Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Survivor South Pacific Recap: “Maybe He’s Trying To Cover His Tracks Before He Makes Them”

Last week’s episode focused on Brandon’s borderline stalker-ish behavior concerning Mikayla. This week, would Brandon still be obsessed with her? Would his lie from last week carry any repercussions? Who’s claiming to have an Immunity Idol? And does anyone on the planet care who wins the Duel between Semhar and Christine?

My Random Thoughts:

- This week’s Night Vision recap starts at Redemption (Non) Island where Semhar doesn’t like being woken up, and groggily talks to Christine about what happened at Upolu, while clearly being disinterested in anything but sleeping. Christine vented about Coach, at one point calling him King Farouk, which seems like a horrible name for a Dragon Slayer.

- At Upolu, Mikayla was shocked at finding out she was the target of Brandon’s attack, and was talking to Coach about it when Brandon walked up and inserted himself in the conversation. How on earth does Brandon expect us to believe that he wants to avoid Mikayla when all he does is seek her out and try to be near her at every opportunity?
He then said that he was “almost 150% sure that Mikayla was going home.” Those of you that have read my recaps in the past (including this past season of Big Brother) will know that I can’t stand the constant “percentages over 100” that people give to try and explain something. But Brandon said “almost 150%.” What the hell does that even mean? Is it 140%? 125% Are those even different from each other?

- At the Redemption (Non) Island Duel, Coach, Stacey, Ozzy, and Elyse all got to watch Christine take on Semhar for a chance to stay in the game. Did you notice that Semhar always looks unhappy? Of course, she’s the tortured artist. When Jeff asked her what Redemption Island was like, I wrote in my notes that I was surprised she didn’t answer him with a poem.

No sooner had I written that, then she started reciting a poem to herself to pysch herself up for the Duel. The best part of that whole segment was watching the reaction of Jeff and the other contestants as she rambled about some other love, and at one point said “I would give birth to 10 of his children without using drugs to ease the pain.”

Semhar was obviously more focused on the thought of double-digit offspring with some unseen partner instead of trying to balance her mini-totem, and predictably lost the Duel, nearly getting nailed in the head with the totem in the process.

Turn on the drama from Semhar, who then went on about her Tribemates being cruel for voting her out and feeling like she was abandoned. What the hell? Then, before she left, she handed her sweater to Christine and told her that she loved her. The previous night, they were asking each other’s name, and now Semhar “loves” her…after just a few hours together, most of which were likely spent sleeping? I predict a poem will be written at some point in the future about how her “best friend in the world” let her leave the South Pacific while she stayed behind selfishly.
- Brandon talked about how much he regretted his lie from last week, and how he was upset at himself, his family would be upset at him, and God was upset at him. Let’s be honest, here…the only reason he regretted his lie was because it didn’t work. Plain and simple.

He then decided that excessive honesty was the way to deal with his past dishonesty, so he took off his shirt, and revealed the ink he had been hiding, owning up to his family name. His logic: “I’d rather make friends out here than the million dollars.” Quite a left turn from last week’s statement: "Ain’t no chick in this world gettin’ in the way of me, my family, and a million dollars.”

So, aside from my earlier assessment that it is a Hantz family trait not to be able to keep your mouth shut (proven by this tattoo reveal), but now I’m realizing that being Bi-Polar might be an issue as well.

Somewhere at home, Russell Hantz threw something at his television.

- After the Hantz reveal, Stacey chose to speak only in clichĂ©s, saying , “water’s up under the bridge” and “can’t judge a book by its cover.” I’m sure CBS just edited out when she was talking about not counting her chickens before they’re hatched, not putting all of her eggs in one basket, and calling a spade a spade.

- At Savaii, Papa Bear talked of a pecking order at camp (Damn you and your foreshadowing!), which was a pretty astute observation. Ozzy told Keith about having the Idol, showing that he wants to trust Keith in the way that Rob couldn’t trust Grant last season. Keith immediately told Whitney, showing that Ozzy is an idiot, and said that the reason was to build trust with her. Personally, I think the reason was “I want the pretty girl to like me and swing me when I’m in the hammock.”
- Mikayla, to her credit, wasn’t buying Brandon’s repentant act, saying “maybe he’s trying to cover his tracks before he makes them.” Exactly! That’s what liars do…they create a safety net for when they get caught.

- She then went right at Brandon and asked why he had targeted her. Brandon said it was just because he didn’t like her and made up an excuse that he was still trying to apologize to her. Newsflash, Mr. Honesty, by not telling her the real reason you are threatened by her, you’re still lying!

Brandon then called a Tribe meeting where he accused Mikayla of verbally attacking him, and that no one spoke at except for him, which ended with him saying “keep me out of the drama.” Kind of tough to do, Brandon, because YOU CREATE THE DRAMA.
Talk about a lose-lose situation. Mikayla was understandably upset and was seen crying on the beach, while Brandon apparently and inexplicably went for a nap in the fire (??)

- At the Immunity challenge, Probst went with the teal shirt again, making me wonder if he’s working towards a gradual shift to green instead of blue. Edna couldn’t stop smiling at Savaii, I was impressed by Dawn, and Brandon gave a finger-pointing-upward shout out to God…who I don’t believe was cranking the winch, unless I missed it.

Did you see that part in the challenge where Ozzy lost hold on his board, and then just swam after it with no penalty? Shouldn’t he have had to bring the board back to where he let go of it? Otherwise, couldn’t you just let the team crank the board back empty while you swim after it? In the end, it didn’t matter since his team lost, but something was fishy there.

Speaking of fishy, watching the last part of the challenge, with one tribe member throwing a grappling hook over the edge, hooking something and hauling it up while the other one coiled up the rope…made me feel like I was watching Deadliest Catch. I kept waiting for someone to yell up at Whitney and Elyse “Hurry up, Greenhorns!”

Upolu won, because, as Probst said, “Coach has been phenomenal with the grappling hook.” I’m thinking that was probably the first time that has ever been said, but I bet if you asked Coach, his response would start with, “Well, actually…there was this ONE time…”

- Last year we had a wild kingdom of nature shots in Nicaragua. So far, all I’m seeing are crabs and lizards this season. How many HD shots of crabs do we really need?
- At Savaii, Papa Bear knew it was his head on the chopping block, so off he went running into the woods in his underwear to look for the Immunity Idol (that had already been found by Ozzy). Elyse the Native American and Jim the Non-WPT-Champion went off to watch him dig for the Idol, and wondered if he found it.

Since he didn’t, he made a fake one and put on a horrible act back at camp that he had found it. Let me be clear about this strategy: IT NEVER WORKS.

Cochran talked about his act by saying “Papa Bear comes waltzing into camp with this big smile on his face and an extra large bulge in his underpants.” Look…gay, straight, or anything in between…that sentence is just wrong.

- Tribal Council was uneventful, we all knew Papa Bear was going home, but can we please get a template in the voting booth with the proper spelling of everyone’s name? “Cockran”? Really, Jim?

Next week: Cochran makes a move, and Brandon is paranoid.

Survivor Fans, please 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 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.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Amazing Race Recap: “I’m Going Nowhere Because You Have No Passport”

The Amazing Race returned last night, one week after picking up its eighth Emmy Award for Best Reality Competition, as 11 new teams set off from Los Angeles on a race around the world. Sorry for the delay in getting this recap up, but I was out of the country, and unable to watch the show until Monday. Rest assured that the weekly recaps this season will be posted at the usual time.

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.

As I normally do with the Season Premiere, tonight’s recap is going to be my first impressions of this season’s teams, along with my Random Thoughts at the end.

The Teams:

Andy and Tommy, The Snowboarders – These guys are so laid back, they decide who does Road Blocks with Rock, Paper, Scissors, and scared a shirtless Taiwanese man by accosting him since he appeared to be wearing “Race Boxers.” Repeated use of “gnarly”, “brother”, and “bud” reinforces stereotypical perception. One of them is wearing what I believe must be the first flat-brimmed ball cap in TAR history.
Ethan and Jenna, The Former Survivor Winners – We all know who they are, and the fact that they’re not telling anyone they were on Survivor and they expect that to work is laughable. My odds-on pick to win the Race.

Laurence and Zac, The Father and Son Sailors – Didn’t get to see much of them yet, no real opinion yet.

Ernie and Cindy, The Recently Engaged Couple – Apparently, they like to dance in public parks and tickle each other while running. Oh yeah…and she’s a control freak.

Justin and Jennifer, The Southern Siblings – Type A sister and inferiority complex brother, who like to fish and rock climb.

Bill and Cathi, The Oldsters – Retired educators from Oregon who enjoy doing chin-ups together, and completely disregard safety when riding a tractor. Did you see that in their intro video? What the hell was Cathi doing, just riding along the side of the tractor…was that the farm equivalent of letting someone ride on the handlebars of your bike?

Liz and Marie, The Twin Sisters – Not a lot to go on yet, but one of them is really bad at repeating things.

Jeremy and Sandy, The Dating Couple– A dating couple who appear to just act like idiots on a golf course…driving the golf cart too fast with arms and legs hanging out, taking perfectly timed bunker shots in unison, and then dancing…and showing that they’re on the golf course in bare feet (her) and flip-flips (him). That wasn’t staged at all. Jeremy says that running the Race with Sandy is like “taking the car into the shop and seeing if you want to buy the car.” Um…Jeremy, if you’re taking the car to the shop, you already OWN THE CAR. And if not, you have some serious explaining to do to the Car Salesman who let you take it for a test drive.

Ron and Bill, The Gay Flight Attendants – Domestic partners who dress alike. What else do we know so far? Nothing.

Amani and Marcus, The Ex-Football Player and Wife – Marcus told us that “anything less than winning is not an option.” Well, considering that he played 10 years with the Indianapolis Colts, and they only won one Super Bowl over that time, seems like not winning is perfectly fine in his world.

Kaylani and Lisa, The Former Showgirls – Passport losing Vegas gals who want to show that their brains are in their head, not their chest.

My Random Thoughts:

- What the hell was with that Bus on the intro? Did CBS really shell out the cash to paint a bus for 3 camera shots that totalled about 4 seconds? Are they planning on using that bus later this season? Future seasons?

- I like the return of The Express Pass, which is good up to and including the 8th leg, and I thought I liked the idea of a new penalty, The Hazard, before I realized that it’s just a Speed Bump for One.
- I had to laugh at the beginning of the episode, at the Umbrella task before the teams got their keys to the vehicles, when Ernie ran up to the wall of umbrellas. The very first task, and he’s the first person, to grab the very FIRST umbrella…and he said “this is totally crazy.” Really? 3 seconds into the Race, it’s already “crazy”?

- Kaylani and Lisa, meanwhile, lost one of their passports in approximately 12 minutes. Upon realizing it was gone, Kaylani said “I’m seriously gonna vomit…all over the place”, which I guess was important to mention, as opposed to vomiting in one confined area.
It seemed like all was lost until a Jersey Shore reject and his friend showed up at LAX with the lost passport. The hero of the moment was Ryan Storms, who enjoyed his 15 minutes of fame, draping his arm around the showgirls like he was on the red carpet at a Hollywood premiere. Didn’t you love how they showed his actual Twitter handle, and the message that saved Kaylani and Lisa’s Race? When the Twitter message popped up on screen, I’m sure Mr. Storms was thinking “I’m gonna get SO many more followers”, while I (and hopefully many of you) were thinking “You don’t know the difference between ‘their’ and ‘there’, you idiot.”

- In Taipei, the Road Block was pretty simple: an old-fashioned game of Telephone that saw the teams dialing 1-800-CONFUCIUS and needing to repeat the phrase on the line word-for-word. I was seriously howling at the giant WRONG stamp graphic on the screen every time someone screwed up. Reminded me of the ‘Eat the Wasabi’ challenge from Season 15.

- At the Dragon Boat Race, Cindy said “I feel so Asian right now”, which may have made sense…if she wasn’t already the only Asian contestant. Marcus said that his team got excited when he saw them coming. No, Marcus…when they saw the giant black man in a bright pink shirt running towards them waving a paddle and screaming, they were terrified.

- Ernie and Cindy earned the Express Pass for finishing first on this leg. Ernie said “Control freak Cindy on the Race is actually a pretty good teammate”, and Cindy responded by saying “which should have been obvious.” I think these two are going to make for some good TV. Remember Team Jungle Fever, Brian and Ericka…these two remind me of them.

- In the most predictable last-place finish in TAR history, Bill and Cathi sidled up to the mat to learn that the very first leg of the Race is a non-elimination leg. So next week, they will encounter a Speed Bump, and be forced to deal with a new twist: a Double Elimination leg that will see two teams leave the Race. I like it.

- Where was the Detour? Will the Speed Bumps be lame this season? And who will be edited to be this year’s villain? My leading odds: Jeremy (5-2), Jennifer (4-1), Cindy (6-1).

- I think it looks like it will be a pretty good season. As I said earlier, my pick to win is Ethan and Jenna…like they need another million.

Next Week: Sibling Rivalry brews and Two Teams hit the bricks.

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 on Twitter, 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. Also, if you’re a Survivor fan, be sure to check back on Wednesday nights for weekly recaps on Survivor South Pacific.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Survivor South Pacific Recap: “Ain’t No Chick In This World Gettin’ In The Way Of Me, My Family, And A Million Dollars”

This week on Survivor South Pacific, someone finds a clue, someone else finds an Idol, a secret is revealed, and a lie causes problems. Let’s get right to it.

My Random Thoughts:

- Previously on…Survivor, Christine said Coach was a temporary player, and then Coach allied with Edna and 4 men. Thanks for ruining that this episode would come down to Christine vs. Coach at Tribal Council. (All drama ruined one minute into the episode) Mikayla’s coconut shooting skills single-handedly sent Semhar’s breasts to Redemption Island, which once again ISN’T AN ISLAND!

- Night-vision recap: Semhar thinks that her tribe voting her out was cold-hearted, and that Redemption (Non) Island will be a terrible experience for her because she has abandonment issues. So, she obviously turned to poetry…which apparently made her itchy, and scared the crabs away. Sounds like she had a nasty breakup. For the record, if Semhar’s ex-boyfriend who inspired that poem is reading this, I’m sure he got extra enjoyment from me using the phrase “scared the crabs away.”
- Back at Savaii camp, Cochran was appreciative to the rest of his tribe for keeping him, and said that he would have to “turn on the cool, mellow Cochran.” Does that guy really exist?

- Ozzy and Keith talked about having strong Tribe members and they both identified Jim, because “he’s really good at puzzles.” Wait a minute…has Jim even attempted any sort of puzzle in the first three days? The Immunity Challenge was an obstacle course with coconuts, wasn’t it? What the hell is with people claiming (or being assessed) that they are great at puzzles on this show now? Redemption Island’s David and South Pacific’s Jim will likely go on to form a WWE Tag Team: The Puzzle Masters.

- What the hell was Edna wearing as a visor? Was that Tree Mail? An Immunity Clue? And was she on her way to some sort of smoky South Pacific poker game?

- Coach then solidified his arrangement with Edna by talking about honor and loyalty being more important than strength, and Edna pledged her allegiance. How can you make a deal with someone who is offering it while standing in his underwear? Especially when CBS has been blurring out his little dragon.

- At Savaii, Cochan became the new worker/cook/butler because he had to show everyone that he was willing to work around camp. He even went so far as to (gasp!) cut coconuts WITHOUT BEING ASKED! He talked about how his mother may be disappointed, but then said “New Cochran doesn’t follow mommy’s advice all the time.”
- Ozzy told the rest of his tribemates “I’m just gonna go down there and do a float-down and maybe get lucky”, which made no sense and sounded a lot dirtier than it really was, before channeling his inner spider monkey and climbing trees looking for the Immunity Idol. Of course he found it, and despite CBS’s claim that they would be hiding the Idols better this season, apparently jamming a rock in the middle of a tree seemed like a good idea. Shameful.

- Once Brandon found out that Coach had put something over him to keep him warm at night, L’il Hantz decided to come clean and tell the Dragon Slayer about his lineage, after telling all of us that he would keep it a secret from everyone.

So…from what I can tell, the Hantz’s just can’t keep their mouths shut. Russell obsessively told everyone within earshot that he had 17 Immunity Idols, and now Brandon, after repeated claims that he wouldn’t, decides to share his family secret.
- On the beach, Elyse said that she wanted to “channel my inner Native American self”, which served no purpose other than to remind me of a comment from last week’s recap, where someone told me that Elyse wasn’t Native American. Funny.

- Jim claimed that he was a “World Poker Tour Champion”, to which I can only say one thing: BULLSHIT. I looked it up, and he won a preliminary poker event in 2006, and made the final table of a nothing poker league this year. Not a World Poker Tour champion. Keep that in mind.
- Jim the Pot-Dispensing Poker Liar then “formed” an alliance of Keith, Ozzy, Elyse, and Whitney. Or, as he put it “3 guys and the two girls we like.” He claimed to be the architect of the plan, even though he isn’t. Bad read, poker dude.

- Mikayla was preparing to go fishing and taking too many clothes off, which tempted Brandon once again, who was edited to look like a serial rapist staring at her pelvis. I loved how this whole segment was accompanied by the appropriate “creepy guy music.” Mini-Hantz vowed to get Mikayla voted out because “ain’t no chick in this world gettin’ in the way of me, my family, and a million dollars.”

- Christine continued to ostracize herself from the rest of the Upolu tribe by obsessively searching for the Idol again. She didn’t find the Idol, but she did find the clue in a tree…like that was going to matter.

- At the Immunity challenge, Upolu eats fruit to get ready (and taunt Savaii), this week’s dirty Immunity Challenge phrase is Ozzy yelling “pull it out, Cochran” (with an honourable mention to 7 women being “on the pole” at the beginning), and Savaii smoked Upolu despite a huge Upolu lead. I wish I would have heard someone on Savaii say “You take the fruit, donkeys…we’ll take Immunity and the blankets.”
- Upolu was trying to figure out how to vote, and while Brandon was campaigning for Her Royal Sexiness to get the boot, the rest of the Tribe wasn’t on board. Christine was extra-paranoid and started taking it out on Edna, who honestly told her she had no idea what was going on.

- Mr Honour and Integrity Brandon Hantz then decided that lying to his alliance was the best plan of attack, and he made up a story to Coach in an attempt to sway the rest of the tribe to vote out his Temptress. Only took 6 days for him to start lying.

- At Tribal Council, Jeff is happy Coach is back, Christine went to the Eliza Orlins School of Eye-Rolling, and Brandon’s lie was exposed when the liar himself owned up to it. Talk about not being able to handle the pressure. What was, 90 minutes?
- In the end, Christine was voted out, as anyone with half a brain could have predicted in the first 30 seconds of the “Previously on Survivor” segment, and with her own personal version of The People’s Eyebrow, she exited for the comfy confines of Redemption (Non) Island, where she and Semhar can whine and complain to each other before competing in a Duel next week.

Next week: Savaii becomes suspicious of Ozzy and Brandon deals with his lie.

Survivor Fans, please 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 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.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Survivor, The Amazing Race, and Foo Fighters

Last week's premiere of Survivor South Pacific looked like it was the start of a pretty good season (about time!), and this Sunday marks the beginning of the next season of The Amazing Race, which looks pretty solid as well. For those of you who are regular readers of my recaps, and who are expecting them at the usual time on Wednesdays and Sundays, respectively, I wanted to make a quick post to let you know that this week's recaps will be slightly later than normal.

Instead of the usual post within 30 minutes of Survivor ending on Wednesday, my recap will be online by approximately 10:30 pm ET. I have a prior television commitment on Wednesday night, so I won't be able to watch Survivor until later. For the record, 'prior television commitment' doesn't mean I'm watching something else...I'm actually hosting a television program live from 7:00-8:00 (Rogers TV, channel 20 - shameless plug), and I'll be watching the show later that night. The recap will still be up, just slightly later.

For Sunday's premiere of The Amazing Race, I will not actually be able to watch the show on Sunday night since I will be at a concert. So, instead of a late recap on Sunday night, unfortunately you'll have to wait until Monday night. While you are watching Ethan and Jenna and all the other new racers fighting for flight spots, I'll be seeing the Foo Fighters in Buffalo.

I also saw the Foo Fighters last night in Detroit (yes, I'm a pretty big fan), and for those of you out there who are fans as well, check out the two videos embedded below. They are both taken from last night's concert at the Palace of Auburn Hills, right beside the ramp, and the quality is pretty unbelievable. I didn't shoot the videos, but I was about 30 feet from where they were taken.

So, to summarize: 1) Survivor Recap will be an hour late on Wednesday, 2) Amazing Race Recap will be a day late on Monday, and 3) Foo Fighters rock!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Survivor South Pacific Recap: "Ozzy And Coach Kick Off A New Season"

Survivor South Pacific premiered with a bang tonight, and based on this first episode, I’m looking forward to a good season. Two entertaining returnees, a seemingly interesting cast, and a couple of good twists. I’m optimistic.

To the returning readers, Welcome back! It’s nice to see you again. And for those of you new to my blog and my Survivor 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.

As I mentioned in my “preview” earlier this week, tonight’s recap is going to be my first impressions of this season’s cast, along with a few Random Thoughts at the end. As always, after only one episode, it’s hard to really tell anything about this cast, so these impressions may be pretty funny to go back and re-read after the season.

For the record, in my first post on Survivor Redemption Island, I said that Phillip “won’t make Day 10”, Rob had no chance to win, and that Stephanie would win it all, so what the hell do I know?

My First Impressions:
(I’m not giving my first impressions on Coach and Ozzy)

Brandon the Villain’s Nephew – Let’s be honest, considering the amount of press we’ve been seeing of Brandon leading up to this season, I have to think he’s going to be around a while. Seems like a good kid, as opposed to an angry sock-burning Hobbit, like his uncle. Smart move to keep his name a secret by hiding his tattoos, but I wonder how long that can last. Had a great line explaining why he was hiding his name, “I don’t think Hitler’s nephew was running around saying ‘Hey, I’m Hitler’s nephew.”
Christine the Teacher – Seemingly mixed up the Dragon Slayer and the Karate Kid as she threatened Coach with a Daniel LaRusso-esque Crane Kick upon seeing him at the beginning. Blatantly looked for the Idol at camp, which would obviously rub her tribemates the wrong way.

Dawn the English Professor – Stressed about not having a shelter. Stressed about dumping water on the fire. Stressed about feeling old. Stressed about everything. Bad at swinging on vines.

Edna the Anesthesiologist – Please end up being an interesting contestant, because if you’re boring or devoid of personality, I just don’t think I’m strong enough to NOT make the obvious joke that ‘the anesthesiologist put me to sleep.”

Elyse the Dance Team Manager – Hoped that by being Native American, her ancestral background would help her around camp. Wow, that’s optimistic.

Jim the Medical Marijuana Dispenser – I imagine that the very first time “Medical Marijuana Dispenser” appeared on screen, Jim got an email from former contestant Erik Reichenbach, thanking him for bumping “Ice Cream Scooper” from the top of the list of Most Ridiculous Survivor Job Descriptions. His Bio on the CBS site states “I’ve worked on Wall Street, won over 40 poker tournaments, started several successful businesses and earned my MBA at a top five school from the University of Michigan.” Hey Jim, winning those little kitchen table games with your friends doesn’t really qualify you to bill yourself as having “won over 40 poker tournaments.” Likes to roll his eyes.

John the Harvard Law Student - This Clay Aiken look-alike prodded Jeff into calling him Cochran, and even got an on-screen graphic using only his last name. A superfan who has a Buff collection at home. I like him, he’s kind of funny and endearing, and should be socially strong. He asked “Is charm and humour really enough to keep someone around?” Interesting question, and the answer would depend on who you ask. Rob Cesternino would probably say no, but I imagine that Fabio would say yes.

Mikayla the Lingerie Football Player –Yes, in case you didn’t know, the Lingerie Football League is indeed real, which explains why Mikayla has over 3,000 “friends” on Facebook. She’s also been on the cover of Playboy. A hard worker around camp, and seemed good in challenges. A contender.
Keith the Water Treatment Tech – Hasn’t really said anything yet, so I don’t have an opinion just yet. How many times this season can we expect to see him telling everyone, “Boil the water!”

Mark the Gay Retired NYPD Detective – Not sure what to think of Papa Bear just yet, other than to note he has undying loyalty to older players on the Tribe, which is never a winning strategy.

Rick the Rancher – Wow, I never could have told from his physical appearance that he was a rancher. Makes fart noises to express his disapproval, and apparently knows what squirrels sound like when they make love.
Semhar the Spoken Word Artist – Translation: Jobless. To confirm this, check out her CBS bio under Hobbies, where she lists “writing/performing poetry, dancing, and watching Oprah.” Seems pretty obvious that Semhar has a LOT of free time. She told us that she recited that poem on the spot for her tribemates because "I’m not going to say I’m a poet and then not have anything to show for it." Well...who lies about being a spoken word artist? Did you think anyone on that Tribe was going to think you were a liar? Wants her tribemates to brush their teeth with ashes.

Albert the Baseball Coach, Sophie the Medical Student, Stacey the Mortician, and Whitney the Country Singer – I didn’t see enough of you yet to form an opinion. Sorry.

My Random Thoughts:

- I loved Coach’s line at the beginning of the episode on his overall strategy for this season, “this time, I’m trying to control my sense of self-righteousness and judgement on the others.” How long do you think that will last?

- Meanwhile, Ozzy’s assessment on his third go-around was “I need Redemption.” Is that foreshadowing that Ozzy will get voted out soon and make a run at Redemption Island, or is it more blatant, saying that he (and Coach for that matter) NEED the Redermption Island twist to even have a shot at winning?
- Jeff showed up on the beach to welcome the new castaways wearing a teal shirt, but don’t be alarmed…teal is still a shade of blue (sort of), so he hasn’t strayed too far off the beaten path yet.

- I had to laugh at Ozzy needing 3 attempts to break his paint-filled egg on his chest, while Coach just calmy squeezed his in his hand. Coach 1, Ozzy 0. But then, Ozzy slapped his hand on Jeff’s chest, leaving a palm-print on that lovely teal shirt. Ozzy 1, Jeff 0.
- The Hero challenge was an interesting puzzle where the reward was a basket of taro and a flint. Ozzy smoked Coach with a lot of help from his tribe, even though it wasn’t as difficult as you would be led to believe. Anyone who understands the concept of Free Cell Solitaire could have figured it out. Somewhere at home, Survivor Redemption Island’s David Murphy was yelling at his television “Why didn’t we have that damn puzzle in MY season????” Sorry, Puzzle Master Dave.

- At Savaii camp, Ozzy got a schoolboy crush on Semhar in about a nanosecond, and then deferred building a shelter and instead suggested that the tribe “go for a swim.” I thought this was absolutely ridiculous until I saw what Whitney, Semhar, and Elyse decided to wear into the water. Instead, I think I join all red-blooded heterosexual males who were watching tonight when I say “Thank you, Ozzy.”

- Meanwhile, over at Upolu camp, Brandon waxed poetic about being married and a Christian and not being tempted by Mikayla, the lingerie football player and Playboy model, despite repeated shots of Mikayla bending over and footage of Brandon seemingly stalking her from the trees. That was a very odd segment.

- The Immunity challenge started with Jeff going back to a nice, rich Probsty blue shirt, before the tribes had to work their way through an obstacle course and ending up playing Coconut Basketball. Let me get this straight, there was a “web of coconuts”, and a “bin of coconuts”, and Jeff said the word “coconut” approximately 347 times…you know what that means? This season, LESS TILES, MORE COCONUTS!
In the challenge itself, Rick the Rancher dumped Edna over the wall like a sack of potatoes (or coconuts) before quickly chopping his way through five ropes with a machete. A lot of strength shown by Rick in this challenge. Upolu won immunity narrowly, by…you guessed it…just one coconut. And Semhar felt “sorta bad”, which rubbed Jim the wrong way.

But here’s the discussion point I want to pose after this challenge: What was the more entertaining unintentionally dirty phrase yelled by Jeff Probst in this challenge? Option A) “Mikayla is a scoring machine” or Option B) “Ozzy releases his coconuts.” Discuss in the Comments section.

- I liked the twist of not providing a clue to the Immunity Idol, but instead making the castaways search for the clue at camp before even trying to look for the Idol. How many times have you seen someone on this show come close to finding the Idol, only to wander hopelessly away while the camera zooms in on the Idol that they missed? Hey, morons! When you’re looking for the clue, or the Idol…WATCH THE CAMERAMAN!

- At Tribal Council, Dawn is still stressed, Cochran compared himself to a hummingbird and forgot Semhar’s name (how many of you were reminded of last season’s Season Premiere when Phillip couldn’t remember “Francesca”?), and the horrible spelling continues for another season, even without Ralph.

It came down to a choice between Cochran and Semhar, and in the end, Semhar was voted out and sulkily presented her torch to Jeff, which prompted my girlfriend to yell at the TV, “take your ill-fitting bra to Redemption Island!”

Next week: Cochran works at camp, and Brandon comes clean.

My pick to win based only on this first episode…and yes, you’re reading this correctly. I’m picking Cochran to win it all. (Dark Horse pick: Mikayla)
Survivor Fans, please 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 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.

Survivor South Pacific Recap: September 14, 2011

Tonight is the 90-minute premiere of Survivor South Pacific, and based on the advance press we've seen so far, this is looking like a good season. Dragon Slayers, Country Singers, and another Hantz are the recipe for this South Pacific treat, so slide on up to the table and dig in.

For those of you new to my blog and my Survivor Recaps, 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.

My recap for tonight's Season Premiere should be up by 10:00 pm ET, so make sure to check back.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Survivor South Pacific "Preview"

Survivor South Pacific premieres on Wednesday night, and I'm pleased to announce that I will be doing another full season of recaps. After a painful season of Big Brother, I'm happy that both Survivor and The Amazing Race are starting in September, because Summer Reality TV has been weak to say the least...except for Masterchef.

As with previous seasons, 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 like I did with Survivor Redemption Island. Having said that, I will give a few "Random Thoughts" on this upcoming season.

My Random Thoughts

- I think that Ozzy and Coach as the returning castaways will lead to some good TV, because they weren't as polarizing as Rob and Russell were. Ozzy is a major threat, and Coach is in the love-him-or-hate-him category (for the record...LOVE him!), but if you're going to bring two more back, I think these two are good choices.

- I'm not pleased with the return of Redemption Island, but I've accepted that even in all of its ridiculous-ness, it may be here to stay. It's an easier pill to swallow than discovering that Big Brother was wholly (100%) fixed this summer.

- Considering that Ozzy is so dominant at challenges, it might be a better plan for him to just get voted out early and take his chances on Redemption Island one-on-one instead of battling everyone.

- I'll be interested to see if Brandon Hantz (Russell's nephew) gives up that relationship information to the rest of his tribe.

- I've heard that this season, there will be no clues to the hidden Immunity Idol. I hope that's true, since it's been rather laughable how easily they have been found in the past few seasons.

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 within 30-60 minutes of when the episode airs on the East Coast. I hope to get a lot of Comments in the Comments section after each episode, so let's keep the conversation going strong!

Check back here on Wednesday 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 September 25th) as well.

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 on Twitter, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up.

See you Wednesday.