Monday, June 22, 2009

Reality TV Double-Header

Summer has officially started, which means we can look forward to the usual round of fun and zany summer reality TV fare, including Big Brother, Wipeout, I Survived a Japanese Game Show and the following two shows. Tomorrow (6/23) the fun kicks off with The Superstars on ABC (8 pm) and America's Got Talent on NBC (9 pm).

The Superstars is a six-episode series based on ABC's classic Wide World of Sports series by the same name. It's basically the same show, except for one change. Unlike the original series which pitted individual athletes from all different sports competing against each other, this time, in the vein of Dancing with the Stars, the athletes are paired up with a celebrity. The eight teams will perform in different events including swimming, biking, running and kayaking. One team will go home each week until the last team standing wins the competition. The teams are as follows:

1. Terrell Owens (NFL football player) & Joanna Krupa (model; Maxim's top 100 women)
2. Robert Horry (NBA basketball player) & Estella Warren (actress; Planet of the Apes)
3. Bode Miller (world champion skier) & Paige Hemmis (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition)
4. Kristi Leskinen (X Games freeskier) & Maksim Chmerkovskiy (Dancing with the Stars)
5. Jennifer Capriati (pro tennis player) & David Charvet (actor; Melrose Place)
6. Lisa Leslie (WNBA basketball player) & Dan Cortese (actor; Surviving Suburbia)
7. Brandi Chastain (pro soccer player) & Julio Iglesias Jr. (singer)
8. Jeff Kent (baseball player) & Ali Landry (actress; Miss USA)

While I won't pick a team sight unseen to win it all, I'm going to go out on a limb and call Jeff and Ali early front-runners, strictly from the ABC website photo of the teams.

In its fourth season, America's Got Talent is a talent competition that features everything from ventriloquists, jugglers, dancers, singers and any other talent auditioners can dream up. As in all the talent-style competitions (like Idol and SYTYCD) you can count on seeing your fair share of wackos, attention-seekers and talentless wannabes during the auditions, but you'll also enjoy some real talent with moving back stories to touch your heart. The judges (Piers Morgan, David Hasselhoff, and Sharon Osborne) remain the same, but in the musical chairs hosting spot, this season it will be Nick Cannon, replacing Jerry Springer, who in turn had replaced Regis Philbin.

I saw a recent article on AGT that offered a heads up on a couple acts to look forward to, including a a trio of siblings called Voices of Glory who serenaded their comatose mother and a singer who'd been turned away from auditioning for a cruise line because of her appearance.

My only gripe with the show is that there are always so many singers competing against each other, but after all, America is voting so we're the ones putting them through. Other than the talent, one other reason I'll be tuning in is for the chance to see Susan Boyle perform. The Britain's Got Talent singing sensation and YouTube phenomenon has been invited to sing on the American show sometime during the fourth season.

I'm volunteering at my church's Italian Festival, but I'll definitely be recording both shows to indulge in as soon as I get home.