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  1. Forgot my other favorite part of the episode, highlighting most contestants' lack of ... shall we say, intellectual prowess? TJ: You get $5,000. Wes: Apiece? Contestants: ::crickets:: ?????? TJ: Each. Contestants: WOOOOOO!!!!!
  2. That elimination got me so hard, I don't know why. Maybe it was 90s nostalgia (why, Hootie, why?), maybe it was that these two players do have more years on them and as Wes said, "maturity," compared to the young(er) bucks. Realizing you probably have more in common with your greatest rival, and could've spent all those years being friends -- even if it was just a stupid made-for-TV moment .... in that moment, I believed it. You could just see the years, the history between them. It's why I've always loved reality TV: because the strategy and competitions are fun, but the personal connections that form when people are under stress can be so compelling. The history these people have with each other is like another subplot of this show. It was one of my favorite reality TV moments this year, not because of the outcome, but because the players sold what it meant, and I bought it. And on a show like this, with the fighting and the drama and the hook-ups, that seems rare. As an elimination it was kind of meh. But it did live up to the hype.
  3. Had to catch this one on On-Demand, but it was worth it. I liked Emily, because she didn't play odds. She just seemed to bet on herself every time. And when she got whammies, she recovered. Maybe it's too much time in quarantine, but I found myself tearing up when she said something like, "I'm a Yinzer and we never quit." At the same time, I was fascinated by her marriage. Her husband seemed sweetly simple, not really caring about the prizes. She seems like the driving force there. And all the prizes were to be geared toward her and her family. The fact that she saw people driving around and LA in Teslas and appeared to want one based off of that is ... interesting. I hope she's happy with her life-changing money, especially as it doesn't come with an LA life.
  4. First Survivor, then Top Chef, now Family Feud with the oldschoolers vs newschoolers. And as I have every time, I've been rooting for the OGs. It was cool to see them all together again. This was a highly entertaining hour, from "sleep suit" to "Alex Trebek" to "That's what I said! And then he said that [expletive] about the kids." And the Fab 10 energy, aww. Really enjoyed this one.
  5. That was a near-perfect use of lifelines by Lauren Lapkus. Her husband knew the science question, Jimmy Kimmel knew the music question and her dad knew the history question (and she got a question herself without using any lifelines). I ended up really enjoying her (and her husband counting up the presidents on his fingers in the background was cute). This has completely reinforced the idea we don't need studio audiences for reality show tapings. I haven't missed it at all, the crew clapping is all the audience I need.
  6. Three newschoolers, two oldschoolers in the final 5 is at least better than Survivor. Not that I expected Malarkey to make it to the finale, but still. I can't help it, I'm Team Oldschoolers, although I have come to really enjoy Melissa and Gregory (Stephanie is on borrowed time for me). The show going to Italy is bittersweet, especially knowing how hard that country got hit with COVID-19. I don't know why seeing LA is an escape, but going to Italy isn't. Maybe it's the whole getting on a plane and flying across the ocean that's become near impossible now.
  7. So funny you say this because I always thought Tyler and Jay (on Survivor, not necessarily here) had a lot in common (besides the hair). The laid-back attitude masking a decent competitor, among other things. Which brings me to my next question: is this the most hookup-free season of the Challenge ever? I feel like more than half of these folks have preexisting relationships (or preexisting relationships they're not willing to cheat on). Other than Bear/Kailah, everyone's seemingly kept their hands to themselves. Unless this is a kind of a "stars get special treatment and their cheating gets hidden" (like the Will and Janelle rumor in Big Brother All Stars).
  8. For old time's sake: Let's go! Big Brother alums have acquitted themselves well here (well, not all of them, although Josh certainly gives the producers the drama they want), either by being good competitors or providing maximum drama. Kaycee is a literal Challenge beast, and I'm not surprised she smoked Kailah. I'm also still loving the 90s soundtrack. Last week, "Machinehead," this week "Closing Time." I don't know why they decided 90s music goes well with Prague, but I'm loving it. Reminds me of what the original purpose of MTV used to be.
  9. I did appreciate how the show launched into full-on trolling of Dr. Phil this past episode. Even Jimmy Kimmel seemed to laughing at, not with, him. Kaitlin Olson did a good job. I really liked her expert friend/writer, who seemed like a genuine friend versus a "I recruited a Jeopardy champion" expert, talking out how certain JFK answers "seem too written" in ruling them out (as in too much irony). Although "Dallas doesn't love you" is up there on the irony scale.
  10. I'm nowhere near close to a fan of Johnny Bananas, but after this week, I'm pretty sure this is rigged somehow (like The Masked Singer is rigged for certain contestants to be voted off after only doing a certain amount of episodes, not like how Twenty-One was rigged). I've watched enough cooking shows to know it's all about the protein, and Dave Coulier overcooked his protein (both weeks, actually), but got a bizarre amount of praise for his side dish (both weeks). It now leads me to believe Dave Coulier is the designated lose-to-one-of-Anne-Burrell's-team finalist (potentially to Robin Givens, no spoilers, just a theory), who will come from behind, and Johnny Bananas will be the elimination comeback kid until he's finally sent packing. Anne Burrell clearly hates him.
  11. I wasn't upset the Night Angel won, as she was the best vocalist left (even though I thought her costume was so creepy). I found myself actually rooting against the Turtle, because I found his voice pretty mediocre and most of his performances pretty unmemorable. But I totally agree this show needs to be shorter. It felt like it dragged forever in a way past seasons didn't. Way, way too much time spent on filler and unnecessary nonsense (those 2-hour shows were painful). If Idol can do one hour with nine performers, this show can, too. I actually think this show could survive post-COVID. You could theoretically have the judges on Zoom. The "studio audience" voting would go away, but maybe they could do half-America, half-judges, like Dancing with the Stars. Mostly, these shows are reminding me how useless a studio audience is (other than an efficient spreader of disease). I hope they go the way of the dodo bird in these times. Congrats, Night Angel. The best pure vocalist remaining won, and for this show, that feels revolutionary.
  12. Here's another one: winners should only be invited back one other time. Once they win, they get one return invite the show may or may not use, and then they disappear. They've won. There's no reason for the show to keep bringing them back, because the chances of them pulling a Sandra on returning player seasons are minuscule (Tony isn't in that boat, because it was all winners: someone was going to win again). Ethan had a great season on Africa, then was voted out embarrassingly early in both All Stars and Winners at War. I get he had a good story this time, and was in a different phase of his life. But yet, the outcome remained the same: he was voted out embarrassingly early. Was that necessary to see twice? I'm just not clamoring to see Adam try to play the pen/the tribal council set/Jeff himself as an idol because they thought he made "good TV." Or Sophie be another mid-game boot, because now everyone realizes what a threat she is. Or them to milk one last drop out of Ben's service to his country (and resulting post-traumatic stress). I think the entire Winners at War cast should be retired, and that includes newer winners. They won, they got their shot to come back, now they're done. If they want to invite back Mike Holloway and Chris Underwood (why?), be my guest. They haven't had their second shot. The others: please, no.
  13. Josh, you're going to make me regret ever defending that you had some sort of strategy in Big Brother. You led the "blindside Wes" brigade, with Laurel last season. Why would you think Wes would ever tell you if Bear was going in? Johnny "if you ain't cheating, you ain't trying" Bananas. I do wonder if he was the fastest in the daily challenge, but they couldn't reward the cheating/trying. I enjoyed the 90s music ("Machinehead" and Korn) more than two meat-heads sending two of the more interesting characters home. I'm waiting for the ::ring ring:: Wes and Bananas confessionals, a la Dr. Will and Mike Boogie on Big Brother.
  14. That was David vs Goliath? I thought Millennials vs Gen X harped on that, too (featuring Hannah's "trust cluster." It's not a voting bloc! It's not an alliance! It's somewhere in between!) Or people just had very short memories, acting like every season was the biggest innovation in Survivor game play history.
  15. But in the same breath, he said, "400 crew members." Four. Hundred. They can't quarantine all those people. They can't quarantine a fraction of those people. LA County is shut down til August, U.S. Canadian borders are closed, there's a level 4 State Department advisory against International Travel. Where do they go for this fictitious filming? Maybe they'd be trying to film something quickly in the fall, after LA County (presumably) lifts the stay-at-home order, to rush something onscreen by November/December, and hope the second wave is delayed enough for them to finish production before everything is shut down again? But a few epidemiologists are predicting a late summer resurgence, so I honestly think this was Jeff trying to put on a brave face and say, "We're sending Survivor to the farm this year, it'll be great, it's gonna love the farm," when we all know what that means.
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