October 28, 2012

Reality Rundown: Rice, Rice, Baby

The Amazing Race - All teams are equalized when they travel to Dhaka, Bangladesh for the next leg of the race. After navigating the chaotic shitshow of the streets (traffic be damned!) the teams face a Roadblock where they have to repair a bus by spackling putty and transporting seats. When Ryan literally sweats through his clue, he offers to assist Chippendales in exchange for a peek at the clue. Speaking of, I know I should think Chippendales is annoying but god I love them. They have personalities in a race of annoyances (AKA the twinnies constant cheering).  Teams then have to dig through a smelly bag of dead fish for a red/yellow race colored fish, which allows them to retrieve the Detour. This week's options are to beat a hot iron rod into a sharp tool or beat clumps and stuff them into a mattress.

James and Abba (long hair, don't care) are team #1 this week after completing the Fast Forward of cleaning dead rats off the streets. Well deserved good sirs. A common problem this leg is crappy cabs, in particular getting dropped at the wrong location to catch a riverboat to the Pit Stop. This confusion creates semi-suspense, but ultimately Gary and Will get eliminated. Goodbye big and little!

Survivor: Philippines - It's a brawl for this week's reward challenge which is for three players from each tribe to push a big-ass wicker ball into a goal while the other tribe beats the crap out of them. I love a good mudded-up wrestling brawl, but this is boring. Everyone is pretty much even with nothing moving. Just a lot of attempts to but failing because of tugging (near the groin area if you're Jonathan). And so literally they stand there holding on, not moving, for over an hour. Ummm I think you were supposed to beat the crap out of each other not create a makeshift endurance competition. Since there's a standstill, Jonathan suggests Kalabaw gets the win and all the good grub and they'll give Tandang the rest of their rice. It's Artis' birthday and he doesn't want to miss out on a birthday feast so he's testy, but Michael Skupin (and sorta Pete) give this deal the OK. Tandang gets Kalabaw's rice and Kalabaw gets soup, sandwiches, potato chips and brownies AKA the stuff your company orders for a business meeting over lunch. So eat up because it's 24 hours you're starving.

Kalabaw doesn't seem to regret the choice, happily shoving sandwiches and brownies down their gullets. Penner insists the next day they'll fish and eat more (BTW, they do and it's two teeny fish), but everyone knows in a few days without rice they'll be in trouble. But the hesitation is dissuaded a little when they find envelopes with letters from home. A bit early isn't it? I guess it's never too early for good ol' fashioned Survivor sobbing. "Better than food," they say and I laugh. In 24 hours they'll be eating their letters for sustenance.

Tandang's rice stock increases a little, which is good since they were running low because Michael Skupin eats the rice raw (like chicken feed), claiming it'll cook inside his belly. Holy shizz, that is the dumbest thing I've ever. Artis is pissed that they didn't win the reward, because Michael Skupin basically accepted a crap deal (but others sort of agreed to it). Artis commends Penner on a brilliant move and realizes he better STFU before shooting himself in the foot any more with a tantrum. Some try to be optimistic about getting more rice, while other negative people (Abi, surprise!) whine about it. RC decides to shut up and hopefully let the Negative Nancys implode and get themselves voted off.

In this week's immunity challenge, one tribe member slingshots balls out to a field and their tribe has to catch five to win. Skupin and Abi sit out to make the tribes even and it gives another moment for Abi to complain. Probst makes sure to point out Katie is a waste on Kalabaw, not at allll swaying people's opinions. Carter is also a pretty sucky member of Kalabaw, but only his tribe points that out. The best moment is Malcolm catching the winning ball for Tandang against Jeff Kent. Probst slightly slips saying that Malcolm makes the catch "even against Jeff," though they don't notice.

Kalabaw's heading back to Tribal Council and the most likely candidate to go is weak Katie. However, there's some thoughts about getting Penner out pre-merge to make sure a returning player doesn't win. Plus he has an idol they could wipe out. Carter proves to be the dumbest person ever, turning to Penner to ask him who they should vote out, "Katie or Penner? I mean... Denise." Penner doesn't seem to catch the slip and adds onto the fact that Katie needs to go. Katie is paranoid and thinks Penner is gunning for her, so she starts to plant the Penner-elimination seed. So it's up to Jeff and that dingaling Carter to make a decision. At Tribal Council, Katie acknowledges her crappy status as the weak one. Jeff says that every vote is going to be a blindside cause they're all buds. Probst drops another obvious bomb to try to blow Jeff Kent's professional ballplayer status. That seems to be crossing a line in terms of game ethics, but that's just me. Despite an entire Tribal Council yapping about the potential of a blindside, Penner doesn't play his hidden immunity idol. The good news for Penner is that he isn't the blindside; Katie is gets eliminated.

October 21, 2012

Reality Rundown: And a Smootch for Jeff Probst

The Amazing RaceSurvivor: Philippines

The Amazing Race - The third leg of the race stays in Indonesia but the stakes are high as a Double U-Turn lies ahead. But first, there's a Road Block for one teammate to balance and serve twenty plates of Padang food all at once, unable to drop any of it. Hope the show is paying the restaurant well with all the broken bowls. Of course Chippendales dude knows how to wait tables because, shocker, before wiggling his junk for a living he waited tables.

Teams next travel via train where they can hardly rest, as vendors walking through the aisles have the next clue with them. There's a huge gap between the trains, with the twins narrowly missing the first train, meaning the back of the pack will be three hours behind the frontrunners. The frontrunners agree not to U-Turn each other but Team "Long Hair Don't Care" are sitting elsewhere, so their decision is up in the air. Oh wait they're pretty chill so of course they won't do anything.

A Detour awaits after the train and it's like a wait did you say get my head set on fire kind of challenge? So teams can either light a coconut on fire, place on their head and cook an egg or parade and dance down the street with a big ass, insanely heavy lion mask. As you watch the teams perform the lion mask parade it gives me the vibes of a really sad parade at a Six Flags, like 18 notches below a Disney parade. Cooking eggs on your head is kind of ridic and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It's also fun to see a local rip a coconut open with his team.

After the Detour that the teams encounter the Double U-Turn kiosk and that's when big decisions must be made. This is the anonymous Double U-Turn which means you can eff someone over in a cowardly way. As they promised, none of the frontrunners U-Turn anyone especially since it's not needed since they are hours ahead. Abbie and Ryan are team #1 and win a trip to Fiji, making this a second victory and already showing their potential great chances at the $2 million. The Monster Truckers Rob and Kelley U-Turn Gary and Will, the big and little BFFs. Gary and Will find out they've been U-Turned stupidly U-Turn Rob and Kelley, who have since checked into the Pit Stop. Lucky for them, Caitlin and Brittany have a terrible driver that knows no directions, getting them terribly lost. The teams end up in a pedicab drag racerace girls until the girls' cart chooses the wrong side at a fork in the road. Gary and Will check in ninth and Brittany and Caitlin, who I didn't know were in this race until they earlier screamed about money with a cabbie, are eliminated.

Survivor: Philippines - With a reward challenge coming, and the possibly of Denise and Malcolm getting sent to other tribes, they start immunity idol hunting. They keep overlooking the top of the rice basket until they tilt it over and the idol falls off the top. So now they're in better shape unless they get split apart.  Sho' nuff, at the reward challenge Matsing is officially killed off and they are sent to other tribes. Malcolm goes to Tandang and Denise to Kalabaw, bringing it back to a classic two tribe Survivor. The reward challenge is to battle head-to-head to knock off the other person's idol. It's I guess entertaining but I only paid attention when Dawson tried to pull Abi's hair to win. Girl fight! Malcolm missed his first time, but second time he beats Jeff and finally feels the taste of victory. Tandang wins reward in the form of coffee, tea, muffins, cookies- it's an Au Bon Pain feast!

Tandang celebrates victory with a mouthful of sweets, and Malcolm is already trying to find a crack to fit into to make sure he isn't cut immediately. RC saw some hope to buddy up with Malcolm, but Pete gets his hooks into him first. RC is all alone- waaah. Pete is relieved they can get rid of Michael, telling Malcolm they also have the idol (Malcolm keeps his idol a secret). It's hilarious to see everyone kissing Malcolm's butt when in past seasons a new tribemate was the first new target.

Denise sees herself as needing to survive week-by-week and the girls are happy for a little more estrogen to pull into the three lady alliance. Problem is Dana is feeling pretty sick: dizzy, nauseus, dehydrated, shooting stomach pains, and crying into a cave wall. Trying to warm her up, they recommend what I'll always call the Voyage of the Mimi move to get naked and snuggle under a blanket. Medical is called in to help the ailing Dana. The doctors basically give her twelve hours to get hydrated and back to normal. Because it's not life-threatening she's not an automatic pull. It's up to Dana to choose between staying or leaving the game: writhing in pain, Dana chooses to leave the game. Pretty sucky and Jonathan knows her pain because the same happened to him. Sorry ladies alliance, you're back to even!

Even with one out, there is still an immunity challenge and Tandang is shocked to see Kalabaw arrive with six members instead of seven. This week's challenge is an obstacle course, undo ropes to drop and cross a drawbridge and retrieve, what else, puzzle pieces. I understand wanting a mix of brains vs. brawns but holy shit, enough puzzles. Tandang beats Kalabaw by literally a second meaning Kalabaw is losing another tribemember is this suckfest of a few days.

Kalabaw now gets to experience Tribal Council after a few easy days of Matsing losing a shitload. Katie's definitely a target for being slow and crappy at the challenge, and she knows it. Denise is still concerned she could be the target being the newbie, so she shakes on an alliance to be the fourth with Jeff, Jonathan, and Connor because she's much stronger than Dawson or Katie. Dawson is on the radar too for being bad at challenges. But with Dawson making Jeff squirm, making obvious hints at Jeff's life as a professional baseball player, her target grows bigger. At their first Tribal Council, we get the usual convos that happen when a team loses the first time: challenge performance. While a positive attitude in the rain seems like a great selling point, it doesn't work out for Dawson and she's first Kalabaw member officially voted out of the game. But she gives Probst a hug and a cheek kiss so a winner in my mind.

October 11, 2012

Reality Rundown: Call Him Lord Probst Now

The Amazing RaceSurvivor: Philippines

The Amazing Race - The teams fly to Surabaya, Indonesia for the next leg of the race, hopefully still with a bellyful of frog fallopian tubes. The news is the Express Pass is up for grabs, awarded to team #1 this week and in the future they can skip a task. Everyone is one the same flight except Rob/Kelley, the married monster truckers, who take a different flight that leaves earlier but has a four hour layover in Japan. These morons book a flight that leaves earlier, but arrives later. Stupid. James and Abba, the rockstar/lawyer combo, are able to snag an earlier flight via standby at their Jakarta layover. But it doesn't really matter because the gate doesn't open until 8am, so everyone is on a slightly even playing field even Rob/Kelley who were hours behind.

At 8am the teams enter a bull race but they don't actually race the bulls and instead ride alongside on mopeds. So considering it "racing" with bulls but with no stakes because you don't even have to win. Just know bulls are way faster than crappy mopeds. They grab their clue and race to the next clue: a Roadblock. Someone was definitely high while creating this task, which is to have one team member needs to pedal-powered amusement ride from in front of a Kmart while making balloon animals. I think this is the exact opposite of the statement "I like to party" on the clue card. I imagine the kids getting motion sickness are thinking the same thing. The tiny half of Gary/Will can't do the balloon animals at all, getting flustered and sweaty in the process.

For this week's Detour, teams either have to load and deliver blocks of ice or sort through fresh fish to set up a stall. So either freeze or stink- what fun! Only the twins, Natalie and Nidya, sort the fish and are the first team to check in. They stink but win the Express Pass so it's worth the stank. Dating Trey and Lexi, also buddies with the twins, are team #2 so it's their dream scenario. Shitty cab drivers are the big issue for Rob/Kelley and on and off dating Kelly/Daniel, putting them further behind but on par with a slow Gary/Will. Amy and Daniel are the last team to arrive and get eliminated from the race by Phil and a local with repulsively long fingernails.

Survivor: Philippines - Matsing is the most depressing camp ever. Sitting in silence, desperately trying to re-make the fire extinguished from the rain. It's been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad nine days for the tribe and a victory is much needed to avoid Survivor extinction. Russell knows not only is the tribe crappy, but no one has talked game to him which likely means he's on the outside of an alliance. He has one chance to save his ass: the idol. Russell starts searching "somewhere" near your beach, but he hasn't done the obvious rice box yet. Denise catches him scavenging with a horrible alibi story, so now Malcolm and Denise search his clothes to try and find it (nothing, because he found nothing). I beg of you Survivor gods, please don't let Russell find the idol and stay in this game.

Tandang mopes in their crappy shelter from the rain. While poking around in the shelter in front of everyone, a piece of paper is sticking out from a wrap. It's the Hidden Immunity Idol clue so now it's all out in the open. Abi, of course, blames RC for planting the clue, while RC is like crap, I'm screwed. Well it was Pete who did it: found the clue RC hid and planted it in the shelter. Pete is delighted at the wedge he drove between RC and Abi, as the two continue bickering around camp about the incident.  Kalabaw is more secret and tame with their idol.  Jeff Kent, now kind of aligned with Jonathan, isn't too upset with that anymore. Jonathan had the idol and the Kalabaw tribe is pretty young compared to himself and Jonathan. The older fellas expand the alliance to include Carter, the only other male on the tribe. The women know they're on the outs so their new goal is make the merge, align with more ladies.

Getting into today's immunity challenge the teams have to carry bamboo pots through an obstacle course and then smash the pots with a wrecking ball. Destruction AND no puzzles? YESSSS. Tandang wins the challenge getting immunity as well as steak, veggies, spices, and utensils, a delicious feast for some starving people. In the closest challenge yet, Kalabaw narrowly defeats Matsing, staying immune and take the tarp instead of the teeny food prize. Malcolm was SO close, it was awful. Russell throws another post-challenge tantrum in front of the other tribes and everyone shakes their head in embarrassment. At least this one has a moment where Russell calls Probst "Lord" accidentally, so it has some humor amongst his overconfidence that lacks in any skills or good temper.

Malcolm is so depressed about losing, comparing it to the loss of his dead dog. Out at sea, Malcolm tells Russell that they should vote out Denise. Malcolm then tells Denise what he's said and assures her he plans to stay on her side. Russell talks to Denise about his behavior and reactions, which he explains with a backstory of being beat up as a kid and then getting revenge on one of them and not being afraid anymore. Denise hustles too, throwing out the idea of voting out Malcolm to Russell, probably in case an idol is played so she isn't screwed over. It's a ploy to make Russell feel like the swing vote, but there's an uneasiness that anything could swing at Tribal.

At Tribal Council, Russell explains he is simply striving for excellence at all times and gets heated. Malcolm argues his case of being a much needed physical player for the tribe, but Russell's argument is that Malcolm is a young, strong guy people will bond to. Denise is given the pros for having a personality people will write a million dollar check to. And Russell is a lose cannon that isn't as strong as he thinks. A loud crash of thunder hits the exact moment Jeff asks if anyone wants to play the hidden immunity idol, but it doesn't get played so a smile creeps on Malcolm's face. Malcolm and Denise stay true to their alliance and vote off a surprised Russell.

October 4, 2012

Reality Rundown: How Do You Like YOUR Frog Fallopian Tubes?

New! The Amazing RaceSurvivor: Philippines

New! The Amazing Race - Eleven new teams meet up in Pasadena to begin another race of a lifetime. There's some unique teams this season: dating young'ns (OK not unique), twins raised in Sri Lanka, dating couples (of course), a former rocker from White Lion and Megadeath (and his lawyer partner), goat farmers AKA The Fabulous Beekman Boys, a woman with two fake legs because of bacterial meningitis (and her boyfriend), lady college athletes, substitute teachers, dating divorcees, Chippendales dancers, and married monster truckers. Wow some actual interesting pairs! (except a lame-o dating couple will probably win). Beginning the race on a bridge, Phil announces a big twist: the winner of this race could potentially win $2 million dollars. How to double your money? Win the first and last leg of the race. Seems ridiculous but it's been done before.

The race kicks into high gear immediately as they have to rappel down the bridge the're running across. Get that heights shizz out of the way early, eh? For some it's easy and others get their immediate "I hate heights!" panic going. At the bottom of the bridge are their backpacks and the first clue: they're heading to Shanghai, China! So everyone hops into their obnoxious Ford product placement vehicles to get on one of two pre-booked flights to China. It's an hour difference between flight landing times which sometimes is significant but since people are dumb the first leg probably means anyone stands a chance.

The first clue at a sports center is a Roadblock for someone "ready to get paddled." Methinks the Chippendales got titillated at this clue. The challenge is to score one point in a ping pong match against a child, a child who also plays with household items (not just a paddle) to show how freakishly good they are. I love teams shouting to beat the little Chinese ten year old (I think that was Jaymes/James the Chippendales). I think it's funnier seeing grown adults lose to a female child in 2012 with a 1980's bowl cut.

The next clue is... another Roadblock! The other teammate has to eat frog fallopian tubes and holy shit, is there anything weird not cooked up in China? Serving it in a papaya doesn't make it OK. That's just nasty. Worst dessert EVER! While gross, it doesn't seem teams have major issues eating it. But the monster truck dude uses his hands to eat, which is against the rules, and he has to indulge in a second serving of tubes.

A woman using an abacus ("Why isn't she using a calculator?" asks Ryan the dating divorcee) holds the clue with the location of the Pit Stop. Several teams get the clue around the same time, making it quite the foot race with big stakes on the line. Ryan/Abbie pass Daniel/Amy (she has fake legs) in the footrace, apologizing that it's for the chance at $2 million. So if Ryan and Abbie win the race, they'll get double the prize money and since dating couples win this show a lot it's quite possible. It seems finding a lady using an abacus is harder than downing a papaya filled with frog fallopian tubes, creating chaos as teams try to find the elusive woman. The Chippendales narrowly defeat Rob and Sheila, the lumberjack and cosmetics executive. Rob and Sheila are eliminated from the race but hey, at least they didn't end up fighting!

Survivor: Philippines -  For this week's immunity challenge the tribes have to dive deep into the sea to collect puzzle wheels that complete a word puzzle.  It's week three and I'm already getting into the "Enough damn puzzles!" phase.  Perpetually injured Michael Skupin cuts his face by diving with googles during the challenge, bleeding like a True Blood vampire having a good cry.  Matsing continues to be the epitome of sucky challenge performances, with the human floatation device Angie and can't-climb-a-ladder Russell.  Kalabaw wins the immunity challenge and a massive fishing kit with a canoe. Tandang comes in second, getting a smaller fishing kit along with immunity. Matsing loses again and gets to re-warm their seats at Tribal Council.

So what's happening over at the camps this week?  Dana sits on top of Kalabaw's rice box and notices that wooden piece is gone.  Jeff and his crew deduce that it is probably the idol and Jonathan probably has it.  If Kalabaw loses, the plan is to blindside Jonathan and take out the immunity idol.  Jonathan knows Jeff is wary of him and wants to have him on his side, so Jonathan confides in Jeff that he does have the idol.  A little bit of trust is built with Jeff's four-finger-not-a-full-man handshake.  At Tandang, Abi-Maria still doesn't trust RC and instead teams up with Pete to successfully find the hidden immmunity idol.  With the power in their hands, Pete decides that it would be smart to align with weaklings Artis and Lisa and take out the more powerful Michael Skupin.  The failures of Matsing expand far beyond poor challenge performance: they lose their raft out to sea.  While everyone things Malcolm and Angie are a pair, it's Malcolm and Denise who are the strongest pair.  Angie couldn't dive under water in the challenge, probably because of those fake bazooms, and Russell got exhausted.

Tribal Council!  Probst starts off the night with questions delving into how bad each of the four tribe members want to be there.  Malcolm hates losing and calls it "heartbreaking" but also thinks maybe him and Denise should've stepped up earlier in the challenge.  That's a dig at Angie and Russell sucking and wasting time in the challenge.  Angie points out she won't give up, unlike Russell who basically gave up in the challenge.  Russell doesn't think Angie will last another 30 days and she insists she can, but he laughs and points out he almost died last time. HA!  Russell's point is that while Angie is trying, she's not physically strong enough to do many of these challenges.  Strength is what prevails and Angie and her giant boobs are eliminated.