On Monday "The Mole" premiered, and I don't know what the ratings were like, but I know at least one person was watching--me. First impressions, I'd say the show has plenty of big personalities (and egos) which should make for some good TV, interesting challenges, and an early abundance of suspicious activity. In the first challenge, using a harness for their safety, contestants had to jump from a raft which was going over a waterfall and grab a bag of money hanging overhead which might hold real or fake money. Nobody stood out as particularly suspicious during this challenge, which could mean that the Mole decided to keep a low profile during the first challenge, or he/she did a really great job as saboteur. In the second challenge, the players headed to the beach where Jon Kelley--the host--told them the story of Robinson Crusoe and explained that scattered throughout the beach were items which Robinson Crusoe could've had with him when he was left stranded on an island. The contestants were broken up into three teams: timekeepers which had to constantly add sand to the top of a huge hourglass to give their teammates more time to search, appraisers which had to review the items picked by the others and determine whether they would have been around in Robinson Crusoe's time, and scavengers which had to search the beach for items from that time period, and not waste time on current day items such as a vacuum or hairdryer, which some brought back anyway. During this challenge, Bobby's extreme exhaustion as he trudged through the beach was either very pathetic or very suspect. To my way of thinking, either this guy at 25 is in worst shape than Andy Rooney, he's the Mole, or he's trying to make people think he's the Mole. The other two with questionable performances were Paul and Mark. Paul's slowness in shoveling sand for the hourglass could've been his attempt at sabotaging the mission, and Mark's poor job as appraiser seemed a little sketchy given the fact that he's a history teacher. At the end of the night, Marcie was sent home.
"So You Think You Can Dance" (SYTYCD) finished their audition rounds and the judges, including guest judge Debbie Allen, picked their top 20 dancers (10 boys, 10 girls). I'm sad to say that neither of my favorite boys from the audition round made it in. I loved Robert Muraine, a popper from L.A. and Evan Kasprzak, a Fosse-esque dancer which auditioned in Milwaukee. As of right now, New Yorker Courtney Galiano is my early favorite, but that might change. Next week the real competition begins, as the top 20 dance for America's votes.
As a follow-up to a couple of my previous posts, "Britain's Got Talent 2008" ended without any of my favorites winning, though Andrew Johnson was close, making it into the final three. The winner this year was George Sampson, a 14-year old dancer with a compelling personal story. Congratulations to George.
Mark your calendars for the coming week: Saturday is the Belmont Stakes, so tune in to see if Big Brown makes history and wins the third race for the Triple Crown. Monday there's a new episode of "The Mole," and from the preview it seems like personalities are clashing already. Wednesday the top 20 dancers perform on SYTYCD. Thursday look for a special episode of "Million Dollar Password" featuring Betty White.