In Like a Lion
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 www.blockpartypodcast.com 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
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
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
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
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 well...like 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
* 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
fair...play to win.
Jason Block would love to
be in the audience for another Million Dollar Spectacular. E-mail him
tickets at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Block loves it when people talk both sides out of their
ass. E-mail him at