Monthly Archives: June 2007

Pirate Master: Episode 5

Sean shouldn’t have been surprised when there were consequences for not keeping his promises.

Cheryl’s ouster at the end of the last episode of Pirate Master brought the tension that had been building between Sean and Nessa to a head. Nessa called Sean "two-faced," and Sean said that Nessa was too flirtatious.

Out of nowhere, Jupiter popped in the room and offered her own opinion of Nessa: "She’s a bitch."

The bickering took a backseat the next morning when it was time for another treasure hunt. Captain Louie and his officers, Sean and Nessa, were joined on the Black Crew by Joe Don, Christa, and Joy. The Red Crew was made of Azmyth, Laurel, Jupiter, Kendra, Ben, and Jay.

The crews rowed to shore and beached their boats next to a giant anchor. Then they ran through the woods to a forested area where they searched among the trees for a playing card of a particular suit (Black had clubs, Red had hearts).

The Black Crew was able to find their card quickly; hidden with it was another clue and a spyglass. The clue instructed them to run back to the beach and use the glass to find a "heart" on one of two nearby islands.

On the way to the beach, the crew crossed a small stream. In the process, Capt. Louie got the spyglass wet, rendering it useless. As Sean and Joe Don stood around complaining, the Red Team emerged from the forest.

Finally, Christa pointed out that, since there were only two islands and they were right next to each other, they should just start rowing out to them, looking for the heart. When they got closer, they’d be able to see the heart (which turned out to be a wooden shape nailed to a tree) without the aid of the spyglass.

Logic won the day and the Black Crew got its meager lead back. On the island, they were first to find another clue which directed them to look under a specific palm tree for the buried treasure.

The Black Crew was already digging when the Red Crew showed up. Christa stopped digging in one spot and moved on to another, and Jay took over looking in her original spot. There, he found the treasure, giving victory to the Red Crew and unseating Captain Louie.

The only positive outcome for the Black Crew was that Louie officially ended his season-long feud with Joe Don, stating, "No longer is there vengeance in my heart."

The Red Crew recovered $40,000 in gold coins (which they divided evenly), and elected Azmyth captain for a second time. Azmyth realized that his best bet to win the next challenge was to choose the two strongest people for his officers, so he picked Ben and Jay.

That evening, as the pirates decided whether or not to bid on the Royal Pardon, Nessa spied on a conversation between Sean and Jupiter. Both were determined to outbid Nessa for the pardon, and Jupiter had nearly $15,000 at her disposal.

Nessa told her pal Joe Don about the conversation, and said she planned to bid around $6000. Joe Don didn’t think that would be enough, and he gave her $2500 of his own money to up her bid — not a bad idea since she had to buy the Pardon from Joe Don anyway. He’d get the money back and gain an ally.

The next morning, Azmyth, Jay, and Ben talked about who should receive the Black Spot and be eligible to be cut adrift. Louie was an obvious choice since he’d asked to get one in the event that he lost his captaincy.

Nessa’s name came up next, since she’d been obsessing about securing the Pardon for herself. Just because of that, they decided not to give her the Black Spot. They gave it to her enemy, Sean, instead.

Finally, Jay suggested that the last Spot go to Laurel. She didn’t seem to be playing the game strategically, and that made Jay uncomfortable. If he couldn’t predict how Laurel would vote, he couldn’t adjust his game plan. Azmyth and Ben didn’t have any better ideas, so Laurel got the Spot.

At Pirates Court, Azmyth — minus his former fake accent — explained that Louie was in danger per his own request, Sean had been trying to "play both sides," and Laurel hadn’t chosen a side.

When she was given the floor, Laurel said that she didn’t know there were sides. Azmyth answered with an incoherent explanation in which he had to admit that there weren’t actually two groups acting in opposition to each other. But he said that Laurel needed to take more initiative around the ship.

The votes were cast, and Laurel didn’t receive any votes. Sean received four more votes than Louie, so his fate depended on whether he had outbid the $9000 Nessa offered for the Pardon. He hadn’t, and Sean was cut adrift.

Next time, Joe Don and Nessa get extremely friendly.

Ox Notes: June 29, 2007

For those of you wondering about my recap of Pirate Master, it will be up later today. Last night was the most important holiday in the Gibsonian Calendar — the NBA Draft — and Pirate Master aired during the time when the Chicago Bulls would be making their pick. I’ll watch the recording as soon as I stop celebrating the Bulls selection of the stellar Joakim Noah.

Joey McIntyre is blogging for People about the Dancing with the Stars tour, and in his first entry he says that he’s "not partial to Alec Mazo’s chest."

If you’re not sure what to do this weekend, you’ve got two chances to meet some of the biggest names in reality television: the Reality TV Convention in Nashville, or the Reality All-Stars benefit for Operation Smile in Hollywood. Just know that the charity event drew the bigger and better list of stars.

TV Guide updated its list of Top Cult Shows, including some of my favorite shows: Firefly, Veronica Mars, and Battlestar Galactica.

And MSN has an article about the best fake TV bands, inspired by HBO’s new show about a made up band, Flight of the Conchords. If you’re not yet familiar with the New Zealand comic duo, enjoy "Business Time:"

SYTYCD 3, Top 16: Results

Surprising voting results lead to the elimination of two talented dancers on So You Think You Can Dance.

The Top 16 Results Show started with the group dancing to "The Lioness Hunt" from the musical The Lion King, choreographed by TyceDiOrio.

Lauren & Neil and Lacey & Kameron were the first two couples brought onto the stage to learn their fates. Lacey & Kameron were safe, making Lauren & Neil the first pair in the Bottom 3.

The next three couples up were Jamie & Hok, Sabra & Dominic, and Sara & Jesus. Jamie & Hok were safe, as were Sabra & Dominic, putting Sara & Jesus in the Bottom.

Before the next couple in the Bottom 3 was revealed, host Cat Deeley announced that Jessi had received medical clearance to perform. She’d still have to dance a solo tonight, but as a treat, Jessi & Pasha danced the Cha Cha they’d rehearsed before her collapse. It was fantastic.

When asked about her condition, Jessi explained that she’d gotten dehydrated, which led to an abnormal EKG. But she said Pasha stayed by her side in the hospital, and she called him "Prince Charming" and her "wannabe boyfriend."

Then Cat revealed that Pasha was safe from the Bottom Three.

Finally, it was down to Shauna & Cedric and Anya & Danny for the final spot in the Bottom 3. Anya & Danny received that dubious distinction, to the obvious displeasure of the judges who we’re looking for a chance to get rid of Cedric. Nigel said, "Five million people voted, and five million people got it wrong."

Then it was time for the solos:
Lauren — Kevin Federline, "Popozao"
Neil — Ben Jelen, "Come On"
Sara — Queen Latifah, "Ladies First"
Jesus — The Romantics, "What I Like About You"
Jessi — Omarion, "Ice Box"
Danny — Elliott Yamin, "A Song For You"
Anya — Eva Cassidy, "Fields of Gold"

Before the judges announced who would be going home, Fergie performed "Glamorous," with a little help from Ludacris.

The judges brought the girls out first, and Nigel told them that none of their performances were very good. Without any other buildup, Nigel told Jessi to go. She was obviously shocked, as was Cat. Jessi teared up when she said she’d miss Pasha.

Nigel then told the guys that the judges didn’t want to decide which one of them to send home. But he said that Jesus was slightly less outstanding than the other two guys during his solo, and that he’d be going home. Jesus said he’d miss his buddies, Hok and Dominic, and then started to cry when talking about Sara.

Ox Notes: June 28, 2007

The world’s greatest living actor, Bruce Campbell, returns to the small screen tonight with the premiere of Burn Notice on USA at 10 ET. Variety has the early review of the spy drama in which Bruce plays an intelligence officer "whose favorite pastimes are drinking and ogling women."

E!’s Kristin Veitch says that Mia Michaels was so unhappy with Cedric’s performance during rehearsals that she didn’t want him to perform her piece at Monday’s So You Think You Can Dance taping.

The cast of of Big Brother 8 was announced, as well as a twist that will allow one cast member to win additional money for performing tasks voted on by viewers.

Fans of Veronica Mars will be pleased to learn that Jason Dohring, who played Logan on VM, has joined the cast of CBS’s new series Moonlight.

TBS and TNT have purchased the exclusive cable rights to Rush Hour 3, even though the movie won’t be released for another six weeks, prompting me to ask: They’re making Rush Hour 3?

SYTYCD 3, Top 16: Performances

A medical emergency led to a very interesting pairing on tonight’s edition of So You Think You Can Dance.

Joining Nigel and Mary at the judges table was the woman responsible for Fame, Debbie Allen.

Sara & Jesus — Krump
Song: The Game feat. Junior Reid, "It’s Okay (One Blood)"
Choreographer: LiL’C
To quote LiL’C, they were pretty "buck." Nigel called Sara a "gangsta," and Mary screamed, "Loved it!"

Shauna & Cedric — Contemporary
Song: The Family Stand, "I Thought We Had"
Choreographer: Mia Michaels
Mia made the strange choice to have Cedric spend a good chunk of the dance sitting on the floor pretending to cry. All of the judges praised Shauna, but Mary told Cedric, "I don’t feel that you should stay in the competition any longer." Debbie invited Cedric to join her at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy on a scholarship.

Lacey & Kameron — Quickstep
Song: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, "Big and Bad"
Choreographer: Tony Meredith
Totally fun, and as competent as we’ve been led to expect from these two! Debbie called the performance "sassy and adorable."

Anya & Danny — Hip-Hop
Song: Timbaland, "Oh Timbaland"
Choreographer: Dan Karaty
It was impressive for a couple of non-hip-hoppers. Debbie called them "The Dream Team." Nigel said this was the least comfortable they’ve looked thus far, but said that he was holding them to a higher standard than some of the other couples.

Sabra & Dominic — Rumba
Song: Pussycat Dolls, "Stickwitu"
Choreographer: Jean-Marc Genereux
Sabra & Dominic are becoming one of the couples to beat. "Call the fire department, honey, that was hot!" exclaimed Debbie. And Mary awarded them "two tickets on the Hot Tamale Train."

Lauren & Neil — Tango
Song: Sexteto Mayor, "Tanguera"
Choreographer: Jean-Marc Genereux
The performance was good, but not memorable. Mary liked the beginning, but said they lost their fire as the routine went on. Nigel said Neil overdanced it, but said he, and the other guys on the show, "danced like dudes."

Jamie & Hok — Jazz
Song: "The Chairman’s Waltz" from Memoirs of a Geisha
Choreographer: Wade Robson
Wade’s vision of a love story between a hummingbird and a flower may have been too staccato in its movements to be considered romantic, but Jamie & Hok executed the physically challenging routine perfectly. Debbie called the piece "brilliant," and Mary said the performance was "a step up from last week."

Pasha & Melanie LaPatin — Cha Cha
Song: Jennifer Lopez"Let’s Get Loud"
Choreographer: Tony Meredith
During the dress rehearsal, Jessi felt ill and was taken to the hospital. An EKG revealed a heart problem, and Jessi was still at the hospital when the show was filmed. So Cat announced that Pasha would be dancing with "Tony Meredith’s assistant, Melanie." Tony’s assistant was none other than his former professional partner and Latin dance champion, Melanie LaPatin (who was also featured on a What No To Wear episode a few years back).

Pasha — a Latin dancer by training — knocked the Cha Cha out of the park. Mary screamed at Pasha, "You are hot, hot, hot!"

Nigel clarified that Jessi will have to "dance for her life" at the Results show no matter if Pasha is voted into the Bottom Three or not. If the doctors won’t allow her to dance, Jessie will be cut from the competition.

My favorite performance of the night was Sabra & Dominic’s Rumba. And I’ll be surprised if Shauna & Cedric are able to avoid a trip to the bottom.

Ox Notes: June 27, 2007

Fans with tickets to the July 3 Dancing with the Stars tour stop in Bridgeport, Connecticut are in for a treat: Apolo Anton Ohno and John Ratzenberger will make a special appearance at that performance. Apolo has agreed to give four additional performances on the tour in Raleigh, Hershey, Wilkes-Barre, and Atlantic City.

If you just can’t wait to watch tonight’s episode of So You Think You Can Dance, click here for a list of spoilers about how each couple performed (the Wednesday night shows are filmed on Monday). SYTYCD is off next week because of the Independence Day holiday.

Ahead of tonight’s new episode of Top Chef, head judge Tom Colicchio gave an interview to TV Guide in which he divulges his junk food vices: pizza, popcorn, and licorice.

In other Top Chef news, first season winner Harold Dieterle says he was forced to participate in the all-star challenge which preceded Season 3; he would’ve rather been working at his new restaurant, Perilla.

And finally, Trishelle Cannatella says she’s only slept with three of her fellow Real World cast members. Let’s see if she can make it through the whole season of Reunited: The Real World Vegas without adding to that list.

Ox Notes: June 26, 2007

NBC has hired Joey Fatone to host their new game show, The Singing Bee. In order to be ready for the show’s premiere on July 10, Fatone plans to commute between show tapings and Dancing with the Stars tour performances until the tour ends on July 24.

Another new show premiering tonight is Shaq’s Big Challenge, which sounds kind of like a kids edition of The Biggest Loser. The NBA star gave TV Guide the scoop on the show.

Aspiring singers get ready — audition dates for American Idol 7 have been announced:

• San Diego: July 30 at Qualcomm Stadium
• Dallas: Aug. 6 at Texas Stadium
• Omaha: Aug. 10 at Qwest Center
• Atlanta: Aug. 14 at a location to be announced
• Charleston, SC: Aug. 18 at N. Charleston Coliseum
• Miami: Aug. 22 at AmericanAirlines Arena
• Philadelphia: Aug. 27 at Wachovia Center

American Idol’s website has all of the audition details.

Ox Notes: June 25, 2007

Just when you’ve had your fill of talent competitions — thanks to America’s Got Talent, So You Think You Can Dance, The Next Best Thing, and Last Coming Standing — NBC has decided to move up the release date of its musical quiz show The Singing Bee from the fall to July 10 — just so that it can beat the release of Fox’s musical quiz show Don’t Forget the Lyrics by one day.

In other game show news, Rosie O’Donnell says she won’t be taking over hosting duties at The Price Is Right. That narrows the field of potential hosts to a bunch of former Dancing with the Stars cast members: George Hamilton, John O’Hurley, Mario Lopez, and Ian Ziering.

Ian Ziering may be in a bit of trouble, however. Rumor has it that he’s the one who leaked the news that Jennie Garth will be on the next season of DwtS.

In case this summer’s DwtS tour didn’t stop in a city near you, here’s a review of the Dallas performance, as well as an interview with tour choreographer Louis van Amstel.

Finally, Maksim Chmerkovskiy seems pretty disgruntled after three trophy-less seasons on DwtS. In a recent interview, Maks was asked, "If you could have any celebrity in the world as a partner, who would you choose? Who is your ideal?"

Maks responded, "I have no idea, but my ideal situation would be if Len was not judging any more."

You can read the rest of Maks’s response at Lauren Barth’s GlamScene blog.

Pirate Master: Episode 4

Did this week’s new captain pardon his nemesis, Joe Don?

The latest episode of Pirate Master began with Sean apologizing to Jay. "I’d made kind of a pact with Jay to vote for Cheryl," said Sean, regarding having received $1000 from Jay in exchange for a vote for Cheryl — and then voting for Alexis instead.

Taking money isn’t "kind of a pact," Sean. It’s a contract. Or a bribe.

After a relaxing morning under faux-British Captain Azmyth’s leadership, it was time for another treasure hunt. Azmyth, Jupiter, and Jay were joined on the Black Crew by Joe Don, Cheryl, Laurel, and Christa. The Red Crew comprised Louie, Sean, Ben, Joy, Kendra, and Nessa.

The Black Crew had the advantage in terms of physical ability, and they dominated the first half of a race through the jungle. On the Red Crew, Joy continued to have knee troubles, and Kendra and Louie lagged behind.

Louie kept an upbeat attitude during his difficult jungle run: "I just kinda look at Nessa’s butt and forget about the jungle."

Inside a small cave, each team held up a map, and a sunbeam reflected off a small mirror, creating an ‘X’ that highlighted the location of the buried treasure. The ‘X’ fell on a large anchor on the beach near where the crews had tied their boats, and Azmyth lead his team back through the jungle.

But, at the beach, Azmyth had his team looking for an actual giant ‘X.’ When he didn’t see an ‘X’ near the anchor, he led his team further down the beach. Since Azmyth was the only person on his team who’d looked at the map inside the cave, his teammates had no choice but to follow him.

After a futile search, the Black Crew decided to run back to the cave and have multiple team members look at the map. Meanwhile, the Red Crew started digging in the black sand around the anchor.

Once they’d confirmed where to look, the Black Crew ran back to the beach hoping to make up for lost time. But it was too late. Kendra found the buried treasure chest, and for a second week in a row, the captain was ousted.

Back aboard the pirate ship, the Red Crew elected a reluctant Louie captain. He chose Nessa and Sean for his officers — a smart move, since he ensured that two of the strongest players would be on his team for next week’s hunt.

The treasure chest contained a measly $5000, which Capt. Louie split evenly amongst his crew. But it also contained a Royal Pardon, which would save the person who possessed it from elimination at the next Pirates Court.

Louie was given temporary custody of the Pardon. Pirates who felt they were at risk had a few hours to decide how much gold they’d be willing to pay for the Pardon. The pirate who submitted the highest bid would pay Louie for the pardon at Pirates Court after the votes were cast, but before the results were read.

The only catch was, if the pirate with the Pardon didn’t need to use it at Pirates Court, he or she could not save it for the next week — and would be out all of the money paid for the Pardon. The Pardon would be up for bid again.

While explaining the rules of the Pardon to the whole crew, Louie pointed out that Joe Don had a lot more money than anyone else, and the Pardon was his, if he was willing to pay for it.

Knowing that Louie was out to get him, Joe Don pulled his lackey, Jay, aside. Trying to exploit Jay’s friendship with Louie, Joe Don said, "If I get a black spot, me and you, our deal, what we got going on [a loose alliance since the first day] is negated."

The ultimatum angered Jay, who stormed off and bid all of his money — $6001 — on the Pardon, hoping to keep it out of Joe Don’s hands.

The following morning, after all of the bids were cast, Louie and his officers set about assigning black spots to three crew members. Joe Don got one of the spots, and his buddy, Cheryl, got another.

Louie decided to assign the third black spot to Azmyth, as a way of measuring how the crew felt about Azmyth’s leadership style. Louie said that, after any captain was ousted, he should be given the black spot — and hoped that he himself would receive one after his turn was over.

At Pirates Court, instead of just apologizing for getting his crew lost, Azmyth — now conspicuously sans fake accent — said his crew gained valuable memories through his mistakes and got some extra exercise. Cheryl said, in her defense, that she’d never "messed up a clue or put everybody in the wrong direction."

Then Joe Don did his best Jonathan Antin impression and said that he didn’t understand why Louie hated him so much. He told Louie, "I don’t deserve what you’re throwing at me, dude. I love you, brother." Then he said that he wasn’t sorry for keeping most of the money from the first two treasures for himself.

The crew cast their votes, and before the results were read, host Cameron Daddo revealed that Joe Don had won the Royal Pardon with a bid of $7000. But it turned out Joe Don didn’t need the Pardon after all — Cheryl received four votes to his three.

As she floated away on her raft, Cheryl said that she hadn’t even bid on the Pardon. If her crew wanted her gone, she felt it best just to go.

Next week, Louie’s officers, Sean and Nessa, turn on one another.

SYTYCD 3, Top 18: Results Show

The judges gave the dancer who seemed most in danger of elimination one last chance to shine on So You Think You Can Dance.

Tonight’s Results Show began with a group dance choreographed by Shane Sparks to Wade Robson’s "It Was All In Your Mind."

After the performance, the first three couples took the stage. Lauren & Neil were told they were safe, as were Jamie & Hok. Jessi & Pasha wound up in the Bottom 3, to the shock of the studio audience and the judges.

Then the second group of couples was up. Lacey & Kameron, Anya & Danny, and Sabra & Dominic were all safe.

That meant that Faina & Cedric, Shauna & Jimmy, and Sara & Jesus were all in danger. Sara & Jesus were the only couple to walk away unscathed. The judges said they were not shocked to see either Shauna & Jimmy or Faina & Cedric at the bottom.

Then, it was time for the six couples at the bottom to dance for their lives. Here are the songs they danced to:
Jessi — Kina, "Hurts So Bad"
Pasha — Robert Randolph & The Family Band, "Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong With That"
Shauna — Lifehouse, "Everything"
Jimmy — Charlotte Martin, "Veins"
Faina — The Contours, "Do You Love Me"
Cedric — Imogen Heap, "Hide and Seek"

Cedric gave the same solo performance he’s given all season, while Shauna absolutely killed in her performance, doing spins that I didn’t know were possible without ice skates. And Faina had crimped hair.

As the judges deliberated which dancers to eliminate, Daddy Yankee performed live.

Finally, it was time for the judges to announce their decision. The girls were up first, and the judges were quick to tell Shauna that, due to her great solo performance, she was safe. The judges unanimously decided that Faina’s solo didn’t cut it, and she was told to go.

Before announcing which boy was eliminated, Nigel said that this decision was not unanimous. Nigel first told Pasha that he was safe, warning that he would need better solos in the future.

Then Nigel said that the judges were faced with choosing between good dancing and uniqueness. Mary opted for good dancing (Jimmy), while Mia and Nigel chose uniqueness (Cedric). But Nigel told Cedric that this was his last chance, and said that he wouldn’t save Cedric, should he fall to the bottom three in the future.

Because they lost their partners, Cedric and Shauna will dance as a pair from now on.