March 21, 2013

Reality Rundown: Splash is a Flop

The Amazing RaceSpecial One-Off! Splash
Survivor: Caramoan

The Amazing Race - The teams all make their way to Hanoi, Vietnam and to no surprise there's an equalizer to balance everyone out, not to mention a warning that a U-Turn is head. Everyone is shocked that frontrunners Jessica and John were eliminated, especially their alliance mates the derby moms and the YouTubers. Dave and Connor seek medical advice during the wait time and agree to drop out of the race this leg. Turns out running the world on a torn Achilles is a bad idea. Who knew?

The remaining teams first have to complete a Roadblock to listen/watch a patriotic Vietanemese song performance that praises communism, then find a quote from the end of the number on paper. The teams then perform a bamboo dance which means hopping off candy-painted sticks for their next clue. It takes the rednecks multiple tries because they pay attention to nothing, ever. The clue is a Detour to retrieve ingredients and prepare pho or set up human chess pieces. The chess is a treat because it's a bunch of annoying American dragging these poor costumed Vietnamese people around. The pho task becomes tricky due to language barriers, but the stupid rednecks Check and Wynona continue to be idiots by not reading the clue telling them to carry a basket of chickens. Best friends Pam and Winnie U-Turn the YouTubers Meghan and Joey, who in turn U-Turn Chuck and Wynona to stand a chance in the race. Chuck and Wynona are the last team to check in but since Connor/Dave quit, they get to stay in the race one more leg thus making these U-Turns pretty pointless except maybe to stir up drama.

Special One-Off! Splash - You likely don't know this, but growing up I was a diver. From nine to fifteen nearly daily I'd go to the pool and train, but I quit because I couldn't do a front flip. Deal with it. Well this means I can speak to ABC's Splash with a moderate level of authority cause I've done it. Now you may be confused thinking you already saw this show with Real Housewives' star Kim Richards doing a pencil dive (that's a jump), but alas Fox just tried to jump in early. Splash is here now, after totally bombing in the UK, and we've got "celebrities" to participate.

The series kicks off with an elaborate number of synchronized swimmers, flips off the platform, break dancers, and the blaring of Pitbull. The show's host? Some chick Carissa Thompson and JOEY "Whoa" LAWRENCE. There are ten celebrities, but only five will compete on night one. Mentoring the "stars" is Olympic legend Greg Louganis who will make divers out of these belly flopping, well, flops. The judges are America's first gold model diver since ol' Greg, David Boudia, and an Australian diver now the US Performance Director Steve Foley. How does the show work? Five divers perform, the bottom two then face off in a head-to-head round and the lowest score is eliminated. It's the two judges scores, plus a crowd vote. No degree of difficulty? Bullshit!

First to dive is Keshia Knight-Pullam AKA Rudy from the Cosby Show. Now if you think this show is taking the diving seriously, I'd say the sequined cut-out swimsuits would disagree. What is this, Circus of the Stars? Anyways, Keshia does a handstand into the water (feet-first, like a jump). Along with her score, Keshia gets a condescending demonstration of a handstand by Davidb. Fat comedian Louis Anderson enters the pool in a big yellow robe, unveiling a shiny black shirt and shorts with yellow/green camoflage. It screams "Watch the fat man splash!" Louis dedicates his dive to the troops, decides to instead dive from 23 feet instead of 16, then proceeds to essentially lean and fall hands above his head into the pool. And yes, he does splash (a lot) and gets a standing ovation from his "celebrity" peers. And for the record, Louis scored better than Keshia which means a belly flop by a fat person with courage is better than a legit dive.

Miss Alabama Catherine Webb is most well known for being ogled on TV by a sports announcer, does a back somersault with a fair amount of splash since she landed like a mess. Extreme skier Rory Bushfield (should I know who he is?) heads all the way up to the 10 meter (33ft) platform and does a back somersault with twists. What the hell?! A legit double somersault with a twist? Well I am shocked and yet David Boudia says next week Rory should do a real dive head first. STFU Boudia. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wraps up the main diving portion in his Lakers colored baggy wetsuit and is the only competitor to use the springboard.  He does a single back flip and lands sloppy like Catherine, but he at least understands why his dive wasn't clean.  And in case we needed another lesson, David Boudia does a backflip. SIT THE HELL DOWN, DAVID BOUDIA.

The judges scores account for half, while the live audience/crowd vote makes up the remaining half.  The two lowest scores are Catherine Webb and Keshia, because a pity party vote for Louis Anderson led to some bullshit.  It's a dive off.  Catherine does a forward dive (aka swan dive) into the pool from 23 ft and it doesn't even look good, but the height alone is apparently what people care about and not the dives.  Keshia does a back somersault, rotating a little in her landing.  Keshia gets eliminated for not going to a higher board, despite having a cleaner dive.  And that is when I officially decided to never watch this again. Diving is not about the height of the board.  It's about crisp, clean divers and talent.  Awarding someone for a sloppy basic front dive just cause they went from a high platform?  A load of crap.  This show sucked, but maybe I was expecting too much.  Who knew that the laughable Stars in Danger: The High Dive would be the more legit competition?

Survivor: Caramoan - The two tribes meet up for their presumed reward challenge and moan about tribal unit the shitty tribe experience Brandon brought upon them.  But are given a bit of a surprise: a paint-filled egg slam tribe switch-up.  The new Gota AKA hot people tribe is Eddie, Reynold, Andrea, Malcolm, Sherri, Erik, and Brenda.  Bikal (or as Jeff called them "Purple") is now Corinne, Phillip, Michael, Matt, Cochran, Julia and Dawn.  It's a new game again and probably most screwed is Corinne, but she was screwed beforehand so whatever.  Both tribes are sent off to bond, each given flint and a new batch of rice in case say some dickhead spilled the entire stash into the sand.

Gota is a stacked tribe of young, good looking, strong people (and Sherri).  Speaking of, Eddie and Reynold throw Sherri under the bus immediately for never aligning with them.  Sherri does the same to the girls of the tribe, explaining Reynold played an idol and is probably hunting for #2.  The favorites love knowing the dissonance between the guys and Sherri and will use that as a split vote advantage should they lose.  Meanwhile at Bikal, a new batch of castaways now have to learn to tolerate Phillip, so best of luck to them.  Corinne would love to align with Michael due to her love for gays, but knows she has to be loyal to Phillip, Dawn, and Cochran.  Phillip tells Corinne how he's got Julia and she can flip to their side, but Corinne wisely explains you don't need someone to flip at this point. 

The newly jumbled tribes head to their first challenge as the new Gota and Bikal.  The challenge is to roll big as crates to put together a staircase that says "Fans vs. Favorites" on the side.  Physically, Gota definitely has the advantage on Bikal, able to flip those crates crazy fast.  Even on the brains side, Gota is killin' it and even almost kills Reynold by knocking him off the structure.  Bikal is sucking big time with no puzzle building logic.  Gota wins immunity while Bikal has barely put together any element of the staircase.

Bikal returns to camp and gets an annoying, preachy, wannabe inspirational Phillip speech.  Corinne would love to flip and get rid of Phillip, but he's loyal and it's a numbers game.  Phillip actually isn't loyal and campaigns to others to vote off Corinne.  No surprise, Phillip makes an offer to bring Matt and Michael into Stealth R Us and give them goofy nickname if they vote the way they're told.  Corinne and Cochran try to see what Matt and Michael are thinking about the vote, and Cochran notices those two have a strong bond. It's narrow down to ginger beard Matt and quiet Julia.

Tribal time!  The fans aren't totally dumb in knowing there's a divide and they'll be picked off.  Corinne maybe blabs a little too much about loving gays and wishing she could dump current alliance members for Matt/Michael.  Always haunting any tribal is the possibility of a hidden immunity idol being player.  Matt insists he doesn't have the idol, which Corinne trusts but also knows it's a game where you need to lie and hide.  Phillip explains it simply: if you have an idol, you better play it or else you might be going home.  Cochran calls the other tribe "The Bold and the Beautiful" and doesn't know if a dork like him would be in with them (aww Cochran, you're a treat).  Matt and Michael both vote for Julia (Julia votes for Dawn), but they're the ones getting hosed: all the favorites vote off Matt sending him off into the jungle.