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When Winners Lose and Losers Win
May 19

Also available as a podcast. Click to listen!

How do you win by losing? Let's start by recapping the finale of Celebrity Apprentice 2, where Joan Rivers defeated Annie Duke. For winning, Joan Rivers gets a $250,000 donation to God's Love We Deliver. This is an excellent charity which delivers meals to homebound HIV/AIDS patients as well as other illnesses. But the question is...did Donald Trump make the right decision?

In the final challenge, both finalists had to choose former cast members to assist in creating a VIP party/experience for their charities with the Kodak Digital Frame as the centerpiece. The finalists were graded on many categories including brand marketing, celebrity attendance, guest experience and money raised. Out of the 5 categories that the Kodak executives judged, Joan won 3 and Annie won 2.

But in my opinion, Trump made the wrong choice. Let's put the cards on the table, shall we? Annie Duke raised more money overall, played the game with more honesty than Joan did, and did the exact same things that Piers Morgan did in Season 1. Joan Rivers called poker players "mafia members" called Annie "worse than Hitler" and apologized by saying "I didn't want to insult "Hitler". Annie Duke was absolutely spot on by saying that a lot of the language that Joan used would have been legally actionable in a real corporate environment.

So why did Trump do what he did? If you look at the battle from last year, Trace Adkins played the "good guy" role, but he wasn't as effective as the "bad guy" Piers Morgan. And he wasn't as popular in the world of pop culture. And Piers was incredibly effective. This year, we had Joan Rivers who, for better or worse, is a pop culture icon. Annie Duke is "just" a poker player. So we had a 75 year old woman who "tried" beating a poker player who succeeded. In the end, the only reason why Annie Duke lost was she wasn't as likable as a woman who makes her life and trade in being an abrasive comedienne.

This season was not as good as Season 1 and that is because of one person...Donald Trump. While the show content was just as good as season 1, the decisions that were made by Mr. Trump did not make any logical sense. From the hypocritical firing of Khloe Kardashian, to making Joan the winner, this season had me scratching my head more than cheering. Joan went down a few steps in my eyes...because she didn't win this. No matter what Donald Trump said.

The Season Finale of the Amazing Race was a lot more satisfying, even if the favorites Margie and Luke didn't win. Tammy and Victor Jih, the brother/sister team completed the race first. They crossed the finish line at the King Kamehameha Golf Club in Hawaii and won the $1M cash prize.

But it wasn't looking that way as Margie and Luke were blowing through the challenges which included preparing a pig for a luau and finding a clue underwater after riding out to buoys on a wave runner. But what did Margie and Luke in was the end of race memory challenge.

The teams had to find 11 surfboards with pictures of events relating to their journey. Luke was the person chosen to complete the task and found 10 of 11 of them, but got frustrated and went on Amazing Race meltdown. This was similar behavior to the Russian bobsled run where he got frustrated trying to spell the word CHEKHOV. It didn't cost him then, but it did here.

All teams caught up and passed them. In an unexpected bit of kindness, Jaime and Cara helped Luke finish the challenge after he helped them. They both had one surfboard missing.'s a million dollars. I would have left Margie and Luke in the dust. Because you NEVER know what would have happened. Tammy and Victor could have been delayed in some manner.

I congratulate Tammy and Victor for winning and they did come back from an amazing communication meltdown in Romania. But Margie and Luke, even though they lost, were one of the best reality competition teams EVER. Luke Donald is a beast. He was incredible. He didn't let his deafness stop him. And I think that other reality competition shows should take note. This shouldn't be the first or the last time someone like Luke appears on our TV screens.

This was another excellent season of the Amazing Race. Come September, watch for the 7th Emmy to come to the crew of this show.

Other people who will be losing are "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire" contestants who wanted to audition by phone. The show is starting auditions May 18th for Season 8 of the syndicated version, BUT producers can choose you for the 10th Anniversary editions at the show's discretion.

This is a MASSIVE, HUGE mistake on the part of ABC/Embassy Row/Millionaire. The biggest part of the "event" programming was the idea that you could qualify by phone, fly in the next day, and win money.

I do not mind having auditions for the syndicated version. But having it for the 10th Anniversary 11 episode run is simply a short sighted decision. And it's pretty dumb too.

We have our final two on American Idol as Adam Lambert competes against Kris Allen. Danny Gokey was eliminated in a very close competition as we had judges choice as well as personal choice. Each of the three went home, but it was Kris's country rock spin of Heartless by Kanye West which helped his cause. Danny's blue eyed soul just skewed a bit older and his performances were just not that good.

So, who wins American Idol next week? Adam Lambert goes into the show the heavy favorite. And I really can't bet against him. The "is he or isn't he question" about his sexuality will not mean a darn thing. He is more talented, charismatic and fits the overall package better than most American Idol finalists. Barring a major foul up this coming week, the crown will be placed on Adam's head this coming Wednesday.

Another group of losers will be game show fans as we have a game show animal rights smackdown. According to Carrie Grosvenor of, Bob Barker who is scheduled to get a lifetime achievement award at the 2009 GSN Game Show Awards has threatened not to show up on the May 16th taping if his "sworn enemy" Betty White shows up. The reason: Barker's attempt to have an elephant named Billy relocated from the Los Angeles Zoo to a sanctuary in San Andreas, California. Betty White, on the other hand, fought to have Billy's current location expanded and improved, which is what was ultimately arranged for the elephant. Although the original source of the story was the National Enquirer, it looks like Barker got his way. Because as of Tuesday, White is pre-taping her tribute to another recipient Mark Goodson.

As a game show fan, this saddens me. You have two people who are both celebrity icons in the animal rights community. Why can't Barker and his legendary ego hold it in check for one taping? This is the side of Bob Barker that has been whispered about, but is now coming out in the open. The side where Barker's narcissism rolls over everyone in his path. And it now it rolls over Betty White? Bad form, Mr. Barker...bad form.

Block Party Quick Hits Time:

--Cash Cab, currently airing it's 5th Season on Discovery gets deals for 7 countries including Season 6 here in the US.

--Disney Channel UK is preparing a "Hannah-Oke" karaoke game show for its channel.

--Want to see "American Gladiators: The Movie?" Well, the live action movie is in pre-production with "300" producer Scott Mesnick.

--Two new episodes of Million Dollar Password will air May 31 or June 14 on CBS. June 7th is the Tony Awards.

--Will the next Apprentice be Celebrity Apprentice 3 or as per a article a "recession" version with Trump wanting to put America back to work? We shall see when the upfronts are released.

--Pat Sajak Games releases a TV Guide version of "Lucky Letters".

--Anne Robinson of "Weakest Link" returns to her consumer affairs roots on Watchdog on BBC1.

--Phil Keoghan's MS Ride costs him $100,000 of his own cash...but he visited 42 days in 39 cities.

--Wipeout brings the big balls on the road in a tour going on Now to June 14. See for cities.

--World Poker Tour sponsors with PokerStars for Season VII of the WPT.

--Fashion House debuts on Bravo.

--Jillian Harris now has 30 men to compete for her affections on the "Bachelorette".

--Embassy Row teams with Odyssey Network for a Bible Quiz.

--Gilles Marini, Shawn Johnson and Melissa Rycroft are your Dancing with the Stars final three as Ty Murray is eliminated this week.

--20 Q starting taping this weekend for GSN as Cat Deeley is named host. And the world says huh?

Jason Block wants to put America back to work... watching game shows and e-mailing him about them. That's