Total Blackout, May 30 – Don’t Panic; It’s Only Eels!

Total Blackout brings four players together to compete for five thousand dollars, but the catch is they must compete in total darkness. This sounds easy, but the screaming gets louder each week to prove that it is not easy at all. Poor Jaleel White’s eardrums!

Let’s meet tonight’s players who will compete in the darkness. Blaiz, 18, of Cove, OR, is a student. She will either “go for it or say nooo!” Let’s hope she goes for it! Next is Shereese, 36, of Portsmouth, VA, also a student, and her strategy is plain and simple, “Just go for it.” Chuck, 32, of Van Nuys, CA, is an Audio Tech. He can handle little bugs, but “once they start to crunch, he has to call his brother.” Maybe his brother should have been on the show instead of him. Julian, 28, of Oklahoma City, OK, is currently unemployed but he is not a quitter. His dad better not see him cry on television.

The first challenge looks like a conundrum, and it is all about timing. The players must jump over an electronic stick that will be swinging in complete darkness. Oh boy, why do they do this? Julian is first and is not crying yet. Chuck looks kind of like a zombie reaching out to bite someone. Shereese and Blaiz seem more quiet and relaxed, and Shereese is worried about jumping. Just jump Shereese.

Shereese made an attempt, but still got hit in the shins with a stick, while Chuck jumped over the stick on his first attempt. Julian and Blaiz are counting too slowly and keep missing the stick. Just count fast and jump like hell. Julian finally jumps at the right time. Poor Shereese must recover after missing ten times. They jump again, but this time into the black hole. It ends up being Shereese who jumps into the black hole.

Blaiz, Julian and Chuck are left to battle it out in the dark and play in some water. They must identify three items while taking a terrifying swim, which no one wants to do because there is usually a giant octopus or a shark involved on Syfy, but on Total Blackout, it is a little safer. Out of everyone right now, Blaiz looks calm, while Julian is worried because he doesn’t want anything in his ears or eyes and doesn’t want anything that is alive. Well, that leaves out all of Syfy’s options besides the water.

The first item they pour in is crawfish and Julian freaks out. He thinks it’s some kind of “multi-legged insect.” Blaiz lets out the first shriek and shouts “Fish!” No, it is not fish, but Chuck gets a little closer as is actually trying to pick the crawfish up. Julian is losing his shoe and panicking. Never panic in water.

Blaiz finally guesses that there are indeed crawfish in the water with her. The next item they throw in with the players are eels, yes little eels. Julian is having a full-on panic attack as he is touching his shoe and freaking out. He is trying to calm himself down, but it is not working. Just take a deep breath. Chuck thinks there are leeches in the water, and Blaiz guesses correctly that she is in the water with eels.

The last item they pour in are doll heads. Julian leaps out of the tub of water and is scared to death, and Blaiz is screaming and grossed out. It’s only doll heads. Well, okay, that is weird to throw into a tub of water. Chuck guesses doll heads right away. Julian closes his eyes; I feel bad for him. He finally reaches in and touches the doll heads and guesses correctly. He loses his shoe again.

Before the next round, someone needs to get Julian out the tub and give him a bag to breathe in to. They line up, ready for someone to go home. It is Julian who jumps into the black hole. Poor Julian, at least he didn’t cry.

Chuck and Blaiz are moving on to the final challenge. They must use only their hands to identify four random items in complete darkness. Chuck is getting used to the darkness now and Blaiz is doing well but she is hoping that nothing gets wrapped around me.

Chuck and Blaiz try to pick up the items. Oh my Lord, Chuck picks up a tarantula. I can’t watch this. Why would you do that? You only need to touch the tarantula, yet he is picking it up. Chuck moves onto the next tank which contains the ever-so-frightening feather duster.

Blaiz is screaming again and can barely get her hand into the tank to guess that there is a feather duster in the tank, but she finally does guess right. Chuck thinks the items are moving up the scary chart now. I think that happened when he stuck his hand in a fish tank to pick up a tarantula.

The third tank has a lizard, but Blaiz guesses it is a starfish. Since when are starfish and lizards shaped the same? The fourth tank contains a hand, a human hand, and both players freak out equally, but Chuck a little more than Blaiz as she guesses right away. Chuck thinks the human hand is a frog at first! He finally guesses correctly, and they are pretty even now as time is up!

Jaleel got a kick out of Blaiz petting the tarantula like it was a mouse, It is time to find out who is going home with five thousand dollars. I have a feeling it will be Chuck, but we shall see when they jump into the black hole. Jaleel prepares them and while Chuck and Blaiz both jump, the winner of Total Blackout is indeed Chuck.

May your nightmares inspire you. Don’t leave home without a flashlight folks! Don’t miss a single recap of this show or others. Check out our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.

Q&A with John Zaffis of Syfy’s Haunted Collector

The Syfy series Haunted Collector has returned for a second season with all new haunted items. John Zaffis and his family are on a mission to find out if spirits really do live and exist in objects such as a family portrait or that nice collectible that was given to you from a family member. 

The Zaffis family are renowned paranormal investigators, tracking down haunted items like paintings, guns, jewelry and dolls. Once identified, these obscure items are collected and stored in the family’s museum, helping John’s clients bring normalcy back to their lives.

John’s team includes Jason Gates (Investigator), his son Chris Zaffis (Investigator), his daughter, Aimee Zaffis (Investigator), Brian Cano (Tech Specialist), Jesslyn Brown (Investigator), and Beth Ezzo (Investigator and team psychic.)

John Zaffis took part in a Q&A to discuss the series and what viewers can expect. Zaffis got started in the paranormal business when he was sixteen years old. He “had an experience in the middle of the week on a Wednesday evening. At the foot of the bed there was a six foot figure that appeared. It was transparent and shaking its head back and forth.” He had tried to explain the experience to his mom, but she was did not want to hear it because she was petrified of the paranormal world.

There was no internet for John to begin his research, so he did it the old-fashioned way; he met with people and read all the books he could find. He learned and worked with his Aunt Lorraine and Uncle Ed Warren, and believes he couldn’t have gotten the education he received from them out of a book. “I was exposed to different things, and I started digging deeper, and I realized there are thousands of people with paranormal experiences.” The scientific prospect and working with people was intriguing to him.

The biggest factor for this show is how to determine if an item is haunted. John said, “What we normally find is high readings, EMF off of particular items, and we’ll focus in on the item to see if it could be causing a disturbance. There are times when items will pick up electronic voice phenomena, and in this season, we are doing a lot of experiments to try and prove that it is a particular item triggering activity within a room.”

After thoroughly investigating the items in order to give the families peace of mind, John stores the items in a barn on his property. John has collected items over the past thirty eight years and is hoping viewers will get to see more of the barn and the rare haunted collectibles.

You can’t have a paranormal show without awesome equipment, so John added a few new things for season two, including a helicopter that acts as a surveillance system. The team is also very cautious as they take on cases. John is very guarded and careful, because he believes “there are times when the spirits and energies can trick you.” He proceeds with caution no matter where he is going or what the case may be.

Items that are most often haunted may come from tragedies or a spirit that is looking to hold on to something. John finds that items such as toys, dolls and items that may come off of ships are prone to holding on to energy. It does not always have to be the same type of item. There are no restrictions in the spirit world, and John has seen everything from a button that came from a grave site to pieces of furniture.

People are also haunted personally by items. There may be certain family members, and even pets, that an item will attach itself to. The families may think they are going crazy when it happens to one person, but then the item will begin to affect the entire family. John finds children and pets are the ones who tend to notice the occurrences more frequently.

The museum John has on his property is not considered a dangerous place despite all of the haunted items. John manages to contain it; he is guarded and very cautious with the items. He has a lot of spiritual friends who he relies on for help, including Native Americans, shamans, priests and ministers. He asks for help when they visit. He likes to try and break free some of the energy associated with the items.

John’s overall goal is to “bring peace to the families” and calm down the paranormal activity in a home. He is also aware of the skeptics and keeps an open mind, but uses a lot of scientific methods to approach the paranormal activity and strives for the best results with help from his family. John will keep going and knows that energy has the ability to attach to anything that could be from the past or the present.

It takes an emotional toll on the families and pets. In order for people to be comfortable and at ease, once they discover where the problem is coming from, John and his family just want to give the families peace of mind so that the spirits are able to rest or go off in their own realm, unless they prefer to stay in John’s museum.

John’s role models are Ed and Lorraine Warren, his uncle and aunt. He also looks to the elderly as inspiration; “they have a lot of knowledge and information for the next generation to understand.” He likes to look at every perspective, and he and his family work hard and keep going.

Make sure to watch season two of Haunted Collector on the Syfy channel, Wednesdays, at 9/8c. Don’t miss a single recap of this show or others. Check out our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.

What’s Hot on TV Tonight – Jersey Shore Shark Attack

Jaws hits the Jersey shore during 4th of July weekend. Now that’s what I call a situation. Watch Jersey Shore Shark Attack tonight on Syfy.

1. Gymnastics. 2012 Visa Championships. 12:00 PM CT NBC

2. Pretty in Pink. Jon Cryer steals the show here as Molly Ringwald’s best friend, Ducky, who has great taste in music. 12:00 PM CT Fox

3. NASCAR Racing: Nationwide Series. 5-Hour Energy 200 from Dover International Speedway, in Dover, DE. 1:00 PM CT ESPN

4. PGA Tour Golf. Third round of FedEx St. Jude Classic from Tournament Players Club at Southwind in Memphis, TN. 2:00 PM CT CBS

5. I, Robot. Pretty good sci-fi flick, if you’re into that type of thing, starring Will Smith. He plays one of his typical roles, a homicide detective following a murderous robot. 2:00 PM CT CBS

6. 24/7 Pacquiao/Bradley. A marathon of all four installments of HBO’s 24/7 Pacquiao/Bradley as a lead-in to the Pay-Per-View event of the Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley welterweight title fight. 3:00 PM CT truTV

7. 144th Belmont Stakes. Live from Belmont Park in Belmont, NY. 3:30 PM CT NBC

8. MLB Baseball. Cleveland Indians at St. Louis Cardinals. 6:00 PM CT Fox

9. 2012 Stanley Cup Final. Game 5 from Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Los Angeles Kings at New Jersey Devils. 7:00 PM CT NBC

10. The Catalina. Morgan has a fashion show to organize at the restaurant, Kris and Nancy consider getting back together, and Nathan tries doing varying different tasks at the hotel. 7:00 PM CT CW

11. Hannah’s Law. A frontier town is fueled by crime and corruption until a strong-willed heroine and her friends, including legendary lawman Wyatt Earp, gunfighter Doc Holliday, and the first female, African-American mail carrier Mary Fields, aka “Stagecoach Mary,” take a stand for justice. Sara Canning, Danny Glover, Kimberly Elise, Billy Zane, Greyston Holt, John Pyper-Ferguson, and Ryan Kennedy star 7:00 PM CT Hallmark

12. How to Be a Gentleman. When Andrew sees how messed up Jerry’s life is, he asks Bert to be his life coach. 7:30 PM CT CBS

13. NBA Basketball. Game 7 of Eastern Conference Finals. Boston Celtics at Miami Heat. 7:30 PM CT ESPN

14. Spike Guys Choice 2012. Celebrating the best in men’s entertainment. 8:00 PM CT Spike

15. Jersey Shore Shark Attack. Jaws hits the Jersey shore during 4th of July weekend. 8:00 PM CT Syfy

16. Million Doll Neighborhood. The neighborhood uses tax money, spare change, and the non-use of credit cards to try and reach the first-week goal of $100,000. 8:00 PM CT OWN

17. Tanked. A pet supplies retail chain CEO is looking for a huge tank for numerous different inhabitants, and a joint business venture between KISS and Monster Mini-Golf wants a unique tank. 8:00 PM CT Animal Planet

18. Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star. A grocery story bagger finds out his conservative parents used to be porn stars. Nick Swardson stars. 8:00 PM CT Starz

19. 48 Hours Mystery. Two decades after the fact, the wife of another artist says her husband fatally beat an Austin, Texas, musician. 9:00 PM CT CBS

20. Dog the Bounty Hunter. Behind the scenes of the series with Dog, his crew, and the production crew. 9:00 PM CT A&E

21. Real Life: The Musical. The team helps a couple pull off a musical wedding as a surprise for their family. 9:00 PM CT OWN


So You Think You Can Dance, June 6 – More of the Same Excitement

I can’t say enough how much I am enjoying the auditions so far on this season of So You Think You Can Dance. They’re focusing so much on the more heartwarming auditions. Sadly, we only get one night a week of them instead of two this season, with Fox deciding they can only dedicate one night a week this summer to “Dance Idol.” And they just happen to be finding a way to making everyone one of those limited minutes worth it this season.

Tonight we’re in Atlanta to hopefully find more heartwarming auditions. Our judges this evening are Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and Debbie Allen. Nigel reminds the crowd of auditioners that last season’s winner, Melanie Moore, auditioned in Atlanta.

First up is Audrey Case, 18, Edmond, OK. Nigel gives her a little advice, telling her that when she met with the producers earlier, and they took down notes for the judges, she shouldn’t have given such text as “you can fart with your neck and lick your elbow.” Mary finds something else interesting in the notes, that Audrey has never had a boyfriend. Nigel thinks it’s her other talents scaring them away. Audrey demonstrates her neck, but Nigel thinks it’s more like squeaking than farting.

Audrey’s dancing is much more beautiful than her farting neck. She has a very fluid body. Debbie is enjoying every moment of it. The crowd gives her a standing O, and Nigel goads the judges into doing the same. He tells Audrey she is magical like a little Tinkerbell. She has a magical charisma and terrific technique. He points out that they have had wonderful dancers who get to Vegas and are terrible, as they can only do what they can do. Nevertheless, she’ll get a chance in Vegas to show Nigel she can do more than the dance she just did and make her elbow fart.

Hip hop dancers Boris Penton, 23, Andre Rucker, 21, and Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer, 21, of Atlanta, call their dancing crew “Dragon House.” They don’t just dance together; they also live together with “like 1000 other people,” despite there only being three bedrooms. It’s tough not to have their own space, especially the bathroom. They just have one thing that brings them all together, and that’s dance, but they like it, as they feel they get inspired by the others.

Boris is up first. He moves his own body like a marionette, and the tinkling piano accompanying him is quite unexpected. The judges give him a standing O. Nigel tells him he is mesmerizing, but I think it could be his hair, dyed bright blue in racing stripes. Nigel found it absolutely stunning to watch. He felt privileged to be there watching Boris. Mary doesn’t think there’s a person in the theater who doesn’t think it was extraordinary. She had to be trained for years, yet he did this himself. It’s their ninth season, yet they find him extraordinary. Debbie calls it pure artistry. Nigel asks him if he’s had enough compliments, then offers him a ticket to Vegas.

Before we see the rest of Dragon House, Joshua Alexander, 18, of Columbia, SC, takes the stage next and tells the judges he sings, plays the guitar, and teaches dance. Nigel hopes that will all come out in his dancing. He does a beautiful routine that indeed shows his love of music. He has amazing command of his body. Debbie is really enjoying it. If he doesn’t make it on the show, I see her picking him up. The judges don’t even bother to talk to him; they just each hold up a ticket to Vegas for him. Debbie grabs his face and tells him he’s special and that when he dances, it roused her up, like he was testifying.

Three dancers go unnamed, but have inspirational stories. One discusses growing up poor in Chicago and not having anything. Eventually he joined a dance team that turned his life around. A female dancer was diagnosed in sixth grade with Tourette’s Syndrome. It was hard, because she thought she was weird. Her tics aren’t as severe anymore, as she uses dance to eliminate them. Another dancer lost his mom at a young age, and it was the hardest thing he’s had to go through. He found his rhythm again with his passion for dance.

The first dancer makes Debbie cry, as she calls his performance beautiful. She tells the second dancer she is wonderful and extraordinary. Nigel tells the third dancer he can’t wait to see him express the joy of getting a ticket to Vegas. He expresses it outside, falling on the floor.

Tim Conkel, 21, of Atlanta, is just a happy guy all the way around. He’s also a karate instructor. His mom enrolled him in martial arts originally, because he was being bullied. By high school, he was “kind of a badass.” He’s a ten-time national champion, a three-time international champion, and in 2009, he was inducted into the National Black Belt League of Fame. He ought to do some dancing with the martial arts dancer who was on last week. And again, the martial artist in me just wants to see him fight. Tim started dancing in his freshman year of college because he wanted to get girls. He thinks he has what it takes to be not only America’s favorite dancer, but America’s favorite person.

Tim walks out onstage with a backpack with Selena Gomez on it, telling the judges he just likes to keep Selena with him at all times. He’s going to do some hip hop with some breaking and martial arts. He tells the judges he started dancing to get girls, an answer the crowd loves. The more he kept dancing, the less it became about girls, and more just because he liked doing it. He sets the backpack in the back so that Selena can watch him dance. Nigel believes there’s “something crazy” about him, while Mary says it will either be amazing or horrific. I’ll go with amazing.

The crowd goes nuts, which Nigel acknowledges, but to be honest with Tim, there were certain things he missed. Nigel stands up and demonstrates he was looking for the quintessential “Karate Kid” move, aka the crane stance, and he was also looking for “wax on, wax off.” Tim jokes that he is ashamed of himself. Without question, Nigel knows he saw some incredible moves. Where he got some of the movement to get into them were extraordinary. His only concern was where the actual dancing was in the routine, despite everything being exceptionally impressive.

Mary calls Tim’s routine explosive, and says his movement is unreal when it comes to his power tricks. He has such a likable personality, that she knew it would either be terrific or horrific, but he was terrific. Debbie calls Tim out on his charming boy-next-door quality, but says he’s actually a naughty boy. In an alley at midnight, she’d be scared. There’s also a Wolfman quality about him. She wants to see a little more to know if he can really transform.

Asked for what other styles he does, Tim acknowledges that he’s done hip hop choreography, and “a whole seven days of ballet.” Nigel makes a deal with him. If he does a little bit of ballet, the judges will make a decision on whether to send him on to Vegas or choreography. They cue the classical music and Justin does some spins and a leap, and while it’s not great, it’s very entertaining. Nigel tells him “Come get your ticket; well done.” Tim tells Selena it’s for her.