Celebrity Fit Club Finale – So How'd They Do?

Celebrity Fit Club Finale – So, How’d They Do? by Panndyra, Goddess of Chaos

The last 16 weeks have been a weight loss roller coaster for our celebs and pseudo-celebs. The show started off with a brief review of previous episodes – highlights and lowlights. It seems that there may have been more of the latter for some.

This show had drama, conflict, addiction and much more. I felt like I was watching a Real World/Road Rules Fat Camp at times. Everyone agreed that the chief button pusher was Mr. Daniel Baldwin himself. This episode he pulled a no-show (AGAIN!) but we’ll get to that later.

It’s Day 90. The Celebs have their final weigh-ins and get to see how they’ve fared overall. The previous day they had makeovers with Tara Kraft, from Star magazine and Prive Salon. Everyone looked really different. It was kind of astonishing.

Host ANT commented as the celebs walked in. Here were some of the highlights:

*Wendy “Snapple Lady” Kaufman: “You came in looking like a pumpkin. Now you look like a shining rose.”

*Judge Mablean: “You look like a supermodel”.

*Biz Markie: “You’re half the man you used to be and I mean that as a compliment.”

*Joe G: “We should change your name to Joe GQ.”

ANT asked everyone if they were as mad as he was when they noticed that Daniel wasn’t there. The consensus was yes. Even his own team was upset. Ralphie took issue that even if he did show up late, the intent of the show was to count Daniel’s weight loss with his team’s numbers. He needn’t have worried ‘cuz Daniel didn’t show up at ALL.

ANT brought in the potato sack to hold Daniel’s place.

Kim Coles was the first to weigh in. She looked nice. She overcame an exercise aversion and a weakness for bad food. They talked about her crush on Harvey. 6 weeks into the series, Kim became single again – she broke up with her ‘man.’ She asked the show to hook her up. Well, SURPRISE! SURPRISE! Kim’s blind date was none other than Harvey. When she got off the elevator and saw him, her expression was priceless. The two seemed to hit it off great and they’ll definitely do it again. Aww. Celebrity Fit Club may have made a love connection. That’s so cute.

Did anyone else notice how much younger Harvey looks when he smiles? He was all smiles on the finale. It was nice to see.

He even arranged for an Almond Joy soufflé for Kim, but only allowed her to savor one bite. ANT told Kim to play hard to get, but she said she wasn’t that way. ANT then told her, “I wish you health, happiness, success and lots of sex with Harvey.” Awww. It was so high school but cute.

Oh, I almost forget to tell you her weight loss.

She lost 5 lbs. In the 16 weeks, Kim lost a total of 24 lbs. She also dropped about 4 percentage points in body fat, going from 34.7% to 31%.

Harvey did say that he sees “no flaws in her.” AWWWW. Shucks, ma’am. It’s too cute. My sugar levels are bordering on the danger zone.

Next up was the clown prince of Hip-Hop, Mr. Biz “Butt-Crack” Markie. Biz didn’t know a lot about nutrition when he started the process. Dr. Katz said that teaching someone like him to eat well can be almost as hard as teaching someone a language from scratch. I’d say harder. I speak several languages, but still have trouble with good nutrition.

Biz turned it around and became Dr. Katz’ star pupil. He lost 40 lbs overall, including a 6 lbs loss this weigh-in.
His body fat went from 27.2% to 21.3%. He’s almost under the 300-lb. mark too. Biz says that this is a new life for him and he will not look back. Dr. Katz and the panel are so proud of him. Dr. Katz quipped that he’s fit enough to carry heavier bling-bling. Marisa said that he “surprised them all.”

Joe G. was weighed in after Biz. Perhaps he was too laid-back to succeed in the competition. His laissez-faire attitude seemed to irk his teammates. First, he annoyed the EastSiders; then he was traded to the FBs and upset them there too. He hated exercise. He refused to eat right. He had trouble quitting smoking. Joe was a challenge. However, in the final weeks he began to work out daily with a personal trainer and seemed to renew his commitment to the Fit club program.

He thanked the panel before stepping on the scales and showed Harvey that he could get down on the ground and back up with no help. He told Harvey he was happy that he brought out the competitive spirit in him again.

Joe’s final weight was 270. He lost 12 lbs since the last weigh in. Overall, he lost 32 lbs and went from 27.7% body fat to 22.2%.

Wendy had been an emotional roller coaster since the beginning of Fit Club. She had already conquered many addictions. She said she’s been a “train wreck” for year. Boy, do I know what she means! At age 46, she doesn’t want to feel bad anymore. She weighed 220 lbs at the end of last week. Her target was 3 lbs. She hit that exactly. She went down 4 percentage points in body fat from 43% to 39%.

Wendy was happy with being able to wear more feminine clothes since beginning the Fit Club journey and she even did a flip on the trampoline. She also said that Dr. Katz demonstration of what “fat” blobs look like was enough to keep her on the straight and narrow.

Each celeb got to feel how much “fat” they lost and did a demonstration run with a weight belt. First, they ran without the excess fat, then they ran the same distance with a weight belt that was the same amount of weight as they had lost since starting Fit Club.

Now back to the weigh-ins. Judge Mablean may her way to the scales. She looked fierce in a white evening gown. When she started listening to the panel and stopped barking orders at them, the pounds began to melt off. I felt Mablean got a raw deal by her team and was traded, but she handled it well and really worked her tail off. She said that she still hates exercise but does it.

She lost only one pound. Her target was 4, but she had an overall loss of 25 lbs. Her fat percentage went down from 29.1% to 24.8%.

Mia Tyler said she comes from a family of eaters. She loves her “chunkiness” and says she earns a lot of money from it. As a plus-sized model, she does. She didn’t want to lose weight for anything more than health reasons. Mia was glowing. She said she had a good week. It was her birthday week so she ate good and celebrated. The scale showed it with a 1 lb. gain, but she was cool with that. She fits into size 11 jeans and her loss of 17 lbs is fine with her. Her body fat went from 33.2% to 29.7%.

Now, it’s Ralphie’s turn. He had the most to lose, but he did lose over 300 lbs from his highest weight ever. He gained a fiancée during the Fit Club process. His long-time girlfriend, Lahna Turner, agreed to marry him finally because she sees he’s focusing on health. She didn’t want to get married to become a widow.

Ralphie’s Fit Club journey was harrowing. He hit a brick wall after an initial loss. It took him a while to get back on track. He was very upset and I can understand why. Last time, he was 460 lbs. His target was 7 lbs. He hit it and lost a total of 28 lbs during the fit club experience.

HOWEVER – Ralphie lost 9% body fat. He gained 32 lbs of muscle and lost 64 lbs of fat. Ralphie told the panel he appreciated the jump-start and had changed his thinking, especially with Marisa’s help.

Since Daniel hadn’t showed, it was time to crown the star performer. No surprise here. Biz Markie – with a total loss of 40 lbs – got the scepter, crown and robe. He did his royal walk.

The next segment was an interview with Daniel Baldwin filmed 2 months after the finale was shot. He said he missed the finale because he was passed out and didn’t wake up ‘til the next day. He has been sober for 67 days and admitted that during the last 3 episodes he was heavily into not only painkillers but other narcotics. He apologized to everyone for his behavior and asked for their prayers.

In the end, the Eastsiders may have won all the head-to-head competitions but it was the Three Fat Bastards and One Black Biyotch who took the grand prizes – a scooter, which Harvey begged them NOT to use in lieu of exercise, some “bling-bling” which was Dr. Katz’ word (a white man saying “Bling-bling” is very funny, I must say!) – his and her watches from Ice-tek. Marisa announced that the winners each got a vacation for two to Aruba. ANT has a house in Aruba and he’ll give the winners each $10,000 to spend while on the island.

Sweet.

That’s it for this season of Celebrity Fit Club, y’all.

Panndyra out!

If you want to email me about the finale, I’m at panndyra@realityshack.com. Thanks.

Contender Commentary, Episode 3 – Something’s Fish-e About Ishe

Contender Commentary, Episode 3 – Something’s Fish-e about Ishe

by Panndyra

This was what has been building up for the past three weeks – tonight was the night that Ishe Smith finally fought Ahmed Kaddour. I know – I’m impatient. I wasn’t alone, though. Ishe’s my pick to win it all. Ahmed is very cocky. He almost doesn’t need fans – he is his own biggest one.

I know he can fight. His attitude, however, sucks. I know there have been some very good fighters with big egos, think Muhammed Ali. However, this fighter doesn’t have the same charm or the level of skill to back it up – yet. He could. I hope he gets it. He’s got a personality that would be good for boxing – as a villain.

I felt almost like tonight was set up as the good vs. evil fight. Unfortunately, who was good and who was evil? It was more like real-life with lots of shades of gray. Ishe could’ve fought Ahmed not once but twice before already. Both times, so-called “underdog” contestants (Alfonso Gomez and Jesse Brinkley) took the banner up for the West.

Ishe’s team wanted him to suck it up, be a man and fight Ahmed “Babyface” Kaddour. I just wanted the drama to be over. The bad blood between the two was really starting to poison the competition and affected the teams so much so that they were starting to have ill feelings towards both men.

Hatred is a poison. Ishe called Ahmed his “cancer”. Unfortunately, the similarity wasn’t an entire exaggeration. Ishe went to talk with his wife. She encouraged him to be the man she knows he is and showed her support not matter what he decided. That’s a rare woman and I’m glad that Ishe realizes how special his family is.

When Ishe told his team he was ready to fight, they were glad. Then, when he was to call out someone from the East, he faked us out – and called out a different boxer first – a co-Christian to “give him strength”.

I thought that was a little over the top, but remember we only see the edited stuff. We don’t know what else happened. I’m sure it was intense.

Ahmed’s girlfriend I must say was exactly the kind of woman I imagined him with. She seems a lot higher maintenance than the other boxer’s girls and a bit less supportive. Maybe she was edited wrong, but it sure seemed that way to me and this is a commentary so my opinions are MY opinions, y’all. This is what I “saw”.

The fight itself was as dramatic as the fight between Manfredo and Gomez if not more so because of the build-up. We weren’t that disappointed except that I agree with Stallone that it was 4-1 in Ishe’s favor. I was scared that Ishe was going out and I didn’t want to see the more arrogant guy win. I’m like that. I don’t think of Ishe as an underdog in skill, but in mental toughness, I was starting to think he was.

However, was Ahmed treated/edited fairly? I don’t know. It sort of seems that he was his own worst enemy in this situation, but he’s young and he has a lot to learn.

In the end, Ishe won not only the match but also the respect of his team – again. He needed the latter more.

Next week may be a let-down because there’s not so much “drama”. Who knows? Who really cares? The Contender is still great TV.

Got comments about my comments? Email me at panndyra@realityshack.com – I ain’t skeerd.

Fork In The Road – Starting Over, 03-11-05


by LauraBelle

The interesting thing about a “fork in the road,” is that many times when people are presented with it, they only see one path, and don’t even realize they are facing a choice. Once they realize there is a choice, and weigh the two options, they may not always choose wisely, but at least the understanding is there that a choice had been given, and they simply need to start over to begin walking the correct path.

Cassie is firmly on the right path, but it seems a constant struggle for her to realize she is, after a lifetime of abusive and an abusive lifestyle. She meets with Rhonda to get caught up on her decision over what to do about the threatening letter sent by the adoptive mother. Shelli had confirmed that the signature appeared to belong to Cassie’s son. She and the adoptive father don’t feel Cassie should give up, but they aren’t pushing the matter either. She is carrying the tapes around in her car, hoping to run into someone to give them to. Cassie feels she is at a dead end on her path and is disappointed. Rhonda pushes her, wanting her to stop pretending it’s okay. Cassie says she feels good about her effort of trying and feels the biggest gift for her son is that fact that she tried so hard to be with him. She will remain focusing on her efforts and the possibilities that it may happen for her some day.

Rhonda turns her attentions to Group and asks Rachael about her brother, Jason, who is arriving for a visit today. It has been three years since she has seen him. There relationship has improved, she feels, noting they talk at least three times a week on the phone.

With today’s topic on shutting down, and Rachael says she shuts down when people leave, and being she has been left many times in her life, it’s easy to see why. Bethany knows she began to shut down the day she went lingerie shopping with Candy, and knows when shuts down she begins to offer her “what’s the use” excuse. Rachael believes Bethany shuts down every time it comes to her body or being with men.

After Group, all of Cassie’s housemates begin to be concerned about her. Cassie says she doesn’t know why she’s doing anything anymore, but maybe her son just isn’t ready. Rachael is concerned she is becoming obsessed with the issue, and frankly it would be hard not to when you are locked in a house with no links to the outside world, other than those that will help you with this one issue. Cassie gets very upset and says thing is nothing wrong with her; she needs to feel this. She is told no one thinks anything is wrong with her. Rachael says it’s hard to see someone you care about in so much pain, and Vanessa is afraid Cassie won’t be able to let go.

Rhonda brings Bethany to a literal fork in the road, a choice of two hiking paths. The first path is the one to self-love, with hills to walk up, but many great views. The second path is the one to self-hatred, and Bethany knows she has chosen this one one hundred percent of her time. They walk the path to self-hatred first.

She reaches a sign that says “Isolates Self,” and Bethany says she does this by working all the time and giving up being with her friends or dating. Rhonda makes her carry this sign with her as they walk to the next sign. Rhonda notes this path is nice and easy, all downhill with stairs. The next sign says “Pretends To Be Happy,” and Bethany realizes even though she is disgusted with herself, she pretends she is happy, and Rhonda tells her that only leads to more isolation. Asked if she wants to continue exploring this path or choose self-love, Bethany choose self-love.

Rhonda notes that with the self-love path, you can’t see the top, and don’t know where it ends. Bethany says she knows she can do it, and she and Rhonda race to the next sign. Rhonda just barely edges Bethany out to the next sign, which says “Accepts Self.” Rhonda explains that this means accepting all of herself, and that Bethany must live fearlessly. After seeing her two choices, Bethany realizes she doesn’t want fear to run her life that way and she boldly chooses self-love. Rhonda tells her to take the signs with her, run Group with the other women at the house that evening, and discuss what she has learned.

Jason arrives for his visit with Rachael, and she notes how much he looks like their mom. He brings her a stuffed animal and she shows him around the Starting Over house. Talking about the memorial service she says she was nervous before, but now is just excited. She also tells him being in the house for two-and-a-half months has changed her life.

Iyanla joins Jason and Rachael, and learns jason was only with his mom and Rachael in the summers. This is his first time back to California since his mom passed away. Turning the conversation to losing his mom, Jason says he remembers her dying, but it was better for him as he had an escape and he was complete with his mourning as he was there when she passed. She was sick longer than Rachael ever knew. Their mom didn’t tell Jason, but he was older and knew.

Iyanla asks why no one took Rachael in after her mother and step father’s death. Jason explains their mom wanted Rachael to be raised Christian and the others in the family weren’t. Jason offhandedly mentions he offered to take her in, but they wouldn’t let him. Rachael says that is very touching to hear, as all this time she thought she wasn’t lovable.

Rachael and Jason will be getting a private catered meal that evening to enjoy each other’s company, arranged by Iyanla. She tells Jason one of Rachael’s greatest joys in the house was to reconnect with him and he says he’s not going anywhere.

Cassie meets again with Barbara Shaw, a woman that works with birth mothers and has found her own son, but never reconnected with him. Cassie shows Barbara the letter, and Barbara says she may have to wait until her son is more independent. If he did sign the letter, maybe he isn’t ready, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be some day. Cassie hopes it’s something to build on, and repeats she is not giving up. Barbara says good for her, and someday he will be happy she didn’t give up.

Cassie, now back at the house, meets with Rhonda again. She tells her she is upset, sad, disappointed and heartbroken. All along she had said she just wanted him to know where she was and that she was interested in meeting him, it is apparent now that he does. She notes that as long as he still loves with the adoptive mother and is dependent on her, she shouldn’t contact him. Intellectually she knows this is the right decision, but she feels hurt and angry. She don’t want to harm anybody, so she has made the decision to stop searching for him. She cries, and we all cry with and for her.

Jason and Rachael enjoy their dinner and talk about Rachael’s time in the house. He tells Rachael she had it a lot rougher than him. Rachael says she’s better now that she’s here in the house. The realize with their mom gone, they don’t have much to hold onto but each other.

Fulfilling her assignment, Bethany leads Group on the choice of self-hatred or self-love. She she’s her signs, and when she shows the “Isolates Self” sign, Candy notes she isolates herself by creating more things to do. With the “Pretends To Be Happy” sign, Vanessa notes she does this too, and thinks she’s testing people to see if they see through her veil.

Noting the need to be vulnerable to reach the path of self-love, Allison says she started to learn to be vulnerable when she learned she had cancer. She had to have trust in the doctors, medicine and God.

Bethany asks what everyone would do if they were to live fearlessly. Vanessa says she would write a book or go into dancing. Cassie would like to write a book as well and possibly get into doing something in the adoption field. Allison would like to be the director of a non-profit organization like Oprah’s or Katie Couric’s. Candy would like to own her own business.

Rachael and Jason walk in to say good-bye, as they are on their way to Vallejo for the memorial service the next day. Candy gives Jason a huge hug and says it’s nice to get some man hugs again. Despite not seeing each other much in the past nine years, Jason acts very older-brotherish, not trusting Rachael’s driving, and asking repeatedly if she’s sure she can drive there.

With the exception of the newest arrivals, Allison and Vanessa, the majority of the women in house are on the path now to self-love. They just aren’t walking too steady on the path. The goal is by the time they leave the house to all leave with hiking boots, ready to face anything they encounter on that path.

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

Confident Fighters are Dangerous – The Contender, Episode 3

Confident Fighters are Dangerous

by carpesomediem

Last time, Jonathan Reid was sent home in another upset for the East by Jesse Brinkley, who stepped up to the challenge when Ishe failed to call out Ahmed.

Episode three starts off with the in-ring celebration for Jesse Brinkley’s win. “I don’t have to worry about three days from now if I’m going to win or lose,” he says. In the lockeroom, he boxes with his son and believes he’s more ready to win now than he ever had been previously.

He comes back to the suite to talk to everyone, and decides to head home for the night. Ishe admits he really didn’t care if he won or loss, that he’d actually rather have seen him lose. So, he kept his distance.

Jesse goes home for the night to celebrate with his kids and girlfriend. “Now, they know you’re not afraid to step up,” says Colleen. “He’ll be ready for the second round.” Jesse believes Ishe is the weakest link, and he believes he needs to get confidence, but has decided not to help him. “Confident fighters are dangerous,” he explains.

Daily training begins the next day. “Faster and harder than you ever did it,” Sylvester Stallone encourages. Ahmed and Ishe begins to talk trash again. “Nobody’s the best until this is over with,” Tarick tells Ahmed who believes he is the best.

West Coast team meets with Stallone and is given his exemption until the next round. Sugar Ray Leonard says it looks good on him. Now, onto their reward, which Tommy Gallagher introduces.

They get into a black Hummer and head into Hollywood with Tommy to buy a full outfit from a nice Rodeo Drive clothing store. “Just picking out whatever you wanted is amazing,” Ishe says. Sergio has never owned a suit and didn’t know how to go about picking it out, so, Tommy comes to help him out when picking it from head-to-toe. “It was too good to be true to watch them,” Gallagher said, “It was outstanding.” He explains they all wanted to make sure they looked good. “I don’t want to get too corny, but it was really really emotional. It was just emotional to see a grown-up who had never had a suit in his life.” Gallagher beams, “The goal changed their whole outlook. I wore a hat, they all bought hats.”

Sugar Ray messed around in the ring with Ahmed to feel him up. He noticed that Ahmed has a temper and hit much harder in the ring as time went on, showing off as some of his team mates noticed. It looked as though he was showing no respect, that he wanted to just beat him to show him up. “I got to make him look bad,” Ahmed beamed. Tommy says if you hit him in the chin, he’d give up, which earns a chuckle from Sugar Ray.

Joey believes Ishe and Ahmed have the biggest egos in the game and that they should go up and fight. He believes that Ishe should fight Ahmed the first chance they get, and that the team should call him on it as a majority.

Ishe goes home to visit with her family that day. His visit home was unplanned. “I was almost ready to throw in the towel,” Ishe notes. “Why do they keep pressuring me to do it?” he asked about fighting Ahmed. He went home to regroup, because he thinks the whole team is gunning for him to do it. Ishe is very sad about it, and his wife hates him. “Don’t worry about what people think and what they say,” his wife encourages, “It doesn’t matter who you fight or when you fight, I’m happy with whatever happens.” He explains that he’s the one calling his shots, not his team, that he will forge his own destiny in The Contender.

West Coast has decided to call Ishe out and make him fight if he doesn’t decide to fight; Ishe comes to the team and calls for a meeting. He admits this is very hard, and he apologizes to the team for his behavior. “I’ve never docked or dodged anybody,” he says. “I’m going. I’m not going in there unless I go in against Ahmed. I will take care of my business.” “He’s the old Ishe again,” Alfonso smiles. They put their hands together and are a team once more.

For this week’s challenge, they travel to the Home Depot Center, to play a game of dodgeball. The rules are if you hit opponent, that players is out. If you catch ball or sink it in a marked trash can, it brings back a teammate. First team to eliminate all other team’s players wins. Alfonso and Jesse sit out the challenge for the West Coast for winning their matches.

“East coast, you need this one,” Sugar Ray says and blows the whistle. They race to the balls and begin throwing. Sergio’s the first out. They race to the ball every time Sugar Ray blows the whistle, then goes back and touches the far wall. Najai is out next. Tarick is out for West Coast, “I even cleared a seat for you,” Jesse jokes to him. Ahmed calls Ishe out. Brent is out next. Joey is getting everyone out, Ahmed is the last guy left for the East Coast team. Ahmed dodges hits from everyone and throws some balls back. His team wants him to catch one. Ahmed is out! West wins their third straight challenge. “Once again, East Coast you are at the West’s mercy,” Leonard shakes his head.

West Coast, once again, goes back to the lockeroom to make the final decision on who fights. “The East side is crapping themselves,” Jesse laughs. Ishe steps up, because everybody knows what the choice is and it’s made as a team. “There’s a people that have talked the game and backed it up, we’ll find out if Ishe Smith is one of them.”

Ishe steps up at the meet-up and the East Coast team comes out to meet them. He calls out Ahmed, as expected and they stare down one another before he says his pick. “Ishe surprised everyone,” Miguel says. He picks Brent, “a Christian brother,” and they pray together before truly picking Ahmed. The fight is set: Ishe Smith versus Ahmed Kaddour. Sly warns them not to fire, as they get in one another’s faces, and Sly threatens each with disqualification if they come to blows now. “The fact that these two guys have challenged each other early in this competition tells me these guys are not looking for a way out,” Sugar Ray Leonard observes.

Ahmed takes his girlfriend, Brandy, to a fancy restaurant. “I’m sure he’s going to tear him up,” Brandy says. Ishe goes home for the night and takes a bath with his son to chill for the evening. “Without her, I wouldn’t be doing this,” he says of his wife.

Can I just say one thing about this fight: It’s about damn time! Seriously…

Three hours to the fight, both men are getting pep talks from their team trainers. “I’ll feel good about knocking Ahmed out,” Ishe says. “He’s not gonna stop me,” Ahmed says “Tonight, I gonna change the whole story. I’m gonna win.” Ishe’s family visits him in the lockeroom. Ahmed’s girlfriend comes to visit him in his respective lockeroom while Ishe’s wife prays for his fight tonight. “Let’s do it. It’s time,” his wife says before heading ringside.

“He’s just a slime ball, he stands for nothing,” Ishe says as they’re getting wrapped up. Tommy gives Ahmed a hug when he finishes wrapping his hands. “Ishe knows I’m the best fighter here,” Ahmed grins.

Mel Gibson is ringside for this fight as the seats are filled thirty minutes to the fight and the boys begin shadowboxing.

The announcer comes to the ring and Ahmed is the first out from the lockeroom, this week however, the lights appears to be much brighter. Ahmed comes to the ring, confident and ready to tear Ishe apart who is brought out next. He comes out slowly, methodically, giving props to his son before entering the ring.

Round 1: Neither wants to look each other in the eyes and Ahmed refuses to do so as does Ishe. Both come out swinging, Ahmed landing the first shots and cornering Ishe to the ropes. He follows Ishe, doesn’t give him anything, and Ishe gets smacked in the chin. Ahmed throws his hands down and Ishe comes back, swinging, pushing him away, too. They lock-up, but Ishe gets in to the abdomen and brings Ahmed to the ropes. Round goes to Ishe.
Round 2: Both play defense, not throwing many punches. Finally, Ishe steps up and gets some shots in. Ahmed gets a few, but starts trashing talking in the ring, Ishe ignores him and lands a hard uppercut. They lock-up and are separated, Ahmed tries to save but bell rings. Round goes to Ishe.
Round 3: Ahmed lands an abdominal punch but are separated for cheap shots by the East. They lock-up again and get in few shots. They are forced to shake hands for Ahmed is being cheap. Ishe goes on the defensive, Ahmed takes advantage. Round goes to Ahmed.
Round 4: Ishe is tired; Ahmed notices. Ahmed comes out swinging, landing a right hook Ishe is defensive again, and lands some good blows when opportunity comes. Ahmed nails Ishe in the side of the head and takes advantage by landing more blows but Ishe covers and gets in some great shots. Ahmed cheap shots Ishe again and lands a good shot at the end. Round goes to Ahmed.
Round 5: Both teams urge for a knockout, that neither should leave it up to the judges this match. They stay defensive, Ishe lands the shots first to the head. Ahmed is faltering, and Ishe almost corners him. Ahmed can’t land a shot. Ishe is quicker, more decisive. Ahem has gone completely defensive, and Ishe lands a boatload of shots. Round goes to Ishe.

Judge scorecard is in: Ishe Smith wins by unanimous decision. Ahmed Kaddour, who was raising his hand as the winner prior to the announcement, is stunned. “My cancer is gone, I’m a happy man tonight,” Ishe beams. “I did consider that one of my better fights in my career. It feels great that I’m the man that sent him home.”

“You’re a great guy, I’m going to miss you,” Stallone tells Ahmed as he heads to the lockeroom. “No scratches,” he smiles locking in the window. “I’m not done, yet, I know I can fight better.” He cleans himself up alone in the lockeroom. “I still look good, I can’t believe it.”

Kaddour, the third contender to be sent home, goes back to the gym and as custom, hangs his gloves up on the wall next to Reid’s and Manfredo Jr.’s. He leaves with a promise, “Next time, I will beat him.”

(Thank God that jerk went home, that’s all I have to say.)

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.


The Contender, Episode 2 – Commentary: We Want Class Not Sass

The Contender, Episode 2 – Commentary: We Want Class Not Sass

by Panndyra, Goddess of Chaos

Hello All, I’m here to comment on the second episode of the Contender. If you haven’t seen it, check out the [url=http://www.realityshack.com/modules/articles/article.php?id=594]recap[/url] by carpesomediem. This show rocks. I love it.

I haven’t been this enthusiastic about a Reality TV series since the first season of American Idol. What I like the most about is that it brings out the human interest stories of these men. You root for them – well, almost all of them.

I was sort of sad to see the Reid Dawg go home, but Jesse fought a good fight. They both did. It just seems that the underdog wants it more. Think back to last week’s trouncing of the previously undefeated Peter Manfredo, Jr. and you’ll see what I mean.

This episode wasn’t as dramatic as the premiere. However, we do have to ask the question that all the boxers are:

Why isn’t Ishe taking advantage of the WEST’s wins to call out Ahmed?

I don’t think Ishe is afraid. I feel he’s putting too much thought into this. If the EAST wins, we know Ahmed will want to call him out – and he won’t hesitate. I picked Ishe to win it all after last week, but you know all bets are off, y’all. I have to say that I wasn’t impressed with Ishe waiting on Ahmed. What kind of head game is he playing?

In the end, he’ll probably be doing himself in. The match-up is inevitable – just get it out of the way.

I commend Jesse for biting the bullet and fighting someone that everyone told him not to. Reid was fit. He is a great boxer. It’s sad that his very pregnant wife – who I thought was going into labor during the fight – and his children watched his loss. Sadder still was the fact that when he put his gloves up on the ‘graveyard’ to show that he was out of the competition that he questioned what role boxing will play in his life in the future.

He was disappointed in himself yet classy enough to give Jesse his props just as Manfredo did last week. These boxers are classy guys and not thugs like some of the more famous athletes today.

It’s refreshing to see. I hope each of these boxers gets everything they want for themselves and their families. They’re solid individuals who work hard and are trying to do what’s right.

Having said that, let’s end this Ishe-Ahmed feud. It’s bringing down the rest of the guys and the whole competition in general.

I do have to say that watching Alfonso receive his gold chain which shows he has an automatic in into the finals, was cool. He really deserved his win – although I miss Manfredo too – and it’s nice to just see Reality TV contestants who are truly grateful for their opportunities, not complaining about lack of sleep, or the makeovers or anything.

Don’t forget to watch The Contender as it moves to its regular night – Sunday at 8e/7c!


Come To The Edge – Starting Over, 03-10-05


by LauraBelle

Everyone knows what it is like to be stressed; they just all handle it differently. Candy came to the Starting Over house particularly because she wasn’t handling stress well. Vanessa grew up being overly-stressed as a child, while both Cassie and Rachael have found additional stress while in the house in trying to alleviate other stresses.

Rachael’s newest stress is centered around trying to get her family to show up at the memorial service she is holding for her mother and step father. Iyanla arrives in the middle of the night to support her, and finds Rachael sitting in her bed, wearing pajamas, crying and clinging to a stuffed animal.

Even though Rachael continues to reach out to her family, they continue to not show up for her. Iyanla tells her she showed up because she wanted to. Rachael feels she was silent for too long about the mistreatment by her family – everything from being forced to sleep on the floor in the trailer, having to go live with her godparents and being locked in a room by herself. She just doesn’t believe now that they love her.

Iyanla believes this is a good topic to explore. Rachael doesn’t know why she wants to be seen so badly, and Iyanla tells her it’s because she’s never been seen or heard, and there’s nothing they can do about it. As sad as this all is, and as difficult as it is to hear, this is a point Rachael has needed to get to – the honesty of the situation.

The next morning, Rhonda has an interesting exercise for Vanessa. Rhonda thinks she needs to work on her decision-making process, as she’s so used to being told what to do. Vanessa will make all her decisions today, and will have to explain why she is making each one.Throughout the day there will be a “magic table” outside with choices for her to make.

For her first decision, Rhonda hands Vanessa two bags marked “comfortable” and “sexy.” She chooses “sexy,” explaining that it seems more powerful. Inside the bag is a sexy shirt that Vanessa loves, making this her first good decision.

Stress is what Iyanla wants to talk about in Group today. Candy says she was most stressed at the end of her first marriage. She was alone and all the responsibilities ended up on her. Vanessa was most stressed during the Olympic trials. There was so much pressure not knowing if she would make it or not. Allison says it’s hard to pick one instance, as she feels like she live it 24/7.

Candy admits it was stress that led her here to the Starting Over House. She had a realization that everything was failing – her body and her relationships, and she was constantly being called on to solve her kids’ problems. It all became very overwhelming. Iyanla asks if Candy was “barking” at people, and when Candy admits she was, Iyanla says that’s when you know you’re stressed. I think my kids would probably tell you I’m stressed all the time, if that’s the case.

The attention turns to Rachael who says that she feels like somebody beat her up, after the evening with the realization that her family doesn’t love her, or at least doesn’t love her in the ay she needs. Iyanla urges her to realize not talking about being sad causes stress.

Iyanla winds this all up together saying the one way to eliminate stress is to believe no matter what happens, you’ll be okay. If Rachael never sees her family again, she’ll still be okay. If Candy never speaks to her kids again, it’ll still be okay.

Checking in privately with Rachael, Iyanla wants to know how she is doing since the night before. Rachael is tired and says last night was profound and sad. Rachael says she feels like whenever she asks someone to do something for her, she has to pay.

Today, Iyanla is having Rachael meet with a trust attorney to get some questions answered about Rachael’s trust fund that Aunt Ellen is in charge of, and that pays for all of Rachael’s living expenses. Rachael says she wants to know what kind of trust it is and if Ellen gets paid for doing it.

Vanessa goes out to her “magic table” and finds two balloons and a pin with a note to make a choice and pop one. She notices in the see-three balloon that there is eight dollars inside. She chooses to go for the surprise in the opaque balloon and finds twenty dollars.

Iyanla asks if Candy believes she has done all she could, and if it’s all good. Of course, Candy believes she did, leading Iyanla to ask then why the difficulty? Candy begins rambling on about how she didn’t have a close family growing up, leading Iyanla to stop her and explain that’s Candy’s stuff, not her kids, and to leave them out of it.

Reaching their destination, Iyanla explains today is about having faith and surrendering control. Wolf Adventurers Michael and Jody have a set-up for Candy to be harnessed, climb up a telephone pole, climb out on the platform, and jump off. Iyanla tells her you can’t fly from the ground, but you can soar from a hole. Iyanla always has the best home-baked clichés.

Candy talks immediately of her fear of heights. She can see the future and is scared of the transition, and hitting the ground. Iyanla can’t tell Candy what will happen; she has to surrender control and come to the edge. Candy jumps, as as she is suspended in air she laughs.

Candy is excited and feels relief – no kid, no bills, no worries. Once back on the ground, she says she has learned that it’s okay to let go; she won’t get hurt. Iyanla tells her that things that make us afraid can still be fun. Now instructed to call her adult kids and tell them they now need to handle their own issues, Candy says of all her assignments, this is the one she dislikes the most.

Shelli, Cassie’s birth son’s adoptive father’s ex-wife ( whew!) calls Cassie after receiving the fax of the adoption mother’s letter from Cassie. It appears to her that the signature is Cassie’s son’s. Yet, Shelli and the adoptive father don’t think Cassie should stop trying to get in contact with him.

Vanessa finds two more choices at the “magic table” for a snack – nutritious or delicious. She chooses nutritious after meeting with the nutritionist and finds a plate of cheese and apples.

Rachael visits Howard Klein, a Trust Attorney and brings Bethany along for moral support. Mr. Klein tells Rachael she is entitled to the financial information from the trust fund, and encourages her to ask Ellen. Rachael would like to know if the trustee gets paid, and he tells her under California law a trustee is entitled to reasonable compensation.

Rachael does have a right to remove the trustee if the trustee has stolen from the fund, or the beneficiary and trustee cannot get along. She trusts Ellen with the money, but admits she hasn’t been kept informed. Mr. Klein advises her to get a copy of the financial information and figure out her monthly budget o see how it compares.

At the “magic table’ again, Vanessa finds two devastating choices. She must either call one of her parents and tell them her regrets over being in gymnastics her whole childhood or clean all the bathrooms in the house.

Vanessa decides to make an adult decision to call her mom, and is very proud of herself. She tells her mom she regrets missing her childhood and tells her she cried on the inside every day. She also regrets that it ultimately cost her a more close relationship with her mom.

Vanessa’s mom cries and admits that all of that is very hard to hear. She also admits to knowing Vanessa suffered then, but says she didn’t know how much. Vanessa does add, though, that she realizes now it’s her fault for not speaking up. Her mom says doing this on the phone sucks because she can’t hug her.

Calling her son, Anthony, Candy tells him she loves him and cares about their lives, but urges them to take care of their own problems, and not bring them with when they visit her house anymore. Anthony tells her they do try to leave it at their own homes, but Candy always insists on being involved with it.

Vanessa tells Rhonda later that night that she learned she could make good decisions. Deciding to call her mom was easy, but doing it and hearing her mom was hard. Rhonda tells her she’ll now be keeping a decision journal every day to help her learn how to do this every day.

Iyanla had told Candy on the telephone pole to “come to the edge,” and it reminds me of my favorite quote, one I learned from last season’s Starting Over graudate, Lori, when she, too, had to jump off a platform. “Come to the edge, he said. They said: We are afraid. Come to the edge, he said. They came. He pushed them … And they flew.” It certainly explains Candy’s day, and I think it will begin to sum up the other women’s more and more every day.

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

Survival of the Fittest – The Contender, Episode 2

Survival of the fittest

by carpesomediem

Last episode, we learned to never discount the underdog, as Alfonso Gomez pulled a big upset over then-undefeated boxer Peter Manfredo, Jr.

“Survival of the Fittest,” starts with a recap of the season premiere. Keep in mind, The Contender wasn’t slated to have a new episode Thursday night; its success in the ratings game forced NBC to give the viewers what they wanted: More. This week, however, George Foreman makes an appearance as the latest trainer to join The Contender team, and no, he’s not here to sell more grills.

We start off with the celebration of last episode’s victory for Alfonso Gomez. “Manfredo, I’m sorry, but today was my day,” he says. “I’m one step closer to providing my family with that dream.”

Both teams come back to the loft. They all sat down to talk about the results. Ishe said privately that he felt bad for Peter; he admitted that the decision to put Peter into the fight hurt him, it hurt them all, but that it needed to be done. “What we saw tonight was just mild to what we’ve seen,” Jesse related.

Tommy related how Peter is not crying, that the teams are the only ones whining about what had happened; Peter just wants another chance, he notes.

Jonathan went home to visit his family that night. He has four kids and another one on the way all living in Los Angeles while he takes this journey. “Everyone has to sacrifice,” he laments, most notably his wife who has to hold their family together while he pursues his dreams.

Next day arrives, and at 7 A.M. sharp, the teams are up for their daily training. Sugar Ray is in the ring with some of them, giving advice. “For me to give my advice as a former champion to these boxers, I get a kick out of it,” he says. “This is the first time boxers get a chance to determine their own fate.” Leonard stands ringside when they spar to give each advice, too.

Jonathan gives the cameras a hint at his strategy in the ring; he says he’s letting hits get in so he can learn the mechanics of his opponents. Sure…

Ishe takes the ring and Ahmed comes out to observe by writing notes during his time in the ring. “He’s too ugly to be in my book.” Ishe tells the other team to bring it, “to come get it,” more times than he does anything else on the show. Ahmed and Ishe begin their war of words once again, throwing back “your mama” taunts. “This is getting ugly,” Sly denounced as Ahmed threatens to kill Ishe.

Stallone calls Ahmed to his office and tells him to calm down. Ahmed is angry beyond belief. Ishe says he has the “mental edge,” and he truly believes he is better than all the competition. Stallone tells Ahmed to control his anger and promises Sly he will control his anger before going back out to a group meeting about the match.

“That was an amazing victory against a worthy opponent,” Sly tells Alfonso. Eight of them get a champion necklace to wear, allowing him to be exempt from any more elimination matches until seven more are eliminated. The winning team will get a reward from now on for winning their match.

West Coast gets some time with George Foreman, a boxer most of them grew up watching fight. Jeff, from the East Coast, watched from the balcony. “You can see why he’s lovable big George,” Sergio smiles noting Foreman’s demeanor while hanging out with the team. They all go out to dinner with Foreman and have a barbeque. Foreman offers to marry Jesse, as he is a practicing minister, when he’s ready.

Meanwhile, East Coast is discussing what a pretty boy Ahmed is as he gets a massage. They have a team meeting without him, discussing that the most important thing is to form a match they can win. Jonathan is the clear leader of the East Coast team, he even says so. He explains that they can’t get caught up in the rivalry between Ahmed and Ishe or it will tear them apart.

Back at dinner, Ishe tells Foreman his favorite boxer is Sugar Ray Robinson. Foreman tells him that Robinson told him, “Plan your work, and work your plan.” “All boxers should think things out, then you get personal,” he dishes out. Ishe took that to heart and realized he wasn’t working for himself but for his team.

Next day, both teams meet at the Rose Bowl for their next challenge, as introduced by Leonard. He stresses the importance of winning the challenge every week.

They must solve a puzzle, flags are placed around the stadium up the stairs; one team member must stay behind at each flag until the last man grabs the flag. Once they have all of them, they can begin solving the puzzle. Now, because the West Coast team won the last challenge, one team member must sit out to even the odds. Jesse sits out.

Anthony already lets on that the fight, as of now, will be Ishe versus Ahmed if West Coast wins.

The challenge begins, Tommy tells them to “use their heads,” as they all as a team begin running up the stairs to their first flag. East Coast makes it to the first flag first, West Coast behind them and beats them to putting the flag near the puzzle. East Coast begins to get tired, lagging, West Coast makes it first; East Coast members are sitting down as Tommy yells at them to get off their duffs. West Coast takes the lead and heads for their third flag; the problem seems to be that the teams are not working as a team but as individuals, which is how East Coast keeps getting further behind. West Coast is after its final piece, as is East Coast. Jimmy takes a shortcut across the bleaches, and takes the lead from West, as they both race back to the puzzle. They are right next to each other and they both made it back at the same time.

Now, they begin to put the puzzle together. “Let’s go!” Tommy yells. West Coast is ahead, East Coast is having problems and getting angry. Tommy tells them they aren’t even that close. West Coast wins again! “East Coast: You’re at the mercy of the West Coast. Again,” Leonard announces.

Stallone is alerted while boxing in the ring, and he says he’ll catch back up with them after he “gets over this cardiac arrest.” The guys offer him Gatorade, but he passes, and says he’ll meet up with them after they make their decision.

West Coast goes down to the lockeroom to pick their match. Ahmed is shown meditating, knowing he might fight. Ishe thinks them pushing the fight makes him uncomfortable, as if they are already trying to get him out. Jesse says he “needs to be a man,” with his doubts being shown. Jesse wants to find Jonathan, but Joey points out that it’s not the right fight for him; Ishe points out that Jonathan’s never been beaten except by a champion. It looks like the only reason Jonathan stepped up was to prove that he was man enough to do so.

Back at the gym, West Coast announces its pick. Ishe and Ahmed stare each other down while Jesse steps up as their pick. He smiles at the East Coast, saying in his cutaway that he’s disgusted by Ishe’s fear, and he calls out Jonathan. They toe the line and while staring at each other, Jesse shakes his head as if almost in doubt while Jonathan just keeps his tone. The match stands: Jesse versus Jonathan.

Jesse goes home for the night, planning to make out with his wife for awhile; he drives home on his motorcycle and plays with his kid. He calls his son Jonathan, saying to his son, “You’re a fool for taking this fight.” His wife calls him an “amazing father.” Jesse wonders how his kids will take it while sitting ringside; his son has seen him fight, his daughter hasn’t.

That night, Jonathan, too, goes home and spends some time with his wife, who gives him a massage until his kids start crying. He tells his kids he can’t expend all his energy on the kids while he’s getting ready to fight tomorrow and then goes soft with them. “We’re behind him 100 per cent, no matter what happens,” his wife says proudly.

Three hours to the fight, pre-match conference and weigh-in takes place. Jonathan predicts he will make it even; Jesse says he made the decision because he was tired of the Ishe versus Ahmed saga, then calls Ishe out. They get face-to-face; Shaun Robinson from Access Hollywood asks why he’s being so quiet during the outbursts. Jonathan diverts the question a bit to say that Jesse will expend all his energy in the match and that it’s going to be a good one.

Jonathan and Ishe have a moment together, where Ishe says God is behind him and that he believes him; Ishe admits he wants to see Jesse defeated at all costs, that this is about individuals, not teams.

One hour to the fight, both boxers are getting ready. Jonathan is praying and reciting scripture; Jesse zones out. They get wrapped up and thirty minutes to the fight, they begin shadowboxing and relating tales of their past.

The gym is filled, once again, for the match. Tony Danza is in the audience tonight, along with the full crowd as the banners hang.

Jonathan comes out first, in his boxing gear, to the theme song discussing how he is doing this for his family. He wants to be able to give them everything. The announcer brings him out to cheers from his family.

Next, Jesse comes out, talking about himself and his skills, and how he doesn’t want to fail. The announcer brings him out to his daughter drinking juice and his son clapping.

They knock gloves, go to their corners and the match begins.

Round 1: They keep their distance at first, Jesse going low, Jonathan going high. They both seem to be waiting for an opening. Jesse gets in a few good punches to get in. He just waits for an opening while Jonathan becomes very defensive, staying away, using his long arms to hit Jesse rather than getting caught together. Jonathan is quick, maneuvers much better than Jesse. Round goes to Jonathan.
Round 2: Once again, Jesse goes low and gets hit for it, he lets Jonathan in. Finally, Jesse gets in and uppercuts Jonathan. This throws Jonathan off guard and Jesses gets in a lot more punches this time. Round goes to Jesse.
Round 3: Jesse gets in the first good punch to the face. Jonathan waits for another opening but gets hit in the face against. They get separated after Jonathan falters and Jesse lays into him: Uppercut, punch. Jonathan is getting his butt handed to him, Jesse keeps laying down the law. Round goes to Jesse.
Round 4: Knowing he must win, Jonathan strikes first, landing a good head shot. Jesse keeps his distance, going low again, Jonathan lands a great abdominal punch. Jesse is hurting, Tommy observes. They meet up and lock-up, then, separated by the referee. Jesse gets in some more punches and Jonathan locks-up again. Round goes to Jonathan.
Round 5: They knock gloves before they begin fighting, Jesse comes out swinging. Jonathan ducks but gets hit in the face. Jonathan keeps playing defense, it’s almost as if he doesn’t want to win, he has no will in him to win. Jesse has the will and is fighting with it. He gets Jonathan in the corner and begins beating him senseless, Jonathan can’t defend himself. Jonathan needs a miracle; he needs a knock-out and suffice it to say, there’s no way Jesse will give it to him. Round goes to Jesse.

Judges scorecard is announced and its unanimous decision: The winner is West Coast’s Jesse Brinkley. Family, team and trainers storm the ring to celebrate as Jonathan and him hug. “If you want something,” he says, “Go and get it.”

Jonathan cries as his walks back to the lockeroom after the match. He lies on the table and his son says he won in his eyes.

“My family was looking forward to me doing well in this thing,” he laments, “I know I’m still a winner in their eye. I tried. I guess it wasn’t my time or my season.”

Reid, the second contender to be sent home, then goes back to the gym, hangs up his gloves and leaves with one question on his mind, “Do I still want to be a professional boxer?”

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.


We're Not Going Back To Immunity! – Survivor: Palau, Episode 4

We’re Not Going Back to Immunity! Survivor Palau Episode 4

[i]by atarus[/i]

Since I’m at home for spring break, I’m doing this recap by memory. So bear with me.

The episode starts off with the six remaining Ulong around the campfire, once again complaining about going to Tribal Council. They’re upset, etc. etc. James says that if people don’t start getting in gear he’s going to have to “stomp on them.” And Kim, ever so bright and brainy, says “Well maybe if you helped them and didn’t stomp on them we’d do better.” James grumbles and says “You know what I meant.” Yes we did, James, yes we did.

At Koror, they get a treemail about having to pick a representative for the next challenge. Coby, Janu, Caryn, Ian, and Gregg all volunteer and say they want to do it. However, it immediately goes to between Ian and Gregg. Coby complains about how Tom, Ian, Katie, Gregg, and Jenn are a group of five and how no matter how many times he said he wanted to do it, they ignored him. He knows that if they go to Tribal Council, they’re screwed. Eventually Ian is decided to be the leader.

On Ulong, the whole leadership thing doesn’t appeal to them so they go fishing instead. (Way to go Ulong. Show that host who’s boss. You can pick a leader whenever you want to.)

Well, the representative has to choose tools to build a latrine and shower. Ian’s dad worked in construction so that’s good. He chooses to sit out Jenn, Coby, and Janu. On Ulong, Jeff is flabbergasted that Ulong hasn’t chosen anyone, and so on the spot they choose James, who isn’t too happy about it. But he also worked in construction so he knew the right tools too. (And we’re not talking about him knowing Kim, either. Oooooh.)

On Koror, the building is going great. Caryn, who is Lil’ Miss Negative, complains about how everybody defers to Tom and how everyone thinks Tom is so great a leader and blah-de-blah-de-blah. Mr. Miyagi gets a confessional (Yaaaaaaaaaaaay!) and comments on how a day can’t go by without Tom and Ian complimenting everyone else on the tribe. On Ulong, the building is going……not-so-well. Stephenie is irritated at James for something. Angie is irritated at James for telling her how to nail. I love Ulong. They don’t have a leader, and when they finally elect one all they do is complain about him when he leads. Kim says that she’s the “brains” of the operation and is letting the “beasts” go at each other. Yes Kim. In your special world maybe. Meanwhile, Bobby Jon is out there cutting down trees like it’s nothing.

Koror wins the challenge ’cause their latrine and shower is more nifty. They get a new, kick-butt shelter and two bottles of champagne. Caryn laughs maniacally because she’s drunkish and reminds me of the Wicked Witch of the West. Ulong pouts.

It’s time for the immunity challenge! The challenge is going one-on-one with a little sandbag thing, sumo-like. They have to knock the person they’re facing off against off the platform and into the water, and the first team to six points wins immunity. Ian, Willard, and Katie sit out.

First is Bobby Jon vs. Tom. The battle lasts a while but Tom emerges victorious. Then it’s Stephenie vs. Jenn. Jenn gets her tail handed to her. 1 to 1. Ibrehem vs. Gregg, Ibrehem lunges but it backfires and Gregg throws him in. Angie vs. Caryn, Angie kicks Caryn’s whiny little butt. 2 to 2. And then Koror puts the whup on. Coby pushes James in with ease, Janu in a tough little match against Kim gets her in, and then Tom beats the aggressive Bobby Jon a second time. It’s 5 to 2. And then Ulong gets furious. Stephenie clobbers Jenn a second time. Ibrehem strikes vengeance upon Gregg and nails him. And Angie whups on Caryn a second time and screams “WE’RE NOT GOING BACK TO IMMUNITY!” Whoops. Unfortunately, Angie’s accidental premonition is right as James gets pushed off by a “homo-shecks-shoo-al.” Koror wins four straight, and Ulong is just crying.

At this point I’d like to petition a new Survivor slang term. Pagonging is when a tribe, at merge, gets picked off one by one. Ulonging should be when a tribe is completely decimated and destroyed in challenges during the tribal portion. That’s just my two cents.

So James is bitter that Coby beat him, but hey, Coby works out at a gym because he’s gay so it’s okay. The girls are talking about banding together because if they vote out Kim, the weakest link, it’ll be three guys to two girls. And they’d also be voting out their brains. *wink wink* Kim thinks that Stephenie and Angie are smart and wouldn’t vote her out, but hey it still could be her. Bobby Jon and Ibrehehem and James all know who THEY are voting for.

At Tribal Council, Jeff pounds Ulong with the questions again. First he opens with “I saved you your seats from last time.” Ah, Jeff, I adore your biting sarcasm. Bobby Jon hates himself because he’s a competitive person and he hates losses. Stephenie hasn’t lost this much in her life. Jeff brings up the point that Stephenie and Angie got 4 out of the 5 points for their team and what’s with the men getting their butt kicked? Kim gets in a little dig about how the men on the tribe are worthless before it’s time to vote.

Blah blah, no real suspense, Kim votes for James, James votes for Kim, and Kim is voted out 5-1.

Next time: Ulong gets lost on the way back from Tribal Council, and there’s a big game-changing thing.

Kim had final words but I didn’t really care.

That’s all from me! Until next week, e-mail me at atarus33@yahoo.com with any thoughts or comments.


C-Word Monologues – Starting Over, 03-09-05


by LauraBelle

It wasn’t so long ago that cancer was whispered, instead of spoken out loud, as if people that were afflicted with it should be ashamed. Now Starting Over has one housemate who had a mastectomy so recently they won’t even call her in remission yet, and another housemate whose mother and step father both died of cancer within months of each other. I predict great things will come of this, both for the women and the Starting Over house itself, and if we follow last week’s Butterfly Effect, maybe even society as well.

Dr. Stan tells Bethany they have received more of her medical records, and he wants to share with her the results of her neuropsychology report. She is very smart. Her amnesia doesn’t impact intelligence whatsoever.

Since her amnesia she has been on a self-loathing kick, everything from thinking she’s not smart enough to hating everything about her appearance. Dr. Stan has a theory that after her illness, Bethany looked in the mirror, saw herself pumped up on steroids, hated it, and turned her anger at herself. I have a theory too. I think something very sad happened to her the night before she lost her memory and she woke up with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, not being able to remember it, and couldn’t figure out where her anger came from. Once she saw herself in the mirror later, it became the only sadness she could remember, and she began to blame herself.

Apparently Bethany wants to know the answers to all this herself, as she asks Dr. Stan why she goes so haywire with taking measurements like the day before with the nutritionist. He tells her she is so negative about herself, that the visual presentation of the numbers sets her off.

Rhonda enters and says she wants to take away all Bethany’s excuses for feeling bad about herself. She will spend the day with Andy Paige to help her understand how to work with clothes, hair and makeup to work with her body better. It’s not a makeover, just some helpful instruction.

Rachael is developing her phone relationship with her father, and he remains motivated in meeting her in person as soon as possible. He wants to make sure she feels no responsibility and that he readily accepts it. He suggests when they meet, perhaps there be a counselor present to help Rachael work through anything that may arise. For a young woman that has lived the past nine years feeling abandoned, I think this man is exactly who she needs in her life. It seems he has already done more than any of the people she has been relying on since her parents died.

Rhonda leads Group by showing a pink fluffy blob on the plasma, and asks if anyone knows what it is. Someone guesses tissues, but Allison knows all too well what it is. Abnormal cancer cells. Cancer is the second leading cause of death, and one in three women will get it sometime in their life, meaning at least two or three women in that room will get it in their lifetime.

Everyone knows how cancer has affected Rachael and Allison’s lives, but Rhonda asks how it has affected the other women’s lives. Vanessa mentions her aunt had it, but it wasn’t a big thing. Allison warns all cancer is a big thing.

Candy’s grandmother had breast cancer when it was still an aberration. She had a double mastectomy and reconstruction wasn’t an option then. Candy also had a few other relations that had cancer, increasing her risks of having it dramatically.

Even though cancer affected Rachael’s life at such a young age, she saw how someone can decline so quickly. She is happy now that her mother and Jesse are no longer in pain.

When Allison first got cancer, she thought she had to be quiet about it. Her mom bought her her first wig, and said she wished it was her. At one point, Allison finally tossed the wigs, as it wasn’t her. Without the wigs she felt she looked sicker, but real. She feels such guilt for causing pain to her loved ones. Rhonda tells her repeatedly she did not cause her cancer.

After the cancer discussion Cassie feels more of a need than ever to contact her son; he needs to know the health issues of his birth family. She meets with Rhonda who brings a letter from the adoptive mother with her. This scathing letter was written to either Cassie, Rhonda or the Starting Over show. It’s not clear. The letter details the history of Cassie as the adoptive mother sees her and makes light of the fact she is in a “treatment” program again. It’s not treatment, Lady, it’s counseling and support to start her life over, obviously needed after you repeatedly slam the door in her face.

The letter goes on to state Cassie’s birth son wants nothing to do with her and threatens a lawsuit, and is signed by a host of people including the birth son and adoptive mother, and is notarized. Cassie recognizes this woman is trying to push her away just like when she tried to contact him four years ago. She feels deprived and lied to all these years and doesn’t believe he really signed it. It was notarized, but not on the pages where he signed it. It may not be his signature and if he did sign it, he may not have known what he was signing. Rhonda suggest they speak to an attorney who can help them with the legal aspects of this letter.

Bethany shops for clothing with Andy who tells her she understands the body issues being she was previously a Plus size model. They visit Torrid, a Youth-driven Plus size store. Andy is showing Bethany separates instead of outfits in order to coordinate them for her own look.

Andy explains with jeans, the larger the pocket, the smaller the butt; the smaller the pocket the bigger the butt. Definitely good words to live by! Andy would like her to also try on a skirt, and Bethany freaks a little saying it’s been a long time since she has worn one. Andy reminds her that she said she trusted her. Worried about her ample “boobage,” Andy reminds tells her boobs mean girls.

Allison meets with Iyanla and tells her the guilt thing is something new for her. There are lots of empty spaces in her life, and she doesn’t have a relationship because she feels like no one would want her because she feels ugly and fat. Iyanla asks what would happen if she really was ugly and fat, and Allison says she is afraid she wouldn’t be loved. Iyanla continues to ask what if you are to every answer Allison throws out there until she gets to the root of it all. What if you aren’t loved? I’d be rejected. What if you are rejected? I could fail. What if you failed? I would be nobody. What if you are nobody? I shouldn’t exist.

To hear herself say she shouldn’t exist embarrasses Allison. Iyanla encourages her to write down these new feelings in a journal, especially “I’m guilty.” She says the little boogars have set up housekeeping inside Allison, and she needs to eject them. Iyanla would also like her to write two monologues – one for life before cancer, and one for life after.

Andy brings Bethany to a hair salon that is decorated very retro and called The Shampoo Lounge. She is shown how to add ponytail extensions to her hair to liven it up quite a bit. They do not do a dramatic new ‘do on Bethany, just add a few more layers to spruce it up some.

Rachael tells Iyanla her eulogy is finally done, and she proceeds to meet with a hairdresser to get her extensions put back in. While she gets her extensions, Vanessa and Candy are in there watching. Cassie joins them, bringing the letter from the adoptive mother. Candy notes the notary could be a friend, and notices the same thing Cassie did that the notary seal isn’t on the same page with the signatures.

Allison has her first monologue, of life before cancer, done and would like to read it to Iyanla. It’s called the C-Word Monologues and is by “Alle Productions.” Iyanla tells her it is exquisite, but she has no idea what it means. It is clear, creative and beautifully written … about someone else. She explains to Allison she wants to know what life was like before cancer not a bunch of pretty words. She goes on to explain to Allison that her daughter’s doctor told her, “Learn to love life; if you don’t cancer will.”

Cassie and Rhonda meet with an attorney, Mirka Brown. Cassie tells her her story, and Mirka explains to Cassie once again what her rights are with an open adoption. Reading the new letter, Cassie is told as difficult as it may be, the decision is now not a legal one but moral. She can take a chance and give the adoptive mother the opportunity to file a lawsuit, and Cassie asks if she would win. Mirka asks if she is willing to take that risk.

Dr. Stan meets Allison for th first time and wants to know all about her. She tells him she is trying to figure out what else isn’t working, othe than the cancer. Her tumor was so wicked, the doctors told her all the healing needed to go to one place, so she wasn’t allowed to have both breasts removed like she wanted. She believes herself to be very vain, wanting matching breasts. Dr. Stan wants to know why she can’t give herself the permission to be vain. They also discuss Allison’s lack of romantic relationships in her life. She fears she is not good enough and too controlling, but also fears being alone the rest of her life.

Cassie calls Shelli, the adoptive father’s ex-wife and explains and reads the letter. Shell asks her to fax it to her workplace and she will check the son’s signature against those she has on file for him.

Rhonda wants to present the newly appearance-educated Bethany to the house and Rachael walks through, crying, while on the phone with her uncle. Rhonda goes to check on Rachael is is told she’s fine. Returning to the other women and Dr. Stan, Rhonda tells the they all know it’s a lie that she’s okay, she’s most obviously not, but they should honor her space, but also check on her tonight; she needs some support.

Bethany comes through sporting a very sexy outfit and all are shocked she is actually showing some boobage. For the first time, Bethany can admit to feeling pretty. Allison thinks it’s all great; she has never just let it out like that; she is always controlling her emotions and feelings. I hear ya, Allison.

Rachael, still on the phone with her uncle, is getting increasingly more distressed. The only people that are going to show up for her parents’ memorial service are herself, her brother, Aunt Ellen and Iyanla. Iyanla believes this is an incredible breakthrough for her. It is the first time she has let her real emotions out about feeling abandoned by her family. Iyanla is guessing being so close with a cancer survivor, Allison, is helping Rachael get in contact with those emotions.

Being only twelve at the time her parents died, she wasn’t allowed to honor them then the way she wanted. She wasn’t every allowed to speak about her biological father and never went to the gravesite. And in the background, is how people are supposed to be secretive and quiet about cancer. She knew nothing about it other than it killed the two people she loved the most. Allison walks in and although preferring to keep her cancer secret, she knows she needs to be more honest about it to heal herself.

It’s true that cancer strikes so many, and it is so odd that we feel an awkwardness about it. Not only do I have family that has been affected by it, one of my best friends I grew up with died at thirty-five from cancer. The worst part is I had fallen out of contact with her, and even when I found out she was sick and that her case was terminal, I did nothing to make contact with her until her memorial service. I didn’t know how to say, “Hi! I hear you’re dying.” I have learned as difficult as that may have been, it would have been better than her dying and feeling guilty such as Allison does. I found my peace with her later, and made a promise to her memory I would never be quiet again. Every time I look at Allison being lonely on the show, I will think of my friend and my own guilt. This is for you, Laurel. Peace.

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

“Johnny, Be Good…Or Just Be Quiet” – The Apprentice 3, Episode 8

“Johnny, Be Good…Or Just Be Quiet” – The Apprentice 3, Episode 8


“Johnny, Be Good…Or Just Be Quiet” – The Apprentice 3, Episode 8

By: Cori Linder
clinder@realityshack.com

If you shoot only for the moon and forget about reaching the stars, you might just end up with a bunch of dirt.

Back from the boardroom:

Celebration! The remaining Net Worth members return to the suite, and everybody rejoices that Audrey is gone.

The candidates learn that they must choose first-time project managers before meeting with Mr. Trump.

Assigning project managers:

Magna – Since Kendra hasn’t been a project manager, she steps up to the plate.

Net Worth – Craig and Chris have been sitting on the sidelines, and by the luck of the draw, Chris becomes the project manager.

Restructuring the teams:

Mr. Trump says it’s time for a corporate restructuring for it’s not about book-smarts versus street-smarts anymore; it’s just about being smart. Somebody start handing out the IQ tests!

As project manager, Kendra can choose two people she doesn’t want on her team who will switch to the other side: She chooses Stephanie and Erin. In a not-so-smart move (noted by John’s disappointed shaking of the head), Chris opts to trade Tana and Craig. The teams will retain their names. This is good news to me for my head is still whirling from the trading of team members.

The challenge:

Each team will produce an 11-minute live charity auction for fuseTV network to benefit the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation (Chris expresses his delight with a tobacco-stained smile). Each team will be randomly assigned 5 of the biggest artists in the music industry. The teams must meet individually with each artist to negotiate a personal experience that will be auctioned off live on fuse TV. Bidding will take place over the Internet, and the team that raises the most money from their auction wins.

Strategies:

Net Worth will negotiate with the following: 1) BareNaked Ladies, 2) Gene Simmons, 3) New Found Glory, 4) Simple Plan, and 5) Fat Joe. Chris delegates the negotiation task to John, Erin and Stephanie, but questions whether he (Chris) should be involved in the deal. No, assures John, for it’s better to be with “two hot chicks.” Angie and Chris will work on production.

Magna will negotiate with the following: 1) Lil’ Kim, 2) Lil Jon, 3) Moby, 4) Eve, and 5) JadaKiss. Kendra, Craig and Tana will meet with them.

Meanwhile, on the Net Worth team, John, decked out in a pocket chain, is confident he will meet with success. He asserts he’s a drummer and believes he can get on the musicians’ level (or pull them down to his level). He confidently tells his “chicks” (we know them as Stephanie and Erin) that they should negotiate for the musicians to perform a gig at the winner’s house. If all else fails, the girls can get “giggly” and pretend they don’t know much. It seems that John forgets that the women sitting in the car with him have high heels on—good for stabbing.

After the commercial break, we see Mr. Trump explaining that one should “go big or go home.” This will be the theme of the episode.

On the Magna team, the fact that Tana is enjoying her experience with the musicians is an understatement. She’s drowning herself in the music speak and culture. First, they meet with Lil Jon, and Tana is blinded by the “bling, bling” and explains that “we be talking now.” Reflecting on this, Carolyn almost loses it completely and even bends over with a buildup of laugher. She’s just on the edge of surrendering to her sense of humor—almost, because the camera soon cuts away. Feeling good about Craig and Tana’s negotiation skills, Kendra joins Bren and Alex in production planning.

On the Net Worth, Stephanie, Erin and John meet with New Found Glory, and John begins to speak about himself and turns the meeting into the “John show.” George thinks that building on preconceived ideas is a big mistake. John is continually interrupting the girls and is pitching the same ideas to all the teams. And then one of the most classic moments happens: John, seemingly a drum-playing-addict, says he hasn’t had his drum fix in a month and wants to play on the band’s drums. This doesn’t bode well with them.

Tana and her team are shooting for the stars—heck, they’re shooting beyond them and convince Eve to share a lunch date with the highest bidder. Her team is on a roll and keeps upping the ante. Jadakiss agrees to travel around the world with the winner. Tana, loving her negotiation skills and foot-in-the-door technique (she was, after all Mary Kay’s leading sales consultant), gets Lil’ Kim to offer an entire week experience with the highest bidder. Hey, the woman has sold makeup to men! Then, in a Zen moment, Tana and Craig meet with Moby and hook up an entire week with him.

The Net Worth team is not fairing as well. Gene Simmons is John’s next victim and seems to be without a sense of humor. But then, sitting across from John and hearing him talk about himself, I would lose mine too.

On live TV, Tana and Craig have great on-screen chemistry and introduce into their language words like “boula,” “da bomb,” and “krunkdafide.” They’re like professional hosts, and Mr. Trump is impressed.

Later, the Net Worth team goes live. Erin co-hosts with Chris, and Erin impresses Mr. Trump with her charm and professional TV persona. Tyler from BareNaked Ladies and Gene Simmons eventually join them pitching the package.

Results…

Net Worth generated a total of $11,325; however, Magna had a better strategy in securing two artists that offered an entire week experience, which enabled Magna to generate a total of $21,654. While Magna wins, both teams can enjoy their reward that they raised money for a great cause.

In the boardroom…

The general consensus from the team is that Chris was a good leader. George is concerned that Chris delegated the negotiation task to somebody else and didn’t push the artist to give more. They didn’t even reach for the moon—in this case, it was just a cloud. According to Erin (and later, Stephanie), John talks too much.

Chris brings John and Erin back into the boardroom. It’s a toss-up about who should be fired: Chris (who didn’t involve himself in the negotiation process) or John (who talked too much, couldn’t negotiate, and had bad ideas)? When Carolyn and George question Chris’s delegation decision, Chris increasingly raises his voice, defending himself, almost to the point of yelling and spitting out his points (good thing there was no tobacco in his mouth!). Apparently, Chris has useful negotiation skills because Mr. Trump fires John.

In the Cab of Shame…

John thinks he was voted out because he put himself in the line of fire—at least he reached for something.

Until next time…

Quotes of the week:

“Bling bling…We be talking now.” – Tana (trying to mesh well with the bands)

“She’s a fluffer.” – John (describing Stephanie’s schmoozing technique in front of Gene Simmons)

“Get your finger out of my ear.” – Erin (lightheartedly instructing Gene Simmons on live TV)

***Cori Linder is a freelance writing consultant. Feel free to visit her website at http://www.granolaink.com/


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