Dog Eat Dog Recap for 6/24/03 Riders of the Storm
Welcome back my friends and buckle up your seatbelts, we’re in for a wild ride. Oh, not the show mind you, that’s pretty much the same. But this recap will be full of high drama, suspense, and images of destruction and serious bodily injury. What’s going on? Is it just like when Jeff Probst announced during Survivor: Thailand that there would be hand on hand combat between the tribes and Robb tried to strangle puny little Clay, which would have been ok but he was outside of the fight zone. No, last night my local NBC affiliates coverage of this episode was peppered with interruptions with the KARE 11 Storm Tracker Team’s coverage of local serious weather conditions. The specially trained (by KARE 11, undoubtedly at the TV station university) Sky Warn Observers had spotted some rotation in a Hook Echo formation, so rather than the contestant introductions, I’m watching local weather geek Ken Barlow standing in front of a blown-up map of Southeastern Minnesota and Western Central Wisconsin, which is largely red in color, with patches of contrasting yellow and green. It’s very pretty. I wish I had a vid-cap to show you. I also wish I was able to show you this picture of Ken Barlow, local NBC weather prima dona, who must have come in early to cover this storm because he isn’t wearing his contact lenses and looks rather rumpled. Ken usually covers the 10 pm news here, and Dog Eat Dog airs at 7 (gotta love Central Time Zone), so Ken probably sped across town, not unlike those weather geeks in Twister, but unlike Helen Hunt and company his goal wasn’t to see a tornado, it was to get his face on primetime TV. We have lots of spiffy storm graphic to help convey the urgency of this coverage.
It’s now eight minutes into my VCR tape, and we haven’t seen a single second of Dog Eat Dog yet. But, we do have another KARE 11 meteorologist, Belinda Jensen calling in from her car to talk about the clouds in Maple Grove, as she’s on County Road 9 and there is heavy rain with some hail. Ooooh, too bad her car isn’t getting pelted right now, as that makes for a great phone interview on live Storm Tracker Team Coverage when it sounds like her car is being stoned by a bunch of angry contemporaries of Jesus.
Oh, wait, now we have Don Moldenhauer, a “backroom” weather geek who doesn’t have a last name or face for TV, but he has something Ken Barlow doesn’t have right now, information about a WALL CLOUD, woo hoo! Ken is jealous that after years of silently watching the radar screens and writing copy for Ken, Don is finally getting a minute of primetime airtime. Ken interrupts Don mid-sentence, saying Don is using the wrong microphone and to grab the portable mike, then Ken repeats exactly what Don just said and stomped all over it.
The Wall Cloud is heading North towards the Twin Cities as we speak. Well, not right now, as this is all on tape. I was out driving around town when this was actually occurring, and didn’t think it was any big deal, and neither did the radio stations I was listening to, as they didn’t feel the need to interrupt programming to tell me about the shapes of the clouds. As an update, we are now 15 minutes into the Dog Eat Dog timeslot and have yet to see any glimpse of the show.
Wait, Rondah Kinchlow is calling in, as she’s driving home from doing the early evening news show. Mind you, she’s the 6:00 evening news team anchor, not the weather person and not an official member of the Storm Track 11 Team, so her impressions of the clouds on her commute home are probably about as scientific as when my daughter tells me that a cloud looks like an elephant. I want to pat Rondah on the head and tell her, that’s nice dear, but I digress, this is serious business, as the map has now changed almost entirely to green or blue, the tornado warning for the Twin Cities vicinity has expired, and now they are clearly just talking to annoy me. Those bastards.
At this point though, not even primetime TV coverage media whore Ken Barlow can convince the local affiliate that the current weather situation warrants an entire hour of watching him talk, so we finally get a quick glimpse of Dog Eat Dog. It appears that big, beefy guy Frank with curly dark hair was able to ferret the “real” female from a panel of female impersonators and sent somebody else to the Dog Pound, seconds before the switchover. I hope that our vidcapper was able to get a shot of this challenge, as I saw just a glimpse of a large transvestite doing a cartwheel on the way to commercial.
Brook is wearing a You Tarzan, Me Jane style one strapped dress, in all black, of course, with high heeled boots and, perhaps a parting gift from last week’s winner, Sik-End, a black leather collar around her neck. I kid you not, it doesn’t have the 4 inch spikes like the one Brooke modeled last week, but this 2 inch wide strap of leather around Brooke’s neck is a collar complete with the belt-buckle front and center. All it is missing is dog tags. Yes, Brooke is bondage-girl once again, and is sporting the collar to prove it. The dress is not only off one shoulder, it’s practically showing nipple on one side. Brooke tells us about the next challenge and that it involves hanging onto handles while being pulled through the air over the pool, and that it’s about to start raining.
Oh great, like we don’t have enough rain here, as Flash Flooding warning are scrolling across the bottom of my screen. Hold on a minute while I run outside to bring in my plastic lawn chairs so they don’t become projectiles that come flying through my windows with the 70 mile per hour winds whipping through town.
I have no idea who the contestants all were at first and never really will figure out the two who are already in the Dog Pound. Who is left at this point? I’ll try to grab descriptions of the players while they are voting on who needs to do the next challenge:
Monica, a young lady with zig-zaggy parted hair, in Pippi Longstocking braids, wearing a white sports bra under a grey stripped halter top. She’s obviously wearing too much clothing for this show. Bah. Also, she has a rather pointy face.
Jennifer, who is leaned over the podium to write down her selection. She must be tall as she needs to lean over at almost a 90 degree angle from the rest of her body to write down the next name. All I can see is boobs wrestling around under her tight black sports bra. She has Susan Powter-esque spikey short blonde hair, which is unusual, as most of the female contestants on this show have long hair, but what Jennifer lacks in locks she makes up for in breasts, so she’s a go.
Next up is Ryan, a guy in a sleeveless t-shirt that reads “5 – 4 = 1” which, while accurate mathematically, demonstrates his need to remind himself of the basics by writing it on his shirt. Has anyone else seen the movie Memento, with the protagonist who tattooed all important information on his body. This guy has dark, curly hair and a nice tan. Is this the same guy who won the last challenge? I don’t think so, as I wrote down that his name was Frank, but Ryan could be his cousin.
Then we see Frank, the guy who won the last challenge, dark curly hair and a light blue t-shirt. Ewh, he has a wispy goatee. Regular readers of this recap know that I’m not a big fan of facial hair. How could I have missed that? Distracted by the cartwheeling trannies, I guess.
Lift Off – this challenge involves hanging onto handles while getting pulled through the air and trying to grab flags while being suspended over the pool. I don’t think that Brooke’s dress would withstand the waterlogged torque involved in this challenge. There is a tie in the voting between Monica and Ryan, with the women sticking together to vote for Ryan and the men picking on Monica. Most recent Dog Pound member, some guy whose name I never got because Frank just sent him packing for the Pound, doesn’t care for Ryan’s cocky trash talking and picks Ryan. The NBC executives hit the “shock” button and give the Dog Pound bench a jolt to punish this dolt for picking a man to do a water sport. You EEEEDIOT, we want girls in bikinis, not some doofusy guy stripping down to his rather long blue floral print swim trunks. Mind you, I don’t mind, as Ryan has a nice physique. Have I mentioned that something new this season is that the contestants are all wearing the swim suits under their street clothes and stripping down for water challenges right on stage? Yeah, they’re not hoping for any fumbling fingers with that ploy. Woo hoo, take it off Ryan. I’m wondering if he really is that guy from Memento, though, as he appears to have his grocery list written out in small characters tattooed across his lower back. I can’t stop thinking “how low will this writing go” down Ryan’s backside, and with this challenge, we just may find out. He hangs on and grabs one flag, and oh look, I can see another tattoo in his armpit. Maybe that his reminder to apply deodorant before leaving the house. He’s smoking through this challenge and should easily be able to complete this in the allotted time. With his last flag he has an entire minute left, decides to be a smart ass and try to grab it with his feet. He misses and falls. He has enough time to get back up and try one more time, but falls again. I’m laughing out loud.
Time to trot out the cliques. Ryan says “words cannot express my anger at this moment” and Brooke adds, “pride goes before the fall. Ryan, you’re off to the Dog Pound.”
Raise the Buoys -- Release locked buoys from the floor of the tank. Note, this will involve swimsuits. So, both of the women left in the competition pick Frank. Yeah, goody, we get to see Frank, who claims his experience in the water as “I’ve taken baths.” Ok, I like Frank. He already won his first challenge, and despite his poor choice of facial hair, he seems like a likable guy. He and Ryan must have gone swimsuit shopping together on their way to the show, as he seems to have the same blue floral print swim trunks. His curly hair flattens out in the pool and he’s looking like a drowned rodent, but he is rocking the challenge and buoys are flying out of the water. Monica and Jennifer are huddled together, horrified that Frank will beat this challenge as well. Frank wins this challenge and sends Monica to the Dog Pound, with just a little bit of attitude, as this was not a tough choice for Frank between the two ladies. Hmmm, I must have missed something, so someone who saw the first, um 20 minutes of this show, please fill me in.
Head to Head -- Frank and Jennifer will now face off to be Top Dog. Jennifer is “terrified” to be going against Frank, who just won two challenges, maybe even three, as I totally missed the first challenge thanks to our friends in the Weather Center. It’s one of my favorites, trivia in the pool. The answers to a number of trivia questions, and a number of “red herring” tiles, are each on the bottom of the pool. Both contestants need to swim to the bottom, find the right tile, and bring it to the surface. This is the challenge that resulted in the near drowning of a contestant last season. Jennifer is now in a fetching blue bikini, also a floral pattern, which is apparently the swimsuit theme of the day. Frank does some rather aggressive trash talking when Jennifer wishes him good luck. Well, she’s done nothing to make it to the finals, and Frank has won at least two challenges, but simmer down there, big guy. Frank was just a second sooner in answering that Ohio is the Buckeye State. The Roman Numeral for Nine? Jennifer has the IX tile first. Brooke strategically avoids having to say the name of the numeral IX, and just says Jennifer’s answer is “correct.” Frank gets the tile for the band “98 Degrees” after naming the bands’ members. Hmmm, ok. I had no idea who any of those people were, but Frank is up on Boy Bands. Frank also knows that June has 30 days, and is the Top Dog.
Now that Frank is securely Top Dog, he gives Jennifer props about a job well done and a high five. He’s won 3 challenges now and we’re headed to the trivia contest for the $25,000 prize money.
NO WAY! Weather Geek Ken Barlow is back, and now with a tornado watch for Khandyohi County, a funnel cloud on the ground headed towards Atwater. I’ve lived here a decade and have no idea where they are talking about. More babbling about funnel clouds, one has touched down in Buffalo Lake. There actually was quite a bit of damage in Buffalo Lake, as I saw on the 10:00 news, the church building was completely destroyed, so I’m not trying to be insensitive, but I’m from a rural area. People in rural areas are not counting on the Twin Cities news stations to tell them about storms in their counties. They are in their basements with the storm radios on because the tornado sirens are blaring in their towns. When I was in a tornado as a kid we lived too far from town to even hear the siren, but knew it was a tornado when the sky turned green, the wind went sideways, and 100 year old oak trees started slamming around the yard. Yup, I wasn’t watching TV at that point. Not to dismiss the importance of storm coverage, but ok already, I’m watching a show.
Will I ever find out who won? Does cocky yet likable Frank take the prize money? Can the Dog Pound answer enough questions to steal his prize money?
We miss the first questions, and Frank has two points. Frank looks poised to run the table.
Frank picks Yvonne (the first member of the Dog Pound, apparently) to answer a question about Books. Frank says that he picks Yvonne because she’s from Puerto Rico because she may be more familiar with other books that folks who were raised in the United States. Well, the book in question is The Bible, and apparently even in Puerto Rico they are familiar with the story of Sampson and Delilah. I think that the Bible has just fallen to number 3 in the list of most books ever sold, with Hillary Clintons tell-all and the latest Harry Potter book both edging it out last weekend.
Next category is Politics. Jennifer or the guy whose name I’ve never caught are the only contestants left. Jennifer nods her head indicating that she’s got political savvy. “What former US Speaker of the House was the architect of the Republican agenda ‘the Contract with America’?” I might be able to understand if a young person didn’t remember Newt Gingrich by name, but her answer of Al Gore, as a Republican, hmmm, that’s just dumb.
Frank wins. Now he can buy a decent razor and shave that crap off his chin.
Sorry for the crappy coverage this week, but this is a viewing problem that not even Tivo could have fixed. Until next week, stay dry unless you’re practicing up for the water challenges.