Friday, August 29, 2008

The Entertainment Wrap Up - August 28, 2008 - Olympics Conclude, Lost Season Four, TheWB.com Review, Survivor Preview, BB10, & More

Olympics - Closing Ceremony

Let the Olympic withdrawal begin. The 2008 Summer Olympics from Beijing concluded this past Sunday night. Just as the Olympic Games opened, the Closing Ceremonies were just as impressive. Amazing seems like such an easy adjective to describe the Closing Ceremonies but I really find it hard to come up with an adjective that can better describe how breath taking that they were. As I watched it, I just thought that TV can’t do this justice for how it must be to see it in person. If you were there, how in the world do you take pictures or even get video of all of that so that you could come home and show these memories when it is impossible to capture it. I literally just watched in awe at the memory tower that was built right there on the stadium floor following the Olympic torch being extinguished. I’m a huge Olympics fan and am always looking forward to it. I stay glued to the coverage when it is ongoing. I’ve always dreamed of going to an Olympic Games in the future to take in the incredible experience. I have to say that overall, this is the most that I’ve enjoyed an Olympic Games since Atlanta in 1996. The TV coverage was amazing and gave us plenty of options on ways to watch including live coverage. I liked what we saw with the inclusion of London in the Closing Ceremonies. I have no doubt that they’ll do a great job with the Olympics in 2012. I’m ready for it already.
Olympics Day 16 - Basketball

I did stay up until 4am the other night watching the men’s basketball gold medal game with the U.S. taking on Spain. What a game!!! This was well worth staying up for as it went right down to the wire. Both teams wanted to win it bad and Kobe Bryant stepped up huge hitting big shots to close it out. The Redeem Team brought the gold back to the United States. Kudos to both teams for a great game.

The ratings for the Olympics were very impressive. The Summer Olympics are now the most viewed event in American television history. Nielsen is reporting that 211 million people tuned into the Olympics during the 16 days of coverage over the NBC networks topping the Atlanta games by 2 million. That was just the number before Sunday night’s Closing Ceremonies which added to it. Sunday’s Closing Ceremonies drew 27.8 million viewers. The average nightly viewership over the two weeks ended up being 27.7 million.

Michael Phelps is set to host the season premiere of Saturday Night Live on September 13th.

I’ve had August 27th circled on my mental calendar all summer long ready and waiting for the launch of TheWB.com. TheWB.com is the return of the old network that signed off a couple of years ago before the union of The WB and UPN into The CW. If you didn’t know, I’m a huge WB fan and spent a lot of my time watching shows on that network years ago. So, I was excited to hear of the news that The WB was returning. No, it hasn’t returned on TV but instead online. TheWB.com launched yesterday and I gave it a very good test drive last night. I was also signed up as a beta tester so I’ve been roaming around the beta version of the site for a few months now. Yesterday had the full launch of the site to the public. The site has a mixture of old shows and their new original shows. Some of the classic shows had been available for the beta testing but there are more shows available now on the full launch. Shows that are currently available and the amount of episodes online include Angel (first five episodes), Babylon 5 (full season one), Buffy The Vampire Slayer (first five episodes), Everwood (first five episodes), Firefly (first five episodes), Friends (seven episodes from various seasons), Gilmore Girls (first five episodes), MADtv (full season twelve), The O.C. (first nine episodes), One Tree Hill (first nine episodes), Roswell (first five episodes), Smallville (first five episodes), and Veronica Mars (full season one). Other programming on the site includes Blue Water High, A Boy Wearing Make Up, Dangerous, The Jeannie Tate Show, The Loop, Sorority Forever, and Whatever Hollywood. Not everything has launched as far as the new original programming goes as Sorority Forever hasn’t debuted yet. The video quality looks not far off from the quality available on Hulu so that is a plus. You can go full screen with your episode viewing obviously. If you stay small screen, you can get some show facts to look at along with trivia questions which is fun. The site also has some games and also a thing called wblender. It is a deal where you can make your own videos as far as editing clips of WB shows that they offer you. You can mix and match clips from different shows and they also give you options of transitions and effects along with music. Several downloads available including buddy icons, logos, and wallpapers. The site also mixes in with Facebook where you can share videos with your friends. One thing with Angel, Firefly, and Roswell that is going to hurt them is the lack of episodes. The WB only put up the first five episodes of each while Hulu has the full first seasons of Angel and Roswell up and also have the full run of Firefly. I did find the video player to be a little glitchy at times but it was day one of the full launch. One thing to watch is your volume control. The promos during the breaks in the show are quite a bit louder than the episodes so you may want to keep track of that. Overall, I’m happy with what I see. Some issues that will be worked out over time as the site just launched. It’s nice to see the network back and I look forward to seeing more happening with the site. To check out the site, head over to: http://www.thewb.com/

Movie box office numbers for last weekend. 1. Tropic Thunder - $16.2 million. 2. The House Bunny - $14.5 million. 3. Death Race - $12.6 million. 4. The Dark Knight - $10.5 million. 5. Star Wars: The Clone Wars - $5.6 million. 6. Pineapple Express - $5.4 million. 7. Mirrors - $5 million. 8. Mamma Mia - $4.3 million. 9. The Mummy - $4.1 million. 10. The Longshots - $4 million.

This week in Big Brother showed another one of the rules to know when playing the Big Brother game. Be careful of endurance HOH deals. The only way to guarantee yourself safety is to win it yourself. How many of those deals have been kept over the years? I’d say that it is at least 50% on not being kept. That deal made for an interesting week in the BB10 house to say the least. To quote BB8’s Jessica, this house, these people, this game!!! How many times must people say it? It’s a game. People take this game of Big Brother so personally. Maybe it’s from the stress of being in the house. I don’t know but it’s a game. The show last week ended with the HOH endurance challenge underway. It came down to Dan and Ollie. Dan started trying to make deals with Ollie. A deal was made for Ollie to drop saying that Ollie was safe, a person of his choosing was safe, and that if the veto was used then Ollie got to pick the replacement nominee Basically, Ollie got to run Dan’s HOH. The first thought is obviously what is Dan thinking making a deal like that? Well, he did have an agenda. Dan asked who Ollie wanted on the block and Ollie said Memphis. So, Dan agreed to put up Jerry against Memphis. Dan’s alliance was furious with this decision especially Memphis. Memphis had good lines pondering what kind of an alliance member nominates you. Dan said that he was doing this to protect his alliance with Memphis to keep it a secret knowing that no one would normally nominate someone that they’re in an alliance with. Ollie was feeling really good at this point telling Dan that he wanted Keesha as the replacement. The veto competition takes place with it coming down to Memphis and Keesha battling it out. Memphis wins the veto putting the plan in place. Dan had not told anyone the third part of the deal with Ollie involving the veto but did reveal it to his alliance. Ollie had told Michelle and Jerry about it. Ollie says to Dan again that he wants Keesha up and Dan agrees saying that his hands are tied having to stick to the deal. Dan comes up with an idea to play a veto replacement game. He calls each houseguest into the HOH telling them of the game getting each one to say a name of who they wanted to go up. He had it all planned out with every name getting mentioned with the goal being to stir it all up and kind of smokescreen what he was about to do in the game. Veto ceremony takes place and the game is played which ends in Dan saying that people were gambling on others in the house saying “Ollie, you lost the bet. Michelle, get on the block”. It was a brutal veto meeting. It was now Jerry and Michelle on the nomination block. Ollie and Michelle went off with Ollie going around the house breaking stuff and yelling a ton of profanity. Tonight’s eviction episode had a lot of questions to be answered. Would Ollie get any kind of penalty for his actions in the house as that had been discussed big time from feed viewers. The question was no and there was not even any talk of it on the show. Ollie’s wildness after the veto ceremony was shown but not all of it of course. However, the big thing of the night was this was the return of Big Brother Fast Forward. A week’s worth of competitions in one night. First, Michelle was voted out on a 3-1 vote with Ollie being the only vote for Michelle to stay. Michelle talked to Julie Chen in her interview and Julie shot her down on her “plant” theory on Dan. Her and Ollie have been saying that Dan is a producer “plant” for a long time now. That leads us to the next HOH competition. The competition came down to Keesha and Jerry. They had to go to two tiebreakers with Keesha winning. Keesha had to make her nominations immediately and she nominated Ollie and Jerry. That takes us to the veto competition. It was a “veto in a haystack” with the houseguests having to search through hay to find two vetos and then have to return them to the starting line. Dan flew through it and won the veto. The nominees actually finished last with neither finding one veto. Dan did not use the veto leaving Keesha’s nominations the same. The episode finished with the second eviction of the night. Ollie was voted out on a 3-0 vote. He got up before his name was announced and then walked right out the door in the quickest exit in Big Brother history from what I can remember. Ollie was interviewed by Julie and his interview was better than I thought it would be. I figured that he might let it all fly with the way he has been in the house over the last few days. The HOH competition will be shown on Sunday night’s episode. The HOH competition has taken place and if you want to know who won, I’ll get to it in the “Since The Live Show Ended” section.

Other thoughts on the Big Brother week. Jerry got the vote from America to win the phone call from home. He was very touched getting to talk to his family. I listened to Sheila’s Blog Talk show last night and it was interesting to hear her thoughts on this season. I enjoyed it along with hearing what other fans are thinking of this season.

What You Missed On The Live Feeds: As expected, all eyes on the live feeds waited till Monday afternoon for the veto ceremony to take place knowing what was about to take place. Michelle was put up on the block and she was not happy about it at all. Ollie and Michelle were on a vengeance afterwards with Ollie wanting to call out Dan’s deal in front of everyone. The problem was that everyone knew about what Dan was doing except Ollie, Michelle, and Jerry. Ollie told everyone that he was supposed to be running HOH this week as part of the deal. He told Keesha that she was supposed to be on the block cause that was his call. Keesha had a funny comeback when she replied wondering if she was supposed to be mad that she wasn’t on the block. Ollie went around the house throwing and breaking stuff for a little while. He did quite a bit of damage. He had a lot of profanity being said as well directed at the other houseguests and also to Big Brother. Ollie and Michelle are also convinced that Dan is a “plant” on the show looking at every conspiracy theory possible. Renny was also very mad at Dan for her feeling that she was going to go up on the block. A couple of things not shown on the show tonight was Michelle’s rage after the veto ceremony as well. Her diary room stuff was shown but she was furious afterwards in the house yelling at Big Brother for putting cameras on her. Also, the exchange between Ollie and Memphis was not shown as well. After Memphis said “what did you say to me”, it did continue on with Ollie saying something to Memphis that I am not going to repeat. Memphis followed him into the house mad over the comment and the two exchanged words but then walked apart. It was very intense for a while in the house. That was why fans were wondering if there would be any penalties especially with the stuff that Ollie broke in the house. Ollie did make that comment to Dan saying that he had his manhood taken away by what happened in the veto ceremony on TV. One poster on Jokers had a comment that is the best one of the week saying that Ollie lost his manhood with the “lollipop tantrum”. I cracked up at that. Yeah, they got played pretty bad and I can understand them being upset. It is a game though and it is a game of lies. I don’t think it is possible to win Big Brother without telling some kind of lie. Saturday night saw a return of an old familiar Big Brother game. Big Brother 8 introduced the game but this season put a new twist on it with Soda Pop Pong. Dan’s drinks were sprite while Memphis’s were beer. It started with Dan against Memphis with Memphis winning both games. Then the girls stepped in making it two against two. Keesha teamed with Dan while Renny teamed with Memphis. Renny was hilarious during this. She took one of her drinks at one point and drank everything in it including the ball. She then spit the ball out across the table while Memphis said that he had never seen anyone do that in the game before. They picked on Keesha for taking too long to take the drinks as she was sipping them. Renny then decided that she didn’t have anything to lose and spit the ball out of her mouth to throw it. It missed but it was hilarious. Team Deesha defeated Team Menny. This definitely brought back memories of BB8 with how many hours I spent watching Eric and Jessica play that game. It really is nice to see the houseguests just have fun.

What Has Happened Since The Live Show: SPOILER ALERT!! Jerry has asked for the houseguests to not cut him off on talking to him. Memphis has stated that the veto competition had the houseguests picking lanes so they weren’t given lanes. Jerry has a completely different attitude being the lone person against the other four. Just lots of sitting around and talking about the night’s happenings for a while. The feeds went off just before 10:30 which led us to believe that the HOH was happening. Well, it did and the winner of the HOH was revealed when Big Brother After Dark came on (yeah, all of us live feed viewers are getting messed with for the second Thursday in a row) as Jerry is the new HOH. Well, let’s see who turns on who now. This was an absolute must win for Jerry and he’s still in the game. The other four look stunned over what has happened and no one knows what Jerry is going to do. I think that we’ll see Memphis and Dan on the block. What is up with the live feeds this year? We’re paying for these feeds while Big Brother After Dark is airing live stuff on Showtime. After Dark came on at 11:00 and the live feeds did not return until 11:15. You may remember that last week, the live feed viewers missed the last ten minutes or so of the HOH competition while After Dark got to watch it. It is just completely bizarre. The live feeds have been more frustrating this year than probably ever.

As I watched the last few scenes of season four of Lost, the thought going through my head was that I am about to get left on a cliffhanger that I am going to have wait on. Before this, I was just able to click on the next episode or click on to the next season. Not now though. I’m caught up to date on all of Lost. Very enjoyable show and it’s safe to say that I’m hooked. What a journey in the story from the beginning to now. It’s wild to say but I think that Sawyer is probably my favorite character which couldn’t be further from happening in the first couple of seasons. They really did an amazing job in evolving that character over the four seasons. That was clear when he was bound and determined to take care of Hurley and Claire as season four came to a close. Before, he wouldn’t have cared about what happened to them as long as he was safe but this time he was throwing out threats if anything happened to them. I thought for sure in that last scene of the season that we weren’t going to get the revelation on whose body it was. It definitely made sense on who it turned out to be. Ben told Jack that Locke told him that things got really bad after Jack left the island. So, I’m assuming that things got so bad that Locke ended up leaving like Ben did but through another route. Well, what am I talking about cause we never have actually seen how Ben get out of there except for a big light? I keep trying to figure out how Sawyer got out of there cause Kate was talking to him on the phone in the future scenes. With them talking about the Oceanic 6, I knew that Sawyer wasn’t going to be leaving with the rest based on what we had seen from the ones that left the island. How did he get off the island? Did he return with Locke? Is that really Jack’s dad that we are seeing or is the island playing tricks? Jack really makes me annoyed sometimes with his lack of belief in things that happen on that island. Funny moment when they’re all on the helicopter in the last episode going back to the island when it disappeared. Hurley mentioned that Locke must have succeeded in moving the island and Jack wouldn’t have it. Geez Jack, what is your explanation for the fact that the island just disappeared right in front of you??!! Hurley’s line of “do you have a better explanation” was the exact thing that I was thinking. Locke seemingly being trained to take Ben’s spot was interesting to follow. I was thrilled that we got to see the Desmond/Penny reunion. With the way things were going, I was thinking that we weren’t going to see it cause things weren’t looking good for Desmond. When Michael showed up as “Kevin Johnson” on the boat, my first thought was how long till Michael messes this up too? When watching the episode with Kate getting out of jail time and getting probation, we got the reveal of the son. All I could think was “nicely played” with the last scene. I had been trying to figure out through the episode if the son was either Sawyer’s or Jack’s. The son has blonde hair and my thinking was, well, I guess we know who the father is now. That was until they changed the baby all together and made it Aaron!! I spent the next five minutes trying to figure out how that could have played out. Speaking of babies, how about the episode with Jin and Sun’s daughter being born? That last five minutes was incredible with the reveal that the stuff with Jin that was shown of him getting the Panda was in the past while the delivery with Sun was in the future. Then, Sun and Hurley go to the cemetery to visit Jin to take the baby. Nicely played again!! So, do I have any theories on what is going on leading into this next season? Hmm, not really. I think I’ve maybe gotten a couple of things right on predictions over my viewing of the show but every time that I think I have something figured out, they blindside me with something else. I love every minute of it though. Ha ha. I’m very much looking forward to the season premiere.

There was some casting news from Lost this week that did surprise me. Michelle Rodriquez is set to appear on this season of the show. She played Ana Lucia in season two of the show. It was interesting to follow what fans had to say about the news. It looks like I’m not the only one that really wasn’t into that character.

A must see thing that you need to watch on the Heroes season two DVD is the alternate ending to the season finale and also the discussion among the producers about the changes. They go into detail about what was set to happen on the show before the writers strike. Lots of good stuff is discussed. On the season finale, the tube with the virus was caught before it hit the floor. In the alternate ending, the tube hits the floor and the virus is spread. They show footage that was to have been included if they went the original route and then discuss where the story was going in the next few episodes. They discuss what would have been the same in both versions of the finales and what would have been different. Also, there is “untold stories” on the box set as well where they show stuff that was shot for the future episodes that never got to air. I highly recommend checking these extras out. It is a lot of fun to watch and figure out what they might have done and hearing their explanations. The virus spreading would have been made for some good storytelling.

It was nice earlier in the week to chat with some Heroes fans when I bought the season two DVD. We were talking about last season while also giving them the news on how well received the season three premiere was at Comic Con. It’s always fun comparing notes with fans on shows.

Last week, CBS gave us the announcement of the cast of The Amazing Race. This week, we have the announcement of the cast of Survivor Gabon. Here is the cast:
Susie Smith: 47, hairdresser from Charles City, IA.
Randy Bailey: 49, wedding videographer from Eagle Rock, MO
Paloma Soto-Castillo: 24, student from Downey, CA
Michelle Chase: 24, music producer from Los Angeles, CA
Matty Whitmore: 29, personal trainer from Pacific Palisades, CA
Marcus Lehman: 28, doctor from Atlanta, GA
Ken Hoang: 22, professional gamer from Westminster, CA
Kelly Czarnecki: 22, retail sales from Buffalo Grove, IL
Jessica “Sugar” Kiper: 29, pin-up model from Brooklyn, NY
Jacquie Berg: 25, medical device sales rep from Santa Barbara, CA
Gillian Larson: 61, retired nurse from Temecula, CA
Danny “GC” Brown: 26, maintenance man from Portland, OR
Dan Kay: 32, lawyer from Boston, MA
Crystal Cox: 29, former Olympic athlete from Durham, NC
Corinne Kaplan: 29, pharmaceutical sales from Los Angeles, CA
Charlie Herschel: 29, lawyer from New York City
Robert “Bob” Crowley: 58, physics teacher from Portland, ME
Ace Gordon: 27, fashion photographer from Naples, FL
Survivor premieres on Thursday, September 25th with a two hour premiere. It was originally supposed to premiere a week earlier but CBS has moved it to the 25th. Don’t forget that the show will be airing in HD for the first time this season. Here is a video preview of the cast for this season. For more info on the cast, head over to: http://www.cbs.com/primetime/survivor/

Laura Vandervoort, who plays Smallville’s Kara Kent, is saying that she will appear on one episode for sure this season. She took part in a panel at the Fan Expo in Toronto. She mentioned that she will be shooting the episode in October to “tie up her storyline”. She appeared alongside Michael Rosenbaum on the panel. The season premiere of Smallville is on Thursday, September 18th on The CW.

Season one of The Big Bang Theory is released on DVD on Tuesday. I highly recommend this show if you haven’t seen it. This is now my favorite comedy on TV.

That isn’t the only show that I want to recommend on DVD. Little People Big World has another DVD box set of episodes released on Tuesday as well. Great show and great family TV to watch. I’ve got my recap of the Little People Big World event in Metropolis still on the site if you haven’t checked it out at:
http://entertainmentwrapup.blogspot.com/2008/07/entertainment-wrap-up-july-7-2008.html

Season four of The Office is set to hit stores this Tuesday, September 2nd. The DVD box set features two hours of extras including deleted scenes, bloopers, and more. Here are some clips from the DVD set to give you a taste of what is to come on the set.
Bloopers:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smMlC-78m1w
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40oQR4aFzJw
Fun Run – Deleted Scene
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGINB2WnxdY
Dunder Mifflin Infinity – Deleted Scene
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uShy7gCEzkY
Money - Deleted Scene
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIBaaMW2vVA
If you’d like a chance to win a season four DVD set, head over to The Onion where you can enter their contest at this link:
http://atomiccontest.com/contests/theOffice4/

Well, The CW is set to launch Beverly Hills 90210 on Tuesday night. We’ll see how it is. No shortage of hype and promotion on it. I loved the original 90210 and it’s one of my favorite shows of all time so I’ll be checking it out to see how the new show is. The CW has a lot riding on it for sure. 90210 premieres on Tuesday night at 7pm central time on The CW.

American Idol has added a fourth judge. Joining Simon, Randy, and Paula will be Kara DioGuardi. She is a Grammy nominated songwriter who has worked with many of the top names in the industry. My immediate question is what happens on tie votes now when the judges are making decisions on who gets to go through to Hollywood. We now have an even number of votes instead of an odd number.

Season two has yet to premiere but NBC has already decided to pick up Chuck for the entire season instead of just half of a season.

TV on DVD releases for Tuesday, September 2nd. Arthur (Season Eleven), The Big Bang Theory (Season One), Charlie Brown/Peanuts (It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown), Cheers (Season Ten), Desperate Housewives (Season Four), Eli Stone (Season One), Ghost Whisperer (Season Three), Life (Season One), Little People Big World (Season Two – Volume One), Living With Ed (Season Two), The Office (Season Four), Supernatural (Season Three), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Season Two – Part Two).

You Tube Video Of The Week: Wii Fit Parody


I want to wish everyone a safe Labor Day weekend!! Hope it’s a great one!! Take care and God bless!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Entertainment Wrap Up - August 21, 2008 - Olympics, BB10, Veronica Mars, Heroes Season Two, Amazing Race Cast Revealed, & More

Hope everyone is doing great!!

The Olympics are still ongoing from Beijing. I have been glued to the coverage of it. Just thought I’d give some random thoughts on the week from the Olympics. It’s a shame that Michael Phelps couldn’t get anything accomplished in this Olympics. Ha ha. Are you kidding me??!! Eight gold medals!!!! The most ever for an individual in the Olympics. What can be said about it? He is definitely the face of this Olympic games. Incredible. That is all that can be said.
The Today Show Gallery Of Champions

Gymnastics was nothing short of dramatic all week. I talked about the women’s individual all around and team competitions last week. Since then, we’ve had the event finals. The powerhouse duo of Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson did not disappoint as expected. We had the tie between Nastia Liukin and He Kexin on the uneven bars. Well, that was nothing short of bizarre with how that all went down as no one had a clue as to what was going on. The two of them tied on their routines and Liukin was moved into second even with the same score. The process of how the tie was broken was explained and made sense once it was shown. In years past, two gold medals would have been awarded but those days are gone. My complaint of the whole situation wasn’t the way of breaking the tie. They did that like it was supposed to be done. I just didn’t think that there should have been a tie in the first place as I thought Liukin’s was the better and more solid routine. Shawn Johnson finally won gold in the balance beam event final. That was a sigh of relief cause that would have been lousy if she didn’t leave Beijing with a gold medal. So, the dynamic gymnastics duo won a total of nine medals. Nastia Liukin won five medals (one gold, three silver, and one bronze) and Shawn Johnson won four (one gold and three silvers). I spent a lot of my week griping at the scoring. It was really inconsistent at times. I noticed that some of the other gymnasts weren’t getting deductions like the Americans were. Yeah, I’m sure you’ll say that I’m biased and I am. However, I noticed several times that the judges were deducting hard on Johnson’s step over on her dismount where as others would do it and get a smaller deduction. The scoring drove me insane at times. So, the real question is on whether the new scoring system helped or hurt? One thing is for sure is that it made it more complicated. I’m not a fan of it. I understand why they did it cause we had way too much controversy in scoring in recent years. I’m just not sure if it helped or hurt. I was bummed to see Michael Johnson’s record go down but it was an incredible performance that knocked him to second on the record books. Usain Bolt topped the 200m world record that was previously set by Johnson in Atlanta in 1996. Bolt ran a 19.30 beating Johnson by .02 of a second. Bolt also set the world record for the 100m setting it with a 9.69 including the fact that he backed off as he approached the finish line. I could try and think of some adjectives to describe his amazing run but I’ll just stick with, WOW. Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh. They are an amazing team!! They were able to capture the gold medal in women’s beach volleyball in an intense matchup against China. What a match that was!! The weather was horrible which left me wondering, where is China’s weather laser anyway? It rained throughout but the weather didn’t get bad enough to cancel it like it did other events going on. China looked tough as could be in that first set. May and Walsh stepped up as they always do and won the gold medal. Can we bring them back for 2012 too? By the way, they did win the gold medal in 2004 too. Interesting game this morning in women’s basketball with the U.S. playing Russia. If you hadn’t heard, Becky Hammon played for Russia wanting to participate in the Olympics but was left off of the U.S. team. I was bummed when she was left off the U.S. team cause I think she is very deserving. So, it was interesting that they played each other this morning with the U.S. prevailing. I am stunned that the US softball team lost in the gold medal game this morning. I was told this morning that they had lost and thought it was a joke. They had looked unbeatable. Japan was able to do the unthinkable by defeating them to win the gold medal. I still think it’s lousy that softball won’t be around in 2012. The US women’s soccer team had better results after a nail biter against Brazil in the gold medal game. The game had to go into extra time which resulted in Carli Lloyd scoring in the sixth minute giving the U.S. a 1-0 win. A major comeback for the soccer team after the loss at last year’s World Cup which stirred a lot of controversy. I watched some events live online last night on NBCOlympics.com and really enjoyed it. The streaming video was incredible with its quality. What did I watch? I watched some swimming and table tennis for a while.

Olympics Day 9 - Swimming

The Michael Phelps record setting 8th gold medal win was watched by about 40 million viewers on Saturday night making it the most watched Saturday night for NBC in 18 years. Surprisingly, it was an episode of Empty Nest that was watched by almost as many back in 1990. NBC is said to be averaging around 30 million viewers through the first nine days including all the swimming events.


If you’re a gymnastics fan, the post Olympic tour will once again be hitting the road featuring gold medal winners Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson. For more info including the tour dates and who else will be appearing, head over to: http://www.gymnasticssuperstars.com/

Movie box office numbers for last weekend. 1. Tropic Thunder - $25.8 million. 2. The Dark Knight - $16.3 million. 3. Star Wars: The Clone Wars - $14.6 million. 4. Mirrors - $11.1 million. 5. Pineapple Express - $9.8 million. 6. The Mummy - $8.2 million. 7. Mamma Mia - $6 million. 8. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 - $5.7 million. 9. Step Brothers - $4.8 million. 10. Vicky Cristina Barcelona - $3.7 million.

The Dark Knight has moved into the number two spot for all time domestic grossing movie only trailing Titanic. As of last weekend, The Dark Knight had made $471.4 million which topped Star Wars ($460.9 million). Titanic still sits at number one with $600.7 million. Impressive numbers.

This news immediately got my excitement up. It’s no secret that I’m a big Veronica Mars fan and there has been talk about doing a movie. Could it be coming together? Well, Michael Ausiello over at Entertainment Weekly has some scoop on it that at least makes all of us Veronica fans more optimistic. Having Kristen Bell and Rob Thomas teaming together again would be a GREAT thing. If you’ve never seen Veronica Mars, do yourself a favor and check it out. Here is the link on the possible movie talk:http://ausiellofiles.ew.com/2008/08/exclusive-veron.html

Today is day 45 in the Big Brother house. The reign of Renny was the focus of this week. What was Renny’s plan? Well, if her plan was to freak out everyone in the house, mission accomplished. Renny’s target for eviction for the week was April. April did know that she was going up as it was no surprise to her but her wish was for Jerry to be on the block with her. This was when Renny started asking people if they wanted to go up as a pawn against April. Good grief no. Big Brother history tells you that the pawn almost always goes home. Renny talked to Ollie to see what was going on with his game. He worked on her to put up Jerry which she ended up doing. Renny put up Jerry and April on the nomination block. When Ollie didn’t go up on the block, it made many question on where her loyalty was. Dan, Memphis, and Keesha were especially wondering if Renny had worked a deal with Ollie. The veto competition took place and April was very happy that Ollie got to take part as it increased her chances to be taken off the block. The veto competition consisted of a guessing game such as “guess how many pins are in this doll” or “guess how many roaches are in the box”. You would make a guess and then be able to stay or fold on whether you thought you were close enough to being right. First person to three points won the veto. Jerry got a two point lead immediately. Dan made a come from behind effort and then won guessing the number of nails on a bed of nails. Dan wins the veto. The talk immediately turned to if he would use it. I have to say that it was humorous seeing Jerry suddenly apologizing for his words that he had for Dan last week. Amazing what power in the house will do. Dan was trying to figure out a way to get Ollie up on the block saying that it would be better for him to go cause he is so unpredictable. April mentioned to Ollie that she might offer Dan some of her money that she had won to get him to use the veto. She did talk to Dan but did not offer the money and instead left the conversation open ended as she hoped for him to use it. Dan talked to Renny to see where her head was at but she wouldn’t show anything on her game plan. She did say that she would see Dan as a traitor if he used the veto. Dan does not use the veto but during the veto meeting he throws a comment out saying that he was offered money. He didn’t say who offered him money but that could be either April or Jerry. Jerry also has had money given to him in the Big Brother house. April and Jerry both say that they didn’t offer Dan money during their diary room sessions. Dan’s plan was to just get the house stirred up with the story knowing that it wasn’t true. It worked. Ollie and April would try to get Michelle’s vote and seemingly had it but Dan was again the swing vote. Ollie and April would end up talking to Dan as well trying to get him to vote for April to stay. April did offer money this time along with safety. Dan did think about it but ultimately decided to stick with voting April out. April was evicted on a 4-1 vote with Ollie being the only vote for her to stay. Will April and Ollie remain a couple outside of the house? It sure seems like it so far. In his goodbye speech, Ollie asked April if she would be his first girlfriend and he wanted her answer when Big Brother was over. She gave her answer to the viewers watching saying yes. Next up was the HOH competition which was an endurance challenge with the houseguests hanging on a vine looking deal and then getting swung into the wall. What a brutal HOH challenge. Those initial hits looked like they hurt bad!! The HOH competition was underway as the show went off the air. Julie Chen also announced that next week would be a Big Brother fast forward episode where a week’s worth of events happen in one episode so there will be two evictions next week.

Other thoughts on the Big Brother week. Ok, Ollie running from the birds was one of the funniest moments in Big Brother history. I thought that was hilarious. If you missed it, Ollie has a major fear of birds and there are birds that fly around the top of the backyard. Ollie backing up over the couch and then sliding his way across the wall to go inside was great stuff. The look on his face was classic. It was fun to see him get to watch the clips of himself with the birds on tonight’s live show. It’s nice to see the show focus on some lighter mood type stuff. The food competition for the week was the houseguests wagering on disgusting things to eat. Things to eat included crickets, pig ears, and then slop. April who said that she has been a vegetarian since 13 had to eat pig ears. The competition ended up with the team of Dan, April, Michelle, and Keesha winning to put the rest of the house on slop. Jerry was on slop for another week. He mentioned tonight that he has been on slop for 26 of the 44 days in the house. Anyone else tired of the happy speeches in the veto meetings? It makes me remember the great Will speech from Big Brother All Stars where he said that he hated them all and to vote him out. Best veto speech ever!! I still laugh at it.

What You Missed On The Live Feeds: Honestly, I’ve gotten to watch very little of the live feeds this week due to my Olympic watching. I did watch quite a bit of the stuff that aired with Renny trying to come up with her nomination plans. It really was bizarre and she was freaking people out. It’s funny cause just as it showed on the episode, she would ask people upon entering the HOH room if they wanted to go up as a pawn against April. They all gave the same reaction of “are you kidding me?” It was funny to follow the message boards during this day with fans wondering what in the world Renny was doing? If you didn’t know, the veto competition took place in the late night hours. There hasn’t been a whole lot going on but the houseguests did play a game of hide and seek which was fun. One funny moment was Michelle looking for people hiding and Jerry looked right at her when she walked in front of where he was hiding in the backyard. He thought he was caught which was why he popped up and looked at her. She didn’t even see him. Pretty funny. Yeah, sorry that I don’t have more for you for live feed stuff this week. I’ll have more time to watch in the days ahead.

What Has Happened Since The Live Show: I have posted below in a separate post on what has happened in the HOH endurance competition.

Season two of Heroes is released on DVD on Tuesday. There is no shortage of extras on the DVD set with even more extras being included on the Blu-ray release. The set will, of course, include all eleven episodes of the strike shortened season. On the set includes: Generations Alternate Ending (including a commentary on the changes made which I hear is very much worth watching), Untold Stories which includes stories that never aired, a sneak peek of season three, a behind the scenes of season two, many deleted scenes, audio commentaries on every episode, features on Takezo Kensei, The Drucker Files, Genetics of a Scene, Maya and Alejandro, The Anatomy of the Cherry Blossom/Swordfight Scenes, Exploding Man, The Loft, and more. The Blu-Ray release will contain more extras including enhanced versions of the episode commentary with a picture in picture deal which is what you have seen on NBC.com if you have watched the episodes with commentary on there. If you haven’t seen the picture in picture, it is very cool!! I watched several of them on NBC.com. Also, season one will get another release with it being released for the first time on Blu-ray on Tuesday as well.

We are getting so close to the fall TV season. So excited!!! With the new fall season, expect to see a lot of previous season TV on DVD box sets being released. That is the big marketing plan to get these DVD sets out right before the new seasons premiere to get you hooked on shows and also for you to be up to date on the previous season. It is very smart planning for the studios to do that and it’s a great way to get hooked on shows. So, definitely be looking for your favorites to be hitting stores soon.

Smallville has cast Charlotte Sullivan to play the new character, Maxima.

The cast for The Amazing Race 13 has been revealed. Here is the cast:
Marisa (age 22) and Brooke (age 24), southern belles from South Carolina.
Ken (age 51) and Tina (age 48), married but separated couple.
Kelly (age 26) and Christy (age 26), best friends who are both divorced from Texas.
Toni (age 51) and Dallas (age 22), mother and son from California.
Mark (age 41) and Bill (age 42), friends from San Diego with Mark being the CFO of Comic-Con.
Anita (age 63) and Arthur (age 60), married beekeepers from Eugene, Oregon.
Stephanie (age 32) and Anthony (age 32), dating couple from Los Angeles, California.
Aja (age 25) and Ty (age 25), long distance dating couple from Los Angeles and Southfield, MI.
Terence (age 35) and Sarah (age 31), dating couple from New York City.
Andrew (age 22) and Dan (age 23), Fraternity brothers from Tuscon, Arizona and Wilmington, Delaware.
Nick (age 22) and Starr (age 21), siblings from New York City and Fort Worth, Texas.
The Amazing Race takes off from the starting line on Sunday, September 28th on CBS. For more info on this new season, check out: http://www.cbs.com/primetime/amazing_race/

Some of the biggest female singers in the industry are getting together to help a great cause. Carrie Underwood, Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Rihanna, Fergie, Sheryl Crow, Miley Cyrus, Melissa Etheridge, Ashanti, Natasha Bedingfield, Keyshia Cole, Ciara, Leona Lewis, and LeAnn Rimes will be the cast for the new charity single, “Just Stand Up”, which is to benefit Stand Up To Cancer. The idea was started after Antonio “L.A.” Reid, who is the chairman of Island Def Jam Music Group, had a very inspiring meeting with the women who organized the Stand Up To Cancer campaign. Reid and also Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds produced the song which will be released to radio and be available to buy on iTunes beginning on September 2nd. There will also be a TV special devoted to Stand Up To Cancer on September 5th at 7pm central time with ABC, CBS, and NBC all airing it commercial free to help bring attention to the fight against Cancer. For more info on Stand Up To Cancer and ways to help with this great cause, go to: http://www.standup2cancer.org.

The Joss Whedon comics continue to sell well. The numbers are out for July. On the list of top sellers for the month was issue sixteen of Buffy Season Eight (ranked #10 selling 82,031 copies), issue ten of Angel After The Fall (ranked #51 selling 43,024 copies), and the debut of Spike After The Fall (ranked #59 selling 36,974 copies.

I thought I'd recap some of the latest Buffy season eight comics. This will cover The Wolves At The Gate four part run. I enjoyed this story quite a bit and found myself really hooked on it. I'm going into spoilers so you'll want to skip ahead if you don't want to know what is happening. After the gang caught Buffy in a revealing situation with Satsu, the gang ends up under attack by a group of vampires. The Scythe is taken from them. They get word on the leader being a vamp named Toru. Buffy and the gang look to go do battle with the group of vamps in Japan. Dracula returns after his season five appearance but is looking very down and depressed when we see him. However, he isn't all there. His powers have been taken away. One revelation is that he and Xander have become buddies which adds a lot of comedy to this story. Apparently, Xander ended up hanging out with Dracula as a way to come back emotionally from the loss of Anya. Xander questions Dracula on the fact that his powers may have been taken away and it finally makes sense to Dracula on who did it. He was ready for some payback. The group of vampires have figured out a way to zap the slayer ability away from the girls using the Scythe. They kill Aiko, one of the slayers, and then leave her as a welcome symbol for Buffy and the gang upon arrival. They do capture one of the vamps and Buffy threatens to burn him if he doesn’t give them information. It is revealed to the Scoobies that the vamps have figured out a way to use the Scythe to take away the slayer abilities of everyone. Even after promising to not burn him if he gave information, Buffy still does it saying “this is war”. Xander and Renee had continued to hit it off but things go badly when Renee ends up being killed in the battle by Toru. Dracula works with Willow in the battle as he knew that she could reverse the spell taking away all of the vampires extra powers using Dracula’s sword. The spell works and the battle comes to a conclusion. Dracula leaves the final revenge for Xander though to take out Toru for what he did to Renee which he does. We still have the deal with Buffy and Satsu which continues to make things uncomfortable for them. Buffy was going to leave her out of the battle but Satsu wasn't having it demanding to be included knowing that she is one of the best fighters in the group. After the battle is done, Buffy and Satsu talk and it is decided for Satsu to stay behind in Japan and lead that group of slayers. I found the stuff with the "giant" Dawn battling her mechanical version to be very funny. Dawn was called into the battle to help even out the numbers and since she is a giant, she has a major worth there. However, the vamps had a counter to that. A giant Dawn in robot form complete with acting like her. So, Dawn and the robot fight it out while the robot repeats various teenager lines which annoys Dawn saying that she doesn't say that or act like that. I laughed quite a bit at it. Overall, I enjoyed this latest story arc in the Buffy season eight series.

The Hills returned for its season four premiere on Monday night. I just thought I’d do a little recap for anyone that may have missed it. Most of the focus of the episode continued from the happenings of last season’s finale with Lauren, Lo, and Audrina’s still looking to get along. Lauren and Lo threw a birthday party for Audrina but Lo didn’t stick around for a lot of it as the situation between the two of them had become uncomfortable. The episode ended with a talk between Lo and Audrina where Audrina told her that they would never be friends as they were just very different people. Heidi and Spencer got a houseguest which was Heidi’s sister. Spencer was ready for her to leave immediately. Her sister left after a couple of days but said that she was thinking of moving out there and talked of moving in with them until she could get her own place. Spencer wasn’t at all for that which was kind of humorous considering that is what he did to his sister last season. Lauren had a new guy named Doug that she was seeing and it looks like we’ll be seeing more of him based on the previews for the rest of the season.

The Tonight Show and Late Night With Conan O’Brien return to NBC with new shows starting on Monday after the break due to Olympic coverage.

It was announced to the media last week that there will no advance screening of the new Beverly Hills 90210 making everyone wait till the premiere night.

Angela Bassett’s husband, Courtney B. Vance, will be making several appearances on ER this season. He will play the husband of Bassett’s character.

The trio behind the Lord Of The Rings movies have signed on to take part in the writing for the new Hobbit movie. Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens will take part in the movie which is scheduled to open sometime in either 2011 or 2012. I remember there being a lot of talk about a year or so ago about who was going to be writing it. The movie is going to be a prequel to the first Lord Of The Rings movie.

Microsoft is set to try and counter the advertising by Apple. Microsoft has signed Jerry Seinfeld to participate in commercials with Bill Gates to help promote the company with their new advertising strategy. Apple’s ads are a lot of fun so we’ll see if they can top those ads. The new ads should begin showing up on September 4th.

TV on DVD releases for Tuesday, August 26th. Charles In Charge (Best Of), Dirty Jobs (Collection Three), Entourage (Season Four), Everybody Hates Chris (Season Three), Heroes (Season Two), NCIS (Season Five), One Tree Hill (Season Five), The Shield (Season Six), Shockwave (Season One), The Untouchables (Season Two – Volume Two).

Video Of The Week: Looking back at the Olympic dominance of Michael Phelps.
http://www.nbcolympics.com/video/share.html?videoid=0817_HD_SWM_RC_CE265

Have a great and safe weekend!! Take care and God bless!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Big Brother 10 - HOH Endurance Competition - Live Updates - 8/21/08

The HOH endurance competition has been playing out tonight since the show ended and I’ve been watching it. SPOILER ALERT!!! I’m going to recap this in real time and just add to this paragraph as I continue to watch. I was beginning to get concerned about the longevity of this challenge with how brutal it looked when the show ended. The feeds returned at about 8:20pm. One thing to note about the swinging is that it wasn’t consistent like it looked when the show went off the air. They get slammed into the walls several times in a row after a few minutes but then have some down time to just hang in the air. It isn’t non stop like I thought it might be. Jerry was the first to drop out at 8:30pm and was definitely hurting saying that he couldn’t feel anything in his legs. That is one rough competition for him to be in.

8:45pm: At first, there was the monkey sounds being made as a warning before they sent them crashing into the wall. At this point, they’re just sending them without any notice. Let me say that these are some brutal hits happening. They are having a lot of laughs about it though.

8:55pm: Keesha is out after she slammed into the wall and that was it for her.

9:48pm: The swinging into the wall is beginning to get violent as these hits are getting brutal. Michelle just dropped out after a pretty brutal slam into the wall. She is saying that her leg got caught in the net and it pulled her off. Down to three left.

10:20pm: Memphis, Dan, and Ollie still remain. Jerry is now throwing some balls at Memphis for him to catch and throw. Memphis threw one earlier that hit a window. Something that they’re doing to break the boredom. Memphis joked that if he hits the woman with the camera that he gets ten points. Then, they zoomed in to show the camera lady in question up on the roof. Unusual for them to show crew on the feeds.

11:07pm: Memphis just finally dropped out. He just couldn’t take it anymore. We’re left with Dan and Ollie as the final two. The three of them had not been talking for at least an hour. Very quiet. The only talking going on has been the houseguests outside watching the competition as they talk to each other and then yell encouragement to the ones still competing.

11:36pm: Dan and Ollie both talking about how long they can last. Neither is budging. Deals have been talked about but neither of them wants to fall. Both are saying that the other is safe. Dan is now offering a 2 for 1 deal telling Ollie that if he falls, he'll offer Ollie safety and another houseguest of Ollie's choosing.

11:40pm: Ollie just dropped. Dan wins HOH. HOH lasted almost four hours. Both were immediately tended to by the other houseguest bringing towels to them as both were shivering badly. It appears that a deal was made but I’m not sure what was done. There is talk that Ollie chose Michelle as the person to keep safe along with him but I didn’t hear it for myself. Others did hear it though. We did get a nice little surprise from Real Player tonight when they decided to put up trivia instead of showing us the competition for the last ten minutes of it. It’s always fun to watch a competition for three hours and however extra minutes only for them to block out the rest. When the feeds returned, we saw Ollie drop five seconds later. Big Brother After Dark on Showtime was getting to watch the HOH while we were blocked out on the feeds. I hope they’ve got a good explanation for this cause there are a lot of mad people tonight including myself.

Friday, August 15, 2008

August 15, 2008 - Wrap Up Q&A With Dominique Moceanu

An Olympic special edition of the Wrap Up for you today. I’ve got a Wrap Up Q&A with 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist, Dominique Moceanu. Dominque was a part of the Magnificent Seven gold medal women’s gymnastics team in 1996. That team was incredible to watch and captured the attention of the country and the world with their gold medal winning night in Atlanta. I'll never forget the fun of that night in cheering on The Magnificent Seven. They definitely made America proud with their great accomplishment. I thought it would be fun to get Dominique’s thoughts on the current Olympics and also look back at her career. Dominique has always been my favorite gymnast so this was definitely a lot of fun!!

The country was so wrapped up with the incredible gold medal performance of you and the Magnificent Seven. The crowd that night for the team competition was so incredible as well cheering all of you on. What are some of your memories of that special night in Atlanta?
"Winning the Olympic Team Gold medal in front of my home country was the ultimate dream come true. My memories of the 33,000 audience members at the Georgia Dome cheering and chanting “U.S.A., U.S.A” is something that will be etched in my mind forever. Another sentimental moment was when I received my gold medal with my teammates and watched the United States flag be raised for the first and only time in the Women’s Team Final competition. The entire crowd sang our National Anthem and I felt an immense amount of pride to be wearing the red, white, and blue. Becoming an Olympic Champion changed my life and has enriched me in so many ways. I’m thankful to have been able to represent my country and make America proud!"

You and the team were all over the place following the Olympics with media appearances and also including being featured on one of the Olympics Wheaties boxes.. What was the frenzy like that followed the Olympics?
"My post-Olympics life was the most chaotic time in my life. I was pulled in so many directions. I traveled the country doing a 100 city post-Olympic tour. I felt like a rock star for a while living in and out of suitcases, meeting the President of the United States, and reaching out to my fans all over the nation, and performing the sport I loved. All of this happened before I even got my driver’s license!"

I don’t know if people really get the appreciation of just how much work goes into training. What was your daily training like going into the Olympics?
"Before the Olympics I trained seven to eight hours a day and six days a week. It was a full time job and every part of me stayed devoted and disciplined to my training regiment inside and outside of the gym."

Gymnastics is obviously a very physical sport but it can be a very mental type sport too. How is it comparing the two aspects of gymnastics?
"The mental aspect of the sport is extremely important, because if one cannot handle the pressure that comes along with being an Olympic level athlete than it makes things much more difficult to perform. I’ve always believed that the mental aspect of the sport is much harder than the physical. Yes, at times my body was run down and exhausted, but if my mind couldn’t pull it together I wouldn’t have been able to get through practice. No matter how much talent one has, one has to be equally, if not stronger, mentally to handle gymnastics at its highest levels."

Your floor exercise performances were always so fun and upbeat. What goes into putting those together including picking out the music?
"Most of the time my coaches gave me a few options of music and then I decided which one I liked the most. As I got older, I had more say into the music of my floor routines and choreography. It’s extremely important to have a good combination of both. A gymnast must feel comfortable with both the music and choreography to perform her best in competition. A lot of preparation to perfect this combination takes place in practices."

I got to attend one of the shows from the Tour Of World Gymnastics Champions in 1997. It is still one of the most fun events that I’ve ever been to. What was the experience of that like to reunite with everyone and get out on the road for the tour?
"The post Olympic gymnastics tours have some of the best memories in my gymnastics career because there was no pressure of the judges scoring my routines! It was all about performing and meeting fans and this is what I loved most. I will always be a competitor and thrive on this aspect of the sport, but after the most pressure packed competition of one’s life-- the Olympics--I needed a break and the tours allowed for that relaxed environment."

Do you have any funny road story to tell about traveling with everyone during the tour?
"We loved to play pranks on one another on tour, and once someone had a bright idea that it would be funny to switch the music of my floor routine during a live performance. I was a trooper and although lost at first, I completed my routine and made up things as I went. I was thankful when that experience was over!"

You made a comeback in 2000 which unfortunately didn’t result in an Olympic appearance due to injury. What happened that caused the injury?
"I believe overtraining caused my injury. I pushed my body to its limits and my coaches didn’t see that my body needed the rest in order to have longevity. Of course this happens often in gymnastics, but at the Olympic Trials in 2000, it was just a case of “the wrong place at the wrong time” injury which led me to two surgeries; a knee and shoulder."

The Magnificent Seven got a huge honor recently when you were all inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall Of Fame. You even won out over the 1992 Olympic basketball Dream Team with the fan vote to get inducted. How was that experience?
"What an amazing highlight in my life. My teammates and I were so honored for this wonderful achievement and next to the Olympic Gold Medal this is one of the highest honors -- an Olympic athlete can achieve so it was extremely memorable to be in the class of 2008 with an eclectic group of Olympians."

Moving on to the current Beijing Olympics. Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson finish with gold and silver in the individual all around. The women end up with silver in the team competition and the men end up with a bronze. What are your overall thoughts on the happenings in Beijing?
"Overall, I’m proud of our athletes. Given the circumstances and injuries they’ve had to endure our Women’s Team really should be proud because they WON the silver medal and how many people can say that they’re second in the best at anything in the world? They made America proud and with Nastia and Shawn winning the gold and silver in the All-Around final is like the icing on the cake. It was a fantastic competition to see them battle it out!"

A lot of talk has been made about the age of the current Chinese Olympic gold medal winning team. I wanted to get your thoughts of how you think age might factor into such a high profile event such as gymnastics since you were the youngest on the 1996 team. Did your younger age affect you at all with the pressure of the Olympics or did you find it easier being younger than the others?
"Is there a chance that the ages of the Women’s Chinese Gymnastics Team were falsified? Yes. Has the Chinese Gymnastics Association provided all of the proper documentation to prove and verify their ages? Yes. The international Olympic Committee already stated before the Women’s Gymnastics competition began that this was a closed subject and there would be no further investigation on it, but Bela and Marta Karolyi continue to show poor sportsmanship in the host country of the Games by strongly accusing the Chinese of cheating in an extremely undiplomatic fashion. It’s no secret that the Asian gymnast’s have always been among the smallest and lightest of the competitors in gymnastics. This is nothing new and in the Western world, we see our fifteen turning sixteen year olds as much more developed, but I can assure you that when I competed at the Olympic Games I looked like a ten year old too. Although I was the youngest on my team at the Olympics, I felt the pressure just like everyone else and I could handle it. I might’ve felt the pressure more in some ways because we were in our home country and the Olympic Gold was within our reach and it had always been a personal goal of mine."

What advice would you give to the current group of gymnasts including the pressure that is likely to be on them especially with Nastia and Shawn getting so much attention with their medal wins?
"Just enjoy the ride, it’s a hectic one but exciting one at the same time, and will often times leave you drained. You won’t trade it for the world though so take it all in and make the most of your experiences by really enjoying every great opportunity that you get! You’re about to go on the journey of your life!"

I’ve read that you’ve moved on to a new career in your life and that is being a wife and mom. How is that going so far and what else have you been up to in recent years?
"Being a mother is the most rewarding job in the world! The birth of my daughter was the most magical day, not only because she was born, but because she came on Christmas Day. She has changed my life for the better and has enriched my life in so many ways. Besides being a mother and wife, which takes up most of my time, I am still heavily involved on the gymnastics scene. I teach private lessons, coach, teach clinics and do choreography across the country for gymnasts. I am also finishing up my business degree and will be the first one in my family to graduate from college in the Spring of 2009 and I can’t wait!"

What would you like to say to all the fans that have followed your career and cheered you on for all these years?
"Without my fans, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’ve always credited my fans for being the “best in the world”. I have such a large following and will be grateful to them always for the support and love they’ve given me. Thank you for your words of encouragement and belief in me and my career. You don’t know how many times it picked me up when I was going through tough times!"

A huge thank you to Dominique for taking the time to answer the questions for the Wrap Up Q&A!! For more info on Dominique including blogs, schedule of appearances, photos, video, merchandise, and more, head over to her official website at: http://www.dominique-moceanu.com/ It is a great website so definitely check it out!! Take care and God bless!!

The Entertainment Wrap Up - August 14, 2008 - Olympics, BB10, Lost Season Three, & More

The Summer Olympic games are underway. I LOVE watching the Olympics and have had so much fun watching them. The opening ceremonies in Beijing were just amazing. It seems like each Olympics is trying to top the previous with the ceremonies. Just amazing is really all that can be said. We got to the moment with the Olympic torch being lit. The guy running around the stadium on the wall with images showing behind him was incredible!!!! I loved how he lit the Olympic flame too. That meant that the games were on for another summer. World records are being shattered big time in this Olympics especially in swimming. Michael Phelps has been INCREDIBLE. What a run he is having!! The most dramatic was the team relay where his teammate made that huge comeback to defeat France at the line to win gold and set the world record. Women’s gymnastics is my main event of the Olympics every year so I am glued to the TV when it is on. The team final was exciting and the US just stumbled at the end. I felt so bad for Alicia. Everyone makes mistakes. Nice to see some of The Magnificent Seven from the 1996 Olympics showing back up with all the gymnastics talk this week. I saw Amanda Borden do an interview and it was the first time I’ve seen her on TV in a long time. The US basketball teams are in control so far with the women still dominating and the Redeem Team men’s basketball returning to form. They have looked very impressive in their games as well but still have some strong opponents ahead. That women’s roster is an impressive one and the odds of them remaining unbeaten in Olympic competition going back many years looks like it will be safe. One thing that I’ve noticed about the Olympics is that I can really watch any sport that is on it. I found myself fascinated watching badminton the other morning. The Olympics really is the talk of everyone and its great to see people enjoying it.

Lots of happenings tonight in the Olympics. The biggest news is the fact that the United States now has three women as individual all around gymnastics champions. Following in the steps of Mary Lou Retton and Carly Patterson, Nastia Liukin has added her name to the list by winning the gold medal tonight after a great performance. The news doesn’t end there though as Shawn Johnson got the silver medal giving the U.S. a one-two finish. Definitely a huge moment tonight!! It was a fun and stressful night in cheering for them to win. Michael Phelps continued his dominance in swimming winning his sixth gold medal and also setting his sixth world record in doing so. Phelps wasn’t the only one winning gold and setting records tonight for the U.S. as Rebecca Soni won gold in the 200m breaststroke and also set a world record with the win. May and Walsh got a very close match tonight in beach volleyball as Belgium gave them a run for the win. May and Walsh had to battle back to win the first set and then won the second to take it. A definite wake up call for them but they looked impressive in their comeback. Incredible night of action from Beijing. A big congratulations to all of them!!!

The ratings for the Olympics have been very strong so far. People are tuning in big time and I’d hate to be trying to compete against it. The Opening Ceremonies had the biggest viewing audience ever for a non American hosted Olympic Games. 30 million viewers tuned into it on Friday night. 25 million tuned into the 2004 Opening Ceremonies and this year’s Opening Ceremonies was up by 37% compared to that. To compare, the 1996 Olympics from Atlanta still has the biggest Opening Ceremonies audience with 39 million viewers. Live coverage has no doubt helped this Olympics a lot. Average viewership for the first three nights of Olympic coverage was up by 6 million over what the 2004 Games did. I have to think that everyone at NBC has to be thrilled with the combination of gymnastics and swimming this week in primetime and beyond. That has to be a dream pairing with the story of Michael Phelps being paired with gymnastics which is one of the highest rated Olympic nights every time. The Olympics started Tuesday night with a 16.2 rating, jumping to a 17.9 in the second hour, and then jumping to a 22.8 in the third hour when the women’s team gymnastics coverage began. Being able to go live back and forth was great the other night. The ratings definitely jump to no surprise when Phelps is competing which was evidenced on Wednesday night’s Olympic coverage. I love the live coverage and I don’t mind staying up at all to watch an event that I want to see. I’m just thrilled to see it live cause the delayed viewing was getting old in year’s past based on the fact that results kept getting put up everywhere. The NBC coverage gets a big A+ from me as the coverage spanning the NBC networks and then online has been great.

Movie box office numbers for last weekend. 1. The Dark Knight - $26.1 million. 2. Pineapple Express - $23.2 million. 3. The Mummy - $16.4 million. 4. The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants 2 - $10.6 million. 5. Step Brothers - $9.1 million. 6. Mamma Mia - $8.2 million. 7. Journey To The Center Of The Earth - $4.8 million. 8. Hancock - $3.3 million. 9. WALL-E - $3.1 million. 10. Swing Vote - $3.1 million.

We have another victim of the writers strike. The release of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince has been pushed back to July 17, 2009 instead of November 21st. Alan Horn of Warner Brothers Pictures had this statement on the change: "Our reasons for shifting 'Half-Blood Prince' to summer are twofold: we know the summer season is an ideal window for a family tent pole release, as proven by the success of our last Harry Potter film, which is the second-highest grossing film in the franchise, behind only the first installment. Additionally, like every other studio, we are still feeling the repercussions of the writers' strike, which impacted the readiness of scripts for other films--changing the competitive landscape for 2009 and offering new windows of opportunity that we wanted to take advantage of. We agreed the best strategy was to move 'Half-Blood Prince' to July, where it perfectly fills the gap for a major tent pole release for mid-summer."

This was one wild week in the Big Brother house and I didn’t think the show really captured all of the stuff that went on. Tuesday’s episode didn’t cover a lot of the happenings with the argument among the girls which I’ll cover down in the Live Feeds section as I watched it all play out as it happened. When we left off last week, Michelle was the HOH after Jessie’s eviction. Dan was America’s Player and his vote went to evict Jessie so he had a big target on his back cause of it. April and Ollie were mad over the flip that Keesha and Libra did to go against April’s HOH wishes. Dan was in damage control mode and tried to look as miserable as possible to stay safe. Memphis did come to his defense especially after Dan helped him stay in. Keesha and Libra knew immediately that a target was on them. Michelle put up Keesha and Libra on the nomination block. Jerry went to Michelle trying to get her to target Dan and the house has done some major speculating that Dan is America’s Player. The talk would have more effect if they haven’t been speculating about this for weeks now. The veto competition takes place which involves having to transfer onions into a box or you can fill onions in a surprise box which would give you a prize. Memphis and April do get mystery box prizes. April got five designer outfits but Memphis didn’t do so well. His prize was that he got to wear a necklace of onions around his neck for 24 hours. The veto itself comes down to Jerry and Libra. Libra has 32 pounds in her box while Jerry has 36.8 to win the veto. Jerry has been attacking Dan all week which has been seen obviously on the show but more on the feeds and I don’t like the personal attacks on Dan. It’s a game. What is odd is Jerry attacking Dan about his character when Jerry did the same thing on week one going back on his word with Brian. Jerry kept working on a plan to try and use the veto and get Dan up on the block. Things got wild which I’ll go into more detail momentarily but the feast turned into a major argument between the girls that went for a lot of the night. Dan then talked about how the feast dinner ended up benefitting him most cause the girls had all blown up at each other getting more attention off of him. The veto ceremony takes place and Jerry uses the opportunity to blast Dan by continuing to blast him on his character. He got so brutal with the speech that the house pretty much turned on him for what he had to say. Jerry goes on to say that he won’t be using the veto and that he was “saving Dan again”. Tonight’s eviction episode had the show really trying to bring up some drama on whether Libra would stay. They especially got dramatic going to commercial only two votes into the live voting instead of going to commercial halfway through the voting like they normally do. Libra has known all week that she was going home. Interesting comments made from the house about Jerry’s speech on Dan. Dan’s diary room was great where he started really down and then said how Jerry’s speech was incredible cause it gained sympathy for him from the house. I agree with Libra when she wondered if Jerry got his Big Brother manual cause this show isn’t about trust and loyalty. Memphis has been pretty vocal in standing up for Dan in the house over Jerry’s comments about him. He does not like the personal comments. Libra gets voted out on a 6-0 vote and becomes the first member of the jury. The HOH competition takes place and it is a competition where they had to guess on which non-jury evictees made the asked about diary room comments. Every right answer earned the person the ability to eliminate someone else from the competition. Renny eliminated April. Dan eliminated Jerry. Ollie, Memphis, and Dan guessed wrong on three in a row so they eliminated themselves. That leaves Renny and Keesha as the final two. Renny ends up winning and is the new HOH.

Other thoughts on the Big Brother week. First, I have to say that I watched House Calls with Jessie on the show last Friday. Wow, he got ripped apart. Gretchen and Dick were just countering him on every statement that he had. I’ve never seen Gretchen on a rampage like she was on this show as she is usually very laid back even if she has been on the record as not liking a houseguest before their appearance. Even the callers were brutal but Jessie did have a few fans call in for support. Wow was all I could say as I was watching the show. This was definitely the week of the feuding girls in the house. I have been watching the feeds and the show but I get completely confused on who has said what. All of these arguments have been finger pointing between the girls and there are so many different stories with people throwing each other under the bus that I don’t even remember what is the actual truth anymore. Ha ha. The house guests got a visit from various Big Brother alum during the food competition. Someone from each season of Big Brother was represented. The alum would provide a news story from the outside world and the house guests would have to guess on whether they thought the story was true or false. The more questions that they got right, the more food that they got for the week. It’s funny cause there were so many stories that I would guess false too if I was in that house. Who says Big Brother isn’t informative cause I had no clue about China’s deal where they are working on a project to control the weather during the Olympics.

What You Missed On The Live Feeds: One thing to follow that is funny is April talking about Memphis’s car that he won at the beginning of the game. Every time she uses the car as an excuse for something against him, the value of it goes up. I am not kidding. Ha ha. The value started at $10,000 and she has the value up over $100,000 now. Dan and Memphis seem to be taking to slop really well saying that they don’t see what all the complaining is about saying that they like it. Friday consisted of Jerry walking into every conversation that a feed was on and then talking all sorts of trash on Dan. It got pretty annoying after a while where I was thinking “ok we get it, you don’t like Dan”. Saturday night was one of the most bizarre nights in the history of Big Brother where my ears were almost hurting by the end of the night after listening to all the screaming going on. The feast that the houseguests got out of the veto competition resulted in a big love fest. The alcohol came out and the mood was all over the place starting with the love fest. The houseguests all talked good things about each other. Tears were flowing from them as they talked. Dan gave a nice speech about Jerry to which he replied that he thought Dan was America’s Player and that if that was the reason for what had happened, then he could understand the turn. After the tears, then came the anger and people comparing notes and stories. We have April and Keesha going at it in the sauna room yelling about what has happened between them so far in the game which was left off the show. Some truths and some spins being told back and forth. Funny thing is that it started out as a “let’s make up” type of talk. It was one of the most bizarre make up type talks that I’ve ever heard. Keesha apologized at the end and they hugged as they left the room. The feeds then cut to the living room and there is silence with Libra and Ollie on the couches. First line out of Ollie’s mouth is “it’s amazing what alcohol can do”. No doubt!!!! Later, things got fueled again in the HOH when Keesha, April, Libra, and Michelle all argued in the HOH room. It started as Michelle bringing them together to discuss things. This was one of the wildest arguments that I’ve ever seen in Big Brother history. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it and kept thinking that I’m never getting to sleep tonight. Michelle ended up getting fired up with not believing comments that were being made. She left the room and proceeded to throw around just about every pillow in the house which was also left off the show. Funny thing is the guys just all sitting around and laying low during all of it. They were barely seen and when they were seen, they looked extremely uncomfortable. Libra summed it up pretty well saying “no more alcohol for us, that’s a wrap Big Brother”. I actually thought the editing of the show was pretty nice to Keesha cause she was not doing so well during this whole thing. We then had Michelle, Libra, and April yelling in the living room with Dan and Ollie laying on couches covering their faces looking like they can’t take much more of this. Ollie and Jerry later talked in the bedrooms and then Renny walked in to the room to tell them that she is “too old for this”. The time got to 2am here and all was finally calm. The screaming went on for at least three hours off and on.

What Has Happened Since The Live Show: Well, not much really. Mood is light in the house. Quite a bit of pool playing going on tonight. Renny got her HOH room. April has also gotten her designer clothing that she won in the veto competition. No word on who Renny is looking to nominate just yet. It appears that she may be targeting April though.

I finished season three of Lost. Again, I’m going into my thoughts on the season so I’m discussing major spoilers if you haven’t seen it. Good season which saw a lot of the story get changed up. Ben has been around for over a full season now and he still keeps me guessing on what he is up to. Interesting start with him having Kate, Jack, and Sawyer all captured but Jack ended up taking control after the surgery to save Ben. That was one intense negotiation session to finish the surgery. Speaking of Jack and the surgery, that scene was great where the group goes back to get Jack and then see him running only to realize that he is catching a football. That was a great reveal!! Desmond was a character that I saw potential with but didn’t know if they had anything else planned for him other than running out of the hatch. Well, where else is he going to go when you think about it? His ability to see flashes of the future was a good twist. Locke sure had some interesting stuff going on. I didn’t realize when I commented about season two that things were going to get worse for him in season three when we found out that his dad was the one that put him in the wheelchair. Then, his dad ends up on the island with the excellent combining of two stories with Sawyer realizing that Locke’s dad was the con man that ruined his life. Wow. I was glad to see Locke survive his gunshot from Ben cause I think Locke’s bond with the island is fun to watch especially with his injury going away when he landed on the island. Then, there is Juliet. I can’t seem to figure her out character out either where sometimes you wonder whose side she is on as well. Sad but heroic ending for Charlie with him cutting off the frequency. Well, I say that but if what Ben is saying is true, then this communcation that was sent out might be bad for everyone. I thought the episode was funny with Nikki and Paulo that ended up with them both getting bit by the spider which paralyzed them for several hours. Their planning ended up being their demise. I thought those characters were annoying anyway. Loved the episode with Hurley finding the van and being determined to fix it. It was just a light episode and I have grown to love having scenes with Hurley and Sawyer together. The two of them competing in ping pong was fun too. They play off each other so well. What a close to the season where the seemingly flashback stuff with Jack ended up being a future deal with Jack telling Kate that they had to go back. Wow, I did not see that coming but I kept trying to figure out where that stuff with Jack could be in the timeline of his life before getting to the island and I couldn’t figure it out. Well, it was in the future apparently. One more season to go to be caught up with everyone else.

Have you seen the new Nike ad running during the Olympics? Love it!! Here it is in case you haven’t seen it.

Remember all the talk a couple of years ago about the Buffy cartoon that was being pitched around. Well, the video for it has shown up online. Here you go if you want to check it out:

Moving on to issue ten of Angel: After The Fall. SPOILER ALERT if you are reading the comics and don’t want to know the happenings. Good stuff in this issue which had the gang trying to control Illyria keeping her separated from Wesley. Illyria also let one big thing out when she revealed that Angel was not a vampire anymore. She wasn’t told but she is able to feel power and knew that Angel didn’t have it anymore. So, now the group knows and the feeling was major shock especially when Angel was going into major battle and the feeling was the group asking if he was in a suicide mission or something. Great closing to the issue where we had Angel and Gunn coming face to face just as the next battle was about to take place. Big shock on Angel’s face when he realizes that it’s Gunn in front of him.

I might as well go with news on a third Whedon show as there is some news out of Firefly too.
There will be an online comic based on Shepherd Book’s character. The Shepherd’s Tale will go into the history of Book. This should be a lot of fun to read as we really didn’t get to learn a whole lot about his history. The comic won’t be seen till next year though so don’t get too excited just yet.

Regis Philbin is set to guest star this season on How I Met Your Mother. Regis will play himself in the episode.

The Hills is back for season four and premieres on Monday night on MTV.

Tori Spelling is officially out as appearing on the new Beverly Hills 90210 spinoff. There are reports out there talking about money being a reason. The new 90210 premieres on September 2nd.

I got an email wanting to let all of you know that the second season of Blog Cabin is now airing on DIY Network. The show lets bloggers be in control of the design and construction of a waterfront vacation home. The show airs Thursdays at 8pm central time. For more info on the show, head over to: www.diynetwork.com/blogcabin

TV on DVD releases for Tuesday, August 19th. Are You Afraid Of The Dark? (Season Seven), Dexter (Season Two), Gossip Girl (Season One), House (Season Four), Justice League (Season One), Married With Children (Season Nine), Perry Mason (Season Three – Volume One), Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Season One), Transformers: Animated (Season One).

You Tube Video Of The Week: Chad Vader’s shoplifting prevention video.


That is all I have for you tonight. Hope everyone is enjoying the Olympics as much as I am!! Take care and God bless!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Big Brother 10 Live Feed Update - August 12, 2008

It will be interesting to see how tonight's episode of Big Brother 10 is edited cause there has been no shortage of happenings in the house over the last few days.  SPOILER ALERT!!! Don't read this if you don't want to know what is happening on the episodes.  The live feeds were crazy to watch on Saturday night.  The food competition rewarded the house guests with a feast.  With the feast came the alcohol and a lot of craziness ensued.  First, the feast started very calmly with the house guests all getting along and having fun. Tears were even shed as the house guests went around the table saying nice things about each other.  After dinner was then things went wild.  Keesha, April, Libra, and Michelle ended up having words for what seemed to be four hours. It started with Keesha and April discussing things that had been said.  It seemed to be a making up type of conversation but it was the oddest "let's get along" conversation possibly that I've ever heard.  Libra was brought into this as well as it was decided to try and figure out who had said what to whom while figuring out who was lying.  Michelle brought all this up into the HOH room where she eventually went off as well over stuff that was being said.  They screamed at each other off and on for about three hours.  Funniest thing of the whole deal was the guys going and hiding wherever in the house trying to get away from all of this.  Libra and Michelle were screaming at one point while Dan and Ollie just laid on the couch with hands over their faces.  They eventually just kind of snuck out of the room.  Renny came in the room with Ollie and Jerry at one point saying that she was "too old for this" talking about having to listen to all this screaming and drama.  My ears were literally ringing after listening to the screaming for a while.  I've been watching the feeds and the show but I'm even confused on who is telling the truth at this point.  I've heard so many different versions and different spins on stories that I'm even confused as a viewer.  Jerry won the veto and has been targeting Dan ever since Thursday.  If Jerry is in a conversation, he finds a way to make Dan out to be a villain.  Jerry was wanting to send Dan home this week.  The veto ceremony was held yesterday and it is of course not seen on the live feeds as they want you to watch the show.  From what has been said in the house, Jerry apparently took the time to basically blast Dan personally during his veto speech.  Jerry talked of how he was saving Dan "once again" and the house guests have been saying that they think Jerry thought he had the power as the veto holder to put Dan up on the block.  Michelle has joked about saying that she was about to hand the HOH key over to Jerry because he thought he had that power.  Michelle has said that she had no intentions of putting Dan up if Jerry had used the veto but Michelle is also spinning a lot of stories as well.  It should be pointed out that a lot of the house has been brutal on Dan for the vote last week with everyone speculating that he is America's Player.  Well, they would be right but they have speculated on this WAY before he actually was AP for one week.  Jerry's speech on Dan at the veto ceremony has really turned the house against Jerry from everything I've heard on the feeds.  Dan may be getting another wind of opportunity in this game after what occurred as there is definite sympathy toward him now.  With Michelle, I can't figure her out on her plans.  Some have speculated that she blew that argument up on Saturday to get things stirred up.We really don't know a lot of times until we see the diary room stuff.  Libra has no chance of staying in the house and she knows that.  It will take a Big Brother miracle for her to stay.  Anyway, LOTS of drama which I'll go more into detail on in the Wrap Up on Thursday.  I'm VERY interested to see how tonight's show is edited cause watching the last few days really makes me wonder how they can edit this all down into one show.  

Taylor Swift - Delicate

There is the catchphrase in life of "dance like nobody is looking". When you're Taylor Swift, that is a little hard. Being a s...