Monthly Archives: May 2006

Survivor: Panama – Exile Island Finale

Danielle won the final Immunity Challenge to find herself in a lose-lose situation. Her gut convinced her to pick Aras as her final two opponent — instead of the seemingly unbeatable Terry — and she lost anyway. Survivor: Panama – Exile Island’s $1 million grand prize went to the 24-year-old yoga instructor, Aras.

The finale picked up where the last episode left off, with Cirie and Danielle squared off in a tiebreaker Immunity Challenge. Both watched their fires burn out several times, but Danielle eventually figured out how to keep hers going, while placing a pyramid of wood around it to build it higher. Cirie was eliminated, and with her went some of Aras’ hopes for reaching the final two.

Based on a previous arrangement with Danielle, Terry felt good about his odds of making it to the final two — so long as he or Danielle won the next Immunity Challenge. He spent the morning after Tribal Council rubbing his easy path to victory in Aras’ face.

Later on day 37, Terry, Aras, and Danielle showed up for what they thought was their final Immunity Challenge. Instead, it was a Reward Challenge designed to give the winner an edge on the competition.

Survivors solved a couple simple puzzles in order to receive four metal pegs. These pegs were then used to help climb a three-story wall. At the top, the competitors needed to put all four pegs in specific slots in order to raise a flag. The winner received a healthy meal and a cot, pillow, and blanket to use at camp.

Aras took the early lead, devising a quick strategy to reach the top. But when he got there, he had trouble fitting the pegs in the appropriate holes. Terry took advantage of Aras’s troubles and won yet another challenge.

But no comfy cot or nutritious meal could have made the next day’s Immunity Challenge any easier for Terry. As it often is, the final challenge was a test of balance, a factor that almost always favors women. Danielle, significantly lighter than the men, and with a lower center of gravity, would have to screw up in order to lose.

Each competitor had to balance on a floating, hexagonal platform. Every 15 minutes, the castaways moved to smaller platforms, making it harder to stay upright. When they stepped on the first platforms, Danielle’s floated noticeably higher in the water than did Aras’s or Terry’s.

After 15 minutes, they all crawled to their next platforms and were allowed one minute to regain their balance. This was the only time that their hands were permitted to touch the platform; after that, only their feet could touch.

It wasn’t until they moved to the third platforms that the situation became dire for Terry and Aras. Both spent most of their allotted minute trying to climb out of the water onto their platforms, while Danielle crouched comfortably on hers.

Once the third round began, it didn’t take long for Terry to fall into the water and out of the challenge. A wobbly Aras looked over at Danielle, who nodded at him. He took this as a sign that she’d be taking him to the final two, and jumped off. Jeff Probst put the Immunity Necklace around Danielle’s neck, providing the kind of cleavage-coverage that her tube top could not offer.

Danielle talked with both of the men about the trouble she was having deciding who to take with her to the finale. Terry opted not to pressure her, stating only that the jury was dominated by her former Casaya tribemates, who were unlikely to vote for him.

Aras took the opposite approach, trying to intimidate Danielle into picking him. He matter of factly said that, if she picked Terry, Aras wouldn’t vote for her, and neither would Cirie. Assuming that La Mina members Austin and Sally would vote for Terry, she would lose.

Intimidation triumphed, and Terry was stunned to be eliminated. He believed that Danielle planned to honor her agreement with him. Terry regretted losing the Immunity Challenge and the loss of control over his own fate.

Survivors had another brush with the medical team the next morning. Aras and Danielle were taking a walk following a celebratory Day 39 breakfast when Aras slipped on some rocks. The bottle of champagne he was holding shattered, lodging broken glass in his back and slicing his hand.

The medical crew arrived and gave Aras eight stitches in all. Worse than the cuts was the serious bruising to his ego. Slipping on rocks after drinking too much doesn’t scream “Master of the Elements.”

At Tribal Council that night, Aras and Danielle were in for more pain. Aras tried to make the case that he deserved the $1 million because he was sincere and a hard worker. Danielle pointed to the fact that she made strategic moves when she needed to.

During the jury questions, both finalists agreed that Cirie played a big part in getting them there, and that they hoped that their performance on the show would inspire others. Courtney took the opportunity to ramble abstractly about the life lessons she learned, none of which were concrete enough to be comprehensible.

Not surprisingly, Shane went a little crazy in his remarks. He chided Danielle for being lazy, but felt personally betrayed by Aras. Shane went on the offensive against Aras: “You’re broke, you’re homeless, and you freeload off your dad.”

Then, Shane asked the finalists to pick a number between 1 and 1,000,000. Whoever was closest would get Shane’s vote. Aras chose four — which was dumb. All Danielle had to do was pick five (as any good The Price is Right fan would have), and Aras would’ve had a .0004% of winning Shane’s vote. Danielle picked ten, which helped Aras’s odds, but not by much.

During her closing remarks, Danielle asked the jury to vote for her because, “I’ve got a lot going on in my life, and this could really help me.” Aras countered that he needed the money even more, because, echoing Shane’s sentiments, “I’m homeless and I freeload off my dad.”

Bruce was shown casting his vote for Danielle, and Terry voted for Aras. As Jeff Probst read the votes live, it was obvious who cast some of the other votes. Sally drew smiley faces on her vote for Aras, and at the top of a vote for Danielle, Shane had written “the number was 999,999.” The remaining votes — from Austin, Courtney, and Cirie — went to Aras.

The reunion show featured the best-looking cast in several seasons. No one fell prey to the bad hairdos and garish makeup that have dominated reunion shows from recent seasons (although, Stephenie La Grossa was the prime offender during two of those shows).

Survivor fans had voted online for their favorite contestant of the season, and they chose to reward Cirie with a new car. As one of two breakout stars of the season, it will be interesting to watch what kinds of offers come Cirie’s way. Surely, some networks have considered a Cirie Fields travel or talk show.

This season’s other star, Shane, was composed and well-groomed, if you ignored his outrageously flared shirt cuffs. He recounted a favorite Norman Rockwell-type moment from watching the series with his son. Boston asked, “Dad, did you just make a death threat on national television?” Shane replied calmly, “Yes, son. I’m afraid I just did.”

DWTS Offseason Update: 5-13-06

Jim Beam, You’re Next
Security guards at a Kentucky Derby party had to stop Stacy Keibler and her boyfriend from stealing a statue of famed whiskey-maker Jack Daniels. If Drew Lachey is smart, he’s got his DWTS trophy under lock and key.

Master P: The Ongoing Saga
Now P’s threatening to sue Sony Music for allegedly calling radio stations to keep them from playing Romeo’s new single. I liked it better when he was just encouraging his kid to solve his problems with physical violence.

Cover Girl Tia
Tia Carrere graces the cover of In Magazine this month, where she reveals that her first stop when she returns home to Hawaii is the Liliha Bakery in Honolulu.

Celebrity Charity Events
Tony Dovolani performed at a benefit for the Desire Street Ministries in Fort Walton Beach, Florida on Thursday. The local paper interviewed Tony before the event, but neglected to speak with one of Tony’s fellow benefit performers: Maksim Chmerkovskiy.

DWTS fans in Connecticut can meet local boy John O’Hurley at a fundraiser for the Charter Oak Chapter of the American Red Cross. Tickets for the May 19 event are $250.

Harry Hamlin’s Fall Schedule
Thanks to the murder of his character, Aaron Echolls, during this past Tuesday’s season finale of Veronica Mars, Harry Hamlin’s work schedule just got a lot lighter for the fall. Is there any doubt now that he’ll be one of the celebs on DTWS 3?

To Be Continued…

Survivor fans hoping to learn which three contestants will compete in the Exile Island finale will have to wait a few more days to find out. Voting for the second-to-last elimination resulted in a tie between Cirie and Danielle, who will duke it out in a tiebreaker at the beginning of Sunday night’s season ender.

Most contestants consider making the final four an accomplishment worth celebrating. But Terry squashed any party plans as soon as the castaways returned to camp from the previous vote. He scolded Cirie for not putting her torch away properly, much like a parent scolds a child for a messy room.

Cirie did a fine job defending herself, and Aras and Danielle took up for her as well. Terry’s condescending attitude is getting old, and his chances for winning the $1 million are getting slimmer by the day.

This week’s Reward Challenge was complicated, but not physically demanding. Contestants were clipped to ropes that led to six stations. Each station had a different local item (e.g. rocks, iguanas) that contestants had to count. After counting the items at one station, each contestant returned to a game board and selected a numbered tile representing the item total.

After counting at all six stations, each castaway combined the six numbers to form the combinations for three locks (two numbers per lock). If they’d miscounted the items, the lock wouldn’t open. In that case, competitors could return to as many stations as they wished to recount.

The race was tight the whole way, and everyone was incorrect on at least one station. Terry rechecked one station and then returned to his board, thinking that he was only allowed to recheck one item at a time.

When Terry noticed that everyone else was rechecking multiple stations, he complained that Jeff Probst hadn’t told them they could do that. Jeff corrected Terry, who headed back out to the stations, grousing the whole way. Aras yelled, “Somebody call the ‘Waahmbulance.’ Terry’s crying on the course!”

Aras returned with the correct numbers and was first to unlock all three of his locks. As a reward, he got to chose one tribemate to join him for a tour of the Panama Canal on a yacht. He picked Cirie, and both Terry and Danielle were sent to Exile Island.

Danielle faced facts that there was no way Cirie or Aras would take her to the final two, and she aligned herself with Terry. Since he knew he stood his best chance facing the jury against Danielle, Terry was happy to agree to take her to the final two. If he could win individual immunity at the next challenge, he agreed to give her the hidden immunity idol as protection from Aras and Cirie.

After returning to camp from their canal tour, Cirie decided to make a fire for the first time. She waited until Aras was asleep so that she could surprise him. He woke up to Cirie’s delighted giggles as she stood over a small fire.

The Immunity Challenge the next day was another mental challenge. Using two ropes and a set of coordinates, contestants had to find the location of three bags within a sand pit. The first two bags held puzzle pieces that, when assembled, gave two more sets of coordinates. The contestant to assemble the last bag of puzzle pieces into the phrase “Safe from the Vote” would be just that.

Aras was the only survivor who really got the hang of using the coordinates and the point where the ropes intersected to determine the location of each bag. He got enough of a lead that he could take his time assembling his last puzzle, and Terry was unable to catch up, meaning he’d suddenly lost two challenges in a row.

Before Tribal Council, everyone figured that Aras and Cirie would vote for Danielle, and she and Terry would vote for Cirie. Assuming that the tiebreaker challenge was building a fire, Terry and Aras coached their partners in firestarting technique. Terry’s advice for Danielle was more practical, while Aras’s advice for Cirie was more motivational.

While the possibility of Terry sneaking the immunity idol to Danielle was brought up at camp, Terry wasn’t willing to give it up before, so the chances he would risk it now were slim. As soon as the votes were read, Danielle confirmed that she did not have the idol.

Cirie and Danielle prepared to take part in a fire-building tiebreaker as the show came to an end. Their battle will kick off Sunday night’s two-hour finale (followed by an hour-long reunion show).

If the jury’s reactions have given any indication of the contestants’ odds, Danielle doesn’t have much of a chance to win in the final two. Courtney cheered each time Jeff read a vote to eliminate Danielle, and Shane rolled his eyes whenever she spoke. Terry’s only allies are Sally and Austin, although Bruce may throw a vote his way. If either Danielle or Terry goes with Cirie or Aras to the final two, they will likely lose. If the final two is Terry and Danielle or Cirie and Aras, it’s a tossup.

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.