Wednesday, May 25, 2011


What May has to offer in terms of reality television are the accumulating events that us watchers have been waiting for since the start of 2011-- Finales. The past two weeks have been filled with finales of my favourite shows, and I've been both pleased and disappointed in the results.

If you have not seen the Survivor, Amazing Race, Biggest Loser, Celebrity Apprentice or Dancing with the Stars finales, don't read!

Survivor: Redemption Island-- With the last four Murlonio, or Omepete standing, it was time to bring RI to an end. Matt, Mike, Grant and Andrea squared off in a final duel that would land one of them back in the game. I was surprised when Andrea outlasted the three men to gain a spot back in the game, but the twist of RI provided pointless as Andrea was just voted out after she got back (like her buddy Matt). The final three turned out to be Phillip, Natalie and Rob. For me it was a clear choice and I'm glad it was for the jury as well, Rob Mariano finally won a season of Survivor and we will hopefully not have to see him again (although I really enjoy him).

Amazing Race-- the show aired differently with four teams racing instead of the tradition three for a finale. Zev and Justin were out fourth in Brazil after falling behind during a road block where Zev had to perform in a street parade, and then switching detours at the last minute. The race to the finish line in Florida proved hard for Gary and Mallory as they struggled once again with a bad cab drive (this is how they landed a spot on this season, having had trouble in Omen with a cab driver the year before). It was a close race between the Globetrotters, and Jen and Kiesha, but I was glad to see the sisters make it to the finish line first. This makes them the second all-girl team to win the Amazing Race.

Biggest Loser-- first I must say every looked amazing when I watched the show last night. Glad to see they took the advice seriously and we didn't see too many people gain more weight back. I was pleased to see Jay be eliminated and Irene make it to the three, but it came down to the sisters, Olivia and Hannah. What a great place for sibling rivalry, on a scale to see who lost the most weight. I can just hear them say "no you're fatter" back and forth, but they both lost well over 100 pounds. Congrats to Olivia the opera singer for winning in the end! Dear Biggest Loser producers, give the white team another chance--that was a rip-off move for bringing them back just to send them away.

Celebrity Apprentice-- this was a disappointment for me. Trump, you need to write down who YOU want to win before the show starts so that you're not swayed to appease the audiences. Marlee Matlin lost to John Rich after running a successful event and advertising campaign, and John Rich, who is a musician, announced Def Leppard 15 minutes too early and had many other mistakes. I don't like how swayed this "captain of industry" can be. This finale, as well as the other Apprentice finales, are my least favourite to watch because Trump is an idiot.

Dancing with the Stars-- again, another disappointment but overall I think Kirstie won in life. Hines and Kym won the Mirror Ball Trophy after it came down to them versus Kirstie and Maks. I think Kirstie made the biggest transformation physically and emotionally, but the audience loved Hines. As my wonderful partner has pointed out, Maks is one of several pros who have not won the Mirror Ball Trophy but consistently makes it to the end. That man deserves more than a trophy though.

I will not be watching American Idol but good luck to the final two, Lauren and Scotty. Like Linda, my money's on Scotty to win. I say that because then Lauren will have the successful career.

With every finale there's always the promise to more premieres. So You Think You Can Dance, Big Brother 13, and many other shows will be coming this summer. I'll be sure to keep up with them, and keep you up too.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Making it your own

I realize I haven't posted in 3 weeks now but I have a good excuse: I was on vacation. And what a vacation it was! It was a seven-day Caribbean cruise, visiting Cozumel, Belize, Honduras and Grand Cayman. The week away has caused me to think long and hard about my life as now I am no longer a student.

But before I get too deep into that I want to share my most recent encounter with reality TV, but it wasn't on-screen: The Amazing Cozumel Race. It's an Amazing Race-style race around Cozumel, solving clues and performing tasks to make it to the finish line. As the only team from the Carnival Legend boat, Team Canadudes, Phil and I had to represent, which meant I had to run. For those who don't know, I don't normally run. We ran from the starting point, at the post office, to the flag pole, solved clues in the Cozumel Historic Museum, ran to get a henna tattoo, snorkled in the Caribbean sea to find a sunken ship, solved another clue leading us back to the square, then mini-golf, a quick trip to a shop, then the finish line. It took us one hour and nine minutes to run three-and-a-half miles. Because of our hard work we tied for second and received a silver medal. Beat that my brothers who get all the sports awards!

What I loved about this is the organizers took the concept of the Amazing Race and made it their own, which is basically a scavenger hunt but encapsulates the whole city of Cozumel. They don't step on the toes of CBS and the producers of the Amazing Race, but I think using the name of one of the most popular reality television shows today and it continues to gain followers each year. Participating in this excursion has inspired Phil and I to start thinking about an Amazing Niagara Race or the Great Niagara Falls Adventure. Either way, taking the popularity of a television show and making it your own is a great way to combine two passions: reality television and interactive entertainment.