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I'm happy for them. I am. But they cheated.

By Gina Carbone
gina_carbone@comcast.net

I blame the cutting.

While waiting to fly to San Francisco for the final leg of their journey, cowboys  Jet and Cord McCoy arrived after models (for how not to behave) Brent Horne and Caite Upton, but six hours before brothers Dan and Jordan Pious.

But Jordan, the “Amazing Race” megafan, pulled a “Survivor” move and dropped his backpack behind Caite, cutting the cowboys in line while they slept.

Jordan & Dan got onto the plane before the cowboys and then upgraded themselves to first class. They kept that lead for the duration of the finale. The cowboys kept coming close to catching up, but never quite made it.

I wanted you to win!

The models on the other hand, were just as useless as ever. How did they make it this far instead of detectives Louie & Michael or cute Dad & Daughter Steve & Allie?

After 23 days, five continents and 40,000 miles, Dan & Jordan won $1 million and “The Amazing Race” season 16.

Although I’m disappointed in the outcome and how the brothers arrived at it — (I love “Survivor,” but I thought “The Amazing Race” was supposed to be classier) — I am happy for Jordan since this was his dream come true. And Dan made his little brother’s dream come true. So that’s very sweet.

My boys Jet & Cord came in second.

Who cares about the models. (They were third, obviously.) More trash talking between the models and Carol & Brandy (aka “the lesbians”) during the finale. Too much drama.

*****

Random stream of consciousness notes from “Huger Than Huge,” the finale:

The brothers got help finding San Francisco’s Coit Tower from a cyclist. One of the bros, Jordan I think, noted that “People who ride bicycles are smart. It’s a general rule.”

The cowboys didn’t need help finding Coit Tower since they had already purchased a city guide.

Brent and Caite = annoying

The models were being bitchy to their poor cab driver, but what else is new.

They had to climb Coit Tower for the next clue, which took them to Letterman Digital Arts Center, home of Industrial Light and Magic.

One of the brothers hasn’t seen Star Wars?

Storm Troopers escorted them inside.

One of them had to be the motion capture searcher and the other had to be the director.

Jordan, Jet and Caite were the searchers. In the director room, Cord tried to distract and misdirect Jordan, who was trying to listen to Dan. Payback time!

Cord was having trouble reading the message on the computer screen. That’s why Jordan was spinning, man! That lost them some time.

“Oh my gravy!” Love that line from Cord!

The models caught up with the cowboys fast. How?

Models lost their money and stuff, thanks to Caite. Brent flipped out, as usual.

At The Great American Music Hall, they had to post psychedelic posters of the contestants in order of eliminations. Megafan Jordan had written them all down just for this purpose.

Sports fan Dan knew immediately the finale was at Candlestick Park. The cowboys knew, too. It wasn’t a rocket science riddle.

The bros ran onto the field first. Alas!

Here’s the final leg itinerary:

Leg 12 (People’s Republic of China → United States)

* Flight: Shanghai (Shanghai Pudong International Airport) to San Francisco, California, USA United States (San Francisco International Airport)
* San Francisco (Coit Tower)
* San Francisco (Letterman Digital Arts Center)
* San Francisco (The Great American Music Hall)
* San Francisco (Candlestick Park)

Several of these Villains are now gone, but Evil Oompa Loompa Russell is still shooting his mouth off.

We’re coming up on sweeps month, and for CBS I guess that means season finales and cliffhangers.

That’s what they’re saying in this press release, anyway:

***

CBS’s May sweep will be highlighted with the season finales and cliffhangers of its hit comedies and dramas as well as the finales of THE AMAZING RACE 16 and SURVIVOR: HEROES VS. VILLAINS.

Guest-starring in CBS’s season finales are Eric McCormack (THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE); Leslie Hope (THE MENTALIST); Mayim Bialik (THE BIG BANG THEORY); Stacy Keach and John Amos (TWO AND A HALF MEN); Eric Close, Tim Curry and Robert Davi (CRIMINAL MINDS); Esai Morales (CSI: MIAMI) and Edward Furlong (CSI: NY).

The following are CBS’s May season finales and cliffhangers:

Sunday, May 2 COLD CASE-In part one of a two-part episode at a

(9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT)          special time, Rush (Kathryn Morris) tries to ignore her father’s appeals to give her troublemaker sister another chance after she suddenly resurfaces.

Sunday, May 2 COLD CASE-Valens (Danny Pino) partners with Rush

(10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT)        (Kathryn Morris) to locate her abducted, drug-addicted sister, while Jeffries (Thom Barry) tries to bring justice to the case of a murdered teenaged girl that has haunted him for 17 years.  Music by The Rolling Stones will play exclusively throughout the episode.

Sunday, May 9 THE AMAZING RACE 16-The end city is in sight for

(8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT)            the remaining teams as they make their way from Shanghai to San Francisco.  The first team to cross the finish line wins the million dollar prize.  Phil Keoghan hosts.

Wednesday, May 12 THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE-

(8:00-8:30 PM, ET/PT)            Christine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) begins to doubt her intelligence after meeting Max’s (guest star Eric McCormack) friends at their “surprise” engagement party, driving her to make a surprising decision.

Sunday, May 16 SURVIVOR: HEROES VS. VILLAINS- The special

(8:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT)          two-hour finale begins with five remaining castaways vying for the million dollar prize and title of “Ultimate Survivor.”  The finale is followed by a one-hour live reunion show hosted by Jeff Probst.

Thursday, May 20 CSI-As the team closes in on the Dr. Jekyll serial killer,

(9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT)          Nate Haskell (Bill Irwin), a murderer who Langston (Laurence Fishburne) helped put behind bars last year, holds the key to Dr. Jekyll’s true identity.  The CSIs must get him to reveal the killer before it’s too late.

Thursday, May 20 THE MENTALIST-A murder by a Red John copycat puts

(10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT)        Patrick Jane’s (Simon Baker) psychic friend Kristina Frye (guest star Leslie Hope) in grave danger when Frye reaches out to the real Red John, with dire consequences for both her and Jane.

Friday, May 21 GHOST WHISPERER-When Melinda (Jennifer Love

(8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT)            Hewitt) investigates a poltergeist in Grandview hospital, a final showdown looms with the supernatural forces threatening her and her son.

Friday, May 21 MEDIUM-When Allison’s (Patricia Arquette) brain tumor

(9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT)          resurfaces, its aftermath could have life-altering consequences for her family and friends. Guest stars include Teri Polo (“The West Wing”) as murder victim Mary-Louise Graff and Margaret Colin (“Gossip Girl”) as D.A. Kelly Shuler.

Friday, May 21 MIAMI MEDICAL-The career of a young golf prodigy

(10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT)        and the lives of three college friends are in the hands of the Alpha Team following a horrific alligator attack.  Kari Matchett (“Invasion,” “Leverage”) guest stars as cardiac surgeon Dr. Helena Sable.

Monday, May 24 HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER-Marshall (Jason Segel)

(8:00-8:30 PM, ET/PT)            and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) put fate to the test when deciding whether or not they are ready to have a baby.

Monday, May 24 RULES OF ENGAGEMENT-Adam (Oliver Hudson) and

(8:30-9:00 PM, ET/PT)            Jennifer (Bianca Kajlich) plan a secret wedding; however, a series of unfortunate events puts their plan in jeopardy.  Meanwhile, to keep Russell (David Spade) and Timmy (Adhir Kalyan) from finding out about the ceremony, Adam tells them he is staging an intervention for Jeff’s drinking (Patrick Warburton).

Monday, May 24 TWO AND A HALF MEN-Jake (Angus T. Jones)

(9:00-9:30 PM, ET/PT)            becomes Charlie’s (Charlie Sheen) driver after his license is suspended.  Meanwhile, to Charlie’s chagrin, Alan (Jon Cryer) makes plans to go to Chelsea’s (Jennifer Taylor) birthday party.  Stacy Keach returns as Chelsea’s father Tom, and John Amos returns as Tom’s boyfriend.

Monday, May 24 THE BIG BANG THEORY-Howard (Simon Helberg)

(9:30-10:00 PM, ET/PT)          and Raj (Kunal NayyAr) set up an online dating profile for Sheldon (Jim Parsons).  Mayim Bialik (“Blossom”) guests stars as Sheldon’s perfect match.

Monday, May 24 CSI: MIAMI-A serial killer taunts the CSIs by leaving

(10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT)      them cryptic hints and dead bodies.  The longer it takes the CSIs to decode these puzzles, the more imperiled they become.  Esai Morales guest stars as the killer’s next target.

Tuesday, May 25 NCIS-In the conclusion of a two-part finale, Gibbs (Mark

(8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT)            Harmon) heads to Mexico for a showdown with a drug cartel intent on revenge.  Gibbs has to reassess the rules by which he lives when he is forced to make a devastating choice to save the lives of his team.

Tuesday, May 25 NCIS: LOS ANGELES-Callen (Chris O’Donnell) is in

(9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT)          a race with a ruthless adversary to locate a woman who knows the whereabouts of a forgotten fortune earmarked to fund a new war in the Middle East.  But for Callen, the woman also holds the tantalizing key to his past and the answer to the haunting question of who he really is.

Tuesday, May 25 THE GOOD WIFE-Alicia (Julianna Margulies) must

(10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT)        decide if, at Eli Gold’s (Alan Cumming) urging, she’ll stand by her man during Peter’s (Chris Noth) new political campaign, or if she’ll pursue a relationship with Will (Josh Charles) instead.

Wednesday, May 26 CRIMINAL MINDS-The BAU team hunts a serial killer

(9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT)          in Los Angeles who preys on his victims in the dark, killing entire families except for one left alive to remember.  Tim Curry (“Rocky Horror Picture Show”), Eric Close (“Without a Trace”) and Robert Davi (“Profiler”) guest star in the cliffhanger finale.

Wednesday, May 26 CSI: NY-As the CSIs follow escaped criminal Shane

(10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT)        Casey’s (Edward Furlong) trail across Manhattan, miles away from the mayhem.  Danny (Carmine Giovinazzo) and Lindsay (Anna Belknap) are enjoying a long overdue vacation until Casey’s plans threaten to endanger both their lives in this cliffhanger finale.

Don't let JT win again. Russell the Evil Oompa Loompa may be the villain of the Villains, but JT is the villain of the Heroes.

By Gina Carbone
gina_carbone@comcast.net

It’s never too early to make a finale prediction. Never.

I routinely make predictions on who will or should win a reality show before it has even begun.

I picked “The Toothless Texan” as my favorite “Survivor: Samoa” contestant just based on the photos and bios released before the first episode.

I was close.

And now I want Russell Hantz GONE from “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains.” My tribe of one has spoken!

It’s tough to make a decent call on  a show that just started, like “Dancing with the Stars.”

(SIDENOTE: Read a ton of my DWTS stuff at this fun site. I write just about DWTS there. I’ll be working on a separate site for “The Bachelorette” soon. Huzzah!)

And it’s even tougher for me to make a call on a show like “America’s Next Top Model,” when I forgot to watch for the past two weeks.

(I get busy, you know. Sort of…)

But hell with it. I’m jumping in anyway.

Here are my predictions. Click on the title of each show for an archive of recaps/other stories.

***

DANCING WITH THE STARS 10

Nicole & Derek rule. And not necessarily in that order.

Erin & Maks are flirty tabloid darlings. And they're hot. And they're decent dancers. They could win.

WHO SHOULD WIN: I can already hear people giving Nicole Scherzinger the Mya treatment — “She’s too much of a pro!” “She has too much experience!” “She has an unfair advantage!” Stuff it. Booty shaking on stage and in music videos is not the same as dancing an elegant foxtrot or a funky new jive. If anything, the Pussycat’s “unfair advantage” is having such an innovative choreographer for a partner. That’d be Derek Hough. They are exciting to watch, although they should pace themselves. The public loves a “transformation” and if she’s already so strong there’s nothing to work toward.

WHO WILL WIN: Erin Andrews. Yes, there’s the sympathy vote for the peeping tom thing and now the death threats. Plus, she and Maks have that adorable chemistry. She’s pretty. She’s funny. She’s a good, if not great, dancer and she will probably just get better. Just don’t let Evan Lysacek win. I have nothing against him personally, but I am SO SICK OF THE DAMN OLYMPIANS taking all the mirror balls. Go shine your medals and leave this one to the real amateurs.

***

SURVIVOR: HEROES VS. VILLAINS

WHO SHOULD WIN: Speaking of America loves a transformation, here’s hoping Colby Donaldson continues his “Redemption, baby!” streak with the Heroes. If Superman gets out of that girdle and starts winning individual immunity after the merge, he could draw new followers and make it to the end. I’d love to see Colby and Jerri finale. Hey, I can dream, can’t I?

I demand a Colby/Jerri reunion. Please?

Jerri, you know you want to go all the way with Colby.

WHO WILL WIN: I seriously don’t think it will be Evil Russell. His game, once again, is too big. Boston Rob was right — there’s cocky and there’s arrogant and Russell is straight-up arrogant. Instead, I think one of the women will win again. Possibly Amanda Kimmel, if the Heroes pull a Foa Foa from “Samoa” and break apart the now rudderless and Rob-less Villains. Amanda has connections on both Heroes and Villains camps and she’s never won before. She’s come close enough that she’s a threat, but not as much of a threat as people who’ve won before.

***

THE AMAZING RACE 16

WHO SHOULD WIN: Look, I just started watching this show so I have no idea what I’m talking about. Having said that, I never do. Having said that, cowboys Jet & Cord should win. They are entertaining. However, since that is unlikely, I pick father/daughter pair Steve & Allie as a second choice. I love their relationship.

WHO WILL WIN: Either Steve & Allie or the detectives, Louie & Michael. Good news: Both teams are cool. As long as obnoxious Brent & Caite and whiny Carol & Brandy don’t win, all is good.

*Update*: Steve & Allie were eliminated within an hour of me posting this. Did I curse them? Oops. Bye guys!

***

PROJECT RUNWAY 7

Is Seth Aaron on the Bluefly.com accessory wall? Should we use him thoughtfully?

WHO SHOULD WIN: Seth Aaron Henderson. He’s an upgrade from season three winner Jeffrey Sebelia. He’s edgy, exciting, meticulous at tailoring and consistent. His stuff is fun and different while always saying “Seth Aaron.” Now that Maya Luz is out of the picture his path is even more open.

WHO WILL WIN: Seth Aaron … or Jay Nicolas Sario. PLEASE don’t let it be Jay. His stuff is hit-or-miss with an emphasis on miss.

***

AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL 14

WHO SHOULD WIN: I haven’t seen this show since the first episode when I said I wanted Ren Vokes to win. Well, she’s gone. So is Simone Lewis, another one of my early faves. So I am going with either Raina Hein or Krista White.

Alasia vamps it up.

WHO WILL WIN: Considering how many people LOVE Alasia Ballard, I have to imagine she’s the frontrunner. She did not give a good showing on the first episode, but apparently while I was away, she rallied. Her vampire photo won on “America’s Next Top Vampire” which I REALLY wish I had seen. I’m a serious fangbanger. She also won the previous challenge. So I believe the producers are in Alasia’s corner as well.

***

AMERICAN IDOL 9

WHO SHOULD WIN: Alex Lambert. I’m still bitter that he was not allowed to return. Now that he’s gone, I don’t really care too much. Didi is gone, too. So I guess it’s Siobhan Magnus for me. Adam Lambert lite.

Yeah, she's good. But if she has no real competition, where's the drama?

WHO WILL WIN: Crystal Bowersox. She is the only “star” of the season. Then again, we saw how the “star” situation worked last season. Will people learn? Or will — ha ha — Tim Urban win “American Idol” season 9? I’d die laughing. Tee hee.

This photo was obviously taken before the show started.

By Gina Carbone
gina_carbone@comcast.net

Things we learned on “Cathy Drone,” the sixth episode of “The Amazing Race” season 16:

  • It’s cathedral, not Cathy Drone.
  • Joan of Arc was not a man.
  • She was certainly not Noah, who built the ark.
  • Champagne is not wine plus club soda.
  • French people don’t always speak perfect English.
  • You can fix anything with duct tape.
  • Don’t always trust a pretty girl.
  • Trust the guy in the Porsche.
  • Louie & Michael have the luck of the Irish.
  • Jeff and Jordan have the luck of the intellectually challenged.
  • Given a choice between luck and skill, pick luck. You have no skill. Never forget that.

Brothers Dan and Jordan got lucky. Three times.

First, they thought they had to go to a French “Cathy Drone” to find the statue of Joan of Arc, where the seven teams would find their first clues.

They were quickly set straight and Jordan was the first to propel down into a wine cellar to find one particular champagne bottle.

Then, when trying to find a vineyard, they were directed by a pretty girl to the wrong town. They eventually figured out the right town.

Jeff and Jordan last week in the trenches.

Then, at the vineyard, they chose “tower” — building a tower of 15 champagne glasses — over “terra” — search the vineyard for a red and yellow flag.

Somehow, even after choosing the most difficult thing imaginable, they made it work.

It didn’t work as well as terra did for the detectives Louie and Michael — tops again, after a slow start but huge good fortune in following a local straight to the vineyard.

Or Steve and Allie — who rallied thanks to duct tape after Steve busted the car AND was also directed to the wrong city.

Or Carol and Brandy, who managed to go almost the entire episode without pissing or moaning.

Is it just me or does Allie look exactly like Shenae Grimes of "90210."

Or Jet and Cord — who actually drove 40K in the wrong direction to the wrong town before choosing terra and racing ahead.

But, hey, the sassy brothers did better than epically irritating models Brent and Caite, who tried terra. Fought. Gave up. Tried tower. Huge crash. Fought. Gave up. And went back to terra where Brent quickly found the flag and Caite quickly apologized for wanting to do tower.

They should’ve lost, but Jeff and Jordan — always reliable to make the wrong choice — got to the vineyard last and picked tower. And screwed it up.

They eventually went for the terra route and Jordan found the flag, but by that time it was dark and everyone else was long gone.

And so Jeff and Jordan — the “newly dating” “Big Brother” couple — are now gone.

Shenae Grimes. Seriously. She looks just like Allie. Or vice versa.

Phil Keoghan said now maybe they can spend some time together. Ha ha ha.

This is my first time writing about “The Amazing Race.” I’ve seen it win all the awards every year and wondered why I never got into it.

Last week I visited my friend Trinh in Wilmington, N.C., and she sat me down to watch the race.

Obviously I’m in love with the cowboys already. That was a given.

But I’m more in love with the excitement of the race. The traveling. The baguettes (that was last week, but I’m still craving some fresh bread).

I want to listen to some chick play a saw next to a Joan of Arc statue, then propel down into a wine cellar to find a marked champagne bottle and hunt through a vineyard for a flag. Sign me up!

(But try to keep it at a consistent time. I’m tired of CBS shows like “The Amazing Race” and “Survivor” being pushed back an hour, or to a different day entirely, because of stupid NCAA basketball.)

Here are the stats after the “Cathy Drone” episode.

Jet and Cord. On two other people those names would be odd. On the cowboys, they work.

Go cowboys … and Steve and Allie!

‘CATHY DRONE’ RANKINGS

1. Louie & Michael
2. Carol & Brandy
3. Steve & Allie
4. Jet & Cord
5. Dan & Jordan
6. Brent & Caite
7. Jordan & Jeff — eliminated

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