Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rosie Live Died

Only 5 million people tuned in to watch Rosie Live on NBC last Wednesday. So, there won't be another episode. On her Blog Rosie O'Donnell had very little to say about her cancelled show, simply saying, "There will b no more. No ratings, bad reviews. yet still - a thrill 4 me."

Rosie Live was rolled over in the ratings by Rosie's old nemesis, Barbara Walters and her interview with Barack and Michelle Obama.

There may be other reasons Rosie's show did not do so well. Clay Aiken was one of the guests. That's him next to Rosie in the photo.

Rosie said there'd be no politic talk on her show and that was the case, except for a howdy to Barack Obama, who was visiting Barbara Walters at the time.

Rosie opened her show cracking wise about her weight, saying she was wearing a girdle called Spanz under her black sequined outerwear. She said it was a onsie for chubby fortysomethings.

Liza Minelli helped kick off Rosie Live, singing a duet with Ms. O'Donnell singing "City Lights."

Two 30 Rock actors, that's another NBC show that doesn't do too well, Alec Baldwin and Jane Krakowski, did bits on the show. Baldwin gave Rosie a stage door which Conan O'Brien opened to get a pie in his face.

Ms. Krakowski did a sort of strip tease, prompting Rosie to ask her 13 year old son, "Parker, did you like that strip tease?"

Other guests were singers Ne-Yo, Harry Connick Jr., Gloria Estefan and Alanis Morissette.

Kathy Griffin also showed up. Kathy Griffin is one of favorite TV stars. I think she's an A-Lister.

On Kathy Griffin's My Life on the D-List, at some point in that Bravo TV reality show's latest run, Kathy and entourage dropped in on Rosie O'Donnell. Kathy was looking for advice about, I think, entertaining wounded vets at Walter Reed Hospital. Rosie wanted Kathy to use her connection to Kathy's then boyfriend, Steve Wozniak, to get Rosie into some sort of high tech seminar. If I remember right, in exchange for that, Rosie agreed to get Kathy in to see Cher, backstage in Las Vegas. A phone call was made by Kathy to Wozniak, who agreed to get Rosie in to whatever it was she wanted.

There was a disturbing thing during the Kathy Griffin and entourage visit with Rosie, Rosie insisted they all work on crafts. Rosie's house seemed to be one giant crafts room. Working on crafts is one technique used in mental institutions to give the inmates something to do and to keep them calm. In my limited experience with crafters it seems there is a connection between mental health issues and spending hours working on crafts. I'm pretty sure this isn't the case with Rosie.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

TV Celebrity Gossip

It's time for some random Hollywood TV Celebrity Gossip....

Poor ol' Hulk Hogan's ex-wife, Linda Bollea, needs more money. Apparently she is unable to get by on the $40,000 a month alimony payments from the ex-husband. I first met Linda on the reality show "Hogan Knows Best." I also met her daughter Brooke and jailbird son Nick. Brooke got her own reality show, the name of which escapes me. If Linda needs money maybe she could get her own reality show again. Or sell some of her pets. Too many pets, including a monkey, seemed to be Linda's one character oddity.

The former NSYNCer bandboy mate of Lance Bass trashed talked the dance moves of Lance and Kim Kardashian, saying Lance "had to have two Red Bulls before doing the jive." Joey Fatone came in second on his season of Dancing With the Stars. This Two Bulls remark does not seem to be very bad trash talking, to me. Now, if Joey had said Lance dances, at times, like a bug-eyed fruitcake, now those might be some fighting words.

24's Jack Bauer regularly gets put through a living hell of torture and other forms of mayhem. But that's acting. In real life Kiefer didn't take too well to the torture of being in jail, saying "The lights never go out, 24/7. You can't even put your head under a blanket. All the cells have cameras in them."

Paris ended up in tears, again, when she was booed while being introduced to the crowd at a friend's birthday party. Paris left the party without taking the stage. I don't know why dear Paris was put through this living hell. And where was her new BFF? Isn't the Paris Hilton: Search for a New BFF over?

Last Wednesday's Top Chef was all about cooking Thanksgiving Dinner for the Foo Fighters. The chefs who's food the Foos liked best got to go to their concert. Apparently everyone's favorite Top Chef host, Padma, got all rocking and rolling too, including going backstage with the band, where drummer, Taylor Hawkins, couldn't stop himself from doing some heavy duty flirting with Padma. But, despite a valiant effort, Taylor was unable to shake loose Padma's phone number.

The just completed Dancing With the Stars' winner, Derek Hough, he the professional half of the Star Winner, Brooke Burke's team, says the reputed feud between him and Warren Sapp was blown way out of proportion. Supposedly the pair got into a fight when Sapp interrupted Hough's rehearsal. Yeah, this sounds like real good feud material.

The annoying Izzy girl from Grey's Anatomy is such a McDonalds addict that she went to Mickey Ds while out celebrating her 30th birthday. I don't know if she had a McDreamy Big Mac or a McSteamy Fish Sandwich.

The achy breaky boy got a tattoo last week. Billy took his daughter Miley and Miley's boyfriend, Justin Gaston, along to watch. But, Perez Hilton claims that Miley and the boyfriend got real busy smooching while Miley's dad suffered in pain, in more ways than one.

Every ones favorite homemaking jailbird still talks to all the friends she made during her unfortunate incarceration at the Alderson, West Virginia Federal Prison known as Camp Cupcake. Ms. Stewart says, "There are some very interesting women there of great value to society, and I keep in contact with them."

Well, there you go. That's my TV Celebrity Gossip for today.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Nielsen Ratings November 17th-23rd

The November sweeps have ended. The Nielsen Ratings Fall Sweeps period runs from Oct. 30-Nov. 26.

The only shows in the Top 20 that I watched are Dancing With the Stars, Survivor & 24: Redemption.

Clearly I need to watch more TV.

I don't even know what NCIS is. Another CSI type show? Why do so many people watch CSI and it's copies? I don't get it. But, I also don't get how a show about ballroom dancing manages to be America's #1 show, even though I do watch that one.

Here are the ratings for the week of November 17th-23rd:

1. Dancing With the Stars (19.6 mil)
2. CSI (18.4 mil)
3. NCIS (18 mil)
4. Dancing with the Stars (17.6 mil)
5. Criminal Minds (16.3 mil)
6. Grey's Anatomy (15.9 mil)
7. The Mentalist (15.8 mil)
8. CSI: Miami (15.5 mil)
9. Two and a Half Men (15.2 mil)
10. Sunday Night Football (15.2 mil)
11. 60 Minutes (14.9 mil)
12. CSI: NY (14.1 mil)
13. House (13.3 mil)
14. Survivor: Gabon (12.5 mil)
15. American Music Awards (12.2 mil)
16. Cold Case (12.1 mil)
17. 24: Redemption (12.1 mil)
18. Without a Trace (11.9 mil)
19. Dancing with the Stars Recap (11.6 mil)
20. The Mentalist (repeat) (11.5 mil)

Top Chef Foo Fighters Thanksgiving

I'm liking Bravo's Top Chef 5 a lot. It seems like everything about Top Chef as been amped up a bit. Maybe it is due to being in New York City. I don't recollect the chefs being thrown so many curves and twists in previous seasons.

The guest judge in Episode 3 was this wiry little guy with a bad goatee, named Grant Achatz. He's an American chef who the James Beard Foundation recently named as Best Chef in the United States for 2008.

For the Quickfire the chefs had to make a recipe found in the Top Chef cookbook. Then part way in Padma threw them a curve and told them to make soup out of what they'd already cooked. We saw a lot of Swanson's Broth being opened and poured. Swanson's Broth was the sponsor of this episode. Leah's soup won the Quickfire, despite it containing white asparagus, an ingredient she did not like.

For the Elimination Challenge the chefs are told they will be preparing Thanksgiving dinner for the Foo Fighters and their entourage of about 60. As the Quickfire winner, Leah gets to pick her team. She picked both of the Europeans, the sort of annoying Stephan and the funny, likable Italian, Fabio.

Ariane cooked the turkey for the non-Leah team. Everyone liked Ariane's turkey the best, but overall her team was judged by the Foos and the judges to not be the winner. That meant the Leah team got to go to the Foo Fighters concert while the losing team washed dishes.

The chefs had to cook the Thanksgiving dinner at the concert location. With no kitchen. They cooked outside with only a single burner, microwaves and toaster ovens. Eugene made a makeshift BBQ. I like Eugene. He seems to be one of the better chefs. His BBQed pork went over well. As if all the twists being thrown at them weren't challenge enough, Mother Nature made it tough on the chefs too. By raining.

The desserts, as they so often are, were the downfall of the losing team. Richard made some twisted version of 'smores. I have never liked 'smores. No one liked Richard's 'smores. Carla, who is really amusing, made some sort of pie thing that the judges didn't hate. But they all hated Jeff's strange parfait. One of the Foos called it barfait. Those Foos are funny boys.

So, it ended up with Richard packing his knives and going home due to his 'smores. He cried quite a bit. This leaves only one member left of Team Rainbow. That being Jamie. So far one of the Top Chef staples has been missing. That being drama and fighting. There was some indication in this episode that the Top Chef staple of having at least one very angry lesbian might be brewing, with Jamie getting cranky at Dave for being a slob and dropping food on the floor.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Playboy Does Not Want The Real Housewives Of Atlanta Kim Naked

Kim Zolciak, she of Real Housewives of Atlanta habitual liar fame, has been claiming that she is constantly on the phone negotiating with Playboy over taking her clothes off for a centerfold. And to be on the cover.

Kim told Paper magazine that, "I'm working on shooting a cover of Playboy. I guess 30 ain't that bad."

However, a source at Playboy says, "She is not scheduled to appear in Playboy at this time." The source also pointed out that Playboy rarely guarantees a model that they will be on the cover. You have to be someone like Farrah Fawcett or Pamela Anderson to get a cover shot for certain.

Kim has been a busy girl since the last episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta aired. She has been on the Bonnie Hunt talk show. Kim gave Bonnie a wig.

Kim's ever changing cancer story has her now saying that 3 years ago she worked for a doctor who ran some blood tests because he thought she might have cancer. The tests showed she had some other ailment, which Kim did not identify. And that she was in a coma for 3 weeks. On the reunion show Kim said she got her cancer-free test results while sitting at a Chilis. She did not mention the 3 week coma.

Kim said she did not want to say anything about her tragic illness because her daughters did not know about it. Uh, didn't the daughters notice she was in a coma for 3 weeks? Maybe they just thought their mom was drunker than usual.

Kim once again denied that real estate mogul, Lee Najjar, is the Sugar Daddy she calls Big Papa.

Kim admitted she did not work with Dallas Austin on her upcoming single and album. Kim changed the name of the single from what she said on the reunion show. There she said it was called "Tightrope." Now she says it is called "Two Hearts." And is about her daughters.

I imagine Kim realized she had to drop the Dallas Austin habitual lie when he put all over his MySpace webpages, "Dallas Austin is NOT working with Kim!"

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

24: Redemption Kill The Cockroach

I got around to watching 24: Redemption last night. It was 2 hours of classic 24. Very slickly done, looked like it would have worked as a movie in a theater.

An R-Rated movie, due to violence, including gun-toting, machete wielding, head chopping little kids and one 24 staple, that being Jack Bauer getting tortured.

At the start of the movie we see kids being kidnapped and then indoctrinated into a rebel militia in the non-existent African country of Sangala. At the rather brutal indoctrination we see one of the rebel leaders exhorting the kids to kill. We see kids practicing with machine guns. Then the rebels drag out some government guy who had been beaten to a bloody pulp. A machete is given to one of the kids, the rebel leader gets them chanting "Kill the Cockroach." The kid with the machete obliges.

It was unsettling.

Meanwhile Jack is working at a camp for orphan boys run by a former agent friend. The agent friend gets word of kids getting kidnapped. He is worried about some of his boys who were playing soccer nearby. Too late. The rebels had already been there, taken the boys, shooting 2, killing one.

The agent friend rushes back to his camp, calling Jack on the way, telling him to get the kids in the shelter. That is barely accomplished when the rebels arrives. Soon, Jack goes all Jack Bauer on them. That means there was a lot of killing.

Eventually the rebels catch Jack, and while they torture him to get him to tell them where the kids are, the agent friend flashes a signal. Jack then points the rebels towards the signal. The agent friend then goes all Jack Bauer on the rebels, killing all of them and freeing Jack.

They get the kids out of the shelter, along with the cowardly UN peacekeeper. They get on a bus and make haste for the safety of the capital and the U.S. Embassy.

Unbeknownst to Jack, back in the U.S., the President has ordered the evacuation of Americans.

Oh. I forgot a plot point. A government guy showed up at Jack's camp to serve him with a subpoena ordering Jack back to D.C. to testify before congress. Jack refuses. This plot point figures big in the coming season of 24.

After traveling in the bus for several miles they realize they have to hoof it because the rebels have the roads to the capital blocked.

Soon a helicopter is chasing them, firing machine guns at the running boys. The helicopter lands. As they run through the woods one of the boys steps on a mine. The agent friend tells the kid not to move and puts himself on the mine so the kid can get away. Soon the rebels find the agent friend, demand to know where the kids are, when he won't answer the rebel shoots the guy a couple times. Then the agent friend tells the rebel to go to hell as the mine goes off, killing all of them.

Jack and the kids make it to the city, but then are ambushed by rebels determined to avenge the death of one of the rebel leader's brother. One of the countless rebels Jack had killed during the 2 hours. Jack dispatches the rebel ambushers til there is only one, a little kid pointing a machine gun at Jack and repeating "Kill the Cockroach" over and over again. Jack talks him out of the gun.

They make it to the gates of the embassy, which is in pure Fall of Saigon mayhem mode. The subpoena server shows up. The only way the subpoena server will rescue the kids is if Jack gives himself up. After a bit of back and forth Jack gives in. Everyone gets on a helicopter and is heading to America.

There were several sub-plots back in D.C. during the movie that must figure in the new season of 24. The new President's son is one. Jon Voight is a bad man who sold the rebels the arms that allowed them to be rebels again, after having been previously beaten.

Anyway, 24: Redemption held my attention for 2 hours. That doesn't happen all that often. And after the movie was over a strange thing happened. I went in my kitchen and there was a cockroach on the floor. I killed the cockroach. I'd never seen a cockroach in here before. Unsettling.

The Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion Show

Last night's The Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion Show had some amusingly entertaining moments, all aimed at Miss Kim Zolciak.

NeNe directed some classy verbiage at Kim. Advising her to close her legs to married men. And calling her a hooker.

The host of all these type reunion shows on Bravo TV is this guy named Andy who never quits smiling. At times during the yelling between the housewives he both smiled and looked dumbstruck.

Andy seemed most dumbstruck when trying to ascertain whether or not Kim had actually had cancer. I don't remember what prompted Kim's Sad Tuna Story about her bout 3 years ago where for 3 weeks she thought she had cancer. To me Kim seemed to be making it up on the fly. She claims she lost a lot of weight, then her hair, then a doctor friend told her he was 90% sure she had cancer. Oh, yeah, that's how doctors operate, no tests, they just look at you and tell you they think you're malignant.

Kim cried all through the cancer story. NeNe said this was the first she'd heard of Kim and cancer or being sick 3 years ago. NeNe said she thought Kim wore the wig to be fashionable. Maybe that's how the cancer story came up, with Andy reading a viewer's question asking Kim to explain her hair. Eventually Andy was able to get Kim to clearly say she did not have cancer. Kim said something about her blood tests have been clear for 3 years, thank God.

Things got heated a couple times between Kim and NeNe. I think it was arguing over NeNe singing a song making fun of Kim's bad singing and Kim's trash talking that set off the yelling. Lisa tried to restrain NeNe, at one point sitting on her to keep NeNe on the couch.

Which was a bit ironic because later in the show Lisa and Kim had a shouting match over Kim's claim that Lisa spread the malicious gossip about NeNe's song mocking Kim's singing, which on the show, is what set off the feud between NeNe and Kim that at one point had Kim text messaging NeNe calling her a "low budget bitch." Lisa, multiple times, told Kim she "was a habitual liar and needed to be on medication."

The F-Word had to be barely beeped coming out of Kim's mouth on a number of occasions.

DeShawn did not have much to say during the show. A clip of special moments showing each housewife's more embarrassing, cringeworthy moments were shown as the show went on. DeShawn's failed fund raiser for her supposed foundation was the main focus of her clip. She got asked how much she spent on her staff of cooks, maids and nannies. She didn't know. Though she did say she wrote the checks.

Kim and Sheree got to watch some of their hypocritical bad-mouthing of fan favorite NeNe, including trashing NeNe's looks, with comments like she looks like a drag queen. Which is very ironic because at times both Kim and Sheree look like drag queens to me.

Kim and Sheree were embarrassed at how the show showed them over and over again telling each other how beautiful they were. The pair were good sports and did a good job of being self-deprecating about it.

One thing that surprised me during the reunion show was how much more likable and normal Sheree seemed than what we saw on the show. She was funny, didn't react badly to any of it. Didn't seem at all like a pompous ass.

The clip showing Kim's pathetic singing made for some amusement. I think that may have been what started the Kim and NeNe shouting match. Kim basically said she was appalled at how bad she sounded when she saw the show. But that her album is finished with the first single to be released in January of 2009.

Sheree claims her "fashion" line will be in stores by Fall of 2009. I suspect it is going to be quite difficult to either hear Kim's song or buy Sheree's clothes next year.

Towards the end of the hour NeNe's gay boyfriend came out, well, obviously he was already out, I mean he came on stage and sat between Sheree and Kim. Andy asked him to comment on the housewive's fashion sense. Kim and Sheree's rude remarks about NeNe's fashion sense had been discussed right before the gay boyfriend came out. He told NeNe she looked great, loved her new short hair, told Sheree she looked great, loved the hair. Then he turned to Kim and pretty much said he "didn't know where to start, maybe at the top with this hair. And what is that you are wearing? It's all gotta go."

I forgot to mention Kim claims to be still seeing Big Papa off and on. She confirmed he is married. But supposedly getting a divorce. Sheree was asked if she'd gotten her 7 figure divorce settlement. She said her lawyer told her she can't talk about that.

The final episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta got the biggest ratings ever for Bravo's various Real Housewives series. I would guess last night's reunion show likely did even better.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dancing With The Stars Finale Finally Almost Over

I'd been at a pre-Thanksgiving party where there was some libations. By the time I got back here and turned on the TV to watch the already recorded Dancing With the Stars finale I really wasn't in the mood for that much visual stimulation. It confused me. A couple would be dancing and then there'd be another couple. Did I fall asleep during the judging?

I've seen some disturbing costumes on DWTS, very disturbing, but nothing as disturbing as whatever fuzzy yellow thing Brooke Burke was wearing at one point last night.

I don't care who wins. I know from reading the news this morning that Brooke and Derek Hough were in first place on that thing called the Leader Board.

Of the 3 remaining it seems to me the only one of the "Stars" who ever was anywhere near actually being a "Star" is Lance Bass. And I'm not referring to his attempt to be a cosmonaut. I'd never heard of Warren Sapp before I saw him dance. Likable guy, but totally unknown to me. The other "Star," Brook Burke, I knew of only from watching that Mark Burnett reality show about finding a new lead singer for a band. She was the hostess. I think the show was called Rock Star: INXS or something like that.

Brooke Burke is supposedly the favorite to win. I'm guessing that no one's favorite former boy band man, Lance Bass will end up winning the coveted glittery disco ball trophy, due to having a lot more fans of his "Stardom" than Brooke Burke's.

The Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion Tonight Without Dallas Austin

The reunion show with the bickering women of The Real Housewives of Atlanta is on tonight on Bravo TV.

Meanwhile, EXASPERATED music producer, Dallas Austin, has a MySpace page. It's one of those overly busy, overly loud MySpace pages.

The most interesting thing about the Dallas Austin's MySpace is that all over it he repeats variations of "Dallas Austin in NOT working with Kim! That was 4 TV!"

Now that's funny.

When I look at my Blog Stats I can see where incoming links come from, like if someone posting in a forum links to a posting in this Blog. This can lead me to finding some amusing things, like I'll paste below the comments of a burly ol' Country Boy who somehow got HOOKED on The Real Housewives of Atlanta (words in parentheses below are mine, not the Country Boy's).....

"Ok, to all of you writers on this thread, SHAME ON YOU.

Thanks to you, this middle aged, burly ole country boy is now HOOKED on this stupid show. Yes, I went back and TIVO'd the previous shows on midnight reruns to catch the whole thing.

The white hooker (Kim Zolciak). (sorry I'm bad with the names except for NeNe and Sheree,) Gosh, what a skank. If she is 29 so am I. Now, if she is, it will not be long before her Pimp Daddy (Big Papa) kicks her to the curb. I felt sorry for the kids, She is one rough old tramp. From the end previews he must be a married Dude, maybe he will be disclosed too, so his poor wife can get the best of him.

NeNe, what's up with her. The poor ol' dude she is married to (Greg) has that "What the Hell did I get myself into look" all the time. Also, get a bra on before you sit on your boobs. I'm a straight male and those things make me shiver!

Sheree, She is one good looking gal in my opinion. It's obivious she is nothing but a gold digger. Find a man, bury a man, She is already 40, but something tells me she will be ok. Still has the looks, and as cunning as a Fox, her and the Asian gal are the two smart ones, which brings me to...

The Asian gal (Lisa Wu-Hartwell), if you notice she is the only one who actually works, has a level head, and though very out there with her materialism, is not as high profile. I think she will end up the best, though her husband (Ed Hartwell) is a football player, and must not be that great if he is going to the Raiders, she will make sure the money is handled well. Heck with the ones on this show, she doesn't even belong in the crowd.

Oh God, what am I doing.... I have to get off the boards and go outside."

I found parts of the above amusing. The description of Kim for one. White hooker. The Ol' Country Boy needs to pay closer attention. The Asian gal is named Lisa and she's half Chinese half African-American. And Lisa's husband didn't get his job with the Raiders.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Flipping Out on Bravo

During lunch I came upon a re-run on Bravo of Flipping Out. This show is very amusing. It's all about a real estate speculator named Jeff Lewis who flips very expensive houses in the Los Angeles area. And also personally flips out regularly.

Jeff Lewis has a large entourage and way too many pets. There is his CEA (Chief Executive Assistant) Jenni Pulos, housekeeper Zoila Chavez, business partner Ryan Brown and several others.

One of the others was Chris Elwood. He was married to CEA Jenni. Chris got fired after Jeff caught him in a lie via a nanny cam Jeff installed when he became suspicious his workers weren't doing their jobs, saying he was going to "catch a culprit." The nanny cam caught Chris using Jeff's computer, rummaging through files. And most seriously, answering the phone in a smart ass way, rather than following Jeff's precise phone answering script. Jeff had fired Chris several times, but this was the final time. After he was fired Chris decided he didn't want to be married to Jenni any longer.

Jeff Lewis has OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). The OCD explains a lot of his amusing behavior. Like going into someone's apartment, while they are gone, and then checking out the cupboards and organizing what's in them. Including throwing stuff away, to the horror of Jenni, who tries to get him to stop.

Lewis fixates on his 3 dogs and 2 cats. At one point he adopted some deer and was feeding them apples daily. He uses several psychics and had one of them perform an exorcism on one of his houses. He sees at least one therapist and uses Scream Therapy to get rid of his stress.

Jeff's maid, Zoila, is very amusing. She gets a bit feisty with her boss at times. Jeff thinks Zoila started getting uppity once she became a citizen and started going to night school, becoming way to familiar with her "rights". In one famous episode Zoila asked for her birthday off. Jeff said, "Didn't you just get Christmas off? Now you want another holiday?" And then later he said, "She wanted off all of Friday and all of Saturday. Well, what am I going to do? Who's going to do my laundry? Who's going to make me breakfast? She's so selfish."

He eventually told Zoila she could have another weekend off for her birthday because "I think your birthday is conflicting with my schedule."

For her birthday Jeff gave Zoila an oil painting of her that she took umbrage over, due to thinking it was unflattering. It was.

Jeff treats his pets better than his people. He spends thousands of dollars a year on his 3 dogs and 2 cats. One of his assistants is the constant caretaker of the pets. The pets have therapists, see pet psychics and in one famous episode his 8 year old Blue Point Peaked-Face Himalayan gets taken to a vet for acupuncture. That cat's name is Monkey. The acupuncture visit did not go well. You can see that for yourself in the video below...

Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares

I enjoy Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen. Thursdays on FOX. But not quite as much as Bravo's Top Chef. The Chef's on Top Chef are mostly all high caliber. On Hell's Kitchen a lot of the supposed chefs seemed to have been picked for entertainment value.

Gordon Ramsay has another show on FOX that is now in its second season, that being Kitchen Nightmares. The Kitchen Nightmares are so nightmarish that I'm now a bit queasy about restaurant eating.

I look for signs of danger. One thing I've learned from Kitchen Nightmares is if you can spot signs of neglect totally visible, like broken signs, dying plants, walls in need of paint, signs of a roof leak, structural damage, messy restrooms, well, if the restaurant cares so little about what the customer can see the chances are the hidden stuff, like the kitchen, is a disgusting, unsanitary, dangerous mess.

A restaurant in trouble contacts Kitchen Nightmares. If they are deemed worthy of helping, Chef Ramsay shows up, orders a few things off the menu, gags, inspects the kitchen, is appalled, watches a dinner service, is even more appalled. He then figures out what needs to be fixed, has a talk with the problem people, gets mad a lot, spewing a lot of bleeped profanity.

Sometimes what Ramsay finds in the kitchen is so shockingly bad that he shuts down the restaurant, telling people to stop eating, that the food is dangerous. The last time I saw him do this he put up "crime scene" tape to block off the kitchen. That was amusing.

After a lot of drama, overnight, Ramsay's team transforms the restaurant and comes up with a new menu. The next morning the restaurant owners and crew are in shock at the changes. Usually they are happy. They learn the new menu. A Ramsey-planned event, like a Farmer's Market, whips up enthusiasm so people will want to try out the new and improved restaurant.

The dinner service in the new and improved restaurant starts off rough. And then it all comes together, usually, and we get a happy ending, usually. Most times the owners are very grateful. Every once in awhile they are clueless ungrateful jerks.

It's a very entertaining and sometimes sort of educational show. Kitchen Nightmares is one of Durango TV's favorites.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Final Real Housewives Of Atlanta Episode

I finally got around to watching the final episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. It had some amusing moments. Including Kim slyly flipping NeNe the bird. That occurred at the dinner party that Lisa had arranged so that they could all make up and be friends again.

NeNe asked Kim, "What happened?" Repeating it a couple times, that's when Kim, with her hands clasped under her chin, launched her middle finger.

Earlier when we saw Sheree and Kim meet up outside the restaurant where the peace summit was to take place, of course, they told each other, for the umpteenth time, how beautiful they were looking and how gorgeous their dresses were. Now, I'm no expert in these matters, but isn't that pink dress Kim has on a bit on the tacky/trashy side of the tracks?

At the dinner summit the feuding girls studiously ignored each other til it was making everyone else uncomfortable. So, Lisa, I think it was Lisa, suggested they go around the table and each say what was on their mind. Sheree's "My eyes were opened," annoyed me. She is one annoying woman.

After it started getting heated, some time after Kim did her bird flipping, NeNe's husband, Greg, tried to be Henry Kissinger and negotiate a peace. This ended with Kim saying she would be willing to discuss things with NeNe. Over a glass of wine, of course. Later during the ending credits we learned that that meeting never took place.

Earlier in the episode we learned that Eric Snow was going to retire from basketball. There was a lengthy, boring discussion with his wife, DeShawn, about what he was going to do.

DeShawn asked Eric how he liked her being the breadwinner now. He said he liked it. Who knows how that woman is going to win bread. She can't even bake the stuff. Later DeShawn talked about how she was going to cut back on her spending due to their upcoming drop in income.

Over at Kim's we saw the daughters nagging her about smoking in the house. Previous to that we heard Dallas Austin tell Kim she had to quit smoking and start running 4 miles a day. Kim did not like hearing that she had to go into Singing Bootcamp mode. But, Kim told the daughters she'd quit if they quit sleeping with her. Huh?

Then in a separate confessional Kim told us her girls slept with her because she made a stupid mistake years ago and didn't know how to fix it. Huh, again?

So, Kim's girls gleefully got in Kim's huge supply of cigarettes and threw them in the trash. Later, during the ending credits we learned that Kim had started smoking again.

A disappointing moment came when Sheree met with Michael Knight of Bravo's Project Runway fame. The previews made it look like Sheree would get a better comeuppance than she did. She seemed to take the advice and criticism well and actually seemed to appreciate it. She didn't get all defensive and stupid like Kim did when told her Gift from God voice needed a lot of help.

Anyway, that's about all I remember of the end of this amusing train wreck. The Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion show is Tuesday. It should be some good quality TV viewing.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lisa: Another Bankrupt Real Atlanta Housewife

Update: On August 4, 2009, Lisa Wu-Hartwell and husband Ed lost their home with the bowling alley to foreclosure. Click for the details in an August 11, 2009 Blogging.

I somehow thought Lisa Wu-Hartwell was the most stable, normal of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Lisa is the one in the opening credits who says "If it doesn't make me money, I don't do it."

We've seen her working and, I suppose, making money. She really could probably get by doing nothing, like the other housewives, because she is married to a well paid football player named Ed Hartwell.

But Lisa and Ed have not been married long. Lisa was previously married to an R & B singer named Keith Sweat, with whom she had 2 kids. Who live with their dad.

Lisa has gone by several names. Sharon Millet Wu, Sharon Lisa Sweat, Lisa Wu-Sweat and her current name, Lisa Wu-Hartwell. Lisa likely changed her name due to something that happened in 2007.

As in last year Miss "if it doesn't make me money, I don't do it" filed for bankruptcy!

Below is the 2007 Court Document...




On March 21, 2007, the Court conducted a pretrial conference with counsel for the Plaintiff and counsel for the Debtor. In response to issues raised at the pretrial conference, theDebtor has filed a motion to exclude from the proposed pretrial order the issue of whether the Debtor fraudulently misappropriated the Plaintiff’s name and likeness. The Plaintiff opposes the Debtor’s motion.

The following facts are undisputed according to the proposed pretrial order. The Debtor is the ex-wife of the Plaintiff. The Debtor was and is the sole shareholder and director of BlackBall, Inc., a Georgia corporation created for the purpose of holding and owning the movie, “BlackBall.” The Plaintiff entered into a written agreement with the Debtor and Black Ball, Inc., whereby he loaned the Debtor $150,000 to help fund production of the movie. The agreement contained terms for repayment of the loan, as well as terms for the distribution of compensation of profits and restrictions on the sale and licensing of the movie. The Plaintiff contends that the Debtor and her distribution company entered into a distribution agreement with another entity (which then entered into a second agreement with another party) for the distribution and sale of the film without the Plaintiff’s permission. The Plaintiff contends that the Debtor failed to obtain his written approval before entering into adistribution agreement; wrongfully concealed from the Plaintiff the existence of these agreements; failed to account for loan proceeds; concealed profits arising from the distribution agreement; and made false and fraudulent statements pertaining to the sale and licensing of the movie.

The Debtor disputes the allegations and, inter alia, contends that she has received no compensation from the movie and that the parties varied the terms of the agreement between themselves. At issue is the Plaintiff’s inclusion of the question of whether the Debtor “fraudulently misappropriated Plaintiff’s name and likeness” in the Plaintiff’s statement of legal issues to be tried. The Plaintiff’s statement of the case also states that the Debtor “willfully and maliciously misappropriated Plaintiff’s name in connection with the Movie and is not entitled to a discharge under 11 U.S.C. 523 based on the same.”

The Debtor objects to this issue being included (and, it follows, being litigated and tried) and contends that the inclusion of the Plaintiff’s name in the credits as executive producer was appropriate and that the Plaintiff has not presented any facts which support his position that the Debtor misappropriated his name and likeness. If the Plaintiff had failed to properly plead this issue, thereby depriving the Debtor of the ability to prepare a defense in anticipation of trial, the Debtor arguably would have a basis for objecting to inclusion of this issue in the pretrial order. However, the Plaintiff’s complaint sufficiently sets forth this claim as follows.

(Complaint 34) The debt owing Plaintiff is for and based, at least in part, upon the willful and malicious injury by the Debtor to the Plaintiff or to the property of the Plaintiff. For example and without limitation:

The Debtor has improperly associated the Plaintiff’s name with the Movie. A factual dispute as to whether the Plaintiff can prove his claim is not a basis for exclusion of the claim from the pretrial order. The time for filing a motion for summary judgment expired prior to the submission of the pretrial order and the pretrial conference and it is clear that even if such a motion was properly before the Court, based on the divergent versions of the facts as reflected in the parties’ separate statements of the case included in the pretrial order, there are genuine issues as to material facts. Based on the foregoing, the Court concludes that there is no basis for excluding the issue of whether the Debtor fraudulently misappropriated Plaintiff’s name and likeness in connection with the movie. Therefore, it is ORDERED that the Debtor’s motion is denied.The Clerk is directed to serve copies of this Order on counsel for the Plaintiff and counsel for the Defendant.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Real Housewife of Atlanta Kim In Playboy?

Just a few days ago we read's interview with Lisa Wu Hartwell where Hartwell talks about the bad behavior of Kim Zolciak and how Hartwell lost her temper at Kim during The Real Housewive's of Atlanta reunion show that airs next Tuesday, November 25.

Well. Now Kim has been interviewed by She talks about her, umm, music career, the upcoming release of her first song "Tight Rope." Kim gets asked about her relationship with Big Poppa. Previously I thought it was Big Papa, not Poppa. Apparently I was wrong. Kim gets asked about her feud with NeNe, calling Lisa a Crack Whore and if she and Sheree are still close. And Kim talks about taking her clothes off for Playboy. Enough of me summarizing, read the interview below....

ESSENCE.COM: How is the music career going?

KIM ZOLCIAK: My first song, "Tight Rope," will be out the first week in January, but I'm not sure when the album will be coming out. [Dallas Austin] wrote and produced it. He originally sent me three but I fell in love with the beat and lyrics. The song is about walking a tight rope with somebody. It [speaks] to my personal life and my relationship and just life in general. It definitely applies to my life, but after seeing that footage on the show where it looks like I can't sing! I guess it makes for good television but it looked awful to me. People will just have to wait for my album to see the deal.

ESSENCE.COM: Speaking of your relationship, there are tons of rumors out there that your fiancé, otherwise known as Big Poppa, is married. Care to clarify?

ZOLCIAK: He is legally married. He has been going through a divorce for years. I've seen all these crazy names of who he is on the Internet, like Quincy Jones, Ted Turner, and even Dallas. He's like Sheree, who has been trying to get a divorce for years, but she's dating so it's that kind of thing.

ESSENCE.COM: Are you guys still going strong?

ZOLCIAK: No, it's officially over. I called off my engagement and I'm officially single. People have speculated that it's this Lee guy (Lee Najjar) to Quincy Jones to David Foster to Dallas Austin. It's just unbelievable. Big Poppa has been my best friend for three years and I think he's a great person but I need to go find Kim and what makes Kim happy and chase my dreams. I want someone who is supportive of me and my dreams and not add tension to my life. I want to focus on my children, finish my album and not worry about what makes everyone else happy.

ESSENCE.COM: What projects do you have coming up after the show?

ZOLCIAK: I'm in talks to be on the cover of Playboy and possibly on the cover of Maxim. I'm very excited. A lot of people were like I wish you would do Playboy so I'm working on that. I didn't want to be just a centerfold girl. I wanted to be the cover!

ESSENCE.COM: It seems like you and NeNe may never be friends again. Have things gotten better between you two?

ZOLCIAK: No. We are definitely not friends. You know she really hurt my feelings singing that song about me in the limo. Although it is fun and entertaining, it was still at my expense. Lisa was the one who told me that NeNe has sang that song about me. Sheree had told me but Sheree wasn't there in the car. I found out about NeNe singing about me about a month after we started filming so I knew even before I started becoming friends with Sheree. People are looking at this footage and thinking I turned my back on NeNe and became best friends with Sheree. Lisa is the one who told me the whole thing. I was just devastated. I was loyal to NeNe and a good friend. Plus, Lisa is running around saying she didn't say anything but that's how I found out. DeShawn is not into gossip. She's sweet and I really like her. She's just this even-keeled person. Lisa is still trying to deny that she told me, but I have phone records that prove that I spoke to her. She's been saying, oh, I never talked to you that day and I was like, damn, bitch, here's the phone record. This whole deal is nothing but drama.

ESSENCE.COM: So we're guessing there's no way you and NeNe can get past this.

ZOLCIAK: NeNe is funny, entertaining, and was a good friend but watching the footage again reopened old wounds. She has to understand that I'm really sensitive, and whether it was in good fun or not, it still bothered me. The biggest problem between NeNe and me is a lack of communication and the fact that everyone is running their mouth.

ESSENCE.COM: So what's up between you and Lisa? Did you call her a "crack whore"?

ZOLCIAK: Everything was blown out of proportion. There are so many rumors and just gossip out there. I thought this was over with but as far as I am concerned, Lisa is a great girl. I did read Lisa's story on and I think at the end of the day, I could certainly run my own mouth but I choose to take the high road. I read a Google alert out loud and there were tons of stuff written about all of us, not just Lisa. I was reading a blog. I would never speak that way of anybody especially one of my costars. I'm a mother and I would never speak that way. Whoever relayed the message to Lisa didn't give her the whole story. It was no big deal. I was reading it verbatim in the blog thinking, This is crazy. It wasn't directed to anyone else.

ESSENCE.COM: Are you still close friends with Sheree?

ZOLCIAK: We're very close. She's easy to get along with and our kids get along great. I think her image on the show and the way she's portrayed is totally inaccurate. Is she totally confident? Yes. Does she like to shop? Absolutely. But I think she comes off as a diva more than she actually is.

ESSENCE.COM: You once said that you see yourself as a Black girl in a White girl's body. What makes you feel like you identify with Black women?

ZOLCIAK: I had entirely too much wine that day in my interview. I just don't see color and I never have because it doesn't matter to me. People always say, "You sure your dad's not Black?"- because I got a pretty round booty. Other than that, 50 percent of my girlfriends are Black. It's not that I can relate to one more than the other. That's just my life and that's who I am surrounded by mostly and it works for me.

Real Housewives of Atlanta Gossip: Kim's Stripping Cancer, Sheree's Invitation, NeNe's Popular, DeShawn's...

I got some real good stuff this morning about Bravo's The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Items like breakout Bad Girl Kept Woman Kim Zolciak's "cancer" and stripping career. And her appearance and booting from the second episode of an awful TV show back in 2003 called Are You Hot Or Not? Kim was deemed NOT HOT.

That is Kim, in the photo, on Are You Hot Or Not?

I also found some funny stuff about DeShawn and NeNe. Not so flattering about DeShawn. Very flattering about NeNe. Apparently NeNe is the fan's of The Real Housewives of Atlanta's favorite.

The most bizarre thing is what I found about Sheree. Sheree may be even more deluded than Kim. Sheree is hosting a Little Black Dress Affair with the Who's Who of Atlanta to celebrate the successful first season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. I'm not making this up. That's the poster for Sheree's "Affair" on the right.

Let's start with the Kim stuff I found today....

"Had a hard time watching the show this week. I have such a strong urge to smack that smirk off Sheree's face, it's not even funny! How dare she call Nene ignorant - bitch, look in the mirror. As for Kim, there are no words...she doesn't want to argue with Nene in front of her kids, but being a stripper and a prostitute (yes, if she lives off her married bf's money, that's what she is), well, that's okay for her kids I guess. And they call Nene ignorant?"

And another about Kim...

"Booruckinghoo! She says she lost a bunch of weight, her hair was falling out and a "doctor friend" of hers told her he was 90% sure she had cancer!! What doctor would EVER say that without running tests??? Then she says "come to find out it was a bunch of other stuff, it was not the cancer they thought it was". So she didn't have cancer, she doesn't have cancer, she just THOUGHT she had cancer?!? wtf? The fact that she wears a wig is not why people talk/laugh about it. It's how ridiculous she looks spending boatloads of money on diamonds, and designer duds, yet, she wears a cheap, synthetic hairpiece. Call 1-800-DollyParton for a good wig."

And this about Kim's previous career as a stripper (we learn what Kim means when she says she used to be a nurse)....

"Kim was a dancer at Atlanta's Cheetah Lounge. Rumors have been circulating for days, but I confirmed it this morning. My best friend used to be a CLOTHED bartender/hostess at the Cheetah. She doesn't follow TRHOA but I sent her an email this morning, with pictures of 'Our Kim'. She replied, saying - and I quote, "Holy crap! That's 'Barbie' from the Cheetah. She used to dress up like a nurse."

Enough of Kim. Now this about DeShawn Snow and her charity work....

"You guys are brutal! Yes, I think DeShawn is dumber than a box of rocks and knows how to spend the cash. But....Mr. Snow has made over $43 million and he's going to make another $7+ before he officially retires. Their house cost less than $2 million...let's say they spent 4 on the house and the furnishings...that's a drop in the bucket. To me, she fits the old adage that money doesn't buy happiness. While Eric has had a great career and continues to move on, she's been having babies and living pretty much alone. She's been left behind. The show makes it seem like she can spend whatever she wants, but I guarantee you she's living on an allowance (a very big one) and he controls the money. She doesn't know the first thing about running a foundation or a business, but he does alot of charity work and has a 'foundation' for boys in Ohio that seems to be pretty successful. They need tax shelters; i.e. the real estate business, which was probably set up for their personal property only. I don't know how they ended up in Atlanta, but I get the impression that until they moved here, they were not living this high off the hog. I highly doubt she has that "staff" she was trying to hire. She's got a chef 5 days a week and probably a nanny and a housekeeper. I have a housekeeper too. Granted, she only comes every other week but I don't have a 15,000 square foot house either. If I could afford a chef, I'd have one of those too!
Mr Snow is educated, he has a lot of respect in the NBA and his career isn't going to end with his playing days. He's not your typical dumb jock. If they ended up in forclosure or bankrupt, I'd be shocked, I tell ya, just shocked! He's a tea-totaler and if he's bangin' ass with stippers at the pink pony, that wouldn't shock me, but I'd be surprised as hell!"

And this about NeNe.....

"The Real Housewives of Atlanta wrapped its first season with another dramatic episode Tuesday - but fans can't get enough of the fabulous NeNe Leakes, the season's breakout star. Before the cast reteams for what promises to be an explosive reunion special (Nov. 25 on Bravo), Leakes stopped by PEOPLE's New York offices to talk about what's different about her since becoming one of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Here, in NeNe's words, are the five ways the Bravo show has changed her life for the better. - Brian Orloff

• "I have tons of fans who love me and come up to me everywhere I go."
• "I've learned a lot of things about myself. I'm learning to be a little bit more patient. I'm learning to tone certain things down. I'm learning to be not as outspoken."
• "My business has increased. My foundation Twisted Hearts brings awareness to domestic violence against women in the community. I have tons of people reaching out to me wanting to help me with my foundation. Had I not done the show, I would not have this platform."
• "I have made new friends with the New York Housewives - Bethenny and Jill - and the Orange County Housewives. The one I love the most is Vicki. I've learned about my friendships that I've had throughout my life, too. There were definitely people that I needed to let out of my circle. So, I'm learning to keep my circle of friends very close.
• "I'm not surprised that Anderson Cooper is talking about me! Wouldn't you talk about me? I'm not surprised. Anderson Cooper is gorgeous. He is THE silver fox, and I just wish he'd come over on this side of the street. And come over here and talk to me! Wendy Williams talks about me every single week. She sent messages to me. She said if she had to be any housewife it would be me. I'm not surprised. She has to change a few of her ways herself. We have a lot of celebrity people reaching out to us."

Survivor Gabon's Ace Arrested

That is Ace G. Gordon's Mug Shot. Ace was the 7th person voted off CBS's Survivor Gabon: Earth's Last Eden. Ace's boot was the first in a record breaking string of entertaining blindsides.

Ace seemed like a bit of an ass from what we saw of him while he was still in Eden. Apparently Ace has a bit of a drinking problem and gets violent towards women when he's consumed too much alcohol.

Ace seemed a bit full of himself on Survivor. He told the police who subdued him that he was "famous."

Ace was a bad boy in the town in which he lives, Naples, Florida. Below is the Naples News story about the Arrest of Famous Ace.

NAPLES - A former Survivor cast member faces misdemeanor charges after deputies say he caused a disruption at an East Naples lounge early Sunday, the Collier County Sheriff's Office reports.

Ace G. Gordon, 1215 Dianna Ave., Naples, was charged with disorderly intoxication, obstruction of an officer and resisting arrest without violence.

Reports say deputies saw the security staff at Sway Lounge, 2858 U.S. 41 East, escorting Gordon out of the establishment early Sunday.

Staff members told deputies Gordon had struck a woman in the bar before being asked to leave. As he was being escorted out, Gordon reached toward a deputy's face in an aggressive manner, according to reports.

Reports say Gordon resisted arrest and had to be taken to the ground to be handcuffed.
While en route to the Collier County jail, Gordon repeatedly told deputies he was famous, according to reports.

Gordon was the seventh person to get voted off of the show, which is set this season in Gabon.

24: Redemption---Sunday November 23 on FOX

I was confused today to see an ad for the FOX premiere, this coming Sunday, of 24 . I thought I remembered reading the new season of 24 started with a 2 night, 4 hour premiere on Sunday, January 11th and Monday, January 12th. Not Sunday, November 23.

Well. It did not take a whole lot of sleuthing to find out that the 24: Redemption 2 hour 'movie' is sort of a set up for the new season of 24, bridging the gap between season 6 and the new season 7.

There have already been six 24s? It's been so long since the last 24, due to last winter's writer's strike, I can't quite remember what Jack Bauer's trauma was when we last spent a day with him. Was it terrorists setting off nuclear bombs in LA? Was it the one where his dad was a bad guy? Was it the one that had Jack returning from China with a big beard? Or all those the same season? Likely so, due to my bad memory I doubt I can remember back more than one 24.

So, a little more sleuthing results about this 24: Redemption movie. It is set in the made-up nation of Sangala. That's in Africa. Jack gets caught up in a military coup while trying to find himself some peace and quiet. Back in the United States it is Inauguration Day. Allison Taylor is being sworn in as President. I'm not sure if Allison is a boy or girl. Maybe more sleuthing will turn up the answer.

24: Redemption begins with a short prologue of a little boy getting kidnapped in the middle of the night, then drafted into the militia.

Jack has been moving from place to place trying to get his mojo back. Just as Jack gets caught up in that Sangala coup he gets subpoenaed to go before a Senate hearing. Jack doesn't want to go.

Kiefer Sutherland, that's Jack Bauer in real life, has said the inspiration for 24: Redemption was the U.S. response to the genocide in Rwanda.

Others in the "movie" are Cherry Jones as President Taylor. I'm guessing Cherry is a girl's name, so Allison must be a girl President. 24 had the first African-American President in President David Palmer, so it is only fitting that 24 has the first female president. Ooops. We've had those on TV before. At least 2 I can think of, an evil female president on Prison Break. And a funny one in the form of Geena Davis on Commander in Chief.

Other recognizable, to me, names in 24: Redemption are Gil Bellows as Frank Tranell, the State Department official sent to subpoena Jack Bauer. Jon Voight as Jonas Jones, an evil villain in a Blackwater type company. Powers Boothe as President Noah Daniels. Peter McNichol as Tom Lennox. Those last two I remember from the last 24. Noah Daniels became President when the brother of David Palmer, Wayne, was assassinated. Tom Lennox was a good guy who did bad things.

Now, I like 24. If I watch this 24: Redemption movie maybe it'll help me not get so lost when the new 24 starts in January. But that'd make a lot of Sunday TV watching, what with that being the night of The Amazing Race. Once more, the DVR to the rescue.

Survivor Gabon: Randy Leaves The Tribe

Another blindside this week on CBS's Survivor Gabon: Earth's Last Eden. This week's was a blindside with a twist. Bitter, angry Randy, he with some serious socialization issues, annoying just about everyone on his Nobag tribe got the blindside. And can I interject how goofy that Nobag name is? Spelling Gabon backwards. I guess that is clever.

Randy used Bob's extremely well made fake immunity idol. That made for some amusement watching Randy fall into the fake immunity idol trap.

Sugar couldn't stop herself from giggling as the votes were read, giving Randy the boot. I like Sugar. When Sugar and Bob snuck off to pow-wow it was odd enough that he confessed he did not have the idol, but why would he tell Sugar that he made a fake one? It perplexed Sugar too.

This episode was the one where we have the Survivor staple: the food auction. Well, food and a bath and a chance to send someone to exile island. Ken won the Exile Island bidding and sent Bob. Susie won the bath. I don't remember who got what with the rest of the auction. It was stuff like burgers and beer and french fries and spaghetti and wine.

The winner of the wine got an advantage at the next immunity challenge, with the wine remaining unopened til then.

The last item up for bid was won by Randy. It was a plate of cookies he had to share with the tribe. Sugar kept refusing one of Randy's cookies, but finally took one, but then gave it to Matty.

Back at camp that cookie exchange sparked some fighting between Matty and Randy. Randy said he "left the auction broke, full, half-drunk and pissed off. So I'm gonna burn this house down in the next day or two."

Bob didn't bother looking for the idol, instead he did some site seeing, hiking around the island.

Back at camp Randy starts up a weird plan to piss off everyone so they'll vote him out, with him whipping out Bob's fake idol and thus causing the person in second place, Susie, to get voted out. What a diabolical scheme.

At the Immunity Challenge Corrine's wine advantage was she got to sit out the first round of a multi-part challenge. The challenge involved carrying bags of puzzle pieces across a beam. The first 3 to carry three bags moved on. Til some dominoes fell and a flag was raised with Ken winning immunity.

After the Immunity Challenge Randy did not have to go into heavy duty convincing to shake loose the fake idol from Bob, Sugar had already taken care of that, convincing Bob to give Randy the idol, which Randy played at Tribal Council, sure that this would boot out Susie and give him back control of the game.

Randy's final words were a bit on the bitter side.

Bye Bye Randy.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Top 20 Nielsen Ratings November 10-16

For the week of November 10-16, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships:

1--"60 Minutes," CBS, 25.1 million
2--"NFL Football: Dallas at Washington," NBC, 19.27 million
3-- "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," CBS, 19.05 million;
4--"NCIS," CBS, 18.74 million
5-- "Dancing With the Stars," ABC, 18.69 million
6--"Desperate Housewives," ABC, 16.84 million
7--"Dancing With the Stars Results," ABC, 16.52 million
8--"The Mentalist," CBS, 16.52 million
9--"Country Music Association Awards," ABC, 15.91 million
10-- "Grey's Anatomy," ABC, 14.9 million

Also in the Top 20 were Criminal Minds (11), Two and a Half Men (12), CSI: Miami (13), House (14), Survivor (15), Cold Case (16), Without a Trace (17), Amazing Race (18), Eleventh Hour (19), CSI: NY & Ghost Whisperer (Tied)

Top Chef: New York's First 2 Episodes

I've now watched the first 2 episodes of Bravo's Top Chef: New York. So far, all the elements that make this one of my favorite Reality TV Shows are in play. Great hosts, great cast of chefs, great challenges, great editing, great cooking.

This time there are 2 Europeans in the mix. One from Finland, named Stephan, one from Italy, named Fabio. Stephan is a bit grating. Fabio is funny.

Like in the second episode when Fabio was called, along with 5 others, to the Judge's Table after the Elimination Challenge. Fabio had not watched enough Top Chef to know that the 6 called were the top 3 and bottom 3. When Padma directed her attention at Fabio he went into a long-winded verbalization of being perplexed as to why they didn't like his dish. Padma then told him to hold on, we liked your dish. Then Fabio was very Gilda Radner with basically an "Oh, well, never mind. Thank you, then." That's Fabio on the right.

Back in the Stew Room, after his win, Fabio, gloated that it was 2 in a row for the Europeans. Stephan, the Finlander, had won both the Quickfire and Elimination Challenges in the first episode.

Regarding the first episode's Quickfire. It was a Top Chef twist. The loser of the first Quickfire got sent home. Before that happened we saw the chef Lauren all excited to see that a fellow CIA (Culinary Institute of America) student, Patrick, was among the chefs.

Lauren and Patrick ended up being in the bottom two of the Quickfire, neither peeling, dicing or cooking their apples better than the other 15. Lauren got sent home.

Then 21 year old balding Patrick's bad Chinese food got him sent home in the Elimination Round of the first episode.

Before Patrick was told to pack his knives and leave we saw him and Richard form an alliance with Jamie they called, I think, "The Rainbow Group." That would make Jamie this season's lesbian. So far she doesn't seem to be a stereotypical angry lesbian. Last season we had 3 very angry lesbians who sparked a lot of debate as to whether or not all lesbians are angry. That debate has started up again in Survivor Sucks.

On the second episode the charming Radhika won the Quickfire. For the Elimination Round the chefs had to cook appetizers, entrees and desserts for 50 NYC Top Chef application rejects. And do the cooking in Tom Colicchio's restaurant, "Craft".

The rejects were tough critics. Arianne made something she called a Lemon Martini Meringue that caused Padma to spit it out. Arianne was sure she'd be asked to pack her knives and leaves. Instead it was Jill, due to her bizarre, gummy Ostrich Egg Omelet.

So far I'm liking the Italian and Carla, particularly Carla. She is very funny. She was in the top 3 in the 2nd episode due to the judges liking her apple pie pastry. She must be from the West Coast what with her talking to the food spirits and other such stuff. I'll go find out....

Well, as usual, I'm wrong. Carla is from Nashville and is currently cooking in Washington, D.C. on the opposite side of the country from the West Coast Washington. That's Carla standing on the right.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Amazing Race Episode 8: Kazakhstan

It took 2 weeks, but on Sunday The Amazing Race finally got out of India and flew 1000 miles to Almaty, Kazakhstan. When the racers got to the former Soviet Republic they had to take a taxi and find the Alel Agro Chicken Factory.

But, before we got to the chickens we spent a lot of time fussing at the airport, which I've previously mentioned is my least favorite part of The Amazing Race.

Nick & Starr, who keep winning leg after leg, it must be some sort of record, got on the first flight with Toni & Dallas and Ken & Tina. We got to hear more about the budding romance between Dallas & Starr. They got to Almaty around midnight, all 3 teams getting to the chicken factory about the same time to find out it didn't open til 7:30am, meaning all the teams would be even again. Though Andrew & Dan were a close call.

When the chicken factory opened they found a Roadblock. One team member had to search for a Golden Egg to get their next clue. And then were faced with the first of two Fast Forwards. Nick & Starr and Terrence & Sarah went for the FF, while Tina, Toni and Andrew put on what looked like white space suits so they could wander through what appeared to be thousands of white chickens.

One by one they found their Golden Eggs and found out they had to ride a giant crane truck to something called Koktobe Arch near the foothills of the Tienshan Mountains and follow a marked path til they found a Mongol warrior.

Meanwhile back at the Fast Forward, vegetarian Terrence was mortified to find out the challenge consisted of eating a big platter of some foul mystery meat. He could not do it. So, he and Sarah bailed and went back to the chicken factory while Nick & Starr finished eating and made it first to the Pit Stop for their 4th first place win in a row.

Back at the Koktobe Arch we watch the teams find the Mongol Warrior then wait while an eagle lands on the warrior's arm with a clue stuck to its foot. The clue was a Detour. They could Play Like Mad or Act Like Fools.

In the Mad option teams had to travel by taxi to a musical museum where they had to learn a Kasakhstan tune using 2 traditional instruments. When their teacher thought they were good enough he'd send them to a park to play for tips. Once they got a buck and a half they'd get their next clue.

In the Fool option teams had to go by taxi to a theater where they'd find a cow costume in the wardrobe department. Then they had to wander the streets of Almaty to find a marked stall where they'd drink a glass of milk, with a clue printed on the bottom of the glass that told them go to Zelyoniy Bazaar and find a butcher for their next clue.

Toni & Dallas went with the cow option. They were well ahead of Andrew & Dan, while Terrence & Sarah narrowed the gap. Andrew & Dan had a lot of trouble finding the arch and the warrior.

Toni & Dallas were having too much fun and missed the butcher stall. This gave Ken & Tina a chance to catch up which they botched when they missed the clue on the bottom of the milk glass. Then they screwed up worse by thinking they had to return the cow costume before finding the butcher. It was painful to watch.

While Ken & Tina were figuring it out, Toni & Dallas came in 2nd place. Followed eventually by Ken & Tina. Andrew & Dan had more troubles once they got into their cow. They could get no one to give them directions til finally some local took pity on them. They finally made it to the glass of milk ahead of Terrence & Sarah. Andrew & Dan's helper then quickly led them to the butcher. But they once more didn't read the clue right and took a taxi to the Pitstop. They then had to return to the butcher and walk back.

I forgot to mention they had no shoes. For some reason Andrew & Dan thought it'd be easier to be cows with no shoes. Those boys are not very fit, which allowed the editing to make it seem as if the very fit Terrence & Sarah had a chance to beat them. But in the end time ran out and Terrence & Sarah were eliminated from the race. Sarah seemed like a nice girl. Terrence seemed like a tighly-wound piece of work.

Cody Linley Booted Off Dancing With The Stars While The Real Housewives Of Atlanta Ends

Likable 18 year old Cody Linley got the boot last night on ABC's Dancing with the Stars. Cody Linley is a "Star" due to being on a TV show I've never seen called Hannah Montana. I think Hanna Montana is on the Disney Channel. I don't know if I get the Disney Channel.

DWTS's results show was more entertaining than usual, stuffed with more singers than I remember hearing before, starting off with Aretha Franklin singing "Chain of Fools" while some of the pros danced.

Leona Lewis sang "Bleeding Love" while Maks and Karina Rumba-ed across the stage. Julianne Hough got to sing her "My Hallelujah Song" while Mark Ballas, her brother, Derek and Lacey Schwimmer danced.
Then we had John Legend, who is not a legend to me because I've never heard of him, sing "Green Light" while a Soul Train thing with a lot of dancers danced.

Aretha Franklin then sang "Respect" and finally there'd been enough filler stuffing the hour that it was time to begin the elimination process which had Cody Linley saying bye-bye. He took it well.

Meanwhile, over on Bravo TV, The Real Housewives of Atlanta aired its last episode. I've not watched it yet.

The Atlanta Housewives Reunion Show airs November 25. Atlanta Housewife Lisa Wu Hartwell has leaked that by the time of the taping of the reunion show she couldn't take anymore of Crazy Kim Zolciak saying nasty things about her kids and family.

Hartwell said during the filming of the reality series she was always diplomatic, but during the reunion show she'd had enough, with a sudden unleashing of emotion, saying "People will be surprised because I was surprised and somewhat embarrassed myself. But I'm human and you have to let people know that they can't just say whatever they want to you."

Sounds like "Must See TV" to me.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

November Nielsen Ratings

Prime-time Nielsen Ratings for Nov. 3-9. Listings include the week's ranking, with viewership for the week and season-to-date rankings in parentheses. An "X" in parentheses denotes a one-time-only presentation.

1. (12) "60 Minutes," CBS, 18.47 million viewers.

2. (1) "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," CBS, 18.18 million viewers.

3. (6) "NBC Sunday Night Football" (New York Giants at Philadelphia), NBC, 17.56 million viewers.

4. (2) "Dancing With The Stars," ABC, 17.09 million viewers.

5. (5) "Desperate Housewives," ABC, 15.854 million viewers.

6. (X) "Dancing With The Stars Result Special," ABC, 15.848 million viewers.

7. (4) "Grey's Anatomy," ABC, 15.74 million viewers.

8. (X) "Saturday Night Live Presidential Bash '08," NBC, 14.44 million viewers.

9. (8) "Criminal Minds," CBS, 14.3 million viewers.

10. (X) "Vote 2008," ABC, 14.19 million viewers.

11. (12) "Two And a Half Men," CBS, 12.76 million viewers.

12. (10) "CSI: Miami," CBS, 12.74 million viewers.

13. (17) "Cold Case," CBS, 12.69 million viewers.

14. (X) "Decision '08," NBC, 12.46 million viewers.

15. (15) "Survivor: Gabon," CBS, 12.01 million viewers.

16. (10) "CSI: NY," CBS, 11.80 million viewers.

17. (24) "Amazing Race 13," CBS, 11.71 million viewers.

18. (21) "Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick," NBC, 11.40 million viewers.

19. (30) "Numb3rs," CBS, 11.28 million viewers.

20. (X) "NCIS," (Friday) CBS, 11.22 million viewers.

Tonight's Real Housewives Of Atlanta Last Episode

That's the lovely expression we get to see on Kim's face tonight on the final episode of Bravo TV's The Real Housewives of Atlanta. I believe this is the look on Kim's face when NeNe tries to get Kim to explain her bad behavior.

Reading the various TV Forums can be amusing at times. For whatever reason The Real Housewives of Atlanta really stirred up a reaction as viewers were appalled and curious about these supposedly real housewifes who seem to have more twisted secrets than the women on Desperate Housewives.

Like who the hell is Big Papa? How did Sheree get so cluelessly deluded? How does DeShawn manage to fool herself that she's actually running a charitable foundation? Does she not have Internet access? Does she not know she's known as an incompetent rip-off foundation head wannabe? What happened to NeNe's house? Why does Kim think she can sing?

Below are some choice little excerpts I picked up this morning...

I'm a little late to this thread, but I just caught up on the series on DVR. Beyond all that's already been said, and I can add is . . .


She's one of the craziest bitches this "Real Housewives" franchise has ever found. The lack of self-awareness, the trailer-park class, the chain-smoking, wine-sucking, floppy-tit-dragging, wanna-be-black ("let yo hater's be yo motivators, yo").

At this point, the only thing that could improve on this trainwreck would be if "Big Papa" turned out to be OC Tammy's ex-husband, who we learn faked his death in order to run away with Kim.

Right now, the biggest bomb around town (Atlanta) is that Big Papa is not Lee Najjar, but instead, David Foster, which makes sense if you have seen the CBS video and Kim's responses regarding whether or not Big Papa is a celebrity. Since David Foster was Brody Jenner's stepdad, Lee's son hangs out with Brody. Kim has known Lee for years. So, the text message from Lee is not that crazy.

I think it was on Thursday, on 98.5 in Atlanta, that they said they found out who Big Papa is. That it looks like he is not a doctor or a celebrity. And that Kim comes from a very rough past. They said they contacted Big Papa's wife and learned she knows all about Kim. Big Papa's wife said they actually named him "Big Sugar Daddy" and he owns strip clubs in the Atlanta area. And by the way, Kim and Big Papa are no more. Big Papa dumped Kim. According to Big Papa's wife. If she is to be believed.

Everyone in Atlanta knows (and has known for a while) that Big Papa is Lee Najjar. If people are stirring in other names it might be useful to know that Kim walked around town introducing Lee as her boyfriend (and did this for a while). Til they broke up.

Big Papa is in fact Lee Najjar. I know this first hand, not through some Internet rumor site. They dated for a little less than 2 years. Kim has the Cadillac Escalade, yes, plus her Range Rover, which Najjar also bought. He owns several properties in the Duluth area, as well as some in Buckhead. Kim and Sheree pulled into one of his shopping centers on last week's episode. He used to live in the Duluth area, but now he does live in Buckhead."

David Foster? Well...I guess if his 50 year old sister was willing to be Clay Aikens baby's mama, anything is possible!

I've got to quit blogging about The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Everytime I do so Google's AdSense turns the Google Ads into Public Service Announcements. Why I do not know. It vexes me. Maybe I need to only blog about top-rated TV shows on the main networks, ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX. Or Bravo's Top Chef. I'll see what happens when I mention TV shows like LOST on ABC. Or Three and a Half Men on CBS. I like Three and a Half Men. But I never get around to watching it. I somehow dropped Ugly Betty on ABC too, even though I found it very entertaining. I seem to have dropped several ABC shows. I don't watch Grey's Anatomy anymore either. Or Desperate Housewives.

To Have Or Have No Real Atlanta Housewives

Last night Durango TV consisted of watching the previously recorded The Amazing Race and the 60 Minutes interview with Barack and Michelle Obama. While I watched the DVR thing was recording Dancing with the Stars and Prison Break.

I find the DVR to be an amazing, mysterious gadget. How does it multi-task like it does?

Tonight on Bravo I believe we have the last episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. From the previews it appears we get to see the snooty, deluded Sheree get her comeuppance from an actual fashion designer, named, I think, Michael Knight. It looks like NeNe will take on the obnoxious Kept Woman, Kim.

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) starts something called the Leading Couples Festival. It starts at 7 Central with one of my favorite classic movies, that being To Have Or Have Not. Lauren Bacall in her first movie with Humphrey Bogart. She sizzles. The movie is sort of based on the novel of the same name by Earnest Hemingway. It's set in Martinique in WWII under the Vichy regime. Walter Brennan plays an old rummy named Eddie who is constantly begging for booze.

Adam's Rib with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn follow To Have or Have Not. I like that one too. The other movies in this Leading Couples Festival are not favorites of mine, that being Top Hat and A Night at the Opera. Though Groucho is always amusing for awhile.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday Night Durango TV Ratings Sweeps

We are currently experiencing what is known as the November TV Ratings Sweeps. I have no idea what the meaning of the word "sweeps" is. I do know that during Rating Sweeps advertising rates are determined. So, TV shows pull all sorts of stunts to try to get a higher ranking in the Nielsen Ratings.

Tonight I don't know what, if any, special sweeps stunts are on any particular Monday night program. I do know there is a special on The History Channel called Einstein. It's all about him working to get his relativity theory to make sense. This is a 2 hour look at Einstein. 9pm Eastern, 8pm Central.

On tonight's Dancing with the Stars there are only 4 Stars left dancing. Cody Linley, Lance Bass, Brooke Burke and Warren Sapp. 2 out of the 4 remaining Stars I'd not heard of before I saw them dance, the 2 unknown to me being Cody Linley and Warren Sapp.

Prison Break is on tonight. I am now 4 episodes behind. I'm having the same trouble with a DVR that I always had with a VCR. In that I record a program and then not get around to watching it. With the DVR it is way too easy to record. The thing even automatically records any random thing I watch while channel chasing. You can go get something to drink, come back and hit the rewind button and go back to where you were when you went to the kitchen.

One Tree Hill may be a sweeps stunt tonight. The episode is written by one of the serie's actors, Chad Michael Murray. The episode goes back in time to the 1940s where Murray is the owner of a nightclub.

Tonight marks the 150th episode of CSI: Miami. I've watched this show a time or two. It requires almost as strong suspension of disbelief as does Prison Break. It was the episode where a tsunami crashed into Miami that did it for me. I've not watched CSI: Miami since. I don't mind suspending disbelief. I do mind when doing so also requires being stupid.

A new episode of Samantha Who? airs tonight after Dancing with the Stars. I like Samantha Who? I find it very amusing and cleverly plotted. Maybe I should set my DVR to record it. I've actually only managed to watch Samantha Who? twice. Christina Applegate and Jean Smart are very funny.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

NeNe Latest Real Housewives of Atlanta Fraud?

For me NeNe seems the most normal of the bizarre Atlanta Housewives that Bravo rounded up for the supposed Real Housewives of Atlanta. NeNe seems to have a nice husband. Seems to have nice kids. Seems to live in a nice house.

And then I got the following from Tink in Atlanta, in which I learn, among other things, that NeNe's actual name is Linnethia.....

I live it Atlanta and I've become addicted to this trainwreck of a show.

Something has bothered me about NeNe from the beginning. First off, her house seems awfully staged to me. Have you noticed that there is never ANYTHING on the countertops, the bookshelves are almost bare, etc? When she had friends over, they had to sit on pillows in the living room because there was hardly any furniture.

So, I did a little digging, and this is what I found:

1) According to public tax records, her "home" (which is not in Sugarloaf CC; it's in a Weiland neighborhood across the street from Sugarloaf) actually belongs to an individual by the name of Kajani Shenaz Ali.

2) On (a public site), you can search for Gregg Leakes, NeNe's husband (there are many selections to choose from) and you will see this: http://www.gwinnettcourts...tail/case:08%2dm%2d30200/, where he is the defendant in a September eviction notice for the same address.

3) When you look up Linnethia Leakes on, you get an address for a condo in Duluth. I live a few minutes away, and yes, I have too much time on my hands, so I drove to that address and found this condo with a Kia SUV in the driveway (not quite the Land Rover NeNe drives on the show).

The condo mentioned above is the photo at the top. Photo taken by Tink.