October 15, 2010

Reality Rundown: Jeff Probst Finally Learns the Tribe Names

The Amazing RaceThe Biggest LoserSurvivor: Nicaragua
Top Chef: Just DessertsProject Runway

The Amazing Race - The racers head to Jamestown, still in Ghana, to a boxing academy to retrieve the next clue. It's a Roadblock where 1 racer will have to wrap their hands and master the boxing skills of the punching bag and jump rope. Boo-urns no one getting punched in the face! The a capella guys (aka acafellas), who I know can be annoying, serenade their cab driver Samson: "Please driver faaaaaster. We love Samsonnnnn!" I enjoyed it. The Roadblock itself is kind of easy, with the 1 solid minute of jump roping being the trickiest aspect of it. The doctors get really lost, ask teams on their way to the next clue for directions, and then their cab driver refuses to turn around. Well that sucks.

To retrieve their 2nd clue, the teams have to pack up a pair of wheelbarrows with a bunch of supplies and bring it to a primary school. Many teams bring only 1 and get rejected, having to return and get a 2nd barrow. The acafellas, with the help of Samson, take an early lead. At the primary school they will need to identify the location of an African country on a continent map, which everyone struggles with. It's just like the bonus round of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego without the spiffy gumshoe jacket. Only the doctors are smart enough to identify Ghana on the 1st try. When the teams correctly identify a country on the map, they are given their Detour: use a stick to roll a bicycle rim or read a proverb which translates to symbols and find the symbols. The acafellas easily find their code in the search, using some handy symbol translations and check in as team #1.

The home shopping chicks are morons and don't originally see the symbol map and think it has to do with dancing kids, fooling the other teams as well. The home shoppers finally realize their mistake in staring at kids, but still no one seems to have the brain capacity to find the giant decoder key posted on the side of a house. While the doctors are plagued all leg with bad cabs, they are able to pass the father/son, and promptly get lost. Kevin's dad is struggling with the bicycle wheels and looks about ready to pass out. The medical team assists him and gets Michael rehydrated as he sheds tears about causing them to come in last place. Michael's not letting this hold him back: he hydrates and gets back to the challenge to complete it. While it looks like a close call, the doctors check in as team #8. Michael and Kevin check in last, but are given the happy news that it's a non-elimination leg. Non-elimination week 3? The fuuuuudge? Oh yeah- the seemingly unimportant wheelbarrows with supplies? Not unimportant: the next day while at the Pit Stop they'll help repair the school.

The Biggest Loser - The losers enter the backyard to find it covered in poorly iced cupcakes. Really, they are kind of sloppy looking like a producer's kid made them. Alison drops the bomb that 2 people go home this week because the infamous Red Line is here this week and whoever has the lowest percentage is below the Red Line and automatically out. So what about those cupcakes? Undeneath one cupcake there is a 1lb advantage; however, the longer they stay in the game, the more lbs it covers. So in 8 weeks a person could have an 8lb advantage. Pretty ridic prize. So they'll eat cupcakes and reveals clues to the hidden disc. Blue Adam and Green Rick take an early lead over Yellow Elizabeth and Orange Jesse. The clue about the raspberry on top is the given and it's so close but Adam snatches it away and wins the 1lb advantage, eating 1,350 calories in the process. Adam was so psyched to win he didn't consider the fact that everyone sees him as a target now- a'duuuuuh.

"Dreamboat" chef Curtis Stone arrives to teach how to bake 100 calorie cupcakes and, shocker, the winning raspberry one was only 100 calories. I happen to love raspberry cupcakes and baking, so maybe I am truly the winner of this Temptation. Bob and Jillian are, of course, disappointed people participated in the challenge, but are like "ehhh the game- blah blah." So after workouts, which I skipped as usual, they have the weigh-in where Bob and Jillian differ on winning vs. losing weight. Blue Adam decides to not use the 1lb advantage and hopes to use it next week for 2lbs. Of course, mostly women fall below the Yellow Line but who is the poor unfortunate soul below the Red Line? It's Sophia wearing Orange, only losing 2lbs and barely beating Red Mark.

Ada loses 10lbs but hasn't had an emotional breakthrough, so Jillian makes it her mission to ruin Ada's life. I guess Ada would prefer to fail rather than be a top competitor because she's always been a failure. This allows Ada to bring up her parents hating her for the death of her brother- depressing. The Bob takes all the losers to his house for a vegan dinner party- ughhhhhh. Ok the food looks tasty but don't push your agenda- I love animals too, Bob. To snuggle and devour (insensitive).

Charged up on veggies, the losers compete in the Elimination Challenge the next day and Burgandy (Purple) has an injury and can't compete, so she's automatically up for elimination. Fredo is the biggest loser of the week and saves Jessica (Red) from the Elimination Challenge, since she was a 1/2lb away from safety. The challenge is to unroll carpet. You wouldn't believe it: turns out unrolling extremely heavy carpet is simple for guys to do! So Elizabeth (Yellow), who spent a majority of these episode crying over cupcakes and personal stuff, joins Burgandy below the Yellow Line. Silver platters are revealed: Burgandy is eliminated and ready to finish her voyage at home. However, there's one last twist: the 5 players who didn't make it to campus in the auditions are back. This maybe would've been a suprise to me if I didn't visit the NBC website and say, "Wait, why are these 5 people who aren't even on the show on their show page?"

Survivor: Nicaragua - It's that time of the game where alliances seem solid and everyone believes they have this game wrapped up. Time to mix it up! If you've been repulsed by staring at a tribe filled with so many old people (or ignorant young people), you're in luck! The tribes are getting jumbled, with Brenda and Holly drawing the rocks to be captains and select 5 members of the opposite team to join them. Ok, so Brenda selects Jane, Jill, and Marty and Holly selects Alina, Benry, Chase, and NaOnka. Jeff tells them they are no longer Older tribe and Younger tribe and it's like, no shit, they had tribe names day 1- YOU were the ignorant one calling them Old and Young. Would you have pulled that on Cook Islands with the race-divided teams?? Best news: the lame-ass Medallion of Power is out. Horrible "twist" anyways.

The new tribes compete in a Reward Challenge which I will call Survivor Plinko: throw balls into some contraption, try to catch the other team's ball. They are playing for chickens and the bird-phobic in me totally would've thrown this challenge. Espada, the ex-AARP team, wins reward. Tyrone takes a leadership position and lays down the rules like clean, keep the machete around, etc. The young'ns are appalled at the idea of rules. Holly is ecstatic to have the "kids" around and really wants to align with them, and Alina and NaOnka are down with it as long as they have the numbers. What NaOnka is not down with? The weather. When the rain and wind comes the island badass becomes a weeping baby ready to quit. Alina comforts her and Chase saw a rainbow after his dad died (Bachelorette flashbacks). On the other end of the spectrum, the new La Flor recruits quickly come to realize that the "kids" do absolutely nothing: no firewood, no schedule, and no real leadership. Jane loves this and quickly turns to her new tribemates, while Marty sees an opportunity to run this tribe too and uses his declaration of having the immunity idol to try and get something out of it. Brenda points out it takes balls but what a dumb move. So true- you could have made a power move in the tribe when an old fogie eventually is on the chopping block.

The immunity challenge is awesome! 3 team members are strapped to a wheel and spun around into the water to collect water in their mouths and spit into a tube, which will release balls to break tiles. It's like water torture or extreme Double Dare! La Flor wins immunity, thanks to Jane's tile smashing skills. Old broad earns her spot! Espada loses again and gets ready to head to yet another Tribal Council. NaOnka is over the game and is confident she'll still be in, but could care less if she goes home. Espada cracks and kills a chicken, despite objections from who Tyrone who would prefer keeping all 3 egg production. This doesn't stop him from eating more chicken than everyone else; hello, target. Alina, Benry, Chase, and Holly are the new dominant alliance and have to make a decision of who to ax. Tyrone's turf domination and NaOnka's breakdown are the main topics of discussion, while Benry drops the paperweight on he voting parchment. The votes are tallied and the new Espada bids adieu to Tyrone. What's best about this? In my pre-season picks, I thought Tyrone stood a good chance because I thought he'd bond with the younger castaways: WRONG!

Top Chef: Just Desserts - Wolfgang Puck's pastry chef judges the Quickfire Challenge of making a souffle, a tricky dessert to make. The worst: Erica, Zac (which was barely souffle- it was ice cream), Heather H (typically a top contendor). The best: Morgan (filled the center with raspberry), Yigit (perfect chocolate souffle), Danielle (lemon and lavendar). Yigit, who makes souffles all the time to please his boyfriend and guests, wins the Quickfire. And the hearts of America cause he's adorable.

Elimination challenge: make edible fashion. Help/inspiration arrives in the form of shoes, though they aren't Gail's specifically, where they have to construct edible fashion as well as 2 petit fours "accessories." Zac has done edible/chocolate outfits before, so his confidence is through the roof (which usually spells disaster). Judge Johnny comes into the kitchen mid-working to announce that the winner of the elimination challenge wins $20k. "I creamed my pants," someone says and I only wish it was just a pastry reference. Morgan, who the women view as sexist, finishes early, brags, wishes he could wear his chocolate dress and "fuck me pumps," even if he's straight. Eric's cookie dress is a mess and Heather C made a dress of peppercorns and lettuce- someone forgot this is just DESSERTS.

Judge's Table time. Yigit, Zac and Morgan are the top 3, killing my theory that asshole egos end up in the bottom. Yigit's dress was an homage to Bjork and Alexander McQueen- kind of like white chocolate feathers. Morgan's dress was sexy and mimicked sequins, and his petit four ring was great. Zac's warrior look could've really been put on someone, plus he made boob-related petit fours. Morgan wins the challenge and the Dawn Hand Renewal prize money. The bottom 3 are Heather C, Eric and Danielle. You mean the 2 women who made veggie dresses are in the bottom?! Noooooo. Eric's cookie dress was cracked and ugly, though his cherry cheesecake petit four was delicious. Heather C wanted to bring color and avoid chocolate, yet she had no pastry skills at all. Her petit fours were just chocolate candies- nothing crazy. Danielle liked her dress but doubted her chocolate techniques, so opted for other foods. The petit fours were sort of large, but the whoopie pie turned purse was praised for its creativity. Heather, whose dessert didn't measure up 2 weeks ago when she was first eliminated (and who would've been eliminated last week if that other chick didn't quit) is eliminated again.

Project Runway - Heidi sends the designers for a relaxing night but a twist is so obviously coming, but instead they yap about their experience. The designers are tasked by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to design an outfit inspired by New York City. Michael is inspired by the Statue of Liberty, while Mondo and April like the Brooklyn Bridge- totally original! Tim makes his "are you f'ing kidding me" face when he hears the literal Statue of Liberty interpretation. His faces are what keep me watching. In other news: Mondo naps, Andy's look is whorish, and Michael does an amazing impression of Michael Kors praising "Taliban chic."

Ugh the runway- underwhelming for all. Considering this is the final 5, it's a pretty sad state. Mondo goes black & white, lots of print (houndstooth!), and inspired by the Brooklyn Bridge. It's fun and "full of Mondo." Andy's alleged Central Park dress is kind of Asian warrior again and very shiny. Fits well, the back is cool, but overall I'm not a fan. Gretchen's is... dullsville. Black lace over a chardonnay colored skirt, cream blouse, weird coat. It's not very Gretchen-y, which she attributes to being tired and sick of doing challenges. April chose Brooklyn Bridge as well and it looks like something she's done before. It's black, harsh, flowy; joyless, as Michael Kors points out. "Pregnant witch" might be one of my favorites Kors-isms yet. Michael and his cliche inspiration turns into a long black dress that's flowy and has a super high slit. Heidi thinks a lot of women would want to wear it: not me. Heidi asks the designers the infamous "who else shold go to fashion week?" and only Mondo chooses Michael who bonded with him on the pairs challenge. April is out, because after like 8 weeks of black dresses the judges just discovered that this week and decided they'd seen it before. Maybe you should've given this advice 4 weeks ago? And with that, the final 4 go to Fashion Week and I get so excited because there's only 2 weeks left of this terrible season.

Photo Credits: BravoTV.com, CBS.com, MyLifetime.com, NBC.com