March 27, 2016

Survivor Kaoh Rong: The Cross-Out Seen Around the World

3/27/2016 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 6

It's time for the annual shooting hoops reward challenge which every season sparks discussion that it's rigged in former of an NBA player. Before the shooting, the teams need to release a bag of buoys from underwater, then push them all to shore before it becomes a freethrow competition. For what it's worth, Scot doesn't have this reward in the bag as Nick really gives him a run for his money. Ultimately though the NBA skills apparenly pay off and Gondol wins the Survivor picnic. Bread, meats, cheese, and tuna salad... because there is nothing quite as tasty as a hot tuna salad sitting under the 100 degree sun.

Gondol rejoices over their hot tuna salad, hot mayo, and sandwiches while bonding with new arrival Julia, who joined Gondol as a replacement for Anna. Peter is quick to chat up Julia and throw his former Brans tribemates under the bus. Peter might've stuck with the Brains for the first vote but he's ready to get back at them for voting out Liz. Wondering where Peter stands, Joe uses his former FBI skills to confront and get a read on Peter. The read: Peter's a total liar and has to go.

Over on Chan Loh, Nick actually gets screentime again to the shock of all viewers. Nick strokes Debbie's ego by allowing her to be in charge, and she's not complaining because she finds Nick extremely attractive. But that's because they are both models - cue Debbie's on-screen tag to change to "Part-Time Model." Debbie Wanner - a Jackie of all Trades. Debbie also has a good conversation with Michele, the tribe's weakest link, but Nick warns Michele that everyone will be nice to your face to get ahead. Michele doesn't appreciate Nick's tone when speaking to her and makes her independent woman declaration that makes the internet swoon.

This week's Immunity Challenge is to traverse and obstacle course, then stack varying size boxes reeeeal high without falling. A very bizarre strategy to stack from the middle backfires on Gondol as they almost complete their tower, which gives Chan Loh the in to finish their tower normally and win. Gondol is heading back to Tribal Council and there's a lot of possible targets. Peter is the one who made up the awful block stacking strategy, but more importantly he's a schemer everyone wants gone. Aubry is torn because the Brains need the numbers, but also Peter sucks. Despite earlier plans to mutiny, Peter changes his mind and makes amends with Joe to stick three strong and vote out Julia. Julia, Scot, and Tai really want Peter gone but need a Brain to flip, so they tell Aubry how Peter wanted to vote her out. Aubry's now torn, Scot and Tai figure they have to vote out Julia to avoid a tie, Joe refuses to change his mind, and Peter is probably just eating mango in a hammock like an arrogant king.

Tribal Council time! Julia gets the first question of the night because it's her first Tribal Council - celebration! The hot topic of discussion is whether they are maintaining old alliances (AKA Brains) or forging new ones. Peter's schemy nature is discussed and the trust issues everyone has with him. Things suddenly start getting twisty. Tai and Scot start whispering and decide to change back to the "original plan" which is to vote out Peter. Aubry turns back to Scot, he tells her Peter. Peter is like, "I can't read lips." And then one last declaration of "original plan" out loud to Julia. Aubry and Joe are whispering unsure of where the vote is going and confused. "Time to vote!" Probst says, capitalizing on the clear confusion. Aubry is the most torn about her vote, standing in the little voting booth with her parchment for a long time in terms of TV time. Probst tallies the votes and reads them out, officially split between Peter and Julia. The final vote: "Pete" with Julia's name crossed out with a single line. Aubry switched last minute! If only they had a Tribal Council eraseable pen.

[All images credited to CBS]

March 20, 2016

Survivor Kaoh Rong: Bye Bye Beauty

3/20/2016 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 5

After Peter makes some in-roads with the Brains tribe and Neal uncerimoniously finds the Hidden Immunity Idol, it's time for a shake-up. Drop your buffs, it's time for a shuffle! Since there's an uneven number of survivors left, the unlucky receiver of the red buff (Julia) has to spend three days fending for herself on To Tang beach which is basically her dehydrated, starving, and sleeping nonstop. But she'll have a real home in a few days, joining whichever tribe loses. The rest of the groups are now officially Chan Loh and Gondol and the game is about ready to begin.

Chan Loh is split exactly evenly in pairs from each of the original three tribes: Debbie/Neal, Michele/Nick, and Cydney/Jason. Given their overall low body count, the Brawn pair are in demand by both sides as a potential way to grab the majority. Debbie shows off her sweet tree pull up moves before schmoozing Cydney, who seems to like Debbie. Jason is a harder read, but loves the butt-kissing coming his way. Gondol was once the beauty powerhouse, but now the majority is the Brains (Aubry, Joe, Peter). Despite their simmering dislike of Peter, the Brains decide to stick together and get rid of a Beauty if they lose so that Beauty can't regain a majority vote when Julia re-joins the game. Anna is quick to throw Tai under the bus about him having an idol, but it's hard to dislike lovable Tai foraging for food and being a hard worker. Even Scot is smitten, an unlikely new friendship founded on the teamwork of grabbing mangos.

At the Immunity Challenge, Scot is a powerhouse of dragging puzzle pieces out of the ocean, but it's no match for the puzzle prowess of Neal and Debbie who kill the 69ing fish puzzle. Gondol loses the challenge and is now tasked with voting someone off, likely Tai or Anna. Tai's name is thrown out first, but ultimately the Brains decide Anna is the bigger strategic threat. Then Peter runs his mouth about the plan in front of the Beauties, which inspires Tai: maybe they should blindside Peter. Tai confides in Anna and Scot that he has the Idol and they could get rid of Peter instead. Scot's super interested in this reveal because he knows the owners of two idols which means he could potentially get the Super Idol powers to activate. After getting some key info from Aubry about the night's vote, Scot encourages Tai to rethink his decision to use the idol.

Tribal Council time! Aubry explains that she's sticking with the Brains because it's the "devils you know" but also helps keep numbers. Anna and Tai both are very open that they are in trouble, especially since Scot is an asset in challenges. Anna tries to save herself, but it's nothing compared to the long ramblings of Tai defending why he should stick around. Joe is convinced there are no idols this season so we all LOL, but Tai keeps up the ruse and says there's no idol. Keeping up his trend of being the worst, Peter uses his Tribal Council time to be overconfident and braggy. But for one more night his ego can rest easy: Tai does not play the idol and Anna is eliminated from the game.

[All images credited to CBS]

March 14, 2016

The Bachelor: Ben Higgins is Engaged

3/14/2016 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 11 - FINALE!

Both of the final two women are basking in the afterglow of Ben saying they love them, unaware that Ben dropped the "love" bomb on both of them. It's going to crush one woman's soul, especially after they get the additional pressure of meeting Ben's parents. Lauren meets the folks first, gifting them flowers in a vase that looks like it's filled with red wine (which they'll need after the double I-love-you revelation). The parents can tell that Ben is smitten with Lauren, who assures them she's in love and ready for a life with him. And you know Lauren is serious because she won't stop holding Ben's mom's hand. The next day, JoJo meets the parents and is extremely nervous but feeling #blessed. It's a lather-rinse-repeat convo with less parental hand holding (I say less, not none) and more mentions of Ben being her best friend. Ben's parents are shocked he's in love with both, but can also see what he sees in both women, and will be disappointed at losing whoever he dumps. I'm sure that losing girl will be more disappointed.

For their final date together, Ben and Lauren spend the day cuddling and close-talking on a boat - not a yacht because this show is on a budget. The couple docks by the beach and have some stressed out talking time since it's clear Ben is losing his mind and stressed. Ben's concern that everything with Lauren is too perfect and easy, so would they be able to last life's big obstacles? Later, Ben goes to Lauren's room at Sandals to spend their possible last night together. Lauren is scared but also at peace, because Ben is such a calming agent - like chamomile tea. Much like chamomile tea, their whispery conversation puts me to sleep. Lauren worries that Ben's connection with JoJo could be stronger and can't picture a life without Ben. Well maybe you should've done a craft project to show your love for him.

Ben and JoJo drive a rental jeep around Jamaica until they end up at The Blue Hole for some romantic swimming and smooching. It's pretty much the exact date they went on a week ago, which either means the show forgot or simply doesn't care. Since Ben said "I love you", JoJo received the validation she needed and has confidence in her love. Until Ben opens his mouth and has that uneasy tone of his, which freaks her out. Back at the Sandals Resort, JoJo is concerned about her status with Ben since he earlier admitted he was torn. Ben continues to dig himself a bigger hole by saying his relationship with JoJo is the deepest he's ever felt. Ben tells JoJo he doesn't have a specific concern that would make him choose one woman over the other and tells JoJo she's become his best friend. Needing more a sign, JoJo takes Ben into the bathroom to try and get one last bit of reassurance. So Ben yet again tells JoJo he's in love with her, this is all hard, and admits he told Lauren he loves her too. The tears off-camera but on-mic crying begins because JoJo thought what they had was totally special and not shared. The couple shares one last kiss and exchange of "I love yous" and JoJo spends the night crying in her hotel room.

Ben wakes up on proposal day with no clarity whatsoever, unless you count the 4 C's of diamonds because Neil Lane is here! But which of the obscenely large halo rings should Ben pick if he doesn't even know which woman will wear it? The choice is what appears to be a princess-cut halo with sidestones - a real hunker of a ring. JoJo and Lauren each put on their gowns and walk pensively around their hotel rooms to get the perfect thinkin' shot. Both women board helicopters (!!!) to get escorted to the proposal site and I know I'd be cool with getting dumped if a helicopter ride was involved.

The first helicopter lands at the proposal site and it's... JoJo. UT OH. She walks up to Ben nervous but excited, hoping the faith she has in Ben will do her well. JoJo gives her speech about Ben blowing her away and Ben being worth it despite the risk of it all. It's a beautiful and passionate speech, which Ben responds back with a nice speech but ends it with saying he found love with JoJo, but with someone else more. JoJo is blindsided since Ben made all these grand declarations of being best friends, loving her, etc. It's messy but also in like the cleanest way since Ben is just the sweetest guy ever. JoJo departs in the limo crying, while Ben thinks about what a terrible thing he to a woman he considers a best friend, the person that would comfort him when he's down. It's extremely uncomfortable.

Despite loving JoJo, Ben knew he could not say goodbye to Lauren. Ben gets ahold of an iPhone and calls Lauren's dad and asks for her hand in marriage (blessing given). Ben gives a victorious "WOO!" punch in the air like the end of The Breakfast Club and then Lauren's helicopter arrives. In her tight blue dress, Lauren walks up to Ben and delivers her speech about knowing kissing Ben for the first time was the last first kiss she wanted to have. "You're my person. I love you. I love you." With Lauren's speech over, Ben gets into his romantic declarations about initially feeling unlovable but feeling all the love with her, wanting to kiss her on the "face" every day, and be together for the rest of their lives. Out comes the Neil Lane box and Ben gets down on one knee and proposes to Lauren. It's a yes! Lauren accepts the final rose and they smooch a bunch before departing in the Sandals helicopter.

After the Final Rose

Ben comes out solo first, excited to showoff the love he has for his fiance... but also spent the entire night stressed by what was a disastrous ending for JoJo. Ben says the way he picked Lauren was by thinking of which woman he couldn't picture a life without. Despite it all be uncomfortable, it's no regrets. So of course instead of the good stuff, they bring out JoJo first to awkwardly see Ben for the first time. Ben reiterates he didn't take this decision lightly and cared about JoJo. Looking back on the time, JoJo expected a proposal on the last day since their relationship was so strong. Watching the season helped JoJo understand why Lauren was chosen over her. It's said for the umpteenth time that Ben dumped JoJo because he couldn't imagine life without Lauren. While JoJo will always love Ben in some way, she's at peace and moved on. It's all good because who can be mad at America's treasure Ben? And then it's official: JoJo is the new Bachelorette.

Ben and Lauren reunite for the first time publicly and while she's wearing a white dress, Ben's horrible facial hair scruff tells me an impromptu wedding isn't happening. Yes, Ben's actual pastor is waiting in the wings for the chance Ben will actually go through with his statement from the reunion of marrying his pick tomorrow. The couple are so happily in love despite what could've been a rocky beginning given the "I love JoJo too" thing. Lauren is moving to Denver in the next few weeks and their families are both very happy. Because this special is beyond boring, Jimmy Kimmel is planted in the audience to ask inappropriate questions and rub naked dolls together. Speaking of inappropriate, Chris Harrison puts the couple on the spot to see if they'll get married live immediately on After the Final Rose. In no surprise to anyone, Ben and Lauren choose to not get married at the reunion and will get married another time (but still probably on TV for a lot of money). Instead, Ben proposes again in front of their families because he's too sweet and perfect for the world to handle.

And with that another season of The Bachelor comes to a close. Lauren B was pretty much a foregone conclusion since early in the season. I kept thinking the show was throwing us a curveball and not delivering the most obvious edit ever. I was wrong. Best of luck to the happy couple and I'll see you all in Paradise!

[All images credited to ABC]

March 13, 2016

Survivor Kaoh Rong: Hot, Hotter, Hottest

3/13/2016 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 4

"This is gonna be fun," Caleb voiceovers walking into the Reward Challenge and every person watching know this is horrible foreshadowing. The challenge itself is one we've seen before: race through obstacles, dig for bags of balls in a defined area, and end the challenge with a round of skee ball. On the line? Kitchen supplies, coffee, and spices. Like it's 1492 and it's the new world. But what is normally an easy challenge is only exacerbated by the extreme heat (pushing 120 degrees), and the first tribe doesn't find all three bags until over 45 minutes of digging. Um, I think these were buried unnecessarily far for a reward to win a cup of coffee. The Brains tribe wins reward while the other two tribes continue to suffer through digging in the sand.

Then it all starts to get messy. Now able to rest, Debbie lays down from heat stroke and requires medical attention who cover her in water and shade her skinny body with an umbrella. Meanwhile, the Beauty tribe finds their last two bags and begins their tired round of skee ball as Brawn begins to catch-up, but not fast enough and the Beauties win the salt and pepper. Caleb AKA Beastmode Cowboy wanders off to find shade and suddenly, he's down and medical is rushing to his side.As if it couldn't be worse, Cydney can't stand up and is brought to the shade from her heat stroke - again requiring medical attention.  It's absolutely horrifying to watch the suffering as medical and the entire crew tends to contestants, especially as Caleb's condition doesn't seem to improve like the women and he's given oxygen. The water and shade is able to stabilize Cydney, but Caleb is virtually non-responsive and the chopper is brought in to medevac him from the game. Truly one of the hardest things to watch as a viewer, and surely one of the worst days of the lives of every person out there. Good news though: Caleb is fine and well now and hopes to play again.

After the challenge, Debbie thanks Aubry (and the other Brains not there with her) for taking care of her when she was down. The Brawn tribe, however, is not as lovey dovey. Alecia is annoyed that during the challenge Scot brushed off her encouragement of teamwork and called her a cheerleader. She continues the argument with Scot which then becomes 2-on-1 when Jason jumps to Scot's side, annoyed that Alecia doesn't take responsibility and then cackling that she expects to last until a shuffle. So that makes the rest of the episode anti-climactic as the Brawn tribe loses the Immunity Challenge and wants to vote Alecia out immediately on the beach since it's a foregone conclusion. Thankfully Alecia declines and at Tribal Council we are told why Alecia is considered a Brawn: because she doesn't take lip from anybody. It's news to everyone. Alecia doesn't listen to the guys because she doesn't respect them, and the feeling is clearly mutual. It's a quick and easy Tribal Council and Alecia is finally eliminated from the game.

[All images credited to CBS]

March 7, 2016

The Bachelor: Ben's Women Tell All in the Most Uncomfortable Ways

3/07/2016 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 10 - The Women Tell All

It's time for my least favorite episode to recap: The Women Tell All! After a segment crashing Bachelor fan parties, Chris Harrison introduces all the women on stage... and a chicken. Thank god I wasn't there to release horrified screams at the sight of that bird. Like it flaps out of that chicken girl's arms. It's terrifying. But OK right away everyone stills dislikes Olivia and Jubilee. Leah is still considered a liar, even after explaining that her anti-Lauren B lie/comment was due to an earlier conversation where Lauren B called girls "losers" for getting upset. Basically it's the beginning of everyone trying to make a big enough impression to be cast on Bachelor in Paradise.

Before Jubilee even makes it to the hot seat, she's the target of some bitterness. Some of the girls claim that Jubilee called herself "the only real black girl" and would be the further a black girl made it on this show. At first Jubilee fully denies, then admits sometimes she does call herself a "real" black girl, and apologizes to Jami and Amber for offending them. When she finally gets to the hot seat, Jubilee explains she's not unlovable but hard to love. Jubilee also explains she got caught up on the non-reality of the situation, like Ben dating a large harem of women. It was insecurities galore for her, so Chris Harrison plays good therapist to make sure Jubilee knows her worth. But life is good for Jubilee: she was promoted to Sergeant. Sergeant Jubilee!

Then the show unleashes the real shitstorm: Olivia. Olivia felt like Ben really understood her and was smitten, but it all went downhill quick. Olivia re-apologizes for calling Amanda "Teen Mom", but felt other girls talked behind her back and didn't apologize. The twins and Amanda pipe in that Olivia had a lot of rude comments and bullied people (which I think might be the wrong term - sounds like she was just making dickish comments). One twin is still pissed at her cleavage being scorned, apparently. Olivia explains she would always grab Ben first to show she was there for him, but she was also more of a loner. Her desire to "talk smart things" is turned against her when the women insist they're intelligent both mentally and socially. Olivia was bullied as a child, so hearing that she was mocked behind her back a ton really hurt her - also us being dicks on social media. Olivia's got lots of tears and apologizes - it's all uncomfortable. Gonna need a dose of bloopers soon.

Lace talks about how much the show has made her change, like not using the word "crazy" and control her faces. It must be hard to not use the term "crazy" when an audience member reveals his tattoo of Lace's face on his ribs. And also Lace accepts Chris Harrison's offer (a second extension) to attend Bachelor in Paradise. Get that cocktail shaker ready, Jorge! Later, Caila gets to re-live her breakup with Ben for the first time, admitting she still sorta loves Ben. She was heartbroken that Ben told her he never loved her back, but hopes to find a man who looks at her the way Ben looks at Lauren B and/or JoJo. Oh hey Caila, how about 25 guys?? Wink wink, but they'll save that announcement.

After allowing the women to tear into each other, they bring out Ben Higgins himself to allow to women to either rip him apart or I guess try to get some additional closure. Ben talks about compartmentalizing each relationship which is why he can drop two "I love yous" so easily. He then reiterates all the same stuff about valuing his relationship Caila, and she's find and ready to "open her heart." As the Bachelorette- winkkkkk. Leah asks about why Ben blabbed about their convo and I honestly blocked it all out except her and Lauren B are cool now. Ben has to explain to Jubilee that he tried to give her a second chance but he knew the effort wouldn't be worth it; she's annoyed she got most of the blame. Ben and Olivia both acknowledge there wasn't something right between them, hence it's failure. Amanda appreciated Ben was sad when he dumped her and thinks he'll be a good husband/dad. Ben is happy and in love, of course, and would "marry that woman tomorrow if I could." Forced TV marriage on After the Final Rose, please! And finally... BLOOPERS! The crowd goes wild for the only interesting part of this two hours.

Next week: Ben says "I love you" way too many times to two different women and will completely crush one woman.

[All images credited to ABC]

March 6, 2016

Survivor Kaoh Rong: Brain Games

3/06/2016 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 3

Idol fever takes over in Kaoh Rong this week. After an ill-attempt to scale a 20 foot tree, Tai fashions a tool to retrieve the key from the tree, which unlocks a buried box holding his beloved new jewelry BFF. What Tai also discovers is the idol has a twist: if paired with another Hidden Immunity Idol, the idol becomes a Super Idol which can be played after the votes are read. And this is important to know because a second idol is found over on Brawn beach. Alecia discovers the clue and shares this great news with Cydney, but they're caught mid-search. Since Cydney isn't really allies at all with Alecia, she tells Scot and Jason, which then begins all-out Idol warfare on the Totang beach. Seriously, I thought Alecia was going to get body-slammed by Jason to get the clue. Jason and Scot retrieve the idol, but it seems pretty clear that Jason has no intention of sharing that sucker with Scot. And poor Alecia's game is scrapped again.

Alecia's fate remains pretty sealed on the Brawn tribe, but she still tries to play by pointing out to Cydney that Scot is a millionaire since he played in the NBA and should go. Cydney is just smooth sailing as she's trusted by Alecia and tight with the guys. The outsider of the Beauty tribe is not Tai as many would assume, but Nick who the women don't like. His smile covers up his lack of caring and Anna definitely notices, especially after Tai has an emotional reaction to killing the chicken (dude even had me almost crying and I don't even like birds!). Anna approaches Caleb to have him join the trio of women and he's totally down the join, and while he's obviously the bottom of the alliance Caleb is OK with anything that removes his target. Liz and Peter on the Brains tribe believe they are running this ish and want loyal people to follow them throughout the game, deciding that Neal is likely to try to usurp their throne. The thing is, Liz and Peter aren't as slick as they think and their actions are being noticed by none other than Debbie, the woman they assume will blindly follow their lead. Debbie wants to pull in Aubry and Neal to take out Liz, while Liz's plan is to pull in Debbie and Joe to take out Neal. The Brain battle is on!

This week's Immunity Challenge has the survivors transporting big wet bags of rice through tiny holes, ripping apart the bags to find balls, and ending with the Swiss Cheese ball lift that originated in Survivor: Worlds Apart (and infamous was a challenge Caleb tried to throw when he was on Big Brother - it's all full circle!). And great use of food resources instead of say... eating it? Alecia's inevitable fate is spared but just a few seconds, with Brawn finally not coming last and getting a night off from Tribal Council. The Brains lose which means all the setup from earlier can come to an exciting conclusion. Liz is happy to go to Tribal Council, which is something you should never admit unless you want an awful edit. She tells Debbie the plan to split the votes between Neal and Aubry in case their is an Idol, with Debbie nodding with such little interest and enthusiasm that it should be telling. Debbie quickly relays this scheming to Neal, who is ready to "punish" them, and Aubry, who also subtly suggests to Debbie that Peter is controlling, and both agree he might be good to get rid of sooner.

Tribal Council time! Peter is first to point out that the age difference did intentionally split the tribe, but since then as settled into three different "voting units" (ugh, please let us never use any sort of variation of "voting blocks" again). While everyone is analytical, Aubry points out the importance of being able to read into the silences to understand past what's spoken. Of course Peter says he's great at social interactions, sending the rest of the tribe into hushed giggles. Joe talks about the importance of getting past first impressions since anyone can slap on a smile but be hiding something. Peter is confident his plan is in place, to which Neal responds "Which plan is he talking about?" Peter's answer: "Well, it's not your plan." Then calls Neal a potential snake in ice cream pants. Whoa, shots fired! The begins Peter's many verbal blunders of the evening, just spilling way too much info and arrogance, to the point it makes Aubry audibly go, "Wowww." Liz says the person going home tonight will not be completely shocked, the purses her lips again. The tribe votes and the results come back as a 2-2-2 split between Aubry, Liz, and Peter. Their own plan being used against them - diabolical! Aubry, Liz, and Peter have to sit out the re-vote, meaning Debbie, Joe, and Neal control the votes and their side speaks: Liz is the first Brain voted out of the game. Surprise!

[All images credited to CBS]