The Comm and Gender Spot

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Summer Reality

Anyone that regularly reads my ramblings here knows of my affection for reality television. While many individuals do not see the appeal of the genre, I often find myself getting hooked. While I don’t watch ever reality program out there (who has the time?), I find myself attracted to some of the strangest of these programs.

I’ve also discussed previously how I don’t like to tell my picks for these programs’ winners because they typically end up being the next one eliminated. Why jinx their chances?

With that being said, and considering I haven’t written too much lately, I’m throwing caution to the wind and letting you in on not only which shows I’m watching this summer, with a little description of each, but who I’m pegging to win.

Big Brother: All Stars

This is my ultimate favorite during the summer months. In the past locking between 12 and 14 different people in a house for three months in order to win $500,000 kept me glued to the television three days a week watching CBS. I think this season is a bit weaker because all of the competitors have been in the competition before. Eight players from the previous six seasons were voted into the house by the viewers, while the remaining six slots were picked by the producers. While preexisting alliances took control of the house, it appears that some of these alliances are about to implode. And my prediction to prevail once this happens? My pick is Danielle from season three. She is arguably the best, and sneakiest, player of the game to never have won. This will be her season.

Last Comic Standing

This is season four of this program that searches for the best stand up comic. The winner gets an exclusive talent contract with NBC and their own stand up special on Bravo. This show was great during its first two seasons, but the rushed third season was thought to have killed the program. This summer it was revived to some success. My original pick to win, Roz, was funny and original. However, she was eliminated last week. My current pick to win is Chris Porter. He kind of looks like Willy Wonka, and has the potential to be incredibly funny.

So You Think You Can Dance

Now in season two on the Fox network, I never thought I would become a fan. I watched an episode last summer and just could not get into it. I decided to give it another chance this summer and have been hooked. Watching all of the different styles of dance, from hip-hop to the waltz to Broadway, is extremely entertaining. I must admit that I still don’t quite understand contemporary dance, but the performance a few weeks back by Ivan and his partner really moved me and made me an instant fan of his. Then last week we had an inventive hip hop routine in which the dancers wore masks which I thought was unbelievable. This is the one show this summer that I find it too close to pick a winner. It’s going to come down to Benji (a West Coast Swing dancer) and Donyelle (a Jazz and Hip Hop dancer). Both have a lot of talent, and either could walk away with the grand prize: an SUV, $100,000, and a year contract with Celine Dion’s Las Vegas show (if they so choose).

Hell’s Kitchen

In this Fox program Chef Gordon Ramsey is looking for the one individual to become head chef at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa, a multi-million dollar resort in Las Vegas just 10 miles off of the Las Vegas strip. This is another show that I could not get into during its first season. I just couldn’t understand the appeal of a belligerent British man yelling obscenities at a group of cooks/chefs while trying to decide who will win the grand prize. Again, I gave this show another chance this season and have been surprised by how much I’m enjoying it. The season started off men vs. women and the women’s team proved early on to be superior. We are currently down to the final three, and my pick to win is Keith, a confident cook and bartender from New York with a bit of hip hop style.

Rock Star: Supernova

I really enjoyed this show last summer when they attempted to find a new lead singer for rock band INXS. The results, declaring J.D. Fortune the winner, were the worst choice in my opinion. But just because I didn’t like the winner doesn’t mean I’m going to shut the show off. This season on CBS they are attempting to find a lead singer for a new rock group: Supernova. This new group is made up of three rock greats: Tommy Lee, drummer from Mötley Crüe, Jason Newsted, bassist from Metallica, and Gilby Clarke, guitarist from Guns N’ Roses. The overall problem that I am having with this program this year is that the viewers have very little invested with Supernova. With INXS, they were a group with a long history and tons of hits. Who actually knows what Supernova will sound like? With that being said, I’m still enjoying the show because the singers competing are very talented. One would think that I would pick Storm Large as the front runner by name alone. Besides a rock singer, what could a person with that name (and her given name at that) actually do? Weather reporter? Porn star? I’m actually choosing Dilana. She has a unique, graveling voice with a Grace Slick-like quality. And she hasn’t had a bad performance yet.

Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Fresh Meat

This is the next installment of an MTV series that uses alumni from the Real World and Road Rules by putting them in competitive situations with a huge cash prize at the end. Unlike previous seasons, this program added twelve new competitors that never appeared on a previous challenge or on the Real World or Road Rules. (With Road Rules being cancelled a few years back, the producers needed to find a way to bring in new blood.) And alumni are paired with “fresh meat” and compete each and every week in some very strenuous physical challenges. My original favorites, Coral from Real World: Back to New York and “Fresh Meat” Evan, were eliminated due to injury: Coral from a dislocated knee and Evan from a sports hernia. My new favorites are Theo from Road Rules Maximum Velocity Tour and Chanda, his “Fresh Meat” partner. They are physical powerhouses that up until this point have been flying under the radar. They have what it takes to win it all.

I Wanna Be a Soap Star

Now that you see what show I have here please continue reading once your laughing fit has subsided. On this program, broadcast on Soap Net, ten actors vie for a 13-week contract role on the soap opera One Life to Live. Each week they are given a different scene that uses a basic soap staple: cheating spouses, singing, and sex scenes. Not only that, but during on week all of the eliminated contestants return because everyone knows that on a soap opera no one is really dead and anyone can come back to life at any time. While the individuals on this show aren’t necessarily the greatest actors around, they definitely show their desire to improve and how much they want this role on One Life to Live. My favorites to win here is BethAnn. She has a very natural quality about her and seems the most comfortable in front of the camera. She definitely has what it takes to win it all.

Who Wants to Be a Superhero?

This show premiered just last week on the Sci Fi Network. While watching it I found it to be incredibly cheesy, much like a comic book. In this competition eleven individuals come up with a concept for a super hero, one that they will become in a variety of competitions. They will be judged throughout by comic book great Stan Lee, the creator of such great comic book characters as the Incredible Hulk, the X-Men, Daredevil and Spider-Man. The winner of this competition will have an original comic book with their character as the star and have an original Sci Fi Network movie all about their character. During the shows first competition the superheroes had to find a secret place to change into their costume and then run as fast as they could to a predetermined location. What they didn’t know until after the task is that there was a twist. Just before the finish was a crying little girl yelling that she had lost her mother and looking for help. Any good superhero would have stopped to help a crying little girl, but only about a third of the competitors actually stopped. It’s so hard to figure out who will actually win. How can someone choose between Monkey Woman, Cell Phone Girl, or Major Victory (whose catch phrase is “Be a Winner, not a Weiner”). I think, however, that I’m going to have to go with Fat Momma to win. That’s right, Fat Momma. Fat Momma’s power is that when she’s angry she can grow to five times her normal size. Her super powers are fueled by her eating doughnuts, but she becomes weakened and shrinks to just five inches in height if she eats any diet foods. What a concept, and she sings her own theme song to boot!


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