-Back in college during my junior and senior year, I actually wrote a weekly column for our school newspaper under this same title of “Notes, Quotes, and Observations.” So after having a very nostalgic moment last week, I figured I’d break out the old title and use it on this column. Granted, that column was an all-sports column that I’m sure pissed off a few people (mostly Notre Dame fans) on a weekly basis. This will be strictly TV related, reality and non-reality. Sure, once the “Bachelor” starts up again, we’ll be going back to the “Bachelor” recaps, but that’s not til January. I need to do something to hold you over. So I figured I’d just cover everything that I deem important going on in television right now. I’ll have some notes that you may or may not know, a few outlandish quotes that celebrities seemingly have on a daily basis, and most definitely I’ll have some observations on things that I watch. So without further adieu, as I dust off the old college articles, here’s our first ever installment of “Notes, Quotes, and Observations” on RealitySteve.com.
-Even though it’s been a month since I’ve been there, a couple notable things from my trip to Vegas. Well, at least the ones that I’m allowed to print.
1) The Friday night I was there, as I’m roaming the Mandalay Bay casino floor trying to figure out which black jack dealer should take my money next, who do I see sitting at a table with two other guys? None other than…Damon Lindelof. Ha ha…you were probably expecting to hear me say “Carmen Electra”, or “Megan Fox”, or some other random hot chick I’d do nasty things to. Nope. Of course, this is where my TV geek in me comes out. The fact I even know who Damon Lindelof is, let alone what he looks like, should tell you all you need to know. For you non-TV nerds, Damon Lindelof is the co-executive producer of “Lost”. The worst part is, I was just as excited to see that guy as I would’ve been any of those girls. I was so tempted to just play at his table so I could sit next to him and talk his ear off about the show, which is exactly why I didn’t do it. I figured that guy gets enough fans asking him “Where’s the island?” and “What happened to Jin?”, that he didn’t need it from me. Still, I’m kicking myself to this day for at least not sitting down, introducing myself, and engaging in some sort of conversation. I’m an idiot.
2) On the flight home, I got upgraded to first class. Not because I’m any sort of high roller, but I’m telling you this because it plays into the story. I got seated behind, what I thought, was a normal couple. He was a little older, looked like a chain smoker, and had a ponytail. She was white trash. Had on a black mini-skirt, yellow tank top, and a black bra. Yeah, you probably don’t want to go with the dark colored bra under the light colored shirt. Just screams, “I’m a slut”. Anyway, they were easily both in their 40’s, and consuming a ton of wine throughout the whole flight. So with about a half hour left, and I’m not kidding, these two start making out like the plane is about to go down and it’s the last physical contact they’ll ever have with anyone. For the final 30 minutes of the flight, these two were in full on, make out, groping mode. It was embarrassing. And all I could see was the top of their heads moving, but it was literally impossible to turn away. You ever NOT looked at a car crash on the freeway? Neither have I.
-As for my Maddie story, here’s the good news: When I was in Vegas, I boarded her at a new place that I found and she loved it. All the workers there were complimentary of her and the report card that she received gave her an “A”. They actually even take pictures of her playing with the other dogs and attach it to the report card. Now to the bad news: When walking her in my complex a couple weeks ago (as always on a leash), another dog owner was walking her two dogs unleashed. One of them (I have no idea what breed it was, but was right around Maddie’s size), comes walking over to us. As this dog approaches us, the owner says, “Don’t worry, she’s friendly.” Her and Maddie sniff each other for two seconds before this dog starts pouncing on Maddie. I’m screaming at this dog trying to get her off Maddie, all the while pulling Maddie’s leash. But this dog has basically attached itself to Maddie and the more I pull, the more I pull this dog with her. The other owner comes running over, and after about 30 seconds of barking and Maddie wailing, I finally separate the two. Then I went into a verbal tirade on this woman unlike anything I’d ever done. Called her names, dropped f-bombs, made her cryâ€¦.it was, well, awesome. I can’t remember the last time I went off on someone like that. I also can’t remember the last time I was that scared. I was sure that Maddie would be bleeding or have scratches, but she came away unscathed. However, she was petrified for the next day or so, and I hope I never have to go through that experience again. That was terrible.
-Back in California a couple weeks ago and got to see my nieces soccer game. Quite interesting to say the least. It’s 4-on-4, no goalies, and the field is less that 50 yards long. Basically, it’s 8 kids all running after the ball at once. I can’t even believe anyone even scores a goal in this game. My niece really has a tough time understanding how to go about kicking the ball. When the other team has it, she just runs with the group alongside the person with the ball. When her team has it, she doesn’t want to get in the way. See, this is a problem. Olivia, you need to go steal the ball from your teammates and kick it yourself. Screw teamwork. They’re not looking out for you, so you need to just look out for yourself. I know you’re only 4 and aren’t even reading this, but trust me, this is something I’ve already re-iterated to her when I was out there. Just got a call yesterday from my sister, and what do you know, Olivia scored her first goal this past weekend. And apparently it was because she stole it from one of her teammates. That’s my niece. I taught her well.
-One of the other benefits about watching her game? Orange slices. How good are orange slices on a hot day? So during the halftime break, because I was hot and hungry, I told Olivia to go steal an extra bag of oranges for me. And she did. What a great uncle. Hey, it’s not like she wouldn’t have done it anyway considering after the game, she went over to the OTHER team’s goodie bag, and got one of their after-game snacks. Hey, what can I say? The girl knows what she wants and gets it. Can’t fault her for that. I added some new pictures from that day on my MySpace and Facebook pages. You’ll notice, her team name is the Storm Troopers. But don’t ever tell her that. She will correct you by yelling, “IT’S NOT THE STORM TROOPERS, IT’S THE STAR TREEPERS!”. Don’t ask. And don’t correct her. Just play along.
-As for my nephew, Nicholas, just ask him, “Who lives in the pineapple under the sea?” And you’ll get a response of “Sponge Bob”, although it sounds more like “Bom Bom”. He knows who Sponge Bob is, its just his pronunciation isn’t up to par at the ripe old of age of 18 months. Don’t hold it against him. It’s very cute.
-So where are the interviews that I promised a couple months ago? Well, lets start off first with Brad Womack. As I mentioned, Brad and I had about a 30 minute conversation a while back, during which, we decided that the VERY NEXT NIGHT, we were going to record a phone interview. About 4 hours before that interview was supposed to take place, Brad cancelled via text message and did not reschedule. In my mind, I knew at that point it wasn’t going to happen. But I still held out a glimmer of hope. Until two weeks ago, when I checked in with him, and got this email response:
I’m sorry I’m just getting back to you. As I stated before, my business partners and I just opened a new venue and we have been extremely busy. On that note, please let me explain myself where “The Bachelor” is concerned. I’m ready to put all things related to the show in my past. I know I agreed to do an interview, but, after further consideration, I want to very politely decline. It’s absolutely nothing personal; in fact, I mean it when I say you are the only one that I would want to talk to in the event I wanted to get my story out there. The fact of the matter is, I’m truly over it. I don’t see the interest in my story or me; I just want to be a normal businessman and move on.
I hope you understand and hope this email finds you well.
And that was that. However, I can’t fault the guy for being honest, and told him so in a follow up email. You just don’t get up front honesty that much anymore, and I really appreciated it. The guy just doesn’t want to talk about it anymore. I can respect that. I disagree when he says he doesn’t think his story is interesting, as evidenced by the numerous emails from my readers suggesting otherwise, and I told him that, but he still declined. I’m ok with it. If the guy blew me off, never got back to me, or didn’t even give a reason as to why he changed his mind in 24 hours, then that’d bother me. A lot. But what can you say to someone who actually has the guts to personally tell you why he’s declining an interview? Kudos to Brad. You’re ok in my book. You just owe me a few beers next time I’m down in Austin, which will be sooner rather that later.
-As for the other two interviews, Graham and the mystery female guest, doesn’t look good. Graham agreed to do it, told me to call him, I did and left a message and I haven’t heard back. That was about 6 weeks ago. He knows I’m looking for him, and if he wants to do it, he knows where to find me. I think at this point though, as we’re getting closer to the next “Bachelor” season, he probably doesn’t want to anymore, and frankly, neither do I. The female surprise guest? That one I was pretty much doing for my own personal enjoyment. I guarantee most of you wouldn’t have known, or cared, about that interview. But I’ve always taken a huge interest in stand-up comedy, and had exchanged emails with “Last Comic Standing” winner Iliza Schlesinger through MySpace about doing an interview. She said she’d do it, gave me her managements contact information to set it up, and they said she’s “not available anytime soon”. Really? She doesn’t have 20-30 minutes in her day for a phone interview? She lives in LA and has a car. It’s impossible to never be in your car for less than 30 minutes if you’re driving, well, anywhere. Whatever. Maybe down the line I’ll try again, because I’m still interested in talking to her about her journey, but if I have to keep going through her management company, something tells me it won’t get done.
-According to Jeremy, the show begins filming in Mid-October with Jason and there’s a chance it could still be filmed in Seattle. He’s not sure. Although Jeremy is very close with Jason, I’m not really interested in finding out a lot before the season airs. It would probably skew what I write if I already know whats happened, and that’d be unfair to a lot of you who don’t want to know ahead of time which girls go far, and who he picks, etc. So I will try to go into this season knowing as little as possible. At least that’s the plan I have now. That could change as we get closer.
-I recently was exchanging emails with former “Bachelor: Paris” contestant Lisa and the subject of this upcoming season with Jason came up. I think the casting for this season is going to be interesting considering that every girl applying knows, or should know, who the Bachelor is going to be: Jason. And that Jason has a kid. But something tells me ABC is not going to cast 25 women who are all interested in being a step mom. There’s no way all 25 women they cast are going to be 100% behind him having a kid. Then there’d be no drama. I’m sure some girls will have lied in the casting interviews and been all, “Oh, I love kids. I can’t wait to have them. Ty is so cute. It doesn’t bother me at all.” Then you just KNOW, at some point during this season, we’re gonna hear something along these lines, “I thought I was ok with him having a kid, but I realize I’m not ready.” Count on it.
-And once again, the geographical aspect of this show is going to come into play, probably more so than in seasons past. Jason lives in Seattle and has a kid. So just like with DeAnna, can we honestly expect whoever Jason chooses that he’s gonna move to where she lives? No. Meaning that not only will the 25 girls that they cast have to be ok with being a step mom immediately, they also must be willing to move to Seattle. That’s asking a lot. So lets see how the season plays out, but, I think it’s gonna be real tough for him to find someone that, at least, doesn’t live on the west coast. Hey, maybe I’m wrong, and he’ll choose some chick from Maine, who’ll move all the way to the other side of the U.S. for him, but I doubt it.
-Which brings us back to the dilemma that this show constantly faces. Here’s where ABC has a problem: If you really, truly wanted this show to be about two people falling in love and getting married after six weeks, your best option would be to cast all 25 women from the city that the Bachelor currently lives in. Or within a few hundred miles at least. At least then, you’re not asking someone to make a career changing decision based on someone they met six weeks ago. Can long distance relationships work? Sure, it’s happened. And it will happen in the future. But on this show, in this format, it hasn’t and it seems a little more difficult. On the flip side, casting 25 women who all live next to him wouldn’t bring much diversity to the show, and I think people would get bored, if they aren’t already. So that’s where the show stands, trying to create enough diversity and intrigue to keep people watching, even though they’ve been a failure for 12 consecutive seasons. Or maybe 11.
-The latest issue of “US Weekly” had a story that Charlie O’Connell and Sarah Brice are getting back together. And of course, if its in “US Weekly”, then it must be true. That magazine has never been wrong. About anything. Totally, 100% accurate with numerous sources to back them up, even though their sources never have names. Ever notice that? Take for example last week’s edition. Just go to any story. Here I’m pulling from the article, “John Mayer Misses His Ex”. Obviously a story about John Mayer apparently still having a hard on for Jennifer Aniston. Here’s a quote: “He won’t shut up about Jen”, a source tells Hot Stuff. “He talks about her all the time.” Ok, so who’s the source? Hell, if I’m the author who wrote this column, I could’ve said that. I can’t believe that’s considered journalism in 2008. It doesn’t stop there. Here’s another: “John’s been putting everything that happened into his songs”, says a second source close to Mayer. Really? Does “second source” have a name? Or is “second source” written on their birth certificate? Pretty amazing how that magazine gets away with that constantly on a weekly basis. And that story was about as tame as you can get. So John Mayer still thinks about Jennifer Aniston? Big deal. They pull that “a source says” crap when telling us that Brangelina hate each other and want to split up. I’ve never understood how those mags don’t get sued on a weekly basis. Yet if that thing isn’t sitting in my mailbox on Friday afternoons, here I am feeling like my weekend is ruined. I have problems.
-And really “US Weekly”, do I need a 30-page special this past week on womens fashion? C’mon. I’m supposed to care about what LC, Taylor Swift, and Hilary Duff think about the clothes they wear? Nauseating. How about 30 extra pages on Kate Walsh getting dressed in the morning? Or maybe tell me more stories about how Jennifer Love Hewitt blasts the media for wanting every actress to be skinny, only to go out and lose 18 lbs in 6 weeks. You know, because she wanted to and not because she felt pressured at all. Hey Jennifer, I don’t care how or why you lost the weight, just be glad you did. Your new nickname was about to become “muffin top”. Its amazing how quickly I get through an issue of “US Weekly”. Usually takes me no more than 5 minutes considering I never read any of the stories. I just like looking at the pictures and making fun of the people I think are ugly. Sorry. Can’t help it. Just some people weren’t meant to have their picture taken and put in magazines every week. I’m talking to you, Cameron Diaz. Have Cameron Diaz and The Joker ever been seen in the same room at the same time? Didn’t think so.
DANCING WITH THE STARS
-Still fascinated by this show, which is amazing, because at the beginning of every season, I find myself asking this question, “Why should I care about any of these C-list celebrities?” Then by the end, I’m usually rooting for a couple. Weird dynamic. I guess I like seeing people take chances and do something that they’re not accustomed to doing. So I can respect the ones who are at least putting out an effort, even if they can’t dance. Take Rocco DiSpirito. You can just tell he has no rhythm, but, the guy is likable, tries to get better every week, and is genuinely excited when he advances. Sure, guys like Lance Bass who have a dance background, it comes more natural to them. But who wants to root for the favorite? Especially in a competition like this, where, if you have any dance background whatsoever, it automatically makes you a favorite.
-Which brings me to our junk-in-the-trunk friend, Kim Kardashian. I’m pretty shocked she’s already gone. Granted, most of America already hates her because she’s famous for, well, nothing. Do you realize that the only reason anyone knows who she is is because of a sex tape and the fact her father read OJ’s “suicide” letter to the media while OJ was headed down the 405 in a white Bronco? What else has she done? Nothing, other than having an ass that you could bounce quarters off of. And you talk about the wonders of make up. Kim Kardashian is about as average looking you can get without make up on. But when she is fully decked out, and has caked on all the make up, she’s one of the more attractive women out there. I just can’t get past the fact that she made one of the dirtier sex tapes around with Brandy’s brother, yet no one seems to bring that up anymore. Which is why I find this, “I’m so shy and reserved” persona all very puzzling.
-Cloris Leachman needs to shut the hell up. Look, I understand she’s 82 and any 82 year old woman even trying to compete in this competition should be applauded, but enoughs enough already. We get it. She’s basically a cartoon right now. She has no chance of winning, her dancing is terrible, and even the comedic relief she’s trying to provide is wearing out its welcome. Thanks for playing, now go home you old bag. And quit interrupting people when they’re trying to talk to you. Seriously, that’s supposed to be funny? Since I’m always watching this show on TiVo, I can honestly say, I’ve never watched her dance for more that 15 or 20 seconds before fast forwarding through it.
-Nice to hear that apparently behind the scenes, Warren Sapp is the biggest diva on the show. Rumors of him chewing out the production staff, walking out on rehearsals with his partner, and screaming down people the day of the show. Then of course the cameras come on, and he acts like a big teddy bear to get votes. Perception vs Reality. Having been a football fan my whole life, I can say I’ve never been a fan of his. Another guy who’s out promoting himself and is all about “me”. Man, you’re an idiot for even raising a voice to that hot piece of a partner you have. Yikes. Have you noticed that Kym Johnson has added a little something to her chest region this season? Yeah, they’re bigger. And better. I don’t remember her being that chesty when she was dancing with Mark Cuban. Something happened in the offseason. I think she paid a visit to Dr. 90210. So maybe I’m overlooking the fact she’s cross eyed. Big deal. I won’t even notice it when she’s…forget it.
-As busty and hot as Kym has become, I can’t say the same for 2-time winner Cheryl Burke. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but ummmmm, well, she’s packed on the lbs. She’s gotta be at least 15-20 lbs heavier than when she won with Drew and Emmitt. Easily. Could be more. Not saying no woman is allowed to add on weight, I’m just pointing it out in case you didn’t notice the four chins she’s rolling with now. As for Edtya, sucks she got paired with the comedian this year. Basically if you get paired with the comedian (Mayne, Carolla, Ross), you’re going home early. Immediately when I saw Edyta this season, something looked different. I almost didn’t notice her. But just pull any tape from last season with Jason Taylor, and watch her two episodes she was on this season. I know you’ve noticed the nose job she had done, didn’t you? Karina had a nose job a couple seasons ago, but she said it was because of “breathing problems”. Uh huh. Sure it was honey. That’s what everyone who gets a nose job says. I don’t buy it. If she wasn’t on TV every week being watched by 21 million viewers and getting photographed by the paparazzi, I’m guessing she could care less about fixing her nose. Hey, if you get a nose job, all the power to you. There’s nothing wrong with that. Just don’t tell us you’re getting it because of breathing issues. Tell the truth. You hate your nose and wanted a new one. No one will like you any less. Anyway, Edyta definitely had a job done in case you didn’t notice. That’s why I’m here.
-I guess we’re supposed to find out tonight what’s happening with Misty May. She suffered a pretty serious injury Friday night and might not be able to continue. Reports this weekend said she was definitely quitting the competition to undergo surgery on a torn achilles. Other reports say that’s not the case and her status will be updated tonight. Let me tell you what I know: She’s done. Sucks since she was one of the favorites. Not a bad dancer, and definitely one that you could see improving every week, I just had a hard time watching her dance with every shoulder and arm muscle popping out as she tries to look graceful. I can’t fault a woman for having a ripped body, but in this competition, it works against you. Kinda helps to be curvy and feminine in this show. She’s a tomboy and is built like an MMA fighter. There’s always something awkward about looking at a well built female athlete in a dress and heels. Just doesn’t look right. C’mon, you thought the same thing watching her. I’m not the only one here.
-Why it took them 16 seasons to finally do this show in HD is beyond me. Much, much better. I think from day 1, this has been the most consistent and solid reality show ever. There’s a reason its 17 seasons in and still going strong. Always in the Top 20 shows in America, and always has good drama. The casting is usually well done, the location is usually pretty interesting, and it’s almost impossible not to have drama when you have teammates and friends competing with one another, yet, having to vote each other off. Remember something very important about “Survivor”: This was the very FIRST reality show to introduce the “voting someone off” concept. I think people tend to forget that since numerous shows since then have copied it. But what makes this show so compelling, season in and season out, is that the people you are voting off are ultimately the ones that will have a hand in whether or not you get awarded $1 million. And that always makes for good television. I know Probst says that every season, but I don’t think it actually sinks in with a lot of people. You have to befriend people, and form alliances to stay in the game. Then you ultimately have to lie, deceit, and betray those same people in hopes they vote for you in the end. The show is a great social experiment, if nothing else. And it was the first of its kind. Everyone has ripped off “Survivor” in some way, shape, or form ever since its debuted. Just remember who started it.
-As for Probst, the fact that “Survivor” has been around the longest, and has been the most consistent ratings wise over 17 seasons, is probably the reason he won the Emmy for “Best Reality Show Host”. As he should. It was basically a lifetime achievement award. He was the originator, he was there from the beginning, and lets be honest, he has more to do with his show than any of the other four do. And if you like behind-the-scenes stuff, be sure to check out his blog on EW.com every Friday morning after the episode airs. Really good stuff where he tells you how he feels about certain players and certain situations that we had seen the night before. Good stuff. It’s a must read every Friday if you’re a fan of the show and want to know a little more about what went on.
Well, that’s about half of what I wanted to type. But I promised it’d be up Monday, so here it is. It’s just taking way longer than I thought. By the beginning of next wekk, the full column should be completed. In it, I’ll cover “Gossip Girl”, “90210”, “Fringe”, “24”, “Lost”, “Heroes”, “Friday Night Lights”, a few other newsworthy bits, a Dr. Reality Steve email, and some celebrity quotes. Sorry for the delay. Until thenâ€¦