Rewind – The Week in Reality TV

The Amazing Race – Episode 14-7
Teams went to Phuket, Thailand with an honest-to-goodness clue to find a gorilla. Because how hard is it to find a gorilla? Apparently quite difficult if you decide to go straight to the beach (like Mel and Mike) instead of stopping and asking people in a crowded city square. The gorilla happens to be at the Phuket Zoo, where the teams had to take a picture with a tiger and get “stepped on” by an elephant. Next task is a needle/haystack task that may very well have been a Roadblock until just before the leg started – opening drawers at a spice shop – that ends up doing nothing in terms of placement. This took the teams to a Detour, which involved either filling barrels with water and replacing them with empty barrels, or carrying a team member 2 miles in a rickshaw.

Mark and Michael blew threw the tasks and arrived first, however they tampered with the bike pumps and hired a taxi for the Detour which was expressly prohibited. Having been hit with a one-hour sit&go penalty, they watch as Tammy/Victor and the cheerleaders gain a five minute advantage in finishing first and second, respectively. Team Momma’s Boy finishes fourth, as Margie shows some impressive resolve in finishing the leg despite heat exhaustion and (presumably) dehydration – she collapses AFTER the leg is completed. Phil immediately jumps into action to help her out, and at this point is there any doubt that he’s the best reality/game show host? OK, there is, but that’s because So You Think You Can Dance hasn’t started it’s season yet.

Once Mike and Mel figure out their clue, they fly through the tasks but it’s not enough, and they end their run in Thailand.

American Idol – Episodes 8-23 and 8-24
The theme was Motown, and while we got great performances from the usual, the results show told us that Matt Giraud was in the bottom two, while Megan Corkrey was inexpicably not even bottom three, despite a serious case of being not very good. Michael Sarver went home, to noones surprise. What perhaps was surprising is that Paula cannot answer a direct question if it requires her to speak into a mic.

Next week, David Cook and Lady Gaga are on the results show, and the theme is apparently “Top Downloads”. Which sounds like a joke since there’s no vocals in porn music.

The Celebrity Apprentice – Episode 8-5
Basically this episode was about Dennis Rodman and his drinking. Rodman and T-Boz were selected as project managers and the task was to run the management at the Loews Regency Hotel. Being two people up, the women had a clear advantage and that advantage increased when Dennis threw in the towel about halfway through the task. Regardless, the men seemed to have a good accounting of themselves and Trump fired Dennis. Kind of a shame here because if you watched The Mole, you know Rodman is actually a pretty astute guy when he wants to be, and on this show he didn’t care from the get-go. So the question here is why get Rodman on the show if you know he’s not gonna care about it one way or the other?

The Chopping Block – Episode 3
Remember when NBC had announced that they would have a reality timeslot at 8pm every weeknight? Seems like a lifetime ago, doesn’t it?

The point is that NBC has now become the network that has no idea how to put together a reality show. They managed to screw up American Gladiators by showing CLIPS of events – that take about a minute – in favour of having Hulk Hogan talk. They make a potentially interesting Amazing Race knockoff (Treasure Hunters) as boring as hell. Which, when you think about it, probably explains why The Chopping Block is boring and now cancelled. Marco Pierre White may be the most brilliant chef on the face of the Earth, but he’s about as interesting as, well, Hulk Hogan on American Gladiators. Next time, NBC, maybe a little promotion would help the show out. Or better yet, just repurpose the cooking reality show you already have in the NBC Universal family – the well-regarded Top Chef.

Dancing With the Stars – Episodes 8-4 and 8-5
People danced. Denise Richards got the boot.

Hell’s Kitchen – Episode 5-7
Teams did the blind taste test and they generally sucked. Dinner service saw Lacey be the second consecutive person to get booted during the service, yet the Blue team managed to win the service even with a 2-person disadvantage. The Red team was asked to unanimously nominate two people for elimination but they couldn’t come to a consensus. As a result Andrea, Carol and L.A. were all up for nomination and L.A. got the boot because the Andrea/Carol feud is more interesting than a competent cook.

Survivor: Tocantins – Episode 18-6
This episode was a clip show. Trust me, you missed nothing. Unless you watched the tournament by accident. Which I did, and as a bonus, I’m guaranteed a Top 3 finish in my office pool (which is for entertainment purposes only, of course).

The Ultimate Fighter
UFC Fight Night 18, with a main event of “Natural Born Killer” Carlos Condit vs. Martin “Hitman” Kampmann, takes place on Wednesday, and serves as the lead-in to the new season of The Ultimate Fighter. Subtitled “United States vs. United Kingdom”, we have Dan Henderson (US) and season 3 winner Michael Bisping (UK) as coaches, and we should be getting tons of jingoism, fights, and subtitles because Liverpudlian accents are hard to understand, or something. The first two episodes should be the now-traditional round-of-16 fights as the show cuts down to 8 welterweights and 8 lightweights for the show so if you like fighting, you’ll get your fill on Wednesday night.

Kevin Wong has a UConn/UNC final on his sheet of integrity – real dangerous, right? He wishes college football could somehow duplicate the tournament to determine a national champion.

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