As FORT regulars know, each week the writers get together and decide upon the top ten moments of the week. Summer has brought an entire new crop of show to harvest moments from. I hope you enjoy this week’s list.
10. I'm Harlemm, I'm 36, I'm not a dork.
According to the casting call for "Fame", contestants had to be at least 16 to take part in the show.
Even though there was no upper age limit, Harlemm Lee was so concerned that his own age would be a barrier to success in the competition that he decided to lie to "Mama", telling her he was 27.
After singing "Get Here" in the finals, Debbie had him reveal his real age as 36.
With "look at me, I'm a plane" arm movements and "chugga, wugga, wugga" train sound effects (what happened to choo-choo?) Harlemm managed to look cute instead of a prize idiot.
That's quite a feat at any age.
9. Grandma’s Video Tape?…Priceless
How cute were the producers of Meet My Folks this week? They actually let cute little Grandma send in a dirty little secret via videocassette, about her grandson Fallon. What could Granny have to say? How mean and dirty can a sweet elderly woman be? Mwuhahahaha. Those folks at Meet My Folks really know how to make riveting TV. Grandma spilled the beans in a saccharine sweet voice, about Fallon borrowing $900 for an emergency. The “emergency” turned out to include a lot of missed partying, and Fallon has yet to pay Grandma back. The best part? She was so darn sweet, that he couldn’t even dream of trying to call her a liar. She may not get her $900 back, but seeing Fallon squirm might go a little way in making her feel better. I hope you were watching Grandma.
8. The Re-flex.
It's unheard of in a romance reality show.
We were a full fifteen minutes into Paradise Hotel before the host, Amanda Byram, instructed the contestants to get into their bathing suits.
Each having slipped into suitably baggy swimming attire, the guys then decided that a little exercise was needed in order to show themselves off to the best advantage.
Push ups and a range of muscle flexes in front of the mirrors followed, before the guys were happy enough to greet the ladies once again.
Just as the viewers thought the preening was over, prize peacock Zack returns, flexes again and decides an extra few reps against the counter are needed.
Thankfully Zack ended up sharing a room with admitted tomboy Amy, or there would have been one hell of a battle for mirror time in that suite.
7. "The other teams will be here any minute, you'll see, Dad."
When Josh and Steve first embarked on their spiritual journey to connect, the road seemed rocky. In many voiceovers, we heard Josh tell of the troubled past that he and Dad Steve shared. The Amazing Race had brought them together with the help of Mom who had suggested it.
Steve needed a break from dealing with the miscreants at the detention facility in Santa Barbara, and Josh had to be pulled away from Star Wars prequels queues.
It seemed like a new beginning for them both. All went well, especially during the last episode when they took the Fast Forward and successfully (after a few attempts) carried trays of filled champagne glasses across a room full of waltzers. We did not see footage of broken glass and bleeding toes, but one can only imagine. Josh and Steve ended up in first place.
In last night's show, it all fell apart. They got into a taxi to drive to Salzburg when "little McScrooge" as Steve called Josh, insisted on taking the train in order to save money. It was only after they were delayed by an hour, that Josh admitted that he was wrong.
They were philiminated before the healing between them was complete but they put on brave faces as they strolled away into the darkness that lay ahead.
6. And You Call Yourself a New Yorker
In one of the few off-stage moments of last week's Last Comic Standing, finalist Cory Kahaney showed that, as New Yorkers go, she's a softy. While chatting with the other contestants, the Manhattan native decided to rip on Sean Kent for wearing a cowboy hat. After sarcastically asking Sean if he ever really found himself in a situation where the cowboy hat came in handy, the Austin comedian told her the story behind the hat. It turns out that he started wearing it to cover his head when he lost his hair following chemotherapy treatments for Hodgkin's Disease. Rather than crawl under a rock as many would do after such a foot-in-mouth moment, Ms. Kahaney fired back with something along the lines of "Well if you'd have worn a baseball cap with 'Make-A-Wish Foundation' written across the front of it, I would have left you alone." A real New Yorker simply would have said "Oh. Well if you don't make it I'm taking your hat."
5. I KNOW You Dig Me, Said the Golddigger
For Love or Money’s Laura, seemed to be running away Rob’s attentions and ultimately the million dollar prize. She was the first to have some intimate time alone with Rob, managed to score a breakfast date with him and had one of her competitors, Lauren, cook it for her! Despite all the extra attention lavished on her, Laura, the oldest of the remaining girls, needed Rob to give her some extra reassurance. At every turn, Laura would ask Rob how she was doing and each time, Rob, in his usual eloquent manner, would let her know she was safe. Something changed the night of the elimination ceremony. As Laura met Rob by the fireside, she again tried to coax a reassurance from him, but Rob wouldn’t budge. The conversation ended with an awkward, with Laura telling him, “You dig me, I know you dig me” but sounded rather unconfident. As luck would have it, the final two came down to Paige, who Rob had earlier told was too young for him, or Laura, the frontrunner. The other three girls jaws dropped from the balcony as Rob asked a stunned Paige to stay and sent Laura packing.
4. Does Anyone Want a Quacker? Didn't Think So.
This week, the World Poker Tour paid a visit to the biggest little dump in the world (Reno, Nevada) for the 2003 World Poker Challenge. This tournament offered the final chance for a free entry into next week's highly-anticipated Championship event, so the gloves were off for the six players at the final table.
Among the contenders for the title were several interesting characters. Tony Le was the crowd favorite because he is a Games Supervisor at the Reno Hilton (host of the tournament). Tony is a wispy, friendly Asian man whose pleasant smile claims nearly half of his face when it's in the "on" position. Ron Rose, retired executive and current Master of Bridge, appeared in the Foxwood tournament earlier in the season and got booted almost immediately. He has all the charisma of a moist hand towel.
And then there's X-22. Paul Magriel is a former math teacher and a professional backgammon player. He also happens to be one of the most annoying players I've ever seen on the tour. He appears to have escaped from the Notre Dame Bell Tower after suffering too many facial collisions with the bells. His tongue is a completely separate entity that appears to constantly be attempting a jailbreak out of the corners of his mouth. He also has the tedious habit of always betting with some factor of $22,000. This honors his backgammon-based nickname and, unfortunately, makes him feel he must always say "Quack quack" when he bets that amount ("ducks" is a slang term for a pair of deuces). And, yes, in case you were wondering, he calls it a "triple quack quack" when he bets $66,000.
Instantaneously, I wanted the tongue-chomping wacko out of the game. But first we had to say goodbye to three other pretenders, including Cloutier the poker legend, who checked out on the second hand!
X-22, who entered the round with over $260,000 more in chips than the next-closest guy, eventually executed his last tongue waggle and departed in 4th place. Tony ran into trouble not long thereafter. In the end, Ron bounced Cal Dykes, the earring-sportin' old guy dentist whose only strategy appeared to be moving all his chips into the pot every time he was dealt an ace or a pair. Worked for a while, but eventually Ron outlasted him. With over $168,000 in cash and the free entry into the Championship in hand, Ron could finally relax and show everyone at home how a pile of gravel unwinds when it's time to party.
3. Rabbits and Cats and Tricks, Oh My!
With each new edition of The Amazing Race, there is more focus on deception and dirty tricks. This week, the team of Kelly and Jon were leaving the marker at the lighthouse in Marseilles when they spotted Millie and Chuck coming up the road toward them. Kelly considers herself the mastermind in the Jon / Kelly team, no matter how many times Jon corrects her. As the cars approach each other, the wheels are spinning in Kelly’s head. She has a plan to confuse her competition, and convince them that the lighthouse is the other direction. Why does she want to fool this specific team? Kelly says that Millie is a “jack rabbit”, and she doesn’t like that.
Now, the key to good deception is to sell your story. Millie and Chuck will need to believe that the lighthouse is the other direction. The cars approach. Kelly rolls down her window, and just as they pass, she mumbles, “is it that way?” Shockingly, Millie and Chuck do not even slow down. In fact, if Kelly had leaned out the window to deliver her message, she would have been decapitated by the on coming Benz.
How is it possible that they could see right through Kelly’s brilliant plan? Was it just a lucky guess on Millie’s part, as she feels Kelly is "catty"? Perhaps methodical Chuck was unwilling to waiver from his slow and steady march? Or, here’s a crazy idea, perhaps it was the fact that they could see the lighthouse from the road, straight ahead, as Kelly spoke. Yeah, that was probably it.
2. Gr-ANT Larceny.
Joe Rogan, acting as a talent scout on Last Comic Standing last week, called out Ant for trying to pass of old jokes as his own.
With that in mind, one might think Ant would put in a little bit more effort into being original for the semi-final.
This week he was advised by John Witherspoon to mix things up a little and not do a whole set of gay jokes.
Ant responded by saying he could also do jokes about being sober "as I've been sober for 110 days --- not in a row".
Ant, everyone has heard that joke.
If you're going to try and claim other people's material as your own, at least go with what you know and tell us you haven't been sober for 110 days "straight".
1. Baby Look At Me.
Each week on FAME Debbie Allen is energetic and enthusiastic.
She gives her rising stars all the encouragement they need to turn in their best possible performances.
Even the viewers that aren't dancers, know that her battle cry of "tear it up" doesn't literally mean "get hold of something and rip it to shreds".
Her promise to find a "triple treat" should not be interpretted as "I'm looking for someone who can think of three different ways to kill me".
I'm sure that, until this week's show, no one though that "Show me what you've got" meant "break dance in a short skirt with no underwear on" either.
Well, obviously one young woman did.
Many thanks to the following FORT writers for their contribution this week. In alphabetical order, they are: Bill_in_PDX, cali, CaliGirl, fluff, Miss Filangi, Paulie and Wayner