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It’s been a while since I added something to my Things That Are Obvious file, but now is the time.
Most of the men and women of “Survivor: One World” have been a series of cringe-worthy stereotypes. But at this point a few decent frontrunners are emerging — and others are eating wood and accusing tribe-mates of “subliminally harassing” them because of a bias against plastic surgeons. (Tarzan, you are officially the Phillip Sheppard of this season. Enjoy the crispy rice.)
It’s pretty obvious that the one player who has been strong the whole season — not just in the halcyon post-Colton weeks — is Kim Spradlin. She’s smart. She’s sly. She seems trustworthy but she’s not afraid to lie. She’s good at damage control. She had no real enemies up to tonight’s “Just Annihilate Them” blindside, whereas her #1 ally, Chelsea Meissner, is currently feuding with Tarzan (and his “rantics”). Chelsea also potentially blew the women’s alliance by asking Jay Byars if he’d like to vote out his own buddy, Mike — and she asked it in front of two people who were not supposed to be in their alliance. Those two people were women, showing Jay that a women’s alliance existed, as opposed to the tight Salani alliance he was counting on. Oops. Even the mild-mannered Kim called her friend’s move “asinine.”
Here’s why I love Kim: She diffused that bomb masterfully. Smartly nervous Jay was about to tell Mike that his name came up, but Kim cut him right off and volunteered Christina as the one to go next. They wanted a woman to go home. She knew it. They bought it. Mike went home instead. (One thing that confuses me: It looks like Jay DID vote for Mike in the end. How did that conversation play out?)
Now the women have the majority. And it’s Kim’s doing. (Although, if you look at the votes, both Alicia and Christina voted for Tarzan to leave, not Mike. So is there really a women’s alliance or just a *selective* alliance led by three women?)
So here’s what I’m thinking — Kim made a huge, smart move but it was based on lies and deception, so will she be rewarded for that if she makes it to the end or will the men bash her in final tribal? She convinced Troyzan that Mike had it in for him — ’cause Troy just doesn’t like Mike for some reason — but the truth will eventually come out.
Big power players rarely get rewarded as often as whoever sits next to them. So will Chelsea or Sabrina — Kim’s main allies — end up winning over her? Will Jay convince Kat — who is as thick as the wood Tarzan was eating — to leave the women’s alliance and target Kim? Or will Kim continue to be brilliant, use her hidden idol wisely and stay smart and charming enough to win that million dollars as the queen bee and next Parvati Shallow?
Even before the season started I picked Kim as the most likely to win. Usually my winner predictions are wrong, but that person usually ends up being the Player of the Season. (I picked Russell Hantz before “Samoa” started and Jane Bright before “Nicaragua.”)
So, whatever else happens, Kim will hopefully win at least one title this season.
It’s been a long time since I added anything to my Things That Are Obvious file, but now seems like the time.
The “Love in the Wild” Season 1 finale is airing tonight from 10 to 11 p.m. on NBC. Mike Spiro and Samantha Woods should win. Not that I even understand at this point what winning would mean. I’m sure they’ve mentioned — oh yeah, there’s a trip around the world or something. It’s like an afterthought, though, because to me winning a show called “Love in the Wild” means you’ve found love in the wild. And more than any other couple, Mike and Sam have found love in the wild.
No disrespect to the other finalists, Miles Haefner and Heather Pond, but S&M (ha!) have been together since the beginning of the show. They are Team GQ. If this show had a little more publicity — even a tenth of “The Bachelor’s” — they could be getting major preppy/outdoorsy endorsements.
Samantha, a wedding planner (how apropos), is already talking about introducing Mike to her family. Miles and Heather, on the other hand, seem very close and maybe they will continue their relationship in the real world, but I don’t see it lasting as long as S&M. Not that I know what “lasting” would mean. Six months? A year?
Anyway, I really like this show and I hope there’s a Season 2. But I’d also like there to be some kind of a “Love in the Wild” reunion special after, to give us updates on the couples. I want to know what happened to everyone.
**UPDATE** They did it! Mike & Samantha won. Congrats! Now go learn how to pitch a tent, S&M! (Hee hee)
By Gina Carbone
OK, so I no longer love Miles Mendenhall.
I’m sick of how he spends half of each episode of Bravo’s “Work of Art: The Next Great Artist” either taking a nap or constructing some kind of mini fort that has less to do with art than his own OCD. A “fungus study”? Maybe he should’ve just gone with the mustard gas.
Yes, he’s pretentious. Over it.
I miss Ryan Shultz’s laugh. I think he (and Mark Velasquez) should’ve been able to stick around longer than Peregrine Honig, whose outfits are more interesting than her work.
Jaclyn Santos? I give her credit. She’s a chicken salad out of chicken sh-t type and as Abdi Farah noted, that’s the mark of a true artist. It didn’t quite work this time and maybe that’s because she was denied the pleasure of photographing herself nude again. In the bathroom.
No, this week the mostly-naked profile baton was passed to my boy Abdi. I thought he should’ve won the first challenge of season 1 and even though the judges have given him crap in the past two weeks I believe the criticism was only because they actually see some talent in this kid as opposed to “characters” looking for more “look at me!” camera time on a TV show. (*cough*Miles*cough*)
So the August 11 finale is down to Abdi, his buddy Miles and … somehow … Peregrine. I’m surprised that Miles’ #1 crush, Nicole Nadeau, was let go.
At 22, Abdi is the youngest of the three (Miles is 23 and Peregrine is 32) and he also has a great positive attitude and he seems to love zesty mentor Simon de Pury as much as I do.
I really like this show. I do. I think it could use about 150 percent more actual ART and a fewer long-winded explanations of why what we’re looking at has no redeeming value.
But I love that this show exists. And maybe now that it’s winding down they’ll cast the second season with more talented artists. That’s usually how it works — the first season is the intro and things come to life after season 2.
Not that we weren’t given a great example in Abdi. He definitely has a bright future and I hope it starts with $100,000, a solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum and the title of “The Next Great Artist.”
*Update*: Yep, Abdi won! ‘Work of Art’ finale recap: Abdi is the ‘Next Great Artist’! But Peregrine is second over Miles?
By Gina Carbone
It’s time for “American Idol” to pull a Brad Womack from “The Bachelor” and choose no one.
Go ahead and get to the final two — probably Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze, even though Casey James at least smiles and acts like it’s not torture to be there — then tell them they’re both really great people, but it’s not working out. It’s not them. It’s us.
Actually, it’s the judges, who screwed season 9 back when they chose a lousy top 24 and things just went downhill from there, especially after America dumped Alex Lambert (still love you, Mullet Boy!) and Siobhan Magnus.
Neither Crystal nor Lee is ready to be a decent Idol winner. Crystal still reminds me of a hippie street busker and Lee just makes me sad. Even Danny Gokey could’ve beat him last season and I never liked Danny Gokey.
Lee has little-to-no personality and if I hear a Lee song on the radio I’ll probably just wish it were by Chris Daughtry or David Cook. (Or Kris Allen. I acknowledge your existence, Kris, even if you are somehow persona non grata on Idol!)
If “American Idol” wants to salvage the worst and most boring season ever, it should make a quality control statement to the effect of “Our bad! These guys aren’t ready to hold the same title as Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood. We’ll try again next time. Without Simon.”
Is that too much to ask? But if someone has to win, and it can’t be Casey, make it Crystal. She, at least, doesn’t instantly remind me of a half dozen better Idol contestants.
“Dancing with the Stars” has a very different problem. In fact, it’s the exact opposite problem: Too much talent. Nicole Scherzinger shot herself in the foot the first week, committing the cardinal sin of DWTS: She danced well. And then she made it worse for herself: She kept dancing well.
No one wants to see someone succeed! They want people to humiliate themselves, or at least talk about how nervous and awkward they feel, then have a slow progression that ends in tears of gratitude and joy and some kind of platitude like “Thank you for giving me back my smile.” (Oh, sorry, was that a real statement from Erin “Why Not Us?” Andrews?)
For some reason people are calling Nicole a professional dancer. As if The Pussycat Dolls are the Solid Gold Dancers instead of a new version of The Spice Girls. (Mel B. aka Scary Spice was a Spice Girl. And she made it to #2 on DWTS Season 5 with Maksim Chmerkovskiy, so it’s not like he hasn’t danced with alleged “pros” before.)
It drives me crazy. Because not only are the Pussycat Dolls not exactly out there practicing the Foxtrot or Viennese Waltz on stage, focusing all the “advanced dancer” hate on Nicole ignores the real issue: OLYMPIANS ALWAYS WIN. Three Olympic gold medalists have won the mirror ball in the past nine seasons: Apolo Anton Ohno, Kristi Yamaguchi and Shawn Johnson.
Evan Lysacek is now in the finals. He is exactly like Kristi and Shawn in that he is INCREDIBLY BORING. Always giving the trained PR answers that are blandly positive and will offend no one. Even his partner said he can come off as “cold.” And the Dance Center guys mocked him last week by falling asleep. The judges went nuts over his vampire Paso Doble, but if you actually looked at his face in the dance, he kept defaulting to his blank expression.
Nicole is the best dancer. If she has any extra edge at all it’s that she’s dancing with Derek Hough, the best dancer and choreographer in the competition. If Derek’s sister, Julianne, returns to the show he’ll have some real competition out there.
I guess I’m really disgusted because this is Mya & Dmitry Chaplin all over again. Mya was penalized last season for being too good too soon, thereby not seeming to live up to the spirit of the competition (humiliating someone in front of millions until they are either voted off or get good enough to sob and win).
Mya & Dmitry were the most entertaining couple for the season but they lost to Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson. Because if there’s anyone out there who has no song and dance experience, it’s Mr. Showman Donny Osmond. Good call, America!
Seriously, vote for Nicole & Derek. They are the most exciting couple to watch. They are not boring Olympians. They do not whine and bicker every week about how they are the “underdogs” instead of focusing on, you know, dancing well. A talent show that rewards actual talent! What a refreshing concept that would be this year.
For a stupid amount of stuff about DWTS — from recaps to top 10 lists and costume hits and misses — visit DWTSShow.com. My Nicole & Derek bias comes out there, too, but not as much as here.
By Gina Carbone
That hat! Reminded me of The Peculiar Purple Pie Man of Porcupine Peak from “Strawberry Shortcake.” But better.
Seth Aaron Henderson. Not only is he my official “Project Runway” season seven crush, he is the frontrunner to win.
How can he not be?
He is the most consistent, innovative, interesting and exciting designer, while always creating clothing that says “Seth Aaron.”
(I know Emilio Sosa made that Harlem evening dress, but the zipper screamed Seth Aaron. Did he add that detail?)
Seth Aaron’s point of view is the most clear, closely followed by Mila. But for Mila it’s almost becoming too one-note. With Seth Aaron it’s more like an artist painting with a larger canvas.
He’s a Jeffrey Sebelia upgrade, and if Jeffrey was good enough to win season three (not sure he was), Seth Aaron should be a lock for season seven.
On episode nine, “Takin’ It To The Streets,” the eight remaining designers had to pair up to design day and evening looks based on four New York neighborhoods.
Anthony Williams was pulled from the hat as the first team leader and chose to work with Maya Luz. They got Chinatown, which would’ve been my first choice.
Amy Sarabi chose Jonathan Peters and they got the Upper East Side. (Think Laura Bennett from season three.)
Emilio picked Seth Aaron and they chose Harlem. They were such a perfect design team I think they should be forced to work together forever.
Jay Nicolas Sario ended up with Mila Hermanovski and apparently that’s a horrible fate. Emilio cackled like a villain (The Peculiar Purple Pie Man?) because it was his mastermind to have Jay and Mila end up together.
Emilio doesn’t like Mila either. What are we missing? She seems OK and she’s a great designer.
Anyway, they got the East Village.
Turns out, her half of the look — which looked very Mila — was the stronger half.
Jay ended up in the bottom two, thanks to an ill-fitting tank top (the tank top tanked, as he quipped to guest judge Molly Sims) and poofy pants he was very proud of.
They did not sell each other out on the runway, so it was much ado about no drama.
(By the way, where was Michael Kors? Francisco Costa had to sit in for him. No like.)
The bottom two pairs were Jay/Mila and Amy/Jonathan.
The judges thought there was too much going on with Jonathan’s evening look, but they liked it more than Amy’s day look, which they thought was unflattering and a horrible color.
I couldn’t believe it when the elimination came down to Jay and Amy — two frontrunners who put on two of the stronger collections during the fashion week extravaganza where 10 looks went down the runway.
(I’m still confused as to why Maya was not involved in that fashion show. Anyone have an answer?)
Anyway, Amy started out one of my favorite designers and now she is gone.
Emilio and Seth Aaron BOTH won the challenge, which made “Project Runway” history. Huzzah.
Here are the remaining designers, in order of my preference:
- Seth Aaron Henderson, 38
- Emilio Sosa, 43
- Mila Hermanovski, 40
- Maya Luz, 22
- Jay Nicolas Sario, 31
- Jonathan Peters, 29
- Anthony Williams, 28