Please keep all discussion of tonight's season finale and subsequent Reunion on this thread until 2 a.n. Eastern, by which time the West Coast will have finished banging their heads against the nearest wall after hearing next season's theme.
And now, the little talk. (99% of you are skipping over to the Reply button.)
How did we get here?
We got here because MB picked up a set of crooked dice and rolled them until the numbers came up the way he wanted -- and then threw out all other results, declaring only the one favorable roll to have counted. Collect all bets, snicker, and get out the door before anyone can call security. Not that it matters, because security never responds.
This is not the most manipulated reality competition on television. Idol walked into first place this year (and made much of the viewership walk away), claiming the top spot from Grodner and her rats. (I never said it had to be well-manipulated.) But this series? Solid third place with an eye on the #2 spot.
Let's face it: the concept was sunk from the start. We all looked at the 'favorites' list and laughed: some with disdain, some because laughter made it hurt less. The fans -- well, we could prove a few of them had at least heard of the show, but there were still recruits in a field of people who hadn't figured out how to play -- or worse, could see one move ahead and exactly that: hi, Sherri -- are you expecting your Twitter account be flooded with meaningless lack of payback? Or no moves ahead while convincing themselves Zero=Day Thirty-Nine, and Reynold, that means you. There was exactly one true fan in this season, and he has six legs, a shell, and a position in the final five.
The idols have turned into a joke -- or at least the hiding of them has: the play was almost always a punchline. The only time someone couldn't find the thing was when they had directions: what flavor of pathetic is that? Might as well spend next fall putting them directly in front of player's faces, as that seems to be the last perpetual blind spot in the game.
The producers lucked into some good moments, yes. We were finally in the position for a double bounce, and while there were ways it could have been more spectacular, let's not complain too much about getting fireworks instead of a meteor shower. Dawn cried a lot, and that's the kind of hysteria you just can't buy at market value. Brenda cried a little and people noticed she existed. Brandon may have gotten the entire Hantz clan thrown off CBS -- after tonight -- at least: we all owe him a debt for that and if you can't send cash, I'm told flaming bags of feces are always welcome. And we can't forget: Phillip was made to shut up for several episodes, which will sadly end tonight and then again when he's brought back for his third season. You know it'll happen. I have said it and MB appears to be doing everything I say, as long as it'll hurt me.
Look, I basically just about came up with next season's theme, okay? I can predict anything as long as it svcks...
When was the last time you trusted a single word out of Jeff's mouth? More than two consecutive seconds of edit? Have you felt that people were not being directed to idols, and have you felt that way in the last three years? Can we get a Reward which doesn't come with payback? How many endurances and soft-toss contests can you stand? And shall we just admit the series has found a tax haven and will never ever leave the Philippines again?
We gained some moments. But the price is so high. Applications? Are dead. Casting? Drama only, taking on parts rather than people. And the game itself... that Idol level of manipulation isn't so far away, is it? MB got there in two seasons before this: Parvati and Rob's last. When you see the next theme and hear the next cast, ask yourself if he's going back to that depth. And who he's going there for.
Two prior seasons (at least) designed for one chosen player to win. Is this three?
It's not much of a game any more. It's not a particularly quality script either.
It's been a long season.
The next one will be longer.
Once more into the breach.