Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dance Moms - Season 2, Episode 12

Abby opened this week's episode by complimenting Abby and criticizing Nia. You know, the usual.

In a surprise move, Chloe was at the bottom of the pyramid. She was there, though, because Abby had something big coming up for her and wanted to motivate her. Nia joined her, and so did Paige. Mackenzie and Brooke took the center row, and Maddie took the top.

This week, the girls would compete in front of scouts for the Joffrey Ballet Company. This was a big deal for the girls.

The group number was called Nip and Tuck. It was based on the surgeries the moms discussed, namely Kelly wanting breast implants. In addition to the group number, Mackenzie, Paige and Nia would do a jazz trio. Brooke, Maddie and Chloe would do a contemporary lyrical trio called Somebody Told Me. Chloe and Maddie were each given a solo. Maddie's was called Quiet Voices. It's about someone hearing voices in their head. While I'm all about the art behind the dance, I'm not entirely sure that all of Abby's ideas translate clearly to the audience. Like this one, for example.

As the moms discussed plastic surgery and the unfairness of having two trios compete against each other, Nia fell and twisted her ankle. Strangely, Abby seemed sympathetic, although she didn't hesitate that Nia could be pulled out of the competition if she didn't improve. Holly took Nia to the doctor, who fortunately cleared her to dance, although she'd need to be careful.

While Abby loved Maddie's dance practice, Chloe faltered. To show off Maddie even more than she usually does, Abby had Maddie perform for the senior company. In the 'mom room,' Kelly noted that Abby's trying to turn all of the kids against Maddie. Christi asked Melissa to stand up for the kids and not let Abby do things like this. Christi said she's an advocate for all of the kids, and Melissa should be as well. Melissa stormed out and told Maddie that she doesn't want to dance at the Abby Lee Dance Company anymore because of how the other moms treat her.

On the bus to the competition, Abby told the driver that the bus needs to stop at her house to pick up her dog. The bus driver refused, saying that he can't deviate from the route. The moms loved that Abby was put in her place. Also on the bus, Melissa gave Kelly a push-up bra to enhance her assets until she could get her surgery.

During the rehearsal, Abby had noted that Maddie started acting strangely. Maddie noted in the confessional that Abby's being even tougher than usual. At the competition, Maddie seemed to be completely stressed. Like Maddie, Christi was stressed, but that's because she felt Chloe didn't get enough rehearsal for her dances.

The Competition

Maddie danced first. She was great as usual. She did great twists and turns, and the choreography was pretty and appropriate.

Maddie, Chloe and Brooke's lyrical trio was next. They also did well, and their outfits were completely age appropriate.

Mackenzie, Paige and Nia (who worried about her foot) were next. They did great, and their song was fun and age appropriate. Fortunately, Nia's foot was fine when she hit the stage, and she contributed to a great trio. Nia asked Abby how her jumps were, and Abby said they were good, but also criticized Nia's form. Holly spoke out in frustration - she wanted feedback from Abby, and Abby wasn't providing it.

Abby and Chloe went over Chloe's routine, called Watercolors Fade, in the dressing room because Chloe kept forgetting part of her dance. Christi gave Chloe a pep talk, telling her to do her best. Chloe looked beautiful until she forgot her move and stumbled onstage. She seemed to recover well, but Abby was clearly less than pleased. Abby used this opportunity to take a dig at Nia. She noted that Chloe handled things correctly by staying onstage and finishing her dance, whereas Nia ran offstage a few weeks before.

The group dance was last. The girls danced well, but the dance was a bit haunting, and I hated how they had the cut marks drawn on their faces. I understand that they were part of the costume, but there's something so wrong about these young girls even thinking about plastic surgery.

The Results

Maddie took first place in the junior division, but Chloe did not place.

In the trio competition, Maddie, Brooke and Chloe took first place.

The girls did not place in the group number. Abby said that when the girls realized that working as a team would win them the overall, they'd win. Yet somehow Abby seemed to take no responsibility for the fact that maybe the judges just didn't like the costumes or choreography.

The scout from the Joffrey Ballet School came into the dressing room and invited the Abby Lee girls to audition for a full scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet School. They were thrilled. It seems that we'll see the auditions at Joffrey next week, and we'll also see some rivalry between Abby Lee and Cathy Nesbitt-Stein.

Fifth Annual Challenge Where Truly Ugly Wins

DIY Network has once again, now for the fifth time, announced that they are on a mission to find America's Most Desperate Landscape. This means that the hopeless looking yard you have right now could actually be turned into something beautiful that your neighbors will envy. This show will help to kick off DIY Network's new spring landscape programming.

Among the shows that are returning for a new season are Yard Crashers, King of Dirt and Turf War, just to mention a few names. In addition to old names, April 24 a new show called Yardcore will premiere. It's a show where Jake and Joel Moss will have 48 hours to create a yard of a lifetime. Before they get to start with the makeover, they will only have 5 minutes to take a look at the yard.

Back to the part where truly ugly can win. If you own a really hopeless looking yard, take a few photos and shoot couple of videos of it. Upload the best (worst) ones to DIYNetwork.com before Monday, April 30, 2012 and hope to become the one whose yard will be chosen for the $25,000 complete yard makeover. The makeover will be done by the Desperate Landscapes crew run by DIY Network expert host and licensed contractor Jason Cameron.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Celebrity Apprentice: Crystal Light...Can They Get It Right?

When discussing the fact that she was called slow, Teresa Giudice said, "Anyone who knows me knows (stumble on words) I'm the opposite of slow." Oh, Teresa. You can't make this stuff up.

This week, the teams were told about Crystal Light's new flavor line, Mocktails. These are low calorie, non-alcoholic beverages. The teams were told to throw a party to launch two new Mocktail flavors: peach bellini and pomtini.

Image from Amazon.com
Aubrey O'Day and Clay Aiken took the roles as team leaders. Aubrey started sucking up by saying that Crystal Light helped her lose a lot of weight. After the leaders were chosen, the drink each team would represent was chosen. The girls took pomtini and the guys took peach bellini.

The guys noted that they aren't big partiers, so this week's task was daunting. On the flip side, Aubrey was beyond confident since she was a sorority sister and member of Danity Kane. To her credit, Aubrey came up with an idea quickly - calling the pomegranate the forbidden fruit and showing that Crystal Light made this fruit possible again using their low-cal drink.

While the guys struggled, Aubrey schemed. She asked Debbie Gibson to write and produce an original song for Crystal Light so she wouldn't have to hear Debbie singing her own songs.

The guys ultimately decided to decorate their storefront like a beach and call their theme "Life's a Peach" (like Life's a Beach). After last week's argument between Clay and Penn Jillette, Penn tried to step it up this week, although he still annoyed Clay. While Penn and Arsenio Hall stepped out to buy props, the guys called their New York friends to come to their event. They asked people to dress as if they were visiting a beach to enhance the beach atmosphere. The guys also decided to sing the song "Under the Boardwalk" to add to the theme of their party.

Aubrey had to present her idea of Donald Trump Jr. She said the slogan would be "Stir your healthy desire." Donald Jr. asked Teresa Giudice what she thought and she nicely noted that she didn't agree with the slogan because it doesn't have the necessary fun. Unfortunately, when Aubrey asked Teresa to come up with a new idea, she couldn't. That annoyed Lisa Lampanelli because she thought Teresa was just speaking up so she doesn't get criticized in the boardroom.

Dayana Mendoza accompanied Debbie Gibson to record the women's theme song about Crystal Light. Dayana seemed to love the song and Debbie's voice, but I wasn't impressed. I felt like the song was missing the it-factor that would make it truly great.

Neither team was entirely happy with their signage. Clay Aiken didn't love the signage for his team, and Aubrey O'Day noted that while Patricia Velasquez took beautiful photos of gardens for their party, she didn't get any signage about the actual Crystal Light product.

The women's party opened with plenty of people in attendance. Their location looked pretty, but it seemed more mellow than the Crystal Light team wanted. Even though the women's set-up seemed to fall short, they had a major advantage over the men. Why? Because no one showed up to the men's party...at first.

Fortunately, the men's party heated up fast and they seemed to take the lead. The guys' event had a fun, party atmosphere, despite the fact that the guys claimed to not be partiers. However, the girls, who claim to be great at parties, couldn't create an atmosphere with the same excitement that the men had.

The girls had an interesting idea - have everyone write down a healthy desire. Lisa took the written desires and read them out loud along with her own funny comments. It seemed like the audience enjoyed it, but it didn't seem to fit a party atmosphere. Then, Debbie sang her song, and although it was annoying, it was catchy. The executives seemed to enjoy Debbie's performance. However, the executives seemed to really love the guys' rendition of Under the Boardwalk, so that outdid Debbie's original song.

The executives gave a really great critique of Aubrey's performance and the team's slogan, but didn't like that the Crystal Light branding wasn't strong enough. The executives said the men didn't have enough branding and signage, but on the plus side, they liked the bars and the fact that the guys were truly engaged.

In the boardroom, the women agreed that they thought they won, and both Patricia and Teresa said that Aubrey was amazing. Lisa talked about how cool the party was. All of the women gushed over Debbie's song. Things started to go sour when Teresa was asked about the party. She started to answer, and Aubrey cut in and spoke for her. When asked who should be fired, Teresa said Dayana. However, when Lisa was asked who should be fired, she didn't agree - she actually stuck up for Dayana, who she typically doesn't like. When asked who she'd bring back if her team lost, she said Dayana and Patricia. Donald called her out for choosing people she doesn't like.

Donald Trump told Clay Aiken that the executives loved him. Dee Snider said that Clay was a great leader and the team was stronger than ever this week. When asked, Penn Gillette agreed that Clay did a great job. Clay was asked who he'd bring back if his team lost. Clay reluctantly named Dee Snider and in his words, either Lou Ferrigno or Paul Teutul Jr.

Ultimately, the girls lost, which didn't surprise me in the least. The girls were good, but the guys were great.

Either Aubrey got to Donald or he thought the women's team did a great job, because he gave $10,000 to Aubrey's charity. After telling her that, he asked Aubrey if she should go home. She said no, and nominated Dayana as the person who should leave. Teresa agreed. When Donald asked Aubrey again if she should leave and take one for the team, she said no because she's an invaluable member of the team. Donald pressed on, asking if Aubrey thought she's better than everyone else. She said no, but I don't really think that was the truth. Despite Aubrey borderline insulting everyone else, many of her teammates seemed to stick by her and wanted her to stay. Aubrey brought Patricia and Dayana to the boardroom where one of the three would be eliminated. In the boardroom, she stated again that Dayana should be the one to go.

Dayana stayed strong in the boardroom but noted that Aubrey's been a big player in many of the competitions - most of which the women lost. Aubrey responded by saying that you can't blame the creative person for being creative.

After a lot of drawn out conversation, Patricia Velasquez was fired because the judges didn't like the details, and the details were Patricia's responsibility.

And that was the end of another episode of The Celebrity Apprentice.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Gypsies Are Back...on TLC, That Is.

My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding was back on TLC last night, and the weddings and events were bigger than ever.

One of the main features of this episode of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding was a man creating a Gyspy beauty pageant which he thought would play on the English Travelers, Irish Travelers and Gypsies' sense of fashion. He expected fifty girls to attend, yet only four did. And they were not good. Sammi Jo, one of the participants, was beautiful, yet she couldn't walk a pageant walk, and neither could the other girls. Also, surprisingly, the girls were terrified to be in a pageant. For girls with a culture of over-the-top revealing clothing, a pageant was a totally new and terrifying experience.

It was notable that as Sammi Jo and her sister picked out dresses, their grandmother commented on how she didn't like the revealing outfits, and how this fashion culture was relatively new. Also, Sammi Jo, who tans multiple times a week, was asked by a show producer if she was afraid to get cancer. Sammi Jo said that she's never heard of a Gypsy getting cancer, so she wasn't concerned. If she heard of someone getting cancer, she'd cut back to tanning twice a week or so, but she wouldn't stop.

Photo from Mirror.co.uk
Dolores, a 21 year old Traveler (which makes her an older bride, in her culture) wanted a wedding that would be like no other, and that would be a tough challenge for a Traveler. So instead of flowers or stars as her theme, she went with cats. Her dress was white with diamond cats on it. Her cake and other things had the same design. I personally didn't love it because it was strange to have cats on wedding dresses, but the dress and cake were well made, when it came down to it.

Her outfit for the night before the wedding was also over the top. She dressed as a palm tree, while her friend dressed as a pineapple. The dresses were well constructed, but walking in them proved to be beyond difficult.

Nan-Girl and her cousins were making communion and were trying to outdo each other to be the most beautiful, because in their words, God wants them to be beautiful. When one of the show's behind-the-scenes cast members asked the priest how he felt about the girls wearing skimpy, over-the-top communion dresses, he basically said that he doesn't discriminate and accepts them for their culture, but it seemed that he wasn't entirely approving of the outfits.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dance Moms: Season 2, Episode 11

This week on Dance Moms, the girls competed at Company in Chicago, and they'd be. competing against Cathy Nesbitt-Stein's team from Candy Apple's Dance Studio

The pyramid was first. Nia, Mackenzie and Brooke took the bottom row. Chloe and Paige were in the middle. Maddie, like usual, was on top.

The group routine was a lyrical dance about a homeless child. In addition, Maddie was given a lyrical solo in which she pretends to be Snow White, and Chloe, Maddie and Nia were given a trio.

The moms talked about how Abby Lee was being nice, so something must be going on. Then, Holly came in and was thrilled to hear that Nia was in the trio. Holly had another announcement after that - she'd be taking a year off to spend more time with Nia and enjoy her life.

Next, we flipped to Candy Apple's Dance Studio and Cathy Nesbitt-Stein. Cathy announced that her girls would be competing in Chicago. Her team was doing a dark, satirical clown routine, and her dancer Justice would be going head-to-head with Maddie.

Abby's true intentions came out next regarding the trio. She said that Holly thinks that by putting Nia in a dance with Maddie and Chloe, she'll dance as well as them. Abby wasn't as convinced. Also, Abby noted that the way the women treated Melissa may make her snap. (Foreshadowing!)

Melissa and Kendall's mom Jill met up and discussed how great Cathy has been to Kendall. Then, the pair discussed Melissa's engagement and how the other women tried get into her personal business. Later, we saw the women talk to Melissa about her engagement (against her will) and asked her why she wasn't wearing her ring. Melissa got frustrated and walked out.

Melissa, apparently fed up, walked into the dance studio, got her kids, and said she wouldn't be going to the weekend's competition. Maddie cried because she wanted to dance so badly, so Melissa agreed to let her go if Abby would take care of her. Abby hugged Maddie as she cried. Then, Abby lectured the girls and told them to tell their moms to stop talking about Melissa. She said, "There's two things you don't talk about - weddings and divorces." Christi was not happy about this. Kelly wasn't either, and they told Abby to stop yelling at their kids. Things couldn't have been too bad, though, because Melissa was back the next day.

Melissa filled the moms in on the Cathy and Kendall situation. She noted that she wasn't sure if Cathy was doing nice things for Kendall as a dig at Abby or there were simply positive intentions.

The competition

Maddie's dance, Reflection, was first. She was good as usual. That's no surprise. Justice was next. I did not like his choreography. He was talented, but the choreography was weird. Some of it was awesome, but some was just...strange. In the end, Maddie took first place in this division.

The trio performed next. Their dance was awesome. I personally think Nia did great and we saw some real talent from her, although Abby said she was a beat behind. Unfortunately for Nia's chances to be in another trio, the group didn't place.

The moms took a lunch break, but Melissa didn't join them. The others discussed the weirdness behind Melissa's engagement. The moms admitted that they each got a letter from Melissa's attorney saying that they weren't allowed to talk about the engagement or they'd be sued. Needless to say, the moms thought this was ridiculous. Melissa showed up late, and the subject of the letters came up. Melissa said she didn't send the letters.

The group numbers were performed last. Abby's dance was really interesting. Very nontraditional. I liked it. It tackled a tough subject, but very appropriately. I really enjoyed this dance. Cathy's team danced next. I didn't like it. The dark costumes didn't stand out onstage. One dancer, Taylor, was off beat...and then she ran off the stage. Backstage, Taylor cried hysterically and said she feels like her ankle popped out. She was taken out on a stretcher. Cathy told Kendall that she'll have to replace Taylor on the team.

Abby's team ended up getting third place in the group number. The moms were surprised because they thought it was a great dance, and I agree. I guess some of the other teams must have been really great.

Cathy knocked on the door and brought an engagement present for Melissa. Melissa said thank you, but they can't discuss this and Cathy needs to speak to her lawyer. Oh, Melissa, relax!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Celebrity Apprentice 3/18/12 - A Viral Video About Mops

Patricia Velasquez began the episode of Celebrity Apprentice by noting Aubrey O'Day and Lisa Lampanelli's clique is creating negativity among the women, and Arsenio Hall noted that Lou Ferrigno needs to leave this week, no matter what. The season is getting dirty.

Speaking of dirty, this week's challenge dealt with that's been around for 104 years, O-Cedar, which makes products that clean floors. The teams were challenged to create a viral video about brand's new spray mop. Now, I know this show thrives on product sponsorships, but really? A video about floor cleaning products? And also, you can't make a video viral. You have to hope that a video goes viral, but you can't "make" a viral video.

 The underdogs nominated themselves as project managers this week. Lou Ferrigno took the role for the men, and Tia Carrere took the lead for the women. Aubrey O'Day made a crack about how Tia was an appropriate project manager because she's old like the project. Very nice, Aubrey. (Sarcasm.)

When the women's team met with an executive from O-Cedar, he told them they'd have to come up with a phrase for their next theme promotion. Last year's was dirty little secrets. Aubrey jumped in and said the video would have to appeal to her age bracket. She's correct, but again, she made everything Aubrey, Aubrey, Aubrey! You know, like Marcia, Marcia, Marcia from the Brady Bunch.

Lisa Lampanelli came up with a "What's your number?" theme to make the mop campaign sexual and appealing. Particia Velasquez wasn't thrilled with the idea, but Tia approved it, so she went along with it.

The men didn't have a smooth time either. Lou took the statement "make the mop the hero" to mean that the mop had to literally be a superhero. Penn Jillette disagreed and made it evident, and Clay Aiken took Penn's actions as condescending. He may be correct about Penn, but I can see how Penn was frustrated with Lou because of his past performance. At this point, Clay seemed to take the lead, and things took off. Dee Snider contributed and an idea was created. Even after this, Penn was not thrilled. Arsenio Hall called out Penn's issue to Clay, noting that Penn was having trouble not being the shining star like he has been throughout this season of The Celebrity Apprentice so far. On the other hand, Clay and Arsenio vowed to win this challenge for Lou, which is nice, but also strange considering Lou's lack of contribution throughout the competition. Ultimately, the guys decided to feature Lou Ferrigno wearing an apron and dancing with a mop.

The roles in the women's team seemed to be shaken up. Debbie Gibson, presumably after last week's accusations towards many people not participating, was frustrated when she didn't get to work on the team's t-shirts because Patricia Velasquez got to do graphic design yet again. Also, Tia and Aubrey had a power struggle - Tia said that Aubrey gets frustrated when things don't go her way, and Aubrey stated that Tia's an idiot for not listening to her good ideas.

Debbie Gibson and Dayana Mendoza met up to whisper about how they didn't agree with the sexual concept of the mop video. They said that the concept was too confusing, but it was too late to make changes. Aubrey, who wants to be involved, noted that she felt useless in this task. Debbie and Aubrey actually got along about not liking how things were going, so you know they felt strongly. On the flip side, Lisa Lampanelli seemed really confident about the project and the fact that the women's team will win the challenge. Until she freaked out about everybody wanting to be the star, that is. At that point, she got downright nasty, although it wasn't completely unwarranted.

Penn's insecurities came out because Clay told him he was being condescending. It seemed to hit a sore point based on his past. Clay, who likes to see the best in people, couldn't get through to Penn and decided he had to give up on making things right between them. He felt as if he tried his best but couldn't get through.

Meanwhile, on the women's team, Dayana called flower shops to ask for peonies, but ended up asking for 'penis.' This is the kind of stuff you can't make up. It was hilarious.

The men presented their video first. It featured a woman cast as Lou's wife talking about the mop as Lou danced with the mop in the background. My opinion? It was pretty awful. Lou spoke during the video, and his speech impediment made it difficult to understand him. His dancing looked disjointed, and the woman's speech was a bit too long. Plus, at the end, Lou kissed the O-Cedar mop and said, "I'm going to mop the floor with you." The problem? That line is an insult, not something you say before you put your lips on something.

The women were second, and they had a great skit as a lead-in for their video. It was fun - the editing was fantastic and the number theme was great. The problem is that it was the video didn't focus on the mop enough. The reason for the video wasn't clear until three-fourths of the way through the video, and even then, the tie-in wasn't great. As a judge stated, the mop wasn't the star of the video - the women were.

When all is said and done, I think the men described and showed the product better, but the video was boring. The women had a great video, but it was all fluff and gave hardly any information about the mop.

The Judging Panel

At the judging panel, Lou told Donald Trump that he stands by his team's work and when asked, said his team worked together well. Donald asked Paul Teutul Jr. (who barely showed up in this episode, if at all) thought the team did well, and he agreed. Clay stuck up for Lou as well. Penn stayed quiet, or at least from what we saw onscreen.

The women were next. Tia was asked who the star of the team was, Tia said Lisa because she works hard and quickly. When Donald turned to Lisa, she said that Tia lacked leadership and she wasn't thrilled with her performance. In turn, Tia disagreed and said she's not a micro-manager and knows how to appoint people to do what they do best. As the discussion continued, it came out that Lisa, Aubrey and Debbie do most of the tasks during the challenges. Tia agreed, and Donald said that doesn't show good leadership on Tia's part. Tia tried to defend herself, but it didn't work out.

Lisa talked and talked and ended up insulting those who weren't in her inner circle. When Donald asked how Teresa was, Lisa said she contributes a lot too, but Donald accused her of backtracking. After that, Donald asked Lisa who the weakest link on the team was, and she was quick to say Dayana. She also said Patricia's not one of the creative people on the team.

Tia made a big mistake during the panel. She noted that she liked a different idea than they'd used, but because others shot it down, she didn't use it. Donald noted that as the project manager, she should have stuck with what she wanted.

Dee Snider was asked about who didn't contribute this week, and he said Paul. Dee defended him, noting that it wasn't Paul's domain. Paul agreed, saying he does what he's asked and he wasn't asked for much. It did come out that Paul suggested the video's concept so he did play a big role. Next, Donald asked Arsenio who he should fire, and he was torn between saying the leader should take the fall and the fact that Paul didn't contribute throughout the challenge. Finally, when asked who Lou would take with him to the table, Lou nominated Paul and Penn. Penn was chosen because of his attitude. This led to a discussion about Penn's emotional disconnect and negativity during the challenge.

The O-Cedar executives thoughts on the teams' performances were discussed. The executives at O-Cedar liked the men's tagline - I'll mop the floor with you - and liked the men's video. However, they disliked the fact that the video came off too much like a commercial and focused on eco-friendly cleaning when the mop can use any kind of cleaner. The executives at O-Cedar thought the women were entertaining, but didn't focus enough on the video and the product.

In the end, the men took the win. I have to say, I was disappointed and I disagree. Yes, their tagline was better, but their video was weak.

Dayana made it clear, again, that she didn't like the women's concept. Lisa, when asked to defend herself and the women's performance , said that everyone went along with the concept that the women used. Aubrey spoke next and said this was an unenjoyable task. She said it's because Tia didn't utilize people correctly. Patricia was asked who should be fired. Donald asked who brings more to the team and will going forward: Tia or Lisa. Patricia said Lisa. Lisa said she shouldn't be fired because her idea for this project was great, but the project manager failed at putting it together. Lisa then said Dayana is the most distracting on the team. Aubrey was asked who should be fired, and she said Tia. She said Dayana's a weaker player than Tia, but Tia should be fired. Patricia stuck up for Dayana, and she said that Teresa Giudice is the weakest player. Teresa said Tia's a stronger player than Patricia. We finally saw the strong side of Teresa!

Aubrey spoke up again and said the women's team is failing because they aren't focusing on the business and their charities. She then insulted Tia, saying she should know more by now since she's in her fifties. Tia, who corrected Aubrey on the age thing because she's in her forties, was not thrilled. Aubrey continued. She said she works hard for every project manager, but Tia was condescending towards her. Aubrey continued about how great she is, and the guys, from their room, said that Aubrey should leave for her self-righteousness. It was brought up that Aubrey was the head of a sorority, and Aubrey shot back by saying she was fat and people picked on her. Probably true, but still, strange to bring up in this situation.

Tia was asked who should be considered for elimination with her, and she point blank asked Donald if someone would go home with her if she nominated herself to leave. Donald said no, so Tia said she'd take the fall, and in the end Tia Carrere went home this week from Celebrity Apprentice. The truth was that she wanted to leave, so it wasn't quite as noble as it seemed. That being said, I think Tia deserved to go, so it was a win-win for her and her team.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fashion Star: A Review of the Premiere

Fashion Star premiered on NBC last night. My opinion? It was an enjoyable show. Not completely thrilling, but definitely fun to watch. In case you weren't aware, the show is pre-taped, and at the end of each episode, the winning designers' clothes are available to buy at one of three stores: Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy's or H&M.

During the first episode, we met the designers in sets of two. We learned a bit about their backgrounds and watched them design for a few minutes. Then, the two designers had their clothes displayed on the runway. After that, the designers went onstage and met with host Elle MacPherson. The judges, Jessica Simspon, John Varvatos and Nicole Richie provided feedback.

Following that, the designers faced a team of buyers, one from Saks Fifth Avenue, one from Macy's and one from H&M. The buyers were given an opportunity to bid on the items that the designers displayed (they bid per designer, not per outfit). The buyer with the highest bid won the collection. If they didn't want to bid, the buyer could choose "no offer", and if he or she got no offers, the designer was put up for possible elimination.

At the end of the episode, the winning designers' clothes were put up for sale on the website of the company that won their design.

The Designers

I firmly believe that the show purposely cast both good and bad designers. Some people were cast for their talent, while others were cast for their personalities (like over-the-top Oscar Fierro). It is TV, after all.

Edmond Newton's design
One male designer, Nicholas Bowes, insulted the female judges by saying they didn't understand men's fashion. (They do.) This was not a smart move as two of the buyers were female. Between his cockiness and boring motorcycle jacket collection, I'm not surprised that he didn't get an offer.

Barbara Bates, the designer that presented at the same time as him, was also a dud. Her outfits featured detailing on women's hips, and I can say that most women don't want to wear big detailing on one of their problem areas. Fortunately for Barbara, her clothing wasn't as offensive as Nicholas', so she avoided the bottom three while Nicholas was the first contestant eliminated. Kara Laricks, who included clothing from other designers in her presentation, also found herself in the bottom three, narrowly avoiding elimination. The third counterpart in the bottom three was Oscar Fierrro, who was saved from elimination by the mentors.

The stars awarded with contracts were Edmond Newton, Nikki Poulos (I was not a fan of her looks) and Lizzie Parker with Macy's (shop their looks here),  Sarah Parrott and Nzmiro Oputa for H&M (shop it here) and Orly Shani for Saks Fifth Avenue (shop the look here, although the first week's designer's skirt is already sold out! It was my favorite, to be fair).

What's interesting is the variation in price among the items, from low-priced H&M items to Orly Shani's $350 skirt at Saks. I would say Orly is the standout star, being that her skirt was over $100 more than the next highest priced item and was the first to sell out online.

Was it worth watching Fashion Star? Yeah, it was fun. Not groundbreaking, not amazing, but it was cool to see what some really good - and some really bad - designers have to show.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dance Moms: Season 2, Episode 10

This week's episode of Dance Moms began with foreboding music and Abby insulting the girls for losing at last week's Fire and Ice competition.

Abby Lee Miller announced the lineup on the pyramid. Mackenzie, Paige and Nia graced the bottom of the pyramid, as usual. Chloe and Brooke took the middle. Maddie took the top, and Abby said she won her challenge to stay on top of the pyramid twice in a row. She then challenged Maddie to stay there for a third week.

Next, we learned where the girls were going this week: Miami Beach, Florida. The girls would perform a group number called Reputation. When she described the number, Abby made references to Annette Funicello and 60's bikinis.

Chloe, Maddie and Nia were given solos, and Maddie, Chloe and Paige were given a trio. When Abby said this, Holly seemed disappointed for Nia, and Paige noted that she has to have warts removed from her feet this week. Abby said that might disqualify Paige from being in the trio.

We later learned that Maddie's solo was called All of My Life. Chloe was given a lyrical dance called Send Down Your Love. Nia was given a jazz acro routine. The trio's song was called Les Divas.

While the dance rehearsal went on, Holly walked into the dance rehearsal to ask Abby to consider Nia for the trio. Holly said Abby wasn't even considering Nia, whereas Abby contended that she was considering Nia after all. This argument turned into a screaming match, as usual. Well, Abby screamed and Holly was calm. In the end, Abby told Holly to leave because she was expelled. Holly said she'd never set foot in the Abby Lee Dance Studio again.

During the next day's rehearsal, Abby noticed that Nia was missing. In response to that, she reminded us that everyone's replaceable.

We saw Kendall in a private lesson with new coach Cathy Nesbitt-Stein. Cathy's lessons were positive, and Kendall's mom Jill noted that Cathy was helping Kendall improve. Even better for Kendall and Jill was the fact that Cathy got Kendall a gig dancing at the halftime show for the Harlem Globetrotters. We saw Kendall's dance, and she wore an outfit that looked like she was a race car driver. She was good, but the song was a bit slow for the atmosphere and I didn't love her choreography. Still, it seemed to go over well with the audience.

Paige went to the doctor to have her warts removed. The doctor warned Kelly that Paige may not be able to dance as soon as she'd hope. The pair hoped for no complications, but Kelly said health would come before dance. During trio rehearsal, Paige seemed to be in pain after having her warts removed. She was given medical clearance to dance, but she was clearly hurting. Abby asked her to leave rehearsal, and noted that she may have to eliminate the trio from the competition.

In a seemingly scripted move, Holly and Nia returned to the Abby Lee Dance Studio. Holly said it was a move to take the high road and not run away from their problems. Nia wanted to dance, so Holly didn't want her own feelings to interrupt Nia's opportunities.

When the girls arrived in Miami, they were given some time to hang out on the beach with Abby. Abby asked the girls if they watched a particular movie, and those who didn't were told to do push ups. After discussing the moves that were seen in the video, Abby made the girls practice their dance. After that, they were finally allowed to play in the water. They played, they did flips into the water, and the kids all ran back to Abby, except Mackenzie, who stayed by the water.

The trio performed their musical theater style dance first. I loved it. It was great. The costumes looked great and age appropriate. All of the girls, even Paige with her foot problems, danced well. The trio took second place in the group dance competition.

The group was second. It was adorable. Age appropriate, fun...this is the kind of dancing I love to see. The girls seemed to genuinely enjoy it. When the girls did rolls and Mackenzie was on their backs, it was so cute and original. Plus, each girl was given her own chance to shine while the others were behind an umbrella. It was fantastic. Still, this only took third place in the group dance competition.

Abby was congratulatory about the second and third place victories because the girls were competing against older competitors. Strange how second place is fine when Abby decides it is, right?

Maddie's solo was first. Fortunately, Maddie didn't slip on this gym floor like she did the last time she performed on a gym floor. Maddie danced beautifully as usual. It was so cute to see Mackenzie watching Maddie dance with so much admiration in her eyes.

Chloe was second. Her dancing was amazing. She did some tough moves where she had to continue to turn many times in a row. The song and choreography suited her very well. Abby noted that Chloe made mistakes but said she did a good job.

Nia danced third. Holly noted that she was worried because Nia had been so shaken up by Holly and Abby's argument. Nia started off strong, but suddenly, she froze. She had a look of pure terror on her face. Nia then ran offstage where her teammates comforted her. Holly joined her backstage and told Nia that she knew the dance and was psyching herself out. Holly went to the competition director, who allowed Nia to do her dance again. Abby went backstage to talk to Nia. Instead of being horrible to her, Abby told Nia that she's getting a second chance, so she has to do 1,000 times better than she would have the first time. And she did. She rocked it. She had attitude like nobody's business. She's not as technically proficient as some of her teammates, but she has onstage attitude that the others can't match.

In the solo awards, Nia took third place in the elementary division. Chloe took second. Maddie took first.

The show ended with the previews for next week's episode, which made it seem like we'll be dealing with a lawsuit and a conflict with Cathy.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Celebrity Apprentice 3/11/12: Wow, Really?

Because Daylight Savings Time messed with my sleep schedule, I was able to stay awake for the entire episode of Celebrity Apprentice last night. I'm glad I did because of the absolute ridiculousness that took place on the show.

The teams were given the task to promote the new Buick Verano through a ten minute presentation and ten minute Q&A. As soon as the task was given out, things started to go wrong.

* Adam Carolla nominated himself as the leader for the men's team. Okay, whatever, right? He claims to know a lot about cars. No - not 'whatever'. The team had Michael Andretti on it. You know, the race car driver. The FAMOUS race car driver. Who was not the leader in the car challenge. Yeah, you figure it out.

* Deborah Gibson, as leader for the women, managed to alienate members of her team, including Teresa Giudice. Okay, I guess that happens - you don't want table flipping to interrupt your planning. But the thing is, Teresa brought her husband and daughters in for their presentation, and she was a huge part of making it a success. So Debbie went out of her way to alienate someone that actually brought value.

* Michael Andretti was underutilized in his team's presentation. That was ridiculous. Sure, he's not an actor, but he can definitely talk about cars! Also, Adam Carolla's heckling idea was funny until Paul Teutul Jr. talked about liking the car but not Adam. Ohh...kay. That got weird really fast.

* Aubrey O'Day, while she did have good ideas, also had her ego in full force. She referred to the van she and Deborah were in as the 'cool van' (very mature) and talked about how awesome her ideas were. Worse than that, though, was how she talked about her mom being in a car accident for emotional appeal during her team's Buick Verano speech, and later made a big deal about how she was lying and she's such a great actor. She also called the Verano the Verona twice...nice, right?

* When she was given a chance to talk to Donald before the firings, Teresa Giudice was calm and quiet. The judges called her out for being too reserved to contrast the image she portrays on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. While I can't blame Teresa for not wanting to freak out on yet another show, I think she could have at least defended herself.

* Adam Carolla seemed to know that he screwed up, so he said he would only nominate himself to leave if this team lost. He claims it's because he knew his team won (they didn't) so there was no risk, but when they lost, he stuck to his word. In retaliation, Donald fired two people: Michael Andretti and Adam Carolla. I understand team loyalty and knowing when you're wrong, but Adam screwed it up, costing himself his place on the show.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Dance Moms: Season 2, Episode 9

Abby began this week's episode by congratulating the girls on their performance, then breaking them down in the pyramid.

The bottom row of the pyramid was pretty typical. Paige was there because she needed to fix her arms, Brooke was told that she doesn't smile and Mackenzie didn't dance at Maddie's level at her age.
Chloe took her usual spot in the middle row for being average, and Nia joined her.
Maddie took the top row because she's a born leader.

This week, the girls went back to Fire and Ice, only this time it was an elite competition for the best dancers. Chloe and Maddie had solos and the group number would feature the girls dressed as showgirls.

The kicker? For the showgirl number, the audience should think the girls are nude.

The routine was one that had been done in the past, and it featured fans that cover the kids' bodies. Each girl had a fan in the front and one in the back. The moms protested, but Abby said that she's a professional and knows how to be classy, even though her young dancers were intended to look naked onstage.

Melissa began discussing the wedding dresses from last week's episode again and suggested that one of the moms renew her vows. Yet she still wouldn't tell the women that she's engaged - despite her new engagement ring.

Cathy's husband Mike, who now owns a beef jerky store (what?), told Cathy he wanted to do a commercial for his store, Tommy's Jerky Outlet. The couple discussed Vivi-anne starring in it, and Cathy suggested that it advertise the dance studio as well. Mike suggested that the dance studio share the cost. A commercial for a beef jerky store and a dance studio in one? Strange. Very strange. When Mike told Cathy that getting a commercial made was too expensive, Cathy magically stepped in and said she'd film the commercial and feature her dancers. Not staged at all, of course.

Next, we saw dance practice at Abby's studio, where Abby told the girls to hold the fans up their butts and boobs. They're kids, for goodness sake! They shouldn't be thinking about having assets!

We saw a shot of Mackenzie dancing to the showgirl song, and it was just wrong. Mackenzie's such a kid with an innocent face - it's terrible that she's dancing as a showgirl when she shouldn't even know what one is!

 Abby presented the costumes to the moms, and they were tiny, skin-toned boob covers and shiny bikini bottoms. The moms, including Melissa, were concerned. Christi was speechless. Holly looked appalled. Abby defended her choices, saying everyone knows the girls are actually clothed, but still...I don't think people should even be thinking about the girls in inappropriate ways.

At this point, Cathy pulled a surprise move - she called Christi to ask if Chloe could star in her beef jerky commercial. Her reasoning? Chloe has video experience. Christi said she'd talk to Chloe about it, but Cathy said she'd need an answer now, so Christi said yes. Chloe would be getting paid, so Christi chose to look at it as pure business.

The filming of the commercial was a mess. Cathy's husband tried to make suggestions and Cathy shot him down. Next, Chloe arrived - and her costume came out.  It was covered in beef jerky, theoretically inspired by Lady Gaga. As a (sort of?) bonus, Cathy said Chloe can eat the sausage when she's done. Cathy definitely used the words, "boom, boom, I'm fabulous meat!" in explanation of Chloe's performance. Oh, my goodness.

Abby noted that there would be no Cathy at this week's Fire and Ice, and she'd be happy to never hear her name again. That's exactly when Christi brought up Chloe's commercial. We watched it along with the girls. It was awful, and there was no dancing in the commercial. Also, the phone number that flashed at the end was fake. Abby was angry about Chloe's performance, and said that this would come back to haunt her one day. Maybe true, but hardly relevant, and horrible to say before Chloe had to go onstage at a competition. Also, being on Dance Moms will affect Chloe way more in life than a being in a fake commercial.

Despite Abby's criticism, Chloe danced beautifully to her song, called The Raven. If anything, the sadness she felt enhanced her dark-themed dance. She was very intense, and her facial expressions were fantastic. Maddie performed second to I'm Already There. She was also fantastic. It was very soft and happy, which strongly contrasted with Chloe's dark number.

The girls prepared for the group number. Fortunately, with jewels on their outfits, they looked more clothed. Still, the dance did not look appropriate, and the moves were way too sexual for the girls. I felt kind of disturbed watching the dance, and one of the male judges looked like he was laughing nervously. Holly was appalled because people were 'hooting and hollering' (her words) at the kids. Still, Abby stood by her dance and said it was totally appropriate.

During the awards, Chloe took second place in her category for her solo. Maddie took first place in the solo competition - all ages, not just her division.

For the junior small group competition, Abby's girls didn't even place. Not surprising. Abby was quick to say that it's not all about winning. Yet when the girls take second place because one girl is out of place, Abby throws a hissy fit. Just saying.

Earlier in the episode, Kelly suggested throwing Melissa an engagement party with a stripper. It was a quick discussion that didn't go anywhere, but as it turns out, it led to a surprise party for Melissa after the competition. Melissa was appalled - she wondered why she was getting an engagement party when she wouldn't even admit that she's engaged. She also said the stripper was disgusting, although Abby enjoyed the stripper. Abby said he wasn't a dancer, but she seemed to enjoy his performance in any case.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Joe Giudice Leaves His Tenants Homeless!

Click here to watch the news video about Joe Giudice getting his tenants kicked out of their apartments.


The video details how the power to Joe Giudice's apartment building was shut off because of carbon monoxide concerns and unpaid utility bills. You'll hear Joe lie and say he doesn't own the building, but the news station dug deeper and found out that he does.

The power has been restored, but Joe's going to find himself in even more trouble than he's already in.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

So, Snooki's Actually Pregnant

Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi is pregnant. As in, having a baby. As in, the hard partying Jersey Shore star is going to be a mother. Yikes.

I bet Snooki's parents are proud. She showed the world her dirty side and her dirty bits on Jersey Shore. She got arrested. She promoted having lots of random sex. And now, she's an unwed mother. I'm not bashing single moms by any means, because there are many wonderful single moms out there, but I question Snooki's judgment by not using proper birth control. She probably has millions right now - she can afford $10 for birth control each month.

While I hope Snooki turns things around, I feel as if she's starting in the wrong direction by airing her pregnancy woes on TV while living with J-Woww. Shouldn't she be relaxing? Resting? Bonding with boyfriend Jionni? I understand the need for cash when pregnant, as well as the contract she probably already signed with MTV, but isn't this a time that we should be granting Snooki some privacy? Shouldn't she want some privacy?

I really do wish Snooki the best, but I hope she considers birth control until she's absolutely ready for a second child, and considers stepping out of the spotlight the child she's having soon can have a normal life.

Random question: What do you think Snooki's going to name her baby? Something normal like John? Or something spelled weird like Mukayluh? Or maybe something obscene like Jersey Shore Baby? Let's hope she picks something that will allow the kid to go through school without being picked on each day. I mean, the kid's going to get enough scrutiny from the parents in his or her class - at least let the young classmates think Snooki's baby is normal.