Monthly Archives: May 2006

Feast, You Monkeys! (Episode 9-11)

Karma decided which team finished last for the second consecutive week of The Amazing Race.
Last week, the Hippies brought up the rear after using the Yield on
MoJo. This week, Monica & Joseph, the only racers not to lend BJ
any clothes, were eliminated.

At the start of this leg, BJ had
nothing to wear but a T-shirt and boxers. The rest of his belongings
had been confiscated as a penalty for finishing last on last week’s
non-elimination leg. Yolanda gave BJ her purple pair of spandex pants,
and Jeremy donated a pair of sandals.

The Hippies headed to
downtown Darwin, Australia, at 2 a.m. to beg for money, while the other
teams hung around the airport, booking flights to Thailand. BJ earned a
good amount of cash despite his tight, purple leggings. Jeremy said BJ
looked like “a girl with a beard.”

The three lead teams scored
seats on a flight to Bangkok, Thailand, but the Hippies — with BJ  now
sporting some baggy new board shorts — were shut out by the time they
got to the airport. Luckily, seats opened up on another flight that
landed an hour or two after the first.

When the first teams
landed in Bangkok around 10:15 p.m., they traveled by taxi to a bus
station. Frat Guys Eric & Jeremy and Ray & Yolanda purchased
tickets for the midnight bus to Lopburi and boarded the bus.

MoJo
asked their cabbie for help navigating the bus station, and he,
incorrectly, told them that the Lopburi ticket counter was closed
wouldn’t reopen until 5 a.m. They took his word for it and found a
hotel room, not knowing that the other teams’ bus hadn’t yet left.

The
Hippies arrived at the bus station just after midnight. They booked
tickets on the first bus of the morning, which left at 4:20 a.m. As
they had been instructed, MoJo got to the bus station at 5 a.m., and
they left for Lopburi at 5:20.

At their destination, teams met
in front of the Three Spires Pagoda. The Hippies got there just before
the temple opened at 8 a.m. to find the Frats and Ray & Yolanda
already waiting there.

Eric & Jeremy tried to befriend the
monkeys that call the temple home by feeding them Pringles. Ray kept
his distance and called the monkeys “rats on steroids.”

Inside
the temple, the clue contained directions to the second Fast Forward on
the race. The Hippies and Ray & Yolanda decided to take a chance on
a short cut to the Pit Stop by taking a cab two miles to a restaurant
for a “popular afterschool activity.”

In Thailand, a popular
afterschool activity is snacking on fried crickets. Yolanda was cocky
about her team’s chances at first. “We’re from the South,” she said.
“We eat anything fried.” But, after tasting a couple of the crispy
critters, she and Ray decided the monkeys didn’t look so bad and drove
back to the temple.

That left BJ & Tyler to finish a bowl of
crickets each. As Tyler’s bowl of “fingernails with guts inside” cooled
and the guts congealed, he questioned their decision. But they kept
downing crickets, taking occasional vomit breaks, and were able to
finish the Fast Forward.

They rode to Bangkok’s Marble Temple to
meet Phil, who congratulated them on being the first of three teams to
earn a spot in next week’s finale.

Instead of giving a prize to
the first team to finish this week’s leg, Travelocity included sealed
envelopes with each team’s clue at the temple. The team whose envelope
contained a picture of a golden Travelocity gnome received the prize.
The Hippies didn’t have the winning ticket, but they were excited just
to have pants and still be in the race.

Back at the monkey
temple, Eric was working on a Roadblock. One member of each team had to
slice and arrange fruit for a ceremonial offering to be given to the
monkeys. Unfortunately, monkeys aren’t very patient; much of Eric’s
time was spent chasing them away from his unfinished arrangement.

Monica
& Joseph finally arrived at the temple, only then realizing that
they were the last team to reach it. Joseph got to work on the
ceremonial offering, and when Ray & Yolanda got back from their
aborted Fast Forward attempt, Yolanda started sculpting her offering.

Eric
finished his display first, yelling, “Feast, you monkeys,” as the
hungry simians devoured the results of his hard work. The next clue
told teams to take a taxi 90 miles and catch a ferry to Koh Kret
Island. Joseph and Yolanda soon finished their tasks and followed right
behind.

Once on Koh Kret Island, teams had to find a cluebox in
the Buddha Garden. The Frats did, and the clue gave them a choice of
Detours: “Move It” or “Altar It.” They chose “Altar It,” which required
them to cover a Buddha statue in gold leaf and arrange it in a shrine.

MoJo
was the second team to the island, but they ignored the guide posts and
were again given bad directions. They found the shrine, but had to back
track a bit to find the Detour clue. By that time, Ray & Yolanda
had found their clue and also decided to “Altar It.”

MoJo
decided to check out “Altar It” since they already knew where the
shrine was, but opted for the other task after seeing how tedious it
was to apply gold leaf. “Move It” was a physical task, which to them
sounded much faster.

Both the Frats and Ray & Yolanda
persisted with their original task, spending extra time to correct
aesthetic problems the shrine judges found with their statues. Eric
& Jeremy finished first and caught a ferry to the mainland, where
they lost time looking for a cab.

Ray & Yolanda finished
soon after the Frats and were able to find a cab easily. Both teams
made their way through Bangkok’s crowded streets to the Marble Temple.

For
“Move It,” Monica and Joseph each carried a long plank of wood while
balancing terra cotta pots on top of it. They had to deliver a total of
72 pots to a nearby boat to receive their clue. If they were careful,
they could finish in two trips.

But much like the swordfish
carrying task in Sicily, the load was too heavy for Monica, both
physically and emotionally. On her second trip, she dropped 10 of her
12 pots, crying the whole way to the dock.

Joseph reassured her
more gently than he has in the past, encouraging her to just do the
best she could. As soon as the finished and got back to the mainland,
they grabbed a cab and drove to the temple for the finish.

Despite
their cab troubles, Eric & Jeremy arrived in second place. Ray
& Yolanda followed in third and had the winning golden gnome. Their
reward was a cruise on a private yacht around Sydney harbor, and a tour
of the Great Barrier Reef. Maybe more importantly, they got to spend
that night in a luxury hotel, apart from the Hippies and Frat Guys.

MoJo
arrived at the Pit Stop and learned that they had been eliminated from
the race. But, in a rare turn for racing couples unsure about their
future, Monica & Joseph said the experience cemented their
relationship, and they are now planning on getting married.

Next
week’s two-hour finale brings BJ & Tyler, Eric & Jeremy, and
Ray & Yolanda back to North America. The Hippies’ lead could easily
be erased at an airport, so it’s still anybody’s race.

Whilst Supplies Last (Episode 5-11)

What’s one cheerleader between friends? Apparently a lot, since that’s what got Michael fired on this week’s episode of The Apprentice.

Lee
and Michael returned from the boardroom after both Tarek and Charmaine
were fired, but the women of Synergy were still obsessed with what had
happened in the boardroom the week before.

Roxanne and Allie
were upset that Sean hadn’t yet apologized to Allie for saying that she
should have been fired instead of Andrea. The women discussed the topic
at such volume that Sean had to wear earplugs just to get some sleep.

The
following morning, the remaining six contestants headed to Rutgers
University for this week’s task. Because Gold Rush had only two
remaining members, Trump asked one member of Synergy to join Lee and
Michael on Gold Rush. Sean wasted no time in volunteering himself.

Working
with Outback Steakhouse, the teams had to throw tailgate parties at the
Rutgers homecoming football game against Navy. Sean embraced the idea
of selling steak with his new teammates: “I feel like a man again!”

Lee
took the helm for Gold Rush and decided to focus on events to drive
traffic to their assigned parking lot. This included an eating contest,
a money booth, and an exclusive appearance by the Rutgers cheerleaders.

Synergy
was also interested in working with the cheerleaders, and Allie
negotiated with their coach to split the squad in two. When the coach
informed Michael of the new deal, he saw no problem with it — he
thought it wouldn’t be fair to have such an advantage over Synergy —
but he wanted to confirm it was okay with his Project Manager.

Lee
and Sean laughed at the idea of giving Synergy even one cheerleader for
their event. They instructed Michael to remind the coach that their
deal was for an “exclusive” appearance. Of Michael’s plan to breach his
own team’s exclusivity deal, Sean exclaimed, “No, wanker, no!”

Synergy,
led by Roxanne, abandoned the idea of special events and opted just to
promote their party at the pep rally the night before. But by the time
Roxanne and Tammy finished making their flyers, the pep rally was over.

Gold
Rush, on the other hand, had blanketed the rally with flyers — after
making some adjustments to Sean’s copywriting. Lee and Michael made fun
of Sean’s British vernacular when he’d written that food would be for
sale “whilst supplies last.”

On Homecoming day, Gold Rush’s
events brought out huge crowds. Lee priced the chicken and steak for $4
and the onion appetizer and soup for $2, reasoning that college kids
wouldn’t have much cash on hand for food. Sean and Lee tried to drive
people toward the sales tent whilst Michael ran the eating contest,
watched the money booth, and basically spent the day talking into a
microphone.

Roxanne decided that if Synergy wasn’t going to have
the official cheerleaders at their party, her team would dress like
cheerleaders themselves. They priced every item at $5 and delivered
food to smaller parties in every parking lot. Allie sold $200 worth of
food to the baseball team alone, after she agreed to learn the Rutgers
school cheer.

The delivery strategy paid off big time, and
Synergy outsold Gold Rush by $1000. For their reward, Roxanne, Tammy,
and Allie were flown by helicopter to a vineyard on Long Island, where
they stomped grapes to make their own wine. Allie’s was a perky
Cabernet, which I believe she called “Blood Everywhere!

In
the suite, Sean and Lee faulted Michael for being tethered to his
mocrophone, and not selling enough food. Michael felt that Lee had
spent too much time planning a spectacle, and not enough time on sales
strategy.

Everyone stuck with their positions in the boardroom,
and Viceroy George was upset with Lee for dropping the ball on pricing.
College students bring plenty of money to football games to buy beer,
George said, so they would’ve willingly spent a few extra dollars for
steak.

The biggest laughs came at Michael’s expense, after Lee
brought up the proposed deal for sharing the cheerleaders. Michael
protested that he was merely trying to be fair to his competition and
put the cheerleading coach at ease, but Trump and his viceroys thought
willfully giving away assets was just stupid.

Trump fired Michael to teach him a lesson: “When you have a cheerleader, you never give her up.”

In
the cab, Michael was upset with himself for losing over such a small
thing at this late stage in the game. But he still couldn’t believe
that what he did was worse than actually losing the task — considering his
cheerleader-sharing plan ultimately never came to fruition, anyway.

Next week, the show moves one hour later to 10e/9c, and teams work to promote the Xbox 360.

It’s Called Karma (Episode 9-10)

Sorry about the lateness of this recap. I went with my niece to see Sesame Street Live on Wednesday, and I didn’t get to catch up on TAR until later. At SSL, Big Bird & Snuffleupagus were able to overcome their personal differences and arrive at the Pit Stop first. In a shocking finish, alpha-monsters Oscar & The Count finished in last and were eliminated.

The Hippies survived another last place finish, thanks to this season’s second non-elimination leg of The Amazing Race. But this time, they’ll have to beg for more than money at the start of the next leg.

All
of the teams were forced to wait for a bell tower to open before they
could hunt for their first clue, and there was plenty of tension still
simmering between the Hippies and MoJo. BJ & Tyler tried to deflect
some of Joseph’s anger onto Eric, who had been flirting with Monica.
Instead, Joseph became even angrier with the Hippies for pointing it
out.

Before the bell tower opened at 8 a.m., teams called a cab
company and arranged for taxis to wait for them outside of the tower.
Eric, who’d reserved a car under an alias, called the company back and
cancelled the cabs reserved for Ray and Tyler.

Teams grabbed
their clues and returned to the bottom of the tower to find only MoJo’s
cab waiting, giving them a head start on their way to the airport. Ray
confirmed with the cab company that their taxi had been cancelled, and
he ordered a new pair of cabs. Naturally, Ray and Tyler assumed that
Joseph had cancelled their taxis, and Eric didn’t bother to correct
them.

Ray & Yolanda and the Hippies were picked up, leaving
the Frat Boys in last place. Jeremy reflected on Eric’s cab-cancelling
prank and figured out why they were left behind: “It’s called karma.”

Eventually
everyone arrived at the airport and boarded the same plane to Darwin,
Australia. There, teams had to wade into a pool of crocodiles at a
crocodile sanctuary to retrieve their clue. In the cab to the
sanctuary, Yolanda mused, “Black people wouldn’t be stupid enough to
get into a pool of crocodiles…or would they? Because that’s what
we’re about to do.” Ray replied, “For one million dollars, they would.”

No
limbs were lost in the croc pen, and the clues informed teams that a
Yield awaited them at the site of the Roadblock. MoJo and the Hippies
arrived at the next location at the same time, with the Hippies
narrowly beating MoJo to the Yield mat. As promised, BJ & Tyler
forced Monica & Joseph to wait before they could complete the
Roadblock.

The remaining teams soon arrived at the Roadblock,
and BJ, Eric, and Ray went skydiving to earn their next clue. Monica
and Joseph argued on the mat, with Monica insisting that it wasn’t fair
that the Hippies yielded them. Joseph’s attempts to bully Monica into
cheerfulness failed, and the two fought for an extra minute after their
Yield time had run out.

Teams were guided to find their next
clue in a field of termite mounds. Tyler jokingly feared for the safety
of his peg leg. The clue gave them two Detour choices: Wet or Dry. The
Hippies and Frat Guys chose Wet, opting to hike and swim one mile
through a jungle river.

The Dry option was actually the quicker
of the two, even if it didn’t sound so on paper. Each team had to drive
six miles off-road to a rock formation, where they then picked one of
several didgeredoos. Following the sound of music, they had to find a
musician whose didgeredoo sported the same pattern as their own. After
each team member successfully blew a note on the instrument, they
received their next clue.

The off-road portion turned out to be
a simple dirt road, and not the muddy fields some teams anticipated.
Ray & Yolanda finished the task quickly and passed MoJo on their
way back to the main highway.

Meanwhile, the Hippies and Frats
endured what BJ called “prolonged torture” as they hiked and swam what
felt like much longer than one mile. Both teams avoided the river’s
poisonous spiders and plants and got their next clue, which instructed
them to drive to the Pit Stop.

Ray & Yolanda arrived in
first place, winning each of them a one-year lease on a Mercedes. Ray
beamed, prompting Phil to remark that this was the happiest he’s seen
Ray all race.

The Hippies and Frats flagged down a car to ask
for directions. While they were stopped, MoJo drove past them. The two
all-male teams jumped into their cars and sped to the Pit Stop. All
three teams arrived at the same time, parked quickly, and raced on foot
to the mat.

The five men ran in a group toward the pit stop, which was on the far
side of a short and narrow bridge over a riverbed. Monica lagged
behind, but only by a few seconds.

As Jeremy, Tyler, and Joseph crossed the bridge, Eric and BJ thought it
would be faster to cross the river on foot. For Eric, it was, and he
and Jeremy ended up on the mat first of the three teams.

But BJ, who’d driven from the Detour in only his boxers and t-shirt,
struggled to navigate the river rocks without shoes. Monica ran across
the bridge and beat BJ by seconds, putting the Hippies in last place
for the leg.

Joseph, the sore winner, screamed at BJ &
Tyler, “You yielded us! We beat you!” Phil informed the teams that Eric
& Jeremy had arrived in second place, Monica & Joseph in third,
and BJ & Tyler in fourth.

Fortunately for the Hippies, this
was a non-elimination leg, meaning that they’ll be back next week —
but with no money and only the clothes on their backs. BJ tried to stay
optimistic, telling Phil, “at least we have less to lose,” since most
of their possessions were confiscated at the last non-elimination leg.

Next
week, BJ has to find pants and a pair of shoes, and teams fly to
Thailand. Eric gets frustrated while preparing a feast for some
monkeys, and Monica has a meltdown that could rival her Italian
fish-carrying breakdown.

DWTS Offseason Update: 5-5-06

Another Possible Season 3 Celebrity
USC Quarterback Matt Leinart is the latest celeb rumored to be a candidate for DWTS 3. The subject came up at last weekend’s NFL draft, where Leinart was picked 10th by the Arizona Cardinals.

Stacy Visits Fresno State on Sunday
Before the May 7 WWE event at Fresno State, Stacy Keibler will hold an autograph session “between the Save Mart Center and the Student Recreation Center.” Wristbands for this prestigious sounding event will be handed out to the first 500 fans at 2 p.m.

Cheryl Tours the Philippines
Cheryl Burke is spending a week in the Philippines, and she celebrated her birthday by meeting President Macapagal-Arroyo. In an interview, Cheryl revealed that she has a surprising celebrity fan: Samuel L. Jackson. If his summer movie, Snakes on a Plane, does well at the box office, maybe there will be a part for Cheryl in the sequel — Snakes on a Plane 2: Dancing with the Snakes.

Master P Stirs up Trouble
Master P keeps making headlines by perpetuating a rivalry between his son, Romeo, and fellow rapper, Bow Wow. At Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards last month, P said that the youngsters might have come to blows had Bow Wow not retreated to his trailer. Bow Wow responded that Romeo was just upset because he “can’t sell no records and your daddy is on Dancing with the Stars.” Ouch!

Now Master P is upset that Romeo’s new album isn’t receiving radio support, and he contends that Bow Wow’s record label is forcing stations not to play Romeo’s single. P’s threatening to start his own radio stations if that’s what it takes to get Romeo’s album out, and worse, he’s planning to release a book entitled How to Be Successful and Still Be Yourself. Need anyone remind him how far being himself got him on DWTS?


America’s Ballroom Challenge Track List
Fans of the PBS program America’s Ballroom Challenge can view the complete song list from the show at its official website. Kudos to Tony Dovolani for trying to make Jon Secada relevant again.

My Mom Is My Rock (Episode 12-12)

Weepy dad Shane was finally rewarded with a visit from his son, Boston.
But he became the next victim of Cirie’s masterful plot to eliminate
the easy money options from Survivor: Panama – Exile Island.

Knowing
that Shane was surprised by Courtney’s elimination at the last Tribal
Council, Aras and Cirie lied to him to keep up the pretense that their
alliance was still intact. They explained that Danielle told Cirie at
the last minute that she was going to vote with Courtney and Terry for
Aras, and that they didn’t have time to alert Shane to the bargain they
struck to save Aras.

Shane bought their story. Regarding
Courtney’s elimination, Shane said in 1950’s lingo, “It couldn’t have
happened to a loopier broad.”

This week’s Reward Challenge was a
four-part obstacle course, combining elements of previous challenges.
One person was eliminated after each leg, and the eventual winner had
to decide which survivors would get to spend time with their loved
ones, who waited just out of sight.

During stage one,
contestants dug in the sand to find a bag, and Shane came in last
place. For stage two, everyone crawled through a tunnel carrying their
bag, and untied a wooden snake from atop a bar. Cirie was the next
person out of the running.

Danielle, Terry, and Aras carried
their bag and snake into a pit of water, where they untied a fish
suspended over the water. Danielle couldn’t get her knot untied,
leaving Terry and Aras to battle it out in the finals.

Carrying
all three items, Terry and Aras crawled and climbed through a series of
horizontal and vertical tunnels. As soon as Aras dropped his bag
halfway through, the race was Terry’s, to the surprise of nobody.

Terry
had to decide which two loved ones would accompany their survivors on
an overnight trip to a resort, whose loved one would spend the night at
camp, who would give their survivor a hug, and which loved one wouldn’t
get to share any love.

Naturally, Terry picked his wife, Trish
to join him at the resort, along with the sobbing Shane and his son.
Terry sent Cirie back to camp with her husband, H.B., and Aras got to
hug his mom, Theresa. During the hug, Aras asked Theresa to have five
dinners waiting for him when he got home.

As punishment for
breaking her recent pact with him to take Courtney to the final two,
Terry didn’t let Danielle hug her mom, Denise. As further punishment,
Danielle was then sent to Exile Island.

The refrigerator at the
resort was stocked with wine, beer, fruit, and ice cream, and there
were four hot pizzas waiting for the winners as well. Trish eagerly
talked strategy with Terry and Shane, who said about her, “what a
lovely woman, but unbelievably competitive.”

At camp, H.B.
marveled at how dirty camp life was, and how bad Cirie smelled. The
next morning, he was forced to take care of all of the chores so that
Cirie and Aras could “conserve their energy.” H.B. started to cringe
every time Cirie began a sentence with, “Honey Bunny…” knowing that
more labor was in store.

All of the family members were ferried
away and Terry and Shane returned to camp. When asked what it was like
to sleep in a real bed again, Terry said that he and Trish didn’t do
much sleeping, further proof that Terry has no idea how off-putting he
is.

But Terry wasn’t done irritating his tribemates. He launched
into his explanation of his method for doling out the reward, reasoning
that Danielle shouldn’t be too upset because “she’s 24, and it’s just
her mom.”

This angered Aras, who tried to explain that all of
them have been separated from their families for over 30 days and that
the visit was equally important to all. What came out was, “My mom is
my rock, just like Trish is your rock.” We can only hope that Aras and
his rock would’ve gotten more sleep than Terry did with his.

The
Immunity Challenge tested the survivors’ balance by perching them atop
tiny platforms 20 feet above the water. Using a bucket attached to a
rope, they hauled water to fill a small bamboo tube attached 10 feet
below the top of the platform. Water in the tube raised a flag, and the
first person to grab their flag won.

It took Shane most of the
challenge to figure out that the water was supposed to go in the tube,
and not down a hole in the middle of the platform on which he was
standing. Again, the race between rivals Terry and Aras came down to
the wire, but Terry still couldn’t be beat. I guess maybe it’s not
really a rivalry if the same party wins every time.

With the
hidden immunity idol in his back pocket, Terry has an automatic pass to
the final three, regardless of the next Immunity challenge. The only
incentive he has to even try winning that one is to prevent someone
else from getting immunity, if he doesn’t want to see that person in
the final three.

Shane and Terry talked at camp about getting
rid of Danielle, and both assumed that they would probably be in the
final two together. Terry felt confident that the members of Casaya
would appreciate the hard work he did about camp, and his success rate
in challenges, and give him the money over Shane.

In reality,
they would be far more likely to give crazy, annoying Shane the money
just to keep it out of Terry’s hands. But, as good as he is, Terry
hasn’t been able to grasp that the game is more social and political
than anything else. His voting record proves it: he’s has yet to cast a
vote for a single bootee since the merge.

Cirie and Aras assured
Shane that they were voting for Danielle, and then plotted with
Danielle to vote for Shane. In an interview, Cirie confessed that she
was concerned that Danielle could beat her in the final two, and that
ultimately she’d do what improved her chances the most.

At
Tribal Council, Jeff Probst asked contestants what considerations they
made regarding the final two. Aras wasn’t worried about losing so many
challenges to Terry because he knew he’d formed better relationships
with his tribemates, and that’s what gets you the million dollars.
Terry just rolled his eyes.

Shane admitted that he was being
carried along because he seemed the most beatable in the final two. He
hypothetically wondered if anyone would rather go against him or Aras
“the golden boy who could levitate home at any second.”

Shane’s
jaw dropped as three votes were cast against him, and he was asked to
leave the island. He taunted the remaining contestants on his way out,
assuring them that he’d have his hands on a chocolate ice cream bar in
less than one minute.

Next time, all of the attention is on Terry when Cirie stands up to him and Danielle makes a move to align with him.

You Put a Pep Back in My Step

Chris Young earned his Nashville Star victory by being consistently good — and, at times, great — throughout the competition. It’s too bad the show did him no favors in holding such a dull crowning ceremony.

As the show started, Cowboy Troy performed with Big & Rich, providing viewers with the 90-minute finale’s first snack break opportunity.

Then, the USA Network managed to further stall performances by the finalists, Chris, Casey Rivers, and Obvious Third Place Finisher, with long retrospectives of their past performances.

Casey Rivers brought his guitar onstage and sang “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” which was picked for him by show fans on USA’s website. Apparently, Casey’s core fanbase is still in high school, as he admitted he’s been invited to several proms over the course of the show.

Nicole (the lock for third place) reprised her best performance of the series, “Thing Called Love.” Anastasia urged her not to give up after the show and told Nicole to follow the road paved by Mary Chapin Carpenter and Sheryl Crow, who are apparently two of this nation’s most famous female construction workers.

Chris Young wore an unfortunately long jacket–it looked like a trenchcoat for an eight-year-old–perhaps to hide his nervousness. He should’ve been more confident, because he was the only contestant asked by fans to give a repeat performance of his original song for the finale.

The only amusing moment of the retrospectives was a quick shot of Anastasia’s naughty-Pocahontas outfit from last week.

Guest singer Jason Aldean then performed his song, “In a Hick Town,” which Jared Ashley performed earlier this season. Now I know why. Jared and Jason Aldean are virtually indistinguishable, right down to the hats and the height. All 10 of the contestants joined in the song, and I was surprised to find myself missing fourth place finisher Matt Mason.

In an attempt to heighten the suspense, Troy kicked off one of the three finalists. To no one’s surprise, it was Nicole Jamrose. Just to make the moment totally awkward, Wynonna asked Nicole, “Do you have any final words?” Then, after Nicole had said everything she wanted to say, the Wynobot asked again, “Do you have any final words?” Nicole killed Wynonna on the spot, and another Wynonna instantly appeared from the ether.

With 40 minutes still left in the show, Troy pretended like he was going to announce the winner. Wynonna told him it wasn’t time yet, because we still had plenty of musical performances to come.

Apparently I was clamoring for Chris and Casey to sing together, because that’s what I get. The lengthy finale backfired for USA, because I kept changing to the NBA Playoffs during each commercial, or whenever I got annoyed with the filler.

In an visual homage to the Police video for “Wrapped Around Your Finger,” hundreds of candles lit the stage for a performance by Phil Vassar. Phil played his new song, “The Phoenix Suns lead the Los Angeles Lakers by 10 points in the first quarter. (However, with a new investigation surrounding center Kwame Brown, the Lakers have a decided edge in accused sexual assaulters, 2-0.)”

Chris and Casey each performed solo again. They were probably good. The Lakers had closed the gap to seven points late in the first.

Finally, 83 minutes in, it’s decision time. Or, it would be if Wynonna would stop telling the entire cast and crew how much she loves them. Save it for the after-party, Kool-Aid. OH, YEAH! She tells Chris and Casey, “You put a pep back in my step.” Then she stalls a little more, telling the finalists she wants to torture them for a few more minutes. If she only knew how many others she was torturing at the same time.

Cowboy Troy finally opens the envelope and announces that Chris Young is the winner. But we’re all winners, really, because now I can get back to the game.

Maybe Mensa Made a Mistake (Episode 5-10)

On this week’s Apprentice,
Tarek and Charmaine fought like idiot parents at a Little League game.
While their boardroom blowup was satisfying to watch, it ultimately did
neither of them any good, as both contestants were fired.

This
week provided one of the season’s most mundane tasks: managing the
grand opening of a Hair Cuttery franchise. This involved arranging hair
products on shelves, handing out flyers, and not much else.

Tammy,
Synergy’s Project Manager, decided to hand out flyers the night before
the opening, mostly as an excuse to have dinner alone with Sean. He
seemed optimistic about his future with Tammy: “I’m pretty certain
we’ll have lots and lots of babies once this is all finished.”

Tarek
and Lee didn’t make things easy for the Gold Rush PM, Charmaine. Lee
didn’t appreciate taking orders from a woman, and Tarek pushed
Charmaine’s buttons on whether they needed a grand opening theme other
than “Grand Opening.”

The morning of the opening, Charmaine sent
Lee and Tarek out to put flyers on cars just to get them out of her
hair. Then she relaxed and had one of the store’s stylists do her own
hair. Charmaine wasn’t even bothered that Viceroy Bill Rancic walked in
as she was getting her hair curled.

Allie earned the victory for
Synergy by aggressively selling hair products. But the team was
punished by having to write lyrics for a song with Burt Bacharach,
which sounds more like a task than a reward. The song opened with the
line, “When I’m thinkin’ tasty, I’m thinkin’ Chicken Naturals.”

Before
the boardroom, Lee tried to protect himself by encouraging his
teammates to turn on each other. But Tarek and Charmaine didn’t need
much incentive, since a fight between them has been brewing for weeks.

Charmaine
branded Tarek as unmanageable, and he retaliated by calling her a
whiner and a crybaby. Michael defended Charmaine’s attempts at
leadership. And, as hard as Trump and his viceroys tried, they couldn’t
get Lee to commit on which teammate he wanted to go home.

Lee’s
political strategy may keep him around for a few more weeks, but Trump
won’t like the idea of giving someone so shady even a semblance of
power in his organization.

Trump said that “maybe Mensa made a
mistake” about Tarek, but fired Charmaine because she should’ve found a
way to manage him. Then Trump fired Tarek for being unmanageable.
Compared to the silence of the losers’ cab shared by Tarek and
Charmaine, the noiseless vacuum of space sounds like a Flaming Lips
concert.

Next week, teams are split up into men versus women for
a task at Rutgers University, where Lee is mistakenly elected student
body president.