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February 24

In television, there are four periods each year called "Sweeps Months." We
just happen to be in one of them right now. In prime time, this means networks trot out the Dr. Phil specials, and start new series and end old
series, and try to put on the best face possible. At home, you might hear outrageous stories on your local news as they try to get you to watch too.
This column's getting trounced in the 'ratings' by two other columns on this site (of course, we're all friends here at GSNN, but pretend you don't know
that). So, in the spirit of such shameless sweeps month ploys...GSNN hereby presents: "The most SHOCKING InSites EVER."

We begin this week with my usual column-ender. This week's "What You Should Be Watching" is actually a game show. It's "The Enemy Within" on BBC America. Aside from "Jeopardy!", "The Enemy Within" is the only show being taped daily by my DVR. All seven American viewers who saw "Dirty Rotten Cheater" on PAX will recognize the show as being cut from the same stencil, though BBC had it first. It's a great show, and it's almost as fun to hear how the contestants have lied and cheated in the past as it is to view the actual gameplay. However, it seems like it's next to impossible to figure out who the enemy is, and takes more luck than skill.

Again, for viewers of "Dirty Rotten Cheater," the primary difference is that the "Enemy" is only voted on at the end of the game, versus the "Cheater," who was voted on after each round. So check out "The Enemy Within," weekdays and Sundays on BBC America.

Now back to:

The Week That Was...

On "The Apprentice"...
WOOOOOHOOOOOOO! Sorry...but I cheered loudly when Michael was fired a week ago today. It really and truly was about time. For the viewers, it's a great thing that the poor man couldn't keep his mouth shut, when it really wasn't his turn to go. Still, Massage-a-Go-Go? Um...uh...no, no!! The "casting trailer" idea the Street Smarts team came up with was pretty ingenious...and by the looks of their reactions when people were actually being cast, turned out better than they even expected. Thank goodness there was some redemption, for both teams really, after the Dove debacle last week.

Bren & Stephanie are still on the hot seat...and the Book Smarts team is in trouble. If nothing is done tonight to shake the numbers up, and the Book Smarts team loses....they'll be outnumbered by THREE, almost forcing a Trumpal 'reorganization.' With a video game task scheduled for tonight...I have to believe the Book Smarts team will be back in the boardroom, and one of those two will be gone.

On "Survivor"...
How many of you cringed when Wanda Shirk started singing on last week's season premiere? Wanda, who lives about 30 miles from where this columnist was born, definitely has the classic Pennsylvania voice that all my
relatives have. :) What you may not know about Wanda is she has a Master's degree, and has been a foster parent to 25 children and exchange students. According to the St. Mary's Daily Press, she missed most of the fall semester since she had to stay away for the entire time of taping.

Wanda, along with fellow contestant Jonathan Libby, lasted only one night in Pulau. Both were eliminated in a tribe-picking ceremony on Day 2. Jonathan screwed up royally when he was first to jump from the boat when the single tribe arrived on the island. Ironically, had he actually gotten to the beach first, he would still be in the game, and would have picked who would be with him. The mild surprise of the tribe-picking ceremony was Coby choosing Caryn over Angie. Talk about burning bridges...if both Coby and Angie make it to a tribal merge (which we have to assume there will be one), then that could lead to an interesting dynamic.

The stupid move of the week goes to the Koror tribe. Not only did they choose to go to a new, unbuilt camp...but then they lost their tools to make fire when their canoe capsized. Will these moves hurt them and keep them from winning immunity a second time? We'll see tonight.

On "American Idol"...
Here we go. Time for me to be held semi-accountable. These are my actual rankings for the 24 "Idol" finalists, based on their performances this week. Keep in mind that judging is subjective. In particular, I am biased toward rock music and upbeat tunes... and I also do factor in the judges' comments. I'm pretty tough when someone has an extremely obvious flat or sharp note that just sounds painful. And you're more than allowed to disagree with me.

I won't be publishing full ratings this week...but I will post the top three and bottom three from each group. As you'll see, I did pretty well with one of the two kicked off out of each group, and not-so-well with the other:

GUYS
1. Bo Bice: Tremendous performance...probably the best of the night
2. Mario Vazquez: Great way to end the show.
3. Anwar Robinson: Not at all what I expected...in a good way.

...

10. Travis Tucker: Didn't we learn anything from AJ Gil?
11. Anthony Fedorov: Better than this, but didn't wow me this week.
12. Jared Yates Just didn't work for me.

As you can see, I got Jared. I had ranked Judd Harris (who was also eliminated) *sixth*.

GIRLS
1. Carrie Underwood: Forget about "Nashville Star," but could be tougher for Carrie on a theme night.
2. Nadia Turner: Very well done.
3. Jessica Sierra: I just happen to like the song choice; that might've biased me a little.

...

10. Sarah Mather: Agree with the judges' comment that "it was a group song."
11. Amanda Avila: Just didn't work for me.
12. Janay Castine: Looked nervous and in pain the entire performance.

America found it in their hearts to give Janay a second chance. Enough
people probably saw Amanda in the earlier episodes to send her through. I
was only one spot off on Sarah. I had ranked Melinda Lira (who was also
eliminated) *seventh*.

One final note...

Since I normally end with what you should be watching...let me end with what you should be drinking. Us southerners have been graced with being the debut region for Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper. And you know, it's not bad at all. It lacks the aftertaste so many of the new sodas have had lately. Also high on my soda list: Diet Cherry Pepsi. Tastes just like the real thing.

See you next week!

The opinions expressed in InSites are those of the author only, and do not represent the opinions of any other person, organization, or entity.
Jason Elliott can be reached at stormseeker@mchsi.com.

 

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