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 May 2-8.
For Crying Out Loud
By now, we're all used to seeing Paula Abdul reduced to a sobbing, quivering mass (the woman either needs to be on medication, or is already on too much)...but Randy or (gasp) the icily indifferent Simon?!! After the last performance of this week's American Idol, with glitter makeup smeared and puffy eyes (looking for all the world like the one friend that everyone has who can never hold her liquor on a night out at the club), Paula slurrily tells Fantasia Barrino, "You brought me to tears…I don't know what else to say." Before signing out for the evening, Ryan checks back on the judges to get their final opinions, but when he does, he finds a choked up Randy saying that Paula's got them both in tears, and a softer, gentler Simon with a comforting arm around Paula. What explains all the emotional antics? Maybe it's just that time of the month: PSS (pre-sweeps-syndrome).
Last Man Standing
Stupid people! Let me say that again . . . stupid people! Oh, wait . . . wrong show. Ahem. Well, it looks as though testosterone is so yesterday on American Idol, as the last remaining guy (one George Huff) was voted off. Ironically, George was true to the theme on Tuesday night's performance show, dressed like a dapper dude as he copacetically sang two smooth, classy and genre-correct big band songs. That's right, he sang actual big band songs! Not Queen covers or Broadway tunes (the most egregious sin of all). Regardless, George remained his ever-joyful and unpresumptuous self to the end, thanking all his fans and immediately hugging and congratulating Jasmine, who joined him in the bottom two. Farewell, George! With your talent and personality, I'm sure a wonderful world is just beginning for you.
And Something About Jesus
Well, gol' durn! It done looks like they booted Big Tom off Survivor: All Stars! After yet another slippery orchestration by Boston Rob and Amber (but mostly Boston Rob), the tables were slightly turned on the eve of the All Star-Final Four. Apparently, after Boston Rob's winning a Chevrolet Colorado and Amber's also receiving a Chevy Malibu Max at the reward, they're both too cool to keep their old Chapera buddy around. E-2, Broo-tay! No matter, we'll always be able to carry Big Tom's ubiquitous wisdom with us . . . at least that which our ears could discern. Not to mention with Tom now seated firmly on the juror's seat, he will be able to help determine who gets the million in the end. Who's your daddy now, Rob? "Far well," Big Tom! You didn't need those "far-weather" friends, anyhow.
Ding Dong, the Golddigger's Gone. Almost
After weeks of ignoring all the signs that brash, outspoken Trish was universally disliked, The Bachelor's Jesse this week gave in to peer pressure and gave the show’s bad girl the boot, much to her surprise. After all, she had one of the few sets of normal parents in the home visits – she certainly came off looking better than the girl whose father is a gun nut, or the one whose family could talk nothing but pageants. But it looks like Trish’s manicured talons aren’t out of Jesse quite yet. Next week she becomes the show’s long-promised stalker, swooping in on another girl’s date to try one last time to
get into Jesse’s pantswin Jesse’s heart. As they say, you can’t make someone love you. You can only stalk them until they panic and give in.
Awwww...makes ya feel all squishy inside
High School Reunion's "aftermath" was more "bloodbath" filled with pain, uncomfy-ness, and an attack on two people so great that it made Frankenstein's run from torches seem like 5k charity run. Which is why this top moment is dedicated to the fuzziest, yummiest piece of the show. Trevor and Amanda have been a couple since day two together in Reunionland. Their courtship started off with sizzling massages and hot buttered freaky-love unparalleled by even Romber. Things progressed so smoothly and steadfastly that by the end of the taping, they were in love and ready to live in the same city. Flash forward to aftermath night, where we see fuzzy moments of their time together flashed over the screen while Trevor narrates, and eventually pulls a giggly, weeping, and nervous Amanda down to the stage. After telling her she's the woman he's always dreamed of, and the best part of himself, and makes him feel like the King of the World, the Top Banana, the Lead Enchilada, he finally pops down on one knee and asks her if she'll spend the rest of her life with him. Mandy cries, the audience freaks out, and all are merry as Trevor holds her tight, tells her how much he loves her, and wraps her in his arms..for keeps. Awww.
While the commercials touted Monday's episode as the Swan we'd all be talking about, what's there to talk about? What's there to talk about which we haven't already talked about? It's possible we could've talked about Belinda. Once a model whom all the guys would chase down the street, as she put it, Belinda had entered several abusive relationships. Hoping to heal the hurt, she gained weight. During the initial conference with the "team of experts," host Amanda Byram asked if they could engineer events so that guys would chase Belinda down the street again. They said, "Absolutely." Belinda taped pictures of her exes to a punching bag and worked out her aggression on their kodachromed faces. She underwent anaesthesia and a surgeon cut her up and sucked fat out of her. She took the advice of her therapist and life coach. She endured the absence of mirrors and the absence of her son. Breasts uplifted, thighs lipo-ed, brows lifted, and lips Michelle Pfeiffered, Belinda found contentment. She joined Amanda in a "catwalk" toward the mirrors.
Why is this a moment? Because, as viewers, we have become an Ethics Committee. Did Belinda need a surgical knife to regain the confidence she once had in her own beauty? Does The Swan send a twisted message to society's impressionable youth? We're not talking about Belinda in the way the producers might have expected, i.e., she once was beautiful and now she's beautiful again. We discuss her as we do every contestant: who determines what is "beautiful," and is the emphasis on surgical correction a problem?
Too Many Come-ons
Diana DeGarmo is the "old soul" of American Idol, or at least Simon calls her this. For a 16-year-old she demonstrates a maturity which defies age. Perhaps it's this older sound which has purportedly cost her a connection with her audience. Lately, Diana, in attempts to close the gap between herself and her listeners, has treated the audience to loud displays of "C'mon" and "Get yer hands together!" After her interview and in the American Idol Special: Halfway Home, Diana performed "Think," by Aretha Franklin. She stepped off the stage and into the audience, waved her hands, shook her groove thing, and sang. In between "C'mon," "Let's go y'all," and a "Hey you" to Jon Peter Lewis, Diana bumped hips with several women standing in the front row, with the intention of getting them to dance. These poor women--wearing sun dresses, spiked heels, and tight-lipped smiles--could not go-y'all or c'mon or go or come or dance or even move if their lives depended on it. Diana kept singing "You bettah THINK," while smiling and bouncing side-to-side. Her unbouncy dance companions, as still and as vocal as drywall, smiled as if to say, "You better THINK before you try and make me dance!"
It was the best of patients; it was the worst of patients…
This week’s edition of “The Swan” featured two candidates that were polar opposites as plastic surgery candidates.
First up was Andrea, a 29-year-old that was unhappy with her looks because she felt frumpy and had been called names because of her acne scarring. In fact, Andrea was unhappy in general. She broke down in hysterics because of she had to have a tooth extracted, she cried before going into surgery, and she cried coming out of surgery. During her transformation, she continually battled with the “Swan” team and even walked out at one point after lying to her life coach about her performance.
At the other end of the spectrum, we saw Belinda. Once a runway model, Belinda had lost her good looks by the birth of her child and a succession of abusive relationships. Determined to fight her way back to a body she can be proud of, Belinda bravely faced her issues in counseling and exorcised her demons via a punching bag, vowing never to allow herself to be abused again. Every obstacle thrown in Belinda’s way was greeted with the same small courageous smile as she faced her problems head-on and went on to be chosen for the pageant.
With thanks to this week’s writers: Greenie, SnowflakeGirl, Mantenna, Lucy, Shazzer, Shayla and Stargazer.