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Posts from — January 2014

The Block – Kara And Chantelle Have The Shortest Alliance Ever

I would have put money on the first scrag fight would have been between the twins and Chantelle but in fact it was Kara and Chantelle who were rubbing each other the wrong way. It was all a bit awkward since they were on the same team in a challenge and had forged an alliance, possibly the shortest one in the history of The Block. 

The challenge was a crucial one, as the winners got first pick of the apartments to renovate on The Block as well as an extra $10,000 in the kitty. 

It was the fan teams versus favourites and they had to design a room that was most like the look, feel and style of a $300,000 room Neale Whittaker and Darren Palmer had styled.

After the fans got over the shock of seeing returning contestants Brad and Dale, they got on with the task with Kara and Chantelle going out to shop.

Alisa and Lysandra and were even more amusing when they realised all the teams were not returning players. Kara would not be thrilled to be mistaken for Tania. Also they thought the Victorian couple were actors due to Chantelle telling them of her multiple jobs and businesses.The twins split up with one going with Dale and the other with Brad and Brad was slightly stunned at how the sisters talked to each other. 

After the fans realised they were at a disadvantage playing against returning players Kara and Chantelle decided they needed an alliance however it looks like this was not going to last 24 hours. Tensions started once they hit the shops. Chantelle who is rather manic was making most of the purchases, whilst Kara just stood there saying nothing until she got back to the block and then she bitched about it to husband Kyle.

OK she was right the brown second hand couch was disgusting and buying stuff that looked like it was out of a Salvation Army store is not going to get them the win. Kara then decided she would go out and spend some money the next day. She and Kyle decided they needed to spend $15,000 not $7,000 as they no ugly no matter how cheap they won’t win. 

The next drama was Kara being unhappy that she was not going to be able to buy both the couch and the cushions as it did not fit into Chantelle’s game plan which she had stayed up until three in the morning producing.

However Kara was being very passive aggressive  and dismissive towards Chantelle. When she was showing her the cushions she barely looked at her and at the end of the challenge when they were deciding on placement of furniture she said “I told you where I think it should go, but you decide”. 

She also said to camera that she felt worried for them heading onto the block as they don’t have the same style as her. Steve and Chantelle were also sniping saying that ego had a lot to do in the last ten minutes of the challenge,

The favourites were cruising. Dale and one of the twins headed straight to design knock off shop Matt Blatt to shop and they did not turn up at the room until the next morning.

After being relaxed and comfortable their pressure points started occurring when their brick wallpaper did not turn up until an hour and a half before deadline. Which meant it was hastily installed and had bubbles in it. The wall papers guy were hilarious when they said “We’re on camera so don’t say anything stupid”.

Of course it was a Block cliffhanger with the viewer having to wait until Sunday to see what the judges thought of the rooms and find out who is the winner.

The Block – Fan V Favourites on Sunday at 6.30pm on NINE.

January 31, 2014   24 Comments

Casting Agents The Unsung Heroes Of The Reality Genre

People who are enjoying watching the new season of My Kitchen Rules or loved Big Brother last year will know that what gets us hooked to a show is normally the cast.

At a reality TV conference  this week they discussed the role of casting agents and how they were the unsung heroes of reality TV.

Washington Post reports:

At the RealScreen Summit reality TV conference in Washington this week, a panel of casting experts, producers and network executives discussed what goes on behind-the-scenes of the casting world, a topic that doesn’t usually get much attention. Turns out, it’s not an easy gig.

Sheila Conlin, who owns casting and production office The Conlin Company, talked about one particularly difficult couple she found for Fox’s “Kitchen Nightmares.” “They were stubborn and a lot to handle, which for me, is a dream,” she gushed. Translation: When someone’s that difficult off-screen, it’s likely they’ll be crazy on-screen. That means buzz, which means ratings, which can translate to a hit.

Here are some fun facts we learned from professionals that, after hearing some of their stories, we’re now calling the unsung heroes of the reality TV world.

Crazy is good, but too crazy is risky.

The panel agreed: Everyone wants reality stars who “pop” on camera. Casting directors hone these instincts to spot future reality stars, and are usually able to tell almost instantly whether someone will connect with an audience or become a Twitter sensation.

While “larger than life” personalities are a plus, experts warn about recognizing signs that a person might not be ready for the spotlight. Someone with lots of drama can seem ripe for stardom — but it won’t help if they storm off the show on day two of a five-day shoot.

For example, take the case of the Arizona couple who owned Amy’s Baking Company, a highly dysfunctional eatery featured on “Kitchen Nightmares.” That was the first episode where Gordon Ramsay ever just walked out and quit. While the out-of-control, bickering owners got spin-off offers at first, the excitement quickly died down when it became clear the couple couldn’t work with anyone.

Even if the casting is perfect, some people get panicked when the cameras start rolling.

Eli Lehrer, Lifetime’s senior vice president of non-fiction programming, discussed a problem he faced at Bravo with “Tabatha Takes Over,” about the woman who helped failing salons. Eccentric people excited to be on camera during the casting process tended to clam up when the actual cameras started rolling. The trick, Lehrer suggested, is to tell the people the cameras are there for casting – but really, it’s the first day of filming.

These days, reality show participants can be too savvy for their own good.

Kristi Russell, president of Metal Flowers Media, faced an unexpected challenge while helping the casting process for Discovery’s new series “Naked and Afraid.” (Two strangers must survive for three weeks in the wild without food — or clothes.) You’d think with a title like that, people would know the drill. Instead, some participants showed up for filming and demanded to know the location of the Craft Service table. They weren’t too pleased to find out that no, it wasn’t a glamorous TV shoot, and no, they really wouldn’t have any amenities. Thirteen people wound up dropping out. Didn’t they understand the concept of the show?  “I don’t know what they thought they were auditioning for,” Russell said.

 

Sometimes, someone unexpectedly shines on screen.

Years ago, Authentic Entertainment’s Lauren Lexton tried to pitch a show about wannabe actors in Hollywood – one hopeful featured in the series was the assistant to a then-unknown house flipper named Jeff Lewis. Network executives passed on the series, but were intrigued by Lewis’s brash personality when he appeared on screen. A reworking of the show, and fast forward to 2014: Lewis has his own reality empire on Bravo, as “Flipping Out” marks its seventh season this spring.

Reality competition shows are getting increasingly ambitious with online casting calls.

These days, some popular competition series (“American Idol,” “X Factor” and “America’s Got Talent”) accept online auditions. Those open calls can get around 20,000 submissions, said Diahnna Baxter, general manager of eTribez, an entertainment technology company that compiles such videos and organizes a database of prospective contestants for producers. Then, they sift through the thousands of videos to look for compelling storylines. It can be tough – but a lot cheaper than going to dozens of audition cities.

It might sound dry, but casting is all about research.

What do the network and producers want? After answering that question, casting directors scour the land for anyone who might make a good fit: They cold call, they find people on social media, they comb through dating sites, they hire private investigators. Russell estimates calling 1,000 bars in various cities to find ones that might work for Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue.” After that, there’s still lots of information to find out, including pre-interviews, interviews and screenings — and most importantly, establishing enough trust that the person will sign all the paperwork and actually agree to be on the show.

January 30, 2014   8 Comments

My Kitchen Rules – Queensland Score A Perfect Ten

Paul and Blair the surfer/teachers from Queensland showed they should be taken seriously in the My Kitchen Rules competition. Their instant restaurant Swell looked classy and their food even thought it was not perfect in flavour the presentation was flawless. It even knocked the bitchiness from the Western Australian team for a little while.

Their menu was Lemon Salt and Pepper Quail, Indonesian Chicken Curry, and Rum Chocolate Pots with Salted Caramel Toffee.

They must not buy their quail from Coles often as they went to the Deli department rather than the meat area! Paul who seemed to be leading the team and he insisted the quail needed to be deboned which took an hour of their prep time. His theory was he thought you needed to cook a dish with  some technical difficulty.

It all looked like it was going smoothly and then they realised they had lost or forgotten the chocolate and Blair had to dash out to get it. He was also stressed about loss of prep time as the dessert needed two hours to set.

They were organised and clean cooks and the bromance between them was nice to watch. They also had a good sense of humour but because the WA team have been sucking the airtime we have seen little of them.

Deb was again bit cheeky and flirty but Andrew took the wind out of her sails when he said she reminded him of his Nan. Even Emelia looked embarrassed at his social faux pas.

Kelly was well pleased there was a curry on the menu as it gave her an excuse to drop that she went to India and she said she likes authentic food. Just like how the viewer likes authentic reality shows but they are a bit hard to come across also.

The producers keep on placing Team WA and Team Vic opposite each other to ensure the mutual antipathy continues, however if there is going to be a scrag fight my money is on Vikki coming out the winner.

After some minor drama with the quail with Paul thinking it needed more coating the judges gushed over it with Pete saying it was simple home cooking done well. He even gave it ten points so it must have been delicious.

Expectations were high for the curry but it did not deliver except with its presentation – that was fantastic. Pete said the chicken was overcooked and was dry and Manu thought the curry was a bit of a let down. Most of the contestants thought it was not spicy enough, except Jason but he said he does not like hot food.

The Rum Chocolate Pots with the Salted Caramel were too rich and full on for Manu. Pete said it was nice but far too much and he said he could not taste the rum. Jason however managed to scarf his down but after eating five lollipops at the ACT instant restaurant he appears to be able to eat a lot of everything.

The team scores were:

WA – 8

Vic – 7

SA – 6

NSW – 6

ACT – 7

For a score of 34/50

Manu gave a nine for the entree, seven for a main, a dessert with a six.

Pete gave them a perfect ten for the entree, main was a six, and dessert is a seven.

This gave them a total score of 79. They are second on the score board and safe from elimination.

My Kitchen Rules on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 7.30pm on SEVEN.

January 30, 2014   183 Comments

My Kitchen Rules – Kelly’s Into Clean Eating Because Of Attention Deficit Disorder

chloe and kelly

Kelly has revealed she suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and that one of the things she has in common with her MKR team mate is organic, clean eating. Chloe has a seven year old son with food intolerances.

The told WA Today they  want to teach parents about cutting out food additives and colourings and they want to use the show’s prize money to open a community-oriented cafe to teach its customers about healthy eating. Not sure where the triple cheese brie and truffle oil fits into this philosophy.

I wonder if they ate any of the lollipops at the Canberra team’s instant restaurant, if so it might have seen Kelly become quite lively indeed.

In the article they revealed they knew viewers were either going to love them or hate them.

The article states:

People are either going to love us or hate us and I don’t think there’s going to be any middle ground with us,”  Chloe said.

“We just had a lot of fun, we were ourselves and had a few drinks around the table.”

The pair watched the previous season “religiously” and were aware they might become this season’s love-to-hate cooks, but ignored advice to play nice.

“My mum especially was like ‘Don’t be mean, don’t say any nasty stuff, just be nice about the food’,” Kelly said.

“And I was like ‘Well no, I’m not going on to My Kitchen Rules and pretend to like food when I don’t like it, just to be nice’.

“We were just ourselves – some people really hammed it up, other people were mute or didn’t say what they actually thought.”

Chloe and Kelly are the last of the teams to cook and expect that episode to be a ratings bonanza for SEVEN.

My Kitchen Rules on SEVEN 7.30pm Wednesday night.

Photo: OK Mag

January 29, 2014   36 Comments

Big Kevin Back On The Biggest Loser – Is That Fair?


Kevin Moore
Big Kevin Moore is set to return to The Biggest Loser in what will be a shock to the other contestants as he has no link with Ararat at all.

It appears to be a strategy to get some fatter people in the house. This year none of the men are as big as has been seen in previous years, with not one near the 200 kilo mark and Shannon did not even hit three figures.  Kev who was on the show last year with his mother Rosemary is still at that mark and that is with losing over 50 kilos in the past year.

The Daily Telegraph is talking about this surprise and it will be interesting to see how they link his entry to the house with the Ararat story line. Chances are he will be voted off quickly if he lands below the yellow line.

What do you think of his return will it add some drama to the show? Maybe they should get mum Rosemary back so she can have a crack at the trainers again for criticising her boy’s diet.

The Biggest Loser – On Sunday night at 6.30pm on TEN

January 29, 2014   13 Comments