Rewind – The Week in Reality TV

The Amazing Race – Episode 14-3
Teams went from Austria to Transylvania (via Budapest). Tammy and Victor got on an early flight but the plane experience mechanical troubles and they ended up back with the pack. This seemed to rattle the team however. Brad and Victoria took an alternate flight that ended up getting grounded and leaving them way behind the other teams. Roadblock (in Budapest) consisted of doing gymnastics while dressed in what appeared to be vintage Nadia Comenici Romanian tights. Although thankfully the guys wore a version that looked more like wrestling tights. Or maybe not thankfully. Tammy, apparently, can run down a mountain but can’t do a cartwheel or a front roll.

After a train ride to Transylvania, teams did a Detour which involved either moving Gypsy stuff (where the Gypsies danced, laughed (at the Racers) and presumably drank) or doing the requisite Dracula-related task (moving a coffin and impaling stuff on a stake to either get sprayed with red dye or find a flag). Team Rainbow (Mel and Mike) ended up finishing first after Amanda and Chris (v2) misplaced their Amazing Fanny Pack. Tammy and Victor, meanwhile, wasted a lot of time following the white and red markers when Victor refused to listen to his sister. However, due to being 9 hours behind the pack, Brad and Victoria finished last and were Philiminated.

In other news, Billy Debney interviewed eliminated Racers Steve and Linda Cole. Check it out.

American Idol – Episodes 8-14 and 8-15
Semifinal Group 2 competed and were largely horrible. Allison Iraheta was the Top Girl and advanced, while Emo Boy and Kris “Who?” Allen advanced on the male side, joining Michael Sarver, Danny Gokey and Alexis Grace in the Top 12. The Wild Card round was officially announced but no details were given.

Joe Corey reviewed both the performance and results shows, while I reviewed the performance show as well.

America’s Best Dance Crew – Episode 3-7
The three remaining crews competed in a Hip-Hop Decathlon that consisted of five styles and songs. Yes, that’s actually a pentathlon, but remember this – Watergate was not related to either water or gates. Yet we tend to refer to scandals as xxxxx-gate. But back to the show – Beat Freaks were voted as the top crew and moved on while Quest Crew and Fly Khicks were dancing for their lives. Four is unlucky to Cantonese people, and it proved to be unlucky for the Fly Khicks as their fourth consecutive appearance in the bottom two was their last. Next week has Quest Crew and Beat Freaks competing to be the winner of season three

The Celebrity Apprentice – Episode 8-1
Once again, two teams of non A-List celebrities compete to raise money for charity, split into men and women. The men channel Survivor and call themselves KOTU (short for Kings of the Universe, although Black Bolt and/or Vulcan may contest that), while the women channel mythology and call themselves Athena (who was NOT the goddess of Beauty. She’s the goddess of wisdom, war, the arts and justice, but Aphrodite is the goddess of Beauty). Hershel Walker becomes the PM for KOTU, while Joan Rivers is the PM for Athena. The task? Sell cupcakes.

Annie Duke, who is probably the least known “celebrity” but probably the most well versed in game theory, is the star here, baking cupcakes and bringing in big money via her contacts, which included Eric Seidel (probably best known for being the guy who lost to Johnny Chan in Rounders). Tom Green also worked his butt off for the men. The duds here were Dennis Rodman (who clearly doesn’t give a crap), Andrew Clay (who was not useful) and Natalie Gublis, who apparently can’t bake.

Athena ends up winning and Joan Rivers gets upward of $100K for her charity. Clay wants to quit but doesn’t, however you know that’s the kiss of death and he gets fired… OH!

Hell’s Kitchen – Episode 5-4
The teams had to prepare breakfast for 100 kids. The red team won by serving their 50 first, and got some sort of pampering treatment. The men have to clean the restaurant and prep for both teams, however they fail to complete the prep come dinner service. Both teams screw up the service, so four people are put up for elimination. Ben (for messing up the meat), Seth, Lacey and Colleen (because they’re redshirts) are nominated. Coi nominated herself but was overruled by her teammates. Chef Ramsay booted Seth because he sucked, and moved Lacey to the Blue team for rebalancing.

Survivor: Tocantins – Episode 18-3
Jerry is sick and refuses to eat beans despite their status as a magical fruit. Erinn had an alliance with Candace but with that done she annoys everyone. And by everyone, I mean Coach. Coach has an alliance with the skinny guy, who apparently revels in blindsides.

The Reward Challenge is a blindfolded challenge where the teams have to negotiate an obstacle course of sorts and fill up two buckets with water and grain, respectively. Jalapao wins and gets the traditional “comfort” package of pillows, blankets and a tarp. Brendan is sent to Exile “Island” and takes Taj with him. The two tribes go “hmmmm… alliance”? On Exile “Island”, Brendan and Taj get another clue telling to look by a bunch of wood. Brendan propopses a super secret inter-tribe alliance after the merge. He later finds the Immunity Idol by the Treemail thingie.

The Immunity Challenge is a new one – roll a bunch of large cubes together, solve the puzzle on the cubes and climb up them to win. Erinn tries to lead, but Jalapao comes from behind (again) to win the challenge because Coach has conditioned everyone to ignore Erinn. Naturally, Coach wants to boot Erinn and is a bit of an ass about it, however the rest of the Tribe has some common sense and Jerry is sent packing.

Top Chef: New York – Episode 5-14
The three remaining chefs are told to cook their best three course meal, ever. They of course get sous-chefs, which turn out to be the runners-up from previous years – Richard (Chicago), Casey (Miami) and Marcel (Los Angeles). No Tiffany, presumably because no one save Tom actually liked Tiffany, and how the heck did they determine that Casey was better than Dale? Ahem, well, after the knife draw, Hosea gets Richard, Stefan gets Marcel and Carla gets Casey. You’d think that this would screw over Stefan, but you’d be wrong.

After the day 1 prep, a twist is thrown in where the chefs also have to create an amuse-bouche out of standard Louisiana proteins. Hosea gets Redfish, Carla gets Blue Crab, and Stefan gets Gator. Meanwhile, Casey inadvertently screws over Carla by making suggestions that take Carla out of her comfort zone. During dinner, Stefan makes the best dish out of the nine presented, Hosea declines to do a desert, and Carla’s stuff is deemed poor and somewhat unusual based on what she usually made.

So with Carla out of the running, the judges deliberate between Stefan and Hosea. Despite Stefan being the better chef throughout the competition, Hosea’s better showing here earns him the title of Top Chef.

Kevin Wong is based in Toronto and has been watching reality TV for a long time. But you can’t pay him enough to watch The Bachelor. Sorry

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