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Everything's a game of numbers...

Today is

I'm Just a Bachelor... - May 10

You're probably wondering where the Numbers Game has been for the last four or so months. To tell you the truth, I don't really know myself. But if I had to condense it all into one statement, it would be this...

Life got in the way.

Those who know what I'm talking about know what I mean, and I'm hoping that you'll understand. And if not... well, I guess that's your problem.

But I'm probably going on. If I'm going to go on, I should probably go on about shomething with a little more substance, like... "The Bachelor"? Did I just say what I thought I just said?

Well, let's just take a look at how the Andy-verse is doing in comparison to Mike Fleiss' previous tome.

Previously, and this is according to Wikipedia, the show averaged just above 10 million. The last time I check, one of Chris Harrison's meat markets earned a 5.9/9. This was last season, mind you.

Fastforward to this season, when we have Andy Baldwin flashing his pecs for anyone who's willing to look at them. Last week, the show was blessed with a 7.4/12. Which would be pretty nice, except for the fact that its lead in just happens to be the number one show of the night and the biggest show not involving Simon Cowell, "Dancing with the Stars", which got a 12.6/20. Just goes to show you the symbiotic power of two shows that skew women and a network willing to try anything to recover from three years of working around "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire".

But more on that in the Weekly Rant (with a guest ranter! Hey, it's sweeps, folks).

Right now, though, something that's been on my mind for a while about "Idol Gives Back"...

Take it back, please.

This charity "event" raised over $65 million at last count for some worthwhile causes. Reaction, though, has been mixed at best and "so what" at worst. And those who watch Idol on a frequest basis know that those are two words that you don't want to hear. Me? I was originally thiking that the special was a pretty cool deal, raiding money for charity and entertaining at the same time. After a while, though, I had to honestly sit back and think for a second... what was the point?

On one hand, there's that age-old axiom: "with great power comes great responsibility." Love it or hate it, American Idol is the most-watched show on the planet, averaging about 26 million for performance shows and 28 million for results. The "Idol Gives Back" special, though, scored 26.93 million... that's two or three votes per person watching, leading to the milking of News Corp., Fox's parent company, for $5 million for charity.

On the other hand, it's American Idol, a show that almost eclipses its own lustre, it's become a victim of its own press. The show, to critics, has long symbolized everything wrong with the TV industry, reality TV in general, and the music industry as a whole. Sure you get to see all of this untouched talent week after week, and this particular week, you also see something that is supposed to tug at your heart strings (and your purse strings). But it's all with the familiar blue oval with the neon Kaufmann typeface, which has become somewhat of a tool used to move product. Ask anyone who's ever bought a karaoke system with the AI logo on it, thinking that Randy was going to say "Dawg, that was hot" at the end of a performance.

Slap the familiar blue oval on it, and people will watch... and vote... and lives will be saved. It's the oldest Pavlovian trick in the book, and we all fell for it, hook, line and singer.

But before you suits at FremantleMedia laud at your attempt at humanity, remember this... Bob Geldof raised 150 million for African famine, almost $300 million in 1985 dollars... in one day.

Thanks, Nickelback.

The Weekly Rant, or musings as a former classmate and his Railhawk brethren prove that Chivas USA is overrated.

I told you there was a guest ranter, and here he is with his take on "The Bachelor" and one suitor in particular who took 22 days from her teaching job to go man-hunting. James Dinan, it is all yours...

---

If you attended the Game Show Congress last summer, you probably had a chance to meet my new wife. 

 

When the Mrs. isn’t joining me on game show-related trips, she’s in the classroom, working as an elementary school teacher.

 

Knowing her the last two years, I have learned about the difficult job teachers face.  From the below-average pay and administrative pressure to going into your own pockets to buy much-needed supplies for the classroom, teachers face challenging tasks every day.  But my wife, like countless other teachers, does it for the kids.  If a child leaves the classroom with a smile on his/her face and a bit of new knowledge in the noggin, she knows she’s done a good job.

 

Then there are teachers like Amber Alchalabi, the fourth-place finisher in "The Bachelor: An Officer and a Gentleman."  Amber is a fourth-grade teacher in Sugar Land, Texas who made a decision that could lead to her school’s principal losing her job.

 

According to Houston media reports, the principal granted Amber 22 days off so she could film "Bachelor".  Because the show asks its contestants not to reveal that they will be on the show, Amber’s students and their parents were allegedly told that Amber’s long absence was due to her taking care of a sick aunt.

 

Houston media also quoted a few concerned parents angry over the principal’s decision to allow "Bachelor" to film inside the school, as well as granting Amber time off during critical state exams.  Let me tell you, if my wife asked for time off during state exams to film a reality show, she would have been fired on the spot.

 

As of now, the principal has hired an attorney and is fighting an earlier decision to resign, after she refused at least one punishment option.  Several parents are coming to her defense, saying one bad decision should not ruin what appears to be a spotless record as an administrator.  I believe punishment is appropriate for the principal, just as it should be with Amber.

 

Amber Alchalabi is 23 years old and, presumably, a first or second-year teacher.  I don’t doubt that she enjoys working with students, but putting her needs, specifically a need that is quite selfish and non-essential, ahead of her student is wrong.  At a time when we’re supposed to look up to teachers and other elders to show us the difference between right and wrong, Amber’s blatant lying to her students and their parents make me question her fitness as a teacher.   

 

All throughout the show, Amber kept telling the American people that she was mature and responsible.  As the husband of a teacher who demonstrates maturity and responsibility in and out of the classroom daily, I seriously beg to differ.

Any rants you might have for Chico Alexander can be addressed to chico@gameshownewsnet.com. Any rants you might have for James Dinan can be addressed to the same place... and I'll make sure he gets them.

 

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