How Do You Like Them Apples? – Wickedly Perfect, Episode 1

by Carrie

CBS is looking for the next at-home style guru, and what better way to find that person than to bring twelve of the best “perfectionists” to Connecticut to compete against each other? Let’s face it; they’re looking for Martha Stewart, but a younger version without a criminal record.

Our host is Joan Lunden, and she explains that twelve of the most “wickedly creative, wickedly talented, and wickedly perfect” people are coming to Connecticut to become America’s next great style-maker. They are competing for a grand prize that includes a book deal, six scheduled appearances on The Early Show, and a possible television showof their very own.

Judging our Martha-wannabes are style guru David Evangelista (who has always given me the creeps), author and “Sex and the City” creator Candace Bushnell, and grill-master restaurateur Bobby Flay. Now I enjoy Bobby Flay, but wouldn’t Emeril have been more entertaining? Can’t you just see it: “This blackened catfish has no flavour! Bam! You’ve just been kicked out (a notch)!” Okay, maybe not.

The perfectionists arrive at the mansion where they will be living and competing, and we get a chance to meet each one. Margo is a purchasing supervisor who wants to do something fantastic. Heather, a business owner, says that most people love her and those who don’t are jealous because everything she does, she does well. Ah yes, the conceited contestant that every show needs.

Dawn is a first-grade teacher whose friends refer to her as a ‘domestic superstar’. Darlene is a product demonstrator for the Home Shopping Network, and she wants to break out of her ‘box’ to show women that they can entertain and host parties. You mean I don’t have to rely on my husband to do that? Get out – next thing you’re going to tell me is that I can do my own laundry and choose my own paint colours.

Denise, a homemaker, is looking for a change. I hear ya, sister. Amy owns an art studio and thinks that people will feel comfortable with her because she ‘wears pink and smiles a lot’. Yes, these are things that a style-guru should do, for sure. I’ve often thought that Martha Stewart would be so much more appealing if she wore pink more frequently.

Tom is an event planner who wants to reverse the stereotypes. Apparently Tom hasn’t heard of the Fab Five, watched the Food Network, or seen any of TLC’s programming. Tim is a carpenter who loves his work but is more excited about the competition side of the show. He says that wondering if someone is doing things faster and better is what keeps him motivated. Mychael is an award-winning chef and professional caterer.

Mitch is a product designer who says that he can do everything from laying a foundation for a house to hanging the draperies. Kimberly is a homemaker who takes great pride in keeping her house beautiful. Michelle is a pastry chef who says that her reputation as a baker is on the line.

As the contestants arrive, they are seated at two different tables. As it turns out, each table consists of a team. Team One is made up of Tim, Heather, Mychael, Mitch, Amy, and Denise. Team Two consists of Kimberly, Michelle, Tom, Dawn, Margo, and Darlene. Joan explains that each week there will be team challenges. Within those challenges, each person will also complete an individual project. The judges will decide which team wins each challenge, and then, from the losing team, will choose the two weakest individual projects. Whoever created those two projects will be on the chopping block, and the rest of the team will vote on whom to eliminate. Yeah, it was confusing to me too at first.

What better time to start off their first challenge then … right now! The first part of this challenge is apple picking. Each team has thirty minutes to collect as many apples as they can. Tablecloths are flying as the teams head out to gather apples. Mychael tells her teammates that she can cook with any kind of apple, while voice-over Joan explains that the teams will have to use every single apple they pick to complete their challenge. Darlene frantically shakes a tree to get the apples to drop to the ground.

After thirty minutes, each team has a rather impressive load of apples. Joan invites them into the mansion to see where they will be living and working. They have an old carriage house that has been converted into a ‘state-of-the-art’ workshop, where they will find everything they will need to create their projects. The house itself is luxuriously furnished, and Margo enters exclaiming “Mommy’s home!” Joan adds one more tidbit of information – everyone will share a bedroom with one other person.

The next morning both teams meet up with Joan in the kitchen. She tells us that the teams have named themselves – Team One has become The Crafty Beavers (beavers? Are they Canadian?), and Team Two is now Team Artisan (at least the beavers were original). Each team has ended up with over 3,000 apples, and now they face the daunting task of using each and every one of them for their project.

The task is to create a display of edible and non-edible stuff using their apples. They have 24 hours to complete their displays, and they must also each come up with an individual project to showcase their own unique abilities. Each team gets a budget of $1500, to cover both the team and the individual projects.

On Team Artisan, Tom emerges as the leader. He takes control of the task as Darlene becomes more and more displeased. Each suggestion Darlene makes is dismissed by Tom. Granted, she did suggest doing something with dried apples, and considering the time limit, the idea just couldn’t fly. Kimberly and Dawn head off to get groceries and supplies. At the market, they decide to buy silk flowers rather than fresh. Duh – even I know to always, always, always use fresh flowers, and I’ve still got chunky wallpaper border in my dining room. Tsk tsk.

The Crafty Beavers are working up a storm with Mitch heading up the design team and Mychael taking over the kitchen. Mitch isn’t happy with Tim’s woodworking skills, claiming “If he’s a finish carpenter, then I’m the Pope.”

Darlene takes some time out from the team project to work on her individual project. She makes some kind of apple compote and apple butter, which she takes up to her room for some reason. Tom isn’t happy with this at all. Darlene says that Tom is a strong man who isn’t comfortable with the women standing up to him or challenging him. I say that Darlene is a few apples short of a bushel.

Dawn and Kimberly get caught in traffic and end up taking over four hours to complete the shopping. Again Tom is disgruntled, saying that the two of them have set the team back several hours. He’s working on some kind of soup for his individual project. Apple soup. Okay.

Tim and Mitch work on a table or something that they’re covering in apple halves. Mychael is preparing a pork loin roast filled with apple-cornbread stuffing, and she seems happy with the way the food is turning out. So happy, in fact, that she goes upstairs to catch a few hours of sleep, much to the dismay of the rest of The Crafty Beavers, who are working through the night. Mychael adds salt to the wound by posting a note on her door asking her team to wake her at 6am.

With two hours to go, Darlene is building a shadow-box tabletop filled with apples. As Kimberly comments privately that Darlene doesn’t fit in with their group, the two women finish up the table. Even though she spent most of the time complaining that the apples being placed “randomly” would be weird, Darlene is thrilled with the results. Too thrilled, really. Doesn’t take much to get Darlene all a-titter apparently.

Denise creates a dipped apple on a stick for her individual project, and includes it as part of an invitation. Heather’s project is an apple-peel lamp that looks a little scary. I’m thinking that she’d better have dipped those peels in lemon juice or else the undersides will turn all brown and nasty before the judges see it. Moving on. Kimberly made an apple sour-cream pie the night before, and is now anxious that it won’t be good enough to keep her safe if her team loses the challenge.

Tom has created an apple-squash-tarragon bisque for his project, and Darlene decides to taste-test it. Apparently it doesn’t meet Darlene’s standards, because the icky face she makes is priceless.

With half an hour to go before judgement time, both teams scramble to get things done and clean up. Mitch puts the finishing touches on Team Artisan’s table, and bristles when Denise tries to help him. Their setup is very traditional, and someone comments that it keeps with the Connecticut surroundings. The Crafty Beavers have a large, eclectic, and very appley display.

The judges arrive and Joan introduces them to the perfectionists. They go to the Crafty Beavers’ table first, and ooh and ahh over the display. The food tasting goes well too, as Bobby Flay comments that the seasonings are just perfect. Mychael says that she created the food, which doesn’t sit well with the rest of her team (even though it’s the truth). Candace and David are both impressed with The Crafty Beavers’ work as well.

Over at Team Artisan’s display, things don’t go over so well. Their table setting lacks imagination and creativity, and they’re called to task for using fake flowers. Bobby asks if there were no fresh flowers at the market and Kimberly mutters something in the form of an explanation. Bobby says that they should have just picked some flowers from the side of the road. See? Even Bobby Flay knows this!

David asks Darlene if any of her ideas were rejected, and Darlene can’t even contain herself. One has to wonder if David was fed that question, or if he saw some of the prep footage before judging. Anyway, Darlene almost squeals that all of her ideas were tossed out the window, including chocolate apples and several others she mentions by name. The rest of the team isn’t thrilled that Darlene is airing their problems already. but she is giddy and oblivious.

The judges huddle together and compare notes, although this must just be for show because it’s obvious to anyone watching that The Crafty Beavers have won by a landslide. The announcement is made and the Beavers celebrate.

Now it’s time to judge the individual projects. The person with the best project on the winning team is Denise, with her Candied Apple and Invitation. Candace says that it’s perfect for a Fall party. Denise wins … wait for it … a truck. Yup, she made a candy apple and stamped some cardboard and walks away with a truck. Nice return on her investment there! Denise is thrilled, and says that the vehicle is perfect for her family.

The judges now have to pick the two weakest individual projects from Team Artisan, setting their creators up for elimination. Candace likes Kimberly’s pie, but the guys aren’t too excited about it. Tom leans over and whispers to Kimberly that they liked her pie. Tom’s soup receives negative reviews, with all three judges agreeing that it’s lacking in seasoning and presentation. Kimberly and Tom are chosen as the weakest crafters, with Bobby saying “if you’re going to make an apple pie, you have to knock it out of the ball park”. Indeed.

Tom and Kimberly are now up for elimination, and the rest of Team Artisan will vote later that evening on who to send home. Joan sends them inside for a few hours to think about their decisions.

Once inside, Tom immediately calls Darlene out. He says that he wants to hold a team meeting or something, and he doesn’t care if she joins them or not. Okee dokee. Darlene isn’t going to sit and take this – she fires back that she is “so over (his) self-appointed dictatorship, and it’s going to end right now”. Something about Darlene rubs me the wrong way, but Tom isn’t scoring any audience-appreciation points here either.

The team goes upstairs, and Tom announces that he wants to quit to save Kimberly. What he really means though is that the going is getting tough, and he doesn’t want to risk being voted out. He’d rather quit and look like a hero I guess. Obviously he hasn’t watched Survivor, and has no idea what a bad rap quitters get.

Kimberly cries and says that Tom deserves a second chance just as much as she does. This girl is clearly too emotional to become the next Martha Stewart.

After a little conference with Mitch, Tom changes his mind about quitting. Mitch gives him heck for not controlling the women on his team (um, excuse me?), and asks him if he thinks Kimberly can win. Tom says no, and Mitch says that he’ll be voting to keep the best people around, not the weakest. Hang on here, isn’t Mitch on the other team? So why should Tom care how he would vote?

It’s elimination time, and Team Artisan gather on the lawn with the judges and Joan. Joan says that if there is a tie vote, the judges will break the tie. She then gives Kimberly and Tom a chance to plead their case.

Kimberly says that she’s become close to everyone already and will not be angry if they decide to eliminate her. She asks them to vote with their hearts. Tom dives into a lengthy explanation as to why they should keep him around. He claims that the other team likes him (and this is a good reason to keep him, why?), and that if they vote him out they’ll be losing the only male member of the team (again, this is a good reason why?). He adds that Dawn and Kimberly have the same taste and design sense, so eliminating him would be eliminating a different sense of aesthetics. He goes on and on for what seems like half of the episode.

It’s finally voting time, and Margo, Dawn, Darlene, and Michelle are each holding gold signs with their vote written on them. They reveal their votes, one at a time, right in front of Tom and Kimberly. It’s unanimous – Tom’s going home. Joan tells Tom he has to leave immediately. Bye bye Tom.

Joan warns the remaining team members that the competition is going to get tougher and more intense each week, and that they need to get their heads together and focus. As they return to the house, we hear Margo say that Tom’s fatal mistake was offering to quit and then changing his mind. Even if I was leaning towards voting for Kimberly, Tom’s final speech would have been enough for me to change my vote.

In his final words, Tom says something about how he shot himself in the foot by taking over the leadership role and not putting enough time into his individual project, but the team has shot themselves in the head by eliminating him. And here I thought Heather was the conceited one in the bunch.

Next week will bring us dinner parties thrown for the judges. Someone will almost ruin their main course, and one of the teams will be short on hors d’oeuvres. Mitch and Denise will argue and Denise calls Mitch a pansy. Now this I gotta see!

This show is a lot of fun, and the perfectionists all bring something different to the table both in their areas of expertise and in their personalities. For tips and instructions on how to create the individual projects yourself, check out the official website at See you next week!


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You Messed My Face Up! I'm Super Model! – The Amazing Race 6, Episode 8

by LauraBelle

While the recap episode last week was extremely entertaining, many people felt cheated after being left hanging by the previous week’s To Be Continued episode. The two weeks’ wait for this episode was definitely worth it. For a person like myself that loves the sound bytes, I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

The main issue we were left hanging with was what was to become of Lori and Bolo. It looked like they would be stranded for the night, not being able to get a train to the Net Klub Internet Cafe in Budapest, Hungary until the next morning. Bolo takes it upon himself to ask around and make sure there is no more trains. His hunch pays off as he finds one departing at 2:55 AM. Being that the Internet Club is open until 10:00 AM, they should make it.

The first three teams let into the Internet Cafe are Gus and Hera, Jonathon and Victoria, and Freddy and Kendra. They need to read emails from the AOL service to find their next clue. This clue sends them back out to catch a taxi to Hungary’s Rail Museum where they will need to ride a rail car over fifty miles per hour to get yet another clue. As those teams exit, the other three teams of Adam and Rebecca, Kris and Jon, and Hayden and Aaron enter, and Adam picks the wrong time for this fingers not to work on the keyboard as Rebecca says, “Adam, why do you have to be retarded right now?”

Scrambling for a cab, Jonathon is at it again as he begins another onslaught of verbal abuse aimed at his wife, Victoria. He yells at her to hold the cab, and as she lets it slip away, he yells, “Damnit! What part of ‘Hold the cab’ do you not understand?” As she begins to explain, he yells at her to shut up, then follows with, “That’s why women don’t rule the world.” He later calls her dumb. There Jonathon goes, being non-entertaining again.

As Lori and Bolo are waiting for their train, Lori decides she is stinky and dirty. All of the other six teams arrive at the Railway Museum to find it doesn’t open until ten AM. They all decide to get food, and then check in for the night at Hotel Fortuna. Rebecca is getting fed up by Aaron, saying she loves him like a brother, not romantically. She wishes they had a healthier relationship like that of Hayden and Aaron or Jon and Kris. I notice she doesn’t mention Jonathon and Victoria.

Lori and Bolo do their thing at the Internet Cafe and head to the Railway Museum at seven AM. Since the others are all asleep at the Hotel Fortuna, Lori and Bolo have moved form being horribly behind to being comfortably in first, waiting for the Railway Museum to open. The other six teams all leave the hotel in cabs, trying to be first to the museum. Apparently, Jonathon thinks if he treats the cab driver as if he is as dumb as he believes Victoria is, it will help him understand English. He says very slowly and deliberately, with hand signals, “We are all in a race.”

All seven teams now stand waiting for the gate to open. As the gate is raised, there is a mad dash inside. The gate falls and hits Hera and Freddy in the head. They are running to a pole with the numbers one through seven on it, and everyone tackles the pole trying to get the number one. Lori and Bolo, the wrestlers, are the lucky recipients. Freddy, in a red doo-rag, is pissed about being hit in the head. He is yelling at Jon, and oddly enough, the cooler head that prevails in this is Jonathon, who calms Freddy down, only for Freddy to walk away snorting that someone will pay for that.

Lori and Bolo, with their number one, ride the rail car first and grab the first Fast Forward of the race. I wonder if they really want to get ahead, or just want to get sleep sooner. For this Fast Forward they will need to travel to the old Transylvanian part of Budapest, walk through a Labyrinth, and drink pig’s blood. As they drive away in their cab, Bolo does a hilariously funny impression of a falsetto Freddy, “You messed my face up! I’m Super Model!”

Hayden and Aaron take the rail car next, followed by Kris and Jon. As Adam and Rebecca ride away, he yells, “Choo! Choo!!” I’m suddenly remembering Rebecca calling him Wussy Boy in last week’s recap show. Freddy, still complaining about his face, and Kendra are next, then Jonathon and Victoria, and lastly Gus and Hera. The clue all these teams have grabbed instructs them to a Detour at Nemzeti Sportuszoda. They need to choose between donning swim gear and getting a goal in water polo against a member of the Hungarian team, or using a hand pump to blow up a raft and paddle across the Danube River.

Kris and Jon arrive and decide to do the water polo. Jon is shocked he has to wear a Speedo, but eying him, Kris exclaims, “Dude, my man is unbelievably hot!” they make their shot easily and head to the Grindel Restaurant for the next clue. Adam and Rebecca arrive at Nemzeti Sportuszoda and also choose the water polo, scoring easily as well. After Hayden and Aaron also score at water polo easily, Aaron walks away saying he feels like the Michael Jordan of water polo. Jonathon and Victoria decide to also do the water polo, and he says he just wants to take off his underwear and jump in. Luckily for us, he added the Speedo to this equation. They, too, score easily, along with Freddy and Kendra right after them. Gus and Hera are the only ones to choose paddling across the Danube, but seem to do it easily enough. This time Hera does not get seasick.

Lori and Bolo are still riding around in their cab, and they fear the driver is lost. Eventually he finds the Labyrinth, and they rush through quickly, having no problem downing the pig’s blood. They receive the next clue to the pit stop, the Fisherman’s Bastion, which they need to get to on foot. They do this quickly and arrive in front of Phil and a Budapest local who loudly announces his welcome. I missed what trip they won as I was too astonished to see Lori pull a Mike Tyson and bite Phil on the side of his head or neck while she was hugging him. Okaaay.

Kris and Jon arrive first at the Grindel Restaurant to find a Road Block where one of them will need to eat a twenty-four ounce blowl of an Hungarian soup that is very spicy. Jon chooses to do the task. Hayden and Aaron arrive as well, and Aaron chooses to eat the soup. As he sits down, he asks the chef if he made it. Sampling some, he says, “Too spicy! Tone it back a little next time.” As Jonathon and Victoria arrive, he insists she should do it. As she sits and begins eating it, Jonathon tells her she’s doing it wrong, and to look to see how Aaron and Jon are doing it. As Victoria struggles, Jon calls her a lightweight. Too bad he wasn’t the one asked to tone it down a little. Aaron asks Jonathon why he didn’t do this Road Block, and Victoria says she does all the hard stuff.

Adam and Rebecca arrive at Grindel’s and Rebecca just starts slamming the soup down. Victoria asks for something to throw up in, and does so. She announces she can’t possibly eat all that, as it will kill her. This follows by her complaining there’s a hair in her soup. Adam and Jonathon are simply amazed at how easily Rebecca is doing this. Aaron tells Hayden she’s the biggest pain in his ass, and then barfs. And this is the type of relationship Rebecca is wishing for? Rebecca and Jon finish. Jon says he needs a window seat in his cab after the “bowl of Tobasco sauce and screeching violins.” Adam asks Rebecca if she’s going to throw up on him in the cab, and she replies maybe.

Jonathon is still hounding Victoria, and she tells him to go away, as it’s making it worse. He calls her a drama queen. Hayden tells Aaron he is going to have the runs for a week after this. Jonathon yells at the musicians to be quiet, and then tells Victoria, “You can’t do this, Drama Queen,” as she proceeds to puke again. Aaron tells Hayden that’s what’s getting to him, Victoria puking. He literally blows chow, and the musicians start holding their noses.

Freddy and Kendra arrive, with Freddy doing the soup-eating. Aaron barfs again as Hayden rolls her eyes. Victoria and Aaron finish at nearly the same time, and rush off. As they leave, Jonathon explains to Victoria the reason he had her do it was because she liked food so much. Yes, that will make it up to her, Jonathon, pointing out how much she likes food. Freddy is just slamming the soup down until Kendra tells him to look at Aaron and Victoria’s puke that is not yet cleaned up. He does, and then pukes himself, right back into his soup. Now he needs to eat soup and puke. A lesson for the future, if you want someone to hurry their eating , don’t tell them to look at other people’s vomit. He eventually finishes and they leave.

Hera and Gus get to the Grindel, and as Gus eats the soup in nearly one big slurp, we wonder if it’s a little too little, a little too late. The other teams are beginning to arrive close the the Pit Stop. Hayden tells Aaron she loves spicy food, and to wipe his nose, because it’s full of snot. Victoria tells Jonathon she threw up in her hair. The Amazing Race is glamorous, Kids. Jonathon tells Victoria not to cry at the pit stop this time, harking back to the day he physically abused her when she picked up his pack for him. As she says, “We’re gonna lose,” he tells her to shut up. Kris and Jon edge in to the pit stop in second place, with Jonathon and Victoria in third place.

Hayden and Aaron and Adam and Rebecca get near the pit stop at the same time. Adam says he wants to “ride that neat train thing up” (aka Funicular), instead of taking the stairs. I would love for the cameras in the middle of the night to sneak into his hotel room to see if he’s in Choo Choo jammies watching Thomas the Tank Engine. Hayden and Aaron beat them running in for fourth place, with Adam and Rebecca and Freddy and Kendra taking fifth and sixth. We know what this means, Hera and Gus are in last place, which kills me. I am hoping very badly this is a non-elimination round. My wish will go unfulfilled as Phil eliminates them, with Gus and Hera stressing how this experience has changed their relationship for the better.

This epsiode had all the drama we had been hoping for, and many laughs to boot. I was wrong in the first paragraph when I said I couldn’t have hoped for anything more … I could have. I could have hoped Jonathon and Victoria would have been eliminated instead of Gus and Hera. Instead we will have at least one more week of his verbal assault aimed at Victoria. I could have hoped she would have thrown the hot soup in Jonathon’s face, but instead she puked and listened to his insults. Maybe next week.

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Recap In Disguise! – Rebel Billionaire, Episode 9

[i]by atarus[/i]

We start off the episode in the same place we left the last episode…..Heather having a nervous breakdown. Heather says that she’s afraid she’s going to have a heart attack, and Gabriel takes on the responsibility of filming and shooting the commercial. The plane hits turbulence while Heather is strapped in, and she loses it and says that the plane has to go down. Erica is comforting her, and says in a confessional that while it hurt what Heather said to her, it’s not going to stop her from helping her get better. Gabriel is concerned that Heather’s meltdown will affect their performance in Richard’s eyes. After the plane lands, Shawn says that “it’s a bummer, but we’re not going to turn our back on someone about to melt down.” Gabriel says that he’s seen Erica’s softer side and he wishes he’d seen it before.

Branson meets up with Erica to discuss what happened. He views Gabriel and Heather’s commercial, and wonders where Heather is. Erica tells him she got sick and had to take the plane down. (Notice, this is the first time Heather ever had to do a really physical challenge, besides the jumping one over the valley way back when. If she had ever been in one of those tough elimination challenges, I think she would have never made it to the final four.) Sir Richard views Sara and Shawn’s commercial, and doesn’t look too happy about it. He says that both aren’t what he was hoping for, and he has a tough decision to make.

Branson meets the foursome at the airplane. One team is about to be eliminated. He tells Heather that she is ambitious and determined, but zero gravity got the best of her. He says that Gabriel didn’t stand out at first, but he noticed three things about him: focus during stressful situations, he held the respect of the group, and he was the greatest friend to everybody. He says to Sara that they had tea together on top of a balloon, and he’s seen her overcome personal fears. He tells Shawn that he was surprised by him with each challenge, and that he’s a creative leader and fearless. In the end, he hands them all the tickets, and it’s Shawn and Sara that are getting on the plane and going to the final 2. Gabriel says he’s glad to have made the final four, and it was a great adventure. Heather thanks Richard for taking a mom on the trip, and she was delighted to have this opportunity.

Branson says that it’s now down to two. Shawn, in a confessional, says that things have started with mystery, and it is ending with mystery. They travel to Necker Island, Sir Richard Branson’s private resort. Shawn says that it’s an amazing island and the fact that Richard owns all of it is crazy. He had never seen Richard so excited about anything, and you could tell that this was his home. Branson says that this is a great place to decide who wins the ultimate prize. Sara claims that “this is something to aspire to, owning your own island.” Shawn, Sara, and Sir Richard watch a few wakeboarders out on the surf, and Branson tells them to pay attention very closely. Hmmm, is that a hint, I wonder? Sir Richard then tells them they have to prepare a three minute speech to convince him and some special guests that you can follow in his footsteps. Shawn is excited, he says that this is a speech of a lifetime, he doesn’t know where to begin since everything’s riding on this speech. Sara simply says in a confessional “May the best woman win.”

Branson now states that he thinks that both Shawn and Sara have what it takes to run the Virgin empire. We then take a look at the audition tapes of both Shawn and Sara. Sara says that she is in charge of Spanx, a panty-hose company, but covering women’s butts is not her life ambition. She did stand-up comedy for a while, and in her house sometimes she just likes to go down and dance by herself. In Shawn’s videotape, he tells that he’s the CEO of LoveSac. (On a side note, while I was Christmas shopping a while back, I found that the mall near me has a LoveSac store. I was excited and giddy and went inside to look around, and durn if those things aren’t comfortable.) He also says that he’s a Mormon, but he’s the type of Mormon where other Mormons don’t know if he’s on the wagon, and non-Mormons think he’s just a regular guy. (Another side note: He’s just like me! A Mormon with style!) He says that controlled chaos is his management style.

Branson is very impressed with how far the two have come since the beginning. And suddenly, the world turns topsy-turvy as we enter…bum bum buuuuuuum….THE RECAP ZONE. The first flashbacks we see are Shawn nearly leaving because of his rudeness to the taxi driver that was actually Richard, while Sara was being kind and nice to the driver. Then the balloon trip is briefly mentioned, with Sara’s perseverance and beating out Tim and her fear of heights. Sara was again put to the test by leading the men’s team in Hong Kong, and while their team did well, Branson notes that while Sara wouldn’t lose a challenge after that, the men’s team wouldn’t win a challenge after that.

Branson then notes that the differences between the two became more evident with each challenge. Sara was an affable competitor that was focused on winning. Shawn, however, enjoyed the challenges for what they were. In Africa, he hung out with and got to know the people they were trying to help, and it’s imperative to know and understand the people you’re working for. There is a flash-forward (??) to 3 months after the teams came through Africa, and we get to see that the little town has a water pump, egg-laying chicken farms, and a field of crops planted. The men lost that challenge, and the women went on a white-water rapid reward with Sir Richard, where the boat tipped over and several of the women (including Sara) nearly drowned. Sara says that “she should have known that a reward with Richard wouldn’t be a nap in a spa.”

Some more never-before seen footage: we now know that Shawn instigated the infamous fight between Steve and Jessica. In the car over, Shawn got the group in the car to think it would be funny to push Steve’s buttons and have Michael and Jessica flirt. Of course, Steve spazzed on Jessica and Shawn said that he was seeking entertainment, but they never got to the fun part. In the next challenge, the one having to do with publicity stunts, both of the final two did a horrible job. Sara’s weakness was that she wasn’t able to communicate her ideas to her peers. Shawn’s weakness was that during brainstorming he loses perspective, there is a fine line between striving for the impossible and just being silly. Branson says that the men “obliterated that line” as names such as David Beckham and George W. Bush are tossed around as guest referees, and no press at all shows up for their event. Shawn and Michael both fail the elimination challenge, and yet Shawn’s inventiveness pulls him through as his slogan is much more interesting and catchy than Michael’s.

We’re back in recent time, and Branson is having dinner with Sara and Shawn. Sara says that she’s a leader, but she’s taken a backseat in most of the challenges. When asked, both say that Gabriel is probably the best friend they made out of all of the people. Sir Richard then notes that he was spying on them three times. The first was the taxi driver, and they knew about that one. The second one, Shawn caught on to, and he was a hippie-looking dude at the concert. The third one neither knew, and it was an old woman in Morocco.

We then continue our flashback, and Branson narrates that Shawn’s firebrands of brilliance were mixed with moments of disaster, as we see him being a klutz and spilling paint in their hotel room in the Moroccan challenge. Branson says that when they worked with Nikki and Erica, Sara weathered the storm and avoided infighting, while Shawn let his creativity do the talking. And both Sara and Shawn stood up for Candida against Nicole and Erica.

It’s the next morning, and Shawn and Sara walk into the room where they’ll be giving their speech, and they see…..all 14 of the eliminated contestants. Oh my goodness. Sara and Shawn are shocked and…….it’s time for the end of the episode!

Next week: There’s Sara, the blonde who quietly earned an undefeated record in tasks. Then there’s Shawn, the over-the-top Mormon who’s antics may have ruffled some feathers. (Hey, I’m just quoting the deep-voiced announcer here, it’s not my idea.) We are told again and again that the finale will be twist-filled, and then we see that maybe, just maybe…..the entire game could be decided on a flip of a coin…..

After the first two episodes, I thought that, you know, it looks like Shawn and Sara are getting the sparkly editing. And hey look, they are the final two. Both got very positive edits…until this “recap” episode. While Sara was edited as straight-laced, quiet, and non-ruffling, Shawn was edited as more of……a rebel. And hey, look at the title of this show. Well, you know who I’m picking to win it all. I’m, and all comments are welcome. See you at the finale!

Reunited and It Feels So Good – Who's Your Daddy, Episode 1

by aurora

This is the show that got adoption groups all in a tizzy and prompted over 5,000 complaints to FOX. One FOX affiliate even decided to drop the show in favour of a documentary on adoption. So what was all the fuss about? Was it really that offensive?

Who’s Your Daddy opens with our host, Finola Hughes (formerly of General Hospital and Pacific Palisades). She explains the idea of the show; a woman who was adopted as a very young child will meet eight men, one of whom is her birth father. Through a series of eliminations, this woman will narrow the field down until she thinks she has chosen her dad, at which point she will reunite with him and win $100,000 – if she chooses correctly. If she chooses the wrong man in the end, he’ll get the money.

TJ Meyers is the adoptee, and she explains that she was adopted at the tender age of six weeks. She’s been searching for her real parents for years. When she was 12, her adopted parents divorced, which was hard for her, but she still loves them both. At a family gathering when she was a child, she was told by an aunt that she “didn’t count” because she was adopted, and that hurt her tremendously. I can’t imagine having an aunt who could be so heartless.

It’s time for TJ to meet the eight men who all claim to be her father. Finola brings her to the door of a mansion (which, interestingly, looks a lot like the Joe Millionaire mansion), and the ‘fathers’ walk out, standing on either side of the stair rails.

The actual father gets to add his commentary as the show progresses, through a voice-altering device and a shadowy silhouette. He says that it was hard for him not to just run down and hug TJ when he saw her.

TJ is overwhelmed and starts crying. She searches all of their faces as they introduce themselves. They are: Carl, Scott, Charlie, Peter, Ray, Rick, Jerry, and Sam. More than a couple of these men look very emotional, and some even have tears in their eyes. I want to think that it’s because this is an emotional experience for everyone involved, but it’s a little disturbing to see how far these guys are taking the daddy act. Only one of them is the real deal – the rest are putting it on for show.

TJ talks about her instincts – she felt a strong connection with Scott right away, and Sam kept lowering his eyes like he was overcome with emotion. She feels these two have potential.

It’s time now for a cocktail party, where the dads are seated two at a table and TJ gets to go around the room and talk to each pair. Kind of like speed-dating, only it’s speed-“who’s your daddying”. TJ asks questions like “what words would your friends use to describe you”. The answers are varied, and TJ is constantly distracted, looking around the room not wanting to miss catching a glimpse of her father.

After the party, the men are told there’s a buffet waiting for them as TJ is taken to a private room with Finola. TJ gets to watch the men on hidden cameras as they eat. She talks about her impressions – Rick’s features aren’t like hers, Scott still gives her a strong vibe, one likes M&M’s just like she does, and another eats the cherry on his ice cream, which is something she would never do. She’s obviously nervous and anxious, putting too much emphasis on the tiny little details.

Finola explains to TJ that it’s time for the first elimination. She will have to narrow the field down to four men. The audience and TJ both wonder what will happen if TJ eliminates her dad in the first cut, but Finola explains that there is a plan to avoid that, which she will explain later. Hmm.

TJ makes her decisions and exits the spy-room to meet up with Finola and the eight dads. Finola explains that TJ will now divide the men into two groups of four – those she thinks could be her dad, and those she thinks are not. If her real father is in the group she’s selected as potential dads, then they get to stay; if not, then the rejected group stays and TJ loses $25,000 from her prize money. Finola emphasizes that TJ’s father cannot be eliminated.

TJ calls the men down one by one and tells them if she thinks they could be her dad or not. She decides to eliminate Sam, Jerry, Ray, and Peter. Finola announces that TJ has chosen correctly and her real father is in the group she picked to stay. The departing men introduce themselves once again, this time using their real names and occupations.

The dads that are left all look rather emotional. Charlie is smiling with tears in his eyes, while Carl is bawling like a baby. At this point I’m thinking that Carl had better be the real daddy, or else he’s just being cruel.

The next day TJ is still rehashing everything that’s gone on thus far. I can’t even imagine what kind of mess her mind is in, with the pressure to pick the right man. She says a few times that she’s very scared of hurting her dad’s feelings by choosing the wrong guy. She noticed that Charlie was looking at her like he was very proud of her for her choices, and she’s still feeling a strong connection with Scott.

TJ goes to the kitchen to meet up once again with Finola, who tells TJ that her dad was once a very good disco dancer and once won a dance competition. TJ is duly impressed and says that she wanted to be a Solid Gold dancer when she was a kid. Who didn’t?

Finola explains that TJ will now get to see the four remaining men bust a move on the dance floor. They’ve set up a pseudo-disco in the mansion, and TJ has to teach the men a new dance routine. The guys come out and don’t look too thrilled with this activity.

The entire scene is a bit awkward, but TJ does her best to teach these men some disco moves. After that, they each get 30 seconds to “freestyle” for her. Quite honestly none of them look like an award-winning dancer, but TJ decides that Scott has the best sense of rhythm. Carl does some kind of arm-flailing thing that was, quite frankly, a bit frightening. Rick just gets out there and hams it up, smiling the whole time. Charlie’s dancing is average – he looks a bit shy but he seems to be enjoying himself.

After the dance party, TJ goes into a make-shift office set up in the mansion, where Finola tells her that she now has the opportunity to ‘talk’ with her dad over the internet. Her dad greets her with “Hi Sweetheart”, which he says were his first words to her after she was born. TJ asks questions about her biological mother and their relationship, and wants to know if she looks like her mother at all. The conversation is touching, and TJ is overwhelmed once again with emotion.

At the end of the chat, Dad tells TJ that he’ll get her for that dance thing. This stops TJ cold – Rick had said something very similar to that when they first started the disco routine. Could Rick be her Daddy?

Finola comes back in and tells TJ that it’s time to eliminate two of the men. TJ thinks over her decision, looking at the computer screen where pictures of the four remaining guys appear.

As the men line up outside once again. TJ comes out and is ready to split them into two groups. Two men will be eliminated, and two will stay. Again, if the real dad is in the group that TJ picks to stay, then she keeps her prize money and they move on. If Daddy is in the group chosen for elimination, then that group stays and TJ loses $25,000.

TJ decides that Rick and Carl are not her father, leaving Scott and Charlie as the chosen two. Finola tells them that TJ has once again chosen correctly. So Carl isn’t the father and his tears were fake. Charming. As he leaves though, he wishes TJ the best and says “God Bless”. Maybe the whole thing was overwhelming for him too, and the tears were just a way to release that. I sure hope so; otherwise the man is a monster.

Charlie again looks quiet but thrilled, and Scott just stands there half-smiling. Either Charlie is the father and he can’t keep the pride out of his eyes, or Scott is the father and he’s terrified of letting any emotion show. Either situation is understandable at this point.

Finola takes TJ into the mansion and shows her a video of a man who says he has been friends with TJ’s dad since second grade. This man explains that her mom and dad met in high school, and both were very popular and kind to everyone. Mom was 17 when she got pregnant, and at that time Dad had just enlisted in the military and was about to be shipped out to Vietnam. Dad somehow got leave when TJ was born, and when he held her at the hospital he wanted to make a break for it and bolt out with his baby. The nurses noticed this and had two wardens block the door. TJ’s dad has been searching for her ever since he returned from Vietnam.

TJ is thrilled to learn that her father has been looking for her. The story she’s just heard touches her deeply, and makes her even more emotional and determined to choose the right man. She is also still afraid of hurting her father even more by picking the wrong guy.

TJ gets one more chance to speak with each of the men. She has a question that she’s always wanted to ask, and she knows that one man will be feeding her a story while the other will be telling her the truth. She feels confident that she will know which one is which.

Scott comes out first, and TJ asks him why he gave her up. He tearfully explains that he and her mother were very young, and since he was being shipped out to Vietnam, they just couldn’t keep her even though they both wanted to. He gives her a gift of a plush Black Lab, and TJ is touched since that’s her favourite type of dog. Is it a sign?

Charlie is next, and TJ asks him the same question. He repeats the story, adding that her mom really did want to keep her. He tells her that he named her Tammy Michelle. He says that he’s been searching for her for a very long time, and that he had a promise from God that they would be reunited one day. Charlie cries and truly looks genuine. He has a gift for TJ as well, and explains that the gifts that mean the most to him are the ones that the giver has created with their own two hands. He has drawn a portrait of Tammy Michelle as he sees her in his mind, and has seen her every night for the last twenty years. The picture is no Picasso, but it’s heartfelt and TJ grasps the sentiment involved.

Alone to ponder her choice, TJ lists all of the qualities of each man, and what leads her to believe that each one could be her father. Finola tells TJ that it’s time to make her final decision.

Finola and TJ stand in front of a closed door, where we can see the shadow of a man standing behind it. TJ is to address this man and state her choice, at which point her father will come out and the two will be reunited. If TJ has made the right choice, she will win the $100,000. If she has chosen incorrectly, that man will win the money. Either way, TJ’s dad is the one who will come through the door.

TJ walks agonizingly slowly towards the door, and tells the man that she has seen admirable qualities in him throughout the time they’ve been there. She remembers that he told her to be strong, and she believes that she has been and that he is proud of her. She believes that her father is … Charlie.

The doors open, and Charlie emerges. TJ has chosen correctly. They embrace and cry and hold on to each other, as Finola beams in the background. Even I’m getting a little teary-eyed now. Charlie asks TJ to forgive him, and she does.

Scoot comes out and tells TJ his real name, and wishes the two of them well. Charlie also reveals that his real name is Robert. Oy, how confusing. Finola guides the happy pair back into the mansion.

Charlie, er, Robert explains to TJ that he is married and has three daughters. They get to see a video with pictures of Robert’s wife and children – then the daughters are brought out. TJ cries some more and hugs them, thanking them for letting their Dad do this.

Robert has one more surprise up his sleeve, and he looks very anxious to deliver this one. He says that he and TJ’s mother, Bobbie-Jean, have stayed in touch all these years … and out she comes. TJ rushes to embrace her biological mom, and Char, I mean Robert cries softly to himself. Bobbie-Jean explains that she was so young when she became pregnant that she was sent to an unwed-mothers’ home. The four parents got together and decided that since Robert and Bobbie weren’t married and Robert was leaving for Vietnam, that they shouldn’t keep their baby. Privately Bobbie says that she sees much of herself in TJ.

So there we have it. The show that caused so much uproar turned out to be not-so-bad after all. Cheesy and over the top, sure, but this is a FOX reality show. Anything less would be disappointing.

Apparently FOX has a few more episodes of “Who’s Your Daddy” filmed and ready to air. Whether or not we’ll get to see them remains a mystery.

Comments are welcome! Do you agree that the show wasn’t all that bad, or do you think that just the idea alone is horrendous? Did FOX finally go too far? Contact me at


We’re looking for writers! If you want to volunteer your time to recap one of the new shows, drop me a line at

Lost in Space – The Rebel Billionaire, Episode 8

by aurora

Atarus is away for the holidays, so this week I’m afraid you’re stuck with me. And I have to kick things off by apologizing for the lateness of the recap. Sometimes family descends upon us during the festive season and gobbles up our television time. Anyway, on with the show!

As we join the final six this week, they are at Fisher Beach in Miami, Florida. Branson splits the group into three teams of two; Erica and Nicole, Shawn and Sara, and Heather and Gabe. Erica isn’t pleased about working with Nicole again, and Gabe would rather be with a different partner as well. Seems that Shawn and Sara are the only ones happy with this grouping.

Their task this week is to make a 30-second advertisement for Virgin Galactic, a new chapter in the Virgin Airways empire. Branson is excited when he speaks of space travel for the average person, becoming a reality within the next few years. The teams will have $4000 and 48 hours to create their ads.

Shawn and Sara come up with the catch-phrase “Virgins in Space”. They plan to get sound bites from people on the street and put them together to create an ad that’s a bit risky, but attention-getting.

Heather tells us that this challenge is right up her alley since she creates videos for a living. She says that if she’s beaten by Erica and Nicole, she’s not only going to have to quit her job, but she’ll have to kill herself as well. She and Gabe decide to try and appeal to Branson’s softer, emotional side with their ad.

Erica and Nicole decide to take a familiar path once again. What would make a client want to fly Virgin Galactic? Why, a sexy flight attendant of course! Forget the Mile-High Club; now we’re headed for the Hundred-Mile-High Club! The girls are giddy with this nugget of inspiration.

Shawn and Sara pitch their idea to the production guy, and he’s relieved that he’s not going to have to build a cheesy spaceship or something. This is, of course, the perfect segue way to the Brunette’s cheesy stewardess costume and mock first-class cabin. They get props from the production team for a well-planned ad though, as they’ve drawn each scene out and given thought to everything from their lines to their costume.

Gabe and Heather present their plan to production, and Heather expresses concern that they’re not actually going to be filming anything – the plan is to use stock footage of space travel to come up with a moving and inspiring ad. They even plan to use Branson himself, because “you can’t have a Virgin ad without him”. Gabe says that he wants to make Branson cry with their creation. Heather just doesn’t want to lose to the ‘bikini models’, who she claims are the bane of her existence.

Shawn and Sara head out to the streets of Miami to get footage for their advert. As luck would have it, it’s raining cats and dogs outside, and they’re trying to catch the morning rush hour crowd. Even by offering passers-by $20 for their time, they don’t seem to be having much luck. Of course the weather clears up eventually and they end up with some great footage.

Meanwhile, Nicole is gussied up as a futuristic flight attendant and Erica is having a lot of fun directing her in the commercial.

Both Heather and Gabe, and Shawn and Sara have some difficulties in the editing room. They can’t seem to agree on exactly how their ads should run. But everything works out for everyone, and at the end of the final day they are all pleased and confident with their final products.

It’s time for Sir Richard to view the ads, and everyone gathers together. First up are Heather and Gabe, and although their ad is pretty good, it’s rather mechanical and Discovery-channelish. They’ve used footage from the first moonwalk, along with a dramatic voiceover and a clip of Branson winking at the end. Branson himself laughs at his own image, but seems underwhelmed with the ad. So much for pulling on his heart-strings.

Next comes the ad from Shawn and Sara. It’s quirky and fun, with comments from the people on the street they had filmed, gasping at the idea of virgins in space. The real catchy line is “it will be everyone’s first time”. Shawn explains that the ad is in the style of Virgin, and that they took a risk by making it somewhat risqué.

Finally, Erica and Nicole’s ad is shown. I have to admit that I liked it quite a bit, even if it wasn’t really brand-specific or what Branson was looking for. It looked like an old-school, cheesy vision of what high-tech will be one day. And of course Nicole’s stewardess outfit was shiny and extremely low-cut.

Branson explains that he has chosen what he thinks are the two best adverts, but in a twist he’s going to let the group decide amongst themselves which one is the worst. Erica and Nicole immediately realize that this will have nothing to do with the videos – the other two teams will base their comments on past actions and the friction between them.

Not ones to sit back and wait for the axe to fall, however, Erica and Nicole tell Heather that their video isn’t original because they only used stock footage, and Shawn and Sara’s video had bad lighting. Heather cranks up the “nice” act and sweetly tells Erica and Nicole that their video is good, but she sees it as something from a Disney theme park rather than a television commercial. The bickering continues until they all decide to just write down their thoughts and leave it at that.

Branson returns to the room and collects the slips of paper with each teams’ choices on them. He quickly looks them over and asks if everyone voted without prejudice. They all say they did indeed, but you have to wonder how honest that was on everyone’s parts. Branson says that he will take their comments and votes into consideration.

Back at the hotel, Nicole and Erica have a little chat with Shawn. They decide that it’s time to air everything out and let everyone know how they feel. Good plan, girls. If you’re the ones leaving it’s a wonderful idea to have everyone hate you and celebrate your loss. If by some miracle you’re sticking around, two enemies playing the game against you would be a huge plus as well. [/sarcasm]

Heather is confronted by the brunette bully brigade, and Nicole calls her ‘duplicitous’. Not since Ghandia’s branding of Ted in Survivor: Thailand as ‘disingenuous’ has a big word sounded so out of place. Heather defends herself, saying that she was being tactful. Nicole and Erica don’t care – a lie is a lie and Heather is two-faced. Erica says that Heather’s true colours are coming out, and Heather says that no one can see anyone’s true colours in a game such as this one. Irony, anyone?

After a brief confrontation with Gabe, Erica gets emotional and says that she’s been an outcast since day one. Hmm, I guess she’s already forgotten about Candida somehow. Anyway, she’s crying over the fact that she’s tried to be nice and now people are still attacking her for that very reason. Let me just say that I don’t think Erica’s such a bad person, she just has no idea of the effect her actions have on others.

Shawn and Heather rehash their conversations with the brunettes, and Shawn mentions that they’ve all complained to Branson about the girls. Interesting. He adds that he told them the other two teams might be sad when they leave, but there’s a chance they might be dancing on their graves instead.

It’s time to meet up with Sir Richard now, and he tells them that it is difficult to sell what they haven’t yet experienced. They’re going to be taking a ride a special plane that is used to train astronauts, where they will experience zero gravity. How cool! Sara doesn’t seem to agree – remember, she has a huge fear of heights. Heather doesn’t seem too sure either.

Branson informs them that only two teams will actually board the craft – one team will be left on the tarmac. Once aboard, the final two teams will have to shoot an additional 15 seconds to add to their commercials.

The three teams meet up on the tarmac, ready to find out who is leaving and who will board the zero gravity plane. Shawn and Sara’s video was voted the best, and Branson explains that although the branding was sketchy, the shot of Space Ship One impressed him. They get their tickets and board the aircraft.

Branson tells Heather and Gabe that their message was clear as a bell, but they missed the boat on the creativity side of things. Nikki and Erica nailed the creative bit, but their message was unclear. In advertising, Branson explains, clarity is key, so Heather and Gabe are staying in the game, sending the brunette bully brigade home.

Sir Richard hugs Nicole and thanks her, telling her that he needs to speak with Erica. He tells Erica that he can’t stick around for the flight, and asks her if she would stand in for him. As the final four pat themselves on the back onboard the plane, Erica boards and says “Hi guys, I’m back!” Jaws drop and the silence that ensues is deafening. Funny stuff. Branson explains what’s going on; that Erica will be judging them on what happens during their flight. They all look nervous, and Gabe points out that maybe Heather picked the wrong time to air her feelings to Erica. Uh, yeah.

Branson has one more trick up his sleeve – only one team will make it past Miami. The other team will be eliminated after this final phase to their challenge. Ouch.

The aircraft takes off, and they all appear to be excited. Everyone except Sara, that is. As the staff explain how they should prepare for zero gravity, Sara asks for confirmation several times, and tells the camera that she doesn’t understand how she won’t be dead by the end of this. Poor girl – I really feel badly for her.

The first time the plane hits zero gravity, everyone has fun flipping about, dancing, doing cartwheels and generally acting like drunk teenagers. As is the case with drunken kids, however, someone is usually sick. Heather sits down and gets some airsickness bags at the ready.

Sara and Shawn get set to record the rest of their ad, which they have decided will be of two people trying to ‘hook up’ in space. With the lack of gravity, this is pretty tough – providing them with another catch phrase, “no wonder there are virgins in space”.

Gabe and Heather are preparing to record their bit when the aircraft hits some major turbulence. Heather does not handle this well, and Erica tells her that she needs to go and sit down in a chair where she can be strapped in and try to calm down. Erica is really being nice and trying to help Heather, but of course it’s in the back of my mind that she might be trying to get Heather out of the running here.

Heather has a full-blown panic attack, worrying that her heartbeat is too fast. She might have a stroke or an aneurysm or a heart attack or something. Erica stays with her and comforts her as Gabe gets ready to shoot the extra footage himself.

Just as Gabe gets the cameras rolling, Heather cries out that she needs to have the plane land – right now. She’s had enough. How long would it take to land this thing, do you think? Probably longer than it would take to get Heather feeling better, but I guess that’s not the point.

Erica comes rushing through the cabin to tell Gabe that Heather needs to be on the ground, and … that’s it. The show is over and we’ll have to wait until next week to find out what happens.

In the clips though, the final location is Branson’s private island in the Caribbean, and we hear his voice telling the final two that they need to make “the speech of their life”.

It’s looking good for Sara to clean up here and take the game. Shawn is great and I think he has real talent and creativity, but Sara has shown time and time again that she has what it takes to lead a massive company. She’s faced her fears and stepped up to the plate week after week, and if she doesn’t win it I for one will be very disappointed.

Next week atarus will be back – hooray! In the meantime, if you have questions or comments about this recap, please feel free to contact me at Over and out!


We’re looking for writers! If you want to volunteer your time to recap one of the new shows, drop me a line at

Interview with Chip McAllister, Winner of The Amazing Race 5

by Brian

When you first started the Amazing Race, were you intimidated in any way, or at any points just felt like you could not do it?

[b]When we first started TAR, we were super excited, energetic and anticipating an awesome experience. I would not say that we felt intimidated. But we were very interested to know how we would hold up under the grueling adventure ahead.

During the climb up the helicopter ladder in New Zealand, the cliff climb in The Philippines and the mountain climb in Canada … I felt that I was not going to make it . . . I just had to push myself.[/b]

What was your personal highlight from the Amazing Race?

[b]Other than the obvious one (THE WINNING MOMENTS), just being there when Kim came out of the water in New Zealand. She had just sledged in white water rapids, and she can’t even swim. THAT accomplishment summed up why I love her so much. She is willing to put her personal fears behind her in order to achieve our goals. Also, do to the high emotions, after she got out of the water, we must have had one of the most emotional and heartfelt embraces ever (FIREWORKS!!!).[/b]

Who was your favourite/least favourite teams that ran the race with you?

[b]Marshall & Lance were our favorites. However, we liked and got along great with all of the other teams.[/b]

Have you stayed friends with any of the other teams?

[b]I communicate with Marshall all of the time. Linda and I Instant Messenger each other frequently. Kim and I love to get together with Linda, Karen and their husbands . . . And want to do it more often. My little brother, Brandon and Niki have gone with us to our church and to bible studies with us. I periodically talk with Erika, Alison, Dennis, Donny and The Twins. We communicate through email with Marsha (and we LOVE Jim too). I LOVE Charla and Mirna and communicate with them a lot.

My personal biggest disappointment is that we don’t have a relationship (and probably will never have one) with Colin & Christie. I TOTALLY understand that I was the one who ruined our GREAT relationship . . . And that I have to deal with it . . . But, I love them.[/b]

What has been the biggest change in your lives since winning The Amazing Race?

[b]We are approached on a daily basis by people who are so emotional in expressing how Kim and I enriched their lives by the way we played the game. It is so weird, the response that we are continuing to get is blowing our minds. We are at a GREAT place in our lives right now. We are in the midst of dealing with several companies, institutions and organizations that want Kim and me to partner with them in different endeavors.[/b]

What advice would you give to future contestants?

[b]Concentrate on the positive . . . RUN from the negative.[/b]

Do you have any favourites in the current season? Who are they, and why?

[b]I like and think Kris and Jon are going to win. However, I like Gus and Hera too. Those two teams seem to be concentrating on winning instead of cutting each other down.[/b]

How did you spend your down time at the pit stops?

[b]Having fun . . . That is what I love to do. I spent time laughing, talking and not thinking about TAR. That is how I remained stress-free. Of course we also had to eat, shower, wash clothes and sleep. But, having fun, and NOT concentrating on the stressful race, gave me strength.[/b]

Which locations that you visited would you like to return to?

[b]El Nido (the Philippines) is first on our list of places that we would like to return to. However, we would LOVE to return to all of the other places to . . . As, we loved them all.[/b]

Is there anything else you’d like to tell your fans that you haven’t gotten a chance to?

[b]I would like to tell our fans that Kim and I REALLY appreciate their VERY VERY kind and heartfelt letters, messages, gifts, invitations and words. Kim and I are overwhelmed by the constant and continual support that our fans continue to bestow upon us. We also want them to know that we LOVE EVERY TIME one of them comes up to talk with us. It seems that some of them think that they would be bothering us by approaching us . . . NOTHING could be farther from the truth . . . We LOVE our fans!!![/b]

A big thank you to Chip, we look forward to hearing more from the both of you in the future.

Feel free to visit Chip and Kim’s site

Don’t forget to watch the new season of Amazing Race 6 every Tuesday night at 9, and read up on our show re-caps if you’ve missed it so far.

If you have any comments about the interview, send me an e-mail to

The Recap Show – The Amazing Race 6, Episode 7

by LauraBelle

Normally we all let loose with a big sigh when we hear the current episode of our favorite Reality TV show will be a recap show. Tonight’s recap of the first six episodes of The Amazing Race was a little different. While making sure we were up-to-date on the show’s biggest moments such as Aaron getting hysterical with Rebecca about his sunglasses, Don and Mary Jean taking Adam and Rebecca’s car mistakenly, Hera and Don getting seasick, Rebecca telling Aaron to stop being a wussy boy when he confronts her about her screaming, Jonathon and Victoria’s abusive fight getting to the pit stop in Berlin, and Lori and Bolo being woefully behind at the end of last week’s show, we are also treated to many great unseen moments, and some moments are simply further explained.

The first tidbit we see is Freddy and Kendra losing their very first clue that was obtained in Chicago. Jonathon finds the clue on the ground, and knowing what we know now of Jonathon, we aren’t so sure what he intends to do with it. To our relief, when he hears Freddy and Kendra talking about losing their clue on the train, Jonathon gives it back. Also on the train, Gus says the first team he is gunning for is “yellow shirt”, aka Jonathon. He asks for an alliance with Hayden and Aaron and Avi and Joe. Since he and Hera eventually only had an alliance with Avi and Joe, it would seem Hayden and Aaron must have rebuffed Gus’ advances.

In a somewhat disturbing move, Bolo pretends to have Cerebral Palsy to get through Customs more quickly at the airport. Lori apologizes, explaining he is “a little slow.” Hayden feels this could come back to haunt him some day. I have to agree, as I would be afraid to tempt the laws of fate with that one. It also points to the overall feeling that these racers will do everything it takes to get ahead. I am hoping I would never want to win that badly.

Lena and Kristy can’t believe they are expected to spend the night in tents pitched atop snow in the middle of nowhere. They remember hearing you are supposed to be warmer if you sleep naked in your sleeping bag. After Lori and Bolo put on a wrestling exhibition, Lori breaks off and teaches Rebecca a little Wrestling 101. Adam notes he should be nicer to Rebecca now, or she is likely to break his arm or something. In the morning, as Lori announces her implants are frozen, sisters Lena and Kristy admit they were even too cold to cuddle.

On the next leg of the race, when the teams are faced with rental cars with stick shifts, previously we only saw Meredith and Maria having problems driving. Now we see that Hayden was having problems as well. We also find that Meredith and Maria were holding up everyone else, blocking them into the parking lot, not being able to get their car in drive. Kris jumps out of the car she is riding in with Jon, and helps them drive out. Meredith and Maria are so pleased with how nice she was, not realizing she was partially doing this just to get them out of her and Jon’s way.

After they arrived at the next stop, and overnight to await boarding a viking ship the next morning, Jonathon knocks Victoria in the head closing the trunk. He begins lecturing Victoria about her lack of teamwork, and makes her apologize for doubting him. Lena and Kristy stand nearby shaking their heads, saying they liked Victoria, but not Jonathon because of the way he treats her. As Jonathon is talking about how proud he is of himself, Victoria tells him to wash his shirt because he stinks. Apparently Jonathon isn’t the only pest, as later Lena finds spiders in her bed, and makes Kristy sleep in that side of the bed after spraying the bed with bug repellant, not telling Kristy until later the full reason why.

On the way to the pit stop Kristy insists on she and Lena fixing their makeup while they drive to the pit stop, as she doesn’t want to see Phil with nude lips, as she thinks he’s a real “Choo Choo Charlie.” Rebecca is doing her own share of flirting on the next leg of the race while riding a train. She is hungry, and she and Adam are most likely saving money for other traveling expenses. She flirts and begs food from someone else on the train, and he agrees to buy her a sandwich. She pushes the envelope further, and asks for pizza for Adam, but is refused. Adam doesn’t want to share the sandwich with her because of the way she obtained it.

As the Ice Bar, Jonathon “grabs the bull by the horns” literally. He grabs a bull made of ice, and breaks the horns right off. At the Ikea stop, Aaron says Jonathon shouldn’t talk to Victoria the way he does. It seems everyone is bothered by Jonathon’s treatment of Victoria. It definitely makes us wonder what is seen behind the scenes that we are never privy to.

Kendra thinks Freddy is being very cheap wanting to sleep outside in the grass instead of sleeping in a hotel. He asks if she intends to get room service there. She is incredulous he would even think that. On the next leg they argue bout the same thing again. They argue yet again on the Berlin leg, as Kendra says she wants to do some research while waiting for the Olympic Stadium to open. Freddy tries to make her understand that if they are waiting for one thing to open, most likely anywhere she would go to do research would be closed as well. He tells her to lower her voice, and she shouts back he should start being productive instead of giving up. Freddy just walks away bewildered.

In Senegal, as Kris says she feels many Americans are elitist about how other countries live, she says she hopes she doesn’t hear anyone on The Amazing Race displaying ugly behavior. It almost seems like foreshadowing, as after they show Kendra with her many derogatory comments of Senegal and the people there. Kris says that many of her studies centered around Africa, as she jumps in a lake and plays with the local kids.

Many of the local men give strong Lori thumbs up when she is able to carry the heavy basket of wet salt on top of head. Don watches Mary Jean carry the load of salt for his team with much difficulty, and he weeps remembering the first time he met her, saying he never thought then he could lover her any more, but this moment he definitely does.

Jonathon and Victoria are held up in their cab by the presidential motorcade, and he later tries to thwart Lori and Bolo from getting on the ferry. He tells a worker Bolo is so much stronger and faster, and asks him to detain them for questioning, not allowing them on the ferry. It appears he doesn’t succeed. On the other side, he befriends a local and asks for his help. The local wants a favor in return promoting some story of his back in America. At the the Slave House, Hera thinks of her American passport she is holding, and realizes her ability to now hold that comes in part from the people that walked through this famous archway.

Driving to the Berlin Wall, Hayden says she knows she has seen pictures of it, and remembers it as just a wall with graffiti on it. She compares it to the Great Wall of China, and wonders how great it really was. Sometimes I get the feeling Hayden opens her mouth and starts speaking before she is thinking. After Gus drinks the beer in the challenge of looking for coasters with his and Hera’s picture and names, Gus explains to Hera it was low alcohol beer anyway. Asked how he knew this, he says he knew by the taste it was only about a three-pointer, yet it still had great flavor. He adds that they have a beer named after him in Gettysburg. Hera appears to roll her eyes at this one, just as any daughter would hearing her father’s story for the umpteenth time.

We find that before they were able to drive away in the small, unreliable cars last week, the teams had to fill the tanks with gas themselves. Jon ends up soaking his pants and changes clothes right there in the parking lot. Oh, to be a fly on a lot. Jon starts the car by running it with his feet on the pavement outside, and he and Kris starting singing the Flintstones theme song. Lori and Bolo argue over where the cap to the gas tank is, and as she is screaming at him, Lori tells Bolo he needs a stress test. Jonathon wonders about Adam and Rebecca making it, noting they didn’t add gas, and they don’t seem to know how to drive it. He ends up being very correct as Adam and Rebecca end up alongside of the road waiting for a replacement car.

I have found after the show, that I thoroughly enjoyed it. It seemed much better than your average Reality TV mid-season recap show. I think it’s the nature of The Amazing Race. There is so much great stuff happening, and it gets edited out to fit in one hour. Maybe CBS needs to give it a Big Brother treatment, putting it on more than once a week to be sure we see all the great moments we fans deserve.

I welcome questions and comments at

Interview With Yaya of America’s Next Top Model 3

by aurora

Yaya came in second place, despite skin breakouts and photos that looked “too dancerish” for the panel of judges. No one can deny that she grew as a model as the show progressed, but she faced harsh criticism from the judges and fans alike for acting like a snob. Is that the way she really was, or was she a victim of editing? You decide.

Hi Yaya – congratulations!

Thank you.

You’re a trained dancer – what was your motivation to take the leap from dancing to modeling?

I’ve always been interested in modeling, and I’ve been told that I should try it. I thought it would be a good experience after college, and should do it while I’m still young since it’s a temporary career.

How do you feel about your editing?

It was difficult to watch, especially for my friends who saw a different Yaya than they were used to on camera. They know I’m not really like that.

I think my intentions were misunderstood. Modeling is such a different world with a different protocol. I’ve never been on camera 24/7, and you don’t know how you’ll react to that until you’re in the middle of it. I learned a lot from it though.

What was your favourite photo shoot, and which picture are you most proud of?

My favourite shoot was the one with the kimono and lingerie in Tokyo. It wasn’t my best picture, obviously, but the shoot was fun.

The picture I’m most proud of is the first one in Jamaica. At that point modeling wasn’t stressful. We were all still fresh and just doing what came innately.

Have you been recognized in public now, and how do fans react to you?

I do get recognized in New York City quite often; I’m approached my many people every day. People have been really nice.

What was going through your mind when you spit out the umemboshi? Did you realize it would be taken so seriously by the panel?

No, I didn’t realize that. Watching it on television I realized how badly it came off, but at the time I didn’t feel I had a choice. I have a very sensitive stomach, and I didn’t want to end up throwing up on their beautiful mats they have on the floor. I was trying to avoid a situation that would have been worse than spitting it out.

After the YJ Stinger shoot we never heard anything else about your pictures being too “dancerish”. Did it just cease to be an issue after that?

I don’t know. I don’t remember it ever coming up again after that on the panel. I guess it did just cease to be an issue.

Do you visit any of the message boards or fan forums online?

No, I don’t.

Nicole mentioned in her interview with me that you were the only one who she could discuss politics and world issues with. Do you think that the show caters to stereotypes as far as modeling is concerned? If so, is that one of the reasons you made sure people were aware that you were well-educated?

I went into this thinking that education would not be an issue at all. I didn’t really want to talk about it; that was never my intention. They are two different worlds, modeling and school. I don’t know how all of that was perceived by the public.

People who think highly of themselves are generally seen in a negative light. I never thought I was better than anyone else. I think you need different skill sets for different worlds, and I wanted to become more well-rounded as a person. I didn’t need to talk about my education, and when it came up I always tried to talk it down.

I had great conversations with Nicole, Toccara, Jennipher, and Kassie. They taught me about what it was like growing up in middle America. Everyone there was smart, not just me. Well, the people I mentioned above were smart, definitely.

When you packed your things for the show, did you forsee the need for the “Respeito” shirt?

Absolutely not. I got that shirt in Brazil, and the proceeds from all sales went to feed the hungry. They had all kinds of slogans – faith, love, peace, honesty. I normally don’t wear shirts with slogans on them, but this one helped charity so I picked it up. I just happened to have it in my bag.

How are you different today than you were before you went on the show?

People that don’t know me meet me now with preconceptions. I am now really careful not to dwell on that and continue to be myself. It’s a heavy weight for me to carry, and a big myth to disprove over and over again.

Will you continue to model? What other career aspirations do you have?

Yes, I will continue modeling. I am also interested in acting. I don’t know that I’ll ever dance professionally, but I will certainly continue with that as well. I’d like to write, teach, do all sorts of things.

Thanks very much for your time Yaya, and good luck to you.

Thank you.

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Over-Bimboed – Rebel Billionaire, Episode 7

[i]by atarus[/i]

This episode we start off on the plane, on our way to Tokyo. Branson introduces the remaining seven to the next challenge: they have to present the new first class area on Virgin Airlines to Japanese people. Branson says the challenge is communicating with non-English speaking people. Erica does rock-paper-scissors with Shawn and loses, so she is the new leader. She says that once a decision is made, to not question it. Gabriel is chosen to be the leader of the meager group of three.

Gabriel, Candida, and Heather sit in a hotel room and start “brainstorming,” where brainstorming = listening to all of Candida’s ideas. Heather says she is relegated to “listening to a bunch of crappy ideas and pulling the least crappy idea out.” Gabriel finally comes up with the idea of getting Sir Richard to sumo wrestle with a real sumo wrestler to start off their presentation. Shawn, for the other group, says live music and dancing is the best idea, and he’ll play music while the girls dance in a very Broadway-esque style.

Branson takes them to dinner, and at dinner Shawn finds a cook that will be a bassist for their presentation. Meanwhile, Gabriel is telling Branson his idea and the part he will play in the presentation. Back at the hotel, Sara, Nicole, and Erica are practicing the dancing, and Sara feels that Nikki and Erica are being mean to her. Erica says that it’s better to have one person do everything and lets Nikki be the choreographer. (So basically, Erica isn’t doing anything. Much like the last time she was leader.)

Gabriel tells Candida to get the sumo wrestler, and she begins to call up people to try and find some sumo guys. Gabe and Heather goof around in sumo outfits, and Candida feels like she’s the third wheel of the group. In the other group, Sara is still feeling bad because every time she messes up dancing, there isn’t laughing, but instead there’s eyerolling and disgusted looks. Shawn notices this and sympathizes with Sara.

We are left with a tense moment when Gabriel is afraid that Candida won’t pull through and they won’t have the sumo wrestlers, which is the biggest part of their presentation. However, they pull up to the place where the presentation is going to be, and they see two round, big, beautiful sumo wrestlers. The other team sees the sumo wrestlers come in and they know they’re going to have some stiff competition.

It’s now time to present in front of Sir Richard, who will choose which presentation will be given in front of the Japanese crowd. It starts off with Sir Richard battling a sumo wrestler, and then Gabriel gives a very detailed explanation of the new Airline first class seats. Then the other group goes, and Shawn bangs around on the piano and gives a great musical presentation while the girls dance around (and Sara looks very cute in the uniform they wear.) However Erica is worried because they weren’t perfect in their dance routine.

Branson says that Gabriel’s presentation was informative but a bit dry. He said that Erica’s presentation was fancy but needed more substance. However, in front of the Japanese group, he tells them that Erica’s presentation has won, and in private says that music is a good way to transcend language and that’s what they had. Heather, however, isn’t as excited as she says she wasn’t impressed at how over-bimboed their presentation was. Gabriel is forced to make the decision of who he will face, and he chooses Candida.

Back in London, Candida says that the others see her as the weak lamb and they are not happy and feel threatened by her honesty. She eats dinner by herself when the rest of the group is eating, and after a half-hearted “hey Candida we have a seat for you” by Nicole, Nicole says eh she’s in a foul mood or something. Sara says that Nikki doesn’t have a regard for other people’s feelings, especially Candida’s. Gabriel goes up and talks to Candida, and he feels that she’s been misunderstood and that Nikki’s been a bully to her.

The five that aren’t Nicole and Erica have a “Heckle and Jekyll” meeting (according to Shawn) about how they are rude to everyone else. Sara says that “we’ve all been railroaded” and Heather says that “we all need to tell them how we feel.” So right after Nicole begins to try and find out what chance Candida thinks she has against Gabriel, and Candida stands up for herself and gets into a fight with Nicole about the fact that she won’t answer the question. Then Nicole and Erica gang up on Sara about the fact that Candida says that the two of them are rude, and Sara in a more meek way defends herself, but Candida isn’t happy about that. Nicole then says in confessional that people see me and Erica as a threat because of their outward appearance (um, excuse me? Sorry honey, you are not the best-looking people, either of you.) And if they see her as rude and abrasive, that is her, what you see is what you get, and she doesn’t care what others think.

The next day, Nicole approaches Heather about what Candida said, and Heather, contrary to what she said last night, kisses Nicole’s butt heavily. She says that it’s to her advantage to make sure that people she doesn’t like still like her. However, Nicole goes to Shawn who tells Nicole that Heather said she was rude too. Shawn then goes to Gabriel and tells him that Heather “is the new Steve.” Gabriel is really regretting his decision to take Candida to the competition. He talks to her and tells her he’s sorry, and she’s glad.

Branson takes the crew to his version of a “company party,” which looks to me like a huge amusement park-style get-together. Erica exclaims “this is the family picnic”? The challenge for Gabriel and Candida is they have to cross two high-wires by holding each other up, balancing on each other’s weight.

They get two attempts. The first attempt, Gabriel says that he “thought it would be easy because it’s balance, but it uses muscles all over the body because the ropes are thin and aren’t taut. They get about a quarter of the way across before Candida topples forward and both of them fall. They get a second try, and Gabriel is determined to get them across. He is very confident and intense, and guides Candida and they start going across the second time. On the ground, Sara says that while she is hoping they make it across and cheering for them, Nicole is saying “Fall, fall, fall” and she thinks that is just mean. But Gabriel and Candida are halfway across, 3/4 across, and then BAM! They’ve made it. On the ground, Sir Richard is impressed and tells them that the people that maintain the ropes say that it would normally take 8 or 9 tries to get the hang of it to get across, so he thought he was going to have an easy time at the tarmac, but unfortunately now he has a hard decision.

At the tarmac, he talks to both of them, he feels that Candida has really shown a new side to herself, however he hands them the tickets and Candida has been eliminated. Branson tells us that she really redeemed herself, but she didn’t have the respect from the group and Gabriel did. Candida, in her final words, says that she hopes Branson got a glimpse of the true her, thanks him for taking her around the world, and she’s leaving with her head held high.

After this week, I am confident that Sara, Shawn, and Gabriel are the three top contenders for the prize. The negative editing towards Heather, Nicole, and Erica is showing a big fall on their behalfs, especially since Heather is the new Steve. I’m hoping that those three go down in a big ball of flames. Send me an e-mail at if you think the same or differently.

Interview With Amanda Swafford of America’s Next Top Model 3

by aurora

There’s no doubt about it – Amanda took some amazingly beautiful photos during her stint on ANTM. And anyone who lists ‘The Daily Show’ and crab cakes among her favourite things must be pretty cool!

Hi Amanda! What prompted you to try modeling? Have you always wanted to be a model?

Always, always, always! Since I was three years old I’ve wanted to model.

So your parents must have some great photos of you growing up then!

Oh yeah, I was striking a pose at an early age.

There was a great deal of attention placed on your eyesight, yet not a lot of information was given on your condition. Can you tell us a bit about it?

I noticed that too – they always put in that I couldn’t see, but then never explained anything! The condition is called Retinus Pigmentosa, and it’s a degenerative eye disease. Technology is coming very close to finding a cure though; they’re about three or four years away from that, so there’s a lot of hope for me.

I’m completely night blind, and during the day it’s kind of like looking through a donut. I can see straight ahead, but my peripheral vision is erratic. It’s hard to explain, because people think that if I can see straight ahead of me there’s nothing wrong with me.

How difficult has it been to prepare yourself for the eventuality of becoming completely blind?

Well I found out about my condition at the age of fourteen. It’s a difficult age anyway, so as I was going through all the hormonal stuff I was dealing with this as well. I’ve had lots of time to prepare though, and now that the denial and anger is over and I’m older now, I almost see it as a blessing.

I appreciate things much more now, as you saw on the show. I see things as good and positive, otherwise it would all just be so depressing.

Tell us more about your son – how did he deal with your being away for so long?

His name is Elijah, and he’s two and a half. We’re actually watching Finding Nemo now. He’s a very loving child.

At that age though, you know, time isn’t really a concept. So I don’t think he realized just how long I was away. Then when I came home, he didn’t recognize me because of the blond hair! He didn’t run up and hug me, which was sad for me. But he came around. It didn’t affect him negatively at all.

From one mom to another, how the heck did you get your tummy so flat after childbirth?

I don’t know! I gained 63 pounds during pregnancy! I’ve always had tight abs though, so I think that was part of it. And then breastfeeding helps you take the weight right off. I guess I’m just lucky! I’ve only ever done like 100 situps in my life.

Who were you closest with in the house?

During the show it morphed from Kelle to Nicole to Yaya; as people are eliminated you just get closer to who you’re stuck with. Now that the show has finished filming though, I’m closest with Ann. We talk every day.

You obviously faced some unique challenges due to your eyesight, but what was the biggest challenge you had to overcome aside from that, during the course of the show?

Being away from my son. I missed him terribly and had to force myself not to concentrate on how much I missed him. I really had to make an effort to put it out of my mind and focus on the modeling. It was hard to accept that I’m not any less of a good mother for not destroying myself for being away from him.

I missed his birthday, I missed Mother’s Day – it was hard. I tried not to complain about it too much though. I’m not going to say who, but someone told me to shut up a couple of times about my son. And I was like, “But I’ve only mentioned him twice today!”

How do you feel about the way you were edited?

I’m basically fine with it. I did what I did, I said what I said. The only thing I didn’t like was that they had “I’m legally blind” before every sentence. That’s just a small part of who I am – I’m so much more than that.

I’m just a goofy, retarded person, dancing and singing and trying to have fun. I’m glad they showed that. But you have to be that way – it’s a 24/7 competition, and if you can’t have fun you’ll go insane.

Early on in the cycle, Nigel said that no agency would hire a model who is about to go blind.

Yes, and he was wrong!

Right! But do you think that opinion had anything to do with the reason you were eliminated at final three?

I don’t think so. I hope not! It was a really hard decision for them. Maybe because in person I’m just trying to be myself and not trying to be a “model”. I’m nice, respectful, and funny, but I don’t have the overpowering attitude that some of the others had.

I don’t think that my vision had anything to do with it. I’d rather think it was my age! I’ve already got agencies lined up though, so I’m not hurting at all.

Will you continue to try and raise awareness for others with vision problems?

Oh gosh yes! Aside from my son and my career, that is one thing that is very important to me. I will continue to raise awareness, money, and respect for people with disabilities; people who are ‘different’.

What was the most important thing you learned about yourself during the course of the show?

That I need to stop thinking of others before myself. I need to let the world go on around me and not try to make everything better for everyone. I need to focus on making me better, and that in turn will make things better for those close to me.

Thank you so much for your time Amanda, and I want to wish you the best of luck with your modeling career!

Thanks Carrie – and give your little one a hug for me!

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