One of the many odd things about Celebracadabra is its airing schedule. Technically the finale was supposed to be about a week ago, then this week, then next, and now VH1 is really just jerking us around. I don't think it realizes it's going to make all of us Celebracakillourselves, but luckily the celebs try to do that very thing this week, so we're not alone! Take comfort!
To congratulate the final three, Jonathan announces that this challenge will be so big and dangerous, it cannot be done inside the Magic Castle. The celebs immediately assume it'll be mouthing Jonathan's wang, but nope, it's phobia magic! Admittedly, that's equally scary.
Leave it to Hal to be delighted.
The judges designed three challenges to make the celebs poop their pants, and I am so freaking excited. This is legitimately the only kind of magic I care about, and it's pretty horrible because you know I'm just hoping someone will die, but it's totally the truth! That time David Blaine lived in a bubble and aired it on TV, I recorded the entire special and still won't tape over it. Someone pulling a coin out of my ear isn't super impressive to me, but if that person can sit underwater in a straight-jacket while leeches eat their face? That is entertaining and I would gladly pay them a little bit of money for it!
Jonathan says he used to be afraid of fire but isn't anymore, and he proves it by setting his fingers ablaze and then swallowing the flames. Lisa applauds like one of those monkeys with the cymbals. Then Jonathan makes sure to mention that they will not be performing illusions; they could legitimately die, and they're all like, "Uh, we're making $5 from this show. Are you fucking kidding me?" Lisa reacts by saying something, but I rewound it three times and I still can't get it. Lisa is drunk.
Since C. Thomas Howell won last week's challenge, he holds this round's special power. He'll get to choose each celeb's escape, which delights me since they really phrase it that way. I feel like Celebracadabra has been reading these recaps and they're like, "Referring to them with the generic 'the celebs' is so perfect, God bless that Bailey Quarters and her imagination." Obviously since I'm noticing this, my life is super jam-packed with activity and joy. Anyway, they won't get to find out their assignment until tomorrow, that way they have a night to really work up a panic attack. Yay!
The next day, they discover that their new workspace is an old warehouse, which really shows how much time and effort is put into this show. Love it. They head inside and find out the different torture chambers they'll enter for this challenge. One victim will hang upside down for their routine, suspended from their ankles while they chill in a straight-jacket. Oh, PS, they'll also be seven stories up in the air! No big, right? The next victim will be bound in chains and locked inside a cabinet, which makes Lisa gasp. She has a lot of experience with bondage, so she's understandably stoked. She's less thrilled when she finds out 50 snakes will also be hanging out in the cabinet. No lie, that made me scream just a little bit, but not so much as when I saw Lisa's face in confessional.
Sweet fucking marbles.
I obviously like to catch people making blowjob faces, but this is legitimately just her fucking face. I paused the video to write, and she just exploded into frame that way. This episode is truly living up to the whole scarypants theme.
Lisa doesn't want to do the snake trick for obvious reasons, but Hal's reasons are sort of out of this world. "I won't roll around in a contraption with snakes," he starts, and that makes perfect sense to me. Snakes are scary, so yeah, avoid those assholes! Then he adds, "I won't endanger the snakes." Oh, right, sure. Let's think of the snakes here, don't worry about them biting your dick off. Moron. The final routine is my favorite of all, the one where they're bound in chains and dropped into a huge tank of water. Yay! Whoever's stuck with this has to hold their breath and try to escape within a certain time limit. Also, they should try not to die; that would be another bonus.
Jonathan reminds C. Thomas Howell that he's doling out the punishments, which is actually a pretty cool power. All of these tasks are horrifying, but if our dude's afraid of snakes, at least he can avoid that one. Of course, this is assuming he's bright enough to figure that out, and that's sort of a crapshoot. I love him but I don't think he's winning the Nobel Prize, you know? He does a pretty decent job and takes the routine where he'll be suspended seven stories up. Hal remarks that C. Thomas Howell did a smart thing by picking the best trick, which is kind of a testament to how sincerely Hal enjoys this competition. A normal human would be like, "Oh my God, which one of these am I most likely to live through?" Hal is like, "Which one will look best for the judges?" In his defense, he probably doesn't have much else to live for anyway.
Hal quickly volunteers to take the water trick, and C. Thomas Howell immediately calls him out on being afraid of the snakes, which is so freaking fantastic. Hal bullshits about how his trepidation relates to hurting the snakes, and C. Thomas Howell squeals, "That's just girly enough to want to see!" I love this man! I'm dancing on my couch like Tom Cruise, if you must know.
Lisa doesn't mind which trick she does, so she'll leave it up to C. Thomas Howell's sense of competition. She's also wearing an enormous pair of sunglasses while inside the warehouse, bobbing back and forth wildly as she speaks. Chick is still wasted from last night, and it is unbecoming. C. Thomas Howell ultimately decides the only fair way to distribute the tricks is by picking cards, which he just happens to have on him, natch. The highest card gets the water tank, and Lisa knocks Hal out with a seven vs. five! Hal immediately throws a shitfit to beat all shitfits. It's weird how he's legitimately great at magic but can be so goddamn annoying, you can't even root for him. He whines about how this decision is up to C. Thomas Howell, not cards, and blah blah, he's afraid of snakes because he's a big sopping pussy. Lisa openly mocks him like, "Oh, let's just disregard everything we agreed upon so Hal can have his way!" Hal doesn't even get the insult there. He's just like, "Okay, cool, so we're all on the same page?" No, Captain Asshole.
Hal asks Lisa how many kids she has, just out of the blue, and she replies, "Four that I know of." That makes me like Lisa a little more, even though Silly Billy is hovering over her shoulder like, "Hyuck, I've done them all!" Hal basically tries to insinuate Lisa would be a bad mom for risking her life with the water trick, but uh, rolling around with snakes wouldn't exactly win her Mother of the Year either. When all else fails, he starts stomping and cursing, and finally everyone just walks away while he pouts in front of the tank.
C. Thomas Howell moves on to rehearse, so Hal has no choice but to whine along after him and bitch about how there's no way "when you're trying to undo your feet shackles, that you're not going to cut up one of those snakes." I sincerely enjoy the phrase "feet shackles," but I'm rolling my eyes so hard over this. Just do the fucking trick, for the love of God! For the love of snakes, even. Hal finally decides he'll quit the show if he doesn't get his way, and then he starts crying (actually crying!) about how the butterfly trick from weeks before really fucked him up and he can't do something like that again.
To keep this asshole from weeping for the whole show, Jonathan finally stipulates that Hal can create his own trick involving the box and chains. I've got it, how about we lock him up and throw him in front of a speeding train? Just a suggestion. Hal celebrates his victory by transforming himself into Gene Simmons.
Hal Sparks and the Family Snakes.
Lisa starts complaining, double natch, because she doesn't think it's fair that Hal can make his own trick. As much as I dislike her, I can see where she's coming from. It's not like she's exactly looking forward to drowning in a tank, so maybe she'd like the chance to throw a watervac in with her, you know? Doesn't matter though - everyone was moderately willing to listen to Hal kvetch, but they basically tell Lisa to shut the fuck up, and we all float on.
Hal manages to make me hate him even more (my God, these folks are personable) by moaning about how he's at a disadvantage, having to create a trick all by himself now. Oh, poor baby! If only there had been a way to avoid such a fate. He sketches some stuff that involves a bed of nails, while Rocco sits back and picks his nose. Way to help the cause, Roc.
Over by the tank, Silly Billy explains the water routine to Lisa and then ties her up. Immediately VH1 cues up porno music, which is super delightful because Silly Billy and Lisa are my one true pairing. She's shackled around the neck, wrists and feet, and she'll have to undo the locks while floating upside down in the tank of water. She meets with an escape artist to talk about the semantics of the act, and he reminds her, "There's always a chance of real danger." This turns her into a complete basketcase, so the escape artist offers to put her in the tank without the restraints at first. It'll be fun, Lisa, just like swimming! Except you might die.
From the first second she goes underwater, she starts flipping the fuck out. Admittedly the escape artist has his hands on her shoulders to hold her down, but he's mostly just steadying her. She comes up after 36 seconds and elegantly spits a huge wad of phlegm into the water. There's going to be hell to pay if she vomits, she will not have the pleasure of being regaled on TVgasm any longer! After the escape artist forces her down headfirst, she flails to the top and croaks, "I don't like that!" which is kind of adorably simple. A great alternate response: "Water bad!"
How about we just submerge my asshole, guys?
On the other side of the warehouse, C. Thomas Howell starts to get down with his trick. He's disappointed to find out he'll be in a real straight-jacket. Bright bulb that he is, he assumed he'd be using one with Velcro and plastic for an easy escape, because when you're dangling from seven stories up, you really want to be in a suit that falls apart easily. Sharp thinking! As they strap him in, C. Thomas Howell claims he can focus on his father and not panic about the challenge too much. He says that, of course, but he's sweating and squealing like a pig inside that jacket. He can rock the mental patient thang though, so it's not a huge deal. While he's struggling, the escape artist calmly tells him the capillaries in his eyes will probably burst while he performs the routine. C. Thomas Howell then gives me the very best screencap ever.
Hal concludes his routine will feature barbed wire, railroad spikes, and razor blades. Excellent! You have to give him credit for making sure he's not wussing out, but uh, it's going to be weird when he opens all his veins. Just sayin'! He's taking great care not to have Rocco influence the routine too much, as per the judges' instructions, and he's excited to finally get to perform geek magic. Apparently geek magic is code for stabbing out your liver.
Back in Lisa's camp, Silly Billy decides he'll narrate the trick while Lisa drowns. Having anyone else in the world narrate would be a better plan - hell, call the guy from Kids in the Hall again! Anything would be better than Silly Bllly, who's proved to be a pretty terrible peformer, and Lisa sort of agrees. She asks if he's fucking kidding, but he's like, "Nope! Hooray!" and completely misses her point. This is shocking to all the viewers at home who found Silly Billy to be an intelligent man, and not the child pornographer that he is.
C. Thomas Howell, having failed to escape from the straight-jacket after all this time, finally decides to be hauled into the air for a test run.
For his next trick, he turns into a tetherball!
He immediately panics and thinks he's going to crash to the ground, which is a pretty reasonable fear. I'm actually kind of cringing watching him, but it's a good cringe, of course. Yay, death tricks! They bring him down and he mumbles, "I'm not gonna die for this freaking show" in between tears. Don't betray us, C. Thomas Howell. We're not watching just for giggles.
After seemingly 45 seconds of practice, it's time for everyone to perform! Lisa and Houdini's Water Torture Escape is up first. The voiceover guy explains the trick and starts with, "She must shed 40 pounds" which kind of killed me, because that would be impressive indeed, you know? Unfortunately, then he says, "...of chains" and feh, that's not as awesome. She'll do it anyway though! And she'll do it with a smile.
Oh. Eep. Never mind.
Silly Billy awkwardly opens the act by having someone walk Lisa to the tank, and the camera gets all shaky and zooms in on her cameltoe a lot. I won't screencap that since I'm a lady and all, but it's mostly just because it's icky and not because I have standards. (I'm recapping Celebracadabra, what could possibly be my standards?) She walks up to the tank like she's doing the Bataan Death March, at which point we get some feedback from the crowd. Judge Max asks Judge Jeff if he would do this trick, and Jeff goes, "Knowing what I know about this...probably not." Which is by far the funniest moment of this entire season, holy shit! I love that the judges are openly like, "Wow, these are terrible plans!" The judges happily admit this show is bad! That almost makes its payoff even sweeter; there's something legitimately amazing about performers knowing they're putting on a steaming load of crap.
Unfortunately for Lisa, they're telling her that a little too late. She hovers over the tank in terror, and Jonathan is like, "This is great tension!" It's more like Lisa pissing her wetsuit, but okay. She finally takes the plunge and sends gallons of water flying out of the tank, which is funny and sad. It's bad enough she's going to die, but to die looking fat, that's just a damn shame. Silly Billy narrates the routine with no confidence or talent whatsoever, but damn, the clock is ticking and you know she can't hold her breath for the 90 seconds this is going to take. By 33 seconds, she's unlocked the third of six locks. By 55 seconds, she's still fucking down there, which has to mean she has died. Rocco echoes these sentiments, but we all know he wishes broads would stay in the kitchen so we can only trust him so far.
She reaches a solid minute, and Silly Billy squeals, "She should be done by now, but she's not!" Thanks for the vote of confidence, boo! He's practically tapping on the glass like a little kid at an aquarium. At around 1:18, he orders a curtain be raised over the tank, and at 1:24 he grabs an axe and unconvincingly pretends he's going to smash the tank to save her.
My God, look at the anguish on his face!
He eventually starts laughing, that's how fucking bad he is at acting, and Judge Max sums it all up perfectly.
He really is a mentalist!
Not gonna lie, that made me cackle. Silly Billy giggles and orders the assistants to drop the curtain, at which point Lisa is revealed sitting atop the tank in a new costume. It should be impressive but it's just not, which isn't a crack on her at all, honestly. It's just that Silly Billy ruined it with the curtain nonsense. It would've been impressive had Lisa just untangled herself. Adding the curtain just makes it seem like she popped up for air and pulled a dress over her head while she was there. Sorry, but I don't buy it. In confessional, Lisa's sure Hal thinks he could've done it better, which is precisely the case! After that routine, I'd probably have to take his side.
Next up is C. Thomas Howell and the Aerial Straight-Jacket Escape. He'll have two minutes to free himself while hanging from a construction crane, and he's taken precautions to make it hard to mock him - he brought his family to watch, so how can we possibly hope for him to croak His kids are legitimately afraid their dad is going to die, and Judge Jeff is like, "Hyuck, he just might!" Aw. Who knew Celebracadabra would come around to tug on the ol' heartstrings?
Watching him get strapped into the restraints is horrifying and amazing. The thing is, he has three minutes before his head fucking explodes. He's up there for about 15 seconds and his face is already bright red, so that's worrisome from the get-go. Then his wife points out, "Oh, [the restraint]'s not around his ankle right." She's weirdly calm about it, which is odd because dude - he is going to fall from this construction crane. It's pulling his shoe off and he's about to fall, and if this is all part of the act, I'm going to be super pissed because I'm falling for all of it. Also pissed: his family, who just cashed in his life insurance policy.
David Regal happily starts the timer and encourages C. Thomas Howell to begin wriggling out of the straight-jacket while his family weeps. He works his hands free within 30 seconds, which is pretty impressive up until he jerks his legs around and then holy fuck, his leg comes loose and his shoe crashes down to the unsuspecting people below.
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's...C. Thomas Howell's construction boot!
He's now hanging by one fucking leg. Everyone's more worried about the flying shoe than C. Thomas Howell, but he hollers that he's okay anyway. Then he wiggles out of the straight-jacket and voila, he's done! Of course everyone's more concerned about the straight-jacket coming down to nail them on the head, but hey, everyone lives to tell the tale. As an added bonus, C. Thomas Howell's eyes don't even explode! His kids are happy about that, but Hal's like, "What the fuck is wrong with him, why would he bring his kids here?" Good point, Sparksy.
The final trick is Jaws of the Serpent, Hal's masterpiece. He'll have to pick six locks in less than two minutes, all while rolling around on barbed wire and broken glass. If he doesn't escape, the box will open up and drop him onto a bed of nails. This'll end well! Jonathan refers to this trick as the Box of Death, and then asks Hal's girlfriend, Sam, how she feels about the trick. Her reaction is basically like, "Cool, so are we getting free food after the taping is done?"
Hal walks out wearing all the snakes he wouldn't touch before, but he ditches them pretty quickly and then has some fat audience member lock him into the box. He strips down before entering, too, which makes the whole act much gayer. He's already getting all bondage-happy, now he's naked too? Queer. As he gets lifted into the air, he starts doing this awkward monologue, and I don't know, the whole act is weird. He cuts himself about 500 times and then smears his bloody hands across the glass, which makes me scream.
Oh sh** indeed.
I guess I'm looking for him to die without bleeding everywhere, you know? Not super interested in seeing that! Blood is basically filling the cage, but he makes it out at exactly two minutes, right before the cage smashes into a million pieces over the nails. I'm actually glad he made it out, if only because the bloodletting would've been a little too much. Everyone cheers for his survival, but Lisa thinks the trick wasn't as dangerous as hers and C. Thomas Howell's, which I kind of agree with in a weird way. Meanwhile, Hal says his only regret is that he wasn't in the audience to see it. Shut up, asshole.
Time for judging! Two of the celebs will move on to the finale in Las Vegas, and one will fade even more into obscurity. Hal is worried about the judges' feedback because "their heads sometimes are so far up their asses, that their words are all muffled and [I] can't understand them." God, please be going home, you cunt. Anyway, Judge Jeff praises C. Thomas Howell for turning his act into high drama, but Judge Max says he's a fucking moron for inviting his family.
Then they move on to Lisa, and Judge Jeff says he worried for Lisa's life, which makes for a great trick. Jeff is kind of a nut, y'all. The only downside is that Silly Billy cocked up the whole damn thing. Lisa agrees, but when Max berates her for letting Silly Billy take control of the whole act, but she immediately flips out and refutes it. She says she absolutely didn't want Silly Billy to narrate anything, but then she starts to cry and then no one gives a shit. For Hal's judging session, Max admits the act was decent, but it wasn't what was required for the performance. Jeff enjoys the weird gothic character Hal decided to rock for his show, which is not a popular opinion, and that's all they really have to say about that.
It's time to pick the first member of the final two, and it's...C. Thomas Howell! Yay! Obviously Hal or Lisa will have to go home now, and well, I can't possibly imagine that Lisa will make it to the end even though I'd almost rather it at this point. Jonathan asks them both why they deserve to go to Vegas, and Lisa thinks she'd excel at performing on stage. Hal thinks he's the greatest magician and human in the entire world, so he should win every contest that's ever been created.
Max says that even though Silly Billy was the one to fuck up the act, Lisa's still to blame and deserves to go home. Jeff agrees and with very little fanfare, that's the end! Lisa's gone and she looks like she'll kill herself over it. Sadly, she probably already has and it just never made it into Google News. In her closing interview, she talks about how this was a great learning experience and then mentions she's going home to have sex with her 30-year-old boyfriend. Uh, I'm sure he's thrilled.
Next, the final two will open a magic show in Vegas! They'll also fly Southwest Airlines, not that VH1 is trying to drum up a corporate sponsor by namedropping. Nope, no way.
Boy, this final two sure is a shock!
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Top Chef 4 concludes tonight at 10 p.m. ET, and has its best odds yet of selecting its first female winner. Richard Blais, Lisa Fernandes, and Stephanie Izard remain in the competition, the first time two women have been in the finale. One frequently-asked question about the series is how long it takes to film or what its shooting schedule is. Presumably, it's produced in about a month, like Project Runway, but there's essentially been no official confirmation of its schedule. In a Q&A, however, Tom Colicchio tells Salon that it take less than a month. Having a conversation with...
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Girls Aloud star Cheryl Cole has been signed as the new judge of hit U.K. TV talent show The X Factor - taking over from disgruntled star Sharon Osbourne.[...] Read more!
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Annnnnd we're officially back, folks! After a couple of weeks of auditions, So You Think You Can Dance finally gets to the good stuff tonight. The top 20 dancers will be paired up and put to the test in a variety of styles, fighting to make an impression on viewers and survive through the first elimination on Thursday night.
My love for this show is well-known, but I particularly look forward to the episode that showcases the top 20 for the first time. One of the wildest things about SYTYCD is that it challenges the contestants to master dance in many forms, not just the ones they like. What will freestyler Twitch do if he ends up on the tough end of a Latin routine? Could ballerina Rayven Armijo turn in a convincing hip-hop performance, if asked?
Plus, this will be our first chance to see the dancers paired off ? which is another one of the little things that I think this show does right. The contestants are forced to interact with each other every week, and watching the way they laugh or support each other or throw fits in the studio goes a long way toward establishing who "America's favorite dancer" will be.
Who's tuning in with me tonight? Remember, you can meet all of the top 20 over here.
Photo courtesy of Fox
Latest rumors about a remake of "The Prisoner" are Jim Caviezel as No. 6 and Ian McKellan as No. 2. I'll believe it when I see it. (TV Squad) Jamie Kennedy - of "The Jamie Kennedy Experiment," "Malibu's Most Wanted"...
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Tonight at 10 p.m. ET, HBO debuts Back Nine at Cherry Hills: The Legends Of The 1960 U.S. Open, a documentary that follows Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus." HBO says it focuses on "their epic collision on the last day of the 1960 U.S. Open changed the way the world looked at golf forever." The hour-long documentary is narrated by Liev Schreiber and filmed in HD. Tomorrow night at 7 p.m. ET, HBO encores Jim McKay: My World In My Words, a profile of the broadcaster. He died last Saturday, and while the film is narrated by him...
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Here are the weekly TV ratings, by number of viewers.
While ABC is probably happy with the NBA Finals games (predictably) grabbing the top slots, CBS has to be happy with the way two of their new shows fared. Million Dollar Password was number 6 this week (number three last week) and the debut of Swingtown hit number 12. Actually, CBS has to be happy in general, as they grabbed 13 of the top 20 shows, though I'm kinda surprised that 60 Minutes continues to do so well in the off season, considering the episodes are all repeat segments.
1. NBA Finals - Game 1 (ABC)
2. NBA Finals - Game 2 (ABC)
So, it's been two episodes since I last talked about what's happening on the greatest show on television, and I have a few thoughts based on the last two episodes that I would like to share before the mid-season finale airs on Friday.
1. Lee Adama = Barack Obama
Many people throughout the years have talked about the parallels between Laura Roslin and George W. Bush, and I agree with them. Roslin was never actually elected President by the people, which correlates to the controversy regarding Bush's right to the White House, and Roslin making decisions based on what might be a misguided faith, which again could correlate to W. and his God that is a little Old Testament for my tastes.
Well, with the move bringing Lee to the big chair on Colonial One, there are some definite parallels to Barack Obama, primarily brought out by the conversation that Lee had with Romo Lampkin (of Firefly and a season one episode of X-Files), where Lampkin accuses Lee of relying on HOPE and not having any real solutions. I thought for a moment that Lampkin might call Apollo a Hopemonger. Alas, the writers were not that direct, but then that's why we love them.
2. Roslin's Visions during the Jumps
I found it interesting that the visions were attempting to re-humanize Roslin. In the past she wasn't as ruthless as she has become, and while I didn't always agree with her decisions (and certainly with how she sometimes arrived at them) I felt that she was a good choice for President given how she was a voice for the common people while The Old Man was completely out of touch with the civilian fleet.
No longer is that the case. Roslin and the elder Adama are both coming at things from the same place (more or less) and somehow, Adama is the more human of the two. (This of course is an interesting way to look at things, since a major theme of the series is of course about discussing exactly what it means to "be human" as often, it is the Cylons that portray this the best.)
Roslin decided to save Baltar's life and admitted her love for Adama ("About time," he says, very Han Solo of him), but I feel like she still has more to learn. I wonder if her visions are quite done. As idiotic as Baltar sometimes is, I feel like he is doing a good job of spreading the word of the Cylon God, who in the beginning of the series was also very Old Testament, but through Baltar has been increasingly more familiar to many of the monotheists of today, I wouldn't be too surprised if at some point Roslin finds herself a convert despite herself.
3. Caprica 6 is Pregnant?!?!?
Tigh is a Cylon, Caprica 6 is a Cylon. The two should not be able to procreate. Of course it is always possible that one of the guards is actually responsible for the baby inside 6, but I doubt that very much.
Way back in the beginning of the show, we were told that the reason that Cylons couldn't procreate was because they couldn't comprehend love, they needed a human to help complete them.
We've seen that often Tigh sees Caprica 6 as Ellen (his deceased wife) who, as odd as their relationship often was, he loved very much. I'm betting that it is his love for Ellen that has allowed him to impregnate Caprica 6.
4. The Cylons are mortal
This is big, and I can't wait to see the ramifications that it has. Cylons now can no longer resurrect. If they die in battle they are dead forever, just like the humans against whom they fight.
This is what will lead to a final and real pact of peace between the Cylons and Humans.
My theory is that ultimately they will work together to find Earth and populate it together long before our time.
Although I was thinking the other day, wouldn't it be something if only Nicky and Hera survive and all of humanity as we know it comes from the two half-Human/half-Cylons.
5. Previews for the mid-season finale
Well, it looks like the cat's out of the bag (metaphorically speaking, not meant to represent the 6th Sense cat of Romo Lampkin) and that in the next episode at least a couple of the Final Five will become known to the fleet. I can't wait to see what that will mean, although I dread the cliff hanger that will force us to await the last half of the last season of the greatest show on television.
Until Next Time, at least the pilot for Caprica is being filmed, meaning that we will have a little more from the BSG Universe to look forward to.