January 15, 2018

The Bachelor: GLOBs and Dogs

1/15/2018 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 3

The group date girls put on their wrestling finest to become GLOB: Gorgeous Ladies of The Bachelor (because you know, trademarks). Actual GLOW wrestlers from the 80s come to train the girls and a way too intense for a reality TV show. Their intensity is directed towards all the smirking girls, but in particular drives Bibiana and Tia to sideline tears. The ladies wipes away the tears to take on wrestling personas such as Bridezilla, Sex Kitten, Southern Belle, and my personal favorite: The Lunch Lady. The girls really deliver on some solid wrestling, but to remind everyone wrestling is fake they have Arie come out victorious in a match against Kenny from Rachel's season, an actual professional wrestler. The night ends with drinks in a trendy trailer park which is maybe the most hipstery thing I've ever typed. Bibiana complains about Krystal stealing time, but Arie doesn't care and actually gave Krystal basically the "you do you" answer when she wonders if she should be aggressive for time with him on group dates. Tia likes being comforted by Arie who was surprised the wrestling took her on such an emotional roller coaster ride. But the true winner of the date is Bekah who was a wrestling star and straddle made out with Arie, which gets her the group date rose.

Lauren S hops on a private jet with Arie for a day in Napa wine country. Over wine they share scintillating conversation about going to bed early and Arie wearing cardigans which is apparently a sign of aging. The date moves into a wine cellar for pretend dinner and more terrible conversation as Lauren rambles about everything imaginable. Arie doesn't give her the rose and has a hard time articulating why but we all watched the date so we get it. Production comes to take Lauren's bag and Krystal begins this long speech about using every moment with Arie to the fullest and everyone wants to barf.

The date card says "Love can be ruff" and the girls lose their GD minds at the spelling of ruff, which indicates a dog date. Arie is a dog lover so he's looking for someone with similar interests. Annaliese is not excited because along with bumper car trauma, she had dog trauma as well. After some light training, the girls and their assigned pups put on costumes and attempt to have the dogs performed tricks for a crowd - keyword "attempt." At least Best in Show star Fred Willard is there to emcee this awkward affair. Off to the night portion of the date and lots of women are making connections (and getting that classic Arie head-grab smooch), but Annaliese notices their lack of chemistry and feels behind the pack. Oh, dog pun! The date rose goes to Chelsea, who was happy to see Arie around kids and dogs or something. I forget, I tuned her out TBH.

Arie kicks of the cocktail party praising the good group dates and saying he's gonna have to dump someone when a connection is lacking. Bibiana sets up a romantic setting in the driveway complete with a telescope to see the stars and bed to relax on. Arie stumbles upon this surprise with Lauren B and then utilizes it the rest of the night for time with women besides Bibiana. Arie gets turned on by Bekah, who perfectly analyzes Arie's personality to be attracted to women who need him, like moms, but she doesn't need Arie to be complete. Arie gets off the driveway bed to surprise Tia with hay bales and moonshine. Continuing her stretch of awkward, Arie declines Annaliese's request for a kiss and eventually admits there is no future for them; this reality TV humiliation is another trauma to add to Annaliese's likely long list. Arie escorts Annaliese out and heads in for the Rose Ceremony, where Bibiana is left without a rose and likely a ticket to Bachelor in Paradise or whatever spin-offs are available.

[All images credited to ABC]

January 8, 2018

The Bachelor: Bumper Car Trauma

1/08/2018 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 2

Arie rolls up to The Bachelor mansion on a motorcycle and it's about 50 times less cool than it should be. Becca K hops on the hog with Arie, sadly no sidecar, and they ride up to a private wardrobe fitting with celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe, a free pair of Louboutins, and a suitcase full of exquisite jewelry from creepy icon Neil Lane. Becca gets to showoff all her new gear in front of the girls before departing for the night portion of the date all dressed to the nines. The conversation between Becca and Arie is natural and genuine, with him talking about wanting love again and her opening up about her father than passed away. Becca gets a rose, gets to keep the Neil Lane earrings, and has a night full of smooching Arie under confetti.

Everyone is surprised there is another 1-on-1 date this week and sort of a big one: Krystal takes a private plan with Arie to his hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona. Krystal gets to tour Arie's home like it's a really bad episode of House Hunters. Arie pulls out the photo album and some embarrassing home videos to show all about his life. But the biggest surprise of the date: Arie brings Krystal to his parents' house to meet them (and his brother). This is all a little intimidating to Krystal who worries she'll scare Arie off if she opens up already about her divorced parents and her homeless brother. Arie is not scared off by all this and chose her for this super early family date because he thinks she's amazing. Krystal receives the rose and gets to slow dance and kiss Arie while being serenaded by Connor something.

The group date girls are brought to the track for a demolition derby because I guess attempted vehicular homicide is one way to get to the final rose. All the girls are excited to spray paint their car and smash into each other except Annaliese who had a traumatic bumper car experience as a child. Arie comforts her and eventually a protective suit and helmet helps Annaliese calm down a little and bash into the others. But the demolition derby champion is Seinne who wins the trophy, gets celebratory milk, and maybe a little extra time with Arie, but I'm sure someone will interrupt them. At the cocktail party, Chelsea grabs Arie first to reveal her secret: she's a mom. Arie very slowly kisses Krystal and it's like time slows down in the most excruciatingly awful way imaginable. Seinne does get her time and reveals she lived in Scottsdale and went to Yale, which impresses Arie so they smooch and eventually she gets the date rose. Most girls are leaving the date happy but Bibiana is seething in anger over not getting time with Arie.

It's cocktail party time and everyone is hoping to get a little more time to prove their worth. Arie gives Brittant Y the "Most Hardcore" award from the demolition derby because she went so hard she ended up a the hospital. Arie and Bekah make out again, but this time she wears an absurdly large fur coat. Despite having a rose, Krystal interrupts for time with Arie since it's possible she won't get to talk to him again for a long time. Bibiana finally gets her alone time to learn more about Arie and Krystal interrupts a second time, which infuriates Bibiana who tells off Krystal. But good news: we learned Arie brought his dog to LA from Scottsdale. At the Rose Ceremony, despite all the drama, Bibiana gets the rose. The girls who don't get a rose had literally no airtime so I wish them well and know even with no airtime you can still get case on Bachelor in Paradise so best of luck!

[All images credited to ABC]

January 1, 2018

The Bachelor: Armpits, Racecars, and Arie

1/01/2018 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 1

Rev up the racing metaphors: Arie Luyendyk is The Bachelor. You may remember Ari from passionately kissing Emily Maynard all around the world, only for her to choose Jef and his extremely high hair. Arie's back and he's a little older, a lot grayer, and selling a bunch of houses as a realtor, and ready to find love on television again. Per usual, Arie is given counsel by the wise elders of Bachelor past which is his buddy Sean Lowe, who seems to show up every year to provide guidance that the Bachelor barely heeds. With this important wisdom, Arie is ready to begin his Bachelor journey.

Chris Harrison does the hardest work he does all season by welcoming Arie to The Bachelor mansion, asking why he hasn't found love, and announce limos are coming with glee. There's an excessive amount of women, so let's only call out the ridiculous entrances for the sake of brevity. Tia from Weiner, Arkanas gives Arie a little weiner and I can't tell if it was a hot dog or miniature dildo. Bri throws a dirty softball, and Brittane J follows up by smacking a "Nice Butt" bumper sticker on Arie's behind. Bekah M rolls up in a '65 Mustang convertible, but is one-upped by Maquel getting escorted in a racercar. But don't worry, there are plenty of racecar puns including a checkered flag from Annaliese and Ali forces Arie to smell her armpits (pit stop, get it?). Marikh is a restaurant owner well versed in spices but wants some "salt and pepper" in her life. And there are four Laurens but only one of them brought props (mardi gras beads). This is going to be a long season.

Arie enters the house to officially commence the evening and the passive aggressive battle to get time with him before the Rose Ceremony. All the girls are trying to make an impression with more gags (Pizza! Safewords!) and deep convos which are quickly interrupted with the classic, "Can I steal you?"  Chelsea grabs Arie first but is upset when Maquel steals him away. So Chelsea chooses to be "that girl" who gets time with the Bachelor twice and Chelsea opts to be that woman. Chelsea and Arie kiss, but she's not the first to get a smooch. That honor goes to Brittany T, who snuck Arie away for an epic race in Power Wheels. Arie is most interested in connecting with some good conversation which seems to happen. But it's Chelsea who gets the first impression rose because she's so mysterious but has confidence to grab him twice.

Chris Harrison clinks the champagne glass to corral the herd and let them know a Rose Ceremony is coming. Arie begins listing off names of women and hell if I know who half of them are, but there's a large chance the names are Lauren. Three Laurens make it through and Mardi Gras Lauren is eliminated. Also leaving are Armpit Ali, Brittane J, tanning salon owner Amber, and a very sad Jessica who hoped Arie was the one since her dad, who passed away, met Arie a long time ago. While there's heartbreak outside the mansion, inside Arie teases his remaining women for the "unexpected." Oh trust me, we're ready.

[All images credited to ABC]

December 27, 2017

Survivor Heroes Vs Healers Vs Hustlers: Ben is the Sole Survivor

12/27/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments

After Ben's latest Hidden Immunity Idol play, the group is hellbent on getting out Ben at long last. Chrissy wins Immunity and a reward, which gives her, Dr. Mike, and Devon time to concoct a brilliant plan to fake-out Ben. Chrissy will say the Reward had a clue for an idol, which she found, and she'll use her old, expired Super Immunity Idol from the first vote out and the instructions from the Idol Ryan played to sell the story. Only problem: Ben is two steps ahead. Since these dinguses keep giving Ben alone time, he spends the entire night wandering in the dark until he finds yet another Hidden Immunity Idol. Ben does his best acting work to pretend he's screwed knowing fully well he's safe and the others gloat at their psych-out success. Devon finds it odd that Ben would give up this easily and worries maybe, just maybe, Ben has another Idol and will need to vote against one of his allies to ensure he's safe.

Tribal Council time! The group vocalizes that Ben is the primary target but they also aren't babysitting him to make sure he's not finding idols. Chrissy continues her Immunity Idol ruse and takes the Idol out of her bag and says she'll give it to Dr. Mike or Ryan by the end of the night. Ben says Chrissy gloated about her wonderful day, and continues to play up his dead-man-walking-status. The tribe votes and Chrissy gives her "idol" to Mike. But then another "Ben Bomb" drops and he plays another Hidden Immunity Idol. Three votes for Ben are null, but Devon's instinct to vote for Dr. Mike to save himself is correct. There's a tie between Devon and Dr. Mike, requiring the tribe to re-vote. In the re-vote, the tribe says goodbye to #1 Survivor urologist Dr. Mike.

Immunity idols are dunzo for the season but of course there's another twist ahead. After a super intense final Immunity Challenge to balance letters to spell "Heroes Healers Hustlers," Chrissy wins her 4th individual immunity which ties her for most challenge wins by a female in a season. Along with her safety, Chrissy wins a Secret Advantage in the form of information which lets her in on the final twist of the season and it is a doozy. Chrissy will choose who to bring with her to the Final 3 and the two remaining castaways will partake in a fire-making battle to earn the last spot in the Finals. Since Ryan is useless at the survival aspect of this show, Chrissy tells Devon he'll be making fire against Ben as their best bet to finally take out Ben. Devon tries to practice but breaks the flint which he takes as a sign from the Survivor gods to rest up. Tribal Council time! Ben is crushed to know an upside U in "Hustlers" is what led to his demise in the game, unaware of the twist lingering ahead that could change his fate. Devon and Ryan say they know the advantage, so Chrissy reads aloud the fire-making twist and makes her official declaration to take Ryan to the final 3. Devon and Ben get setup at their fire-making stations and the battle is on. Devon takes a slower approach to build up a pile of magnesium, but it's Ben's persistent sparks that eventually catch and turn into his victorious fire. Ben wins the last spot in the Final 3 while Devon becomes the last juror of the season.

The Final 3 enjoy their celebratory breakfast and mentally prepare for the last battle ahead. It's one last Tribal Council time! The new jury format introduced in Survivor: Game Changers of an open forum instead of individual beratement sessions is utilized again this season, which allows for open dialogue and discourse. Chrissy is congratulated to being a challenge beast and Ben for finding a trifecta of idols, while Ryan is written off pretty quickly as a GOAT. Ryan defends his game and explains his social game is what brought together many alliances including the infamous seven, especially finding the day one advantage which helped him gain trust with Chrissy and Devon. Ryan admits he wasn't a provider, which is frowned upon since he didn't help much around camp. Ryan's argument is he made social bonds which never made him a target and secured him several deals to the end. Chrissy stayed loyal to her alliances but says she did take time to socialize and learn about her fellow castaways. Chrissy was terrified of challenges and puked on day one and is proud that she won so many challenges. Chrissy owns her game of kicking ass, making relationships, and not leaving a trail of destruction and this was a 16 year dream come true for her. Ben admits his social game was kinda bad but he did open up and tell stories to certain people he felt close to, but with his back against the wall Ben hunted non-stop for idols to keep himself in the game and never quit. Ben fought to win this game for his family but also opens up about his PTSD and wanting to be a "hero" to those vets to show you can be happy. But who will the jury vote for to win this game?

Everyone's cleaned up and it's now the reunion show, which Probst methodically reads the jury's votes. Ryan receives 1 vote, Chrissy gets 2 votes, but with 5 votes to win the Sole Survivor of Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers is Ben. The reunion is a completely rushed 30 minutes and while any longtime reader knows I dislike reunions, it feels like the cast outside of the final 3 didn't a final moment in the sun (granted Dr. Mike and Devon got their features mid-episode after their eliminations). That said, Chrissy talks about applying to this show for 16 years and finally getting on, Ryan is proud of lasting, and Ben is reunited with his former Marine buddies. Probst brings up Lauren's failed two-piece idol (RIP to the other half which Dr. Mike threw in the fire) along with other failed advantages and idols of the past as a big ol' lead in for next season. Survivor: Ghost Island will feature the bad decisions of former players past coming back to haunt the new cast. And with that another season of Survivor is wrapped up and while overall it's not a favorite of mine, it was a fun ride. See you for Ghost Island which they swear isn't a Scooby Doo episode.

Before we wrap this all up, there's a Pre-Show Winner Prediction Trophy to hand out! Only one this season as most of our predictions went towards the ladies this season taken out pre to early jury. Yet again I leave trophyless but in my initial blog explaining my pick, I had Ben as a darkhorse and this quote will be etched into my mind forever: "Ben is also a big fan of the show and was a complete pleasant surprise and he might be that one that truly snuck by me for winner predictions."

But congratulations to the one winner who nailed it!

[All images credited to CBS]

December 18, 2017

Survivor Heroes Vs Healers Vs Hustlers: Secret, Secret, Secret

12/18/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 12

After Ben's idol-playing blindside at the last Tribal Council, all are in agreement to get rid of Ben next "no matter what." Ben spends the entire episode searching for a Hidden Immunity Idol and apparently no one considers the idea of tailing Ben to ensure he doesn't find it. Maybe it's arrogance or ego... or just plain stupidity. Ben finds a clue that tells him the Idol is hidden beneath the shelter, so it'll take some slick moves to snag it undetected. But the Ben as a target plan doesn't last too long before a new name is thrown out. On a desert island reward feast, Devon and Chrissy opt to bring Ryan which infuriates hangry Ashley. Ashley and Devon have been tight allies since the swap, but on the reward Devon makes a final three deal with Ryan and Chrissy. No one thinks Ben could possibly find an idol again, but just in case the idea is suggested to split the votes between Ben and Dr. Mike. But that's not Chrissy's true intent, instead wanting to vote out Ashley now to officially sever the Ashley/Devon alliance. "No matter what" my butt.

Tribal Council time! Ben points out there's two pairs, a swing vote Dr. Mike, and he's the lone wolf being hunted. Everyone except Ben says they have a final three locked in, which is a way for Ryan to shoehorn in more bad analogies. Ben's bursting to ruin everyone's plans and force power moves, revealing that he in fact secured the Hidden Immunity idol from under the shelter. Devon doesn't believe Ben will play the idol and it could all be a ruse, so Ben gets up and hands the idol to Probst before the votes and declares he's playing the idol and safe. Time for Plan B! Ben tells Ashley and Devon to vote for Dr. Mike. Ashley complies with the request, but no one else does. Ashley's blindsided when the rest of the tribe votes her out of the game.

[All images credited to CBS]

December 10, 2017

Survivor Heroes Vs Healers Vs Hustlers: Core Four No More

12/10/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 11

It's time for the much anticipated (by the castaways, not me) loved one visit and clearly someone forgot to do their homework assignment and scrambled to make a challenge last minute. Calling this a "challenge" is an overstatement: the loved ones and survivors randomly draw rocks from a bag and hope they match to get time together. Chrissy "wins" a visit from her husband and also picks Ryan, Dr. Mike, and Ashley to get family visits. This is Chrissy's middle finger moment to Ben as she's furious at her former ally for jumping ship to the other side, leaving her in the dark on the Joe vote-off. While on the reward, Chrissy attempts to bring Ashley to her side to get Ben out. Meanwhile, Ben crafts a fake immunity to hopefully distract Chrissy and Ryan from finding the real idol. Lauren ends up noticing a marked log and calls over Ben and Devon. The clue is half of a Hidden Immunity Idol and in order to complete the idol, Lauren must pick up its counterpart at the Immunity Challenge.

Ashley wins the latest endurance Immunity Challenge after Devon gives it to her in exchange for a backrub, which is a solid deal. Lauren comes out the secret winner here as she's able to snag her Immunity-Idol-finishing-shell off the ground. Looking towards the finish line and pondering that infamous Survivor resume, Ashley begins to ponder Chrissy's idea of voting off Ben as her big move. Ashley's idea is nixed by Devon and Lauren, but they do agree Ben needs to go soon... which Ben overhears and then get's awkward silence from his allies. Worried about his status, Ben turns the target onto Lauren, spilling all the tea about Lauren's newfound Immunity Idol and her extra vote. Dr. Mike and Ryan are onboard with the plan, but Chrissy is extremely resistant to trust Ben again. Dr. Mike sees Chrissy's need for revenge (Ben-geance?) and puts Plan B in motion: let everyone know Ben is throwing Lauren under the bus. Suddenly the Core Four alliance is in shambles. As a move to show her trust in Dr. Mike, Lauren gives half of her new Immunity Idol to Dr. Mike. Is this move brilliant or horrible? TBD.

Tribal Council time! Devon explains giving Ashley immunity in exchange for a backrub was a display of trust, which he'd do for both Ashley or Lauren. Ben pipes in that he thought he was part of the alliance which begins a Tribal Council shitstorm. Lauren is mad that Ben spilled the beans about her Idol, citing his paranoia and lack of trust. Lauren lets everyone know that Ben made a fake Idol to try and dupe Chrissy. Chrissy thinks Lauren should destroy her extra vote advantage to remove her target and Lauren insists she's not playing it and would give it away. Well the extra vote isn't destroyed, but the new Immunity Idol is when Dr. Mike tosses his half into the fire. Dr. Mike explains advantages are blessings and curses and it's agreed by everyone that maybe you shouldn't keep telling people about your game-changing secrets. Everyone begins whispering and scrambling to figure out what the heck to do with this vote. The only person who knows who they're voting for is Ben, who openly tells the group he's voting for Lauren. The night gets even more shocking when the one advantage that was actually kept a secret comes out: Ben plays his real Immunity Idol. All votes cast for Ben are null, which is every vote except for one: Lauren. My soul is crushed.

[All images credited to CBS]