BANTER BLENDER #91: Talking Survivor, Amazing Race with Michelle Collins

What better way to kick off your Memorial Day Weekend than by talking about TV? Michelle Collins ( joins Ben Mandelker ( to talk about the season finales of “Survivor” and “Amazing Race.” Along the way, the two have plenty of tangents, including talks of mishaps at Target and sartorial mistakes at H&M. Definitely load this one up for when you’re stuck in traffic this weekend!

And remember, if you use the promo code banter295 at checkout with, you can get a new .com or domain transfer for just $2.95! Or heck, to make it even easier, just follow this link: Yay savings!

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The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business continued its aforementioned unfinished business this week as the teams continued to trek through Australia. The added twist this time, however, was that the gang had to spend an arduous portion of the leg dressed as silly kangaroos, replete with bouncy shoes. It was really just the producers’ attempt to add some levity to the proceedings and perhaps land a clip on The Soup, and to that end, the ploy looks like it might work. Not gonna lie: I definitely giggled quite a bit at the hapless teams bouncing their way through a rural Australian town. More entertaining to me, however, were the cryptic clues this episode that had teams struggling to find things such as an anchor in Sydney and an intersection in a mining town. The producers seem to have upped the puzzle quotient for these teams, and quite frankly anything that adds to the confusion always leads to fun TV. Continue reading

AMAZING RACE PHOTOCAP: ‘Unfinished Business’ Leaves Us With… Unfinished Business


Based on the miniscule marketing surge behind it, you might not have realized this, but The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business premiered on Sunday with eleven of our most somewhat memorable teams ever. We had some colorful faves like the cowboys (Jett and Cord) and the Harlem Globetrotters (Flight Time & Big Easy). Also returning were Kent (formerly KYNT) and Vyxsin, whose racing career had been previously stalled by a disastrous meltdown (that thankfully gave us one of the best lines of all time: “VYXSIN, STOP THIS CAR RIGHT NOW!!!”). Those silly Goths continue to be amusing, and same goes for screenwriter Mike White whose dad Mel is now seventy and running the race.

Meanwhile, firebrand redheads Jaime and Cara are back, and I can assure you they’re just as high-strung as ever. Joining them are Margie and Luke, who I still don’t love (although, it’s hard not to love Margie’s unflappable love for her son). Then we have a bunch of generic teams: Kisha and Jen? Really? I’m convinced the only reason they got the nod for this season was because of their rivalry with Margie and Luke (and I suppose the whole bladder thing makes for good unfinished business too). Most bizarre of all is the inclusion of Amanda and Kris who barely made an impression beyond simply being very attractive. This is a TV show though, and we always need our eye candy. Too bad they’re already at a massive disadvantage after having incurred an automatic U-Turn at the outset. Why? Well, they were last to finish a silly QANTAS puzzle, and their punishment was to complete both Detour challenges. How did they fare? Well, hard to say…

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Oh Look — Even More TV Banter!

Check it out: yet another episode of “Off Script” where Matt Whitfield and I spent entirely too much time talking about reality TV. Again, we cover The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Atlanta; plus, we talk Survivor, Amazing Race, Top Chef, and then rank our top ten overlooked reality gems. The lists are actually pretty awesome. Hope you enjoy!

CHECK IT OUT: More TV Banter!

About six weeks ago, I posted about a web show I’m hosting, and I’m happy to report that we finally taped a second episode last week. Joining me once again was Matt Whitfield, the Features editor for Yahoo! Entertainment, and just like last time, we spent a good amount of energy talking about The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Beverly Hills, not to mention The A-List: New York, Survivor, and The Amazing Race (among others).

Check out the video above (fast forward a minute or two to get past the music — I don’t know why it was so long). Hope you enjoy!

We’re hoping to record another episode this week; so keep an eye out on this blog or my Twitter for information on how you can watch it live. Plus, there will hopefully be more Banter with Ben & Lisa soon too…

‘Amazing Race’ Gets Medieval On Our Asses


Greatest apologies: I am working on something non-blog related, which means I can’t give The Amazing Race its moment in the spotlight; however, in an effort to get some content up today, I’m posting this photo and an open ended question to the readers: what did you think about the season premiere?

Furthermore, who do you like? Who do you hate? And who do you think will win?

AMAZING RACE PHOTOCAP: Well That Was Anticlimactic


I haven’t done a photocap for The Amazing Race in weeks, but I thought with the finale last night, why not write something up. Stuck with just the cowboys, the brothers, and Miss South California & Co., the hour basically hinged on one thing: make sure that spoiled brat Caite didn’t win. She and her boyfriend Brent (who alleges to be a model, but whose work I can’t imagine extends beyond a Pennysaver ad) have been totally insufferable the entire race, often bickering endlessly and grossly overusing the word “babe,” (often the trademark of the worst teams). Plus, if you’re like me and enjoyed the awfulness of the lesbians, you’re also resentful of the fact that they used the U-Turn on them a few legs ago (but to be fair, that’s just part of the game). Nevertheless, as long as Brent and Caite’s reign of terror came to an embarrassing end, I’d be happy.

Oh, yeah. And as long as those gay brothers didn’t win, that would be nice too. Continue reading



I was bored; so I did a little Amazing Race photocap. So far I’m loving the new season, and even though some people have complained that this batch of racers may constitute the dumbest group of all time, I say that makes it all the better. After all, what’s more fun and unpredictable than watching people with zero survival instincts fumbling their way across the globe? Case in point: the Chilean bus disaster that had ten teams navigating across the country on five buses (at least). You can’t plan for that sort of chaos. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Missed destinations, cows shitting on contestants, ineptitude with stick shifts — it all makes for hilarious yet gripping television. And did I mention playing dress-up with llamas? Yes, The Amazing Race never ceases to entertain.
Pics after the jump…

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The Million Dollar Pee-Pee


What would you do for a million dollars? Eat a starfish? Run around a foreign country in drag? Piss your pants? Clearly we found the answer to that question on last night’s episode of The Amazing Race where (SPOILER ALERT) Jen and Kisha were eliminated in the most boneheaded and memorable of ways. Yes, with a shot at a million dollars on the line, Jen and Kisha opted to squander their miniscule lead over Jamie and Cara by stopping for a bathroom break. This clearly put new meaning (or rather, introduced old meaning) to the term “Pit Stop.” With Jen pissing away her fortunes, the redheaded cheerleader bitches were able to sneak up from behind and claim the last spot in the finals, thus sending the sisters home defeated (yet relieved, we hope). I applaud Jen for seeking to maintain her dignity above all else, but seriously, when you’ve come this far — you gotta pee your pants. Heck, Allison from Big Brother 4 did it during an endurance competition. Or was it June? Either way, urination was had, and it was all in the name of money. Glorious, glorious money. What the HELL was Jen thinking?
What would you have done? Pissed your pants or hit the John?