: This is a weekly guest post from the TV staff at Film.com
. Check back here on Wednesdays for more Film.com stories about your favorite shows: Big Brother
, The Amazing Race
, Dancing with the Stars
, American Idol
and America's Next Top Model
.By Susan Young, Film.com
You don't even need to get out of the A-list - The Amazing Race
, America's Next Top Mode
l or American Idol
- to realize the competition aspect comes in second to the goal of getting the most viewers to the set by exploiting personality over deserving choice.
So chubby Christian girl gets the boot over models whose photos were
never as good, a guy who consistently lands in the bottom of the voter
barrel gets a second chance and the race and disability cards are
played in a contentious and much hyped episode of the globe-galloping
Creepy Margaret Keane model Allison has only one look - a blank stare
that allows you to look all the way to the back of her head. We get it,
she's got big eyes. Move on already, ANTM
. Aminat wasted time in the
challenge and took truly horrendous photos. But everyone knew that the
minute London started talking about gaining weight and pondering God's
purpose in having her on the show, she might as well have started
packing that bag.
Because, really, London wasn't going to bring anyone to the show,
especially once she packed on 15 pounds. The producers would rather
have Aminat's bad behavior and her constant stirring up the poop pot
than go with the girl who looked better in her photographs. What do we
think this is, a modeling competition?
Over at American Idol
, it's time to wake up to the fact that certain
changes just aren't working out. Having four judges can work, but you
have to knock off the silly antics of Simon and Paula and Simon and
Randy. Only Kara seems immune to playing the "Simon Says" game. Paula
and Randy continue their pathetic attempts to horn in on the Simon
spotlight by doing ridiculous things to get their time in the
How else do you explain that wacky chair humping deal Randy had going on last week with Simon?
But the worst idea was the "save" vote. If voters want to boot a
Daughtry for a Hicks, then so be it. Let the rabble have their say.
Instead, the judges try to juggle the deck and what do we get? Matt
gets to hang around for another week before he gets sent home.
Come on. Does anyone out there think he has a chance to stick around
when the bottom two get sent to the streets? But that's not the point.
The point is to make this more than just a singing competition. You
gotta have a gimmick, even if it's caustic Simon, or the fourth judge
controversy or the contentious judges' save.
The Amazing Race
went for the down and dirty this week, which was
probably good because the dead fish cormorant challenge ranks as the
most boring TV event since Rosie tried the variety show.
No wonder the hype relied on letting everyone know the deaf guy and the
black chick mix it up. We felt the pain when Tammy and Victor awkwardly
stood in between the teams of Margie and her deaf son Luke and angry
sisters Kisha and Jen as the four experienced a nuclear meltdown.
It almost made us forget how ugly cheerleader Cara gets when she discovers that people in other countries don't speak English.
The promised showdown was incredibly uncomfortable for everyone. Was
Jen smirking at Luke for being deaf, or just wondering what kind of
young man elbows a woman out of the way so he can gain a three second
advantage? And should Margie have told the two they should be more
compassionate since they were black and knew about dealing with
As it turned out, it was just bad behavior all the way around. Which as
we all know makes for controversial TV, the real winner in these
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