Monthly Archives: July 2007

Ox Notes: July 25, 2007

Spoilers for tonight’s episode of So You Think You Can Dance are available here. In addition to one dance per couple (and everyone has new partners), each individual dancer will perform the same solo, choreographed by Wade Robson.

The Amazing Race 12’s season has been shortened by two episodes — producers have dropped the non-elimination legs to create more excitement. While the change will give each leg a greater sense of urgency, Colin & Christie’s "My ox is broken!" meltdown occurred on a non-elimination leg in Season 5, and that episode is still my single favorite from any season.

If you haven’t heard about the controversy surrounding The Next Food Network Star, here’s a good synopsis of what happened.

Thanks to David Beckham, Americans are watching soccer. Nearly 1.5 million tuned in for his debut as a member of the Los Angeles Galaxy. A word of advice when watching future broadcasts: hit the mute button when they interview Beckham. His high-pitched voice distracts from his good looks.

And for serious TV fans, the place to be this weekend is…Comic-Con? The San Diego comic book convention has become the place to get the early buzz on new fall shows, especially animated shows or those in the sci-fi genre. One show from last fall played particularly well at 2006’s Comic-Con: Heroes.

Pirate Master: Episode 9

Pirate Master lives on online, and it’s a shame that it went off the air just as soon as it got good.

Until this point, a mutiny had to be approved by the captain’s two officers — highly unlikely since the most of the captains gave their officers an extra cut of the gold.

Starting tonight, however, the role of officer was eliminated. That meant that the captain had to make all decisions regarding treasure and Black Spots on his or her own, without the protection of two officers, should those decisions be unpopular.

As fate would have it, Captain Azmyth’s team lost the challenge, and he lost his captaincy. The winning team of Christa, Jay, Ben, and Kendra elected Christa the new captain.

Christa decided to split the $50,000 evenly with her team, but she let Jay talk her into an evil plan. When handing out the gold, Christa only gave Kendra $2500, with the promise that she’d bid $10,000 for the Royal Pardon, which was in Kendra’s possession.

If Christa stuck with Jay’s plan to the letter, she wouldn’t actually bid on the pardon, but would keep the $10,000 for herself and hope that Kendra would be voted off.

Unfortunately, Christa put too tempting a target alongside Kendra at Pirates Court: Azmyth.

The vote for his elimination was unanimous, so Christa was lucky she’d ignored Jay and did buy the pardon from Kendra for the full $10,000. Kendra’s not the most well-liked player, but I wouldn’t do Christa any good to be branded a liar by any player still in the game.

It’s a shame that Mark Burnett and the other producers of Pirate Master didn’t realize earlier that they had to make mutiny a realistic option for the crew. But because the crew and officers all had to be unanimous in their votes, it would never happen. As a result, Joe Don and Azmyth held on to the captain’s position for too long, making the experience static and boring for both cast and audience.

Another change that might have helped the show would’ve been to change the format of the treasure hunts. Instead of a group of people loping along through the jungle week after week, the hunts could’ve been a modified relay — the group starts together but sheds people at each check point (4-3-2-1) and the individual to find the treasure becomes captain.

That kind of format would force the randomly selected teams to think strategically. For example, Azmyth may be the fastest person on his team, but his teammates might not want him to be captain. Do you risk the treasure just to avoid having a captain you don’t like?

Next week, Jay and Ben cook up exactly that kind of strategy in order to keep Christa in power.

Ox Notes: July 24, 2007

Looks like I’ll have to make other entertainment arrangements this evening: CBS has canceled Pirate Master. CBS will post a new episode of the show on their website every Tuesday, and what would have been tonight’s episode is already available.

Drew Carey has been named the new host of The Price Is Right, and I think CBS made the right choice (no offense, Ian Ziering).

No details yet, but apparently Activision is creating a video game version of Dancing with the Stars. I’m sure I’ll buy it regardless, but unless the game is very active like Dance Dance Revolution, I’m not sure that a DwtS video game makes much sense.

Turner Broadcasting is launching a network in the U.K. aimed at young men. They are calling it NutsTV. Groan.

Premiere has a list of TV shows that should be made into movies. While I agree that a Veronica Mars film would be great, a film version of Lost would never work — unless the movie was about 12 hours long.

Ox Notes: July 23, 2007

Reality TV World figured out how many Emmy nominations went to reality shows, and Dancing with the Stars leads all other reality shows with eight nominations.

In other happy DwtS news, Laila Ali married Curtis Conway over the weekend.

In case you’ve been suffering from Bruno Tonioli withdrawal, he gave an interview about his new show, Dance X.

And it looks as if the scandals surrounding Chris Benoit’s murder-suicide and renewed concerns about steroids in pro wrestling have taken their tolls on WWE TV viewership. Two shows Benoit regularly appeared on — WWE Raw and Extreme Championship Wrestling — have each lost at least 9% of their total audience in recent weeks, with declines of up to 28% in their key demographic of men aged 18-34.

Ox Notes: July 20, 2007

Good news for fans of Hok and Anya, who got the boot from So You Think You Can Dance last night. In TV Guide’s backstage report, Mary Murphy revealed they’ve been invited to serve as alternates on the SYTYCD tour. And it should come as no surprise that Murphy, a former ballroom pro herself, was the dissenting vote among the judges last night; she would’ve preferred to eliminate Lauren.

Variety has an article about some unexpected Emmy nominations, including one for the quickly canceled series Drive, and another for a song called "Everything Comes Down to Poo."

So just how does Mario Lopez show his girlfriend, Karina Smirnoff, a good time? He takes her to the racetrack.

If you don’t have plans for Saturday, head to the Orange County Fliers baseball game for the post-game entertainment: Heroes’s Hayden Panettiere will be singing covers with a band made up of fellow Heroes star Greg Grunberg, House’s Hugh Laurie, Desperate Housewives’s James Denton, The Bachelor’s Bob Guiney, and Kitchen Confidential’s Bonnie Summerville.

Or, if you’ve got a little free time over the next few weeks, Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin have extended their Broadway run in Chicago through August 5.

My plans for the weekend are a little less sophisticated than either of those options. I’m planning on a trip to Dunkin’ Donuts tomorrow morning, inspired by their latest ad campaign. I mean, everybody knows that the funniest member of the band Kiss isn’t Gene Simmons — it’s Ace Frehley!

SYTYCD 3, Top 12: Results

Tonight’s So You Think You Can Dance results show started with a cute Jean-Marc Genereux-choreographed routine to "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," with the dancers decked out in Navy uniforms.

Then it was time to find out which couples would be dancing for their lives. The Bottom Three couples were Anya & Danny, Jamie & Hok, and Lauren & Neil.

The announcement of the Bottom Three couples was followed by a special tap performance by Jason Samuel Smith. The performance was very cool, and at times he looked like his upper body was being supported by wires to allow his feet to fly more easily.

Anya — Ike & Tina Turner, "Proud Mary"
Danny — Brian McKnight, "Never Felt This Way"
Jamie — Mindy Smith, "One Moment More"
Hok — Jamiroquai, "Black Devil Car"
Lauren — Christina Aguilera, "Walk Away"
Neil — Maroon 5, "Harder to Breathe"

While the judges deliberated, Enrique Iglesias performed "Somebody’s Me."

The judges weren’t unanimous in their decision as to which girl should go, but they all felt that Jamie deserved to remain despite an unimpressive solo. They felt that, until tonight, Lauren hadn’t reached her potential. But her performance tonight impressed two of the judges enough that they asked Lauren to remain, meaning that Anya had to go.

Regarding which boy to eliminate, the judges were unanimous. Nigel said that the judges felt Hok hadn’t grown as much as the other breakdancers in the competition, Dominic and Sara, and the show’s eventual winner needed to have a diverse array of talents. Neil and Danny lived to dance another day, and Hok was cut adrift.

Ox Notes: July 19, 2007

Nominees for the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards were announced today. Here’s the full list of nominees. Choreography nods went to an NBC Tony Bennett special, Mia Michaels for "Calling You" from SYTYCD 2, Wade Robson for "Ramalama (Bang Bang)" from SYTYCD 2, and Louis Van Amstel for his Jive with Monique Coleman from DwtS 3.

Also announced today was CBS’s fall schedule, which kicks off with new reality show Kid Nation, in which 40 kids try to build an adult-free society in a ghost town. I’m excited to see the show if only because I would’ve loved to be on it when I was ten.

When Dancing with the Stars returns in the fall, it will be DelGrosso-less again. Ashly DelGrosso, who is due to give birth to her baby any day, said this in her email newsletter:
"Like last season I will be cheering all my friends on but will not be participating because of my newborn. I intend to be back for season 6 though in February and am looking forward to it."

In between seasons 5 and 6, ABC will keep Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba employed by pitting them against one another as coach-choreographers on the show Dance X. Each week, Tonioli and Inaba will pick a team from a cast of dancers and teach their team a new routine, and then fans vote for their favorite. Let’s see how Carrie Ann and Bruno like being judged for a change.