The Appeal of Big Brother (And What the Philippines Does Wrong)

It says a lot about how far (or how low) reality television has come when realizing CBS’ Big Brother can be considered in the upper echelon of the genre.

Contestants parading around in as little clothing as possible, audiences shocked at people actually getting intimate in a house filled with cameras… that was almost 10 years ago. Boy, the things that pass for reality television today!

But it also says a lot about Big Brother when after 11 seasons and counting, it has stayed above the pile of garbage and still finds the Tiffany network it’s home when it could just as easily have dove head first into the heap. Continue reading

For Your 2010 Emmy Consideration

Another television season over. You know what that means! It’s Emmy season!

Networks and studios have been sending those For Your Consideration DVDs and swag to Emmy voters hoping to get a shot at the gold in August.

Attention wonderful, intelligent, and respected Emmy voters! =D

Here are my own humble FYCs of deserving, Emmy worthy shows and performances, many of them are the underdogs in the very competitive (and often predictable) Emmy race. But everyone loves the underdog right? =]

The list is complete for the year! Click here for my picks

Upfronts: CBS Shocks and Makes Big Moves

Going into the Upfronts, CBS was the least exciting schedule to find out.

Until the bloodbath occurred that saw CBS say goodbye to seven of its series, a few of them big surprises. And they didn’t stop there. The network made some big moves and relocated some of its biggest series to both boost its new offerings as well as plug long-held trouble spots on its schedule. Continue reading

Recap: The Amazing Race 14, Episode 8 – “Why are we in a party taxi with three transvestites?”

Episode 14.08: Rooting Around in People’s Mouths Could Be Unpleasant
So the leg begins with Tammy & Victor leaving at 9:27pm.  They recall their horrible leg in Transylvania, but note they’ve done a lot better.  Though they can’t just relax because it is very easy to go from first to last.

Now either something’s happened to change the team’s arrival times or there’s been a huge oversight in the editing room because the next team, Jaime & Cara, are departing 3 hours after Tammy & Victor after midnight, which doesn’t make sense because they were on the Mat together last leg and Mark & Michael were one-hour ahead before getting the penalty.  Very strange indeed.

Jaime & Cara find a “taxi” but they are not sure if the driver is telling them the truth, they find a police officer to make sure, and the driver starts talking to the cop.  Jaime gets heated which leads to her explanation that she’s like Jekyll and Hyde.

Mark & Michael say they hope they don’t shoot themselves in the foot.

All the teams arrive in Bangkok, Thailand and rush to the taxis to get to their first clue.
Jen & Kisha get in front of Margie & Luke.  Margie tells their driver to follow.
They both drivers stop and Jen & Kisha’s driver gets out to ask Margie & Luke’s driver if he knows where to go.  They ask people on the street and Jen & Kisha get directions and head off, but someone else is yelling at Margie & Luke’s driver and telling them different directions.  They separate and the mother and son arrive first at the clue, finding the Road Block.

In this Road Block, Who’s ready to propel their team forward?, teams will have to assemble and attach a propeller to a long tail boat.
When attached correctly, they can use the boat to get to their next destination and clue.  The next clue given to them inside the boat, tells the teams to use the provided map to navigate the maze of canals to find Peninsula Pier for the next clue.

Jaime & Cara arrive next at the pier, followed by Tammy & Victor, and Mark & Michael.

After finishing, Jaime & Cara left their bags in the taxi and they tell the boatman to take them back to the pier so they can get them, because as soon as they finish the Road Block, they’ll take the boat to the next clue.  They make a point not to let the other teams on to what they’re doing.

As Victor continues to get his propeller on, Mark finishes and they head off.  They decide to leave their bags, thinking the boats will come back to that pier.
Jen & Kisha leave their bags as well, Kisha even leaving her shoes and they head out.  However, Kisha has also left the fanny pack on the pier.  Their fanny pack with all their passports and other important documents.  With Jen thinking Kisha meant their backpacks, they decide to go on and go back later.

Victor finally gets his propeller assembled and the man says its okay and they set off, but it doesn’t work.  They have to go back to the pier for him to fix it.  He gets it on and they start off, but Tammy says they should get their bags first.  They get off the boat, tell the man to wait and they get their bags.

Meanwhile, Margie & Luke arrive at Peninsula Pier and get their next clue, the Detour.

In this Detour teams have to choose between tasks familiar to locals, Broken Teeth or Broken Record.
In Broken Teeth, teams must make their way to what is commonly known as the Street of Happy Smiles.  There they must search through dentures and find the right ones for five patients by trying them on. 
In Broken Record, teams make their way to a parking lot in Chinatown and find party taxis parked and waiting with several passengers.  They must ride along a 5 mile course in the taxis that are equipped with karaoke systems and sing along to a popular Thai pop video.

Margie & Luke choose Broken Teeth.
The other teams get to the pier and they all choose Broken Record.
Jen & Kisha say they’ll go do the task and go back for the stuff later.  Kisha remains barefoot.

Mark & Mike want to get back on the boat and go back, but it has gone.  They try to find a taxi and they argue over whether to go to their first taxi, have the taxi come to their current location, or have the taxi meet them in Chinatown.
They end up taking their new taxi back for 200 .  They are worried about having enough money left.

Meanwhile, Jen & Kisha arrive at the party taxis first followed by Jaime & Cara and they start singing.

Tammy & Victor are right behind them.  “Mai Thai Trannies!” Tammy exclaims.
So that’s why they seemed different, but familiar!  I’ve seen many of them on Philippine TV (no joke!).

Back at the teeth, Margie is flying through the task, but Luke hasn’t even gotten one yet.  Margie says Luke was fitting bottom teeth on the top and he seems to not making any headway.

After 4 patients done, Margie takes over for Luke and she finds the right dentures, as they get their next clue telling them to go to the Pit Stop, Phya Thai Palace.  They head to find Phil, are welcomed by a parrot, and Margie & Luke are officially first, winning a trip to Puerto Rico.

Jen has three questions about their Detour.
1.    “Are those transvestites?” *ding!*
2.    “Why are they wearing so much makeup?”
3.    “Why are we in a party taxi with three transvestites?”

They finish, but they don’t have money.  They get in a taxi, tell the driver that and he says “No.”  They get out and try to find another taxi.

Jaime & Cara are next and can’t find a taxi.  Tammy & Victor catch up, Tammy catches a taxi and they are off with the girls right behind.  They follow the siblings.

They both stop for directions, but Jaime & Cara’s driver knows where to go, so they leave Tammy & Victor behind, going a different way.

Jaime & Cara arrive at the Pit Stop 2nd.

Later, Jen & Kisha catch up to Tammy & Victor and stay right behind them.
They both get out at the same time.  It’s a footrace to the Pit Stop, but the sisters arrive before the siblings. 

Phil informs them that he can not check them in without their travel documents that they’ve left back at the pier.  They hurry back and ask another driver to take them for free.
That means Tammy & Victor are officially team #3.

Jen & Kisha run to find a taxi and they head all the way back to the pier.
Mark & Michael arrive at the party taxis, but first have to pay the taxi they rode to get there.  They don’t have enough money, so they offer to give the driver a flashlight and compass.  He takes them.
They get to the task and they start to have fun with the “pretty local girls.”  One “pretty local girl” starts teasing Michael, putting her fingers on his shoulders and starting down his chest.
Oh boy…. or girl?

The sisters arrive at their first taxi and get their belongings.  They decide to take that taxi back to the Pit Stop since he knows where it is.

Mark & Mike arrive at the Pit Stop, don’t have enough money again, so they offer more of their personal items.  They run into the Pit Stop and arrive 4th. 
However, they broke a rule by using personal possessions to pay for a taxi, which results in a two hour penalty.  With them doing it twice, they have incurred a total four hour penalty. 

Jen & Kisha arrive with the brothers waiting off to the side and they are officially team #4.

With 3 hours and 10 minutes left on their penalty, Phil checks them in.  The remainder of their penalty will be assessed at the beginning of the next leg and of course they’ll have a Speed Bump to deal with.

So it wasn’t a too eventful leg, but we got a good lesson on following the rules on the Race.  Having it be a non-elimination leg also wasn’t a big surprise.  It was expected, which brings up the fact that they should really find a way to make the non-elims less predictable or bring back To Be Continued/superlegs.

First of all, isn’t it at all possible that The Amazing Race can change the rules from season to season?  So while we can say, “It is sucks that Team X did this before but Team Y does it and gets a penalty” we can’t say “That rule never existed before!! How unfair!!”

The rule Mark & Michael were penalized for is actually a good one.  One of the things that’s always been a part of the Race is the teams’ ability to budget their money.  From limiting the amount given to each tea, to the $1 legs, to taking all their money away at non-elims, money has always been an important part of the Race. 

So it is a little unfair that teams can just sell personal belongings or give away stuff instead of using their money.  It could lead to teams just handing over things they brought with them instead of using the money they are given by the Race.

That said, a two-hour penalty is kind of harsh, but I guess Bert and Co. feel that penalty fits the violation.  From reading around the internets, I see it is okay if teams use things they’ve bought with the money given to them, but not stuff they’ve brought from home. 

Also, fans are pointing out Jen & Kisha’s free taxi rides.  In the Additional Route Info, and from past seasons, teams must make sure the taxi driver is satisfied with whatever payment the teams give. Teams must make sure the taxi driver is happy and accepts their payment before they can go, a rule probably instituted after Colin’s trip to the police station in TAR5. 

It would be very interesting to see the evolution of the TAR rulebook over the last 14 seasons.  I’m sure there have been a lot of changes and it would be very interesting seeing what’s in and what’s out and what events in the Race actually prompted the changes.

Just like the rules in this leg.  It really just puts into perspective how much work goes into planning the Race.  It must be a tough job, but a fun one Bert and Co. have.

Anyway, it was an okay leg.  I think the fun local Thai people waiting for dentures and the happy taxi “women” made the episode though.

Next week, however, looks like it will be an epic battle!  I hope it delivers like the preview makes it out to be. 😀

Leg Eight Itinerary
Wat Thep Nimit Temple
Phuket, Thailand


Bangkok, Thailand

Peninsula Pier
Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand

Street of Happy Smiles
Chinatown, Yaowarat Road

Phya Thai Palace
Bangkok, Thailand

Departure Times
Phuket, Thailand
*times may or may not be correct
Tammy & Victor 9:27pm
Jaime & Cara 12:31am
Mark & Michael 12:46am
Margie & Luke 12:53am
Kisha & Jen 1:05am

Who Did the Detour?



Road Block Count

In order of completion; Italics indicate who did this week’s Road Block
Who’s ready to propel their team forward?
3 Luke Margie 4
3 Cara Jaime 4
5 Mark Michael 2
5 Kisha Jen 2
3 Tammy Victor 4
3 Mel Mike 3
3 Christie Jodi 3
1 Amanda Kris 3
0 Brad Victoria 3
1 Linda Steve 1
1 Preston Jennifer 0

Order of Finish
Margie & Luke 1st
Jaime & Cara 2nd
Tammy & Victor 3rd
Kisha & Jen 4th
Mark & Michael 5th

My Team Rankings for Leg 8

Tammy & Victor Tammy & Victor – It is great to see them continuing to work well together.  And in turn, they are performing better in the Race.  Barring any big mistakes, I think they are a lock for Final 3.
Cara & Jaime Cara & Jaime – Jaime is still a firecracker, but they have raced well so far and stepped it up too.  I am happy to see they are doing things on their own more than sticking with Margie & Luke all the time.  They could be a final 3 team as well.  
Lakisha & Jennifer Kisha & Jen – Their sisterly communication still needs some work.  I think if they fully trusted each other, they’d work better together because their missteps have cost them and they have usually been because of their lack of (good) communication.  They seem to stay calm when problems arise, but then they don’t really fully talk it out either, which might not be the best thing to do. 
Margie & Luke Margie & Luke – Well, Margie continues to carry their team.  Luke was no help at the Detour and he seemed to be the one to choose Margie doing the Road Block.  And of course their antics we don’t see on-screen.  But they’re Racing well otherwise and they are still very strong despite Luke not contributing as much as his mom (and it has nothing to do with being deaf).
Mark & Michael Mark & Michael – Well, that’s two legs in a row of penalties.  That isn’t good at all.  They’ve kind of been the bumbling brothers this whole Race and sort of the next generation Dandrew, which is also not a good thing.  It’ll be tough for them next leg unless the airport equalizes them enough for them to catch up and complete the Speed Bump.
Quotes from Episode 14.08
Victor: “We are Chinese, we have to do karaoke.”Tammy: “Mommy’ll be so proud!”

Tammy: “Oh my God! It’s Mai Thai Trannies!”

Jen: “Why are we in a party taxi with three transvestites?”

Episode Caps

500+ episode caps at xangatheamazingracecaps

Jodi & Christie Reflect on the Race

Jodi & Christie Reflect on the Race

Listen to Jodi & Christie’s interview with BuddyTV and how they rivaled TAR13’s Tina’s plane recall to get corporate to reclassify seats for them!

Jodi & Christie talk to TVGuide about Christie’s underwear run.

Brad & Victoria Talk About Challenges In and Out of the Race

Brad & Victoria Talk About Challenges In and Out of the Race

Brad & Victoria tell TVGuide about the new challenges in life they are about to and ready to face head-on.
(note: I wish them all the best and our prayers are with them both.)

Brad & Victoria tell RealityTVWorld that they are no strangers to tough challenges.

After staying at the “best Holiday Inn” in the world, Brad & Victoria made up lots of time and are bummed after hearing about Tammy & Victor’s meltdown, they tell the LA Times.

Phil Embarks on Coast-to-Coast Bike Ride

Phil Embarks on Coast-to-Coast Bike Ride

Our very own Phil Keoghan will embark on a 40-day, 3,500 mile coast-to-coast bike ride to visit local casting calls for TAR15, local CBS affiliates, local GNC stores (which is sponsoring the ride), sign copies of his book No Opportunity Wasted, and raise awareness for the National MS Society and Bike MS.

Here is the official press release from CBS:


Keoghan To Embark on a 40 Day, Coast-to-Coast Bike Ride Across America, Averaging 100 Miles Per Day, Covering Over 3,500 Miles Total with Pit Stops in Over 30 Cities

Phil Keoghan, host of CBS’s THE AMAZING RACE, will embark on his boldest adventure yet – cycling from Los Angeles to New York – a ride that will average 100 miles per day for a total of over 3,500 miles, spanning 40 days with pit stops in over 30 different cities.

“I fly over 400,000 miles a year and I figured it was time to stretch my legs. I love to ride so I thought I’d see what this great country looks like up close instead of taking a bird’s eye view at 30,000 feet,” said Keoghan. “In this economic climate, bike riding makes a lot of sense – it’s good for your waistline and easy on your wallet.”

Phil Keoghan’s “Ride Across America Presented by GNC” will kickoff on March 28 in Los Angeles and end on May 9 (the day before the finale of THE AMAZING RACE 14) in New York. Along the way, he’ll attend meet and greets with supporters at local GNC stores, visit CBS affiliates, attend open-casting calls for the next installment of THE AMAZING RACE, sign copies of his best-selling book No Opportunity Wasted, and ride alongside ex-Racers and fans of THE AMAZING RACE. He will also be participating in rallies hosted by the National MS Society to build awareness for Bike MS and the MS movement.

“All of us at GNC are extremely impressed with Phil’s commitment and dedication to living a healthy lifestyle,” stated Tom Dowd, Executive Vice President, Stores, Operations & Development for GNC. “Having been fans of the ‘The Amazing Race’ and Phil from the first season, we recognized what a great opportunity this was to partner with him.”

Phil Keoghan’s “Ride Across America” includes visits to such cities as: Las Vegas; Denver; Lincoln, Neb.; Des Moines, Iowa; Chicago; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Columbus, Ohio; Pittsburgh; Washington D.C.; Baltimore; Philadelphia and New York. Phil’s exact route will be released soon.

“We’re also very excited to have the opportunity to be the sole retailer of Phil’s new nutritional product, NOW OSM ‘One Square Meal,’ a total meal replacement that is guaranteed to be a top seller at our GNC stores,” added Dowd.

Did Bad Luck Do In Jennifer & Preston? Plus Bertram and Elise Answer Fan Questions!

Did Bad Luck Do In Jennifer & Preston? Plus Bertram and Elise Answer Fan Questions!

Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri talk about their favorite parts of the Race, TAR in HD, and what they really think about Phil’s Emmy snub and All-Star seasons.

Jennifer & Preston talk to TVGuide about what really happened before the Pit Stop and how the right taxi could’ve saved them from elimination.

Jennifer & Preston tell Reality Wanted the cheese task was even harder than it looked and what their plans are post-TAR.

TVGuide Names TAR Best Reality Show of 2008

TVGuide Names TAR Best Reality Show of 2008
By LJDB, December 18, 2008 has begun naming its Best of 2008 and The Amazing Race was named the Best Reality Show of the year

Here is the little blurb from

Best Reality Show: The Amazing Race
While some other reality shows — okay, every other realty show — seems to bring out the worst in humanity, this one highlights the best. And oh, those locations.

Phil Keoghan vs. Julie Chen! – Sunday at 8pm on CBS!

Phil Keoghan vs. Julie Chen! – Sunday at 8pm on CBS!
By LJDB, December 18, 2008

The battle that’s been 7 years in the making.  Two of reality TV’s hosting elite will battle it out on CBS’ Million Dollar Password this Sunday at 8pm. 

Amazing Race‘s Phil Keoghan and Big Brother‘s Julie Chen will play with contestants on the Regis Philbin hosted game show.