Make it or Break it, TV Reviews

Make It or Break It Season 1 Episode 18 – The Great Wall – TV series review

Make It or Break It - Mondays on ABC Family

Make It or Break It team

Okay, the next Make It or Break It episode aired on Monday, February 22, 2010 – Season 1 Episode 18, The Great Wall. In this episode, it seems some time has gone by and the US National Team is that much closer to competing against China in China without Emily or Kaylie. The girls are starting to realize that not going to China could ruin their careers. Sasha has promised them that China will come to them and Sasha is working the girls harder than ever to make them better than ever so they’ll beat China when China comes to the Rock to compete with Kaylie and Emily. The opening scene is Sasha timing the girls from the Rock on a 5 mile run up a hill. As they get to the top of the hill, Kaylie complains about how hard Sasha is working them and as Sasha is explaining this is how you become a champion and that is how Payson got to be at the top before her injury, who should come running up the hill at that moment but none other than Payson! She’s training again. Payson’s back surgery seems to have been a success and she is going to Physical Therapy while doing some training exercises at the Rock. Payson is only waiting on the therapist to give her the go ahead to start doing Gymnastics again.

Sasha Beloff played by Neil Jackon
Yummy Rock Coach Sasha Beloff played by Neil Jackon. I think I watch this show just for glimpses of him

Cut away to Payson’s mom on the phone discussing selling their house because the insurance didn’t cover Payson’s surgery. On top of that, we find out that if the Rock is going to host China, it’s going to cost them around $30, 000 so they need to come up with some cash to cover the cost. The Rock mom’s decide on a Bingo night raffle where half the proceeds go to the winner of the jackpot and the other half goes to the Rock. While the mom’s are deciding this, we are finding out that Sasha hasn’t even invited the Chinese to the Rock yet. He’s waiting on the hope that China will beat the US and then he’ll issue a challenge to the Chinese team – a true competition at the Rock against the better US National team members, the ones the committee held back from the competition in China. Summer is shocked that Sasha would lie to everyone especially after all the plans the Rock moms are making to earn money to host China. As the competition draws nearer, the tension builds. After the US loses, Sasha issues a challenge to the Chinese team during a national press conference, calling out the committee for leaving the National Champion behind and saying that China didn’t get to compete against the real American Dream Team. Now everyone is left waiting for the decision. And now everyone knows that Sasha didn’t have it in the bag for the Chinese to be coming to Rock. Kim is shocked that Summer knew and didn’t say anything, she even implies that something might be going on between Sasha and Summer. While all this drama is going on, the Rock mom’s and other Rock team members find out that Payson’s parents are considering selling their house and the Rock mom’s decide to rig the jackpot so that Payson’s mom wins and maybe the money will be enough to save their home.

Characters Damon and Razor from Make It or Break It
Two of Emily's love interests - Damon (on the left) and (Razor on the right)

To add to the drama, the Bingo night is going to be held at the Pizza Shack where Emily works and technically is not supposed to be working per the Rocks rules but Emily has to work to make ends meet financially at home. In walks the Rock Moms and Kaylie and her brother Leo. If you remember back a couple of episodes, Leo took a shine to Emily. And right now, Emily is not doing too well on the Damon front after he lied to her about his music gig, didn’t call her for a couple of days and then, of course, she found out he was in jail – even better. Emily is dealing with major trust issues and has 3 guys that like her, 2 of which work at the Shack. Razor finally realized that Emily still cares for Damon and is trying to do the good friend thing and step back. Leo, well, he has no loyalty to Damon and is quite happy to be seeing Emily again so when the Rock Mom’s walk into the Shack and Emily freaks out about someone blabbing about her job at the Shack to Sasha, Leo helps Emily out by giving Emily his sweater to hide her work uniform. Damon is eaten with jealously watching Leo flirt with Emily and he’s trying hard to get back into Emily’s good graces and all Emily is trying to do is focus on training and succeeding and getting to the Olympics. Leo, being a gymnast understands what Emily is going through and helps her realize why she’s having trouble landing a higher difficulty vault. Emily hugs Leo for his advice and Damon decides he’s going to stop struggling with his music and get his act together and be the guy that’s right for Emily and heads for the music studio.

The Bingo night is a success and the mom’s pull off rigging the jackpot. While the $10,000 won’t cover all the bills, it’ll help the Keeler’s out. As we’re watching Bingo night unfold, we also are watching Sasha waiting by the phone to find out if the Chinese have accepted the challenge. Just when it looks like Sasha gave up hope and was going to head home, the phone rings and – it’s not the Chinese. It’s the EVIL committee woman calling to tell Sasha he doesn’t stand a chance in hell of the Chinese coming to compete against the Rock. That he’s gone beyond the bounds of committee and there’ll be hell to pay when they get back to the US. Sasha, disappointed, closes up the Rock and heads to his trailer. As he’s walking down the stairs, the phone rings again. This time its the Chinese! They’re coming – POO on you evil committee woman! 🙂

Payson’s therapist okay’s her for starting gymnastics again but she lies to her mother and doesn’t jump right up on the beam. No, this episode actually ends with Payson walking away from the uneven bars, fear evident on her face.

Sasha shares the news about China accepting the invitation to come to the US and compete against the Rock with Summer and well, let’s just say that Kim was right about something going on between these two. How Summer manages to resist him as much as she has is beyond me. I’d be on that like white on rice.

So, we are left wondering will the Rock athletes be up to the challenge against China? Will Payson overcome her fear? Will Summer leave the Rock so Kim can have her job back or will Summer stay for Sasha? There’s more drama to watch and I am looking forward to the next Make It or Break It episode. Hope you’ll watch it with me.

Make it or Break it, TV Reviews

Make it or Break it – Season 1 EP 17 – TV series review

Make It or Break It - Mondays  on ABC Family
Make It or Break It team

Okay, this update will be short and brief since I haven’t finished watching the whole episode but this is when I finally figured out who the Doctor that might be able to fix Payson’s back is – DEANNA TROI from STAR TREK NEXT GENERATION! OMG! Her looks have changed so much and having not seen her in her Blue STNG uniform made it a little harder for me to recognize her in episode 16 – Save the last Dance. What finally made me realize she’s Deanna Troi was her voice! Make it or Break has some really amazing stars from other TV series – Candance Cameron Bure , DJ on Full House, Peri Gilpin , Roz from Frasier and now Marina Sirtis, Deanna Troi from Star Trek Next Generation – its awesome! If you haven’t had a chance to watch this gymnastic drama, try to catch up on the episodes either on HULU or ABC Okay, going to finish watching episode 17 now…


Finished watching Hope and Faith, Season 1 EP 17 and I was RIVETED! It was one of the most dramatic episodes yet. Watching Payson’s mom deal with the guilt of Payson being injured while on her watch was heart wrenching and it finally revealed why this one last hope was something she was so afraid to believe in – Kim, Payson’s mom, didn’t want to risk her daughter getting injured again on her watch if something should go wrong with the surgery.

Kelly Parker in the bathroom after listening in on Lauren and Emily.
A smug Kelly Parker armed with new gossip to hurt team Rock.

To top it all off, we watched our 3 National Team Members, Emily, Kaylie and Lauren deal with trying to get back into the US Olympic team committees good graces after they performed so badly when they had to work with Marty as their National Team coach for the first time. The drama comes to a peak when Kelly Parker, who by the way – the actress is doing an amazing job of making me hate her character – found out about the affair between Kaylies mom and their coach, Marty. She uses this information to strip away at each Rock team members confidence and it works all too well. When Kaylie fails to perform her Double Arabian in the National’s practice meeting and Marty instructs her to take it out of the routine, Kaylie rightfully balks. Marty’s telling her she’s not consistent and has to go with the lower scoring move just moments after Kelly ripped her emotions out from under her by spewing her venom with the knowledge she knows about Kaylies’ mom’s affair. Kelly went one better and implied that Kaylies friends told her all about the affair and, well, truthfully, Kaylie should know better than to trust them because no one really wants to be her friend. So you can bet that Kaylie laid into Marty and let him know she knows about the affair and then Kaylie stormed out of the practice. Sasha tried to go after Kaylie, with Summer following on his heels, but both just missed Kaylie as she pealed out of the parking lot. Sasha turned to Summer and asked her if all of this was just because Marty abandoned the team when they needed him the most and Summer tries to prep Sasha by asking him to keep calm and then she explains it is not because Marty left but why he left. Cut to Sasha storming into the gym and slugging Marty in the kisser. Yea, Sasha.

While all this drama is going on, Lauren is still stewing about Emily’s mom dating her dad. In a stellar Lauren move, Lauren visits Emily’s mom and starts to spin this tale about how Scott, her dad, is a sex addict. It’s amazing how many people underestimate Emily’s mom, Chloe. Lauren didn’t pull any wool over Chloe’s eyes with her tale. Lauren only succeeded in letting Chloe know she knew that Scott and Chloe are seeing each other. Chloe tries to reach Scott right away and of course only gets a call back from him as Chloe’s walking into the Rock on the day of the Nationals practice. While Scott and Chloe are discussing the fact that Lauren knows about them seeing each other and how Chloe had to tell Emily right away because Emily couldn’t find out Lauren knew before Emily did – Emily stormed out of the Rock and overheard the whole conversation.

Angered, Emily huff’s back into the gym and confronts Lauren – more angry that Lauren didn’t tell her about it and that Lauren was fishing around for information. Lauren strikes back with some vicious words about Emily’s mom, her mom’s fashion sense and how strapped for money Emily’s family is and the two girls start shoving each and come pretty close to blows. The argument is broken up by Marty who tells Emily to do her vault and Lauren to chalk up. Emily goes to do her vault routine and misses.

Kelly moves over to the chalk and starts chipping away at Lauren by bringing up that 2 were down and there was one more to go. She gets rather vicious and hits Lauren hard by striking at Lauren’s abandonment by her mother. Lauren’s cool exterior breaks and she flings chalk into Kelly’s eyes. This is when Summer must have finished telling Sasha about Marty and Kaylie’s mom because he comes in swinging. All this drama happens with in the first half hour of the show.

That night Sasha calls the girls back to the gym and assures them the disaster practice will be kept private and that they need to bring their fighting game face the next day for the Committee practice. And the girls do. They hit all their moves and stick their landings but when the time comes to call the National Team Members going to compete in China, Kaylie, the National Champion, and Emily are left home. Lauren is somehow invited. Sasha is stunned. His team performed skills at higher levels than the other girls and they performed them better than the other girls. He confronts the committee woman and finds out it was a rigged practice from the get go. The committee has made up their mind and determined that Sasha’s girls are rouge. She even reveals the committee is well-informed of the fuss that went on at the practice the night before – a practice the committee should know nothing about and blatantly says, the girls didn’t really stand a chance.

Kaylie and Emily are stunned and left wondering why? They worked so hard, performed so well, proven themselves and they were still snubbed. Moments after the revealing conversation with the committee member – read evil witch – Sasha approaches the girls, and to be cliché, he had steam coming out of his ears. The girls ask why and Sasha doesn’t hold back in telling them its a political move and that they were deemed rogue. The girls ask, well what do we next? Sasha tells them, “They think we’re rogue now, they haven’t seen anything yet.”

Payson going in to surgery
Payson moments before she is wheeled into back surgery

The episode ends with Payson being wheeled into surgery after her parents struggled for days with just telling Payson about it and then after telling her, dealing with the potential risks of the surgery and as mentioned earlier, the guilt. We are left wondering how the surgery goes and what the Rock plans next in their bid to compete in China. I am really looking forward to the next new episode. I hope it’s as packed as this one.

Amazing Race 16, TV Reviews

Amazing Race 16 – its Here!

Amazing Race 16 - first road block

So caught most of Amazing Race Sunday 02-14-10 – night and finished it up this Monday, 02-15-10, afternoon. Amazing Race seems to be trying to up their viewership polls because these are not just your average people from Wisconsin running the race this year. We’ve got people from Big Brother, Rodeo brothers, Miss America pageant contestant, Caite Upton, a grandmother that runs marathons, undercover officers mixed in with posh not so rough-and-tough lesbians, a couple of high school sweethearts, and attorney moms along with a few others.

The race starts off with the teams trying to find their way to LAX via public transportation. I found the posh lesbian’s comments rather funny – apparently buses are not the way they roll, lol. The incentive for getting to LAX first was getting on the earlier flight and while the lesbian couple, Brandy and Carol, made it on the faster form of public transportation, they were beat out by 3 other couples once they got to LAX. Those couples were:  Newly dating couple Jordan & Jeff, sweethearts Dana & Adrian and Mom attorneys Monique & Shawne. Brandy and Carol began to hope something delayed the earlier flight- be it Weather or mechanical maintenance and it seems the airline gods were listening  to the couple because the first flight was indeed delayed.

 Thinking they were getting ahead of the pack, cowboys Jet & Cord attempted to exchange their money for Chile dough and was given Brazilian cash. Now all the teams were on the 2 nd flight to Santiago, Chile. Once they get to Santiago, Chile, the teams had to travel to Valparaiso and find Ascensor Villaseca by buses. Jet and Cord tried to get on the bus and found out that Brazilian money does not spend the same as Chilean dough.  As one of the cowboy’s ironically commented, “Apparently, American money spends better in Chile than Brazilian.”

Once the teams arrived at Villaseca, they had to do a revamped version of the high wire act by crossing a 120 ft in the air above a valley  the length of football field on a rather thin clothes-line  wire while hanging on to another clothes-line parallel to the one they stood on. Some teams took to this task and made quick work of it – others had some major difficulty. Once the teams crossed the high wires, they had to take one of Valparaiso’s 120-year old funiculars, the Ascensor Artilleria, down the hillside.  

After that, the teams had to paint the town. Apparently, the salt is so bad in the town that the town actually pays to repair the worn paint to restore the houses. The teams had to select a color of paint and find a matching colored house and fill in a small section with their paint to receive their next clue. A number of the teams had trouble figuring out the houses they were supposed to paint, which were pretty much right on the street near where they collected the paint cans and ladders. Most missed the street because they took the less steeper route in search of their houses. One team even got so lost, they wound up in a residences home that was being renovated and wasn’t even part of the race.  The father and daughter team,  Steve and Allie, provided some humor when they started to paint this persons house and the people actually working in the house showed up and said in the native tongue,  “Look, I don’t even know what they are doing here.” Steve and Allie quickly realized they had the wrong house for painting. Another team, brothers Dan and Jordan, lost a paint brush. So for those of us sitting at home – it’s not as easy as it looks to haul paint cans, brushes and ladders to a house with matching paint and paint the house.

Jordan and Jeff from Big Brother
Jordan and Jeff were the first team to make it to the pit stop

Jordan  and Jeff , Big Brother contestants, were the first to complete the paint the town task and were told by the next clue to:  make their way on foot to the Pit Stop at Palacio Baburizza, a 90-year old chalet.  Jordan and Jeff reached the Pit stop first. Brent and Caite were next but they incurred a 30 minute penalty because they failed to take the funicular down the hillside. Brent and Caite had the unpleasant wait of watching the following five teams come in before their penalty was up:

2.    Monique & Shawne – attorney moms
3.    Jet & Cord – cowboys
4.    Steve & Allie – professional baseball coach and daughter
5.    Joe & Heidi – married couple
6.    Carol & Brandy – lesbians

While team Dan and Jordan would have come in fourth, they did find out that losing the paint brush would incur a penalty and had a 15 minute wait that dropped them down to 8th place.  While all this is going on and team after team after was coming in to the pit stop for this leg of the race – Adrian, poor Adrian, was still trying to cross the high wires. As the final teams arrived, Brent and Caite’s penalty ran out and they snuck in just behind Dan and Jordan in 7th place. As the last 2 teams made it in, it became quite apparent that Adrian and Dana were going to be the first team eliminated from the race. Here is a list of the order the teams as reached the final pit stop for the first leg of the race:

1.    Jordan & Jeff – Big Brother contestants

Dana and Adrain - childhood sweethearts
Dana and Adrian were the first team eliminated

2.    Monique & Shawne – – attorney moms
3.    Jet & Cord – cowboys
4.    Steve & Allie –  professional baseball coach and daughter
5.    Joe & Heidi – married couple
6.    Carol & Brandy – lesbians
7.    Brent & Caite –  Miss America contestant and model
8.    Dan & Jordan – brothers
9.    Michael & Louie – Undercover detectives
10.    Jody & Shannon – marathon grandmother and her granddaughter
11.    Dana & Adrian  – childhood sweethearts  – eliminated

Contestants that have completed 1 roadblock:


Looks like this race is setting up to be tougher and I know, sitting on my couch at home it looks really easy – especially when the camera man is pointing out exactly where the clue is and I haven’t just spent the last 10 hours on a bus or plane – but I hope it pays off and is truly a bit more challenging. Some of these tasks in the past have made me wonder – really? And you’re having trouble with this? Although if there was ever a food challenge where I had to eat star fish – the game would be over for me, lol. So the next race is on – and I am looking forward to it – hope you are too.