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Archive for July, 2007

So You Think You Can Dance – Top 10 – Results

Posted by g3tech on July 26, 2007

The show immediately begins with their group performance to the song “The Moment I Said It” by Imogen Heap. Which was choreographed by Mia Michaels.

Cat reminds us that the guy and the girl with the least amount of votes will be leaving tonight, solely on your votes, the judges are no longer deciding who is going.

Apparently, last night, Mia offended the U.S. Marines with her jacket, nice.

The results are coming up after the break. Yay.

Before we get our results, Mika performs (wearing some blue pants) and, surprisingly enough, the drummer looks just like Sabra. Weird.

There’s going to be a bottom 4 (2 guys and 2 girls) who will then performs solos.

The girls start — Sabra, Jaimie, Lacey, Lauren and Sara.

Sabra’s safe. That’s awesome, I love her, she’s amazing.

Jaimie’s in the bottom 4 (bottom 2 girls). She’s a great dancer but she really hasn’t got a fan base (ESPECIALLY since Hok got eliminated)

Lacey is, to absolutely no surprise, safe.

There’s two girls left: Lauren and Sara, who will fill the last spot? We’ll find out after the break.

After 6.5 million votes, Sara’s safe. Lauren is in the bottom 4. Somewhat surprising because last night she did really good but before that I have to say I didn’t really see anything amazing in her.

The guys turn now — Neil, Danny, Dominic, Kameron and Pasha.

Neil, just like his partner, Sara, is safe. Not surprised.

Danny’s safe as well.

Dominic, to my surprise, was in the bottom. I know he lacked in technique (especially last night) but I know that he was a lot of people’s favorite guy (when he and Sabra were together, I thought a good chunk of the votes towards them was for him, but now I know they were for Sabra)

After the break we’ll find out if Kameron or Pasha is in the bottom.

Kameron is in the bottom, while Pasha is safe. I’m not really surprised especially after what they said last night about Kameron. But I think he was stronger when he was with Lacey (even though Lacey was stronger than him). And now, that there is only strong dancers left, we’re starting to see the flaws in his dancing. And since everyone just loves and enjoys Pasha, I’m not surprised he’s safe, I like him too. Now, since Kameron is in the bottom, Lacey is the only person never to be in the bottom.

The solos start:

Jaimie is first… it’s a nice little piece.

Dominic is next….. some great classic b-boy (song: “It’s Just Begun”)

Lauren’s up…. an interesting contemporary routine, although I’m not sure if her style is hip hop or contemporary… she should make up her mind (song:”I Can Only Imagine by Mercyme)

Kameron is last…. a good hip hop routine (“Oh Timbaland” by Timbaland”)

Who will be leaving: Jaimie or Lauren, and Dominic and Kameron.

The girls’ results are first: JAIMIE is leaving the competition to no surprise to me (because of the reason I explained before, about her fan base)

And the guys’ results: KAMERON is leavin’. I’m happy Dominic’s staying but I’ll miss him and his hair.

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Posted in So You Think You Can Dance, Technology, TV | Leave a Comment »

So You Think You Can Dance – Top 10!!!!

Posted by g3tech on July 25, 2007

Welcome to the SYTYCD top 10 performance show!!! These 10 dancers will be the ones on the tour (no, Hok and Jessi won’t be there). And, this week, we have a new (contemporary) couple — Jaimie & Danny.

Tomorrow night (and until pretty much the end), the bottom guy and the bottom girl, according to America (no longer according to the judges), will be going home.

The guest judge this week is Mia Michaels.

Cat tells us that we will be voting individually and everyone will be performing the same solo, choreographed by, everyone’s favorite choreographer, Wade Robson. (They’re still doing a couple performance AND this solo).

Just a reminder: The couples have now been chosen randomly, so it’s probably gonna be interesting (This also means that Lacey & Kameron will probably not be together anymore, what’s gonna happen? We’ll see.)

Who’s couple #1 in our show tonight? It’s going to be Lauren and…… Pasha! They’re doing some hip hop (which is Lauren’s style), choreographed by Shane Sparks. (song: “Fuego” by Pitbull). It’s a really crazy robotic hip hop routine, it’s pretty awesome. 100% in sync and they both danced it amazingly. It’s completely out of Pasha’s style but I couldn’t tell, this REALLY tells me that he is VERY versatile which is exactly what this show is about, because hip hop is the polar opposite of latin dancing.Nigel said that he was the best russian hip hop dancer on the show and Mary said that it was a great beginning to the show and they had a great connection. Mia said that he pulled it off and Lauren is blowing up (in a good way).

The song for the solos is “Waiting on the World to Change” by John Mayer. It’s about world peace. And, as I mentioned before, choreographed by Wade.

First solo is performed by Jaimie.

Commercial break…..yawn…….

Second solo is performed by Dominic.

Next couple up is Sabra and…… Kameron! They’re doing a Wade Robson contemporary. They both have the awesomest hair in the competition. (song: “Amazing Grace” by Crystal Lewis). They were a very tiny bit out of sync but it really wasn’t easy to notice. I thought it was a beautiful routine. Nigel thought it was well danced but he didn’t believe Kameron. Mary said that they didn’t see the magic between them. Mia thought that Kameron’s damcomg was “immature”.

Third solo is performed by Sara.

Yet another commercial break…….

Fourth solo is performed by Pasha.

The couple that is up next is Lacey and……. Danny!!! Wow!! This’ll be an interesting dance!!! This is gonna be a samba and is choreographed by last year’s Dmitri. This is supposed to be incredibly hot and intimate. (song:”Hip Hop Chin Gin” by Club des Belugas). I thought that it was pretty hot, but i felt that there was a tiny something that was missing but it was very good. Nigel thought that what Danny lacked in technique he made up for in performance. Mary thought that Danny lacked in technique tonight and thought that Lacey was fabolous. Mia said it was the sexiest dance this season, Danny is the stallion of dance and Lacey was amazing.

Fifth solo is performed by Lauren.

Commercial……

Sixth solo is performed by Neil.

Seventh solo is performed by Sabra.

The commercial break begins….

And ends…. 

Eighth solo is performed by Kameron

The next couple shall be Jaimie and……. Dominic!!! They’re doing a Viennese Waltz, choreographed by Toni Redpath. This dance is supposed to have a bit of latin flavor. I enjoyed it and thought that it was good. Nigel was disappointed by Dominic (with his character and everything). Mary thought that it was waaaay over the top and there wasn’t good chemistry. Mia said that the technique really wasn’t there with Dominic and Jaimie keeps her mouth open too much.

COMMMMMMMMERCIALLLLLLL……….

Ninth solo is performed by Lacey.

Tenth (and final) solo is performed by Danny.

Guess what? Commercial. Nooo!

The final couple is Sara…. and who’s left? Neil. Their dance is none other than that fabolous disco stuff. The choreographer is Doriana Sanchez. (song: “Knock on Wood” by Rachel Stevens). There’s some really great moves in this routine, I love it. I really enjoyed that dance, it was awesome!! Nigel loved it and thought it was really entertaining. Mary thought it was really fun. Mia loved it as well.

This was certainly an interesting night — some couples soared and some didn’t do as well as expected. But now, it’s no longer about the couples, it’s about individual performances.

The judges now critique all the solos at one time, they begin:

Nigel felt that Jaimie has a single emotion (no dinamism). Mary felt her expression. Mia thought she danced it well but she doesn’t feel it.

Nigel thought that Dominic was a bit tight but he felt the emotion. Mary thought that some of the technique was lacking. Mia thought that it was believable.

Nigel said that Sara is small but she should make her dancing bigger. Mary said it grabbed her. Mia loved it.

Nigel thought that Pasha showed no emotion. Mary surprised her. Mia thought it was overdramatic.

Nigel said that Lauren was on the music and she was the first person to come forward with hope. Mary felt it all and thought she’s blosomming. Mia thought it was fabolous, beautiful, awesome…

Nigel felt that Neil didn’t show enough emotion and he lifts his shoulders up sometimes. Mary agreed with him. Mia agreed with them as well.

Nigel said that Sabra was small but she danced really large. Mary bowed to her. Mia decided that Sabra is her favorite.

Nigel felt let down earlier by Kameron but thought that he was terrific and gave emotion and danced really well. Mary connected with it and thought he did a great job. Mia thought he applied to what she said earlier to his solo.

Nigel said that Lacey is great at everything and it was tremendous. Mary thinks she can dance and she is a class act. Mia thought she was killin’ it but she still wanted a bit more.

Nigel thought that Danny was the first one to be smooth but he should be careful to stay on the music, but he wanted more emotion. Mary thought he gives more emotion each time, and danced effortless and she felt him. Mia’s goal is to get him to show his emotion and thinks he can be in the books if he breaks whatever is holding him down then he can go “beyond, beyond, beyond…”

Mika is performing tomorrow night. Stay tuned.

Peace.

Posted in So You Think You Can Dance, Technology, TV | Leave a Comment »

Post-E3: The (New and Improved) Console Comparison

Posted by g3tech on July 21, 2007

Now that the annual video games trade show E3 is over and done with, the state of the console market is a lot easier to predict. In short, the PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii are all hitting their stride and demonstrating outstanding lineups. No matter which machine you favor, you’re going to be torn between decisions. But for once, it’s easy for us to be optimistic about the future of all three major platforms. It’s looking to be an epic year indeed — even for the PS3.

Trimming $100 off the $599 price of the PlayStation 3 was starting to look like Sony’s first smart move this generation, but we really should have known better. After a flurry of mixed messages and rumors towards the end of E3 2007, details emerged that the price cut was more of a discount on end-of-line stock, and will run out within a few months. One step forward, one step back.

Sense isn’t something that’s been in ample supply with the PlayStation 3’s marketing campaign thus far. That’s a shame, because E3 saw the machine’s upcoming game selection really start to impress. Sony dished up exactly what we were hoping to see — a catalog of impressive, original, and tantalizing titles that, for the first time, really make the machine look like a good deal. LittleBigPlanet, Killzone 2 (for real this time), and Infamous all showed well, and the PS3 is also set to receive cross-platform sure-fire hits, Madden 08 and Grand Theft Auto IV.

Meanwhile, Microsoft’s games division could be forgiven for looking a little smug. Unusually, the company chose to focus its E3 presentation almost entirely on games coming out in the next six months rather than showing off flashy pre-rendered demos of games that could be years away. Given the lineup the 360 has to look forward to over the next six months, their confidence looks to be justified.

Chief among the holiday big hitters for the Xbox is, you guessed it, Halo 3. Can there really be any doubt that this huge first-person shooter is all set to post record-breaking sales, both for the game itself and for Xbox 360 hardware? It’s lining up to be another good year for the machine, and for Microsoft’s bottom line.

Backing Halo 3 is a strong selection of exclusives like the fantastic-looking Mass Effect. Of course, it’s sharing a number of big releases with the PS3, like Grand Theft Auto IV and Assassin’s Creed — and the 360’s decidedly slimmer price tag will make the machine look like a better buy for those looking to enter the next-gen market. Lest we forget, when the 60 GB bargains are gone, it’ll once again be possible to pick up an Xbox 360 and a Wii for less than the price of a PS3.

Assuming you can actually find a Wii, that is. If you’ve tried looking for one lately, you’ll know Nintendo’s budget-priced and innovative machine is still flying off the shelves. Reaching out to those traditionally untouched by video game marketing is undoubtedly paying off for the company. How many Wiis would have sold if Nintendo had been able to manufacture them fast enough to keep up with demand, we wonder? As Wii Fit demonstrates, this initial success is just the start, and if Nintendo can really deliver on the vast mainstream appeal of that title, you’re still not going to find Wiis on shelves any time soon.

Somewhat ironically, hardcore Nintendo fans are starting to wonder about the direction of the system. Recent Wii releases have tended to favor minigames and family-friendly hijinks in preference to the deep and multi-layered experiences that characterize the company’s classic franchises. That’s all about to change this year, though, with the return of three key Nintendo series: Super Mario Galaxy, Super Smash Brothers Brawl, and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. All are looking superb, and all will be out before 2008 rolls around.

But which console should you buy? If you positively must be playing right now, the choice is really between the Wii and Xbox 360. Nintendo’s kit is perfect for parties and family-friendly fun; the Xbox has its share of these types of games, too, but its specialty is satisfying gamers craving the high-end and hardcore. But if you’re more of a forward-thinking type, now is undoubtedly a good time to snag a bargain PS3 and wait for those awesome exclusives to start rolling in. Whichever you choose, you won’t lose out.

————————

Sony PlayStation 3

Released: Nov 2006

Price: $499

Hardware:
* Blu-Ray optical drive
* 60 GB hard drive
* Memory card reader
* Wireless network support
* Tilt-sensitive wireless controllers

Get it?
* Best high-def support
* Tantalizing exclusives

Forget it?
* Most expensive
* Current software library still limited

Top 2007 PS3 Exclusives:
* Heavenly Sword
* Ratchet and Clank Future
* Haze
* Lair

In a sentence: We’re withholding judgment on the price cut until its long term status is clear, but the PS3 is looking more and more desirable by the day.

—————–

Microsoft Xbox 360

Released: Nov 2005

Price: $299 (Core), $399 (Pro), $479 (Elite)

Hardware:
* Varies with package.
* Optional 20 GB, 120 GB hard drives
* Optional HD-DVD drive for high-def movies
* Optional wireless controllers
* Optional wi-fi networking

Get it?
* Superb online functions
* Broadest software selection
* Strong hardware capabilities

Forget it?
* Lacks genuinely original software titles

Top 2007 X360 Exclusives:
* Halo 3
* Project Gotham 4
* Mass Effect
* Eternal Sonata

In a sentence: The Xbox 360 is really showing its maturity this year, bringing a nigh-unbeatable lineup of promising games to holiday shoppers.

———————

Nintendo Wii

Released: Nov 2006

Price: $249

Hardware:
* Motion sensitive controllers
* Wi-fi networking
* SD card reader for photos and saves
* Gamecube controller ports

Get it?
* Original software library
* Classic Nintendo franchises, past and present
* Unique control method irresistible to non-gamers
* Strong multiplayer and family library

Forget it?
* Inferior graphics and sound
* Misses out on most big cross-platform releases
* Full-featured online games still a pipedream

Top 2007 Wii Exclusives:
* Super Smash Bros. Brawl
* Metroid Prime 3
* Super Mario Galaxy
* Nights: Journey of Dreams

In a sentence: The only place to get that unique Nintendo experience, the Wii is poised to captivate even more households this year.

Posted in Computers, E3, Games, Gaming, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, Technology | Leave a Comment »

Big Brother – Episode 7 (“Jiltin’ Joe”)

Posted by g3tech on July 21, 2007

Eviction Night! And the feeling’s right! Et cetera! Julie — in a simple black sheath, nicely complemented by a chunky necklace and Christian Louboutin heels — catches us up, and then we’re back to a blue-and-white flashback of Daniele undoing her nomination and Jen replacing her with Joe. Jen DRs that Joe is manipulative and so forth, and that there are a lot of reasons for him to get voted out. As the soundtrack slide-guitars us into colour footage, Daniele hugs Joe, and then DRs that she’s happy to be off the block herself (doy), doesn’t want Dick to go, and feels it “sucks” that she has to vote out someone else — the usual. We get a shot of a smug-looking Dustin at the Veto Ceremony (in which, as always, the Veto Medallion is shown not to fit in the Veto Humidor — again, the usual), and then Dustin DRs that when he saw that there was a chance Joe might go home, a wave of ecstasy came over him. Dick DRs that he’s confident about his chances against Joe, since Dick has done a better job than Joe at forging relationships with his fellow houseguests.

And Joe? Well, Joe knows he’s screwed. In the bathroom, Joe teeth-grittingly fake-fake-complains about his nomination to Daniele, who fake-apologizes. He tells her not to sweat it, since she had to take herself out of the running. Joe then DRs that he’s not “a sad little raincloud” who’s going to bring everyone down, and that he won’t freak out, like the women nominated last week did.

Cue the montage of Joe campaigning to stay in the house! He tells Kail that he wants to stay in the house. He tells Mike (and Mike’s pepperoni-esque nipples) that he wants to stay in the house. He tells Jessica that he wants to stay in the house, to which she DRs that Joe would probably sell her out to stay in the game (again: doy), so she’ll probably be voting for Dick to stay. Joe and Jessica snuggle down for the night — Joe is the big spoon, probably because Jessica wouldn’t get a very good night’s sleep getting jabbed in the chest with the knife in Joe’s back.

America’s Player. Eric is very happy to get to vote out Joe.

Kail and Dick chat on the hammock, where Dick states that Kail’s put a target on her back by making an alliance with Mike. Kail DRs that her concern with Dick is that he’s going to go after someone in her alliance. Back on the hammock, she tells Dick that she’s currently planning to vote for him to stay, but will let him know if that changes. Dick, in the DR, isn’t concerned, and knows “for a fact” that he already has six or seven votes in his back pocket, presumably all attached to a wallet chain.

Kail apparently goes straight from her conversation with Dick to…the HoH room? (Sorry, this is the first episode this season that I’ve seen, and if that is the HoH, it’s weirdly Spartan.) Anyway, she tells Mike, who’s chilling on the bed, that they need to oust Dick, and further DRs that she needs to line up five votes for Dick so that Jen can break the tie. Kail hisses to Mike that they might be able to convince Daniele that she’d have a better time in the game if her dad were gone and she wasn’t suffering from that tension; Mike agrees that it might work.

Kail then gets a quiet moment with Daniele (and Jameka, who of course says nothing) in the living room, and starts yammering about how great she thinks Daniele is — “How much you’ve overcame [sic]” — and how the one thing Dick did right as a father was to leave Daniele with his parents. In the DR, Daniele comments that Kail is one of the most paranoid people in the house right now: “I know what she’s doing. She’s campaigning against my dad.” You think? I was about to make fun of how bad Kail is at being sly…but she almost was, if Daniele thinks she’s cracked the Enigma code by seeing through it.

Later, everyone’s outside when Daniele comes out to tell Dick that Kail’s been turning the house against him. She keeps muttering at him not to say anything until the next day, so that it’s not obvious that she tipped him off, but…like, maybe she could have picked a time to say something to him when Kail wasn’t right there. Anyway, Dick says he’s going to call Kail out.

Later, in the kitchen, Kail urges Mike and Nick to vote out Dick, and seriously, she’s acting like it’s a matter of national security. Nick DRs that he doesn’t have a problem with either of the week’s nominees, and doesn’t really want to vote out either of them.

The next day (let’s say), Jameka, Jessica, Dustin, Eric, Mike, and Kail are sitting around the kitchen eating breakfast when Dick decides to make his big move on Kail. He kicks off by asking how the rest of the houseguests reacted when she started campaigning against him, and that he heard it wasn’t well-received. Just as this conversation is getting underway, of course, Daniele crosses through the kitchen to go lie out, not looking at anyone and with a giant thought bubble over her head that reads “JUST ACT NATURAL.” Anyway, Kail’s initial strategy is to say that she told Dick on the hammock that she would tell him if she changed her mind about her vote, but he’s all “we had an agreement about it,” so she gives up on that and instead starts tidying up, chirpily agreeing with everything he says and trying not to engage with him. Dick’s all “Tell them the truth” this, and “you can’t be trusted” that, and Kail pastes on her smile as she works way too hard at seeming unconcerned. And everyone else in the room, by the way, just sits there, not even looking at each other, possibly because they’re afraid they’re going to start laughing about how ridiculous this is. Anyway, Dick finally vents his spleen and takes off, and Kail is like, “WE HAVE FIVE VOTES RIGHT HERE!!!!!1!” Jameka says that she’s still on the fence, and Jessica DRs that she’s torn too, because Dick is annoying to live with. And look at.

Julie throws to some DR comments on the nominees. Kail doesn’t like the way Dick will pick one negative quality you may have and put it on shout to the house. Dustin can’t trust Joe to get him a glass of water without poisoning it. Nick and his sideswept bangs have a good rapport with Dick. Jessica objects to the way Dick burps and farts all the time. I really don’t think someone with a voice like that is qualified to comment on anyone else’s annoying habits. Nick has had lots of fun in the house with Joe, and doesn’t want to lose that. Jessica doesn’t trust Joe. Daniele and her bony arms feel it’s been awkward in the house with Dick, but she knows he’ll always have her back. Kail’s gut tells her that Dick has to go. Shut up, Kail. Shut up, Kail’s gut. I mean, not that I want Dick in the house any more than she does, but the more she beats the drum against him, the more I hate her.

Time for Julie to talk to the houseguests! Oh, this is always death. Julie tries to get Daniele to say she was conflicted about using the Veto on herself, but Daniele won’t bite, sing-songing, “It worked out for me!” Julie calls Amber out for all her crying this week, and Amber breaks bitchface long enough to laugh that she’s sensitive. Lame humour attempt involving Mike and Nick and their imaginary wives. Julie tries to get Nick to say that the name of his “wife” is Daniele, but that doesn’t work either, of course. Julie then “compliments” Jen on the many ways she’s found to wear her unitard, but I’m not going to give it any more attention than it’s already had.

Spotlight on Dustin and Joe! Remember how Dustin accused Joe of sleeping with Dustin’s best friend Nate, to get back at Dustin? Well, they beat the bushes and rustled up “The Man In The Middle,” whose head looks like a taxi with its doors open. Nate basically says that he’s a slut, and felt horrible for sleeping with Joe. He says that Joe has done a “grab bag” of awful things to Dustin, and as for the gonorrhea accusation? “Joe could have gotten gonorrhea anywhere,” Nate intones. Tractor seat? Nate says that Joe’s attempts to undermine Dustin in the house obviously aren’t working.

On the hammock, at some point since his nomination, Joe tells Dustin that he has a good chance of staying in the house, but that he will need Dustin’s vote. Dustin is impassive as Joe tells him, “This is the day I’ve chosen to be honest.” Oh, THIS is the day. I hope Dustin marks his calendar! Joe knows that it would mean Dustin’s putting himself “out there” to vote for Joe to stay. Dustin clears his throat and steps to the center of the proscenium arch as he declares that the way Joe’s played Big Brother reflects the way he’s “played the game of life.” For hours and hours, and with very little satisfaction or fun along the way? Dustin goes on to remind Joe that he’s slandered Dustin’s name, and has done nothing to indicate that he’s worth Dustin’s vote. “Your manipulation brought you to this point. I will not be voting to keep you in this house.” And, scene. Except then Joe tries to turn it around, saying that Dustin already had his mind made up when he sat down in the hammock, and then “manipulated” Joe into pouring his heart out to beg Dustin for his vote: “Everything that you hated about me, you now embody. Congratulations.” What? Dustin smiles faintly as Joe rolls out of the hammock, just glad to have had the last word.

More DR comments. Mike would take Dick out of the house because he causes “outbursts” that are uncomfortable for the other UN delegates who make up the roster of houseguests. Amber is “more closer [sic]” to Dick, who helped her out a lot last week. Joe is more of a threat to Zach than Dick is. Personality-wise, Jameka would miss Joe more than Dick. Zach, kind of awesomely, says that Dick has said he’s not even playing the game, but Zach has caught him playing the game “all over the place.” …No comment. Jameka still doesn’t know whom she’s going to vote for. Mike says that the only reason to keep Joe in the house is that then Dick would be gone. Can’t put anything past this guy!

Oh God, now it’s time for Julie to talk to Jen. How does Jen really feel about Dick? Jen actually thinks they’re a lot alike, except that Dick has a more explosive personality, so her strategy for coping with that is to be sweet and friendly back to him. What’s the deal with Jen and her photo on the memory wall? It’s a horrible photo! Did Jen nominate Daniele because she was jealous of all the attention Nick was paying her? Jen says no. I don’t quite believe her.

Live voting! Soon! First, Joe and Dick are dancing for their lives. Joe says that it’s been wonderful getting to know all his fellow houseguests. Now is the time for them to “take action” and prove that they’re as good as their word. It’s a very important vote, because they’ll be losing one of two great guys, and Joe hopes everyone does what they said they were going to. Dick and his weirdly high-waisted jeans also say it’s been great getting to know everyone; he hopes to get to know them better. He throws in a half-assed non-joke about how introverted he’s been so far (which earns a polite chuckle), and he hopes everyone can get to know him better. Kind of a weird note to end on, if the voters are like, “Nah, I’m good.”

Dustin is first to vote. Surprise, he votes to evict Joe. I don’t know whom he’s trying to impress with the super-deep v-neck, but he needs to throw that top away or get a camisole.

Will Daniele’s vote be emotional (because she kind of hates Dick) or strategic (because he’s her strongest ally)? If those are the choices, she’s going to be strategic, voting against Joe.

Eric goes through the motions of voting. Julie asks what he thinks of the weather, and he replies that it’s beautiful: “And remember, Julie, you can’t spell ‘America’ without ‘Eric.'” That poor chump sat on that line all week. You know he was practising it in the bathroom to make sure he didn’t need a retake on live television.

Amber’s had a special bond with Dick, apparently, and votes to evict Joe.

After the commercials, more voting! Kail risked reprisal with her anti-Dick campaign; unsurprisingly, she votes to evict him.

Jameka’s been on the fence, remember? She tipped over on the boot Joe side.

Mike’s been Kail’s strongest ally…until now, as he votes to evict Joe.

Joe’s had six votes, but in case you were wondering, Nick also wants to evict Joe. Jessica also wants Joe out even though they’ve been bedmates. And Zach has been vocal in his anti-Joe sentiment, but his two strongest allies– “I vote to evict Joe.” Ha! Zach totally announces his vote while Julie’s still talking, so she has to make him say it again. Finally, a fuckup that isn’t 90% Chen.

Julie announces that, by a vote of 9-1, Joe’s evicted. He smiles like he was expecting it. Everyone lines up for hugs. Joe wishes everyone luck. Kail? Shitting a brick.

As Joe and Julie settle in, more hugs are exchanged back in the house. Kail does her best not to wet her pants.

Chenderdome. How does it feel for BB-obsessed Joe to have been outplayed by Dustin? It sucks. As soon as he saw Dustin in the house, his game was blown. Joe likes to stir things up — was it smart for him to try to kiss Jen? Not really, but Jen and “everyone connected to Jen” (9-1 vote, dude) wanted him to stay, so it didn’t make that big a difference. Joe was just more open in stirring the pot than other players were. Hey, what about that thing where Joe was sleeping and thought someone latched onto his leg? Eric reveals himself as “America’s Player,” and we see green-and-white footage of Eric getting into bed with him. Joe is delighted about the big twist, and honoured to have been chosen by America to be snuggled by Eric.

Final thoughts. Dick won’t miss him. Zach won’t either. Kail says, “I campaigned very strongly for you” (…it was more against Dick than for Joe, but whatever), and martyrously adds that her alleged pro-Joe campaign probably means she “dug [her]self a hole” in the house. Yeah, probably. Jessica pretends she’s in the house missing him. Nick thinks Joe is the most charismatic person he’s ever known. “Hi, Joe, it’s Jen.” He…can see you. She hopes he’s not there seeing her goodbye message. Dustin doesn’t think that Joe is the same person he was when they met, but (as Joe smiles tightly) he hopes that Joe will take care of himself. As the Joe/Dustin splitscreen fades out, Julie tries to look grave, but Joe lets out one bitter cackle. Julie asks why he’s laughing, and Joe shrugs, “Because of that face he made.” I didn’t really see any face (and I backed up the recording to check, I swear). Julie promises that she’ll ask him about that on The Early Show. Oh, well NOW I’ll be watching.

After the commercials, it’s the HoH competition — this time, with a lame “school” theme. The houseguests are all at little elementary-school desks, each with a T/F cube. Answer wrong, you’re out; if everyone answers right or wrong, on to the next question. WOW, Amber is bitchfaced. Dustin’s out in the first round with a question about what Carol said when she got evicted. Jameka, Eric, Zach, and Jessica are eliminated with a math question about the butter competition. The third question is about the animal topiaries in the back yard at the house — are they based on Michelangelo’s “Garden Of Eden” sculptures? Uh, no, KAIL — and Julie rubs it in by adding that there are no Garden Of Eden sculptures by Michelangelo. Like Julie knew that. Amber and Nick are eliminated on a question about some stupid thing Jen said about guess what her unitard. Daniele, Dick, and Mike are left to answer the last question, about the pie competition. Daniele guesses wrong, and starts to mouth “fuck” before she catches herself, but it doesn’t matter, because Dick and Mike also got it wrong. There’s another question about guess what Jen’s unitard, and they all get it right, so it’s on to a tiebreaker about guess what Jen’s FUCKING unitard! What is UP with the UNITARD?! Even Jen, on the sidelines, can’t believe it’s such a topic of conversation. Was it stitched by hand by Les Moonves or something? Damn. Anyway, Dick guesses that Jen’s had the unitard for 120 hours, and since she’s actually had it for 125 (Daniele is over; Mike is under), Dick is the new HoH. Kail? Not that great at fake-smiling.

After commercials, we’re told we get to tell Eric which houseguest he should try to get nominated, and then we’re eavesdropping on the houseguests, not that anything interesting happens. I mean, we see Daniele hugging Kail, who apparently started crying during the break, but…even if we hadn’t seen it, we probably could have guessed.

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Big Brother – Episode 6 (“Fear The Uni-Tard”)

Posted by g3tech on July 21, 2007

Okay, here’s the weird thing: Jen is totally self-involved, not very bright, and nobody likes her. And while that’s probably going to add up to her ouster very soon, it actually makes her a really strong and scary HoH. It’s all sorts of strange.

So previously, Jen was wildly jealous of Daniele being on the receiving end of Nick’s puppy-dog eyes and didn’t end up hiding it well, or at all. Kail tried to protect her alliance of straight dudes by encouraging Jen to nominate any homosexual who wasn’t nailed down. Dick was very upfront with Jen about how much he hated her, and was rewarded with a nomination for eviction for him and Daniele.

Blue-tinted flashback footage reminds us that Jen’s reasons for nominating D&D were so incredibly self-obsessed, I almost blocked them out of my mind. Way to bring the house down with your awkwardness over your two-year estrangement, assholes! Both Dick and Daniele take their nomination with the kind of tight-lipped “I’m fine” repetition that lets you know they’re really not fine at all. The not-finest of all, however, is Amber, who is full-on weeping in the diary room because she likes D&D so much. To Amber’s credit, however, she at least realizes she’s being ridiculous. Joe and Daniele separately shoot down Jen’s stupid “negative energy” rationale in their DR sessions. Daniele says the simple reason is that Jen is jealous that Daniele’s getting all of Nick’s attention. It’d sound ridiculous and conceited if it weren’t 100% true.

Speaking of the house fake couple, we’re treated to another bedside whisper session between Nick and Daniele. This looks suspiciously like the same conversation from which Nick’s “key to my heart” offer was culled on Sunday’s show. Here, Nick spills the beans about his alliance with Zach, Mike, and Kail. He wants Daniele to know she’s his primary alliance. Daniele, for her part, reveals her “shocking” “secret” that she’s a year younger than she told people. Miraculously, Nick’s eyeballs don’t melt right out of his head from that reveal. Then he starts to tell her he’s developing “feelings” for her after a week and a half, and it’s complete with the “I never expected to feel this way” clichés, and I desperately hope there’s at least some strategy to this, because otherwise Nick’s stepping right in it. Case in point: Zach and Mike’s hammock conversation, where instead of discussing how Zach looks like he could be Mike’s inbred country cousin, they’re bitching about Nick’s closeness with Daniele and how they hope he’s not being played by Daniele’s manipulative vagina. Women being the downfall of men and all. Zach ominously intones that Nick better be prepared to vote Daniele out. I wonder how widespread Zach’s influence in the house is. He certainly seems to think he’s running things.

America’s Player shenanigans. Eric was instructed to sleepwalk into someone’s bed. Really. America, being both mischievous, mean, and a smidge homophobic, has chosen Eric to try to snuggle up to Joe. So pretty clearly, Eric’s not sure how he’s going to be able to accomplish this task without looking like he’s a creepy night molester. Suffice it to say: he ends up looking like a creepy night molester. Through some combination of a) Eric’s unwillingness to snuggle up against a dude, b) that dude is Joe and thus repellant, c) there’s really no way to climb into someone’s bed and maintain the illusion of “sleepwalking,” and d) this whole enterprise is stupid, Eric ends up failing the mission. Which leads to awkward shower stall conversation the next morning (doesn’t it always?) where Joe asks Eric if he’s in the habit of sleepwalking and snuggling up at the end of people’s beds like a nipple-ringed kitten. Nice waste of an America’s Player mission, Big Brother.

Time to pick the players for the veto competition. Jen, Daniele, and Dick are already competing. Jen gets a “houseguest’s choice” and immediately chooses Mike, in case you didn’t realize that Jen is totally in that alliance’s pocket this week. Or is she?? Daniele pulls Joe’s name, and Dick pulls Amber. Which is going to be a problem. Much in the way that choosing breakfast cereals is likely a problem for Amber. She’s crying in the pantry with Dustin — and also in her DR session — because of all the pressure that’s now upon her. More pressure’s on the way as Jen barges into the pantry and very frankly tells Amber that if she wins the veto and uses it, or even works to prevent Jen or Mike from winning the veto, then Jen will put up Amber or Dustin for eviction. It’s the kind of balls-out, tactless gameplay that you can get away with when absolutely no one likes you, and it’s kind of fascinating to watch. Usually that kind of threat would be made in the most oblique and passive-aggressive way, and as hateful as she’s being, I have to respect Jen at least a little bit. Anyway, so this isn’t helping Amber’s fragile emotional situation in the slightest, and she falls apart on Dustin’s shoulder. Meanwhile, Jen is making the exact same threat to Joe in the room with the circular beds, though Joe has a better way of dealing with it: he tells Jen he has no allies in the house besides himself, so why wouldn’t he use the veto if he won it?

Amber goes to Nick, Daniele, and Jameka and tells them what Jen just told her, and Daniele gets pissed. She storms into the kitchen and yells at Jen for making Amber cry, essentially. From here on out it’s all a mishmash of passive-aggression and obnoxiousness, but here’s the gist: Jen’s a total bitch about everything; Daniele tells her to shut her smug face; Dick continues to rag in Jen in every way conceivable, even throwing a “fun nanny” jab in there (seriously, she cares for other people’s children — how scary!); Jen keeps saying “I love it!” like a bratty teenager would; Mike defends Jen, saying she was only being “directive” (mouth closed and back to the weights, sweetie); Joe tells Mike nobody was talking to him so he should butt out; Joe calls out Jen’s hypocrisy in making her nominations about “negative energy” and then swooping around the house like a mist of threats and nastiness; Zach makes an offhand comment about Amber being emotional, which acts like the Bat Signal because all of a sudden Jameka swoops in from two miles offscreen to defend Amber as being “empathetic” rather than “emotional.” And while I totally respect her standing up for her girl: overruled, Jameka. Zach then snottily tells Jameka that this is the first she’s ever spoken to him, which is true, but can you blame Jameka? Watching this show is all about making snap judgments about people based on very thin evidence, and my snap judgments are that I love Jameka and hate Zach, so: shut your cro-mag face, Zach. Joe chides Zach for being unpleasant (ha!). Jen goes to the pantry to apologize to Amber, but Dick follows her in there and rides her some more for being a bitch. I believe the phrase “nobody likes you, so why don’t you just leave?” gets used. Its childishness doesn’t really diminish its truthfulness.

Veto competition. The backyard is filled with fake snow for the annual Christmas In July-themed competition. Essentially, the game is a combination of curling and Yankee Swap (Yaaaaaaankee Swap!). You guys, I’m totally jealous. I have always wanted to give curling a try. Anyway, the players shoot a stone down the ice and the person furthest away from the target is eliminated and has to choose a present from under the fake Christmas tree. There are six presents, one of which is the veto. The next person eliminated then gets to either choose a new present or steal an already opened present. The upshot is that the last person standing via the curling competition will get to choose the veto unless they don’t want it. So here’s what we learn from this competition: both Dick and Daniele are very good at the curling part of the game. Joe is eliminated first and he opens a Slop Pass. Jen’s out next and she opens a red spandex unitard that she will have to wear all week. You will not be surprised to note that Jen is ecstatic about this development because, as Joe helpfully reminds us, Jen loves anything that makes people pay attention to Jen. Mike’s eliminated and gets a lame-o “Big Brother Date.” Mike totally makes a face, which I choose to interpret as dismay that there aren’t any girls worth taking on dates in this house. Either that, or Magnus wants to ask Kragnus but he’s afraid society will disapprove. Dick’s out next, and he wins a plasma TV that he totally doesn’t want. Dude, pass it down here, then. So it’s down to Daniele and Amber. Amber straight-up throws it and is rewarded with a pair of bondage cuffs. It sounds more exiting than it is. She has to choose one houseguest to be handcuffed to for 24 hours. And rather than choose her BFF Dustin, who’s sweet and pretty to look at, Amber chooses Kail, because “she’s a mom.” Okay, what the hell is this “she’s a mom” solidarity that Amber seems to feel is so prevalent in society? Anyway, Daniele wins the veto, which is good for her and bad for Jen. Which makes it good for me.

Jen debuts the unitard, which looks like the red catsuit Britney wore in the “Oops! I Did It Again” video, but more vulgar. Adding to the vulgarity is the fact that Jen isn’t wearing anything under it, so everyone in the house is suddenly subject to Jen’s complete gynecological profile. Joe DRs that Jen wasn’t upset at all that she had to wear the unitard. “Way to go, Big Brother,” he snots. “Your punishments blow!” Umm…word? Perhaps if someone photographs Jen in the unitard and frames it, that could work.

Amber and Kail’s “Chained Heat” segment is super boring and mostly features them having to negotiate the bathroom together. Oh, there is a cute “Red Rover” clip with Dustin that’s made funny by…well, Dustin. Amber does tell us that it gave her the chance to hang out with Kail’s friends in the house and vice versa, which certainly makes it seem like the house is divided into two camps and everyone knows it. Which is interesting. Kail, Mike, and Zach versus Amber, Daniele, Dustin, Jameka, Joe, and Dick, with Nick playing both sides and Eric and Jessica floating around God knows where? That about right?

Speaking of Eric, he sees Daniele’s veto win — and the looming need to find another nominee — as another chance to cash in on his America’s Player directive to get Jessica nominated. He cozies up to Jen in the hammock (the things we’ve made this poor boy do, I swear) and tries to push the Jessica agenda. But Jen? Is not having it. In the slightest. Every time he even mentions Jessica’s name, Jen shoots him down with an immediate “no.” Post-production adds a little buzzer sound just to reiterate how much Eric’s getting shut down here. See, if Eric was playing this one smarter, he’d be playing both sides of this and instigating an argument between Jessica and Jen. Then again, it is really hard to get stupid people to do what you want them to, especially when you’re using earth logic, so I can see where it would be like trying to play chess with helium balloons instead of chess pieces.

Zach and Nick conspire, with Zach obliquely accusing Nick of playing both sides, but Nick either being too dim to notice it or too savvy to respond to it. Much as I’ve grown to appreciate Nick, I’m betting against the latter. Zach pushes the idea of putting up Joe and voting him out, which Nick would be fine with. As would, I think, a lot of people. Zach once again really seems to think he’s pulling far more strings in the house than he actually is. Though this week, it seems, he’s pulling enough of them, as he bends Jen’s ear and plants the seed of nominating Joe. Not that it takes much, because Jen doesn’t like Joe anyway. Zach does get to use the phrase “golden opportunity to backdoor Joe,” which should make its way onto many a clip reel. But then here’s where Jen’s narcissism, self-obsession, and anti-social tendencies come into play: she tells Mike, Kail, and Amber (still handcuffed) that the fact that everyone in the house seems to want Joe put up makes her not want to do it. Because why not thumb your nose into the faces of the people who will control your fate next week?

Next, here’s what the editing would have us believe goes down: Jen leaves the HoH room, heads into the dwarf room where Nick and Daniele are busy shmooping to each other, stares them down for a moment without saying anything, returns to the HoH room, and states her desire to put up Nick instead. And, look, I realize the essential truth of the situation is the same: Jen would put up Nick for the same jealousy-based reasons she put up Daniele. But the way that segment was edited makes it look faker than it probably was. So for a second here, I start to admire Jen again, just for the fact that she’s so willing to cut the strings Zach’s group is holding on her and nominate Nick for the most petty reasons possible. Weirdly enough, she’s become the most dangerous player in the game (for this very short term that she has power) because she totally doesn’t care what you think. In the most literal sense of the phrase. You do not exist in Jen’s universe.

Of course, that’s all ruined by the time the veto ceremony comes around and Jen reveals she’s nominated Joe. Which is annoying as hell, not for the result (losing Joe is much preferable to losing Nick), but for the fact that the show’s efforts to build suspense and misdirection sacrificed a clear explanation for why Jen would go back to nominating Joe. I’m sure it’ll get explained on Thursday, but for now it’s really unsatisfying. And every step on the road to Joe’s eviction should be as satisfying as possible! See you Thursday!

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So You Think You Can Dance – Top 12 – Elimination

Posted by g3tech on July 19, 2007

Top 12 elimination night….. 

The show begins with a “Candyman”-type (presumably swing or cha cha) routine, choreographed by Jean-Marc Genereux. They’re wearing army uniforms. The song is “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”.

The first 2 couples are: Sabra & Dominic and Anya & Danny. I’m absolutely certain it’s going to be Anya & Danny in the bottom. And, I, of course, was right. But, as I always say, and as Mary just said, the judges are not going to let them go home.

Next 2 couples: Jaimie & Hok and Sara & Pasha. I’m calling Jaimie & Hok in the bottom. I can’t believe I was right!!!

From the last 2 couples: Lauren & Neil and Lacey & Kameron, which one will be safe? I’m gonna say Lacey & Kameron will be safe (and if they’re safe, then they’ll be the only 2 people never to be in the bottom, if they are in the bottom, which I hope they’re not, then everyone will have been in the bottom). I’m right of course!!!

Jason Samuel Smith, one of the world’s best tappers (supposedly), is performing. It’s great!!! This guy has some great moves and some nice tricks. I loved it. Enrique Iglesias is perfoming later on in the show.

Nigel tells us that Mia and Wade were nominated for Emmys!!! Exciting!! 

The solos shall begin NOW:

1) Anya – her strongest solo so far (song: “Proud Mary” by Ike & Tina Turner)

2) Danny – it was strong just like all his other solos (but with a shirt this time) (song: “Never Felt This Way” by Brian McKnight)

3) Jaimie – a very strong contemporary piece, showing off her best asset (her extensions)(song: “One Moment More” by Mindy Smith)

4) Hok – a nice routine showing off his skills (song: “Black Devil Car” by Jamiroquai)

5) Lauren – she’s definetly come a long way since her first solo (song: “Walk Away” by Christina Aguilera)

6) Neil – another excellent strong contemporary routine (song: “Harder To Breathe” by Maroon 5)

In my opinion, everyone had a strong solo, it’s going to be interesting.

The girls are first and they’re not unanimous

Jaimie, first, they tell her that her solo was only ok but she’s safe,

Lauren, is told, that she never really reached her potential,

Anya, is told, that finally she gave her solo energy….

….BUT IT WASN’T ENOUGH —- ANYA IS LEAVING!!! WOW!! I CAN’T believe the judges would eliminate part of their favorite couple

The guys now….and they were unanimous

Hok is told that he is unique (but not diverse enough, and not as diverse as the other b-boy and b-girl on the show) but it is the end of his journey!!!

The top 10 is comprised of: (in no particular order)

Girls: Lauren, Jaimie, Lacey, Sara and Sabra

Guys: Neil, Danny, Kameron, Pasha and Dominic

Next week, we’ll meet our new couples, see you then…..

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So You Think You Can Dance – Top 12

Posted by g3tech on July 19, 2007

With only one week to our top 10, this week’s dances should be quite fantastic. Let’s see…

Cat reminds us that after this week, the couples will have to randomly choose their partners.

On to our judges, on the panel this week, is none other than super-amazing-ultra-fantastic choreographer Wade Robson. But since Wade is on the panel, that means he won’t be choreographing anything this week…

Each couples’ little video, this week, is going to be about what they think of each other. That should be interesting…

Sabra & Mr. D-Trix (Dominic, for all you fools) are gonna be opening the show this week, with a jive (which Anya & Danny did a while back). Sabra says that the worst thing about Dominic is that he drops her a lot and then Dom says that the worst thing about Sabra is that she doesn’t trust him with lifts and stunts because, according to him, he takes good care of her. AHH, how I love TV!! Tony Meredith is choreographing this little number. Their song is “I Do The Jerk” by Ryan Shaw. I found it quite entertaining and if you notice carefully, Sabra’s earring fell off and, at the end, Dominic fell off the stage and Sabra was all shocked but then Dom pops up, in front of the camera, and is all groovy. Everything’s chill here folks. They never stopped for a second, even when she lost her earring. Wade loves how they’re always focused and having fun, Mary thought that it was a great way to start the show and Mary compared them to Mt. Everest climbers. Nigel tells them, that besides Benji and Heidi, that they’re the best partners on the show. Nice.

My prediction: SAFE!!!

Jaimie & Hok, ze next ones, with a Tyce DiOrio broadway routine, alright this’ll be interesting. It appears that Jaimie split her toe open last week (that must’ve hurt…) This is supposed to be an older, classic musical piece, where Hok is an old man and he wants to dance (but he can’t) and Jaimie is his spirit (and he wishes that he can dance like her). Their song is “Mr. Bojangles” from Fosse (original broadway cast). I think they played their parts decently (their hummingbird/flower routine characters were better), and I thought it was nice (but not great or fantastic). Wade told Hok that he didn’t really connect with his character (he seemed more like a young boy than an old man) and tell Jaimie that she’s improved over the last few weeks. Mary didn’t really like it and she enjoyed Jaimie but thought that Hok lacked. Nigel thought that Jaimie’s lines were great but Hok was a bit of a disappointment. Wade adds that with this routine and his previous routine, there may have been a problem with Hok’s nerves.

My prediction: BOTTOM 3!!!!

Sara & Pasha, may think they can dance, but will they after they jazz? We’ll see. We also learn that both of them take a long time to get ready. Their choreographer is Mandy Moore and she’s a great fan of “jazz hands” and jazz hands are the most important part of their routine. The song is “Body Language” by Queen. It was a really strong performance and it was hot! A really great performance. Wade really liked the choreography, and comments on both of their versatility (and their being out of their style). Mary thought they did a great job. Nigel questions whether they gave off enough emotion for the audience and compliments Mandy on her choreography.

My prediction: SAFE!!!!

Lauren & Neil, after an amazing Wade choreography last week, will be doing a Mia Michaels contemporary routine, this week. From their video, we learn that, according to Lauren, Neil bombs at all his jokes, and Neil doesn’t like how Lauren never laughs at his awesome jokes. We also see just how brutal Mia Michaels’ choreography is to the body. Their song is obviously “Let The Drummer Kick” by Citizen Cope. I really quite enjoyed the outfits — winter hats, and swimming goggles, with dress shirts and a tie. There were a few moments where they weren’t completely in sync and I didn’t find it quite that amazing, but it definetly wasn’t bad but I think there may have been something missing — I’m not sure if it has to do with their performance or the choreography. Wade feels like Neil has really come alive the last few weeks and that their performance was extremely well executed. Mary wasn’t sure about the story but she liked it (she said it wasn’t great but it was good). Nigel thought it was the most technically difficult routine they’d seen tonight but he wasn’t sure if he’d enjoyed it because he wasn’t sure what it was about, he didn’t particularly enjoy it. Lauren explains what the story was… it was whatever you want it to be, Lauren chose for it to be “bank robber meets plumber”. Nigel adds that he didn’t enjoy the story that he had created from it.

My prediction: BOTTOM 3!!!!!

Anya & Danny, who were in the bottom last week, and who I still don’t enjoy, will be dancing the foxtrot next. Their video was really boring…. but we learnt, that last week, Anya had injured her ankle. Jean-Marc Genereux, a.k.a. Mr. Frenchie, will be choreographing them. Their song is “It Had To Be You” by Brian Evans. I have to admit, even though I don’t really like them to start with, I just didn’t enjoy the performance at all (maybe I just didn’t get it). Wade has never been moved by Danny before, but now he’s been moved by Danny and he thought Anya was beautiful (CAN’T THE JUDGES DISLIKE THEM FOR ONCE!!) Mary wasn’t surprised at how great they (supposedly) were and Anya was beautiful was elegant, and she screamed and thought it was the best of the night AND, of course, she has to remind that they have first class tickets on her train. Nigel thought that it was the best foxtrot ever! AND he added that “Dancing With The Stars” is going to have to rename to Dancing With The Celebrities because…. the stars are on this show.

My prediction: BOTTOM 3!!

Wrapping up the show is none other than Lacey & Kameron who are gonna be dancing hip hop. I expect it to blow me away, will it? Their choreographer is Dan Karaty (no Shane Sparks, maybe next week?) The scenario is boy-chasing-girl but the girl is nasty and the boy is shy and afraid to approach her. Apparently this is a role reversal. They’re dancing to Fergie’s “Here I Come”. I thought that it was hot (and Lacey was better than Kameron yet again). It was captivating, and at the end, Kameron kissed another girl. Oooo…. (Just kiddin) Wade thought that Kameron didn’t really dance IN the music and Lacey was a great performer but her emotion may be only one-dimentional but he didn’t really get that fire. Mary understands what Wade is saying about Kameron but she thinks that Lacey is right on. Nigel didn’t think that Kameron really brought it.

My prediction: SAFE!!!

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Hell’s Kitchen – Episode 7 (“Day 7”)

Posted by g3tech on July 17, 2007

Gordon Ramsay’s Bleep-O-Fucking-Meter: 23
Best Ramsay Food Insult of the Night: “Looks like baby vomit, tastes like fucking Bovril.”
Best Contestant Quote of the Night: “They took the filets out and they gave us the SKELETONS!” — Bonnie, while sobbing over the botched order

Gordon Ramsay is really letting me down these days. First of all, we have an all-time low here on the Bleep-O-Fucking-Meter — 23? Really, Ramsay? Come ON, we know you can do better than that! Don’t make me call you a donkey! And then he lets Brad’s “cassoulet” slip by. It was FUCKING macaroni and cheese, not CASSOULET! They don’t even share ANY ingredients! How, just HOW? I mean, if I ordered cassoulet at a restaurant and didn’t get white beans and confit duck and all that good French crap, I’d be fucking pissed!

As the contestants trudge back to their rooms, Bonnie’s reaction to last week’s excising of Melignant is odd. She boggles to us, “It was like when you watch a movie and some main character that you’re not expecting to DIE, like DIES, in the first five minutes and you’re just like…what?” But…Melissa didn’t die in the first five minutes…and you thought Melissa was going home the week before anyway, so…what? Bonnie’s not all there. The boys are fine with Melissa’s ousting, and Rock takes the opportunity to talk about himself in the third person again, “Rock is one person closer to the prize.” The girls can’t get over how cocky the guys are and pledge not to lose.

The next morning’s 30-minute challenge is for each team to take leftovers and create three stunning dishes, one appetizer and two entrees. The leftovers include white wine, chicken stock, beef, vegetable stock, chicken, pasta, eggs, and lobster heads. The boys rock out by assigning proteins and getting right on with their individual dishes with some discussion of planning and execution as they prep, but the girls waste seemingly endless amounts of time simply trying to figure out what to do. Bonnie suggests, “Let’s do meat and potatoes,” but then adds, “How do we do meat and potatoes?” Finally, with Bonnie exclaiming, “We could do steak and eggs!” like it’s the biggest brainwave to hit her in years, the girls actually start cooking.

Bonnie and Brad bring their appetizers up and get ready to whip off the covers. Brad has done a stunning curried bass with crustacean-tomato pasta. Bonnie casts pathetic mewling looks back at her team. Ramsay tastes Brad’s dish and likes it. Bonnie’s dish is a rustic chicken stew. Ramsay tastes and says, “It’s nice, quite fresh. It’s rustic, you’re right.” Bonnie nods emphatically. He calls a tie between the two dishes. I call bullshit. Brad clearly put more thought and effort into his dish, but we do need the drama in this fairly boring episode.

Next up are Jen and Josh. Jen says she did a “classic take” on steak and eggs. What we see are some sad brown chunks of beef, two fried eggs, three tomato slices, pepper over everything, and some sort of unidentifiable yellow sauce, which may or may not be broken yolks. Ramsay expresses his displeasure in Jen’s lack of ingenuity by making a predictable comment about the dish coming off of Julia’s Waffle House menu. Ramsay expected more from Jen. To us, Jen is pissed since steak and eggs was Bonnie’s idea. Yeah, but you cooked it. You could have done more with it. Josh stuffed chicken legs with pea tendrils but doesn’t explain what the fried things are. Ramsay tastes the dish and is repulsed by the acidity of the sauce. He calls a tie here as well, zero-zero.

Finally, Rock uncovers his turf ‘n’ turf of petit rib eye and pan-seared, which Ramsay deems, “delicious.” Moving on to Julia’s dish, Ramsay swears something awful before we go to commercial. Okay, and then we’re back from commercial, and although we get a recap of the few seconds before commercial, we don’t again get the swearing, so I have no idea what that was all about. Anyway, Julia made fish and chips. They’re nice fish and chips, according to Ramsay, but they are still just…fish and chips. Rock wins the challenge for the boys.

The girls have to scrub down the entire kitchen as well as receive and shelve the delivery order. The boys, on the other hand, get to take out their pent-up aggressions in a paintball war with Ramsay at Hollywood Sports Park. At the park, Ramsay explains that it’s the three of them against him — they get to shoot the hell out of him as many times as they want, but if he gets them just once, they’re out. The boys start with a little target practice in the form of photos of Ramsay and the girls, and then we get some slo-mo footage of the suited-up guys going into battle with Ramsay. Josh proclaims Ramsay to be “a little bit of a sniper.” The whole thing seems to be over in a matter of minutes, but I’m sure it lasted much longer. Ramsay eventually manages to nail the guys and they all smile and laugh with each other. I get the feeling that Ramsay doesn’t ever want to actually talk to the boys. Both times they’ve won a prize, it hasn’t been to have some intimate lunch or dinner with Ramsay where they get to work on their sparkling conversation skills.

Back at the kitchen, Bonnie is put in charge of checking in the order while Jen and Julie carry the stuff back. This is not going to go well. At one point, Bonnie makes a big show of smelling the crab and determining, “It’s…fresh.” However, inside and after the delivery truck is totally gone, they discover some major problems. Julia holds up a fleshless turbot and asks, “Where’s the rest of the fish?” Turns out, Bonnie signed off on fish stock skeletons rather than actual filets. “I hate feeling like I’m the dumbass,” Bonnie whines to us. Honey, you’re not just feeling it, okay? Bonnie drops her head to her hands and moroses a bit. Jen bellows at her to stop with the drama because it’s not the end of the world. “Yes, it isssss!” Bonnie whimpers, “You guys didn’t doooo it, it’s meeeee!” Mary Anne arrives to swear over Bonnie’s turbotched job. And then she finds that Bonnie also okayed skinless snapper. And then Scott drops a useless box of salted butter at Bonnie’s hapless feet. (The kitchen only uses unsalted.) This results in the Reds still being involved in a redelivery when the Blues roll up. Inside, Jean-Philippe stops the boys from going upstairs and suggests how nice it would be if they helped out. “Unfortunately, I would like to help,” JP says, touching his lower back gingerly, “But I have a severe back pain.” Hee, of course you do, JP! Rock responds, “I have the same problem, Jean-Philippe and I empathize with you, so I’m gonna take it upstairs.” HA! Nice one. The boys all leave and JP hisses, “It’s deezgusting!” to Bonnie.

The next morning, the contestants are told that they will be creating their own menu in the form of three apps, three mains, and three desserts. The teams split up to brainstorm and plan out their menu over the course of an hour. Jen begins by saying she thinks they should have an ahi tuna appetizer, to which Julia responds, “What’s ahi tuna?” Goggle eyes from Jen and a con-chef-ional about Julia’s Waffle House roots. Whatever. She’s a hard worker. So she doesn’t know what ahi tuna is on paper, show her how to make it and she’ll do fine. Move on.

Brad comes out with all these wild ideas like scallops with horseradish spaëtzle, and making upscale macaroni and cheese but calling it cassoulet. Okay, what? Rock’s with me on this. He doesn’t see a problem with upgrading the mac ‘n’ cheese and calling it what it is, “It’s not a cassoulet. It’s macaroni and cheese.” “We’ll call it cassoulet, though,” Brad insists. Okay, things a cassoulet does not have: pasta and cheese. Things mac ‘n’ cheese does not have: beans, lardon, duck confit, and sausages. There is no overlap there, Brad. You can’t call mac ‘n’ cheese a frickin’ cassoulet any more than you can call Melissa a soothing influence in the kitchen.

Julie suggests they put a New York strip steak on the menu, but Bonnie pooh-poohs it and suggests rabbit, adding, “Do we know how to cook that, though?” Jen raises a sneering lip and wonders if it’s going to be classy enough. Both teams head back down to the kitchen in fairly foul moods. Bonnie asks Jen why she’s shaking her head. “Because I can,” Jen snaps. “Oh, Jen, don’t turn into a bitch now, please,” Bonnie whines. “Don’t call me a bitch,” Jen bitches. “Don’t act like one,” Bonnie retorts. I really hope there are some sympathetic Trekkies out there, because I have been sitting on this one for six weeks: Jen is a dead ringer for like Varria in “The Most Toys.”

Ramsay steps over to examine the menus and asks Julia which of the nine new dishes is the one she suggested. None of them. Julia explains she really wanted to do steak and shrimp, so Ramsay tells her to have at it. Ramsay approves the boys’ menu and hopes they can pull it all off. During prep, Bonnie whines about her bacon staying together. Jen turns to look at her but hardens her face and doesn’t respond. “No one’s talking to me right now,” Bonnie tells the air. Mary Anne reminds them all that it’s still a team effort. “Chef, it’s fine!” Jen announces, “If I make a friend, that’s great and if not, that’s fine too, like, I am just here to compete.” Bonnie is starting to have doubts about her friendship with Jen. Oh, the drama of thinking someone was a nice person on a reality show and then finding out otherwise! It’s like these people have been living in Amish country for the last ten years.

JP throws the doors open, and our helpful and often redundant narrator tells us that the Reds will be adding New York strip steak with shrimp (Julia), seared ahi tuna (Jen), and bacon-wrapped rabbit leg on a bed of polenta (Bonnie) to their menu. The Brad team, however, will be offering turbot and mushroom consommé (Brad), lamb chops with herbed gnocchi and asparagus (Brad), and sautéed chicken breast with truffled “cassoulet” (Brad). If Ramsay doesn’t go completely gnat piss on their donkey asses for that, I’m going to eat a dog’s dinner.

Dinner service is the same predictable jumble of ups and downs. It starts off with diners only ordering from the Red menu and Ramsay slamming the Blues for that. Then none of the Reds really know how to cook Bonnie’s bacon-wrapped rabbit leg but Julia finally masters it and a diner proclaims it to be the best thing he ever tasted. Orders for Julia’s New York strip start to come in like crazy and Ramsay praises her left and right. “Sometimes I do know what’s best although I’m not culinary arts,” Julia tells us. You go, girl!

On the Blue side, Brad has to deal with cold ravioli being sent back and then Josh begins to mess up the lamb chops. He brings some chops to Ramsay, who calls him back to bellow about one chop being perfect and the other being boiled. “Let me tell you something in your ear,” Ramsay says, beckoning to Josh, “YOU CAN’T COOK!” While Josh struggles and struggles in his lamb chop weeds, no one on his team lifts a finger to help him out. As a result, Ramsay jabs his finger into four more of his ruined lamb chops, bellowing, “Just look what you’re doing, you DONUT! BOILED! BOILED! BOILED! BOILED! DONKEY!” And the problems with the Blues don’t stop there, because their customers aren’t getting served. A woman comments to JP that her dining companion, who ordered from the Red menu, is being served before she, the lady, is served. JP, who takes chivalry very seriously, dances up to tell Ramsay about the problem. I was hoping Ramsay would stomp into the dining room and tell the woman that “chivalry is fucking deader than her makeup” but all he does is yell the complaint back to the Blues and blames Josh, “And this is where it separates a fucking chef from a DONKEY!” Ramsay finally orders Brad and Rock to help Josh, but they still don’t do a damn thing.

Ramsay’s temper is way up, so when he can’t immediately find Jen he yells at her for cleaning up and running around with her elbows and wrists up like…well, like the way one would imitate a rabbit, I guess. Jen bitches to us that she doesn’t walk like that, but then we get a blue-toned Hell’s Kitchen flashback to Jen walking pretty much just like that. Observing Jen’s face, Ramsay orders her not to stand there “looking sad like a little, lonely puppy.”

Back with the Blues, Josh FINALLY gets the lamb chops perfect and pulls the Blues out of the hole as a result. Even Scott bellows some gravelly encouragement at Josh. So now, with the Blues overtaking the Reds, Ramsay turns his abuse on them. Not that it’s undeserved, mind you, with Bonnie attempting to cook on an unlit stove. “Hey missy, turn the fucking gas on. It will help!” Ramsay advises. However, just when the Blues thought they were finally getting ahead, two of Brad’s turbot consommés are sent back for being bland and salty, respectively. Ramsay yells and screams and makes them taste the dish and then tells Brad to start them again and then tells him to fuck off. Unfortunately, the Reds aren’t faring any better. They’ve completely stopped talking to one another, Bonnie starts burning things (which is a slight improvement over not actually cooking them), and no one seems to know who is cooking what and when. Poor Chef Ramsay yells and then kicks the hell out of some red plastic lined trashcans.

Finally, desserts get served by the Blues, and the Reds really start bitching at one another. Jen won’t talk to Bonnie and Bonnie keeps whining about it. The restaurant empties and the contestants are lined up. Once again, Ramsay decides there is no winning team. He is particularly pissed at the Blues for leaving Josh in the lurch and reams them for it. There is only one person that whole night, who was impressive and consistent: Julia. WOOHOO! Not a single one of her steaks came back, and Ramsay is rather freaked by the idea that her dish — the most popular one that night — almost wasn’t on their menu. He tells Julia to pick a Red to go home and then orders the Blues to decide amongst themselves the same.

Back in the dorms, Bonnie knows she’s the one to be nominated but spends the rest of Julia’s deliberations convincing her how truly sorta great she is. “I think I make kick-ass dishes, I think my creativity supersedes what I can do in the kitchen!” “Creativity” like…steak and eggs? “I have a great mind and a great mm– you know, tongue, for something like this.”

The Blues can’t come to a consensus about who should go home because none of them will send themselves home. Josh says over and over how he’s sick of being the team’s whipping boy. Rock tells us, “If Josh stopped messing up, he wouldn’t have to be worried about being our scapegoat or being ragged on or anything like that, he’d just be…good.” Remember when we used to say “ragged on” all the time?

Back in front of Ramsay, Julia nominates Bonnie, explaining that Bonnie has “great culinary experience” but can’t get the food out. Turning to the Blues, Ramsay asks Brad who they’ve nominated. Brad announces that they’ve nominated Brad because he took too much control over the menu. Ramsay asks Rock if that’s true, “Not exactly. We voted on it, Chef. He tried to take the leadership reigns today — we think that led us to being unsuccessful.” How is that any different from what Brad said? Ramsay makes Brad and Bonnie step forward and asks Brad how he feels. Brad goes on about waiting in the wings and being a martyr and stepping forward and doing the right thing and going full force and I really don’t know what he’s talking about, but Rock must because he interrupts, “Say my name.” All eyes turn to Rock. “You should just say my name, that’s all,” Rock shrugs. Everyone is quiet. Waiting. “If you’re talking about me waiting in the wings, say ‘Rock,'” Rock says. Brad admits, “I thought I’d be politically correct about it.” “There ain’t no being ‘politically correct’ — we trying to win a competition. Say my name,” Rock insists. Okay, the more times he says “say my name,” the more sexual it sounds. Ramsay comments sourly on how great it is to see such strong team spirit and then asks both contestants to give reasons why they should stay. It’s the predictable stuff: passion, good at what I do, leadership, desire to learn, do my best, etc. Ramsay looks around and says, “The person leaving Hell’s Kitchen is…Bonnie –” She drops her head. “Wake up!” Ramsay continues. Bonnie snaps her head up and looks around with stagy confusion. “Brad, take your jacket off; you’re leaving Hell’s Kitchen.” Brad complies. Ramsay VOs that he was looking for a leader but Brad was just a cook. Brad leaves and tells us that he was voted off because he was the best chef and Rock and Josh were threatened by him. After some words of teamwork wisdom, Ramsay sends the contestants off to bed.

Next week: ROCK CRIES! Oh, no! And Mariah might be in the house? As in Carey? Why?

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Big Love – Episode 6 (“Dating Game”)

Posted by g3tech on July 17, 2007

Bill is secretly dating Anna the diner waitress, and oddly enough, so is Margene, kind of. More on that in a minute. In other news, Ben gets his driver’s license, and his very first solo car trip is to his old bishop to confess that he’s been having lots and lots of sex. The bishop seems pretty non-judgmental about it, for now. Sarah gets busted for not telling Barb about Rhonda’s return and acquits herself quite well. This despite the fact that Rhonda has gone to the press with her story, which wouldn’t be so bad except that Nicki reacts in a Nicki-like manner. She goes after April Blessing and then Rhonda herself, which prompts Rhonda to tell some hair-raising lies about Henrickson home life to Heather’s dad, who is a Utah state trooper and also her temporary guardian. And that’s how Barb ends up threatening a police officer. Things are going predictably pear-shaped with Bill’s Weber Gaming deal, but in an unpredictable way; it turns out the company is also being pursued by another polygamist cult that’s way scarier than Roman Grant and Juniper Creek. By, like, a lot. Margene falls in secret-potential-sister-wife love with Anna, and Bill’s not happy when he finds out. Because, you know, he has to be in charge of everything. I suspect that’s the real reason he ends up dumping Anna, a move that seems to disappoint Margene most of all.

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John From Cincinnati – Episode 6 (“His Visit: Day Five”)

Posted by g3tech on July 16, 2007

So things begin routinely enough with Cissy spewing venom about Tina — ah, normalcy! Unfortunately, Shaun overhears this put-down of his birth mother and storms out. leaving Cissy so dismayed that she turns to Butchie for help. In short order, Butchie convinces Tina to return to Imperial Beach, importunes upon Kai to fetch Shaun, and convinces Cissy to invite Tina over for lunch. “Young Henry Kissinger,” Cunningham snorts among all this back-and-forth negotiation, but I think he’s selling Butchie short. Henry Kissinger just had to formalize the Paris Peace Accords — Butchie manages to bring Tina and Cissy together with the only casualties being a couple of cans of tuna fish.

Speaking of bringing people together, John unites Vietnam Joe and Bill in a group outing to track down the guy that stabbed John a few episodes ago. Or so he would have his believe. Because midway through this stakeout of the Mexican border, John passes out…

…and magically appears in front of Cissy, who is thinking about offing herself. Over Shaun’s snit fit earlier? Perhaps. Or maybe because she apparently molested Butchie in an acid-fueled haze, lo these many years ago. To which I say “yuck,” and may I just add “ewwwww.” So Cissy doesn’t shoot herself, nor does she gun down John.

Ah, but John’s not done appearing in front of people. He visits Cass in her hotel room to ask to borrow her camera. He appears before Linc to tell him to get back into the game. And both Linc and Cass appear at the Sung Harbor where everyone — Dickstein, Ramon, Cunningham, Butchie, even Palaka — is sprucing the place up for the grand re-opening. And then John appears to deliver some sort of freaky-deaky Sermon on the Mount in which — despite the fact that I am a proficient English-speaker — only two out of every five words makes any sort of sense. Oh, and Freddy plays the saxophone and Bill –yes, Bill appears there magically, too — plays the harmonica.

And after all this, John goes back to waiting with Vietnam Joe and Bill back at the border. “Well, this was time well spent,” Vietnam Joe says flatly. Hey, he said it, I didn’t.

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