Random Acts of Kindness – The Benefactor, Episode 5

[i]by atarus[/i]

We start off the episode as we left last time, Dominic is the person that is left out, he’s having a long night, and most everybody thinks he’s going to be eliminated. Mark gets the group together, and asks what the teams are. Linda and Spencer say that they teamed up right away, because they had worked together well before. In a voice-over, Mark states that Spencer was probably feeling desperate and wanted an alliance since he would have been eliminated last round. He then asks Team Beautiful how they chose between the three of them, and their answer? Jenga. Cuban is impressed with Femia, how she convinced Dominic to play Jenga instead of just choosing Tiffany.

So Mark makes the announcement, Dominic, you’re leaving. As he says his goodbyes, Mark pulls out the punchline. He’s not leaving the game, he’s leaving for Cancun! Dominic is blown out of the water. Mark says “some of the best deals are the deals that you don’t make.” He was going to make a deal with Microsoft but didn’t, and ten minutes after they left, the guy they were dealing with got fired. Later on, they made millions which wouldn’t have happened if they’d made the deal. So Dominic gets a free pass in Cancun while the others are working hard. Linda says she hopes Dominic enjoys Cancun since she’d rather kick and claw her way to the top. Dominic gets $1000 and his best friend Chris, and the two of them are off to Cancun for the day/night.

So now the assignment for the two teams. Mark says that the more you have, the more you have to focus on giving. He asks for their creativity, they have to perform random acts of kindness to the people of Dallas. The catch? No money can be spent. Cuban says that people need to be nice to others, because it’s the right thing to do, not because the people ask. They have until 6 PM the next day to do what they can. Femia says that they’ll win because the connivers can’t be nice, and Linda says that Dominic is Femia and Tiffany’s strength, and they’re lost without him.

Spencer says that he’s shady in the house, but he can help people, just not who he’s competing against. Linda says she’s shadier than Spencer. The two come up with an idea to rent sumo wrestlers costumes to entertain the streets of Dallas. Tiffany and Femia hit a roadblock and are having trouble until Femia comes up with the idea to go downtown and hand out goodies. Meanwhile, in Cancun, Cuban has set up tests for Dominic, because Dominic thinks that he isn’t being watched. (Dude, cameras are still following him. Dude, kinda obvious.) So a little kid comes up to Dominic and asks him for money. Dominic doesn’t have any cash so he gives him his precious seashell necklace. Awwwww. Dominic passes the first test with flying colors.

Linda and Spencer are goofing around with the sumo wrestling suits, while Tiffany and Femia are lost in Dallas. Tiffany, who *lives* there, is airheaded, and Femia says “Tiffany doesn’t know her head from her ass.” Meanwhile, the streets of Dallas are smiling (read: laughing at) Linda and Spencer in sumo suits. Everyone’s laughing, they’re pretending they’re on a marriage show, and Linda gets tackled by a random dude. On the other spectrum, Tiffany and Femia find where they’re going and interact and help out the homeless. Femia says it’s a humbling experience, interacting face-to-face with them.

Dominic’s second test happens in a restaraunt. Mark has organized it so the couple next to Dominic doesn’t have any money to pay for their bill. Dominic, of course, being the nice guy that he is, foots the bill for the poor couple. His words? “I didn’t want to see their night ruined just because they lost some money.” They then party the rest of the night, and Dominic ends up in the ocean at a club. Wooooo! Go Dominic!

Spencer and Linda decide to go to an elderly home the next day, do charity to compensate for the pure entertainment they did earlier. Femia and Tiffany get flowers donated to them and go around handing them out to random people in Dallas. But Tiffany lays down in the middle of the floor while Femia’s organizing everything. Woops. At the old folks’ home, Spencer plays checkers with an older lady. Linda says he’s the politician, I’m the bozo and goofball. Tiffany and Femia hand out their flowers and spread their happiness all over Dallas.

It’s time for the rundown. Tiffany says she usually gets a nervous feeling before elimination, but there’s nothing this time. (That’s what we call foreshadowing.) Femia and Tiffany show off their stuff first, and then Cuban asks Linda and Spencer to critique the other team. Linda says that the homeless people have enough problems as it is, there’s no need to put them on TV. Spencer tells them that they were supposed to do stuff that Mark wouldn’t do, but Mark bought the food originally so it was like he was doing it. Linda, unsatisfied with Spencer’s niceties, tries to egg Spencer on, but he won’t listen to her. Femia tries to retort and explain how they were outside the box, but Linda is offended, and repeats “In the ghetto” over and over again after anything Femia says, because she grew up in poverty.

Linda then retells the tale of sumo wrestling, saying they posed as Mr. and Mrs. Bean, and a lounge singer wished them a happy marriage, and then Spencer tells about the retirement home. Femia critiques them, saying it was supposed to be about other people’s happiness, but the retirement home was about *them* doing good, and the sumo wrestling focused on themselves instead of other people’s happiness. Spencer defends himself, saying that the people at the retirement home were happy to share stories with people that were willing to listen.

Mark then tells them that he’s decided that both teams did a good job, so he’s going to eliminate a person from each team instead of an entire team. So now they have to critique each other. Rut roh! He says that people need to know how to take and give constructive criticism, the first rule of his company is that you’re allowed to yell at Mark. Linda is first, and she digs into Spencer, saying he isn’t assertive enough, he trashes them outside, so why not in here? Spencer says that Linda can’t put everything together, she only plays to her strengths and athleticism, she’s not persuasive enough. We then go to Femia, who absolutely destroys Tiffany. She recounts how Tiffany was on the floor sleeping instead of helping, there’s a million-dollars at stake, “I’ll stay up for two weeks for a million dollars.” She also points out how Tiffany got lost in her own city. Tiffany is flustered and doesn’t know what to say, she blows any chance by doing nothing but complimenting Femia. It’s obvious who’s staying and who’s going. Spencer and Tiffany, it’s your time to leave.

Spencer, in his final thoughts, says that Linda’s style is different than hers, and he said that it sucks to see the finish line but still lose. Tiffany is crying, saying that this is the hardest she’s ever worked at something, it has been the longest and hardest week of her life. No wonder she’s still unemployed.

Dominic comes back and notices that Tiffany and Spencer are gone, and Mark welcomes him to the Big 3. Cuban says he’s very proud of Dominic, he passed the character tests with flying colors. Dominic says that it’s very surreal that there are only three people left. Femia says that “Dominic’s served his purpose as a rock star, it’s time for me and Linda to go to head to head.” Linda says she’s going to walk away with the million.

In the preview for next week, Mark visits the homes of the final 3, and finds that one has been living a lie, and he gets PISSED. (Now, who’s the one that’s been making a big deal about poverty? Hmm.) And then at the final 2, he tells them both they’ve failed, just to see how well they deal with failure, then brings them both back to the house to crown a winner.

What I like about this show is it’s originality and the editing. They’ve been playing up Femia vs. Linda this entire time, and coming into the last episode, I want to see Dominic blow the doors off of both of them and win it all. How can you not love this guy? What I don’t like about ABC’s reality shows is that they don’t last long at all. This is like, a half of a season! Six episodes? C’mon! Make it last longer! We hardly know ye, Benefactor contestants!

Anyway, my e-mail is atarus33@yahoo.com. Go Dominic!

Barnyard Follies – Starting Over, 10/18/04

Towanda is tidying up the house in anticipation of her husband’s visit. She thinks he’ll be excited to see the changes in her.

Sinae is telling Sommer she thinks she (Sinae) is overweight. (Why do skinny girls always DO that to fat girls!) Sommer narrates that it always makes her wonder, when a skinny girl thinks they’re fat, what must they be thinking about her?

The women all meet in the loft, Sinae in cornrows, and Towanda is giddy at the prospect of seeing her husband. Iyanla jokingly warns the women not to attack The Man or stare at him. They talk about how they have all grown in the house and how that might affect their relationships back home. Towanda muses that it will be a shock at first, then a relief. Iyanla points out that it’s easy to say. Towanda says others might be challenged to be better when they realized how she has improved, and Iyanla applauds her. Then the women discuss boundaries, something that has been a problem for all of them in the past. Iyanla narrates they have all trained others in their lives as to how they will allow themselves to be treated. They will all have to learn new boundaries and how to enforce them – first by telling someone they have violated, then give a warning, then draw a line in the sand, then act. They need to be willing to be clear, accept feedback, and implement the boundaries.

Kim, wearing less makeup, narrates she’s excited to see the man Towanda chose to marry.

Rhonda narrates that because Sommer was so uncomfortable on the beach the day before, they will work on body issues. If they do, it’s edited out and they talk only about food and emotions. Sommer will be going grocery shopping with Marcus, the trainer. Rhonda observes that for someone who claims to be such a happy person, the food diary is full of only negative emotions. Sommer tells her this is a negative kind of place, and now she realizes she was always hiding her unhappiness before. They talk about using food to distract and cover up emotion. Sommer tells Rhonda that her father used to take her for ice cream as a show of affection, and sweets was a serious addiction in high school. Nowadays it’s salsa & chips for boredom, baked potato for stress, Doritos for depression. Rhonda urges Sommer to start feeling her feelings and this starts her to catching tears on the end of her finger to inspect them again. (What is she looking for???) Her assignment while shopping with Marcus will be to choose foods she can use to prepare a nice dinner for her housemates.

Towanda picks Andre up at the airport. He’s quite buff and knows it. He is blown away by how pretty she is and also he has missed her. On the way home she preps him for meeting the housemates. She reminds him that Sinae’s the albino and will be in cornrows. Kim is the one with the 6-carat diamond. They have all spoken on the phone, so he already has nicknames for them. Jen is Mountain High but he narrates she deosn’t like that nickname.

Sommer is working out while discussing shopping with Marcus. He shows her that she has to walk fast for 30 minutes just to burn off her favorite snacks. He advises her to eat almonds – high fat & calories but lots of protein and it’s “good” fat.

Rhonda meets with Josie. They discuss stability. Since Josie liked what she calls “the Hollywood animal place”, Today she will be going to Phil’s Animal Rental. Rhonda refuses to tell her what kind of animals are there. Rhonda wants Josie to make a plan, find out how others have gotten to where they are in animal training jobs and decide how she will earn enough money. She wants Josie to prove this path will be viable, profitable and that she will love it. Rhonda wants her to be proactive after she leaves the Starting Over House.

Towanda and Andre arrive at the house. He has given Kim the name “Hugh Hefner” and Kim narrates she’s flattered he thinks she should be a Playmate. Chloe’s nickname is “boing boing” and Towanda & Andre hold her together and dance with her.

Some of the women are nattering about Sommer’s assignment of cooking for them. Sinae wants to call out for pizza and eat it ahead of time without letting her know.

Meanwhile Sommer is working out hard. She’s very giggly with Marcus and self-conscious about jiggling. She wraps her arms around her chest. She narrates that her crush on him makes her work harder.

Josie arrives at Phil’s and it’s mostly farm animals. Phil has her work with a dog to see what she already knows, and gives her some tips, like moving your body with the dog to get him to do the trick.

Towanda is alone with Iyanla and tells her it’s been a month and 4 days since she last saw her husband. Iyanla is interested to know what he’s really like. Towanda tells Iyanla Andre is her sanity. He can always make her laugh and feel better. She says he’s also brutally honest. Iyanla observes there doesn’t seem to be a grey area but Towanda is just giddy. She grins and tells Iyanla he’s better about that that when they first met. Iyanla wants to know what attracted Towanda to him and Towanda says he’s fun, he pushes her when she can’t go on. She says the things she’s in the house for, are the things Andre wants for her. Iyanla asks if she still believes he will cheat, and Towanda says if her father could cheat, no man is immune. Since that will be a “deal breaker” for Towanda, Iyanla points out that this means Towanda expects her marriage to end. Towanda nods and says she just enjoys the good times while she can. Iyanla tells her all things begin in the mind, and where the mind goes, the behind follows. She urges Towanda to change her mind, to make another choice.

Josie is presented with a pen of hogs and she is afraid of them because of a past trampling experience. She tries to feed them but keeps dropping the food and Phil is very anxious that she might let them eat off the ground. “You’re doing everything wrong!” he exclaims at one point. Josie narrates “They’re f***ing hogs, they will eat their own poo, I don’t understand why they can’t eat crap off the ground.”

Andre is looking at Towanda’s stick person with all the positive tags on it. He is genuinely curious as she explains how she has replaced anger with passion and so on.

Sommer and Marcus are shopping and he’s teaching her what to look for on labels. When they are finished he notes they stayed around the edges of the grocery store, away from the middle aisles where all the packaged foods are. He tells her that food is 70% of any lifestyle.

Josie’s now shoveling horse manure, handling sheep and complaining she didn’t know she would be getting dirty today. She holds a lamb and calls it “a fat cow.” Phil, tells her “It’s a sheep, not a cow.” (It’s my experience that when people pretend they don’t know you’re joking, they are officially sick of you.) They sit on the fence and talk about a job. He tells her the work shift is 6AM to sundown. She tells him she needs a set schedule for day care and to allow time to mother her child, and he’s not sympathetic. He tells her some people don’t come til 7. He warns her it’s “lotsa hard work, not just sett’n around”. Later he narrates that it’s probably going to be over her head and she’ll quit.

Then we see Josie back at the house. She and Jen cook a frozen pizza in case Sommer’s meal is not good. They hurry to wash and hide all the pans and dishes so Sommer won’t know.

Sommer arrives and proceeds to cook. She makes asparagus and chicken with lemon caper sauce. She’s a little nervous wondering how it will be received.

We see Towanda and Andre cuddling on the bed. She tells him she has learned to put her own feelings first, and to forgive people -really forgive them and not just say it. Andre narrates that being in the house is helping her.

Josie meets with Rhonda to recap her day. She tells Rhonda she is used to livestock from growing up in a small town, though she hasn’t had any hands-on experience except with horses with her friend the jockey. She tells Rhonda that you learn a job like Phil’s by trial and error as you go along and that he offered her a job. Rhonda asks how much it would pay. Josie says she didn’t ask because when she heard about the hours she already decided she couldn’t do it. Rhonda narrates that Josie knows how to negotiate but did not. Rhonda narrates she doesn’t think Josie is serious so she’s putting her on notice. She tells Josie to come up with a plan and “let’s get real.”

Sommer’s dinner is ready and the women are surprised to find that they actually like the food. (So how many of them ate supper twice that night? Gross!)

Towanda and Andre dine at Maggio’s. The waiter asks if he can bring them anything else and Towanda says “No, we just wanna smooch.”

Ominous music picks up. Jen and Josie are up to no good. They clean out Towanda and Andre’s bedding, clothes, even the toilet paper. Towanda and Andre come into the house and Sinae, having a snack, warns them that she has “a feeling” something happened to their room. When Jen and Josie walk in, Towanda immediately asks them what they did to the room. Josie swears at Sinae and Towanda tries to mediate, telling them that anytime she walks into a room and sees something hilarious, she will immediately suspect Jen and Josie anyway. Josie narrates that Sinae tattles all the time, ruining their jokes to score brownie points. Towanda is trying to focus on her happiness and feels this is a tiff blown way out of proportion.

Ryan Is A Little Bitchy – The Surreal Life 3, Episode 7

by LauraBelle

On American Idol Ryan Starr was known to get very defiant about her rock music. When Simon Cowell didn’t like her version of “You Really Got Me” she said, “Of course you don’t like it. You like pop, not rock music.” After she was voted out, she would sit behind Simon and make faces at his comments. Some of her behavior could be explained by her being very young, yet the whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth over the type of person she was.

The beginning of the show tonight picks up where we left off last week, with Ryan locked in the unisex bathroom, very upset. I have to question the validity of unisex bathrooms at this point. Just today I was at a bridal shower held at a microbrewery/restaurant. Looking in through the door to the unisex bathroom, I saw that it was a multi-stall bathroom. I can understand one person unisex bathrooms, but I don’t want to be in a stall next to a guy … well you know. Anyway, the whole Surreal Life gang is recording a song, produced and written by Jordan Knight. They have to have it finished by midnight. Ryan hates the R&B song Jordan wrote, and only wants to do rock. Bridgette is upset that Ryan has locked the door, as she has to pee.

As Bridgette is beginning to do a little pee-pee dance, Flavor Flav says that Jordan “don’t have a clue what a real producer does.” Being on a time limit, they need to get Ryan to record her part of the song quickly. Ryan eventually allows Bridgette in, and Bridgette says she almost peed her pants. Ryan doesn’t seem to care about Bridgette’s incontinence and says, “I’m so mad right now, Dude.” Bridgette offers Ryan the advice to just act like her and go out and just do it. For some reason, this advice works like a charm, and Ryan leaves the bathroom.

As Ryan is practicing her vocals, Jordan says, “Ryan is a little bitchy.” Ryan still feels that, “Every second I’m in this booth, I’m selling out.” She may hate it, and think it’s not for her, but she is actually a very good R&B singer. She sounds better than she ever did on American Idol, and certainly better than the new Lori on The New Partridge Family.

After she is done practicing, Ryan and Charo sit around and laugh at Flavor Flav playing drums. Charo says they sound like the Salvation Army. I don’t get that reference, then again, the only picture that comes to my mind at the mention of Salvation Army is someone dinging a bell, and collecting cash in a red kettle at Christmastime. The studio engineer says Flavor Flav on drums just isn’t working.

Jordan enters the booth to record his solo, and can’t hit a note. Charo pantomimes the international symbol for “cut” by slicing her hand like a knife over her throat, but Jordan doesn’t seem to notice and continues. Charo adds that Jordan’s squealing sounds like “someone is squishing his balls.” She follows this with something inaudible. The only words I can make out are “Carmen Miranda.” VH-1 never seems to add in the subtitles for Charo when I need them the most.

Flavor Flav goes in to try his hand at some vocals, and the engineer tells him, remembering the midnight deadline, that it is now after ten, “we have to get those vocals.” Of course we don’t know what the penalty is. What would happen if they didn’t make the deadline? Would all their careers go downhill? Downhill from where?

While Charo admits to being bored to death, Jordan says he really doesn’t think about anyone else. At least he now admits to his narcissism. He wants Dave to play the “mouth trumpet,” meaning Dave imitating the sound of a trumpet with his voice. Charo gets very upset by this and says, “Oh my God! I’m gonna go breathe some air!” She adds that it sounds like “the worst human ca-ca.”

As their time ticks away, Charo grows increasingly angry. She asks why the are giving such precedence to the mouth trumpet over the lead vocal. While Dave continues the mouth trumpet, Charo has a meltdown. In her tirade directed at Jordan, I can only make out the following phrases. “You are an egotistical person.” “A real Spanish woman out of control.” “poopoopoopoopoopoopoo” “helluva singer” and “schmuck.” I believe “poopoopoopoopoopoopoo” equates to the mouth trumpet and “helluva singer” to Ryan. Schmuck obviously to Jordan. He just says it’s too much drama, and they need to finish the song.

Flavor Flav decides to stick his nose in it, and wants to see “what’s up with the girls” as Ryan and Charo are holed up in a room getting upset together. Charo tells him Jordan is out of control, and that she believes music is supposed to be love and communication. She also says the song is like the schizophrenia in the head of Jordan. Ryan tells him she just doesn’t want to sing this type of music. She thinks it will kill her career. (What career?) Flavor Flav is trying to understand Ryan, because it’s time for her to be heard “with super musicians like me and Jordan Knight.” VH-1 inserts a hilarious cartoon here of Flavor Flav and Jordan wearing super hero costumes with SM on them.

Ryan suggests, since Bridgette hasn’t done anything all day, and singing bad won’t kill her career, she should sing the song. The problem is Bridgette is passed out cold. Flavor Flav tries to wake her, and Bridgette says it will take strawberries to get her up. Flavor Flav searches the studio, and can only come up with an orange, an apple, and a banana. Offering them to Bridgette, she chooses the banana, with Flavor Flav feeding it to her, leading to some hilarious imagery. Yet, she remains too unresponsive to sing.

Dave FINALLY takes matters into his hands, and offers Ryan the following sage advice. He tells her she is “heads and tails above the rest of us with your voice.” Yet if she truly doesn’t want to do it, then don’t do it. He says to the camera later that he thinks she’s so young, and just doesn’t have a lot of music styles behind her, and that she should show “she has the chops to do both R&B and rock ‘n roll. ”

Ryan decides to sing after all, but says she still doesn’t like the song, but is doing it for the teamwork of it all. She ends up doing it very well, and even admits to getting into it at the end. Everyone agrees she is fantastic, along with Flavor Flav who says she should do more R&B.

Now that Bridgette is awake, they need to find something for her to do. Ryan suggests she speak sexy over the intro of the song. They try it, and Ryan thinks Bridgette sounds like a “freaking sexpot.”

The end product, the video of “Livin’ My Life” shows clips from this whole Surreal Life season, and features everyone doing what they do best on the song. Jordan has written and produced it, with only a short vocal of his at the end. Flavor Flav plays drums and adds a yell at the beginning. Dave plays harmonica and mouth trumpet. Ryan on lead vocals, and Charo with some beautiful guitar playing, while Bridette speaks sexy over the guitar solo. Jordan feels proud of his accomplishment, saying he created this masterpiece in twelve hours. But he needs to realize after the writing, all the important decisions were made by the teamwork of the others. Whether the song is a success or not, he’s lucky to have someone with Ryan’s talent on vocals. Period. I wonder if Simon would approve.

I welcome questions and comments at LB53064@yahoo.com

Boot Camp – The X-Factor, October 9th

by Luke

ATTENTION! With the end of the audition process last week it’s time for the boot
camp stage of “The X-Factor”. This is where all the acts that got the thumbs up
during the first round attend a two day workshop where only 15 will survive.
Five will come from Simon Cowell’s camp who are all aged 25 and over, five
more from Sharon Osbourne’s crew – under 25 years, and the last five from Louis
Walsh’s crew – they’d be the vocal groups. These lucky fifteen will get to visit
the judges very own homes in the next episode where two more from each group
will be cut. Yes, this will be Simon’s last chance to ditch anyone who looks
potentially shifty so the Cowell Mansion silver cutlery remains safe.

Each judge was assisted by a hand-picked team of industry experts to help them
make a decision. Simon called his team his “Angels” and was joined by vocal
coach Annie Skates, choreographer Fleur Murray, and stylist and his ex-pop
singer, ex-girlfriend Sinitta. He decided to ask all his remaining over 25’s to
form duets and sing for them. Simon guessed that nobody would want to duet
with Rowetta, remember her? The slightly mad, emotional woman from last
week who he thought was nuts (in a funny way) but had a great voice. Well, a
lady called Angie picked the short straw and they joined together to sing
“Somewhere Over The Rainbow” and they both did an excellent job. That wasn’t
the case for the also nervous Verity who was partnered with wheelchair bound
Linda who preferred to get some sleep rather than rehearse with her …. the
result was they both forgot the words resulting in lots of tears. Steve (the lazy
guy from week one) joined forces with Odis, he’s the big man with a big voice
and a vocal coach for singer Daniel Bedingfield. They were brilliant and both
made it into Simon’s final five. As did Verity, Lloyd (a very smooth R ‘n’ B style
singer who hasn’t been featured much yet) and he even took a chance on the
slightly unbalanced Rowetta. Looks like Simon will have to stock up on the
tissues at home!

Sharon Osbourne’s “family” consisted of nephew Terry Longden – a stylist and
former hairdresser on UK reality TV show “The Salon”, and also vocal coach and
singer/songwriter Mark Hudson. Mark is a very flamboyant guy who has a dyed
blue beard. He was a member of 70’s group “The Hudson Brothers”, produced
Ozzy and Kelly’s song “Changes” and also wrote Aerosmith’s “Living On The
Edge”. We’re talking music industry pedigree here and he also plays a mean
guitar – maybe he should probably have entered the show and put the other over
25’s to shame.

One of the things Sharon had her group do was to sing Beatles
songs, the trouble was none of her 16-24 year old gang really knew any – this
upset her a lot. She said they needed to study the industry more and said if their
musical point of reference was Britney Spears then they weren’t what she was
looking for. She also caused a mini revolt when singer Chenai was sent home
during day one but was asked back when Sharon changed her mind. The other
contestants were angry that Chenai had been allowed back as she had missed
various stages of the days events since. Sharon decided to confront them and
show them who was boss but it turned out that Chenai wasn’t good enough to
make it to day two anyway. Andy Steed sang “The Long and Winding Road” and
was so amazing he brought stylist Terry Longden to tears – the performance
guaranteed him a place in the Osbourne final five. Tabby, an young Irish rocker
who is more used to singing with his band and guitar than his own also made it
through, but he forgot the words to his song – he has a great personality and
voice though and is the favorite to win the show in the betting stakes. Roberta,
a beautiful blonde singer with an equally beautiful voice was applauded by
Sharon for not using her looks to win and was invited to join the others at the
Osbourne home. Megan, a soulful sixteen year old singer who Sharon thought
was arrogant couldn’t have been that happy to be told she had green pants that
looked like Kermit The Frog but she made it through. Last up was Cassie – a
strange one this, we have hardly seen her in the show before and you don’t
immediately think she has the X-factor when you see her but she was quirky and
made it to the next stage.

With the solo singers decided it was time to see which groups would be making a
trip to Ireland in the next episode at the home of manager Louis Walsh. He was
joined by ex-Spice Girls voice coach David Laudat, Faye Sawyer – stylist of none
other than Kylie Minogue, and ex-Eurovision Song Contest winner Linda Martin.
Unlike the other judges Louis decided to see how creative his group were asking
them to write, learn and perform their own song. “4 Tune” – a group so
motivated they had been in the gym for two weeks went through to Louis final
five although there was concern all their songs sounded the same. Male
harmony group “G4” also succeeded, they were the ones who sang “Bohemian
Rhapsody” in the first heats and it was hoped they would bring a little something
different to the live shows. “Voices With Soul” – a black female soul group
consisting of two sisters and their aunt made it through, although Simon Cowell
had said he didn’t like them at all during the audition stage. Joining them were
fresh faced boyband “Advance” and “2 To Go”. Initially Louis had only liked one
member of “2 To Go” – blind singer Peter and thought he might be better as a
solo singer so they were lucky two members actually did “Go” to the next stage.
His singing partner and friend Emma was told her singing would have to

Don’t miss “The X-Factor” show updates and episode recaps each week 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.

The Biggest Loser – A Preview

by aurora

Taking over the (ahem) Last Comic Standing timeslot on NBC is The Biggest Loser, a show that follows 12 overweight contestants as they try to find the path to health and weight loss. The show premieres this Tuesday, October 19th, at 8pm ET. The show is hosted by Caroline Rhea, formerly of Sabrina the Teenage Witch and The Caroline Rhea Show.

The contestants will be divided into two teams – the imaginatively named Blue Team and Red Team. Each team is roughly equal in total weight. Both teams will undergo a drastic change in eating habits, as well as daily physical training. Each week there will be a physical challenge and a weigh-in, with the team who has lost the greatest number of pounds safe from elimination. The other team will have to eliminate one of their own.

The Blue Team is headed up by trainer Bob Harper, and consists of Maurice, Kelly Mac, Aaron, Dana, Gary, and Andrea. The ‘diet’ philosophy this team will subscribe to is called the “Eat More Diet”. Essentially, they will eat four to six pre-planned meals per day with the understanding that pre-empting your hunger leads to less binge eating. They will eat high-volume, low carb/low fat meals that will help to fuel their workouts and give them more energy.

The Red Team is led by trainer Jillian Michaels, and consists of Matt, Lizzeth, Ryan, Lisa, Dave, and Kelly M. Their eating plan is called the “Eat Less Diet”, which concentrates more on caloric intake versus calories burned. They will also eat a high-fibre, low carb/low fat diet, but the focus here is on portion control.

Personally, I think a combination of these two diets would be most effective, combined with exercise – but hey, I’m not a trainer.

Over the course of the show, each person will be faced with temptations that would present themselves in the real world. These temptations are tests, which the contestants should be able to pass armed with their new knowledge of food and personal health.

Ultimately the winner will be, well, the biggest loser. The winning loser will walk away with a healthier body, a better understanding of food as fuel, a new exercise regimen, and oh yes, $250,000.

With all of the diet and weight loss products saturating the market, there is sure to be an audience for this type of show. I just hope that the contestants are treated fairly and compassionately, and that the show will air in its entirety without being cancelled before we can see how it all ends.

Comments are welcome! Drop me a line at carrie@realityshack.com.

Low-Down on LCS 3 – Finale

I broke down and watched. I had to. I wanted to see how this drama played itself out. I set my DVR and vowed that I would not dare watch it when it came on. Well, I had nothing better to do. It was 7pm on a Saturday night. I know that’s sad, but I have two children and well, I’ll let them watch this.

The agitta was building as the music came on. I was grateful that the sponsor was Rolaids because I would be needing some soon. I just felt sick about the whole situation. It was handled very poorly. I sound like a broken record, I know, but it’s true. I just hate the way the big, bad network which shall remain nameless (cough —NBC, NBC… My, where did I get that cold?) handled this whole thing.

So, I grab a fistful of tropical flavored Rolaids and start to watch. Jay Mohr comes out onstage to thunderous applause. The crowd is excited. I guess the controversy sort of heightens the experience. Kind of like — makeup sex, or something.

Mohr appears to have fluffed his hair. Maybe he got a hold of some of the Gotti boys’ hair jel. He looked good. He gave mad props to the crowd. He said, “We got cancelled. You guys went bananas on the internet.” So we’re back on. He also quipped, ‘This could be the premiere of Last Comic Standing 4. I’m not even sure what’s going on anymore?’.

Like I say, honesty always makes for the best comedy. It’s funny because it’s true.

You go, Jay. Hopefully, if there is a LCS 4, it gets picked up by ABC or CBS, where Reality TV shows seem to get some respect.

Anyway, each of the four finalists – John Heffron, Rich Vos, Dave Mordal and Alonzo Bodden took the stage to thunderous applause. It was well-deserved. They all handled themselves impeccably (if you don’t understand the term, read some Castaneda, por favor. Okay, it means they acted with integrity and didn’t go off all angry. They were class acts all the way! Kudos to you!)

John Heffron, the winner of the title from Season 2, was first up. He said, “I’m doing this two minutes for me!” He did his thang as Randy Jackson of American Idol would say.

He said that as a result of his big win from last season, he got the key to the city of Chattanooga, TN. He said he was thinking of holding a party there next week and we could all borrow the key if we wanted to use the city. He’d stick it in a rock — sort of like a weird, Sword in the Stone kind of quest.

I could see it now. My ex-husband and his friends, say, “Hey, let’s go to Chattanooga and get the key to the city. Um, maybe not. Let’s just go get some beer.”

He also announced that he and Mrs. Heffron, his pretty blonde wife they often pan to in the audience, are going to make little Heffrons. In part, because John doesn’t want to be an “old dad.” He doesn’t want this scenario to play out – – “my teenage son could keep his drugs in his sock, I’d be using the little blue holder – the one with the dates on it…He’d forgot where he hid his drugs; I’d forget if I took mine.”

Very funny stuff, Heffron.

Next up was Rich Vos, “The Don”. I bet he’s sick of that moniker. He was in rare form. The audience gave him a lot of applause and he quipped, “Stop it. I’m just gonna let you down.”

Another gem from his act, “I fought in the Gulf War. Yeah, I fought an Iranian at a Gulf Station.”

He also showed his ‘insult-comic’ skills with some funny stuff that he did with the audience, on the fly, it would seem. He’s a sharp one, that Vos. Don’t let the suit fool you.

He said to an Uncle Fester look-a-like, “Hi, sir, how are you doing? Loved you on the Addams Family.”

To a pretty African-American lady, “Once you go white, you go right back to black.”

He also asked which “garage-band”, mullett guy was in and told a pretty blonde, “Do you know how good you’d look in my trunk with duct tape over your mouth?”

It’s cringe comedy, people. As Vos says, he doesn’t care what we think.
That’s cool. It’s just comedy, right? He was funny. Give him his due.

Jay reminded us not to change the channel, “whichever channel we’re on now.”

Dave Mordal came in to a lot of noise. He asked the audience, “Where were you 8 weeks ago when I could’ve used you?”

He talked about how all the fat people took his fatty ice cream. He said, “we are a nation of fat, lazy and stupid people.” Thanks, Dave. I resemble that remark, but, at least I’ve got the sugary ice cream. Yummy!

“I love the ads for 1-800-COLLECT. Save a buck or two. You’re calling collect. You save 100% no matter who you use.”

He also figures we could solve the Middle East crisis by banning all imports on oil because those nations have “nothing to offer but oil and playground sand.” Whoa! Harsh criticism that makes a statement. Hmm. Intelligent and social. Sort of like George Carlin. Good job, Dave.

Finally, we got to see my pick to win it, Alonzo Bodden (and yes, I picked him before NBC announced the winner on their web site this week!). Alonzo started by giving a shout-out to his nieces and nephews. He admits that he loves being an uncle, because “I ask the kids what their parents say they can’t do and we start from there.”

He says parenthood is a lot of responsibility…”kids want to eat every day!” I know, I hate that about my children. They’re 2 and 7 and they want to eat more than once a day. It’s endless.

He told the crowd he was doing this for himself tonight and so he went into his ‘guy friend’ talk. “Women friends are useless. Having a woman friend is like having $19.00 in your bank account and staring at your ATM card.”

“If your woman friends aren’t helping you get laid, one of them should take one for the team.”

He mentioned that someone asked him to take a camping vacation. “Camping? I’m gonna do all this work to pretend I’m homeless.”

At the end of the performances all four comics got a well-deserved standing ovation. Jay Mohr announced them in lowest-to-highest order, sort of like the Miss Universe pageant. (But the comparison stops there, except for maybe Heffon — and Gulman, right?)

Third Runner-up — Rich Vos
Second Runner-up — John Heffron (I was a little surprised, but it’s okay! John still has his key to the city of Chattanooga, right?)
First Runner-up and winner if Mr. Last Comic Standing 3 can not perform his duties — Dave Mordal.

The WINNER & LAST COMIC STANDING is…(can I get a drumroll, please?) —— ALONZO BODDEN.

Of course, the moment was anticlimactic because we knew the outcome, but it was still a deserved win.

Alonzo is a gracious Mr. Last Comic Standing. He’s gonna buy a house. He’s moving on up…just like George and Weezy…

He thanked his mom and dad. He also told his brother and sister that he won’t be borrowing money anymore, nor will he be lending any. (Why’s it gotta be like that, Alonzo? Hmm?)

————- Panndyra Out. Contact me at panndyra@yahoo.com if you have questions, or comments. If LCS 4 happens, I’ll cover it, but ONLY BECAUSE I SUPPORT COMEDY, not the network!

Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On – Survivor: Vanuatu, Episode 5

[i]by atarus[/i]

You will have to forgive me if this recap isn’t as detailed as usual. The gods of reality TV conspired against me in many ways to erase notes and keep me from viewing the episode a second time. All of the following recap is done from memory. Soooo yeah. Let’s roll.

We start off the episode with the most pointless and inane Survivor argument ever. Bubba and Chad are arguing over the prime real estate of Vanuatu. No, they weren’t arguing about who gets to sleep next to Julie. They decided that there was a “prime sleeping spot” next to the fire, and apparently Bubba is a hog. The sad thing is, Chad’s explanation of why he was mad at Bubba was the most screen time he’s had so far in the season. Oh by the way, am I the only one that thinks that Chad should have been cast during the pirate season? I mean, we would have had Blackbeard Rupert AND PegLeg Chad. Arrrrrr, what a combination that’d be, matey!

Right, so, a Vanuatu native rows up and starts talking in a random language. The Lopevi are confused, and only understand the word chief. So they all point to Sarge. Sarge is like, alright, cool! I’m going somewhere! So Sarge immediately starts taking his pants off, and the Vanuatu native goes “No, no, no! Not that kind of ritual!” He then is so scared out of his mind, he hands Sarge a necklace and a club and takes off. Sarge and the Lopevi tribe are left wondering what the heck? (By the way, they left the footage of Sarge smacking Rory with the club and then Bubba tweaking Sarge’s nose going “Nyuk nyuk nyuk.” ….That’s a Three Stooges reference, just in case you don’t know.) Over on Yasur, Scout is given the beating stick and the necklace because she’s older and wiser than the rest. And she looks like my aunt. Reason enough for me.

And then the volcano starts a-rockin’! And those Survivors know not to go a-knockin’! While Yasur is scared to death, Eliza cowering in fear and Lisa’s hands are shaking more than the ground, the men of Lopevi are grinning like a boy who just got a sniper rifle for Christmas. This is the primary difference between men and women. Massive destruction happens, women are scared, hold their hands over their mouths and go “Oh no!” Men go “Sweeeeet” and try to cause more destruction.

So now it’s the reward challenge. Scout and Lea are now in charge of making up new tribes. However, we have to decide who’s picking the tribes and who’s choosing which tribe they want to be on. So Jeff Probst tells them that they are determining this by an old customary Vanuatu ritual….Rock, Paper, Scissors. Scout is the winner and she picks the tribes. In the end, it’s her, Eliza, Ami, Leann, Lisa, Rory, and Bubba on Yasur and Lea, John K, Chris, Chad, Julie, and Twila on the other tribe. Wooooo doggie.

Now it’s reward time. The Survivors have to dive for disks. It’s a pretty standard Vanuatu challenge. Bubba sits out, and Scout and Twila go for the first disks. Scout succeeds but Twila doesn’t. And then we get intense footage of the two tribes battling back and forth. John K proves that he needs to be voted out soon by pretty much single-handedly winning the challenge for Lopevi. Chris flubs up and drops a disk near the beginning, but saves them at the end by getting a disk when Ami can’t come up with one. Lopevi gets the astonishing reward of Pringles and beer. I’m glad we’re going back to the nitty-gritty, barely-there rewards, like when Gervase got a slice of pizza and a phone call. The All-Stars were pampered with feasts and massages for every reward. Make ’em survive again!

So Lopevi goes to a waterfall to enjoy their Pringles and beer. They have different flavors of Pringles! Oh my, I spoke too soon. Choices? Pfft, you’re giving them the easy life, Burnett. Shame. Twila starts kickin’ it with the men, saying she fits in better now, and her and Chris swap highway repair stories. (Of all the jobs to have two people on the show doing. I mean, I understand maybe two bartenders, or two mechanical bull operators….but highway repair? Jeez.) The beer gives everyone a buzz, and they are all happy and joyous.

Over on Yasur, things are looking grim for Rory and Bubba. Although the two of ’em work it up and chat it up and chew on the sugar cane, it seems like they just aren’t fitting in. Oh, it’s because they lack estrogen. Almighty Queen Ami, Governess of all Vanuatu, decrees that the ladies must stick together. When Lisa tries to be, ya know, friendly to the new guys, Ami shoots her down. Why show them how to do stuff? We’re women, we can handle stuff and we can keep secrets! We don’t need men, we survived the first couple of days without them! Women utopia! Women utopia! (I apologize, Ami has dropped on my scale of liking….maybe next episode they choose her as a sacrifice to the volcano.)

So it’s immunity challenge time! And there’s running, untying ropes, assembling, rowing. You know, the usual challenge where people like, oh, Brady, John P, and Brook would excel. Yeah, that’s right. Because, ya know, Lea, Chris, Chad, Rory, and Travis can’t do ANYthing right, they’re flabby and not strong at all. Right, yeah. Can you sense my sarcasm? Anyway, so Travis gets his first base coach on and signals to Chris, while Chris gives him a WTF? look. And Ami sees Bubba trying to play the game, and she sighs. Men, what a waste of space that could be a woman. Scout sits out for the challenge, and we’re off!

There’s a lot of running, and Lopevi gets stuff done quicker than Yasur. Eventually it’s John K and Chad rowing vs. Ami and Bubba rowing. Both really suck butt at rowing, but John K at least has a good idea about steering and Chad paddling. As much as it’s edited to make it look like a close race, Lopevi plows through their flag at the end and wins immunity by a fair amount. The Probstmeister absolutely trashes Rory and Bubba before giving the Yasur tribe a pat on the butt to send them off to TC. Can we say biased, Mr. Host? Bi-ased. There we go!

Bubba and Rory, lost without Sarge (the leader figure) and Chris (the puppetmaster), decide that there is nothing they can do but pray and hold each other. Meanwhile Eliza and Scout both say they might want to keep the men around to help in challenges. But because Bubba and Rory are resigned to their fate, it’s just talk. Oh, and Ami calls out Bubba on his signalling.

At TC, there’s a bunch of hootnanny. Jeff Probst asks the women the obvious questions, like are you going to vote together, was it really a switch, etc. He fingers Bubba on the signalling, and Ami slips out that Bubba wasn’t supposed to be the one to go tonight, but he did the signal thing and ruined his chances. Rory’s eyes widen. Man, it’s gotta suck to be Rory at this point. Bubba and Rory turn on each other in voting (wow, that 5-person voting block lasted well past the switch, huh) but it’s Bubba that takes the walk of shame. Rory is now 4 for 4, having received a vote at every tribal council he’s been to.

In Travis’ final words, he pines for his family and hopes the Yankees will give him a job for signals. In the previews for next episode, we see Rory lay down the law and say he won’t work unless he’s paid in peanuts. And we also see Julie bare it all in nude sunbathing, and every teenage boy watching hopes Hugh Hefner is watching this episode so after Survivor’s over they can illegally download Julie’s Playboy pictures.

I’m atarus, my e-mail is atarus33@yahoo.com, and I’m out.

Beach Babies-Starting Over, 10/15/04


Towanda is excited to be seeing her husband tomorrow. She wants to freshen up by taking off her braids and having them put back on.

Josie is observing her grandmother’s birthday. She must have been told ahead of time what is in store because she states that she doesn’t want to bring out mistakes with her grandmother today.

Towanda is ready to submit the first chapter of her autobiography. Iyanla tells her to “perfrom it”, and she does read it with more enthusiasm than you would usually expect from Snoop, I mean Towanda.

We see Sommer cooking, a big pile of something with cheese sprinkled on top. Chloe is sitting in the highchair looking puzzled. This poor kid doesn’t know what it’s like not to have a camera in your face or someone holding you while screaming.

Dr. Stan meets with Kim outdoors to talk about anxiety. Kim narrates that she will not hide things as is her usual practice because she really wants to get better. She tells Dr. Stan her mother had anxiety problems, and that the dad left while she was sick with cancer. (I thought he left when she was 6 and the cancer happened much later?) He remarks that she hadn’t mentioned this before and she acknowledges she hadn’t said it yet. She said she had to take care of her brother and sister. (At age 6?) Anyway, she’s now having panic attacks every day since being in the Starting Over house. Just before starting college she was diagnosed with Hysterical Conversion because her right leg went numb. Her parents took this opportunity to stick her in a mental hospital and she’s assumed she is crazy ever since. Dr. Stan assures her she’s not crazy because she can tell fantasy from reality and that 30 years ago people were often hospitalized for behavior problems.

Sommer calls Andy, her mentor, and says she will be going grocery shopping with Marcus, the trainer. Andy says that if they are going to Trader Joe’s, there are salads but you have to watch out for the dressing. Sommer tells her she’s still working on the junk food stash she brought to the house and Andy wishes she’d just give it away. Sommer balks because it was so much money.

We hear more of Towanda’s story, about how she was a troublesome pregnancy and a huge baby (8 pounds but it was a long time ago and her mother wasn’t healthy) She grew up trying to see her mother’s point of view, being split among six kids and later having to share her husband with another woman. After initially becoming a mean child, she eventually did not want to make her parents deal with her feelings on top of everything else. Iyanla’s next plan is to have Towanda sing this chapter.

We see another shot of Josie reminiscing about her grandmother.

Iyanla suggests some key phrases for Towanda to sing. She improvs and eventually gets to something that sounds and feels cathartic. Iyanla says she wants baby Towanda to know she’s not a burden and didn’t hurt anybody. Iyanla wonders out loud what Andre will think of his new wife. Towanda really seems a lot lighter, more animated than a few weeks ago.

Iyanla meets with Kim next. She tells her the next step will be intense and Kim hears that as “hard”. So they work on filters again for a few minutes. Iyanla gets out a big bag of rocks and reminds Kim that since she will be leaving the house with all the training and information, it will be her responsibility to try to heal the relationships. Kim protests, because she’s still not used to the idea of giving without being reciprocated. Iyanla asks her to think of giving as contributing to her health, and also that when you give, what you get is another opportunity to give.

Josie’s getting Chloe dressed for the beach. She doesn’t know what the exercise will be, but has been told it will be hard.

Back to Iyanla and Kim. Iyanla tells her she always looks at what others don’t do, so now she wants to know what Kim doesn’t do. She has Kim think of the last nice thing she did for each person in the broken relationships queue, and Kim remembers that she invited her stepmother to stay in her house for Snowden’s graduation. But Iyanla points out that Kim was not nice to her and gossiped about her while she was there in her home. They keep loading rocks into the bag. Kim narrates that it seems like Iyanla wants her to have unconditional love for everybody. She hefts the bag and weighs herself while holding it. This relationship baggage makes her weigh 219 pounds. They relax and Kim brings the suject to Iyanla. She wants to know why Iyanla never says “Why me?” “Why NOT me?” Iyanla responds. “Would you like to recommend somebody?” Iyanla relates that with her daughter, it was she who wrapped her in the first receiving blanket and she who zipped up the body bag for them to take her out of the house. Her thoughts on it are “What a blessing, what a divine opportunity.” (What a kook.) She tells Kim that her healing will be her sister’s healing.

Sommer’s getting ready to have a burger with the housemates. She says she knows she shouldn’t but she’s hungry and not about to watch the others eat while she starves. Jen narrates that she should put more effort into her diet. By the end of the meal Sommer has realized this was not a good choice and will be going to the beach with a negative attitude.

They all get to the beach and all seem happy except Sommer, who won’t wear a swimsuit because she doesn’t want to put herself on display. Josie stays with Rhonda while the rest of the women take Chloe down the beach to play. Rhonda puts one of Josie’s glamour shots up on an easel. Josie will use post-its to put up all the bad things she did to her grandparents, to get past the mistakes. Rhonda wants Josie to honor her grandparents by being the girl her grandma saw.

The other women are all playing on the beach and Towanda narrates she’s not concerned at all about her husband’s visit tomorrow. Her real hair is short.

Sommer is acting very bummed.

Back to Josie and Rhonda where Josie’s picture is now completely covered in mistakes. Rhonda asks, what if you are not your mistakes? Josie says she doesn’t get that, and Rhonda sends her to fetch her housemates. Rhonda believes the exercise will help all of them because they identify so closely with their mistakes. She sits them down and asks them to give examples of mistakes but nobody speaks up. Josie is painfully aware they are looking at her mistakes. Finally Rhonda asks them to describe an “If only” regret. Kim says that if only her parents hadn’t gotten divorced and she hadn’t gotten divorced… “Only everything would be perfect.” Jen’s is “if only I could let myself love other people.” Sommer’s is “If only I could have spent more time with certain people.” Towanda: “If only I could be honest and tell people how I feel.” Sinae: “If only I could speak my mind. So clearly, nobody has offered herself up the way Josie has been made to. When they get to Josie, it’s “If only I hadn’t been born, none of these things would have happened to the people around me.” Rhonda has brought some kind of paint in resealable bowls and as she reads off Josie’s mistakes, they are to smear some paint on themselves if they have also done this. This seems to be safer for them and they do it, showing Josie she’s not the only one. Sommer refuses to paint any higher than her legs because she is not planning to go all the way into the water and have her clothes cling to her. The women hold hands and wade in together, except Sommer. (Please let this paint be biodegradeable!) They scrub each other and Rhonda hollers and cheers them on while holding Chloe. (If that kid has any hearing left after all this, it will be a miracle.) Rhonda says the next step for Josie will be to rid herself of guilt. She sends everyone else home with Chloe while she and Josie sit on a blanket with a big clay pot (or plastic made to look like clay, I can’t tell). Josie is to put a scoop of sand into the pot for each gift her grandma gave her. Things like security, a proper home, and so on. Pretty soon it’s overflowing.

Back at the house, A friend of Towanda’s is braiding her hair (I don’t know where she came from. In season one you had to get a Papal dispensation to bring anyone in there.) The women are singing “Row Your Boat” and Sommer is making a bouquet of paper roses for Josie. She leaves them on her bed with a computer page of a friendship poem with a border and nice picture.

Still on the beach, Rhonda wants Josie to stop clinging to grandma because the loyalty is keeping all other love out. “Do you want to be the scared Josie,” she asks, “who has no love in her life, keeping a lid on the only love she has ever known?” She wants Josie to know love can renew itself. It’s very hard for Josie to pour the sand out into the surf but she understands it and feels better.

Interview With Kristi Gromment of America’s Next Top Model 3

by aurora

Kristi didn’t get involved in the drama going on with the models, but she wanted to! Find out why, and what she thinks of the whole experience.

Hi Kristi! After you were eliminated, you seemed unsure of your future as a model. Have you decided to continue now?

Yes, I do want to continue! I really like modelling, I just don’t like being judged constantly.

You didn’t get involved with all of the fighting and drama going on in the suite. Did it affect you at all?

I think so, yes. I kinda wish I had been more involved though! It would have allowed me to get all of my anger and frustrations out. I thought it was ridiculous though. It was very stressful being in the middle of all the fighting. You know when you’re a kid and your parents fight? That’s what it felt like.

Were you surprised to be eliminated? Did you think anyone else deserved to go instead?

In some ways, yes. My photograph for People magazine was not the worst picture by far. I thought I was improving each time. But at the same time, I knew it was my turn. When we were waiting for the judges, I just knew. That’s why I didn’t cry at the end, because I had already prepared myself for it.

Jen made more sense to be eliminated, with the whole ANTM thing on her butt. But it was my time to go!

The judges and photographers felt you were holding back – do you agree?

Yes, I do agree. It’s hard when you’re on camera all the time. I was afraid to let myself go. I was afraid to go too far and look silly. I know I could do better in the real world, where everything you do isn’t recorded.

If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?

I’d have a thicker skin and not let the judges get to me. I’d be less afraid of failure.

What was your favourite part of the whole experience?

Jamaica, for sure. It just exemplified the lifestyle, it was crazy! We go out there, get these fabulous bikinis, pose on the rocks, and then 12 hours later we’re back in the US.

Was the Heatherette show your first time on a runway?

Officially, yes. I did the runway when I was 15, but I don’t think that counts!

What was the experience like for you?

It was fun! It was just a blast. The clothes were crazy and I had a tiger painted on my face! We get there, and 45 minutes later we’re walking the runway. It was incredible. It was a great first time!

You weren’t too thrilled about the topless Lee Jeans shoot – was that modesty or a fear of how your family would react?

It was a mixture. My family loves me and trusts that I will do the right thing; I just wasn’t sure what the right thing was! I knew it would come up, I saw the first two cycles of the show. I was prepared for it. But when I thought about it, I knew it would be tasteful since it was going to appear in People magazine.

I didn’t freak out, obviously, or you would definitely have seen that on TV!

What advice would you give to other girls who are considering applying for the show?

Get a lot of sleep before you go! ‘Cause once you get there you won’t get much at all.

Know yourself very well. Know what you love about yourself and stick to it no matter what, no matter what anyone else says – because I can guarantee what they say will be negative.

Thanks for your time Kristi, and good luck to you!


Comments are welcome! If you have something to say, drop me a line at carrie@realityshack.com.

Call the Fashion Police – The Apprentice 2, Episode 6

by aurora

Last week on The Apprentice…Trump sent Pamela over from Mosaic to try and help the women accomplish the difficult task of working together as a team. Each team sold items live on QVC, and the men beat the women by a little over $10. In the boardroom, Pamela brought Stacy and Maria with her, but was ultimately fired herself for not having a ‘good assessment of people’. 13 are left – who will be fired this week?

We kick things off this week, as we always do, with the survivors of the previous boardroom session arriving back at the suite. Raj points out that he’d like to see Pamela gone, and the rest of the group seems to feel the same way. Stacy comes in first followed by Maria, and there are cheers all around. Wes says that the women did themselves and the men a favour. Stacy brags about her Enron comment, while Kevin points out that Pamela’s leaving might have made the women’s team stronger.

Over at Mosaic, John is chosen as the next project leader. He says privately that he’s confident in his abilities, even though he knows that the task will be unpredictable. Raj asks John to give him some responsibility in the task, and John comments on how sharp Raj is. Meanwhile, the women are gathering before bed and Elizabeth is trying to figure out what they need to talk about. Maria complains about Elizabeth always ‘talking in concepts’. Stacy says that now the women need to be ‘hardcore’.

The phone rings, and Kevin stumbles out to answer it. Trump is at Trump Model Management, and the teams are to meet him there at 9am. Trump is checking out some of the new models as the teams arrive, and he greets them by pointing out that New York is the fashion capital of the world by far. (I don’t know if that’s the case – Paris and Milan might be on that radar as well.) Anyway, fashion is a 90 billion dollar a year business. The task this week is to produce a new clothing line that will become ‘tomorrow’s hot fashion’. They then have to show their fashion line, using Trump models, at the Avon Fashion show. There will be buyers from some of the major clothing retailers at the show, and whoever sells the most wins. Chris is exempt if Mosaic goes to the boardroom, since he was the PM last week.

Just a quick comment here – all the tasks this season seem to be something Trump can cash in on. Watch and see – there will be a whole ‘Apprentice’ line of items out after this season wraps up, with everything from ice cream flavours to clothing to toys to panini grills. Mark my words!

Maria is the Project Manager for Apex, and she brags about the home economics training she has. Sandy is in the background not saying or doing much. Is it just me, or does Sandy always look like she’s very uncomfortable – like someone put shards of glass in her shoes or something?

The men audition designers, and end up choosing Ilsa because she is a bit eccentric but still within the realm of wearability. Apex chooses a designer named Darren because he has some great concepts and knows the industry well. Elizabeth jumps in and starts to waffle on the choice, but Maria steps in and makes the decision. Elizabeth speaks up once again to talk about their target market, prompting Maria to send her off with Jen M. to talk with the buyers.

Apex and Darren gather at a burger joint to discuss ideas. As they eat their meals, the designs flow and the line is drawn up. Ivana gives Maria props for getting Elizabeth out of their hair so they can get things done.

The guys split themselves into two groups – one heads out to talk with the buyers, and the other goes to the Parson’s School of Design with Ilsa. The guys make suggestions to the designer, and she seems confused with what they’re saying. Ilsa goes to the washroom and Kelly jumps in and draws up a design. Chris comments that with Kelly’s military background, he’s astounded that fashion came to him out of the blue. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s wearing pink camoflage underwears”, says Chris.

Our words of wisdom from The Donald this week are “Know Your Market”. When he builds a building or creates a golf course or a club, he always goes after a certain market. He’s shown at a press conference bragging about how his books are number one on the best-seller lists. He says that pinpointing your market is vital to success. Thank goodness I’m writing this all down!

The men meet with the buyers, and Kevin says that they’re trying to generate a little sympathy and set the bar low. The buyers poke fun at the guys, trying to think of all the successful straight male fashion designers. The other half of Mosaic is looking at fabrics. Raj is driving Ilsa nuts with his suggestions while Carolyn is laughing so hard she’s crying. She says that the men are clearly out of their element, but points out that Kelly is once again rising to the occassion and organizing his team. Kelly confesses that it’s chaotic – Raj isn’t helpful in the least and John isn’t making any decisions. He feels he’s doing the project manager’s work.

The women also head out to get their fabric, and things are going much more smoothly. Elizabeth and Jen arrive, and things quickly start to get sticky again. Elizabeth jumps right in with questions and suggestions, irritating Ivana.

Apex gets to the design school and meet with the seamstresses. They use the measurements that were supplied by the Trump agency to create the clothing for the models, and off they go.

The men meanwhile are choosing their models, and decide to call them in to get measurements. Most of the men are gaga at the sight of the models. Andy giggles a lot and Raj babbles and tries to flirt. Ilsa just sits with her head in her hands.

As the women arrive back at the design school, their outfits are all ready to wear. They’re all pretty excited, and start to try on the clothes, pretending to walk the runway. Darren has even finished the ‘line sheets’ – informational pages for the buyers.

Over at Mosaic, they have one and a half outfits ready. There is still much to be done and not much time. Ilsa tells them that she needs to focus on what she’s doing, but Raj keeps getting in the way asking questions and confirming colours. Ilsa walks away saying, “These guys keep asking the stupidest questions!” Kelly calls Raj out, telling him to stay out of the way. Raj says that he needs information and that he has his own way of doing things.

Elizabeth and Stacy are assigned the task of putting fabric swatches on sheets of paper for the buyers, while the rest of the group heads off to the hotel to get the models ready for the show. Elizabeth complains that she’s not ‘in’ with the group the way that some of the other women are.

Meanwhile, Chris, Raj, and John head off to see their models, leaving Kelly, Wes, Andy and Kevin in charge of pricing. Ilsa makes some suggestions, but the guys keep asking her to ‘jack up’ the prices. They pack their things up and head out.

It’s showtime! The women’s designs are out first, and they look pretty darned good. Kelly thinks the women are toast, since they have short skirts and backless tops. The men’s line is second, and Ivana likens the fabrics to her father’s old sofa. There certainly are lots of tweeds and plaid prints! Funny that the male designer made more attractive clothes for women than the female designer did (in my opinion). The buyers huddle together and compare notes, leaving the teams anxious to find out how they did.

We don’t have to wait long for results, as the teams are now gathered together with Trump’s eyes and ears, Carolyn and George. Trump asks the obligatory question: “So, how’d they do?” Carolyn says that the men had a total sales of $7,735. George says the women did a lot better than that – they more than tripled what the men sold. $22,060 in sales! The women are thrilled, and Ivana yells “Finally! Finally!” Trump says that the men went wrong with their pricing – it was far too high. As a reward, the women get to go to a celebrity party next door at Hugo Boss, where Cirque du Soleil will be performing. The men of course will be heading to the boardroom.

In the suite, John says that they’re crushed, disappointed, emotionally drained and miserable. He talks to Raj about who he should take with him in the boardroom, and they think it should be Wes and Kevin since they were in charge of pricing. Raj says that Andy deserves to go home more than anyone else though. They all think that John busted his butt and deserves to stay. Kelly confirms that Andy should go, and John is left to think about his choices.

In the boardroom, Trump asks the men how they lost after four consecutive victories. John steps up and says that it came down to pricing. Kevin takes responsibility for the pricing, along with Wes, but says that John walked out on them at a crucial time. He also thinks that their choice of designer was all wrong.

Raj asks if he may say a few words in defence of John, but he’s shot down by Trump who says he heard Raj was a hound dog with the models. Trump asks Raj who he would fire, and he says Andy because he’s young and it’s been difficult for him to gain the respect of the team. Andy says he would fire John because, although he was a good leader, he led them in the wrong direction. This leads to a bit of a scuffle between John and Andy, with John saying that Andy was delegated to tasks that were mindless and labour intensive.

Trump offers John the choice to keep two or three people with him, and he says he wants to bring two. Trump doesn’t get it – why doesn’t anyone take three? John decides on Kevin and Andy, and the others are sent back to the suite.

Alone in the boardroom, Trump asks Carolyn and George what they think. George likes Andy and thinks he has a lot of potential. Carolyn thinks John is a good leader even though he made a lot of bad decisions on this particular task.

The three boys are called back into the boardroom and Trump addresses Andy, asking why he thinks he’s there. Andy doesn’t know, and John explains that Andy never takes a leadership role in any task, and there’s an understanding among the team that Andy can’t take on anything important. Trump says that he understands why Kevin is there because of the pricing, but wants to know why Wes isn’t there with him. George agrees, and John is silent for a moment. He explains that he’s worked hard every day, and put his heart and soul into this task. He hates being there in the boardroom because his team is so strong and it’s miserable that someone has to leave.

Trump tells Andy that he shouldn’t be in this room. He says that John made some bad decisions, but he thinks that John will be very successful someday. In a very obvious overdub, Trump tells Kevin that he made a critical error by overpricing the designs. But he can’t pick Kevin because Wes isn’t there as well. Trump tells John, in another overdub, that he should never have left the pricing to Kevin and Wes, so John, you’re fired. “Too many bad decisions.”

The Donald tells Carolyn and George that John was outstanding and he hates firing people that are that good. But he had no choice, he just made too many bad decisions. Carolyn doesn’t seem to agree but she stays silent, as does George.

On the cab ride of shame, John says he felt he was hammered in the boardroom by the rest of his team. He feels he worked his butt off, and isn’t sure that anyone else on his team could have done a better job. He thinks he was a stronger candidate than leaving this early justifies, but sometimes you give your best and it doesn’t always work out.

I have to wonder why Trump can base most of his dismissals from the women’s team on overall performance and heresay (in the case of Stacie J), and then turn around and fire John based solely on his performance on that particular task. More and more, the firings seem to be arbitrary, based on stirring things up and getting a buzz going around the show. I think if John had taken Wes or even Raj into the boardroom, things might have been different. I love Raj, but he really didn’t add much to his team this week.

Comments are welcome! Contact me at carrie@realityshack.com.

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