SUMMER 2013 COMPETITION SHOWS WRAP-UP
Okay, I admit I’m a sucker for talent competitions and anything to do with brainy endeavors, such as trivia shows and games. And also there wasn’t much else on TV during the summer. But I have to admit, I would have watched all three of these shows faithfully, no matter when they were on.
This particular summer of 2013, I’m grateful to them for helping to distract me during these awful two and a half months that I’ve been dealing with my painful hands situation. It’s been a rugged summer, to say the least, but I really perked up during these three shows, even the inane last one.
So let’s get to the wrap-ups of them so that tomorrow we can start moving on to the new Fall season television shows.
SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE—SEASON 10 FINALE
I know that Season 10 of So You Think You Can Dance ended almost two weeks ago, which is almost a lifetime in terms of competition shows’ finales, but I still have to weigh-in. Better late than never, I always say.
By this point, I’ve forgotten all my bon mots that I uttered to Mr. X during the finale, so I don’t have as much to say as I would’ve liked. But the main point is that I was thrilled with the outcome!
Way back on July 25, when I first weighed-in on the new season of this fabulous dance show, (if you missed it, you can read it here: itsnotaboutme.tv/news/televisiondance-so-you-think-you-can-dance-season-10,) I predicted three of the four finalists! I very correctly said Fik-Shun would be the guy winner, and that if the female victor was not Malece, (she, very sadly, and wrongfully, did not make the Top 10,) it would come down to Jasmine and Amy. And, very deservedly so, Amy did win.
Mr. X, a krump dancer himself, is actually very impressed that I predicted the winners once again, so I have that going for me.
Even though ballroom dancer Paul should have been in the final two guys, (as opposed to tap dancer Aaron, who’s even close to as excellent a dancer as Paul is,) and even though executive producer/head judge Nigel with cattle just loves to keep telling us how great his own show’s, and even though host Cat Deeley is the most annoying, cheesy, phony presenter, Mr. X and I just love watching incredible dancing, and this finale was chock-full of that, so we were happy.
My last thought on this season of So You Think You Can Dance is this: even though I’m sure Fox will make this show keep the same show format as it did it did this year and last, it is so horrible to have the eliminations on the same night as the competition dances. It just takes away all happiness from these young competitors; in the previous seasons, they could at least enjoy the one night, and then get nervous for the next night, which brought the eliminations. This new way is just barbaric. I could see if Fox wanted to cut the elimination show down to a half-hour, from the hour it was, but do they really have something so important to air that they have to use up that extra half-hour in the summer?! Not only do I think not, I know not!
AMERICA’S GOT TALENT—SEASON 8
Mr. X and I have absolutely adored this staggeringly incredible movement performer, Kenichi Ebina, this season! Not only is his movement itself spectacular, but he puts together incredible live-action/video presentations, the likes of which we’ve never seen. If there is any one person on any of these competition shows who deserved overwhelmingly to be the victor, it’s Kenichi.
The judges always tell the contestants to “step it up” from performance to performance, which they rarely do; sometimes it’s just not possible, but Kenichi did it week after week. When he showed-up on stage for the first audition, all we knew is that he was an incredible dancer/mover. But each ensuing week, he did something completely different than the one before; it wasn’t just his talent that wowed us, it was his mind and creativity. And he appears to be the sweetest, nicest guy in the world, so everybody’s happy to root for him. He barely even speaks English, yet he has a delightful sense of humor, and seems to understand what everybody around him is saying. I love this guy!!!
Making us equally happy is that comedian Taylor Williamson came in second. He’s a riot, and seems like another really nice guy. He’s not full-of-himself at all. And he doesn’t try to bang us over the head with how “funny” he is, as comedians are often wont to do. When you see show host Nick Cannon falling apart because someone’s making him laugh, you know that person is someone special. So, way to go, Taylor! I’m so happy anticipating a big surge in his career now.
As always, I love Nick Cannon. His actual hosting skills have greatly improved over the seasons, (he used to be so stiff and and flat,) and his antics with some of the awful contestants in the first round of auditions make that round the fun that it is. That phase of the show would be brutal without his improvisation acumen.
Before I get to some random thoughts about the judging panel, one searing question about third place finisher, rube-ish country singer Jimmy Rose: why didn’t they ever fix his hair??? I guess he insisted on wearing at this stupid way, but it really made him look like a Jim Carrey character.
Okay, now to the judges:
Howie Mandel and Howard Stern spent so much of their judging time explaining, or pre-analyzing, what the results might, or shed, be. How about just give us your opinion which is what you there to do?! Stop telling the acts how the votes for them will go–it’s obnoxious Already!
And how many times do they say “America???” They make me want to move to Canada!!! I have news for them: “America” does not care who wins this stupid show! Most of America is not watching. Some people in the country are watching, but not everyone, by a long shot. Stop talking about America like it’s a matter of national urgency.
Mel B is, by far, the best competition show judge ever! She’s honest, supportive, and not abusive, even when she doesn’t enjoy it. Oh, she’ll tell you if she didn’t like what you did, but she won’t rag on you like the two males on the panel do, which is beyond rude of them. What exactly is Howard Stern’s talent? Being obnoxious on the radio? That he can do, but it’s not a talent. And I hate to point it out, but what exactly is Heidi Klum’s talent? Having a basic canvas face that others, such as makeup artists, hairstylists and clothing stylists, can create on? I’m sure there are more talented judges they can hire.
That being said, Heidi turned out to be much better than all the naysayers expected. She had cute enough things to say, she was honest, and she held her own amongst the much more vocal judges.
But the two Howards are just pompous pains-in-the-butt. They think they’re above everyone, especially that Stern creep. Though they sometimes do make me laugh, I just can’t stand of noxious people like that.
MILLION SECOND QUIZ
As much as I love trivia, this show was a little too Hunger Games for my taste. [Note: I actually never saw, or read, Hunger Games, but I believe it’s about people trying to survive by playing games, and destroying their opponents.] Since I was home most of the time during its nine-day run, I got to watch the non-stop trivia games online, in addition to the nightly prime-time hours. I’m sure no one else did this, so let me quickly explain, even though Mr. X did it with me and still doesn’t understand how the show works. (From everything I’ve read about this show, no one else understood it either.)
The game-play itself was actually pretty stupid; one person was the defender, until he or she was defeated by their one challenger, who then became the defender. This show’s claim is that you earn ten dollars for each second that you keep winning, but that’s actually not true at all. Only the four players who have accumulated the most money over their time as the defender get to keep it when the game finally ended on Thursday night.
But the awful part is that those top four had to actually live, I repeat live, on the set until either they’re defeated, or the show finally ends after the nine prime-time episodes. The four of them had to sleep in the little pods for all to see, with mikes and cameras on them at all times. We’ve heard them all snoring, which is embarrassing enough, but thank goodness we were spared from hearing any other bodily functions, if you get my drift. And they’re not allowed to go anywhere except to the chairs right near the sleeping pods. That’s it; they have a small bed, a chair, and a group coffee table.
And all they get to eat the whole time is Subway sandwiches! I love Subway sandwiches, but even I couldn’t eat them non-stop for every meal, nine days in a row. And lest you think that they really do get to eat or do something else when they’re away from our view, think again; they show us the four players sitting there talking, eating, and sleeping at least once every five minutes, around-the-clock. At one point, the quartet was discussing if it’s really still 2013, because they’re not allowed to see newspapers or make phone calls or check-out anything on computers. It’s all kind-of sick to put someone through all that just to possibly win a lot of money at the end.
But this poor girl, Haley, did this for at least five days, sitting on over to hundred thousand dollars in winnings, only to lose it at the very last nanosecond on Tuesday night. And I do mean nanosecond; the game had virtually ended, but host Ryan Seacrest had uttered the first sound of the word of another game question, and Haley failed to buzz in on time, (even though she thought she had gotten her answer in,) and she was out without a dime! After all those days of torture. It really is barbaric. I’m still worried about Haley. (But she mentioned many times that she wants to open her own bar, so possibly people watching will feel bad for her and invest in it. I know I would if I had the money. Or may be the three other “Winners Row” contestants she bonded with the chip in to help her.”
And the trivia is addicting to people who should be doing something better with their days, like me. They play games around the clock on the website, only with different rules. You can also sit in that chair racking-up supposed money, only to get nothing when someone else ultimately defeats you. It’s the craziest rules I’ve ever seen. On day nine, the last day of this whole debacle, Mr. X was still asking me what’s going on.
Why can’t these people whom they just tortured at least get some “parting gifts?” That’s what they used to do in game shows back in the day, and it was a good policy. I believe that I heard that each contestant, including the many who sit in a holding room all day just waiting for the chance to do this insanity, receive a Subway gift card, but I also heard that it’s for only five dollars, which would be disgusting of them. Also, they all probably leave there never wanting to see a Subway sandwich again for the rest of their lives! When I first came to LA, I worked in an eatery in Westwood Village that served hot dogs and donuts. The cheap owner wouldn’t let us eat anything without paying for it except the doughnuts. Needless to say, I can’t even hear the word anymore. I just got queasy now even writing it.
One interesting note: After a while, all the players began to look alike. Maybe that’s how it works with brainy people.
And lastly, the writers were a bit lazy; they kept asking questions on the same topics, such as soap opera characters, senators, and which states were west of which others. Thank goodness there are only fifty states because they asked about the designs on the new-ish State Quarters from each one.
Okay, this is much more than I meant to write about this one show.
So that’s it for the summer ones. Next week, I’ll start moving on to the Fall television season, including brand-new shows and returning ones. I’ve already spied some hits and misses, so I can’t wait to weigh-in on all of those. Here’s an early taste: Fox’s Dads is even worse than we all read it is. I’ll break it all down for you next week.