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20 Shining Moments: Part 3 - December 16

As I mentioned in last week's column, you guys didn't hesitate to e-mail me things that you wanted to see on the list. After sifting through the e-mails, I decided to give a Top 5 of the ones that I agreed within both categories.

Classic Game Shows

5. David Ruprecht pays for his package, Supermarket Sweep. I even remember this episode. In the very early episodes of the show, an overzealous shopper rams his cart into Ruprecht, or should I say, his crown jewels. Crushed Nuts on Aisle 4!

4. Pay off the Hairpiece, Debt. One contestant was so happy that he won, that he ripped off his hairpiece and stomped all over it. We saw the chrome dome in all of it's glory.

3. In the butt, Bob, The Newlywed Game. Where's the strangest place that you've made Whoopie? "In the butt." The line was so classic that people thought it was an urban legend, but it wasn't, and we got to see the footage in a game show special.

2. Alex Trebek, High Rollers, Final Episode. Was he or wasn't he trashed? That's the question as Alex sloshed his way through the final episode.

1. Jim Peck falls down the steps (or: The Big Falldown), The Big Showdown. This moment you never would have expected the host stumbling through the set and landing with a harsh thud. The crash heard 'round the world has made it through the videos everywhere.

Reality Game Shows

5. The Finale, Joe Millionaire. So we know how badly it turned out, but the finale of Joe Millionaire did leave us glues to our television seats. Unfortunately, we would see both Evan Marriott (Fake-a-Date) and Zora (Weight Loss Commercials) again in less than flattering spots, but for those hours that we spent with them in a more innocent time, it was compelling television.

4 (tie). Michael Skupin burns his hands, Survivor / Contestant rushed to the hospital, Dog Eat Dog. Reality took a different twist as we had our first two reality show casualties within months of each other. Survivor's Michael Skupin falls asleep and leans into a fire where he burns himself and has to be airlifted out of the game. On "Dog Eat Dog", a contestant has to be rushed to the hospital when he loses consciousness while trying to hold his breath in a water stunt. Both of these things show us that it's not just a game.

3. Destruction of the Comics, Star Search. John Heffron, the comic talent that won Last Comic Standing 2, went up against Alonzo Bodden in Star Search. The results weren't too good for Heffron then; he got a total of 8, including a 1 from B2K. Bodden won the showdown then, lost the one in Last Comic Standing 2, then regained his edge in Last Comic Standing 3. The feud, however, began it's roots there.

2. Heather and Eve take a Taxi, The Amazing Race. All of us on WLTI got a lot of mileage from this one. Heather and Eve were in first, and then they didn't read the rules and took a cab to get to the Pit Stop. The problem: no cabs allowed. That gives them a 30 minute penalty, which was enough to move them from first to last and eliminate them. What's even better, they were lawyers from a prestigious Ivy League College. Oops.

1. Ruben Vs. Clay, American Idol 2. This has been by far the biggest musical main event in reality TV history. My whole family was glued to the television screen (as was many other families) for the finale, which Reuben won by a little over 100,000 votes. Both musicians became popular in their own genre, but that genre wasn't pop for either of them (Clay went into Adult Contemporary and Ruben went into gospel). In the later Idol series, neither Fantasia (R&B) or Carrie (Country) were pop material either. Will we ever get a pop superstar the likes of Kelly Clarkson? Maybe we will in AI 5? Please?

Thanks again for all of your write-ins. We'll be back with a new column next week.

This is the part of the show where Gordon Pepper sings "One Shining Moment". E-mail him at


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