Brenda in cheerier times
waited patiently for you to get your screen time, but we should have
clarified that it wasn't to be like this! It was the "loved ones"
episode, where each contestant had a spouse or family member join
in on a team challenge. Brenda was
absolutely elated at the sight of her father Raymond, telling him he gave her the best advice -- to be humble. It was a
moving reunion, and Jeff even claimed that it was the first time in 26
seasons that he cried at the arrival of loved ones. Aww.
father-daughter cuteness continued when Raymond threw himself into the
challenge, spinning poles to loosen them and retrieving balls to aim at a
target. It's easy to see where Brenda got her athleticism and endurance:
the grey-haired Lowe never let up during the challenge, picking himself
up immediately when he fell and prompting his daughter to
tearfully call out, "I'm so proud of you, daddy!" as they ran. With a
final ball toss from Raymond, the duo won the challenge, but their
celebration was short-lived. As is customary for the loved ones
challenge, Brenda got to pick one other pair (she chose
Dawn and her husband) to join the winning prize, a family barbeque.
However, this time there was a twist when Jeff told her that she could either
take Dawn and their loved ones to the barbeque, or give it up and
let the other contestants go to the barbeque with their loved
ones. Brenda barely hesitated before saying, "Of course I'm gonna give
it to them," utterly devastating Dawn.
more of a lose-lose situation than normal, because Brenda could
either be a selfish jerk with Dawn and leave everyone else alone and
hungry, or she'd anger Dawn and then make herself a probable vote for
the jury as a result of her kindness to the rest of the group. "The better and more likeable and
more untouchable a person is," Cochran later described in an interview,
"the more dangerous." Brenda and Dawn watched the happy barbeque from the beach, with Brenda
talking Dawn off the ledge (again) over
hunger, envy, and missing her family. "I'm praying that this is the
right choice despite what my stomach is saying," Brenda said. Oh, girl.
challenge had the survivors standing on a log suspended above water,
holding onto a rope behind their backs. It was no surprise that Brenda
was one of the last two left in the end, this time with Dawn, who asked
if she could have it ("I've never won an immunity challenge!"). Brenda
declined to make a deal, but fell into the water shortly after. Did
she indeed let Dawn win? "If that was Eddie up there," she said
afterward and referring to the one remaining contestant who wasn't in her
alliance, "I would have hung on a lot longer. But someone as paranoid as
Dawn, gotta keep her happy."
If it's true that Brenda gave Dawn
the win, she also gave up her chances of making it to the finals
because she was blindsided that night. "I was honest with you guys. I
was genuine with you guys," she told the tribe as she brought her torch
up to get snuffed, adding, "It hurts" as she walked away. In her final
interview, Brenda was crying so hard that she could barely get any words
out: "I'm in shock. I think the reason it hurts so much is that I was
hesitant to lie to people; I was so
true to Dawn. Oh my god it just hurts so much, what I'm feeling." Tell
me that's not a heartbreaker! And yet I can't blame the rest of the
tribe for making the decision that they did. Brenda is strong in
challenges, well-liked by everyone, and made a huge sacrifice for the
team. There's no way anyone could have beaten her if she got to the end.
Dawn, Cochran, and Sherri. Brenda focused all of her energy on Dawn,
bringing up the time that Dawn lost her retainer and she found it for
her. As a means of
bringing Dawn some of the pain that she suffered, she insisted that
Dawn remove her retainer and show herself without her lower teeth. It
was a strange moment, and not the retaliation I was expecting. At the
reunion, Jeff coerced an awkward apology from Dawn to Brenda, claiming that
Brenda had refused any communication with Dawn after the show.
shall we? On The Voice, Judith had her first solo performance in the
live playoffs with Nina Simone's "Feeling Good." She started out in the
crowd with a dramatic updo and a fancy, sparkly collar, eventually
ending with a finale on stage that was as amazing as we've come to
expect from Ms. Hill. Blake told Judith, "You're such a freaking diva!"
and Usher said that she took everyone to church. Adam explained how he
and Judith discussed how she should convey her personality as a singer:
"That's cool what she just did -- the performance, the things that you
did, the way you played with the audience; that is not something you can
really teach somebody." Obviously Judith made it to next week. Can't
wait to see how she styles her hair this time.
And finally, Mindy Kaling was on The Daily Show discussing the Met Ball, weaves, and how she's too excited about how great her life is to sleep:
"I'm a minority chubby woman who has my own television show on a
network. I don't know how long this is gonna last." Minds, you're so
much more than that, but I do love how totally normal you are about it.
You do have an awesome life! Watch the entire interview here.