Category Archives: What’s Hot on TV

The Voice, Oct. 21 – Real Battles

Unlike the previous week’s battles, these really are battles and not duets. Not that duets are bad, it just makes it really hard to choose one or see one of them go home. Tonight it’s not as difficult.

Battle: Josh Logan, 33, Manchester, NH vs. Michael Lynch, 27, Chicago, IL. Team Christina and Ed Sheeran. They both have a lot of soul, leaving Christina to think this song is perfect for them to explore and “bring their own energy to the table.” Christina encourages them to make it their own instead of following the Maroon 5 original. She would also like them to move around and play with the audience instead of just standing in one place to sing. The secondary goal to winning is to impress Adam since he wrote it.

Song: Harder to Breathe

Me: Josh is just so much more natural with this song. Michael does admirably, but it’s just not in his wheelhouse.
Cee Lo: He enjoyed the confidence and effortlessness of both performances, but Josh almost sounded identical to Adam, and that’s a compliment. He didn’t even see Michael coming.
Blake: He was into it and recognizes Josh’s likeness to Adam as well. He knows it’s easy to get wrapped up in Josh being overpowering, but they both gave 110%.
Adam: It’s really easy to screw up this song, but it was a lot of fun, and these two guys did amazing. Josh did overpower Michael, yet there isn’t anything he could say negative about either one.
Christina: The song was written in a way where rhythm is crucial. She adores Michael, and he’s so talented. Josh is amazing, and it’s no joke the way he put his own spin on ad libs and soul.
Winner: Josh

Battle: George Horga Jr., 19, Portland, OR vs. Juhi, 16, Franklin, TN. Team Cee Lo and advisor Miguel. Cee Lo likes the song choice because it’s young and fresh, and that’s what he’s expecting from these two singers. George reminds Miguel of a Bruno Mars type with the grit in his voice. There are a lot of times where Juhi is putting in her own personality to the song, and George needs to do that too.

Song: The Best I’ve Ever Had

Me: His voice cracks a little, taking away from a very solid performance. This one just comes down to a matter of preference in style.
Adam: George had a bad note, but sang well after that. Juhi has a great voice, but he worries she’d be backed into a corner because she’s so specific.
Blake: The good thing is he isn’t George’s coach, as he was too aught up in the bad note. There’s something that really jumps out at him with Juhi. He would go with her.
Christina: Both brought something interesting to the song. Juhi has character in her vocal that makes her stand out, and George stood out as well, just differently.
Cee Lo: Juhi is just 16, but very brilliant. George came out after being here for three years to pursue a passion. He wants to bring someone who wants to pursue this and doesn’t even consider a plan B.
Winner: George
Steal: Adam steals Juhi, not believing that Cee Lo is letting her go.

Battle: Austin Jenckes, 25, Duvall, WA vs. Brian Pounds, 24, Austin, TX. Team Blake and his advisor Cher. He paired Austin and Brian together because they’re both edgy but can also be vulnerable. He’s thinking of the Hank Williams Jr. version of the song for these two country singers. Cher wants Austin to think about not showing all his cards in the beginning. Brian needs to find a way to connect to the song. Austin is used to playing smaller venues without a mic and needs to adjust his performance. Brian decides to lose his guitar for the performance and just sing.

Song: Love Somebody

Me: Like the first battle tonight, they’re both fantastic, but Austin is just far too natural. He has a ready-to-record voice.
Christina: On a more emotional level, she connected more with Austin and would go with him.
Cee Lo: Brian’s voice is strong, but a few moments needed to connect more. Austin’s approach is more effortless.
Adam: What Austin did with the song gave him the advantage, but that’s not to say Brian’s voice isn’t equally strong. Yet, he gives it to Austin.
Blake: The way Austin loses himself in a song, he leaves his heart laying on the stage. They’re dead even as far as their vocals.
Winner: Austin

Battle: James Irwin, 31, St. Louis, MO vs. Matt Cermanski, 20, Phoenixville, PA. Team Adam and advisor Ryan Tedder. They’re paired together because both of them have auditioned for the show before but didn’t make it. Whoever moves him the most will get his vote. This is a Ryan Tedder song. He explains it’s about his struggles to pursue music when he married young and was supporting someone else. James needs to not draw the words out. Matt requests a key change and loses the request but finds what he thought he couldn’t.

Song: Counting Stars

Me: Matt starts out shaky but picks it up after the first few lines finding his voice. But James still seems to be more of a natural.
Blake: He heard the same strengths and weaknesses in their voices, but it was cool to watch James perform, while Matt has a voice that reminds him of Adam’s. He’d go with James.
Christina: Matt did a better job on his first falsetto. James started strong, but Matt ended strongest.
Cee Lo: He agrees with Blake and not Christina. Matt has a fuller voice as compared to James’ chest vocal, but it cut through clearer for Cee Lo.
Adam: He believes in them both and thinks they both have work to do.
Winner: James

Battle: Destinee Quinn, 20, Surprise, AZ vs. Lina Gaudenzi, 23, Miami, FL. Team Christina and Ed Sheeran. They were paired together for their ability to bring a soft sensibility to a song. Christina chose this song to make each other step outside their comfort zones. Christina can’t get them into the emotion of the song. She wants them to be “mad as hell” like what they’re singing. This is probably one battle that doesn’t seem near ready for “primetime.”

Song: Not Ready to Make Nice

Me: While the coaches all seem really impressed, I’m still not finding the emotions in this. It seems more faked with body movements.
Cee Lo: Lina has a strong, definitive voice, but he watched Destinee really live that song out loud.
Adam: He saw no issues with emoting, but heard some technical problems. He’d choose Lina.
Blake: He’d choose Destinee because of her connection with the song and the way she was almost about to cry. As for execution, though, it has to go to Lina.
Christina: Destinee won it for her emotion, yet Lina won it for her range and pushing to other places.
Winner: Destinee
Steal: Adam steals Lina because of her potential.

Battle: James Wulpert, 22, Lancaster, PA vs. Will Champlin, 30, Receda, CA. Team Adam and advisor Ryan Tedder. They are paired together not because they both wear glasses but because he wants to take them both out of their comfort zone. They’re cut from the same cloth musically, making it’s redundant to have them both move forward, so he needs to see who’s stronger. Will has soul, but doesn’t have the range and great pitch that James has. While James is technically perfect, he needs to tap into that emotion.

Song: Radioactive

Me: Both of these guys can rock it out way more than you would think by looking at them. And both worked on the things they were told to.
Blake: James was a surprise since he doesn’t look the part, And Will looks the part and is a badass musically. He’d go with James.
Christina: There’s no question. She’d go with Will because he had the more solid performance. She was surprised that James pushed a little too hard.
Cee Lo: He likes James’ style because it’s so unassuming. For his own intrigue and amusement, he’d go with him.
Adam: James had the least to prove and did an incredible job. Will stepped it up in rehearsals.
Winner: James
Steal: Christina steals Will just when you think he’s out of it.

There’s just one steal left, and that belongs to Cee Lo. Just like in the Blinds, he was the only coach who had a spot left on his team. For anyone who is already on his team and hasn’t battled yet, it’s not a good thing. They know if he doesn’t pick them, they’re out, as no one else can steam them.

The Amazing Race, Oct. 27 – Three Left Feet

Last week’s episode of The Amazing Race ended with the teams still racing. Only Brandon and Adam had reached the Pit Stop. Tim and Marie didn’t have their clue showing the Pit Stop and were lost. Nicole and Travis pulled up and offered to exchange that information for the second Express Pass. Tim and Marie hadn’t made a decision yet on it when the episode ended.

Departing from: Norway

First Clue: Teams will need to travel by boat and plane to Gdansk, Poland. They will then travel to Solidarity Square at a shipyard to get their next clue. They are cautioned that there is a U-Turn ahead.


Brandon and Adam: Childhood friends from Chico, California. They’re here to race. They’re here to have fun, not to sit around and sleep. They announce that they’ve now been racing for about thirty straight hours.

Jason and Amy:Dating and from New England.

Nicole and Travis: Married ER physicians from Atlanta.

Leo and Jamal: Cousins from Southern California.

Tim and Marie: Exes from Morristown, NJ.

Tim and Danny: Oil plant workers from Cordell, Oklahoma.

Ally and Ashley: NHL ice crew teammates from Long Beach, California.

Nicky and Kim: Major League Baseball wives from the Midwest. They are definitely excited to find they are still in it and still racing, and that they were not eliminated.

With a boat departure of 8:30 P.M., Brandon and Adam realize all the other teams will catch up to them. All of the teams also catch the same flight into Poland.

On the boat, Tim and Marie secretly give their second Express Pass to Nicole and Travis. They want other teams to believe they still have it. Apparently Nicole and Travis gave them the directions to the Pit Stop that they were looking for to gain the Express Pass.

Second Clue: Teams will travel by taxi to the Golden Gate and Old Town Gdansk to get their next clue. Order of Arrival: Tim and Danny, Jason and Amy, Nicole and Travis, Nicky and Kim, Brandon and Adam, Leo and Jamal, Ally and Ashley, and Tim and Marie.

Third Clue: Detour: Pose or Polka. In Pose, teams will copy the stance of a historic bronze statue of Neptune to earn donations from spectators. Once they earn $75, they will get their next clue. In Polka, teams will learn and perform a choreographed routine in full costume to the satisfaction of their instructor to get their next clue. Order of Arrival: Tim and Danny, Nicole and Travis, Jason and Amy, Nicky and Kim, Brandon and Adam, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, and Tim and Marie.

Pose: Nicky and Kim, Brandon and Adam (switch to Polka), Leo and Jamal (after being u-turned), and Brandon and Adam (They return after being U-Turned).

Polka: Tim and Danny, Nicole and Travis, Jason and Amy, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, and Brandon and Adam.

Express Pass: Tim and Marie.

Order of Finish: Nicky and Kim, Jason and Amy, Nicole and Travis, Tim and Danny, Tim and Marie, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, Brandon and Adam, Leo and Jamal (after their U-Turn), Brandon and Adam (after their U-Turn).

Fourth Clue: Teams need to search the riverfront for the Medieval Harbor Crane to get their next clue. They also need to wear their costumes until the end of this leg.

Fifth Clue: Double U-Turn:Order of Arrival: Jason and Amy (do not use), Tim and Marie (do not use), Nicky and Kim (do not use), Tim and Danny (u-Turn Leo and Jamal), Nicole and Travis (do not use), Leo and Jamal (are U-Turned and U-Turn Brandon and Adam in return), Ally and Ashley (do not use), and Brandon and Adam (are U-Turned). Teams will make their way to the longest apartment building in Poland to find their next clue.

Sixth Clue: Roadblock: Order of Arrival: Tim and Marie, Jason and Amy, Nicky and Kim, Nicole and Travis, Tim and Danny, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, and Brandon and Adam. One person from each team will use the twelve addresses provided to search for a rose-filled pastry. Once they find the right flavor, they will receive their next clue. They are warned that they may be penalized for bad manners. This can’t be good news for Tim and Marie or the Afghanimals. Participating: Marie, Amy, Kim, Travis, Danny, Ashley, Leo, and Brandon.

With Kim taking the elevator to the different floors, Travis hits the button on every floor while he runs down. She figures it out and switches to the stairs. He also catches up with Amy and Marie who are working together and knows they won’t go back to a place they already tried, so he starts following them. They work with him and split up to cover twice the territory.

Ashley and Leo work together as well.

Order of Finish: Nicole and Travis, Tim and Marie, Jason and Amy, Tim and Danny, Nicky and Kim, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, and Brandon and Adam.

Seventh Clue: Teams will now search for Phil on the Sopot Pier, the longest wooden pier in Europe and the pit stop for this leg of the Race. The winners of this leg of the Race receive a Travelocity trip for two to Hawaii.

Pit Stop: Order of Arrival: Tim and Marie, Jason and Amy, Nicole and Travis, Nicky and Kim, Tim and Danny, Leo and Jamal, Ally and Ashley, and Brandon and Adam (eliminated).

Nicole and Travis realize that when he helped Marie and Amy, it cost them first place, yet they have the only Express Pass still in play.

Express Pass: Tim and Marie give their second Express Pass to Nicole and Travis in exchange for directions to the Pit Stop. Tim and Marie use their Express Pass on this leg. They realized they were in last place and that they stood a good chance of being U-Turned. Nicole and Travis’ Pass is still in play.

Teams to Get Lost: Leo and Jamal, Ally and Ashley, and Tim and Marie. They ask to be taken to the shipyards instead of Solidarity Square.

Sound Bites: Tim: Would you rather be in this taxi right now with this guy who has no clue where he’s going or be shoving sharp objects into your eye?

Danny (in a dress): I didn’t really feel sexy. I felt pretty humiliated.

Danny to Tim: You have three left feet. You’re terrible.

Brandon and Adam: We need boobs. Apparently that’s what does it.

Next Week: Teams join the Vienna Boys Choir while Marie steals Jason and Amy’s taxi.

Brandon and Adam went from first place to last place on this leg. They aren’t so worried about losing the money but are a little sad to be missing out on the rest of the Race. They know they couldn’t buy the experience with the million dollars. They were doing crazy stuff before the Race, and it’s not going to stop them from continuing to do crazy stuff.

The Voice, Oct. 15 – Battles or Duets?

These battles continue to blow me away. They are all so good that I’d rather have them just keep them around as duets. If you listen to the iTunes versions of the winners singing the songs, they’re not nearly as good as when they were battling someone else.

Battle: Jacob Poole, 30, Warner Robbins, GA vs. Matthew Schuler, 20, Yardley, PA. Team Christina and her advisor Ed Sheeran. She teamed these two guys up because they both have rock inspirations. She chose the song for them because because it says “Battle.” She thinks if Jacob would have chosen a song like this in the blinds, he would have turned more chairs. Matthew runs the risk of being overzealous. Christina and Ed don’t like the way Matthew changes it up but do like what Jacob does.

Song: My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark

Me: This is phenomenal! I like this version better than the Fall Out Boy version.
Cee Lo: It’s one of the best battle rounds he’s ever seen.
Adam: It was like a musical ass-whooping. Matthew was a favorite going into it, but no one got their asses whooped today. He’d still go with Matthew.
Blake: He’s waiting for noses to start to bleed. Jacob was a one-chair turn, and he’s more impressed by him right now.
Christina: They are both so beyond talented.
Winner: Matthew

Battle: Kat Robichaud, 29, Raleigh, NC vs. R. Anthony, 23, Tampa, FL. Team Cee Lo and his advisor Miguel. He picked this song because it has a lot of angst and attitude and is sensual with power. He wants to see if they can form a personal connection to the song. Instead of pairing them for their similarities, he did it because of their differences. Miguel expects R. to run every line; he thinks doing it less will make it more interesting. Cee Lo wants to hear Kat’s roar and rasp, and Ed wants her to let it build.

Song: I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing

Me: It’s an amazing battle, but Kat’s the one who gives it something you won’t see anywhere else.
Adam: His biggest regret from the blinds is not turning around for Kat. R. is a new surprise and challenges his love for Kat.
Blake: He agrees with Adam about R., but Kat is pumped and puts that intensity into everything she does. He gives the battle to her.
Christina: She compares Kat to a tiger with a claw coming out. She has much love and appreciation for R.’s crazy vocal control.
Cee Lo: The most untrained ear could hear the precision in R.’s voic. Kat is a dynamo, and he needs a natural disaster like that on his team.
Winner: Kat

Battle: Cole Vosbury vs. Lupe Carroll. Team Cee Lo

Song: Africa

Cee Lo: Very well-performed by both, but Cole was cool while handling it with care.
Winner: Cole

Battle: E.G. Daily vs. Sam Cerniglia. Team Blake.

Song: Something to Talk About

Blake: E.G. did a phenomenal job of waiting until the end, then letting it fly.
Winner: E.G.

Battle: Ashley Dubose vs. Justin Blake. Team Adam

Song: Just a Fool

Adam: Moving forward, he has to go with somebody who is prepared for everything he knows is coming.
Winner: Ashley

Battle: Monika Leigh, 28, Boulder, CO vs. Ray Boudreaux, 25, Lafayette, LA. Team Blake with advisor Cher. He pairs these two together because they both have that blues thing he wishes he had. He gives them this song because it’s fun and fits into their sound. Ray has great volume, meaning Monika needs to pull from her “bootstraps.” Ray’s having a hard time hitting the high notes. Cher finds Monika too inconsistent. Blake doesn’t want Ray to hold back.

Song: Some Kind of Wonderful

Me: Monika does improve on her performance based on the first time she sang the song in rehearsals, but it just doesn’t come close enough to comparing to Ray. I would have liked to have heard E.G. or Donna from yesterday’s Battles singing it instead of Monika.
Christina: She felt Ray was digging a little more deeper, while Monika had a great moment opening up the second verse.
Cee Lo: There’s a difference between singing and sanging, and Ray can sang. Monika seemed to get lost a little in the vibe.
Adam: He’s still mad at Monika for not turning around for him, and Ray is capable of so much he couldn’t see in the blinds. He has a lot of talent.
Blake: He loves Monika’s freedom onstage, and trying to get her to do the same thing twice is like herding cats. Ray just “sang the crap out of that” and showed range.
Winner: Ray (with his toddler daughter rooting for him loudly in the audience)
Steal: Cee Lo steals Monika, surprisingly. Christina know it’s because she’s using her heart just like him.

I’m surprised Monika was stolen, but it’s interesting that Christina believes it’s because of emotional reasons rather than her talent. If anyone is going to make choices based on emotion, though, it’s Cee Lo. Being that he said earlier he wasn’t stealing because he was waiting or just the right person, it seems strange.

The Voice, Oct. 14 – Battle Rounds Begin

Looking through preview of who will be performing tonight, I can’t say I want half of them to go home. I’m hoping for a lot of saves, but if it follows the same as the blind auditions. we won’t have many on the first night, as judges are going to be careful and safe them for who they really want.

Battle: Grey, 25, Jacksonville, FL vs. Nic Hawk, 26, Dallas, TX. Team Adam and his advisor Ryan Tedder. Adam chose the Jessie J. song because she’s diverse and eclectic, just like this pairing. Grey is nervous going against Nic because of his energy and presence onstage, and Nic is a little afraid of her. Adam wants her to to save a little breath for the end of the song. He knows from the get go that this is a huge challenge for Nic.

Song: Domino

Me: Grey is right about Nic’s energy; that’s for sure. Yet it does seem a little more natural for her.
Blake: He feels Nic’s value for the show and doesn’t know how you don’t go with him.
Christina: Nic has an energy level to keep up, but Grey did a really good job balancing it. She’d go with her for the consistent vocals.
Cee Lo: Grey deserves to be here, but he’s partial to what Nic is bringing to the stage.
Adam: This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as Grey’s vocal ability, and Nic’s energy and unique character are infectious.
Winner: Grey
Steal:Blake takes Nic, telling Adam he “screwed up so bad.”

Battle: Amber Nicole, 17, Houston, TX vs. Timyra-Joi, 15, San Diego, CA. Team Christina and her advisor Ed Sheeran. Christina paired them because of their similarities of youthfulness and potential. She is choosing this song for them as she wants them to dig a little deeper. Ed and Christina want Timyra to watch her tremble, and Christina thinks Amber came up with great “louds and softs.” Ed feels Timyra’s voice is really suited to the song, while Christina thinks she’s only giving fifty percent. Christina wants to make sure Amber doesn’t doubt herself.

Song: Listen

Me: It seems like the song starts a little too low for Timyra, while Amber seems more ready to record from the very start.
Cee Lo: He was more partial to Amber because of her experience, but Timyra’s voice really cuts. He gives it to her.
Adam: He heard Timyra get nervous, but after that it was incredible. Amber was real crisp.
Blake: He’s never seen Christina cry in a battle round, and he can’t even help her with who to pick.
Christina: She is proud to know that she heard them first and pushed her button. She tries to follow her gut and instinct.
Winner: Amber

Battle: Justin Chain, 23, Fort Payne, AL vs. Shelbie Z, 21, Jasper, AL. Team Blake and his advisor Cher. For Blake it was the most obvious pairing. He’s giving them the love song ballad to see what they do at the peak of their range. Cher advises Shelbie she has to think down and not be nervous of the high notes and tells Justin to find his power and use it. Blake feels the harmonies are all over the map. Cher admits she’s not good at it either.

Song: Don’t You Wanna Stay

Me: They’re both fantastic and find great harmony, but for straight versatility, I’d go with Shelbie. It’s never easy for anyone to sing Kelly Clarkson songs, but she nails it.
Christina: She realizes they’d be a great duet pairing, as it’s hard to do, but they blended perfectly. To choose just one artist, she’d go with Shelbie.
Cee Lo: They’re word “Stay” was beautiful, and he realizes this gave Shelbie more opportunities, so he has to pick her.
Adam: The best battles are the ones that don’t feel like it. He couldn’t focus on separation, as they were such a great unit. He found someone a little sharp, and didn’t know who he was, but Cee Lo confirms it was Shelbie, so Adam would go with Justin.
Blake: Blake has performed this with Kelly and thinks Justin would kick the hell out of what he did, yet Shelbie delivered what Kelly did.
Winner: Shelbie Z.

Battle: Anthony Paul, 18, Twinburg, OH vs Caroline Pennell, 17, Saddle River, NJ. Team Cee Lo and advisor Miguel. While Caroline is shy, Anthony is outgoing, and he thinks this choice of song gives them a chance to signify themselves. Miguel thinks Caroline’s instinctive changes heighten the meaning of the words. Cee Lo doesn’t want Anthony to overdo the song. They can feel the emotion in Anthony, and Caroline needs to work on that a little.

Song: As Long as You Love Me

Me: She brings her interesting voice to this, while he brings his years of show choir. She couldn’t sing everything, while it seems like he could.
Adam: It’s more in line with Anthony, but she took it to something he could see becoming popular, making him choose her as the winner.
Blake: He thinks they’re both good, but he showed more versatility.
Christina: Sh loves what Caroline did with the chorus, yet he really worked the louds and softs. She’s torn.
Cee Lo: There’s something so efficient about Anthony’s voice, and something so surreal about Caroline’s.
Winner: Caroline
Steal:Christina steals Anthony because of his vocal control.

Battle: Donna Allen, 54, Hollywood, FL vs Tessanne Chin, 28, Kingston, Jamaica. Team Adam and advisor Ryan Tedder. He chooses this song to challenge both of them for Tess to have Donna’s soul and for her to have Tessanne’s smoothness. Tessanne’s warned not to take a backseat to Donna, as she’ll steamroll her. Tessanne scared Ryan when she went for a crazy high note, but nailed it.

Song: Next to Me

Me: They are both incredible and deserve to be the winner, but I have to go with Donna’s power. It’s the difference between great and amazing.
Blake: To have Donna’s range and raspy sound is great, and Tessane has an ability to put everything she’s heard someone else do into her battle. He goes with Donna.
Christina: She asks Donna if she’s Tina Turner and tells Tessanne she didn’t even know she had that range. She’d go with Tessanne.
Cee Lo: As far as the control and poise of Tessanne, it’s more attractive to him, yet he can’t deny the raw power of Donna. He’d go with Tess.
Adam: Tina Turner is one of the best singers who’s graced this earth, and Cee Lo agrees Donna is cut from the same cloth. Tessanne makes it all seem so effortless.
Winner: Tessanne (who rightfully thanks Donna for making her a better singer.)

Battle: Brianna Cuoco, 24, Los Angeles, vs Jacquie Lee. 16, Colts Neck, NJ. Team Christina and Ed Sheeran. Christina feels this song is appropriate and likes the experimentation of the female voices. She wants Brianna to get more bluesy with it, and Ed advises Jacquie to go her own way with it. She additionally has to watch her timidness.

Song: House of the Rising Sun

Me: Both of them rise up to the standards of the other, just like the last battle with Donna and Tessane.
Cee Lo: Brianna’s voice compliments the grittiness of the song, but Jacquie brought a youthful spin to it. He’d normally go with Brianna, but Jacquie did a great job.
Adam: First he thought Brianna, then Jacquie, but doesn’t know who he’d eventually choose.
Blake: Jacquie has incredible control for a 16-year-old, and Brianna brought all the same performance and captured what is meant to happen, so he’d go with her.
Christina: They both won the battle and did the homework to dig deep. She’s torn.
Winner: Jacquie
Steal: Cee Lo steals her before Carson Daly even starts talking, then Blake hits his button as well. She goes with Blake, somewhat inexplicably.

I’m surprised there were still three steals throughout. Blake is done for the rest of the Battle Round. He’s used up his two spots. I wish Brianna had gone with Cee Lo though. When it’s that obvious that someone has that much faith in you, you have to choose them. I think Brianna is just going to get lost on Blake’s team. It’s not always about winning.

The Amazing Race, Oct. 20 – “I’ll Tell You Where You Can Stick Your Express Pass”

We know it has to be time for a non-elimination. We’re several legs into The Amazing Race and haven’t had one yet. It’s with that that we watch the clock tick later and later through the hour without the teams even beginning to hit the elimination mat. And that’s even an hour after the show actually starts, not when it is supposed to start, since it happens ten minutes or so late because of football.

Departing from: Lisbon, Portugal

First Clue: Teams will need to travel by plane and ferry into Norway and the Arctic Circle. There they will find there next clue at the Ferry Terminal.


Nicole and Travis: Married ER physicians from Atlanta. Time of departure: 11:08 PM. They head straight to a travel agency to find an early flight to Norway. She’s from Brooklyn and is used to everything being about hustling, and she thinks that works along with the Race as well as the rest of her life. He is finding her toughness a very nice surprise. They get a flight that lands in Oslo at 8:55 AM. Every team will make the flight, so they have no advantage.

Jason and Amy:Dating and from New England. Time of departure: 11:14 PM. They’ve been working with Nicole and Travis the past few legs, and are getting inspired by them. She feels like she’s found a little family in them.

Nicky and Kim: Major League Baseball wives from the Midwest.

Tim and Danny: Oil plant workers from Cordell, Oklahoma.

Brandon and Adam: Childhood friends from Chico, California.

Leo and Jamal: Cousins from Southern California.

Ally and Ashley: NHL ice crew teammates from Long Beach, California.

Tim and Marie: Exes from Morristown, NJ.

All teams catch the same flight as well as the same ferry to Svolvaer, Norway.

Second Clue: Detour: Hang Your Heads or Hammer of the Cods. In Hang Your Heads, teams will need to string together six bundles of ten fish heads apiece, then transport them to enormous drying racks to hang them out to dry. In Hammer of the Cods, teams will collect fifteen pairs of cod from thirty-foot high drying racks, then pound them with a giant hammer to make one kilo of fish jerky without the bones. Order of Arrival: Jason and Amy, Brandon and Adam, Nicole and Travis, Tim and Marie, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, Nicky and Kim, Tim and Danny

Hang Your Heads: Order of Arrival: Tim and Marie, Jason and Amy, Brandon and Adam, Nicole and Travis, Leo and Jamal, Ally and Ashley

Hammer of the Cods: Tim and Danny, Nicky and Kim

The teams have trouble catching taxis, then realize why. It’s 11:00 PM in the Arctic Circle, despite the sun shining very brightly still. Brandon and Adam decide just to jog. Leo and and Jamal, Ally and Ashley, Tim and Danny, and Nicky and Kim decide to jog as well. Tim and Danny catch a cab partially through the jog.

Leo and Jamal are slowed on their walk from fish stringing to the fish hanging, as they have a flat tire on their wheelbarrow.

Marie makes the mistake of telling Tim to string the fish on a pole that isn’t specially marked for the Race. They are told it’s wrong, but the judge won’t verify why. Jason and Amy finish before them and refuse to say why. So much for family. Tim starts restringing their fish, trying to figure out where they went wrong. Marie asks Brandon and Adam as well and uses the Express Pass as leverage, but they know that she has already used that to get help from other teams at different points during the Race. Tim and Marie are told for a second time it’s wrong. Amy stops Nicole and Travis and tells them which poles to use. Marie sees Nicole and Travis using a marked pole and figure it out.

Order of Finish: Jason and Amy, Brandon and Adam, Nicole and Travis, Tim and Marie, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, Tim and Danny, Nicky and Kim

Third Clue: Teams need to take a speedboat ride to Henningsvaer, Norway to find their next clue.

Fourth Clue: Roadblock:Order of Arrival: Brandon and Adam, Jason and Amy, Tim and Marie, Nicole and Travis, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, Tim and Danny, and Nicky and Kim. One person from each team will jump off a bridge on an eighty-foot rope, then swim through the frigid Arctic to pick up their next clue. Participating: Brandon, Jason, Tim, Nicole, Ashley, Leo, Tim, and Nicky.

Order of Finish: Brandon and Adam, Jason and Amy, Tim and Marie, Nicole and Travis, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, Tim and Danny, and Nicky and Kim.

Fifth Clue: The teams will make their way back to shore and use a Ford Ranger to set up their next challenge, to hook up the truck to a huge boulder and pull it forward to reveal their next clue and satchel of coins that they will need later in the Race. Order of Arrival: Brandon and Adam, Jason and Amy, Tim and Marie, Nicole and Travis, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, Tim and Danny.

Order of Finish: Brandon and Adam, Jason and Amy, Tim and Marie, Nicole and Travis, Leo and Jamal, Tim and Danny, Ally and Ashley,

Sixth Clue: Teams will now need to drive themselves in the Ford Rangers to the Viking Longhouse, the Pit Stop for this leg of the Race. The winners of this leg will receive $5000 each.

Tim and Marie drive off without the Viking Longhouse clue, with her believing that the coins are the clue. He is telling her there was nothing else underneath the boulder. Nicole and Travis see that Tim and Marie are lost and don’t know where to go. They drive up and offer to tell them … for the other Express Pass. Nicole feels they earned it anyway, but lost it because of their stupid mistake. She tells Marie that either she gives them the Pass, or they will drive off without telling them where the Pit Stop is.

Pit Stop: Order of Arrival: Brandon and Adam,

They are still racing and receive their next clue. The show ends here before any of the other teams arrive at the Pit Stop. It’s not a “non-elimination leg,” but is a week where no one is eliminated. They were due. Additionally they ended with the drama of Tim and Marie and their Express Pass. She has been using it as leverage the entire race. Now she will be forced to put up or shut up. She likes to be in control, but this time will have to lose the control of that Pass if they are to continue. Although I do have to wonder why they wouldn’t just get behind Nicole and Travis and follow them.

Express Pass: Tim and Marie know they will not give their express pass to the Afghanimals, because they’re jerks, or the Ice Girls, as they might as well give it to the Afghanimals because they are right in their backpacks. They have considered giving it to Nicole and Travis because they actually came in first but didn’t because of the penalty, but it would be too much of a challenge to have them around at the end, but now are forced to consider it to get the clue to the Pit Stop. Neither pass gets used on this leg and both are still in play.

Teams to Get Lost: None.

Sound Bites: Jamal: Leo and I don’t really fish. The closest I get to the water is a shower.

Ally: I just kicked a fish head.

Adam: Make these beards fly, Buddy.

Next Week: Marie will decide whether or not to hand over the Express Pass, and a Double U-Turn will be in play.

Dancing with the Stars, Oct. 14 – It Was a Very Good Year

This week the stars will all be dancing to songs from their most memorable year of their lives. Before they even get started, Tom Bergeron announces that based on only viewer votes, it would be a female being eliminated tonight, yet the judges’ scares that will follow tonight could change that.

Partners: Christina Milian and Mark Ballas. She felt like Julianne was taking a personal jab at Mark with her scores last week, and it had nothing to do with her. She is choosing to remember 2010 when she gave birth to her daughter and got a divorce from her husband who had an affair that was outed by the press. It’s the perfect song for that, even if they are doing the “forget you” version. This message is for women to be strong, fierce, strong, and move on.

Dance Style: Cha cha cha
Song: Forget You

Me: I hate the driving mime in the beginning, but the rest of the dance is really good. While she’s usually good at the acting part, I’m not getting the “forget you.”
Len: He’s glad to be back because he got an opportunity to see this cha cha cha. It was fire and ice, fire in the performance, and ice in the attitude.
Bruno: She painted the perfect picture of a hot Latina – footwork sharp and finish indecently hot..
Carrie: Tonight it was something special, like she tuned it up a notch.

Last Week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24 This Week’s Score: 9, 10, 9 = 28

Partners: Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke. His most memorable year was last year with amazing high highs and horrible lows. He moved into a new house with who is now his wife, his daughter was born, and then he was diagnosed with SM. If it gets bad he realizes he could spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair with feeding tubes, and it’s that combined with possibly not being able to provide for his child that is really difficult. But if you don’t have the bad, you can’t appreciate the good. He’s dedicating this dance to his wife and daughter.

Dance Style: Waltz
Song: I’m Kissing You

Me: He does beautifully and has a great frame that he has most assuredly been working on. This deserves a 10.
Bruno: Everyone was lost in admiration for his strength and courage. His footwork was so light, and he did the best links with an under-control butt.
Carrie: There is something so magical about him, and the grace of his being slips into his dancing. There wasn’t one moment where he wasn’t sure what he was doing.
Len: People think the waltz is small, but it’s big, and he came out with that. He appreciated his hold, but his hands had some trouble.

Last Week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24 This Week’s Score: 9, 9, 9 = 27

Partners: Leah Remini and Tony Dovolani. The most important year for her is the last year. She was raised and dependent on something most of her life, not realizing how strong she was until stuff hit the van. You can either choose to be a victim or do something about it. She jokes if it’s contemporary, they should have Corbin choreograph it for them. She dedicates this to anyone who is going through change, to find their own strength and power.

Dance Style: Contemporary
Song: Roar

Me: She’s a marionette who suddenly loses her strings and power. She definitely finds her freedom in this song, but her lift could be a little better.
Carrie: She loved the concept and message. The beginning was executed beautifully, but she found the movements and lifts weren’t connected, and the lifts a little rough.
Len: He, too, loved the concept, but the lifts were a little labored and not great.
Bruno: She took it on and it was very hard. Contemporary has to have a strong dynamic flow. but it’s a lot to take on.

Last week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24 This Week’s Score: 7, 7, 8 = 22

Partners: Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff. They’re doing the foxtrot this week. He’s going back to 2011 when his sister was diagnosed with scoliosis, and she had it pretty rough. She never lets it affect her and handles it beautifully. The lyrics of this song say everything he wants to relay to his sister, a hope for the future and keeping your dreams big no matter what.

Dance Style: Foxtrot
Song: My Wish

Me: It’s so dreamlike with the way he flows so well .
Len: He is a terrific dancer, and what Len loves is that he always gets the character of it. He did a terrific job in hold and had good footwork, but the last lift was slightly out of character.
Bruno: He could be the lost child of Fred Astaire and Ben Vereen with the style of Astaire and the slickness of Vereen.
Carrie: She’s torn, because the last two lifts her feet were great, but in the first one Karina’s foot came off the ground, so she’s deducting a point.

Last Week’s Score: 9, 9, 9 = 27 This Week’s Score: 9, 9, 10 = 28

Partners: Bill Engvall and Emma Slater. He wants to celebrate 1982, the year he married his wife, Gail. She has high morals and wasn’t going to spend the night in his apartment no matter how hard he tried. Throughout, she’s made him a better person than he would have been on his own. They’re dancing to one of his favorite songs which is perfect for Gail.

Dance Style: Viennese Waltz
Song: She’s Always a Woman to Me

Me: He’s a little stiff in the beginning, but his emotion comes through so strong.
Bruno: Honest, heartfelt, and emotional. There were a few timing issues, and he has to remember it’s a waltz and not a bowling alley.
Carrie: He wears his heart on his sleeve and dancing is about touching people’s souls, but he was a little off-timing while he did it.
Len: It was a little skippy and rushed, but he had lovely rotation and Len liked the romance and hold in the dance.

Last Week’s Score: 7, 7, 7 = 21 This Week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24

Partners: Nicole Polizzi and Sasha Farber. Her most memorable year was last year when she gave birth to her son. It’s changed her entire life, as she considers herself terrible before. It was hard when she became pregnant, because everyone thought she’d be a bad mom. But once she held him for the first time, she knew this was what she was meant to do at this time. It made her do a 180, but Sasha argues that it should be a 360. Nope, she’s right. He wants her to dance dirty, but she doesn’t want to because of her son.

Dance Style: Jazz
Song: Work Bitch

Me: She does really well with this, as her prior cheerleading work is probably helping her out.
Carrie: It reminded her of her favorite quote from her favorite drag queen. “You better work!” She hit everything on beat and in sync.
Len: It was fast-paced, vibrant, the lifts were clean, had energy and attack, and it was fun to watch.
Bruno: She works hard for the money, and she worked hard, deserving every penny she gets. It was an amazing bundle of fun.

Last Week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24 This Week’s Score 9, 9, 9 = 27

Partners: Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd. His most memorable year is 2009, the year after he had moved to Hollywood to pursue acting. He had told his dad when he was 3 he wanted to be an actor, and his dad supported it since. His dad even moved out with him to Hollywood for a short bit to help him out. In 2009 he got a call from his mom to come home and say goodbye to his dad who was diagnosed with lymphoma. When he went back to Hollywood, he threw everything he had into his career. He wants this dance to be uplifting and not sad.

Dance Style: Contemporary
Song: Your Song

Me: It’s a beautiful dance, and he’s right that his dad would be very proud of him.
Len: He loved the passion, the interaction, and the chemistry. When he sits at the judges’ table he always feels his dad is looking down on him, and he thinks Brant’s is looking down on him as well.
Bruno: He adds “with incredible pride.” Brant throws himself into it with such dedication and passion and no fear. He even managed to put in some contractions and acted it wonderfully.
Carrie: With contemporary, if the passion doesn’t instigate the movement, it doesn’t work for her, but tonight, she felt every angst, every movement, from a place of passion.

Score: 7, 7, 7 = 21 This Week’s Score: 9, 9, 9 = 27

Partners: Amber Riley and Derek Hough. She, too, is looking back to 2009. She was working at IKEA and auditioned for American Idol, following her passion. It became her lowest moment when she was turned down. She was then called and was asked if she wanted to audition for Glee. With this dance, she wants to show just before you hit rock bottom, you can push it through.

Dance Style: Foxtrot
Song: Try a Little Tenderness

Me: She’s a singer looking to realize her dream in this story, working along well with her most memorable year. She does amazing in this. Kudos need to go to Derek as well for the choreography.
Bruno: Lady Amber is here to stay. It was absolutely and utterly sensational. He feels this could be lifted from the best of Broadway shows.
Carrie: She danced the heck out of the routine. She blew her away with flexibility, the way she acts, the way she hits each routine, and the way she does each style like it’s nothing.
Len: She is a wonderful performer and lights the place up when she comes out, but it was supposed to be foxtrot, and he needs to see a certain amount in the hold. He thinks back to the others working their butts off to get the hold right.

Last Week’s Score: 9, 9, 9 = 27 This Week’s Score: 9, 7, 10 = 26

Partners: Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Val Chmerkovskiy. Her most memorable year is 2012 when her baby was born. One of her wishes for him is that he knows he’s allowed to dream big. She also wants him to know that his parents are there supporting him. She wants to connect to her most memorable year professionally, 1989, when she got her big break in Saved By the Bell. Her character did this song in the show.

Dance Style: Jive
Song: I’m So Excited

Me: They do a short skit at the beginning, with her having Jive Pills, similar to the bottle of pills she had in that episode of Saved By the Bell It’s a little loosey goosey for me and not up to her usual standard.
Carrie: She loves Elizabeth so much for doing that, and it took her back to why she fell in love with dance. The kicks were a little soft, though, and she fell out of her pirouette.
Len: He thought the kicks were sharp, fast, clear, and exact. Tall people have a habit of getting loose, but not her.
Bruno: She doesn’t need any pills; she just needs to dance. She was excited. He used to do those steps in music videos himself. It was incredible fun.

Last Week’s Score: 9, 9, 9 = 27 This Week’s Score: 8, 9, 9

With a combined score of last week’s viewer votes and this week’s judges’ scores, Bill and Emma, Corbin and Karina, Amber and Derek, Jack and Cheryl, Brant and Peta, and Nicole and Sasha are all safe. This means Elizabeth and Val, Christina and Mark, and Leah and Tony are all in jeopardy. Being pulled out and sent back to safety right away are Elizabeth and Val.

This leaves the highest scoring couple this week and the lowest scoring couple facing going home. Yet, the couple going home tonight after five weeks are Christina and Mark. No one seems more shocked than Leah. Christina wasn’t expecting it either and says it’s true shock. They feel they had the best performance tonight that they’ve had so far. He’s proud of her and how hard she worked and feels she went out with a bang.

Unlike the last few weeks, it wasn’t the worst dancer going home. Yet, this happens every season. Fans always allow themselves to get wrapped up in the stars themselves and how much they like them instead of just their dancing. After her years on King of Queens Leah obviously has more fans than Christina, coming off her gig on The Voice/i>

The Amazing Race, Oct. 13 – Racing with Ricky Bobby

Ricky Bobby, despite being a race car driver, is one of the last names I’d expect to come up on The Amazing Race. Nevertheless, the “great Ricky Bobby” is quoted by the team arriving in last place tonight.

Departing from: Santiago, Chile

First Clue: Teams will need to travel to Lisbon, Portugal, travel to Martim Moniz Square, then ride a tram to the top of the hill to get their next clue.


Chester and Ephraim: Former NFL teammates from Houston. Time of departure: 6:27 PM. Usually when they travel they have people who book everything for them; they only need to show up. They’re on their way to a travel agency right now to find a flight. Their agent messes up the date, costing them time and a spot on the earliest flight. They end up on a flight landing at 12:00 PM after a connection in Såo Paolo, until their travel agent calls the airport with a message for them that she found them an earlier flight landing at 7:00 AM after two connections in Buenos Aires and Madrid. They’re worried about the two connections, but figure the five our difference is worth it.

Leo and Jamal: Cousins from Southern California. Time of departure: 6:39 PM. Jamal is super-excited; he’s always wanted to go to Portugal. It seems the two have put away their differences from the end of the last leg. They go straight to the airport to book their flight, arranging a flight that will arrive in Lisbon at 11:00 AM after a connection in London. Knowing they are before most of the other teams, they share their earlier flight info with Ashley and Ally and Tim and Danny.

Brandon and Adam: Childhood friends from Chico, California. Time of departure: 6:58 PM. They also get seats on the 12:00 PM flight. Chester and Ephraim’s agent calls them and gives them the earliest flight she could find for them, a flight that lands at 10:00 AM after a connection in Madrid.

Nicole and Travis: Married ER physicians from Atlanta. Time of departure: 7:11 PM. He feels the Race creates a lot of stress and pressure, and it isn’t too far off from what they experience as doctors. They head straight to the airport as well and book a flight landing at 7:00 AM after a connection in Såo Paolo. It starts the same as the flight that lands at 12:00; they just have an earlier connection.

Jason and Amy:Dating and from New England. Time of departure: 7:25 PM. She notes that they’ve been dating for a little over a year, and surprisingly they have been working together really well on tasks in the Race. Their taxi gets in an accident, costing them valuable time. They get on the flight that lands at 12:00 PM.

Tim and Danny: Oil plant workers from Cordell, Oklahoma. Time of departure: 12:25 AM. They get tickets on the earlier 11:00 AM flight with the Afghanimals and Ice Girls, but are uncomfortable lying about it to Marie. They know the Afghanimals are just trying to bring them with them so they that the other teams are upset with them as well for getting the earlier flight. Danny wants to U-turn the Afghanimals if given the chance. They outsmart the Afghanimals and get tickets on the flight that lands at 10:00 AM.

Ally and Ashley: NHL ice crew teammates from Long Beach, California. Time of departure: 12:27 AM. They get tickets on the earlier 11:00 AM flight after a tip from the Aghanimals.

Tim and Marie: Exes from Morristown, NJ. Time of departure: 12:33 AM. He realizes people are being more friendly to them because they have the Express Passes. While they had told Nicky and Kim they would give the extra Express Pass to them, they haven’t done so yet. They get tickets for the flight that lands at 12:00 PM

Nicky and Kim: Major League Baseball wives from the Midwest. Time of departure: 1:00 AM, six hours and thirty-three minutes after Chester and Ephraim. They get tickets on the flight that lands at 12:00 PM.

After the flights take off, Chester and Ephraim’s flight out of Madrid is delayed four hours. They find another flight that should catch them up to the other teams in Såo Paolo, only to board the flight and be told they are being delayed again. They just miss the connecting flight with everyone else, meaning they will be a half day behind everybody. Unbelievably, their flight out of London ends up being delayed as well.

The teams on the 12:00 flight race to get on the standby list for the earlier connection. Marie and Nicky and Kim get in an argument over which team were on the standby list first. The Baseball Wives get the standby flight, really pissing off Marie. Suffice it to say they won’t be getting the Express Pass.

The First Flight Arriving in Lisbon: Nicole and Travis, Jason and Amy, Nicky and Kim.

The Second Flight Arriving in Lisbon: Brandon and Adam, Tim and Danny.

The Third Flight Arriving in Lisbon: Leo and Jamal, Ally and Ashley.

The Fourth Flight Arriving in Lisbon: Tim and Marie

The Fifth Flight Arriving in Lisbon: Chester and Ephraim

Second Clue: The teams must figure out that the painting at Martim Moniz Square is directing them to Museu Nacional dos Coches. Order of Arrival: Jason and Amy, Nicole and Travis, Nicky and Kim, Tim and Danny, Brandon and Adam, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, and Tim and Marie.

Third Clue: Detour: Tiles or Miles. In Tiles, teams will need to assemble a life-size puzzle that includes dozens of very fragile pieces. Once completed, they’ll get the next clue. In Miles, teams will use a giant navigation instrument to measure the total distance Magellan sailed to ten destinations. Once they’re within five-hundred miles, they’ll get the next clue. Order of Arrival: Jason and Amy, Nicole and Travis, Nicky and Kim, Tim and Danny, Brandon and Adam, Leo and Jamal, Ally and Ashley, and Tim and Marie.

Tiles: Nicky and Kim, Brandon and Adam, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, Tim and Marie,

Miles: Jason and Amy, Nicole and Travis, Tim and Danny, Leo and Jamal (they end up switching to Tiles), and Ally and Ashley (they end up switching to Tiles),

Order of Finish: Jason and Amy, Nicole and Travis, Nicky and Kim, Tim and Danny, Brandon and Adam, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, and Tim and Marie.

Jason/Amy and Nicole/Travis work together on the Detour with the guys moving the large navigational tool and the women doing the math. They get the next clue on their first attempt. The Afghanimals and their Race Wives also work together on Miles, only to both switch to Tiles.

Fourth Clue: Teams need to make their way to Clube Portugues de Tiro a Chumbo for their next clue.

Fifth Clue: Roadblock:Order of Arrival: Jason and Amy, Nicole and Travis, Nicky and Kim, Tim and Danny, Brandon and Adam, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, and Tim and Marie. One person from each team will put on a knight’s suit of armor, and using a giant ballista will hit a shield 150 feet away to get their next clue. Participating: Jason, Travis, Kim, Danny, Adam, Ally, Jamal, and Tim.

Order of Finish: Jason and Amy, Nicole and Travis, Nicky and Kim, Tim and Danny, Brandon and Adam, Leo and Jamal, Ally and Ashley, and Tim and Marie.

Sixth Clue: The teams will make their way to Castelo dos Mouros, a 9th century castle and the pit stop for this leg of the race. The winners of this leg win a trip for two from Travelocity to Costa Rica.

Pit Stop: Order of Arrival: Nicole and Travis, Jason and Amy, Nicky and Kim, Tim and Danny, Brandon and Adam, Leo and Jamal, Ally and Ashley, and Tim and Marie.

Express Pass: Tim and Marie fight with Nicky and Kim after they had promised the Express Pass to them on the previous leg. The don’t figure to be getting it anymore. Tim and Marie discuss using their pass to get through the Roadblock, but persevere and don’t end up using it. Neither pass gets used on this leg and both are still in play.

Teams to Get Lost: None.

Sound Bites: Jason: I’m in Medieval Times, King Arthur Style.

Marie: I’m trying not to act like a bitch.

Phil to Marie: I think you’re in control of everything.

After all the other teams arrive at the pit stop, Chester and Ephraim finally arrive in Lisbon. Phil meets them there instead of having them finish the leg and eliminates them. Ephraim isn’t happy about being eliminated but calls it a great experience, getting the chance to do it with Chester. He quotes the great Ricky Bobby, “If you’re not first, you’re last.” Phil wishes them luck as they catch a flight out of Lisbon. I’m sure getting on an airplane is the last thing they want to do right now.

Next Week: Teams plunge into the Arctic and Nicole makes a power pay to get the Express Pass.

The Voice, Oct. 7 – Finishing Up the Blinds

It’s the last of the blind auditions. None of the coaches have many spots left on their team, and they’re all being super-picky. Cee Lo Green, of course, has the most spots open still on his team, but that’s because no one is picking him … until tonight.

Auditioner: Matt Cermanski, 20, Phoenixville, PA. He auditioned for the show before and sang Teenage Dream. He likes to put his own twist on music and did, but realizes now it wasn’t the best song for an audition. This time he wants to play his guitar and control his nerves more. Adam had told him last year to find himself as an artist, and that’s what he’s been working on, playing gigs and taking some lessons.

Song: Have a Little Faith In Me
Chairs Turned: Blake, Cee Lo, Adam

Me: He’s really impressive from the first few notes, and Adam is the first to turn his chair, which must mean a lot to Matt after his words to him last year.
Adam: He recognizes him right away.
Cee Lo: He did a great job and sounded great.
Blake: Hearing him play with his falsetto was almost like watching a cat play with a mouse. He was just having fun, and that type of versatility in ninety seconds can win the show for you
Adam: He loves that he’s back again, and it shows resilience, especially to go from no chairs to three chairs.
Coach: Adam

Auditioner: Diego Roman Navaira, 22, San Antonio, TX. He calls his voice raw rock/punk and super energetic. He grew up in a family of musicians. His father his Emilio Navaira, a Tejano music singer. Emilio, a Grammy winner, and Selena have been credited with bringing that genre to the mainstream. He has a respect for the genre, but he’s a rocker at heart and is in a band with his brother.

Song: Rebel Yell
Chairs Turned: None

Me: He seems to be trying to be Billy Idol a little too much. It’s okay to move away from what he grew up with, but then he needs to cut his own path all the way around.
Adam: He’s honest with him, telling him he only has one spot left on his team and is being super-picky.
Cee Lo: Cee Lo agrees, saying he’s being super-picky as well with only a few spots left.
Blake: He doesn’t know what the hell he would have done with Diego, but he did think he sang really good.
Christina: With the energy coming through the speakers, they could tell someone was up there giving it everything they have.

Auditioner: Tamara Chauniece, 23, Wharton, TX. Her mom is a minister, and Tamara got into music through church. She started doing gigs when she was growing up and recorded her first album at 11. At 18 she felt like she hadn’t had her breakthrough and became a leasing agent, yet always knew in the back of her mind that music was what she was meant to do.

Song: 1 + 1
Chairs Turned: Christina, Cee Lo

Me: You can hear the gospel in her voice loud and clear.
Adam: She is beautiful and has a beautiful voice.
Cee Lo: Both of his parents were ministers as well, but he became a singer. She offers to save him and asks him to “come to Jesus,” pointing to herself, leading him to comment, “Jesus look good.”
Christina: Tamara touched her heart and says she started singing at 7 years old as well.
Coach: Cee Lo

Auditioner: Brandon Chase, 20, Arlington, TX. He’s very driven, and music is his passion. He tested out of his junior and senior years of high school and graduated college at 17. He then took a trip down to Nashville to soak up some country music. He wants his music to show people there’s more to life. He was very sick as a newborn, and his mom feels God saved him and gave him music.

Song: Wanted
Chairs Turned: Blake, Cee Lo

Me: He has a great voice that can be country, but doesn’t have to be. It will give him many options.
Blake: Country music isn’t something you can fake, and he heard the real deal in Brandon.
Cee Lo: He doesn’t even look at that song as country. He sees it as soul, as it struck a chord with him.
Coach: Blake

Auditioner: Lupe Carroll, 26, Bourbonnais, IL. He’s been delivering flowers for three years and compares it to being the ice cream man. He enjoys making people’s days and making them happy. He started singing when he was young and would get to perform at a small restaurant in town and at the Farmer’s Market. He and his wife met while playing music, became best friends, then got married.

Song: If I Were a Carpenter
Chairs Turned: Cee Lo

Me: He has a great sincerity when he sings, and I hope that’s coming out even to the coaches who have their backs to him.
Cee Lo: After confirming the audience loved him, he says he might be a little crazy, but he’s not stupid and that sounded damn good.
Adam: He has a compelling voice and does things other people don’t do.
Blake: He does’t know why he hesitated, but he damn sure did, and he damn sure screwed up.
Christina: She thinks it’s cool to make his living the way he does, yet come out and put himself out there on the show and impress Cee Lo the way he did.
Coach: Cee Lo

Auditioner: Grey, 25, Jacksonville, FL. She’s been singing country since before she could talk. Out of high school, she went to Berkley College of Music and recently graduated. She’s in a wedding band right now, but it’s not what she wants to do the rest of her life. She also works in retail, as it pays the bills at the end of the day.

Song: Catch My Breath
Chairs Turned: Blake, Cee Lo, Adam

Me: She has a great voice but doesn’t project as much as she could. It’s hard to hear her … until the chorus, and that sounds amazing.
Blake: His chair gets turned back around, and he tells her he likes her a lot and actually did a 360 for her. He already believes she can win this thing.
Cee Lo: Her voice was plain and simple and polite and accommodating and warm and friendly.
Christina: She kept getting better as the song went on.
Adam: He thinks she’s extraordinary and felt she got bigger and better when the pressure was on.
Coach: Adam, taking the last spot on his team.

Auditioner: Dominic Scott Kay, 17, Malibu, CA. He started singing very young and knew he wanted to do music more than anything else. He has brought actor Neal McDonough with him. They starred in the movie Minority Report together 13 years ago. Dominic was Tom Cruise’s son in the same film and was also the voice of Wilbur in Charlotte’s Web and did Pirates of the Caribbean. He wants to end up in music, though, and that’s because of his other celebrity connection. His dad is the drummer for The Commodores, leading to his audition choice.

Song: Easy
Chairs Turned: None

Me: He’s super cute, which could hurt him with people painting him as a boy band wanna be or something. If it were earlier in the blinds, he probably would have turned a chair or two.
Adam: He has something real cool, and Ada knows they were all contemplating hitting their buttons. Lionel Ritchie made the notes longer to make it work in the song.
Blake: If Dominic wouldn’t sing in his head and would move it down and open up his voice, it wouldn’t be so nasally, which is odd coming from the country singer.

Auditioner: Michael Lynch, 27, Chicago. His style of music is pop, with a little bit of Latin infusion He studied Spanish in school and used music to learn the language. He’s singing Bailamos to show his respect for the Latin culture. He started performing more in college, then after he graduated he moved to Mexico City to go to a music school. Being an American, it was a tough industry to break into, so he moved back to Chicago and is now landscaping but singing on the weekends.

Song: Bailamos
Chairs Turned: Blake, Christina, Cee Lo

Me: He has some great power and does great Latin flavor despite not being Latin.
Blake: His pitch is so amazing when he gets on a note and just sits on it.
Cee Lo: He just knew he was gonna be Latin, but he’s not. He’s 100% Irish
Christina: As she questions him on his song choice, he tells her he wants to do what she and Enrique Iglesias have done with English and Spanish.
Adam: He figures Shakira is sitting at home, saying, “NO! What happened?”
Coach: Christina. He takes the last spot on her team, and she comes up and joins him, dancing and singing to Bailamos.

Auditioner: Deanna Johnson, 17, Hazelhurst, GA. Her town is really small, so there aren’t many places to sing other than church and rodeos. She doesn’t want to do country, though; she wants to sing R&B and pop. She’s never sang for this many people before but has been singing since her dad got her a karaoke machine.

Song: Stars
Chairs Turned: None

Me: She doesn’t want to sing country, but her phrasing of everything comes out country. Perhaps a little more time and maturity will have her figuring out what she really wants to do.
Adam: He calls it interesting and different, yet she’s young and there’s a lot to work on still.
Christina: They were all struck by the gentleness and interesting tone of her voice.
Cee Lo: Her voice sounds so different than the way she looks, so that would have been cool in his world.
Blake: He thinks she’s no more than eight months to a year away from being someone who could win the show.

Auditioner: Brian Pounds, 24, Austin, TX. He’s a full-time soul singer/songwriter and musician. His family was very athletic, with his brother playing baseball, his dad playing football, and his mom was an all-state basketball player. He himself wanted to be a pro baseball player. But before his senior year, he decided to concentrate on music. After college he started doing gigs wherever he could, despite it not being very lucrative. He’s giving up a lot to do this for a living.

Song: Wagon Wheel
Chairs Turned: Blake, Cee Lo

Me: He’s really good, but I like the original version of this song more.
Blake: He has a great, clear pitch and voice, good for country music. It’s about telling stories, and you have to be able to understand them.
Christina: She hears a good solid voice, but thinks while Blake is an obvious choice, Cee Lo has a great way of taking an artist and bringing them out, getting them to experiment.
Cee Lo: Blake doesn’t want him to be experimented with, but Cee Lo asks why he makes it sound so terrible, as people are cured from illnesses and diseases because of it.
Adam: He wants to hear it for artistic freedom.
Coach: Blake, taking the last spot on his team.

Auditioner: Shawn “Big Sexy” Smith, 32, Utica, NY. He’s like a singing bartender, doing a little of both. He was in the Army, and during a tour of Iraq ran over an I.E.D. It gave him a severe concussion and eighty percent hearing loss. It was hard to come home and transition to life back home again. The worlds and lyrics in his audition song speak to him.

Song: Chicken Fried
Chairs Turned: Cee Lo

Me: It’s probably not the best audition song. It doesn’t really show his voice as best as it could.
Cee Lo : He asked the people behind him to show him a sign if they liked Shawn, and they did. Shawn says his sign is the one on his belt – “Big Sexy.”
Adam: He thinks he did a great job and sounded great.
Coach: Cee Lo, taking the last spot on his team and the last of the blinds.

I still think more artists should have picked Cee Lo, especially the ones who were more unique. As they keep saying, no one is more unique than him. The judges all tried to pick something different for their teams this year, looking for that win, but that just means those artists will be among the first to go, as I’m not sure if the coaches that don’t do unique understand how to coach unique.

The X Factor, Oct. 2 & 3 – “Take a Seat”

The X Factor is most assuredly trying to compete with The Voice. They have eliminated the round where contestants would visit the coaches’ homes and have replaced it with the Four Chair Challenge. Each category has two contestants, and each of them will perform. Their coach gets the option to have them take a seat or send them home. The four left in the chairs at the end will be that coach’s top four. They can have all four seats filled and still keep someone. It just means they have to make a switch and send someone home who is occupying one of the chairs. It leads to some great drama.

Category: The Over 25s. Coach: Kelly Rowland.

Contestant: Victoria Carriger, 41. She’s a mom to eight kids and separated from her husband. She has two part-time jobs and finds it nerve-wracking to not have any support. She calls this opportunity a breath of fresh air.

Song: Make You Feel My Love

Me: It’s hard to go wrong with this song if you can pour the emotion into it, and she does.
Demi: She heard fire behind it and loved the rasp and passion, although the energy was a little low.
Paulina: The raspy voice is what has captivated her since the beginning.
Simon: Simon wouldn’t put her through based on this performance.
Kelly: She silenced the room. It got boring, then she picked it up again. Kelly tells Victoria to take a seat.

Contestant: Kristine Mirelle, 27, Los Angeles, sells chips and salsa in a grocery store. She doesn’t think you can let pride get in your way of following your dream, as everyone starts at the bottom. She is asking for this one performance to be the one where she can do it the best she possibly can.

Song: Oops!I Did It Again

Me: She does a slowed down ballad-sounding version of this song, and her voice sounds good, but the version doesn’t necessarily work.
Demi: She loves her presence when she walks onstage, but she found it very pitchy.
Paulina: She feels the same way and doesn’t know if Kristine is ready for this.
Simon: The arrangement was kind of confusing and the vocal strange, but he disagrees with the others. He would keep her in because of the potential.
Kelly: She instructs Kristine to take a seat.

Contestant: Jeff Gutt, 37, Detroit, a single dad and musician. Last year when he got cut from the competition, he lost a part of himself, but feels he’s getting it back now. He wants his son to see him pursuing his dreams and not giving up.

Song: Amazing Grace

Me: This is done very well and is very smart. How can you cut someone after they sing Amazing Grace?
Paulina: She feels his power is beyond his voice and about his will, and that captivates her
Demi: She thinks he’s come very far since last season.
Simon: This is why he’d never do another talent show with an age limit. It’s by far the best performance of the night so far.
Kelly: She calls him “so talented” and says he brings up the stakes in the competition. Obviously he takes a seat.

Contestant: Rachel Potter, 29, a bartender, Nashville. She’s trying to support herself with bartending while she follows her dream. She feels she knows a lot more at 29 than she did when she was younger, making her grateful to have the opportunity at this point in her life.

Song: Irreplaceable

Me: She needs a little help with her phrasing, as the fast-paced lyrics in the song have her out of breath and you can hear it. She does have a great glory note, only to get pitchy afterwards.
Demi: Rachel admits she’s been sick and knows it wasn’t her best, and Demi thinks she can do a lot better than that.
Simon: He thinks this song in a country version is a brave choice, leading to a difficult decision.
Kelly: She expected Rachel to be ready today and to blow everyone away. She knows this girl has pipes, but she was shocked her highs weren’t that high. Regardless, she has her take a seat.

Contestant: Lorie Moore, 34, retired professional football player, Chicago. She knew she reached the highlight of her career when they won a championship and figures it’s time for her to become a champion in music. She’s now putting all her eggs in that one basket

Song: I’ll Make Love to You

Me: She’s been one of my favorites since the auditions. She has so much passion in her performance.
Demi: She really felt the passion as well, like she was fighting for the chair, but doesn’t know if she’s looking at a superstar.
Paulina: She agrees and doesn’t know where Lorie would fit in the industry.
Simon: He doesn’t think that rule applies anymore, thinking you make yourself fit. He didn’t like the version of the song, but she can really sing.
Kelly: She loves Lorie’s voice but doesn’t know if she’s ready for the industry. Lori pleads her case promising that she’s not a stranger to hard work. Kelly has her take a seat and sends Kristine Mirelle home.

Contestant: Allison Davis, 26, San Fernando Valley, a waitress. She serves celebrities all the time and wishes she could do what they’re doing. She got negative feedback from her first audition which was rough. She got through despite Simon saying no.

Song: Tik Tok

Me: This really isn’t the type of song for this type of audition. Additionally, the song does nothing but expose all the weaknesses in her voice.
Demi: She thinks Allison has the look but feels like she can’t take it seriously.
Simon: He knows she isn’t going to like his opinion, as the word that comes to mind is wannabe. The choice of song was obviously, lazy, predictable, and annoying.
Kelly: We have to know who we are as a performer to be authentic. Allison begs for a chance, but Kelly sends her home.

Contestant: Jeff Brinkman, 36, Longmont, CO, dog walker. He just had a daughter and the money is just enough, but he doesn’t have the ability to be the dad and musician he wants to be. This is his big shot.

Song: Without You

Me: I appreciate him trying to be more modern, but the Joe Cocker song he did at his audition is so much more him than this.
Demi: She doesn’t think he chose the right song, and she was so bored she was arranging things on her desk.
Simon: He doesn’t know how you can go from Joe Cocker to this monstrous version of this song. Yet he’s torn because Jeff has a great voice.
Kelly: She wants the judges to remember the first time they heard Jeff. Kelly decides to have him take a seat and sends Victoria Carriger home.

Contestant: Denny Smith, 68, Carson, CA, a retired pastor. People ask if he doesn’t get tired of people telling him he looks like Santa Claus. He doesn’t though, otherwise he’d be shaving his beard and cutting his hair. He’s been pursuing the singing dream for more than fifty-five years.

Song: In the Midnight Hour

Me: It’s not as good as his audition, but it’s still really good. He’s someone I would hear in the bars or on street corners in New Orleans.
Paulina: She once again believes in Santa Claus.
Simon: He thinks Kelly has a really difficult situation, as Santa just rocked the house.
Kelly: Denny promises to work the hardest. Kelly sends him home anyway, much to the dismay of Simon and the entire audience. Mario Lopez tells her not to expect any presents under her tree this year.

Contestant: James Kenney, 36, Portland, an apartment manager. Winning the recording contract could change his entire life. His family is 110% supportive, making him very grateful. His wife and daughters are very proud of him.

Song: Lean

Me: This is a great rendition of this song. To do a song that is so well-known, you have to do it differently and really well. He does. And in the process, updates the sound.
Demi: He killed it.
Paulina: It was so solid. They were into him, and she loves it.
Simon: He’s heard the song a million times, but never like that, and he doesn’t think he could have given it any more effort in terms of commitment.
Kelly: She thinks it’s beautiful how we can either look over the edge or we can leap, and he tok a big leap and made them believe he has something truly special. He begs, saying he works 24 hours a day and does it for his wife and babies. At the end of the day, he will take all that and give it to her. He takes a seat, obviously, replacing Jeff Brinkman.

Contestant: Lillie McCloud, 54, Orlando. She has three children and seven grandchildren. She’s always had this dream but has just never been lucky to have it happen to her. She put it to the side to focus on her family, but now that they’re all on their own, she’s going to chase that dream with everything she has.

Song: A House Is Not a Home

Me: Even from the first two lines of the song, I’m realizing there is no way Kelly can send her home. And at her age and her place in life, she truly understands what makes a house a home. She gets a standing O from the judges, and it’s well-deserved.
Demi: Without even singing, Demi thinks Lillie looks like a superstar, and she’s honored to be on a panel in front of her.
Paulina: She thanks her for giving them so much. She left her speechless and is a goddess.
Simon: He just loves her, and if Kelly puts her through he thinks the competition could become really exciting, as competitions need big voices and big stars, and she has the X Factor.
Kelly: Lillie needs to know how special she is with every fiber of her being. She has waited her whole life to hear those words. Obviously taking a seat, Lillie replaces Lorie Moore, even though the audience clearly wanted Kelly to lose Rachel Potter.

The Amazing Race, Oct. 6 – “Survivors and Thrivers”

There’s nothing better than great editing that shows contestants being pompous, only to end up eating those words later on. One team member starts out calling his team “survivors and thrivers,” then ends up having to deal with getting lost, misunderstanding a bus schedule, not doing a roadblock the right way, and even Marie, who should probably take the advice herself, telling him to “Zip it, Bingo.”

Departing from: Iquique, Chile


Tim and Marie: Exes from Morristown, NJ. Time of departure: 2:52 AM. She knows everyone thought they would be a disaster and the first ones gone because of their arguing, but here they are holding onto two express passes.

Nicole and Travis: Married ER physicians from Atlanta. Time of departure: 3:02 AM. Not coming in first was a missed opportunity and it’s time to just move on.

Rowan and Shane: Theater performers from Charlotte. Time of departure: 3:08 AM. They’re survivors and thrivers. You won’t see them on the red carpet, but might see them laying there.

Chester and Ephraim: Former NFL teammates from Houston. Time of departure: 3:13 AM. Ephraim says he is 6’8″ and 280 pounds, prompting Chester to announce, “We big!”

Nicky and Kim: Major League Baseball wives from the Midwest. Time of departure: 3:14 AM.

Ally and Ashley: NHL ice crew teammates from Long Beach, California. Time of departure: 3:20 AM. They are in an alliance with the Afghanimals who call them their race wives, as they have more of a commitment with them than race girlfriends.

Leo and Jamal: Cousins from Southern California. Time of departure: 4:00 AM.

Jason and Amy:Dating and from New England. Time of departure: 5:17 AM.

Tim and Danny: Oil plant workers from Cordell, Oklahoma. Time of departure: 5:28 AM.

Brandon and Adam: Childhood friends from Chico, California. Time of departure: 5:34 AM. Two hours and forty-two minutes after Tim and Marie.

First Clue: Teams will need to make their way by car to the deck of the Museo Corbeta Esmeralda where the officer there will pass them their next clue. The teams arrive before the Esmeralda opens, and Marie sets out the rule to leave their backpacks in order of arrival, wanting to make sure she and Tim keep their place of being first in line. Jamal nicknames them “Pinky and No Brain.”

Second Clue: During the Battle of Iquique in the War of the Pacific Chilean National Hero Arturo Prat uttered a famous phrase before the sinking of the Esmeralda. They need to find the phrase, then repeat it in Spanish to the officer. The phrase in English is, “Charge the ship, Men!” Order of Finish: Brandon and Adam, Ally and Ashley, Nicole and Travis, Tim and Marie, Chester and Ephraim, Rowan and Shane, Leo and Jamal, Jason and Amy, Nicky and Kim, and Tim and Danny.

Third Clue: Teams need to make their way to the Irlanda Salt Mines. They will search for their next clue near the Irlanda 3 roadside.

Fourth Clue: Detour: Teams will will need to ride bikes into the salt mines then chose between Mining or Brining. In Brining, teams will add enough salt to a pool of water to where they can comfortably float while reading a newspaper. In Mining, teams will break open boulders of salt until they find one with a hidden clue. Order of Arrival: Brandon and Adam, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, Nicole and Travis, Chester and Ephraim, Jason and Amy, Tim and Marie, Nicky and Kim, Tim and Danny, and Rowan and Shane.

Mining: Brandon and Adam, Ally and Ashley (they leave, switching to Brining), Leo and Jamal, Chester and Ephraim, Tim and Danny, and Rowan and Shane.

Brining: Ally and Ashley, Nicole and Travis, Jason and Amy, Tim and Marie, and Nicky and Kim

Order of Finish: Brandon and Adam, Leo and Jamal, Chester and Ephraim, Jason and Amy, Nicole and Travis, Tim and Marie, Ally and Ashley, Tim and Danny, Rowan and Shane, and Nicky and Kim.

Fifth Clue: The teams will travel back to Iquique and take a 1000 mile bus ride to Santiago. There they will make their way to Plaza de Armas to search for their next clue.

Catching the 1:30 bus: Brandon and Adam, Chester and Ephraim, Jason and Amy, Nicole and Travis, and Leo and Jamal.

Catching the 2:00 bus: Tim and Marie, Ally and Ashley, Nicky and Kim, and Tim and Danny.

Catching the 4:00 bus: Rowan and Shane.

Rowan and Shane take the 4:00 bus mistakenly believing that while the 2:00 bus will arrive at 6:00 PM, the 4:00 bus will arrive at 4:00. They are wrong; the 4:00 bus won’t arrive until 10:00. They think they will have a two hour lead, but will instead be behind by four hours.

Sixth Clue: Roadblock: Order of Arrival: Jason and Amy, Chester and Ephraim, Brandon and Adam, Leo and Jamal, Nicole and Travis, Tim and Danny, Tim and Marie, Nicky and Kim, Ally and Ashley, and Rowan and Shane. One teammate from each team will need to polish the shoes of a waiting customer, then figure out the puzzle of how to put together the shining stand and push it six blocks to the central storage area to get the next clue. A number of them either forget the mat that comes with the stand and have to go back for it or don’t understand how to pack up the stand correctly. Participating: Amy, Chester, Adam, Leo, Nicole, Danny, Marie, Nicky, Ashley, and Rowan.

Somehow there is yet another miscalculation of Rowan and Shane’s bus arrival time. They arrive at 7:03 PM, three hours ahead of when they thought they would. This catches them up with the teams that took the 2:00 PM bus. They lose some of the time they gained when Rowan chooses a shoeshine stand that isn’t part of the challenge. He has to repeat it again with an appropriate stand.

Order of Finish: Chester and Ephraim, Leo and Jamal, Brandon and Adam, Nicole and Travis, Jason and Amy, Ally and Ashley, Tim and Danny, Tim and Marie, Nicky and Kim, and Rowan and Shane.

Seventh Clue: Teams will make their way to the Cascada de las Animas in the Andes Mountains, the pit stop for this leg of the Race. The winners of this leg win a trip for two via Travelocity to Turks and Caicos.

Pit Stop: Order of Arrival: Chester and Ephraim, Leo and Jamal, Brandon and Adam, Nicole and Travis, Jason and Amy, Tim and Danny, Ally and Ashley, Tim and Marie, Nicky and Kim, and Rowan and Shane.

At the pit stop, Leo and Jamal don’t pay their cabdriver enough before they run onto Phil’s pit stop mat. The Race requires them to have their debt paid in full before finishing, so they end up losing what would have been a first place finish.

Express Pass: Tim and Marie give their extra pass to Nicky and Kim because of their common bond of Tim playing minor league ball with Kim’s husband. Nicky asks Marie for the Pass during the Roadblock, but Marie refuses to give it to her. Neither pass gets used on this leg and both are still in play.

Teams to Get Lost: Rowan and Shane on their way to the salt mines.

Sound Bites: Adam: We just jammed on those bikes like a Mac truck.

Leo and Jamal: We’ve got Afghanimal strength. Let’s go.

Rowan: I don’t want to talk; you’re using my air.

Marie: Zip it, Bingo.

Shane mentions that they took the chance, and you can’t have great success without great failure. After twenty-seven years, Rowan has finally learned how to appreciate Shane even more.

Next Week: Teams go medieval, and Marie goes up against Nicky and Kim when they argue over position on a standby list for a flight.