Monthly Archives: December 2009

Ox Notes: December 22, 2009

Survivor: Samoa ended its entertaining season on Sunday night with a disappointing finale, as jury members cast petty votes against the man they felt had wronged them — choosing instead to reward the more palatable option among his two opponents in the final trio.

It’s not that Natalie played a bad game; she made the moves that were most likely to get her to the end. But, compared to Russell, she might as well have been camping next to the Survivor set, only to stumble into the game by accident.

As far as the audience knows, Natalie never once considered voting for Russell, despite knowing exactly how manipulative and untrustworthy he was. (Mick and Jaison are also guilty of the same blind faith and lack of initiative.) Russell, on the other hand, played the game from the second it started.

EW’s Dalton Ross subtitled his finale recap "The worst jury vote ever". Jeff Probst, despite being kind to Natalie during the reunion show, made it clear in his blog that he felt Russell should have won.

Ratings for the Survivor: Samoa finale were up over those for last fall’s Survivor: Gabon finale.

Now, on to the interviews. Winner Natalie White spoke with EW, People, TV Guide and Reality TV World. Reality Blurred combined its interviews with Natalie and Russell into one article.

Russell Hantz spoke about his defeat with EW, People and Reality TV World.

If that’s not enough, Reality TV World interviewed Mick Trimming and Jaison Robinson, while Reality Blurred interviewed Mick, Jaison and Brett Clouser. Last Thursday’s victim of the vote, Shannon "Shambo" Waters, chatted with EW, Reality TV World and People.

CBS has video of Shambo, Jaison and Brett during their brief time at Ponderosa.

Next up is Survivor 20: Heroes vs. Villains, which debuts on February 11. While CBS hasn’t announced the official cast of returning contestants, Survivor Sucks has a list of likely cast members that I’d be willing to bet on. The list contains the only name I need to see to make me excited for the new season: Coach.

Ox Notes will return on January 5, 2010. Happy Holidays!

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Ox Notes: December 17, 2009

The first fall edition of So You Think You Can Dance concluded last night, and Us interviewed the winner.

Top Chef Las Vegas bid farewell for good with last night’s lame reunion show. The only good part of the reunion was this blooper footage.

Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations were announced today. Zap2It produced its own list of 2009’s underrated TV stars.

EW’s Dalton Ross ranks Survivor: Samoa — which ends on Sunday night — high on his list of best Survivor seasons.

If you’re in the mood to cry, watch this episode of Survivor: Africa winner Ethan Zohn’s People video blog in which he calls his mom to tell her that his cancer is in remission. Yay, Ethan!

EW has a guide to TV return and premiere dates in early 2010. New episodes of TLC’s What Not To Wear start on January 8, while HBO set a March 14 premiere date for the mini-series The Pacific, made by the same crew behind the excellent Band of Brothers.

Zap2It posted a list of holiday programming leading up to Christmas, as well as a preview of Christmas day’s televised NBA games.

Pure DwtS created a Christmas wish list for Dancing with the Stars. Top of the list: "Replace Samantha."

Ox Notes: December 15, 2009

Golden Globe nominations were announced this morning. I haven’t seen any of the ten TV series nominated for awards this year, apart from one episode of House. I did, however, watch every episode of Rock of Love Bus.

The Watcher compiled her list of the Top TV Shows of 2009. Again, no Rock of Love Bus.

NBC gave Parenthood a March 1 premiere date, right after the network’s Olympic coverage ends. Variety warns everyone to be on the lookout for show star Lauren Graham ringside at the figure skating for a little cross promotion.

People offers three reasons to watch The Vampire Diaries, which is airing as a five-night marathon on The CW this week.

TV Guide wants to know who you want to win this season of So You Think You Can Dance, which concludes on Wednesday night.

While on hiatus from Dancing with the Stars, two-time champ Julianne Hough created a fitness DVD called Dance with Julianne: Cardio Ballroom.

Survivor: Samoa‘s double eliminees, Dave and Monica, are making the interview rounds this week. Both chatted with EW’s Dalton Ross and Survivor: Amazon champ Jenna Morasca for Survivor Talk, where Dave got peevish when asked about his mistakes in the game.

He was back to his funny self in interviews with Reality Blurred and People, to whom he said, regarding Shambo’s psychic visions: "A lot of ladies have dreams about Danger Dave Ball." Check out the Ponderosa video "Dave Part 2" to see Danger Dave bust out some funky dance moves.

Monica also spoke with Reality Blurred, and, as always, Jeff Probst blogged about the latest episode for EW.

Ox Notes: December 10, 2009

Could this be the most absurd reality show yet? On January 4, ABC debuts the special Conveyor Belt of Love in which women chose their prospective beaus off of a moving conveyor belt. Reality Blurred proposes follow-up specials like "The Lazy Susan of Love" and "The Dry Cleaner Rack of Love."

With Survivor: Samoa winding down, EW posted odds on the remaining contestants’ chances of winning. I agree that Natalie’s probably the fave to win, at this point.

You’ve got until Friday to visit the charity auction site Clothes Off Our Backs and bid on tickets to the Dancing with the Stars 10 season premiere or a private dance lesson with Maksim Chmerkovskiy. The site is also auctioning off autographed holiday items.

I’m bummed that tonight’s new episode of Soundstage — a Michael McDonald Christmas special — isn’t airing on any of the PBS stations in the Chicago region.

The Amazing Race‘s third place finishers, Brian & Ericka, gave interviews to People and Reality TV World.

TV Guide interviewed Top Chef Las Vegas fourth place finisher, Jennifer Carroll.

Now, on to last night’s Top Chef finale. (Caution: spoilers ahead)

I thought that the editing was dishonest. Until Padma said that Michael was the winner, I was 100% positive that Bryan had won. Even Tom Colicchio wrote in his blog: "Based on how the episode was cut, it had me wondering up until the end whether my memory had failed me or not."

I’m sure it had something to do with the fact that Michael had been edited as a kind of villain all season, and no one likes to see the villain win. In a TV Guide poll taken before the finale aired, only 12% of respondents felt that Michael should win.

As a result of the way the finale was edited, Michael’s victory didn’t seem justified. Tom and his fellow judges, Gail Simmons and Toby Young, explained the outcome in their blogs, but only a small portion of the viewing audience reads the blogs. Everyone else is left to wonder why Bryan lost after he seemingly won two of the four rounds last night (Chef’s Choice and Dessert).

I am glad that the editors included Toby’s comment that Kevin may be the real star of the season. If anyone can inspire a cult following, it’s Kevin, Patron Saint of Pork. He and some of his fellow castmates spent last weekend dining at his restaurant, Woodfire Grill, as part of their culinary tour of Atlanta.

Bravo’s website has interviews with all of the finalists, including a Q&A with the winner and a depressing morning-after video interview with Kevin. Bryan was his usual animated self in his video, while Michael was understandably pleased in his.

Ox Notes: December 8, 2009

The Amazing Race ended on Sunday night with a seemingly inevitable win by Meghan & Cheyne. The winners chatted with E! and People, who also interviewed bickering brothers Sam & Dan. Reality Blurred summarized several other interviews with the TAR finalists.

After this lackluster season — in which the most amusing part of the finale was a network PSA promoting Pap Smears as Christmas gifts — I’m demoting TAR to DVR-only status. It’s a glorified travel show at this point due to formulaic casting, and I no longer feel compelled to watch it live.

Dancing with the Stars pro Derek Hough dropped by the sets of British reality shows Strictly Come Dancing and X Factor.

Andrew McCarthy, star of ’80s comedy classics like Mannequin and Weekend at Bernie’s, will direct an upcoming episode of Gossip Girl.

On March 21, VH1 debuts its new series, Basketball Wives, which follows the exploits of Jermaine O’Neal’s, Antoine Walker’s and Eric Williams’ significant others.

In January, ESPN picks up the show Sport Science, which explores technological developments in sports. In this clip from the show’s Fox Sports Net days, golfer Padraig Harrington tests whether a Happy Gilmore swing really works: