LAST EDITED ON 07-02-04 AT 01:09 AM (EST)
Hi, everyone - and by everyone I mean the three people who may read this. This is my first summary for this or any other show, so please be as critical as you can be. (I’m using reverse psychology here).
It's been tougher than I thought it would be. You don't realize how much stuff there is in an hour of TV until you try and summarize it. By the end of this, I was cursing the most interesting member of the cast for giving me so much to write about, and I had fallen deeply in love with the commercials - even the ones for MacDonalds and Wal-Mart. How anyone can summarize the commercials as well as the show, I cannot fathom. It's also been tough because at this stage, Next Action Star seems to have become a show about a bunch of interchangeable, superficially-likeable people (with one glaring exception) who are about as interesting as D!ck Cheney’s personal life.
I should mention that not only is this my first summary - though I had a killer lined up for ‘Forever Eden’ before it got cancelled - I have preserved the purity of the experience by not having watched any previous episodes of this show. So I don’t initially recognize the contestants, and don’t have a firm grasp on what went on before this fourth episode. I know this might look like laziness and bad planning on my part, but honestly it was all about not contaminating my mind with preconceptions. And if you buy that crock, I believe The ChillOne has a book you might like to purchase about his Amazing Amazonian Adventures (“The Spoiler” available from, ironically enough, Amazon.com). And Iraq really was part of the War on Terror.
So here we go.
Previously on Next Action Star... Twenty contestants got cut down to fourteen in a process I know nothing of, but in the scene accompanying the voice-over informing us of the fact, there was a bunch of explosions and people were flying all over the place. So you can only hope that they were killed off. I guess NBC had the contestants sign some really comprehensive waivers.
The first words of the episode are spoken by a dark-haired women who is later identified as both ‘Viviana’ and ‘completely whacko’, and her words are later shown to have great significance - even though they might not be entirely accurate. “This place is driving me crazy,” she says. Hmm... That kind of implies that she wasn’t nuts to begin with.
A dark-skinned woman who will later be revealed to be ‘Corinne’ says: “I wanna make it to the next cut.”
Then another woman who looks just like Viviana - but it can’t be her, because we just heard from that person - says, “If I’m not here in Hollywood, I don’t want to be anywhere else.” From what I can make of that, the woman seems to be saying that when she’s not in Hollywood, she wants to stay in wherever that place is. It also leaves open the possibility that she only ever wants to be someplace else if she’s actually in Hollywood. If this woman is the same one as just spoke a few seconds ago, things aren't looking good for the idea that she isn't already unhinged.
Onward. A high-cheekboned guy named Jared says that someone called Krista deserves to be in ‘that’ house, while Viviana doesn’t. I think I’m beginning to see a pattern here.
After the recap, we have the titles, during which the ubiquitous announcer guy says the name of each of the remaining contestants in a tone that implies that they are dangerous, evil people. I don’t know these contestants at all, but I’m inclined to believe him. They volunteered for a reality show, after all. Only the first names of the contestants are given, except for one guy given at the end of the list, who’s called “Will Become”. Strangely, we don’t see Will for the remainder of the episode. Perhaps he was one of the people killed when they got rid of the first six cast members.
We are informed that this week on Next Action Star, there will be what appears to be a gawd-awful skit named ‘Special Ops’ that involves helicopters and running. No doubt more will become apparent, but from the very first glance, it doesn’t look good for ‘Special Ops’. In fact it looks like a knock-off ‘Black Hawk Down’. Considering just the respective trailers, the recent flaming turd 'Envy' from Ben Stiller and Jack Black had more promise than ‘Special Ops’.
The episode proper begins with the remaining fourteen contestants being introduced to their luxurious new digs. They go through some grand large gates into the courtyard of the kind of pile that someone like Michelle Pfeiffer or Margot Kidder used to live in before they hit the skids. In the courtyard, as some kind of talisman of the good life, are grouped a number of fast and sexy sports cars, including what I think are Jaguars, Ferraris, and Porsches. Significantly, no one is given the keys to any of these beasts.
Jared: “When the gates opened, everyone kind of went...” Jared was unfortunately unable to finish his sentence because the muscles in his jaw failed at that point, and he was left imitating the facial expression of a sex doll.
While Jared was taken for treatment, Viviana gets a rare chance to give her input.
“As I was opening the doors, I felt I was opening the doors into Hollywood, and I was Cinderella coming into the castle - with leather pants, ” she says. Since we’ve already established Viviana hates Hollywood, it’s a mystery why she’s smiling as she says this.
There follows sundry shots of the house that the contestants have been given a loan of for the short intervals of their lives that will not be lived in total obscurity. We are shown luxurious fittings like a weights room, a pool table, a dinner table, a, umm, sink and a... staircase?
A dark-haired guy named Santoni comments: “I just walked in, I was like OMG! ... I’ve never had a staircase in my house.” No doubt he was expecting a rope-ladder or something.
Jared is meanwhile in one of the sports cars, checking around in the vain hope that the keys may have been left hidden within the car. He is seen looking in the minuscule back seat, and patting down the upholstery. He says: “This is kind of like dangling a carrot in front of us. If you work hard, this is the lifestyle that awaits you.” I am left unsure of what Jared thinks this hard work is that will allow him to attain great wealth, 'cause acting in front of a camera doesn't count. Perhaps he figures he’s going to join the legions of millionaire coal miners and construction workers.
The next thing that happened was most - if not all - of the guys jump in the pool. Someone named Greg informs us that none of the women other than... you’ve guessed it... Viviana joined the men in the pools. Relying on his memory - which it turns out is prone to exaggeration (or perhaps minimization, in this case) - he says she went swimming in g-string and bra, when in fact the video shows she went swimming in a thong and something like a tank-top. Still, NBC cameramen manage to get a nice shot of Viviana’s buttocks surfacing stirringly above the water of the pool. I’m certain these cameramen have aspirations to film orcas in the Antarctic, but unfortunately for them, there are far more crappy reality shows than there are wildlife documentaries, so they’re stuck making the best they can of their work on ‘Next Action Star’. It’s kind of tragic when you think of it.
The would-be actors are next shown picking bedrooms and roommates. Jared, who is turning into our go-to guy for dull explanations, talks about how random the process was. Then, because it’s been ten seconds since she was last featured, Viviana is shown walking purposefully into one of the bedrooms. It quickly becomes apparent that this is an upstairs bedroom, since it is one Viviana wanted, and she already informed everyone that she wanted an upstairs room. She gets into an argument with a couple of the guys who are shown laughing at her. Melisande (there’s a grave or an acute in there somewhere, but who has the time?) - who looks a little like a young pre-Chris Martin Gwyneth Paltrow - walks into the room, gives her opinion saying the guys got there first, then quickly backs out of the room before Viviana either slaps her or stabs her. Wise move.
Viviana then mildly sticks her tongue out at the guys and leaves. Jared then confessionals that they were only messing and would of course have given up the room. It doesn’t look like they did, though.
Now the crew are off to acting class, which will be the studio of someone named Howard Fine. Fine is a legend in the acting profession for training such highly-regarded thespians such as Brad Pitt, Selma Hayek and Denise Richards. Howard, who looks a little like Mike Meyers, only uglier, is going to be the contestants’ acting coach for the remainder of the season. Once everyone is seated, he runs us and them through his scheme to break their sanity by having them access their most harrowing memories - associated with an artifact he had them bring along - and try and be as traumatized by the memories as possible. We see Jeanne weeping over a baby she put up for adoption, and House weeping copiously and silently over something that isn’t very well explained. Something about a friend going through a door that he, House, didn’t want him to go through. Perhaps it was a door into movie theater showing Drew Barrymore’s “Never Been Kissed”. And the weep-fest doesn’t stop there. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, viewing-wise, they show shots of the rest of the contestants crying like they were watching G.W. Bush being re-inaugurated. The whole thing left me feeling queasy, like I’d followed the example of Morgan Spurlock and eaten nothing but MacDonald’s for a month.
Anyway, Howard Fine tries to bring House back to the real world and finally succeeds after about twenty calls of ‘House’. He then goes on to brak about how actors can use their pain to create. If my experience of that scene is any guide, this process is especially good for creating more pain, among a lot more people.
Howard claims that everyone participated in the exercise very well, but that House and Jeanne stood out. They are therefore each awarded one of the two ‘casting cards’ that will allow them to pick their cast mates in the up-coming ‘Special Ops’ screen test.
We’re now back at the house, and, after Jared utters his customary inanity about proceedings (“This scene - Special Ops - is awesome”) we see House pick John, and Jeanne picks Melisande. The final teams after the process (mercifully not shown) are:
Team Alpha: House, John, Sean, Mark, Viviana, Linda, and Santino
Team Bravo: Jeanne, Melisande, Corinne, Mae, Greg, Somere, and Jared.
Santino talks about how the casting process was a bunch of crap. He says, among other things, “It’s what you bring to that character and bring it to life that I’m being judged on. Not whose team I’m on.” And not how well he speaks English. Unless he means it, and he really is going to be judged on how the cameraman filming him acts. That would be a little weird, but from the evidence in the trailers and title sequences shown so far, I’m betting that the cameraman would do a better job than any of the contestants.
It’s been a few minutes since we last heard of her, so now it’s time to catch up with Viviana again. Melisande tells us that Jared and the aforementioned harpy had an argument (pause) over a stool. She delivers that line pretty well.
Jared, to Viviana: “Don’t speak to me unless -“
Viviana: “I will speak to you, because you were very rude to me.”
Viviana then does a confessional that is truly scary in its mind-boggling insanity. She says: “Don’t blow your nose on me, ‘cause I’m Pinochio. I can take my nose and stick it up you’re a$$”. I know it’s no use to try and make sense of this, but aren’t people supposed to like that kind of thing? But at least she has the decency to apologize for her stupidity. She follows the Pinochio statement with a wave of the hand and an “I’m sorry.”
Viviana is then shown energetically demonstrating to Jared how to move a metal stool around a room. Jared appears to know how to do this already, and walks away. Linda is given the opportunity to say “I was embarrassed for her”, and then we’re back with Viviana, who is continuing her streak of lunacy. She is engaged in a soliloquy about the proper placement of the stool, and follows that discourse with the statement - apparently out of nowhere, as far as I could make out - “You’re an a$$hole”.
Next up, it’s Corinne’s turn to comment on the center of attention. She says, “At first we thought she was just having a bad day, (this may be code for something) but she doesn’t seem to be motivated by one specific thing.”
Back to Viviana, who is saying. “You guys are confusing my beauty with weakness.” And it seems Viviana’s confusing her bovine, fleshy face with beauty.
Against all the evidence, Viv in confessional says, “I’m a sweet person.” How she came up with this startling theory is not explained before she goes on, “But don’t mess with the tail. You step on my tail...” At that point she puts on a snarly face and growls, with her hands shaped into claws. She is only marginally more scary than normal.
Commercials! Thank God. Three minutes I don’t have to summarize.
Back from commercial, and Mae tells the camera that she and the others were taken to firearms training. Through the magic of editing, the next thing we see is the contestants grouped around a couple of plump Citizen's Militia-types named Scott Reitz and Brett McQueen. They are employed by the grandiosely-named 'International Tactical Training Seminars'. They teach tactics, huh? Scott, the male half of the team, tells the contestants the bona-fides of ITTS - they trained George Clooney, Benecio Del Torro, and J. Lo 'How to look good on screen'. That's strange. At least two of those people would look good after a fall into a chemical toilet. What training would they need?
Scott's agenda for the cast members is a little more ambitious. He says, ”We're going to teach you how to look good, how to work with weapons, and how to be safe. Then the rush comes, and he starts yelling at the contestants to get the hell out of his face. They run away in terror, urged on by his frenzied yelling of the word 'Go'.
It turns out that the cast members ran off to some shade under a tarp, where Scott, now calm again, tells them that if they make one mistake during the exercise, they're off. You have to assume he means off the exercise, but as we'll see, that interpretation seems not to hold water later on.
There is a montage of people squinting and firing guns, then we have a shot of Viviana seeming to slap House's butt. At the same time she drops her gun to the ground. Now let's count that up. That would be one mistake, right?
Unhappily for literally everyone, Viviana is not carted off to face justice. Instead we're shown a clip of Greg saying it was scary to be around her. And that's different to other times how?
John: "I don't want to be within three feet of Viviana when she's holding any sort of firearm." Apparently he thinks that being shot from a range above three feet won't cause you much harm.
The next scene is Scott - who at this stage is getting nearly as much air time as Viviana - introducing the 'Netzero High Speed Challenge', which is subsequently shown to involve driving around in a Humvee while shooting guns at random, all the while yelling 'Go!' at each other. Scott says that Seals - I think he said Navy Seals - do the exercise in 10 seconds. The Bravo team of five women and two men do it in 20. Then the Alpha team of five men, a woman, and Viviana take thirty. Viviana is shown making another hash of holding her gun, despite the fact that the organizers have by now deputized an employee to keep a permanent grip of her forearms to prevent just this kind of thing. That would be, umm, 1.. 2... mistakes by the dark-haired shortass, yet still she is not punished. But at least she leaves the exercise, along with everyone else.
Back at the Palace, the host - whose name escapes me - feels she has to remind the cast members what they're doing here. In case the people chosen for their looks more than their smarts have forgotten, she informs them that they signed up on the show to be an action star. She then introduces them to a tubby dark-haired and bearded person who looks like Joel Silver - for those of us who watched the Matrix DVD Extras. She tells them of some of the movies produced by Joel Silver that he might want to own up to, including 'Die Hard', 'Lethal Weapon', and 'The Matrix movies'. She fails to mention movies like 'Jeckel And Hyde... Together Again', 'Jumpin' Jack Flash', and 'Hudson Hawk'.
Joel then makes a lame speech about how he wanted to meet the cast and welcome them all. Then he runs out of things to say, and backs out of the room saying that he'll meet them again, they'll keep talking, his door is always open, etc, etc. He ends with the exhortation to 'Carry On', then bolts from the room, sweating. Donald Trump this guy's not.
Despite this performance, the cast applaud. Says John, "Meeting Joel Silver sort of elevates it a little bit. This guy's got a hell of a resume." Yes, he does. And it includes 1990's "The Adventures of Ford Fairlane" and 1996's "Bordello Of Blood".
After all that excitement, we are shown members of 'Team Alpha' playing soldier in the room with the pool table. People are hiding behind furniture, pointing their fingers, and making 'Peow, peow!' noises. Then a blondish guy named Sean says that the rehearsal of Alpha company was interesting 'to say the least'. Okay, how about you don't say the least, and tell us something worthwhile, like what happened?
Instead of that, we join an argument already in progress. It is between blond, large-nostrilled Linda and Guess Who.
Viviana: "Don't give me advice. I'm so not talking to you, okay?"
Linda: "I'm trying to help you out."
Sean, in confessional: "I think Viviana held us back in some ways." In some ways? You mean there were ways in which she helped?
Argument over, Linda and Viviana shake hands. Linda starts to apologize. That's too reasonable for Our Viv. She says something close to, "You think you're such a great actress, but I don't think you are." Pleased she has shown how classy she is, she walks away as Linda looks around at everyone else present to check they're firmly on her side. Linda then marches after the little Latino firebrand, but on catching up with her, can't think of anything to do but wave her finger and repeat "That's it!". Well, at least she didn't say "Now it's on," or "Oh no you did'n!"
Commercials, thank G. Before the break, we are shown more clips of Viv Vicious acting out in her usual way. What a mess, we think, wishing that she'd never left her strip club, and that we knew where it was so we could make sure never to go there.
The next day, the fourteen DAWs are awoken at 4:30am and driven to the site of the screen test, which is a field covered with sundry film-making equipment and props. By then it's broad daylight.
Somere: “No one got up thirty minutes ago and set this up.”
Melisande: “No, they're having lunch right now.” On the face of it, this seems to be pretty funny, and I guess we can assume it's still some time before lunch time. But since Melisande is a model, it's possible that it is actually lunch time, and she is vacuously reporting the fact.
The cast are introduced to the director of the day's capers, a Welshman by the sound of him, named Gerry Lively. He braks for a while, but his key phrase is: “Under no circumstances does anyone direct anyone else.” Regardless of why he even said this, he doesn't explicitly exempt himself from this condition, so it appears he's just talked himself out of a job for the day.
Jeanne drones on about mutual dependancy, but this is just to set us up for Viviana's next scene, which begins with her yelling some dumb phrases into a fake radio. Then Gerry Levine - despite his injunction against directors on the set - is then seen telling her “We absolutely have to keep to the script. Don't make up dialog as you go along.”
Viv, in keeping with her Pinochio persona, puts her brown nose into effect. “Yes sir,” she says meekly. This is the one non-histrionic, halfway-sensible thing she says in the entire episode. But we all know someone's gonna pay for this unprecedented timidity.
At lunch, everyone is eating around a large table. As Viviana broods about her public chastisement, the others seem to be having a good time.
And she's off! Abruptly she bolts from the table. But before she goes through the door, she turns and tells the group: "You laugh too loud for me now!"
The people at the table look as embarrassed for her as if she had noisily passed wind. In fact, maybe that's what she did, and the whole 'laughing too loud' thing was just a cover story to get her out the room.
This is followed by Viviana confessional in which she says: “It was bringing something out of me that I didn't want to be...” How damaged do you have to be to be freaked out by the sound of laughter? This chick is more screwed up than Ann Coulter.
For reasons best known to no one, Jared follows Viv. Some one yells, “Jared, leave her alone.” But he takes no notice. He later rationalizes in confessional that he felt bad about the whole stool thing the night before, and felt he had to atone for it. By the stage of the confessional, though, he is repentant about being repentant. “I followed her,” he says. “Like an idiot.”
Back to the Drama:
Jared: “Remember you talked about being a professional?”
Viviana: “I don't give a f**k about being professional right now!”
The key quote from Viv in the same exchange is:
“Don't try to understand me so early, because I'm too complicated for you, okay?”
Oh really? I understood her as soon as I saw the caption 'Nightclub Dancer' next to her name in the opening credits. But I guess Jared may not know her occupation, and may believe her to be a foul-mouthed teacher or deeply unpleasant doctor. He agrees docilely that Viviana is indeed more complicated than he can comprehend, and slinks off.
Some particular low-lights from the screen test filming that follows: Linda decides to introduce an Eastern European accent into the proceedings, and John has problem remembering the line: “What, are you crazy?” Perhaps Linda's sudden transplantation of the scene to Latvia unnerved him.
Santino talks on camera viz. the dropped line: “You gotta be on top of your game all the time,” he says. The implication is that he, Santino was right on top of his game during the screen test. Now, where's that Mark Burnett manual on editing? Hmm, can't find it right now. I guess we'll just have to continue to wonder why this clip was included.
At the end of the 'Special Ops' piece of crap, the 'Director' congratulates the fourteen contestants. He says: “You all did absolutely marvelously. I do not envy the judges. You were all great.”
In common with a lot of Welshmen I've known (and I worked in Wales for five years) he's either a great liar or deeply delusional.
It's time to catch up with Viviana's vivid existence. Back at the house, House confessionals about how Viv cannot 'co-exist'. Then in real time he is seen pouring oil on troubled waters by calling her a coward. "That's all you've been is a coward," he says calmingly. ”Over-dramaticization, and all the (beep), extra (inaudible) is Drama. It's good for TV, but it's not real.”
Viviana: “It's real to me. Whether you wanna believe it or not is your f**king problem. You meet any of my friends they'll tell you. This is me. This is so me.”
Now there's a shock. Her friends and acquaintances would confirm that she's a #####. House shows a) how much he thinks it's his problem and b) his apparent great sense by saying, brilliantly, “If that's who you are, you gotta work on it.”
Viv responds to that by saying that if she really wanted to shock people, she would have eaten a flower. So all those other times were just incidental, then. She demonstrates eating a flower while House walks disgustedly away. "I don't do that," she says, having done it.
House says in confessional, apropos of nothing: "There's a thin line between greatness and insanity." He adds, "Viviana, meanwhile, is just greatly insane." Well, no, he doesn't - but he should have.
After something like fifteen seconds of scenes of hot-tubbing, it's time once more to catch up with the Vivacious Viv. She is shown packing a suitcase on a balcony within the house. John, looking up from below, wants to know what she's doing up so late. V says she's going home.
A bemused John says, "Aren't we already... home?" Apparently, like Marvin Gaye, wherever John lays his hat is his home.
Viviana in confessional: “I'm going to leave the show. The people around me are feeling threatened by me.” We wonder: But are things any different on the outside? Viv continues: “I probably deserve a call back, but this is escalating into a different level. This is no longer about the Next Action Star, but it's just a fight between people.” Or more accurately, it's a fight between people and Viviana. Anyway, she's gone! And the episode is only three-quarters through. How will they fill the next fifteen minutes?
After the break, it's time for... (Drum role, Trumpets, Discordant orchestral noises as the music grinds to a grating halt) ... Special Ops! The screen test begins. It has been professionally edited, the sound is crisp, and the explosions are spectacular, if pointless. But nothing can disguise the terrible acting. It doesn't help that the script is hackneyed and silly, but the cast - both Alpha and Bravo teams - mouth their words like they're ordering pizza.
We see the three people charged with evaluating the performances of the cast in the 'Mundane Ops' screen test. They watch the screen test, then make inane and contradictory statements, as they consider each of the fourteen contestants in turn. After a particularly egregious bit of bad acting by Linda, the elder gentleman of the two male judges jokes that someone needs to call the acting police. It is a fair comment, but it appears it could have been said about any of the rest of them.
Now we're back with the cast and the Hostess with the Mostest Amount of Mascara. Young Gwyneth comments to camera that “Everyone deserves to be here.” But from the vantage point of this viewer, things appear to be the polar opposite of the way they are in Melisande's world. The job of the judges is tough, all right. But only because they can't send more than one person home. I know the show is underway and cash has been spent on setting the whole thing up and filming episodes and ‘screen tests’, but the golden rule is, when you're in a hole, stop digging. The sad fact is that this turkey is never gonna fly if none of them can act. Even Keano looks like Sir John Geilgud in comparison to this lot. It is unescapable that the producers should just sack everyone right now, disband the crew, return the mansion to whoever they rented it from, return the non-functional cars to whoever they borrowed them from, and apologize for wasting everyone's time.
But what should happen in this world and what does happen seldom co-incide. Witness Ralph Nader. Instead of being sent back to the Labor Exchange, the host is ploughing on. She says, “I have the scripts for your next screen test. It's called 'Leap of Faith', and you will be required to perform a love scene.”
Linda, hearing this, attempts to bite through her lower lip to prevent her crying out in ecstacy right then. It's obvious that she already has her desired partner - or possibly partners - picked out for this so-called 'love scene'.
Now it becomes a little clearer how they'll fill up the remainder of the episode now that Viviana is gone. They can't simply point their cameras in V's direction and watch her self-destruct. Now they'll point their cameras at people talking about Viviana having self-destructed instead.
First the host talks about Viv leaving. Again taking account of the mental powers of the group she is addressing, she leads the cast through the revelation in baby steps, beginning with the observation that some of them may have noticed that their beloved castmate has not been around for the last few hours. She goes on to explain that Viviana had left the show for reasons that were none but her own, and had nothing to do with her being invited to leave because the lawyers were getting nervous she was going to hurt someone.
Jared, our color-commentator on all things Viv: "Viviana was too caught up in her personal demons... I don't know her history... But it's her loss."
She's not gone after all! Or not completely, anyway. Unlike the first six people who 'left the show', Viviana appears still to be alive. Unless this part is like the fake segments of the ex-contestants living in luxury they showed in Shwarzenegger's "The Running Man". Regardless of when it was taped, V says, “This was a learning experience for me. Because I have to come to terms with not caring about what people think or if they like me or not.” Yeah, that was the lesson, all right. It wasn't the one about actually maybe trying to get along with people for once, you moronic, debased screw-up.
Melisande inadvertently lets slip how delighted she is by the departure of Viv by saying, "She was very passionate and talented. I really feel badly that things turned out the way they did, honestly." She would have been about a thousand times more credible if she hadn't added that last 'honestly'.
Finally we get around to the awarding of the scripts of twelve of the thirteen remaining contestants. Corinne is given the chance to show how humble and grounded she is, and how little she understands arithmetic, when she says, “My chances of not getting a call back are the same as everyone else's. One in fourteen.” Um, Corinne? It was two in fourteen, and now it’s one in thirteen.
Meanwhile, Santino is given the chance to show how arrogant and over-confident he is. "I feel very confident," he says. "I think I'll definitely get a call back -" Now where's that Mark Burnett Big Book of Foreshadowing? Damn, I also appeared to have mislaid that as well. Santino continues - “'cause I believe in myself, and I think I did the best of my ability of that scene.” That may have been part of the problem.
The host calls the cast members for the next screen-test over one-by-one, while those remaining uncalled look more and more miserable and pissed off. Somere jumps in with a quick confessional to claim that you can be incredible and still not get a call back, “'cause they were looking for someone specific.” She doesn't mention the more usual case of not getting a call back “'cause you suck.”
Eventually, Linda and Somere are the two last women, while John and Santino are the two remaining guys. The Host then announces that all the calling of the woman across the room one-by-one has just been to mess with their heads. Due to Viviana's departure, no woman will be let go this time. The men are not so lucky, though. John gets the call, Santino is out.
He has a good attitude. Perhaps having divined that this show is more 'Forever Eden' than 'Survivor', Santino is not too broken-up about leaving. After a quick goodbye he's out the door quicker than Bremner out of Iraq. His final words betray a humility and sense not much in evidence up to this point. “I'm so blessed to have been a part of this,” he says. Shame the same can't be said for the audience. He continues, “I might not be the next action star, but if you take this as a learning experience, and what you've gained from this experience, you've already won.” I assume he's talking about himself here rather than addressing the audience, 'cause there ain't any way we the viewers have won - other than in the sense that it's over, and we'll never have to see Viv Vicious again - unless one day we wander unsuspectingly into a club and see a short, dark-haired exotic dancer eating a flower.
Thanks go to imdb.com, and Webby for organising the summary schedules. Cheers!