Sunday, February 27, 2011

Amazing Race Recap: "I've Never Looked So Foolish In My Whole Entire Life"

Last week’ s season premiere of The Amazing Race ended with the teams still racing, and no one being eliminated at the Pit Stop mat with Outback Phil. This week, all 11 teams continued on their trek through Australia. Would the Cow-bros be able to overcome the huge gap that was created last week? Who is on the verge of passing out? And why are the teams dressed like Kangaroos?

My Random Thoughts:

- First of all, I need to point out that I have an issue with this season being called "Unfinished Business." Yes, I understand that all of the teams are back for a second shot at the million dollars, but only one of these 11 teams are going to "finish" their "business" by winning the race. Know what I mean?

- I fully expected that at some point in the race, there would be some sort of language barrier between a team and a cab driver, but I certainly didn't expect it to be with an Asian cab Australia.

- Why were we seeing so many blurred faces while the teams were in Sydney? I know that CBS has to get people that appear on the race to sign a release to use their image in the show, but why were so many people in Sydney saying no? Is it a hotbed for the Witness Protection program?

- I had read last week that someone called the alliance of Luke & Margie with Jaime and Cara as "The Evil Alliance", and initially I jumped on board, but then I realized that it wasn't really fair. None of the 4 of them are really evil: Luke is a crybaby, Margie is an enabler, Jaime can sometimes be rude, and Cara is quite likeable. Maybe "Luke and The Gals" would be a better nickname, although his description of them as his 'race girlfriends' was cringe-worthy, especially after the awkward jumping up and down the 4 of them did after finding out they would be on the first flight. Did you see Luke making sure he had the redheads on either side? The look on his face was like, "Touch me, touch me." Creepy.

- I'll say that I'm incredibly impressed that Mike is 70 years old and running the race with his son, but if you're cramping up and nearly passing out on the first leg, then the future isn't looking too bright for Mel and Mike. Although Mike does get some Caring Son Points for telling Mike "I don't want to kill you for some joyride."

- Jet and Cord in wetsuits just looked awkward. I'm not sure if I've seen anything that looked so wrong on this show before. But hey, at least the City Slickers music is back when something good happpens with the Cow-Bros.

- At the Detour, the teams had to choose between Spirit World and Natural World, and all 11 of the teams picked Spirit World, which initially bothered me because, let's be honest, who doesn't want to see some good old Spit Art? But then I remembered that Amanda and Kris had to do it anyways because of the U-Turn, and I wondered how I could have forgotten that after being reminded about 13 times in the first five minutes about the U-Turn...again.
The Spirit World detour was pretty straightforward, with the teams having to complete a stone mosaic and then dance on top of it...all while accompanied by what appeared to be a homeless guy sitting cross-legged and blowing into a didgeridoo. (And if you want to hear some awesome eclectic music featuring the didgeridoo, check out my friends from Australia, Oka.) Kent made the easy part of the challenge more complicated by insisting to his partner "Vyxsin, please go get me children!" I like Kent and Vyxsin too much to make the obvious joke here.

Ron's master plan to Christina was to speak Chinese to each other so that the other teams couldn't understand them. I'm not sure that really mattered once the 10 other teams had left and they were the only ones there. Maybe they should have found that cab driver.

- Amanda and Kris breezed through the Spit Art, and as out-of-place as it was too watch a boyfriend teach his girlfried HOW to spit (sorry, couldn't resist), I had to wonder if it was so quick to complete (and it appeared to be...not just due to editing), then why didn't any of the other teams choose it?

- Do you think the teams this season were coached in advance on the use of "freakin'" and "frickin'" this season, because we're hearing it a LOT more than usual?

- I have to say, I really liked the task the teams had to do by solving a clue from the periodic table. I was thoroughly impressed that Kent (from his A in chemistry) was immediately able to identify the elements as Mercury and Bismuth (and not Bitunia or Business, as Ron suggested), while other teams resorted to the lame-ass strategy of "find someone with a Blackberry or iPhone."

- The Kangaroo suits were absolutely ridiculous...and awesome at the same time. I had to wonder if the Big Brother costume department, who has used unitards, Banana costumes, and Penguin costumes, was responsible for those outfits. To be fair, I'm sure that Kisha & Jen, Luke & Margie, and Jaime & Cara all had no problem with them, because at least they weren't running around St. Petersburg in their underwear in the winter like last time.

And the Globetrotters in the Kangaroo suits looked more ridiculous than anyone. Let me amend what I said a little earlier about the Cowboys in the wetsuits being the thing that looked the most wrong on the show.

- At the end of the Kangaroo task, the teams were given their Route Info directing them to the Pit Stop, which suggested "you may want to put on other shoes before driving." May? MAY? Are you telling me this isn't a specific requirement? How could it possibly be legal for them to drive without taking them off?

- Zev and Justin came in first on this leg, and how can you possibly not like these two and want to root for them? When I initially saw the cast list for this season, I wasn't too interested in seeing them back because, let's be honest, other than losing their passports, there wasn't really anything that memorable in their 4 episodes during their season (other than Zev the Duck Whisperer, which was pretty funny), but I'm getting on board with Zev and Justin now.

- Amanda and Kris were unable to overcome their 2nd U-Turn, and although they declared that they had won the lottery (Really? Being eliminated first is like winning the lottery?), it was another forgettable season for them. I suggest they embrace their Amazing Race legacy, and just get matching tattoos of the U-Turn symbol.

- Last week, I implemented a season-long “Goth” count for Kent and Vyxsin, and an “Oh My Gravy” count (currently at 1) for Jet and Cord. Well, earlier this week, Kent actually contacted me and playfully asked how many times they said it in the first episode. I must admit, it was a grand total of ZERO, and the Goths were obviously a victim of TAR editing in Season 12, since nobody really thought they walked around saying things like "We're the Gothy Gothersons from Gothville." Your point was very valid, Kent. Glad you're enjoying the blog.

Although, after tonight, I thought it may be a better idea to institute a whiny "Mommmmm" count from Luke, but I'm not sure I can count that high.

Next Week: Japan, Mudslinging, and a Fire-Headed Fender-Bender.

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 or Twitter, where I post all of my recaps (and other Random Thoughts) 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. Also, if you’re a Survivor fan, be sure to check back on Wednesday nights for weekly recaps on Survivor: Redemption Island.

Also, a special hello to my new friends at TV Clubhouse. Looking forward to getting to know you all better in the coming weeks!

Related Posts: Amazing Race Recap
Spoiler TV Recap

Photo credits: Reality Fan Forum and

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Survivor Recap: "That Was Simple As Wiping Your Hiney With Toilet Paper"

Last week’s season premiere of Survivor Redemption Island was one of the more memorable premieres we’ve ever seen, with arguably the best first Tribal Council ever. Last season, as we were all getting our cumulative hate-on for NaOnka, I made the point that some Survivor characters are great, no matter how annoying or ridiculous they are, because they still make good TV. Coach Wade, for instance, was great TV, while NaOnka was not. Now, say what you will about Phillip, the “is-he-or-isn’t-he-a-former-special-agent-with-the-tighty-pinkies”, this guy is fantastic television.

Would this week’s follow-up episode match last week’s excitement? Who is Russell clashing with? And which Survivor matches wits with a crustacean?

My Random Thoughts:

- Tonight’s night-vision preamble started with Fran-Sasquatch making her way to Redemption Island and getting the lay of the land. First of all, just as Exile Island was never really an Island, I don’t believe for a second that Redemption Island is surrounded by water either. But Redemption Clearing doesn’t sound that good, does it?

Second of all, how crazy was it that there is a sign on a tree detailing “Life At Redemption Island”…like the House Rules at a pool hall or a poker room? I’m glad that the Redemption Island twist included Jeff telling the contestants about it from the beginning. But I’m not a fan of the only direction being that the player who survives from Redemption Island comes back “at some point.” I think it should be made clear when they come back. If it is indeed, as rumored, when there are only 6 players left, then it might be a good strategy to get voted out early and take your shot with one-on-one challenges and try to get back in with only 6 left

Then, Fran-Scooby-Doo was praying that there was flint there so that she could make fire. Now, I’m sure I’m not the only one that thought this, but wasn’t she carrying fire in her hand in the form of the lantern she was using for light? Unless it was a battery powered lantern with a Christmas tree bulb inside, wouldn’t the smart thing to do have been to use the fire in the lantern to start a campfire? Is there some reason we had to watch the ridiculous shot of her scraping the flint with the machete BY THE LIGHT OF THE LANTERN?

- On the camp side of the night-vision segment, Phillip told Rob “you own my vote”, which led to Rob delivering the first of what I’m sure will be many laugh-out-loud soundbytes: “This guy Phillip, FBI...whatever...Special Agent...I don't know if he's delusional. I think he's a good-hearted guy...I do. Just might not ALL be there. Let it be a lesson to you: Government Jobs...stressful.”

- In a battle for the ages, Phillip took on…a crab? Look, I get that you need to look for food, and crab would be a smart choice to try and find around camp or near the water, but are these creatures (and especially the size we saw on this episode) really the best candidates to throw a SPEAR at? I mean, even if he was able to hit one, would he be able to generate enough force to penetrate the shell? And if by some strange stretch of the imagination he was able to do that, wouldn’t the spear just blow right through the tiny crab anyways, making the minute bit of meat useless? Obviously it was a much better idea to just chuck rocks at it until you hit one.

- Speaking of rocks, Ralph the Camp Rooster stumbled upon a Hidden Immunity Idol while gathering rocks, (don’t they normally gather firewood?) and first celebrated with a “Hot Doggie” before breaking out his newest nugget “That was simple as wiping your hiney with toilet paper.” I can’t wait to hear more pieces of wisdom from him this season. And I will re-iterate again that the Idols need to be hidden a LOT better.
- As Phillip was talking about how Fran-Susquehanna hurt his feelings last week, we heard him wax poetic and then go on about how much he loved his country and what it meant to him. Cue the “God Bless America” patriotic background music, Phillip’s mock tears and cracked voice, and a collective gag was heard by viewers everywhere. I haven’t seen as ridiculous a demonstration of forced American patriotism since the end of Spider-Man 2. And I won't even touch on his ridiculous Lion and Gorilla analogies at Tribal Council since I have no clue what he was talking about.

- At the Reward/Immunity challenge (looks like we're back to combining them again), I hope you were thinking what I was thinking: Tile-Smashing! And not just one set of tiles, but a double section of the beginning and the end. Hairy Ralph pulled it out at the end, besting Phillip at the wire, proving that Phillip's talents were clearly not used in the ball-chucking division of the government.

And I'll let you in on a little secret you probably haven't considered. When you see that pool in challenges this season, remember that it's the same pool Fabio peed in last season. Think they drained and re-filled it? Me neither.

Also, at the end of that challenge, as Russell was carrying the fishing gear by the other tribe, it looked like Phillip may have winked at Russell, or at someone. Personally, I think it's just a nervous twitch on Mr. Pink Shorts.

- Wait a minute, people on Redemption Island get a luxury item? This is getting worse by the minute.
- Phillip’s speech to his tribemates before Tribal council went like this" “I want to say to all my fellow contestants…and tribe members…I thought you guys performed gallantry…ly…I mean, you know, you were outstanding. You should be proud of your effort. I only wish…I could have performed…in MY moment…as well as all of you did today.”

Clearly Phillip is one of those people who likes to use big words because they sound smart without knowing what they mean. I look forward to hearing him use 'supposably' in upcoming episodes. That trait leads me to believe that he's just a massive shit talker, and that he's making up this whole Special Agent stuff.

- As Rob worked to include Phillip in his plan to get Matt out, and took a walk with him, I was screaming at the TV "Don't tell him anything!" But Rob is much smarter at this game than you or I will ever be, and found a way to include Phillip in the plan without actually telling him anything he could spill. If Phillip decided to actually sing like a canary at Tribal, Rob could simply say it was a test of his trustworthiness, which he failed.
- Tribal Council was anticlimactic, even with the producers saving all 4 of Matt's votes until the end. Andrea's reaction was priceless, though.

- I'm impressed so far. 2 good episodes in a row.

Next Week: Andrea is pissed and Russell makes more enemies.

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.

Starting this week, I’m also going to start posting links to the recaps on Twitter, so feel free to add me on Twitter as well, although I don’t really use it all that often, and will only be using it to provide links to the blog in the foreseeable future.
Thanks for reading.

Related Posts:
Survivor Redemption Island Recap by Dalton Ross
Jeff Probst’s Blog

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Amazing Race Recap: "Second Chances Don't Come Free"

A new season of the Amazing Race is off and running, and as many of you know by now (and as was first reported here back in December), this season is sub-titled Unfinished Business, with 11 teams returning for another shot at the million dollars. I’ll reiterate my initial response to the Cast List: why are we seeing only teams from Season 12 onward? Nobody from the first 11 seasons warranted an invite?

To the returning readers, Welcome back! It’s nice to see you again. And for those of you new to my blog and my Amazing Race Recaps, a hearty welcome as well, and a couple of things you should know: a) the recaps should be up within 30 minutes (often less) of when the show ends on the East Coast, b) the pictures will all have hidden captions underneath, so make sure to mouse over them if you want to see them, and c) I love Comments, so let’s all get involved in the Comments section for this season.

And with a raise of my very own eyebrow--since Phil didn't do it--we’re off!

My Random Thoughts:

- I liked Kynt and Vyxsin in their first season, but it was way over-the-top on how often they reminded us that they were “Goths” and what the Goth lifestyle was like. I’m implementing a season-long “Goth” count that we will revisit every week, similar to last season’s “C’Mon Claire!” count, or the previous season’s “Bro” and “Oh My Gravy.” Damn, I just realized I’ll have to do an “Oh My Gravy” count this season, too…I may need a chart. Make your predictions in the Comments section, what will we hear more of this season: Goth or Oh My Gravy? We’ll keep track for the season. Keep in mind that the Goth count will only be valid if Kynt and Vyxsin say it.

- In the opening montage where we saw all the teams riding up the hill with the wind farm in the background, we were treated to the backstory on everyone and their demise in each of their respective seasons. A basic recap, but two things stood out to me: 1) That Zev and Justin wearing Harlem Globetrotters T-shirts was a nice touch, and 2) that when Kisha and Jen were eliminated in Beijing dressed as geishas, I didn’t realize just how much Kisha looked like 90’s pro wrestler Papa Shango.

- I absolutely loved the new way of opening the race. Instead of racing to the airport to try and find flights, the teams had to first complete a task for Phil, and the first ones to finish were awarded seats on the premium flight. Additionally, the last team to complete would get an automatic U-Turn on the first Detour, and from the recap footage that reminded us how annoyed Amanda and Kris were over being U-Turned in their season, it was painfully obvious that they would be the ones in last place.

As a side note, the premium flight became the last-place flight after a medical emergency caused the flight to make an unscheduled landing. I'm shocked that in 18 seasons, this is the first time we've seen this.

- This is the first season of The Amazing Race in HD, and they sure gave us a good showcase of it in this episode, didn't they? Beaches, sailing, and sharks and was a great visual episode. I really liked the Shark Tank task, and it reminded me of Mandalay Bay and how much I miss Las Vegas. (soon...very soon.)

- Between the constant shots of signs that said "Manly Ferry" and the use of the phrase "firing of the seaman’s gun", this season may have already used their full quotient of innuendo. And did every shot of the "Manly Ferry" signs need to be followed by a shot of Mel, Mike, or Kynt? (seriously, go back and look) Very unnecessary and low-brow.

- Jet (or Cord, I don't remember which one) declared “I’m from Oklahoma. I don't do water. I don't even take baths.” That sound you heard was the collective screams of the employees of the Tourism Board of Oklahoma.

- The Margie & Luke / Jaime & Cara alliance decided that their best way to solve the flag task was to hang out by the commodore and try to listen in to what the other teams say. First of all (and I'm not trying to make fun of Luke here...I'll do that enough this season), is this the best strategy for a team with a deaf contestant? And second, how awesome was it that the Globetrotters whispered their answer so they couldn't hear?

- As the teams checed in with Outback Phil & a random surf dude, they were told to keep racing. Nobody seemed overly surprised except Mallory, who Phil essentially had to kick off the mat to tell her to get moving.

- A lot of what we saw tonight was essentially "Same shit, different season": Jaime yelled at Cara (and her sailing partners who righted the boat after it flipped), Luke acted like a petulant infant, Ron was exhausted, and Mallory prayed for anything and everything. Seriously, she prayed for help before even receiving the first clue, and at the flag task, asked "Jesus, help me." Discussion topic: Was Gary and Mallory's first-place finish due to divine intervention from above, or simply Mallory's ability to solve a cryptogram?

- I’m putting my support behind two teams this season, The Goths and the Globetrotters, which is probably the name of some horrible B-Movie sitting on a discount rack for 99 cents in some mom-and-pop video store.

- I really enjoyed the Season Premiere, but it can’t compare with last season’s starting episode because no one took a watermelon to the face from a catapult. That is still the stuff that legends are made of. (Here’s a link if you need to see it again.)

Next Week: The First Leg Continues.

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 my recaps (and other Random Thoughts) 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. Also, if you’re a Survivor fan, be sure to check back on Wednesday nights for weekly recaps on Survivor: Redemption Island.

Related Posts:
Darren Franich's Amazing Race Recap
Spoiler TV Recap

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Foo Fighters: White Limo

New Single. New Video. Old School Heavy Foos.
Yes...that's Lemmy from Motorhead.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Survivor Redemption Island Recap: "Man, It Feels So Good To Play With You Amateurs"

Survivor Redemption Island premiered with a bang tonight, showing that this new cast (while not as stupid as last season's bunch of morons) still has a LOT to learn. Rob's statement in the Tribal Council voting confessional was too perfect not to be the title of this recap.

As I mentioned yesterday, tonight’s recap is going to be my first impressions of this season’s cast, along with a few Random Thoughts at the end. To be fair, after only one episode, it’s hard to really tell anything about this cast…perhaps the person I think is going to be the NaOnka of the season, turns out to be the Purple Kelly of the season. And what did we learn about THAT last season? That you can be batshit insane, or not say a word for 2 months, and when you both quit at Tribal Council on the same night, SURVIVOR FANS HATE YOU EQUALLY.

My First Impressions:
(I’m obviously not giving my first impressions on Rob and Russell.)

Andrea - Pretty student who almost chopped her toes off, according to Phillip. Now, I can see how he was being a little too aggressive with his message, but he did have a fair point with her hacking away with a bare foot planted on the tree trunk. No opinion yet.

Ashley - The nurse who, after the tribe lost their immunity challenge, declared that they "let Rob down" and that you "want to please your leader." Starstruck perhaps?

David - Attorney with the suit and matching purple silk tie/handkerchief combo who tried to lead the puzzle portion of the challenge until Russell took over and they won. I can see the strategy in wearing a suit to the game, just to have it for warmth or material at some point, but why the tie and handkerchief? Could have a shot.

Francesca - Another attorney, very outspoken, who made the opposite strategic wardrobe choice that David made. Why on earth would you wear sandals/flip-flops to Survivor? Idiotic. And those Egyptian-style ones just piss me off, frankly.

Grant - Dreads and manpris (capris for men)...said nothing.

Kristina – Over-strategic from the get-go. At first I applauded her moxie in hunting for--and finding--the Idol (And SERIOUSLY, can we start hiding these things a little better, please?), but then she convoluted the whole matter by making everything as complicated as possible. More in the Random Thoughts below.

Matt - Bible-thumping pre-med student in pink boxer briefs. I challenge you to find that sentence EVER spoken or written anywhere before. Go ahead, I dare you. Aren't you just a different version of Fabio?

Mike - Former Iraq Vet. I thought he was great as Cyclops in the X-Men movies

Phillip - Jesus, where do I start? Supreme Alpha Male Former Special Agent (Did you catch that? Did you hear him mention that?) who is too pushy and aggressive to survive in this game. Won't make Day 10.

Ralph - Larry The Cable Guy meets George The Animal Steele. Anyone whose verbal contribution to the Season Premiere is "We done got a slope" won't see the jury. Sorry, Ralph.

Stephanie - Fiesty pipsqueak who decided immediately to align with Russell, immediately making the shortest alliance ever (height-wise). I like her, she's my pick to win. And she reminds me of Pamela Adlon from Californication.

Steve - Old guy who didn't say much. Not sure what to think.

Julie, Krista, Natalie, Sarita - I don't know which one of you is which yet, sorry.

My Random Thoughts

- Probst straddling the open helicopter as it veered off was pretty impressive. You have to admit that. How many of you were expecting a Blue Shirt Free Fall?

- I speculated last season that Mark Burnett found a volume discount on tiles since almost every challenge involved smashing some sort of tile. Based on the footage from the Intro, and the fact that this season was filmed in the same place as last season, and immediately after, makes me think we’re in for a LOT of tile-smashing again. Well, at least it has replaced the old standard "cut a rope and raise a flag" challenge ending.

- Francesca stepped on to the beach and, upon seeing the tribe mats, declared “Oh wow. This is really happening.” Really, Francesca? The helicopter ride and Probst's monologues to the camera didn't tell you it was happening, but those purple and orange mats did?

It reminded me of a radio interview I heard a couple of weeks ago (true story) about a 7-car pile-up on a highway near where I live, where one of the guys in the domino chain of cars told the interviewer "I just looked in my rear-view and saw him bearing down on me, so I just braced myself and said 'Here We Go.' "

NO CHANCE this guy said "Here We Go" when he saw that. More Like "HOLY F*$@ING SH*& I"M GONNA GET HIT!"

- Did Rob and Russell both gain weight? Looked like it. Maybe not a bad strategy. I loved how Russell said that he was “back to claim my title of Sole Survivor”...a title he never actually won.

- Since when do the tribes get a box of tools to build a shelter? Yeah, I get the product placement for Craftsman, but come on! Why not just give them a water cooler and a stocked refrigerator while you're at it?

- 2 Lawyers and a Law Student (who is older than both of the lawyers!)...did the recruiters just head to a Law School this time?

- I honestly believe that any television show can be made better by showing a lizard running on water. Enough snakes and spiders...more lizards, more water, more running.

- I had a really hard time looking at the TV when Phillip was there in his boxers. “How did I get stuck with the old annoying guy in the droopy fuchsia briefs?”, Francesca told us. My girlfriend was actually holding her hand up to block him from her line of sight. How can you take this guy seriously?

- Russell made me laugh after the Tetris/Jenga challenge, when he predicted that Rob's reaction would be “Oh Crap, I’m stuck with a bunch of weenies.” Not because he actually said that, but on Heroes vs. Villains, Rob made a classic line that was similar: "I'm stuck on the buffoon tribe...again."

- Does Kristina understand that the Idol doesn't translate to like, 5 votes? It just means you're safe. And how hard is it to say Francesca? Fran-chess-ka. See? very simple. But Phillip butchered it so many times at Tribal Council, I'm shocked Jeff kept a straight face. Then he said "Excuse Me" about a hundred times for no reason. Special Agent Drama Queen.

- I loved Rob's suggestion that Kristina give him the Idol to save herself, especially since when this was filmed, he wouldn't have seen Sash do it to Marty last season. Speaking of the Idol, folks, once again we see what I have been saying for the past 5 seasons...WHEN YOU GET THE IDOL, DON'T GO AROUND TELLING PEOPLE.

- With the amount of time we saw Francesca in this episode, it was fairly obvious that we were going to see her go. I hope the edits aren't that obvious all season or there will never be any tension. As she voted for Phillip, she said "I hope to never see you again." I think there's a pretty good chance she sees him next week at Redemption Island after he gets voted out.

- Speaking of Redemption Island, I have a question. Jeff talked about how you have to take care of fire, shelter and food all by yourself there, and then square off when someone else arrives. But when does that challenge happen? Is it immediately upon their arrival? Or do they work together for a time at camp? I would hope it's immediately, otherwise the "solitary confinement" aspect of Redemption Island is a moot point.

As I mentioned, after the first episode, my pick is Stephanie, with an outside shot to Grant.

Next week: Ralph vs. Russell, and Phillip vs A Crab.

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 Redemption Island Recap by Dalton Ross
Jeff Probst’s Blog
Spoiler TV Recap

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Survivor Redemption Island "Preview"

With the premiere of Survivor Redemption Island set for tomorrow night, I was originally planning on looking at all of the cast bios and putting together some sort of comprehensive advance "preview" of this season, but then I decided that I would rather go in blind on Wednesday night and take it from there, with an unbiased eye. Having said that, I will give my thoughts on this upcoming season, some of which I have mentioned in previous posts, so forgive me if you've heard some of this already...and if you HAVE heard some of this already, then Thank You for being a regular reader!

I'm on record as saying I think this Redemption Island twist is a horrible idea. For 21 seasons, losing your fire in this game meant you were gone (save for that horrible Pearl Islands "Outcasts" twist that saw Scout Leader Lil return and nearly win the game! Disaster averted), and now it means that maybe you're gone. I'm not a fan at all. They've even started using that point in the promos for the show, which I appreciate...but it's still a massive change in the game that alters everything. I understand that the game evolves, and changes over time, but changing one of the basic tenets of the game is way over the line. Imagine in baseball, if someone was caught stealing a base, and was 'out', but then all of a sudden there was some way to reverse that out and get back to second base...yes, the concept is as ridiculous as it sounds.

I'm sure it will make for great TV, and everyone will be talking about it, but I'm not on board. Not by a long shot.

The return of Boston Rob and Russell (first reported here back in December) is interesting, but comes with a heavy cost. As much as I am fans of both Rob and Russell, the reality is that neither of them could ever win this game. Russell has proven that he can't get a jury to vote for him no matter what, and Rob is now widely regarded as one of the best players ever, so why would anyone take him to the end?

Chances of Rob winning: 0%. Chances of Russell winning: slightly lower than Rob.

So, in essence, what Mark Burnett and CBS are doing, is creating a fall-back plan for if/when the "Rob vs. Russell" season doesn't pan out when the other Survivors decide they don't want a guy on his 3rd try and a guy on his 4th try to win, and vote them off. Enter Redemption Island...a chance to keep your stars on TV even longer, after they get voted off. (As an aside, check out this video from Entertainment Weekly's Dalton Ross when Rob and Russell first learned they would both be on this season.)

My recap of the premiere will be a snapshot of my initial impressions of each Survivor, along with a couple of Random Thoughts on the overall episode. After that, you can expect a regular Random Thoughts recap after each episode, usually up withing 30-60 minutes of when the episode airs on the East Coast.

The new readers and fans that have been reading here over the past couple of seasons has been overwhelming. What started as a small project writing bullet-point recaps has expanded into a strong readership that has led to new opportunities, such as being invited to participate in the pre-season media conference call with Mark Burnett and Jeff Probst in advance of the season premiere. Who would have thought that a year ago??

With each weekly recap, I will also be posting on Spoiler TV, and providing links on Facebook, and Some of the readers on the message boards can be rather nasty, so while I will provide links to places like EW at the end of each recap, I strongly advise you to read Dalton Ross' recap, but do not read the Comments section. There is no moderation, and aside from the hate and anger (which can be easily ignored), the main reason I say do not read the Comments is because each week, people post spoilers for the season anonymously, with no accountability. And last season, all of the spoilers were correct. So if you do not want to be spoiled on this season, do not read the comments. And if spoilers appear here in the Comments section, I will once again enable Comment Moderation, but I'm hoping it doesn't come to that.

Check back here tomorrow night by 10:00 pm ET for my recap of the season premiere, and if you're an Amazing Race fan, keep in mind that I will be recapping the upcoming season (premiering this Sunday) as well.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Nothing Could Be Finer Than Duke Over Carolina...Again.

I'm honestly considering naming any future children "Seth Curry Furfaro." Or maybe "Nolan Smith's Career-High Furfaro." Possibly even "You Really Thought You Had A Chance, Didn't You Furfaro."

Well, that last one is a little need to get crazy.

Duke 79 - UNC 73.

Suck it, Tar Heels.