The Reality Television "Awards"
Posted Jan 13, 2005 @ 1:59 AM
Worst 180-Degree Turn: Lex van der Berghe, Survivor: All-Stars
Back in 2001, Lex amused us with his tatted body and unstable gut. He seemed okay in SAS, even as his Mogo Mogo tribe started falling apart. After a tribal shakeup, the tribe found themselves with Amber. After losing yet another challenge, Rob asked Lex to keep Amber...which Lex complied with, dumping Jerri. But Rob, in true Godfather form, didn't want to save Lex...and after the merger, Lex got dumped. When he came out on the jury, he had a sour look and a Mohawk. After weeks of anticipation, viewers got to listen to Lex's self-serving rant, complete with how Rob cheated him out of "greenbacks." Oh, and he had blue hair at the reunion. What an ass.
Honorable Mentions (with Before and After)
Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien: Plucky older woman who got cheated on Day 38; weepy sea cow who grinned while Sue Hawk exploded on Peachy.
Jenna Lewis: Cute mother of twins; had sex on tape, then released it to the public. Also: shoved self halfway up Rupert's butt.
Alicia Calaway: "I will always wave my finger in your face!"; "I will always act like a complete bitch!"
Mark Long: dependable old-school Roadie; divorcee looking for action, whether it would be from younger chicks (Tonya, Robin) or close friends (Eric Nies). Oh, and he went on Extreme Dodgeball. Blech.
Eric Nies: Toolish old-school RWer with a good heart; jump rope shill. Seriously, the fucking rope was everywhere.
Posted Jan 13, 2005 @ 2:26 PM
Last year I surmised that I should just give this award to the person who wins The Mole. I can't do that because there isn't a show anymore (ABC, you idiots) but at least it went out by crowning the most inexplicable champion in the history of reality TV. I mean, Dennis Rodman?! The bad boy of the National Basketball Association turned Newport Beach partyboy extraordinaire? Carmen Electra's ex-husband?! But wouldn't you know, he played it cool and observed, man, and although he didn't figure out that model/C-list actress Angie Everhart was the saboteur until late in the game, he was rebounded from scraping the bottom of the quizzes to drive past a befuddled Mark Curry (more on him later) on the way to prize. Extra brownie points for wanting to cut absolutely no corners during the competition, such as refusing the exemption when everybody else agreed to give it to him in order to add money to the pot.
Other Deserving Winners: This is based solely on who I like, so the long, boring list is: Chip and Kim, TAR5; Fantasia Barrino, AI3; Joanna, ANTM2; Eva, ANTM3; Bill, The Apprentice; Kelly, A2 (didn't have a problem with him, certainly deserved it over Jennifer M.); Ian, Bachelorette: Meredith; Mary, Bachelor: Aaron; Femia, The Benefactor; Drew, BB5; Steve and Nicole, The Complex: Malibu; Jackson and Monica, Couples Fear Factor; John Heffron, LCS2; Alonzo Bodden, LCS3; Sean and Corinne, Next Action Star; that guy who won on Nashville Star (based mostly on heresy, namely I hear you guys say it's a good show); Shawn, The Rebel Billionaire.
Least Deserving Winner: Kurt, World Idol
For this award, let's take a trip on the wayback machine -- all the way back to New Year's Day, 2004. The week before, on Christmas Day, everybody was tuning in to see whether either the two presumptive favorites, America's Kelly Clarkson and the UK's Will Young, would slip up. Instead, this plumber from Norway blitzed everyone doing a rendition of U2's "Beautiful Day." Viewers, wanting to own the stars they "discovered," gave him a near-unanimous win and the title of best 19 Entertainment find on the globe.
Except ... he wasn't that good. Seriously, if anybody has a tape of that show, note how warbly he sang the song. And you should knock him also for picking the song; "Beautiful Day" is the latest classic by a band I love (aside: just picked up their How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, and I'm going to let it wash over me the next couple weeks), but it's the production that makes it sound so timeless, not Bono's voice. Without the band, it's a pretty easy song to sing, and to sing fairly. He didn't suck, but he wasn't that great, and I still don't get the hype. (Another aside: I also am pretty shocked that, while reading the thread, there is a fervent river of Kelly hate. Why are you picking on poor little ol' Kelly?) Oh, and he looks like a Hobbitt.
Other Undeserving Winners: Let's see, who else did I hate? How about: Gil, AJ2: H; Samantha, AJ: AR; PJ, FLOM3; Caleb, FLOM4; Amber, S: AS; Chris, S: V; whoever won on The Swan; DeLisa, S2; and Stacy, Who Wants To Marry My Dad? 2?
Posted Jan 13, 2005 @ 4:19 PM
The Dawn Summers "Get out! Get out! GET OUT!" Award: Ant, Last Comic Standing 2, Last Comic Standing 3
Did you know Ant is gay? Oh, he'll tell you. He'll tell you all the live-long fucking day. Guess his accent! It's San Francisco! Don't need Scooby-Doo to solve THAT mystery! Anyway, after Ant didn't make the house in LCS1, he bummed around on VH1. Then the producers invited him back and went through the pretense of qualifying. And guess what? He was the same hack comic he was last year. I mean, even Dat Phan and Ralphie May break their programming once in a while. Ant? Is gay gay GAY! After it was found out that Todd Glass's "I Need Attention!" song was making fun of Ant, my opinion of Todd shot up. Happily, Ant got stomped by Gary Gulman...and he finsihed third for the wild card slot. He blathered on LCS3, but he got bounced again. From the bottom of my heart? Shaddup, Ant!
Ralphie May: It's still about his girth and how he hangs with the homie. His reactions to Triumph's ribbing showed he could dish it out, but can't take a thimble full of it.
Veronica Portillo: For those keeping score, she has done six Challenges, seven if you count the one going on right now. Contrary to what Andre 3000 might tell you, Veronica is the reason for the word "bitch." She'll slag you, align people against you, and save her own ass. Even though she was dropped from Battle of the Sexes 2 without any fanfare or drama, she's still out there, ready to hump anything and anybody to increase her 15 minutes of fame.
Rupert Boneham: Put it this way...if he didn't look like Hagrid, nobody would love him. I'll give him props for doing back to back seasons, but that is it. When he told an interviewer that he would be interested in doing The Amazing Race, my spincter froze...and I'm sure that I wasn't the only one.
Posted Jan 16, 2005 @ 3:28 PM
Yes, it's true. The man tapped to fill Coop's large and illustrious shoes did the best job of hosting in the year 2004. Now, I'm not saying he's better than the original host, no one can. But take a closer look: Rashad took some nifty jabs at the coterie of C-level actors and actresses vying for a million, especially punching bags Corbin Bernsen and Daniel Baldwin. He laid out the rules for each game without pretense or ego, something at a premium in the land of reality hosts. In fact, he garnered respect through his understatement. While watching him dote over Mark Curry eating everyone's dinner or adminstering the game where the vanquished were winging balls at the remaining contestants' heads, he played it cool -- cool as a host of a smart cloak-and-dagger show should be. Top it off with his ubiquitous sombrero and cigar, and you have just enough of a dash of quirky to make his hosting memorable to the dozen or so people who spent the time to watch this underrated show.
Overseer Honorable Mention:
- Joe Rogan, Couples Fear Factor: He's a love-him-or-hate-him guy. I love him. I love the fact that, in a show that celebrates the grotesque and obnoxious, he allows the randy, deplorable side of him bark orders to the contestants, whether they're suspended stories above water or underneath a shallow pool of animal body parts (this caricature of a guy was actually part of the ensemble of News Radio?). Maybe he shouldn't be yelling at these people when he doesn't do any of the stunts himself. But that's not his job. He was lucky enough to land the role of the guy who tells people what to do and how they'll have to do it. And he knows he doesn't have to do that shit, so his incessant barking is like a proclamation from an unjust god, laying down rules he himself doesn't have to follow. And I love him for it.
- Phil Keoghan, Amazing Race 5: OK, before he was a just a guy who announced what place the runners finish on the Bathmat, so he technically wasn't a host, in my opinion, so I've never included him in this award. But for TAR5 he did step out onto the course to officially disqualify the Pizza Brothers for quitting during the Roadblock in Egypt, so I guess I can include him here -- and praise him for the steady, observational role he plays during the series and the innate humanity he exudes when a team finishes, whether in first place or last. No bullshit, no extracurricular hanky-panky, he gets rights down to it, no fuss, no muss. Although, with his smackdown of Jonathan in TAR6, I definitely can make an exception.
- Ant and Dec, World Idol: These guys apparently are the lads who host UK Pop Idol, and for the brief moments I could bare to watch the results show, they weren't bad. I especially liked it when they threw to the results of the United Kingdom ... and after a few seconds realized that they were the ones who were supposed to read them. Hell of a lot better than Ryan Seacrest and Brian Dunkleman, or Seacrest alone.
Posted Jan 17, 2005 @ 4:06 PM
He does the funny stuff, she laughs. He tries to make friends like a Mastiff that doesn't know it's not a puppy, she holds the leash. He ate his way to two first-place finishes, she let him call her "Booby Cooper." On camera, they didn't look like they shared the workload, but they fufilled every Race fan's dream: that one day, a fan fave would win it. There's zero phoniess with these two, and that's why we love 'em. Oh, and they Yielded Colin and Christie, who never recovered. Double sweet.
Kris Perkins & Jon Bueller: The constant saving grace of TAR6. If they can't have kids, may they adopt whatever hellspawn Jonathan and Victoria pump out.
Bridgette Nielsen & Flava Flav: Dude, it's just...dude. Mostly cute today, even with the chain-smoking and the wearing of viking helmets.
Posted Jan 17, 2005 @ 9:02 PM
Worst Host of the Year (tie): Jeff Probst, Survivor: All-Stars and Survivor: Vanuatu
Last year I was on Just Peachy's bandwagon. This year I couldn't wait to jump off his runaway train. What happened to this guy? A man who played it too conservatively finally busted loose with some good questions and a more relaxed demeanor. This year, however, the pendulum swung completely the other way. A host keeps control of the proceedings, and he made two critical errors in SAS: Not telling that bastard Richard to keep his shorts on so he wouldn't rub his genitals up against Sue; and allowing Sue to rip him a new one right in front of everybody right before an Immunity Challenge (which wouldn't have happened if he would've ordered Richard to keep his shorts on). And, can't he say something else besides "Immunity ... back up for grabs!" or "Do you wanna know what you're playing for?" The straw that broke this camel's back is his revelation that he's now dating Julie from Vanuatu. Doesn't matter if he did it after the season's over; a host is a eunuch, and he sure as hell doesn't get involved personally with the contestants. At all. For any reason.
Overseer Dishonorable Mention:
- Amanda Bynum, The Swan: This woman, fresh off the overrated bitches-and-hebitches-in-heat soft-core porn Paradise Hotel, still bugs. She tries to be so serious whenever these women first see their new reconstructed selves, but we can see right through her. Add that she still has this vague unease with diction and cadence, and her line readings, especially the lame ones given her for the Swan Pageant, remain dreadful, and only one question remains: When is her obnoxious, nosy ass going to be flagging real celebrities down on the red carpet of an awards show?
- Ryan Seacrest, AI3: Seacrest, out? Who the fuck do you think you are ... um ... some one-named person a hell of a lot funnier and a hell of a lot less metrosexual than you? Like Jacko?
- Bryan Macfayden, Superstar USA: A gotcha show ripping of American Idol (note the title), its greatest sin was not having the conviction to dispense its ridicule right to the end and making its "winner" (Jamie, a hot but dumb blonde chick from Minnesota) drown herself in her tears after telling her, no, you really can't sing. Its second greatest sin is hiring Macfayden, fresh of starting his downward spiral into oblivion from hosting the pile of suck that was Cupid. He appears to be a smartass but he resigns himself to reading his script as dull as possible, like he knows his career on TV is down to its last desperate drop.
- Tyler Harcott, The Complex: Malibu: The thing that bugged me most about this guy is that, during the elimination ceremony, he would announce each couple, tell them all the good things and bad things their teammates said about them, then would give the all clear to all but two of the couples, then tell each of the couples still in danger more gossip from their competitors before finally announcing who would have to leave. It's like a remodeling version of American Idol, down as poorly as that show with a host as wooden and dour and Seacrest is spastic and annoying. Harcott ... out? Hope so.
Posted Jan 19, 2005 @ 3:18 PM
Choice Hottie of the Year: Meghan, Couples Fear Factor
You've got all the indistinguishable beauties from both Bachelor series and the petulant Hardbodies of TAR6. Angie Everhart was a bad Mole in CM: Y, but she's still got the looks. Julie of Survivor: Vanuatu ... well, at least she has a flat tummy. Superstar USA at least had the nerve to admit they picked Jamie as the winner because she's a blonde with a nice body. And don't underrated first-departed Lori and late-in-the-season-departed Karen, both of BB5. But for a warmness and encouraging personality that makes her as beautiful inside as she is outside, she again gets lauded in my book. This may sound condescending, but she would make a perfect wife for (then?) boyfriend James. (By the way, guys and non-traditional girls, our greatest dreams have come true: She and other women from the show are appearing naked in this month's issue of Playboy. In fact, go to their website and you can see a free pic of the Choice Hottie of the Year in her birthday suit.)
Best Friends Forever: Duo of the Year: Troy and Kwame, The Apprentice
This was a case of two people from different backgrounds -- he's an Idahoan with but a high school diploma, he's an i-banker with an MBA from Harvard -- making the most out of circumstances beyond their control and hanging out with someone they wouldn't otherwise get to know. They were two guys crowded out by the nattering of women getting fired before them and they quickly took to each other's laidback style. Stretching it, they had a similar symbiotic relationship Fred Astaire had with Ginger Rogers: Troy gave Kwame some sex -- no, not that way -- and Kwame gave Troy some class. And although taking Kwame with him to the Boardroom instead of Bill may seem like a betrayal, Troy meant it as the best way to show respect for a man he had come to admire. And the maturity with which they faced Troy's decision and his eventual firing was a touchstone that one hopes is the start of a lasting friendship.
They Too Are The Magic:
- Meredith and Ian, Bachelorette: Meredith: Many viewers figured out the outcome episodes in advance, how hot the fire between these two was. That final Rose Ceremony where Meredith can finally stop keeping up appearances for the sake of the show and just tell Ian and the entire damn world she has fallen in love with him, was not only erotic but so joyful to see. Real, too. Take that, Boston Rob and Amber.
- Mark Cuban and Dominic, The Benefactor: We figured Dominic didn't win because Cuban wanted this guy all to himself. They were so buddy-buddy because, like Troy and Kwame, the Internet billionaire wanted to be cool and the Las Vegas waiter/model wanted ... his money. It's a match made in reality TV heaven!
- Drew and Cowboy, BB5: And you thought the HoYay between Troy and Kwame was bad; the house this summer may have been the most homoerotically charged yet. The more lasting such relationship involved the two least odious members of the Four Horsemen; the dedicated Cowboy took the punches so that eventual winner Drew could fly under the radar to the end and beat his good buddy Cowboy for the $500,000.
- Scott and Jase, BB5: On the other end of the spectrum, the two punkasses of the Four Horsemen dominated the scene early in the show and played their Cocks of the Walk personalities to the hilt. They too complimented each other -- while Jase was the loud frat boy who woke up every day wanting to have fun in the house, Scott coolly and methodically planned to not just evict but to eviscerate all of his enemies standing in his way of the half million he thought was his. What proved to be an obnoxious dynamic turned out to be a combustible, and evanescent, one was well: They hated each other by the time they were thrown out. The reason? As it always is, a woman came between them: Jase fell for the bubbleheaded charms of Holly.
Posted Jan 19, 2005 @ 4:19 PM
Worst Couple ("Romantic"): Jonathan Baker & Victoria Fuller, The Amazing Race 6
The red light in my head went off when TV mentioned a blue-haired enterpenteur who would out-Guido the Guidos. What we got was the most painful TAR team ever...and when you throw in folks like Tara/Wil, Flo, Cindy/Russell, etc., that's saying something. He yells at her, she screams back. He blames her for stuff he did, she just takes it. And after that painful leg...complete with him slapping her backpack...Phil Keoghan looked like he would've killed him if the cameras weren't around. Heading into the final days of 2004, every TAR fan had the same nightmare...what if these two won? The casting of this wretched couple shook the faith of most TAR fans. Here's hoping the producers get the hint of the deluge of hate mail, and be extra careful next time.
Posted Jan 20, 2005 @ 1:13 PM
Best Celebrity Demigod Angling For A Second Career: Sir Richard Branson, The Rebel Billionaire
This was a pretty good but not a very show; many times I found the competitions too disorganzied, and I think it reflects Branson's reluctance to bore himself with details. But if there was any one well-known person who dared venture into the dirty waters of reality TV whom I liked enough to follow, it's him. What's so likable about him is his sincerity. Of course this show was a way to cross-promote his Virgin empire, but he didn't try to disguise it as anything but, nor did he make a big deal out of it. His unpolished hemming and hawing as he talked to the players is something I find disarming and real. He never talked down to the competitors, to the point of almost looking ashamed to even slightly come off as condescending towards them. He may not have had many good reasons to "tarmac" one of them, but he was always so decent when doing it. And top it all off, he did all the stunts because he believes he couldn't ask them to do it without doing it himself. I've always been fascinated with this guy; beneath his rugged looks, he's really a 10-year-old who's climbing the tree in the front yard and jumping off the roof to see if he can fly, and he manages to be charming all the same. It could be an act. But I doubt it, and besides, his behavior is exactly what you would want in a man whose company you want to be a part of. Me too.
Also Nominated: I still can't believe Tyra Banks could be all girly-girly with the aspiring models when they talk about problems with their big boobs or eating habits, then turn around and let one of them dangle one by one till she's the last girl in front of the panel. But she seems to really care for them, and although her analysis of their photos flies over my head from time to time, it shows she's serious about her modeling career after she can't model anymore. Plus, she's still damn hot. I'll also recognize Donald Trump, but only for The Apprentice, where he lived up to his reputation as a sharp, direct businessman who kept his pulse on the "interview process" even while tending to business, and not A2, where he lost us with his crazy, made-up justifications for firing the wrong people at the wrong time.
Posted Jan 23, 2005 @ 7:19 AM
The best parts of a horribly edited show that probably will not result in mining any boxing prospects like it had hoped, these guys were left to do the dirty work because host and mastermind Oscar De La Hoya didn't do much other than meet with the boxers before they fight. But doing the dirty work has been these two legendary trainers' bread and butter all thier lives. Duva has trained 15 champions and once, in a 24-hour period, stood in the corner for one of his guys in Las Vegas and flew to Atlantic City to do the same; both of his men won world titles. Brooks, Duva's son-in-law, is one of the most active trainers in the business, and even tried to resuscitate Mike Tyson's career. These guys know something about the sweet science, and they worked their hearts out, getting these retreads in shape, supervising contests like jabbing a punching bag up an incline, and supporting the fighters during each show's match. They have decades of advice they dispensed and sized up the fighters' performances with accuracy and authority. In short, they were true professionals in an amateurish production of a reality show, and if anything, more time should've been turned over to them so that viewers who like reality TV but don't know a lick about boxing could learn a thing or two about the sport.
Why Does Everybody Hate This Person?: Jay Manuel, American's Next Top Model
Not to say that you guys here in TWoP hate him, although the opinions are mixed. It's just that I have heard that the contestants in Seasons -- excuse me, Cycles -- 2 and 3 didn't care for him. He might have been overbearing in his dealings with the models, but as a viewer I thought he was very direct and provided the bitchiness you'd expect from a show about models. Moreover, I thought he did a fantastic job with his responsibilities as test shoot maven. He pounced on the fact that these girls are really wimps at heart, and he devised extremely demented photo sessions -- animals were a particular favorite of his, but I remember how one shoot revolving around being suspended in the air reduced Cycle 2's Catie to a flood of tears -- to see how they'd react. I didn't see any petulance or jealousy on Manuel's part. As for the way he dresses, well, I can't talk myself, and I have to give bonus points for anybody willing to dress in drag to make a point, like he did for the "metamorphosis" test shoot in Cycle 3.
Others Who Are Misunderstood:
- Jesse and Aaron (tie), The Bachelor: It's easy to knock these guys for being both cads and idiots, but I always have a soft spot for these guys. They are living every heterosexual man's dream of being the prize of 25 beautiful women, and he can pick and choose whoever they like, however they like. And I didn't see any boorish behavior (Aaron's anger being an exception, although you're going to see your mate get mad eventually, so I can rationalize it away) that makes me think either Bachelor was being anything less than sincere than the producers would allow him to.
- Diane: BB5: Scheming? Yes. Delusional, especially when it came to giving her heart to Drew? Definitely. But there are two ways of backstabbing on reality shows: quiet, which is the way Diane did it, and cocky, a group comprised of virtually everyone else. Because she kept her exploits on the downlow, I don't see her as a bitch, I see her as a player.
- Kelly, A2: I may have missed something, but what exactly did he do to not deserve Trump's apprenticeship? I just saw him as a quietly confident guy (and, I must admit, a military vet) who used both stick and carrot to get his workers to do what the task. And if he got the spoils for winning, well, that's the show's all about.
- Jared, Next Action Star: In case you forgot, he was the last loser. As a consolation prize, he got a bit part in the resulting movie as a cab driver. His three lines stole the scene from his passenger -- Sean, the guy who won. He was a bit of a dick, but in his scenes he showed he had unhinged edges in his personality. Although that made some of his performances during the show very over-the-top, it also showed he had some moments of brilliance, and that's much better than a steady mediocrity evinced by Sean. By the way, the show wasn't that bad.
Posted Jan 23, 2005 @ 8:55 AM
Posted Jan 23, 2005 @ 3:06 PM
I'm more into furry than feathered, but Montecore had some good moments. Basically, JS2 was a Bachelor parody with lots of twists. Every week, Derek Newcastle (the smarmy British host, played by Ralph Garman) would call for the Falcon Twist. And Montecore would swoop in and delivery, scaring the shit out of the contestants (Schmos and actors alike). Even funnier was that Montecore didn't like Derek much, and they'd fight. The coup de grace was during a dress rehearsal, when Monetcore swooped in, missed Derek's gauntlet, and slammed into the glass door. Repeated viewings did not make it less funny. In the end, Montecore was found dead, apparently at the hands of Bryce ("The Stalker") avenging the death of his frog Everett. In the last few eps, Derek made the contestants fake getting startled, so Monetcore would be added in the editing. Happily, Montecore's death was greatly exagerrated, and he lives another day.
X: This puppy of unknown breeding was, by far, the only reason to watch Road Rules: X-Treme. The kids "found" her wandering the campgrounds (I'm sooooooo sure), and they adopted her. It was stupid...the opening credits had the kids act "extreme" while the theme song blared "Like a motherfucker from helll!!!!!!"...and at the end of the credits? Was X.
Winger: This Goldie puppy mascot of The Surreal Life 3 went by many names ("Coochie" and "Chubby" are the only ones I remember). If a dog that young could withstand getting punished by Flava Flav for pooping AND getting cuddled by a more-insane-than-usual Bridgette Nielsen, then the lil guy deserves ou props. He was adopted by Dave Coulier for his son.
The "Broken Ox": Look, he didn't do anything. All he did was walk away when Christie was too stupid to lead him. Bascially, that whole performance was Colin getting madder and madder than the ox was moving on his own accord. Sad but true.
Posted Jan 24, 2005 @ 4:24 PM
Why Does Everybody Like This Person? Carolyn Kepcher, The Apprentice
I've wanted to get this off my chest for a long time now -- she is not as cool as most people think. The disaster of the second season finally exposed what I thought I saw in the first: She oftentimes is a bobbleheaded yesman when it comes to Trump's firings. Her critiques are nothing more than outright insults to people she wants to fuck with. Carolyn sees an opportunity where a person fails and she uses it to yell and make fun of him or her. (For slightly sturdier observations, The Hair just has to look the other way in the Boardroom.) Most disturbing, I see her as being harder on the women than on the men. Now again, the girls from both seasons haven't done themselves any favors. But she could have used words and expressions and tone much more reasonable, much more professional, than those she used to cut down many of the women whom she obviously sees as beneath her. And frankly, I don't see her go after the men with as much vitriol and disdain. In short, I see Carolyn Kepcher as a useless self-hating misogynist who spends too much time on the show when it should be spent running Trump's "world famous" golf courses. She is definitely not my co-pilot, and with all due respect to anyone who bought that t-shirt, I will run the other way I soon as I see it.
Others Whom I See Right Through:
- Charla, TAR5: I hated this woman, almost as much as Mirna. I don't care how her dwarfism makes her determination so inspiring, I saw a whiny harpy who felt entitled to every single break she got and every insult she hurled because she was short. Charla is a racer, and although there will be some instances where she will be at a unique and distinct disadvantage, she knew that going in. Lording tickets over those that don't have them isn't cute where you're a dwarf; neither is whining for a special hand out when you're behind. I felt joy to know that these two bitches were eliminated. It appeared to be the only way to get through to Charla and Mirna the message that they were going to be treated the same as everyone else. Good fucking riddance.
- Rob, S: AS: Rob and Amber's "romance" made me puke. Huge chunks of this show were spent on these two conniving monsters, and his personality and love for the Red Sox...
- Amber, S: AS: ... nor her mousy passivity will disguise the fact that they took glee in destroying alliances made not just in the game but in real life. Shame on you two famewhores.
- Chris Harrison, The Bachelor: In Bachelor: Aaron's "After The Rose" reunion show, there was this "blooper reel" of seeing everyone flub their "lines." The parts where Aaron was grabbing the boom mic were funny. Seeing Chris Harrison fuck up and make snide remarks about the other girls and the proceedings, not so much. It looked he wanted to swear a lot, not because he's got a penchant for cursing, but he felt it was a way to fit in. (I notice that Jeff Probst seems to do that a lot, too.) And it's jarring to see candid remarks from a guy so robotic and boringly handsome as he is. But, seeing as how his on-screen time has been cut dramatically during the shows of 2004, I soon won't have to worry about that anymore.
Posted Jan 24, 2005 @ 7:08 PM
Best Reality Parody/Homage That Was NOT Joe Schmo 2: "Making the Band 2," Chappelle's Show
How good is Dave Chappelle and his crew? Good enough to make me watch bits of MTB2. Chappelle himself played P. Diddy, Dylan (the egocentric Jamaican) and Farnsworth Bentley. The real Diddy may not have sent Da Band to Queens to get breast milk from a Camodian immigrant...but come on, is it that far out for Diddy?
"The Amazing Presidential Race," Mad TV: Fox's answer to SNL did right by TAR, getting the music down pat, as well as the dramatic turn-to-the-camera intros. The candidates act as usual: John Kerry flip flops on taking a Roadblock, while Dick Cheney has a couple in front of him arrested to get plane tickets faster. Ralph Nader is immediately taken out when Mirna backs over him with a golf cart. Yes, those doggone cousins make their acting debut as themselves...topped off with Mirna making Charla carry meat on her shoulders while eating an ostrich egg omlette covered in caviar and chocolate.
Drawn Together: Comedy Central billed this show as the first animated reality series. The concept: lump eight cartoon characters of various genres into one house. While it missed more than hit in the first few episodes, there were some great breakout characters, like Foxxy Love (the token black chick, a mystery-solving musician), Princess Clara (a Disneyfied prince whose views of minorities were cringe-worthy), Xandir (the homage to Link, who ended up coming out of the closet) and Ling Ling (my fave: a thinly-disguised Pikachu who spoke only Japanese). The final episode had the gang competing for big money thanks to Bucky Bucks (Richie Rich smushed with Trump). Aside from the obvious Apprentice gags, that episode ran with the reality ball...complete with Xandir bleating "What is going on?!?" a la Matt Gould of JS1. Good times.
Posted Jan 26, 2005 @ 2:59 PM
Scene of the Year: Colin in the Tanzanian clink, TAR5
To me, the best scene has to be one you'll immediately go, "What the fuck!" and remember for days, if not weeks, afterward. And I can't imagine a moment on reality TV where a contestant would not only be in such danger to his person (even if it is just getting thrown in jail, not any physical violence), not only put himself in such danger, but actually invite said danger upon himself, as all-star tool Colin did when the race went to Tanzania. He didn't like the cab ride because one of the tires blew midway through, so he decides the fare should be $50 instead of $100. This cab driver -- and seeing as how cabbies drive in this town, this may be the only time I'm siding with them -- gets airport police, who directs Colin and a pleading Christie to their office and tries to explain to him that, well, you're shit outta luck. This scene had everything: the threat of force by law enforcement, yet another example of the corrosive relationship Christie and Colin have with each other, and the documentary feel of the way it was all laid out. If Colin were in his right mind, would he really want to be shown pissing off foreign cops on TV? And that angry obliviousness is what ties this whole thing together: By trying to state his case with the use of belittling Disney phrases and clipped English to people with guns, he cements his case as the most stubborn and clueless dumbshit in TAR, and maybe competitive reality history.
Other Scenes of the Year:
- The Mean Girl Beatdown, A2: The high school "mean girl" mentality at its most vicious; that supposed grown-ups were the perpetrators makes this scene really, really sad. Stacie J. puts her chances in jeopardy by spazzing over a Magic 8-Ball, and it comes back to haunt her two Boardrooms later as Maria is mentally grasping for straws. Ever seen ants converge on a piece of food that fell to the ground? Ever see one of them (Ivana) declare that she was scared for her life and another (Stacy) recommend treatment? You didn't till Apex fired Stacie J. with Trump's help. And I hope I don't ever see it again.
- Ian's the one, Bachelorette: Meredith: As real as this show has ever gotten, and probably will ever get. So much passion, so much sex, and the relief and joy they felt after being able to declare their love for each other made this misanthrope's heart grow a couple sizes.
- The Fred/Alonzo montage, Next Great Champ: I don't want to overlook this scene, for it was probably the best this short-circuited series ever got. Two of the boxers had to duke it out in an actual fight, and in this scene, the boxers' psyche-ups with their loved one are quickly intercut with each other. What results is a thrilling example of editing that convinces the viewer that there's an angel (Alonzo) and a devil (Fred) in this contest: Alonzo and his wife bow their heads and recite a prayer; meanwhile, Fred's brother tells him how they're going to beat the hell out of Alonzo, in cruel, insulting terms. (Fred won the bout by unanimous decision.) NGC incessantly wanted to paint the boxers in black and white, but it was only in this pulsating scene where they even made a case that this show was about good and evil.
- America votes out J. Hud., AI3: And the entire nation went, "Oh, shit, not again!"
Posted Jan 28, 2005 @ 3:01 PM
Dumbass Move of the Year: Shandi cheats on her boyfriend -- on camera! And then calls to confess to him -- on camera! ANTM2
This was a tough choice, for there were many moments of complete idiocy last year. But two deciding factors put the Kansas City Wal-Mart girl on top: She tried to cover up one bad mistake by making one even worse mistake; and of all the things you should never, ever do on TV, cheating on your boyfriend, I assume, is pretty fucking high on the list. And high is the only thing I can think of as an excuse for following up a hot tub session with their go-see chaperones with tongue hockey and, finally, putting his Chevy in her ditch. Now that she's cheated on Eric, does she wait until the show's over and she flies back to K.C. and tells him what she did, away from the harsh light of a camera? No! Not poor, troubled, misguided Shandi. She has to immediately call Eric and tell her she allowed some greasy Italian to plunge into her, repeatedly, which makes her boyfriend go through reverse puberty with the castrato he sounds when she breaks the news. In the "After The Catwalking's Over" episode, we see that Eric has taken her back. And he will be duly rewarded when Shandi gets gangbanged by the men of the Thunder From Down Under.
Other "What The Fuck?!?" Moments:
- Jason cancels the meeting, Apprentice: Second week of this show and this Michigan St. grad/real estate developer becomes project manager for a task where you design a marketing campaign for a boutique jet company. They were given contact information -- actual phone numbers -- of the president of the company. You do not need to be an MBA to think that it's kind of wise to talk to the head of the company you'll be doing an ad campaign for. Does Jason? No! Not short-sighted, authoritarian, antisocial Jason. He doesn't go through with the meeting because "it's a waste of time." I'm a 28-year-old sportscaster washout who hasn't done one single day of office work his whole life and I know good goddamn well you have to talk to your customer! Thus, his refusal to contact his client may be the difference in two relatively blah strategies, and The Donald -- back when he thought him a sage -- rightly axed him, despite teammate Sam curling up on the floor to take a nap during work.
- Mark Curry changes horses just as he's reaching shore, CM: Y: The process of how the contestants survived quiz after quiz while uncovering the mole, to the best of my memory: Curry (he was the Mr. Cooper you hung with back in the day) was pretty much the guy who figured model Angie Everhart was the one, and he didn't figure it out until past the midpoint of the game. Basketball freak of nature Dennis Rodman didn't really figure it was her until it was the three of them left, I think; he was just fastest with the quizzes, in which case if he was tied with someone he'd have a better chance of sticking around because he finished the quiz faster. Anyway, it seemed as if Curry and Rodman were setting their sights on Everhart -- until, for reasons still unbeknownst to me, Curry decided in the final quiz that the Mole had to be Rodman. The two guys weren't in an alliance with each other, so they didn't share information, nor did they try to betray each other with bad intel. You'd think that Curry would see that him picking Everhart with every quiz and him sticking around had something of a cause-and-effect relationship, right? No! Not stupid, addle-brained, unfunny Curry. Rodman, against all odds, won the jackpot. And Mr. Cooper hung himself.
- Mark Cuban busts Linda on her cry of poverty, The Benefactor: When you sign up for these reality shows, you basically submit your entire life to exposure on camera, including your home life. So, knowing this important information, you would make sure you wouldn't say anything that would easily be exposed as a lie, right? No! Not poverty-crying, actually affluent Linda, the New Hampshire hockey player. She called herself ghetto, she makes a sob story out of the fact her fiance had to look through every couch in the state to scrounge up the change for a ring, etc. ad nauseum. So, Mark Cuban takes a trip to New England for a routine check. And he finds out that Linda and her loved ones live in a good part of town with all the bling-bling and livin' large one could ask for living in New England. Even Cuban can't turn this one over; he bumps her off in favor of his new best friend forever Dominic and eventual winner Femia.
Posted Jan 28, 2005 @ 6:00 PM
In the Real World, $10 can get eaten up in 5 minutes.
Posted Jan 28, 2005 @ 7:21 PM
Worst Moment: Chapera celebrates Susan's departure, Survivor: All-Stars
To review: during an Immunity Challenge, Richard Hatch grinds his exposed teeny weenie on Susan Hawk. Over time, she goes a little nanners. At the ensuing Rewards Challenge, Susan goes double ballistic with cheese and proceeds to quit the game. It was an ugly moment, made worse by Kathy's shit-eating grin. But she's on Mogo Mogo. So how did several members of Chapera react afterwards? By singing "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead." I swear, the next time anybody gets all giggly over the Ramber overload, they gotta remember Rob getting his kicks like that. Oh, as for Tom's dancing? If Sue were to pull a "Misery" and hobble the hick, I'd have zero problems with that. (Sidenote: Amber didn't go for that, if I recall correctly. At least the kids wouldn't be totally messed up in the head)
Coral Almost Dies: Yes, this is debated on the Challenge forums. Some believe that Coral got bit by a spider. Some think she lied about it and was merely exhausted. But it didn't get as painful as watching supposed best friend Mike yelling at her to get up during the final mission. And after the team lost, Mike and Nathan acted like babies. In retrospect, I understand Nathan's reaction...after all, this was probably the last time he'd ever go for big money.
Jonathan Loses It: I know, I know...which time? This was the big one...he's screaming at Victoria to leave the bags on a mad dash to the Pit Stop, she's screaming and crying and carrying both sets of bags. And for what? First place? Anyway, they lose out to Haydan and Aaron, and he slaps her bag and harangues her. Phil actually got cross enough to tell Jonathan to talk to his wife. Seriously, if there were no cameras, Jonathan would've had an impressing in his face the shape of a Kiwi's fist. Easily the worst TAR moment ever.
Edited by Lantern7, Jan 28, 2005 @ 9:08 PM.
Posted Jan 29, 2005 @ 4:37 PM
Sorry but I need to get this out of my system: I have more Dumbass Moments of the Year:
- Rupert's underground hut, S: AS: I have trouble playing with Legos, yet it wouldn't even occur to me that if I needed to build a shelter on a deserted island, I would put it beneath the earth. You already have to build the damn thing, why do you need to add digging to the list of chores? To protect against diving birds? To have the collecting pool of rainwater right next to you so you don't have to get up out of bed?
- The Four Horsemen evict Holly, BB5: This is a bit complicated, but the essence is this: These four frat boys (Jase, Scott, Drew and Cowboy) had in their pockets bubble blonde Holly. Their idea was to bat around the Head of Household amongst them and evict the rest. Even in its second week it looked like this plan looked airtight ... until Holly and her helium voice started to annoy the living hell out of them. What does it matter, she's a vote. But Scott, Drew and Cowboy convince Jase to pry Holly's tongue out of his ear and evict her, thinking that Marvin and Diane would be more than happy to get into their in group. That turned into a two-person swing: Adria (or is it Natalie?), the intended evictee, stayed and, because she did, allowed her twin sister, Natalie (or is it Adria?) to enter the game, thus obliterating any plans of this 4-H Club to ride into the sunset together, cheek to cheek.
- Camille tries to sabotage Yoanna, ANTM2: The remaining girls were having dinner, or "dinner." Yoanna excuses herself, prompting Tyra Banks to ask is she uses the bathroom during dinner all the time. Camille, with whom Yoanna had a long-running (and seemingly one-sided) feud but did her best to bury the hatchet this ep up until this point, said, "Well," and insinuated something more sinister behind Yoanna's trip to the head. Too bad for her, for all those who saw her attempt to emote on her acting audition earlier in the series, that she couldn't convince anyone that Yoanna had an eating disorder. What really irked me is the face Camille made in attempting to plant this little secret in the other girls' heads: Her gaze made Paris Hilton's stare-off into the distance look like a sniper's focus into his sight. Camille also didn't bank on Mercedes being a goody-too-shoes, for when Yoanna came back (from a cigarette break, turns out), she ratted Camille out. She destroyed any goodwill she had from Yoanna, and besides, even if it did work, how in the hell was it going to help Camille win the contract?
Edited by Senor Audacity, Jan 29, 2005 @ 4:38 PM.
Posted Jan 31, 2005 @ 3:31 PM
Quote of the Year: You know it is! Colin, already rattled after Chip and Kim Yield him and Christie, pick the Detour whereby they have to ride an ox that will plow up a rope buried in a field. This ox could tell just by looking at him that Colin's a dick (that could just be wishful thinking), so he doesn't do anything productive, or at least anything Colin wants. After trying to order the ox around, he goes ballistic -- ballistic beyond which he has already gone. Say it with me: "My ox is broken! This is bullshit!"
Other Gems And Whoppers:
"You ask Sam what time it is and he tells you how to build a clock."
- Bill (?), where the task where Sam was PM, Apprentice
"That was really offensive to me. I'm a member of the PTA."
- Janice Dickinson, after being told that some of the girls may think she's a bitch, ANTM2
"He lies, he cheats, he pees on stuff..."
- Nakomis, giving her reasons to want to evict Jase, BB5
"Don't be stupid, stupid!"
- Tom, after pulling back a handshake to Boston Rob at final Tribal Council, S: AS
"When I got here off the plane, I was like, wow, I’ve never seen so many black people in my whole entire life, on this island. I was like, wow, this is cool! – Khalilah, it’s not offensive for me to refer to you as a black person, right?"
- Mary, Forever Eden
"My lips are big, but my voice is bigger."
- Fantasia, AI3
- Brandon, to Nicole, figuring out a Roadblock clue, TAR5
"I nearly dropped my teeth."
- Scout, upon learning that Dolly intended to vote out Leann, S: V
"If karma is a boomerang, I'll see you sooner than later."
- Will, to Adria, upon his eviction, BB5
"I don't know what 'karma' is. I don't know if he meant Karma Electra? I really don't know what the word means."
- Adria, to Natalie, trying to figure out what Will meant, BB5
"I would have at least liked my own cab."
- Wes, about sharing the backseat with the also-fired Maria, A2
"He was lustin'!"
- Robin, about posing with running back Clinton Portis, America's Next Top Model (this is from the first cycle which was first shown in 2003, but I forgot to include it for the 2004 RTA's, and I think that UPN's rerunning it this past summer provides me the loophole to sneak it in this year. Forgive me!)
"If I won $222,000 ... state tax ... government tax ... wife ... ex-wife ... Five kids. ... How would I feel? Broke."
- Dennis Rodman, CM: Y
Posted Jan 31, 2005 @ 6:54 PM
Best Fight: Katie vs. Veronica, Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Inferno
The two had gone at it in The Gauntlet, but this was special. At this point, Veronica and the rest of the Road Rules team had tried to get Katie booted, since she sucked in missions. One night, Katie completely loses it, going triple psycho on Veronica, screamin for her to "hold your tits, you stupid bitch!" (Vero was topless at the time). Katie kept going more and more bugfuck, to the point where you can see Mike and Syrus dying of laughter in the background. The coup de gras from Katie: "YOU ARE A SHORT! SCRAWNY! ACNE-FACED LITTLE [bleep] [bleep] [bleep]! AND YOU CAN GO FUCK YOURSELF!" She came dangerously close to ripping into the one she called "Vernatula," but Mike ended up working his way between the girls and dragged Katie off to another room. It was a rare BMP moment...something that had teased us at the start of the season actually living up to the hype.
Posted Feb 1, 2005 @ 7:03 PM
This was in the clip show, I believe, so it might stand out in my mind for that reason. The members of that tribe got the idea to lampoon the survivors from the other tribes in a mock TC. These guys were surprsingly witty and spot-on with their impressions, particularly an Amber showing off some personality by mocking Tina's southern drawl. A moment of levity during lighter times early in the show's run.
Other Laugh-Your-Ass-Off Moments:
- The acting exercise, ANTM2: I've always heard that when you isolate a group of women who don't know each other, the biological signals they give one another do strange things to them. If this scene is any indication, that theory must be true. The girls head off to a studio where the acting coach pairs them up. One of the girls is supposed to tell the other about her fears, regrets, what makes them angry, etc. to her partner, and the partner is supposed to repeat them back to her in a calm voice. They get into it: This is the point where you see this season's model wannabes' motivations and histories that make them what to be on this show. And yet it amplifies, figuratively and literally, how every one was in a state of extreme fragility, since you see every one of these girls cry their asses off. Faces were red, cheeks wet with tears -- hell, Shandi had snot coming out of her nose. You wanted to feel bad, but you couldn't help but laugh at them. But here's the kicker: Camille didn't come in till later because she had to go to the doctor. So you see these girls in all stages of weeping in front of the acting coach ... and then, from off the screen, you see Camille walk in like nothing happened. She couldn't make a facial expression if you put a gun to her head, but you had to feel for her thinking, "What the fuck just happened here?"
- The challenge with the paint gun, My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss: They used a snippet of this on their promo blitz, and it lived up to its hype. The two teams were told to perform menial office duties in this obstacle course while boss N. Paul Todd shoots them with a paint gun. Totally weird, and I loved it when one of the guys screamed, "Paper jam!" as they were getting pelted.
- Triumph's impromptu roast, Last Comic Standing 3: Underappreciated genius Robert Smigel dons his Late Night With Conan O'Brien canine alter ego sock puppet and trashes every comic contestant -- as well as host Jay Mohr -- in the theater, in the process showing everyone how much funnier he is than everybody else put together.
- The Tequila Shooters Game, CM: Y: The celebrities still in the game had to balance a plate of mimosas while walking across a beam above a pool. Meanwhile, the eliminated celebrities got to throw balls at them in an attempt to knock them into the drink. Fulfills a person's base craving to see other people get hit, especially in the face and head, by flying projectiles.
Posted Feb 1, 2005 @ 7:17 PM
Runner-Up: TAR6's Avi and Joe choose not to follow Gus and Hera at the Blue Lagoon. G&H had already told A&J that the Pit Stop wasn't on that side of the lagoon, but instead of watching them for a moment to see if they really leave, A&J assume G&H are faking them out and go looking for the Pit Stop on that side of the lagoon. If they'd just followed G&H, they could likely have won a footrace to the Amazing Bathmat. Because they didn't, they were Philiminated.
Posted Feb 1, 2005 @ 8:37 PM
Posted Feb 2, 2005 @ 3:36 PM
This should be pretty much it. Everything else I could remember worth noting -- I can't think of a better name than "Other Stuff" -- I'm putting down here. What I write now and either tomorrow or Friday should be it, barring suggestions or comments from you guys.
Thanks to all who, by clicking on this thread from time to time, tolerated my establishing this fiefdom in order to satisfy my indulgences regarding reality TV. And a special thanks for all those who posted back; your expertise and opinions usually surpassed mine, and for that you've made me a better and much more informed viewer.
Best Headwear: Where can I get those maple leaf hats when the remaining three teams from TAR5 hit Canada? In a similar vein, I've got a soccer hat that my sister and mom brought home from Holland when they were in Europe for Euro 2000, and now I have a collection that should be perfect for raves ... if people still host raves.
What's Worse?: Tyra Banks's music video, where she tries to be a dance diva (topped off by her licking a microphone -- am I supposed to imagine that mic is my penis?), or Tyra's rap when she tells the girls they're going to Milan?
Best Title Sequence (Or, I Need To Funnel Some Recognition To): The Player. Nifty animation cels of silhouettes when, upon zoom, show the head shots of each of the "players." Cute music too. Just edges out The Apprentice, even though the O'Jays will always be cool.
They're Ass Men: Both Boston Rob (S: AS) and Marvin (BB5) made passing references to a female competitor's posterior, the former about Amber, the latter about Adria while she was exercising.
But She's A Breast Girl: Ivana (A2) seemed to really rag on Jennifer M.'s implants. I couldn't tell if hers are fake. What do you guys think?
Then Again, She Could Be An Ass Girl: Ivana completes the ruination of her credibility by dropping trou and showing some guy what's underneath her skirt in order to get him to buy candy bars. For one's information: It was fully covering white undies. Also for one's information: You'd have to show your bare butt, at the very least, for $20 if it were a strip club.
And Peeing In Front Of People="Where's The Closest Bathroom?": Nicole throwing to the ground the balance of the fare the taxi driver wouldn't stop hounding her and Brandon about seems to be Ugly American for "Fine, here's your goddamn money" ... until I realized that I've thrown money at people for what I thought was inferior service as well. But only here in the States. I guess that makes me an Ugly American in America.
The Heretofore Underestimated Power Of Childhood Oaths: On BB5, the members of an alliance were bound together by a pinky swear. Nakomis, in particular, was adamant about its enforcement like it was a frickin' contract. And on S: V, the members of the jury crucify poor Twila for swearing on her son's life. Of all the reasons to be self-righteous in your hate for the last two in Final Tribal Council, some stupid off-the-cuff remark you know you would do yourself is the justification you home in on?
And I'm Sorry, But: How in the hell did Chris, the guy who lost the very first fucking Immunity Challenge for Lopevi because he couldn't cross a balance beam, wind up winning the entire damn thing. Hopefully this new twist for Survivor: Pulau's first ep may rectify such a thing.
Craftiest Move: Think about the word "apprentice." After seeing what these well-educated, successful young men and women are put through (last week's motel reservation task being a prime example), the arrogance of Donald Trump and this show, while at times absurd, is awe-inspiring in this respect: These guys put up with it and ask for more. And for what? To be an "apprentice." To go through all this bullshit just to earn the "right" of groveling at The Hair's feet and snarf up every crumb of wisdom he may let drop to the floor. Best instance of that: George being away. I don't think George is on business when he isn't there to observe the teams. He could be playing 36 holes of golf or masturbating in his apartment for all I know. But I think either Trump or Mark Burnett want him to "be away" so all the minions will drop their jaws and go, "Wow, Mr. Trump really is a busy man. I mean, I wish George were around, but he's got more important business to deal with than to watch us fuck up." Smart way to keep your underlings in place. Is that in any of Trump's books?
Posted Feb 4, 2005 @ 2:55 PM
Here's some more:
On Second Thought, This Is The Smartest Move: Having every teammate in TAR6 do a maximum of six Roadblocks. Prevents unbalanced heavy lifting that helped Chip and Kim stay in the game.
Most Idiotic Wig-Out: When Ryan R. was denied not just one of the original allottment of six roses but a Meredith-requested seventh, he flipped out on camera because he didn't get any alone time with "Merdi." Well, after snapping you definitely ain't gonna get alone time now.
You Have Your Red States And Your Blue States ...: ... And you have Maria and Sam's stare-down after being fired.
The Real Reason Andy Got Fired On A2: He's young, he just got out of college, his body is still changing ... what really made him make crazy decisions like giving his team money but depriving them of pizza? He got hopped-up on too much Pepsi Edge.
But Do They Keep Away Evil Spirits?: In the second episode of ANTM2, both Janice Dickinson and J. Alexander get up on the table, drop on all fours and demonstrate the right way one of the models should have done her pose. It looked like two gargoyles you see guarding the front door of a Greek-style building.
Worst Trend: Contestant bloat. Both S: AS and ANTM3 added extra contestants for their seasons. Now it takes us even more time to figure who the heck is who, and this added "material," and the subsequent sudden elimination is the only thing they've thought up when it comes to "mixing things up."
Worst Trend On A Reunion Show: Proposing. Rob, Colin -- reality famewhore like you have already gotten on one knee. It's not special anymore. And for Buddha's sake, we know it's not gonna last!
Best Trend: Cameos by actual celebrities. And not just guest judges. Go back to superstar Elton John on World Idol. Then you have all those guys during the charity episode of The Apprentice and baseball player Mike Piazza on A2, Denise Richards and Billy Zane (they appear in movies, at least) on Next Action Star and, finally, the underappreciated Taye Diggs helping out an audition in ANTM3. Was 2004 the year reality series went legit?
Girl Who Wasn't There: Nicole, from ANTM3, so anonymous (despite her resemblance to Carla Gugino) that the judges forgot to evaluate her on the show where she got axed.
Wrong Show: After Sue snapped and left the game, I was hoping for her to rein hellfire, or at least file suit, on either Richard Hatch, Jeff Probst, or the show. Instead, the next day she and Hatch appeared together on The CBS Early Show, burying the hatchet. And then on the reunion show she was all smiles because Extra felt sorry for her and felt that an extreme makeover was the way to best way to get rid of those sexual assault blues. I'm shocked that the show took this incident so lightly. Even if she's decided she's OK with it, Burnett, Probst et al. still bear a lot of responsibilty for letting it get even too far. But I don't think they get it.
Most Amazing Reputation Rehabilitation/An Instance Where Everybody Should Be Ashamed Of Themselves: Also on S: AS's reunion ep, Jerri, who actually did a good job keeping her emotions in check and got ushered out of the game only because of Lex's gut, had what I thought were fairly cogent thoughts on reality celebrity, but the invited-only peanut gallery shouted her down because in their minds she's still "the bitch." So I don't mind one bit that she left the stage because she was being victimized by people who didn't have the intellectual capacity to understand they were doing the exact same thing she was talking about. And Just Peachy was no better: He subtracted by one the number of Survivors that could vie for the fans' million, and then, in an audacious bit of grandstanding, he pointedly called her out (without mentioning her by name) on the next reunion episode for implying the producers made her show up on the show. He lets Hatch freak on Sue yet lays into Manthey because she was getting heckled? You suck, Jeff, and those people suck even more.
Board Game Of The Year: Anybody for some ... Jenga? (The Benefactor)
Worst Headwear: A tie -- Jase's (BB5) do-rag ... and Donald Trump's hair.
Most Worthless Competition: Japanese tea ceremony, ANTM3. Not to demean the deep history of this sacred practice, but this was like watching paint dry. Unfunny, disorganized paint. And when do girls need to know how to serve tea in order to model?
Edited by Senor Audacity, Feb 4, 2005 @ 2:59 PM.
Posted Feb 6, 2005 @ 7:23 AM
No, No, No -- On Third Thought, This Is The Smartest Move: You have to give it up for Bachelor: Jesse on this part: Having your best friend's wife pose as a suitor to spy on the other girls was a sneaky but necessary move. Even for a third-stringer from a university (Florida) not known for preparing QB's for the NFL, you'd have floozies hangin' on your jock for years after you've moved on to the Canadian Football League (see Trish).
Best Cameo: I've already listed some actors, but although he can be agitating to some people, I think AI3 landing Quentin Tarantino and his mind on meth as a guest judge for Soundtrack Night was the bees' knees. Runner-Up: Nick, best friend of Bachelor Jesse and husband to the spy, Jenny, so refreshing in explaining why he wasn't going to tell Palmer which of the remaining two he preferred (paraphrasing): "What if you choose the other one? What am I going to say to her when I see her? 'Hey, Second Choice, how ya doin'?'"
Strangest Cameo: Chef Juliano, NAS. One look of his dishes -- made entirely from uncooked ingredients, his specialty -- would have made your stomach turn if his fashion disaster of a style (dreads, too-short shirts, Velcro pants) didn't make you puke first. S/He even had a high voice, which makes me wonder if Shandi's boyfriend knows how to cook.
Put Up Or Shut Up: And shut up, Sam (Apprentice) and Chris (A2).
The One Thing That Would Improve Relations Among Contestants: Name tags! The misspelling of names when Survivors write names is an expected running joke, but Jesse looked like a helmeted fool when he called one of his selected women "Katie" instead of "Karen."
Guy Who Got Screwed: Dan Naturman, from LCS2. I've seen this comic on talk shows, and he's funny. And he was worthy of a finalist spot when he got passed over for other comics who didn't seem to be up to snuff -- in particular, Ant, the gay comic who appeared in the first season. Judges Drew Carey and Brett Butler denied knowledge of the full nature of their roles, and in a non-explanation explanation, the powers that be said that other evaluators were at work deciding the final ten. For all those who were in an uproar over the call-in procedures of AI3, this was the real voting conspiracy.
Top Ten Ways To Misspell "Nakomis":
10. Nokomis (as in Lake Nokomis)
7. Nicoderm CQ
1. What the fuck kind of a name is Nakomis?!
(Thanks, guys, these names came from you!)
Best CM: Y Game: Another tie. In Still Life, Mark Curry had to describe three pieces of art via walkie-talkie to three of the contestants who had to paint them. Dennis Rodman then needed to match up these new "masterpieces" to their originals. A usual Mole-like Telephone game with wit and the usual confusion. And for sheer weirdness, there was the Wrestler Mariachi Maze. Runners led by their navigator teammates had to go through a maze whilst dodging Mexican wrestlers replete with masks and capes. Oh yeah, and there's a mariachi band that plays the "Mexican Hat Dance" whenever they see the runner. Yeah, I know, it's weird. But it's The Mole, dammit, and they needed more of this this season.
Greatest Disconnect Between The Mainstream Media And TWOP Nation: For the second year in a row ... Rupert! And now he's got a million bucks!
Meanwhile ...: Where has all the Rudy love gone? From lovable to broken down?
Lookalikes Of The Year: I already mentioned Nicole from ANTM3, and everybody knows of John Stevens IV (AI3). Silver medal goes to Lance Bachmann (brother Confidant/dickhead of teacher Fred), who bears a disquiting resemblance to Cousin Sal from Jimmy Kimmel Live. But, did you know that Ian's (Bachelorette: Meredith) brother Eric looks just like Peter Murphy, former lead singer of Bauhaus? Cuts you up, don't it?
RIP: Carla Morasca.
Luckiest Bastard Of The Year: One mangled Ricky Martin cover, one synchornized clockwise swinging of the arms, one Cal student eager to exploit his fresh-off-the-boat persona: William Hung may just outlive Fantasia, for shit's sake, as the person from AI3 to have a career. I just hope to hear his take on "Rocket Man" one more time, just to hear him (try to) hit the high notes.
And Finally: He be Real Estate King of New York, he may have all the Eastern European women he wants, he could be maven of all reality TV, but I'm at least heartened to see that Donald Trump didn't know what an "F-bomb" was.
Posted Jan 5, 2006 @ 4:37 PM
Still, it’s a nice surprise to conclude that an almost-fully grown genre still can hatch new and exciting ideas. One of the two trends for Reality TV this year is the emphasis on talent and creativity. No longer were contestants rewarded for showing up and being yourself, or racing around the world faster than everybody else or “playing the game.” There was a demand to come up with something of worth, demonstrations proving to viewers that you are capable of providing something other than a ripped body and a strategy (corollary to this: the proliferation of shows that have a job as a reward). Within that niche, many of the players were pretty damn good at what they did, whether it was home decorating, cooking or freestyle rap. It is through this vein that the Best Show of the Year comes from.
The other trend is either pathetic or logical, depending on your point of view: the ubiquity of the quasi-celebrity. Many well-known people now see Reality TV either as a transition to media ventures on the business end of the camera (note that most of these quasi-celebs act as executive producer/overlord of their shows) or a quick and easy way to make a buck and stay in the spotlight till the next acting gig. The singing and dancing hoops they jump through for our enjoyment may make you shake your head, but this says a lot about the democratizing effect of reality television. Once a means for ordinary people to elevate themselves into pop culture consciousness, it’s now a safety net for used-to-be and almost-were stars to extend their fame on screen a few more minutes. The definition of what it takes to be a celebrity blurs with each new show.
Anyway, these are just takes on what are the best and worst of shows, people, moments and other stuff. These Reality Television Awards, or RTA’s (“Ritas” for short) ain’t gospel, so if you have your own picks, please, share ‘em! At the very least, I hope one of these “awards” gets your memory jogging to that time you snarked up a giggle or gasped in a “oh no he (or she) didn’t” way at a twist you didn’t see coming. Hope you enjoy this year's edition.
Best Show of the Year: Project Runway
Good shows will find their audience, and credit Bravo for shoving this uncovered gem down our throats until we finally watched. Quite simply, this was the best of the “talent competitions,” a CR show that combined the cutthroat nature and personality clashes that are the hallmark of reality TV with the highest amount of contestant creativity and resourcefulness. The best part of PR is that you really wanted to see what these designers could come up with given the rules for each week’s challenge – and more often than not, they did a bang-up job. Combine that with insightful critique from the judges, and you got a compelling, breathless series that gives you people to root for and against, as well as a spiffy introduction to the high-stakes world of fashion. You’re in!
- Beauty and the Geek: Another reality show whose positive outlook is its brightest quality. These smart-but-ugly guys and beautiful-but-stupid girls would never, ever cross paths in real life, and it’s to the genius of Ashton Kutcher of all people to ask why the hell that has to be the case. The ensuing couplings of brains and beauty hit it off swimmingly, and they actually find out that not only does the other person have qualities to admire, they have those same qualities in themselves.
- Survivor: Palau: Mark Burnett’s mother ship rode high this year. Not since Pearl Islands – or maybe even the original – has this edition served up engaging contestants with memorable gameplay. All thanks to eventual winner Tom Westman, a man as integral to the success of his season as Johnny Fairplay was to PI or Richard Hatch was to Pulau Tiga.
- Dancing With the Stars: Summer was the season for reality, and its most successful showcase was this cheesefest masquerading as highbrow, PBS entertainment. Like Project Runway, this was a rollercoaster of a show that somehow manages to give interested viewers a peek into a hobby some of us wanted to take up but never had the time to. It borrowed a page from American Idol and exploited the life-and-death debate from the viewing audience to whip up massive buzz. And it introduced such low-lying media figures as a Playboy Playmate-turned-soap star, an ex-New Kid on the Block, and J. Peterman in a different, winning light.
- The Road To Stardom With Missy Elliott: It was high time for a reality show to mine talent in the world of hip-hop and R&B, and this show, though it somewhat sagged near the end, proved there are a lot of prospects that deserve a shot. The weekly challenges were inventive and at times dramatic, the episodes were well-produced and edited, and Miss Misdemeanor herself played the perfect cameo role – with a graceful assist from her sweet tooth.
Edited by Senor Audacity, Jan 5, 2006 @ 4:39 PM.
Posted Jan 5, 2006 @ 5:07 PM
My Show of the Year: Survivor: Palau
I don't get it...normally, I hate bullies. But when you see people get their asses kicked by Tom and Ian every week, it's not that painful to watch. Mark Burnett made up for the sins of media whores (Pearl Islands, All-Stars) and the boring (Vanuatu, except for Twila and Chad), bringing us genuinely interesting people into the mix, two of whom ended up getting invited back. From misfits Angie and Ibreheim to hardcore players like Stephenie and Bobby Jon to the tag-team of Tom & Ian, Palau makes the case for being the best season ever.
Runner-Up: Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Inferno II Okay, so most of the cast needed to be slapped hard at one point or another. But after the disaster that was Battle of the Sexes 2, the production team stepped up, giving us missions without the gross-out factor, and Infernos far better than the first edition. We cheered when Tonya took out Julie, groaned when Brad got beat down by Abram, and cringed as the Bad Ass team jeered Jodi after she got taken out by Veronica. Even more impressive was a rapdily-decimated Good Guys team managing to hold its own, winning the final mission despite a four-person disadvantage.
Edited by Lantern7, Jan 5, 2006 @ 5:08 PM.
Posted Jan 5, 2006 @ 9:44 PM