Hyphen TV: Shady Deals?

February 21, 2012

Heejun and his group don't actually want you to stop.

It seems impossible, but MORE shows have returned and cycled back into our roster! Survivor: One World premiered this week, and with it a pair of premises: the teams are split by gender, and they live together on one island. We're watching both sides: the guys have Jonas Otsuji, a 31-year-old sushi chef from Utah, and on the women's side is Christina Cha, a 29-year-old consultant from Hollywood. Christina started making big moves early when, upon the guys' starting a fire within hours of arrival, she tried to get a little firey goodness for the ladies' side. A middle-of-the-night ember stealing didn't go well, so the next morning she tried to negotiate a trade for fire, agreeing to have the women weave twenty palm fronds in exchange for some sweet sweet flames.

Jonas and Christina make a scantily clad deal.

Seems like a pretty straightforward, good deal, right? Not for tribemate Alicia, who described Christina's situation as "she's playing that side and playing us." I was confused at first because I thought that Alicia might have assumed, as I did, that the prize in the first challenge would be flint, and so they would just have to wait another day or two to get precious fire in exchange for nothing but a win. But later when Alicia vowed to get Christina eliminated, saying that "a shady deal went down," I realized that some kind of major miscommunication happened. The women won by default when one of their members broke her wrist, so I hope Christina gets things straightened out before she's eliminated over nothing.

Also back this week is my FAVORITE gun show, Top Shot. Again we've got two contestants to keep an eye on: Chee Kwan, a 23-year-old firearms instructor from San Gabriel, CA, who distinguished himself quickly in the very first elimination challenge, hitting the target just an inch and a half from the bullseye, and coming in second overall. Chris Cheng, on the other hand, didn't have so strong an early showing. The 31-year-old IT professional from San Francisco is one of the season's requisite self-taught non-professional marksmen, and in the first elimination challenge, he found himself battling head-to-head with an ex-military police officer. Blame it on Chris's luck or the officer's nerves, but Chris managed to eke out a win for the red team, keeping Chris and Chee safe this week.

You'd better listen to this IT guy when he tells you to restart your computer.

It was the continuation of Heejun's Cowboy Chronicles on American Idol. Though they made it through the grueling Hollywood week trials, Heejun's elation was immediately tempered by his realization that he said some pretty mean stuff about his teammate. He apologized to the cowboy and his parents, which is quite a rarity on reality shows (believe me, I know). The politeness parade continued in Vegas, when Heejun's group (minus the cowboy, I hasten to add) performed "I Only Have Eyes for You" after a vocal session with infamously mean singing coach Peggy. As soon as they finished, Heejun thanked a beaming Peggy in the audience, and the good karma was furthered when Heejun's entire group made it into the top 42. Heejun cried, and I was so happy for him that I'll ignore the fact that Steven Tyler sang "Hey Jun" to the tune of "Hey Jude." Dude, it's HEE, not Hey. It really couldn't be more phonetic. I should also mention that after after zero screen time since her audition in San Diego, poor Ashley Robles got the boot in Vegas. Maybe next year, Ash?

Sorry we didn't get to see more of you and your cute dress, Ashley.

On RuPaul's Drag Race, Jiggly found herself on the outs again, added to the pair of Phi Phi and Kenya when she was left without a partner. Their group won the hatmaking challenge, but only Phi Phi and Kenya were team leaders. For a second time, Jiggly was the next to last queen chosen (this time by Phi Phi). Girl, I think you maybe need some self-reflection sometime soon? The two teams each had to do an infomercial promoting one of RuPaul's albums, and they got into character to do it. Phi Phi was super NYC'd out with huge attitude and hair, and Jiggly ... sigh. Jiggly wore a kimono and said, in broken English, "That is not soy sauce in your panties..." We've had this conversation before, and we didn't get enough of Jiggly's part of the infomercial to make a real call, but I sincerely hope we don't go down this lazy Asian comedy road again. Please, ladies?

Both Jiggly and Phi Phi were safe, though they had an intense moment backstage when Jiggly got a video greeting from her brother Gian on the anniversary of their mother's death. Jiggly broke down in nearly hysterical tears, and Phi Phi comforted her, reminding her that she'd been in the same position as Jiggly when she was young and getting beaten for being different. More of that sensitivity, you guys! The camaraderie exhibited between these drag queens is truly moving.

Mike and Tina sang Nat King Cole's "L-O-V-E" on the Valentine's Day episode of Glee. I have no official photo or video proof, but I swear it happened...

This isn't the song, but Mike did dance on another tune...

On Top Chef, the chefs were tasked with doing a whole bunch of non-cooking things for some reason. Having left the heat of Texas for snowy Vancouver, the remaining four contestants had to cook inside a tiny (and moving!) gondola. Paul did the worst in this round, and Bev came in second. Next they had to break ingredients out of blocks of ice, which proved incredibly tough for Bev and Sarah. Sweet Paul helped the ladies bust up the ice and then came in first with his crab and mango dish. Plus, he revealed that his great-grandfather on his father's side had fled China for the Philippines.

And so it came down to semi-enemies Beverly and Sarah, who had to do a sort of biathalon, first cross country skiing around a course, then shooting targets to get ingredients. Beverly pulled way ahead on the physical part (though it looked pretty painful for both of them -- many falls were had, and Bev had neither skiied nor shot a gun before). As always, Bev's flavors worked, even though she lacked the Asian ingredients she usually works with, but she just didn't quite outdo Sarah, and so she was eliminated a second time. You kicked ass, Beverly! Don't pay any mind to the bullies. Paul, it's all on you now.

On Face Off, no one wanted to work with Sue. Oh man, I am totally sensing a bad pattern here. The groups of three were tasked with making triplets look like themselves at ages 50, 75, and 100, and Sue seemingly proved her critics right when she was the only artist out of everyone to be unconcerned with making casts of the models' teeth and hands. Then she and teammate Tara had different opinions on casting techniques when they did get to the casts. But all my worry was for nought when Sue's version of a 100-year-old man was universally praised by the judges and eventually nabbed the overall win for the challenge. Finally, some recognition for Sue! She cried in her post-interview, and I was so happy (and relieved) for her. Carry on, Sue! I won't doubt you again!

That's the makeup on the left and Sue on the right.


Dianne Choie


Dianne Choie's TV is in Brooklyn, NY. She has a cat, several reusable shopping bags, and other mildly annoying stereotypes of youngish people who live in Brooklyn.