Jonathon is the Biggest Wiener of Them All – Amazing Race 6, Episode 5

by LauraBelle

It’s hard to tell what is more depressing – the biggest slave house in Africa or Jonathon treating Victoria worse than I would treat my dogs. Around Reality TV message boards and forums, Amazing Race fans have been blasting Jonathon and his obvious verbal abuse of his wife, but tonight he actually sunk far below any entertainment value.

Kris and Jon are the first to leave the pit stop in Senegal, Africa at 12:52 AM. They are headed for the the famous La Maison des Esclaves Slave House. Jon and Victoria, tired of just missing coming in first, leave over an hour later. They are followed by Bolo and Lori, and Aaron and Hayden, who admits she wouldn’t want to be in this race with anyone but Aaron. Adam and Rebecca leave the pit stop next with the promise of not following others as much. Don and Mary Jean leave last, with no money after just surviving coming in last, as it was a non-elimination leg. Mary Jean is determined to get some money if they have to sing and dance for it.

Reaching the Slave House, the eight teams are asked to wait until 8:30 AM, to honor all of those that passed over the famous archway, otherwise known as the Door of No Return, that saw so many lives pass through it. They are asked to walk through and leave a single red rose over the archway. Some pray or offer words of wisdom passing through, and Gus and Hera pass through with Gus being overcome with emotion. After, he tells Hera he didn’t want to embarrass her with his tears, noting not even having cried at funerals of loved ones.

The teams will now travel from one historical landmark to another, taking the ferry back and then flying to Berlin, Germany, to the remains of the Eastside Gallery, part of the Berlin Wall that is a memorial of freedom. Don notes leaving Senegal, that it seems odd to go from the affluent area they live in to one of the most poorest of nations, and needing to get money. Just not being able to beg money from these people that need it so desperately, Don and Mary Jean beg from the other racers, all of which oblige. The other teams must not have considered Don and Mary Jean much of a threat to be so willing to share assets with them so easily.

Freddy and Kendra and Hayden and Aaron decide the first team to get to the airport will buy tickets for the other team. Kendra, not understanding how others live, states that everything in this city looks “wretched and disgusting, yet they keep breeding and breeding.” Looking at her face in the mirrors of the cab on the way to the airport, Mary Jean believes she looks like she has aged forty years since the beginning of the race.

At the counter for Air France, Hayden and Aaron and Lori and Bolo tangle when Hayden and Aaron attempt to buy tickets for themselves and Freddy and Kendra, who haven’t arrived yet. Hayden refers to Bolo as a Barbarian, and tells him to lower his testosterone just a bit when he raises his voice. Once Freddy and Kendra catch up to them, they all decide it’s not worth it to argue, and Bolo slides in that he’s not on steroids.

All eight teams end up on the same flight to Berlin. Once they land, they need to get to the half-mile stretch of Eastside Gallery to find their next clue. The teams are being advised by locals to take two different train systems – the S-bahn or U-bahn 2. Adam and Rebecca find themselves following once again as they follow behind Jonathon and Victoria. Jonathon turns around and asks them to stop following. Kendra says she’s happy to be out of the “third world ghetto” and Jonathon says this is such a beautiful city, and that you have to have appreciation for the guys that make Mercedes.

Having found the clue on the wall, they will now have to travel to a partially destroyed church with the Busted Chain Sculpture in front. Reaching the sculpture, the teams find a Detour. They will need to choose either Beer or Brats. In Beer they will need to deliver steins of beer to the tables, and search for coasters with their own picture and names on them. They need to keep delivering more steins till they find all their coasters. In Brats, teams will need to go to a sausage factory, and using a hand-operated machine, make a continuous rope of five sausages, all with a minimum length of seven inches.

Hayden and Aaron, Freddy and Kendra, Kris and Jon and Gus and Hera all choose Beers. Jon earns points from this native Chicagoan turning “Da Beers” into a “Da Bears” chant, recalling the old Saturday Night Live skit. Gus keeps drinking the beer, much to Hera’s disappointment. He even lies and says he needs a moment to pick up his pack, when he’s actually trying to get away with drinking one more beer for the road without Hera’s knowledge.

Interestingly, all the teams that fight – Jonathon and Victoria, Adam and Rebecca, and Bolo and Lori – choose Brats along with Don and Mary Jean, who are very late getting there due to not being able to find the statue. Jonathon feels this will be a breeze after watching Lucy do it on I Love Lucy. They finish quickly, and leave. Bolo and Lori have to remake theirs due to them being too short. Bolo eats the raw pork while making the sausage. Adam says he wants more than seven inches and asks for one of these machines in his home. He then wonders where Jonathon is since he is the biggest wiener of them all. Don and Mary Jean decide seven inches if really big. Notice the restraint I am using to not take it to “that” level discussing the seven inches.

Beer and Brats done, the teams need to travel to the base of Teufelsberg Mountain. Switching backpacks, Victoria realizes Jonathon’s is much lighter than hers. When she pursues this with him, he accuses her of being lazy, and then follows this by saying he never promised her romance when he married her. Bolo and Lori decide to walk instead of talking a cab like everyone else, and Lori is not happy with this decision. They become lost on the confusing train system, trying to move more quickly. Hayden and Aaron’s cabdriver doesn’t know where Teufelsberg is and needs to call for directions.

Once at the mountain, the teams find a Road Block. One member of each team will need to climb the mountain, and ride a soap box derby car down a course, and have to finish within thirty-five seconds. Jonathon will do this Road Block noting his early years driving go carts and currently driving a Ferrarri. I love how he just tosses that little info out there.

All the teams but Bolo and Lori and Don and Mary Jean finish this quickly. Bolo and Lori are now hiking trying to get there, and Don and Mary Jean are still far behind. With Jonathon and Victoria in the lead, everyone drives themselves to the pit stop of Brandenburg Gate. Trying to run to the gate with Freddy and Kendra close behind, Jonathon keeps complaining he can’t do it because his pack is too heavy. He eventually throws off his pack. Victoria feels compelled to pick it up for him and cries as she runs to the gate carrying both packs.

This is no match for the speed of Freddy and Kendra, each only carrying one pack, and they are the first to arrive, winning an exotic Mexican vacation. Jonathon and Victoria run up, and she drops both packs, still crying hysterically. He pushes her, angry that they’re only number two. He announces she’s the one that has to live with this. Phil stares at this whole situation in disbelief, and advises Jonathon to talk to Victoria since she is so upset. Jonathon mutters something about how this is supposed to be a race, and not about compassion.

The other racers all come in quickly – Hayden and Aaron, Kris and Jon (who were nearly non-existent this show), Gus and Hera, and Adam and Rebecca. Lori and Bolo and Don and Mary Jean are left to decide the seventh and eight places. Lori and Bolo come running in, with Lori still upset about walking ten miles, instead of taking a cab like everyone else. Don and Mary Jean show up last, and this time aren’t saved by a non-elimination. They are eliminated, both having much more respect for the other after this race. Too bad the same can’t be said for Jonathon.

The end of the show just isn’t the same. It is not entertaining to watch Victoria be so abused verbally and emotionally. We are left wondering at what point, and if, show producers will put an end to facilitating Victoria’s suffering. We can only hope if they go on to win this million dollars they will be able to afford some good counseling. Food for thought here is how ironic was it that two of the major stops in this race were historical monuments that are symbols of freedom and by the end of the show we see the prison Victoria probably feels she is in every day of her life.

I welcome questions and comments, especially after this episode, at LauraBelle@realityshack.com.

God Bless Twila – Survivor: Vanuatu Reunion

[i]by atarus[/i]

Once the family hugs and Survivors patting Chris on the back are over with, Jeff starts off the questions with Chris. Chris says that the turning point in the game was when Chad was voted out, he played the sympathy card with the women. Jeff chimes in and says that “you told people what they wanted to hear” and Chris agrees. He said that Sarge and Chad were anti-women, and Julie caught a lot of wrath from both of them, Chris decided to keep his mouth shut and just sit back and watch. Julie answers the next question by saying yes, she voted for Chris despite the fact that he betrayed her. Eliza is asked about Twila, and she says that she was pretty upset with Twila in the final 2, she felt like she got no respect from her during the game, but she doesn’t harbor animosity towards Twila. She says her vote was partly for Chris and partly against Twila.

Chris, when asked about Twila, says “God bless Twila” and that she was very outspoken. Twila interrupts him and says that most of the time she told the truth, but Chris lied like a dog and won the game! This bring a chorus of laughs from the Survivors and the audience. Good ol’ Twila. Leann is asked about the women’s alliance, and she says that in her plans there was no way a man would make the final 4, much less the final 2. Alas, she still voted for Chris, mostly because she was hurt by Twila, and she pulls an Alicia from last season and says “I promised Twila I’d never write her name down.”

Ami, when asked about her voting for Twila, said that “I didn’t think I could be played” and she deserved it because Twila outplayed her. Scout says that Twila and her had a strong alliance since day one, and she couldn’t reward a million dollars for all that bullshit. Sarge talks about his vote, saying that he lives his life with honor and discipline. When Jeff asks about how he based his vote on hearsay, Sarge says that it was not primarily based on that, it was based on what Twila did to him, and that it was the anger talking at the TC. Chad says that he looked at the big picture, and in all the seasons he’d seen, he thought Chris was the best player. The women’s alliance is brought up to Ami, and she says that she was all for the women sticking together, but it was hard for the women to support each other. Leann says the plan was a final 4 of all women, but it was screwed up when she was voted out.

After a commercial break, we are treated to footage of Twila’s lie. Twila says that she had regrets from the get go when she said it, and at the time she saw Ami and Leann as 1 and 2 and her and Julie as 3 and 4, and at the time it was the honest truth, I didn’t see the game changing until they gave me an opening. The point that Chris lied as much as Twila did was brought up to Ami, and she said that she didn’t expect anything from Chris, but she expected honesty from Twila. Scout is included, and she says she was shocked at all the self-righteousness that came out, and that if the people on the Jury were so harmonious, why didn’t they just forgive Twila? This got more cheers from the audience. Scout, the wise sage. Good for her. Jeff then goes to James in the audience about Twila’s lie, and he says he knows she was playing a game and he loves her to death whether she won or lost. Awwwwwww.

We then go to Julie (who still looks good, how does she do that?) who says that she tried to get Twila out three or four times, but she realized when watching it that Twila came straight every time, and she was completely disillusioned by…guess who? Chris. But now she liked Twila. Eliza, on the other hand, said that it was hard watching the moments from the island and she was definitely not endeared to Twila. Leann said she was ready to get over it, and Sarge says that he had a change of heart at the end of the game, I forgive her, because “who am I to judge anybody?” This gets a rousing cheer from the audience, as well as a rousing cheer from me. (I’m glad Sarge wasn’t Lex.) He says that Twila is a true friend of his now, and she’s a good person.

After more commercials, we are shown a clip of Chris yelling at his fiancee in the family challenge, then her holding her and saying “I’m going home tonight.” Jeff, interviewing Chris’ fiancee, asks him what he told her when he got back from the island, and she says that Chris told her that he was voted out that night on the island. (This just proves Chris can lie to anyone!) So Chris’ fiancee was extremely worried and needed therapy sessions from Survivor, because she didn’t even know he was in the final 2 until tonight. (Bad Chris, bad!)

Julie says that people may watch Survivor, you may know the outline, but there’s no parallel world and human nature takes over once you get on the island. She says it’s hard and you can’t explain the emotional part to people. Ami is asked what she learned, but before she adds a note that Lori’s tears at the challenge saved Chris’ butt because they all went “Awwwwwww” and felt bad that Lori felt so bad. She then says that the quicker you learn to forgive, the quicker you feel better. Rory says that he learned that he needed to hold his tongue more, and that the more you try to create a facade, the quicker the truth comes out. Leann says that the game was during a transitional part of her life, and she came out feeling empowered. Finally, Sarge says that he has a new look on civilians. He says that he’s been in the army for eighteen and a half years, and he’s used to people doing what they’re told, and he realized on Survivor that people can say no. He realizes that people live day-to-day, and relates the story that John K came into the game flat broke. He says he now has a more diversified view of people.

The last commercial break is had, and we return to talk to Chad, the one-legged wonder. He says that he wanted to demonstrate what he was capable of when he went on the island, but once his leg became an everyday thing and a non-issue, he said he “wanted to backtrack and say, hey! This is pretty impressive!” (The audience laughs here.) Chad says he wanted to do Survivor for years, and after the surgery, he realized he had a way to get himself noticed and it’d also be a great platform for people with disabilities. Speaking of disabilities, Probst goes to Scout, who talks about how the entire time on the island she had the wrong-sized artificial knee, which was what was giving her problems, and she had to prop herself up and keep herself in good spirits. When Jeff asks her about her coming out as a lesbian in rural Oklahoma, she says that people have been fabulous about it and thanks everybody for their support.

Finally, we are treated to talking to the people in the back row. Brook is first, and he says that he wanted the full 39 days, but the Fat Five robbed him of it, but he says that nobody can take away the three days that he was there, and he yells something unintelligible at Mark Burnett. (Man, I’m glad he was out first, imagine him spazzing on the island?) Bubba counters Brook mentioning of the “Fat Five” by saying that they are fat-free, sweet, and delicious, and the ladies love them. Probst remarks that Bubba has kept the weight off, and Bubba nods and says that he has more energy to play with his kids, and nobody’s a loser up there because they all have the experience of Survivor. Dolly tells us about her 38 baby lambs who are going off to slaughter tomorrow. (And she looks good doing it….mmmm, Dolly! I love you!) John P says that life has been great, he went on a campaign for Home Depot and he’s been helping kids with motivational leadership. Mia says that she’s back in Boston and she’s glad that the Red Sox won. Brady is short and soft-spoken, saying that he went to Australia and got married. Lisa (the mom with six kids) says that Survivor was the best time of her life, and she didn’t want to leave the island at the end. John K says he’s still modeling and is going back to school in the fall. We end with Rory, who says that the only regret he has from Survivor is that he “didn’t burn down that damn camp.”

We are then given a preview of the next Survivor, in the islands of Palau which are considered by some to be the eighth natural wonder of the world. Wreckages of war haunt the jungles and the waters of Palau, and soon twenty castaways will be having the experience of their life, and plus in the first ten minutes the game will be changed completely somehow.

Well, Vanuatu is over, and I must say that my streak of my favorites winning whenever I do columns has continuing. I’m now 2 for 3 with having my favorites win the season I columnize, and the third I got second place in. This is also proved by the fact that in TAR6, my two favorite teams have already been eliminated. This doesn’t bode well for Lori and Bolo now. *frown* Anyway, congrats to Chris for winning the million, congrats to Twila for getting second, and I know she’ll be getting help with her life now, maybe not from the Survivor prize money, but probably from her Survivor friends and her Survivor fans. I’m out for now, e-mail me at atarus33@yahoo.com if you have any questions. Maybe I’ll be back for Palau….if you ask nicely. Oh, and bring chocolate too. That’ll help.

Swan 2 – Episode 8: The Pageant Waits for You

Tonight’s episode had two more hard-luck stories. Amy Williams is a 27 year old single mom and waitress who had to move back in with her parents. She feels like a “loser”. At 27, I was a single mom, living with my parents. I understand how she feels although I wasn’t a waitress.

Dorie Webber is 40 years old. She’s married and has no children. She’s been trying for 10 years to have a baby. At one point, she got pregnant (after taking some fertility treatments). She miscarried at 12 weeks and was devastated completely by that. I had lost a baby at 22 and know that pain.

I was emotionally invested in both of these women. I hate that because that means I’m probably going to cry during this episode. My husband would laugh at that, because I cry at a lot of things like Christmas specials, commercials and movies of all types.

I’ve been crying a lot this season. I cried for Twila last night on “Survivor”.

But I digress. You don’t need to know how much of a crier I am. (But I bet it gives you new perspective on me, huh?)

The experts enter into the “briefing” room. They check out Amy Williams first. She lives in Texas, near Houston. She wants to be a singer but was devastated when someone told her she “had a face for radio.” She has no confidence in herself.

She knows that she’ll struggle with being away from her daughter, but she wants to move forward in her life.

Dr. Haworth, her plastic surgeon, and Dr. Worth, the oral surgeon, both see some challenges ahead. She has an undefined jaw line and a lot of tooth decay.

Her program includes, but is NOT limited to:

*brow lift
*chin implant
*jaw implant
*eye surgery
*liposuction
*tummy tuck
*10 ROOT CANALS (OUCH!)
*veneers
*Nutrisystem Diet
*150 hours in the gym
*weekly therapy and coaching

Dore Webber lives in Las Vegas, NV. She is a building contractor. She lives with her hubby. She was teased as a child because of her nose. She met her husband on a blind date and felt he only stuck out the date to be nice. She has some serious confidence issues.

She also longs to be a mom. She’s always wanted to be a mother. She’s undergone a lot of fertility treatments and tried just about everything in the past 10 years to be a mom. She is still grieving over her miscarriage and is sad that her husband doesn’t even want to consider adoption.

She wants her 40s to be a new chapter in her life. Since the fertility drugs have messed up her metabolism, Debbie (the trainer) wants her to workout 2 hours a day in the gym. She has a bit of weight to lose and is put on a 1,200 calorie a day diet.

The rest of her plan includes:

*brow & upper eye lift
*chin implant
*breast augmentation
*liposuction
*zoom bleaching
*veneers
*rhinoplasty

She doesn’t get a tummy tuck just in case she does get pregnant in the future. A tummy tuck can be ‘undone’ by pregnancy, Dr. Dubrow tells us. Dr. Dubrow is very sweet to think of her dreams like that. He impresses me more and more every week.

The ladies sign their Swan contracts. Dore reads her letter from her hubby and Amy has to put down the one from her family. She misses her daughter terribly.

Amy meets with Dr. Haworth for her surgical consultation. He tells her that he wants to feminize her face and that he’s giving her jaw implants. She’s thrilled as she’s always wanted a jaw line.

Dr. Haworth tells the cameras that it’s a risky procedure. It’s high risk for causing infection and it is technically demanding. Not a lot of surgeons perform it.

Dr. Dubrow, who meets with Dore, tells her that most of her work will be done in the gym. She has a great attitude and says, “I’ll commit to anything.”

Meanwhile, Amy’s having trouble at the dentist. Dr. Worth has to extract 4 teeth. One of which broke off in little pieces. MEEEE OUCCHHHHHHH!
The dentist is terribly vexed by the level of decay she says in Amy’s mouth at such a young age. She also brought in a specialist who did 5 root canals. She’ll have 5 more at a later date.

Dr. Worth consults with Dr. Haworth via videophone(?) and tells him that Amy has a serious mouth infection and can’t undergo the jaw implants at this time. They decide to postpone her plastic surgery about 2 weeks so Dr. Worth can work to get rid of that infection.

Dore has her surgery as scheduled the next day. She had lots of stuff done. At least Dr. Dubrow kept a sense of humor. Dore says to the doc, “I’ll see you at the pageant.” She’s maintaining positivity and it’s helping her recovery process.

Amy’s surgery does happen two weeks later. The night previous, she got a package from her family. Her daughter sent her her special stuffed frog for luck and love. It was so sweet. Amy took it with her into the OR.

Dr. Haworth was settling in for a long surgery as the jaw implant could take some time. She had extensive surgery and will go through a lot of pain. Dr. Haworth cautions her to keep her mouth extra clean and to watch out for infection. She will have a very difficult recovery. A few days later, she goes home from the hospital with round the clock care. She can’t chew and is spoon-fed liquid. She tells the cameras she’s in too much pain to talk.

Dore’s recovery is going swimmingly. She’s happy though that she’s not near a mirror because she figures the sight of herself would freak her out. She’s probably right!

Amy misses her daughter so much. She said it’s harder than she thought and doesn’t know if she can make it without seeing her baby.

Dore gets a birth announcement of a friend’s grandchild. She’s sad and feels like she’ll never belong to the “mommy club”. She and Dr. Ianni are working on that in therapy as well as the grief from the miscarriage. They also must face the hard fact that Dore may never have a pregnancy again at her advanced age.

She feels cheated and angy. Dr. Ianni tells us that Dore can’t change the situation but can change how she reacts to it emotionally. (That’s true for all of us in any situation!)

Cut to week 7 — Amy is still on a liquid diet (poor girl!). She says, “I hope this is all worth it.”

Dore is working out in the gym. Debbie says she’s working hard and is trying so hard to lose weight, but it’s hard due to her sluggish metabolism.

Amy’s preparing for her final surgery on her eyes. They’re putting a lens in there. The specialist says Lasik wouldn’t even help her. Her vision is so bad.

At the end of the surgery, Amy hugs the surgeon in relief. She can see without the aid of glasses for the first time since 3rd grade.

Now, for the reveals.

Amy is first. Amanda told her she looked “hot.” Amy said the jaw implant was the hardest part. She had to learn how to chew, how to open and close her mouth and the liquid diet was rough.

She sees herself in the mirror and all the hard work is worth it. She’s happy to “have a waist.” She things the whole package works and Nely said, “Amy looks like a rock star.”

Now, it’s Dore’s turn. Dr. Dubrow says he wanted to “preserve her exotic Polynesian look but turn back time.” He did that. Dore marvelled when she saw herself that she looked 10 years younger. She had such an amazing figure. It’s obvious she worked hard in the gym. She said that the Swan taught her to respect and care about herself. For her, the therapy was the hardest.

In the end…who do you think was the final swanling to go to the pageant?

Hmmm…..

Let us think……

Dore is 40………….

Amy is 27………………….

Dore looked better and worked harder in the gym ………………..

Amy got more surgery……………….

It’s a no-brainer — AMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Huge surprise, right! I can’t believe that the ‘most unique pageant ever devised’ would not want a woman over the age of 40 in it!

So, what do all the Swan hopefuls have in common…

I think they’re all blond….
In there late 20s to late 30s
and ……….they look suspiciously plastic…almost like Barbie dolls.

Despite this fact, I’ll be watching the pageant next week. It’s two hours (next monday, y’all!)

I can’t wait for my recap. Swans in swimsuits.

************************************************************
Panndyra, Goddess of Chaos. Do you disagree with me? Great. Don’t email me at panndyra@realityshack.com. If you love the Swan, why not buy the Swan Curriculum by Nely Galan and Bronwyn Garrity. It’s reviewed at the Reality Shack Holiday Gift Guide by moi, who else?

You Know What They Say About Paybacks – My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss, Episode 5

by LauraBelle

As we have watched contestants be dismissed from My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance all these past weeks, we have seen them disillusioned with N. Paul Todd, and many share a similar disillusionment with Big Business as a whole. It leaves us to wonder what the ending of this show will hold for us. Will there be a big reunion where we see everyone voted off reunited to be let in on the hoax? Or will we never get that pleasure?

The morning after Tanya has been dismissed, Kerry is elated to have come so close, yet survived the chopping block once again. With a note saying that routine and empathy are kissing cousins, the contestants vying for a job with the fictional corporation of Iocorp are invited by their fictional boss, N. Paul Todd, to a corporate retreat. Though traditionally most corporate retreats are designed to build bonding between employees, this will be decidedly different. As is the Iocorp way.

Arriving at the estate, everyone is invited to a big dinner with Todd. The first exercise is called by actor William August a doubled-edged sword. His alter ego, N. Paul Todd, invites everyone to speak their honest, open feelings with him in an open forum with the promise of no repercussions. David speaks first, saying one of his concerns has been there has been too large of a focus on power and money. Todd shoots back, “So I’m a greed-driven whore?” David backpedals slightly, saying that was his first impression. Todd replies simply that he appreciates the thought. I could spend the next five paragraphs repeating the things I would love to say to the bosses I have had given the chance. I think I will save everyone the grief, though.

Robert pipes up next, going back to the golf outing a few days earlier when Todd had been a no-show and kept the men waiting while dining the ladies. Robert says he was pissed off, and that he referred to Todd that night as F. Paul Todd. Todd simply says, “Thank you.” Annette speaks next, saying she thought Todd was arrogant at first. He replies, “Thank you.”

Damian asks what the angle is, pointing out most companies of Iocorp’s standing want to stay out of the public eye, but they seem to be doing this show for PR. He doesn’t understand since it doesn’t seem to be a money issue. Todd says, “Thank you; I appreciate it.” Actor William August tells us the longer it went on, the more comfortable they seemed airing their grievances.

Michael wants to go back to the golf outing once again.. He feels it was disrespectful, and if it was a true business meeting, says he would have pulled all offers off the table. Todd, again, just says, “Thank you; I appreciate it.” With a promise of “Paybacks are a bitch,” actor Williams August lets us know that tomorrow the tables will be turned. He plans to hit them with everything he has.

The next morning a chef is onsite preparing a cookout of steak and eggs for the men to share with N. Paul Todd and his assistant David. As the men are shooting some innocent company banter back and forth, Todd wants to only talk about the women. He says he feels like a wolf in the henhouse, and doesn’t know how the men can bare to live in the same house with them. He asks if Whitney’s greats are enhanced, and David feels it’s being disrespectful.

The actor playing assistant David, doesn’t want to talk about women, so switches the conversation to his favorite topic, Damian. He questions Damian on his workout routine, noting he seems to be zero percent body fat. Noting to the camera later, that he didn’t appreciate that interruption, Michael says, “Hey, we were talking about girls’ boobs here!” Assistant David then brings up wanting to see the play Mama Mia, making Michael wonder if the wedding ring is a facade.

Remember, these past five paragraphs could have been all my grievances of my own bosses. Think about it, you could fill up the same space.

After breakfast, all the men enter into a pickup game of basketball. William August says he was hustling. What they don’t know is that in his real life, when he was younger he actually played semi-pro ball in Europe. After thoroughly embarrassing himself on the court Todd puts a $1000 bet on the table to the winner of a one-on-one against him. David accepts the bet. Robert says he’ll split it with David. Thinking it will be a breeze, David cites the twenty-seven year age difference between him and N. Paul Todd. Todd starts trash-talking, calling David a girlie-man, beating him soundly, and asking if he needs some “Eco-pons” – the fictional economically-safe tampons they were trying to sell in their last challenge.

All cleaned up after the basketball game, all the men and women are asked to dress in full business attire. Surviving the last ouster, Kerry is the new team leader of Concad. Whitney names the new leader of Femron as Annette. With the other fictional assistant to N. Paul Todd, Jamie, now in tow, the teams will enter into a paint ball challenge. The teams will need to step in front and “protect” their leader, shielding themselves with briefcases, as they are led through the course of running through an open field, into a limo, to a desk to sign papers, to a filing cabinet, and finally across the challenge line. This is supposed to be showing that a successful boss needs to be surrounded by a good team. Shooting the paint balls will be N. Paul Todd, dressed in fatigues. Annette guesses correctly that after he allowed them to take shots at him at dinner, he will now return the favor.

Femron is up for the course first, and Annette points out how funny it was to see briefcases sneaking by above the top of the limo. Once at the desk, Annette needs to sign papers while her team shielding her. William August informs us the funniest moment to him was watching Michael nearly dancing as Todd continued to fire at him, and Michael was trying to deflect every shot. William just might be correct. Michael notes he was a goaltender in college, and he is now putting those skills to good use. Horror of all horrors, Annette is faced with a paper jam in the copier on the makeshift desk. Whitney gets hit in the butt with a paintball. Like Todd didn’t plan that. Although if it was truly planned, he would have aimed for her boobs, trying to check the bounce-off, to see just how enhanced they were. Just as they finish at the desk, Annette is hit, so they need to follow the rules and complete the last part of the course again.

Concad is up next, needing to shield leader Kerry, who is much taller than Annette. Damian feels he got five hundred bullets in the ass, and wonders if Todd had been aiming there. No, that was aimed at Whitney. Only his assistant David would be trying to hit you there. The men are getting hit repeatedly in their privates. Robert gets so ticked, he whips the Rolodex at Todd. Damian notes the humor that David doesn’t swear, and was struggling as he was hit repeatedly, and just kept saying, “Darn it.” Nearly at the end, Kerry is hit, and they need to go back to the filing cabinet.

The two teams end in a tie, and one player of each team will shoot at a briefcase. Concad chooses Michael, who hits it five times. Robert, spending time previously as a Marine (having Marines in my family, I am told there is no such thing as an ex-Marine), shoots for Femron, and only hits the briefcase three times. Femron will be headed to the boardroom for a dismissal.

In the boardroom, the first thing N. Paul Todd does is collect on his basketball bet. He notes that during the paintball challenge, although he saw loyalty, trust and friendship, they are only temporary assets. He says ask he is flanked by David and Jamie, and even though they would take a bullet for him, they would also shoot him in the head to get ahead. He says he trusts them so much he distrusts them. Everyone looks completely bewildered.

Kerry names David and Robert, Todd’s two basketball betters, as her nominations to leave tonight. With everyone else dismissed, N. Paul Todd tells David and Robert all his questions need to be answered by a five word sentence. Asked for a mission statement, David says, “To impact people’s lives.” David apparently can’t count. Todd asks who cares, as he doesn’t like this answer or his answer why. Robert’s personal mission statement is, “To have fun in life.” Asked why he wants a job at Iocorp, he says, “To make lots of money.” David the assistant says, “Bingo.” David the contestant, asked the same thing says, “I now respect my boss.” Todd asks who cares, and then continues to dismiss David’s caring attitude and embrace Robert’s aggressiveness of power. After the nominated two are dismissed to the reception area, Todd says to Jamie and David, his assistants, “Time to meet the boss.” counting his five words on his fingers.

Back with his decision, Todd and assistant David keep the five-word game going. As Robert and contestant David join him, again he points out how he took his criticisms well on the retreat, and wants them to answer his thoughts now with the same, “Thank you; I appreciate that.” He brings up their looks, basketball skills, personalities, etc., and they say the same answer. He tells David he is a nice guy, and nice guys finish last. He tells Robert he is a loose cannon, and big mouths blow deals. He then follows with, “It’s been fun, Bob. Get the hell out of my office.” Robert retorts, “If you’re ever in Manhattan, look me up. It’s been real.” Todd turns to David with good new and bad news, and says he’s the new leader of his team, but with only three people left on the team, no one will have immunity.

Leaving the building, Robert says if he ever has a paintball gun in his hand again, Mr. Todd shouldn’t be coming near him. I bet he could write five paragraphs to tell N. Paul Todd. I’m also hoping if there is a reunion show revealing the show’s real premise, that Robert brings the paint gun.

I welcome questions and comments at LauraBelle@realityshack.com

Gotti – Season 1 Recap

Following a A Very Gotti Christmas was this end of season recap and highlights reel with commentary by Victoria and her brother, Peter. This was done like the end of one of the seasons of the Osbornes in which Ozzy shows highlights and bloopers in an elegant setting while being conversational. (Ozzy and conversation — now that’s a mix which is truly frightening!)

Victoria toasts her brother and says, “here’s to chaos.” Truer words were never spoken.

Peter tells his sis that the family didn’t like the idea of this show at first. Victoria said that, although the world was expecting a ‘real-life’ Sopranos, she hopes that they’re over that now. Peter agrees that the show, despite his misgivings has been a good forum to eradicate some misconceptions about their family.

Victoria also believes that it has shown other single moms how difficult it is to raise kids alone. They show clips of her disciplining the boys with the ‘infamous’ quote — “Monday through Friday, 24/7. I am the man of the house.” She says that she gets letters from other single moms who applaud her for showing the real side of single parenthood.

Peter hates the subtitles. He feels that it makes the boys seem unintelligent. Victoria reminds him that when she was a kid, even though she was always an honors student, she talked fast and didn’t know how to express herself. She needed speech therapy.

Peter laughs and says, “I have a 140 IQ, but that and $2.00 will get me a ride on the subway.”

Then, they talk about Botox. They show Victoria getting the injections. He just thinks it’s an ‘enhancement’ that people can do without. Victoria tries to liken the Botox to hair plugs or hair replacement, which Peter has gotten. He says, “it’s different.” She laughs.

Peter’s admittedly “old school”. Victoria agrees that he’s very old-fashioned. He doesn’t like the fact that she’s dating. Victoria reminds him that she’s been divorced for 4 years and she has not had one serious prospect in that time. He mentions the “model” she met at the Star offices. We find out he was an exotic dancer. Victoria says she’s never seriously date anyone like him, but she can look and is entitled to a little fun. You go, Victoria. Take one for the team!

They then talk about Ed. Remember Ed? He was the guy that the matchmaker set her up with. Oh God! Victoria tells Peter how mean he was and she wishes he was there with her so she could’ve “knocked him into next week.”

They then show the “sushi” incident. Remember when John got so mad that someone ate his California rolls? Peter wanted to know if John really took it so seriously. Vicky said he did. He explained that he just wanted the sushi that day so bad. He had gone to finish up his school work and was looking forward to eating it and relaxing. He could’ve killed. He was so mad.

Then, Peter reminds his sis about her asparagus meltdown. She got so upset when she threw the dinner party for her bosses and most of the asparagus was missing. She told him she was so upset because the asparagus was more than just asparagus. She felt that her whole dinner was ruined and, with so much emphasis being placed on her cooking, that she really wanted it to be perfect.

They then talk about how the family is just very vocal, animated and emotional. They love and play hard. That’s the Italian way. I know from my own upbringing. Italians can yell at you and be standing right next to you. It means nothing….it’s just the way we communicate. To yell is to “be heard” and to “be heard” is to be understood. Capisce?

They cut to the “hair gel” summit. John was so angry about that. They yelled. They talked and they resolve things. Sometimes, they have to resort to “tough love”, but there ain’t nothing wrong with it.

Next they talk about Luigi, Victoria’s not-so-handy handyman. Everyone wants to know why she keeps him around. She said that “mommy” beleives that she doesn’t let him go because he amuses her. Yes, but does she think he’s funny? (Obscure Goodfellas reference here!)

Peter says Lui is a throwback to old Roman days where you “eat, drink and be merry.” (That was the Epicurean philosophy and it was Greek, not Roman, Peter…my IQ’s over 140!!!)

It’s actually just a nice way of saying Luigi’s a procrastinator. Mt. Vesuvius will erupt again before he finishes one project.

Now, for Quack Quack. Nobody seems to like Quack Quack. Why do they keep him around and let him chaperone the children? He “irks” them. In Miami, Victoria said she wished that Peter could’ve been there. He laughs, “I was in spirit, right?”

They remember the prank that Victoria played on Brian “Quack Quack” Orsini. He thought that Peter was gonna kill him for spreading rumors ’bout Carmine.

Speaking of Carmine, they get on the subject of fashion. “Daddy” — deceased mob-boss John Gotti — had an eye for it. “He coulda worn a pink jumpsuit and made it work.” (Despite what you may think of Mr. Gotti’s line of work, he must’ve been a devoted family man to inspire such love and respect from his family even now.)

Anyway, they relive Carmine’s walk down the runway. Victoria tells us that she knew Carmine really wanted to do it and was so scared. She was proud of him as he walked down the runway.

Before they put the cap on this season, the Gottis gave us a sneak peek into next season. Let’s just say it’s more of the same, but it’s oh-so fun to watch.

The new season of Growing Up Gotti begins in January. I’ll be covering it for you! (I hope!)

Don’t forget to check out the Reality Shack Holiday Gift Guide for books, CDs, DVDs and so much more that will please even the toughest Scrooge on your gift-giving list.

———-Panndyra out. Email me at panndrya@realityshack.com if you have questions or comments! Buon Natale, y’all.

A Very Gotti Christmas

Christmas is a special time. Victoria says that last year it was pretty terrible. This year she wants it to be different.

*No yelling.
**No fighting.
***And — everyone better like the gifts they get from me.

Oh, Victoria, you so silly. Which family are you talking ’bout? If it’s yours, you are in for some serious disappointment, mama.

I understand that hope springs eternal and this is the season for wishes and dreams. However, I can say this from experience — you’d be better off wishing for a pig to fly than a less-than-dysfunctional family Christmas.

Especially when you have Luigi take the boys Christmas tree shopping. I can feel the agitta building right now. Sweetie, Victoria. I love you and respect you, but…you need to hire some decent help!

Okay.

You tell Luigi you want a full and fat tree. I understand what that meant.
Before I get into this whole tree situation, I did find it funny that Luigi had such trouble getting the boys into the truck. They really do have a hard time with readiness.

John yells at Luigi. He tells him, “Mr. Elf, go back to the workshop and make some toys.”

Victoria then yells at Luigi for yelling at the boys to get out of bed. Ay me! I feel like I’m back visiting my family in Boston. Anyhoo, Victoria gets the boys out and about by telling them “no tree, no presents.”

As a mother of a 2 year old and a 7 year old, it was refreshing to see that those sorts of threats work well into the teen years.

So, John’s driving and Luigi is backseat driving. They get to the Christmas Tree Farm. Luigi spots this massive 13 ft. tree. It was fat and fluffy and looked like it belonged in Santa’s backyard. Madonna Mia (and I don’t mean the pop star, okay!)

The boys try to tell Luigi that the house will only accomodate a 9 ft tree, but he says he’ll just hack some off the bottom. This is the tree. They argue back and forth. Luigi calls Victoria to ask her if it’s okay for him to choose the tree or should he let the boys. She tells him, “Do what you want?”

Victoria…honey. Dearie. Those words are words to regret. The last time I told my husband to “do what he wanted”, the man fed the kids jellybeans and candy canes for dinner. (I had a PTA meeting to attend.)

You’re killin’ me, here.

Meanwhile, Vicky and her friend Robert who by the way belongs on BRAVO Television – he’s Harvey Firestein, Nathan Lane and the 6th Queer Eye Guy all rolled up into one (yes, people I believe he’s gay and NO I don’t have an issue with that…anymore — oh wheee…I know the letters and comments are coming now!) – head out to do some Christmas shopping.

Victoria says that nothing puts her in the Christmas spirit like giving to others. They shop for children at a local hospital. Then, they deliver their presents to the kiddos. Victoria says she knows what it’s like to have a child sick in the hospital. I wonder which child, but she doesn’t mention that.

The boys are still arguing with Luigi. Finally, they attach the 13 ft tree
to the top of the truck. I’m not sure how they made it home ‘cuz the thing was lop-sided and blocking the driver’s view seriously.

Victoria and Robert then go to Central Park for some ice skating. Vicky hasn’t been since she was a kid. She says, “ice skating – it’s not like riding a bike.” Her coach, Katie, takes her around a few times. Victoria decides she’d rather have a hot dog than continue the trip down Nostalgia Lane.

Finally, the tree makes it home and Luigi has to cut off about 4 feet so it’ll fit in the living room. He puts it in the tree stand and it looks lop-sided to me, but hey…maybe it’s the Leaning Tree of Pisa
:roll: (My mother may disown me for that comment — if I’m lucky.)

Victoria and Robert get back to Casa Gotti. She hates the tree and asks Luigi what forest he took it from? She also wants to know how much it cost. $350.00

I’ll repeat that…

$350.00

Victoria asks him….”What’s wrong with you?” I’ve been wondering that question since the first time I saw the man.

He says, “It’s a gift, ha.” Victoria tells him that trees only cost about $45.00. And why did he get such a big one?

She hates the tree.

Cut to Victoria saying, “Hey Santa, all I want for Christmas is a little cooperation.” Wouldn’t we all? And maybe a Paris Hilton necklace or a Survivor DVD — check out the Reality Shack Holiday Gift Guide for more information! If all else fails, I accept gift cards too. Really! (How you like that for a segway, ha?)

Victoria says she hates stress. As she finishes that sentence, we find out that the network wants them to do a promo for this Christmas special. (Funny! I can’t recall ever seeing the promo. However, a copy was auctioned off at ebay recently!)

They want the boys to sing a ‘parody’ of “Jingle Bells” — with Gotti-inspired lyrics. 😆

Have they been watching the show?
If so, what makes them think the boys will do this?

The boys keep the network people waiting. In such ‘uncharacteristic’ fashion, right?

Victoria says my boys are “true divas”. She calls them down. They say they ain’t singing. Carmine wants to leave. The network gives them some presents and they decide to try and sing the words.

The “presents” are — scary looking Christmas sweaters and a vest. I mean Bill Cosby wouldn’t wear these sweaters. (Remember the sweaters he used to wear on the “Cosby Show” or am I now letting you know that I am old!)

The boys and Victoria are none too happy with these. A friend of the boys comes to help them finish up the shoot. After about 24 takes, Victoria’s had it.

When the network people leave, they settle down for a cup of egg-nog. Victoria swears she can taste alcohol in it. It’s a carton from a supermarket…oh well! Amaretto flavoring doesn’t necessarily mean alcohol especially if the carton says “non-alcoholic”; however, it’s been a long day for the Gottis.

And Xmas is 11 days away!

—Panndyra, Goddess of Chaos. If you’d like to yell at me about my insensitivity…sure, I encourage it. Email me at panndyra@realityshack.com. I can’t promise I’ll answer you…and if I do…I may just have to insult you back.

I am an equal opportunity jerk.

************************************************************
Don’t forget to check out the Reality Shack Holiday Gift Guide at http://www.realityshack.com/giftguide

The Game Ended Up Playing Me – Survivor: Vanuatu Finale

[i]by atarus[/i]

It’s Survivor finale night! And as usual, we start off the episode with a huuuuuuuuge recap of the entire season. *yawn* Boring. Once the real episode starts, it’s night 36. Eliza says “I was so happy to cast my vote, because that’s where I thought my vote was going.” This, of course, is directed at Chris. In a confessional, Chris said that “Julie had it coming, she pulled a fast one on me at merge.” Of course, the usual campfire ritual occurs and Eliza and Twila get into a spat. Twila says that Eliza “has done nothing to get here” and “the only reason you’re here is because other people have used you.” That is kinda true, in my opinion. Anyway, Eliza calls Twila a dumb bitch, and then gets into an argument with Chris about why he didn’t vote for Twila. Chris tells Eliza “Julie was a player” and to “just have faith in your alliance partner.” Eliza says that it’s pretty clear who’s voting for who at the next TC, and she needs immunity, and she hopes that if she doesn’t get it, Chris does.

The immunity challenge is a very unique and new challenge, a vertical maze. The Survivors have to search through the maze to get ten groups of tiles, and then untie and unscramble the tiles to figure out two words and that will win them immunity. The Survivors start off, and it’s a close race. Well, at least between Twila, Chris, and Eliza. Twila gets two right off the bat, with Chris and Eliza one each. The race continues, and Chris catches Twila and takes the lead with six over the five that Twila and Eliza have. Twila is right on Chris’ heels though, and both of them get ten at nearly the same time. As they’re unscrambling, Eliza gets her tenth, but it’s too late as Chris unscrambles the puzzle and wins immunity.

Back on the beach, Chris says “I never give up, I’m the last man standing and Twila definitely gave me a run for my money.” He also observes that trust means nothing now and he has his work cut out for him. Twila just wants to gloat in Eliza’s face, and Chris goads her on. Twila is smarter than Chris thinks though, and says she knows that Chris wants her to piss more people off as they leave, make it easier on him in the Jury vote. Eliza confronts Scout and says if she can’t make the final 2, she hopes Scout and Chris can, and tries to get her to vote for Twila.

At TC, Jeff does the usual questioning. He brings up the balance beam incident with Chris, and Chris says that he “got off to a rough start.” Eliza is envious of Chris with immunity, but she’s happy for him. Scout says she’ll be surprised if she gets voted out. Chris says that he has a friendship with all three women, but he has to put friendship aside and play the game.

It’s time to vote. We are treated to two nasty votes, Eliza voting for Twila saying that she’s “like the cockroach that won’t die.” Twila votes for Eliza, saying “you drove me crazy, it’ll be the happiest day if you get voted out.” In the end, though, Eliza is the victim of a 3-1 vote. She gives Chris the alien death glare, a la Tom from All-Stars, before picking up her torch and getting it snuffed. She turns and gives another death glare, and Chris just shrugs like “Eh, whatever.” In her final words, Eliza says that “I didn’t have an ally this entire game” and she’s shocked Chris wrote her name down.

Back at camp, Scout says that “there is a merciful God, Eliza is not going to be running her mouth.” Scout is happy there’s no “Eliza noises” in camp, and Twila says she drove me nuts for so long. Chris points out how beautiful the stars are. Chris says the game is about lying, deceiving, and if you don’t play the game you’ll be sent packing. A million bucks will change your life.

It’s time for the torch walk! And Mark Burnett has decided for this particular torch walk, the final three are going to walk over an island that hasn’t been walked on for a long time. Yay for disgracing religious land! They’re going to the burial site of the chief from the story last episode, and they have to bring an offering.

The torch walk begins, and we start with Brook. Next up is Dolly (Twila says that she had the most beautiful eyes she’d ever seen….and I tend to agree. Dolly, I love you! Marry me?) and then John P. and Mia. Brady is next (he says it was hard because things polarized so quickly) and then Bubba. At this point we are treated to Chris’ original alliance, as he reveals that he and Bubba had planned to go to the end together. Whooooa. Lisa, John K, and Rory are all passed by with different quotes. Sarge’s quote is about learning about the younger generation. Good for him! The rest of the Jury is passed by in order, Chad, Leann, Ami, Julie, and finally Eliza, the last person voted out. At the chief’s grave, Chris leaves the spirit rock the men got on day one, and Scout and Twila leave the two staffs from the switch.

The final immunity challenge is a unique one. The three Survivors have to hold a bow and arrow taught, if they pierce the white area they’re out, or if their feet fall off the pedestals they are standing on. It takes very little time for Scout to be out of the challenge. After that, it doesn’t take long for Chris and Twila to start talking. Chris tries to make a deal with her, but Twila won’t listen. Scout cheers on Twila, and tells her to “hang in there.” Twila also delivers a great quote, saying “I may poke myself in the ass with this, but I’m not stepping off this pole.” The banter continues, as Chris asks Scout “are you dreaming of Twila winning this immunity?” Eventually though, Twila loses her balance, and in trying to right herself she pierces her white area. Chris wins immunity again and gets to the final 2!

Chris again says that Twila was stiff competition, but there was no way he was losing. He hugs Twila and says “you’re the toughest woman I know.” Twila, in a confessional, reveals that she and Chris had a final 2 pact, and she’s worried now that he’ll think that she and Scout had a deal. Twila says she didn’t stick in there to win it for Scout, she was in it to win it for herself. Chris talks to Scout about whether she had a final 2 deal with Twila, and Scout is honest and tells him no, they only had a final 4 deal. Chris is surprised that Scout is honest with him, and he says that he respects her for that.

At the final TC, Jeff asks the loaded questions. Scout says that there can’t be a bad outcome to this game, she likes both Chris and Twila. Twila says there will be a bad outcome, she won’t settle for third. Chris says that he respects how Scout got to this point, she mentally played the game strong and was willing to change the game for other people. He also respects Twila for doing everything she had to to get to the finals. However, Chris casts his final vote, and Scout is the last Juror. Chris and Twila are the final two.

Editorial note: :whoohoo: :whoohoo: :whoohoo:

(Chris and Twila have been my favorite since day one! YAY FOR THEM! CALL ME! I like watching NASCAR too!)

Scout’s final words are that she maintained loyalty and integrity as long as she could, and switched it up to make the game more fun, and she wishes Chris and Twila the very best.

It is day 39. Chris says this will be the last pot of mantioc he’ll ever eat. Twila says that she made it to the final 2, she turned things around and it paid off. She says that she pissed a lot of people off, but Chris says “I don’t have people kissing my feet either.” Chris states he’s going to use Twila’s outspokennness to his advantage, let Twila put the last nail in her coffin. He tells her that he isn’t going to take crap from them, and neither should she. The two sit in the hammock, and we have a genuinely hilarious moment, as Chris turns, and there’s this brief instant of him seeing the rope snap, and then both him and Twila are on the ground, laughing their butts off. Twila, in a confessional, says she’s apprehensive, she needs the million and she deserves their votes as much as Chris. Chris says at the beginning it was six women and him, I wasn’t the chief and things just happened, and that’s the opposite of what this game was about.

Chris and Twila step into the final TC, and face the Jury of Sarge, Chad, Leann, Ami, Julie, Eliza, and Scout. Chris’ opening statement is that he was the last man standing with six women, and he was loyal to the alliances he made. Twila says that she came into this game, her goal was to win a million dollars, she played the game hard, she worked for it and earned it.

Eliza is the first Juror, and she has some choices words for Twila and Chris. She calls Twila a “deceptive, lying bitch” and feels like she treated Eliza with disrespect the entire time. She then turns to Chris and says that she never expected Chris to be a deceptive lying bitch too. She asks for an apology from both. Twila refuses to apology, and calls Eliza’s “deceptive, lying bitch” and raises her a “rich, spoiled brat.” Chris, however, kisses Eliza’s feet and apologizes to her.

Julie’s next, and she starts crying before she speaks. She tells Twila that she doesn’t have beef with her, it’s with Chris, and she’s either going to vote for Chris or against him. She says that she helped him as a friend, and he was the one person she opened up and gave someone the opportunity to hurt her feelings. She wanted to know from him why he dolled up the story so much, why the story was so elaborate. Chris says that he lied to her, but he was just playing the game, and it was the hardest vote he had to cast because he viewed her as a little sister. He even was tearing up as he talked.

Leann is next. She talks about the turning point in the game was when Twila turned her back on the women’s alliance, and brings up the whole “swear on my son” bit that Twila did. Twila gives an excellent response to Leann’s question, and Leann looks satisfied. She then turns to Chris and asks why she should vote for him when she wants to see through the all women’s alliance to the end. Chris basically rehashes his opening statement, and Leann is through.

Ami is up, and she talks about irony and how both of them would lie for a million dollars, and she’s baffled by Chris who lied to two people for no apparent reason. She then asks them what qualities they have that she doesn’t have that put them in the final 2 and not her. Chris says that she let her guard down and put friendships into the game and that led to her demise. Twila prefaces her answer by saying that she’s sorry for the son lie and she hates that now she’s a low-life bitch that nobody likes. She answers Ami’s question with “I played the game harder and colder, and you didn’t have it in you.”

Chad asks them a boring question about experiences and something that’s changed them. Twila says she needs to watch what she says, she’s always felt like she had to defend herself and she’s quick to judge. Chris says that the game changes you, at some point the money starts talking and you do things you normally wouldn’t do.

Sarge is up next, and he reads them the riot act. He tells them “Touche to both y’all.” He says he holds truth to his beliefs and he nevers wants to see Twila again, but he’s going to vote for her because she needs the money. He then asks Chris that if he votes for Twila, would that affect their friendship, and Chris tells him no, he’ll still watch the race in Charlotte with Sarge, he can vote for Twila and they’d still be friends.

Scout is the last to speak, and she has no question. She tells Twila that they had an alliance from day one, and that she values the fact that Twila can’t be anyone but Twila and she can’t bullshit, and then turns to Chris and says he’s bullshit up to his ears and that got him where he was. And then she sits down.

Closing statements: Twila says that “I didn’t come into this game intentionally wanting to lie to anyone, back home my word is good.” All she thought about was bettering her life, and that was self-centered of her. People kill for less than what they are playing for. She also says she was hurt by what Sarge said, she respected him a great deal and she says that the “game ended up playing me.”

Chris individually addresses each person. He tells Scout that he’s a bullshitter, and she called him out because he can’t bullshit a bullshitter. He talks about mending fences with Julie and that he brought her her hat. He tells Eliza that he owed her an apology and that she’d be sitting here if it wasn’t for him. He tells Ami and Leann about getting to the finals through the backdoor, and he tells Sarge and Chad to vote with their hearts, as long as they feel good about who they’re voting for.

It’s time for the vote. Sarge is first, and he says “Sike!” He votes for Chris and says he was just testing their friendships. Scout votes for Twila, and thanks her for the experience. Eliza votes for Chris, saying “you definitely screwed me over, but I like you better, I just wish I was sitting next to you.” Ami votes for Twila, and says that her answers came from her heart.

We are then treated to Jeffy’s spectacular entrance to the reunion. He hacks through the jungle, parachutes from an airplane, and drives up on a motorcycle. He reveals the votes…..and Chris is the 5-2 winner of Vanuatu!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m extremely happy with this final 2 and winner, this has been a great season in my opinion…but wait, there’s more! Stay tuned for my recap of the Vanuatu reunion…..

Tabby Goes Home – The X Factor, Semi Final


by Luke

The X-Factor show recaps are back. Where did they go? That, and lifes other
mysteries could probably be found lying in the murky depths of Simon Cowell’s
wallet but it’s probably best not to go there. Since the last update Verity,
Cassie, 2 To Go, Voices With Soul and Rowetta have been voted out of the
competition and we rejoin it at the semi final stage. If you remember from past
shows, the public vote to keep their favorite act at the end of the show and the
judges decide which of the bottom two finalists should leave. In the past few
episodes the situation has arisen where a judge has had to decide between two
of their own acts rather than being able to choose one represented by one of the
others. Louis Walsh has had to do this twice, rather reluctantly – and Sharon
Osbourne even refused to choose between her own 16-24 year olds. Simon still
has Steve remaining, Sharon has Tabby, and Louis has G4. Another act will be
leaving tonight and the final decision has now been taken away from the judges
and left entirely to a public vote ….

Tabby – Each act sang two songs during the episode and the young
Irish rocker chose U2’s “Pride” and “Sailing” originally performed by Rod Stewart.
This was to show his diversity, being able to perform different styles of song.
The U2 song seemed more the type of thing Tabby was used to and he
performed brilliantly. His choice of “Sailing” was criticised by the judges though,
especially as Sharon Osbourne had arranged for a Scottish pipe band to play
behind him. Simon thought it was a bit over the top, although it was revealed
later that Tabby actually had problems hitting some of the notes during
rehearsals and the pipers helped him get the right key.

G4 – As it’s nearly Christmas the Barbershop quartet style group
treated the audience to a carol – “Holy Night”. The judges were very unsure
about whether singing a hymn was right for a Saturday night TV show, the style
of the X-Factor is much more fashionable and funky. However they liked
“Bohemian Rhapsody”, the groups second performance although this was the
same song G4 had sung in the audition stages and were used to singing before
entering the show. Simon Cowell, as he had many times in previous episodes,
expressed doubt over whether this type of group would be a worthy winner for
the show because they are so different from usual reality TV talent show
competitors.

Steve – This cheeky chap, who originally had to come back and
prove himself twice in the early stages because he seemed too lazy was accused
to being too cocky and sure of himself this week. This was put down to his
mentor being Simon Cowell, Louis thought his influence had rubbed off on him.
He sang Rod Stewarts “Have I Told You Lately” and also “The Greatest Love Of
All”. Both songs went down well, even with Sharon Osbourne who had started to
take a dislike to him in recent episodes.

As the tension mounted during the results show it emerged that voting had been
close and that Tabby and G4 had polled the lowest number of votes. It was
widely expected that G4 would be leaving the show as they had been underdogs
throughout most of it but when the final vote was announced it was Tabby that
had the least and would leave the show. Presenter Kate Thornton was shocked,
as was judge and Tabby’s mentor Sharon Osbourne. In the final moments Tabby
thanked everyone and said he had got what he had come for – recognition.
During interviews Sharon and the Osbourne family team had said many times
that it might be better for Tabby not to win the show as winning a reality show
would probably not be great for his rock image.

During the week various X-Factor news hit the media. Firstly that a second
season of the show had been commissioned for 2005, and the lines were open
for new entrants. Secondly, Judge Louis Walsh accused the previous weeks
evictee – Rowetta of hiding alcohol in her bag each week and getting drunk
before the shows. Rowetta, a former backing singer for group “The Happy
Mondays” responded by accusing the judges of searching her bags without her
knowledge at the show tapings. There were also revelations about Tabby’s
private life in the tabloids on the morning of the semi final. More would follow
as Simon Cowell’s “Steve” would meet Louis Walsh’s “G4” in the grand finale
next week. The prize? A million pound recording contract with Cowell’s “BMG”
company.

Don’t miss “The X-Factor” show updates and episode recaps here at
Reality Shack and check out the shows official website at www.xfactor.tv for
video clips, competitions and the latest news.

You can contact Luke with comments or questions at luke@realityshack.com.


Endurance: Hawaii – December 11th

[i]by Kairio[/i]

Last time on Endurance: Hawaii…

The super team of Yellow (Bryanah/Monroe), Purple (Reece/Sarah) and Gray (Lindi/Chris) won out over the weak team of Red (Kareem/Rachel), Brown (Tom/Vanetta), and Orange (Demian/Nicole). The friendship that Orange had with Gray and Purple saved them, and Red and Brown went to the Temple. Red was eliminated, and the game goes on………..

ENDURANCE: HAWAII

JD walks in, greeting the teams. He has a letter from the Red Team, as well as their Piece (Trust). He asks Bryanah to read the note. It basically states that Yellow is an untrustworthy team, and Tom needs to focus on the game, instead of on other things (“you know what we mean”.) It also says that Gray, Orange, and Purple should keep the alliance alive, and Purple receives their piece for being the most trustworthy.

OPINION: Ummm… hello? Yellow wasn’t in your alliance, and why are they untrustworthy instead of Gray and Purple?

JD ceremoniously entreats their piece to them. Tom thinks that Kareem and himself were very tight, and he conveniently forgot to tell him that he wasn’t leaving the piece to him. “So he’s really trustworthy (makes a face).” Bryanah and JD obviously find this funny, as they both laugh. He says that Purple leads with 3, Yellow and Orange are in second with 2, and Gray and Brown have 1.

He then explains that they will be playing for a Samadhi. This is the first Samadhi in Endurance history that won’t be giving a handicap. This will actually help the team who receives it. The team who wins can either keep it for themselves, or give it to someone else. He wishes them luck.

Sarah: The purple team has 3 pieces which puts us in the lead (DOI!). Opinion: Does anyone else think that Sarah is kinda strange?

She thinks it feels really good to be ahead.

Nicole: She says that Tom was getting ready to grab the piece, and then when JD passed it down to Purple, he looked like what?

Tom: He’s ticked because he thinks that it was low of them to give it to Purple.

Monroe thinks that it was really vindictive to point out that Yellow was untrustworthy, when it wasn’t only their decision to send them up.

Bryanah thinks that they never actually gave Red any reason to stop or start trusting them, so why did they write that?

Lindi ( :heart: ) speaks for the alliance when she gives the reason for their targeting of Yellow. She says that they’re a powerful team that isn’t to be trusted.

OPINION: If you don’t like Lindi… I’m sorry, but this is a very biased column towards her and the alliance (although I like Bryanah as well). Lindi has been my favorite person since Day 1, and I guess that you can see why.

*commercial*

Side note: Does anyone else think that Spiderman commerical is hilarious?

*we’re back*

The teams walk in to the Mission. JD once again makes retarded comments, and points out that Purple is pretty beat up, physically.

Then he describes the challenge. They have to take handles, and push a ball across a track that’s above them, into the basket. The first team to 3 wins the Mission, and that special (and quite humongous) Samadhi.

(By the way, Lindi’s looking quite hot in her outfit)

Brown basically falls after 5 seconds, as well as Orange. Then Purple falls.

Gray (woohoo!) makes their first ball. Gray is totally wooping the competition, as Yellow, Purple, and Brown fall, as Gray makes their second ball.

Orange and Gray get close, however, they both fall. Brown once again gets close, although they fall.

GRAY WINS!!!!!!!!! :whoohoo:

JD and the Gray peeps then have a conversation. They then walk away for a minute and then they decide to keep it.

Chris then smashes the Samadhi, and finds a piece and an idol. If they pick the piece, they get to steal all of one team’s Pyramid Pieces. If they pick the Idol, they can switch teams. (But hahahaha, why would they? They just won a mission based on teamwork!)

Sarah doesn’t know what she would do if she was in Gray’s position, because she could start drama.

Lindi’s gonna go strategucally, and they need to accept that this is just a game.

*commercial*

*we’re back*

It is raining again. Lindi thinks it’s weird, and she’s scared that people wil get mad. Nicole and Lindi talk, and Nicole thinks that it would be retarded to switch partners, because they steamrolled the competition based on teamwork (thank you, Nicole!). Vanetta thinks that they’ll steal Purple’s pieces, because it would be smart, although Nicole thinks that if they were smart, she wouldn’t be here still (gee, ya think?). Vanetta thinks that they need to strategize. Nicole thinks Yellow will be taken away, because Chris is just a guy, and Bryanah’s thing with him is just because she’s pretty. Bryanah thinks that she now has a chance to be Chris’s partner (drama from the first episode).

Monroe thinks that everything bad happens to Yellow, therefore they will be the ones to be taken away from. They all think that strategically they should take Purple’s pieces, even Reece.

Nicole says that there’s a Purple/Gray/Orange alliance, although she’s playing nice with Brown and Yellow just in case. Then she talks with Bryanah, and Bry fries her with “don’t go back on your word and wanna keep Lindi.” Then she talks about how Nicole sent her to the temple once, and she’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Chris then says that he can’t send Orange and Purple, and he doesn’t wanna send Brown and Yellow because they’re cool. Then he says that he wants to see the weak teams to the Temple, and sit out along with Purple.

IRONY: Didn’t Yellow win like 3 in a row? And aren’t Demian and Monroe outside talking about sending Gray and Purple? 😆

Orange and Yelllow have an alliance, because the guys shook on it.

*commercial*

*we’re back*

The teams all walk out to the island. Monroe kisses his pieces goodbye (lol).

JD says that everyone’s real nervous.

Reece then says that they don’t really have alliances (liar, liar). Nicole smiles, and her face turns red, and she says that she’s one of the only people without alliances.

JD then says “Does your face always turn red when you’re not telling the truth?” (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!)

Purple’s worried about their pieces, and JD remarks that everyone’s worried about pieces, while they still haven’t made their choice yet. Bryanah doesn’t think that there’s any chance of anyone switching partners. JD asks if anyone’d like to switch partners, and everyone looks at Nicole and Demian. Nicole’s face is red again, and Demian’s smirking.

Nicole’s happy although they’re really different. She thinks that she’s more outspoken than Demian, and he says that she speaks her mind. A lot. And everyone laughs. Gray (no surprise) takes pieces. From Yellow. Wow. I’m shocked. /endsarcasm

Gray and Purple have 3 pieces now.

Bryanah thinks that it wasn’t a good decision to steal their pieces, because it was a safe way out.

Chris then explains that it doesn’t make sense to take Purple’s pieces, because they’re gonna get them if they’re eliminated anyways. Orange is the same way, and Brown only has one, so it makes sense to steal Yellow’s.

captainD's Survivor Vanuatu Finale Predictions

It’s season finale time in Vanuatu. This Sunday your favorite prognosticator will be wrapping up another successful season. Although it’s nothing compared to the perfect season in the Pearl Islands, a 12-2 record is nothing to be ashamed of. Congratulations are in order for several members of this site for their excellent work in Daron’s Survivor Pool. I have counted many of you in the top 50 all year. Great work!

As expected, Eliza won her first immunity Thursday and it was hinted that the only way she might reach the final two is to win her way there. That may indeed happen as she is the favorite to make it to the end. The final four this season is the most wide open race in Survivor history with everyone standing an equal chance to win. The best way to figure out this mess is to work backwards. I believe Chris is almost a lock for the final two, and Scout has the editing of a third place finisher. There is no way Twila will outlast Scout so that makes Chris and Eliza as the last 2 standing. In true Survivor fashion, it will be a 4-3 vote and the winner of Survivor: Vanuatu is … CHRIS!

4’th: Twila
3’rd: Scout
2’nd: Eliza
1’st : CHRIS

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

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