Thursday, August 28, 2008

Dancing With the Stars Season 7: Sizing up the Competition

With the cast of the seventh season of Dancing With the Stars revealed I've decided to take a look at the contestants and see how they stack up. I've arranged them from who I think will be eliminated first all the way down to who I think will win.

Long Shots:

Kim Kardashian – Partnered with Mark Ballas

Chance of Making it to Top 3: 7500 to 1
Chance of Winning: 10000 to 1

Reasons For: Her bum looks like melons. She has a TV show and a movie coming out soon.
Reasons Against: If people actually know who she is, she might have a chance. If people know her from her scandalous sex tape and her run-ins with TMZ, I doubt they would vote for her.

Cloris Leachman - Partnered with Corky Ballas

Chance of Making it to Top 3: 400 to 1
Chance of Winning: 1000 to 1

Reasons For: She’s a legend. I’m sure a lot of people know who she is, at least as an obscure Family Guy pop culture reference and an occasional voice for them.
Reasons Against: How old is this woman? I doubt she could survive the grueling practices. She claims that she has tried out for this show 3 times before being picked; that’s never a good sign.

Jeffrey Ross - Partnered with Edyta Sliwinska

Chance of Making it to Top 3: 200 to 1
Chance of Winning: 200 to 1

Reasons For: I don’t know, he’s funny?
Reasons Against: Comedians tend not to fare well as of recently. Even if he could get on a unicycle, I doubt his chances are any good.

Decent Chances:

Brooke Burke - Partnered with Derek Hough

Chance of Making it to Top 3: 100 to 1
Chance of Winning: 75 to 1

Reasons For: She’s a pretty girl, and if she could make it to the breakdown (like Shannon Elisabeth) she might make interesting television.
Reasons Against: The pretty face really hasn’t been able to win this show. Looking at former “pretty girl” contestants, Willa Ford and Miss USA haven’t done well and although Shannon Elisabeth did decently, lost to a guy with an injured arm and a fat Broadway star.

Rocco Dispirito - Karina Smirnoff

Chance of Making it to Top 3: 20 to 1
Chance of Winning: 15 to 1

Reasons For: We’ve never had a chef on before. Maybe his other forays into Reality TV (Like Kim Kardashian) gives him a little bit of a camera advantage. I think people will give him a slight chance, albeit a better chance than Kim.
Reasons Against: Most people won’t care who he is. If he doesn’t dance well, he will be out early.

Ted McGinley - Partnered with Inna Brayer

Chance of Making it to Top 3: 19 to 1
Chance of Winning: 20 to 1

Reasons For: I still remember him as Jefferson on Married With Children. He’s a well known actor and I believe he could at least survive half of the cast.
Reasons Against: He seems like he’s going to be the Steve Gutenberg. If he gets all cheesy on the TV I’m not voting for him. Inna being new may be a good thing or a bad thing.

Warren Sapp - Partnered with Kym Johnson

Chance of Making it to Top 3: 17 to 1
Chance of Winning: 10 to 1

Reasons For: He’s a pretty well known football player and many football players have shown to be quite successful.
Reasons Against: He may just mess up too early for forgiveness. Really, this show is aimed towards women more so than it is for men and if they don’t vote for him he might not make it.

Middle of the Road:

Cody Linley - Partnered with Julianne Hough

Chance of Making it to Top 3: 8 to 1
Chance of Winning: 10 to 1

Reasons For: He’s a Disney kid. If he’s as trained in multiple media as the rest of the Disney kids, he may have a chance. He might also have a bigger fan base than I think he actually does.
Reasons Against: Seeing Sabrina not make it 2 seasons ago, maybe Disney Channel stars don’t have as much pull as I thought they would.

Maurice Greene - Partnered with Cheryl Burke

Chance of Making it to Top 3: 6 to 1
Chance of Winning: 5 to 1

Reasons For: I’m going to call this a gut feeling on my part. I think he could do better than the football player. He’s paired up with Cheryl Burke and that might be enough of a saving grace for him. Her fanbase may be able to save him early rounds.
Reasons Against: I doubt he still has a fanbase. He probably splits the vote between him and Warren Sapp in the beginning. When one goes, the other will do better and I think Maurice has more potential.

Toni Braxton - Partnered with Alec Mazo

Chance of Making it to Top 3: 6 to 1
Chance of Winning: 4 to 1

Reasons For: She’s Toni Braxton. If anyone was alive in the 90s you could name at least one song from her. I know many people (like me) who knew her Behind the Music verbatim. She has some Broadway training with her Disney connections.
Reasons Against: She is known to have a heart condition. She may just be on this show to possibly die and have good ratings. I don’t consider her much of a ringer because she never danced much when she was singing back in the day.

On Paper, Your Top 3:

Susan Lucci - Partnered with Toni Dovolani

Chance of Making it to Top 3: 5 to 1
Chance of Winning: 3 to 1

Reasons For: The Heart and Passion. I thought Priscilla Presley had a better chance than she did with her elegance. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that she can make it through. Susan I can see having the acting side of dance down. Toni is also able to get the best out of his partners and I’m sure he can do well with Susan.
Reasons Against: She’s older than most of these contestants and she may be stiff.

Lance Bass - Partnered with Lacey Schwimmer

Chance of Making it to Top 3: 4 to 1
Chance of Winning: 3 to 1

Reasons For: Fellow Boy Banders Joey Fatone, Joey Mcintire, and Drew Lachey have done well on this show, if Joey had the support, Lance should have an equal (if not more) fanbase. Having Lacey, people might remember her from So You Think You Can Dance and they might be voting just for her.
Reasons Against: I’m sure there are a handful of homophobic people out there that may not vote for him straight off the bat, and that’s really sad. Lacey was known to mug for the camera a lot and she’s new to the whole thing and may not know how to choreograph as well as others. At least she’s not Benji.

Misty May-Treanor - Partnered with Maksim Chmerovskiy

Chance of Making it to Top 3: Even
Chance of Winning: 2 to 1

Reasons For: She should be able to ride the Olympic Wave for the beginning episodes. She has the competitors’ passion and drive and her personality is one that could actually match Maksim. Like with Laila and Mel B, he should be able to whip her into shape easily. Also Olympic Medalists have been doing quite well as of recently.
Reasons Against: Maksim has a tendency of messing up the Freestyle section, so when they make it there I hope Misty will speak up. Their attitudes may explode early on and she could go home.

So my final three on paper is Misty, Lance, and Susan. Though anyone this season has a good chance if they get a good night and someone else falters. But that’s the way the disco ball turns.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Cho Show: Episode 1 – Korean of The Year

At first I was gonna write a synopsis about The Cho Show but I realized several things. This show has so much snark to begin with that you don’t need to read a recap about it. The show is only 30 minutes long and apparently will only last 7 episodes for this season. If this episode is a taste of what will happen in the future I am on board.

This episode we’re basically introduced to her parents, assistant, and gay squad. Her family. It’s equal parts of messed up and loving/concerned. The parents trying to throw hints of a Baby get counterbalanced with Gays fighting over what Margaret should wear. One would think it wouldn’t work, but it does perfectly.

Margaret is awarded the Korean of The Year award, introduced by Mad TV’s Bobby Lee. Bobby points out that he was influenced from the now 39-year old Cho. She finally wins over the Korean community.

There are a few things I was surprised about. I was afraid this show is going to become Margaret Cho: My Life On The C-List and I am happy to see that Margaret is a little more comfortable in the position that she is in, compared to Kathy Griffin. Both are funny, and both shows are different. I am also happy to know that Margaret has connections, whether it is through her Gay Squad or just the support of other Comedians. I would never have expected seeing the winner of season 3 of Project Runway, Jeffrey and I didn’t expect Margaret to rock a very similar dress to one in his line.

I’m probably not going to review the rest of the episodes, but I strongly urge you to watch. This show will get silly and go in such odd directions that you have to.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Mole Finale

Tonight we find out who is the mole as I resist trying to watch the amazing Michael Phelps at the Olympics. We are treated with a clip show of challenges. Remember that time they went from point A to point B in a set amount of time? Or how about that time they had to go to point A to point B, but had to bring an item within a set amount of time? I’m happy they gave this series a second chance, but I really wished they did more espionage-like games. The last episode was light-years better and I’m not sure whether it was because Paul was gone or that the challenges were better.

Hello Jon Kelly. Yay the closets return! 12 Weeks have passed and I guess it must be tough to take a test and have months pass to find out the results.

We take a look at the mole-ish behavior. Nicole with her green apples; she can’t count! Craig talks; Llama suits! Mark gets exemptions; lack of clothing! The contestants wait in their closets as we go in commercial. Is there any way we can keep them there?

We get to take a look at Bobby. He’s apparently a big fan. Like Kathy Griffin. His audition video showed his running abilities. Bobby then dies on the show. I wonder if his ribs hurt him when he sleeps on his side. In his interviews he got medications and continues to complain a little.

Okay here’s the meat of the show. $420,000. We’re opening the winner’s door first. As Jon slides the little card keys through the slots. The door opens and Mark is the winner. He is happy and his family will be as well. Mark gets the mole’s card key and puts it in the mole’s door. I miss the traditional keys and the hand scanners. The door swings open and reveals a commercial.

It’s Craig. Ah, can we keep Nicole in the closet through the whole time? Oh well, Jon opens the door for her. We watch a video of her being a bitch. Paul & Nicole argue and play the same game. They argue some more. Paul tries throwing suspicion towards Nicole. We get another shot of Bobby in the wheelbarrow. Bobby thought Paul was the mole. Nicole moved to Victoria and got past. She then played the split decisions game. Luckily she landed to Craig. Her mother calling her Omarosa. Nicole tied Paul and beat him by 4 seconds. Poor girl. I kind of liked her in the long run. Paul is hurt learning about the 4 seconds. Ali gets a few seconds to say something to the camera.

We’re going to take a look how Mark won. He’s a family man and is expecting another kid. Mark decided to trust Clay. They thought Victoria was the mole. Victoria, Alex, and Mark tied and lucked out after Victoria slipped a question, damn. I liked her too. Mark goes crazy. He then calms down, calling himself a putz. Mark and Clay targeted Kristen and tied with her. Alex targeting Nicole saved them an episode. Clay got executed after he picked Nicole. Mark got re-energized from his wife and got an exemption at the end. Luckily, he trusted Clay. I don’t see why they don’t mention the briefcase. They talk about the final quiz and Nicole talks about how there wasn’t information. The dossier actually only had one answer, interesting. Nicole got 13/20 and Mark got 17/20. Craig let him believe that he was friends with Mark so he didn’t expect it. Victoria was gut-punched and she could have tied and four people picked Victoria that night too.

Craig sabotages video. He wanted to be the loveable teddy bear. The unsuccessful mole try-er. Craig covered up sand and stuff. Craig scores for his team. And Ali thought it was okay. Craig was the reason why Bobby was in the wheelbarrow. Craig talked to Victoria and the other contestants thought it was Victoria. Craig totally put people on the funny outfits in the sabotage; they thought it was Mark with his complaining. Craig got Nicole to talk in the odd camera challenge. Craig got shot. He guided the people to win in the last challenge. It’s said that he sabotaged apparently $100,000. Craig is happy being the mole. Mark talks about how Craig had a good time and that was a good way of covering the mole. Jon talks to Victoria again. What? She applauds him. Craig really kind of died on the Midas Rush mission. Jon asked Marcie what she thought and it really was too early to make a decision.

We get to take a look at hidden clues. Week 1: Craig held the mole clues. Week 2: Not ALI. Week 3: Told the final three’s area codes. Week 4: Audio Clues, school bell, baby cry, and Craig’s laugh. Week 5: Craig clue: CRG. Week 6: All clues mentioned before, along with the latitude/longitude of Craig. Week 6: Clay’s clue with I’s. Craig wears Glasses. Week 7: Red Tie. Week 8: Craig’s name was never called. Week 9: That damned garbled noise.

There is one more surprise. They bring out Mark’s wife and he tells her that he won and he wants her to become a housewife. I know that that is a good thing, but it almost comes off as a chauvinistic pig. Congrats Mark.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance Season 4 Finale – “This is worse than a New York Subway!”

The Logo It’s the big night. Already. Wow. We re-welcome the top 20. And they are all paired up how they originally were. Suzie does her spin thingy. Oh Thayne I’ve missed your teeth. I forgot Courtney and Matt existed. Our top four walk out and they don’t really get to do any big dance. Cat wears another fringe obsessive dress. We are going to revisit routines and have random things like the Jonas Brothers. Let’s welcome our “Jidges”.

Mia. Adam. Debbie Allen. Nigel. Mary. Lil C. And the others in the audience. Debbie Allen? She wasn’t a judge this year because of Will. Adam is adding more information about the dance role. He is offering the dance role in the first ever 3D Dance movie. Then I was disappointed to find out that they are going to be in Step It Up 3D. Oh well, a start is a start.

Speaking of start we are given a montage of competitions. People like the brothers, Comfort, the midget guy, Sexy Italians. Then we get to Vegas and show people falling, almost-dying, Comfort Crying. Twitch not wanting to go to the Navy. (That’s an Anti-Army Commercial if I’ve ever seen one) David Cook plays as they show the top 20. There’s a lot of crying. Then we actually get to the show. Amazing dancing, Nigel dancing. Bollywood. This whole thing is giving me ADHD.

We come back with Cat introducing our top 20 dance. Shane Sparks choreographed this one. It’s a Hip-Hop with a little bit of Matrix influences. There’s a handful of pimp shots here and there. Chelsie smiling. Kherington with the smile. Ironically not a lot of Thayne. Jamie being in the front of the guys. What? Gev gets to do a little break. Comfort is in front of the girls and you can catch some bad editing as they go from a close up of Comfort to a wide shot and Comfort is nowhere near her last step. The top four get a little pimping at the end.

We are now at the point where the Judges talk about their favorite routines. Nigel picks Bollywood first. Yay! Katee & Joshua jingle on a little less nervous this time around. It’s still amazing and Josh and Katee are more united this time around. I’m still amazed watching the performance over again. I heart those two.

Mary has chosen the Courtney/Gev Rhumba. Sexy. Mary is a proud mama when it comes to ballroom. I think I would have overlooked this performance because I really wasn’t a believer on Courtney in the beginning. She’s quite stunning dancing and Gev, well he always looks like that. This one is quite beautiful when it comes to the turns and lifts. And Gev splitting into Courtney at the end.

We get the last group of snuggle dances. The silly dances are mixed in with some from the contestants. There was a cute looking puggle too. The happy dance winners get a second of fame.

We’re now at the Robert vs Philip popper battle. Quitting Vs Pneumonia. Okay… I wonder what they had to edit to put this in the finale. I give points automatically for Robert wearing the pac-man shirt. I have a feeling that most of this was choreographed in the background. I really think it’s based on opinions. If you like pterodactyls and pigeons you like Robert. If you like Elongated Man and watching Slinkies walk down the stairs you like Philip. They make fun of each other a little before we got to the judges. Mia is first and she votes for Philip. Adam likes the freaks and voted for Robert. He also beeps himself; freak. Debbie thinks its musicality vs. theatrics and she votes for Robert for his theatrics.Coo
Nigel votes for Robert because he can make fun of Philip. What? Mary votes for Robert and Screams insanely. Lil C finally understands Mary screaming sitting to her right. He says “buck” Mary in the background says it was “Bucker”. Bucker. Now that should be beeped. Rob gets the final vote. Robert thanks everybody, I’m sure that involves God as well.

Adam says his favorite number was from Dave Scott (Pimping out Step It Up Here). The Comfort/Twitch Futuristic one. It’s nice to see they changed Twitch’s outfit to look more like an arrow pointing down. I wonder what happened to the old shirt. There was some awkward camera-ing when it went to a shot of the ledge. The dancing is still good.

Lil C gets to pick a routine. His “favorite piece of art” is the Bleeding Love routine from NappyTabs. Chelsie & Mark are back. Lil C says something actually thought provoking but it went over my head. It’s a little disappointing that they didn’t change Chelsie’s outfit. This one is gut wrenching to me because I feel this performance. I get it! Yay, I love when I understand art. I love the part when Mark rips her heart out.

We go to Mar….she’s not there. That’s because she’s on stage doing a samba. She’s quite leggy. It’s a little disappointing that we won’t see the Katee/Joshua performance, but this actually pretty good. I heard Mary sprained her foot during the performance. I guess Mary has the goods to back up her opinions. Thanks Dmitry. Thanks Fringe.

Mia is up next to pick a routine. She picked the Pas de Deux. Luckily she didn’t pick her own performance. I still wish they would pick better costumes. Katee nails the leg spin tonight. That’s great to see. The whole thing is so much better than the original. Debbie is a proud mother.

Adam has to pick another routine? Okay… Debbie wasn’t really a judge this week. He is picking Sonya and The Garden. I immediately downloaded this song. Courtney & Mark. I get the Mark quirkyness and I like this performance even more now.Courtney's Hands
I love that awkard walk Courtney does over Mark while doing the Zoidberg to her mouth. Wow, I wish they just put all the good performances in one swoop.

Cat has to cut a person already. People shout. Cat announces that Courtney is eliminated. I think we expected that. Courtney isn’t sad, she’s honored. She was a good dancer, it was just a shame that she came from Long Island. We get to watch a clip video and she did really good to maintain talent with humanity. Some random person hands her the huge set of flowers. Courtney thanks everyone and appreciates being a sponge. I love how they call her “Jersey”.

We’re back with Cat and she introduces the Top 5 Guys performing the Nigel Broadway. Luckliy no one is being judged because I think the guys were a little off. But I thank the cameramen for staying on one long shot pretty much the whole time. I love how they all get into the final pose and they are all breathing heavy but they still have to hold their pose.

We introduce the Cirque De Soleil performance that Wade choreographed. Criss Angel: Believe. I’m weirded out already. Homage to the Rabbits. This is freaky. I like all the representation of bunnies on the stage. Especially the French maid. One looks like they came right out of Final Fantasy 9 (Or Tactics Advance). Don’t get me wrong this dance is good and it makes me want to watch Donnie Darko again. Then they do a bunny Thriller. Wow. Wade, your head is more messed up than Mia’s.

We bring back the 3 dancers remaining. Cat reveals the next dancer eliminated is Katee. But even if she had the second amount of votes the producers wanted a Breaker/Hip-hop battle in the end. They go to a shot of the judges and they are all standing. Mia is shocked. My girl! Noooo! It’s okay. She got a lot of great dances. It could have been luck of the draw or that they wanted Joshua to do well in the beginning. After the clip, she’s already in tears. Cat tries to ask her a question and she tries to make something coherent but her tears are really controlling what she said. Cat reveals a surprise. There is a prize for the top girl. She gets $50,000 for being the last lady standing. She is shocked and in tears. She’s so shocked/happy/sad/everything that Cat can’t get a good reaction off of her. She gets even prettier flowers. Mary is cheering on in the judges panel and Nigel turns to her and whispers something to her. Probably about how this was the greatest idea he ever had.

Cat is sitting at the judges panel and loves the power. Debbie explains the whole Will situation and she got to vote. I can imagine her screaming at the TV. Debbie is quite eloquent. Debbie mentions having heart. She has brought people from the Debbie Allen Dance Academy. They dance some tap to Boogie Wonderland. I get it! It’s a scene from Happy Feet! Nigel comes out and dances with the kids. I guess it’s a good thing to prove that he can back up his words as well. They all waddle to the back of the stage. Adam wouldn’t make him pass to Vegas.

Mary picks out her next dance. She calls out the messed up relationships that Mia has been in to get the Twitch/Katee Mercy performance. Ketee doesn’t have much of a beehive this week. It basically fell off that week anyway. I love the door. Door for best inanimate object 2008!

Here’s our final musical guest. The Jonas Brothers. Yawn. I hear one has diabetes.

Some Big guy tries to rap as well. Yep. You still don’t have street cred.

Debbie gets to pick a performance. She calls another boy/girl performance. It’s a Twitchington performance. She channels Lil C a little bit. It’s the Celine Dion performance. Thank God it wasn’t that awful bed performance. I love Kherington’s smile in this performance. I also like how they decided to stay on a very far shot for the lift; it was actually more moving that way. It was like little spirits on an icy stage.

Nigel gets to pick the last routine. Tabitha and Napoleon. They are married? That’s interesting to know. I always thought he was the gay best friend. Heehee. Katee and Joshua perform. I wonder if this is after she was told she lost. I’m sure she’s supporting Joshua though. The crowd cheers as Katee pulls Joshua back up. This performance was better than Bleeding Love because I believe those two. Joshua is all smiles at the end. They hug and you know they are going to stay close friends through the end.

Ooh Flashback from past seasons. Blake is now a judge. People are part of tours. Allison had a baby. Cedric is part of the Debbie Allen Academy.Hot! Donyelle gained a little weight. Neil is still hot. Lacey isn’t as spunky as before. There’s a quick shot of Travis. (PS thanks JustJared for hot pictures of Neil )

There’s a special performance of the alumni. I can’t even remember names and we just saw them. Benji starts off the solos. Where’s Sabra? Dude, she won. Where’s Snow? (Answer: In the little commercial scene thing) I can’t recall anyone else. Then again, next year I’m not going to remember Courtney. Neil is still hot. And I like Dmitry’s hair. The breakers break a little. I remember Hok because of his hair. They bring out the top 20 and they do a little bit of stuff. Until they all pose at the end. Cat says it was “great to see some old faces”. Dear Cat, you weren’t there Season 1. You should have been.

We’re down to Joshua and Twitch. Cat points out that two Street dancers have made it. Twitch is hyperventilating. Cat announces that Joshua wins. Yay! Katee/Joshua for the win! Silver confetti fills the stage. Josh’s dad cries in the audience. Mia cries a little as well. Joshua cries on Cat’s shoulder. Joshua reminds us that God is amazing. Thank you God.

We will be back next year, hopefully I’ll be here with you. Goodnight Cat. As the credits roll Comfort gets a little extra time on screen. And Thayne’s Teeth! Yay! Teeth. Goodnight folks.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance: The Final 4 Perform

There are four contestants left, and Cat is looking stunning with straightened hair. Let’s say hi to our final four. I heard this week that Twitch and Joshua suffered from dehydration this weekend. Cat seems to stretch their names a little bit. Heeeeeeeereeeeee’s Kateeeeeee. Annnnnnnnd Joshua. I guess they have the same amount of time as when they had eight contestants. Cat walks out and wishes the four good luck.

This week everyone will dance with everyone this week. Everyone screams for the Joshua X Twitch combo. Insert the slash fan-fiction here. Mandy Moore is our third guest, unfortunately not the singer but the one nominated for an Emmy. Mary is looking quite good in her sparkles, and no tie for Nigel tonight, just a jacket hanky.

Courtney & Twitch – Hip-Hop

NappyTabs has a “hard” hip-hop. NappyTabs creates a boy vs girl routine. Sounds stereotypical. Courtney storms out as an angry girl. She seems like the type who could take on a guido. The dancing doesn’t seem as clean as I’d like it to be. Instead of being really hard, they slip on parts. It looks like a bad dance you see in a club, although Courtney would never make it in wearing that. Mandy calls it awesome. I want whatever she’s drinking. She compliments their “acting” and she felt the angry girlfriend from Jersey. Mary looks like she could take on a squire with her outfit. She calls it a “knock-out” and “tough”. I must not be seeing the same thing. She lets out an Amazon scream. Nigel probably went deaf. He makes a hit on Mary’s dancing. He attempts to bite her. Nigel points out Twitch’s bad taste in women (see Amy Winehouse inspired Katee), but points a little pit of losing energy.

Solo – Courtney

Cat this week has one on one time with everyone. Courtney describes a stereotypical Long Island girl. I’m not a fan. She had her grandmother with her, pushing herself. She tells herself that “she’s not a great dancer” and it’s nice to see humility. Her boyfriend is around but still maintains chemistry with Gev. Her favorite routine was the Sonja Jazz. I downloaded that song right afterwards. She comes out dancing solo in a shiny yellow dress. She is quite graceful. It is just disappointing that they only have like 30 seconds. Tell the producers to cut out the interview and add more solo. Mandy points out how far she’s gone and reminds her to train further. Mary clearly points out that she is the actual dark horse in the final four. Courtney is brought to tears from the compliments. Nigel is delighted (and a little shocked I’m sure) that she made the top four. Nigel thinks that her future occupation should be a Teacher. She cries even more.

Katee & Joshua – Contemporary

Wade Robson! I’ve missed you! His hair looks normal. What happened to the Guido hair of the early 2000s? Joshua & Katee are quite grateful. Wade describes their performance as love, open and honest. Let’s hope the chemistry is good. John Mayer sets the mood for us. Katee actually looks sad/angry in the first shot. I like the intensity in their dancing, I get it, I see it! They do the weirdest head broom move. It’s funny; I can see a red X marker in tape on the floor. Any who, their dancing shows good emotion and they “forgive” each other in the end. They both look like they are going to cry. Mandy (as always) thanks Wade. She compliments the actual characters and story. I realize that this week the compliments will be the same. Mandy thinks that Katee could have been more technical. What? It looked similar to the preview. Mary also calls the performance “beautiful” and points out that they made it through the fight. Nigel talks about Wade more, pimping Wade’s Vegas show. The performance was “real” to him and so magical. Nigel says Joshua has uncontrollable control. Nigel says the two are the two best dancers he’s seen on the show. It probably is because they were the same couple the whole season and you can see the growth better that way.

Katee & Courtney – Broadway

Tyce… go away already. I’m tired of his choreography and they definitely tapped all his resources. Katee breaks her umbrella in the practice. Katee comes out from the stairs wearing this pink thing, Courtney comes out with a yellow version. As they dance to the front of the stage Tyce and his boyfriend hand him their umbrellas. They aren’t used as much as I thought. They flail around a little and dance in a very saccharine way. They grab their umbrellas and walk to the back. Mandy calls it very “old Hollywood”. I get that. Mary says there was good chemistry. She points out that they were synchronized with the umbrellas. Thinking about it now, they are parasols. Nigel likes girls dancing like girls. Nigel points out that Katee has a little bit more “umph” against Courtney.

Solo – Twitch

Twitch’s name comes out from several inappropriate dancing. Twitch is from Alabama and talks about being picked on. There is a shot of his audition and he had more hair. If he wasn’t there he would be in the military. He discusses Twitchington for a little bit; he was caught off guard loosing Kherington. His favorite dance is the Viennese waltz; the one that made Mary cry. Twitch’s solo is a lot more intense and he’s using a Wade Robson song. Extra points! He uses the little ledge thingy in the front. Overall it was good. Mandy calls him “The Little Engine That Could” and points out his “sparkly eyes”. Mary is speechless. Nigel points out that he left his mark on the show. He is happy watching Twitch’s solos. Nigel loves his humor.

Twitch & Joshua – Russian Trepak

Rivalry? Secretly they have been setting this up just like a David V David. And they do a Trepak. They hype the fighting. Josh’s shoe breaks. Twitch calls responsibility. And they dance to the nutcracker routine. It’s kind of a one on one dance off. I’m not sure about the choreography but I get the Russian-ness. I think Joshua won really. He spins and does high split kick jumps. Everyone is up clapping. Mandy Moore calls it insane and I’m sure this shadows the girls. Twitch got all the floor work. Joshua can jump higher. Maybe they compare *ahem* sizes backstage. Mary is happy to see two hip-hoppers make the finale. She screams. Nigel calls the dance Russian Street Dancing. He’s happy. Twitch points out that his thighs fell off.

Solo – Katee

Katee was one of those types who just pushed slowly, just being happy with making it. Katee’s edit was horrible about quitting. Katee points out that it was hard to go up against a friend. Katee’s favorite routine was her first routine, which was the one that sold me. Cat points out the two sided silly/serious. She’s the type who will enjoy the moment (like Fanny Pak). Katee performs to a personal favorite, Imogen Heap. She brings the speed this week. I like it, she’s spinning and giving emotion; she knows it’s her last performance. Mandy tells her to keep dancing. Mary points out how lucky Katee is getting so many good dances. Nigel points out her character and how she listens to choreographers. Katee is so nervous that she doesn’t know the difference between the numbers one and three. She makes a silly face and fixes her fingers.

Twitch & Katee – Foxtrot

Twitch & Josh fight over Katee. It seems like the foxtrot is a little too intense for twitch. They are expecting elegance and grace. Katee finally gets the man this dance. They dance under the spotlight, and I think Katee’s dress will help cover up any flaws. Katee does a cartwheel in the tress. Whoa. The lift sequence is amazing as well. Quite entertaining. Mandy says it’s romantic. She points out facial expression and sheer lifiting strength. Nigel wants Twitch to say the James Bond phrase. He does it well but with a funny face. Mary points out how gentleman-ly Twitch was in the performance. Mary is blown away yet again. Mary tells Katee “bravo”. Nigel tells Katee that she can do anything. It’s true. Nigel says that in the beginning Twitch was “British”. What? Nigel compliments his strength.

Joshua - Solo

Joshua growing up didn’t have much. He talks about the split in the road between football/track and dance. Looking at the flashback he’s quite a crier. And was paired up with Comfort in the beginning. Cat makes fun of him. He likes the Samba with Katee. I still can’t find that song anywhere. Josh brings us old school from Funkadelic. He does a little bit on the main stage then pimps himself out on the judge’s ledge. Cat laughs after he calls his phone. Mandy points out his “hitting” ability. Mary is happy. Nigel points out how he’s a lack of training dancer and is amazing. He’s the new marker for the untrained.

Courtney & Joshua – Jive

The Jive is a stamina test. Mostly for Courtney because Josh showed a lot of stamina with the Russian one. This one looks intense. I cringed a little when Josh almost kicks Courtney. I don’t get what she’s wearing. The dancing is okay, but because of the speed it just looks a little unpracticed to me. They both seem a little off, or one misses a step at one point. The lifts seem good and the ending was good. Mandy liked the legs and weird lift/turns. Mary points out the fastness. Mary points out the difficulty. She’s thankful. Nigel thanks Jason and points out that they didn’t breathe at the right points. He points out the bounce missing in the steps. Yes, it was tough, but these dancers need to learn.

All Four – Contemporary

This is the final performance of the night and Mia Michaels is choreographing. She’s making them do everything. It’s about everyone having fun. Mia = Crazy. Ooh velvet sheet. This performance is weird as they all dance around making weird shapes and lifts. The boys lift the girls. They spin around and their heads look like they are going to fall off. That’s fun. Mandy is at a loss for words. She points out the “group”-ness of the whole thing. Mary gives Mia a funny face. She thanks Mia. Mary calls Twitch as the star dancer. Courtney didn’t match the lifts. Mary loves Katee. She skips Joshua, but you know what she would say. Nigel goes through all the dancers. The two guys don’t have real training and they are amazing. Nigel says they both deserve to be there. Nigel points out Katee who may have given up, and Courtney who wasn’t supposed to be there. Nigel didn’t get the routine, but congratulates the top four.

So who’s going to win? I don’t know. I think Courtney is going to lose. We’ll find out tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I Survived A Japanese Game Show: Episode 7 - “You got America on your shirt, you owe us one”

Quick Recap: Americans in Japan. Treadmills, Obstacle courses, Tricycles, Sashimi, Mud, Powder puffs, Dressing!

As I look at the credits for one last time I’ve come to contemplate who this “Ben” character is. Oh well, good luck to you.

We’re back at the Majide set and Belinda is going “bananas”. I can tell that Justin is a little scared that Belinda lasted so long. It hits evening and the contestants come back to their house with a letter of congratulations and some champagne. I’m gonna miss Mama-san.

It’s the next morning and everyone is nervous, the producer walks in and tells them to get change. Tony (the real host) tells the contestants that they are all individuals and get new bibs. They are called bibs! Tony also tells us that every game on is an elimination game. Donnell is scared. Meaghan just doesn’t want to lose. Justin is blowing hot air up his bum.


Each contestant is individually entered to applause. Aww, the last animations of monkeys and penguins. It’s Super Serious Time. Everyone is sent out into Tokyo.

The first game of the night is: Making Friends in Japan! Each player has to do five tasks. Draw Mustache. Kiss/Picture, Have someone dress up as Statue of Liberty, Business Card trade, and A three person Wave. They are given book bags and sent out. Donnell has the early lead as he runs out the studio.

Luckily the commercial ended a little earlier than I expected. There is an intense film crew following all of the contestants. Justin tries to use his charm. Donnell uses his “communication” skills. Belinda tries to be nice not an aggressive black woman. Donnell speaks English to a white person and they ignore him. Meaghan says something Japanese to a white person and gets lucky. Justin gets the marker mustache.

Meaghan is trying to get the picture. Justin tries to get a picture, and has a person who wants to kiss him as well. I want to kiss him too. Belinda gets a mustache. Donnell gets a mustache. Meaghan gets more than just a kiss… or she would if she was in the US. Maybe that’s why the rest of the world doesn’t like America. Justin gets a kiss from a boy, and he doesn’t mind. Kinky.

Belinda’s gentleness gets her a picture of a boyfriend kissing her and the girlfriend takes the picture. Donnell gets a kiss from an old person.

Justin and Meaghan are already trying to get the Liberty costume on anyone. Meaghan pushes a guy into tears and he begs for forgiveness. Odd. She then kind of drapes on the outfit on one guy; the man in the suit still in the background. Donnell gets the outfit on a random man. Justin gets it on someone, but he can’t unfold the outfit. The Japanese man stands there awkwardly.

Belinda being nice actually works. I would help her too. Justin isn’t a pervert, but while he struggles Belinda overtakes him. He finally gets the outfit on. Everyone is now struggling for a business card. They are instructed that you bow and then trade. Donnell manages to switch with a random woman. Meaghan gets a card from a young business man. Donnell begs for a wave. Meaghan begs for one. They both do the wave around the same time. They run back quickly. Insert Amazing Race editing here. Meaghan runs into the stage first. Donnell is second and happy with that.

The other two are left. Justin is confused. Belinda finds a business card from a business. Justin finally gets the card. Both do the wave around the same time and run back. Of course it’s Amazing Race editing so that the two look close when they might not have been. Justin makes it third. He proclaims that “I’m a survivor”. Belinda is last, but she is quite grateful. The sayonara boys lift her up and away. She smiles as she exits.

Belinda dances a little sayonara. She actually did quite well this whole game. They give her a little bit of a Velcro walk exit sound as well.

The final three are applauded. The manager in the background says “get ready for the reward”. It turns out that it’s their family. Donnell’s wife is white, I’m a little surprised but I like it. Justin’s girlfriend is here and she’s a little fat, I’m also a little surprised but I like it. Meaghan has her best friend here and she busts out into tears. The host wants a hug and gets one from judge bob. That must mean Belinda goes home with a loved one.

Justin and the girlfriend hug. Donnell explains staying in a hotel with Meaghan, she gets angry, but smiles. Meaghan and friend chill in an empty cafeteria except for a family. She talks about being the last woman standing. Tell that to Nicole.

Tony shows up to all the contestants, and tells important news. The next game is up already. The contestants all have to part their loved ones. Justin is Befuddled. Meaghan makes sure her make-up is okay and then they go. The loved ones are given random sound instrument and sit in the audience. The three Americans are confused by the whole thing but shrug and keep going. So the conversion rate at the moment is 25 Million Yen = $250,000. Donnell has to pay tuition. Justin will wine and dine his girlfriend. Meaghan plays the family card.

Our second game is called Squishy Squishy. Let’s just say there are sponges, running, squishing, and probably falling. Big spiky balls! Everyone does the squishy dance. The contestants are sent back to see their suits. They are huge foamy suits. I think Justin calls his pee-pee a goober. Meaghan shows her sumo thong and calls it ugly. I like the purple, personally.

The obstacle course is quite colorful and shiny. I’m really going to miss the little animations that teach me how to do these games. The contestants are sent out in their fat suits. Judge Bob flipped a coin to see who goes first. Does he have a three-sided coin? Donnell goes first. The other two are at the spikes.

Donnell lays into the pool of blue water. He makes it through without hits and squishes in a constipated fashion. He runs back to soak, gets through with only a light hit from Justin, he lays and squishes his legs. He waddles his way back and soaks again. He’s quite tired but decides that he could only make three trips so he squishes as much as possible. He poops a diamond.

Justin and Meaghan are nervous. Justin is next. Meaghan waddles to the spiky as Justin bounces the judges stomach. As Go hits, Justin drowns and squishes. Justin seems to lose a lot of water, there isn’t much that comes out. Justin still maintains his technique. We learn that he’s 6’2. Meaghan actually lands a hit. Justin makes a good amount the second time. The third time he gets double hit. He squishes as time runs out.

Meaghan, the last woman, is last. Meaghan lays in the pool and takes a little more time. She is more careful than the boys. She squats and squeezes. With two minutes she runs back, she decides to soak mostly the legs. I love those ball-spikes. The judge screams “Squeeze until you die”. She squishes as much as possible.

We bring back the other two for the reveal. Justin is first and surprised Donnell. Donnell reveals next and he gets more than Justin. Meaghan’s tube is revealed and she didn’t make a lot at all. It’s probably because she only made two trips. She is lifted and sayonara-ed away. She is exited in the darkness and waddles in the suit. She definitely gave it her all. She does the Majide gang symbol and walks away. That is officially my new gang symbol.

We got our final two and they play in the morning. The two are brought to the backstage and the two are happy. “Wifey” and girlfriend show up and hug the boys. Sake celebration! Then the two women had to leave. It was enough for the big push to motivate them.

There is the last night at the house. Donnell looking like a pimp. The two look at the skyline from the rooftop and toast. The two are reminiscing about the whole show, Japan, and bringing it on. Then we see ghosts wander the house. Mama-san walks in and she starts to tear up. He hugs her and she tells him that “you’re a good boy”. I really like her as a tertiary character. I hope they learned from her.

Tony greets Mama-san, and actually speaks Japanese to each other. She hugs her boys and they limo away. Tony toasts the two people. I kind of like his hair. Just not the eyebrows. They drive down memory lane. Claws. Mochi Balls. Milk. Justin’s low point was the capsule hotel. They make one stop before they get to the stage.

There are hundreds of fans for Majide and they scream out for him. People want autographs and pictures. Justin takes a picture of himself with a fan (the object not the person) with a picture of him on it. The “wifey” and girlfriend are in the front of the audience. The two are given tickets to go back to Japan. Justin says “air-regato”. The two meet some minister for foreign affairs? Okay. I always wanted to get like a proclamation. Justin says “air-regato” again. They thank the audience, and probably God. They are both appreciative. The two get individual limos for prep love talk. Justin’s girlfriend gives him a lucky cat. The two hug and get nervous and everything stereotypical.

There’s a big crowd and setup crew today. They each talk about bringing it. They stand at the entrance that was the beginning. Flashbacks. Tony opens the door and the two walk in. The two hug and know that even though they are friends, they have to push to win. Mama-san and Tony are in the audience tonight.

Hai Majide!

I love what the host is wearing tonight. I could never get away with it. He brings out Donnell and Justin. It’s show time!

We’re finally at our final game which is called Super Majide! It’s a big conglomerate of 9 former obstacles. Dizzy chairs, trikes, flour, sticky wall, mochi balls, doors, and buzzer! I miss judge bob already. He is really sunshine. They set up the contestants during the “commercial”…. And then go to a real commercial.

There’s no “hanky-panky” tonight because of Judge Bob. We start. The spinning is crazy. I don’t think the technique has changed much for the chairs. It finally stops and the two go for the trike. Justin falls right in. Justin grabs the trike and runs. Donnell falls in and grabs his bike. Justin gets his first egg. His technique is good and Justin finishes before Donnell. The flour pool looks crazy for a not-so-obstacle. Donnell catches up to the sticky wall. Justin makes it to the middle and he falls right down. As Justin struggles, Donnell falls. Justin finally gets the technique and he makes it past. Donnell fires his way in. Donnell & Justin struggle eating Mochi Balls. I’d totally choke. They finish quickly. Justin picks door three and luckily it busts open. He struggles to hit the button.

Justin wins! He looks like he’s gonna choke. In the interviews he looks like he’s gonna cry. The sayonara boys in white lift Justin and celebrate. There are a lot of random shots of Tony and Mama-san; they shake Justin’s hand. He kisses his girlfriend. He bows to Judge Bob. Donnell is disappointed but happy for Justin. It looks like Justin’s chin was bleeding. It probably was mochi. Donnell cries. Justin welts.

The real lesson? Japan is awesome.

As the credits roll, we’re given a sayonara music video from the 9 contestants. Who’s Bob?

Opinion Corner: America’s Best Dance Crew

Can Fanny Pak win?

By: Paz

In a short succinct answer: Yes.

There are a lot of factors that Fanny Pak has. Firstly, any crew that MTV’s producers technically have a chance of winning. They had a one in ten chance from the get go. Now it’s one in three. Here are several factors that need to go in Fanny Pak’s direction.

+ Don’t act like the JabbaWockeeZ. I think sheer difference should play a factor for Fanny Pak. It would seem more likely for MTV to have a tour of these dancers that would be a little more ranged. Especially knowing the two crews that are touring from the first season are Jabba and Break Sk8 MTV would probably like to round that out with Fanny Pak and possibly So Real Cru.

+ Knock out similar acts. With SassX7, Distorted X, and A.S.S.I.D out of the way, I’m sure fans of those crews would probably support the crew most similar. I think Fanny Pak knocking out Distorted X in the first week was one of the best things to happen for them. They broke away from the muddle of dancers early on and probably got any of the voters who voted for Distorted X. So Real Cru is the only group left with similarities and they have never been in the bottom 2. Now would be a good time.

- Have one break team knock out similar acts. With this season I got quite confused on which break team was which. Especially with the mass amount of S’s in crew’s names. Although this is technically a disadvantage in the long run (the rule of sheer difference between…for example Fanny Pak, Super Cr3w, and Boogie Bots would lead to a final two of Fanny Pak and a break team) I think that Super Cr3w taking out Boogie Bots and other break crews have made it easier for Fanny Pak to move a step closer. They, like Fanny Pak, have landed in the bottom 2 twice.

+ Land on the top in the top three. If they get enough votes they automatically move to the top two. Technically. I still think that the producers picks one of the safe crews either voted as top vote getter or second as a way to create drama. Last season there was no way that Status Quo was ranked one. Getting to the point, with a very strong performance in the Missy Elliot challenge, they should be safe.

+ Get a music mix from the producers that actually works. I think this week getting a favorite like Vanilla Ice, I think they’ll be just fine.

+ Break the stigma of “crew”. My problem with the show is that “crew” has a connotation to it. Something more “urban” and “street” like hip-hop is the first thing that pops into my head. Fanny Pak is quite pop, electric pop to be more specific. If they did a dance on So You Think You Can Dance, it would probably fall under the category of Jazz. As long as America keeps voting for them and they gain the acceptance from many hip-hop viewers they can succeed.

+ Have Fun. The best part about this crew is that they are friends. I think they were only there really to showcase their stuff and don’t expect to win. Each week they come out and have fun, something the very stressed out Boogie Bots lacked. Even if they lose, I can guarantee that they had fun.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Mole Episode 9: Take a Left at Jesus

Last Week: Cameras throw off balance, Words are confusing, Mark shoots people, Paul goes home.

We’re finally down to the final three Nicole, Craig, and Mark. I didn’t expect Nicole to make it this far (if she’s the mole my hat to her, but I really don’t think it’s her) and either she must have been lucky or quite fast on the quizzes.

We’re still in Argentina and the three have a little bit of breakfast. Mark is worried, but really Craig and Nicole have done a lot of missions together. They finish their meal and head to their first game.

“Tick Tock Boom” is the name of the game. There’s money and a bomb. They have to diffuse the bomb. The room is filled with letters, places and times. And the Jon walks away. The game starts with confusion. They find a group of colored wires and a cutter. There are a lot of letters and then blanks. There are an ass load of times and letters. I would go crazy in the room. Craig looks up at some column and they pull the hidden item, a time zone map. This is similar to the Celebrity Mole challenge where they ran around the house and two had to lay on the bed. You know a Cooker. That was amazing. Nicole figured out a few time zones and switched to Mark. He checks a few Nicole did and eventually finish up. They contemplate the letters. Mark says “You know how stupid we’re looking” and truthfully if they don’t solve it, I really hope Jon does. There was also a weird gurgle noise before the commercial hit. I have no clue if that’s a hint or Gollem is going to jump out of my TV. Or the old “Pizza Pizza” mascot-guy. I’m sure it’s an awkward hint, like that baby crying the other week.

We’re back from the commercials and the contestants still have 29 minutes. And apparently they have to solve two more puzzles. They realize that the big clock in the middle points to the letter. Oh okay. They get U I E E. They decide to keep going with the letters and figure it’s more like a Scrabble scramble. Several of the letters are wrong because Nicole misses a few time zones. They think it’s “Clue: Cut _____ ____ Red + Blue. Mark over thinks and tries to get the rest of the letters to make sense. Nicole just calls purple since that’s what red and blue make up. Craig decides to cut the purple one. Nicole confuses her colors a little bit as we go into commercial.

Craig clips the purple wire and nothing happens. Meaning that it didn’t explode. Jon tells the contestants they had 21 seconds left. The contestants all hang out in the hotel and talk about how this last mission was really the only real “espionage” mission.

The contestants are in the Peak House. The last mission is called three to tango. They have to pick a different envelope with different clues and a cell phone is given to them. Like the second season, if they make it to the final destination they could forgo the money and get. Nicole has a clue about raising a flag in Argentina. Mark has to get to “Libertad”. Craig has to find a street named after the sunshine state. He realizes it’s Florida street. He has to find a leather store and wear a jacket. Apparently they have jackets in his size. That’s good to hear; it’s always great to find that perfect jacket.

Mark decides to play the game and talk to locals. He has to go to Plaza Libertad, and take a picture of him as well.

Nicole studies her map and realizes the answer is “Oblisquo”. She has to find a flag and hold it and take a picture with the obelisk.

Craig thinks that he has to find a theater. He calls up Jon and gets his first few guesses rejected. Nicole sent a picture of her with the flag that’s connected to the obelisk. She doesn’t realize that she has to hold the flag.

Mark’s veins look like they will pop as he runs. He’s still lost asking the locals. Learning from The Amazing Race, you really have to use both, or possibly show the map to the local. You can never really rely on one source. (But don’t be like the Cho brothers and stop and ask every five minutes).

Nicole finally realizes that she has to get the Argentina flag. Her second clue involves Dulce de Leche. She sweet talks Jon and he tells her that she has to convince someone to .

Craig lucked out to go to the Tango Porteno Theater. Mark gets a picture with the statue and he has to buy an empanada and take a picture with them. He convinces young teens.

Nicole dances around and tries to convince Jon that a fudge sundae is dulce de leche.

Mark has to find the congress building and take a picture of him a woman.

Nicole lucks out and gets a picture with an old man. Craig lucks out and finds the theatre from a tip from a visitor. “La Boca” is Nicole’s team she has to find the Boca junior stadium and take a picture of her with a team jersey on. Craig has to find Evita’s grave (that was in the Amazing Race) and take a picture of the family name on the grave. I hope he gets the little golf cart. While all the chaos is happening, Mark finds the government building and takes a picture with a woman.

Jon sends a picture of the Bridge to Craig and Mark around the same time. Craig wanted to go to that bridge since they got there. Both Craig and Mark run to the bridge.

Nicole is still lost as the two men run to the bridge. Mark jogs the whole way almost getting hit by cars and motorbikes the whole time. He makes it there and Jon walks him to the case. He is first. Mark is deeply contemplating but Jon gives time for the two contestants. Craig shows up and Jon sends a car for Nicole who probably was still going to get a tan.

Mark comes to a decision and decides to take the dossier. Craig and Nicole walk away as Mark reads the information. Craig looks warily and Nicole chit-chats with Jon. I could have sworn I saw a reflection of paper that said “Craig” on the top.

Jon rounds the prize number to $420,000. 420. Sicko. They have dinner and they talk about their experiences and how it’s changed them. You know, killer fatigue, conquering fears, and missing family. Jon tells the group that the quiz is now 20 questions. Nicole points out that she clicks fast. Mark has to use accuracy and talks about how he has to pick the right person. Wait a second…Doesn’t he know who mole is? What was in the dossier?

We come out of the commercials and the three are talking about the quiz. Nicole calls herself a “renaissance woman”. Okay…

We’re at the quiz, which covers the whole trip. We have some standard questions, some old questions, and some current ones. Nicole and Craig helped with the slingshot with the pig. Craig added no money to the luge. I think all three sat in the back in the luge too. There a few Midas Rush questions as well. A lot of “where was the mole standing”. Grapes of Cache questions. Swing Out questions. Ah, some current questions. Ah! Not another “where were they standing” questions! And in the three to tango there was another “where were they standing” question. Note to self, remember positioning. We end with the classic question of “Who is the mole?” My opinion? I just hope that Mark loses.

Next week: The reunion. We look at hidden clues. And who is the mole?

WARNING: Big Brother Spoilers!

We watch the current season of Big Brother on CBS and the Feeds. We watch all Big Brother 24 coverage and DVR it and watch it again. There will be posts about things we have seen from watching Big Brother 24/7. If you are a casual viewer of the CBS show-only or do not want to read any spoilers, do not read our posts dealing with the Live Feeds.