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
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.
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
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
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
10. Travis Tucker: Didn't we learn anything from AJ Gil?
11. Anthony Fedorov: Better than this, but didn't wow me
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*.
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
America found it in their hearts to give Janay a second
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.