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In Like a Lion
March 4

Also available as a podcast. Click to listen!

This is the "In Like a Lion" edition of the Block Party for the week of March 3, 2008. I thank all my new listeners who have found me through the Itunes Feed, the link at the upper left or the webpage at As always, I thank you for reading the column as well. We begin this week's show with the first Drew Carey edition of the Price is Right in Primetime. Before that, I watched the daytime version of the show on President's Day Monday to see how far Mr. Carey has progressed. Drew has really come into his own on the show, and I believe the show is in really capable hands. He seems a lot more relaxed and seems to bring his own twists to the show lik , "Oh Mighty Sound Effects Lady", "Alakazam" for a price reveal and "Ezekiel Barker" references to Barker's Bargain Bar.

But the primetime show did a lot for me.

First...if you noticed the show was shot and broadcast for the first time in HD hence, the black floor. (It was always shot, but never shown that way.) We also had confetti guns. I was expecting pyro since Drew Carey has made an appearance in the WWE. But I digress. Secondly we had two shots to give away one million dollars. The first way was the Million Dollar Game of "One Away". To explain the game for those who have never seen it-a car (in this case a loaded Ford Explorer) was shown. Then a price was revealed in which each number was "One Away" from the right price. The first number was 3, and could be 4 or 2...and so on down the line. If the contestant moved all the five numbers the right way, and got the price right on the button the first time...he could have gotten the cash. He didn't. This was a good choice, because it has been done, but it isn't so easy.

Then the second million dollars was given away as Adam Rose came within $880 of his showcase to win $1,153,908 in cash, prizes and both showcases. Now, some people might say that Price and CBS was giving too much leeway to win the million and instead of $250 (which is the daytime limit) it should have been $500, instead of the $1,000 rule they now instituted. They also might say that this win should have an asterisk next to it (like we do it on WLTI for Deal or No Deal) because it wasn't legitimate.

Here's the way I see it. The Deal or No Deal Million Dollar Mission gives a truly unfair advantage to people who play the game, going as far as to put 13 $1,000,000 cases on the board...or earlier on in the run, when a stunt put the largest case as high as $6,000,000. That changes the game so much that it makes it different and the contestants are playing it with performance enhancing suitcases, hence the asterisk. To me getting within $1,000, especially with a Cadillac XLR in the showcase, is a pretty hard thing to do. So to me, Adam did it fair and square and won the million and should be commended for it. Although the promo monkeys at CBS ruined it for people who saw the preview ad (which is a trend that all the networks have been doing...and please stop it), I didn't and was pleasantly shocked. This was truly fun stuff to see, and I had a blast watching. And I will be doing so for the next 5 Fridays to come.

Something I won't be watching is "Amnesia", another bad show in a streak of bad shows from Mark Burnett. Dennis Miller, the only good thing in this train wreck, hosts this show in which a contestant is quizzed about the details of his life and if he remembers he can win up to $250,000. Now, this show has the exact same problem as a show which was launched in August of 2005, called My Kind of Town...200 people from the same town were brought in to NY to win prizes based on their knowledge of the townsfolk. Michael Davies was the executive producer.
The problem is that if you aren't in the joke...why should we care? It was boring to watch and I didn't give a rat's rear end about the guy who was there. That doesn't mean his life wasn't interesting, but the execution was painfully boring. The show should be called "Insomnia", because it cures it...real fast.

Karma can be a...well, you know what Karma can be. And this time Karma decided to pay Adam Kasinski a visit. He was the guy on Big Brother 9 we talked about on last week's program who called autistic children "retards". Well, on the United Autism Foundation's webpage this was said: "Mr. Jasinski will no longer work for or represent the United Autism Foundation since he caused tremendous damage to UNIAF". 

A big round of applause to UNIAF. Last Week, Lowe's pulled out of advertising the show because of the comment. It is good to see that companies and organizations are finally taking some responsibility for the stuff that comes out of people's mouths.

And the final beauty of it is that he does not know it yet. The concept of Big Brother 9 is that you are cut off from the outside world. I don't know what his reaction will be, but I know what mine is right now...pure unadulterated glee.

You all know my feelings about "The Moment of Truth". I think it is basically Jerry Springer: The Game Show. And on Monday's night episode that vision came to life in a big way.

Lauren Cleri, 26, was the most recent contestant on the show and basically went on there and admitted to cheating on her husband. She also admitted (after being asked a question by her ex-boyfriend) that she would be rather married to him than her NYC Police Officer husband Frank, 24.

She lost $100,000 however when she was caught lying about whether she considers herself a good person. She said yes...the detector said false.

In an interview with the NY Post on Wednesday (with her husband!) she had planned to share the money with her husband. Her husband said that, "We had our issues. Unfortunately, now they're not our problems. Everyone knows about it.

Howard Schultz, Executive Producer of the show, claimed "she wanted out of the marriage...and she wanted to tell the truth."

It had everything Springer is known for: a faux-apologetic host in Walberg, illicit confessions and a "final thought" like addendum to the show at the end.

Even with all that being said, I understand why this show has it moments. The fact that this woman was SO shameless and willing to air her dirty laundry on national TV was compelling. I feel sorry for both of them, since the marriage is up in smoke and there was no cash. But this particular episode shows why "The Moment of Truth" works in it's own weird, sick, twisted way. You want to turn away from the train wreck, but you just can't.

Now that the Million Dollar Mission is over (for now) and the asterisks are being put away, Deal or No Deal is pulling a stunt that I am looking forward to.

For May Sweeps, Deal or No Deal is going global. They are taking US Contestants and playing by the rules of and playing on the sets of South Africa, the Philippines and others.

Brilliant, brilliant, Brilliant move. When I was in Spain, I got to see the Spanish and Italian versions of Deal or No Deal and they were great (although you can't really play them as they involve 22 contestants as verse to the US version), but I would like to see that version of it as they do it in the UK.

Maybe we can get Noel Edmonds (the host of the UK version) to do it here in a host switch. Anything to keep it fresh. Although the producers did say they would be bringing back the Million Dollar Mission...time to bring back the asterisks again.

A couple of random newsbits for you:

* Nice to see Miley's dad has a new gig. In a great casting move, Billy Ray Cyrus is the new host of Nashville Star. You think Billy will sing at least once during the show? Or more importantly, will we see a certain hugely successful multi-platinum Disney artist on an NBC network? I think they might just work that out for Ms. Montana.

* Bob Barker's influence came through this week as the Animal Rights Activist was in attendance as the mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villagrosa signed into law a tough spay/neutering law. Most animals will have to be spayed/neutered by 4 months old.

"The next time that you hear me say, 'Help control the pet population, have your pet spayed or neutered,' I can add, 'It's the law in Los Angeles,"' a jubilant Barker said.

Great Job, Mr. B. Keep on, keeping on.

In American Idol, week 2 brought us down to 16 as we had Jason Yeager, Robbie Carrico, Alexandrea Lushington,and Alaina Whitaker eliminated this week.

On the guys side, we had Michael Johns drop down a notch, and David Archuleta absolutely blowing me and the audience away with his version of "Imagine" by John Lennon. Chikezie brought himself back with a great Donny Hathaway performance, but David Cook didn't learn his lesson as he was the guy this week to try to tangle with Simon.

On the girls side, we had very very bad song choices as the 1970's really wasn't very good to the girls. Right now, the girls need to come back in a big way next week.

The big breaking news is that the people who controls the Beatles' John Lennon-Paul McCartney composed hits have given Idol the go-ahead to let its contestants have their way with them. In fact, the top 12 gets their shot March 11 on a brand new set.

The scoop was served up Wednesday on Idol host Ryan Seacrest's morning radio show in Los Angeles.

"It's something we've waited for for seven years now," Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe told Seacrest. "Sony has agreed to release the Lennon and McCartney songbook to us."

This is HUGE. I can't wait to see the interpretations of their songs. Could this be the first time we see Paul McCartney as a mentor?

Finally, the producers announced this week that they are going to try and freshen up the audition process after a ratings slide this year. Even though the ratings were high, they were down year to year.

Here's a suggestion. There are always a few top 24 candidates when we see the infamous long walk that we have never seen before that walk. The producers need to try and focus on more packages on people they know are going to be in the top 24. We need to see them and get to know them because there is a disadvantage come voting time.

Here's another one...and this one I don't think they will listen to. You have to stay away from the crazy. I know, I know. I am the lone voice in the wilderness on this one. But I believe if you do that and we don't see people who are either a) not eligible or b) not good enough or c) just plain crazy we can showcase more of the people we are going to see later on. I understand that's the beauty of the first third of the show...but it is getting old.

That's all for this time...this is Jason Block saying, don't just play to win.

Jason Block would love to be in the audience for another Million Dollar Spectacular. E-mail him tickets at

Jason Block loves it when people talk both sides out of their ass. E-mail him at