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  1. Jillibean

    S17.E13: Top 10 Reveal (2019.04.15)

    One of my pet peeves is when the judges act horrified that America voted for some people and not others, as though they believe that America has the power to vote every single one of the 14 contestants into the top ten and just chose not to. They seemed to tone it down as the night went on, but their reaction to Riley not being voted in was baffling as I think she is pretty objectively one of the weaker contestants relative to the overall pack. I actually think the top 7 as chosen by America was extremely reasonable, though I would have happily traded Walker for either Uche or Ashley. I wonder if the acoustics in the studio sound different than what we hear on TV at home, or if the judges are making remarks based on dress because it's too hard to hear over the screaming fans during the live performance. I thought Eddie sounded terrible Sunday night and couldn't believe not a single one so much as dinged him with a "pitchy." He was a mess. I also thought Dimitrius sounded off--he's incredibly talented and one of my favorites, but he didn't sound right to me. Dimitrius sounded better Monday, though still with some issue at the higher register, and Eddie still sounded like a garbage heap. I concur that others that while Uche delivered a great overall performance, he didn't SOUND good. All that dancing threw off his breath control for sure. I also think the aesthetic he's going for is probably a little far out for the particular American Idol audience to identify with other than seeing it as a novelty. He also clearly needs a bit of a thicker skin. I don't have any issue with the fact that the age cutoff is as low as 16, but I do agree with old school Simon Cowell that a 16/17 year old can't possibly have the depth of experience to understand and relate to these songs the same way someone even a few years older could. Madison seems to have the fantastic quality of really getting and singing the songs with meaning, whereas I don't think Riley was there yet, I think Alyssa is a little stronger but still not there and the jury is out on Walker. Alyssa and Walker both, in my opinion, chose songs that were way out of their emotional depth range on Sunday. I completely agree with whoever said Eddie's performance was indulgent and I am glad he was eliminated. I hated his behavior during his duet and the fact that he thought Bennie and the Jets was a risky choice. He has a lot of growing up to do.
  2. Jillibean

    S33.E10: To All the Partners I've Loved Before

    It is stunning to me that Cara can be so fixated on Kyle, giving him so much real estate in both her head and her confessionals, and then act affronted that people think she’s not over him. Cara, this is not what “over someone” looks like. You are so far past the line, you can’t see the line. The line is a dot to you. I would feel bad for Georgia if she hadn’t brought this all on herself by refusing to listen to people about Bear’s unfaithful way despite the fact that he apparently has a history if being unfaithful. Going after Wes seems like a true rookie mistake. He’s smarter than almost all of the guys, and has the physical goods to back it up in an elimination as well. I would pick him over anyone but Turbo, I think, though he and Theo might be a close match also. My favorite part of the episode was Davonne, partner: Jesus.
  3. Jillibean

    Episode Discussion: TFGH

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t it be impossible to be able to tell via DNA which of two identical twins was the mother of a child? I’m pretty sure real life DNA tests can’t even discriminate with accuracy between close relatives if there was a question of maternity/paternity. And identical twins have the same DNA. Not that this will stop the show.
  4. Jillibean

    S33.E07: This Means War

    Totally agree. They seem pretty well matched mentally and get along really well. And he seems kind and respectful. And I bet he has a crush. Jenna, open your eyes girl! She’s been talking forever about moving in with Zach in Michigan, first “in January,” then “in the next few weeks,” then “in a couple of months.” Now it’s practically April and she hasn’t moved anywhere. She seems to have such a comfortable life at home in LI with her family and her friends and her nannying. It’s a shame that she’s planning to give all that up to move in with Bumbling Zach. I’d love to know if he ever offered to move to Long Island (he totally didn’t.)
  5. Jillibean

    S33.E07: This Means War

    Honestly? Good for Jenna. Even if it was a bad game decision—which I think is debatable—she took someone who has been personally unkind to her and others out of the game. Amanda saying she should have come to Jenna first about the bumble thing would have been nice if it had been initiated at any of the many other times when Jenna did not have power over Amanda going into elimination. Incidentally, I wonder if bumble is paying for all this excellent advertising or if they’re just benefiting from Zach being a bum. I think Jenna is playing the game she always has—make as few waves as possible, hope to get to the end by floating by socially, and pick up whatever money she can in the final. Kam and Kyle are friends of hers. Cara and Jenna have never said each other’s names. She’s not going to blow up those alliances by voting for those teams. And I see the logic in the votes for Amanda and Josh from Wes. Looking at the teams that were left outside the tribunal, whoever went in was going to pick Amanda and Josh to go against—they are by far, on paper, the easiest team of the available choices. By voting for them instead of someone else who will likely beat them and come back, you don’t create a new enemy. Wes may say he’s targeting team Brit, but in reality he’s only targeting one team in the alliance and it’s the one that he probably believes he can beat if it comes down to it. I also think Wes sees Bear’s abrasive personality as a reason to justify targeting him without getting the other members of the U.K. alliance too upset. I’m really shocked that Davonne let Bear get his way on their vote. Granted, neither of them had an effective negotiation technique, but given how strong they both felt, I was really surprised that they ended up going with his choice rather than compromising on a team that was neither of their first choices. I really dislike Ninja. I find her so irritating. I get the sense that she’s thrilled to be paired up with an egocentric bully so she, too, can act like an egocentric bully and be validated by her partner for it. In addition to being unpleasant, she’s extremely boring, so I will hold out hope to never see her again.
  6. Jillibean

    NCIS: Los Angeles

    Something like Tiva versus Densi is honestly so, so subjective. The couples are completely different. I personally would much rather see a developed relationship and two people actually being together than endless will-they- won't-they that really never culminates on screen. And to that end, I thought the Densi wedding was a nice payoff. I really enjoyed all the actual wedding parts. The lead-up I found a bit boring, what with the fake kidnapping that was left unsolved to the degree that legion of bad guys showed up at the wedding and Deeks' having what seemed like a very plot-driven panic attack over getting married. I really wish adult Deeks had shown up for the whole episode, not just the second part. And what was with Eric this episode? They just will not let this character catch a break. The box...I'm glad they remembered it and attempted to pay it off, but it was very clearly a situation where no one who wrote this show in season five knew at the time what was in the box, and while the explanation that it was a key to a storage box that Kensi could switch the contents of made sense, it also left something to be desired. I loved the idea that Kensi gave Deeks her father's wedding ring, but we all know that's not what was in the storage box initially--so what was? How many different things has it been over the years?
  7. Jillibean

    S33.E06: In Love and War

    I have a feeling that this will mark both Shaleen's first and last challenge appearance. MTV seemingly found the most obscure reality TV contestant they could, and they basically got exactly what they cast. Absolutely everything Cara says annoys me now. With every passing episode, I wonder more if I harshly misjudged Amanda. Thanks for that, Cara. If Wes really wanted to pull the trigger on the Bear thing, he should have recruited Nany to tell Georgia. I don't think Georgia would have accepted Bear's denials quite so easily if she had received a first person account. I believe Bear has a history of cheating, which should have given Georgia more pause. I also wonder if she knew he had a girlfriend back home. Rumor has it Bear was cut a nice check to do this show, so I'm sure he wants to make sure MTV gets their money's worth. I actually don't think the cheating circus is part of that, though. That's just him. The whining, quitting, throwing himself on the card table part is probably his audition reel for the next ten seasons. I feel for Day. Bear seems to be all-around not her scene. Yeah, it ended up being a bit anticlimactic, because essentially the men canceled each other out. I don't know how it ran when they tested it, but I think this was a clear culprit of faulty production design. There also probably should have been an "equalizer" of some sort for the tire mission for the women, because I don't think any of them got more than one or two, which wasn't terribly exciting to watch.
  8. Jillibean

    Episode Discussion: TFGH

    I’ve been dipping in here and there, and I like Peter and Maxie. I blame KS—I’ve liked all of her pairings except Spinelli. I think the pace has been good. I really appreciate that the characters have made a conscious decision to move slowly rather than the show creating outside obstacles to keep them apart. I appreciate that they’ve addressed how the people in Maxie’s life and Nathan’s own family are reacting to her being involved with someone(and specifically Peter). What I don’t appreciate is that for about three weeks now every single conversation they’ve had has been about Valentin and Nina. At least Maxie also got to cover something else yesterday in between the Nina/Valentin exposure plotting. I do think there’s potential in Maxie having a partner who’s morally gray, unlike either Nathan or perfect Saint Spinelli, but that doesn’t mean I want to watch them have the same conversation about other people over and over and over again.
  9. Jillibean

    S33.E05: The Greatest Showman

    It’s actually gotten crazy. So basically, a couple of weeks ago Amanda tweeted with frustration that her being “tied up” had been left on the cutting room floor. Davonne responded saying she’d be addressing it in her episode 3 recap, which I think she just released last week. It sounds like Amanda was doing her spreading drama things by screaming intentionally all night by the back bedroom about Zach and Wes and whatnot and wouldn’t stop. So the three boys “jokingly” duct taped her, and she and Davonne agreed there wasn’t malicious intent but..I mean, It sounds VERY VERY BAD. Davonne described it as basically mummifying her head with tape. Because they used duct tape, Amanda and Day weren’t able to get it off without painfully pulling out chunks of Amanda's hair. Cara went on a couple of lives and basically laughed about it with Paulie in the background telling her it wasn’t cool. Cara then defended herself on twitter by saying Amanda was a bad person blah blah (I wish someone could do a mashup of that tweet with the clip from vendettas when Cara tells us that no matter who it is or what they’ve done, a group of people going after one person is bullying and something she will never support). Anywhoo... The fact that this wasn’t shown was taken by fans as unfair to Amanda and an attempt to protect Johnny. Petitions were started, and social media has been in an uproar. Unsurprisingly, MTV was not pleased and presumably reminded Amanda that she has a contract and should not have been talking about this to begin with. Amanda tweeted asking everyone to let it go and said the boys had apologized. Then Amanda tweeted AGAIN and said that due to the way MTV has handled this (cutting the footage, threatening her legally, and in her words “lying” about what occurred) she is done with the challenge after filming this upcoming reunion.
  10. Jillibean

    S33.E05: The Greatest Showman

    In a staggeringingly short amount of time, Cara has become my least favorite person this season. She's honestly such a BABY. The cheering and self-satisified smirking when she got what she wanted--I mean, there's trying too hard and then there's just being a heinous human. I think in the past the fact that Cara was an "underdog" hid some of her mental health mess, but now that she sees herself as the star of the show and the bestest athlete, some real narcissism is showing. Cara has known Zach for years. When Zach is on Cara's side and defending her he's a good guy and a good friend, "I love you and Jenna together!", etc. But as soon as he is unflattering to her over a period of several days, he's not just a bad friend to her personally, he's actually a terrible human being, a misogynist who is disrespectful to all women, and a bad boyfriend. Cara, unfortunately for you, you're on TV. There is footage of your hypocrisy (on multiple fronts, not just this one). So maybe stop talking. It seemed to me like in the Tribunal Zach was basically telling Cara that regardless of what he thought of her as a person, he still had her back in the game as he had for many years, so if she wanted to come after him for personal issues, that was on her. But Kyle and Cara had this dynamic last season and Zach didn't get dragged into the middle of it, so I'm thinking Paulie is responsible for the breakdown of that friendship. I cringed when Jenna "disagreed" with Cara about how Zach treats women--not because I agree with Cara necessarily but because I honestly don't think Jenna is even bright enough to understand what people THINK the underlying issue is with Zach. I think Jenna legitimately believes Zach isn't sexist. I also don't think Jenna could give you any sort of coherent definition of systemic sexism, feminism, or misogyny. However, I did respect Jenna's statement that when Cara's three month relationship with Paulie was closer to five years Cara will see just how perfect it really is. She turned out to be right on the money. In actuality, it took a lot less than five years for Cara's blissful romance to hit the fan, but judging by her social media she still hasn't learned any lessons about glass houses and stones. If you choose to take back your emotionally manipulative, gaslighting, CHEATING ex, that's on you--but you completely lose your platform to judge anyone else's relationship, as far as I'm concerned. My favorite part of the night? (Paraphrasing) Zach: "Can we go now?" Cara doing her best Queen of Hearts impression: "You'll not leaving until I say you can leave!" Zach: "So we're good to go, then?" Jenna might be better off from a social game perspective without her giant social liability around. Cara and Paulie, I think, are going to make things pretty difficult for themselves in future games by blowing up so many alliances and doing so in such a gross way.
  11. Jillibean

    S33.E04: It's Complicated

    Here's the thing, though--do people actually LIKE Amanda, or do they like her the same way they like Johnny, because they'd rather have the super aggressive, semi-bullying person who's always threatening to blow up the lives of people she dislikes as their friend than their enemy? Identification with the aggressor is a real phenomenon, and we've seen it happen plenty of times in a challenge environment. I do think Amanda is a good friend. She's super loyal to her allies. That doesn't make her a good PERSON, though. After blaming all of their problems last year on Zach being a misogynist and a jerk, we saw her have what basically amounted to the following conversation: Josh: (completely calm) "Amanda, I'd like to have a conversation about the way you're acting and how it affects us as a team." Amanda: "You are a loser bitch and no one likes you." (Walks away) I'm not saying that Zach ISN'T a misogynist, because he's given us sort of mixed evidence to work with, but the fact is that he and Zahida seem to be getting along just fine and Amanda is hurling insults at her new partner. I'm pretty sure Cara can't shower on a regular basis because of those extensions. I think this has come up before. I feel like her relationship with Paulie has been so detrimental to Cara even from a game perspective. Even though she has done this for a million years, I think he has completely taken over her game. He has isolated her from allies she had in the past because he and those allies don't like each other. And she just sits back and lets him, because she's still in high school and is showing off her new quarterback boyfriend to the midfield lacrosse player who dumped her, complete with "my new boyfriend will beat you up! Tee hee hee!"
  12. Jillibean

    S33.E04: It's Complicated

    Yes! And also, yes! I am so done with Natalie. Nat, honey, in a game where anyone can be chosen as an elimination competitor, smaller people are going to be a target. This is not a new thing. If you can't keep up in an elimination against another girl, that's not the other girl's problem. Ironic that her own partner was acting as though CT was being a poor sport for whining about being called in when his own partner behaved the exact same way. Me too. That was entertaining. As was Zach's protest that CT is a figurehead who isn't meant to be voted into eliminations. It's actually crazy. Paulie and Cara seem straight-up delusional. Kyle just likes to cause drama, I think, but you can't do that and then complain that the people you keep causing drama with are responding. I do think Cara's attitude toward Kyle is anything but that of an ex who is completely over the relationship. Her need to continually punish him, see her current bf degrade him, and insult him really just speaks to how much of her time, feelings, and thoughts he still dominates. I actually agreed with all of what Zach said to Kyle, including the Jack Sparrow bit, even though that part was mean and he shouldn't have said it. I think you've pretty much got it. Cara insists that Kyle is a terrible person, but in reality I think he's just a person who really hurt her. The only missing piece is that Cara CLAIMS that on the last season Kyle became upset and punched a wall near Cara's head. However, as far as I know, the only person corroborating that story is Paulie, so take it with a shaker of salt. Paulie, on the other hand, is a true sociopath. Every time Cara insists that Kyle is the worst man alive for "treating her badly," I practically choke on the irony. This week's behind the scenes gossip: apparently after losing, Natalie went back to the house with the producers to get her things and dumped a bottle of glitter in Zach‘s bed and left a nasty note for Kyle. Apparently Zach flipped out and demanded to go to the hospital because he might have breathed in glitter. What’s amazing to me is that Cara, Paulie, and Natalie are all happily telling this story to clearly try to show how ridiculous Zach is with apparently no awareness of the fact that is makes Natalie look equally if not more ridiculous.
  13. Jillibean

    S33.E03: Casualties of War

    Johnny is on a serious losers’ tour—apparently he couldn’t save his Live from Wednesday, so he did another, and from the way he was going on, I’m pretty sure Johnny thinks not only that Zach is some sort of evil sorcerer who spends all his time plotting against Bananas, but also that he shot JFK, was behind the Roswell coverup, started both world wars...seriously though, you know who Johnny believes was responsible for Tony voting Johnny into elimination in Vendettas? That’s right, it was ZACH, who likely has engineered Johnny’s pre-finals exit from all of the past five shows, even the ones he wasn’t on. Now, he can’t use the “I would have killed you in a physical elimination,” because, hey, Zach, but he HAS decided to go with “Zach’s partner was from Bangladesh and also everyone was helping him!” Oh, Johnny. At least you’re consistent. I do think we may (finally) be watching the reign of Johnny Bananas come to its conclusion. It’s been a few years now since he’s even been to a final, let alone won (the curse is real!). With the constant stream of new people and new “regulars” who either actively dislike him or don’t care either way, he’s having a harder time getting by on alliances. While he’s definitely one of the stronger competitors, he’s certainly not infallible in eliminations. And unlike, say, a Cara, the guys are not afraid to call him out and actually seem to see it as a badge of honor. I think he probably has a win or two left in him, but he’s going to have to work much harder for it. Between the lavender losers, team young morons, and now all of these U.K. people, it’s not going to be handed to him. I missed Wes. He brings so much entertainment. What’s sad is that I feel like he’s very much in on the joke of his rivalry with Johnny, whereas Johnny genuinely hates Wes for the crime of not liking him and being good at this game.
  14. Jillibean

    S33.E03: Casualties of War

    Absolutely with regard to Cara, especially in retrospect. If she didn’t cringe watching that back, there’s something wrong with her. Kyle might be a serial hookup artist, but he makes no secret of it. Paulie, on the other hand...anyway. The less said about him, the better. And yes, I also totally had that thought about Bananas and Zach. I could even see Bananas in the producers’ ear saying, “Don’t you think it’s time for another Rivals challenge? Hey, you know who I really hate?” I think he forgot to tell Zach, though. The fact that Zach actually started crying on camera sort of lends credibility to his claim that he was just emotionally a wreck overall and didn’t have his head in the game. When told he won, you could see him immediately look over at Jenna in what seemed to be legitimate shock. Agree with this as well. Johnny picking Zach was very...calculated. Even if he truly believes Zach flipped on him (and in his Live, he vehemently insisted that Zach had knowingly betrayed him), he was a terrible choice to call out. Both in terms of the odds of beating him and his international partner in a game involving a map, and because even if Zach was working with Wes, Zach isn’t going to advance Bananas’ name in the tribunal or whatever it is or call him out in elimination. Plenty of other teams will. He put himself in the position that even if he’d won, he’d be left with fewer people willing to not say his name when he returned. He IS promoting this trip he did with Morgan through Africa and the Middle East that he’s going to be posting on his social media, so take that for what you will. There were a ton of people in the joint live last night asking if they were dating, and they ignored it. It made me wonder if they are but can’t reveal it until after her ex on the beach season wraps. I didn’t like Kam’s approach to the tribunal. “I put you in as a burn vote so no one will get mad, now promise me YOU won’t get mad or else I’m voting for you some more!” I did think Josh handled himself well in the talk with Amanda, though I’m not sure confronting a clearly drunk person was ever going to go well. Maybe she’s just always drunk, so there’s no other time to confront her. I don’t think she can continue with the “I was just awful because Zach was so awful” argument anymore, though. It would seem she truly lashes out over anyone questioning her.
  15. Jillibean

    S33.E02: Hellraiser

    Amanda said that Bruno...I don’t even want to say it. Long story short, Jenna admits they kissed but says that was absolutely it. Amanda’s version was much more salacious and involved sexual intimacy, so she did in fact make that up. If she had said Jenna and Bruno kissed and Jenna had denied it, then maybe Amanda would have a leg to stand on in being annoyed. What actually happened was that she started a sex rumor about Jenna, and instead of saying “actually I only kissed him,” Jenna said “We didn’t hook up at all.” I also sort of have an issue with Amanda grousing that she came off as a liar for a sex rumor she spread regardless of whether or not it had basis in reality. She could have just NOT started a rumor about another woman’s sex life to begin with. I think the message she was getting from other cast members and the audience was that what she did was uncool, and she took it to mean “because you are lying,” rather than “because you shouldn’t try to stir up trouble in people’s relationships by starting rumors about the woman engaging in sexual activity,” which might be closer to what was meant. They were teamed together last season, and they’re both pretty stubborn people. I think Zach has a problem with anyone telling him what to do, let alone a confident woman, and Amanda isn’t someone who is going to be quiet about what she thinks. They couldn’t get on the same page, spent a lot of time cursing at one another, and were eventually eliminated even though they had won the day’s mission and were safe because they couldn’t agree on which team to send into elimination and had to go in themselves. Each is still convinced s/he was right and the other was wrong. They were actually enormously successful as a pair and many thought they could have won the season, which made it all the crazier that they sent themselves into elimination.