Thursday, November 09, 2006

ANTM 7 - Whipped -

Americas Next Top Model (CW/CityTV)

November 8th
By Sabrina Rojas Weiss -

I've got a theory about why grown women love Top Model — I mean one that's more sophisticated than "good fighting." It's this: Remember all the insecurities you had in your early teens — about your looks, your body, whether your friends all hated you, whether it was OK to be good at something if it made others jealous, whether it was social suicide to actually be enthusiastic about anything, whether anyone else was going through the same conflicts as you? These girls aren't that young, but the competition makes them regress. And we get the pleasure of looking on and saying, "Oh, other girls went through this, too. Thank god that's all over." As much as someone like Anchal or Melrose gets on your nerves, admit it — you were a little like both of them once, before you had a driver's license.


ANTM 7 - If you picket, it will never heal

Americas Next Top Model (CW/CityTV)

November 7th
"If you picket, it will never heal"
By Daniel J. Blau -

When I first became a writer for America's Next Top Model back during cycle 4 of the show, people would often hear of my chosen vocation and respond with some permutation of the following: "Oh, hey, my daughter/coworker/gay cousin watches that show. Me, not so much. I don't even know when it's on, seeing as I find a modeling competition too lowbrow for my NPR-level sensibilities." But that was two years ago, and now that the new CW Network is halfway through airing cycle 7, it seems the world has finally embraced Tyra's weave and its merry band of eating disorder–addled protégés. Top Model, in other words, has totally come out of the closet.

I can hear the collective murmur: "Wait. Writers? On a reality show? I thought that stuff just happened." Oh, please. Regular people aren't half as interesting as the girls on America's Next Top Model. This is because there is a talented staff of twelve of us—or there was, before we were forced to take leave of our desks and begin living life in front of the show's production office on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles—who take hundreds of hours of footage of young women sitting around and turn it into 42 minutes of sparkling television.

And for the most part these girls do nothing. They sit around. They eat cereal. They call their boyfriends. They complain about their boyfriends. It's just like your life, but skinnier. Then the writers come in during the postproduction period and tease out the story lines, crafting each episode into a brilliant hour of crying, hair-pulling histrionics. But with heart. Have you ever been amazed that the girl who happens to be such a focal point of an episode of reality television also happens to be the girl who gets eliminated that week? Thank a reality writer for crafting it so seamlessly that it looks like it happened by itself.

The 12 Top Model writers worked on this show for nearly 50 combined seasons. I loved my job, loved my coworkers, and personally hoped to work there for another 50 seasons. To that end we decided to ask the CBS network (who owns the new CW Network on which Top Model is currently airing) if we could be covered by a Writers Guild of America contract, under which we would receive such basic benefits as health insurance and pensions. All the network had to do was pony up some additional cash brought in by one of the most successful, longest-lasting reality shows in the history of the genre. Done and done, right?

Now I'm unemployed.

After making a formal request for union recognition, we were directed to the National Labor Relations Board, the archaic government bureaucracy that allegedly exists to investigate whether or not a group is eligible for union recognition. This is despite the fact that our department of 12 writers unanimously requested such recognition, so how could there be any question? We viewed this move as a stalling tactic on the part of the network. And considering the fact that our case is still pending in a dusty manila folder in a cobweb-ridden hallway deep in a government building somewhere, I'm inclined to believe that the NLRB was not the best way to go. Still, I didn't see myself walking out of my job either.

But walk out we did, and on July 21 we began a strike that lasted for two months and ended in an ultimately failed bid to gain union status. The CW began airing the new season on September 20, and, considering the fact that my writing team worked on the first half of the season, Top Model so far looks like every other season of the show. I can't vouch for the last bunch of episodes, and I'll be watching them with some curiosity to see how the rest of the season goes without us.

During the time we spent rotting in a Los Angeles heat wave we received endless support from fans of the show, and we've been portrayed as golden boys and girls in the press. But when you're getting stonewalled by a multibillion-dollar conglomerate such as CBS, a spate of good press can still feel like you're throwing grapes against a brick wall. CBS drew a line in the sand, and through their stony silence we deduced that they viewed us not as 12 individuals but rather as the tip of a very large iceberg. Let the 12 of us into the WGA, they seem to think, and the floodgates will open for all reality writers. Will it happen eventually? Absolutely, at which point the Top Model strikers will be viewed as the vanguard of the movement to unionize all of reality television. But for now I'm being viewed as exactly what I am: just another unemployed writer in Hollywood.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Survivor 13 - Cook Islands - November 2nd - Episode 7

Survivor: Cook Islands (CBS/GlobalTV)

November 2nd
Episode 7


Survivor Catalog
Both tribes browse through Tree Mail's Survivor Catalog, picking two items that, if they win the Reward Challenge, they could acquire for their tribe. The ever-democratic Aitu laughs and makes a game of the catalog as they agree on peanut butter and potatoes, while the stubborn Raro is divided between the instant gratification of bread versus the practicality of potatoes. Brad, frustrated at being overruled, vents, "I had wanted a bag of potatoes and then peanut butter, trying to be the voice of reason. I was trying to think the longevity of the tribe, but you gotta do what the majority votes right?"

Reward Challenge: Smash and Grab
As the tribes assemble for their challenge, Jeff Probst describes the rules of the game. Each tribe will select three swimmers and two puzzle makers. The first swimmer will grab a club, swim to a platform, climb to the top and leap off. While in midair, they will smash a plaster box releasing a key, retrieve that key and swim back to shore. After retrieving six keys, the two puzzle makers will use those keys to unlock a chest filled with puzzle pieces. First tribe to solve the puzzle wins the Reward.

The challenge begins as Ozzy from Aitu sets the tone of the challenge, smashing his box and retrieving his key, while Rebecca from Raro, drained of all strength, struggles to retrieve her key and returns to the Raro mat empty handed, tagging out for the remainder of the challenge. Nate, still a member of Aitu through the Reward Challenge, is benched by the Aitu team and watches in horror as Rebecca collapses and the fate of the Raro team falls solely upon the swimming abilities of Adam and Parvati. Exhausted, Adam and Parvati push onward but to no avail. Dominating the challenge, Aitu wins the much anticipated peanut butter and potatoes, choosing to send Adam to Exile Island.

Immunity Challenge: Stairway to Heaven
The tribes, prepared to face off once again, assemble at the Immunity Challenge where Jeff describes the rules of the game. Each tribe will race to arrange a series of logs, building a staircase to the top of a tower. Once the entire tribe is on the tower, three tribe members will sail down a zip line into the water, retrieve a bag of puzzle pieces and swim back. Once all three are back, they must climb a rope ladder to the top of the tower where the three remaining tribe members will solve the puzzle. First tribe to solve the puzzle wins Immunity and is safe from Tribal Council.

Aitu quickly takes the lead at the start of the challenge, building their staircase and climbing to the top of the tower as Raro flounders with the poles to make the staircase. Aitu sends Yul, Candice, and Ozzy down the zip line to retrieve the puzzle bags while Raro reaches the top of the tower and begins their decent down the zip line. Raro closes the gap and, with the tribes neck and neck, it is a race to solve the puzzle. Raro's Jenny, Rebecca and Adam work together flawlessly, coming from behind to complete the puzzle. Their losing streak is over and they finally win the coveted Immunity Idol.

In the end, Flica's paranoia and lack of game playing skills do her in as her tribe ends the tension she created in camp, voting her out six votes to one.

Survivor 13 - Cook Islands - October 26th - Mid-season Recap Episode

Survivor: Cook Islands (CBS/GlobalTV)

October 26th
Mid-season Recap

Who remains:
Adam (Raro)
Brad (Raro)
Jenny (Raro)
Nathan (Raro)
Parvati (Raro)
Rebecca (Raro)
Becky (Aitu)
Candice (Aitu)
Jonathan (Aitu)
Ozzy (Aitu)
Sundra (Aitu)
Jessica (Aitu)

Here are a few clips from youtube of this episode, take note, the full episode is available on youtube in pieces by searching "Survivor Cook Islands" or "Survivor 13"

Enjoy, this will give you a good idea of what has happened thus far on Cook Islands.

ANTM 8 - Casting/Filming/Airing Info

Americas Next Top Model (CW/CityTV)

According to many sources on cwtv's ANTM discussion boards the casting for the show has been done for cycle 8, callbacks have gone out and filming is scheduled to begin in early to mid November 2006.

This info may not be 100% accurate however those who posted this info were called back for filming of the show and all info was consistent among all 8 members.

The expected air date of cycle 8 is the early to mid March 2007.

ANTM 7 - November 1st - Mid-season Recap Episode

Americas Next Top Model (CW/CityTV)

November 1st
Mid-season Recap

Who Remains:

As Wednesdays episode of ANTM Cycle 7 was a Mid-season Recap, i've decided to post some of my favourite clips from this cycle so far...I guess you could say its my mid-season recap, but way more condensed and hopefully a bit more humourous!

Melrose vs. Monique

Girls Are Sooooo Whiney Sometimes, especially a group of models!

The Over Pungeant Janice Dickinson...ha!

Work it out Sutan...oh and Dita! Models need not apply!

Did you watch this and wonder WTF!?

Brooke Miller talks about ANTM Cycle 7
[STORY HERE] Source -

Brooke Miller the sixth girl cut from 'America's Next Top Model 7' [STORY HERE] Source - Steve Rogers -

CNTM 2 - Canada's Next Top Model Season 2 Announced [STORY HERE] Source -
CNTM 2 - New Host for Canada's Top Model [STORY HERE] Source - Toronto Star/CP