Saturday, August 08, 2009

Summer Rant – Transition Time

Things are still running along at a furious pace this summer, and this week heralded the endings of a few favourites, yet harkens the beginning and return of other favourites. It’s a win win situation.

jeaninewins-blog So you think you can Dance? finished off this round with Jeanine winning the big title in a surprise that was both pleasing and upsetting. I was all about Brandon winning, but was happy that it was another dancer that I respected and felt did a dynamite job this season. Jeanine’s title will be short-lived, with the next round starting this Fall, but she truly deserved to win and is now the second girl to do it. I was a tad surprised that we didn’t get a performance out of Sabrina (our other female champion) during the best performances recaps, but maybe our girl is busy doing other projects. It’s a shame their tour doesn’t swing by Montréal, but I am pretty sure that we will see the dancers performing elsewhere or be returning guests on this show. It was a fabulous season and the show manages to get better and better.

I love the small dancing appearance by our Judges, but felt a tad cheated after last year’s knock out numbers with the gang. I do have to say that Cat really did a great job of hosting and keeping things going smoothly, and wardrobe issues aside she is really good. Wade’s number this time around was probably the one that I have liked the least by him, it might have been the subject matter as I love him more when he is wild and out there. Mia is always a gem and deserved all the kudos that are laid on her. I think the biggest surprises this season on the choreograph side of things, was Tyce coming into more of his own thing and being hilarious as a Judge, and how many of the Louis Van Amstel numbers were loved by the Judges. Let’s just hope that Paula Abdul is not picked up as a Judge, Idol must be happy they are done with her and all her wacky crap. I can hardly wait until next month and more dance!

image20Of course, next week heralds the beginning of So you think you can Dance Canada? and I will be a happy camper being able to vote and see all the local talent. It looks like Mary Murphy will be around a fair amount and it’s nice to see her flexing her vocal muscles above the 49th parallel. I am even willing to travel to Toronto to see the show live and have applied for tickets this round to see if I can see more of the live action, and would love to see the Judges and dancers do their thing live, I am sure there is tons of stuff that never makes it on air or past the censors.

Rounding out the dance stuff on TV, Randy Jackson presents America’s Best Dance Crew (ABDC) dished out their Top Ten Performances special before the new season launches this Sunday. While I loved seeing all the great crews again, I hated the lay out of the show and the continual reminders that the show is now at a NEW TIME and a NEW NIGHT that were relentless and down right aggressive after the umpteenth time. Randy, you have to chill dog, and I don’t think it was just a coincidence that the Number One on your countdown was featuring one of your late brother’s hits. Let’s just hope that there is no tacky exploitation of Michael’s demise on the show as that would be in very, very poor taste, and downright disgusting it being family and all. Even with the complaints, my appetite is ready for more Dance Crew and some more of the best group numbers that can be seen on TV.

116491_4520 This past week had even more Finales, including the well deserved win of Kristi Leskinen & Maksim Chmerkovskiy and their kick ass performance in the last part of the Superstars. Our winning team was always near the front of the pack and won half of the competitions, and had never been to the Elimination round before the last game.The competition was fun and a nice summer diversion, and it was a pleasant surprise to see how athletic and competitive Maks is. I hope it comes back again, and that they can add more challenges and have a more interesting and complex obstacle course. It’s not American Gladiators or Battle of the Network Stars but a step in the right direction.

i-survived-a-japanese-game-show_21953_1 I survived a Japanese Game Show finished up this season and I was happy to see our soccer mom and oldest competitor Cathy kick ass, take names and win it all. The challenges in the 2 hour finale were just insane, and the Super-Majide obstacle course at the end was all the best of the worse. I think anyone who underestimated our ladies was in for a rude surprise as they ended up pitting the guys against each other, eliminating the biggest physical threat (Brent) and then disposing of wimpy and whiny Justin. Well played and another fascinating look into Japanese popular culture and their undying need to humiliate and subjugate the competitors. I thought it was hilarious how they got the guys all done up like big fat Americans and made them play their humiliating Wet T-shirt game to spell out the winning phrase, but was riddled with dangerous floods of water, foam, seaweed and other things that fell in torrents from the ceiling. The games were not always the cleanest, but if you were willing to try and win it was worth it for all the cool prizes and even for some of the punishments. That last one with the Zen masters looked fascinating and I loved how Zen Megan was after her so-called punishment. It didn’t get her to the very end, but she had a great time doing it and seeing things that some of us will never be able to do.

nfns5_melissa_s3x4_al The Next Food Network Star was crowned this week, and I was a tad surprised that it was our slightly harried and hyperactive housewife, Melissa d'Arabian who managed to get it all together and impress some big critics and the Judges to win the big prize. Jeffrey was good, but I felt cheated by his choice of ingredient, and that simple sandwich that he put together.Melissa was way more creative and gave some good advice for the potential audience. I think the marketing people will have some fun with Melissa, and while I wish it was Debbie that was there instead, there is something satisfying about seeing an untrained home cook beat out of some more experienced and creative chefs. This round was better than last season, and if I get the chance, I will check out Ten Dollar Dinners if it plays on Food Network Canada, unfortunately things are not always the same as the American network and I have a hell of a time finding some of the shows. I have not been able to find HGTV’s Design Star (it may play one day here in the Great White North) and have given up for now.

joanrivers Kathy Griffin and her Life on the D List did redeem herself with her Norma Gay episode, and while her attempt is applauded, I am not that into this season and find the disdain of her apparent friends (acquaintances) more pitiful than funny. Things wrap up next week and I am more interested in seeing vicious Kathy hosting the Joan River’s Roast on Comedy Central this Sunday than anything else. It will be scathing evening and worth the potty language. Joan was hilarious this week in the premiere of How’d you get so Rich? and her matter of fact WTF? questions with her quest for average guys and gals who have struck it rich is hilarious. I love how she interacts with the camera and her apparent love of the F word as an expletive for almost anything is very endearing. The stories are astounding at times and Joan is so hilarious in her reactions to how some of these people got so rich. This show is a must see and I can hardly wait until the next episode.