Monthly Archives: December 2006

DwtS Offseason Update: 12-6-06

The exposure from their appearances on Dancing with the Stars
has been good for the careers of Mario Lopez and Jerry Springer. One of
them earned a role on George Lopez’s sitcom, and the other is shilling
for a video game. Guess who got which gig.

Tour News
At his forum, Maksim Chmerkovskiy further explained why he chose to drop out of the DwtS Tour:

“Sometimes
certain situations in life present themselves and you have to make a
decision. That is exactly what happened in this particular case. I made
a decision to benefit the future. At this particular point, I cannot
reveal any more information; your understanding of my privacy is
greatly appreciated.”

At this point, no one is slated to replace Willa and Max on the tour.

Season 4 Rumors
Almost as quickly as the rumor surfaced, it was put to rest. Jennifer Aniston will not be on Dancing with the Stars 4 this spring.

Other News
Mario Lopez has parlayed his popularity from DwtS into a few new jobs. He’s signed a talent holding deal with the CW network to join the cast of a current CW show or develop a new show for the 2007-2008 season.

In the meantime, Mario did an embarrassing dance routine at a launch party for the video game Viva Pinata.

Jerry Springer has made a few career changes of his own since the end of his run on DwtS. On Tuesday, he ended production of his radio show , because of increasing demands on his time. He’s going to play a recurring character on the George Lopez show, and he’s filming a movie in February.

Jerry also joined Sara Evans on stage
at her December 1 show at the Star Plaza Theatre in Merrillville,
Indiana. One of Sara’s songs, “You’ll Always Be My Baby,” has been
adapted into a children’s book.

TAR 10: Episode 12

This week, the blonde Beauty Queens couldn’t make up enough ground to become The Amazing Race‘s
first ever all-female Final Three team. That honor was reserved for the
Alabama Moms, Lyn & Karlyn. In other news, after this episode’s
Detour, I’m half tempted to rename this website WayToCry.com.

Teams started the episode at a Berber camp in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, from which they drove over 200 miles to Casablanca.

Kimberly
marveled at the wildlife along the trip’s winding mountain roads. “I
hate how there are so many dogs out here! …Oh, those are lambs.”

Rob pointed to the beasts’ horns and said, “Goats.”

In
Casablanca, Models Tyler & James and Beauty Queens Dustin &
Kandice (who had started the leg in last place, but were now solidly in
second) found guides to lead them through a crowded market and directly
to the cluebox located in a park.

The clue was a Roadblock. One
team member needed to find a butcher stand selling a local delicacy:
camel meat. The stall was easy to find, thanks to the gruesome,
mostly-skinned camels dangling on ropes in front of it.

Camel
heads were hung like wind chimes outside of the place. The heads’ skin
and eyeballs were still intact, giving the shop a
fresh-from-your-nightmares kind of appeal.

After purchasing one
pound of camel meat, racers ran across the square to a restaurant,
where they ground and spiced the meat before handing it to a chef, who
grilled it on skewers.

Once all of the meat was eaten, teams received their next clue.

James,
the cow lip eating champ from Week 8, was nearly done munching on his
camel by the time Kandice arrived at the meat grinder. James raved
about his dish, “It’s like a really good burger.”

As soon as he
was finished, James grabbed his next clue from the chef. It instructed
teams to fly to Barcelona, Spain and find a park.

After Kandice
finished her plateful of camel meat, the Beauty Queens’ guide led them
back to their SUV. Along the way, the Beauty Queens passed by Rob &
Kimberly and Lyn & Karlyn.

At the Roadblock, the tension of
the race started to get to both trailing teams. A somewhat frantic
Kimberly couldn’t figure out how to work the manual meat grinder, and
she had to watch Lyn for clues on what to do.

Karlyn, who had
nothing to do but sit and watch Lyn eat the camel meat, constantly
criticized Lyn for eating too slowly. Karlyn complained, “You can’t be
sittin’ there chewin’, contemplatin’.”

Finally fed up, Lyn snapped, “Karlyn, shut the hell up!”

Karlyn snapped back, “You don’t tell me to shut up!”

In
the car on the way to the airport, Lyn tried to explain that the meat
had come straight off of the grill and was too hot to eat quickly. But
Karlyn wouldn’t back down, insisting, “I’m not gonna change. If she
doesn’t like it, she doesn’t have to listen.”

At the airport,
all teams got tickets for the same flight to Barcelona, which arrived
that night. The park that held the next clue was closed until morning.

When
the park opened, teams raced through a hedge maze to find the clue box.
Inside the box were instructions for this week’s Detour: “Lug It or Lob
It.”

In Lug It, team members donned a pair of nine-and-a-half
foot tall costumes from Barcelona’s Festival of Giants. In costume,
they had to walk more than one mile in search of another costumed
giant, who held their next clue. The costumes were heavy and hot, but
the mission was fairly straightforward.

In Lob It, teams took
part in another traditional activity: tomato throwing. As locals pelted
them with ripe tomatoes, teams searched a pile of of thousands of
tomatoes for a clue hidden inside of a tomato. It wasn’t physically
difficult, but searching the pile could be time consuming — not to
mention messy and annoying.

Rob & Kimberly decided to do Lob It and quickly realized they’d made a bad decision.

The
locals were merciless. Rob tried to draw their fire, as Kimberly
searched the pile. But she was pelted so badly that her face was soon
covered in tomato juice and seeds. She begged and screamed at Rob to
stop and switch tasks, but he declined.

Finally, she stormed off of the field toward their waiting taxi, crying, “I’m not getting hit in the face again!”

With
all of the compassion of your older brother when you were a kid, Rob
said, “Way to go, Kim. Way to cry… Just because you’re getting hit by
a couple of tomatoes.”

They asked the cab driver how far they
were from the other Detour. When he responded that they were 20
kilometers away, Rob convinced a resigned Kimberly to walk back to the
tomato pile.

Naturally, Rob found the clue inside of a tomato
almost immediately.

Rob & Kimberly changed into clean clothes before riding in
their cab toward the Pit Stop, which was at a fountain on the other
side of Barcelona.

Meanwhile, Dustin & Kandice had donned
their oversized costumes and were walking the streets of Barcelona. As
they asked for directions, Tyler & James caught up to them.

This
was bad news for the Beauty Queens. Part of their punishment for
finishing in last place on the previous leg was that they were Marked
for Elimination, and needed to finish in first place in order to avoid
a 30-minute penalty.

With the Tyler & James right on their
heels, Dustin & Kandice needed to beat the Models in a footrace to
the mat — and hope that they other two teams had gotten stuck in the
pile of tomatoes. They didn’t know that Rob & Kim were ahead of
everyone, meaning the Queens’ fate was likely already sealed.

At
the tomato pile, Lyn & Karlyn had a much easier go of it than Rob
& Kimberly. Once they found their clue, Karlyn was finally able to
relax, and she apologized to Lyn for her prior bad behavior.

The Models and Beauty Queens finally found the giant with their clue, and they were off to the Pit Stop.

Rob
& Kimberly arrived at the fountain in first place, winning a trip
to Barbados. When he realized that they would be one of three teams to
compete for $1 million, Rob began to cry. Kimberly was kind enough not
to make fun of him.

Lyn & Karlyn reached the mat in second
place, as the other two teams got lost on their way to the fountain.
Eventually, Tyler & James got some good directions, and they landed
on the mat in third.

The Beauty Queens alternately cried and
laughed as their journey came to an end. Kandice called their finish,
“hard to take. But we knew we weren’t going to be happy unless we
won… If there’s a stereotype of us playing with our tiaras all day, I
hope it’s broken.”

Though they were viewed by their competition
(and some viewers) as this season’s villains, I was a little sad to see
that the hyper-competitive and mostly-competent Dustin & Kandice
wouldn’t be the first all-female team to win TAR. But, considering
Tyler & James’s surfeit of beauty products and Rob’s weeping, I
guess you could say all-girl team is guaranteed to win this season, one
way or another.

Cook Islands: Episode 12

Ever since she’d mutinied from the Aitu tribe, Candice had been on the
receiving end of as much wrath as the members of Aitu could dish out. After making her take one more trip to Exile Island, they finally put her out of her misery on this week’s Survivor: Cook Islands.

The
episode began with the castaways returning to camp from the previous
episode’s Tribal Council. After they arrived, the furious members of
the former Raro tribe lashed out at Jonathan for casting the deciding
vote against Nate.

In an interview, Parvati said, “All I wanted
to do was take Jonathan’s face and throw up all over it.” To Jonathan,
she said, “You’ve pissed everyone in this game off, so I hope you’re
happy with second place.”

Jonathan responded that he’d had no
choice but to side with Yul’s group and vote for Nate, because Yul had
the immunity idol. When Jonathan told her that he’d seen Yul with the
idol, Parvati wasn’t buying it. “I don’t believe a word that comes out
of your mouth.”

This week’s Reward Challenge was the Survivor
auction. This season’s auction differed slightly from previous
renditions. Each contestant was given $500 to bid on prizes, and they
were free to lend money to other contestants. However, this season,
food items could not be shared among bidders.

The first item up
for bid was a covered mystery item, which Jonathan won for $100. It
turned out to be a hot dog, fries, and a beer. Jonathan relished the
meal, as the other castaways looked on and licked their chops.

But
Jonathan still had $400 burning a hole in his pocket, and he wasn’t
about to the leave the challenge with any money remaining. Jonathan
placed a bid on nearly every item offered, sometimes driving the price
up out of spite as much as any real desire to win the item in question.

When
Parvati wanted a bubble bath and a piece of chocolate cake, Jonathan
forced her to bid more than twice as much as she would have paid
otherwise. After that, Jonathan bid against Ozzy for unlimited access
to a soft serve ice cream machine for the duration of the auction (Ozzy
won by spending all of his $500). Then, Jonathan outbid Yul to win
another mystery item, which turned out to be a pepperoni pizza.

Not
wanting to miss out on an opportunity, Sundra paid $140 for the next
mystery item up for bid. She was the lucky winner of… a sea cucumber
in a jar.

Next, Jeff Probst held up a note which he said would
give someone power in the game. Desperate for any kind of edge, Candice
bid all of her money. Not wanting to give Candice that edge, Becky
convinced Yul to lend her some money, so she could go over $500.
Candice then borrowed some from Adam. In the end, Becky won the note,
for the price of $640.

After taking the note, Becky read it
aloud. She had to choose one survivor to leave the auction immediately
(pausing only to hand his or her money to Becky) and head to Exile
Island.

Becky sent a very hungry Candice off for a fourth trip to Exile Island. Parvati pouted and splashed sadly in the tub.

Once
Candice had departed, Jeff brought out another item for bid: a tray
with a toothbrush, some toothpaste, toothpicks, and mouthwash. Adam,
Yul, Becky, and Sundra were holding out for more food, so they let
Jonathan have the tray for $100.

As Jonathan gargled away, Yul
muttered, “If that’s the end of the auction, I’m gonna jump off a
bridge.” Of course, Jeff then brought the auction to a close.

Back
at camp, Jonathan strutted about, belching the stinky pepperoni burps
of victory into the faces of friends and foes alike. As soon as he went
out to fish, alliances temporarily broke down and everyone complained
about how obnoxious Jonathan had been at the auction.

The
Immunity Challenge the next day forced competitors to recall some of
the important events from their time on the island. For the first round
of the challenge, each contestant stood at a table with ten small,
numbered boxes, which were knotted shut with rope.

The castaways
were asked four questions with numerical answers (e.g., How many days
had it been since Candice and Jonathan mutinied from Aitu?). Adding,
subtracting and dividing the numbers produced a result that
corresponded with one of the boxes.

The correct box contained a
key to a lock attached to a flag. The first three survivors to unlock
their locks and raise their flags moved on to the next round.

Adam,
Parvati, and Jonathan all made it to round two. Using new questions,
the survivors opened another box which held the key to the entrance of
a “timber tunnel” — the official name for those jungle gym-looking
structures that survivors are always crawling through in challenges.

Once
through the timber tunnel, contestants crossed a floating platform and
raised another flag to win. Adam quickly calculated the correct numbers
for round two, earning him immunity.

Back at camp, the three
remaining members of Raro made their move. They made Yul an offer: get
rid of Jonathan first, and then you can pick us off one at a time. Even
though they knew they had little hope of making it to the end, Adam,
Parvati, and Candice just wanted to outlast Jonathan.

Yul said
that simply being annoyed with Jonathan’s behavior the other day wasn’t
enough motivation for him to stray from his original game plan. He said
that Jonathan was a “selfish, rational player,” which made it easy for
Yul to predict and control his actions.

Adam warned Yul that
they considered him the “ringleader” of the Aitu tribe, and not voting
off Jonathan now could have repercussions with the jury, should Yul
make it to the Final Two.

As the members of Raro went to the
shelter to sleep off a hard day of talking, Jonathan and the members of
Aitu were cooking the fish he’d caught. Jonathan wondered aloud if
there was any ethical problem with not feeding people who hadn’t worked
to earn their meal.

Ozzy quickly cut him off and said, “There’s
no ethical dilemma.” The others agreed. Ozzy, Jonathan, Sundra, Becky,
and Yul packed up their dinner and walked down to the beach — not
inviting Candice, Parvati, and Adam.

After a while, the sleeping
Raros woke up and noticed that things were awfully quiet around the
campfire. Candice went down to the beach to investigate, where she
couldn’t resist confronting the diners.

“Since when do you guys
not share food?” asked Candice. She then went on a tirade against
Jonathan, accusing him of fishing just to curry favor with the member
of Aitu and “weasel” his way into their alliance.

When Jonathan
objected to her name-calling, she clarified, “‘Weasel’ is a verb in
this situation!” She defended the Raro tribe’s laziness by saying,
“Everyone has their days when they lay around in the tent.”

Everyone
else essentially laughed at that seemingly sincere statement, and
Candice was forced to return to the shelter, fishless.

At Tribal
Council that night, Candice made a point of bringing up the incident,
supposedly to give the jury a clearer idea of what the situation was
like at camp.

Parvati seized on the chance to criticize Jonathan, saying, “I’m half his age and I’m twice as mature as he is.”

Jonathan restrained a laugh and accused Parvati and her buddies of sitting around all day, “waiting for the dinner bell.”

When Yul tried to jump in and calm the conversation, Jeff interjected, “I expect that from you. You’re the U.N.”

Parvati informed Jeff and the jury that Yul was the “puppetmaster” behind the Aitu tribe.

Yul came as close to angry as we’ve ever seen him. He told Parvati, “We’re all here trying to win. You can’t fault me for that.”

When it came time to vote, the members of Aitu stuck to their original plan, and Candice was voted out.

On
her way to collect her torch, Adam stood up and laid an uncomfortably
long French kiss on Candice. Parvati laughed uncontrollably, and Nate
pimped his shirt, a la Pimp My Ride‘s Xzibit.

As he snuffed Candice’s torch, Jeff said, “A kiss is nice. Maybe if it was love, he’d have given you the Immunity Necklace.”

Next
time, Parvati’s fingers try to befriend Mr. Machete, with disastrous
results. And power goes to Yul’s head as he starts to feel like “the
Godfather, arranging a hit on somebody.”