Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Real Housewives of New York City: Countess Luann de Lesseps Splits From Count with Jill & Bethenny

Last week The Real Housewives of New York City's pompous Countess, Luann, took extreme umbrage at Ramona when Ramona made a remark about the Countess being married to a much older man. Luann was quite upset at this, insisting the Old Count was not an Old Man.

And now, apparently, the Count has split from Luann, via an email, telling the Native American, former model, Countess by marriage, that he'd moved on to an Ethiopian woman in Geneva.

A close friend told Page Six of the New York Post that, "Luann was blindsided. She was devastated, they have basically lived apart for many years, he lives in Europe and comes and goes as he pleases, but she never thought this would happen. It has been very rough for her and the children [Victoria and Noel], but she's taking the high road and will remain friends with him. She has no intention of making it bitter or becoming angry. She's just trying to come to terms with the separation and impending divorce. She feels this is the ultimate test for her to handle this with dignity and grace."

In April, Luann is coming out with a book, "Class with the Countess." Luann has told friends that no matter what she will always be the countess.

I beg to differ. Sounds, to me, like she's been de-throned.

A spokesman for Countess Luann said, "It is obviously a very difficult time for the Countess and Count, but they plan to remain friends and their primary focus will be to do what is best for their two children."

Meanwhile, Bethenny and Jill have been on a lot of TV interview talk show venues, including a very funny one with Chelsea on E!. In that interview Chelsea asks something like, "What's up with that pasty ugly couple?" referring to Simon & Alex, now commonly referred to as Silex. What follows that question is some pretty funny stuff. This Chelsea interview has not been YouTubed yet, but you can watch it by going here.

Bethenny and Jill are interviewed on another show that did get YouTubed, that being TV Guide Broadband. They are not quite as brutal about Silex on this one. And the new girl, Kelly, is talked about.

Kelly is beginning to rival Silex as the most reviled of the people on The Real Housewives of New York City. I'd have to say Kelly is worse. There is very little amusement factor with Kelly, while I think Silex know they are being over the top ridiculous and are milking it. Somewhat. There are moments when it is obvious that Silex are being clueless about their cluelessness, though.

But, with Kelly, I don't think she has the slightest clue how stupid and obnoxious she comes across. Well, she likely does now, unless that stupidity problem is worse than I thought, because, by now, she has watched herself on the show and maybe she has been appalled and embarrassed. Maybe.

Below is the TV Guide YouTube video with Bethenny and Jill......

Monday, March 30, 2009

Amazing Race Thailand Elephant Walk

Last night's Amazing Race episode, in Thailand, was the most Amazing Race fun I've had in awhile. It had drama, it had humor, it had a beautiful location and it had a somewhat suspenseful ending, with dad and son, Mel & Mike, being eliminated from the race.

When the teams got to Phuket, Thailand they had to find the gorilla in a photo included in their clue. But no one had a clue where the ape was. The teams stayed close together and then in a totally funny It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World moment all the teams except Mel and Mike assaulted locals, asking if they knew where the gorilla was. One by one the teams were told Phuket Zoo.

As they rushed to their cabs and took off towards the zoo, Mel and Mike risked that the others were wrong and stayed with their driver's insistence that the gorilla was at Patong Beach. After getting to the beach Mel and Mike wasted time wandering around looking for the phantom monkey, while the other teams, with the short guys, Mark & Michael, the first to get to the clue box and have their picture taken while sitting with a big tiger.

After the tiger it was off to the elephant where the big pachyderm walked over the two teammates, stepping on their butts and squatting over one of them as if it was about to release a huge supply of elephant dung.

One by one the teams petted the tiger and got stomped on by the elephant. Their next clue took them to an herb shop where laboriously, one by one, drawers were opened, looking for the next clue.

Mark & Michael were the first out of the herb shop, they had to choose a detour of '100 Barrels' or '2 Miles.' With the barrels you had to find a boat and load it with empty barrels with other barrels that you had to fill with water. Mark & Michael chose to run a rickshaw for 2 miles.

All the teams chose the rickshaw except for Mel & Mike and the sisters, Kisha & Jen. Kisha & Jen got to the boats well ahead of Mel & Mike, but did not think to fill the barrels with water, while hauling empty barrel ls to the roof. When Mel & Mike got to the boats they quickly worked out an efficient method that looked to put the sisters in jeopardy. But the sisters finished the task first.

Meanwhile back at the rickshaws, Victor pulled his sister Tammy on a rickshaw with flat wheels. Mark & Michael hid the pumps. A little bad boy behavior of which they were quite proud, which cost them dearly.

Margie had trouble directing Luke, due to that hearing problem, so she took over, which would cost her dearly.

The cheerleaders, or is it flight attendants, Jaime & Cara didn't have too much trouble with the rickshaws. Jaime was a shrewish screaming meemie in the herb shop, causing Mike to remark, "she's a mean girl."

When Mark & Michael got to the Pitstop first, Phil told them they were the first team to arrive, to which the brothers went into celebrating mode, and then Phil told them they had incurred two 30 minute penalties. One for hiding the pumps, the other for having their taxi driver lead them to their rickshaw destination. As the minutes ticked down, the hour of waiting was almost up when Victor & Tammy showed up, getting #1, again, and a trip to Oahu. Then Jaime & Kara got on the mat, before the hour was up, making them #2. Then Mark & Michael finally got to check in, at #3.

Luke & Margie were the next to arrive. Margie was not feeling well. When Phil told them they were team #4, Luke jumped up and down, celebrating, while Margie started looking woozy, collapsing, with Luke trying to hold her and Phil rushing in to help get Margie safely on the ground. Luke went into panic mode, letting out primal screams, as best he could, of "mom."

Cut to commercial.

When we came back, Margie was being fanned and drinking water. Phil told her an ambulance would soon be there. Margie said she was fine.

Back to Kisha & Jen and Mel & Mike. Kisha & Jen's taxi driver took them to the wrong temple. Meanwhile Mel & Mike finished the task and were in a taxi heading to the right temple. Kisha & Jen got some locals to drive them to the correct spot, getting to the Pitstop ahead of Mel & Mike.

I liked Mel & Mike. About the nicest people to have run The Amazing Race. Funny, too.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

American Idol: Adam Lambert Wins With Weeks To Go

Last night Adam Lambert continued to appear to have already won this year's American Idol. Last week Simon Cowell told Adam his rendition of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" was utter self-indulgent rubbish. This week Cowell told Adam that he is now a STAR after singing Smokey Robinson's "Tracks of my Tears" Smokey gave Adam a standing ovation, followed by pretty much ever one else.

To go from utter rubbish to being a STAR in one week is impressive. Then again, I often think a lot of what comes out of Simon Cowell's mouth is utter self-indulgent rubbish.

What impresses me about this Lambert kid is he is memorable. Usually it takes me awhile to remember their names, or anything else about them. But this guy is interesting. He's a Karma Chameleon. Last week he had on a lot of makeup with clothes that made him look like a Glam King. This week he left off the fingernail polish and turned himself into Elvis. Well, more accurately, the Kurt Russell version of Elvis.

I fast forward through a lot of American Idol. I don't care for that girl, I think the name is Megan, with the tattooed arm. That girl is painful to watch due to how awkward she moves, her arms rocking back and forth like bird wings. She's a really good-looking girl, except for those tattoos.

The guy who mentioned his dead wife one time too many, Danny Gokey, finally got some harsh words. I don't know what they were, because I fast forwarded through him. But I read that 2 of the judges were critical. I assume one being the always critical Cowell.

I like that super young redhead Allison girl who closed the show. She seems so much older than her 16, or is it 17, years.

By this morning I'm not remembering much about the rest of the singers. I recollect Matt the Piano player only stayed at the piano for a short time. And that the blind piano player, Scott, stayed at the piano the entire time. I don't remember what either sang.

I'm guessing that's part of what is meant by 'star' quality. As in being memorable. That and you want to see what they'll do next. So, I guess, as usual, Simon Cowell is right. Adam Lambert is now a STAR. A male Madonna, changing how he looks week to week. Googling for images of that boy you come up with some very interesting Adam Lambert variations.

I wonder what he'll come up with next? Last night Randy Jackson praised him for straightening up his act or something like that. Maybe Adam will do some more straightening. Lose those awful earrings, maybe. Get a short haircut. Next week come out dressed like a construction worker singing Macho Man. Simon Cowell would likely call that self-indulgent rubbish.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Nielsen Rating's Top 20 TV Shows for March 16 - March 22

The Nielsen Rating's Top 20 TV Shows for March 16 - March 22. The first number is the ranking, the second number is the season average, then the show name and network. The last number represents the number of viewers in millions. An 'x' indicates non-series special programming. An asterisk * indicates a tie.

1. American Idol (Wed) Fox 23.7
2. American Idol (Tues) Fox 21.9
3. Dancing With the Stars ABC 21.2
4. 60 Minutes CBS 17.0
5. NCIS CBS 15.8
6. The Mentalist CBS 15.5
7. Desperate Housewives ABC 14.7
8. Grey's Anatomy ABC 14.6
9. Two and a Half Men CBS 14.1
10. Criminal Minds CBS 13.7
11. CSI: Miami CBS 13.6
12. House Fox 13.1
13. CSI: NY CBS 12.8
14. Dancing With the Stars Results Show ABC 12.7
15. The Amazing Race CBS 12.4
16. Without a Trace CBS 11.9
17. Rules of Engagement CBS 11.4
* Cold Case CBS 11.4
* 24 Fox 11.4
20. Castle ABC 11.0

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Real Housewives of New York City Season 2: Alex & Simon are Creepy, so is LuAnn

I couldn't get hooked on The Real Housewives of Orange County. Maybe it is because they are West Coast, I am West Coast and they didn't seem all that alien to me.

But, The Real Housewives of New York City and Atlanta, those people are very alien to me. And thus entertaining.

Currently we are on, I think, the 4th episode of The Real Housewives of New York City. This season a new housewife has been added named Kelly. I don't like her.

This season it appears the Countess, LuAnn de Lessups, is providing the editors with enough good material to make her appear to be a hypocritical, well, creep. That whole Countess thing is just weird. She's in America. We don't do that type stuff here. And she's writing an etiquette book. Wants to call it Class with the Countess. Bethenny, who I like the best of all of them, is on to the Countessess un-classiness.

Bethenny was real happy to be featured on the cover of some New York social magazine. A lot of photos were taken. Bethenny told LuAnn about the photo shoot. And LuAnn asked if a lot of airbrushing had to be done. Now, Bethenny is one of those sweet sensitive sorts. Of course that remark bothered her. But, the Countess would not own it when Bethenny eventually verbalized that she didn't appreciate the remark. The Countess must forget that all is on tape. Seen by millions.

In that same episode, at the same event, we saw the Countess direct her ire at Ramona after Ramona made some remark about LuAnn's husband being an old man, twice her age. That fight was pretty funny. Bethenny and Ramona were all atwitter to tell Jill all about what she missed, upon Jill's arrival. Jill likes to be in the middle of any brouhaha and is intensely disappointed to miss such a thing. I like Jill.

In an earlier episode we saw the Countess taking her daughter and the daughter's friends to some lunch type deal, where the Countess decided to entertain the girls by offering etiquette and manners advice. At one point the Countess had a piece of food fall off her fork. On to her chest. To which the classy Countess said, "I just dropped some food on my breast." Now I may not be a maven of manners, but I believe when such a thing occurs one discreetly takes care of the problem. One does not draw attention to the accident and make an announcement about ones breasts.

Those are just a couple examples of LuAnn being the Countess of Uncouth. There are many more.

And then there is Alex and Simon. As Jill said, everyone tells her they are creepy. They are creepy. Ramona, who I've also grown to like, will have nothing to do with them.

In an earlier episode we saw Ramona and her husband, Mario, lounging about their beautiful pool at their home in the Hamptons. Then we cut back to New York City to Alex and Simon at their pool. One of those above ground 12 foot wide, 3 feet deep pools. About which Alex says something like a lot of people in New York City live in apartments and can't have a pool. But we have a backyard so we can afford the luxury of a pool.

Alex and Simon are remodeling their rundown house that so appalled viewers and the other housewives last season. At that time they claimed they were working on the house. Now they claim they live in a house for 3 years to get a feel for it and what needs to change. And then they renovate. Alex and Simon use the term "renovation" rather than "remodel." I suppose because "renovation" sounds more impressive. To make new, not to simply slightly alter.

We saw their renovator. He has Oh Oh written all over him. Alex acted all pretentious about not wanting a granite counter top because it is no longer trendy and she doesn't want her kitchen to look like everyone else's. She wants built-in bookcases, not just for show, like most people, but real functioning bookcases with a reading corner so her brats, Francoise and Johann, can read. She said she's going to have the collective works of Shakespeare and Dickens at the boy's fingertips.

Those boys are going to be so messed up by the time they reach the age of reading, unless Child Protective Services gets them away from that perverse pair.

Simon and Alex and their offspring went on vacation to St. Barts. Simon brought along his pink pants and matching shoes. When they returned Alex checked the mail for invites to social events, commenting on the relative value of the invites.

Meanwhile, the renovations had not progressed, in their absence, like they'd hoped they would. Jill dropped in, I think to help pick out fabric, and was horrified that anyone would live like Alex and Simon are living. Simon supposedly owns a hotel. Why don't they move to the hotel? Is isn't easy to remodel with someone living in the place. I know this from personal nightmare.

Anyway, Alex and Simon are being way weirder than last season. They knew what people thought of them, how people made fun of them, how people thought them to be pretentious social climbing wannabes. Are those two just having fun, weirding it up for our viewing pleasure?

And then there's the bombshell that Alex and Simon are writing a book on parenting! Those two should never have been allowed to reproduce, let alone write a book about what they've done with their reproductions. They've got to be making it up. They saw the same footage of their brats from hell that we all saw.

Another piece of evidence that the Alex and Simon act is not real is that it seems the producers are on to it. When they shoot Alex in a confidential moment they use lighting that makes her look like a living cadaver. This is either done on purpose, or she had gotten even more cadaverous looking than she was last season.

Please, if there is any mercy in the Universe, let no new nude photos of Alex show up, like they did last season. Those photos were like anti-Viagra. Chilling. I shouldn't have looked. But I couldn't stop myself. And now, I am forever scarred.

The Amazing Race: Brought to Tears by India

Last night's Amazing Race episode made up for the previous week's Siberian episode that left me cold.

The racers left Russia to fly a couple thousand miles south to Jaipur, India. India is never one of my favorite Amazing Race places, India never causes me to think, I want to see that in person, like so much of the rest of the world makes me think.

Well, I sort of had a fleeting moment or two where I thought I'd like to see Jaipur. It appears to be a colorful place.

Luke did not take it well, seeing how poor India is, kids and cows eating garbage. One of the cheerleaders was driven to tears, too. The cheerleader did not have her mom along to comfort her, but Luke did.

Luke and Margie started off as my favorite team. But now I want the dad and son team of Mel and Mike to win. Mel, being 68 years old does amazingly well. And he's always good-natured, as is Mike. Mel chose to do the Roadblock, when making the choice, not realizing how hard it was.

The Roadblock had the teams hauling water and hay to feed a herd of camels. The clue told them to use native tools. Mel figured out how to haul the hay, using a pitchfork and a basket. While the rest of the teams used their waterbuckets or stuffed the hay in their shirts, til they figured it out. By the time the other teams figured it out, Mel was way ahead of them.

Tammy and Victor had already finished the Roadblock and way in the lead. Victor is annoying. I'm tired of hearing him talk about breaking lawyer and Asian stereotypes, while he is, ironically being stereotypically Asian. Whatever that means.

Tammy and Victor sailed through the Roadblock and then on to first to the Pitstop where an Indian blowing music out of his nose welcomed them to India.

Mel and Mike got on the finish mat second. Then Jaime & Cara, Luke & Margie and Kisha & Jen all getting to the Pitstop at pretty much the same time.

So, it is down to the little guys, Mark & Mike and Speedbumped Christie & Jodi. The blondes had gotten through their Speedbump quickly, painting an elephant. Then they chose the same detour that all but Mark and Mike had picked, that being the option of putting on a costume and begging for money til they collected 100 rupees. Meanwhile Mark & Mike were the only ones to choose the Mover option, rather than the Shaker option. This had them each pedaling a bike with a huge load of barrels for over a mile, then unpacking the barrels and emptying them to find a little elephant.

For once it wasn't obvious who was going to make it to the mat in time. I thought the Blondes were going to make it, but Mark & Mike beat them, just barely.

Very good Amazing Race. And their Jaipur Fort Pitstop is a very impressive building. With monkeys.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Nielsen Rating's Top 20 TV Shows for March 9 - March 15

The Nielsen Rating's Top 20 TV Shows for March 9 - March 15. The first number is the ranking, the second number is the season average, then the show name and network. The last number represents the number of viewers in millions. An 'x' indicates non-series special programming. An asterisk * indicates a tie.

1. 1 American Idol (Tues) Fox 25.8
2. 1 American Idol (Wed) Fox 25.5
3. 3 Dancing With the Stars ABC 22.8
4. 4 CSI CBS 17.1
5. 9 Desperate Housewives ABC 14.6
6. 11 Criminal Minds CBS 14.3
* 8 The Mentalist CBS 14.3
8. 14 CSI: Miami CBS 14.2
9. 13 Grey's Anatomy ABC 13.6
10. 16 CSI: NY CBS 13.6
11. 6 NCIS CBS 13.5
12. 11 Two and a Half Men CBS 13.4
* 21 Cold Case CBS 13.0
14. 10 60 Minutes CBS 12.9
15. 16 Survivor: Tocantins CBS 12.8
* 18 House Fox 12.4
17. 23 Eleventh Hour CBS 11.6
* 18 24 Fox 11.4
* 21 Lie to Me Fox 11.3
20. 39 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit NBC 11.1

Steve Wozniak's Dancing With The Stars Accusations

Steve Wozniak has some corners of the Internet all aflutter this morning due to complaints he's made in various venues regarding the way the scores are tabulated on Dancing With The Stars.

Judges scores are supposedly combined with the votes from the viewers. The actual viewer's vote numbers are never revealed.

Apparently The Woz did some quick calculating in his head the the score came up fraud.

The Woz sent an email to his Facebook support group at 6 am Tuesday morning. That's is below in quotes. Below that I'll share some additional reaction.

"Well, the judges gave us the lowest score. But the audience applauded one of the judges saying that what we did was what the show was all about. I don't believe that they did much similar applauding for any of the other dances.

Afterward we spoke with press for an hour. They all said how in the press room they had cheered us only, loving our dance. One press person said she was getting lots of messages saying how much people loved our dance. She didn't get any such messages for any of the other dancers.

When Karina and I returned and finished our post-interview, the other dancers all told us how much they loved our dance and how fun it was. I have made a lot of good friends among the dancers and celebrities, and being nice helps.

Karina and I did exactly as we planned, so we came away extremely happy. I hit every beat. I didn't hear any specific comments about not leading with toes or having toes pointing wrong, or a hand upside down, or leaning forward, or having a foot miss even a single beat (it didn't happen). All I heard was some teletubby comment, which might be valid. I would say that there is a big mismatch between the judges' votes and the audience responses. That might be a matter for the producers."

You can go to The Woz Blog to read him describe his ongoing Dancing With The Stars experience.

Below is some reaction to The Woz and what he's had to say about Dancing With The Stars and more of his critical quotes.

Everyone says Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is a nice man. He's Polish, of course.

However, in an e-mail to his Facebook Support Group, posted at 6 a.m. PST Tuesday, the Woz appears to be getting very, very ratty. And the rodent that he's smelling is the ABC production team of "Dancing with the Stars."

He is suspicious that the true voting numbers, both from telephone and online voting, are never revealed. This leads him to believe that he may be forced into the two-couple dance-off, just to boost ratings.

"The producers play games to get viewers and don't disclose the numbers. If they disclosed the numbers, it would be less of a game, but still suspect. If tomorrow, they claim I'm in the bottom 2 dance teams, including viewer votes, I believe that it's an outright lie," he said.

He has begun to make his accusations in ABC interviews too.

"I called it fake about 20 times today on camera," he said. "Each time in the same sentence as whatever comment they wanted about doing a dance-off tomorrow. That way, they couldn't edit it easily to say what they wanted. They kept trying to get me to say what I'd do if I was in the dance-off without using the word fake."

He even accuses producers of getting him to say things that are simply untrue: "They will have some small video tomorrow of me saying things that I strongly told them I don't believe. They will also shoot me in a one-hour rehearsal tomorrow with my partner, but I'll keep calling the idea of my being in the bottom 2, after audience participation, a lie."

Although he is not clear about all the sources of his suspicions, his accusations are extremely open: "I'm sure they want me in this dance-off to get higher Tuesday ratings, and they have preplanned it so that I win. If my leg acts up tomorrow, they will either have to announce another pair as being the lowest or send me home, and I don't think they will give me up."

Well, at least he thinks he's going to win, even though his performance Monday night still didn't reach the standards he might wish for himself.

Seemingly straining to be nice, he admitted that he is straining to be nice: "It's hard to get all this out politely, challenging the truthfulness of reporting of our dance team positions. But I am who I am, and I speak my mind and hate these unethical twists. I'm not after any Hollywood existence."

He continued: "I have vowed to all my friends that I will not change in that way; I won't go over the line. I'm here to help others appreciate dancing. But that doesn't mean I have to compromise my ethics very much."