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31 March 2011
Zapatera was on its way to total domination at the start of Survivor: Redemption Island. They won the first two challenges, purposefully lost to get rid of Russell, and then won again the next week. Things then took a turn for the worst, losing the last two challenges, which was OK because they still needed to get rid of Russell's girls. But one more loss means the strong Alliance of 6 that started on day one is forced to cannibalize itself.
The duel on Redemption Island between Stephanie and permanent resident Matt is a giant game of memory, and with some miraculous help from God, Matt wins for the fifth time in a row.
This week Phillip is all about Japan, calling Matt a samurai warrior, and himself, the famous Japanese warrior, Miyamoto Musashi (I swear my HQ started bursting out in laughter. MUSASHI OMG) He then has a mini-meltdown over not getting any of the brown, crispy rice that's being saved for Boston Rob. He also reveals that the girls all sleep in Boston Rob's underwear, literally, which is kind of gross.
For the Immunity Challenge, the tribes must go through an obstacle course and then play basketball. Zapatera gets off to an early start, but Ometepe has a secret weapon in the form of Grant, who seemingly lands all six balls in the net. He was also the star player of last week's lacrosse challenge, making Grant a definite frontrunner to win the whole game.
On their reward, Boston Rob finds another clue to the immunity idol, but since he already has it and it created problems last week, he just throws it into the volcano.
The debate on Zapatera is all about David, the lawyer who sided with Stephanie last week, against Sarita, who is generally regarded as the team's weak link. It's a simple matter of strength vs. trust. At Tribal Council, Jeff Probst asks Ralph if cohesion is important, but Ralph doesn't understand what the words means. And just when I thought Zapatera was doomed, Sarita is voted out 4-2.
So strength wins out over loyalty, which doesn't matter at all because next week is the MERGE! Also, Matt and Sarita compete in the final duel of Redemption Island because whoever wins re-enters the game, and I'm placing no bets on a Sarita victory.
28 March 2011
The teams were surprised when the first clue didn't tell them to hit the airport -- instead, they had to head to the Jin Fu Yi Zhan Tea Shop. Phil teased us with a secret twist -- the particular brand of papaya-mango-infused tea that teams were drinking would play a role in the evening's upcoming Roadblock.
"That was pointless," deadpanned Zev.
Teams had to then fly to Kolkata, India, and visit the local Town Hall. Fun fact: The city used to be known as "Calcutta," but the government officially changed the English name to the more proper "Kolkata" in 2001.
The Roadblock was based on the Ancient Indian tradition of tea tasting. This was another frog-in-the-mudpit challenge -- players had to make their way through what looked like a few thousand cups of tea to find the papaya-mango flavor they had sampled in China.
While most players were obsessing over the particular colour of the tea, Ron quietly sniffed a few dozen cups and found his ringer. "The wave of mango did come through," said Ron. The Tea Auctioneer gave the Asian pair their bottle of Snapple, with a clue hidden written on the bottle cap.
The clue instructed teams to make for the Tiwari Tea Stall in the Jorashanko area. Kisha was the third person to find the tea, but unfortunately, both sisters decided to take an extremely existential interpretation of the term "clue." Instead of looking at the bottle cap, they assumed that the entire Snapple bottle itself was the clue, and they set off in search of the Snapple factory. Pure dumb luck took them to the Jorashanko area.)
Asian Dad and daughter had some cabbie trouble, and since Kisha and Jen were still searching for the Snapple factory, the Cowbros were the first to arrive at the Detour. The choice was between Hindu Art and Bengali Literature. In the former, teams had to paint, dress, and adorn a statue of Ganesha, the elephant-headed Hindu god. In Bengali Literature, teams had to deliver eight big stacks of children's' books to a local school using a rickshaw school bus.
Kisha tried guessing Ganesha's line of work: "The statue looks pregnant, so I'm guessing maybe a goddess of fertility."
Meanwhile, the cruel tearoom auctioneer was presiding over the worst tea party in the history of the universe. Flight Time finally managed to find the telltale tea, which left Luke all alone with a few hundred more cups to go through. He ended up falling to the floor in the fetal position, crying out "This is so hard!" He finally just grabbed a couple dozen cups and showed them to the auctioneer.
Gary and Mallory opted to deliver the deliver the books. They were far in the lead having chosen this detour, and Mallory positively whooped when they landed in first place at the Pit Stop at the Fountain of Joy, in the city's largest park.
After completing the detour, Jet & Cord had a great exchange mid-traffic:
Cord: (cynically) "Look at that sign to the left. Says India is great."
Jet: (the opposite of cynically) "India is great!"
Ron & Christina, Jet & Cord and Zev & Justin were teams Two, Three, and Four. Everyone high-fived. Then the Goths arrived, and Phil said, "Hey, Jet, what place are they in?" "Four!" Jet said proudly, which led to giggles from everyone. "Don't you know how to count?" laughed Phil.
Flight Time nearly squandered his team's lead when he spilled paint on the statue. There was some legitimate tension going to the mat, and when the Globetrotters arrived, they seemed to think that they were in last place. Big Easy cried, and thanked his partner for how he "carried us today." When they heard they were still in the race, they hugged.
The next sequence brought the whole episode to an emotional conclusion. Margie and Luke faced their elimination with quiet grace. Luke told us, "Being on the Amazing Race was a big dream for me." Margie told Luke, "I'm very proud of you."
Labels: Amazing Race
27 March 2011
Episode #1 The task for the debut episode was to sell pizzas for as much money as possible.
Survivor winner Richard Hatch, and Star Jones were the project managers for Backbone and A.S.A.P respectively.
Note: A.S.A.P (coined by La Toya Jackson) is the stupidest group name ever. It stands for Actors, Singers, Artists (or Authors?) and Professionals for a Purpose – I think the ‘for a Purpose’ must be silent.
Some dramatic tension moments include:
David Cassidy getting pushed by Richard Hatch
Jose Canseco called out Richard for his treatment of David at boardroom, calling him a bully, a liar, and claiming that Richard struck David. Richard fired back, saying that Jose’s ‘lack of intelligence’ was shining. Bravo, bravo!
Showdown between Star Jones and Lisa Rinna
Star Jones is the queen of trash. At boardroom, she said “We wanted to show America that women could work together, not be catty, and accomplish that goal”, right before she gets all catty on Lisa Rinna in the boardroom.
Dionne Warwick being terribly slow at the cash register.
Trump thinks being deaf is cute
Gary Busey’s cell phone rings in the boardroom and Marlee says she didn’t hear it. Trump goes: “Marlee said she didn’t hear it. How cute is Marlee!”
Nene Leaks’ epic response to Trump’s question is epic.
Trump: Nene, how do you feel about this mess?
Nene: I feel that it’s a mess.
A.S.A.P won the first task. Despite the fact that they didn't make the $35,000 delivery from Curtis Stone, they earned $115,268 regardless, and had a large amount of celebrity donors. Trump then decided to give Stone's check of $35,000 to Niki Taylor, because the women on A.S.A.P. all thought she was the star performer on this task.
Fired: David Cassidy - for not having the same fight or passion against Jose Canseco and Richard Hatch. Trump was unhappy with Richard's leadership, but David was fired instead for contributing little on this task and for being unable to defend himself, relying on Jose to back him up against Richard in the boardroom. Although Richard was disrespectful to him, David did not take responsibility for his own actions, which lead to his dismissal.
Task 2 was to create a children’s book and perform it to a group of 4-5 year olds. The story must revolve around one team member.
Meat Loaf and Lisa Rinna were the respective Project Managers. Lisa Rinna did not want to be project manager for this task, but she was pressured by her entire team. In fact, Nene Leakes admitted that they knew Lisa would screw up, so they just wanted to set her up for failure.
A.S.A.P came up with a story revolving around La Toya Jackson about a lion who couldn't roar. Backbone came up with a story based on Lil Jon about him becoming a superhero.
Dramatic tensions include:
Dionne being an insensitive diva (a synonym for diva would be bitch)
When Marlee Matlin wanted to incorporate a lion that was deaf, Dionne Warwick shot her idea down, and insulted Marlee in the process; Even though she explained that four and five year olds would not be able to understand the significance of that type of adversity, Dionne had clearly instigated pity on Marlee, which offended her.
Dionne being a power-hungry diva
Although the entire team created the book, Star Jones and Dionne both wanted their individual names on the book, along with the team name.
Dionne being a diva through and through
Dionne called out Lisa for losing focus as a leader, and this was followed by Star and NeNe Leakes, who also agreed that Lisa was not a great project manager.
Verdict: Backbone eventually won. John Rich and Mark McGrath did a great job in writing and organizing the team's book and performance, despite interruptions from Gary and Jose, along with the latter's mediocre performance on stage. Their concept was very original, age appropriate and entertaining.
Fired: Lisa Rinna, for having poor leadership skills, inability to control her team, losing the respect of her entire team, and for acknowledging that she crumbled under the pressure.
The task was to create an outdoor camping experience.
Gary Busey was Backbone’s Project Manager (destined for failure), while Niki Taylor represented the girls. Gary Busey is to date, the most useless Project Manager who ended up winning his challenge. He had quite a number of classic quotes though:
To Meatloaf: "Don't tell me what I'm not doing when I'm doing what you don't think I'm doing!" That got my brain working.
To the Camping World CEO (above): "I know nothing's free, but my heart to your heart is free. Ya hear that?" I hope he hears it, because security measures may need to be taken as a result.
On Lil Jon: "Lil Jon turned out to be an antagonist. In my heart. To me." And Gary Busey turned out to be a protagonist. In my brain. To me.
To Ivanka Trump about one of his hobbies, acronym-philosophizing: "L-U-C-K-Y stands for living under correct knowledge yearly. F-R-E-E-D-O-M. Facing real exciting energy, developing out miracles." Such trashy brilliance.
In spite of bad leadership, Backbone won. Even though their interiors paled in comparison to A.S.A.P.'s, they had dynamic exteriors, with team members such as John Rich (who sang a song) and Jose Canseco (who tossed around a baseball with onlookers) contributing to the presentation. Overall, they showcased the company's image more successfully than A.S.A.P. did.
At boardroom, Niki did not want to choose anyone because she felt that she was the only one to blame for the loss. She was eventually fired for humbly taking responsibility for her team's loss, without wishing to instigate unnecessary conflict. Niki's teammates and Trump himself called her a "class act" for taking the responsibility for loss, as opposed to throwing her teammates under the bus.
Maroon 5 - Never Gonna Leave This Bed
Overtones – Gambling Man
Sara Bareilles – Uncharted
The one to watch: ALEX CLARE
26 March 2011
Alexandria is like "Nooooo, nononono!" about how my boyfriend Francesco accused her of directing on set last week. She doesn't like it when people don't "get her." She wasn't DIRECTING, she was just imposing her WILL. Meanwhile, Molly is still bitching about her weave, and I can't blame her. She is looking crazy.
Challenge: Filming a "Get the Look" online video for CoverGirl
The models are split into three teams of three to make a one-minute video, each with a different "look" to promote whatever CoverGirl's new natural naked foundation blast stuff is. The winning video will be posted on Covergirl.com. Each girl picks a role out of a fish jar (Writer, Director or "Talent," which will always be in quotation marks because that's IRONIC) and of course Alexandria gets "talent."
Team 1: Monique (director), Alexandria ("talent"), Molly (writer)
Their team starts fighting "like cats and dogs" (quote Jaclyn) because Alexandria is bitching about how everyone thinks she's a bitch and having a bad attitude about how everyone thinks she has a bad attitude. Alexandria still acts like a diva when they film their spot and keeps yelling "ACTION!", but Monique keeps it together as director by fawning over her and calling her "babe." Alexandria says she "nailed it," but her face sure didn't:
Alexandria's Face: "I don't believe anything I am saying."
Team 2: Brittani (director), Mikaela ("talent"), Kasia (writer)
Mikaela drops the f-bomb every time she messes up in the video, which Jay does NOT f***ing appreciate. Her script is solid and she delivers, but it sounds too rehearsed and she's a little stiff.
Team 3: Hannah (director), Dalya ("talent"), Jaclyn (writer)
Their team decides to go for more of a "conversation" than a script. A conversation full of "uhhs" and "umms" and Dalya saying she feels "naked" a few too many times. Despite the verbal nudity, it's boring and they run out of time before they get a good take.
Jay critiques the spots: Mikaela swore too much, but was relatable. Yes! I actually find swearing very relatable. Dalya wasn't informative enough. Alexandria was trying to do everyone's jobs and yelling "action," but Monique was "cool, calm and collected."
The winner: Team F***! (Mikaela's team.)
Photo Shoot: Holding a baby jaguar at the zoo
To promote Rachel Zoe's new faux fur line, the girls are going to be dressed up like "fashion versions of wild animals" and pose with Murato, the baby jaguar!
Best photo goes to: Hannah
The shot that embodies what this shoot was supposed to be all about: Luxury, lushness, fierceness and, of course, fur. Hannah has never looked so exotic and dramatic, and there's an other-worldly quality to the way she's looking off into the distance.
Bottom Two: Molly and Dalya
Tyra says Molly has had "hair trouble" all season, but that's not an excuse to look so disengaged and "vacant." "And then we have Dalya," who is stunning but is coming off "desperate" and is standing in her own way.
The only remaining black contestant is out. Tyra shames Dalya for having so much runway experience but doubting herself. Dalya says she's "almost embarrassed" but is proud she made the top 9. Look at the top 8 now, so white:
1) The Strokes – Under Cover of Darkness
Despite a beefier production and occasionally twiddly guitar work, “Under Cover of Darkness” could still slip between any two tracks on that first album and not sound out of place. Sharp, jagged riffs, Julian Casablancas's throaty vocals and the delightfully simple drums make this track a solid and catchy one.
2) Lykke Li – Get Some
This track has the words to make you blush: “like a shotgun, needs an outcome / I’m your prostitute, you gonna get some”. It’s very funky, with guitars twanging in the background like good countrified pop. This will definitely make you snap your fingers.
3) Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
Over a surging acoustic instrumental, frontman Robin Pecknold sings about existential fear ("What's my name? What's my station? Oh, just tell me what I should do") in a hopeful and earnest way. The lyrics are delivered with such sincerity and vocal warmth, and you just got to love the reverberant, orchestral section that just shimmers.
4) Adam Lambert – Aftermath
Inspirational lyrics, combined with a catchy melody, and layered instrumentals, make this poignant song shine beautifully. It is a celebration of owning your own destiny, the struggles about coming out, and the realization that those who love you will support your choices. Exceptional back-up vocals harmonize with Adam's lower key perfectly. A wonderful song of hope and love.
5) King Kong Jane – Waiting For Friday
I may be biased about this, but Waiting For Friday is definitely one of the best local albums released in the past few years (#4 on the HMV Charts, that's proof!) You know I'm very objective when it comes to music. This track definitely makes you anticipate the weekend more than Rebecca Black's viral hit does.6) Teddybears – Cardiac Arrest (feat. Robyn)
It’s almost impossible to sit still while listening to any song Robyn gets her hands on, and her latest collaboration is no exception. The electro-pop queen lends her slick vocals to “Cardiac Arrest,” an insanely catchy dance tune which re-teams Robyn with her fellow Swedish hitmakers Teddybears.
7) Britney Spears – Till The World Ends
Ke$ha has stated that she intended to write a dance floor banger and that is what this is. The hooks are solid, and you will be inspired to dance. Everything is quite slick and polished and not difficult to listen to, and this track sounds solid on the radio and will certainly bring crowds to the dance floor.
8) Magnetic Man – Getting Nowhere feat. John Legend
Essentially a dubstep supergroup, Magnetic Man features the collective powers of Skream, Benga and Artwork and the results are intriguing. With the introduction of John Legend, this track of slanted, looping beats is given a pop edge that brings the likes of Gnarls Barkley to mind. With the ability to appeal to indie and dance fans alike Magnetic Man are an interesting outfit paying no attention to any kind of boundaries.
9) Chris Medina – What Are Words
While fans of Chris Medina were understandably thrilled when "What Are Words" was released so quickly after his elimination from American Idol, music buyers not as invested in his story will have a hard time understanding the hoopla over the song. Even with a major producer like Rodney Jerkins behind the board, there isn't anything about the song that helps Chris Medina stand out from other male singer/musicians.
10) Mona – Listen To Your Love
Hailed as the 'New To Q' on this issue of Q Magazine, Mona's "Listen To Your Love" is an accomplished track and will undoubtedly become their anthemic go-to, all contemplative verse, amplifying hook and impassioned chorus that it is.11) Arctic Monkeys – Brick By Brick
12) Two Door Cinema Club – What You Know
13) Lykke Li – Sadness Is A Blessing
14) Manic Street Preachers – Postcards from a Young Man
15) Jennifer Lopez – On The Floor (feat. Pitbull)
16) Black Eyed Peas – Just Can’t Get Enough
17) Rumer – Aretha
18) Lady Gaga – Born This Way (Country Version)
19) Glasvegas – Euphoria, Take My Hand
20) James Blake – Measurements
25 March 2011
All right, let's cut down to the chase.
Group 1: Lauren, Scotty, Pia ... Ryan tells them they’ll all be packing their bags.... to go on tour this summer! Did they actually believe that they were going to be sent home? DUH.
Sugarland then performs. I was playing Bejeweled so I didn’t give two hoots about them.
Group 2: James and Paul ... Ryan tells them ‘You’re not safe tonight...You’re REALLY not safe”, and then Hulk Hogan came out for no reason to tell them they are in fact safe.
Group 3: Jacob, Thia, Stefano ... Thia is in the bottom three, along with Stefano. The audience boos. But no shock yet.
Group 4: Casey, Haley, Naima ... Naima is safe (YEAH!) Haley has been in the bottom three the last two weeks, Casey has never been in the bottom, but of course Ryan told us we'd be shocked so I was so not surprised to hear that Casey is in the bottom three.
Jennifer Hudson looks great! If this is what seventh place looks like, complete with an Academy Award, then the outlook is bright for the couched contestants.
Another surprise is in store for us: Thia Megia is safe and moves back to the couches.
Now, here comes to big upset: Casey is in the bottom and at risk for elimination. This must mean the judges will seriously consider using The Save. As Casey starts singing the song he auditioned with and the cameras cut to Haley smile-crying, Randy stopped Casey mid-performance and was like, "We know who you are; we don't need to listen to you sing."
To be honest, I wouldn't care if Casey left. . But considering who else was in the bottom with him -- Stefano, who did too much with Lionel Richie's tender "Hello", and Thia, who still can't find her way despite having such a mature voice -- Casey had to be saved.
They declared that they would be using The Save, all casually, and Casey shook and dropped to his knees. He went right up to the judges' table, asking them, "Are you serious?" It was really sweet. Casey's safe! Now, the worrying thing is that the judges used their ONLY safe this season on him. HELLO, what if my Naima and Paul gets eliminated through some freak reason?!?!
SO, two people go home next week and all Top 11 will go on tour!
Matt Giraud was the contestant saved in Season 8; Michael Lynche in Season 9, and now Casey Abrams in Season 10. All guys!
As usual, my favourite female contestant didn't fail to surprise me in a good way again. I like that she combined Motown with African drumming and dancing, and she really hit her stride with this performance. How did this she land herself in the Bottom 3 last week?!?!
Yes, she did another ballad, but she KILLED another ballad. The song suited her voice perfectly and the girl knows what she likes and who she is. Well, I do get that she is a diva and can belt really well, but even Whitney and Celine had some dance hits! Try something different, girl!
My favourite male contestant performed with his guitar tonight! I love how he successfully converted the Motown theme into his homeground, that of folk rock. His tender moments are just so infectious, so electrifying! He is really a breath of fresh air in this competition.
Adam Lambert 2.0 does the same drill: He blasts those vocals in his performance, impressing everyone, and eventually pisses everyone off when the judges are critiquing him and he's milking the audience for applause. Big talent, but bigger ego – that's just not my cup of tea. A good performance though.
It was restrained for Jacob, which made it bearable to listen to. Too many diva postures during his performances, it seriously puts me off. Random moment when the girls swarmed the stage to hug Jacob, but Ryan put a stop to it before a guy could hug Jacob.
He resembles a very cheesy caricature, and that cracks me up in a positive manner. Well, he hit some notes which he couldn't have hit in the past, so I'm guessing he's improving note by note every week. It wasn't my favorite Scotty performance, but I'm increasingly finding him to be good entertainment.
This was just OK for me. Last week was way too epic for me to expect this performance to be so sub-standard by his standards.
#8 Thia Megia - “(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave” by Martha & The Vandellas
Thia was the best she's been yet, but it just wasn't up to par with a lot of the other performances. A noble effort, but she didn't have full command of the stage. She needs more time to grow.
Lauren apparently got her confidence back (since when was it missing?) Lauren was forgettable, which may as well be the kiss of death on American Idol. For some reason this week was all about her re-gaining her confidence, but she seemed less confident than ever. While she hit all her notes, it just wasn't memorable and viewers might forget to vote for her.
Stefano has a great voice and even sang his song very well, but I feel like we're seeing the same thing from him week after week and he still hasn't taken Jennifer Lopez's one note to stop closing his eyes so much when he sings. Stefano killed it last week, but this week was just way below my expectations.
Haley, still trying to find her niche, appears in a white suit jacket, and made it down those stairs in heels. Right now, I'm only seeing her as one who's trying not to land herself in the bottom three. Her stage presence was pretty awkward, and once again, she was exploiting too much of the growl! I truly believe that Haley is a good singer, but I don't like that the judges told her she's "back" with her growling and over-singing.
Predicted Bottom 3: Lauren, Stefano and Haley (Trust me, Thia WILL BE safe.)
24 March 2011
Battle of the Bible Blondes
At Redemption Island, Krista and Matt bond over their mutual love of the Bible before using grappling hooks to collect bags with balls and using a ball to solve a table maze in the duel. Krista gets off to a big lead collecting all her bags right away, but as usual, Matt is blessed and permanently eliminates another competitor.
Before Krista leaves, she gives Matt her luxury item, a Bible. Right now Matt is such a huge threat that the only way he'll win Survivor: Redemption Island is with some divine intervention.
At Ometepe, Phillip starts complaining about how the pageant beauties, Ashley and Natalie, don't do any work at the camp. While Phillip calls them "beauty queens" as an insult, they take it as a compliment.
The immunity challenge involved the castaways trying to catch balls launched by a catapult. Ometepe dominates the game and sweeps it 5-0, thanks to a strong connection between the launcher Natalie and the catcher, Grant, who get four of the five balls. It's interesting how I'm typing Natalie's name pretty often, considering how under-the-radar she is.
Stealth R Us
When Phillip sees that Boston Rob and Grant tried to hide the clue from him, he offers a tragically brilliant misquotation: "Hell hath no fury like a lion and a gorilla when he thinks he's been provoked." He also reveals that he was a special agent for four years, 11 months and 13 days.
On Zapatera, it's clearly six against one, but David sees promise in Stephanie and encourages her to try and stay, which forces her to suck up to all the people she hates. Luckily, everyone is sick and tired of Sarita, which gives Stephanie the opening she needs. David does his best to champion Stephanie as the team's best bet for winning, but the others aren't so willing to put any faith or trust in one of Russell's former acolytes.
At the actual tribal council, Stephanie slings her best mud at Sarita, claiming that Sarita sat out during the immunity challenge because she knew she was bad at physical challenges. David backs up Stephanie's play, but no one else is buying it, and Stephanie is voted out 5-2. I guess she needs to suck up more.
21 March 2011
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