Well, reality (real reality, not television) caught up to Jeannie Mai, who had to go in for lifesaving throat surgery and was not able to compete this week, thereby knocking her out of the competition. Granted this was a tough way to go, but let’s be honest, “winning” was an absolute sucker bet at any odds. If she wants to continue her reality TV journey, there are more than a few options. Though she might want to avoid anything with “Masked” in the title, as being a Vietnam immigrant is kinda an important part of her story.
The other one out is Crishell Stause, who I’m told wasn’t very good, and…
Okay, cards on the table, folks. My big, big beef with anudda wun bi da dus (as opposed to the myraid middling beefs) is that since someone goes every week, and results, good and bad, never have the tiniest bearing in future weeks (an absolute perversion of a proper last man standing format, as I’ve pointed out in any number of past threads) that means that anyone can go at any time, and as a result, I never have any freaking idea who I should be paying attention to. I’ll spend 1,000 words detailing how much I love/hate this contestant and what his prospects are for the remainder of the contest, boom, gone the next day. I brush off some obvious cannon fodder slob as not worth the time, boom, he goes on a run that would make Cal Ripken Jr. blush. I’m sick and tired of this. Zigging when I should’ve zagged, rushing into blind alleys, getting rug after rug after rug pulled out from under me. I’ve had enough. I’m done.
Quick notes on the remaining contestants, and then I’ll be back at the end if anyone still has any interest.
Kaitlyn Bristowe (The Bachelor/The Bachelorette contestant) - Underestimate an ABC reality star at your peril; there’s a reason the smart money was on Hannah Brown last season. The between-the-legs slide was a bit rough, but otherwise she was energetic and graceful and really had a ball out on the floor. All but a lock for the final.
Nev Schulman (reality TV dating guru) - If anyone can prevent a Bachelorette two-fer, he can. The fanbase is there, the charisma is there, he’s lithe, he’s healthy, he’s dialed in. All he really needs to do is avoid tripping over his feet and a finals appearance is in the bag.
Justina Machado (One Day at a Time star) - Confession time…I am loving this gutsy gal’s run. The great thing about having a big woman on this show is that she has to carry her own weight. Remember Stacy Kiebler, how she blasted the socks off of everyone for seven weeks, and then for the freestyle, Tony Dovolani was all LIFT, LIFT, LIFT, LIFT, LIFT, which pretty much killed her chances right there? I hated that. But with a heavy woman, the pro can’t drag her over the floor and lift her here there and everywhere; he’d throw his back out. The question is if the contestant has the energy, drive, and skill to carry her own weight, and I’m glad to say that Machado has brought it in spades week after week. I have no idea how much the fans love her or if she really has a shot at the final, I just want her to keep shaking her everything and go as far as she humanly can.
Nelly (rapper) - He’s the one who did Hot In Here, right? He’s this season’s obligatory no-hope-scrub-who-maddeingly-lasts-weeks-longer-than-he-should, and now that he has an Acceptable Story, it’s just got even harder to get rid of him. Still, at least he’s trying, which is more than I can say for Master P, so I’m cool as long as he doesn’t win it all. Which he won’t. I’m fairly confident of that.
Skai Jackson (former Disney actress) - Kiddie TV has-beens haven’t had a great track record here, and for good reason. Tastes change drastically on the cusp of adulthood. “So five minutes ago” is a very real thing (I’ve been there), and a rabid fan one day can be an indifferent stranger the next. She’s outlasted the contestants she was supposed to, but every week she looks more like a girl playing a woman’s game. The relentless anudda wun bi da dus machine has her number; it’s just a matter of when.
Johnny Weir (figure skating medallist) - Honestly, I’m still not quite sure what to make of him. It’s like he’s trying to be this pretty, delicate little flower and just doesn’t have the physical chops to pull it off anymore. He’ll almost certainly have to sneak into the final.
A.J. McLean (Backstreet Boys) - Whoa. All this arglebargle about girly this and don’t play their own instruments that, and it turns out boy banders can be just as messed up as rock stars. He’ll never have to worry about having fans, obviously. The important thing is that he has to remember that he’s starting from zero every week and he can’t let up. The moment he gets injured or fatigue sets in, he’s done. If he can keep up the pace, there’s no reason not to consider him a favorite.