Wednesday, May 31, 2006

It only seems like a marathon

I am a game show fan, as should be obvious by now. So you can imagine my happiness when I heard about Game Show Marathon.

The premise behind GSM is that 6 celebrities play in a tournament of "classic" game shows. The winner of each show moves on in the tournament. 6 gets narrowed to 4, which then gets narrowed to 2. Then the winner is crowned after a game of Family Feud.

First up was The Price is Right. And hooboy did this get annoying pretty quick.

First, the good:

- Lance Bass having a "Colege" shirt which matched some members of the audience was cute.
- The celebrities who were in the audience but did not get chosen was actually funny, especially Adam Carolla.
- Brande Roderick actually did her best in trying to act like an excited contestant.
- The games shown (Hole in One, Plinko and Race Game) were true to the original.

And, the bad:

- Paige Davis. As somebody who's a fan of Paige Davis, her antics on the show were incredibly annoying. She took the "pretend like you are a contestant" theme and just drove me (along with the rest of the viewing audience) insane. It's one thing to ask the audience what you should bid on. It's another to ask them where you should put your Plinko chip.
- Ricki Lake. She tried to be Bob Barker. She would have been better off trying to be Ricki Lake. This needs to improve, and fast.
- Kathy Najimy. I realize she broke her foot, but still, show some emotion, and show some knowledge of what the hell you are doing.

All in all, I will continue to watch. While the bad tended to out-weigh the good, I think this will improve as the show moves on. Also, the show is going to be playing a lot of games that I am interested in (Press Your Luck, Card Sharks and Match Game, for example). I'll watch the show just for the games.

Name that place - geekery edition!

Alright, it's new feature time here at the 'Muse. This photograph was taken in Montreal. Your job is two fold:

- Name where the photograph was taken and
- What television show was the spot featured on?

Posts your guesses in the comments. The winner gets an authentic No-Prize.


Things have been a bit quite here recently. The reason? A trip to Montreal, among other reasons. But I'm back and taking flak for not having any new content up, so be prepared for poorly written posts about things that you might be mildy interested in! Quantity over quality is the way to go!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

In fairness

I took a shot at Elaine Wynn's comment about how $28 t-shirts are a part of the Wynn's open to anyone policy. To be honest, it wasn't a shot at her, but the statement itself.

So, I'm happy to provide this link to a profile on Elaine Wynn. It is definitely a positive piece, but it is also fun to read and provideds a slight insight into the five of Las Vegas' most celebrated designer.

(h/t Two Way Hard Three)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Survivor Panama: The day after the day after the day after the finale

Well, here's the round up after a couple of days of reflection(*).

First, I think that I was too hard on Danielle for her decision to take Aras over Terry after giving Terry her word. Choosing to face Aras or Terry is a tough one, as both seem to have a distinct advantage over Danielle. So, Danielle could piss Terry off and throw away his vote, or she could piss Aras off and throw away his vote. She had to do the math and say "Terry wins if I face him, but there is an off chance I could beat Aras". So she made the right decision, even if she shouldn't have been in that position in the first place. Why make the agreement with Aras to win when (a) Aras is struggling to survive and (b) You know that it will lead you to betraying someone.

THe most interesting thing post show. This tidbit from da man himself, Dalton Ross:
Danielle thought she was going to win. She would only admit to thinking she had won back in December, when the game ended, but it was clear that right up to the point the votes were read, she believed she was going home a millionaire. She appeared shell-shocked during the entire reunion show and even all the way through Monday's Survivor Live taping. I don't think I've ever seen someone so bummed to have just won $100,000.

(BTW, keep going to every Wednesday to read Dalton's column. He is a fun writer.)

The only reason I could see Danielle believing this is because of how the jury went. Aras really didn't do anything to help himself, and fumbled some of his answers. Danielle stayed on message and might have actually gotten Shane's vote. (I think Shane might have taken one from Kelly Goldsmith's playbook and just used a question as a ruse to make the choice he really wanted to make.) But obviously she didn't underestimated everybody's respect for Aras' game.

As for the rest of the season, there were a fair number of memorable castaways: Shane, Cirie, Terry, Dan, Courtney, Bruce, and Danielle's cleavage will all be talked about for the years to come. But I would only want to see Terry in an all-star edition of Survivor - everybody else is a one-note act.

Which leads me to a list of things that help to comprise a good season of Survivor:

- Memorable castaways. Ultimately, if you have boring characters, your season will sink before they swim. Survivor: Vanuatu is the ultimate example of this. I can name Chris, because he won the game, and Julie because she is living with Jeff Probst. Beyond that, I had to look up a lot of the other players. They were just that forgettable.

- A sense of intrigue. Survivor: Thailand was painful to watch until the Final Four. Why? Because you knew that barring a run of immunity challenges (which wasn't going to happen), the final five was going to be the one tribe. Compare that to this season, where Terry was dead man walking, but he was (a) a machine at the immunity challenges and (b) the bearer of the hidden immunity idol. And the split of Casaya was going to be interesting because Casaya was splintered into a lot of smaller factions where the final four alliance was never really set in stone. You had the intrigue of whether this was the week that Terry would have to use the idol, or once it was Terry vs Casaya, whether that would be the week that Casaya had to turn on itself.

- A compelling storyline with resolution. In this series, it was Terry vs. Casaya (morphing to Terry vs. Aras after Terry beat Casaya but couldn't beat Aras). In Survivor Amazon, it was Rob C.'s masterful game play, always bettering his position while not becoming a target. Survivor Marquesas was the first time a final four alliance was brought down.

- Likable castaways. You want to be able to root for somebody to win. Survivor: Panama Islands brought us the beloved Rupert, who won us over with a simple act of pirating. This year we had Terry and Cirie.

This season had all of these, and it worked out well.

Before I go, a quick comment on Exile Island. Though the immunity idol did not come into play directly, it did come into play indirectly. I would expect to see it come into play directly next season, as players have the opportunity to come up with winning strategies for them.

September can't come quick enough!

(*): Where reflection=laziness.


Without spoiling it, let's just say that the winners of the Amazing Race are probably the least deserving winners I have seen.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Live Blogging of Survivor Finale

7:14 pm - A happy Mother's day to all 23 of my regular readers. We are coming to you live from the headquarters of the 'Muse, getting ready for the Survivor finale and trying to get freaking Hamachi to work as I want it to.

7:21 pm - To waste some time, I've been watching the British Poker Open and Gus Hansen once again pulled a hand out of his ass, busting David Ulliott on a 5 outer. The Devilfish was none the too pleased, to say the least.

7:49 pm - For your edification: Dalton Ross on the last episode. The key thing that is found in there is how we are in our current predicament of not only having a "to be continued" cliffhanger, but why we are going to see a final three episode. (The short answer: It was supposed to start in March to avoid the Olympics, but the combination of American Idol and moving almost immediately from their normal Thursday spot made them start in February.)

8:00 pm - And...we're off. Granted, we have a good 510 minutes of summary of what happened (including a reminder of Cirie's manipulation to get rid of Tina). And we're also getting the "Cirie played the game well" story, so I'm officially predicting that Cirie will be getting the boot.

8:14 pm - That is a huge flame from Danielle. Also, she appreantly fell out as we get the digital blurring effect.

(Random other Danielle's cleavage note: I have to think that Burnett was happy with what Danielle wore (or didn't wear) to tribal council.)

8:17 pm - And there she be. Danielle wins, Cirie loses. And now, back at camp, Aras is the outsider, which might be the oddest side effect of them all.

8:20 pm - So Danielle was just talking about the Aras/Terry rivalry, and then Terry congratulates Aras on his fishing expedition.

8:21 pm - Reward challenge? Oh you kidder Mark Burnett. You managed to add some fun to this.

8:26 pm - That was some good stuff right there. The challenge had a couple of puzzles which freed 2 sets of 2 pegs. Those pegs were used to climbed up a slope, and then were inserted to free a flag. First one to raise their flag wins.

Aras had an early lead, but Terry kept on coming. Aras then slipped and almost fell, but his shirt caught on one of his pegs. He and Terry were neck and neck, but Terry got his pegs into the slot first and won the challenge. What did he win? A meal of steamed vegetables, chicken breasts, water and a banana. He also got to take a cot back to camp and sleep on it. A huge advantage going into the final immunity challenge.

(As a follow up to the 8:20 post, Terry called Aras the "Ultimate competitor" after the challenge, and said that he always brings his A-game. Trying to get Aras' vote, or a true respect of Aras' game play?)

8:36 pm - The old "reflect on old Survivor montages" period of the final episode. Let it be said - Misty is still hot. And the visual of the burning skull was kinda cool.

8:47 pm - Interesting final immunity challenge - a combination of the Panama Islands final immunity challenge and, uh, I don't know what. And everybody not talking and trying not to move at all to respond to Jeff is fun.

(Quick followup note: Aras was mentioning that Terry should be feeling the pressure after winning the reward challenge, as though he was trying to talk himself into not feeling pressure. Something to keep in mind.)

8:49 pm - Danielle just talked, saying they should have brought their drop line to fish.

8:51 pm - They get to crawl to their next platform and establish their balance without worrying about falling. Terry is having trouble with the third platform.

8:52 pm - Terry down! Aras is also losing it.

8:53 pm - Uh, I think we just saw a double cross. Aras looked at Danielle, who was very steady, looked back, and just jumped into the water. Danielle gave him a knowing look. Wow. If Danielle does screw over Terry after giving him her word, she might as well just go up to the jury and say "I ain't winning this. I just didn't want Terry to win."

(Updaterery: I just watched it again, and Danielle nodded at Aras before he jumped off. The unspoken "If I jump off, will you take me" question was asked and answered. I might have to take 24 hours, but Danielle might have just jumped to the top of the list of "stupidest Survivors ever", along with "stupidest Survivor plays ever".)

9:03 pm - Wow. Danielle just admitted to committing to Aras, but is already bailing on that. And she is talking to Terry, saying that if she had the hidden immunity idol, Terry would already be in the final two. Terry is doing a great job of making his case and making her feel comfortable about her decision. Meanwhile, Aras is putting the pressure on, doing a horrible job by putting pressure on her. If we're looking at storylines here, the ultimate payoff would be Terry making it because Aras couldn't play the people better than Terry. (Of course, this means that she's taking Aras.)

9:12 pm - The only way Danielle could save herself would be to claim stupidity and say that she wrote down the person's name who she wanted to bring with her.

9:13 pm - And there it is. Aras, just don't be stupid and you are a million dollar winner.

9:20 pm - Danielle was almost onto the right line of making a decision when she justified her decision of Aras over Terry when she mentioned Casaya. The problem is she veered into "slap in the face of alliance mates" territory instead of "try to deflect blame for boots to alliance mate".

9:23 pm - I guess I didn't count on "medical evacuation" as a way for Danielle to win.

9:33 pm - So Aras is actually alive. And he's talking about the fall and subsequent injury making him feel more human. Meanwhile, Danielle says that this hasn't taught here anything that she didn't already know about herself, only "clarified" it. Guess who's winning the million?

(Forgot to mention that I think this is the first time that everything in the camp wasn't burned down. Which is nice.)

9:36 pm - Wow, the jury is trying to play this seriousness up. (Except for Shane's laughter at Aras' "intergrity" comment.)

9:37 pm - Danielle's opening statemnt was a lot better than Aras'. She acknowledged that she had to deceive people to get where she was, and laid it out there. Meanwhile, Aras claimed to play the game with integrity and tried to get to know everyone. At this point, it's obvious that Aras doesn't understand that really, only Terry has the high road on the integrity issue (mostly because he was in the minority throughout the game). The Shane comment should be very interesting, because he's going to try to accuse Aras of not having integrity. Whether he goes completely crazy or not remains to be seen.

9:42 pm - The questions:


You can tell Sally is a fan because she asked a very interesting question - who of the Casaya 6 was most instrumental to getting you to the final 2? Both say Cirie for obvious reasons. Danielle gives a concrete example of coming back from Exile Island, while Aras plays the friend card.


Bruce asks about beyond the million dollars, what you would you do with the experience (or something). Danielle wants to give speeches (which draws an odd reaction from Shane), Aras wants to make himself better before worrying about others.


Don't worry, Terry isn't bitter. He makes mention of Danielle's deceive point, and says he didn't have to. He also makes a joke about hoping Danielle's family and friends don't tell her that she should have taken "that navy guy".

He asks them to rank themselves on how they did in the challenges. Aras gives himself a nine, while Danielle gives herself an 8. Danielle's defense is that other than the hamburger debacle (which she claims to regret) she gave "110%".


Austin asks for the most positive move they made which furthered them to the final two, along with a deceptive move with furthered them.

Danielle goes with keeping Bruce over Bob-dog as her positive move (which was in a sense, since Bob more helpful physically and might have posed a threat to Terry), while naming the Courtney vote as the deceptive move.

Aras says that his move he most proud of was telling Melinda she was going(?). He didn't get her hopes up. He wasn't proud of voting Shane and lying to him. But he tries to say that he played the game with integrity, which just sounds like back pedalling.


Courtney says "Oh boy" and sighs before asking her question:

She forgot her guns and dropped them in the sea of forgiveness. She wanted to play the game with integrity but both stabbed her in the back. But she's dropped it and she learned a lot about herself. Which leads to her question: What did you learn about yourself?

Aras first refers back to the stabbing in the back, mentioning that Courtney put Aras' name down. Courtney tells him that he did lie to her, and he starts back pedalling again, saying that he never professed to being completely honest. Aras says that his ego was smashed.

Danielle says that she didn't believe how mentally strong she can be.

(Courtney has some great comebacks which I will get to eventually.)


Cirie asks why should she vote for the person next to them.

Danielle: Aras was unbelievable, respectful, honorable, strong minded, great morale for the team, great person

Aras: Danielle was there when I hurt my hand. She put aside her worries for that. Danielle points our her "drug him up" joke.


Shane is disappointed that it is them. Terry is most deserving according to him. Here's why:

Danielle: Useless at camp. Outwit? Shane doesn't know about it. He doesn't know anything about her. She can complete coherent sentences.

Aras: They had an agreement, but Aras broke it. When it came down to it Shane made the tough decision to put down Danielle's name, but Aras put Shane's name down.

Danielle didn't lie to Shane, but Aras did. Aras is a good young kid, but his intentions aren't good enough. But he's broke and freeloading off his dad.

Shane can't bring himself to vote for either, but he can't abstain, so he asks them to to choose a number between 1 and 1 million. Aras chooses 4, and Danielle chooses 10 (which is close to the Price is Right option that should have been used, but maybe Shane has a deeper meaning here?)

Danielle might have the edge here again. Aras did too much back pedalling

9:58 pm - Final comments:

Danielle: Wanted to come into the game and be herself. She played the game with honesty and integrity, but had to deceive somebody at some point. She tells Shane that she feels that she grew skill wise, and maybe Shane just didn't see it. As for Outwit, she found the right people to align herself with, and she stuck with them. She did all three parts of the game. And she plays the "the cash can help me" card.

Aras: Knows it is a hard choice. She played the game the best way he could. He worked hard at camp, at challenges, and at making real relationships with each and every one of them. He apologizes to Shane, but thought that Shane was trying to screw him first. The hugs were real, dammit! And then Aras plays the "cash can help me" card, by saying that he's homeless and freeloads off his dad. Unless that was a joke, this veered quickly off into the ditch. Whoever the jury votes for is good enough for him.

10:00 pm - Jeff gives the vote speech and we get people voting.

Bruce votes for Danielle. It was a great pleasure to play with you and you will touch a lot of people.

Sally puts a smiley face and then makes her vote. Based on pen position, it is Aras.

Courtney goes to make her vote, and uses Shane as leverage to get off of her seat. Shane is not happy, especially when Courtney does it to get back up to her seat.

Terry votes for Aras and makes a joke about being used to writing his name down.

Missing vote predictions:

Austin - Danielle
Sally - Aras
Shane - Danielle
Cirie - Aras
Courtney - Aras

And off we go to New York.

10:02 pm - And we are now in New York. Danielle looks like she hasn't gotten any sleep. Shane is wearing, um, something odd.

First vote: Aras (Terry's vote)
Second vote: Danielle (Bruce's vote)
Third vote: Danielle (Shane's vote - the answer to the question was 999,999)
Fourth vote: Aras (Sally's vote - smiley faces can be seen)
Fifth vote: Aras
Sixth vote: Aras

Aras wins Survivor: Exile Island!

(Justice was kinda served.)

Congratulations to Aras ensue. He hugs his family, and here come the other survivors. Misty~!

I look forward to the "would Terry have been the better choice" question. (Answer - probably not.)

10:09 pm - A clip of Terry and Aras fighting with each other.

Jeff has a piece of advice for Aras: pay your taxes!

Discussion of the Terry/Aras rivalry, and an interesting point comes up - Terry's winning of immunity challenges kept Aras around because otherwise Terry loses, gets voted, and the immunity idol gets played, and Aras gets the boot via Terry's vote.

Terry also fesses up to being frustrated when he lashed out at Cirie.

Danielle gets questioned about choosing Aras over Terry (Jeff doesn't buy her last second choice claim). She says that she was taking a shot, and that everybody had taken a liking to Terry and he would have been tougher to beat. Both played the game the best.

And Jeff does the poll~! Who would vote for Danielle: Bruce and Cirie.

Danielle also brings up the point I made before about Aras having to take some of the blame for voting people up, while Terry didn't.

Aras gives the secret of the mohawk and how it stayed up through 39 days. All the girls helped with it.

10:22 pm - We come back with Cirie hating leaves and from there the evolution of Cirie we get to see. I might be sick to my stomach.

Apparently there was a lot of reasons for Cirie not to be put on the show, but her spirit shone through.

Cirie was actually funny in her segment. And touching. And then they go to HB and I'm getting nauseated with the saccarhin. Luckily Jeff saves us by turning to Shane. But it was to talk about Cirie. Ah well.

And now we turn to Bruce and his ailment. It started 12 days before he was removed from the game. And apparently he was threatened with losing his job, but was only suspended without pay.

Before we go to break, Terry presents Cirie with a trophy for winning the "Survivor fishing tournament".

10:35 pm - After a commercial for "Click", Adam Sandler's new movie", Jeff goes into commercial ties and segues into "Shane is crazy" clips.

Apparently Shane was losing his mind. And apparently he went through AA. More talking about how crazy he was abounds. This turns to Shane being the hated guy and how he kinda realized that he was going to be the best person to take to the final two. Shane apologizes to Danielle, her boyfriend and family and then says that he realized that he was going to have to be like "Fairplay" at that point, but that by the end of the game, everybody got used to his outbursts and kinda started to like him.

Talk moves to Boston, and then to Mother's day, which turns to Tina and our touching moment segment of the show ((C) 2006). They talk about Tina's loss of her son, and we get to hear a remarkable story about how she received an email from the other people involved in Charlie's accident.

10:49 pm - We come back to the Austin/Danielle time on Exile Island, which brings us to Austin. Austin was comparing it to Noah's journey. And apparently Austin found God because of his time on Exile Island.

Dan can take stuff away from this even after being in space.

Courtney also can take stuff away from this.

Sally's family relations are brought up. It did help, but not directly. (And she's looking good.)

Nick and the back row are asked, what didn't we get to know about them. Nick says "not that much. I was hungry."

Bob says that he is surprisingly cuddly.

Ruth-Marie says that her personality was a way cuter out there than shown.

Misty~! will never give up. (To applause?)

Melinda can handle whatever is thrown her way.

Who is going to win the car? Cirie.

Coming back, we will see where Survivor is going to go next.

10:56 pm - Survivor is going to...the Cook Islands! (Apparently one of the most stunning places ever seen). And Exile Island returns, with new twists and stuff. Wow. I didn't expect to see Exile Island return, though I'm glad to see it. Much like the tribe switch, it's effect will probably be seen much more prominetly in the second season it is in play, not the first.

More reflection and stuff to come tomorrow.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

No word on whether the shirt is made of gold

Random quote taken from this New York Times article on the decline of cheap rooms on the Strip in Las Vegas (italics are mine):
Ms. Wynn says she is sympathetic to the tourist with a limited budget.

"Nobody is intending for this to be exclusive," she said of the Wynn Encore.

People "are free to come in and enjoy the environment" at the Encore, she said. "They can visit the gardens, and shop. They can buy a T-shirt for $28 that is a wonderful souvenir."

Survivor Panama Thoughts for 5/4

Ah Survivor. I know that I’ve neglected you in these parts, but hey, if my neglect has caused you to start providing some really good episodes, then I might have to neglect you a lot more often.

First up, the summary of the show for those who missed it:

Shane was upset that he was sideswiped by Courtney’s elimination last week. Cirie and Aras came up with a story that they found out about Courtney’s plan to make a final three alliance with Danielle and Terry “10 minutes” before tribal council and since Shane was so far away, they couldn’t tell him what was going on. This seemed to placate Shane, as he went on to thank the world that that “crazy broad” was gone.

Next up was the “take elements from previous challenges and make a huge obstacle course” reward challenge. With Terry winning the car last week, this week had to be something special, and it was – the winner would get to allocate how much time everybody spent with their loved one. Finding out that this involved their loved ones sent Shane to his knees weeping.

The course was split into 4 stages. I’ll describe the stage and list the participants. The one who is not bolded was eliminated in that stage:

Stage 1: Within a defined circle, there is a bag buried in sand. The last person to dig up their bag and carry it over the finish line is eliminated.

Danielle, Terry, Aras, Cirie, Shane

Stage 2: Carrying the bag from the previous stage, the Survivors need to crawl under a set of bamboo gates, climb up through a bamboo maze to untie a wooden snake and then run over a dirt hill.

Danielle, Terry, Aras, Cirie

Stage 3: Carrying the bag and snake from the previous stage,, the Survivors need to run over a hill and into a pool of water. They then need to untie a fish hanging over the pool, and then run to the finish line, carrying all three of the items.

Danielle, Terry, Aras

Stage 4: Carrying all three items from the previous stages, the Survivors need to go move through a bamboo tunnel maze which goes up and down. If they drop an object while above the ground, they need to pick it up and then start from the beginning.

Winner: Terry, after Aras drops the bag.

So Terry gets to decide who spends what amount of time with their loved ones. The allocation that he has to decide is:
2 people and their loved ones go away for the night and stay at a house/cottage
1 person gets to bring their loved one back to camp for the night
1 person gets a hug from their loved one
1 person gets nothing from their loved one and has to go to Exile Island

Then we get introduced to all of the loved ones:
Terry’s Wife
Aras’ Mother
Danielle’s Mother
Cirie’s Husband
Shane’s son, Boston

Terry has to make the decision and he decides on the following
Terry and Shane et al to the cottage
Cirie’s Husband H.B. to camp
Aras gets the hug
Danielle goes to Exile Island

And off they go. Danielle isn’t happy about going to Exile Island and imagines a coconut to be Terry’s head (which she proceeds to split). Terry makes no bones about that being revenge for Danielle bailing on him and Courtney. Cirie’s husband comes to camp and is forced to do a lot of the work. (He is also appalled at the drinking water.) Terry and his wife get it on (with CBS being not too subtle about this – though not reaching Joe Millionaire levels of captioning the slurping sounds).

When Terry and Shane get back, Terry gives the old “we weren’t sleeping, if you know what I mean” routine to Aras and Cirie. Then an argument occurs between Terry and Aras, with Aras angry that Terry didn’t let Aras be with his mother. (Aras’ phrasing, not mine.) Aras accuses Terry of not respecting him or Danielle because he says that a mother isn’t as important as a spouse , while Terry says that Aras couldn’t understand the difference in feeling.

With the Terry/Aras rivalry defined, off we go to the immunity challenge. Basically, the survivors stand on a pole that is 20 feet of the ground and in the sea (ocean?). While on the pole, they have to drop a bucket into the water, pull it up, and then pour the water into a small bamboo shoot with is about 10 feet below them. This causes a flag to rise. First one who is able to grab the flag and lift it over their head is the winner. (Oh yeah, they can only touch the base with their feet or hands.)

Shane spends half of the challenge pouring his water into “the wrong hole” (which is apparently on his platform). Jeff is very funny in poking at Shane. And of course, Terry wins. Shane gets his revenge by mocking Probst’s “somebody is going home tonight”.

Back at camp, Shane thinks Danielle is going, while Danielle, Cirie and Aras have already decided on Shane. Terry is very excited because he’s in the final three. Then, Cirie shows signs of flipping to Terry and Shane to vote out Danielle. We’re left hanging on whether Cirie will vote out Shane or Danielle (as if there’s a choice in the matter).

At Tribal Council, Aras is asked about wanting to beat Terry. Aras says that Terry’s dominance drives him and the thought about “is this the time that he slips”. Probst counters with “when does it go from ‘is this the time he slips’ to ‘he isn’t going to slip’” and Aras says something about winning challenges is only half the game, and the other half is winning over people. Courtney shakes her head at this and a comment from Danielle about getting further in the game, while smiling at a Shane comment. Up comes the vote and we see Shane voting for Danielle, and Aras voting for Shane.

Jeff reads the votes: 1 for Danielle, and then 3 for Shane, eliminating him. Shane, surprisingly, does not flip out and instead exclaims “In a minute, I’m going to be eating an ice cream bar!” Terry salutes him, and then off he goes.

(During the comments, Shane seemed shocked that he was voted off, even though he asked Cirie straight up if she, Danielle and Aras were in an alliance and got told no. Also, we find out that Terry voted for Aras, which was probably the biggest surprise of them all.)

Now, my thoughts:

- Aras’ comment about winning people over is funny. I’m not sure he realizes that he has become the Boston Rob of this year – unless you get a lot of people who believe that his alliance making was spectacular, he will lose because he pissed off people when he put them on the jury (Shane especially, since he specifically asked if he was going to be going and was not told.) He’s already lost the game to Terry, and has probably lost the game to Cirie as well. Danielle is a bit of a toss-up because of Courtney. So while it’s great that he is cognizant of the jury, he’s done nothing to “win them over”.

- The talk of Terry’s arrogance is pretty funny as well. Terry wasn’t the one sitting out of an immunity challenge to eat hamburgers. Terry wasn’t the one calling team meetings in front of the smaller tribe to talk about who was going to get voted out. So this talk of Terry’s arrogance is pretty damn hypocritical.

- With that said, Terry is getting pretty cocky, though I think in part it is because of the situation he is in. He knows the only way he can survive is by continually winning. He also knows that his continual winning is his main argument for winning the game. So the longer he keeps on winning, the cockier he gets. What Aras says does apply to him kinda – he has to be careful that he doesn’t face somebody like Cirie, who can be viewed as the safe choice to win.

- As for what Terry’s options are now, it’s pretty clear – he should not try to win the next immunity challenge but not look like he is trying to throw the challenge. Then, if he is “voted out”, he can decide who is actually going (most likely is Aras, then Cirie then Danielle.) Another thought is for him to say that he has the immunity idol, show it to everyone and then say “Either way, you guys have to decide amongst yourselves who you are voting out”. (Of course, if Terry wins immunity, then he has some more fun to play, as he can give the idol to whoever decides to join the final two alliance with him.) No matter which way you cut it, Terry is actually in a position of strength, not weakness in the political side of the game.

- Next week, apparently Danielle approaches Terry about a possible final two alliance. She has probably realized that she stands a chance of winning against any of the other final four players, depending on how the vote breaks. This doesn’t mean that she is guaranteed to win, but she is right that it is in her best interests to form an alliance with Terry. The only way it is found out is if she wins immunity in the final 3 challenge, and opts to take Terry over one of her Casaya tribemates. And even under those circumstances she can explain it off by wanting to bring the more deserving to the final two.

- I meant to also talk about Cirie for a second. I don’t understand why seasoned watchers like Dalton Ross are calling Cirie a power player. She did manipulate things to get rid of Courtney last week, but this week, I’m not sure that she did anything other than vote with her alliance to get rid of the outsider to the group. And while her reasoning to get rid of Courtney was sound, she pushed it too far. Yes, if Courtney was everybody’s choice to take to the final two, that would hurt Cirie’s chances. But at the same time, it did not do anything to guarantee Cirie a final three, let alone a final two. Does she feel that she’s so solid with Aras or Danielle? Does she trust either of them after they took out their initial final two alliance partners in consecutive weeks?

Your list for this week:

Most likely to win:

1. Terry
2. Danielle
3. Cirie
4. Aras

And who’s going this week? I’m guessing Aras. This is based on Terry throwing the challenge and then getting the vote against him. If the others are smart, they will do something to get the person out who they want to go.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

And there it is.

The Canadiens were eliminated in overtime tonight on an all too familiar way - Huet giving up a weak goal after standing on his head for most of the game. I don't have too many thoughts other than Carolina deserves to move on based on their play from Games 3-6. At some point I'll do a look at what the future holds for the Habs, but for now....


Monday, May 01, 2006

What was the equivalent to the Red Mile?

Commence euphoric blogging immediately.

(I'd include Cosh, but I'm not sure that he's capable of showing any joy about the Oilers.)

Congrats to the Oilers fans, and please save a spot for me on the bandwagon. Hopefully I don't have to join you anytime soon.

I'd listen to him, he's pre-med

Martin Brodeur:

A recent example was the Hurricanes' winning goal Friday night. Defenseman Niclas Wallin clearly prevented Huet from doing his job by positioning himself in the crease, while placing his stick between Huet's pads. We don't need those kind of goals.

That's how Huet momentarily lost sight of the puck, thus allowing Rod Brind'Amour to score the goal that made the difference. I find it a pity the referees don't deal severely with such violations more often, since they can cost the game. It seems to me enough goals have been scored like that since the start of the season without accepting these questionable goals as well.

The referees in the Canadiens-Hurricanes series have come under fire for a number of reasons. Justin Williams injured Canadiens captain Saku Koivu with a high stick near his eye and, even if it was an accident, it was certainly worth a four-minute penalty.

It's incomprehensible the referees didn't see the infraction because Koivu was about to get a good chance to score. It's a real pity to declare a team can take one of the best opposing players out of a series without suffering the consequences.

This incident had an important impact on the series between the Canadiens and the Hurricanes. It's annoying to see Williams also hit Andrei Markov in the face during the last game without being punished.

Is Brodeur a closeted Habs fan, or is he the champion of justice?

(You should actually read the article. If there's one thing I'll give the Sun/SLAM is that their ghost written columns are pretty good - the Doug Gilmour columns that appeared in the Toronto Sun were pretty evenhanded all things considered, and actually critical at times.)

I'd like my 15 minutes of fame now please

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article about the NHL's attempt to draw in celebrities, including creating VIP cards and sending them out to various people, including Justin Timberlake, George Clooney and Jerry Bruckheimer. (Well, at least Bruckheimer is a hockey fan.) The most interesting thing to me is to find out that Nelly is a Blues fan, and that the Atlanta Thrashers' biggest fan is Lil Jon.

Hey, I hear that Hammer is available if the NHL wants to kick it old school.

(h/t to Deadspin via Mirtle)

Habs and 'Canes Games 4 and 5

No live blogging from me for these games. So instead I'll point you to Sisu Hockey, and JeffJ's great summaries of Game 4 and Game 5.

Interesting note: Ron Francis, hockey great and former Carolina Hurricane has a blog. Granted, it's a bit weak in the analysis and strong in the cheering for Hurricanes, but hopefully it will evolve into a insightful place to read about hockey. (And with any luck, he won't use "Git er done" ever again.)