The Winner of Survivor China is Todd

Todd Wins Survivor
The winner of Survivor: China is Todd Herzog

The memorable events in this season were this was the first time someone pulled out something they thought was an immunity idol but wasn’t, the first time someone ended up with TWO immunity idols and still got voted off. Having said that, it definitely wasn’t the most memorable Survivor.

Before tribal council, I thought that Amanda went in with a good chance to win because Courtney and Todd ticked so many people off.

During tribal council, it came out that it was Amanda’s idea to get rid of James, which I think was a surprise to him. I think James would have liked to have found that out before he had a chance to ask question (he was first, so he didn’t get to ask anything afterwards).

Jaime, Denise and Peih-Gee were especially upset at the final three.

I think it would have been better for them to ask the questions in the order they were voted off.

Anyway, afterwards it looked to me that Todd would probably win. From the way people reacted, Denise addressed Courtney, it sure seemed like Denise would vote for her. I didn’t think Jean-Robert would vote for Todd, and I don’t think James would vote for Amanda.

They revealed a few of the votes beforehand:

Jaime voted for Todd.
Erik voted for Amanda.
Denise voted for Courtney.
Jean-Robert told the camera “You just stole a million dollars. Well played.”

They switched to Jeff live:

The Votes Went:

Todd wins. It almost ended in a tie… what if it had ended in a tie? Anyone know what they would have done in that case?

During the reunion interview Jeff asked Jean-Robert about the vote he made for Todd (!), and Jean-Robert said that his mind was changed because it was the best move to vote him out. The Jeff asked Todd, and Todd admitted that he did play on Jean-Robert’s ego.

Various things that came out during the final interview:

Jeff asked James about “the biggest blunder in the history of this game” asking why he didn’t use the idol, and James said that he made the mistake of trusting his alliance.

Courtney started the game at 93 pounds and ended at 86 pounds.

James said that he’s had a lot of people that came up to him telling him that they liked him on the show. The craziest thing that’s happened afterwards and that after a funeral a couple of ladies were excited that they were able to meet him.

Denise’s return was a lot different. They didn’t rehire her after the show was over, saying that she would be too much of a distraction for the kids. She now has a job as a janitor at the school, but she has to work the night shift. She asked that if anyone had a lunch lady job, she’d like to hear from.

I have to say I think it’s pretty crappy that the people at Denise’s school treated her this way. I think that’s pretty petty.

Jaime and Erik are dating.

Chicken said, “If I didn’t win the money, I wanted to go first”.

The Sprint $100,000 prize went to the most popular survivor: James. The other two most popular people were Peih-Gee and Denise.

And talk about a live show: Mark Burnett, creator of Survivor, after listening what happened to Denise, told Jeff during a commercial break to tell Denise that he’s going to give her $50,000!

The next survivor starts in February: Survivor Micronesia: Fans vs. Favorites They’re taking fans of the show and pitting them against survivors of seasons past. One of those survivors will be someone from this season.

Survivor items will be up for auction at

What did you think? Did the right person win?

Survivor China: High School Friends Contest

Survivor China Image
Last week’s episode, where Jamie thought she was going to pull out an immunity idol (but didn’t), was classic, and there was another classic moment in the making this week, but it didn’t come to pass. It looked like everything was lining up for James to be voted off, and you could tell by the look on his face during tribal council that he thought he’d made a huge mistake. If he had been voted off, it would have been another survivor classic: First ever voted off with TWO immunity idols.

Speaking of huge mistakes, Jean-Robert made a big miscalculation by not realizing how things had been playing out behind the scenes. I was surprised he came up with the same plan as Todd to vote of James, and even more surprised they didn’t follow through.

I think that was a big strategic mistake. They could have voted off Jean-Robert whenever they liked after James. If James didn’t really realize they were gunning for him before, he knows it for sure now, and his guard will be up.

Denise was pretty much left out of everything this episode. First the challenge, and then the votes. I’m surprised they didn’t go to her to shore up her vote, because now she probably feels like more of an outsider. That means her vote is up for grabs, and in any maneuvering that might happen, that vote will count.

Question is: Who’s next? Peih-Gee?

Survivor: I’m Not As Dumb As I Look

Survivor China Image
Spoilers Ahead
Tonight’s Survivor: China episode was entitled, “I’m Not As Dumb As I Look”, and while that might be true, that confidence made for an interesting tribal council tonight.

Something that I hoped for last season happened tonight: Someone tried to play an immunity idol… that wasn’t an immunity idol. Last year, Yau-man tried to create a fake immunity idol, but no one took the bait and tried to play it. This year, completely accidentally, Jamie thought she found an immunity idol, but was pretty surprised in the end to find out that it wasn’t an immunity idol at all. Classic Survivor… Just when a player thinks they have things figured out, there’s a twist they didn’t expect.

It wasn’t all that dumb of a thing to try, because if it really had been an immunity idol, and she didn’t play it, it would have been a stupid move. Going in that confidentially, and saying they couldn’t wait to see people’s faces when she pulled out that “idol”… Well, she had a good look at their faces, but it wasn’t what she was hoping to see.

But she is on the jury, so she’ll be heard from again, as I’m sure Jean-Robert will. He’s destined for that jury pool as things stand now.

Survivor China Premiere

Survivor China Image
Spoilers ahead… you’ve been warned…

I just watched the Survivor China Premiere. I might have more to say later, but for now all I have to say is the people playing already violated two big unwritten Survivor rules:

1) Always dress like they’re going to dump you into the game at that moment.

Most of the people weren’t even CLOSE to being dressed in the right kind of clothes for the next 39 days. Have they really never seen this show? One of them already had big holes in their clothes at tribal council.

2) Never vote off the guy that’s likely to be able to help you survive in the wilderness.

These people are stupid. Chicken has more ability to survive in that environment than anyone else, and the A) didn’t listen to him when he tried to get them to build a shelter, and then B) voted him off. They wouldn’t listen to his suggestions, so he shut up… he straight out said that. If they just would have listened to him in the first place, they would have had that shelter built the first night.

That tribe is in for some rough times.

…oh, and one more thing: I bet that waitress from New York gets voted off pretty quickly too.

Earl Wins Survivor Fiji

In a Survivor first, a single player got all the votes at the final tribal council.  Earl Cole won Survivor Fiji, being out Cassandra and Dreamz when all the votes were counted.

Kinda begs the question:  Who gets the $100,000 second place?   Do they split it?  IS there a second place this time around?

I have to say that I’m pretty disappointed that Yao-man didn’t win, and the Dreamz went back on his word.  I’m sure that in his own mind, Dreamz justified to himself why he did what he did, but I have to say that was one of the worst things I’ve ever seen on Survivor.

The only way that Dreamz could have made a decision like that was to be completely unaware of how the other people that got voted off felt about what he was doing while he was playing.  Had he realized that he wouldn’t have won against either Earl or Yao-man, he probably wouldn’t have gone back at his word.   If he had given it away, people might have said he was stupid for doing it, but he would have looked great to everyone else.  But he doesn’t have that chance now, no matter what he says.   Yao-man, on the other hand, will always been the good guy.   He ranks right up there with Rupert when it comes to the fans.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I think Earl played a great game, and he deserved to win between Cassandra and Dreamz.   He played it very well.

Next time around, we have Survivor China!

The Year in Television Review for 2006

First, Hello to everyone arriving from Problogger. I’m participating in the Problogger Group Writing Project – Reviews and Predictions, and that’s what prompted me to write this post. Hope you enjoy it!

It is the end of 2006, and time to look back at all the significant events in the past year. You know, the things that had real impact: Wheeling and dealing, money, fame, glamor, lies, deceit… No, I’m not talking about Congress. I’m talking about television during that past year. Let’s take a quick look back at some of things that happened:


The big show in January was “24”, which returned for yet another very bad day for Jack Bauer. There he was, minding his own business, off in the middle of no where when all kinds of crazy things started happening. Ex-President Palmer was able to stop a bullet, completely unassisted! Unfortunately, he did it with his chest, so that didn’t work out very well. That event set off a whole slew of events that had Jack shooting thighs everywhere while trying to track down deadly gas canisters of death.

The start of “24” started the popular live blogging of the show on Dave Barry’s blog, where many people live blog the show. I started doing that too by posting summaries of the “24” shows on Dave’s blog. I keep them archived on my own blog, if you’re interested. (Yes, I’m the “Steve” they’re referring to).

The other big show that started in January was “American Idol”, a show where they get a LOT of people who are under the mistaken impression that they can sing and put them in front of TV cameras. Ever so often one gets loose, and that’s when things like Kevin Federline happen. Anyway, this goes on for several weeks until everyone can’t stand it anymore, and then they start the actual show where they have to impress three judges, Larry, Moe and Curly. Ha! Just kidding! It’s Randy, Paula and Curly.

This was also the month where someone decided that putting Jesus in a car with a priest would be good idea, and didn’t talk to anyone else about this before it actually made it to air. They called the show “The Book of Daniel” after briefly considering “Savior by the Bell”. This show ended pretty quickly.


The biggest event of the year! Millions of dollars spent on amazing entertainment! People glued to their television sets! I speak, of course, of the series of commercials they show during a football game. This year, Pittsburgh played Seattle. Some guys that were probably much older than you are, and are still able to sing and play much better than you’ll ever be able to, were featured during half time. I speak of course, of Lenny and Squiggy. No….just kidding! I meant Laverne and Shirley. Ok, I’ll stop that now. I’m speaking of The Rolling Stones. Yes, I know there’s a magazine called “Rolling Stone”. There also happens to be a band with that name…. Geesh… Kids these days…. Oh, and Pittsburgh won – the football game, not the commercials.

Another biggest event of the year! A bunch of athletes from all over the world get together every four years and try and keep from freezing while doing various sports events: Yes, it’s the Olympics. This year it was held in Italy, the land that gave us Leonardo DaVinci, the DaVinci Code, and countless DaVinci Code commercials. Wait…those last two were Dan Brown and Hollywood’s fault…Sorry, Italy!

Anyway, Italy threw a giant party and invited the whole world to participate, and most of the world did. Germany was the big winner this year with 29 medals, with the United States in second place with 25 medals, and Canada in third place with 24 medals. There was a controversy when Norway protested saying that Canada got so many medals just because that’s where cold weather was invented. After Canada pointed out that Norway was a pretty cold place too and that it probably made up the world Fjord just to watch people try and say it, the protest was dropped.


No! Say it ain’t so! On “24”, Edgar Styles the computer guy who worked with Chloe had a really bad day, and dies after getting a whiff of the toxic gas that Jack was trying to find. Now, it’s pretty bad that Jack wasn’t been able to find those things by this time, but it had to be a lot worse to have the bad guys come into the place where you work and do something like that. I’m sure Edgar would have agreed.

Over in HBO-land, Tony Soprano got shot by Uncle Junior. Later he was found by Aunt Senior and Nephew “The Third”…. Nah, later on he was found because they couldn’t just do anyway with main characters like that. What show do they think this is, “Lost”?


Katie Couric let the public know that she was leaving the “Today” show, and was going to host the CBS Evening News because of the CBS Evening New’s stellar reputation amongst the 90 and older crowd whose televisions are stuck waiting for reruns of “Murder She Wrote”. Dan Rather thought he could boost his career by changing his name to “Dannie”.

Tom Cruise went bananas on The Oprah Winfrey Show and attacked a couch by jumping up and down on it.


Back on “24”, Martha Logan was able to use her extensive espionage knowledge to get President Logan to implicate himself in all of the goings on of the day. As his reward for a job well done, Jack got an all-expense paid trip to China until next season rolls around.

“American Idol”, which had been running for what seemed like months (only because it had been months), finally got around to announcing a winner: Taylor Hicks. Afterwards, Taylor announced, “Wooo!” and “Soul Patrol!” (We’re still looking for an interpreter so we can find out what he meant by that). In another highlight, we won’t see Simon until next January.

“The Office” season ended on with Jim confessing his affection for Pam, leaving everyone hanging about what was going to happen. On the flip side of that, Dwight and Angela are a couple too, and all I can say is “yikes”.

Other shows that ended were:

“Alias”, a show where the bad guys never really wised up and started looking for a model using a variety of disguises.

“The West Wing”, a show about what the world would be like if Martin Sheen was President.

“That 70’s Show”, a show where they made a bunch of young actors suffer through the same fashion and hair style trends of the 70s.


Dan Rather finally leaves CBS News, after they search the building and find him under the anchor desk. While being escorted to his car, Dan blames it all on a vast conspiracy. Bob Schieffer takes over and soon blamed this career move on a vast conspiracy too.

In more news broadcast reshuffling, Charlie Gibson left “Good Morning America” – AGAIN, this time to do the evening news. Charlie left GMA the first time several years before, but returned after ABC realized that having an empty couch on screen every morning would only attract Tom Cruise, and nobody wanted that.


Some new shows for the fall season were announced. Among the highlights from NBC were “Studio 60” and “30 Rock”. The first is a show with a number in its name and is about life for people working on a show similar to “Saturday Night Live”. The second is a show with a number in its name and is about life for people working on a show similar to “Saturday Night Live”. Both on NBC. Fox quickly announced that they’ve had “24” for a lot longer, and that it didn’t need an extra noun in the title to make it special.


A summer of reality shows are finally ending, and new season’s shows are finally starting, notably “Prison Break”. You would think that a guy with a bunch of tattoos all over his arms, chest and back would have been easy to find, and there you’d be wrong. The show had many scenes of people driving around in California pretending they’re really in rural America, but the “Fat Burger” billboards keep giving it away.

“Prison Break” spent a lot of time not showing the President of the United States, because the actress who played her last year left the show. They also replaced John Billingsley who played Terrance Steadman the supposedly dead guy during the first season, with John Perry for the second season. This was after Billingsley replaced David Lively, who, besides having a great name for a guy playing a dead character, was the actor who played the dead Terrance Steadman in the car.


The Fall TV season was in full swing now, with some really terrific shows, “The Office”, “My Name is Earl”, and ”Heroes”. “Heroes” is a show where people find out they have abilities they didn’t know they had. It’s almost completely the opposite of “American Idol”, where people think they have powers that they don’t have.

Characters on “Heroes” include:

A girl who has tremendous thresholds for pain, including being a cheerleader.

A Japanese office worker whose eyes have the power to teleport him around through space and time, as long as he closes them really tightly.

A congressional candidate that won’t be earning any frequent flyer miles.

A struggling painter that can paint the future, but hasn’t figured out how to paint any future lottery tickets.

A male nurse that can absorb other people’s powers when he’s near them, but who didn’t quite figure that out for most of the season.

Survivor started, this time with four teams, broken up on by the Survivor staff into different ethnic groups. This was opposed to all the other Survivor shows, where people just did this themselves. Anyway, this turned out to be much ado about nothing and the focus of the show turned to questions liked “Is there anything Ozzie can’t do?”

Katie Couric started hosting the “CBS Evening News”. Most of America was surprised by this, saying “I thought that happened months ago?”

Rosie O’Donnell started on “The View”, after Star Jones left “The View” several months earlier. Meredith Vieira from “The View” started on “Today”. America hopes this is the last of “The View” they hear about for a while.


“Lost” started up again, and gave the answer to the burning question “Does every actor that gets into driving problems end up getting booted from the show?” (Answer: “Yes”). John Locke, Mr. Eko, and Desmond turned out to be alive (at least for a while), while Jack, Sawyer and Kate were all kept in a variety of cages. Two new plane crash survivors were introduced after hiding from everyone else for the last two seasons.

Shows started getting cancelled, including “Smith”, a show about some bad guys that pretend they’re not bad guys while breaking the law. And, yes, the show was about as interesting as I described it.


Lost took a midseason break, vowing to return with even more questions next January. Mr. Eko found out that smoking is bad for you. The mini-season ends with Jack performing surgery on Ben (the guy who called himself Henry Gale last season), holding Ben hostage after making a cut that puts him into jeopardy, and telling Sawyer and Kate to make a “run for it”. Unfortunately for Sawyer and Kate, that would be a “swim for it”, since it turns out there are TWO islands, not just one. The other island has also been hiding for the last two seasons.

“Prison Break” ends the fall season with everyone nearly everyone either dead or back in jail. Several of the actors plead for their characters to be among the dead, but are turned down.

“The Nine” gets canceled after episode “The Ten”.

“Vanished” vanished.

The second (yes, two) dancing show, “Dancing with the Stars” ends. (The first was “So You Think You Can Dance And You Were Completely Wrong”). The winner was Emmitt Smith, who beat Mario Lopez. America asked why they’re watching TV shows where ex-football players are beating ex-“Saved by the Bell” stars, and Fox immediately announced “When Ex-Football Players Attack Saved by the Bell Stars”.


Survivor ended with a tribal council in which we find out two of the Survivors can’t make fire with a flint, and then take another half an hour to make fire with matches. I think that makes both of them pretty happy there were other people on the island to do that sort of thing.

Among the TV highlights of December:

Charlie Brown still ended up having a great Christmas.

The original Grinch cartoon was still better than “The Grinch” movie.

Rudolph still had a shiny nose. You could even say it glowed.

Those were the highlights of Television in 2006. Let’s hope things get better in 2007.