Each week the FORT team of mods and writers team up to compile the best and most memorable moments in reality television. Pull up a chair and join us as we review our favorite moments from the week of April 25-May 1.
Sometimes stereotypes really fit. Let’s take a look at this week’s Fear Factor shall we? First, it’s the ALL MODEL edition and apparently they couldn’t find a single male model to participate. So, we have what is really the ALL FEMALE MODEL edition. Then five out of the six questionably beautiful women couldn’t complete the first stunt, causing them all to come back for stunt two…. Where 2 out of the six couldn’t finish. How very sad for women everywhere. Too bad they won’t have the “I Could Do ALL the Stunts the Models Couldn’t” edition, as every normal participant of the show would have a great shot at 50 grand. Oh, and as a side note, we realize it was the Model Edition, but did Joe really have to wear so much Lip Gloss?
The Rocco that wasn’t There
You know the old Buddhist Koan, the one that goes: “If a Rocco were not present in a restaurant called “Rocco’s” would that restaurant still exist?” Viewers of this week’s episode of The Restaurant had an hour to ponder this Zen riddle, as they watched Rocco’s, the restaurant, suffer as its namesake chef pulls a disappearing act. Swept away by fame and spending all his time doing publicity for his cookbook and posing for pictures with his many female fans, Rocco Despirito is chided by partner Jeffrey Chodorow and his staff alike for leaving things “falling apart”. Business is bad as customers complain of long waits, and never having the high-profile owner around to ogle. “We’ve been here several times…is he ever here?” a table of patrons complains. When Rocco swoops in for a token visit and, yes, pictures with more female fans (when one female fan sits on his lap, he says, “Relax, it’s just my cell phone”—eww, just eww!) it’s clearly a case of too little, too late. “He’s never here, all he does is schmooze and it takes a lot more than that to run a restaurant,” Jeffrey Chodorow complains, looking bleak, “If I don’t see him by 6 o’clock tomorrow night I’m finding another chef!” Looks like if Rocco can’t take the heat, he may have to get out of the kitchen.
Finger Lickin' Gross
Viewers across the nation were collectively skeeved at the sight of Rocco Despirito testing food temperature by sticking his bare, presumably unwashed fingers into a bowl of plated, ready-to-be-served pasta; sticking a sample of the entrée in his mouth; then returning his fingers to the bowl for the notorious double dip. Did it ever occur to him to use a frickin’ fork?!! Between the not-likely-to-be-code hygienics, the frozen chicken, and undercooked pasta, is this show supposed to make us want to go The Restaurant, or drive us away in droves? According to financier Jeffrey Chodorow, it looks like the latter is more likely.
Summer’s Eve Doesn’t Make Him Feel Fine
When Jeffrey Chodorow sends in snotty 20-year-old intern Drew to save Rocco’s troubled restaurant, the little troublemaker calls Rocco “Captain Douchebag” while on the phone with the douchebag in question in front of Rocco's own employees. Drew is fired by the end of the hour, presumably because Rocco is pissed that he wasn't recognized for the General Douchebag he really is.
Eh, What's Up, Doc?
This Tuesday's American Idol featured Gloria Estefan as guest and her Miami Sound Machine as back-up band. The contestants each sang songs by Gloria Estefan and shimmied to upbeat Latin rhythms in their performances. When Simon critiqued Fantasia Barrino's performance of "Get On Your Feet," he said she sounded like a cartoon character. Her retort? She said she is sometimes mistaken for Bugs Bunny. When Simon critiqued John Stevens, he prefaced his remark with a compliment: For a 16-year-old, you know how to take it like a man. Each time Simon attempts to cut him down to size, John appears to withstand the comments with grace and maturity, or at the very least, stand there and keep from crying or sassing back. Before the show ended, ever-kind Gloria had one sharp comment to make herself. She finally told Simon that he'd have a few psychological sessions to pay for. Simon answered that he has to take care of his own psychiatric bills. While it's no surprise that Simon is in therapy, it's good to have confirmation of it. The King Curmudgeon could use some of Fantasia's light-heartedness, Bugs Bunny or no.
Difficult Show, Remarkable Therapist
Beth of this Monday's The Swan expressed resentment toward her husband Dan. Before undergoing three months of therapy and fitness training and recovery from plastic surgery, she told us of her husband's betrayal. He kissed a woman at a bar and may have done something more. Dan did not deny it. He said that Beth experienced many disappointments in her life, and he was one of them. After withstanding a painful recovery (she said she felt as if she had been hit in the head with a baseball bat and she looked like it, too), Beth took in therapy sessions with Dr. Lynn Ianni who advised Beth to just speak forth her anger and her hurt. Lynn told Beth, if you don't say it, you won't get past it. Watching Beth transform from the gangly, toothy woman into the statuesque beauty, we viewers wondered whether or not she would leave her husband. Ultimately, and before seeing herself in the mirror, Beth said that she loves herself. Loving herself, she expressed a new love for her husband and an excitement about seeing him again. While The Swan may espouse a problematic premise, the program does feature one remarkable psychologist. In this episode she listened carefully to a resentful woman who, by the end of three months, learned to love herself and forgive her husband.
Don't lie. I know you've noticed them, too. I'm talking about the American Idol commercials in which the contestants are seen dancing, walking on the moon, driving, and other inane things, all for the sake of product placement. On Wednesday night's results show, we were
subjectedtreated to the contestants clad in lab coats, singing DEVO's hit "Whip It" as they took several Ford automobiles on a test drive. You're right--it makes no sense, whatsoever. Oh, somewhere in there (barely squeezed in between the commercials), the results of last night's show were revealed, too. After a rather lackluster evening celebrating Gloria Estefan's music, the young crooner John Stevens was dubbed the least-vote-getter, joined in the bottom three by Jasmine Trias and George Huff. John took his exit gracefully, saying he would miss his fellow contestants the most. Farewell, John . . . at least you won't have to wear those silly sunglasses anymore.
Gush Forth, My Tears
It's easy to lose amidst the heated competition, viewer frenzy, and judges' commentary, but once each week, we get to see a sliver of camaraderie amongst the American Idol contestants. As a contestant is voted off, the stage becomes a lachrymose mass of hugs and heartfelt farewells as the singers break out into their swan song of the season. Yep, it's cheesy. Yep, it's sappy. But it's great to see that the contestants have a genuine affection for each other. It's not a Paula-esque Panglossian fellowship, as there will certainly be competition and rivalry, but when you see the teary faces at the end of each Wednesday night, you know there's something much deeper than an attempt to get more airtime. Anyone else need a Kleenex?
The Nose from Hell
No, it wasn’t a weird showing at the Sci-Fi Theater. It’s how plastic surgeon, Dr. Griffin, described the nose of Kristina, one of this week’s “Extreme Makeover” candidates. Upon first seeing how far it projected, Dr. Griffin recalled that he almost “jumped back” as it seemed to be like “a rocket, getting ready to take off.” He felt that it was so abnormal; he considered the surgery a reconstruction of a deformity, not a cosmetic procedure.
Never fear, because all ended happily for the young office manager. First, she was left with a lovely button nose after Dr. Griffin shaved nearly an inch off her witch’s crook. Then, her husband took the opportunity of her reveal to express his love to her and her new nose by reaffirming their vows. In an emotional moment, he presented her with a ring, his voice and hands trembling, as a very happy Kristina looked on.
The LEAST Dramatic Dating Advice Ever!
“Extreme Makeover” was paid a visit from a neighbor this week when Chris Harrison, host of “The Bachelor” made a guest appearance. Apparently, hosting a cheesy dating show makes him somewhat of a relationship expert, because his visit was to provide freshly made-over Michael with some help in the dating department. The two arrive at a trendy restaurant, where they are oh-so-surprisingly seated next to two lovely ladies. Chris delivers some cliché advice to Michael and then encourages him to make his move. In an awkwardly contrived scene, Michael chats up the blonde as if he is reading cue cards while the audience is left hoping that in the future, Chris sticks to gathering up roses for his own show.
With thanks to this week’s writers: Cali, Greenie, Snowflakegirl, Mantenna, Shayla, Stargazer and John.