The Reality TV Guru

The Reality TV Guru

Big Brother 13 Premier Recap: The Golden Key

posted by Cahaya

At last, along with the heat of summer, Big Brother 13 begins!

Leading into tonight’s show, eight cast members were profiled, along with six duos identified from past seasons. Three of these duos will arrive at the house with the eight newbies, who will no doubt be surprised by their reappearance. We’re introduced to the first eight as they get their house keys and start packing — clothes, bikini underwear, Bible and all, but no laptops or cellphones which would certainly get confiscated by the BSA (BigBrother Security Administration).

Adam Poch, 39, East Brunswick, N.J. (living in Hoboken, N.J.), Music Inventory Manager
Cassi Colvin, 26, Allen, Texas (living in Nashville, Tenn.), Model
Dominic Briones, 25, San Mateo, Calif., College Student at San Francisco State
Kalia Booker, 30, Philadelphia, Pa. (living in Los Angeles), Writer
Keith Henderson, 32, Bolingbrook, Ill., Human Resources Manager and Church-active
Lawon Exum, 39, Urbana, Ill. (living in Inglewood, Calif.), Legal File Clerk
Porsche Briggs, 23, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (living in Miami Beach, Fla.), VIP Cocktail Waitress
Shelly Moore, 41, Centerville, Ohio (living in Prairieville, La.), Outdoors Industry Executive

The six veteran duos from past seasons are Brendon & Rachel, Hayden & Enzo, Jeff & Jordan, Jessie & Natalie, Dick & Daniele, and Will & Mike. We’ll soon find out which of these three duos become double trouble for the household.

The show starts with our dear, saccharine-sweet dressed-in-red hostess Julie “Chenbot” Chen inviting us to watch a new summer of intrigue, power plays, psychological meltdowns, and evisceration of souls already sold to a broadcasting entity in a 35-page contract duly signed on the dotted line. At the doorstep, she tells them to look around and, as if obeying the edict of a robotic controller, they glance left and right, assessing their future housemates.

It’s all good now, but that’s bound to change. Then Chenbot picks out Porsche, Dominic, Lawon and Shelly as the first group and instructs them to enter the house and choose a bed. Full of excitement, they rush into the house, look around and head upstairs to pick their beds, guys in one room, gals in the other. Then the other four — Cassi, Kalia, Keith, and Adam — rush in to stake out their turf in the midst of laughter, hugging and dancing such as seen only on the first day until the inevitably grim future realities run their courses in the coming days, weeks and months.

In the meantime, they check each other out, with Keith in particular carefully assessing the ladies’ ample assets and potential to join his Angel flock. As they introduce themselves to each other, the first in what will be a long string of false histories and pathological lies emerge as some of them fib even about such a simple thing as what they do for a living. In case you’re wondering, not all matchmakers make matches and not all students study university course subjects.

Then, as they are seated, another order comes from the robot goddess above to pair up. After a few quick moves and leftovers remaining to be stuck together, Shelly & Cassi, Keith & Porsche, Dominic & Adam, and Lawon & Kalia are partners. Watch out, the racy Porsche has met its match with a Keith that moves even faster at the green light. But all of them sense that something is amiss — rather, missing. Shouldn’t there be more hamsters in the cage, with all of those dining room place settings? Lo and behold, the voice from above speaks to answer to their doubts and fears, informing them that three already paired duos will soon arrive to join them. With this news, the eight newbies agree to stick together against the coming forces of evil (little do they know that Evel will indeed soon greet them in person).

Ding dong! Avon calling! Well, not quite. Personal vanity passes through that door, but not vanity products. The first to walk in are Brendon & Rachel from last season and jaws drop as the newbies are in awe. Some of them suddenly begin to realize the very real threat of the new enemy in their midst. And in their midst, the enemy laughs, a heartless ninny laugh that increasingly grates nerves with each repetition. Ding dong! again and Jeff & Jordan stroll in to see eight newbies and the other veteran couple among them. Just as the party gets started, ding dong! for a third time and Evel Dick crosses the threshold with a barely recognizable raven-haired Daniele in tow. Blood drains from the faces of some of the newbies as they realize the formidable situation they have gotten themselves into. Daniele & Evel supposedly haven’t spoken to each other in three years and she says she wouldn’t hesitate to send him packing, but is this another ploy not only to fool their housemates, but even us?

At last, the first Head of Household (HOH) competition begins. Large bananas are hanging on ropes, with both players from a team going on the banana and the last person to stay on is declared the winner. As they hang, they are first hit with chocolate then cream. Weakling Shelly is quickly the first one out, followed by Jordan. One by one, they drop until only Rachel, Dick and Daniele remain. Rachel strikes a deal with Daniele and Dick — if she becomes HOH, she won’t put them on the block if they drop. Dick lets go first and then after Daniele gets Rachel to swear by it, she drops too, leaving the ninnyhammer Rachel as the HOH victor. Rachel says outright that there is no way anybody is going to make her let go of her hanging banana. (Ahem! Kinda clingy, eh?)

Finally, the Chenbot turns the screws once more and introduces another twist: “Being nominated this summer will be both a blessing and a curse! As in the past, one house guest will be evicted, but a huge advantage awaits the house guest that survives the chopping block. It’s called the Big Brother Golden Key. The Golden Key guarantees a spot in the top 10. Anyone who survives in the first four weeks cannot be nominated till only 10 of you remain. And because the holder of the Golden Key cannot be evicted, they will not participate in any competitions during that time. However, they will vote for eviction.” Whoops, there goes at least half a dozen preplanned strategies. As the wizened sages of old oft said, not all golden keys lead to riches.

Is the Golden Key more a blessing or a curse? And for who?

Meanwhile, it’s time to pop another Endomol.

Love in the Wild Episode 2 Recap: Body Language

posted by Cahaya

NBC, Wednesdays 10:00 EST

The first impression is that this show is not in the wild at all! Set in La Fortuna, Costa Rica, it looks more like what you’d find at some $250/night tropical resorts that are well beyond the means of local residents, with modern accommodations and even a large jacuzzi to party around in. No, it’s more surviving the clash of not-so-wild personalities than it is surviving the wild elements.

This show is already driving me batty. The first major “challenge” (if you want to call it that) is to walk through a bridged enclosure where there are bats flocked on the ceiling. After a leisurely stroll on a well-developed canopy walk (way up there), a wooden plank bridge with quite a few planks missing is next. It’s obvious that it’s set up by the production crew. None of the planks look worn or rotten, just either dangling or tied too loosely to withstand much weight. The first guy drops on one plank in the middle, but of course he is saved by the safety rope used along the handrope on either side. Eventually after a bit of traffic with fallen planks, the bridge has about a 6′ hole in the middle which is still fairly easily traversed by using the feet on the plank supporting ropes. Still, it’s not a task for acrophobes.

Some earlier lines after they are paired off with new partners:
“There’s only one bed.” Read: “We’re sleeping together, but we’re not sleeping together.”
“Leaves fall…” (by a soporific guy quaffing what appears to be a longneck Bud, probably not his first. Leaves. Fall. Portent.)

There’s about as much suspense in the editing of the foot race between the last two teams to reach the finish line as there is in watching people race for the shortest line at a local tourist souvenir shop. The last place guy tosses his pack toward the line, thinking that if it crossed first, it might count. With bad camerawork and no music, it looked more like a home video. With still too many personalities to track very closely and like or dislike, it’s like, well, ok, that team finished last, now what?

More lines:
“I annoy you and you annoy me.” Right. Let’s just be honest about it. You’re annoying. And we later find out that you’d rather sleep outside with a bottle of wine for a self-indulgent nightcap.
“I don’t deserve to be alone. *sniffle*” Oh, dear. And she’s expecting to find the love of her life here?
“But, I… I – I, I…” There’s about a 100:1 ratio of “I”s to “we”s in the conversations. How telling. (Telling indeed, as this guy ends up going home.)

Copious amounts of alcohol. Wine with dinner, wine or beer in the jacuzzi, wine with breakfast and lunch. And it isn’t working. Plenty of loose tongues, but No. Action. At. All.

The couple choosing ceremony is rather lengthy, but there’s a massive wealth of body language going on here. The first few couples split up. It’s gals’ choice night, so when a gal decides to split and ask another guy, they all say yes. The look on the gal’s face who had her guy taken away says it all – either she’s happy he’s gone or her jealousy rises and her confidence level goes way down as she fears elimination. One gal wanted to stick with her guy, but the guy wanted to take another gal, but the other gal refused him, putting him in the “match area”. Oops. Turns out he ends up being the only one there and out he goes for good.

In summary, it’s hardly Love in the Wild. We’re not seeing the love, although it looks like it might bud for the two or three couples who stuck together, and it’s neither wild nor in the wild. This show could be staged just about anywhere and it wouldn’t affect the content or outcome at all. It’s all about them (or “me”, as the case may be). Will this show even survive the summer?

What’s on this summer?

posted by Cahaya

It’s a hot summer for reality TV with several brand new shows, including Love in the Wild, Expedition Impossible, Same Name, Take the Money and Run, and Karaoke Battle USA. Also, some old favorites like Big Brother and Hell’s Kitchen start new seasons.

Here are the summer schedules for all of the Reality TV shows on the Big Four networks. The first schedule lists the premiere dates of all of the shows so that you won’t miss the first episode. The second schedule is a weekly listing so that you can be sure what show is on which day and time of the week. Enjoy your summer viewing!

Premier Dates
Premier Show Network Day Time
5/23 The Bachelorette ABC Monday 8:00
5/26 So You Think You Can Dance FOX Wednesday 8:00
Thursday 8:00
5/30 Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition ABC Monday 10:00
5/31 America’s Got Talent NBC Tuesday 9:00
Wednesday 9:00
6/1 Minute to Win It NBC Wednesday 8:00
6/6 MasterChef 2 FOX Monday 8:00
Tuesday 9:00
6/21 Wipeout ABC Tuesday 8:00
Thursday 8:00
6/21 101 Ways to Leave a Game Show ABC Tuesday 9:00
6/23 Expedition: Impossible ABC Thursday 9:00
6/26 The Marriage Ref NBC Sunday 10:00
6/29 Love in the Wild NBC Wednesday 10:00
7/7 Big Brother 13 CBS Sunday 8:00
Wednesday 8:00
Thursday 9:00
7/19 Hell’s Kitchen 9 FOX Tuesday 9:00
7/24 Same Name CBS Sunday 9:00
8/2 Take the Money and Run ABC Tuesday 9:00
8/8 Bachelor Pad 2 ABC Monday 8:00
8/12 Karaoke Battle USA ABC Friday 9:00

Weekly Viewing Schedule
Premier Show Network Day Time
5/23 The Bachelorette ABC Monday 8:00
6/6 MasterChef 2 FOX Monday 8:00
8/8 Bachelor Pad 2 ABC Monday 8:00
5/30 Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition ABC Monday 10:00
8/8 Karaoke Battle USA ABC Friday 9:00
6/21 Wipeout ABC Tuesday 8:00
5/31 America’s Got Talent NBC Tuesday 8:00
6/6 MasterChef 2 FOX Tuesday 9:00
6/21 101 Ways to Leave a Game Show ABC Tuesday 9:00
7/19 Hell’s Kitchen 9 FOX Tuesday 9:00
8/2 Take the Money and Run ABC Tuesday 9:00
5/26 So You Think You Can Dance FOX Wednesday 8:00
6/1 Minute to Win It NBC Wednesday 8:00
7/7 Big Brother 13 CBS Wednesday 8:00
5/31 America’s Got Talent NBC Wednesday 9:00
6/29 Love in the Wild NBC Wednesday 10:00
5/26 So You Think You Can Dance FOX Thursday 8:00
6/21 Wipeout ABC Thursday 8:00
6/23 Expedition: Impossible ABC Thursday 9:00
7/7 Big Brother 13 CBS Thursday 9:00
7/7 Big Brother 13 CBS Sunday 8:00
7/24 Same Name CBS Sunday 9:00
6/26 The Marriage Ref NBC Sunday 10:00


Note* Karaoke Battle USA has been changed from Monday 10:00 to Friday 9:00.

Welcome!

posted by Cahaya

Welcome to Beliefnet‘s Reality TV Guru blog! Grab a cushion and have a seat as we meditate on the ponderous world of reality TV.

This is a venue where people allow us Reality TV disciples to watch and listen to them as they go through their journeys of self-realization — or not! Some will understand the wisdom of knowing what they do not know as they probe the mysteries of the people and challenges of the environment around them; others will return home in greater confusion and ignominy than the day they first appeared upon the screen.

As your host in this temple of Reality TV, I will share with you the latest news, episode reviews and ratings, live show blogs, interviews of people on the screen and behind the scenes, polls for you to participate in, and much more to enrich your wisdom and knowledge of reality television. And we will ask questions, like “how does this person’s faith and belief correspond to how they portray themselves on the screen?” Questions, always questions.

And with this, I ask you for your comments, what would you like to see in this blog?

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