Thursday, May 5, 2011

Reality Bits

This has been a pretty interesting season of reality TV. Mind this- that I do not have a favorable opinion of “reality” TV in general. Even the of two shows I really enjoy- Dancing with the Stars and The Biggest Loser- I have not watched every season’s episode.

This season, I’ve been tracking the two mentioned, as well as The Amazing Race and American Idol.

I’ll start with AI- I love music and I love singing but had a difficult time watching previous seasons because shortly I could not stand the kindergarten remarks from Ryan Seacrest to Simon Cowell. I thought Seacrest was a good radio DJ back when I listened to the radio while living in L.A. but as a show host, I’m not a fan at all. There’s a difference, subtle though it may be, between comments by Seacrest and those by Tom Bergeron as hosts.

I had no serious objections to Cowell’s critiques though I was interested in seeing how Jennifer Lopez and the fascinating Steven Tyler [I’m an Aerosmith fan] would do as judges. So I tuned in. I caught very few of the auditions and Hollywood week- they are still my least favorite part to watch- I’m just not very interested in weirdness-just-to-seek-some-kind-of-fame.

I started watching from the top 24. Surprisingly, the judges saved an odd number of 3 contestants to make a top 13 [rather than the usual top 12 I think?]. Then early on in the eliminations, they used their unanimous save to keep Casey on. And the United States have voted more to keep the guys, sending home Ashthon, Karen, [Casey would’ve gone home next and been the first male contestant to leave but was saved by the judges] Thia, Naima, and Pia home in a row [and yes, I had to look that up- I did not pay an attention that detailed]. And so Lauren and Haley have been the two females left in the competition with the guys- I have to say they are the best females to be remaining in my opinion.

Pia- great singer but in my opinion, she had the chance to show her range in personality [appeals to audience connecting with performer] and growing stage command and she didn’t do it. So great singer that she is, I was okay with her being voted off.

The reasons I’m still watching is for James and the two remaining females Lauren and Haley. Though Haley has sung more songs by artists I personally enjoy, I like Lauren a very slight bit more of the two, just very slight. I’m not much for country music but if Lauren makes an album and it’s country, I might buy it- there’s that special something in her voice that catches me and I like the fighting spunk she has when she comes out to perform though herself admitting to feeling inadequate compared to the talents of the others. I like Haley’s unique voice and the past few weeks, when her song selections were announced I thought, “yeah, that makes sense [with her voice and personality], good choice.”

Yet James is my top favorite and has been since the semifinals. I did catch his audition [though still didn’t watch any of H-week] and… I mean… he sang Aerosmith to Steven Tyler and did not mess it up one iota! Every week he’s delivered an outstanding performance so that his most recent singing of “Without You” having been flat for the first half and ended strong, full of passion, could be forgiven the imperfections and was still amazing. When he’s performed so far, I’ve thought I was watching an actual concert. I’m a sucker for rockers anyway but I can’t figure out what song James canNOT sing.

Amazing Race: Unfinished Business- I watched the previous season only because YouTube great KevJumba ran the race with his dad. Also in that race was father/daughter Gary and Mallory. I enjoyed Gary and Mallory so much that I am watching this season because the pair made a return! I enjoy their interaction as father and daughter, I like seeing a father being good to his children, and Mallory’s outlook on life and her experiences is just uplifting. Every time Mallory hops on the mat at the pit stop, I can’t help but laugh and it seems show host Phil enjoys seeing her arrive as well. Besides, she wears a lot of yellow, my favorite color.

I have a difficult time watching when contestants are being rude to each other or to the local people of the places they race through. Though they had bickered with each other and gotten down on themselves here and there, I had been okay with the Kent and Vixen. I thought Vixen [For a while, I had a difficult time reading her name as she spells it so I’m spelling it as it sounds] was quite sweet.

Then came India- during a challenge, Kent offered that he and Gary help each other finish, saying that he won’t leave Gary behind… and then he did the opposite. As soon as Kent got his clue he ran off, and Gary was on his own to find the last part. To Gary’s credit, he did not get upset about it or hold a grudge- at least not by anything revealed on the show. Okay, forgive Kent because we’ve all been deceivers at one time or another.

I think it was the same episode, nearer to the end of the leg when Kent and Vixen THREW OUT AN INDIAN COUPLE FROM THEIR CAB SO THEY COULD GET IN and take the cab towards the finish. It wasn’t like they were fighting to get the cab- the local not-in-a-race couple were already seated and riding in the cab when the racing couple pushed them out in a very rude manner. After that, things added to my disliking of the couple.

I like the Globetrotters- I mean, who isn’t entertained by them? Recently I noticed that they are hard-working even while having fun and entertaining others. It’s not that I thought they were lazy, it was just a revelation of their work ethic- of course you can’t just mess around if you wanna be a Globetrotter! In India, they chose to deliver hay bales in the challenge. Next in Austria, they chose to deliver a psychoanalysis couch instead of the easier sounding detour. When next came Switzerland and the choice between finishing a pot of fondue and delivering luggage, I thought the Globetrotters would choose to deliver- and they did.

The finale is coming up this week [on Mother’s Day] and the four teams left are the Globetrotters, the sisters, Gary and Mallory, and best friends Zev and Justin. My personal favorites to win… well, it isn’t a secret in this entry… Gary and Mallory! They’ve helped others when they could, they’ve been respectful of the other teams, of each other, and of the local people, they’ve enjoyed and made the most of their experiences, taking note also of the cultural lessons around them, they’ve had good attitudes when facing frustrations…. Seeing them puts a smile on my face so why not hope that they win?
Okay, I’m gonna post this already because another AI elimination night is about to air in half an hour. I guess I’ll write and post about Dancing and Loser later- hopefully tomorrow.

Go James Durbin!