May 6, 2011

Reality Rundown: Helicopters Rule Everything Around Me (H.R.E.A.M.)

The Amazing Race: Unfinished BusinessThe Biggest Loser
Survivor: Redemption Island

The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business - The teams make their way in the snow to Air Rescue Helicopter Port and I'm dying. Helicopters!! I've started the acronym H.R.E.A.M., which totally describes my life: Helicopters Rule Everything Around Me. What's weirdest is the racers only receive $1 for the entire leg so either it's a cheapo leg or they're making racers push their budget to the extreme. The helicopters are taking the teams to a mystery location and judging by all the gear, it could be dangerous. Lucky for them, it's a reality show so they won't die.

By locations unknown, what they really mean is an unnamed location with a sweet view of the Matterhorn for a Detour: use an avalanche beacon to find and retrieve a dummy or rescue a stranded mountaineer by rappelling into a crevice. Finally the detour is challenging on both sides and teams take part in both options. Jen/Kisha, Kent/Vyxsin, the Globetrotters do the rapelling; Zev/Justin, Gary/Mallory retrieve the dummy. We of course get a Kent freakout, and I wish Vxysin would like the pulley fly and send him down the crevice, just as a lesson. The 3 rappelling teams are able to complete the Detour first and head to the next clue. Turns out digging up the dummy is really difficult and stress-inducing.

The next clue is a Road Block to create a Travelocity Roaming Gnome made entirely out of chocolate. Chocolate AND gnomes? This is the best leg ever. I think my favorite part is as one teammate works hard, the other digs into all the chocolate samples. Kent ruins the experience by whining more about Vyxsin not putting her chocolate "in the oven" (it's a fridge, idiot). The refridgerating of the gnomes to harden the chocolate creates chaos, as people start grabbing the wrong gnomes. Flight Time's is missing and he knows someone took his, meaning he has to make another. Vyxsin is the main suspect of stolen-gnome-gate. Vxysin is crying that this hasn't been a dirty race and I guess she forgets when her and Kent U-Turned Cara and Jaime when they were standing right next to them. All I know is I'm having "Who burned my rice?" flashbacks.

Flight Time is able to recover and do a sexy shake the chocolate dance. It takes a half hour for the chocolate to set, which they do by placing upside down in the snow. Kent has a little tirade saying the Globetrotters hoot and "holla" when things don't go their way and this would've been the perfect moment for the editors to present a compilation of all of Kent's hissy fits. Once chilled and touched up, the teams receive their clues to head to their Pit Stop at a log cabin. Kent/Vyxsin hop in a cab to get to the Pit Stop, but the clue explicitly says to make their way "on foot." Oh karma will be amazing.

The Globetrotters are team #1, after being last place last week; they win a trip to the Cook Islands. Second place is Kisha and Jen. Kent and Vyxsin arrive third, but receive a 30 minute penalty for taking a taxi. Dear god, let Kev and Justin be closed. Gary/Mallory arrive a few minutes later to be team #3. Zev and Justin are running to make it to the Pit Stop, sliding on icy streets along the way. I have never been on the edge of my seat so much. I'm so over Kent and Vyxsin's horrible attitudes and constant fighting; keep the positivity in the race. Zev and Justin arrive at the Pit Stop, but arrive before Kent and Vyxsin's penalty has ended. They're still in the race! Kent and Vyxsin are eliminated from the race and Twitter explodes in sheer joy.

The Biggest Loser - The losers trudge outside, probably woken by the producers, only to see a horse drawn carriage coming to the house. It's Tim Gunn of Project Runway fame which means only one thing: makeovers! Tim is their fairy godfather and will deck them out with 3 gifts, the first being a makeover. The other 2 will be a surprise (and you know one of them is family visits).

The clothes are all apparently opera costumes (?) and classy evening wear, so suck it Macy's wrap dresses. Before they can dress to the nines, they get new 'dos from Ken Paves, a spooky looking fella who you might recall as being Jessica Simpson's BFF. Just please, cut Austin's horrible moptop. Time passes, hair is done and they get out of the horse drawn carriage to greet Tim, fully madeover. Hannah is blond and wearing a mermaid dress; no seriously, it's the color of a mermaid. Honestly, she looks bad- sorry! Whatever shade of blond and the blunt bang does not flatter her. Olivia is the great looking one, with a short bob-esque cut and a beautiful blue gray ballgown. Austin's rocking a tux and some shorter hair- still has some tendrils, but not as horrendous. Irene has shorter locks, highlights, and a beautiful pink dress. She wins makeover night by a landslide. Oh and Jay is just a slimmer older guy. I miss the decent looking guys of season's past.

Sure enough, surprise #2 is a family member being there because if you watch this show it always happens. Olivia's husband made a promise to do the weight-loss at home while she's gone and he's 99lbs lighter; smokin' hot couple alert. The rest of their families are all still chubby so it's not as great as Olivia's hubby. Alison Sweeney joins them at the castle and adds onto the second gift, which is a private concert by OneRepublic. Gross, fast forward.

The fancy dress time doesn't last long as the losers are at the beach back in their uniforms. Alison lets the losers know they'd look better in... a minivan? It's a Mazda 5 and looks like a van and I'd say gross. The challenge is to dig out a box from the sandcastles; inside each box is a key and there is one winning key that starts the car. Oh wait, there isn't one key, there's two: they're giving away two ugly Mazdas. Maybe it's editing, but Irene finds a winning key pretty quick and plans to give her mom the car. With only two keys remaining in the sand, Olivia finds the other winning key.

The trainers don't care much about the fancy new haircuts and push the losers for their last chance workout. Hannah, whose hair looks much better without the repulsive bangs they gave her, loses 2lbs. Jay steps up and loses 3lbs, so this weigh-in is already getting interesting. Lot of bottom feedin' this week. Austin loses 7lbs, making his season total 160 which is pretty excellent. Bitches better beware, Austin could win this thing. Irene, who I now dub Irene the Machine, loses 2lbs. She's a consistent contender and maybe Austin's main competition. Olivia steps on the scale, terrified she'll fall below with her sister, but 4lbs keeps her safe. Hannah and Jay are below the yellow line, but some uber creepy voice pipes up. Fairy godfather Tim is there with gift #3: no yellow line! No one is eliminated, probably a trade-off since they got no real clothes for their slender bodies.

Survivor: Redemption Island - The Ometepe 6 get back to camp and Natalie starts crying "hormone tears" because she misses her family and because the shit is going to hit the fan over the next 8 days. But missing loved ones shouldn't be a big deal because in Tree Mail is a SPRINT cell phone with family videos (and instructions to come to the duel). I didn't pay attention because I was too angry that it's likely we're having another auction-less season.

Redemption Island is a major sausage-fest and the guys do the math and realize Zapatera is the majority of the jury so if one of those 3 dudes re-enters the game and makes it to the finals, it's a probably a guaranteed million. The Redemption Island fellas also get Sprint cell phone home videos because it's double the product placement, I mean fair. Now I doubt it's a Johnny Fairplay move, but I'm going to pretend Ralph hearing his chickens are dead is the equivalent on this. The good news is that the winner of today's duel (Fouel? Since there's 4?) will get to spend time face-to-face with their loved one. The challenge is to smash a line of tiles, like that birthday pail toss they used to do on Bozo. Mike wins the "duel" and some in-person love from his family (his mom). Steve sucks and gets eliminated for good.

Mike is given the option to forgo time with his mom and instead let Matt and Ralph get family time to suck up to the jury or give loved ones to everyone still remaining in the game. Mike's a dumbass and gives up the loved one time to the 6 Ometepe assholes as a way to win votes. Does he realize they'll probably just laugh about this later? I wouldn't give those jerks anything because 1. the eliminated your entire tribe and 2. your tribe is the majority of the jury, so you don't need their votes. Ralph is not a fan of the move and thinks it was dumb. Turns out god decided to help Mike this week and wanted him to give a bunch of turds time with their family.

At Murlonio camp, their loved ones get to see camp, hear about the game, hear about home, cry a bunch, etc. Phillip's loved on is not a psychologist, like I hoped for his sake; it's his sister. Rob gives his sister all the deets and really feels this is the best game he's ever played. It's an extremely true statement but I wonder if this is foreshadowing an elimination? Or a total season victory? We shall see I guess.

The immunity challenge is a to collect puzzle steps to get up a big-ass flight of stairs. Like a huge exhausting flight and it's 110 degrees out. The race is between Rob, Grant, and Andrea (seriously Natalie and Ashley are a complete waste of space). Rob, rocking a shirt with a picture of Ambuh and his baby on it, wins immunity. Rob starts panting from exhaustion, cramping up and moaning. He's so weak he has to ask his tribe to help him stand up. Rob collects his immunity necklace and now it's time for the Ometepe alliance to start ripping each other apart. Well unless they just follow Rob's orders to take out Andrea.

Back at camp, JELL-O legs makes it known to his tribe Andrea ("her") is out. Andrea is a smart move to eliminate because she is strategic and knows the game, it just sucks that two lazy bums like Ashley and Natalie live on in the game. Once the declaration is made, Phillip starts to annoy the tribe again. Phillip opens up to us viewers that his strategy has been to be the annoying villain. Dear god, let's hope it's truly the act he claims it is. Phillip knows that Rob wants to take him to the final 2 as an easy win and claims he has the argument to take him out. NOW I'm intrigued.

Tribal Council. Andrea thinks she's safe (foreshadowing her doom) and Ashley doesn't think Tribal is fun tonight. Sorry, when is Tribal EVER fun? Phillip admits he sucked at the challenge but claims he's really strong. Andrea smiles upon being acknowledged for being strong and claims they still need strong people in the game to defeat the Redemption Island victor. Probst baits Phillip a little more with questions to try to get more wackiness and then the votes are cast. The votes predictably come out as Andrea and she's heading to Redemption Island to joined the BFF she scorned.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Next week I'll be on vacation chowin' down on Dole Whips and setting a Guiness Record for number of rides on the Carousel of Progress, so next week's Reality Rundown will be super late.

Photo Credits:,