Here we are, back for another round-up of some of summer’s biggest reality TV shows (Big Brother! So You Think You Can Dance! The Bachelorette!) and a little sneak peek at some other shows you may not have known are on the way, like Project Runway! (Did you know it is back for a 16th season?)
If you thought last week was jam packed, this one was absolutely non-stop, with some major upsets, tense moments, big victories, wonderful beginnings, and — as always — a lot of arguing. There was an abundance of tears across the board, out of both joy and frustration, as tempers flared, hopes were dashed, and hard work paid off. We finally got to The Bachelorette finale, which — without any spoilers — was one of the hardest to watch of any season. We also finally got through “Academy Week” on SYTYCD. Goodness. It took some time, but good things come to those who wait … right?
As always, sit back, kick your feet up, and grab a moist towelette because we’re digging in deep today and you know what that means — we’re going to get a bit dirty on the way.
Where we’re at: What a messy week at the BB house this one was. Josh, our dearest Meatball, was HoH, which was a terrifying prospect for most people involved. You might assume this would mean that obviously Paul’s perpetual dual target, Jody, would be on the block. But, as Christmas had to remind Josh, this was his HoH and his decision to make — not Paul’s. Josh was gunning for Elena hard, because she upset him once or twice. I can’t really call it a strategic move, but he genuinely felt that it was, so God bless Josh for that.
Jody (Jessica and Cody, if you’re wondering) decided they couldn’t both be up for elimination, so Jessica threw the Temptation Competition, fully banking on Cody winning safety and also fully assuming she could win Power of Veto. Cody did win the Temptation Competition, so it seemed like their plan was going to be executed perfectly. Except for the fact that Christmas had accepted a previous Temptation and was in possession of a Ring of Replacement. Using it would allow her to replace anyone in the veto competition with herself. Paul had been doing his darnedest to convince her that she must replace Jessica, because Jessica had to go before Elena, and it didn’t seem like Josh was listening to him — for once. This was all very frustrating for the Supreme Leader, Paul.
Christmas told Josh she would use the Ring if he blinked at her during the ceremony, which he did. She used the Ring, replacing Jessica, and we all got to watch Paul visibly rejoice. Long may he reign.
After winning veto, Mark used it to pull himself off the block, with Raven taking his place. Somehow, even with the HoH yelling all week about Elena, Jessica was voted out of the house by everyone except Cody.
Oh, and Alex won HoH for this coming week.
What to expect next: Cody is alone, Alex is HoH, and Julie Chen has informed us that from this point on there will be no battle-backs. Everyone who is eliminated from now on is out of the game for good. The game is now about who Paul wants on the jury, aka, who will vote for him at the end. With a double eviction coming up, next week should be interesting.
O/U on how many times Josh will cry next episode: 3
Josh cries when people fight with him, and you can expect Elena to have some words this coming week.
Odds of Cody aligning himself with Kevin Schlehuber: 5/4
Kevin approached Cody earlier in the episode to assure him if Jessica were voted out, he would work with Cody to knock out Matt, Mark, Elena and Raven. Cody didn’t want to work alongside of Paul, but appeared interested in a semblance of alliance. which excited Kevin. Until he later sat in the diary room and told all of America he didn’t mean a single word of that conversation. But, Cody is all alone and isn’t going to get far as a lone wolf. Even a sham of an alliance is better for him at this point.
Odds of Mark and Elena being voted out together: 2/1
Mark and Elena are strong players, so Veto isn’t out of the question for either, but should that be secured by someone else I can see two birds being killed by the one stone.
Where we’re at: Oh, friends. We made it. We survived what felt like an impossibly long “week” at the Academy, and are finally down to the Top Ten. Did anyone else start to question whether or not we would ever make it to the other side, or was that just me?
Of course, we didn’t begin the episode with the big reveal.
We began with our All-Stars performing a group routine choreographed by Mandy Moore, which was stunning and made me feel very sad for poor Allison who had to sit it out (she sustained a shoulder injury during rehearsals, and was substituted by Audrey Case). The Top Ten dancers were then revealed and we got to watch the All-Stars perform alongside their respective dancers (except, again, for poor Allison), further convincing me that we are in for something good this season. The final group routine of the evening was choreographed by none other than Wade Robson — yes, the Wade Robson of “Ramalama (Bang Bang)” fame, Amanda Robson and Tony Testa. It was amazing. I am not going to bother trying to describe the genius of it, as there was simply too much going on. You must watch for yourself.
Who are our Top Ten dancers, you ask? Let me finally tell you! The Top Ten dancers for Season 14 are:
To be honest, not one pick felt wrong as it was being announced. Each dancer chosen is there for good reason and the All-Stars did a fantastic job of honing in on the talent. I can’t wait for next week.
What to expect next: Next week is the first episode where fans get to weigh in, which genuinely makes me nervous every single year. Inevitably, America will fall in love with someone’s looks or personality, and not their dancing capabilities, meaning that, inevitably, a great dancer will be sent home prematurely. Travis Wall will come in second-place to Benji Schwimmer, and 12 seasons later we will still be shaking our heads in disbelief. (Full disclosure: I’m still not okay over that one.)
O/U on how many times Mary screams during the next episode: 5
Mary Murphy’s hot tamale train is one of the truest highlights SYTYCD has to offer. You can hear its distinctive “WOO! WOO!” from miles away. Luckily for all of us viewers (you can argue me on this) Murphy isn’t known to hold back her feelings.
Odds of Allison being able to perform next week: 2/1
She is determined, but she isn’t going to want to mess her shoulder up any more than it already is. If Audrey has to dance for one more week, it will be worth it in the long run – no matter how frustrating.
Odds that Kaylee is up for elimination: 3/1
Kaylee is technically proficient, no doubt about it. Her movements are precise, she has incredible control over all her extremities, and her routine this week was truly well performed — but there is a depth missing that will be her downfall.
Where we’re at: This week we started with the nominations of last week and ended with the eliminations. Evidently there was just so much game play that they could not contain it within only one episode. Picking up from last week, Cory was still gunning for Johnny Bananas, checking off his kill list with Arya Stark-like determination. He has his reasons, though, mainly that Bananas has won six times and Cory knows if he is not eliminated, there’s a solid chance this will be his seventh victory.
For a healthy dose of drama, enter Drunk Tony. After a night out at the club an inebriated Tony told Cara Maria she looked like his mother at 60, which he then immediately forgot saying. So, when Cara brought up the actual words he actually said, Drunk Tony got very upset she was talking bad about his mother. It was time for Drunk Tony to sleep. Thank you, Bananas, for getting him to his bed where he belonged.
Kailah and Jenna went head to head for elimination on the women’s side, while Tony battled it out with Ammo on the men’s. Jenna and Tony ended up losing the elimination round, but of course we know they aren’t gone-gone. They’ve joined the others at the Redemption House, so it may not be the last we see of Drunk Tony.
Although, that would be a big surprise.
What to expect next: Next week it’s time for Redemption. The season’s biggest twist (so says the Challenge Facebook page) is coming – although it’s only really a twist to the competitors, because we’ve always known about the Redemption House. Unless they have a second twist up their sleeves that no one knows about. Either way, in the immortal words of TJ, it’s bound to be a “very dirty game”.
Odds that Darrell finds Redemption: 5/4
He is a strong competitor, which is the exact reason he was gunned down so quickly in the beginning. We don’t know what the Redemption Challenge is going to look like, but he is definitely one of the best bets in the Redemption House right now.
Odds that Cory succeeds in getting Johnny Bananas eliminated: 3/1
Bananas has won six times, and Cory is wildly determined to keep him far away from a seventh. He’s giving it his all, however, Johnny Bananas has won six times for a reason. He knows what he’s doing in this game.
Odds that Tony is redeemed back into the game: 50/1
Tony is not great with challenges, you guys.
One bachelorette, emotionally distressed? Got it. Two men, vying for said bachelorette’s affection? Got those, too. Tears? Check. A lot of tears? Check, and check. Chris Harrison’s sympathetic musings? Absolutely! So, what on earth happened?
Peter happened, you guys. Going into the episode we all knew his misgivings on the whole engagement thing was going to be (sorry, was already) a huge issue for Rachel. To be honest, I don’t really understand why Peter was on The Bachelorette to begin with – was he confused about the end game?
Okay, there is a lot of ground to cover and only so much space to do so. Let’s start at the beginning, which is that almost the entire first hour of the finale was dedicated solely to Peter and Bryan’s dates. After about 45 minutes of no Eric it felt safe to assume he was headed home – which he was. I can only assume Rachel regretted this later on, considering how sincere his goodbye was to her, and how much she was going to cry over Peter.
It started out the way it has this entire season with Rachel and Peter. He wasn’t sure about the next step, she was not okay with that. He wanted her to realize he loved her, but needed more time; she wanted him to realize that the entire point of the show they were both on was to end with a proposal. Rachel ended up inviting him to the Fantasy Suite to “give them more time to talk”, which I actually assume they did, because girl had questions for him. The next day Rachel was very distracted by all of this back and forth on her date with Bryan, but luckily they powered through that into their own Fantasy Suite night together, where it could be argued that talking was not all that necessary.
Back to Peter, because the rest is honestly just details. He and Rachel had a date in the mountains of Spain, held a semi-confusing conversation with a monk up there, and then headed back to his place to fight. They fought, and fought over the things we have heard them talk about this entire season. Rachel cried so much her eyelashes fell off. Peter finally caved and told her her would propose, which was not good enough for Rachel. Peter snapped at her to find someone who will give her a mediocre life – which, Rachel was understandably upset at. The two of them were at stalemate, and knew it. Eventually Rachel left, Peter tore off his sweater in despair, and Bryan won by default, basically.
Oh, they still did the whole proposal thing with Rachel and Bryan, but with no suspenseful build up it just sort of felt like an even cheaper gimmick than usual. When he got on one knee and opened up that ring box, Rachel let out a shriek of, “It’s so pretty! Give it to me! It’s so pretty!” – so, really, I guess, she got what she wanted in the end.
Phew. That was a lot.
What to expect next: By all accounts Rachel and Bryan are happily engaged still. Will their engagement end in a marriage? Statistically speaking, Bachelor/ette relationships don’t pan out well, but Bryan seems fairly tunnel-visioned and Rachel really wants to be married, so…there’s that. As for Peter, a photo of his high school yearbook surfaced back in June, stating his future plans as to “become famous in one way or another” and to “be on the Bachelor”, so…there’s that for him, as well.
Odds that Rachel and Bryan get married: 10/1
We are giving it slightly better odds this week than we did last, taking into account Rachels confession that she’s been thinking about a winter wedding already, and after seeing how staunchly she affirmed to Peter that this is her “best life”. How long it would last is another question all together.
Odds that Rachel still regrets saying goodbye to Eric: 1/4
Eric turned out to be the warmest and most sincere man of the season, it seems, but why did he have to be eliminated before Rachel really realized this? You know she regretted it even further after crying her eyelashes off with Peter. And, I would wager, still does, considering she is with a man so completely the opposite dearest Eric.
Where we’re at: If you assumed that by Episode Five we would have seen all of the Housewives in the same room at least once, you would somehow be wrong. Call me crazy, but isn’t the whole point of this show to see the women interacting? I guess we can keep crossing our fingers for next episode, but till that happens we will just get to keep watching loosely connected story lines and awkward discussions about sex. Actually, let’s cross our remaining fingers that the latter was this week only.
Whether it was a production request or semi-organic happening we may never know, but both Lydia and Doug, and Vicki engaged in “the talk” with their respective children this week. Lydia and Doug took a more religious approach after their eight year-old son mentioned something about “sexy ladies”. Vicki just spoke super candidly with her son about the whole thing. Although, it does remain debatable whether Michael learned anything new from it, or if he will survive the embarrassment of hearing Vicki discuss the “pull-out” method.
Back in Hawaii (sorry, Lydia and Doug are in Hawaii) there was a discussion about whether Doug should get a vasectomy, and it seemed as though he were emasculated at the very idea of it. Question answered, it seems.
We were only ever able to get a handful of wives in the same room, at the same time, this week. Meghan, Tamra and Shannon had lunch together, where we learned a sip-and-see is being planned, which means people sip on drinks and see Meghan’s new baby. Peggy hosted an unveiling for a new car, which is absolutely as tacky as it sounds. Shannon did not go to this, because of Vicki and Kelly. Kelly met with Tamra over lunch where mutual apologies were offered, and although Kelly kind of seems like a legitimate bully it appears her and Tamra end on an okay note. Kelly’s next goal: to make amends with the other Housewives, particularly Shannon. Don’t bother holding your breath for too long.
What to expect: Meghan’s sip-and-see has the potential to be the whole-gang-get-together we have been waiting for. Everyone has promised to be on their best behaviour, but you don’t need to expect that to look the same as your best behaviour. The Housewives are known for turning neutral events (childrens’ birthday parties are a favorite) into soapboxes. I’m interested to see where things head with Kelly’s apparent change of heart. Last episode she was laughing about her fight with Shannon, now this week she wants to make amends. Stranger things have happened, but I doubt it will come smoothly.
Odds that Meghan’s sip-and-see turns into the fight everyone promised it wouldn’t: 1/5
If we know anything, anything at all, about the Housewives it is that they simply cannot keep their mouths shut at kid-centric parties. And, that they don’t really like each other all that much. And, that promises don’t always mean forever in their world.
Odds all the women are in one room at the same time next episode: 9/1
It’s the whole point of the show, but for some reason we just aren’t getting there. We are going to need Kelly to expedite her amends or else this may not happen for a long, long time.
Odds of Doug getting that vasectomy: 100/1
Doug does not understand the process of a vasectomy, and Doug does not want to have anything “chopped off”. Lydia is going to have to either keep having babies, or keep bearing the brunt of contraception on her own.
In a series first, this season will also feature models in a range of sizes, from 0-22, which is fantastic, even if it should not have taken them 16 seasons to figure out! Guest judges will include: Demi Lovato, Olivia Munn, Yolanda Hadid, Kate Upton, Maddie Ziegler, and Sophia Stallone.
O/U on how many times Tim Gunn tells the designers to “make it work” this season: 75
Disclaimer: This is not technically something you would need to see in order to believe. It is actually incredibly believable, considering how popular its parent program has been for the past 42 years. It is, however, something we think you just gotta see.
Weekend Update: Summer Edition premiered on August 10th, and will air on NBC at 9pm for the next three weeks. The 30-minute special program could be the perfect answer for those of us who want comedic political commentary in our lives, but just don’t really want to stay up past 10pm for it.
Check out these Weekend Update odds our writer, Chris Tonegatto, put together for the summer reprise.
Photo: Wikipedia (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Christian_siriano_fashion_week.jpg)
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