May I rant for a minute?  I’m sure we have all heard how Extreme Makeover: Home Edition has built these extravagant homes that the recipients just can’t afford to maintain them.  I thought the show would fall apart after that.  People would realize that they’re too poor and/or have too many medical expenses to keep up with the homes, and just stop calling to try to get on the show.  But the show kept chugging along.  So much so that people are lying about medical conditions and other issues. 

Just one example:

Back in 2005, for instance, five orphaned siblings sued a couple that allegedly took them into their care in order to get a new nine-bedroom house before turning the kids out one by one.

And, now, this woman who claimed that she and her two daughters have an immunodeficiency disease, has been proved a big, fat liar.  This reminds me of taking your 12 year old to the movies and trying to get a child price for them.  “If anyone asks, you’re 11!”  Way to go with teaching your girls about honesty.  Not to mention, if anything does happen to her girls (God forbid), she will be kicking herself really hard.  Karma does not always play nice.

Source: Yahoo! News

Unless I’m missing something, it appears they changed the name of the show from The Next Food Network Star to simply Food Network Star.  There was another change, as well.  Former mentor, Giada De Laurentiis, will now be a judge along with Bobby Flay, Bob Tuschman, and Susie Fogelson.

I'm too popular now to be a measly mentor!

I’m hoping this season turns out someone worth watching.  The previous 2 winners, Melissa d’Arabian and Aarti Sequeira, both have pretty blah shows in my opinion.  In fact, the only winner who has made a name for himself is Guy Fieri who hosts Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, which I personally love.

The new season of Food Network Star will air on Sunday, June 5, 2011, at 9:00 p.m. ET, on Food Network.

Meet the Season 7 Finalists after the cut:

» Read more..

Boston Rob and Russell Hantz announce new reality showsNow that Boston Rob Mariano is sitting on well over $2.5 million from reality show winnings between him and his wife, Amber, it is time to settle down and raise his children, right?  Wrong!   Fresh off the heels of the Survivor Redemption Island finale, Boston Rob announced he will take part in a new show on The History Channel called Around The World In 80 Days.

According to The Examiner, the show will work like this:

“I’m on a plane tonight going to Los Angeles and I start production in the morning on a new show that I’m doing,” says Mariano. “It’s called ‘Around the World in 80 Ways,’ it’s adrenaline-style TV, which is perfect for me. I love adventure, so I’m excited to be working on something new and making the transition from reality show contestant to host.”

“The basic premise of the show is me and a co-host are going to travel around the world, from point A to point B, but you can never repeat any of the forms of transportation,” he continues. “If you use a commercial airline once, you can’t use it again. You need to take a fighter jet or a blimp or a hot air balloon. Within that context, we’re going to try to use transportation that is indigenous to the area. If we’re in the desert, we’ll ride camels.”

Sounds… hmmm…  pretty boring actually.  Think “The Amazing Race” without the rewards, challenges, and unique personalities between the different teams.   I’ll be shocked if this finishes the season, but we’ll find out soon as it’s set to air sometime this fall/winter.

Not to be outdone by Rob’s reality show branch off, Russell announced he will have his own show in the near future.    This is going to be a ripoff of the countless house flipping shows with the biggest difference being Russell will be in charge of the flips.   He’ll buy and flip houses in the Houston area to bring the economy back on it’s feet all by himself!   From the same article as above:

“There are tons of reality TV stars sitting on their couches and twiddling their thumbs because they haven’t created anything else. I expect to be one of the biggest house flippers in Houston and I am here to bring Houston’s economy back on its feet.”

Very nice of you, Russell.   You’re going to bring the economy back in Houston one run-down then band-aided and overpriced house at a time.   Regardless, I am a sucker for watching house flipping shows.  We used to have Flip This House set on DVR so we could make fun of Ginger Alexander always carrying around her dog.

ginger alexander flip this houseBy the way, for those who remember her, it turns out she married the owner of her company, Richard David, in 2009

Back to Russell. The show will be called Flipped and it will air on A&E at some point.  There is no set date on the premiere.   I guess now Rob and Russell can compete over ratings.

Boston Rob, Natalie and Phillip in the final threeSurvivor Redemption Island drew to a close last night, and unless you were living under a rock and somehow avoided the spoilers all around the web, Rob Mariano was the last man standing in this oddly entertaining season of Survivor.

Set in Nicaragua yet again, the show introduced two new twists to the game.  The first was the introduction of Redemption Island, a place those who get voted out must go where they will get shots at re-entering the game as they had to duel the next person voted out, and so on.  The next twist was what came off the helicopter after both teams met on the beach thinking they were starting the game as is.  Off of one helicopter was one of the most popular Survivor contestants ever to play the game in Boston Rob Mariano, and the second helicopter revealed one of the biggest “villains” in the games history, Russell Hantz.   Both players were set to re-join the game and given yet another chance to win it all (third time for Russell, fourth for Rob).

This resulted in initial strategies of the players quickly being changed on the fly with Ometepe basically clinging to Rob’s leadership skills, and six of Zapatera banding together to eliminate the common enemy in Russell, as they all knew how dangerous of a player he could be.   The Zapatera six even went as far as throwing a challenge in order to eliminate him when they had the numbers before he was able to sway 1-2 more players into his alliance.  A risky move at the time which clearly killed the momentum they had over Ometepe despite removing not only Russell, but his two sidekicks (Stephanie and Krista).

That was essentially the biggest shock (and move) of the game until the merge when formally eliminated Matt was able to return from Redemption Island to re-join both tribes and try to find his place in the game.    The second big move of the game came the very next vote when Rob’s alliance of six banded together and quickly sent Matt back to Redemption Island before he could even unpack his bags.

Once that move happened, Boston Rob systematically eliminated any traces of Zapatera from the game in one of the best played games in the 22 seasons of the show – even admitted so by Jeff Probst at the reunion show.  He had his six under complete lock-down which made for a dull yet highly fascinating show to watch this entire season.  How one man could control five other players with one million dollars on the line like he did is truly a feat that will be forever remembered by those who follow the game.

Not to keep praising Boston Rob, but his game was so dominating, both players he took to the final three with him (Natalie and Phillip) spent their initial plea to the jury essentially crediting Rob for being there in the first place. One jury member (David) did not even question the players, but instead he went to his lawyer roots and addressed the jury like he was back in a court room and pleaded for Rob to win it all.

Phillip Sheppard was able to pick up a vote from Ralph for whatever reason, although possibly to put him in second place and give him the estimated $100k second place prize.   In addition to winning the grand prize of $1,000,000, Rob Mariano was also voted fan favorite in a close vote over Matt, making his total prize money $1,100,000 for the season.

Winning Survivor Redemption Island was not all smooth sailing for Rob Mariano, here are some key moments in the game which helped shape the victory:

  • Kristina’s Over-Aggressiveness – Early on in the game, Kristina was very aggressive in trying to find the hidden immunity idol, as well as form some type of alliance to eliminate the threat she saw in Rob.   This allowed Rob to take some heat off of himself and make Kristina appear to be the target, which also helped Rob mold his initial alliance.
  • Zapatera Throwing The Challenge – While players like Mike have defended the move to this day on his facebook page, throwing the challenge was a clear momentum shifter in the game after Ometepe had already lost two immunity challenges in a row to a much more fit Zapatera tribe.   The move not only gave confidence to Ometepe, but it effectively alienated both Stephanie and Krista from the tribe.
  • Andrea and Matt staying with Rob after the merge – This was likely the biggest difference in the second half of the game.  After the merge, it was essentially five on five with both Andrea and Matt as the huge swing votes in the game.   Had they remained together and went to Zapatera, it would have been Rob’s tribe that was systemically eliminated from the game.   Being able to convince Andrea and Matt to stay with him basically wrote Rob the check for one million dollars right there.
  • Rob’s “Cult-Like” control over his tribe post-merge – One Matt was re-eliminated, Rob made sure there would be no fraternizing with the enemy and forced his alliance to use the “buddy system” until they had numbers well in their favor knowing that it just took 1-2 of his members flipping to make the rest of the game very difficult.
  • Rob Finding The Immunity Idol – While the idol did not directly save Rob at tribal council, during the reunion show it was discovered that both Ashley and Natalie knew he had it which greatly influenced their decision to vote Andrea out of the final five (why they didn’t team up to get Phillip is beyond me).   Also, knowing he had possession of the remaining idol made voting much easier as his tribe didn’t need to split any votes which usually causes the occasional blindside at tribal.
  • Andrea talking with Natalie and Ashley

    Andrea tried real hard to flip the girls to her side

  • The Andrea Vote At The End – While I was watching the show, I was honestly shocked Natalie and Ashley did not align with Andrea to vote out the remaining guys (Rob then Phillip) to earn a final 3 spot.  Like mentioned above, it was later explained they knew Rob had the idol, yet the girls chose to vote out Andrea instead of Phillip and taking their chances in the final challenge.  Both Ashley and Andrea were very heavy competitors, and likely had a chance to beat Rob in the maze challenge.

Boston Rob Wins Survivor Redemption IslandAgain, the fact that Rob had all that going against him, yet still had control over his tribe really proved that he was a men against boys and it was an almost unfair advantage to put someone like him against a bunch of rookies.    Despite that, they are going to follow the same exact model next season in Survivor: South Pacific where not only will two former cast members will face off against rookies, but Redemption Island will also return.  That will likely air in the fall, but I will keep you updated on any announcements related to the show as I hear them, so stay tuned!

Thank you for reading my articles this season on Survivor: Redemption Island.  Be sure to follow us through facebook, rss, or twitter to get the latest reality show news and updates on Big Brother 13, Survivor: South Pacific and any other reality show coming out!

The rest of the photos will be added to our facebook page, so look there!!

Survivor: Redemption Island has been running for nearly 3 months now, and so far this season has been extremely straightforward with little to no shocking moments, which is unusual for a Survivor season.  With only one episode remaining, which airs this Sunday, that is very unlikely to change and this season may go down as one of the least exciting seasons in recent memory, which is saying a lot considering Survivor: Nicaragua was largely regarded a dull season in itself.

During last night’s episode, the remaining five cast members were began by rejoicing over what they claimed was a huge blindside, when in reality it was the most likely choice and the only person who didn’t see that was the person voted out, Andrea.   Regardless, it was time to watch her join the others at Redemption Island to talk about how she couldn’t believe she was betrayed by people she trusted, all the while Matt giving her a look like he was trying really hard to hold in his laughter.   For those just catching up on the show late, Matt strongly trusted Andrea, and still did when he returned from Redemption Island only to be voted out again, this time with her vote playing a huge role in that.

It was time to see which one of the four castaways will be joining the jury as they entered the four person challenge which so far has usually been anything but a challenge.   That trend continued last night as all four had to simply guide a peg through a maze, break a tile (of course), and finally put a puzzle together.  The last one to finish would be sent to the jury and their time in the game official would be over.    Ralph got a huge lead and began working on the puzzle first, but the actual placement of the pieces appeared to be too great of a challenge for him to overcome, and he was officially eliminated from the game becoming the fourth member of the jury.

Back in the actual games, it was business as usual for the tribe.   Natalie and Ashley were doing some strange things with each other from licking each others fingers to sniffing armpits, while Phillip tried his best to simultaneously earn his way into the final three by being the most hated player and make people hate him so much there is no way they’d ever vote for him.   He decided to yell at the girls about the rice consumption, stating they should save the food not for him, but for Grant which may have been a Survivor first.  I don’t think I can ever recall a player fighting with another over the amount of food a third party is receiving.

While all that drama was unfolding, Boston Rob took the time to chat with the cameras of course, and let them know what his plan was this week.   This time it was a very simple plan, vote out Ashley if she didn’t win immunity, which based on the shows history, foreshadowed Ashley as the favorite to win or nearly win immunity that week.   To the (lack of) challenge they went, and players were told they had to run out, hook a bag of puzzle piece fish bones and put it together using just one hand.   Not an easy challenge, but certainly not the hardest we’ve seen this late in the game when we are used to players doing extreme endurance challenges for hours to prevent being eliminated.

Like the foreshadowing showed, Ashley came out of the challenge victorious, and was allowed to pick one player from the tribe to enjoy a dinner reward with.  Naturally, Natalie was the one selected further cementing their extremely strong bond that has somehow slipped until the second to last episode of the season.

Because this season has essentially been Rob’s game to lose, it was time for him to make the decision on who is going to go, and who will stay.. a mighty impressive feat for a player in the remaining 5 without wearing the immunity necklace.   He now had to choose between a person you definitely want in the finals with  you (Phillip), your most loyal ally who is also sharing an alliance and close friendship with a strategist (Natalie), or his closest ally who has done little strategically but has dominated challenges likely earning him some votes (Grant).

This move will likely be the difference between earning Rob a shot at a million dollars or yet another second place finish as by voting Grant he risks a very strong possibility of Ashley finally getting in the head of Natalie to team up with whoever returns from Redemption Island to not even allow Rob to the finals.    By voting Natalie, he likely loses her vote and the vote of Ashley should she enter the jury, and also has to face a real strong competitor (or two) in the final immunity challenge.

After deliberating on it for some time, Rob told his crew to vote like they intended and a huge fan favorite – Grant – was voted out of the game and sent to Redemption Island where he’ll likely have just one challenge before returning to the game next week, but he’ll have to do it against some very serious competition in a challenge that was likely designed for a 3rd grade field day project.

This likely could be the season Boston Rob finally wins the top prize of Survivor, and by all means he’s certainly earned it up until this point, but the decision to keep Natalie over Grant will likely be the deciding factor on that.  We’ll have to tune in Sunday to find out.

Images of this will be on our facebook page later in the day!

did bristol palin go under the knife?

… It turns out, she had “corrective jaw surgery” that “improved” her look.  Oh!  Well that clears that up.   I originally asked the question in this post, but according to our future first daughter (gasp!), this was to correct some overbite or some excuse which clearly required the rounding off of her chin as well.. because we all know having a round chin is crucial for dental issues.

Look, I don’t care that she had plastic surgery, it has zero impact on my life, but nothing is more irritating than when these “stars” talk to the media like those of us who actually read it are morons.   What’s next, is she going to get her ears lifted and say it was to help her hear better?  Or her boobs done while saying if she didn’t have the proper weight distribution in her front and rear that could throw off her alignment and make her walk into walls?

Admit it Bristol, you didn’t like your chin and you had it fixed with your dancing with the stars money.  You and your family are part of the Hollywood lifestyle whether you want to believe it or not.

Jillian Michaels on the biggest loserLast night on The Biggest Loser, they managed to stretch about 45 minutes of show into a 2 hour long episode, and it showed.   First, teams were given a test from each trainer on various aspects of what they’ve learned so far.  After being graded up to  100 from each trainer, the highest combined point getter would receive a nice check for $10k, which may be chump change to what we see handed out weekly on The Amazing Race, but it’s still a nice reward.

Bob tested them on their ability to teach a spinning class when they leave the show, Cara tested them on seeing how close they can get their faces without actually making  out with her, and Jillian did some sort of motivation test, but to be honest I fast forwarded her part because she annoys me.   Brett seemed to be the only trainer with an actual grading system in place (which makes since considering his father is a professor), as the rest just randomly handed out 100’s, 95’s and so on based on how they felt during the test.

When that part was done, it was time for their final product placement challenge, to play The Biggest Loser on Xbox Kinect with the ever annoying Alison Sweeney narrating it the entire way through – fun.   The winner of the product placement challenge will get 100 points added to their total, second place will earn 90, third 80 and so on down to 60 points to the loser.  This apparently confused Alison as she told everyone they were still in the race despite Irene (I believe) being roughly 80 points lower than the top score which completely eliminated her from any chance of winning the money.

Olivia ended up winning the overall prize, with her sister, Hannah, finishing a very close second despite winning the Kinect challenge further proving it would have taken a near meltdown by Olivia to lose the money, making the Xbox challenge pretty much a waste of about 15 minutes of airtime.

Next up was some chatting about stuff which I found myself hitting the ‘ahead 30 second’ button on my DVR more than I’d like to admit as a reality show blogger until the second challenge which looked like something out of the Survivor playbook. Teams had to stack sandbags to a certain level before they can climb these huge stairs until they got to the top and raised their flag.   And of course, like Survivor, Alison had to continue her Jeff Probst narration the entire way through which again quickly forced me to look for the fast forward button until I saw the winner – Austin – earn an extra pound at the weigh-in.   Not a bad prize this late in the game, that’s for sure.

Up next were the last chance workouts which featured every trainer giving motivational screams with “LAST CHANCE WORKOUT” mixed in randomly like they were robots programmed to say that every 15 words regardless LAST CHANCE WORKOUT if it formed an  actual sentence.

The weigh-in was of course drawn out to take about 40 minutes to do something that should be knocked out in 5 minutes, but that wasn’t the shocking part of the show.   Alison gave both Olivia (winner of $10k) and Austin (winner of 1 pound) a chance to swap out their rewards for the opposite.  Austin kept his pound, which pleased the trainers, but when Olivia decided to also keep her prize instead of earning an extra pound on the scale, it raised the thick eyebrows of one trainer, Jillian Michaels.   She didn’t exactly approve of the decision, which is fine, she works hard to train these people, but when Olivia lost 5 pounds, Jillian gave her a lecture how she’s not happy about it at all because the 6th pound could have kept her safe.

I’d like to take a moment and say I’m thrilled this will be Jillian’s last season on the show because that self-righteous bullshit is why I can’t stand her in the first place.   Olivia was thrilled with not only losing 5 additional pounds giving her a total of 108 pounds lost this season, she got to take home the $10k which would greatly help her family.  That wasn’t good enough for the multi-millionaire trainer Jillian Michaels.   She had to quickly rain on Olivia’s parade by making her feel like shit that she put herself and her sister at risk by choosing the money over the extra pound.

While the $250k final reward is certainly a fantastic prize, this isn’t like other game shows where players spend all season just focused on the end reward.  Each one of those remaining five players have already completely changed their health and their future by adding years to their life, and may actually be happy with those results regardless of the final outcome.   Olivia weighs 153 pounds now and looks great along with every other member.. maybe, just maybe, she’s happy with that even if she ended up going home.   Sure, $10k is nothing if you’re spitting out dvd’s, books, weight setsvideo games, protein mix, fat burner, workout pants, bras, sleeves, sweatshirts, and of course calenders, but for the regular people out there, that’s a lot of money and combined with her new healthy lifestyle, maybe it was worth it to her.

I think the show can only improve once she’s gone, and hopefully she can take Alison Sweeney with her.

Hi!  Remember me?  I was doing the Teen Mom 2 recaps until I somehow got a month behind and watched the remaining episodes all in one afternoon.

This is going to be a super quick recap on the remainder of the season.  From what I remember anyway!

Leah and Corey got married!  But, as Steve posted, it looks like they’re now getting a divorce.  Time moves fast when you rush into things and make really stupid decisions.

Wha???

With Jenelle, it was more of the same. Sneaking around with boyfriend Kieffer, getting arrested, crawling back home with her tail between her legs, blah, blah. But she kept Kieffer in jail instead of bailing him out, which was way awesome. Until she ended up bailing him out and getting back together with him. Jenelle is dumb. But at least this was entertaining:

Jenelle really packs a punch!

Jenelle and Kieffer were both arrested again after this.

Kailyn and Jo still hate each other.  Kailyn moved in with her mom and there was a scuffle to get her stuff out of Jo’s house and it wasn’t very interesting.  And Kailyn got back together with Jordan and no one really cared.  However, apparently Jo is a budding rapper, which I feel the need to mention.  Oh, I guess I should also mention that Kailyn and Jo are on good terms

I saved the best for last.

CHELSEA KICKED ADAM OUT!!!

That is all.

Zzzzzzzz

The amazing race 18 cast listA good way for me to decide how I felt about a show is how I’m feeling towards the end of an episode, or a season.   If it’s a horrible show, I usually struggle to make it through episodes, and that is a sign when it’s time to stop watching it entirely.   There have been times when the episodes have a lot of enjoyable moments, but when you look at the way it was all put together in a season long arc, it’s still possible to have a lousy season despite enjoyable moments.

That’s how I feel about The Amazing Race 18

The race started off with some decent potential, a bunch of “all-stars” coming back for a second chance at the game.  As I stated in my original post, they threw a lot of good, well liked teams together for this race, but was that a bad thing?  Thinking back at the cast, there were no clear cut fan favorites, and no “villains” stopping those favorites from winning.  Every team started off with likable qualities, even the teams we barely knew, like Amanda and Kris.    Going through the race, it was only after certain people started growing really annoying did I find myself really rooting against anyone, and it was usually for silly reasons like Ron saying dumb things, Kent acting like a baby, or Zev gradually growing more annoying as the season progressed.  Even those people were paired with very likable people like Justin, Vyxsin, and Christina which in a way offset their behaviors.   The same can be said about Big Easy acting like a dick at times, with Flight Time being the mature teammate (referring to the chocolate gnome challenge).

Not only did they feature those people, then they had some real neutral teams that could have been dropped off without nobody even noticing.  The cheerleaders, Amanda and Kris, and even the winners, LaKisha and Jen were fairly dull to watch.     Reality shows generally have a group of neutral people to offset the ‘good guys’ and the ‘bad guys’, but in a cast with generally all good people, there was almost nothing to offset which gave them just an ‘extra’ vibe.

With the casting aside, then you had to deal with the show itself, which scored some pretty low marks for me this year.  Challenges were extremely simple for the most part, where nearly every team finished them in the order they arrived, giving fewer opportunities for people to pass others.  It basically made it a game to try and score the most competent taxi driver who can get you to the next destination quicker than the other teams.  Look at the screw job Mallory and Gary got last night because their driver sucked.   The underwater challenge, walking across the ocean, the dry dock, building the trailer home, and even the bike ride were all very straight forward challenges where only the unplanned nature made them moderately difficult.   There was absolutely no chance for a team to catch up on the challenges, it was all essentially out of their hands last night.

That’s how the entire season was.  With the exception of a few pretty challenging puzzles (putting the dinosaur together for one), the entire season was very straight forward and it took teams getting unlucky like requiring Zev to dance during road blocks the ability to pass others.     While some were physically exhausting (digging in the snow for a body), again they were just straight forward and were even given tools to find the body quickly. Sso it was just a matter of who can dig faster, and whether or not you had a partner working against you, like a Zev pushing snow back in as Justin was digging them out.

I don’t want to spend the whole article bashing The Amazing Race,  like I said, individual episodes were fun to watch at times, and had quite a few enjoyable moments, but as a whole I think this season failed largely due to a horrible casting selection, and some of the easiest challenges I’ve seen to date making it more of The Amazing Cab Ride than The Amazing Race.

Hopefully next year will be better, but there is no word yet on The Amazing Rae 19.  I’ll be sure to post about it if I hear anything.

What did you guys think of this season?

Itsyoursexlife.org put out a Public Service Announcement telling all about the joys of cuddling. Now, I have a few things to say about this:

1. The original Teen Moms! I totally missed them!
2. Why is Maci blonde? I’m not sure how I feel about that. What do you think?
3. They probably were cuddling at first. Cuddling leads to other things, which leads to having babies, which leads to starring in television shows. I’m just joking, kids. Don’t try this at home.

The most exciting news about this: Teen Mom is coming back for a third season, which premieres July 5th, and they’re already signed up for a fourth season too! At this point though, they’re no longer teens. In fact, they’re now about the same age I was when I became a mom. I don’t know about you, but I think I mostly miss Ryan. He kind of reminds me of Adam from Teen Mom 2, except that Ryan is actually likeable.

As an additional thought, Teen Mom names are taking over. The most popular baby names of 2010 have been released and Bentley (Maci and Ryan’s son) is at spot 101, and Maci is at 232. Sophia (Farrah’s daughter) is at number 2, but I’m pretty sure that’s been up there for a long time. What name is your favorite?