April 24, 2017

Survivor Game Changers: Merges and Moves

4/24/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 7

The tribes convene and Probst announces it's time to merge, but explains in order for the group to get their merge feast two people will have to sit out. Tai and Brad self-sacrifice stuffing their faces with food and use the isolated time together to catch-up. Meanwhile, everyone else is gorging themselves and Debbie pretends to be drunk because... well she's Debbie. Donning yellow buffs, the merge tribe dubs themselves Maku Maku and get to work talking, strategizing, and recapping the Sandra/Varner votes. Who shall be the first target?

Brad's recommend first target is Michaela who is good at challenges, not trusted, and overall annoys her tribemates. Everyone seems pretty on-board with the plan except for Hali and Cirie. Cirie pulls Michaela aside for a heart-to-heart, telling her to relax and hide her real emotions in this game. Michaela points out she's never seen a two black women sitting together at the end of this game. It seems the trust has been built and Cirie makes it her mission to save Michaela this week. After Andrea wins Individual Immunity, the majority of Maku Maku plan to put the majority of votes on Michaela and some on Hali in case an idol is played. Cirie doesn't want Michaela gone and begins a plan to save her, explaining that this could all possibly be a move to get Hali on Brad/Sierra's side. Cirie tells Michaela that she's the target but to trust her, vote for Zeke (the fake decoy vote), and never speak a word that this machination to save Michaela is a Cirie original plan.

Tribal Council time! Discussion begins withtalk of the merge dynamic and the alliances that will dictate the game. Hali vocalizes her fear of the night with no idea what is going to happen, with Michaela agreeing with this sentiment. Idols come up and that unknown element that could totally throw off plans and you always hope to flush an idol. Probst then asks if there are any people that would be willing to strip down to their birthday suit to say, "Hey guys, no idol here!" I can't decide if this is a question or a request from Jeff Probst, but his eyes light up when Hali offers to do such a thing to save herself. Hali says a target should be eliminated from the game, not a free agent. The tribe votes and Hali is eliminated from the game, not Michaela.

But wait, there's more! It's a two hour episode.

After the vote that ultimately saved Michaela, the tribe seems to be divided into two separate alliances. Cirie and Andrea both vocalize it would be smart to target leaders of the other side, Sierra and Brad. But Zeke isn't sure if this is the move he wants to make and after winning the Marshall's Lounge reward, he tries to recruit Debbie and Tai to his bigger plans to go after Cirie and Andrea. But there's bad news ahead for Zeke because the other side thinks he's a double agent and his actual alliance gets word of his betrayal. The war Zeke hoped to start ends up backfiring and suddenly he's the top target. But alas, there's more moves in play. When Ozzy fails to win Immunity in the hold-the-pole challenge he previously won two times, Debbie recommends they make a big move and blindside the challenge king. Plus she's secretly got the advantage with an extra vote in case they need another number.

Tribal Council time! There's talk about how the game has gotten much more cutthroat since the merge occurred with true alliances being blurred. Ozzy explains it's about trust and value, and his value is catching fish, which is similar to the Ozzy motto we've known since the first time he played. He is basically a merman. Zeke talks about the jury and how to convince others they could beat him so they could go to the end while putting people on the jury that will vote for him. Cirie explains her vote for the night will be based on trust. After the tribe initially votes, Debbie stands up and declares she'd like to use her Exile Island advantage to cast an extra vote. Then the votes are unveiled: Zeke's alliance turns on him, but it's Ozzy who is ultimately voted out of the game.

[All images credited to CBS]

April 17, 2017

Survivor Game Changers: Metamorphosis Moment

4/17/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 6

After ousting Sandra at last week's Tribal Council, Nuku wins at the Reward Challenge which allows the tribe to bond over the most disgusting looking pizza. But when you're hungry, you're hungry. Varner's hungriest to stay in the game, trying to throw the target on Ozzy. Mana bonds in a different way, with emotional outpourings from Sierra, Aubry, and Brad about how the game of Survivor changes you. Being vulnerable helps bring Brad closer to Aubry and Cirie, which means Brad has a group of five he can roll with.

Nuku loses their second consecutive Immunity Challenge with Mana able to solve the "Metamorphosis" word puzzle first. Varner knows he's likely going home and requests one-on-one time with everyone. However the tribe is conflicted because Ozzy is a threat and they're not sure he'll be loyal to their group. Zeke in particular likes Varner, but has worked closely with Ozzy and considers him a good shield. Zeke is very candid with Varner that there's a 50% chance Varner is leaving and says he'll try to save him. Realizing that Ozzy and Zeke might be working together, Varner tells this to Sarah and Andrea. Varner goes on about not going quietly and unfortunately, he's correct.

Tribal Council time. Varner acknowledges he's going home and pleads one last time for the divided tribe to vote off Ozzy. After ranting about "deception," Varner turns to Zeke and asks, "Why haven't you told everyone you're transgender?" The tribe is shocked and appalled at Varner's behavior, quickly defending Zeke. I could go on explaining as Varner tries to defend his actions and apologize, but you've seen it and can understand the magnitude of Varner's remarks. After Zeke has time to think and compose himself, he's able to speak about his life and wanting to be known as Zeke, and not defined as the transgender Survivor player. But Zeke has changed because of Survivor and become a better man, acknowledging his own personal "metamorphosis." Sarah gives an emotional speech condemning Varner's actions and talks about being glad to know Zeke for who he is, given her own conservative background. The tribe does not have to vote and each agree to eliminate Jeff Varner from the game. Zeke and Varner shake hands and hug, and Varner's torch is snuffed. This Tribal Council was so hard to watch but at the end of it all, we can all see that Zeke Smith is a class act and an amazing man.

[All images credited to CBS]

April 10, 2017

Survivor Game Changers: Long Live the Queen

4/10/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 5

The tribes enter what seems like a typical Reward Challenge but this season is called "Game Changers" so they have to switch it up again. The castaways draw buffs to divide into two tribes and Debbie is the odd-woman-out, heading to Exile Island. But Exile Island is actually heaven: it's a boat picnic with former Survivor champion, John Cochran! There are no roses to be handed out on this date, but instead some advice which Debbie sort of heeds. She also gets to choose between an immunity challenge advantage for her tribe or double votes, so she takes the cursed double votes. But Debbie is very confident in her game so it's not surprising.

On newer Mana, Brad and Troyzan feel outnumbered by the women which must give some major One World flashbacks for ol' Troyzan. The two men quickly rally, hoping to keep working with Sierra, while searching out a fourth. On newer Nuku beach, Sandra and Varner are totally outnumbered and feeling a little threatened. Sandra is clearly the #1 target on the beach so the majority concocts a plan that they're targeting Tai because he can find idols. And they're not wrong because that dude is has two idols now. Yup, he solved his Mana beach clue and find that idol, then re-used the well location clue to unearth the Nuku beach idol. Man, Tai's idol crotch bulge is going to be insane. Nuku loses the Immunity Challenge, so the group keeps up the ruse that they're voting for Tai which Varner buys and Sandra's hesitant about. Surprise, surprise though: Tai blabs the wrong plans in front of Varner which tips off Sandra. Sandra, the two-time winner, isn't giving up and tries to calmly persuade the tribe to save her and vote off Tai, warning that the Kaoh Rong three could reunite. It's a masterful argument that Sarah, Ozzy, Zeke, and Andrea can see through but respect it.

Tribal Council time! Debbie gets a front-row seat to her future tribe's first elimination, which is definitely a messy disaster. Since everyone is a "big threat" there's discussion about what is considered a target. Sandra is very aware tonight is likely her last since no one talks strategy her. Tai thinks he's in trouble because he made a big move taking out Malcolm, but then he keeps rambling too much and then says the only name he heard for the night is Sandra. Then Tai says he's going to vote out Ozzy and the majority is so confused if Tai is blowing all their plans, wondering if they can even trust Tai and maybe he needs to go. Despite this blunder, the majority sticks together and for the first time ever Sandra is eliminated from Survivor. The group gives the queen a round of applause as Sandra experiences her first torch snuff.

[All images credited to CBS]

April 4, 2017

Survivor Game Changers: The Sugar Situation

4/04/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 4

This week's Reward Challenge is the impetus for the majority of the episode's drama. But who wouldn't get overly emotional for the world's largest jars of peanut butter and jelly? The drama itself surrounds new Mana, who lose the challenge after Debbie blows their lead on the balance beam.But then it all pops off when Debbie says Brad dictates everything and made her do the beam, except at the challenge she said she was good at balancing and Brad agreed she should do it. Debbie thinks she's on the outs of the tribe and being replaced by Hali, who she says messed up the balance beam first. Debbie does some push-ups to workout her rage and then passively aggressively comments about her balance skills and challenge talent throughout the Immunity Challenge. Oh and Tai finds another idol clue because he's an idol magnet.

The Vanua tribe is smooth sailing as they continue to dominate challenges and indulge in PB&J. But the game is always happening and Sarah is bored by obvious alliances, approaching Troyzan to work together. Nuku is reeling over the loss of Malcolm because of JT's epic Tribal Council blunder. JT's ecstatic when he finds a Hidden Immunity Idol, but returns to a pissed off status when Michaela requests an insane coffee order that's basically a spoonful of sugar. Seeing an opportunity to create chaos between JT and Michaela, Sandra downs all the rest of the sugar and I can't believe she didn't pass out face down in the sand from the sugar. This rivalry is perfectly setup and when Mana loses the Immunity Challenge, the tribe is split. Sugarnapping is a serious offense on Survivor, but revenge for Malcolm is on the top of Sandra's mind. It's Varner in the middle deciding between a more peaceful camp or taking out a threat.

Tribal Council time! Sandra explains the tribe felt JT betrayed the tribe or someone snitched in order for Tai to play the idol properly. Michaela calls out JT straight up saying he thinks he runs the tribe and he's says they're tired of babysitting. And so then a bunch of grown adults have to explain to Jeff Probst that there's major tension over a empty, licked jar of sugar. Michaela insists she helps around camp, then tells JT to STFU. Aubry explains it's a quality of life issue happening but is abundantly clear how she has to vote. The tribe votes and Michaela pours herself a cup of water, sipping it as the votes are read. Sandra, Varner, and Michaela vote out JT, leaving Aubry stunned by the gameplay that just happened. Then the tribe has a laugh like a sitcom when Sandra admits she ate the sugar.

[All images credited to CBS]

March 26, 2017

Survivor Game Changers: Two Tribes Enter, One Man Leaves

3/26/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 3

A Reward Challenge kicks off this week's episode where only two member of each tribe get to compete for the prize of iced coffee with all the fixins (including some unnamed Milano Cookies but we all know a Milano when we see it). The twist is only two members from each tribe compete, and after Nuku wins first, Brad Culpepper smokes Troyzan in tossing beanbags at pins. It's bad for Troyzan because it only heightens his placement at the bottom of the tribe, but in good news Tavua has human/fish hybrid Ozzy who catches a stingray for dinner. Nuku celebrates their victory together, savoring each bite of the Milano cookies, but the scheming quickly picks back up. JT and Malcolm bro out together and wonder if they could amass the numbers to get out the two-time queen Sandra. 

But things all change at the Immunity Challenge when Probst announces only one tribe will have immunity and the other two tribes will go to Tribal Council. Nuku has a major lead but Jeff Varner can't finish the balancing puzzle, allowing Tavua to sneak in and win immunity.. Mana and Nuku will be attending Tribal Council tonight but another twist: they're attending together and only one person will be voted out. It's a Thunderdome Tribal Council: two tribes enter, one man will leave. Both tribes return to their respective camps to begin pondering their strategy. Sandra wants Nuky to vote six-strong for Sierra Dawn Thomas who is Mana's strongest female (and maybe because they share the same "SDT" initials). While Malcolm wonders if he could be the target, him and JT assume that Brad will target Sandra. That's correct, but Mana has only five members and would require one current Nuku member to flip. Then Tai finds a Hidden Immunity Idol, and everything changes as long as Mana can play the Idol right.

Tribal Council time! Strategy is quickly brought up since this is a whole new twist on the game, but also each person has a different agenda. Both tribes thought out all the different scenarios of idols, targets, etc. and it promises to be a messy evening. JT is at the forefront of Tribal Council since he was formerly a Mana man but recently swore himself loyal to Nuku. Hali's in a similar position and at one point says they should target a physical threat, which kicks off a whisper session as everyone tribes to deduce Hali's intent. Suddenly, JT gets off his damn stump and walks over to Brad and tells him Nuku's plan to vote out Sierra. Then Hali gets up and tells Sandra they have to vote for Brad. And then everyone gets up into group huddles like they're pondering taking the Double Dare Physical Challenge. This key piece of information JT shares with Brad is enough to change the game: the immunity idol is played for Sierra, nullifying all votes cast against her. The Sierra null votes come pouring out of the urn, which means after six votes the identity of tonight's boot will be revealed. In a major blindside only hinted at earlier in discussions, Mana successfully targets and eliminates Malcolm from the game.

[All images credited to CBS]

March 19, 2017

Survivor Game Changers: Drop, Swap, and Roll

3/19/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 2

It's been six days in Fiji, but there's no resting in a returnee season so the tribes swap into three tribes. 

The New Nuku is comprised of JT and 5 original Mana tribemembers, so he's on the outs and needs an idol. Using his classic JT charm, he lures the tribe far out into the ocean for snorkeling, then heads back to camp solo to retrieve pliers but really scavenging for an idol. No such luck, but A+ hi-jinks. Then shizz gets real at Nuku, as the protein-starved tribe captures and considers killing a goat. Since it's a momma goat and she's got a baby, she's set free and a chicken is devoured instead. Over at New Mana, Brad's already making himself at home, decorating the camp with glass orbs and talking about his passion for antiquing and interior design. Watch out Chip and Joanna, the Culpeppers are comign for you! Hali and Caleb are on the outs with the group, but Caleb is reunited with his Kaoh Rong pal Tai and hopes this will ingratiate him into the fold. There's a looming uneasiness of 3 castmembers from Kaoh Rong sticking together, which paints a bigger target on Caleb. But no one is quite as lonely as Troyzan, the only Mana member on the newly establish Tavua tribe. In a pair of underwear that perfectly matches the new tribe colors, Troyzan scours the beach until he successful finds a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol, tucked under a puzzle table at the upcoming Immunity Challenge.

The Immunity Challenge sends half of the tribe through a series of obstacles, ending with the other half of the tribe untying and assembling puzzle pieces. The first tribe to finish is Nuku, winning immunity, as well as an almighty tarp and some comfy pillows. Second place is Tavua who also win immunity and the reward of spices and sauces. While Tavua rallies together for a victory celebration, Troyzan uses the classic "I'm so tired I'm passing out ont he table move" to maneuver around until he successfully retrieves the Idol. Mana wins nothing except a tribe to Tribal Council, which is basically a choice of voting off Hali or Caleb. Caleb is an asset in challenges, but his history with Tai and connection to more Kaoh Rongers concerns the others. Brad and Tai talk, who talks about how keeping Caleb around creates an even bigger for Tai when the merg comes. Tai is torn between the friendship he has and what's the better move for his game.

Tribal Council time! Probst rights away bring up the Kaoh Rong threesome and the assumptions that come with their grouping. Sierra and Hali insist despite being on the season they have no friendship compared to Caleb/Tai. Caleb believes Hali is easier to manipulate and he's more of an asset in terms of strength and loyalty. Hali calmly argues her side, lawyering her way to a victory. History repeats itself for Caleb and he leaves the game of Survivor on day 9. But hey, he's healthy this time!

[All images credited to CBS]

March 13, 2017

The Bachelor: Nick Viall Actually Proposes

3/13/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 12 - Finale

It's time for the final two women to meet Nick's family, who I'm sure are so thrilled to go through all this crap again. But at least they get a free vacation! Raven is first up and she's met the Vialls before, so this is just a happy reunion especially with Bella who loves Raven and hopes her big bro picks her. Raven's maturity, sincerity, and love for Nick wins over the Viall family, so #TeamRaven (for now). Vanessa's family visit is... different. The vibe seems off and when Vanessa confesses that wants Nick, but unsure if she's ready to be engaged, it's definitely a red flag for a family that's seen their son's heart stomped on for TV purposes twice. Nick's dad understands his type but points out that hasn't worked out so well in the past, but a mutual cry sesh between dad and Vanessa makes him approve. Nick and his family have a recap on both women and foreshadowing the idea of Nick being alone at the end of this (which we all expect, let's be honest).

For Nick and Vanessa's final date, they ride horses through the cold, wintery woods and it's breaktakingly beautiful, especially the camera angle of the jiggling GoPro strapped to the horse. Nick knocks on a random cabin door and it's Santa Claus. Nick says love tops his wish list, but I beg to differ when the Dancing with the Stars glitterball trophy is out there. Santa gives a gift to the happy couple: a wooden etched rendition of Nick and Vanessa which they place awfully close to a campfire. Nick and Vanessa talk about their relationship, which is another chance for Vanessa to remind us all that she only wants to be engaged once and takes it very seriously. Also that being slightly more loved than the loser isn't something she's into either. Vanessa's skepticism continues into the evening portion, tired of Nick's vague, runaround answers, and disliking the unknown. When asked if Nick is ready to propose, he dodges that question too with BS runaround and it's like... give me a break.  But Nick goes onto a long diatribe that to be honest I tuned out of and Vanessa is sorta OK and still crying in fear. Great date!!

Nick and Raven meet up for some ice skating at the ol' Lapland Safaris, the place where nearly every single date has taken place since arriving in Finland. Cue the reprise of Nick and Raven's song "Kiss Me" by Sixpence None the Richer, a song well over a decade old but I suppose timeless as the 90s teen rom-com it was featured in. They makeout laying down on the ice, which seems like a terribly cold decision, leading towards bundling up and sipping what I'll guess is spiked cocoa by the fire. Oh and petting husky puppies!!! The puppies are left behind and Nick meets up with Raven at her hotel for one last hoorah. Whereas Vanessa spent her night stressed, Raven is more relaxed and reassures Nick there's no hesitation and is ready. Nick says he always feels in the moment with Raven, lots of laughter, loyalty, and passion. Nick and Raven kiss goodbye and she drops one last "I love you" before they part. We're denied another craft project of love. Sigh.

By a romantic campfire, Neil Lane and Nick pick out rings for the fourth time together. But choosing a ring and having to make eye contact with Neil Lane is only the second hardest thing Nick has to do. Yes it's time for the hard part: dumping one woman, a runner-up heartbreak Nick knows all too well. Raven and her shimmery silver dress, reminiscent of an ice queen, arrives for her proposal but we know that's not coming. Raven is giggly and nervous and gives her profession of love, but doesn't seem to read the look on Nick's face which is clearly, "I'm dumping you in three minutes." Nick tells Raven he's not sure he's in love with her and his heart is somewhere else. Raven takes it all with class and saves her tears for the car ride to the airport.

Nick tell us he's been falling in love with Vanessa for a long time and no longer fighting it, hoping she'll accept his proposal. Vanessa arrives in a sparkling black gown and a big ol' fur, which Chris Harrison hangs up for her because his job is literally coat check at this point. Nick talks about how he began to fall for Vanessa at the second rose ceremony and he's in love with her, so much so that tears are streaming down his face. Vanessa talks about how she feared Nick would never notice her, but he notices everything about her. Nick gets down on one knee (AGAIN) and proposes to Vanessa, who in fact accepts despite all her past hesitance. Oh yay a happy ending for Nick!

Onto After the Final Rose, which will allegedly have the most dramatic, historic event in history but I once watched a man dump his winner to pick the runner-up, so bring it.

There's a quick Nick interview before bringing out Raven, who Nick hasn't seen since the Finland dumping. Nick's a pro at being dumped on reality TV and understood Raven's feelings, but she wishes him only the best. Since The Bachelorette is taken, we'll be seeing more of Raven on Bachelor in Paradise. Vanessa is brought out and explains how the relationship has been difficult so far, in particular differentiating Nick the person and Nick the Bachelor. Oh and because they're long distance in different countries and he's off chasing fame. Nick and Vanessa are reunited on stage and are very boring as they awkwardly "answer" questions and feign happiness. Thankfully, there's a reprieve in the form of new Bachelorette Rachel, who looks flawless. Chris asks lots of questions and she's most nervous this process won't work. Finally, the much hyped surprise is revealed: The Bachelorette is beginning immediately on After the Final Rose. They roll out a large format print of the mansion and bring out a few guys to meet Rachel, arriving in limos of course. DeMario has brought plane tickets (and a ring) to elope in Vegas, a guy named Blake with nothing interesting to say, a sweet guy from Baltimore with everything good to say, and a guy who says he's ready to go black and never go back. 2 out of 4 ain't bad.

[All images credited to ABC]

March 12, 2017

Survivor Game Changers: War of the Winners

3/12/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 1

The 34th season of Survivor has put together a group of legends and randoms for the moves they made to "change the game". I mean, technically every person could qualify since every vote changes the game, which would the explain some on the people cast. But this is only the beginning of the "Game Changer" puns, so buckle up. Probst does a little question and answer session with the group before kicking off the classic marooning to grab supplies and GTFO. In the midst of chaos, Andrea unearths a Secret Advantage envelope... and totally misses it. Sierra Dawn Thomas snatches it right up. Ozzy the human/dolphin hybrid is first in the water to snag up a toolkit, and after ransacking the boat, everyone else joins in the water to paddle to their new homes and the cutthroat game ahead.

Nuku bonds right away and admires their campsite overridden by goats. Sierra sneaks off to read her envelope, which is an updated Legacy Advantage; it guarantees her immunity if she plays it when there are 13 people left in the game, or 6, and must be willed to another if she's eliminated. Game Changers is a whole new season, but the history between Cirie, Ozzy, and JT are tales we still tell our grandkids about. While Ozzy and Cirie talk and there's an impression of peace, a truly cringeworthy chat with Tai and his inability to lie shows that Cirie might still be in trouble. Over on Mana, the big names are the targets with Tony initially the biggest. He pretends to run off to find an idol, then continues to re-use his famous bag of tricks by resurrecting the spy shack as a "spy bunker," a hole by treemail. Too bad this secret hideaway is discovered immediately by Troyzan and now Tony is on the radar. Big names, big targets.

The tribes assemble for their first Immunity Challenge, where Jeff unveils the sea diving helmet idol. If the Sprint Player of the Season award returns, I'll give my vote to whichever castaways tries to fit that helmet over their head. Probst has an even bigger reveal than Steve Zissou's helmet: in the event of a tie at Tribal Council, the re-vote is gone and it immediately goes into a group discussion, and then rocks if a unanimous agreement isn't made to eliminate someone. Talk about a game changer! Get it? OK, the first immunity challenge is to complete an ocean obstacle course, find puzzle pieces in the sand (to mentally screw with the Kaoh Rong folks), and end by assembling a ship's wheel puzzle. Nuku wins the immunity challenge and gets to bring home the sea diving helmet idol and wins flint.

Mana returns to camp defeated, but as veterans of the game they're all ready to begin scheming. Tony is top-of-mind because he's sneaky, but the tribe needs to remain strong in challenges. Ciera was quick to drop Tony and Caleb's names as targets, indicating that she's playing the game hard already. The majority agrees that Ciera should go home because she's physically the weakest and a slick player who will do whatever it takes. In order to make the plan seem real, the group tells Ciera they are voting out Michaela, and surprise: Michaela isn't happy and can't hide her emotions. But is this emotional reaction enough of a game changers to switch the plan? Again, see what I did there? 

Tribal Council time! This season's set is an amazing lighthouse and shipwrecked boat, which reminds me of Survivor: Palau's military theme. When Hali says "loose lips sink ships" I feel like every producer cackled with joy to hear that phrase spoken in front of their finely crafted dilapidated boat. The tribe discusses being dubbed "game changers" and how past impressions impact the current game. Probst mentions that Sandra would be the easy vote because she's already won twice, but Sandra argues no one would give her that win a third time (wrong). Michaela answers that she expects that she'll see at least for herself tonight, which is a subtle burn of majority control. Sandra subs chapter one of Survivor: Game Changers "The Unknown" and then the tribe votes. As discussed and to her surprise, Ciera is eliminated in a 9-1 vote.

Onto hour 2 of the premiere!

After an easy consensus of a first vote, the real game begins and Tony starts to assemble his alliance of fellow threats: Aubry, Caleb, Malcolm, and Sandra. It's all great until Tony overhears a late night conversation between Sandra and Troyzan that mentions his name. The niceties are over and it's a war of the winners, with Tony and Sandra each trying to acquire an army to take out the other. Over on Nuku beach, Cirie is still worried about the looming danger of Ozzy/JT so she tries to make deals with Debbie (who keeps pronouncing her name as She-ree), Zeke, and Sarah the cop (who accepts for now but admits she'll play like a criminal this season). While someone like Sarah is open to change, Tai is the same ol' Tai, putting the chickens on leashes and making them pets. Don't get me started.

The second Immunity Challenge has the survivors untying and carrying a giant snake from the ocean, solving a puzzle, and wrapping up with the most pressure-filled game of ring toss. While everyone was distracted by double entendre snake jokes, I'm impressed at this interesting new challenge and how cool this big, 400lb anaconda looking thing is. In a ring toss showdown, it gets oh-so-close but JT narrowly defeats Malcolm, securing immunity and fishing gear for Nuku and sending Mana back to Tribal Council. Given their terribleness at challenges, Tony's side tries to flip Michaela, a challenge beast, to their side to keep Mana strong. Sandra's side plans to target Tony, but since he might find an idol they're going to risk splitting the vote on Tony and Aubry. This is a Game of Thrones level battle for the Mana kingdom and someone's going down.

Tribal Council time! There's discussion about needing to keep strong physical players around. Troyzan thinks the vote will make the tribe 50% less paranoid, an obvious tip of the hat to Tony, which Sandra hops onto and agrees with. Then a bug attacks her because I'm guessing the bug is totally on Team TV. Varner says they're a round hole getting rid of a square peg, which confuses Tony and gives Sandra another chance for a dig at Tony. Sandra casts a vote against Aubry as a precautionary idol move, but it's Tony who is eliminated. The battle is over and Sandra gets one last tiff in as Tony's torch is snuffed.

[All images credited to CBS]

March 6, 2017

The Bachelor: From the Bone Zone to the Hot Seat

3/06/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 11 + The Women Tell All

Nick wraps up his overnight date with Raven and she skips down the street happily high fiving strangers because she got laid and finally had an orgasm. Or so they imply. We get it, Raven. You're not the first to go to the Bone Zone with Nick Viall.

Next up for overnight dates: Rachel. Nick and Rachel meet up for an extremely awful attempt at cross-country skiing but it leads to petting a reindeer and a sleigh ride and that's cool. Rachel is surprised she's made it this far and fears her feels won't be reciprocated. Fast forward to nighttime and cozy sweaters, wine, and a crackling fire. Rachel's having a hard time verbalizing her feelings to Nick, and he tries to give guidance she's he done this three other times. And so Rachel finally says it: she's falling in love with him. Nick says he's falling for her too and they smooch a lot. Out comes the Fantasy Suite card which they gladly accept for some sexy cabin times. Nick makes Rachel eggs in the more which I can only assume included the classic one-liner, "How do you like your eggs: scrambled or fertilized?"

Vanessa arrives for the final overnight date, the sloppiest of all seconds at this point. Embracing the Finnish culture, Nick and Vanessa throw on matching swimsuits to dip into an ice bath for ten seconds. It takes a few tries. Thankfully there's a hot tub awaiting them to warm up and discuss the terrible hometown visit to meet Vanessa's parents. Apparently tradition freaks Nick out because Sunday dinner and bonding with family is so weird. Their night date is in a cozy teepee with another crackling fire because that's a sign of winter. Vanessa is still concerned this "traditional" comment is implying Nick doesn't want to be a part of her family, but he clarifies. But this really brings up an important question: where are they going to live? Nick doesn't see himself living in Canada because he's "really proud to be an American" and boy is it awkward. This conversation only points on how much these two are on totally different pages despite having a strong connection. But they're optimistic it'll all work out and Vanessa tells Nick she loves him. Nick and Vanessa accept the Fantasy Suite card to head to the Bone Zone and hopefully stop hearing about Vanessa's "core values."

With all three overnight dates over, each girl solemnly walks through the winter landscape to ponder their future with Nick.  But alas, there are only two roses on the podium for Nick to handout and one woman will be devastated. Nick gets verklempt in his speech and ultimately extends his roses to Raven and Vanessa. And so after knowing for weeks this would happen, it finally happens: Rachel is eliminated. Nick cries about how incredible she is, because she's a damn catch. Cry not viewers at home because Rachel is the new Bachelorette and deserves far better than Nick.

Then the worst happens: The Women Tell All. The most miserable 2 hours to recap every season as each women tries to make herself noticed so she'll get invited for Bachelor in Paradise.

Highlights. Alexis can now identify a shark versus a dolphin. The girls all shout over each other about Corinne and Taylor's behavior, requiring Chris Harrison to whistle to shut them up. Liz explains at Jade and Tanner's wedding she hooked up with Nick but her heart was with someone else, and applied for the show because she was genuinely into Nick, not TV fame. Taylor and Corinne each get a shot in the hot seat to scream at each other and allow others to shout their opinions too. Corinne admits she did stuns to get attention, Raquel isn't a nanny but wouldn't degrade her by calling her a cleaning lady, and gifts everyone cheesy pasta. Because of the show, some kids from Kristina's childhood orphanage have reached out to her but is still upset Nick dumped her since they had a connection. Nick attends his first Tell All since he's always a runner-up, never a winner, and the women awkwardly grill him. There's a quick round of bloopers before bringing Rachel out for everyone to be excited about her new role as The Bachelorette. I love her. All in all, an excruciating two hours.

[All images credited to ABC]

March 3, 2017

Survivor: Game Changers Pre-Show Winner Prediction

It's that time of the year again: Survivor is back! The 34th season of the reality show has assembled 20 returnees under the theme of Game Changers. The cast includes stand-out players from across the series, as well some questionable definitions of the term "game changers" but alas I am not part of CBS casting or marketing. I'm just a fan.

The tradition of making a pre-show winner prediction lives on, as I cull through videos, bios, and press interviews to suss out who I think has what it takes to win the title of Sole Survivor.


Aubry will win Survivor: Game Changers

To quote the great Igor Korotayev: well well well lock who come crall back. Guys, my BFF Aubry is playing Survivor again! Not only am I playing the Friend Card again, but this time it's with an even higher amount of confidence. After seeing how stellar Aubry played in Kaoh Rong, I know she has the skills across the board to win this game... if she can avoid being a target. Aubry's recency makes her a top-of-mind target, but this cast is has a lot of other big targets. And if anything, maybe this is the season everyone learns to spell her name right (it's Aubry, not Aubrey).

Now it's your turn! Time for YOU to cast your pre-show winner prediction. Who do you think will be the winner of Survivor: Game Changers? VOTE BELOW - voting closes right when the east coast premiere begins!

[All images credited to Entertainment Weekly and CBS]

February 27, 2017

The Bachelor: The Trouble with Turtlenecks

2/27/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 9

Previously on The Bachelor, Nick's ex Andi knocked on his hotel room and greeted him with a "Hello, Nick" in her best home to greeting Newman on Seinfeld. Over whiskey, Nick and Andi chat like old friends that had sex on reality TV. An innocuous comment about Nick dumping 29 girls leads Nick to say possibly 30 because he's not just getting engaged because there's a last woman standing. SHOCKER. Nick thinks it'll all workout and I'm glad he thinks that cause I sure as hell don't. Andi then gives Nick some Fantasy Suite sex advice which is bone whomever he wants, but don't make love to someone if you're not in love with someone. Hey, that's Nick's corny phrase, not mine.

Meanwhile, the four women are freezing outside on a veranda waiting for Nick to show at the Rose Ceremony. Nick gives his roses to Raven, Rachel, and Vanessa which means it's the end of the journey for Corinne and her platinum vagine. Corinne cries into Nick's arms that maybe she did something wrong or regretful, but Nick assures her there's nothing to be sorry for. We know this won't be the last of Corinne who I'm sure will fast become Jorge the Bartender's best friend in Paradise. Maybe Raquel the Nanny will get an invite too. Basically, Corinne will get the red carpet treatment because she's entertainment gold.

The windy outdoor Rose Ceremony was prep work for the show's next destination: snowy Finland! It's got a lush winter landscape perfect for pondering relationships on hotel balconies while wearing a winter beanie.

Raven is Nick's first overnight date and they get hop in a helicopter to take in the breathtaking views, which they miss partially due to making out. Then they head to a pub to play darts, take shots, and talk family. Raven is nervous about the Fantasy Suite and what happens in there AKA sex. Raven's got lots of secrets to confess on this date: she's never said "I love you" to her ex and she proclaims her love for Nick. You can rank your favorites. For what it's worth, Raven's profession of love is actually sweet and how love should be easy and that's what she feels with Nick. Nick busts out the Fantasy Suite card and Raven accepts with one more secret: she's never had an orgasm before. Nick blushes and they head to the room to smooch.

And then we're FREE! Only a one hour episode! But next week 3. UGHHHHH.

[All images credited to ABC]

February 20, 2017

The Bachelor: Nick Meets the Families (and Raquel the Nanny)

2/20/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 8

The girls are all still freaking out about Nick dumping Kristina before the Rose Ceremony, worried that he'll only do three hometowns because he's a rogue Bachelor. But fear not, there are still four hometown dates and Nick forgoes the formal ceremony to give Raven, Rachel, Vanessa, and Corinne roses.

First stop on the hometown date tour is Hoxie, Arkansas where Raven takes Nick around on the perfect small town country date. The cops AKA Raven's brother bust up their date at the grain bin, but they head back for some muddin' fun on four wheelers. Nick and Raven kiss in the swamp, which is a sentence I never anticipated typing but this is the 21st season of The Bachelor and new ideas are rare. They bathe at some point before heading over to meet Raven's parents who share some good news: her father is cancer-free. It's an emotional night for the father/daughter which then has to be shared with this weird date with the poly-amorous guy she's been dating. Raven has been guarded ever since her cheating ex so her mom hopes that she's not too guarded and can say "I love you" to Nick. Nick doesn't really ask permission to get engaged but moreso asks if he's OK with it, which is exactly what I'd expect Nick to say since I don't think he wants to be engaged (Dad says yes, by the way). At the end of the night, Raven chokes on her big chance to tell Nick she loves him.

Nick visits Rachel's hometown of Dallas, Texas where she takes Nick to church to probably make sure he doesn't burst into blames. Or to understand more of what makes her the person she is and gauge his comfort level in a predominantly black church ("Amen is Amen," says the profound words of Nick). Nick then gets to meet all of Rachel's family except her dad who has work obligations. Nick wins over the family with his adoration of Rachel and good answers about interracial dating, not to mention his ability to identify okra on a plate. Rachel's mom asks the tough questions but also trusts Rachel's judgement. Rachel and Nick kiss goodbye and she knows she's falling in love with him.

In true Corinne fashion, she greets Nick with a monkey jump hug and then takes him shopping at an exclusive Miami mall. Corinne treats Nick to a few new outfits (after a montage of terrible looks) and then tells him she loves him over lunch. Finally we meet the family that raised Corinne or more importantly, Raquel the nanny. While Corinne tells her dad that she proclaimed her love for Nick ("We've been dating a month and a half!"), Nick gets some quality time with Raquel. Corinne's dad is concerned that Nick isn't going to make the big bucks to provide for Corinne, and she states she'll be the breadwinner. Nick gets the support of Corinne's dad after a mild grilling and lesson on how to hold a glass. Corinne and Nick smooch more before he leaves and gives him one last "I love you" for the road.

Nick puts a stamp on the ol' passport for his last hometown date in Montreal to be with Vanessa. Before he gets to meet her family, Nick meets Vanessa's special education students who help make a scrapbook of memories. If you thought a classroom of students was a lot, then you don't know Vanessa's big Italian family (and friends) who all came over to meet the reality star. Vanessa's mom takes Nick aside and wants to make sure Nick loves Vanessa for all her amazing qualities not just because she's pretty. And given the size of the family, the inquisition happens over and over. Vanessa makes it known that this relationship is something special; her mother wants her to be happy, but her sister has doubts (don't we all, Melissa the sister). After the emotional exhaustion of this visit, it all resets when Vanessa then brings Nick to meet her father. The vibe is definitely chiller due to sheer smaller crowds, but dad's got questions to ask Nick. Also he's got solid burns about Nick also feeling this way about other women on reality TV. Nick asks Vanessa's dad for his blessing to propose but is denied when he admits that he's sort of asked the other dad's too. Nick defends his feeling for Vanessa and eventually gets the yes. But when Vanessa gets a recap and hears Nick asked for other blessings, Vanessa questions that maybe he truly doesn't know who he wants to pick at the end.

With hometown visits over, Nick sips a cappuccino on a Brooklyn hotel balcony and ponders life's greatest mysteries and also who he wants to dump at the Rose Ceremony. Nick begins preparing for the Rose Ceremony when there's a knock at his door that's not room service: IT'S ANDI THE EX WHO MADE LOVE TO HIM WHEN SHE LOVED SOMEONE ELSE!

[All images credited to ABC]

February 13, 2017

The Bachelor: Platinum Vagine

2/13/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 7

Nick's all shook up after his emotional double dumping on the 2-on-1 date. Nick seems solace and advice from Chris Harrison, because who the hell else is he allowed to talk to? Nick's concern is this process won't work for the fourth time. I hate to be a cynic buuuuut probably not. Nick heads back to the hotel to apologize to the women for barging into their hotel the night before to cry about this experience. He then begins to awkwardly ramble on about his feelings and doubts, ultimately landing on he does have strong feelings for all six remaining women. The women all exhale a major sigh of relief that Nick isn't quitting and they're all heading to Bimini, a real place I had to Google.

Vanessa gets her second 1-on-1 date which requests they "get deeper" and I'll refrain from the obvious jokes that I reeeeeally want to make. Nick takes Vanessa on a yacht, which is apparently Vanessa's first boat ride ever (I guess she's never boarded the Pirates of the Caribbean at Disney World before). The two have genuine conversations about Nick's feelings and Vanessa's feelings and they're back in a good place. They debark to snorkel and makeout by a shipwreck, which is truly a metaphor for this season. Vanessa and Nick dry off and head into their "dinner" where Vanessa thanks Nick for all the firsts and teases more firsts for them (saying "I love you" not banging!) Vanessa hopes to introduce Nick to her family next week and expresses that she hasn't had feelings like this in years: it's love. Vanessa is falling in love and he has feelings as well, but is only going to say it to one woman this season AKA not pulling a Higgins. Turns out that is not the answer Vanessa wanted to hear and now she's concerned she might end up the heartbroken one at the end of this.

Kristina, Raven, and Corinne are chosen for the group date, which infuriates Corinne since she's never received a 1-on-1 date. Girl, it's cause you are group date gold and the only generator of conflict. The only date rose of the week is also on the line so everyone is trying to up their ante to get Nick's attention. It's another yacht date because god forbid anyone grab some travel brochures for Bimini before going there. However the yacht does stop to do something cool: swim with sharks! And not in cages! Poor Alexis the dolphin lover who dressed like a shark would have loved this date. Kristina gets freaked out and bails early, so Nick comforts her on the boat and it annoys Corinne. Fast forward to the night portion of the date, where Nick gets teary about having to break five more hearts. Raven opens up about leaving law school after her father was diagnosed with lung cancer and knows they'll be excited to meeting him. Corinne finally gets her alone time and expresses her disappointment at always being a group date girl and Nick's like, chill I talk to you all the time. The night ends with the super exclusive date rose going to Raven and they ditch the other two for a semi-private concert by some good looking dude.

Danielle M, the last Danielle standing, joins Nick for a 1-on-1 date that doesn't take place on a yacht: they ride bikes. With swim trunks that tight, I'm shocked Nick didn't rip the crotch trying to pedal. The couple buys some trinkets and shoot hoops with local kids, but when it comes time to have a conversation Nick and Danielle struggle. Fast forward to their nighttime date where the conversation is as dull as the daytime iteration. Danielle is having a difficult time because the last time her family met a guy, her previous fiance, he passed away. She decides to open up to Nick about how much she cares for him but Nick doesn't see himself falling in love with Danielle so he lets her go. The end of the reign of Danielles.

Concerned of losing the affection of Nick and the chance at a hometown date, Corinne throws on her cute romper to surprise Nick at his hotel room. They pop open the champagne and have unofficial 1-on-1 time which Corinne hopes will lead to her sexing Nick up with her "platinum vagine." They head to the bedroom and start getting sexy with the mics on before Nick stops her. Listen, he's already created chaos on one season with early sex, he's not doing it again.

Nick takes Rachel out for the last date of the episode, sipping beers at a local outdoor bar and talking about her family. Nick wants to know how a family visit would be and she gives him the 411. Rachel has never brought home a white guy and her family will likely be skeptical but maybe that's because this is Nick's fourth time dating on reality TV. After shooting the shit with the friendly bartender and signing their names, they makeout on a dock. It's the fastest Bachelor date ever probably because Rachel is a guaranteed hometown date.

While it seems like a Rose Ceremony may actually happen on an episode, Nick throws us a curveball and decides to dump the woman in private. Nick heads to the women's cabana and asks Kristina to talk for a second. He has stronger relationships with the other women right now which hurts her, as she feels Nick didn't give her as much of a chance. Nick doesn't want Kristina to go but unfortunately he has to let her go. Kristina cries and then all the other girls cry because maybe more will be eliminated. Guess we'll find out next week.

[All images credited to ABC]