Reality television show Expedition Impossible debuts in June

Reality television show Expedition Impossible begins in JuneA new reality television show entitled Expedition Impossible is set to make its debut on ABC this June, pitting 13 teams of three against one another in what looks to be an adrenaline fueled competition through remote regions of Morocco. The show, which seems to combine elements of The Amazing Race and the sport of adventure racing, comes to us courtesy of Mark Burnett, the mastermind behind Survivor.

The official website for the show offers little in the way of information about the competition, although I would expect that it will be updated as we get closer to when it first airs. But in the trailer video, which you’ll find below, we see teams not only trekking through the desert, rock climbing, and kayaking rushing rivers, but also solving puzzles and working through other challenges. The video actually conveys an intensity to the race that isn’t present in other realty shows of this type.

For Burnett, this looks to be somewhat of a return to his roots. Back in the 90’s he produced an adventure race known as the Eco-Challenge which had coed teams of four racing against one another on foot, mountain bike, and kayak through some of the most remote places on Earth. Expedition Impossible seems to have a similar theme, although it is much more approachable for the masses than Eco-Challenge ever was.

So? What do you think? Is this going to be worthwhile adventure television for the summer months? I guess we’ll find out on June 23 when the first episode airs.


Live like “The Bachelor” in Anguilla at CuisinArt Resort with a special package offering


The Bachelor Anguilla CuisinArt

Those of us who watch The Bachelor know the deal – by the time the field narrows to just a few lucky ladies or gents, the bachelor or bachelorette of choice whisks them off to a “magical” and “romantic” locale. Past seasons have seen cast members travel to Istanbul, New Zealand and Tahiti, but this season brings us slightly closer to home, to the romantic island of Anguilla.

We, as viewers, are always skeptical of these “most romantic” locations, but when we heard the setting for this season’s Valentine’s Day episode was none other than CuisinArt Resort, we were more excited than anything else. As such, we’re excited to see that we can be guaranteed to get the “final rose” when booking their new “The Bachelor’s Journey” package, offering us regular folk the chance to live like reality stars at the five-star resort.

The special package mimics the activities that will appear on tonight’s episode – only in a more private setting (no TV cameras allowed)! Amenities include:

· Five nights, six days accommodations in a beachfront suite
· VIP airport and semi-private boat transfer from St. Maarten
· Roundtrip private car transfer for two
· Welcome drink upon arrival
· Welcome Bottle of Champagne and long stemmed rose en suite
· Daily breakfast at the resort’s acclaimed restaurant Café Mediterraneo, or continental breakfast en suite
· One intimate Torchlit Beach Dining Experience with private waiter and a specially selected bottle of wine from the Resort’s cellar
· One Dinner at Santorini, Anguilla’s only AAA Four Diamond Award Winning Restaurant
· A choice of either a World Delicacies or Caribbean theme dinner
· One Dinner at the Beach Grill with a lively ambiance and light casual fair
· “Couples Rendezvous”, a luxurious spa escape including an Anguillan Coconut Pineapple Scrub, Couples Swiss Duet Rain Shower, Rose Scented Aroma Therapy Couples Massage, Floral Escape Soothing Bath Soak, and Champagne and Strawberries offered in the privacy of a Couples Suite
· One-day car rental to explore the beauty of Anguilla as a couple

Even better? Chances are if you’re traveling with your sweetheart on this package, there’s no chance of being sent home alone. Rates for this package start at $3,580, non inclusive of tax and service fees.

Best college restaurant: Good Morning America wants your vote

pizza college missouriFor most of us, college was a low period in our culinary lives. Ramen, macaroni and cheese, beer for breakfast. . .ah, the memories!

When we got tired of contributing to our freshman fifteen with junk food, there was always that one place that served up something a little better, a little special. If you’ve been to college, or even if you haven’t, I bet you just thought of that place right now.

As an undergraduate in Tucson my favorite was a grimy dive bar called Mike’s Place. It served its last under-aged drinker years ago, closing down in the face of “urban renewal”. In graduate school in Columbia, Missouri, my fave was Shakespeare’s Pizza, which serves up delicious pizza right next to campus. It’s the best I’ve ever had, and I’ve been to Rome. Even The Pizza Files gave it a good review.

Now Shakespeare’s is one of four finalists in Good Morning America Weekend’s Best Bites Challenge. On this Saturday’s show they’ll announce the finalists and tell you how to vote for your favorite. They’re not very good at keeping secrets over at ABC, because the Columbia Tribune revealed the finalists to be Sandwich University in Morgantown, W.Va.; Öl Stuga in Lindsborg, Kan.; Camellia Grill in New Orleans; and Shakespeare’s.

Personally, I know Shakespeare’s is the best because I’ve never been to those other places. How can they compete?

What was your favorite college hangout? Reminisce in the comments section!

I Survived a Japanese Game Show: Round three. Back on track

When traveling time zones, it’s a good idea to remember that TV schedules change. When I sat down to watch the 3rd episode of “I Survived a Japanese Game Show,” in St. Cloud, Minnesota where were were visiting friends on our way to Montana, I forgot it was Central Time.

The show comes on ABC at 8:00 p.m. in St. Cloud and not at 9:00 like in Columbus. The show had just ended. We proceeded to watch the sunset and drink wine.

Watching online a day later in Bismarck, North Dakota at the Seven Seas Best Western was just as entertaining. To catch you up for tonight, here’s the recap. If you can’t head to Japan any time soon, here’s one way to feel like you’re there in an unusual sort of way.

What I liked so much during the first episode is back. There was more about Japan and the contestants reactions to being in the country. Everyone loves being in Japan.

There was also more footage about what it’s like to be on a Japanese game show. Less time was spent on the contestants’ chatter about their strategies to win, therefore the bickering was minimal which left more time for more interesting footage.

Another positive change in round three was Mamasan’s increased TV time. I particularly liked observing the contestants reactions to her. The hugs, the thank-yous, the being ever so polite, even when served a gritty version of green tea that isn’t what one likes is so typical of trying to be a gracious guest in another country.

“Good?” said Mamasan. Not exactly, but they drank it.

This episode drew me in for other reasons as well. I loved the behind the scene details that showed how the game show is put together and the crews’ reactions to the Americans.

“What’s that noise?,” one person asked from the control room before the contestants came out for the first game, “Pedal Fast, Big Splash.” The contestants were in the green room getting pumped up.

“They’re screaming.”

“Too much green tea,” said another.

When host Rome Kanda shouted, “Let’s go Americans! Come on out!”, the crowd did their normal going wild routine with their stash of noise makers as the Americans waved enthusiastically, bounding through the door. All seemed happy to be involved with this crazy completion.

“We don’t care who wins, said Kanda, “as long as someone gets wet.”

“With Pedal Fast, Big Splash,” there’s no way to avoid getting wet if you’re the person on the tricycle. No matter how fast two team members pedaled their bicycles to slow down the treadmill, the tricycle rider couldn’t keep up and eventually went backwards into the pool of ice-water.

The Yellow Penguins won by four seconds which meant the Green Monkeys became rice farmers for a day for losing. The Yellow Penguins were given a tour of Tsukiji Fish Market for winning.

Rice farming is not easy. Watching the Green Monkeys slog through muck in an attempt to plant rice reminded me of why I’m astounded that rice is not more expensive.

The Tsukiji Fish Market is as large as several airplane hangers and the place where 4,000,000 fish are sold a day. The Yellow Penguins loved the tour and proved that one doesn’t need a lot of pomp and circumstance to have a great time traveling. Any time one can learn something new is a bonus. As Andrew said, “This was a once in a life experience.”

As a testament to trying new things when traveling, Cathy, known for being a picky eater tried the tuna sashimi. And just like what often happens when trying new things with an open mind, she found out she liked it and downed another piece.

The next day, back in the studio for the elimination round, Darcy and Meaghan dressed up in suits covered with Velcro strips in order to hurl themselves at a wall in an attempt to match shape outlines that looked similar to what is drawn at crime scenes.

The hurling involved bouncing on a trampoline. Meaghan nailed the task all three times. This time Darcy’s lost on a positive note. As she pointed out after the men in black suits carried her out of the studio, she’s the only contestant to have played every game. Even though she didn’t survive a Japanese game show, she sure knows how one is played.

The previews for tonight’s show look excellent. The contestants seem to have decided to just have fun more than anything, except for Meaghan who thinks she’s on “Survivor.” What was the deal with walking around in a bath towel?

Now all I have to do is figure out where I’m going to watch the show tonight. We’re without a TV since we are staying with friends in Montana who don’t have one. There’s the online version that shows up about a day later.

Photos are from the gameshow Web site gallery.

I Survived a Japanese Game Show starts tonight

There’s a new reality TV show that starts on ABC tonight. It could either be really funny or absolutely awful. I Survived a Japanese Game Show took 10 contestants–six women and four men– to Japan where they competed in some sort of wacky game show called Majide in front of a Japanese audience.

Not only do the contestants compete in the game show, they are immersed in aspects of Japanese culture they didn’t quite expect. The reason they didn’t expect it is because when they showed up a the studio to participate in a reality television show, they didn’t know what the show involved. Nothing. Nada. Next thing, Japan.

I saw a preview last night and admittedly, I was laughing out loud. Okay, here’s the thing. I thought The Three Amigos was funny and loved Joe VS. The Volcano. I amuse fairly easily, although Abha, I promise, I wouldn’t think The Love Guru is at all amusing.

I do love the idea of putting people in cultural situations they are not quite sure about as long as the culture isn’t demeaned and the people in the situation aren’t elevated in stature. In this case, I’d say the Americans have plenty of opportunity to look fairly ridiculous.

Here’s one contest, for example. In the “Chicken Butt Scramble,” contestants dress up like chickens and try to break large “eggs” filled with goo by sitting on them and bouncing hard. It’s not easy.

As the weeks progress, contestants will be eliminated until the last person wins $250,000.

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The game-show host, Rome Kanda is a Japanese-born actor/comedian who lives in the United States and is paired with Tony Sano, an American actor who speaks fluent Japanese.

Yes, yes, the show does sound pretty mindless and why not read a good book instead? I don’t know about you, but June has been a fairly busy, stressful month. I could use a few guffaws. I hope I’m not disappointed and disgusted.

Here’s a trailer.

“I Survived a Japanese Game Show” airs Tuesdays on ABC at 9 p.m. EST. Let’s see if Hollywood gets it right with this one. I’ll give you my impressions tomorrow.