • The Celebrity Apprentice has been renewed for a second season. I personally don't think the plain old show needs to ever air again, but I'm finding the celeb version entertaining enough. Yeah, I wrote the linked article for TV Squad, but I'm totally not understanding the one commenter. Odd.
Today's random observation:
While crows fly from point A to point B in a straight line (as the crow flies), geese circle about incessantly honking and acting like crazed tourists in Manhattan.

Today's musical non-sequitur:
When it's late
And it's hot
And a date with the Late Show is all that you've got
Don't give out
Don't give up
One of these nights
You might find someone to love
-- "Someone to Love" by Fountains of Wayne

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

'American Idol 7' - The Omaha Auditions

Jackie's TV Blog, American Idol
The show is starting here on the East Coast and this post will be regularly updated as it airs. They're in Omaha, Nebraska, tonight. Well, that's different.

Paula was delayed, so we get witty bits. Well, maybe not so witty. A guy is going to explode and infect everyone with his happiness. His name is Chris and he carries a bag, never a good sign. Well, the bad, not his name.

He wants to do anything and Simon eventually says he can go for being the correspondent for the local FOX station talking about the show. @@

Jason Rich, a farm worker good-looking dude, is being featured. He doesn't seem to be a joke. I bet he can sing. Uh-oh. He can sing, but the nerves are getting to him. He forgot the lyrics to the song he chose. He's from a town of 500, so he's nervous. They let him through to Hollywood with a warning not to do it again. Paula is still missing.

Welp, she's here! And it's into a whole series of bad auditions with forgotten lyrics. And women are arm wrestling in the waiting area. A thrill a minute. A girl goes up against Ryan Seacrest and Simon backs off away from the challenge. Rachael Wicker is her name, arm wrestling and singing her game(s). She sings a country song. Simon thinks she sounds or looks old ... one or the other or both. He says no while Randay and Paula say yes.

Now Sarah Whitaker, an ex-wrestler, is featured. I guess there's not a heck of a lot for women to do in Omaha? Oh, my. She sings like a cross between Julie Andrews and the Wicked Witch of the West. Simon thinks she's strange. She is.

Okay, Ryan questioned the decision, so he's been thrust into Paula's chair while Paula takes his place. Samantha Sicley is the first guinea pig. She sings a Nora Jones song ... not bad at all. Ryan critiques her movements and Paula takes over once again. She made it through to Hollywood.

Into a bunch of good auditions, but only snippets of them. Lotsa Hollywood a goin' on.

A girl with a sob story. She's estranged from her father. Tears, tears. Angelica Puente is her name, but can she sing? She mimics the original Celine Dion and pleads nerves. She's through to Hollywood. Simon and Randy want her to be herself. Paula urges confidence. Wrong door. (It's actually the other door tonight.) Aw, her father tells her on the phone that she's always been his American Idol.

It's rocker time. David Cook thinks he brings something different to the table. He goes for "Livin' on a Prayer." Yes, he can sing. He's onto Hollywood.

Johnny Escamilla compares himself to James Brown. He goes for "Shout." He's scaring me with his flowing sparkly shirt and er ... movements.

After a bunch of "Stuck in the Middle" bad bits, I'm ready for a good audition. One person left -- Leo Marlowe. Hmm ... he has a good sense of humor and can sing. He makes it through.

19 made it through to Hollywood from the Omaha auditions. Tomorrow it's off to Miami. The crowd looks very different from Omaha.

TV Newsy Bits - Tuesday, January 29, 2008


A store window in Westfield, NJ. While they also do fortune telling at the shop, what I want is the flying monkeys sign. At times my own personal squad of flying monkeys could come in handy. But with my luck, they'd go out on strike for better wages and benefits.

In today's TV Newsy Bits:
  • I'll be getting a post up to live blog the American Idol audition show as it airs here in the northeast. Or am I mid-Atlantic? It depends to whom you're speaking, I guess. Anyway, the post will be up around 8 PM if you want to share your comments on the show.
  • Lots of new programming on the cable stations tonight -- truTV (which should have stayed Court TV) has two episodes of The Real Hustle on at 10 PM ET/PT, Discovery has a new Dirty Jobs on at 9 PM ET/PT followed by Some Assembly Required at 10, TLC has a new Bussey Bunch on at 9 PM ET/PT and a new LA Ink on at 10 PM ET/PT, A&E has an hour of new Parking Wars (two episodes in a row) starting at 10 PM ET/PT.
  • Celebrity Spider is reporting that CBS has ordered two more seasons of Survivor. (Yay!)
  • Wild Bluff Media has an article which outlines the time frame leading into the new season of Big Brother.
  • Don't forget! Lost returns on Thursday night with a two-hour show! Of course, that will throw Celebrity Apprentice to the wayside (most likely) -- I'm not sure how I'll deal with both of them and then Survivor arriving on the 7th of February. Something has to give. I'll have to fire Donald, I guess.
Today's random pondering:
Why don't men wear fedoras more often?

Today's musical non-sequitur:
City lights, the pretty lights
They can warm the coldest nights
All the people going places
Smiling with the electric faces
-- "Neon Rainbow" by The Boxtops

Julie Chen (finally) on Letterman

jackie's tv blog, Big Brother, BB9

Well, she was supposed to be on last week, but finally here she is. Let's see if she spills any dirty little secrets, eh? So far they're talking about how much time she spends in California vs. New York. Now they're talking about last night's SAG awards and an actress out of hand in the audience.

C'mon, talk Big Brother!

Finally. David is talking about how much he doesn't know about BB, but knows it originated in Holland. Julie tells him the original premise of ten strangers and each week they vote out one of their own. Now there are twists since the fourth season. Yes, there are live feeds, Dave. She said threee months ... was it a slip? Will this be a regular run of a season? Hmmm...

Fake clip time of a nakde woman playing bongos as the After Dark show.

As usual, she spilled no beans, gave no insight.

But Zoetawny made me a cool new logo!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

'In Stereo Where Available' - A Book Review

Author Becky Anderson was kind enough to send me two signed copies of her first novel, IN STEREO WHERE AVAILABLE. One I sent out just yesterday to blog reader Jennasmom, the winner of my big book giveaway contest.

Okay, I must admit that my reading tastes generally lean more towards mysteries or horror rather than chick-lit. Nonetheless, I found the book entertaining, possibly because it included one of my other entertainment interests.

You see, the author didn't just approach me on a whim. She's a reality show fan much as all of us are here at this blog. Becky has never missed an episode of Survivor, so how could I not give the book a chance, right?

The protagonist in the story is Phoebe, a 29-year-old virgin looking for love and finding it in one of the most unlikely places -- a wrong phone number from a guy looking to talk to a woman named Karen. But Phoebe's twin now not so identical after various enhancements is also sort of seeking love. Well, more like seeking fame with love and fortune, too -- in a reality television show.

Now, that's some show author Becky Anderson dreamed up. It's sort of a Big Brother meets The Bachelor meets Survivor with a war of the states thrown in! To be honest, if Becky approached reality television producers, I swear The Belle of Georgia could be a hit! Twelve women vying for the attention of two men, one of them named "Rhett" for the show. The challenges show that the author is no stranger to the reality television genre!

Who finds the true love? Yeah, you can almost predict it. However, it's certainly worth the ride. I think it's a laudable first novel and hope to see more from this author in the future. Or, perhaps, maybe she could create a reality television show or two!

IN STEREO WHERE AVAILABLE is available (but not really in stereo) on amazon.com and the official website for the book is here. Buy it. Read it. Let me know what you think!

TV Newsy Bits - Sunday, January 27, 2008

I haven't seen Roofus the Cat lately, but I'm sure he's street-savvy enough to be taking shelter from the weather. I told you about the defunct Budget Car Rental place and the elderly gentleman who feeds the feral cats adjacent to Roofus' rooftop territory. If you click on this photo, it will enlarge. That's a cat on the counter looking out the door and cat food in a dish on the sidewalk. From what I can see inside without going up and peeking in the windows (and having the man yell), he has industrial size bags of dry cat food and cases of canned food in there as well as cats who seem to come and go somehow. Since Roofus wouldn't even have to cross a street to get here, I'm sure he takes advantage.

In TV Newsy Bits:
  • The SAG Awards, unlike the Golden Globes, will actually take place tonight. From a press release I received -- As a build-up to the 14th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards presentation, TNT and TBS will present a special live webcast of the red carpet at tnt.tv and tbs.com, as well as through the TBS and TNT domains within the Kaneva virtual world. The webcast, which will open with SAG president Alan Rosenberg and SAG Awards nominee Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma) announcing the recipients of this year’s new Stunt Ensemble honors, will be hosted by Entertainment Weekly’s Dave Karger and comedian Jamie Kaler, co-star of TBS’s acclaimed comedy series My Boys. Karger and Kaler will cover the red carpet arrivals of this year’s nominees, past winners and other attendees. Following the Red Carpet Pre-Show, the webcast will shift backstage to the press and photo rooms, where this year’s SAG Awards honorees will answer questions from reporters and pose for pictures with their Actor® statuettes.
  • I wrote a bit about a few of the reality shows on A&E for a TV Squad article.
  • This Reality Wanted interview with Erika Landin (BB4 and All-Stars) is a few days old, but gives a bit of insight to casting on the show.
  • Speaking of Big Brother casting, there have still been no announcements and I don't expect anything until the first week of February. What we do know is that there will be 14 in the house (rather large group, expect some double eviction weeks as this season may not run as long as the usual summer season) and the theme is "my dirty little secret." Okay, that could be ax murderers for all we know!
Today's musical non-sequitur:
I don't give a damn about a greenback dollar
Spend it as fast as I can
For a wailin' song and a good guitar
Are the only things I understand.
-- "Greenback Dollar" by Hoyt Axton

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Quick Take on 'The Celebrity Apprentice' - Ep. 4


Yes, graphic artist Zoetawny has indeed captured that odd fake-looking suntan with the reverse raccoon eyes! Thanks, Zoetawny!

I'm still not too cool with Gene committing apprenticide last week, but even without him this season is a world better than that debacle last year.

But what the heck is going on with the women? I would have thought Marilu would be a shoe-in to win this task for her team. And, yeah ... they came close. But, as always, close just doesn't make the grade. You win or you don't. And they didn't.

Although Marilu clicked with Omarosa and Nely on tonight's task, I personally think Omarosa will be a dividing factor on the team no matter what. Nely obviously is on Trump's firing range just awaiting the shot. As I watch the condescending way Omarosa treats the others when her own biggest claim to fame is being a "reality television star," I can't help but think that her presence alters the actions of the other team members.

That said, of the ones brought back to the boardroom, Jenny would be the one to go. I know the corporate world and they'd eat her alive. She's much better off on the playing field where people don't use the bodies of their dead co-workers to climb the corporate ladder.

Marilu did screw up with David Hyde Pierce. I could have walked by and not noticed him. However, if I saw $50 tickets for the shows, I would have jumped at that. Do you know how much of a savings that is?

As for the guys, I think Piers and Stephen have this love/hate thing goin' on between them. The absolute funniest part of the show was their scene with Stephen doing the Muttly hissy-laugh! Piers in the King Arthur suit carrying the rabbit (which is a notable item for the show) was funny, but I don't think I'd just up and give him money for charity, either. And I wouldn't call myself rude. I rarely walk around with large amounts of cash in the city and, while there are many tourists, I usually have my spending rather planned. I like to choose my charities and they generally don't include clowns ... er, King Arthurs on the street.

It was close this week, but I think Marilu hit on why the guys keep winning while her team loses. The men do have more cut throat leaders aboard. Both Carol and Jenny have been more followers for the women. Then there's Omarosa creating a rift. I really wish they'd juggle the teams around and mix it up more.

So, it was Geneless, but still entertaining. Now if Omarosa could just bump her head or something.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

'American Idol 7' - The South Carolina Auditions Live Blogged from the East Coast

Jackie's TV Blog, American Idol
The show is starting here on the east coast. As it airs, I'll update this entry. Please feel free to jump in with your comments!

The first one on stage (well, in the room), is a young man with a big afro who thinks he's the black Clay Aiken. Um, no. Rashar? Argh. I missed the screen with the spelling of his name.

A girl from the same town where Kelly Pickler was raised, DeeAnna Prevatt, is over emoting just a wee bit. Simon called her a little tiger. She didn't make it.

A couple who met on the American Idol message boards, is a prime example of dork love. Crystal Ortiz and Randy Stark, sing. I actually get a kick out of the lyrics, but not the singing.

Michelle and Jeffrey Lampkin, a brother and sister act, is ready now. They can kind of sing. They both make it. I personally don't think they'll make it too far once in Hollywood.

Loser exits and it's back to the woman about ready to give birth whose husband wants to audition.

More bad auditions.

Save the cheerleader, save American Idol? A squeaky clean anti-drug anti-sex cheerleader is brunette, at least. I've tired of blondes. Amy Flynn sounds very nervous, but makes the attempt. She gains more confidence as as she goes along. Paula likes her. Simon thinks a lot of people will find her annoying. But he says yes, as does Randy. She is making me smile. She will be fun on the show, I think.

The first day is wrapping up, but the expectant fanter is hoping to come back. And then we get a sob story from a woman named London who took off three years of singing to deal with her sick father. She's blonde. I'm thinking she can sing without listening yet. Yep, London Weidberg, goes for Billie Holiday's "Good Morning Heartache." Randy and Paula like her. Simon? He thinks it's a good audition, but he didn't hear anything unique. It's onto Hollywood.

Fifteen made it through the first day. I think I liked the auditions better when Simon called contestants bush babies.

Patriotic fever alert! An Air Force gal shows us her cockpit (sounds kinky, doesn't it?). Lyndsey Goodman goes for "Black Velvet." She can sing. Simon thinks she's caberet, but he's said that before. She's a no. Yikes.

Aretha Codner from Buffalo, NY, is up next. Will she live up to her namesake? Well, no Aretha. She's super confident, but Simon thinks she murdered the song. So do I. She's very defensive and takes her time leaving.

Joshua Bosun is worse. What an animated lad, though. I don't love him. He says the show is fake and rigged. Simon says he's rude and deluded. Fuss, fuss, whine, whine. I like how his mother and he wear coordinated clothes.

Another bad audition run. A No serenade, cheesy, but classic for the show.

Oliver Highman, the new daddy, is back to audition. Will it be worth it? Okay, this is the best voice of the guys they've shown in South Carolina so far. But he took it too far and messed with it, so he's not onto Hollywood. Why didn't he just sing without overdoing it? Argh.

23 made it to Hollywood. Ho-hum show. Next week it's onto Omaha. I hope they're more interesting.

TV Newsy Bits - Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A nod to diversity -- this is one of the front windows of a Texas Wieners restaurant in Plainfield, NJ. I have no idea what the line in Arabic says, but I think it may be touting grits (also on the menu, along with chitlins). You gotta love it, eh?

In today's TV Newsy Bits --
  • I'll be posting another live blog American Idol post for tonight's South Carolina auditions show around 8 PM ET. Of course, you're all invited!
  • Two of my articles hit the TV Squad screen today -- one is on Survivor 16 Micronesia spoilers and the other is a list of five things I've learned from television. If you don't want to see the spoilers, yet want to view the image gallery I created for the Survivor entry (no spoilers in the images although they're from the first episode), this is the link for the gallery.
  • Julie Chen is a guest on tonight's Late Show with David Letterman. I'll report back if she lets anything good slip about the upcoming Big Brother season.
  • The single dad in last night's American Idol auditions from San Diego, Perrie Cataldo, has an arrest record according to TMZ.com.
Today's musical non-sequitur:
And I swear
That I don't have a gun
No, I don't have a gun
No, I don't have a gun
-- "Come As You Are" by Nirvana

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"American Idol 7' - San Diego Auditions Live Blogged from the East Coast

Jackie's TV Blog, American Idol
The show has started here in the East. Ah, the warm California sun, eh?

Tatiana With A Long Last Name is up, another blonde. She can sing, I'm sure she'll get through. Simon doesn't think she's as good as she thinks she is, but she makes it.

Lots of background stories this year -- sob stories, mostly. Now we have a single father named Perry Cataldo with an adorable child. And, yes. He can sing. He's through to Hollywood.

Michael Lee originally from Australia but now Los Angeles, sings an Otis Redding song -- "I've Been Loving You So Long." Good. Simon likes it -- like a white soul singer. He's not bad on the eyes, either. (I said that, not Simon.) He's through to Hollywood ... good thing he lives in LA.

Now it's time for a bad run of auditions. Pitiful, reallly.

A Mariah Carey fanatic is singing next -- Valerie Reyes. Uh-oh. It's as if I were singing! Yes! It's as if I was on stage! The really sad thing is she thinks she can sing.

It's gimmick time ... like that always works so well. Monique Gibson. Um. Horrible. She walks away crying. Her friend Christopher Baker is only slightly better than horrible. Enopugh air time for him, AI. Sheesh.

It's onto love for the judges. It's the Simon is hot bit. The girl is obsessed with him and she's just a few decades too young! Her sister sent a note for Simon via paper airplane. She gets to sit with the judges. Samantha, the sining sister, goes for an Aretha Franklin song. Not horrible. I don't think she's wondrous, but so much better than the other two. The judges were more impressed than I was.

Day Two of the auditions start -- Blake Boshnack, a frequent auditioner, the one who dressed as the Statue of Liberty in auditions a few seasons ago, it up. His mother supports him and gets him to the auditions. Very weird. Oh, my. He isn't totally terrible. Why was he gimmicking before? He's not good enough, but not horrible enough to dress as the Statue of Liberty. This is his 11th audition. He didnn't make it.

More really bad auditions with a never give up on your dream theme.

Now one of the Number One Fans is auditioning. Alberto Herdato (sp). Remember Stephen King's MISERY.

One thing about this show is they really are the epitome of cheesy. As the fan runs off waving his fan, they cut to a bald eagle in flight. No show can beat the cheese of American Idol. I miss "Seacrest Out."

A 16 year old who suffered vocal paralysis a while back, David Archuleta, is up. He's a young cutie and he can indeed sing. He could be a teenybopper to star for sure. He's onto Hollywood.

Another season five applicant who made it to Hollywood but didn't have her visa (she's from Ireland), Carly Smithson, is auditioning last. Her husband has interesting tattoos, but Paula likes her singing and so does Randy. Simon doesn't think she did as well as she did two years ago, but he's a yes, too. The girl from Ireland (visa in hand), is off to Hollywood.

30 others also made it through to Hollywood from the San Diego auditions. Tomorrow, it's the South Carolina auditions.

TV Newsy Bits (and schtuff) - Tuesday, January 22, 2008

NJ Transit, it's the way to go. Now, if people didn't sleep in public places with no expectations of privacy, people like me wouldn't take photos of them. Commuting on the NJ train lines is, for the most part, something I enjoy. I've made train friends that I see off the train, there are other regulars I don't care for so much. My train friends tend to be going back and forth from work, as am I.

The train is its own microcosm of society. There are the laborers, the office folks, the methadone clinic travelers, the conductors and ticket takers, the tourists, the teens heading into the city to be cool, and the sports fans -- right now it's the NJ Devils hockey fans takeover of the evening trains which is most notable. My train friend Donald gets nervous when I scoff the really hyped-up Devils fans.

During tonight's ride home, we had a singer. That happens a lot on the subways because they expect people to pay them. But NJ Transit has a conductor (or assistant or ticket taker) in every car and no one bums money. This singer tonight was about four seats in back of me and sang with a soulful ON KEY voice. I was amazed how well he sang, but I didn't want to turn around and look. He went from "This Train is Bound for Glory" to "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime" with a few other songs in between. He knew all the lyrics and it was actually sort of neat. Normally I'm not one for noise on the train, but he could sing. The conductor smiled and told me he'd stop him, but he was so good he just couldn't bear to do it.

He got off at my stop. Huh. Here I pictured a rotund black guy behind the voice and it was instead a very tall skinny older white guy with a ZZ Topp kind of beard and scraggly long white hair. As he walked through the station, he let loose with a much louder voice as if he had been holding back ... "Breakin' up big rocks on the chain gang, breakin' rocks and servin' my time. Breakin' up big rocks on the chain gang, oh lord I've been committed of a crime ..." I've never seen him before today, but I wouldn't mind if he became a regular. It was a joy to hear him sing.

In today's TV Newsy Bits:
  • Actor Heath Ledger, age 28, was found dead in the Broome Street apartment owned by Mary Kate Olsen (SoHo -- Manhattan) this afternoon. Sources are saying it looks like it might be a drug overdose. What a shame ...
  • Tonight will be the San Diego auditions for American Idol. I'll be setting up an East Coast Update post on it approximately 8 PM ET. As always, your comments are welcome. I bet the train singer was better than any we'll see tonight, but I fear he's probably about 40 years too old.
  • People asked how many entries I got for the book giveaway. Well, I went back and counted them -- 58. If I receive anything of interest, I could very well do this again. Hmmm ... maybe a few of my screeners I've received from networks?
  • There's a plethora of Amazing Race interviews, some audio out and about. Buddy TV has an audio interview with Ronald and Christina while Reality TV World has a non-audio interview with them. TK and Rachel were interviewed here, and here, and here. There are more even. Yikes.
Today's musical not really non-sequitur:
This train don't carry no rustlers, this train
This train don't carry no rustlers, this train
This train don't carry no rustlers,
Sidestreet walkers, two bit hustlers,
This train is bound for glory, this train
-- "This Train is Bound for Glory" by Woody Guthrie

Monday, January 21, 2008

And We Have a Winner!

Yes! We have a winner!

Blog reader Jennasmom (who was out of town) has won a signed copy of Becky Anderson's novel IN STEREO WHERE AVAILABLE.

I should be finished reading my own copy tonight and get a review posted about the book later this week. If you're looking for a novel which ties in reality show doings and romance, too -- check it out! After all, it was written by an author who's as addicted to reality television shows as much as we are here.

The correct answers are:

1. Who was the first person ever booted on Survivor?
Sonja Christopher

2. RealNetworks has provided the live feeds for Big Brother since the second season. What company supplied the live feeds for the first season?
AOL

3. Which American Idol past contestant is slated to start a run in Broadway's Monty Python's Spamalot beginning January 18th?
Clay Aiken

4. What Amazing Race 5 contestant yelled that his ox was broken, thus giving the title for My OX IS BROKEN, the book?
Colin Guinn (although just Colin was acceptable, even "that jerk Colin" sufficed in one entry)

5. What is the name and real-life occupation of the Survivor contestant who, during the first season of the show, voted others off in alphabetical order?
Sean Kenniff - Neurologist (although doctor, etc. was fine)

Thank you all for entering!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

'The Amazing Race 12' - Season Finale East Coast Updates

Jackie's TV Blog, Amazing Race, TAR

This is it -- the season finale. I think this might be a first for me not really having a team I desperately want to lose in the final three.

As the show airs here in the NYC area, I'll update this post with hugely important goings-on and the final Pit Stop (Finish Line) order. A full review will be posted on TV Squad later tonight. As always, your comments are definitely welcome!

UPDATE: Ron and Chris still in lead. Donald and Nicolas made a drastic mistake and will probably have to backtrack and might blow their chance of winning. They left a bag at the 6th Avenue Outfitters with needed gear inside it.

UPDATE: Ron and Christina still ahead. Nicolas/Donald are just shy of TK/Rachel despite their error.

UPDATE: All three teams in a dead heat at the Roadblock -- one of the toughest ones I've ever seen with the racer using memory and following a set amount of items to represent each leg of the race.

UPDATE: Rachel finished the puzzle first, then Christina finished but TK/Rachel have taken over the lead right now.

TK and Rachel WIN The Amazing Race!

Ronald and Christina come in 2nd, Donald and Nicolas 3rd.

Survivor Micronesia: The Trailer

I was looking for something else on YouTube and came across this. I just had to share.


TV Newsy Bits and Bloggy Bits, Too - Sunday, January 20, 2008

Again, I used layers to show the construction dude in color while the rest in black and white. I took the shot in a subway station (NYC) if it isn't obvious. Clicking on the photo will bring up a larger image.

In Bloggy Newsy Bits -- I'm still awaiting an email from the winner of IN STEREO WHERE AVAILABLE signed by the author. I sent out a second email and if I don't hear back within the week, I'll draw another name. I'm just about finished reading my own copy of the novel and should be posting on it by the end of the week.

In TV Newsy Bits --
  • I'll be putting up an East Coast Update post for the finale of The Amazing Race when it starts here in the NYC area. I know CBS in this area isn't showing the BIG game (NY Giants against Green Bay Packers), but I just turned on the station and they're talking football instead of the news which should be on. Hopefully TAR will start on time.
  • Oh, wait. I guess they're talking another big game -- Patriots win. But if you're in this area, the only game hyped forever has been the Giants.
  • Suzanne Pleshette has died at the age of 70. For some reason, I thought she would be so much older than that. When I was a teenager and she was Bob Newhart's wife, she seemed so adult. I didn't realize she was less than 20 years older than I am. I always enjoyed watching her on television and in movies.
Today's musical non-sequitur:
I walk a lonely road
The only one that I have ever known
Don't know where it goes
But it's home to me and I walk alone
-- "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" by Green Day

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Quick Take on 'The Celebrity Apprentice' - Ep. 3

Before getting into the show -- a winner has been drawn for the book giveaway. I'm waiting on email confirmation to make the announcement. Thanks to all who entered!

And then there's tonight's episode. Yikes. No, Omarosa wasn't as bad as graphic artist Zoetawny's depiction here tonight. Perhaps she had an off day, but she was human.

I don't know what to say. Gene Simmons went aboard the womens' team to act as project manager at Trump's bidding. Now, I think that so far this season, Gene's been the shining star.

Well, tonight the skies went dark with storm clouds and snuffed out the stars, shining and otherwise.

I understood the task -- Kodak wasn't wanting so much to promote themselves as a company. What they wanted to promote was their new printer and the fact that the ink for it is half what it is for other printers. I know exactly where Kodak is coming from. I've been disgusted that new printers sometimes cost very little while the ink cartridges are sky high.

Gene made a few errors. By not going to the meeting with the executives, he didn't realize how much they wanted to push the ink savings, not the company itself. So, he didn't go to the meeting, he had the concept of the promotion wrong, and then he topped it off by standing by his "creative vision" and bringing the wrong people (Omarosa and Jenny) to the boardroom when Trump was giving him Nely on a silver platter for the firing.

Oh, Gene, how could you do it?

Yes, I did think the "It's a Kodak World" slogan is perfect ... if they wanted to promote the company. Yes, the presentation looked so much better than the guys ... but he didn't think ink! ACK. (Of course, had I been the PM, I'd obviously go with a "When you think Kodak, THINK INK" slogan, but I ain't no celebrity.)

Oh, Gene. Oh, Gene. Trump did make the only choice he could as much as he annoys me. And, while it was fun watching Gene Simmons put Trump on the spot, losing Gene on the show just outright stinks.

But he did it to himself.

Sigh. Silly KISSer.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

'American Idol 7' - The Dallas Auditions Live Blogged

Another night of auditions, this time it's Dallas -- where they found Kelly Clarkson. As the show airs here, I'll post on some of the stuff (or auditions) I find interesting and you're invited to post your thoughts in the comments!

Jessica Brown is up first. She's not rocking my socks, but she can indeed sing. She got her golden ticket.

Paul Stafford is ready to audition. Um. He better stick to cleaning off the bases at the park. For me he's coming across as a smarter Tom Cullen (THE STAND). M-O-O-N spells "no."

Beth Maddox is going to sing a Kelly
Clarkson song. Well, yeah. She could be compared to Kelly Clarkson if Kelly got hooked on helium. No go to Hollywood for her. How do some of these folks sing in public and think they actually can sing?

An hour of bad auditions ahead for the judges. And they're much worse than Beth.

Alaina Whitaker, a Carrie Underwood comparable, can sing. Nothing I'd buy, but she's got potential for Hollywood methinks. And she makes it. Not that I'm in
complete agreement with Princess Leia from last night, but I wonder how many perky blondes can fit on one Hollywood stage?

A sweet young man who has a rather lofty view of love and has never kissed a girl, Bruce Dickson, sings "Ain't No Sunshine." Hmmm ... interesting. Nice looking guy. He doesn't make it

Pia (ZPIA) is up. She has a black blonde Annie Lennox thing going on. It's onto Hollywood for her.

Brandon Green, who collects fingernail peelings, is up. His hobby creeps me out. He also dresses a bit odd. Thankfully, though he's not horrible, I don't think he's all that thrilling. Paula likes him, as does Randy. Simon said no, but he's going to Hollywood. I hope he doesn't bring out his collection too often.

Kayla Hatfield, mother of two, has a tragic car accident sob story which did a job on the left side of her face. She's perky. Oh, my. She does Janis Joplin, not too horribly either. It all seems a bit incongruous, though. Simon says yes, Paula says no. Simon is rooting for her. Randy likes her and sends her through.

Erick Mauldin is odd. We're in for a run of bad audition snippets.

Kady Malloy does impersonations of singers. Her Britney is spot on. Ohhh ... she's good. She's another cute blonde, but I won't hold that against her. Onto Hollywood she goes. Simon thinks she's the best so far this year.


Eleven made it through to Hollywood on the first day and it's onto the second ... after the commercial break, that is.

Douglas Davidson is worried about his vocal chords. He's slightly strange. He goes for "Livin' On a Prayer." He's no john Bon Jovi. Yikes. He also has odd arm movements. Not sure what's going on with him, but he's so not good. Security escorts him out.

Angela (Reilly?) is accompanied by her husband Chad. She has lots of energy and a loving husband who's easy on the eyes. But she doesn't have a ticket to Hollywood.

A Governor of Oklahoma wannabe, Kyle Ensley, is up. Not the worst, but I'm shocked that Simon passes him onto Hollywood. Randy says no. It's up to Paula. Onto Hollywood!

Tammy Tuzinski, who reminds me of a female comedian Steven Wright when she talks, sings in an odd sing-song kind of voice. Just an odd duck, I guess.

Colton Swon can sing. Not necessarily my favorite, but he should make it. He does.

Yikes. Trannies, grannies and guys in bad drag.

Now a farmer with a sexy tractor. Drew Poppelreiter is a throwback to another time and place. But he's better looking than the young cowboy we saw last year or the year before. He can sing, definitely country. Simon says no. Randy says yes. Paula has no wow factor from him, but says yes.

Kyle Reinnick thinks he all that with is guyliner, even. Startling. Simon said it
was slightly disturbing and demonic. No, he won't go to Hollywood.

Another run of bad audition snippets. They aren't spending as much time expanding on the naughty bits in much detail this season. Just snippets.

Nina Shaw is from the same town as Kelly Clarkson. She sings a Whitney song and Simon thinks she oversings. Paula thinks she's pageanty. Randy likes her jazz style. Simon said no, Paula yes. She's through. She looks pageanty coming out of the door with her ticket, I think.

I'm not sure what to make of the last audition. Dressed like a pimp of some sort, Reynaldo Lupez (sp?) is 44. Why bother? Niow, that wasn't worth any sort of build-up. I'd rather see the wicked witch from the bad snippets expanded upon.

Okay. It made me laugh when Paula, Randy, and Ryan joined him. Paula was a hoot!

24 made it through to Hollywood. Next week heads to San Diego.

TV Newsy Bits - Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Yeah, it's a gritty photo I took along the NJ Transit train line I frequent. I enjoy grit at times. I actually loved it back when the NYC subway trains were graffiti covered. These days, the subway car exteriors are graffiti-less and the scratched into the plexiglass windows "art" just isn't the same for me. On the other hand, the city and subway system are much safer than they were back in the old days. Oh, I miss the tokens, too. I think I still have a few around somewhere. MetroCards just aren't as memory worthy for the saving. Clicking on the photo above will enlarge it.

On another front, our huge snowstorm forecast for Monday morning never came. You would think with all the technology today, the weather forecasters wouldn't be so entirely off base. It rained a very little bit and that was it. Last night we had some flurries. We're supposed to have another cold blast starting Sunday and they're probably right about that. With my knee the way it is, I'd just as soon not deal with any snow and ice. The ski areas seem to be getting snow, that's fine by me. It can stay away here this season.

At my workplace, everyone seems to be sick with either a horrible cold or the norovirus (stomach flu). I have neither (knock on wood). I'm in my usual winter state of sneezing and congestion. I don't think it's an illness as I go through it for the entire winter every winter. I think it's due to dry heat. One of these days I'll buy a humidifier.

Enough about me. To start off today's TV Newsy Bits, I want to mention some commercials I've been seeing lately --
  • I'm not sure if ShopRite is a national chain supermarket or not. But, if you're familiar with them -- it's the time of year for their can-can sale. They sell lots of brand-brands in everything can-cans. Every year when the sale is on, I get the song stuck in my head. It's almost enough to make me want to dance. I found a clip on YouTube if you're not familiar with the commercials. That's an old ad -- the song remains the same, but the prices surely have changed. After it's stuck in your head too, you might want to put a hex on me or something.
  • What is going through the minds of the Dominoes Pizza folks with their latest ad campaign? You cannot tell me they don't know the Internet meaning behind the acronym they're using on the commercials. They're advertising the BFD. On the Internet for years and years, that's short for Big [f-bleeping] Deal. They're calling it Big Fantastic Deal. But I know otherwise and so does anyone who has visited message boards anywhere.
  • Did you see Sarah Reinertsen from Amazing Race 10 on the Lincoln car commercial? When I first noticed the commercial, I recognized her artificial leg before I realized it was her. I said to myself, "I know that prosthesis!" Hopefully she left that dolt Peter and it would be great if she did do well in a marathon. I have nothing but respect for her but he was horrible.
In other TV Newsy Bits --
  • I watched two hours of Greatest TV Reality Moments on VH1 the other day. I do miss the days when both MTV and VH1 focused on music videos almost entirely, but I think I'm getting hooked on some of the shows of this ilk on VH1 now. Included in this show was Charla in her armor falling over on Amazing Race, but not Evel Dick dumping iced tea on Jen's head. If it repeats when you're not watching anything else, go for it.
  • I haven't watched Leno since his return without writers, but I have caught some of Conan O'Brien sans writers. Actually, I think I like Conan's show better without the writers. It forces him to be creative and he's good at sight gags, self-deprecation, and general silliness. I'm still not thrilled with the local weatherman who reminds me of Conan, but I've giggled and chuckled at the bits I've seen of the show since its return. Good work, Conan!
  • Although the commercials for the upcoming Big Brother 9 hint at "dirty little secrets," there isn't all that much concrete news out there yet -- mainly speculation. I found this article interesting, but I fear they don't have any more actual insight than many of the show's huge fans.
Today's musical non-sequitur:
Rich relations give you a
Crust of bread and such
You can help yourself
But don't take too much
-- "God Bless the Child" as sung by Billie Holiday

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

'American Idol 7' Season Premiere Live Blogged

Jackie's TV Blog, American Idol

It's here! As the show airs here on the East Coast, I'll be commenting on some of the auditions and other tomfoolery. After the fact, I'll probably add some images to this post.

So, sit on down in your comfy chair and make yourself comfortable -- and feel free to comment, too!

It's opening to "Time Has Come Today" by The Chambers Brothers. We're off to Philadelphia, a city I personally enjoy.

Joey Catalano, first up, has lost 204 pounds. He has a boy band voice if you ask me. He made it to Hollywood, but Simon seems a bit hesitant about his looks.

Okay, Ryan is talking with an Egyptian guy who loves America and uses the BeeGees as a sample of American bands he loves. Um. Well, he seems nice enough, but can he sing? "Uka" they call him. "How Deep is Your Love" isn't quite cutting it.

A Taylor Hicks back-up singer, Melanie Nyema. Hmmm ... not my cuppa for sure. But she made it to Hollywood? I predict she'll not make it to the final group.

Tour guide James Lewis first totally bad singer of the night -- I'm not quite sure what he's doing, but it's not singing. Maybe he's impersonating a foghorn? Calling ships at night?

A quick run of good and bad. They have some tal
ent, but I'm not loving anyone yet.

Ryan's talking to a female football player
named Sybil but called Temptress. She has a sob story. Uh-oh. She isn't making it -- not a laughable try, but not really ready for this show, for sure. She was such a sweet kid that Simon was even nice. Hell must be frozen over, eh?

Mark Hayes from Folsom, NJ may be able to make neat cricket noises, but he sings with absolutely no emotion. So, he goes for the crickets.

Another bad singer who thinks he's good. I never get this. I know I can't sing. He should know he can't.

Ah, what would AI be without a run of comical bad audition snippets? Done to "I
Love Rock and Roll."

Alexis Cohen, her mom, and two cats live in a studio apartment in Allentown, PA. It's a Billy Joel song, not Bon Jovi, Alexis. She likes attention and sparkly things. She will be odd. Simon thinks she's possessed. "Simon didn't like me, but he's a big fat bad word." Oh, then she got nastier.

Angela Martin from Chicago, with an ill daughter is being bio'd now. I think she might be able to sing. We'll see. A truly tragic illness for the daughter -- Angela wants to use the money to provide health care and research. She works as a singer, so ... oh, she IS good.

Alyse W. oh my. She's frightening me. This run of bad auditions is making me cringe. Some older guy wants to sing a song called "No Sex Allowed" for the judges. Milo Turk, a social worker. Um. I think the pressure of his job may have cracked him.

Kristy Lee Cook came all the way from Oregon. She does cage fighting and loves horses. She's pretty. She sold a horse to get to the audition. She sings "Amazing
Grace" just fine.

A man in a cloak is just what we need. He should leave the cloak on. They're going to let him wax his chest hair and come back. Ew.

More bad audition runs. I'm going to have nightmares tonight.

Yikes -- a guy is singing a stalker song he wrote for Paula. He's creepy. I recommend a restraining order.

Nice segue to a girl named Beth Stalker, though. Ah, nice jazzy voice. Simon voted no, Randy and Paula yes. I liked her voice. So there, Simon.

Cloak man Ben Haar is back hairless. Worse. His act is as bad as his look.

Chris Watson, with good looks and dreads, sings well and makes it through to Hollywood.

The reject doorway shots are always so uplifting, aren't they?

Christina, a Princess Leia wannabee who wants to leave Enfield, CT, promises a huge flop. It's American Idol or become a corrections officer for her. I say she would shine in prison. I'd give her 10 to 15 years to start.

Last audition of the night is Brooke White, a nanny. She could definitely be successful with a singing career. It's an interesting voice. Onto Hollywood.

29 made it through to Hollywood in the two days at Philly. Princess Leia is still fussing about the looks of
the contestants. Tomorrow night is Dallas.

Tonight, Tonight - 'American Idol' and '10 Items or Less' Season Premieres

Are you ready for the madness that is American Idol? Yep, it's that time of the year once again. The auditions run from 8 PM to 10 PM ET/PT on FOX tonight. I'll be posting about it all without a doubt later tonight. Please feel free to join me in comments as I live blog the season premiere! I'll get that post up and running about 8 PM ET.

There's a new Law and Order: SVU that I'll be watching after Idol ends.

And, then there's the season premiere of 10 Items or Less on TBS at 11 PM ET/PT. I've watched the first two episodes via a screener copy sent to me by TBS along with a nifty big tote bag. Cool.

If you haven't seen the show before, it's a comedy set in a supermarket (Greens and Grains). The episodes are based on a loose script and utilize improvisation to round everything out. There's a rival supermarket, rival supermarket workers, a clueless boss, and more quirky characters.


Can an armed robbery be seriously funny? Well, yeah, under certain circumstances.

John Lehr (pictured on left -- the one without the stocking mask), who plays clueless boss Leslie Pool, has a lot of comedic and improvisational work in his background. But what I find very interesting is that he's one of the GEICO cavemen in the insurance commercials. He's the caveman at the therapist's office. "He doesn't say anything because he's a doll." You know, that caveman.

If you're looking for something a tad less serious than the 11 PM news, check 10 Items or Less out -- it makes me smile.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

'The Amazing Race 12' - East Coast Updates - 1/13

Jackie's TV Blog, Amazing Race, TAR

Oh, no. I don't know if I can handle this. The show is starting on time here in the NYC viewing area. Yikes.

As it airs, I'll post updates in real East Coast time including the elimination -- and we know we can expect one tonight. Late tonight my full episode review can be found over on TV Squad. But, for now ... commentary is always welcome here!

In Taipei Ron and Christina have a slight lead. TK/Rachel, Donald/Nicolas, and Jennifer/Nathan are bunched together at the airport, so TK and Rachel have overcome the 3 hour gap. They haven't done any tasks yet, so no Speed Bump yet.

Speed Bump completed. Ron and Christina still ahead. Donald/Nicolas and Jennifer/Nathan awaiting 8 PM train, TK and Rachel on their way to the train station.

At this time, on the way to the Detour, Jennifer and Nathan are last and bickering. Ronald and Christina are on their way to the Pit Stop and likely will be first. The other team standings are all fairly close.

Ronald and Christina came in first, won a trip.

2. TK and Rachel (yay!)
3. Donald and Nicolas!!!

My thanks go out to all of the readers who declared Nathan and Jennifer the fan favorite team last week. Due to our hard work and telepathy, they were Philiminated and won't be in the finale.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

TV Newsy Bits and Bloggy Bits, Too! - Saturday, January 12, 2008

A young skateboarder rides the bench at the Bridgewater, NJ Train Station. He was going to stop when I arrived, but I told him he could keep skating as long as I could take some photos. His friend's camera equipment made my little digital camera look like a play toy. In this shot, I used layers to make the background black and white while keeping the skateboarder and bench color. I showed him the shots I took. "Rad," he said. Skateboarders are like that, yes they are.

You notice it's January and there is no snow. We've had a heat wave this past week with temperatures ranging up to nearly 70 F on a couple of days. We even had thunderstorms, rare for January, yesterday. It's more common to have thundersnow this time of year -- snowstorms with lightning and thunder. That's all supposed to change tomorrow night as the area is expecting 4-7 inches of snow for the Monday commute.

I saw Roofus the cat briefly today as he leaped from one roof to another, then out of sight. Alas, he moved too quickly for me to capture him with the camera.

In TV Newsy Bits:
  • I watched three episodes of Orangutan Island (Animal Planet) last night which mark my introduction to the series. My verdict? I approve. I enjoy Meerkat Manor and this is sort of similar yet not as life and death (although I hear one orangutan named Oyoy died in a previous episode). What's next? Taco Bell Rats?
  • In a message posted a few days after Christmas on her MySpace page, casting director of Big Brother 9 Robyn Kass announced that all the finalists were selected for the show. I know I'm reporting on it a bit late. So, if you applied and haven't heard anything ... you didn't make it. I didn't hear anything, but then again ... no way would I ever apply!
  • Meanwhile, Sophia Loren thinks we're wasting our time watching Big Brother. Do we honestly care what Sophia Loren thinks of us? Poppycock!
  • TV Funspot has an article on the upcoming Survivor Micronesia which includes a map of both tribe camps, the tribal council area, and the Exile Island. Yes, it appears that aspect will return this season.
Today's musical non-sequitur:
Hey now you're an All Star get your game on, go play
Hey now you're a Rock Star get the show on, get paid
And all that glitters is gold
Only shooting stars break the mold
-- "All Star" by Smash Mouth

Oh. And how did the kid get on the bench ...?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

TV Newsy Bits and Bloggy Bits, Too! - Thursday, January 10, 2008


Its finest days long gone, this was apparently once a fine furniture store in Plainfield, NJ. Now its only letters left in the cool old sign on the front of the building are F-U-------RE. The sign atop the building is even worse off. It hasn't been a furniture store since I've been in the area (almost fifteen years). For several years a gay/lesbian multimedia company occupied the building and always had cool cardboard cut-out figures of Star Wars characters, Alfred E. Neuman (MAD's "What me worry?" mascot), Edvard Munch's "The Scream" figure, and more. They're gone now as is one of the two large stone lions at the entrance. Now, those lions have to weigh 400 pounds or so. How does one go missing? Are lives in danger with a stone lion roaming the streets? You can click on the photo for a larger image.

In other quasi-local news ... what was going through the minds of those two elderly men who wheeled their dead friend in an office chair to a check cashing store to cash a Social Security check which arrived after he died? I think a few too many brain cells are gone from the guys, don't you?

In Bloggy Bits -- the response for the signed book giveaway is great! Remember, the deadline is Wednesday, January 16 at midnight ET.

In TV Newsy Bits:
  • I know a lot of the blog readers really enjoy Grey's Anatomy and its star Patrick Dempsey. I received an email and it said in part -- "Patrick's mother, Amanda, is a two-time ovarian cancer survivor. She was first diagnosed in 1996 and is now cancer-free. During her battle with cancer, Patrick was actively involved in caring for his mother. One of his concerns was keeping his mother mentally and physically active during treatment. To help with this, he purchased a farm so his mother could stay active with gardening, renovating a new home and enjoying the outdoors."

    "Because of his family's experience, Patrick was motivated to join the Breakaway from Cancer™ initiative, which helps increase awareness of the variety of professional and educational resources available to patients, caregivers and survivors, including those provided by the Breakaway from Cancer non-profit partners, The Wellness Community and the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship." If you want to find out more, check it out!
  • Starting on February 14, a new late late show will start a thirteen week run, mostly on ABC after Jimmy Kimmel, but it will be on My9 here in the NYC area. Jake Sasseville sounds like a wild and crazy 22-year old. The show is called The Edge with Jake. I tend to fade by that hour, but I might have to check him out.
  • Blog reader Loren shared a link with me which says that this season's impromptu Big Brother 9 will again have the After Dark show on ShoToo for folks with that cable channel. I, of course, will have the feeds. I sort of already have them but they're not there. I still have my SuperPass, that is. That reminds me -- I have to put in for my music credit for the month! Thanks, Loren!
Today's musical non-sequitur:
She has robes and she has monkeys,

Lazy diamond-studded flunkies
-- "Love Street" by The Doors

A Quick Take on 'Celebrity Apprentice' - Ep. 2


Again, I'm not sure if I'll be covering the show each week. But since graphic arteest Zoetawny made me some nifty graphics for it and I did indeed watch it ... here I am!

If you haven't seen the show and plan to do so, be advised there will be spoilers in this entry. Please read it with your eyes shut if you don't want to know who was fired tonight. Thank you.

I'm still a bit iffy on exactly who some of these celebrities are. Who's the big blond guy who fussed about running his own company tonight? Other than Lennox Lewis, I'm not so knowledgeable about fighter types.

And, Nely? What's her claim to fame?

Being the animal lover I am, tonight's charity and project struck a note with me. The only drawback was that it was all about dogs and not cats. There are just as many loving cats in need of homes, perhaps more! On the other hand, Pedigree (the company) is doing a fine thing donating to shelters.

As much as I enjoy Gene Simmons and don't care for Ivanka Trump, I do think he was beyond rude in his dismissal of her when she was checking on the task. I also thought he was way out of line when he implied she would give information to the women's team. Yikes.

And, even though they were successful in winning the task, I didn't care for the way Simmons and Baldwin shut out the rest of their team. I don't blame the team members for getting a bit ticked. It's their project, too.

That said, I liked their commercial the best and they won. Of course, Omarosa even helped their win by laughing at the sight of Lennox with that dog. It was cute, but wouldn't that laugh be almost akin to sleeping with the enemy?

I thought the women's commercial was very good -- it tugged at the heartstrings. But the men's was just better. The women did some things very right such as meeting with the company to see what they wanted. The men just decided they knew. Yeah, it worked for them ... this time. But that's not always the best approach.

I thought Nely and Marilu worked extremely hard and even though both could have been held responsible for their team's loss, the right choice was made with Nadia going home tonight. I loved watching her in the Olympics so many years back, but she doesn't have the spark nor the edge of viciousness needed in a cut-throat corporate world. Omarosa was smart to stay in the background and make no effort to do anything except her assigned task. She's still the odd man out on the women's team. She doesn't fit in at all, but there was no plausible reason to bring her into the boardroom tonight.

The promos for next week have Trump saying, "You're a champion. You're fired." Now, that could be Lennox, but I doubt it.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What? A Blog Contest?

Yes! It's a contest! With a prize even!

Author Becky Anderson, whose new reality television based first novel is out on the market, sent me two autographed copies of IN STEREO WHERE AVAILABLE.

While one copy is specifically for me, the other will go to one of the blog readers here. I've just started reading the novel and I plan to talk about my impressions after I finish. But an author who has never missed an episode of Survivor and found this blog is already a hit with me.

How can you win? I've decided to list five questions based on reality television shows. I ask that you do NOT answer them in comments, but in an email addressed to jackiestvblog at gmail dot com. (The contact email is also in my sidebar. Make sure you do the @ and the . to make it work -- I'd rather not get more spam for having it in the right format in this entry.) Please give the email a topic of Blog Contest Entry to make sure I don't overlook it.

Because the timing of the Internet isn't the most fair to all, I won't be taking the first entry with the correct answers. Instead, I'm putting a deadline for entries of midnight (ET) on Wednesday, January 16, 2008. I will put all of the correctly answered entries in a hat (or more likely a kitchen bowl, to be honest) and pick one with my eyes shut. How more fair can I get, huh?

I will contact the winner at that time and ask for information to ship the autographed novel to them. There is no need to give me your personal names or addresses in your submissions -- I'll contact the winner via email and, trust me, I won't share that information with anyone. I do ask that a screenname, or commenter name, be available for announcing the winner although I won't post any email addresses or real full names of the winner or any entries.

Are you ready? The answers to these questions can be easily found by using a search engine or you might even know some by memory. Copy and paste these questions with your answers into an email and let's go!

1. Who was the first person ever booted on Survivor?

2. RealNetworks has provided the live feeds for Big Brother since the second season. What company supplied the live feeds for the first season?

3. Which American Idol past contestant is slated to start a run in Broadway's Monty Python's Spamalot beginning January 18th?

4. What Amazing Race 5 contestant yelled that his ox was broken, thus giving the title for My OX IS BROKEN, the book?

5. What is the name and real-life occupation of the Survivor contestant who, during the first season of the show, voted others off in alphabetical order?

Remember -- do NOT answer these questions in the comments, any answers in the comments area will be deleted. Email them to me at the address above with a subject header of Blog Contest Entry. The deadline is midnight (ET) on Wednesday, January 16.