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On Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue,” world-renowned bar and nightlife expert John Taffer wields more than 30 years of industry experience to give failing bars one last shot at success. Taffer and his team perform surveillance on struggling establishments, identify problems and attempt to work with owners and staff to turn the business around.

Alas, as the following Q&A illustrates, not everyone is receptive to his rescue plan. The fifth season of “Bar Rescue” can be seen Sundays at 10 p.m. on Spike TV.

Published in Style
Thursday, 11 July 2013 08:52

Celebrity Slam - July 10, 2013

Bigot Brother

The key to reality television success is controversy. These programs are built on a foundation of conflict; the more inflammatory you are, the more titillating you are. And titillation equals ratings. It has been that way since the beginning, and as more and more unscripted shows dot the TV landscape, the degradation of people's behavior increases exponentially.

However, we may have reached a tipping point.

Published in Celebrity Slam

The red headed, fair skinned, self proclaimed geek John Cochran of Washington, D.C. is in a league of his own. He successfully won Survivor Caramoan this week by securing the vote of every single member of the jury which was made up of contestants he had a hand in knocking out of the game. The Harvard law student has been watching the show since he was 13 and even wrote a paper about it in law school. He got the opportunity to see the game from the inside when he was invited to participate in Survivor South Pacific, but he was the 13th person voted out during that season. This season, he made it all the way to the end when he aligned himself with former Survivor South Pacific player, Dawn Meehan of Utah and newcomer Sherri Biethman of Boise, Idaho. The trio lasted 39 grueling days on the island, but in the end it was Cochran who pulled out the win. I recently spoke with the Washington, D.C. native about his winning strategy and what he plans to do with his one million dollar prize.

Published in Buzz

 

One of the three amigos (the name of the three Survivor contestants not a part of the core alliance) was voted off the island this week. Twenty-five year old Malcolm Freberg of California fought hard to stay in the game by winning challenges and finding hidden immunity idols when he needed to. However, in this week's episode Freberg paid $480 at the 'Survivor auction' for a clue to where another immunity idol was hidden. I recently spoke with Freberg about that purchase that he was never able to cash in on.

Published in Buzz

Fifty four year old Phillip Sheppard, one of the most outspoken Survivor: Caramoan contestants, was taken out of the game this week when the three players outside of the tribe's strong alliance (known as 'Stealth R Us') all received immunity or played their hidden immunity idols. 

Over and over again, Sheppard shared with viewers and Survivor players how good he was at reading people and knowing when they were lying since he is a former FBI special agent. However, that special power wasn't enough for the remaining players to keep him around. The California native now becomes the second member of the jury, a position he's never been in before since he made it to the final three during his first time playing on Survivor Redemption Island. I recently spoke with the Sheppard and asked if he had any regrets.

Published in Buzz
Friday, 12 April 2013 12:28

Mainer voted off Survivor: Caramoan

Michael Snow used every ounce of his Maine ingenuity on Survivor: Caramoan but it just wasn't enough to win the million dollar prize. The 44-year-old, who now lives in New York, grew up in southern Maine and outlasted nine other contestants on the CBS reality show that tests players physical, social and mental stamina on a remote island over a 39 day period. Unfortunately during this season, Snow found himself pitted against experienced players - a tribe of past contestants known as the 'Favorites' who have shown they're all hungry for a second chance at victory. I recently spoke with Snow who was surprised to learn how difficult and deflating losing challenges week after week could be.

 

Published in Buzz

 

Big moves turned into a big blindside on Survivor: Caramoan. For weeks, Corinne Kaplan of Survivor: Gabon fame stayed loyal to her former Bikal tribe mates (a.k.a "The Favorites") even though she vocalized over and over again her desire to get rid of the tribe's dictator, Phillip Sheppard, instead of one of the opposing tribe's players. But her alliance saw her game play as too aggressive and unpredictable and decided to vote her off, unbeknownst to her.

I recently spoke with Kaplan who said she only has herself to blame for no longer being in the game.

Published in Buzz

At 21-years-old, Julia Landauer was one of this year's youngest Survivor: Caramoan contestants. But age, inexperience and bad luck proved to be a deadly combination in the game. During last week's team swap, this racecar driver from California found herself, Michael and Matt now members of the new Bikal tribe where former Survivor players - Phillip, Corinne, Cochran and Dawn ruled the roost. And when the Bikal tribe lost the immunity challenge,  there was nothing Landauer could do to convince the team to let her stay in the race for the million dollars. I recently spoke with Landauer who was disappointed that her Survivor experience included competing against former Survivor greats.

Published in Buzz

The tribes may have been reconfigured this week on the reality show Survivor: Caramoan but the results remained the same - another player from the original Gota tribe was sent home. That player was 38-year-old Matt Bischoff of Ohio. Bischoff, Michael and Julia found themselves part of the new Bikal tribe but unevenly matched against the four original members of the tribe. That meant one of them would surely have their torch snuffed out since the numbers weren't in their favor. I recently spoke with Matt who admittedly was hoping to go further in the game then he did, but still enjoyed his Survivor experience.

Published in Buzz

 

Giving up immunity or purposefully loosing an immunity challenge on Survivor is almost unheard of, but every now and then the contestants will do so in order to get rid of one of their own tribe mates for the sake of peace around camp. That's exactly what happened this week during Survivor: Caramoan. The Bikal tribe, made up of past players, couldn't take one more day of Brandon and Phillip fighting and decided they'd lose the challenge on purpose in order to go to tribal council where they'd send Brandon Hantz home. But the 21-year-old Hantz showed them he wouldn't leave quietly and ended up dumping out the remainder of the tribe's food supply. I recently talked to the Texas native to ask if he wished he'd handle things differently.

Published in Buzz
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