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  1. Absolutely this. Madison is co-dependent. Her entire life has been structured around saving Nick. She needs Jeff VanVonderen to see that sign and have a nice long chat about how she's the reason her family is broken. Then he can ship her off for 2 weeks of counseling and leave Alicia and Strand in peace. I still wonder if the dad was an addict rather than just depressed or suicidal. She made a comment early in S1 about how Nick's issues were in his genes. At the time I figured she was in recovery, then they kept showing her drinking, but able to stop. I don't see her as a parallel to anyone in the mothership (aside from maybe having bad acting destroy a character, ala Andrea). Rather, she's a parallel to every selfish mother from the couch in Intervention who doesn't think her child's recovery counts unless SHE is the one who engineers it. Otherwise, her life has no meaning. From that perspective, her return to obsessing about Nick is completely in character. It was organizing the hotel camp that wasn't. The only thing that scares her more than Nick relapsing is Nick not relapsing, but of his own volition rather than hers. If she hears even a hint he's out there functioning in the real world, her goal is going to be to sabotage it, hence barging into the interrogation and turning on that sign. Everyone else, Alicia, Strand, even Travis, are just people who don't "get" the things she's convinced only she understands.
  2. I'm feeling like Alaska doesn't really want to be there so much as feels like she has to be there. I loved her in her season, this year, I forget she's even there half the time. Not a big Alyssa fan, but I'll give her credit for bucking the "we all agreed" mantra, because, at least from what we saw, they didn't all agree. Tatianna was the one saying they don't always agree with the judges critiques, so it's not fair to base everything on them, and we saw th's from others speculating about alliances and things changing. Sticking to that standard best serves the middle of the pack types, and those seemed to be the ones most in favor of it. It's a risky plan, anyway. They know the audience doesn't see the full critiques, so it leaves them wide open for a bad edit. My biggest issue with the Diana thing is there really wasn't a lot to work with. Evita's "iconic" moment is standing still at a mic, but she got to move around the stage, so why couldn't Diana? And the lyrics weren't much help. All the other roles had props, some of them multiple. Diana's job was to stand center stage, drop a tiara, and do a little bump and grind in place. Even if she had gone ott with the dress, she still would've been standing center stage in a dress with big sleeves. When she was backup, it was a lot of choreography with her back to the stage or out of frame, and a few moments where she had a chance to ham it up (which Katya did). No matter who ended up with that part, they were destined for the bottom unless they pulled out some Raja-level runway. They could've done so much more with someone else, Margaret Thatcher, Amelia Earhart, Marilyn Monroe.
  3. Still playing catchup myself. Nice to see Wagner getting more dimension, even if they did wait til the 11th hour to get around to it. Regarding the Abby complaint, I think that was supposed to be more about Jimmy. The rest of the team takes a "call me when you know something" approach, acts surprised when she gets things done faster, and doesn't hover around waiting on answers. I think this was just one more case of him not reading the room correctly.
  4. I think Blaze's insight is the direct result of grandma. She might have hid her past from the grandkids, but I'm sure they heard plenty of her talking about the things the parents need to do, what's going to happen if they don't, etc. I always laugh when someone says they're hiding the "truth" from the kids. They might not understand what it all means, but they're absolutely picking up on all of it, even the littlest ones.
  5. I find I'm more likely to ff based on the family. When it's a spouse/parent, I'll probably watch all of it. When it's a kid with free reign to come and go as they please, I'll watch the backstory, skip the contrived family dinner, skim through the pre-intervention to see if any of them have a shred of self-awareness, and then to the inevitable meltdown mid-intervention. Those are the ones who are pretty much guaranteed that they'll skip out on treatment and be welcomed home with open arms. The middle ground is kids with clearly narcissistic/abusive/control freak parents, or the ones who chose to be homeless even if their parents probably would offer the revolving door policy if it meant they'd check in once in a while.
  6. Something in the timeline on this one confused me. At one point, her mother mentioned something about someone assaulting her, then a week later she was drinking again. Later we see where police were called. Was the mother referring to that same incident, and they showed it out of order, or was that two separate occasions?
  7. Right, but what I'm questioning is if the gap between the guys and the girls was actually bigger than the one between the guys and CM/J. They tried to make it sound like both teams blew the girls out of the water, but I suspect the smaller gap, even with the puzzle, was probably between 2nd and 3rd than 2nd and 1st.
  8. I know it was mentioned in the aftershow thread that all the aftershows are done back to back over a series of days, with everyone for the ones being shot that day all backstage, coming out in pairings as needed. Is the reunion part of that timeline? If that's the case, it would mean the initial CM/Abe show, the finalist teams show, and the reunion were all done within a span of 2 or 3 days. Assuming they were even on speaking terms outside the show, I doubt they had time to have any lengthy conversation about any of it before the reunion shoot. They'd have been better off to leave Abe out completely, and bring in Camilla to address her paranoid meltdown.
  9. Look up Solitary. It ran for 4 seasons, and I think most of it is around on YT. The contestants spend the entire duration of the show locked in a room alone. At some point near the beginning, they get a brief phone call home, but otherwise, no human contact the entire time. Even the easier challenges are harder than just about anything they've thrown at them on The Challenge. They're all competing, but because they can't see or hear the other contestants, nearly everything is an endurance challenge, first to quit is out. Even if the first to tap out stops 5 minutes in, they let the rest keep going without telling them. It would be Johnny's hell on earth - he'd have to do it entirely on his own instead of letting everyone else do the work for him. I'm curious about the timings in that 2nd round. TJ presented it as a close race between 1st and 2nd, with J&B being the clear losers. At the end of day one, Cory mentioned being an hour or more behind everyone else, at the eating challenge, they spent the same amount of time, and had a 10 minute penalty, so that only put J&B back 20 minutes. I wonder if it was the canoe or the puzzle that accounted for the extra 30+ minutes (don't know if his "hour or more" was based on when the girls finished or when CM and Jamie finished).
  10. I like to imagine Vince would've gotten them kicked out before it even started by using his tough guy act on the tailor.
  11. There was a clip in the first aftershow about the bug eating challenge. Originally they had tarantulas to put in the box instead of a snake, but nobody wanted to be the guinea pig to test it out. One of the producers finally asked the spider handler what would happen if they were bit more than once, and he said, "you'll die." Then they ordered the snakes instead.
  12. I suspect it's the other way around, not that they need another show to feed into Challenge casting, but that they dangle the chance to go on to do it afterwards as bait to cast people on the dating show. It's too bad they didn't clone UK's Ex on the Beach instead of making AYTO. That would've provided a lot more fodder for future exes and rivals Challenges just because of how it's designed. The puzzle thing is something that irritates me with a few of these people, same as the swimming. You know there's going to be at least one puzzle challenge, you know there's going to be at least one swimming challenge. Practice both. It's just as infuriating as people who go on TAR without learning how to drive a stick first. Watching Jenna this time around makes me wonder how much Jay and/or Zach were really holding her back last time. IIRC, she outlasted Nia on a strength/endurance test towards the end, and was up for doing the gross eating challenge until Jay wussed out. I don't think she'll ever hit the Sarah or Evelyn level - the claustrophobia and poor decision making aren't going to magically disappear - but she still has a leg up over some of the other regulars who are so out of shape they'd never survive the mini-final they did today, let alone a real one.
  13. Hugh Laurie vs Stephen Fry I'd love to see the UK version manage that, but with their budget they never will, so might as well do it right on this side of the pond
  14. The bigger threat to Johnny and Vince, same as Abe and Mike. If you want to rank the teams top to bottom, Jenna and Brianna come in 2nd to last no matter how you parse it down, with the only team weaker being Aneesa and Rhianna. If the rest of the show breaks down to guys vs. girls, they were guaranteed a place no matter what. If it doesn't (which is more likely), they still have to survive 2 more teams. Even if they knocked out Aneesa and Rianna, they'd still have to beat one of the other 3 to make the final. In past years, when they've taken 4 teams to the final location to compete for the top 3 spots, the competition is usually part strength/ part intelligence. Jenna lucked into the last one with the trivia game, but that bird has already flown. It would more likely be a puzzle game, and then she's screwed, unless Brianna has a secret brain trust she's been hiding.
  15. So far I see two problems with it. First, they're using guests that don't know each other. I think a big part of what makes LSB work is that most of the pairs they bring in have some sort of pre-existing relationship, either personal or professional, and that helps them play off each other. LSBUK is just taking random celebs and throwing them in. Second is the camera work. US occasionally cuts away to reaction shots from either LL and the competition or Chrissy, but usually it's a long shot of the performance with the others in the background. UK is constantly cutting to closeups of the bar, Green, the crowd, the balcony, 2 seconds of the performance, back to Mel B, back to the crowd. When Chrissy does her little bits singing along, she's facing the stage. Green is looking straight into the camera over the audience, ignoring the stage completely. I started paying more attention while trying to figure out what exactly was bothering me with the UK one. In the US one, the only time you see the faces of the audience is after the song ends or the celeb goes into the crowd. The UK spends as much time on crowd reaction shots as they do on the stage at all. I think they can make it work, but it needs some polishing.
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