Feast – Project Greenlight 3, Episode 1

Feast! Project Greenlight 3 Episode 1

by carpesomediem

Project Greenlight began as an idea of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck inspired by their own story. Tired of roles that did nothing for their careers, they wrote their own script – anybody remember Good Will Hunting? – and went on to not only box office success but Oscar gold. This is the breading ground for Project Greenlight.

“A lot of people asked how we can do that?” Ben Affleck explains.

The first Project Greenlight began in the fall of 2000. More than 7000 entries came pouring in and managed to get that number down to 10 wannabe directors who had the chance to shoot one scene from their script. Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Chris Moore then spent three days interviewing the final three to pick the big winner: Stolen Summer by Pete Jones who starred Bonnie Hunt and Aidan Quinn.

While the first season focused on director’s who wrote their own screenplay, the second season attempted to pair together a screenwriter and a director. Erica Beeney and Kyle Rankin won for their screenplay, The Battle of Shaker Heights with directing to be done by Efram Potelle.

For the third installment, however, Affleck and Damon have brought in Wes Craven to produce a horror film from an up-and-coming director and screenwriter.

“Making a first movie is so hard,” Chris Moore smiles.

“Feast” begins with the final screening meeting. They decided to do a genre film with Dimension. It’s a separate division of Miramax, producing high quality genre films, such as horror movies which this contest is focusing on. “We’re continuing this tradition with Project Greenlight,” Nick Phillips, Vice President of Dimension.

The contest begins with screening contestants for screenwriting and director through video submissions. Scripts were all posted on the Project Greenlight team. Three of each needed to be chosen, so Wes Craven was brought in to help out. “This year is really about making a movie that people are going to go and see,” Chris Moore laughs. He doesn’t think the show will get funded again if they don’t make a profit.

The first script to be looked at is Wildcard . However, only Affleck thinks it’s worthwhile.

Feast, another film which many agree on. “You read it and you think, ‘Is this just dog crap?'” Affleck asks. Craven doesn’t think they can make this movie without a lot of studio backing. Phillps doesn’t think it should be scrapped because Dimension would be willing to back it. Joel Soisson, a producer for the show, says the writer of Hanz Guberstein is a genius and it fits into all categories.

They decide to put together Wildcard, Feast and Hanz Guberstein as the final three.

The ten director finalists were all given a simple script that they have to produce on their own with a vision, creativity and other aspects that make them a unique director.

James Ryan and John Gulager are on everyone’s lists. There videos are creative, appealing and approach their scenes very well. Gulager is a point of debate, because some believe he’s not worth it while others think he needs to be tested in person.

They call the screenwriter’s to let them know as well as the director’s candidates. Ben Affleck jokes to Gulager that he should shoot his wedding, as the would-be director moonlights as a wedding video director.

Marshall Moesley, who wrote Wildcard works for a computer company. Rick Carr, the screenwriter behind Hanz Guberstein, is a customer service representative and brings his mom with him to the final screening. Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton wrote “Feast” together and came out to “take their chances,” as Dunstan says. Overall, they have a good plethora of stories to tell.

Next comes the individual interviews with all producers and big shots on the project. Moesley is the first one to be interviewed. “It’s an adult thriller,” Moore adds. Craven says he was impressed by the writing. “It’s the most different with the adultness of it,” he says. The producers explain that they believe Wildcard needs more than Project Greenlight to make it. “I really appreciate what you’ve done,” he says at the end of the process.

Next, Rick Carr, writer of Hanz Guberstein. Affleck says it’s the most “creative and unique” of all the scripts they received. The idea came from being able to rewrite one’s own existence; it was inspired by Stephen Hawkings A Brief History of Time. Affleck says it looks like it was written for Star Trek than for the project. He doesn’t understand how he made it comedy, when the guy clearly is very intelligent and interesting. Moore was amazed he wasn’t that funny in real life.

Finally, “Feast” screenwriters Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton come in for their interview. Craven believes the script takes on way too much and didn’t think it was that great because it took on way too much too soon. These guys are clearly funny, laughing at their own jokes and trying to lighten the mood. Phillips notes these guys know what they are talking about as they are a byproduct of the generation of “velocity and ferocity,” as Dunstan puts it. They even came together with a package, something Dimension would love; the studio wanted to take them on, even though the budget was of concern.

Craven believes Wildcard is the top of the crop whereas Moore points out that they need to make a profit. Soisson does point out that this isn’t about picking the best script, but picking the best overall film from start to finish. Affleck really still loves Hanz Guberstein but Dimension is brought up that Feast is the one that they want. They believe the studio will jump on, that they are willing to make a small profit. “Not the reason I got into Greenlight,” Damon rebukes Dimension’s stand. The debate erupts that Feast and Damon gets very angry about it. He says he hates that Dimension feels like just making a profit because that’s what the project needs this year or it may not be back for another reason. “I’ve never done a movie based on marketing skills.”

“I would probably have to work hard to make it work for me,” Craven admits on Feast Damon tells the studio that if Craven thinks it suck, doesn’t that mean it sucks? “Basically, we’re helpless,” Damon sighs.

The screenwriter’s come down to meet with everyone and are met with a pep talk. Feast is chosen as what will be made. The others call their families and friends to let on to the disappointment, while Dunstan and Melton are ecstatic. Soisson notes, “This is going to make our lives a living hell,” on the movie.

Scott Smith, from Chicago, believes he’s the perfect directing candidate because he knows he can make a successful – not necessarily good – movie. James Ryan, from Los Angeles, has a hilarious video making fun of Project Greenlight.

John Gulager is weird. He grew up surrounded by film, he’s older – 46 years old – and things just don’t really go right for him. “It would just be freaking crazy,” he says of possibly winning the position.

Now, the interviews for director candidates begin, starting with James Ryan. Moore really liked his individual scene. Ryan thinks they need to create amazing sound techniques with the monsters from Feast. Affleck says he “sold it.” Ryan is very into sound aspects, going so far as to even act out the onomatopoeia.

Smith is ushered in to the room. His scene was funny, entertaining and Moore believes comedy would suit him. Phillips sees his background as an advertiser would help with vision. Smith focuses on the tone of the movie, believing it should be a “horoedy” combining horror and comedy. He definitely didn’t seem to have much of his own vision for the film. Damon believed he had ideas that would make the movie better than what it is with his ideas.

Gulager is the last to come in, but Moore still feels Ryan is the best choice with Scott lacking vision. However, Moore believes Gulager is the one to take on this project. Damon believes so, too. John starts out by noting he picked at the script he wanted to do, notes he is a horrible salesman and it shows. “I just wanted to make a monster movie,” he says, smiling. “I dig that kind of stuff.” He shares a painting, thinking it’s an inspiration for Feast. Affleck notes he has idiosyncrancies, is quiet and isn’t much for selling himself to Dimension. “I’m worried about communication and getting across what movie he wants to make,” Moore. Damon says he knows director’s that may not be able to sell themselves but they are still great filmmakers. Dimension’s studio executives don’t like him much at all because of that.

Damon and Affleck made effort to try to get their director picks in since they didn’t get their screenwriter pick. Dimension doesn’t like Gulager, they like Ryan. Craven doesn’t think Gulager would be a good director because of his quarks, it’s a big risk to take.

That night they have a big premiere and party to announce the winner of the director search. The candidates and their wives join them and wait out the night for the announcement.

Ben Affleck explains the process and shares time with Matt Damon to read the script while bits of the scenes shot were shown to the audience.

Wes Craven announces the director of Feast to be John Gulager. Gulager just sits there, stunned, while the others do their best “damn-it-I-lost-the-Oscar” smile. Gulager jokes that he called everyone last night to tell them he had lost. “If John does a good job on the film, it’s going to be the biggest opportunity in his career,” Damon explains. The other candidates still want to be directors and they are still going to truck on.

Leahy and Soisson were approached by Gulager’s friend who warned them of his temper tantrums and other on-set troubles. They both believe this choice will backfire in the end and ruin Project Greenlight.

Carpesomediem is an aspiring freelance writer from Lancaster, Pa. who enjoys music, movies and writing about the way the world works; you can contact her at carpesomediem@realityshack.com to talk about this week’s episode or anything at all.

Carpesomediem is an aspiring freelance writer from Lancaster, Pa. who enjoys music, movies and writing about the way the world works; you can contact her at carepesomediem@realityshack.com to talk about this week’s episode or anything at all.

How To Shoot Yourself In The Foot On National TV – Nashville Star 3, Episode 3

Tonight’s episode is tagged with the vague theme of “Outlaws and Rebels”, which the contestants all seem to interpret even more broadly as “any country or pop song that will possibly score me lots of votes”. This week’s special guest star is The Charlie Daniels Band, who gives us a rockin’ shout-out to the late great Dale Earnhardt by singing “The Intimidator”. LeAnn Rimes then welcomes us to the show, wearing what appears to be one of my old maternity tops. C’mon LeAnn, you’re a bazillionaire with a great figure – is that really the best you could come up with? Then the contestants trot out on stage and we begin the countdown, with 9 singers competing for 8 slots.

As some small compensation for making her wait til the bitter end last week, the first name called by LeAnn this week is Jenny Farrell. In a clip, Jenny talks about how she still feels she is playing catch-up from the first week (when her performance was truncated due to the stomach flu). She seems to still be walking on air from the second chance she was handed last week, and this shines through in her upbeat performance of “Lesson in Leavin’”. Anastasia says she did great but she needs to remember to breathe, Bret says “take a shot of Jack Daniels before you come out here and just let it fly” (hmmm…now we know the secret to Poison’s success), and Phil says she did even better than last week.

Following Jenny is one of the judge’s favorites, Jayron Weaver, singing Travis Tritt’s “Modern Day Bonnie & Clyde” and turning in a strong performance for the third week in a row. Phil says he might just be the best singer in the whole competition, Anastasia says she is so proud of him and that he did a great job, and Bret says “I may be looking at a Nashville Star”.

Cletus T Judd appears next to take us “backstage”. He is with the nervous seven remaining nervous contestants waiting nervously in the nervous green room, where he wastes our time by asking them how nervous they are. Hello USA Network, why why why do you force the contestants to sing only tiny snippets of their songs to make airtime for this nonsense? More singing please! But as your dutiful play-by-play commentator, I listen closely and take diligent notes while Christy McDonald talks about how she is nervous but she has God and angels on her side, so everything is going to be alright even though she is nervous, etc. etc.

The next name called is Justin David, whom I have put in the bottom tier for the past two weeks. They play the little pre-recorded interview clip that precedes all the performances and is usually incredible unnoteworthy. But Justin says something truly stunningly dumb, telling us that he feels he doesn’t need to bring his A-game until the last episode, as some of the worst things he could do are probably somebody’s best things they could possibly do. Whoa! Not exactly the Dale Carnegie way to Win Friends and Influence Voters. I’m not sure it really matters what he sings at this point, as judging from the slack-jawed reaction of the audience, I think Justin may as well just go pack his bags now. But he takes to the stage and sings John Hyatt’s “Tennessee Plates”, playing a guitar this week instead of his mandolin. He does an OK job, but I’m not sure anyone’s really listening. The judges seem perturbed by his comment as well, as Anastasia tells him flat out that she is offended by his strategy, Bret mumbles something about needing more energy, and Phil states that you gotta kick it every week.

The next contestant is Erika Jo, who makes yet another crowd-pleasing song choice with Tanya Tucker’s “Texas When I Die”. I’m not sure she has the best voice of the competition, but I think she is clearly the most natural performer of the bunch. Bret tells her not to change a damn thing, Anastasia says that she and Tamika are the top female vocalists, and Phil says she looks really comfortable up there and to keep rockin’.

After Erika, it’s Jason Meadows’ turn. In classy cowboy style, he dedicates his performance to the recently deceased Chris Ledoux, and then proceeds to grab the tune “What’s Your Name” by the neck and cut loose. Phil says he likes him without the guitar this time, and that he is really really good, Anastasia questions him on what his point of difference is, and Bret says he sings the way he wants to sing.

And then we return to the Cletus commentary, this time torturing the final four with questions about how they will pick up the worthless pieces of their life (OK, those were maybe not his exact words) if they were sent home. Casey Simpson says she will continue to pursue her dream, yada yada.

Next on stage is Tamika Tyler, who wins the worst outfit award tonight (even outdoing LeAnn in her Pea In The Pod garb). She is apparently going for some kind of retro camp counselor look, with a rainbow colored cropped halter top, low slung jeans, and two little ponytails sticking out from behind her ears. Thankfully, the girl can sing. I don’t think “When God Fearing Women Get the Blues” was the best song choice to highlight her voice, but she will clearly be coming back next week. Anastasia calls her the one to beat, Phil says she was “stupid good”, and Bret says “you got it”.

We’re down to three now, and the next performer at bat is Casey Simpson, who I have liked in previous weeks, but this time goes for a bad impersonation of a hungover Janis Joplin as she growls her way through “Me & Bobby McGee”. The audience was clearly not into her performance, and neither were the judges. Bret said the song was not in her vocal range, Anastasia says “either that song is wrong for your voice or your voice is wrong for my ears”, and Phil tells her she needs fire.

And now for the moment that keeps our TVs turned on, the loser is…Christy McDonald. Not a big surprise, she had a lot of heart and spirit, but vocally was not keeping up with the leaders. So that leaves us with Jody Evans, who wraps up this week with “I Fought the Law”. He gives a solid but not stellar performance. Phil says “I’m pulling for you”, Bret tells him to stick to what he loves, and Anastasia tells him he is one of her favorites.

My prediction is that Justin David will finally leave us next week, more the victim of his flip comment than his song. If I had to judge purely on the basis of this week’s performance, the disappointing Casey Simpson may also be at risk.

You can contact Lisa with questions, comments, or general gabbery at lisa@realityshack.com.

Tonight's Theme: Singing the Tunes of Past Idols – American Idol, 03-15-05

Tonight’s Theme: Singing the Tunes of Past Idols – American Idol, 03-15-05

by LauraBelle

I’ll deal with the controversy right off the bat here. Mario Vazquez pulled a savvy business move this weekend, and I’ll get back to why I believe it to be savvy later. Mario pulled himself out of the competition citing “personal reasons.” He was quickly replaced by Nikko Smith; he was the ejected male that got the most votes last week.

Rumors have been abounding the past few days over what Mario’s personal reasons were, with everything from his lifestyle to contractual issues in question. Today he told Regis and Kelly he had fallen out of love with American Idol. I don’t have any other guesses why he did it, but I see it as savvy, and will liken it to the Susan Lucci syndrome. You know, Susan Lucci. The All My Children actress who won more acclaim for never winning a Daytime Emmy than she would have had she won. Once she finally won, she was never talked about as much. I think Mario has been talked about more in the past three days than he would have been had he won American Idol. He’s the guy that had the gall to quit, instead of the nice-looking guy with a nice voice.

Ryan opens the show tonight and explains the whole Mario mess to us, then shows us a tape of himself breaking the news to the finalists last week (which included Mario and not Nikko at the time) that the theme was sixties music. Bo asks if the theme includes Rock music, and Ryan tells him it does, and urges Bo and Constantine to stand up and do the twist, which they do, and do quite well in fact.

First up is Jessica Sierra choosing Smokey Robinson’s classic, Shop Around. I think she does great at making this her own, and adding a very unique bluesy feel to it. Randy disagrees with me, saying it was just okay and a little pitchy. Paula, however, feels she did a really good job, and Simon thinks it was boring and uninspiring.

Anwar Robinson chooses A House Is Not A Home, done in the first season by Tamyra Gray. Let me just say I’m not a Tamyra fan, but I don’t think this measures up to her version. Normally near perfect, Anwar seems all over the place with it, perhaps because of nerves. By the end he brings it back, but perhaps it’s too late. Randy calls it very safe and not great, and Paula calls it very strange, but notes his style and voice are always flawless. Simon says now that we know he can do it, he needs to show us more of the fun side to him. I have to say I agree.

Singing the Dusty Springfield classic Son Of A Preacher Man, done in the second season by Julia DeMato, is Mikalah Gordon. She did much better than last week, but still not back to what we originally saw out of her. Randy calls it rough, Paula says it wasn’t her favorite, and Simon, who once called her the most confident sixteen-year-old in America, now tells her her confidence exceeded her ability. Ouch.

Constantine Maroulis sings a song that’s very special to me, You Made Me So Very Happy. The day we found out I was pregnant with my first child, my husband came in singing this song to me. Constantine sounds great in this and it seems to fit him well, but I will always prefer my husband’s version, off-key and all. Randy thinks it’s his best performance to date, and I have to agree. I think he sounds better on this than the newer music he has been doing in the semi-finals. Paula brings up how great the last note was, and Simon says if this were Smoldering Idol, Constantine would win hands down. When Ryan comes out on stage with Constantine, he notes he needs to get heels for when he’s up there with him. Yes, we’ve been noticing that, Ryan.

Lindsay Cardinale sings Knock On Wood, done by Kimberly Caldwell in the second season. Are you noticing a trend here? So am I. I can’t put my finger on it, but something is always missing with Lindsay’s performances. She sounds and looks great, but something just doesn’t connect. Randy and Paula don’t like it, and Simon says thirteen million viewers have just turned down their volume simultaneously.

Anthony Federov decides to put us to sleep with Breaking Up Is Hard To Do done in the second season during Neil Sedaka week by Ruben Studdard. Sure, he sounds great, but he always does. We need something more than sounding good, and this song doesn’t have enough oomph to do anything more than that. Randy pulls out a Simon line and says this is something heard in a bad hotel, Paula notes it’s not up to par with his other performances, and Simon puts it in perspective, saying it’s akin to an office party where someone gets up to entertain and fails.

Nadia Turner, please pull us out of American Idol repeat hell. I will say thank you, as she sings Dusty Springfield’s You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me. First off, like with Jessica and Constantine, it’s something different for us dedicated American Idol viewers. Secondly, I think she is so successful at throwing out the desired vibe that is needed with each different song. Randy has to give her props, Paula notes Nadia is in it to win, and Simon tells her in a competition of hamburgers, she’s a steak. Simon seems to be hitting the analogies a little too heavy tonight.

And thank you to Bo Bice, too, singing another new song to the American Idol catalog, Spinning Wheel by Blood, Sweat and Tears. He looks great in black leather and works the catwalk in the audience. Randy tells him he is is keeping it real, and was flawless, Paula tells him he already is a superstar, and Simon says the stage can make you or break you, but Bo looks like he’s been doing it for twenty years.

Vonzell Solomon sings a tune that American Idol had wanted Kelly Clarkson to sing in season one but she refused, and Kimberley Locke eventually sang in season two, Anyone Who Had a Heart. She sings in a sultry pose and sultry dress, and is a little pitchy in some parts. Randy calls it an ambitious choice, and tells her she can get control if she works it out. Paula notes her showmanship, and Simon says the problem with her is she is always picking something in the middle to sing.

Singing a song Ruben Studdard sang in season two is Scott Savol, with Ain’t Too Proud To Beg. It fits him very well, but they are similar performers, so that’s not a surprise. He walks out in the audience, but doesn’t do anything really while there, leaving us a little confused. Randy tells him he’s back, Paula said it looked like he was having fun, and Simon said it surprised him, and he actually did good with it.

Carrie Underwood sings When Will I Be Loved by The Everly Brothers, but I know it more as a Linda Ronstadt song, and this appears to be the version Carrie is singing. She says she wants to show some personality with this song, but I still can’t see any, although she sounds good. Randy says he had such high hopes for her, but she hasn’t shown up lately, Paula calls the song safe and boring, and for a change Simon disagrees, saying Carrie is one of the three people in the competition that knows who they are as a singer.

Nikko Smith throws some levity into his difficult week singing “I Want You Back.” I have to admit, I like him better than I did before. He was fun, but then again, it’s a fun song as a whole, and he has an ability to imitate other performers, imitating Mr. Fun himself, Michael Jackson. Randy welcomes him back, and says he brought fun and excitement, Paula says he did his own thing (sounding a little too much like Randy there), and Simon asks to be forgiven, saying he thought Nikko sounded horrible. Nikko tells Ryan at the end he thought it was a joke when he got the call from American Idol to come back.

Half of the songs sung tonight have been done at other times on American Idol. It ought to be in the American Idol rules that you can’t sing a song sung on the show before during the finals. And if you dare to break the rule, it better be a version that makes us forget about the original. None of the repeaters did that tonight. That said, I predict it will be one of the repeat performers that leave the competition tomorrow. You have to be original at this stage to make us sit up and take notice. That’s why Mario will be remembered; he did something different. He quit.

I welcome all questions and comments at LauraBelle@realityshack.com

Finding A Way To Plan And Scheme – The Amazing Race 7, Episode 3

article title

by LauraBelle

In week three of this season’s The Amazing Race, at the end of the show, I only remember Survivor alum Rob, just like all the other weeks, and just like much of both of his seasons on Survivor. As he and his teammate, fiancée Amber, leave Santiago Chile at 12:43 AM, Rob says luck is on their side. They take chances, and without chances, you have no luck. He’s right. They are now headed to a parking garage to pick up cars, and will drive through the Andes Mountains to the Puente Viejo bridge in Argentina. They are forewarned that there is a Yield ahead.

Ron and Kelly leave next, with Ron admitting he’s not quite sure yet if he wants to marry Kelly. That’s a horrible thing to mention on national television. Ray and Deana agree they need to start communicating more, and leave shortly after. They are followed by Uchenna and Joyce, Lynn and Alex, Debbie and Bianca, Meredith and Gretchen, and Susan and Patrick. Leaving last are Brian and Greg who came in just seconds before Megan and Heidi were eliminated last week, leaving them with a definite taste of what it’s like to be eliminated from this race.

Once at the parking garage to pick up their cars, the teams all find it doesn’t open until 5:00 AM. Some teams go back to the hotel, some teams wait right there in front of the garage, and some prefer to walk around. Debbie and Bianca go back to the hotel to ask for directions to get from the parking garage to Puente Viejo, and Rob and Amber head back to the hotel to get more rest. When leaving, Rob and Amber see Debbie and Bianca’s taxi waiting for them, and convince the driver to leave with them instead. Debbie and Bianca just barely make it back to the parking garage by 5:00 AM.

Rob asks a police officer for directions, and convinces him to allow them to follow him out of the city. Looking at the map, Bianca admits she’s “retarded with directions.” They get worried they’re going the wrong way, but decide they’re just freaking out. Susan and Patrick realize they are far behind, they are lost in Santiago still, and need to get out of the city.

Rob and Amber, without police escort, are leading the pack, zig zagging up the Andes mountains. Lynn and Alex admit everyone had said they would Yield Rob and Amber the first chance they got, but with them solidly in the lead, they wonder who will get yielded instead. Reaching the top of the Andes Mountains, everyone uses words like exhilarating, incredible, beautiful and even Heaven.

Rob and Amber see the Yield on the bridge and run quickly to it, the first to arrive. They decide to not Yield anyone. Wise choice; they’ve made enough enemies already. They are now met with a Detour: Paddle or Pedal. In Paddle the teams need to board an inflatable raft with three professional rowers and follow the current down the river seven miles. In Pedal the teams need to each ride a mountain bike seven miles through a course that follows train tracks. Rob and Amber choose to Paddle.

Lynn and Alex choose to not Yield anyone and choose Paddle as well. Amber is wearing out quickly with her rowing, and Lynn and Alex take the opportunity to pass them up on the river. Finishing their rowing course, Lynn and Alex receive a clue directing them seventy miles to the city of Mendoza, to Camping Suizo, at a traditional Argentine barbecue. As Rob and Amber finish just after them, Amber admits the only thing keeping her going were thoughts of needing to fit into her wedding dress.

Still driving, Meredith and Gretchen are in front of Brian and Greg, but are passed by the brothers. The brothers choose to not Yield anyone and are the only team to choose Pedal, saying it’s like when they were kids. They get a flat tire and decide t’s quicker to pick up the bikes and just walk them to the stopping point.

Meredith and Gretchen choose to not Yield and to Paddle, as do Ron and Kelly, Uchenna and Joyce, and Ray and Deanna. Susan and Patrick are just beginning to ascend the Andes, as Bianca and Debbie suddenly realize their error. Looking at the pretty scenery, they realize their clue said to drive “through” the Andes, and the Andes are way off in the distance to their direct left. Stopping to ask for directions, they find Puente Viejo is two hours away, and they have just spent two-and-half hours driving away from Santiago. They were to exit off the main road after about five minutes, but never exited the entire time.

Reaching the Puente Viejo bridge finally, Susan and Patrick show some mercy and don’t Yield the only remaining team to reach the bridge, Debbie and Bianca. Susan and Patrick decide to paddle, as do Debbie and Bianca when they finally arrive. Debbie is afraid of the rafting, explaining she nearly died whitewater rafting a few months back, but faces her fear and rafts anyway.

Lynn and Alex arrive at Camping Suizo and find a Roadblock, saying the team member that is not a vegetarian should do the challenge. Alex decides to do it, and finds he needs to eat nearly four pounds of meat – a traditional Argentine meal consisting of a cow rib, pork sausage, blood sausage, cow intestines, a cow udder, an entire kidney, and part of a cow’s saliva gland. Lynn roots Alex on, doing everything but making airplane sounds with a spoon.

Arriving at the Roadblock, Rob decides to do the challenge, and is struggling to eat it. Amber asks if it’s good or yucky, and he says he doesn’t want to talk about it. Uchenna, Greg, Meredith and Ron all do the challenge for their respective teams. Realizing he could never finish this meat, Rob needs a plan and finds his penalty for not eating this is to be penalized for four hours after the next team arrives at the challenge. Rob quits just before Ray and Deana get to the challenge and Deana decides to do the eating.

Rob does what he does best and convinces others to follow his plan. Their four hours have already started after Ray and Deana arrived. Once he convinces them to also quit and take the penalty, he realizes he is guaranteed to not be last as now they need to wait four hours after either Susan and Patrick or Debbie and Bianca make it. Deana knows it would take her at least four hours to eat this, so takes the penalty as well, as do Meredith and Gretchen.

Ron says this is the worst eating experience in his entire life, and that includes when he lost twenty-five pounds in an Iraqi prison. Now there’s a ringing endorsement. Uchenna finishes first, followed by Alex. They are racing eight miles to the next Pit Stop, Estencia San Isidro, a ranch in the Andes Mountains.

During the drive, Joyce asks Uchenna if he’d like a mint. Asking for directions, Uchenna and Joyce follow the person who provides them, only to have him lead them to the wrong place. Meanwhile, it seems more like a premonition than wishful thinking, as Lynn and Alex hope that Uchenna and Joyce get lost. Lynn and Alex overtake the lead and run to the pit stop in first place, leaving Uchenna and Joyce in second place.

Susan and Patrick are shown driving still to Mendoza, and as Susan eats an energy bar, Patrick promises to find a cheap meal in Mendoza. Little does he know what awaits him. Ron and Greg finish, leaving their teams to make the drive to the Pit Stop, and Susan and Patrick finally show up so that Ray and Deana and Meredith and Gretchen’s four hours finally start. Patrick decides he will do the eating.

Brian and Greg arrive at the Pit Stop in third place, and Ron and Kelly are just behind in fourth. Patrick is complaining about the amount of food, and as his mom encourages him to continue eating, he tells her if she was doing this, she’d be curling up in a fetal position.

Debbie and Bianca arrive and Debbie sits down to do the challenge, even undoing her pants to fit it all in. Rob looks at her and knows she’ll eat it all, saying, “This chick’s tough.” His and Amber’s penalty time is done and they are allowed to leave.

Rob and Amber arrive at the Pit Stop in fifth place and Rob admits to finding a way to plan and scheme in The Amazing Race. Ray and Deana’s and Meredith and Gretchen’s four hours are up, and they are allowed to leave, with Ray and Deana coming in sixth place and Meredith and Gretchen coming in seventh.

Patrick and Debbie both finish eating, and leave for the Pit Stop. Susan and Patrick initially think they are lost again, but arrive in eighth place, leaving Debbie and Bianca eliminated as the last team to arrive. Bianca admits they made a mistake that was detrimental to the race when they didn’t follow the directions correctly to Puente Viejo.

The challenges were more exciting this week, but still, all we remember is Rob’s cunningness. He’s right; he found a way to plan and scheme on The Amazing Race. It’s what he does best.

I welcome all questions and comments at LauraBelle@realityshack.com

Kord–The Making of A Commentator: Queer Eye for the Straight Guy Episode 3.9

–Christina M. Rau/GatsbyGirl

Queer feet head towards the SUV. Kord is a 32 year old guy who wants to be a sportscaster on television. What kind of a name is Kord? He lives with his girlfriend Marina, who nursed him back to health after he had a major injury. Apparently, he’s a bit out of shape and has a 38 inch waste. Carson passes out in the passenger seat and Thom rubs him, “Calm down, pumpkin, it’s okay.” Also, Kord has been “hunting for this Portuguese sausage.” Carson says, “Me too!” Heehee. He’s going to be on air and they need to make him look as good as possible because, as Kyan points out, “he’s not going to lose twenty pounds” in a day. Thanks, MOTO. The mission: make the armchair athlete step up to the plate or take him from cameraman to sportscaster. Or just give him a name that’s not Kord. Usually, I like unique names, but for some reason, I’m irked.

Credits. I looked up Gay Street on the map. Surprisingly, it doesn’t intersect with a Straight Street anywhere.

The Fab Five arrive at Kord’s walk-up, which they refer to as “the cardio workout from Hell” while Ted wonders, “Where’s the elevator?” Korderoy is a bit pudgy but huggable, dressed in a baseball cap, t-shirt and jeans. He definitely has a face for television. His place? Disaster it is! Kord’s place has white and light blue walls with hard wood floors and a futon in the living room which the guys despise but I love because I have a futon in MY living room so there.

The guys start their introductions by poking and prodding Kordelia in the stomach, reminiscent of those Pillsbury Doughboy ads. Kordina doesn’t giggle as the Doughboy did.

In the kitchen that has the same cupboards in my parents’ house, Kyan and Ted inspect an open box of pizza. Kyan says, “It looks like it’s aged a little bit.” Ted avers, “I’d say about four days.” So scientific.

PhoneKord tells Carson that the living room is a collaboration of what’s his and what’s Marina’s.

Back in the kitchen, Kyan is waving around a lid to a now-open bowl of pasta. The pasta could double for glue. “Whooo-hooo, that’s a nice smell!” Ted is gagging.

Over the counter in the living room, Kordless tells Carson that he’s from “the island of Nantucket.” I feel a limerick coming on. Carson notes that Kerd’s not wearing whale pants. What? Apparently, I’m not up on my Nantucket humor.

Meanwhile, Thom’s in the bedroom. He pulls something out of the night table, says “ew” and throws it.

Ted, who is in a questionable Hawaiian shirt (did he steal it from John D. last week?), finds a book about sportscasters laying around. K-Mart-ord is studying up.

Enter Thom. “I have a question.” And he holds up a string of metal balls. The FF all go, “oh, ooh, oh” in unison. Carson and Kwikimartord cover their mouths all daintily, as if KordakCamera has been caught with a secret sex weapon. Kyan berates him, “What are these for? What are these for?” Kitt denies ever having seen them.

Jai and Ted are in the kitchen. Jai points to a hanging basket of fruit. “Ted, something’s dying.” He pokes at the fruit. Ew.

Next, Thom has found those clippie things dentists use to keep your bib on. He clips one on Carson’s nipple. Then Kelp has on a leash and collar and Carson’s nipples bleed. What kind of make-over show is this?

Back in the kitchen, Jai tips the hanging basket and a green thing falls out. It splatters on the floor. Fruit shouldn’t splatter like that ever. Jai frets, “My pants. I’ve ruined my pants.” Sure enough, there’s a big wet stain on his ankle. Ted says, “I’m seriously gonna hurl.” Lovely.

Carson has found the clothes. He tells Krod, “A sporting goods store threw up in your closet.” And Ted’s throwing up in the kitchen, so all is right with the world. Kard owns lots of tees.

Meanwhile, Jai is whipping Thom’s ass in the living room with the collar leash thing. I guess he’s recovered from ruining his pants.

Ted asks Kennedy why he owns a cane. Karma shows Ted a scar on his leg. He had torn his Achilles tendon. Omigod! That skeeves me. By the way, they’re standing in front of a dresser that has no drawers.

In the living room, Kyan is pretending to give Jai a haircut while Jai speaks in a Hispanic accent. Watch it, Jai. He might break out the scissors for real.

Ted wants a-Kord-ion to use the cane for a song and dance routine. I don’t think Kord-on-the-kob is big on show tunes. But he does eke out “Hello my baby, hello my dolly.” Impressive although he could have learned that from Spaceballs.

Kyan and Jai are now trying on sunglasses. Jai is sticking with the Hispanic accent but I have no idea what Kyan’s attempting. It’s part Jewish grandmother and part drunken slur.

Thom now holds up a bunch of videos and yells, “Mr. Stickypants!” Is that porn or cartoons?

In the kitchen once again, Ted holds a NY1 microphone and mock-interviews KarateKord about the day so far. Korn says, “It’s been a whirlwind of, uh, gayness.” He nods in agreement with himself.

Carson has found a sticker or something that says, “Good clothes open all doors.” Ted starts pulling on BeanKurd’s shirt and asks, “Then why are you wearing this?”

Thom goes around the house and finds some things he actually likes. That’s a first. He likes bookends with elephants and an African statue. Carson likes the Kubric fabric and then makes beeping sounds at the couch. Okay, then.

In the kitchen, Ted lists all the oils he sees and finds out that Marina is a good cook. Konkord goes into the whole search for Portuguese sausage and how he was brought up eating beans and sausage on Nantucket. Because that’s the staple meal there.

In the bedroom, Thom and Carson overturn the mattress and boxspring to reveal a little land of shoes.

Over in the bathroom, Kyan (in his white belt, a look I absolutely despise) says to Chicken Kordon Bleu, “I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but you could stand to lose a few pounds.” What? WHAT? How can you not take that the wrong way? I’d rather Kyan obsess over his hair than say that. Kyan is so the last guy I went on a date with who told me I had mushy parts and he could help me work on my problem areas. Yeah, he’s an ass. KanKan explains that he’d like to lose weight but hasn’t been able to work out all that much since his injury. Apparently, the brainiac didn’t go through proper physical therapy and now has his Achilles stiffen up on him from time to time. Dumb.

Meanwhile, Carson finds spiders in a pair of cute shoes. Gross. I was bitten by a spider once and the bite got infected and the infection went into my lymph system and my hand blew up like a balloon and I was on heavy medication for a week. It was pretty cool.

Kurdistan tells Carson that his favorite sports are to play basketball, watch football, and attend baseball. Carson asks if he’s into synchronized swimming. He says he gave it up. Carson asks if he’s into the sport where the little Chinese girls swing ribbons around on a stick, and then swings a string of beads or pearls in front of him. Ted and KK color comment as if Carson is in the Olympics.

Thom has found a giant wooden lion head door knocker. He asks, “Do you think he owns a big Irish castle somewhere in America?” Heehee. Why would anyone own that otherwise?

Elsewhere, Kyan is strapping a bikini bra to Konrad.

Over by the bed, Carson has handcuffed himself to the headboard. Then he panics for the keys, which no one will give him.

Thom inspects KibblesNBits’ tattoo that’s right below the back of his neck. It’s a chameleon and yin-yan with a crown and five. He says it shows he can fit into any situation at any time and that he comes from Nantucket. I wouldn’t get that from the tattoo unless he tattoos those exact words right underneath it.

Thom wants to know about Marina’s style. Kujo says she wants to brighten up the place. They painted the living room blue, which Thom likes. He also likes the chair she brought thought Kujo doesn’t.

Kajagoogoo then explains to Jai how he practices on camera. He films games and then does commentary and tapes himself. He shows Jai the tapes, which Jai wants to take to see if he can help Kaja further his career. Because pulling strings is Jai’s new thing.

Meanwhile, Carson is still handcuffed to the bed, and the guys are now putting underwear on his head. Ew.

Thom shows a chair that he says is made from an outdoor table picnic cloth. Over to the now free Carson, who is wearing pants that look exactly like the fabric Thom was making fun of. Interesting. KarsonDaly says that he needs to get creative because he doesn’t have much to work with in his closet for his big night. Carson likes all of Marina’s clothes, and calls his clothes “tres tragique.” I love made-up French. Then he disapproves of the shoes as well because they make him look like “you’re out selling Bibles in the Andes.” Where does he come up with this stuff?

Cut to Kyan stabbing the picnic fabric chair with a fire poker.

The FF gather round to make Kordio excited and nervous because he’s going to be the on-air announcer on NY 1.

Marina interviews that Kord needs a polished look.

Kord’s friend interviews that his style is “New England sports grunge.”

In the SUV, KK discusses how he’s excited and how he’s wanted to do this since he was 7 and in Nantucket. How many times is he going to say that? He’s nervous but “it’s about time.”

Thom takes him to a furniture store that has dark stuff and also feminine stuff that tie into Nantucket and his tattoo. Obligatory sofa sitting. Kissyface doesn’t like light colors because they can get dirty. Thom suggests using a slip cover. They sit on a white couch. Then move on to chairs. The first one is black with a metal frame that Kendra says is good for playing video games. Next, they sit in chair made of cuba cloth or something to that effect. It looks like a NYC taxi cab. Kastro says he wants the more modern look and Thom agrees. Thom must be on valium because his sarcasm level is way down.

Thom then makes him do impromptu sportscasting into an African statue that he’s supposed to pretend is a microphone. Why are they doing this in the middle of the store? This is stupid. He does it because he does everything he’s told.

Over to the NBA Store with Jai who has a special guest. I hope it’s not a fake special guest like when Jai surprised Alex with his acting coach. Oh, wow. This is a really special guest. It’s Amaad Rashad (I know–it’s spelled fo-net-ick-ly) who was hiding behind a newspaper all surprisey like. He’s been in the business forever so he gives KK some advice. Jai says that he’s already given Amaad the tape from before. Amaad thinks it’s “network quality work.”

Jai is “into a little role playing.” Oh, really, now. Oh, he means make Kordy mock-interview Amaad. Kors stumbles and mumbles through the first question, but AR answers gracefully. Some more questions that are better and some more answers that would be interesting to me if I were interested in sports. Amaad is going to watch NY 1 and might give RipKord an interview if he does well.

Next is Carson, carrying Kalgon on his back into a clothes store of an American designer who mixes European bold sensibility with traditional American style. Joe something. He dresses sports figures. Carson opens the dressing room door, and there’s Kyan! Carson calls Kyan’s pants “super cute,” a phrase I love. Carson says Kyan’s there “to double team” him while Kyan yells, “Take em off” and claps his hands together maniacally. Back it down, there.

They put him in a dark suit with a dark purple shirt and yellow striped tie. The shirt sleeves come a bit past the jacket sleeves which is a good look. Carson makes him hold a designer shoe like a microphone and shows him just how much skin should stick out at the wrist when he’s broadcasting. Kyan suggests, “And perhaps a nice manicure, if I may say so myself.” Did anyone ask you, MOTO? You are so on the list since the whole fat comment. Hush.

Next up, rain gear. Carson puts him in a black raincoat that seems oh so comfy. Kandy loves it.

Carson then gives him an orange button down shirt and an off white sweater. They both are good colors for his skin tone. Carson then does his whole tucking the shirt into the pants thing. It gives a waistline. But does anyone really tuck anymore? Carson adds a tweed white jacket. It’s all very nice. Finally, a pinstripe umbrella tops off the outfit. Then Carson goes in for the kiss. “Just one little peck.” Kilo slaps him on the back. Carson rolls his eyes and then suggests they move on to hair.

Instead of a salon, Kyan takes him to the hospital for physical therapy. They meet the very familiar woman in charge of physical therapy who hugs and kisses both of them. She takes his sock off and pushes his foot around. She shows him some stretches to do on his staircase. Then some balancing on the trampoline. Kyan says, “I can see you at a Gay Pride parade right now,” as Karamia marches on the bouncy surface. Then the loveable therapist bumps it up a notch by making the two K’s play catch while marching. Now that’s hard.

Next, they move onto a wobbly platform that Kyan calls, “A head injury waiting to happen.” Any other episode, I would laugh. But right now? Yeah, I’m still bitter. More stretching and balancing on the tilting thing. Keebler is pumped.

Now it’s Ted time in the Italian meat place. They talk to Eddie the meat man about the Portuguese sausage and Eddie can make it for him. They grind top quality meat, mix in garlic, Spanish paprika, oregano, sugar, and vinegar and water. Then they make sausage with the obligatory penis comments. The guy makes about ten feet of sausage. Kibbler says he will send some home. Ted says, “Nothing says I love you like a sausage.” Heehee.

A friend interviews that he’s never seen Kord inside of a kitchen. Not even for cereal?

Marina interviews that Kord needs better eating habits now that he’s not as athletic. Kyan should take tact lessons from Kord’s girlfriend.

In the SUV home, Kyan asks Kordelo what he thinks of the hair. He says he likes it. Did I completely miss the haircut part? Or did I just block out Kyan’s segment because of my rage? Or did they not show the haircut? Or did he even get a haircut? Because it looks exactly the same.

At home, Thom has reorganized furniture, added in the white couch, the desk and black chair, and a zebra rug. Some shelves for organization. The lion head is hanging on the wall which Carson immediately starts knocking. Thom shows how he put up curtains higher than they needed to be to make the window seem less dwarflike.

The bedroom has green bedding on the bed and is neat and clean. Thom hung a black and white photo of Marina when she was little. Cute. He also set up lighted night tables. Cool. I want those.

Jai the electronics fairy got KaylieJones a Mac and a camera so he can do broadcasting warm-ups as well as editing programs. Kopakabana says he’s still not nervous.

Carson then goes through the wardrobe. Two sport coats and striped button downs make for many outfits. Also, Carson tells him to wear shoes with rubber soles and no socks. That makes your feet smell so badly. He likes a gray coat and orange shirt.

In the kitchen, Ted shows Kiki how to make a sausage dish. Olive oil. Penis meat. Simmer. Onions. Carrots. Celery. Garlic. Soften but don’t brown. Cut up penis meat and add lentils and veggies and bay leaves and broths. Boil it. Add penis meat. And let it sit. That’s my favorite recipe of all time.

Ted moves on to wine called Vino Verde, which to me means green wine, but I could be horribly wrong as my language skills are not up to par. It’s a white wine with fizz.

Kyan goes over grooming. He’s bough MAC make-up which is industry standard. Concealer, foundation, and powder. He shows him how to blend and brush. Remember the neck!

They all recap their directions and repeat how the night is a big night. Kaptain Kord thanks them for everything. Jai says his name is made for television and they all yell, “Kord Stanley!” I guess it is a pretty cool name, but I’m so not going back and changing all of my silly jabs at his name at this point in the game.

The Fab Five leave. In the SUV, Thom tells Carson, “You put the F U in FUN!” Ha. Completely irrelevant, but funny.

Hip Tip: Kyan says to do fifteen minutes of cardio to wake up in the morning and burn more calories throughout the day.

Marina wants Kord to “nail it.”

The guys gather round the Critic Couch and Carson says something about Courderoy. See? I’m not the only one. Jai repeats the whole audition thing one more time to get more air time.

Kord’s in the kitchen chopping veggies. Ted says, “Kord actually knows how to use a knife.” Yeah, he’s really good at it. He pulls out the meat and Carson says, “Oh, my God, look at his Portuguese sausage!” Then pants a bit.

Next, Kord drops trow and bends over and ew ew ew. Jai jumps out of his chair. Ted says, “The soaked boxers are kinda freaking me out.” Kord’s boxers are all sweaty and icky. Yuck. And now, we see ass. God, is this necessary? Carson calls it “a hot piece of Portuguese ham.” Kyan’s face is priceless.

Next, Kord trims nosehair, which puts Kyan in his glory. Then Kord practically trims the tip of his nose off. Then, he starts putting massive amounts of product in his hair and it gets all greasy. Kyan is none too pleased.

He then sprays some cologne on while doing a shoulder shimmy. Kyan says he’s trying to catch the mist. Thom thought he was going to break dance and then proceeds to do his own impression of break dance, but it’s more like a seizure.

Kord gets dressed. Kyan points out, “He keeps smelling everything.” Well, so do you guys! And smelling isn’t as bad as the guy who tasted the shaving cream. Ew.

Next, Kord puts on make-up. He conceals. He blends.

Then Marina knocks on the door. Kyan says, “She’s so hot.” She’s got on a tight pink top that shows, well, almost all of her boobs. And she and Kord have the same haircut. Kord shows her the apartment. “You like?” he asks. “I love,” she answers. Aw. That’s cute.

Thom says that they want to have sex immediately. But he says that about everybody.

Marina says Kord is like Ricky Ricardo. Then they have wine and he talks about the sausage. Marina is excited. She loves the bedroom too. He tells her about Amaad Rashad. She screeches. Jai imitates her perfectly.

He scoops out some stew for her and asks if she’s going to watch. Jai shouts all manly, “Whoa whoa whoa! He’s just leaving her there?” Then he goes into the bathroom to put on more make-up and she sees him and smirks in the doorway. She says, “I like the flick technique.” They’re a cute couple.

The big game has finally arrived at Keyspan Park. Repeat the whole audition thing. Kord calls into the studio about what he’s going to talk about. It’s not live, Jai explains. The director and producer talk about whether or not Kord knows what he’s doing. They say that he can shoot himself because the cameraman isn’t there. The studio isn’t happy. The camera people show up.

Kord then goes and annoys the team. Ted comments, “Are you the ball thrower guy?” Heehee. Love Ted. Kord continues his search for Dante Cory. Kord interviews two players, all the while Carson yells, “Kord, fix your collar!” Half his shirt collar is in his jacket, and half is out. More interviewing of more players.

Contacting control room again. Kord touches up his make-up while studio anchor touches up make-up. Kord then gets all flustered all over his notes and his collar is messed up until one of the camera team people tells him to fix it. Kord practices his spiel. He’s live in the studio but not on the air. He messes up. He messes up. He gets nervous. Now it’s on television. He nails it. The guys sigh with relief and clap.

Carson says he sounded good and his make-up was good. Ted says he should keep working on it. They toast to him.

After note: Kord got an interview and a broadcast with the NBA. Hooray!

This week’s tips:

Carson says sand the bottom of slippery shoes so you don’t fall.

Kyan says to drink eight glasses of water and mist your face with clean water.

Jai says to have your money out and tip well at a bar. Jai just won the title of MOTO from Kyan.

Thom says that cloth napkins are better than paper napkins.

Ted says that you can remove baked-on stains with salt, water, and soaking for an hour.

And Kord becomes the straightest guy in all the land who wears make-up.

Is it ever okay to tell someone he’s fat? Email me: Christina@realityshack.com

Growing Up Gotti Season 2, Episode 10 – It’s Snowing Men!

Growing Up Gotti Season 2, Episode 10 – It’s Snowing Men!

By Panndyra, Goddess of Chaos

Victoria is sooooooooooo stressed out with the boys, work and I’d wager her (lack of) household help. She and Robert are planning a little trek to Aspen for some snow, fun and men. The boys wanted to go skiing. Victoria nixed that idea right quick. It won’t be much of a vacation with them. She remembers the trip to Miami. If you don’t, then check out the [url=http://www.realityshack.com/modules/articles/article.php?id=87]article from season one[/url].

Carmine bounces back and asks if he can go to the Bahamas with some friends while mom’s away. She’s like “so no.” Heck in the cold Long Island winter, I’d go to Bahamas if I were Vicky instead of Aspen. I’m so NOT a cold-weather gal, although I grew up in Boston. Go figure!

But this ain’t about me!!!! Or is it? Where was I again?

Oh yes! Victoria decides to assuage her guilt over heading out of town that she’ll buy the boys some bling-bling. She puts her assistant and close pal, Robert, in charge of securing just the right, “PHAT” jewelry for the boys.

(I haven’t heard this many lilly-white people use rap street lingo since last week’s Apprentice. It’s whack, yo!)

Frankie wants a dog tag, but John wanted one first. It’s a fight, y’all. Big shocker! John wants Frankie to cave in. Robert decides that he’ll talk Frankie out of the dog tag and let him choose a thick cross with diamonds. Isn’t that always the alternate to a dog-tag, a cross? Maybe I’m getting too philosophical here. Why don’t they all just get NOTHING!?!

Carmine draws out this design – he wants a huge star encrusted with lots of diamonds. As Robin Williams said as the genie in Aladdin it’s muy macho — NOT! John starts worrying that his brother is going overboard on the design. He doesn’t want mama to spend so much money. Carmine’s like, “I’ll pay for it – I’m a millionaire.”

Victoria just wishes that they could let her do something nice for them without making it a federal case. No pun or disrespect intended there.

Meanwhile, Victoria heads out with Robert to get their nails down. She talks about how Robert is such a macho gay man – while he’s having his nails done. Didn’t they do this before or did I have a horrible dream?

Anyway, the friends are reminiscing about this guy they dated – they think it may have been the same one. How’s that for weird? Two friends and I dated the same guy when we were 19. It was cool. We swapped stories. We played head games, but we were all girls. I’d have to say I’ve never shared a guy with any of my gay friends. Now! That would be weird.

There’s problems with the jeweler. Big surprise. Apparently, he can’t work his custom-making-jeweler’s fingers fast enough to satisfy the boys, especially Carmine. He’s like a kid waiting for Christmas morning. Shuddup already. Geez.

It took two weeks and the goys got it! Yippee!

Did I mention that in preparation for her trip, Victoria shopped ‘til she dropped. She bought Chanel skis – but has NEVER skied before in her life. I didn’t even know CHANEL made skis. I can’t afford Chanel perfume, but she busy CHANEL Skis. Can someone hit me – hard, please? I can’t stop thinking about it – CHANEL SKIS? What do they look like? Do they smell good? Are they made of fur?

Victoria figures that with her CHANEL SKIS (It’s like Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and this is the magic word – CHANELSKIS –AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH Mekka Mekka Hi Mekka Hini Ho! – If you don’t get the reference than I’m too old to be writing this d@mn review!)she’ll be able to land her a handsome ski instructor. You know – I always think it’s a great rule of thumb to do something potentially life-threatening and spend a lot of money doing it just to impress a man. Way to show that self-respect, Victoria.

You could’ve had Gianni, but NOOOOOOOO.

She’s still shopping and buying these ugly boots that look like she’s wearing black Hungarian Puli’s (you know the dogs that look like mops) on her feet. She also bought a white coat and I personally think that a white coat on a white person on a ski slope is fabulous. I hope she doesn’t get lost – they’ll NEVER find her.

Am I just really bitter today? Or is this me normally? I don’t know I don’t care. Back to my review.

While shopping, the boys call her and Robert like 12 times. They want to complain about their pricey jewelry. It’s not good enough for them. Boo hoo! One of those pieces costs more than all of my jewelry COMBINED! Get over it, ya spoiled brats.

Victoria says jewelry can always be changed. She and John get into a little tussle and he says that his mother has attitude. Now! The look she gave him reminded me of so many looks my mother gave me growing up. It made me all fuzzy inside.

Then, Victoria makes the understatement of the century:

Sometimes, with my sons, you just can’t win!

The next morning, she leaves for Aspen, but not before trying to smother the boys with some last-minute guilt-mothering. She bought them hot chocolates and begged John to wear his coat. Then, she got dressed. Sue arrived and the three of them – Sue, Robert and Victoria headed off to the airport but not before Luigi arrived, looking depressed.

He seemed more upset when Victoria told him she was leaving for Aspen to meet men. What – is he jealous? Does he honestly think he has a chance with Victoria? Now, that would be scary beyond all reason.

Victoria asks Luigi to wake Carmine up to go register for classes at school and to let the babysitter in. It seems like he did neither. Big surprise, right?

On the way to the airport with the slowest driver ever, Robert, Susan and Victoria talk about men. Robert’s like “there’s no competition. If they go your way, then you can have them. If they go my way, then they’re mine.” It’s fair.

Then, they talk about men who go both ways and Victoria’s like “I don’t like that – it’s unsanitary!”

That’s an interesting reason. I’ll leave it at that. The fact that they devoted three minutes to this discussion including why some women take it both ways if you know what I mean tells me that I don’t even want to know what footage was left on the cutting room floor, okay?

They get to the airport and then onto the plane. They get off the plane in Aspen. Susan and Victoria tell Robert that the air is thinner in Aspen. He almost immediately starts with the “I feel dizzy.” That’s so LOL.

The three New Yorkers think that Aspen is cute, quaint and beautiful. When Victoria finds out that this is Gay Ski Week, she is like “Great! I guess my manhunt is cancelled.”
Robert looked like he just won the lottery. It was awesome.
Victoria did tell him she figured he’d meet a man there a few days before. If he doesn’t, I’d be shocked.

Back in New York, Abe the jeweler arrives. Carmine’s happy with the adjusted jewelry and so is Frank, but John who was happier initially is less than pleased now. He feels his dog tag doesn’t look like a dog-tag and is too small. I say if he wants a dog tag, to enlist in the army and do some work for his country, but that’s just me being b*tchy.

Victoria decides she’s going to have fun no matter what and she’s going to find a man. I guess she likes a challenge. Next week, she’ll become a ‘ski-bunny’ and take up with her instructor – methinks.

Can’t wait. Can you feel my joy.

Panndyra out! If you want to comment, please don’t. I really don’t want to relive this experience.

captainD's Boot Prediction – Survivor Palau, Episode 5

captainsD’s Boot Prediction Survivor Palau Episode 5

by captainD

March Madness is upon us and college basketball isn’t the only reason to celebrate. Palau continues to be a huge hit with the fans, bringing in some of the highest ratings in years. The demise of Jeff and Kim made it clear that this group definitely watched All-Stars. Now that Gregg and Jenn are a couple will two of the rumored final four be targeted? It’s something to think about…

This week Probst will introduce the second big twist of the season. We will have only one challenge with the winning tribe going to tribal council and voting out a member of the other team. However, they will also have to go to tribal council themselves and vote out one of their own. At this point I can’t see any way that Koror could lose this challenge. The two people who won’t survive this episode are . . . ANGIE (Ulong) and WILLARD (Koror).

Questions? Comments? E-mail me at captainDs5@yahoo.com

DVD Review – Kelly Clarkson's Behind Hazel Eyes

DVD Review – Kelly Clarkson’s “Behind Hazel Eyes”

by LauraBelle

I first turned in to American Idol the summer of 2002, during the semi-finals phase. I had no intention of watching this show, but my kids, ages six and nine at the time, begged me to. I obliged, and before the season was over, I was taping the show if I was going to miss either a Tuesday or a Wednesday, and I was the one hushing the kids to be quiet so I didn’t miss a single note.

Not only did I enjoy watching these young people perform each week, I enjoyed one contestant in particular, Kelly Clarkson. I found her at the time to be the classic girl-next-door with her chirpy personality, and I would get chills every time she walked onto the stage and I heard her beautiful voice.

My kids always enjoyed watching with me. Lizzie, the six-year-old, would force my son, Mike, and I, and even our two dogs, to *play* American Idol. Lizzie always got to be Kelly. I was told I was Tamyra Gray, Mike was RJ Helton, and our airedale mixes were Justin Guarini and Nikki McKibbin. Not that you’d ever want to hear the collection of us singing together.

Since American Idol, Kelly Clarkson has completed two CDs, a not-so-well-reviewed movie with Guarini and several hit singles. Lizzie is now nine years old, and doesn’t actively role play like she used to, ut she watches From Justin to Kelly in awe, and still listens to Kelly’s music often. We have many of the subsequent Idol CDs, but Kelly’s are the ones we prefer to listen to.

It was with great excitement, that Lizzie and I sat down to watch an advance copy of Kelly Clarkson’s new DVD, Behind Hazel Eyes. Neither one of us were disappointed.

Having Kelly’s newest CD, Breakaway, we knew all the songs, but what we quickly found was that this DVD wasn’t about the music, but was about the person. This was an inside look into Kelly’s life both before and after American Idol.

Kelly narrates the DVD from different places inside her home, including the kitchen where we see her making a good ole PB&J. We are welcomed into a large slice of Kelly’s formative years with a tour inside Kelly’s grade school in Burleson, Texas that she hasn’t been back to since the fourth grade. She shows us the clock that let her know every day that she was tardy, and we meet her teacher, Mrs. Matthews. But most importantly we see the sight of Kelly’s first performance, the auditorium where she got together with some friends on a rainy day and performed to Prince’s When Doves Cry.

Driving through her old neighborhood, Kelly explains that her mother and step father didn’t have much money, so she had to stop taking piano and violin lessons. Eventually they scraped up enough money to buy Kelly her first keyboard which she used to write her first song. She also explains she didn’t see her brothers and sisters often, but now works with her brother.

Inside Kelly’s High School we learn she was in two big productions – Seven Brides For Seven Brothers and Brigadoon. My guess is she brought down the house. Kelly and her music teacher, Mrs. Glenn, fight over who is responsible for her current success. Kelly feels she is successful due to the lessons given by Mrs. Glenn, and Mrs. Glenn feels Kelly is successful because of her enormous talent. Kelly says she never went to many parties in school as she was always very focused. Overall she feels God has blessed her with a great environment to grow up in.

Throughout the rest of the DVD we see her hanging out in the zoo and bakery, and bowling and camping with her friends, Ashley and Jessica. The girls even go fishing, all the while Kelly is wearing a shirt that says “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” from Dr. Seuss.

As Kelly sits in her kitchen signing 8 x 10s with a Sharpie, she talks of her success, and says she doesn’t understand people that want her autograph or want her to say hi to their friends on the cell phone, etc. She talks of being a tomboy and how she needs a team of people to dress her and do her makeup and hair.

Most interesting is that Kelly wrote Because of You from the Breakaway CD when she was sixteen years old. She talks of the joys of writing and shows us how the song is recorded in the studio. The filming of the video for Breakaway is shown and she is relating with her fans the whole time – signing autographs, talking to fans, etc.

This DVD is a must-see for any Kelly Clarkson fan. It gives us a glimpse into the person we know is there behind the beautiful voice and hazel eyes.

I welcome all questions and comments at LauraBelle@realityshack.com

Survivor Strategy: How to Dismantle a Moronic Ulong

Survivor Strategy How to Dismantle a Moronic Ulong

by aurora

There must be some kind of Survivor jinx on tribe names ending in “ong”. Pagong, anyone? Picked off one by painful one right after the merge. And now Ulong is suffering a similar fate, although theirs is somehow worse since most of them won’t even see the merge.

As the tribes were picked on the first episode this season, the older folks went over to Camp Koror, while the buff and strong ended up at Ulong. Ian made a telling comment in one of his confessionals that episode, saying that he’d rather be with the older and wiser people than the younger and physically stronger. Indeed, Ian seems to have made a keen observation and obviously watched Survivor: Thailand.

So what’s the problem over at Ulong? Well, first let’s look at the leadership issue. Basically, there is no leader. The only person who seemed willing to stand up and make decisions for the group was Jolanda, and she was the first person voted out. Since then, Ulong has been to Tribal Council every week and is now down to a slim five members.

This tribe seems happy to just sit back and let each individual do their own thing. They all complained that Kim wasn’t pitching in, and that seems to be the only thing they have been able to decide as a group. Even when asked to choose a tribe leader, they chose instead to hang back and see what exactly that leader would have to do first. Is anyone on this tribe actually playing the game? Or are they all afraid of meeting the same fate as Jolanda if they dare step up to the task?

Eventually James was chosen as the leader of the Reward Challenge last week, and he seemed to be a good choice. He knew what tools to pick, and he led his tribe to make a decent-looking “bathroom”. The others, however, didn’t see it that way. They finally had a leader, but instead of rallying together and supporting him, they whinged and whined and complained.

While Koror certainly has it’s share of brawn in Tom, Gregg, and Ian, Ulong looked like the stronger tribe physically. With Ibrehem, Bobby Jon, Jeff, and the highly-competitive Angie, it was almost a given that they would whup some butt in the challenges. But it appears that the social aspects of the game have taken over, leading the together and determined ‘older’ tribe to be victorious.

What will become of Ulong now? If they stay together, they will continue their downward spiral, having no fresh members to sit out of challenges. If there is a tribal mix-up this week, they’re still down five members to Koror’s nine. The only way for any individual Ulong to survive is to break from their tribe and try to get in with a group of Korors.

Koror can be divided; this was hinted at last week when Coby pointed out the obvious alliance of Tom, Ian, Katie, Jenn, and Gregg. But will any of the Ulongs have the presence of mind to pick up on this, or will Stephenie be reunited with her early alliance and join Tom and Ian in theirs? However this plays out, Koror is absolutely standing in a great position to make up at least 90% of the jury and final four.

Comments are welcome, whether you agree or not! Drop me a line at carrie@realityshack.com

Interview With Matthew of The Road to Stardom With Missy Elliott

Interview With Matthew of The Road to Stardom With Missy Elliott

Age: 25
Hometown: Orlando, Florida
Occupation: Entertainer at Universal Studios

By: Chantae Benson

What motivated you to audition for the show?

I had done an open casting call for another talent show and someone who saw my audition tape for that show called me and told me to audition for Missy. Had that person not called me, I wouldn’t have even known about the Road to Stardom.

How does your experience working as an entertainer for Universal Studios compare to performing during the competition?

Performing at Universal is a completely different experience because you are doing the same show day in and day out, whereas with the competition, we had no idea what we were doing or when we were doing it. We had to be ready for anything.

You made it known that you are a Christian during the show. Were you at all concerned that you would have to do anything that compromised your Christianity if you were selected as the winner?

I knew there was a possibility that my morals and beliefs would be challenged, but I wasn’t worried because I know what I believe, and if standing up for my beliefs meant getting kicked off the tour, then so be it. If you’re not true to yourself, then who are you?

You said if you won the competition you would use it as an opportunity to share your faith. Although you did not win the competition do you think you still accomplished that goal?

I do think I accomplished that goal because I receive email from fans who appreciate me sticking to my guns and speaking about my faith. I was just being me.

What was going through your mind during the live performance prior to the winner being selected?

The only thing going through my mind was have a good time. At that point, I wasn’t concerned about the outcome of the competition, I just wanted to make sure I left everything I had out there on the stage.

What was your expectation of the show. Did the show meet your expectation or disappoint you in any way?

Truthfully, I didn’t know what to expect, so I guess you could say the show exceeded my expectations. It was a lot tougher than I anticipated, I can say that much.

What was your most memorable experience on the road?

If I had to narrow it down to one instance, I would have to say performing for our families was the best. To see them after so long, and to perform something we had created was incredible.No matter what happens in life, my family is always there for me to support me, so it was nice to entertain them.

Is there anything that you wanted fans of the show to know about you that may not have been reflected during the show?

Honestly, I don’t think so. What you saw on the show was me, and nobody else.

How have grown through this experience?

This experience really put into perspective how tough the music industry can be. You have to be ready at all times, or the opportunity of a lifetime could pass right by you. I have a much better understanding of that now.

What has been the response from family, friends and fans after the show?

The response I have been getting has been incredible. Everyone called to congratulate me, family, friends and fans alike have been very encouraging. They feel, as I do, that I did the best I could, I gave 150% and that’s all you CAN give. They will always be the driving force behind what I do.

What are your future plans?

I am still working on my music and I am using the exposure to acquire a record deal. I truly feel that what I have to say is important and music is my favorite way of expressing myself. God will set my path, and I will follow it.

How can fans of the show contact you?

I would love to hear from any fans, and I can be contacted through my web site at www.matthewbuckner.net.

Thank your for taking the time for this interview and good luck with all your future endeavors. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me at cwriter@realityshack.com

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