Sunday, November 28, 2010

Amazing Race Recap: "Just Keep Puking. That's What They Did In Renaissance Time."

With Chad and Stephanie being eliminated last week, the ‘domineering boyfriend count’ was cut by 33%, as the final four teams headed to Hong Kong for a predictable non-elimination leg. Would Jill and Thomas be able to maintain their huge lead on the other teams, or would there be another airport equalizer? Why is Brook dancing like a fool? And who’s puking over sushi?

My Random Thoughts:

- I had wondered for the past couple of seasons about the off-leg rest periods, and what happens to the teams. In the past, Phil always methodically told us that they had “a mandatory 12-hour rest period that allows the teams to eat, sleep, and mingle”, but there has been no mention of that for a couple of seasons now, just the times that the teams depart the Pit Stop. Tonight, we heard Jill and Thomas talking about their big lead (which rapidly evaporated at the airport), saying that they haven’t seen the other teams. I guess that answers that.

- Brook and Claire decided that they in fact were annoyed about being U-Turned, and since they were the only team to ever survive a U-Turn and not be eliminated, they suggested that once Thomas saw them at the airport, he might “poop his pants.” Look, I get that these two Pink Ladies are cutesy about everything, but I can’t think that there is any chance that when Thomas saw them, that was going to happen. I understand it’s just a figure of speech, but it’s not like they’re giving a lesson to a group of second-graders. Does the phrase “poop his pants” really have any place here?

- Nick got teary at the beginning of the episode talking about Vicki, saying that “she’s a blessing.” Apparently she’s only a blessing until her damn asthma causes them to miss a ferry, putting them 30 minutes behind. Then his praise of his girlfriend turned into “You’d better hope you can keep up because I’m not waiting for your ass.” What a classy guy, huh? Especially after he threw in the “Quit Crying” for good measure.

- I liked how in Hong Kong, Jill and Thomas were the only ones to get on the first bus, meaning the initial bus to leave the airport. But then they were the first ones to get on the First Ferry, meaning…the name of the Ferry? Did you catch that…in giant capital letters: FIRST FERRY. It’s so optimistic…even Nick and Vicki could say they made it on the “First Ferry.”

- I loved this exchange between Brook and Claire:
Brook:“Let’s hug it out.
Claire: “We did suck it out.”
Brook: “No, hug it out.”
It’s funny enough that Claire mis-heard it, but what the hell does “suck it out” mean? Did she think Brook actually said “Suck it UP”?

- After last week’s over-the-top “C’Mon Claire” display from Brook, I decided that this week, I would actually count the number of times Brook said it in the episode, much like I did the “Bro” count with Dan and Jordan, and the “Baby” count with Michael and Louie from last season. In tonight’s episode, the Count–which includes the following modified phrasing: Claire C’mon, C’mon honey, C’mon Claire Bear and C’mon (bud did not include Brook leading the Karaoke crowd in the Claire chant, OR you got this, chica/Claire)–was FIFTEEN times. I think it’s only a matter of time before Claire Bear actually kills Brook.

- I loved the fake food search at the buffet. I thought it was one of the best challenges we’ve seen in 17 seasons of the show, and it was made that much better by the frantic-ness added by the karaoke singers and Brook’s dancing. It also reminded me of the ‘Eat the Wasabi” challenge from 2 seasons ago…which may be my favourite challenge of all time.

- Claire, did you really think after reading the clue that asked who was feeling peckish…that this was going to be a singing challenge? And did we really have to hear the puking/splashing sound effect twice?

- Credit to the creative department on this episode, because I though the two Detour options were also great. The Ding Ding challenge was nearly impossible, but I still would have chosen it, simply because the other one was taking place at night with flashlights in the harbour. In the daytime, it’s an easy choice, but I would have gone with the Ding Ding Detour at night.

- What was the point of the bird whistle? Other than making the teams look ridiculous?

- Nat and Kat came in first place and gushed like schoolgirls, putting their heads on each other’s shoulders and blushing. Awww…how sweet. That should give another week of multiple Google searches on “Are Nat and Kat gay?” Trust me, it happens…I see where the traffic comes from.
(Update: as of midnight ET on the night of the episode, with this recap only being online for less than 3 hours, there were a total of 46 hits from people Googling permutations of "Nat and Kat gay".)

- “We can just take a penalty. You can’t keep puking all night.” When this is the most compassionate we’ve ever seen Nick, then it’s pretty apparent he won’t be winning any Boyfriend of the Year awards. Vicki is rapidly becoming the Zach to Nick’s Flo…remember how everyone couldn’t stand Flo, and Zach became the most sympathetic contestant in TAR history? Vicki is getting pretty close.

Even more so after Nick’s tantrum on the Sampan, ranting about how he was tired, and over-using the word “Damn” like he was Myron Mixon. He complained that the Detour was ridiculous because the numbers weren’t even in order. What kind of challenge would that be, if all you had to do was count? To be fair, for Nick that would still be pretty difficult. But after tonight’s episode, he most certainly wins the “Whiny Bitch” award.

- Nick and Vicki came last in the most obvious Non-Elimination leg yet, and with only two episodes left, will now have to face both a 6-hour penalty AND a Speed Bump in the next leg. By my calculations, this should put them 6 hours and 3 minutes behind the other teams. If the next leg stays in Hong Kong without major travel or a venue that doesn’t open until a certain time, they will most assuredly NOT be racing in the Final Three.

Next Week: The penultimate episode, as the final three teams are determined.

Just one quick final note: I will be travelling to the West Coast for 2 weeks, starting next weekend, so that may affect my recaps for both The Amazing Race and Survivor. I think they should all still work out ok, but I haven’t exactly figured it all out yet. I am travelling on December 5th, which is the second-last episode of TAR, and I may not be able to actually see the episode, much less recap it. I’m hoping it all works out as usual…the only difference is that the recaps will appear later since I will be watching the show on Pacific Time.

Amazing Race Fans, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.

Related Posts:
Josh Wolk’s Amazing Race Recap
Darren Franich’s Amazing Race Recap
Spoiler TV Recap

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Survivor Nicaragua: Non-Recap Of A Non-Episode

For those of you unaware, and I was one of those until about an hour before air time on the East Coast, tonight's episode of Survivor (November 24) was a Recap show of the first half of the season. I hate Recap shows, as I'm sure most of you do as a matter of fact, that picture above shows my level of excitement over this episode.

We didn't really learn anything new tonight, except that Jimmy T. was even more annoying than we saw in the early episodes, apparently there was a sale on pink underwear before the Survivors left for Nicaragua, Jane didn't always look like a witch (and she starved herself in advance of the show!), Fabio rubs his eyes after touching hot peppers, and NaOnka's on-screen confessionals now warrant the theme from Jaws.

Speaking of on-camera confessionals, Purple Kelly finally got one! Although she basically just cried and talked about wanting to quit. Sure there were a couple of things that were new, like finding out that NaOnka told Holly about stealing the flour, and finding our how Jane got a second fire going (something I wondered about in the recap of that episode), but there wasn't any real substance. Did we really need an extended scene of Marty and Tyrone (neither of whom are still in the game) arguing about the placement of the fire? Also, I had forgotten that Tyrone was a fireman! How hard do you think he was laughing and pointing at his TV screen last week watching the camp burn down...exactly like he said it would?

Another wasted hour. I hate these episodes.

See you next week.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Amazing Race Recap: The Double U-Turn

When I saw last week’s preview of the Double U-Turn coming up in this episode, I braced myself for the invariable whining and complaining from the team that gets U-Turned. As readers of my Amazing Race Recaps from previous seasons may remember, I am a big proponent of using the tools that are available to you to win the game. It’s the same concept as a stolen base in baseball…it’s not unethical or ‘dirty’ to do it, even though the name ‘stolen base’ itself is a connotation of wrongdoing.

In previous seasons, we’ve seen teams get riled up over being U-Turned, but if you’re not willing to use the U-Turn with only 5 teams left in the Race, then you don’t really want to win. As I stated last season when Brent and Caite U-Turned Carol and Brandi, I think that any move that eliminates 20% of the field in a contest for $1 million dollars is a pretty smart move.

But on to this week’s episode, which saw the Final 5 teams travelling to Bangladesh…where the premiere of the dreaded DOUBLE U-Turn awaited them.

My Random Thoughts:

- I’ve been pretty hard this season on Thomas for his condescending ways, but I had a hearty laugh hearing him begin the episode saying that there was a “Do-Blay” U-Turn ahead. Now, I don’t think Mr. Notre Dame Class of ’02 really thought that was the correct pronunciation of “double”, but it’s an obvious editing ploy because he likes to correct Jill on anything and everything…like the difference between wheelbarrows and rickshaws, or what ‘extremities’ are on your body.

- Jill, meanwhile is becoming more and more dramatic with everything that comes out of her mouth. Tonight she said that “Getting to the U-Turn first is crucial”, and that getting the earlier flight was also 'crucial'. I would suggest the word ‘obvious’ could replace ‘crucial’ in either instance, but when you also factor in that just riding the rickshaw in Bangladesh was ‘crazy’ to her, and rappelling in Oman last week was ‘insane’ , I have a feeling that everything in Jill’s life is excessively dramatic. Like at dinner, she could turn to Thomas and say, ‘This Chicken is NUTS!’ He, of course, would respond with "I've had this a thousand times before."

- At the airport in Oman, we saw Jill and Thomas fight for an earlier flight, Nat and Kat head off to Dubai in search of something better, Team Home Shopping and The Tattoo Twins searching for other options…and Chad and Stephanie grabbing a snack. I guess they were still basking too much in the afterglow of their new engagement to actually focus on trying to win the Race. Maybe the circulation to Chad’s brain was cut off by that ridiculous neck pillow that he wore in the airport for no reason. Or maybe the Neanderthal football jock gene in his brain just kept saying “Mmmmm…Blizzard.” Did you love how they blurred out the Dairy Queen logo on the sign, but still left in the fact that Chad wanted to go get a Blizzard?

- Essentially, we saw the first 15 minutes in an airport, all just to learn that Jill and Thomas had a 7-hour lead. Was that really necessary?

- I had to laugh at the Sugar Cane drink challenge because we had a family brunch today with about 20 people to celebrate my mom’s birthday, and for the latter portion of the brunch at the restaurant, all of the kids were filling up their water glasses with sugar cubes from the table. One of the glasses had eight cubes in it, and we were commenting on how sweet it would have been. That’s what I imagined the Sugar Cane liquid would have tasted like, although Thomas pounded it back like he was the anchor leg on a Notre Dame Boat Race. (Nice touch on the Irish shirt this week, by the way)

- When Jill was doing the Rickshaw Roadblock, and talking about “nuts and bullets”, Thomas was calling out supportively to her, but all we really heard were two suggestive phrases, as he said: “she’s handling that wrench pretty well”, and “put that booty into it.” It was a little gratuitous, and I was half-expecting the Rickshaw supervisor to tell her that she couldn’t leave until she “greased his chain”, but thankfully, that was all. To be fair, I suppose you have to try and fit something interesting into the show when your leading team hits the Pit Stop at 8:28 and no one else is even in the country yet.

Speaking of the Rickshaw supervisor, did you notice how visibly disappointed he was every time someone thought they were finished but were missing something. It wasn’t a simple Yes or No from this guy…he was letting them know he expected better.

- Upon finding out they were U-Turned by Jill and Thomas, Brook and Claire’s only response was a simple “You’re lame", before heading off to do the Brick portion of the Detour. What ensued, however, was Brook essentially treating Claire as her own personal pack mule, as she hollered “C’Mon Claire!” no less than SIX times during the Detour. Claire was ready to drop, and she let Brook know after the fact. Brook responded by saying “You’re sick? I’m exhausted!” The obvious conversation-ender would have been to shoot back with “You’re exhausted? I HAD A WATERMELON EXPLODE IN MY FACE!”, but Claire took the high road.

- I expected Chad to go into a full-on bout of Roid Rage when he saw that they had been U-Turned. Little did I know that the rage would happen before even finding out, as he was shushing Stephanie repeatedly and getting frustrated with being lost. He impressed me with his handling of the U-Turn, however, as other than a few ‘grasping-at-straws’ taunts at Nat (which had no effect whatsoever), he essentially took it like a man. Previous and future teams should take a lesson from the two teams tonight on how to handle being U-Turned.

- At the Rickshaw challenge, Brook said “I’m gonna charge through it like a spider monkey.” I don’t get the reference. Are spider monkeys really fast at putting bikes together? Are they fast at anything? Or does putting this rickshaw together somehow require a prehensile tail? Someone explain this to me, because that made about as much sense as her saying "Let’s make like a stapler and get out of here.” And when did these two stop the Amazing Race Kiss Count? Or are they still kissing everyone possible and we’re just not seeing it?

- I found it a little suspicious that at the Pit Stop mat, Phil made a point to say to Brook and Claire “You still have a chance to become the first all-female team to win The Amazing Race.” I found it fishy, because he didn’t say it to Nat and Kat. Theories?

- Chad and Stephanie got the boot. At least they still have each other. I mean, they have been engaged for 2 days. I give it 18 months, tops.

Next Week: Brook does some Hong Kong Dirty Dancing, and Nick is Boyfriend of the Year once again.

Amazing Race Fans, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.

Related Posts:
Josh Wolk’s Amazing Race Recap
Darren Franich’s Amazing Race Recap
Spoiler TV Recap

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Survivor Nicaragua Recap: "Maybe I Should Have Scrambled"

Last week, we saw the end of Marty, as the fake Chess Grandmaster made his way over to join Alina on the jury. Would Marty’s hair still be as crazy once he actually had a shower? Would Sash and Brenda continue to run the game? And why did CBS give us a cryptic teaser at the end of last week’s episode, only to reveal what happened in a later preview?

My Random Thoughts:

- At the beginning of the episode, Brenda talked about how she and Sash were the King and Queen at camp, but she was more like the King, and Sash was the Queen. Come on, be honest…you laughed. And you knew it was true.

- Upon returning from Tribal Council, Holly told Jane (and this is verbatim): “There comes a time in this game, Jane, that you have to start saying “See ya”…no matter how friendly they are, or how whatever.” Incredibly awkward sentence structure aside, Holly is absolutely right…but that day is DAY ONE! Not Day 25. Remember that we’re talking about the woman who ran around camp in the first hour telling everyone she trusted them, and then started sinking shoes for no reason.
- Then, as if Holly was in a zone where all she says is things that make people look at her like she’s insane, she told Chase “Kelly Purple crawls up Brenda’s ass.” Someone needs to talk to her about wording her thoughts a little better.

- I’m getting really tired of all of the snake imagery. I get that the producers always like some predatory sort of creature to use as a theme, and for the moment, I’ll just be happy that it’s not spiders again…but it’s way over the top this season.

- NaOnka asked: “Did I come all this way, from South Central L.A., to go home with nothing?” Well, I sure hope not, because that would have been the worst strategy ever, but if NaOnka keeps acting like an escapee from a mental institution, she’s not going to have much of a choice in that. And let’s be honest, even at this point, there’s no way she could possibly win this game.

- At the Reward Challenge, I was temporarily distracted by the fact that Jeff Probst was wearing a Green Shirt instead of the standard blue, but recovered enough to say to my girlfriend as the challenge was being explained, “The team with Dan loses.”

Sure enough, Dan’s team was never in it, and Jeff got in two HUGE burns on them: 1) “Brenda trying to roll on one of the barrels. That’ll work…for a minute., and 2) “If this were life and death…you’d be dead.” As the blue team won the reward, Jeff threw his arms upward in his trademark gesture and hollered, “Pizza, Brownies, and Volcano Surfing!”, which I have to think is the only time those words have ever been spoken together in the history of the English Language.

- Let’s talk about the Reward for a minute, shall we? First of all, it was more like Volcano “sledding” than “surfing”, but it still looked like fun. Fabio made a spectacular wipeout, and Jane looked like an old retired science teacher who volunteers at a prison, sitting there in her orange jumpsuit and goggles.
- I’m no camping expert (as my girlfriend will attest), but moving the fire CLOSER to the shelter never really seems like it would be that good of an idea. Of course, a worse idea would be to build a border around the edges of your fire to “protect” it…with all of your wooden items. I will re-iterate once again that this is the dumbest cast in the 21 seasons of this show. Their goal was to protect the fire from the rain, and what they did was create a roaring inferno…and they still lost their fire. Morons.

- Chase to Kelly: “You never talk really.” A hearty thank-you to the editors of the show, because I laughed so hard at that, I had to pause the show. Seriously, I was laughing so hard, my chest hurt.
- Chase told us “I trust Brenda. I trust her, and I’ve put my game plan in her.” Chase has such a schoolboy crush on Brenda, his “game plan” isn’t the only thing he’s trying to put in her. Jane said it much more succinctly when she said“Chase is sucking up to Brenda like he wants to get in her pants or something.” Mama Carolina is not pleased.

- The Immunity Challenge was another good one, but I have to think that it would have been a good choice for that Final Three Endurance challenge we generally see at the end of a season. Thoughts on the challenge: the rope burns would have been awful; credit to Dan for outlasting 4 others; seven players were out before the Survivors had to go to the 2nd knot (under 5 minutes), and Probst essentially talks Jane into the win when she was about to quit. Should Jeff be able to potentially influence a contest like that, or is it just Jeff being supportive to everyone? Your thoughts?
I liked that it was Jane and Chase at the end…All-Carolina. Kind of like a Duke-North Carolina game heading into March Madness. Knowing that Chase is a Tar Heels fan, that would make Jane the Blue Devils. The wily old veteran with experience against the strong young buck. By the way, who won the National Title this year?

- NaOnka turned into Shaggy at Tribal Council, refusing to admit her role in the plan that ultimately saw Brenda get voted out. But I appreciated Brenda’s parting shot when she voted for NaOnka, drawing the Immunity Idol on the parchment so everyone knew that she had the Idol.

- Did you see Sash look away when Brenda looked over hoping he would give her the Idol. Kind of like that fake “look-the-other-way” look that people do when you happen to run into someone from that one time…remember when you were really drunk? What were you thinking, anyways?

Next Week: NaOnka goes crazy…again.

Just one quick final note: since the message boards at both CBS and Entertainment Weekly have been proliferated with number of spoilers for this season, and some have found their way here to the Comments section (where I have deleted them), I have decided to temporarily enable Comment Moderation. So now, I will have to approve Comments before they get posted on here. Rest assured I will post every Comment (positive or negative) that does not contain spoilers.

Survivor Fans, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.

Thanks for reading.

Related Posts:
Survivor Nicaragua Recap by Dalton Ross
Jeff Probst’s Blog
Spoiler TV Recap

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Amazing Race Recap - "Oh Man, Oman"

Last week I pointed out that Nick and Vicki were not forced to do a Speed Bump. One of the commenters here and on Spoiler TV explained that the reason this happened is because the previous week, in the Piano Detour, apparently they gave the correct answer but were told it was wrong. So they ended up being last, even though they should have arrived at the mat much earlier.

While I understand the logic, I think that it was inexcusable that CBS did not offer an explanation for this situation instead of assuming they could sneak this by their loyal, regular viewers. This was all anyone was talking about last week, and it’s insulting that it wasn’t addressed on the show.

For this week’s episode, the teams were off to Oman. Would the long-awaited proposal from Meathead Chad finally happen? Would Mallory get help from the heavens, as she seems to ask for every week? And on a scale of 1 to 10, how happy do you think I am that I live and watch The Amazing Race in Canada, where I can happily view the episode at 8:00 ET every Sunday, without waiting for football delays?

My Random Thoughts:

- After last week’s near-elimination for Chad and Stephanie, don’t you think that would have been a HUGE wake-up call for them to be on their game and make sure not to miss any details. I mean, after Phil tells you that you’re the last ones to arrive, AND you have a penalty…and then you find out that someone messed up even worse, and you’re still in the Race, how on earth could you possibly miss the start of your next leg? I know that their two hour sleep-in only resulted in them being behind by 10 minutes on their flight, but it’s still idiotic.

- So how does Chad decide that they should deal with this turn of events? The penalties, the near-elimination, and then missing your scheduled race start by 2 hours? He decides that NOW is the perfect time to propose…in the romantic hotbed of Oman? (and was the commercial break mid-proposal really necessary, when it had already been teased in the preview this week) Ok, I’ll drop the harsh exterior and give Chad some credit for using his mom’s ring, but any warming of the heart that I may have started to feel was immediately removed the moment the ‘Dating’ descriptor for Chad and Stephanie changed to a sparkly ‘Engaged.’ Gag.
- I loved how Chad talked about the fact that “no one has beat us”, because they’ve been causing their own problems that are preventing them from winning. What a horrible analogy. If you’re running in the 100 Meter Dash at the Olympics, and you fall coming out of the starting blocks…you know the guy that finishes first? He still beat you. And he still gets the gold medal.

- Brainiac Nick declared that “it takes just as long to look at the map and try to get an understanding of it, as it does to ask a local that, for sure, knows to where to tell you to go.” That actually made me laugh out loud, to think that some random local is a better directional option THAN A MAP. The problem is that Nick can’t read maps, and…some people out there in our nation…don’t have maps. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist) If you can’t read a map, then yes, the ‘talk to a local’ method is your best option, but don’t try to tell the world that the map is a bad idea. Nick then classily followed up his map ineptitude by doing what he always does: having a tantrum and yelling at Vicki, threatening to go home if she did anything else stupid, and saying that he was “ laughing at (her) dumb ass.”- How hard did you laugh when you saw that there was a second rappelling task on this season…and that Thomas the Master Rapeller wasn’t going to get to do it? And while we’re on the subject of classy boyfriends, did you love how he felt he had to correct Jill on the pronunciation of ‘rappel’?

- Jill: “I definitely do have a fear of heights. Just in a really high area.” Um…ok.

- Nick and Vicki encountered a flat tire, and Nick took his rage out on the tire iron, kicking it to loosen the nuts on the wheel. I absolutely loved the shot of Nick under the vehicle working to change the tire…because he was actually pumping the jack DOWN instead of up. I’m serious…go back and watch it again!

Earlier this season, I had a discussion with a fellow Amazing Race fan who reads and comments here, about the number of flat tires on the show. He suggested that the show, and vehicles, were rigged so that there would be flat tires on the show periodically. I said I didn’t think so, and he said to me “How many times have you had to change a flat tire?” I told him that I had to change 2 in the past year…and since we had that conversation in early October, I’ve had to change a third now.

- When Chad and Stephanie saw Jill and Thomas already pumping water from their water truck when they arrived at the Detour address, Stephanie said that she was pissed. Ok, forget about the near-elimination and oversleeping (covered above), but if I was Stephanie, I would be more pissed about the fact that my truck was equipped with a blurry camera, and that I have a water truck driver who is checking his blackberry as he’s driving!

Then Stephanie talked about how when she and Chad find a way to make it up front in the race, someone else finds a spot to “weasel their way in” to pass them. Ok, let’s use the 100 Meter Dash analogy again: if you’re leading the race, and then you’re not…nobody ‘weaseled’ their way in…they just beat you. And once again, they get the medal, not you.

- In last week’s recap, I wondered if the “you can’t pay a taxi to lead you” rule was across the board, or just a single instruction. I guess Jill and Thomas found out the hard way. No Belize for you.

- Upon finding out that they were Team #1, Chad did the most awkward girlish scream/jump on the mat. I’m sure his football buddies won’t mention it at all.

- The “Ali Baba In A Suit” challenge was significantly easier for trailing teams Nat and Kat and Gary and Mallory because the shop that Ali Baba was located in, was the only one open at the time they were at the market!

- Gary and Mallory arrived at the location from their first clue at 8:43 pm viewing time, after driving for nine hours. They never had a shot in this one, even though Mallory apparently turned into Flavor Flav, dropping a “Yeeee-uh” when she thought she saw another team. Did Gary really say Mallory was the “boy I never had?” Wow, way to tug on the heartstrings, dad.

Next week: Bangladesh stinks, and the premiere of the Double U-Turn.

Amazing Race Fans, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.

Related Posts:
Josh Wolk’s Amazing Race Recap
Darren Franich’s Amazing Race Recap

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Survivor Nicaragua Recap: "I'm Not Perfect...I'm A Humanitarian"

Last week we learned that it’s preferential to keep an admitted thief who is likely insane, and a crotchety old man who can barely walk, over a single twenty-something woman with no alliance. We’ve also learned this season that keeping the crazy people over the proven leaders is a good tactic as well. The Season of Idiots continues:

My Random Thoughts:

- In the opening segment, The Voice of The Blue Shirt warned us that “the feud between Jane and Marty has reached critical mass.” Look, I understand that these two are throwing barbs back and forth (Marty a little more aggressively), but up until this point, hasn’t it all really been just verbal? Is “critical mass” really the right term? It’s not really the Hatfields vs. The McCoys. I think the more appropriate voice-over of what is reaching critical mass would be Naonka vs. sanity, or Purple Kelly vs. the ability to speak.

- Marty said “It’s just frustrating to play a game with people, some people, that are just stupid.” Let’s analyze Marty’s game play so far this season: a) he orchestrated the ousting of Jimmy Johnson, the sole force that could have kept his team united, b) he orchestrated the ousting of Jimmy T., who was admittedly unbearable, but could have helped in challenges (if only someone would give him a shot!), c) he did both of those things while protecting Dan, a liability instead of an advantage, d) he targeted the Southern Old Lady for his verbal attacks, and e) HE GAVE HIS DAMN IMMUNITY IDOL AWAY FOR NO REASON. I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone in this game who, based on facts alone, has been stupider than Marty himself. And I say that begrudgingly, as he was my pick to win the game.

- The Reward Challenge was once again a pretty entertaining challenge. I thought it was an unfortunate turn of events (for the women) that it ended up being boys vs. girls, they never had a chance. Brenda nearly decapitated herself, the men dragged Dan through most of the course, and the teams had to burst through a brick wall, which made me laugh out loud because all I could think of is this:

- Purple Kelly spoke! To be fair, she just cried and talked about how sad she was that she didn’t get to go on the Reward with the winning team, but it’s something. Baby steps, people! The biggest character development we’ve seen so far was tonight at Tribal Council when she had trouble opening the pen.

- Jane came up with the most repetitively confusing line of the season, when she spoke of voting Marty out at the next Tribal Council: “If…uh…he doesn’t win immunity, the fat lady’s gonna be singin’, I’ll tell you that much…and I ain’t fat…but I’m gonna be the fat woman…although I’m not fat."

- After 5 or 6 awesome challenges in a row, The Immunity Challenge was essentially a game of Simon, which was a pretty big letdown. It was ridiculously easy as long as you could transfer each symbol to a single letter (like the first letter), and make a 6-letter acronym to remember. But still, we lost over half of the contestants before the first sequence was done, proving my suggestion that THIS IS THE DUMBEST CAST IN HISTORY. If you didn’t know this would end up being Marty vs. Brenda at the end from the moment Jeff started explaining it, you haven’t been watching this season.

- Fabio said “I hate playing stupid so much, but it’s like the smartest thing to do right now.” I’ve heard the argument that Jud/Fabio is just playing dumb as part of his strategy, but I wasn’t buying into it…until now. I’m still not fully on board, but I’ve opened my mind to the possibility. That line just seemed too perfect to not have been placed in there for a reason.
- Chase figured out the plan to say the Tribe was voting for NaOnka, but instead vote for Jane, in approximately a nanosecond. That's pretty good for a "Pro Race Car Jackman", I bet his Pit-mates are proud of him. And say what you will about Sash and Brenda and how arrogant they are about ruling the camp…but they’re right. I loved Sash’s argument to keep Marty around, because he’s a good cook & sings like a canary about everyone’s plans.

- At Tribal council, NaOnka actually lost her final marble – bouncing around, ranting, swearing, name-calling everyone she could, getting pissed at Jeff, and even giving the finger to others while they were voting. She’s lost it…she’s gone.
- When Jane was voting, she talked about Marty being a bad father, and how she would never allow Marty’s kids to play with her grandkids. Wow…maybe I was wrong, this is like the Hatfields and the McCoys. But still, the “kids and grandkids not playing together” is the most non-relevant threat since Sue Hawk told Kelly Wigglesworth she wouldn’t give her a drink of water if she was dying of thirst on the side of the road.

- The second NaOnka didn’t play her Idol, Marty made the face that said it all: “I’m screwed”…and there goes my pick to win it all. (Jimbo, I owe you $20)

Next Week: The tribe is shocked about something…what is “the day from hell?”
(leave your guess in the Comments section)

Survivor Fans, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Amazing Race Recap: "To Cab Or Not To Cab"

Last week’s episode of the Amazing Race featured no real progression in the Race itself since it was a non-elimination leg. Essentially Chad got frustrated at Stephanie, Thomas was condescending to Jill, and Nick and Vicki sucked at anything and everything they tried. Sounds like every other episode so far this season. What would the second leg in St. Petersburg bring?

My Random Thoughts:

- Jill and Thomas started the leg out in first place, and on the obligatory ‘Leaders talking about their great teamwork’ on-camera confessional: Jill declared that “Our main issue is Thomas talking at me and not to me”, while Thomas explained “We work very well together. I hope that continues.“ Yep, they sound like they’re on the same page.

- Brook and Claire opened their clue to find that they were heading off to the circus, which caused Brook to break out her trademark shriek and exclaim “I want to be in a Circus! That’s where I belong!” (also the title of the episode) For some reason, I can imagine that if Brook was actually in a circus, at some point, the people in charge would have to pull her into the office and say “Listen Brook, you’re just a little too…over the top. We need you to tone it down a bit.”

- Once the door opened to allow the teams into the Circus, Thomas leaped down the steps in a gesture that was more suited to a 5-year-old than a Notre Dame graduate. Seriously, look at the picture below. Can’t you just hear him yelling “Wheeeeee!” in his own head? I’m guessing that he still comes out of the grocery store with his shopping cart and runs and jumps on the back end of it, rolling along in the parking lot with a big smile on his face.
- You know what this show has been missing? Russian Carnies! Looking at the freak show that the teams had to deal with on the first detour, I felt like I was watching a Cirque Du Soleil show while on acid.

- Hands up if you were shocked that Thomas didn’t talk about his experience Plate Spinning and playing the accordion while at Notre Dame. Last week I explained that the only thing dumber than switching tasks, is switching back again, and then we see it yet again this week. And Thomas tried to justify it by saying that since the other option was right there, they would have been foolish not to see what it was. I really enjoyed watching him have trouble with the accordion, and saying that it was “way too much to learn.” I’m still loving how delicious that irony tastes.

- Nat & Kat’s post-leg confessional looked less like an on-camera interview for the Amazing Race, and more like a scene from Flashdance 2: The Doctors Can Dance.

- Did you notice that Mallory was completely calm & composed in this episode? Explaining everything clearly to the cab drivers, not getting flustered, and not screaming for no reason whatsoever? Whatever medication she took at the beginning of this episode should be prescribed for the duration of the Race.

- Chad had trouble spinning the plates and said “I don’t think I’m gentle enough. This is stupid.” I think he has lost sight of the fact that almost everything they do on this Race could fall under the category of Stupid if you really think about it. I’m not sure anyone else would find themselves flinging watermelons out of giant slingshots at suits of armour just for a Sunday afternoon treat. His tantrum-like behavior is getting very annoying. After they switched to the accordion, he thought he could do it because it was “just like Guitar Hero.” Listen, if you’re comparing your cultural experience in Russia to your Wii game…maybe you shouldn’t be making comparisons.
- I liked how they specified that the teams were not able to pay a taxi to lead them because I’ve always thought that it’s a cop-out to be able to do that on the Race. I hope that’s an across the board rule and not just one for this leg. It was also some pretty good foreshadowing that someone was going to get a penalty.

- Kevin said “I don’t think Nick would lie to us cause he’s awesome”, which made me wonder about Kevin’s ability to assess a situation for 2 reasons: 1) OF COURSE he will lie to you in a race for a million dollars, and 2) Nick is most definitely not awesome. And even if he was, what kind of logic is that? The faux confrontation afterwards was pretty lame:

Kevin: “Did you guys lie to us?”
Nick: (shrug) “Lie to you? We’re right here looking.”

Was that not the worst response ever? It made no sense, and Nick gave him the most obvious ‘I’m lying” face I’ve seen in a long time. After seeing that scene, I’d like to personally invite Nick to my next poker game.

- Nick, meanwhile, was calling everyone he could either a dumbass or a moron. I’d like to respectfully remind everyone that this is the guy who got into a cab in Ghana and asked the driver to take him to the Arctic Circle.

- Chad to Stephanie at the tower: “It was right in front of your freakin’ face!” Stephanie: “I love it when he rubs it in.” Then footage of Chad laughing at Stephanie in the cab for missing the statue of the building. I look more and more forward to that marriage proposal every week.

- Gorodki looked like a lot of fun. How many shots do you think it took for them to nail that one of Phil getting knocked over? (don’t worry, he was fine)
- Brook had a fan club of 10-year-olds gather to watch her throw sticks, and she rewarded them with a good old-fashioned ass shake. Meanwhile, Nick might have actually pulled a muscle patting himself on the back for how great he was on the challenge.

- Did you notice that Nick and Vicki were not subjected to a Speed Bump, even though the last episode was a non-elimination leg? I have been saying it for 3 weeks now, stop making redundant Speed Bumps…just carry on with the race.

- Michael and Kevin’s elimination was quite anti-climactic, because we all knew the penalties were coming. I liked Team Jumba, but they never really had a shot to win the whole thing.

Next week: Chad and Stephanie get some extra sleep, and Mallory once again turns to Jesus.

Amazing Race Fans, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.

Related Posts:
Josh Wolk’s Amazing Race Recap
Darren Franich’s Amazing Race Recap
Spoiler TV - Amazing Race Recap

NOTE - A lot of people are searching for an explanation as to why Nick and Vicki didn't do a Speed Bump this episode. See the Comments section below for an explanation.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Survivor Nicaragua Recap: "It Tastes Better When You're Stealin' It."

I’m still shaking my head at Marty’s idiotic move last week, giving Sash the Idol. Now, with the merge already revealed in the trailer for this week’s episode, it looks like an even dumber move. This week, would Purple Kelly finally say something, since we’re already on the eighth episode of the season? How is Dan still in this game? And what is the South Dakota Word of Honor?

My Random Thoughts:

- NaOnka was edited to look like villain for the first few episodes, then she came across as this harmless little wallflower for the last couple of episodes, and now she’s back to the villain again. I think I have it figured out, though: When NaOnka wants to be the “sympathetic” character that you’re not supposed to hate, her eyebrows are up so high you would think they’re auditioning for a role in her hairline. But when she’s the nasty crazy person, she’s got her eyebrows all furrowed. She’s basically a living emoticon.

- Jane and Chase talking about doing P90X workouts while filling their water jars was one of the most awkward things I’ve ever seen on this show. I get that you can bond over your common North Carolina roots, and your dead husband/dead father, but P90X? Really? And what was up with their “well” where they were getting their water? Instead of some dingy old hole in the ground like we usually see, their water source looked like some sort of treatment facility with reverse osmosis and refill options.

- Naonka stealing and hiding the flour made absolutely no sense. Why on earth would you steal the stuff that can make you food…when you’re hungry…and not use it to actually make the food? And if that weren’t crazy enough, to then tell Alina, who you want to get rid of…and then telling the whole tribe? It’s like NaOnka went to the Holly School of Insane Behaviour, where you learn to do idiotic things that serve no purpose, only to admit to them a short time later. I feel the only justification for this absurd turn of events would be to find Dan’s $1600 shoes in the lagoon, and then fill them up with the flour that NaOnka stole. Maybe then it will close up the seam in the universe that is causing these morons to do crazy things. Stealing fruit I can understand, but none of this made any sense. Even sock-burning, water-dumping Russell Hantz must have been shaking his head at the TV.

- Sash talked about wanting to take NaOnka to the Final Three, which makes total sense. She’s in the process of burning so many bridges that no one will ever vote for her. Just like the aforementioned Russell Hantz, who single-handedly gave Natalie and Sandra $1 million dollars each just because they weren’t him. Yes, Sash is an arrogant douchebag, but at least he’s using his head.

- Purple Kelly said 3 things this episode: 1) “Oh.” 2) “She caught another fish”, and 3)“So, we need to get, like, us girls together…and…um…Sash. And get Marty out. And that’s it.” Why is this woman on this show? Are they planning on editing her in at any point? Even Brent from Survivor: Samoa is like “she’s getting screwed by the editors!”

- 30 minutes into this episode, as the teams headed to the Immunity Challenge…nothing had happened yet. Well, they merged, there was redundant food stealing that came full circle, and Jane caught a fish…but are you telling me that’s half of your episode?

- I thought that this was another great challenge. I’m happy to see that the old standard “cut a rope and raise a flag” to end a challenge has been replaced by tiles smashing at the end of every one, but I have to think that Mark Burnett got a great deal on tiles in bulk.
- Jane wins her challenge and keeps on trucking until the boys are done. Give the crazy old cackling bird credit, she even refused to break her tile at the end. Fabio, meanwhile, made it look effortless, cruising to an Immunity win. Dan lasts 3 seconds. Shocking.

- Speaking of Dan, did you happen to notice the scene where he was telling Marty that Chase was planning on blindsiding him? First of all, his tank top was on backwards! The tag kept flicking up from the front (er…back) while he was talking, and he WAS GRABBING HIS CROTCH. And I don’t mean a scratch, or an adjustment, I mean a full-on “I’m just going to hold this thing” sort of grab. Very awkward.
- What is the “South Dakota Word of Honor”? Is that like a pinky swear? Or a “cross-my heart, hope to die.” Any readers from South Dakota who can shed any light on this?

- Can we please make sure that the cast knows how to spell each other’s names before Tribal Council? Marti? Aleina? It’s just embarrassing.

- Benry called Alina a “100 Percent Grade A Dirt Squirrel?”, which, to be fair, is soooo much worse that a lesser grade Dirt Squirrel that is only, say, 80%. Nice burn, Benry.

- I liked Alina, but she never had a chance once Kelly B. was gone. Too bad.

Next Week: NaOnka leaves Jeff speechless.

Survivor Fans, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.

Thanks for reading.

I'd Like To See Floyd Mayweather Pull THIS Off...

Lost: Island Reunion T-Shirt

This is the new #1 item on my Christmas list: the limited edition Island Reunion T-Shirt from TeeFury. (click to be taken to the page where you can purchase it...for you or me)