We Choose Country Mouse – The Bachelor 6, Episode 1

by LauraBelle

For this season of The Bachelor, the twenty-five women will choose their bachelor – Country Mouse (aka Byron Velvick, a forty-year-old professional bass fisherman) or City Mouse (aka Jay Overbye, also forty, and a real estate agent). And typical of The Bachelor series, there is plenty of cheese to go around.

Our host, Chris Harrison, welcomes the two bachelors and informs them of the new rules for this season. The twenty-five women will choose which of the two bachelors they will keep. The chosen bachelor will then choose the fifteen women he wishes to keep.

We are shown a video montage on each bachelor to get a quick introduction to their background. Byron was born and raised in Southern California. His earliest memories are of fishing with his father. His parents divorced when he was ten, forcing him to become “the man of the house.” After graduating college, he wondered what was next. He considered going to law school, but decided to follow his heart and become a professional fisherman, winning the US Open twice. He was previously married, and lived in Las Vegas. His wife, however, seemed more interested in the Vegas nightlife than homelife. He is here because he feels he is missing out on coming home to a wife and kids at the end of his day.

The next clip gives a quick bio of Jay. He was raised in Richmond, New Jersey. His family includes two sets of twins, Jay being half of one of the two sets. He went to prep school, and loved it. Sadly, when he was twenty-five, his dad passed away, due to not taking care of himself. Jay feels this feeds his resolve to always be healthy. He owned his own computer networking company in Chicago before abandoning that and moving to New York, getting into real estate. His mom hopes the next woman Jay brings home will be the woman he will finally marry.

The two bachelors will be introduced to the women, but the women won’t know it. As the bachelorettes walk into the house and enjoy a pool party reception, Jay and Byron will be watching on hidden cameras. We see the women running into the house giggling and screaming, and drinking frozen margueritas poolside. One woman is even overheard going from room to room, saying, “I can’t find my bed!” And that’s BEFORE the margueritas!

This is followed by a quick one or two line intro by each of the women. Most of are the usual assortment – “I am sensitive.” “I haven’t found the right guy.” “I’m a small town girl with Southern values.” “I am a huge romantic.” “I’m very shy.” “I’m a strong woman who needs a strong man.” “I have a lot of love in my heart.” “I’m ready for the one guy.” Wake up, ladies. This is why you haven’t found a husband yet. You’re walking around making quotes that sound like they were taken directly from a Harlequin romance novel.

Personally, I am rooting for the women that have a little more substance and dare to be atypical. Cynthia is older and waiting to be “picked like a ripe fruit.” Wende says she’s a “wild-assed woman from Texas.” Kristie can be feminine but also likes to get dirty and play football. Nicole works as a head hunter, so feels she’ll have no trouble stealing a man away. Kerry travels as a Labor and Delivery nurse, and feels like a gypsy. Kristin has left college behind her, gotten two puppies, and feels getting married is the next step. Jennifer feels her best feature is her lips. Abby is an acrobat and gets tired of inappropriate questions about her line of work. I can only imagine the comments she must endure. Kelly brought her four-month-old bulldog puppy with her.

Of course, there’s always the woman that feels the need to explain, as Melinda did, that she never had to fight for a man with twenty-five other women before. No, really? Try moving to Alaska; I hear your odds will be better there. Tanya says her love life is so dead you can hear the crickets chirping in the background. The scariest of all, though, was Andrea who said she already has the eight yards of silk to make her wedding dress. I am pretty sure Byron and Jay were mentally crossing her off their lists.

And, of course, there’s the villainess. There always has to be one. This time it is Krysta, saying, “All is fair in love and war.” She could have at least come up with a better quote than that.

Chris comes out to the pool area and tells the women that things will be a little different this time. There will be no limos to take them to another location. There will be no gowns to wear. All twenty-five will live in the house for the first time ever. They will be introduced to their bachelor right now. Most of the women are making the same comment I would, “Oh great! Our hair isn’t done, our make-up isn’t fresh, and we’re in swimsuits!”

All the women are quite impressed as Jay comes out. Lisa explains he is very classically good-looking like Richard Gere. I was thinking more along the lines of Mark Harmon, myself. Mouths literally drop open as the second bachelor, Byron, is introduced as well. Cynthia, aka the ripe fruit, thinks he is HOT! Chris tells the women there will be two rose ceremonies in two days. the first one will be held that night, where the women will pick their bachelor of choice. The next will be the following day when the women are reduced down to fifteen. The question that remains is which rose ceremony will be “the most dramatic EVER!”

Jay and Byron set to work introducing themselves to the group of women, both individually and in smaller groups. Byron makes young enemies when he announces his minimum age for dating a woman is twenty-seven, and that he thinks getting married between the ages of twenty-five and thirty should be illegal. Jay makes an enemy as well, as he explains he won’t even consider a woman if she doesn’t want kids.

At the first rose ceremony, there is a pile of yellow and white roses. Jay is wearing a yellow boutonniere, and Byron a white one. With the men’s backs turned, the women will pick up a rose designating their choice of bachelor, and deposit it in a box. Byron is called the winner once he has the majority with at least thirteen white roses. As Jay leaves, and plops down in his get-away limo, his yellow boutonniere ceremoniously falls off.

Reality starts to set in, and the bachelorettes wonder if back-stabbing will go on, with some women telling Byron before the next rose ceremony who voted for him and who didn’t. I would think it would impact the game long after the next rose ceremony. Byron has to always continue to wonder if the women he’s choosing chose him or not.

The next evening there is a cocktail party and Krysta is getting very catty, wondering how old Kristie is (32), and indicating she doesn’t think Christie has a chance. (Which we all know means they’ll both get roses.)

Andrea is having herself quite a fatal attraction. With her eight yards of silk waiting in the wings at home, she hasn’t talked to Byron yet, but is already crying and talking about what a connection they have. Once they finally do get a chance to chat, Andrea babbles something about a strawberry being like a heart, and it was a sign that when she met him her strawberry opened up. Byron, heed my warning, and don’t give this woman a rose. Please send her back to the fabric store to get materials to craft a strait-jacket instead of a wedding dress.

The other women have had enough of Krysta bad-mouthing Kristie, and ask her what the deal is bad-mouthing Christie all the time. When Krysta begins to argue with them, they admit they are just trying to take her down a few notches. Krysta thinks no one can play the game better than her.

The second rose ceremony is about to begin. Byron, of course, talks about how hard of a decision this is. Then he adds the bachelorettes need to realize this is his life, if they aren’t serious, they should bow out, and allow another lady to receive the rose. The fifteen women who receive roses are Cheresse, Wende,Tanya, Leina, Kelly, Jayne, Natalie, Elizabeth, Krysta, Amanda (to which a wolf is heard howling in the background), Kristie, Suzie, Cyndi, Ashley, and the final rose is given to Andrea. No! Well, I tried to warn him. Those not picked are crying, and admitting they had said they wouldn’t be the one crying on the show.

The women chose Country Mouse Byron. I think he just looked more fun. Especially now that we find out he’ll be living in the mansion with the bachelorettes, not a separate house. That should make things very interesting, and I expect lots of catfights over the mouse.

I welcome all questions and comments at LB53064@yahoo.com

captainD's Boot Prediction – Survivor Vanuatu, Episode 2

One down, seventeen to go! After correctly predicting Brook’s departure last week, Yours Truly has started the new season off right. Because of the WAY too short premiere, very little new information has been revealed to us. The only things we did learn is that the guys still have no balance, and John K. is, in fact, as dumb as he acts. However, I was able to piece together enough of the puzzle to make it through week two unscathed.

In a reward challenge that will once again require balance, the girls will win their 2’nd straight challenge. In the usual “blindfolded” immunity challenge, Lea should be a huge advantage for the men, and lead them to their 1’st victory. At the women’s camp it will be brains before beauty and the first female casualty will be … DOLLY.

The Million-Dollar Mistake – The Amazing Race, Season Finale

[i]by atarus[/i]

We start off the episode back in the Coconut Palace in Manila. Colin is annoyed, he says it was stupid of them to work with Chip and Kim, because they aren’t trustworthy. Colin and Christie are able to scrounge for money very easily. The first clue tells them to head to Luneta Park, where they have to find a statue of a Phillipine hero named Jose Rezel. Chip states that “Chip time is over, no more fun fun and la-la-la, it’s Kim time, time to go for the jugular.” The moms are off next, and then Brandon and Nicole. Nicole is annoyed that Brandon “is just happy to be here”, and she wants to be in first. CC are off last, and they say that “the team that they helped the most, hurt them the most.” Chip and Kim are the first team to get to the statue, and they find that they have to charter a flight to El Nido, but there are two charter flights, one is 45 minutes ahead of the other. On El Nido, they have to find a harbor where a boat will take them to a buoy with the next clue.

Chip and Kim hope that CC end up on the second flight, because they need the advantage, and Colin is just “too doggone physical.” Chip and Kim and Brandon and Nicole end up getting on the first flight, while the moms and CC are on the second. Once the flight leaves, Linda and Karen are anxious that they’re with CC. Nicole, once on El Nido, says that the scenery is beautiful, and it’s surrounded by mountains and she loves it. Brandon and Nic pull ahead of Chip and Kim, first in the Jeepneys, then later in the boats. When the moms and CC arrive, it becomes a drag race between the Jeepneys, but CC pull ahead of the moms.

The two teams arrive at the buoys at the same time. They have to use the binoculars to spot the Phillipinian flag out of three different islands. If they make a mistake, the islands are 20 minutes away from each other, so more than one mistake could be killer. Brandon and Nicole decide to follow Chip and Kim’s lead to the first island. Brandon and Nicole don’t get out, and Chip and Kim tell them it’s the wrong one. Then Chip and Kim devise a plan to try and trick them into thinking the next one is the wrong one if it’s actually the right one. It IS the right one, and Chip pulls off the acting and lying rather well. Nicole falls hook, line, and sinker, but Brandon is more wary. After asking himself and Nicole “should we trust them?” Brandon decides to jump in and gets the clue. Now Brandon and Nicole are upset that Chip lied to their face. Chip comments that Colin hates them, why not got for a pair, then three of a kind?

The clue that Brandon and Nic and Chip and Kim got tells them they have to look for a flag along a beach, then use snorkel gear to find one of four giant clams on the bottom of the ocean, and each clam has a clue. Meanwhile, back in second charter flight land, Linda and Karen are deciding to follow CC much like Brandon and Nicole followed Chip and Kim. Back to the snorkeling, Kim doesn’t know how to swim, so Chip goes out to look for the clams. Nicole and Brandon are out looking too, and Nicole finds the clam first. But unfortunately, she begins to flounder and nearly drown, so Chip swims up to make sure she’s alright. Nicole immediately assumes that Chip is going to take the clam out from under her, and yells for help from Brandon. Brandon shows up and tells Chip to “get lost” and Chip swims off, mumbling he was just trying to help. Brandon and Nicole grab the clue and head to shore. They open it up to find a roadblock. The teams have to boat to a cliff, then use an ascender to go up 150 feet, get a clue, and rappel back down the cliffside. Brandon registers another great quote, saying “Vertigo? What’s that?” I recommend for Brandon to go watch an Alfred Hitchcock movie and find out.

CC and the moms get to the first flag, and it’s not the right one. CC head out to the next island, and the moms first decide to follow, and then take a gamble and head towards the opposite island. Colin congratulates them, saying that it’s a better move to take a gamble, because if the moms followed them then they would most likely stay behind them. This way, they have a 50/50 chance to get ahead. It’s a tense dramatic editing moment, and BAM! The moms have the clue and CC don’t. Colin curses to himself and the moms gain a lead on CC. They get to the right flag, and Colin grabs the right clue. He says that it’s their own fault, usually they have a guide book for the area they are in, and this time they didn’t get one, and that he’s an ignorant American.

Linda and Karen are at the clambake, and they get their clue in rapid fashion, saying they need to keep ahead of CC, and the dastardly duo arrive as the moms leave. Brandon and Nicole are the first to arrive at the cliff, and Brandon says he’s afraid of heights, but he has to just get to the top of the mountain, because it’s a million dollars on the line. Chip and Kim arrive soon after, and the two of them are suited up to go up. Brandon gets the hang of the ascender rather quickly, and starts flying up the rope. Chip, on the other hand, has trouble getting off the ground. Soon though he starts heading up and up and up. Nicole, watching from below, first says “I feel bad not doing anything, but I won’t feel as bad when I have the million-dollar check.” She then sees Chip struggling on the rope, and says that’s what he gets for lying.

Colin and Christie kick it into gear, Colin finds an empty clam first, but then gets the clue. We return to the ropes, where Brandon gets the clue first, while Chip is still struggling because he’s tired. Brandon zips down, and as he passes Chip, Chip says “Hi B-Dog” and Brandon says “Keep going Chipper.” Awwwww. At the bottom, Brandon and Nic open the clue, and find they have to take a two-person kayak to an island for the Pit Stop. As Brandon and Nic leave, I realize that now either Chip and Kim or the moms are eliminated, because if you paid close attention to the preview, you saw both Brandon and Nic and CC in the snow area, with Nic crying and Colin throwing his skis saying “DAMMIT!” So now I’m tense, because Chip and Kim may be eliminated, since Chip is really struggling with the rope. Linda and Karen arrive, and Karen is the one to take on the task. Karen starts pulling herself up the rope, and Chip is trying his hardest to get up the cliff as well. Kim watches the horizon, chanting “No Colin and Christie, no Colin and Christie.” Kim and Linda yell encouragement from the bottom, Linda saying “I couldn’t do this, Karen has to be Superwoman.” As Chip gets near the clue, Kim spots the boat of CC on the horizon. Hurrying up, Chip grabs the clue and gets back to the bottom just as CC arrive at the dock. Linda states that Karen has a great lead, she just needs to capitalize on it.

Chip and Kim are off in their kayak as Colin starts up the rope. And he goes up the rope like a madman. Watching Colin fly up the rope made me realize just how much this team deserved to win. Colin has kicked butt the entire race, dominated at everything (can’t really say the same for Christie…she ate caviar…woohoo.) and here was no exception. Colin catches and passes Karen on the rope, grabs the clue, and zips back down. As Karen gets close to the clue, Colin and Christie get in their boat….and promptly tip the kayak over. Which is funny. But they upright themselves and head on out.

The teams arrive as Brandon and Nic in first, Chip and Kim in second, CC in third, the moms finish up last. And it sucks to see the moms eliminated, because I was really starting to like them. They were always so happy, so cheery, and just plain friendly and awesome. So it was sad to see them in fourth, but they did a great job.

It’s time for the final leg! Brandon and Nicole get their clue, and they have to get to Calgary in Canada, and head to Lookout Mountain where at the top they will find their next clue. Brandon and Nic are trusting in the will of God. Chip and Kim and CC both get to the charter flight and hang out with Brandon and Nic. Both Brandon and Nic and Colin and Christie hate Chip and Kim at this point, so it must be reaaaal uncomfortable just sitting there.

Everyone gets on the same flight to Calgary, and CC and Brandon and Nic are straight out the block and get taxis and get out fast. Chip and Kim are last and lagging behind. CC arrive at Lookout Mountain first, followed closely by Brandon and Nic. Chip and Kim, meanwhile, weren’t expecting the cold climate and have to get dressed in the car. They have really cool Canda hats though. Mad props to them.

CC and Brandon and Nic get to the point where they have to use the skis and poles to climb the mountain. The atmosphere is thin and it’s hard to breathe, so Christie and Nicole both start having problems. Christie whines to Colin to wait up, and Colin gets frustrated. Nicole whines to Brandon to wait up, and Brandon gets frustrated. At some point, one of the guys says “Baby, you’re not even like dying!” I couldn’t tell which one though, because Colin and Brandon were both decked in winter gear and had a whiny brunette tailing them. CC, as usual, get up the mountain first. They discover they have to go to Canada Olympic Park, and find the clue next to the Olympic Cauldron. CC go by Chip and Kim as they are starting the trek up, and Colin is happy and joyous and does somersaults. Kim feels like “Colin was spitting in our face.”

Brandon and Nic are right on the tails of CC. Both teams are in their cars and on the way to the park as Chip struggles up the mountain. Finally, Chip and Kim get the clue and are on their way, tagging behind CC and BN. They are getting famous forgotten-about third place editing, and I am starting to get anxious. Chip and Kim have to win! They have to!!

CC get to the clue first, and it’s a Detour! It’s time for Slide or Ride. In Slide, they have to go down a luge and beat 34 seconds, an average amateur time. In Ride, they have to mountain bike down a slalom course in under 3 minutes. Chalk the luge up as something I want to desperately do if I was on TAR, along with the zorb. CC do the Slide, most definitely. Brandon and Nic are indecisive, they first head towards Slide, but then decide Ride might be better and head that way. Nicole is freaked out by the course for the bikes, while Colin and Christie simply kick on the luge, churning out a great time on their first try and grabbing the clue. They discover they have to grab a flight to Dallas, Texas, their home area, and get to Ft. Worth Stock Yards. Brandon and Nic finish the first slalom with several complaints from Nic about her feet not touching the ground, but they got over 4 minutes and have to try again.

On the second try, Nicole breaks down entirely and starts crying. Brandon tries to comfort her and get her to keep going, but Nic stubbornly drops the bike and sits down on the hill, crying. She says “I can’t do this” over and over, and Brandon says that he felt like Nicole just gave up entirely. Finally, Brandon piggybacks Nicole down the hill, and they head to the luge. Of course, they do the luge on the first try, and a previously hysterical Nicole cries “This is so cool!” during the luge run. They are a bit peeved they didn’t do the luge in the first place. Meanwhile, CC have reached the airport and are trying to get on the earliest flight to Dallas. We then travel back to the park, where Chpi and Kim are trying the luge. They crash once. They crash twice. And I’m begging and pleading that Brandon and Nic and CC don’t get an extremely early flight and leave Chip and Kim in the dust. Finally, once Chip figures out how to guide the luge, they score a time of 32.99 and get their clue. Back at the airport, Colin says that “the only thing that matters right now is who gets to the finish line first.” He says that they need a fast taxi driver, and call up an agency in Dallas to make sure that they’ll have a taxi waiting for them when they arrive, with a good, fast driver. Brandon and Nicole get on the same flight as Colin and Christie, and decide to pack up their stuff and have it be shipped to Dallas.

Chip and Kim, arriving later than the other teams, find out that the earliest flight has been delayed. Rut-roh! Chip and Kim, ever the sneaky-like people, find a flight that gets into Dallas two hours ahead of CC and the models. Chip says that nice Chip is gone, they need to play with their cards close to their chest. (As an update, at this point I’m giddily jumping up and down in my chair, clapping and smiling a big dumb goofy smile, Chip and Kim have the advantage now.)

Early in the morning, Chip and Kim get up before the others to get their flight. They don’t want to be standing by their United flight when the other teams arrive, but look! Brandon and Nic show up with their boxes. They wonder at first what Chip and Kim are doing at United instead of American, but then find out their flight is delayed. And a biiiiig light bulb the size of Canada appears over Brandon’s head. And there’s no room on Chip and Kim’s flight, they are overbooked. CC arrive and see Brandon and Nic chatting it up with United, and they wonder the same thing. And the saaaame light bulb appears over Colin’s head as he discovers the delayed flight. The two teams are frustrated and are afraid that they just lost the million dollars because Chip and Kim outsmarted them. Chip and Kim are happy and grinning, because they’ve hoodwinked the other teams. Chip says that the old Colin would have had four flights ready in case of emergency, but this is the chink in the armor that they were waiting for. (Right now I’m biting my nails and eagerly jumping up and down even more. GO CHIP!)

We then discover that the two other teams have gotten a flight from Denver to Dallas that arrives 18 minutes after Chip and Kim’s flight, but they have nothing from Calgary to Denver. After much frustration and agonizing, BN and CC finally get on the same flight as Chip and Kim to Denver. All three teams are on the flight, and Colin says it’ll be a footrace between him and Brandon to get to the stand-by line. Both of the teams try to work their way onto the same flight as Chip and Kim, but neither can get on since it’s overbooked to begin with, PLUS they can’t allow people on that have their luggage booked with another airline (their stuff was with American instead of United) so CC and BN hightail it to their American flight, and Chip and Kim have a slight 18 minute advantage, less than the two hour advantage they had hoped for instead.

Chip and Kim get in their taxi and they’re off to Ft. Worth. CC and BN arrive shortly after, and we are treated to a random comical shot of Christie tripping over herself in the airport. Nicole and Brandon have trouble finding a fast taxi, but CC have their rent-a-psycho-driver right there waiting for them, and they’re off with Brandon and Nicole wondering how they did that. They eventually find a taxi, but they are now behind. They try to urge their driver onward, but he says “This is a racetrack, not a highway.” And suddenly you know it’s a race between CC and Chip and Kim for the million.

Chip and Kim reach the Stock Yards first. They have to make their way through a wooden maze with a key, unlock a first box with a picture, make their way out of the maze, post the picture, take a second key, go into the maze and open a second box to get a third key which will open the box with the clue under their picture outside the maze. Sound complicated? Yeah, it hurt my head too. (Random note: The signs at the dead ends amused me, like the random “Cow Xing” sign in the maze.)

Chip and Kim are struggling with the maze, they find the second box before the first, but eventually get the first, then the second. The clue states they have to go to Trammell Crow Park to get to the Finish Line. Chip and Kim leave as CC arrive at the Stock Yards. Colin is smart, he uses an algorithm type solution to go through the maze, always going to the left first, then backtracking and heading to the right, etc. etc. They find their first clue and run into Brandon and Nic entering the maze as they are exiting the maze for the first time. CC get the second key fast too, and then they are off to the Finish Line as well.

We are then treated to a race between CC and Chip and Kim. CC have a maniac taxi driver that drives on the shoulder, while Chip and Kim are stuck abiding the traffic laws in traffic. My nerves are completely shot at this point, my hands are going numb, I’m bouncing up and down praying that Chip and Kim make it first. (And I’m not even in the race, I can’t imagine how many stomach flipflops Chip and Kim and CC were doing.) After about two minutes of fast-paced editing…we finally see Phil grinning at the finish line….they show the road…and….

….CHIP AND KIM’S WHITE VAN SHOWS UP FIRST! And I shout with glee! Chip and Kim jog up to the Finish Line with all the other teams cheering, and Phil congratulates Chip and Kim as the winners of the Amazing Race!!!!! CC arrive shortly thereafter in second place, and Brandon and Nicole get third.

Chip gives a heartfelt speech, saying they can tell their kids that they can do anything now. Colin congratulates Chip and Kim, saying they were hard competitors and definitely deserve the win. Phil, however, tells CC that they were definitely the most competitive team ever.

Final thoughts: This was the first season I watched TAR from start to finish. And this has probably been my favorite reality TV season ever. (Except for maybe Survivor: Africa.) I pegged Chip and Kim as my favorites from the very first episode, while many others that I knew favored Charla and Mirna, Colin and Christie, or Jim and Marsha. Seeing them go from the underdogs to the eventual winners made me happy to no end. This is the most satisfied I’ve ever been with a reality show winner. My favorites from day one made it to the end. Chip and Kim are good people, and they deserve all the money they got.

If Chip and Kim hadn’t won, I would have been disappointed to see any other team win besides Colin and Christie. Winning 6 legs of the entire race, they completely dominated the season. As much as I poked fun at them the entire season, they made for excellent TV…almost all of my column titles came from their antics. Even though they came in second, they put up a great show of effort, and they have won enough trips to travel the world a second time, so I think they have been very well rewarded from the experience. Good job to them.

Finally, to Brandon and Nicole, well, God be with those two. They did an amazing job in this race. I changed my opinion to having the moms win it all (this didn’t come true, tricky editing…) but I remember at around the time of Marshall and Lance being eliminated, I stated somewhere that I had a gut feeling that Chip and Kim, CC, and Brandon and Nicole would be the final 3 teams. And I was right.

All in all, this was a great season of TAR, and I’m hooked. I cannot wait for next season to start. My only regret is that I won’t be doing the columns for next season, but I’ll definitely be an avid fan! And hey, maybe in the future, once I’m old enough, you may be able to catch me competing in this Emmy-winning round-the-world trip. That is, if I can find a partner…*grumble grumble*

My e-mail is atarus33@yahoo.com. Send me a chat up if you enjoyed seeing Chip and Kim win, seeing CC kick ass, or just enjoyed the TAR season in general. If you love my column writing, you can always check Survivor: Vanuatu out. Peace, love, and bunnies! Atarus out.

Technically, He Won by One Vote – Big Brother 5, Season Finale

by aurora

Three months ago, 14 houseguests entered the Big Brother House to compete for the half-million dollar prize. Now, only two remain. Their fate lies in the hands of the seven-member jury who tonight, will vote live to crown the winner of Big Brother 5.

That’s how Julie welcomes us to the live finale of Big Brother 5. The announcer runs us through the season quickly; houseguests move in, first DNA twist discovered, the Horsemen alliance, the girl alliance, Holly’s departure, the downfall of Scott and Jase, the twin twist, the evil twins taking Will out, the twins leaving back-to-back, Marvin’s boot, Diane’s betrayal which led to Karen’s departure, Cowboy choosing Diane over his own sister, the final HoH, and Drew dumping Diane to keep Cowboy in the final two with him. At what point in that timeline did this season go from fabulous to ho-hum?

Drew and Cowboy are still holed up in the house. Julie reminds us that the jurors have only seen selected parts of what has happened in the house, such as veto ceremonies and evictions. We go now to the jury house, where the last arrival is joining them. Diane appears, and says she knows they were hoping it was Cowboy. Everyone cheers and hugs Diane, and Marvin finally lights his cigar in her honour. Diane explains that now she understands how everyone feels. She also tells them that Cowboy wasn’t involved – it was all Drew. Marvin says Diane got played like a spade, and Adria pipes up with support for Drew. Marvin doesn’t miss a beat – he’s all over Adria for sticking up for Drew: “Every time you open your damn mouth it’s somethin’ about damn Drew. What’s the deal?”

They discuss how Cowboy floated under the radar for the whole game, or as Karen put it, he crawled up into Drew’s behind and just sat there. Will thinks that was Cowboy’s whole strategy. Karen says that Drew slept through the whole game, he hid in his bed with his face in a book, and then brought someone to the end that he knew he could clobber.

Marvin asks Nakomis how it feels to get sold out by her brother. She says she expected it because they don’t talk. He doesn’t see blood like she does – for her, blood is thicker than water, and for him it’s vinegarette. They all agree that Cowboy didn’t lie to anyone, even though he did nothing strategically. They also agree that this will be a hard decision.

Time for the jury questions. Will asks Drew to tell him, using strategical reasons, why Cowboy doesn’t deserve to win the game. Drew says that Cowboy didn’t have to make as many decisions, Drew won HoH four times, and overall played a better game. Natalie asks Cowboy for three specific strategic moves to get him where he is today. Cowboy lists joining with the horsemen, winning the veto, and being himself. Adria asks Cowboy why she should give him her vote. He says he wants “to start me a dude ranch”, and give Chason the childhood that he didn’t get to have. At the mere mention of Chason, Karen begins to moan (as did I). Cowboy stumbles on saying that he’d like Adria’s vote as a friend, and that he was true to her. Karen says it was a good question, and Adria comments that she wanted more out of it though. Karen quips, “Yeah, an answer would have been nice.” Karen, I love you.

Marvin’s up next and warns them that he has hardball questions. He asks Drew about when he called Diane a ‘trailor chick’, and asks if it’s okay to use and abuse someone in the game like that. Drew denies everything and says he’s looking forward to spending time with Diane after the game. Marvin then asks Cowboy if he voted for Marvin three out of the four times he was on the block because he’s a racist liar, or a lyin’ racist. The rest of the jury is rolling their eyes and looking shocked, but Cowboy says he’s glad Marvin asked him that. He explains that he voted for Marvin because he was up against Jase, Scott, and Nakomis. Cowboy says he’s not racist, he has two black nephews, he loves every race – Chinese, Japanese – and wants to have a ‘relationship’ with Marvin after the game.

Karen tells Drew that she feels directly misled by him, and wants to know why he couldn’t tell her what was going on when she left. Drew says that he wishes he could have said something, and that everyone felt badly after she left. Way to dodge the question there, Drew.

Nakomis asks Cowboy why he never said anything to her about her putting him up on the block, even when she spoke with him before nominating him. He replies that he shouldn’t have had to tell her that it’s not okay. He thinks that’s where he went wrong, and hopefully she can forgive him. Nakomis responds by shaking her fist at him.

Diane asks Cowboy why he thinks he deserves to win the money over Drew. Cowboy: “Of course I didn’t win no HoH or nuthin’, but I tried every competition left and right except one veto that I threw.” Diane then asks Drew about his goodbye message, that it wasn’t heartfelt and she wants to know how he feels about her. Drew sounds choked up and apologizes that his message wasn’t what she wanted, but says it was from the heart. He says he can’t wait to see her after this is all over with, and hopes that she feels the same way.

The guys then get to make a final speech. Cowboy says he was himself the whole time, he’s not racist, and he apologizes to Nakomis. Drew says he thinks they should pick him because he’s played the game, taken risks, and made a decision that broke his heart.

Karen comments that Drew thinks he played the game, and Cowboy thinks he should win the game because he’s just himself. Diane points out that Drew has lied to ‘multiple of us’. Adria is disappointed that no one stepped up and said “I’m here, I want the money!”

Julie joins Drew and Michael, and asks them how they felt about the jury questions. Drew said nothing could have prepared him for how rough it was. Cowboy says that he was most surprised that the jury thinks he did nothing throughout the game. He says again that he was himself, and if he loses tonight he still got 50 G’s and they don’t. They both agree that Marvin is the one who concerns them the most, because his questions were below the belt and he has a lot of influence on the others.

The jurors are finally brought out to join Julie in the studio. It’s time for them to vote live for the winner of Big Brother 5. They each have a bag with two keys inside – one for Drew and one for Cowboy. Without revealing who their vote is for, they have to make a statement to the final two, then cast their votes by placing one of their keys in the voting box. The only people who say anything even remotely interesting are Karen (“after my emotional retardedness cleared up, I considered you guys actually did play a good game”), Marvin (“it’s not personal, you know I love both of y’all like play cousins”), and Nakomis (“y’all both did play a good game, and only one thing contributed to how I ended up voting”). Will casts the final vote, and wonders out loud if it could be the tie-breaker. He then tells them that he hopes they both use their money to make a difference.

The reveal is only moments away, but first we have to suffer through Scott, Jase, Holly, Lori, and Mike joining the jury for the Big Brother reunion. How about they just bring out Mike and Lori? That would be fun.

Julie brings the early-boots out, and Scott gets booed by the audience. Ha! They join the jury in the studio, and the fun begins. Jase gets to talk first (get it over with early maybe?), and he looks like he’s either had some swelling around his face from plastic surgery or he’s had a bad botox job. He’s also wearing eyeliner and sports the strangest eyebrows I’ve ever seen. Anyway, he says that he watched the show with Holly because they’re ‘together’, and says that he felt sorry for Marvin because he had to hang out with Will after Jase left. Marvin returns the love, and Jase says “Will, you’ll know in a second buddy”, whatever that means. I have to wonder if these people were watching the same show as we all did.

Scott then comments that he’s not sure why he’s not on speaking terms with Jase or Holly anymore. He says he loves them both and wants to become friends, but Jase doesn’t want to talk to him. Jase responds by putting his arm around Holly, and they all start talking over each other. Scott actually seems genuine, but Jase and Holly want the spotlight. Holly is asked about her feelings toward Diane. Holly says that she was genuine to Diane in the house, but Diane wasn’t. Holly told Jase that if that ceramic cat wasn’t lucky for him, to give it to the person who he didn’t want to win. Jase shouts to Diane “so you really burned that, going out third to last!” Jase is chewing his gum with his mouth open and it’s driving me mental. Holly says that she’s over all of it, and she has plenty of good girlfriends anyway.

Mike is asked what the jurors need to know about the game, and he says that Karen backstabbed everyone in the house. She takes exception to this and says she was loyal to a fault. Adria agrees with Mike though, and says that if Karen’s talking about full-out loyalty, she just doensn’t see it. Hello, Adria? Do the words pinky-swear mean anything to you?

Scott explains about the horsemen alliance, and that the Santa Monica Van Boys was a ruse to keep Marvin in as a pawn. Marvin says that he knew, and Mike chimes in “because the Don told you!” Jase quips back to Mike “were you even on the show?”

Lori is asked who she thinks told the biggest lie about her. She says that she doesn’t know if Marvin meant anything by it, but she’s not a paid actress or a very rich person, despite what he said. Marvin says that he had to say it to get her out of the house.

Finally, Mike is asked who the best player was, strategically. He says Diane, even though she screwed up the last week. Finally Julie says that she’s going to reveal the votes – after half a dozen commercials. As long as we don’t have to hear from Jase again, I’m a-okay with that.

Will the winner be Drew or Cowboy? Julie is about to reveal each vote. Remember, it takes four votes to win the game. Adria voted for Cowboy. Natalie voted for Cowboy (surprise surprise), Karen voted for Drew, Marvin voted for Drew, Diane voted for Drew, Nakomis voted for Cowboy. It’s a tie, and Will’s vote is the tie breaker. Will voted for…Drew! So Drew wins $500,000, and Cowboy watches his dream of a dude ranch sink faster than the twin twist did.

Drew and Cowboy hug each other repeatedly as Julie asks them several times to come out of the house. For some reason, Scott and Mike are there at the door to greet them. Everyone else soon joins in though, and there are hugs all around. Michael comes out with Jase’s “Starting Alliance – Join Today” sign.

To close things off, Julie tells Drew, “You won with four votes – technically that means you won by one vote.” Julie, that explanation would have been necessary if Cowboy had won, but Drew’s a smart boy. Drew says that he and Cowboy will be partying out in Oklahoma.

Drew and Cowboy’s families are brought out, and Cowboy starts to cry at the mere mention of April and Chason. More hugs, lots of shots of Cowboy and April kissing (bleh), and Julie signs off to end the season.

Big Brother 6 is currently casting – check out our casting page for more information.

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

Girls are cool and Dog's drool!!!!

It’s almost Mother’s Day in Hawaii and Beth is prettying herself up. She tells the hairdresser to color her roots so she can ‘return’ to her ‘natural blond’. Beth is a hoot. I think we could hang out and have some serious fun.

She also tells the hairdresser to make her look ‘trashy’ because that’s the way her husband likes his women. Really? I hadn’t guessed, Beth. I thought you dressed like an 80s metal video slut because you liked it. From Dog’s attire, I never would’ve figured him for enjoying the company of big-breasted, bottle-blond women. Never. Color me sarcastic!

This week the crew is hunting Lincoln Alo. He’s another drug addict — on “ice”. They’re trying to get is co-signer, but she went and had her phone disconnected. Tim “Youngblood” Chapman – Dog’s best friend and longtime partner, tries to reason with the contacts. Beth, on the other hand, is a little more forceful. She also likes to have her way. (I told y’all I could get along with Beth. She reminds me of someone I know. Someone beautiful, intelligent, sassy and…)

Tim and Beth fight like …cats and dogs…(LOL) Dog tries to play peacemaker, mediator, alleviator, try not to hate her, predicate her (Oops! I was listening to my INXS’ Greatest Hits CD! Sorry…)

They hunt Lincoln to where he keeps his boat. He’s not there, but the crew makes some contacts and is biding its time. Finally, they get a lead and take off to capture Lincoln. The person who called the tip in got all upset because they were being ‘rough’ with the criminal, bond jumper. Hmmmm….sorry. Tim apologized. He wants to ‘play nice.’ Beth was like..”‘cut the you know what. He’s a criminal and he deserves to be brought to justice.”

They bring him in. Dog tries to rehab him but Lincoln likes the ice too much. Oh well, Lincoln goes to see the judge and the crew gets its cash.

After that, Dog, Beth and the guys go to an Ultimate Fighting Match as Beth’s “Mother’s Nite Out.” (Note to self: don’t get mad at hubby for the blender next time.)

Beth enjoyed it; Dog didn’t. He would rather not spend his off-time doing anything violent. He gets ’nuff of it at work.

Ain’t that tha truth, brutha?

Panndyra, Goddess of Chaos. Could you email me at panndyra@yahoo.com with questions or concerns? I need to go dye my hair back to its natural burgundy now.

Who's funnier — Louie Anderson or Carrot Top?

Can I ask one question? (Well, it’ll be two by the time I get to my question, right?) OOps. I’m up to three now.

What the $$%%*#$)%*()& are the folks at Last Comic Standing thinking? I have followed this show for at least a season. More than that, but I hate to admit to watching season one (even if it was on Comedy Central reruns.) The show starts with Jay Mohr plugging his website. I tell you people if you visit http://www.jaymohr.com, I won’t speak to you anymore.

His plug was shameless, tasteless and his web site sucks. Okay! I checked for all y’all. Jay is a hack. His jokes aren’t funny and the only good movie he was in was Jerry Maguire and that’s only because he couldn’t mess it up. Okay? Of course, I’m jealous of Jay and he’s jealous of the comics on the show. Why? Because his career has come to this…’straight’ man for other comics.

Next week, he puts himself into the mix because they comics who didn’t perform this week, get to roast him. (I wonder what wine you serve with this roast, or WHINE) Ha, I kill me.

Season One lost — again. Big surprise. Whoop de doo. Two comics from each side had to sweat it out again. With all the sweating going on, you’d think that one of the sponsors would be an antiperspirant, or something. Geez. Don’t they take their marketing cue from American Idol?

Sean Kent and Geoff Brown were on the chopping block for Season One. ANT (sob) and Todd Glass – were there for Season Two. ANT was very stylish in his “I MISS YOU, TAMMY” T-shirt. Awww. He really is a sweet one.

The comics performed. Ladeda. I’m getting bored with this show. I need something shiny. Of course, Jay London’s pants perked me up. He looked like a homeless disco dancer. I love Jay, don’t get me wrong, but I’m a little tired of his ‘act’. “Sorry, it’ll be over soon”…yes, it will, Jay.

He did mention that he was an ‘out of season Chia pet.’ See, more marketing gold gone to waste, NBC!

John Heffron was good. He always is. He recycled some material about hair cuts and being a kid. I liked the material — the first time. The second time it was still good like leftovers the first day…next time, it won’t be so good.

Kathleen Madigan was funnier in the war room than on stage. Her impression of Ralphie May was hysterical. I’m sorry…but when she said…”I ate Dat Phan, but I burped and was hungry a half hour later…” well…OMG! I felt like I knew her.

For season one, we had Dave Mordal. He talked a lot about being raped. You know rape is funny. NOT!

Ralphie May decided to be an equal-opportunity-pisser-offer. He insulted Native Americans, Indian Americans and well…Caucasians. Can you believe that? Actually, he was funnier than most of the performers tonight and when the act is done in the proper context (as part of his longer live act), it’s not quite as shocking.

Dat Phan was okay. He was going with what worked in Season One — being Asian and talking with a mock-Asian-American accent, pretending to be one of his parents. Haha. It was so fresh! I, well, laughed– but only once or twice.

Now, here’s the kicker. Season One and Season Two each had a celebrity comic perform with them. That comic is supposed to help them drum up votes. The comics are LOUIE ANDERSON and CARROT TOP. Can I repeat that? LOUIE ANDERSON and CARROT TOP. Damn, I felt like I was on the new millenium version of the LOVE BOAT. Where’s Charo? (on the Surreal Life, actually, but I digress!)

Someone change the channel, puh-lease!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The comedian who is going to host the roast next week is Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog. I can’t wait.

Oh yeah, ANT and Sean Kent were voted off this week. These were NOT my picks, but oh well. The winners from tonight will move onto the final four. The rest — well, they get to return to their ‘night’ jobs.

—Panndyra, Goddess of Chaos. I can’t pretend to care. Email me at panndyra@yahoo.com if you enjoyed tonight’s episode. I really want to study you for science.

Do Not Waste My Time – The Benefactor, Episode 2

September 20, 2004.

Mark starts right away with picking Linda, Dominic and Shawn to be captains. Everyone looks nervous and excited. In a confessional of his own, Mark is saying that he wants to see how these three will handle responsibility which is an important part of success.

He then tells the captains that they must pick the others one by one….and the last man standing goes home. Everyone is shocked; Mario is convinced that he will be that odd man out, that the others will see him as the weakest link since he is the oldest. I think Mario may have had an experience or two like this before, maybe in school?

The picking starts with Linda, Dominic and Shawn alternating picks. The picking starts and we have Linda, Chris, Kevin and Spencer. Dominic picked Tiffaney, Femia and Christine. Shawn picks Latane and William. Mario and Kathy are the final two and Shawn says the million dollar decision is in her hands. She picks Mario because he had to make the sacrifice of leaving his family just like she did to come and play this game.

Kathy is tearful as she says her piece to the cameras before she goes home. She felt that Shawn was being unfair since Mario doesn’t have children and she has a family too. She feels that because she is in med school, others tend to think that her future is set and she doesn’t need/deserve the money.

Shawn says she dislikes women, “I hate them with all my heart”. She doesn’t like the cattiness and wants to get rid of all of them. I am not too proud to admit that this woman scares the crap outta me! She reminds me of Cruella DeVille and she teaches children! ACK!

Mark says that when it came down to it, Kathy didn’t form enough relationships with the others to stay.

Time is one of life’s most valuable possessions. Each team is now given $2500 and 3 hrs of Mark’s time to do whatever they choose. They have until the next day to plan. Mark emphasizes, “Do not waste my time.”

Team Linda is up first. Mark arrives in the am and the team has breakfast with him. Linda states, “A happy person is a person who isn’t hungry.” They say how they are proud of what they had done in a short time and Mark tells them not to get too proud yet….silence. Kevin finally breaks the awkward silence by talking about how he misses watching Oprah which results in a lot of laughing at his expense. Nice save, Kev.

They then head off to the Scottish Rite Hospital for kids to bring them toys. Great thought but Mark and his basketball team are huge supporters of this very hospital and Mark had been there before. I also know that a hospital is not a comfy place for a lot of people and they risked Mark running and screaming in terror at the first sight of body fluids! He wasn’t afraid but he was unimpressed that he, as a local celeb, was now the center of attention and Team Linda faded into the background. He told them that this wasn’t the best use of his time since he didn’t get to see them shine.

Team Rock Star is up next with Dominic at the helm. They want to show Mark a good time. To start with, a hummer limo pulls up with the 3 ladies inside and off they go to the arcade. Mark is smiling from his first site of the limo and it just kept getting bigger. He loved the arcade, played and won some games. They even had him disco dancing for some game with a mat that looked kinda like a Twister game on the floor. They ended the day with some brews and a toast. Mark stated he would pay someone to force him to have fun like this.

Lastly was Team Shawn. Mark was unimpressed at the cramped quarters of the vehicle after the nice limo ride. William drilled him with questions about taxes, investments and other nauseatingly boring topics. Mario sat between them cross eyed with boredom, I love this guy! *flash to confessional* Mario: William, if you’re gonna talk to Mr Cuban, don’t stammer!

They took Mark go karting, which he loved as much as the arcade. Things are looking good. He and Mario had a competition about who would win, like Mario was gonna beat Mark Cuban! Come on, the guy holds the million dollar cheque!

After this success, they showed the next big event. It looked like a big sling shot that shot two people straight up in the air while attached to very large rubber bands. My first thought was, I hope Mark isn’t afraid of heights. Apparently Team Shawn didn’t have this thought. Mark looked terrified and said you couldn’t pay him a million dollars to go on that thing. What else have you got? Well, nothing. So back to the mansion to sit on the lawn furniture in the yard…..doing nothing for 45 min.

Mark’s subtraction meter was working on overtime for these guys. So, he told them that he had fun with the go karts but there time management was poor. I can’t believe these people came hoping for Mark Cuban to hand them a million cool ones and they didn’t research his likes and dislikes!?!?

Mark says that Team Shawn used his time the least effectively and therefore Shawn, William, Latane and Mario have to be interviewed by his Board of Directors who will help him eliminate 2 of them. This Board of Directors consisted of 3 second graders.

The players are drilled with questions about which sport they like the most, what would they do with the money and if they had ever been to space.

William told the kids that he couldn’t give them the little girl the money…way to win ‘em over! He said his favorite sport was scuba diving which didn’t impress them but he mentioned an eel which won some brownie points. They basically called him nerdy and made fun of him as only kids can with arms flailing and tongues hanging out.

Lantane said immediately that he would give the little girl his money. He exaggerated by saying he was the tallest guy in the world, was silly when asked about mosquitoes and gave the little boy candy. He was even asking them questions back. With a team cheer at the end, he was in!

Mario was awkward but friendly. When asked about his favorite sport he talked about video games. He did ok talking about mosquitoes sucking blood and gave the kids tips on the best way to eat a crunch bar. (freezer first for all my fellow chocoholics!) The kids weren’t impressed by his Star Wars tattoos and they found him odd.

Shawn was nervous going in because she didn’t want to get eliminated by kids since she is a teacher. She used a cutesy voice for some of it, talked about wanting to go to the moon and didn’t know the name of any of the Dallas Mavericks. When asked who her favorite player was, she said #13 because 13 is her favorite number. The kids found her over the top but since #13 just happens to be their favorite player, she lucked out!

Mario and William were eliminated.

Mark told Shawn that she just squeaked by. Luck does play a role in life, in business and in this game. Mark felt that Mario was a good choice to leave….although what was he going to say, you kids sucked? He also said he knew the kids would see through William’s façade. He left the kids with a comment about one of them heading up one of his companies, a small jab at the Donald there Mark?

There are only 10 left. Next time the challenge will be individual and 4 more people will be eliminated.

by Jade

Interview with Alonzo Bodden of Last Comic Standing

Q: Alonzo, you are an amazing writer. When I took a comedy writing class last year, the instructor specified that what separates good comedy from bad comedy is not the writing, but the re-writing process. Do you agree with that statement? If so, why?

A: Well, writing it the first time gets the idea on paper which is good because truthfully, I’ve forgotten some funny stuff. Once you start performing it you see how it works then you rewrite it. Sometimes adding or changing a word makes it work. Sometimes an idea won’t work and I get back to it months later.

New comics usually talk too much without getting to the point so re-writing teaches them to edit. After a while the edits become automatic.

Q: How much time do you spend per week on your ‘act’? What is your writing process like?

A: I don’t have a set amount of time. Depends on what I’m doing. Right now I work on it a lot because I keep needing new material for Last Comic Standing. TV burns material pretty fast. The writing process starts in a notebook or on a napkin. Eventually it makes the computer but I like writing things out by hand.

Q: I knew you looked familiar (besides LCS, people!). I’ve seen you act on Grounded for Life. What sort of role will acting play in your future career aspirations? What kinds of roles would you like to get?

A: My dream role is a bad guy with a sense of humor. I like acting and it pays great but right now I’m doing the show and touring so there’s no time to audition. My acting coach says the mindset for acting and standup are completely different so stand up is it until next year when there’s time to audition. I hope I never become one of those actors that takes himself too seriously.

Q: You are no stranger to Reality TV talent competitions, Mr. Bodden. You won the comedy competition on PAX TV’s Next Big Star. What was that experience like? What sorts of differences do you see between that show and Last Comic Standing?

A: Last Comic Standing has better comics and a much bigger audience. I’m tired of competitions but the experience makes me better at it. The trick is getting the most material in the least amount of time.

Q: You’re currently on tour with both Gary Gulman and Jay London. You all have appeared on Season 2 and Season 3 of Last Comic Standing. However, that’s where the similarities seem to end. How do three comics with such different styles tour together?

A: It gives the audience what they want, 3 different styles. We also probably sell more tickets because there’s something for everyone. We get along OK, too.

Q: How does one go from being a jet mechanic to a stand-up comedian? Tell me a little bit about how you came by your career as a comic.

A: This is the question people ask most so forgive me if the answer seems canned. I was teaching new mechanics and had more fun making them laugh. I started talking about becoming a comic and a friend showed me an ad for a class. I took it because I didn’t want to be the only one onstage for the first time. From my first show I loved it and then I just started doing open mikes and working my way up.

I did get laid off from McDonnell Douglas and went to work as a driver for power rangers that supported me until I went to the Montreal Comedy festival. After the festival I became a comic full time.

Q: What sorts of advice do you have for young or aspiring comedians?

A: Stage time. Get as much stage time wherever you can

Q: Who are your three favorite comics of all time and why?

A: Cosby is simply the best ever. Great stories about ordinary life or using his imagination to change stories, like his “Noah’s Ark bit”.

Richard Pryor. He’s raw and real.

George Carlin – makes you laugh and think. I love that and think that’s the true test of a good joke

Q: Why do you think Last Comic Standing has become so popular?

A: I think people love stand up, good stand up. It’s not formulated like sitcom comedy. Reality fans like us because we bring a talent to the show. We’re not just 10 people at random fighting and having sex.

Q: Your website, like yourself, Mr. Bodden, is awfully cool. Would you mind telling my readers about http://www.alonzobodden.com?

A: My brother’s a computer guy. He helped with the site. It’s got pictures and you can order my CD there too! The best thing is the buzzboard. Fans can chat with me and each other. Check it out. there are some updates being done to make the calendar easier to understand. There could be even more stuff if I could type. [ha,ha]

(NOTE TO READERS: The CD is called It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time! Alonzo’s being modest too. He actually is very responsive to his fans and checks his ‘buzzboard’ often!)

Q: Is there anything else you’d like my readers to know about you?

A: Well, I love shopping and clothes. Motorcycles are my true passion. I love the comedy above all. I mean the money and fame are great but it’s making the people laugh, especially with something new or improved at the moment that really works. One day I’ll be doing a comedy jazz piece. Total improv with a musical background.

Also, I’m a nice guy, don’t let the exterior fool you.

Don’t forget to check Alonzo out on this season of Last Comic Standing or at a comedy club near you. His website is great. Visit it at http://www.alonzobodden.com!

Panndyra, Goddess of Chaos, over and out. Email me at panndyra@yahoo.com or contact Alonzo via his web site. Show him your love.

Stupid is as Stupid Does – The Apprentice 2, Episode 2

by aurora

Last week on The Apprentice, the teams were divided into men vs. women with two exceptions; Bradford and Pamela both swapped sides and became the first project managers. The teams came up with names (Mosaic for the men and Apex for the women), and completed their first task. They created new toys for Mattel, and Apex won the task with their remote control cars. As part of a new twist to the show, Bradford, the project manager for Apex, is immune from being fired if his team goes to the boardroom this week. In the board room last week however, Rob from Mosaic was fired because he basically did nothing to contribute. 17 candidates are left – who will be fired this week?

The candidates are waiting in the suite, speculating on who’s coming back. They all seem to think that Andy has been fired because of his youth and inexperience. Pamela and Andy return and everyone celebrates. Andy comments privately that he’s a ‘marked man’ because of his age. He tells his cohorts that being in the boardroom is the ultimate mental test. Everyone agrees that they need to win the tasks and keep themselves out of the boardroom. They open some wine and drink a toast to Rob.

Ivana and Maria tell Andy how conceited Bradford is, and how much they dislike him. They’re waiting to see what he really brings to the table when he’s really under pressure and not in control of the task.

The phone rings, and everyone is told to meet with Mr. Trump at 8am at the garden level in the atrium at Trump Tower. The suite is buzzing at 5am, with hairdryers going and clothes being ironed. Stacie complains that the other girls are trying to build ‘phony relationships’, and she doesn’t want to be friends with any of these women. Maria comments that they can’t have Stacie freaking out and losing it under pressure this time.

In the atrium, Trump arrives (while they play royal entrance music). The Donald informs them that he wants to open an ice cream parlour right behind him. It’s called…wait for it…Trump’s Ice Cream. The ice cream industry brings in $20 billion a year, and he wants a part of it. Their task this week is to work with the Ciao Bella Gelato company to create and market a new flavour of ice cream. Of course the winning team gets a reward, and the losing team goes to the boardroom.

Mosaic decides to put their names in a hat, and draw one to be the leader. Kelly is the lucky project manager, and he says he believes there’s an advantage to being PM early in the game. Kelly decides to brainstorm for exactly 10 minutes. He checks his watch constantly during this time. Without having a definite plan for the flavour they’re working on, Kelly decides to split up the team – one side for marketing, the other to create the ice cream. They think the women will have an advantage, because ‘guys will buy anything from a pretty woman’.

Over at Apex, Ivana comes up with a little flow chart outlining their goal, which she shares with everyone. Maria decides to nominate Ivana for project manager, and she accepts, promising to be more collaborative than Bradford was. Everyone talks at once, coming up with flavours and distributors. Bradford complains that there’s too much input coming in at once.

Meanwhile, at the Ciao Bella offices, Pamela, Andy, Chris, and Kelly from Apex are learning about the ice cream-making process. Pamela asks all kinds of questions, wasting time and getting the men angry. Kelly says that he thinks Pamela likes to hear herself talk, and even the production manager seems to be a bit overwhelmed with all the questions.

Trump reminds us of the importance of being organized. If he sees that there’s a lack of organization it drives him crazy, because it means there’s a lack of leadership. There’s a joke about his hair in here somewhere, but frankly the jokes are getting stale now.

Wes, who Kelly left in charge of promotion, is back at the suite trying to sell the as-yet-undecided flavour of ice cream over the phone. He’s not having much success at all, and gets hung up on.

The Apex Corporation arrives at Ciao Bella to try and come up with a flavour idea. They brainstorm yet again, and come up with a stupid-long list of options including Old Spice, Losbter, Champagne Cocktails, and various varieties of cheese.

The marketing team at Mosaic is getting impatient, and Raj decides to call Kelly. He asks when they’ll have ice cream, and finds out it will take 14 hours at least once they come up with a flavour. Kevin tells them to just drop a candy bar or a donut into the ice cream and let’s roll. This idea turns into a vanilla/chocolate ice cream with donuts in it. They find out that they will have to spring for their own donuts, so they start calling around to the local donut shops to find a place who can meet their needs. They can’t find one store that can provide enough donuts, and they have about 25 minutes before production begins. They pile into a van and hit the local Dunkin’ Donuts shops, and buy everything in stock. Chris and Pamela laugh because some kids were crying when the donuts were bought out from under them – nice. They get over 300 donuts in 14 minutes, and make it back to Ciao Bella just in time.

Apex is still working on the flavour, and it’s 3:45. Maria suggests Red Velvet – a butter/white chocolate/cream cheese/raspberry and pecan concoction. The production manager says that they have all the ingredients in-house, so Apex just makes it on time. They decide to target restaurants to sell the ice cream to. Stacie gets frustrated and calls a temp agency to hire 5 temps to cover their manpower on the street and sell their product. She announces that she has 5 people ready to go, and the rest of her team is incredulous that she would do this. They call her a loose cannon.

The ‘flavour team’ from Mosaic arrives back at the suite, and Raj asks Pamela if the ice cream tastes good. She says ‘you could put dog feces in that ice cream and it’s gonna taste good’. Wes says that things did not go well with the sales team. Kelly says that the lack of results has lowered Wes’ value to the team. Andy thinks they should donate part of their proceeds to charity, in order to get more people to buy ice cream. Kevin would like to donate to the Leukemia Society, because his brother almost died from it. So now they’re working towards more than just winning the task – this can only be good. They decide to take some carts to Central Park in front of Toys’R’Us the next morning and ‘hustle the stuff’.

The boys leave their plans out, and when the women from Apex arrive they discover the plan. they decide to do the same thing, and sell from Times’ Square. The men are angry, and the women rub it in a little. Bradford yells out ‘hey j-dogs, when you guys grow a set of boobies you’ll be able to outsell my girls’. Bleh – this guy is too much.

The following morning, the carts are delivered and Mosaic is ready to roll. All the guys have bowties, courtesy of Raj, to have the classic ice cream parlour look. Raj wants to get some breakfast, and John won’t have it. He says that no one eats today, because it’s going to cost them more. Raj insists that he has to eat because he’s hypo-glycemic. Kelly says he’s going to allow $5 for each person to eat, and Raj goes off to eat his breakfast. He also dips into the ice cream considerably. I love this guy.

The girls are getting ready, and Bradford ancourages them to wear short skirts and play up their sex appeal. Ivana says that they’re not going for it, they’re not going to pimp themselves on the street to sell ice cream.

The men are marketing their ice cream as a breakfast treat, since it has donuts in it. this works amazingly well, and sales are brisk. The charity aspect is working out well for them too.

Apex set up their carts and start to sell. They run into some trouble when a street vendor shows up with a permit for that location, and asks them to move (not very nicely either). They bicker about where to move the carts, and eventually the carts get split up. They pass the men along the way and exchange ‘pleasantries’. Jennifer C. tells Ivana that they have to put the two carts together like the boys did. Ivana calls the other half of her team to find out where they are. Stacie says they’re on 7th, so Maria goes to fetch them. Small kink in the plan though – they’re not on 7th, they’re on Broadway. Maria goes back empty-handed, and Ivana calls again. They find out the other cart is actually on Broadway, which is right across the street from where Ivana is calling from. All together now…duh!

Over at Mosaic, sales are still great despite the horrible sales techniques of Pamela. She stands on the corner saying ‘ice cream. Ice cream folks?’. She freaks out when someone sneezes on her. Raj does an hilarious impression of Pamela (and it hits me who he reminds me of – Billy Crystal), and Kelly thinks she felt the whole thing was beneath her. Andy starts recruiting attractive women to come and scoop for them. This idea works as well, until Chris gets carried away and promises kisses from the women. Andy gets a phone number in the process, and Pamela can’t believe it. ‘Like he’s going to call her and say come on up to the suite and meet 18 of my closest friends.’

Bradford steps things up for Apex, and becomes Mr. Salesman. He’s joking with people, having a lot of fun, and bringing in sales. Jennifer C. gets on the phone and manages to get restauranteurs to come to them to buy tubs of ice cream. The stuff is flying out of their carts, and it truly seems that this will be a close race to the finish.

Mosaic finishes their sales day, and now they have to figure out how much of the cash they will donate to the Leukamia Society. Kelly suggests 5%, and Kevin just wants it to be as much as they can spare. They decide to donate $150. Kelly knows that their decision could make or break them.

In the suite, everyone relaxes for a while until it’s time to head to the boardroom for the results. Trump comes in and asks George how Apex did. They made $2472. Carolyn says that Mosaic had a profit of $2707. That means, very simply, that Mosaic wins. Trump asks Apex who their team leader is, and they say Ivana. Trump responds with ‘Oy-yoy-yoy, every time I hear that name…’ As the winner, Mosaic gets to go to some fancy-schmancy caviar restaurant for their reward. As they are all leaving, Kelly asks Mr. Trump if all of their proceeds could be donated to their designated charity, and Trump agrees.

Bradford complains that the loss to him is devastating. He tells Ivana that they lost because they were unorganized, which she of course takes exception to. Meanwhile, Mosaic is sampling obscenely expensive caviar. Pamela says that she was right in her element while the guys were awkward. Andy says that the only thing he’d had to eat all day was a 99-cent hamburger, and the next thing he’s unloading into his stomach is $4000 worth of fish eggs. They all drink and toast to one another, promising to stay friends throughout the whole thing.

The women decide to get together and decide on some names of people who failed and should go. They think Ivana didn’t take control of the team, and want to take her out. Ivana pulls Maria aside, and finds out that ‘seeds of discontent’ are being planted. Ivana decides to call a team meeting (minus Stacie). She points out that Stacie screwed up with the directions, and successfully takes the focus off of herself as the weakest link. Stacie walks in the room and asks what’s happened, and most of the girls just get up and walk away. Stacie corners Jennifer C., and says that she knows New York – Ivana set up in a dead spot. Jennifer calls Stacie out, asking where they were. Stacie says 7th again, even though they were on Broadway. Things are not well with the Apex Corporation. Jennifer C. says they all have to pack their bags, and Bradford gets cocky, pointing out that he doesn’t have to pack because he has his handy-dandy exemption.

In the boardroom, Trump points out that they lost by a considerable amount when they consider that Mosaic gave some of their proceeds to charity and had to buy ingredients. Ivana says their main problem was that they had to move their carts, and Trump suggests that they should have taken on the street vendor. Carolyn is right in her element tonight, and points out that they had 8 hours to scoop ice cream and sell it to a consumer. If she gave the task to a 10-year-old, they would have done a better job. Bradford says they overthought the project 100%. Trump said that the men looked better, and Bradford says that these girls didn’t stoop to using sex appeal. Trump says that they could have, and maybe would have won the task if they did. Carolyn says that if it wasn’t sex, they could have sold something else – a clown, balloons, anything. Instead they did nothing.

Trump asks Bradford how Ivana was, and he agrees that overall she was average. The Donald points out that Bradford can be a little bit tough because he’s exempt. Bradford says that he think he performed up to his abilities on this task, and is willing to give up his exemption. Trump accepts, and points out that he thinks it’s a stupid move on Bradford’s part, and he may get fired tonight. The rest of the team chimes in that Ivana was disorganized, lost a cart, and was generally indecisive. Ivana points fingers at Stacie, saying she gave them incorrect information about their location. George points out that the two carts were half a block away from each other, and marvels that they couldn’t see each other. Stacie says that Ivana was disorganized and things were chaotic. Ivana says that Stacie required a lot of supervision, and Stacie says she doesn’t know where this is coming from since she sold the most on the team. (What??)

Stacie says that she’s an independent person, and Trump tells her she can’t be independent when she’s part of a team. Trump goes down the line asking each person who they would fire. Everyone answers Stacie except two of them.

Ivana is then told she can bring two or three people back with her. She initially says two, then changes her mind and says three. Trump points out that she is indeed indecisive. She chooses Stacie, Jennifer C., and Bradford. Trump asks her if she’s bringing in Bradford because he made a really stupid mistake, but she doesn’t get to answer because Bradford says in hindsight that yeah, it was pretty stupid.

In the lobby, Ivana tells Bradford he has nothing to worry about. Jennifer is angry she’s there, and Ivana says she wanted to go in with a united front. Meanwhile, Trump asks his cohorts what they would do. Carolyn says that Ivana was a poor leader, and George thinks that Stacie is disliked by the rest of her team and will be a major problem. The Donald has some strong feelings of his own, so he wants to see what happens.

Robin lets the group back into the boardroom, and Trump tells Bradford that he shouldn’t be there. He says that Brad did such a good job, it’s just stupid that he’s there. Trump says that in all fairness Jennifer shouldn’t be there either. Trump questions Ivana on her choices, but agrees that Bradford was a good choice because he made a life-threatening mistake. Jennifer chimes in that she has something to say, and Trump tells her to shut up because she’s likely safe.

Stacie says she would fire Ivana because she’s a bad leader who can’t make decisions. Ivana tells Stacie she’s a liability to the team.

Trump levels with Bradford, ‘Don’t you think I should fire you?’ Of course he says no, but Trump goes on. His mistake was bigger than anyone else’s. It was a life-altering mistake. If this were a big company, what you did was just stupid. He asks Ivana if she thinks it was stupid, and she says she would never have done it. Trump thinks it was beyond what anyone else did. He thinks Bradford is the best in the room, and he thinks Ivana was a lousy leader. Trump thinks that Stacie is hated by all, not respected by anyone, and should see that. As far as Jennifer goes, she just needs to learn to keep her mouth shut.

Back to Bradford. Trump tells him he made a stupid, impulsive, life-threatening decision. If he were running a company and made that kind of decision, he would destroy the company instantaneously. Bradford, you’re fired.

Ivana holds her head in her hands and repeatedly says ‘Oh my God, Oh my God’. The room clears out, with Ivana hovering looking like she wants to say something. She finally leaves, and Bradford says he has to get his bags. He takes the elevator down to the street without his stuff.

Trump says that Bradford’s decision was so stupid that it superceded the selling of ice cream, the flavour of ice cream, and he’s very happy with his decision. Carolyn says she is as well.

Bradford gets in a cab outside, and in his parting words he gave up his exemption because he thought it was the right thing to do to show his team he was with them. He thought he would come out of it unscathed, with the respect of his team. Now it looks like he’ll be sleeping in the clothes on his back for the rest of the week.

Next week we can look forward to more drama, courtesy of Stacie. She’s certainly no Omarosa (thank heavens), but she sure knows how to create controversy!

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

Crank It Up – Surreal Life 3, Episode 3

by LauraBelle

I am resolving to not take generic allergy medication anymore. By the end of tonight’s Surreal Life episode, my drug-induced state had me thinking that underneath the viking hat, and behind the flashy gold teeth, Flavor Flav is an alright guy.

As all of his housemates sleep, Dave Coulier is on the tennis court playing roller hockey. When he is done, he wakes up Flavor Flav, and together they proceed to wake the rest of the house. Charo admits to being a person who likes to sleep late, and when Flavor Flav wakes her, she says she is going to jump through a window because she just can’t take it. Flavor Flav then points to Charo’s opening robe, and asks if she’s “Got milk?” As he moves on and wakes Bridgette Nielsen, they remember the previous night in a shared bed, and decide, “They got it goin’ on.”

Dave gets the Surreal Life newspaper with the headline, “Crank It Up.” Assuming they aren’t talking about adding heat to Flavor Flav and Bridgette’s burgeoning romance, Dave reads on and finds today will be the First Battle of the Surreal Life Bands. The housemates will be split into three groups of two – Dave/Bridgette, Charo/Ryan Starr, and Flavor Flav/Jordan Knight – and will each work with professional musicians, choosing one of three songs – Born To Be Wild, Play That Funky Music White Boy, or Wild Thing. The winning band will win money that will be awarded to a charity.

Ryan interrupts Charo who is playing spoons on the countertop, as Ryan would like to get some rehearsing time in before the musicians arrive. She is facing problems as she would like to perform Born To Be Wild, but Charo has never heard of the song. As Charo is refusing to learn the song, Ryan tells her to stop being so negative. “You’re a performer; you can learn it!” Charo quickly replies no, and performs for Ryan the song she would rather do. Ryan says it’s odd, because as a Spanish singer, she would like to do a Country/Western song.

Bridgette is getting scared, and Dave tells her not to be. Although he admits they are an odd pair musically, since they are the only non-musicians in the house. I’m not sure why he figures himself to be a non-musician, since he has, and plays, a guitar and harmonica. As Bridgette shows him a dance she would like to contribute to the song, he tells the camera she wants to “do something so completely weird.” Bridgette? Wants to do something weird? Dave, how could you say such a thing?

The musicians arrive, and the housemates are shocked to find they are young ten- and eleven-year-old kids being led by Suzanne Jones, a music teacher. Jordan thinks this is a great idea, as the teams are choosing the kids they will work with sports draft style, and he thinks it will work if they choose the right kids. He hopes they don’t get stuck with Rosa, the accordion player, but she is the last one left, and they accept her willingly. Apparently Jordan thinks accordion players are too nerdy for an ex-New Kids On The Block star.

Realizing they will only have three-and-a-half hours to practice, Charo thinks she should teach them all a new song she just wrote that will be a “humongo hit”, instead of learning Born To Be Wild herself. One boy working with her and Ryan doesn’t feel they are learning anything from Charo, and wishes she would dress her age. This kid doesn’t realize there are adult women out there hoping to look half as good as Charo at her age.

Flavor Flav thinks his and Jordan’s band is having a lot of fun. He says that kids and instruments are his world. Wearing a huge clock around his neck and his viking hat, Flavor Flav tells Rosa to, “Rock it! Kill that accordion!” He has the kids follow him into the kitchen, and asks them what they would like to eat. When one boy says he would like a grilled cheese, Flavor Flav proceeds to make grilled cheese for everyone in his band. Bridgette says he is deep-hearted even though he is “wild and bad to the bone.” I think this is the most sense she has made since arriving at the house.

Bridgette is wearing a revealing leopard-print swimsuit, and Dave thinks that’s a lot for “eleven-year-olds to chew on.” Meanwhile, he admits to slipping into the Dad role. Bridgette slips into her familiar role, and takes a nap. Dave never even had to put up with the Olsen twins napping. Then again, it was a one-person role being played by twins. Maybe Bridgette needs to be twins, so that she won’t be missed while sleeping. That’s just too scary for me to even contemplate.

A Very Brady emcee arrives – it’s Barry Williams, aka Greg Brady. He introduces Bridgette and Dave’s band – Surreal Deal playing Wild Thing. Bridgette is wearing feathers and a shiny wig. She feels great on stage, and thinks the napping and resting made her kick butt.

Next up is Charo and Ryan’s band – Madison Ave. Rockers playing Born To Be Wild. After, Ryan thought the drummer was playing the tempo too fast, and that Charo was in her own little world, but you could tell she was having more fun with this then when she was singing for Simon Cowell on American Idol.

Last up is Flavor Flav and Jordan’s band – King Kold Kuts with Play That Funky Music White Boy. Jordan now admits that despite his earlier reservations, the accordion player sounds kind of funky. Rosa, herself, admits that Flavor Flav taught her she could really rock that accordion.

In a vote by applause from the child-filled audience, King Kold Kuts wins in a landslide, and pushes Barry Williams into the pool to celebrate. Maybe it’s just me, but I thought Flavor Flav and Jordan’s band with the accordion player sounded better than the Laurie Partridge wanna-bes I was forced to endure on “In Search of The Partridge Family” while waiting for Surreal Life to start. Is it too much to ask to find people that not only look like the original Partridges, but sound and act good too? Maybe they need an accordion player. But, I digress.

Sure, Flavor Flav makes many crude comments, but every one or those kids had a great day with him, and felt they learned something too. Sure, he keeps Ryan up late at night playing pool, but he makes a good grilled cheese. And for a kid, if they have fun, learn, and can eat grilled cheese, that’s all that matters.

I welcome all questions and comments at LB53064@yahoo.com

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