Thursday, July 30, 2009

"I Survived a Japanese Game Show" - July 29, 2009 episode

So, I realized that I'd been posting these summaries too early, not leaving enough time for the video clips to go up on the site. So, now we're back to having screen capture pictures!

Picking up at the end of last week's show, Dan had just survived the elimination round. Remember the part where I said he was slamming into the wall trying to get the balls up the dragon's nose? Yeah, well, I wasn't kidding. He had a couple of really nasty bruises to show for it, and he was really sore generally too, it seemed.

The next day, the contestants were lounging around at home when the phone rang. Mama-San picked it up, and it was a surprise call from Rome, who told them that the Green Tigers had to pick one member to go over to the Red Robots to even up the teams. The Green Tigers went into seclusion to decide. Smartly enough, they did not in fact send Cathy back over. Both Cathy and Brent expressed the desire for either Linda or Megan to go. Linda said she didn't want to go, so Megan volunteered to switch teams.

Game time!

For the first game, the contestants were dressed in kitty costumes with funny noses and ears, and each also had a big bowl strapped to the top of their head.

Rome went to the Green Tigers' room to see who was being switched over, and he was told it would be Megan. He then opened the door to the Red Robots' room and brought Megan over with him so she could join Dan and Justin. Dan was not at all happy to have Megan on his team because he said she was loud, but Justin was fine with having her - he just didn't know if she'd help their team. Justin and Dan had wanted either Cathy or Brent.

The first game was called "Sour Milk For Kitty". Each of the three team members stood on descending steps that vibrated. The person at the top step had to ladle curdled milk (with chunks and all) into the bowl on his/her head, and then that person had to transfer the contents (pretty much by tipping the head backward) into the bowl of the second person, who then had to transfer the milk to the third person, who then had to get the milk in a bucket. The team with the most milk in the bucket in the allotted time won the game and an advantage for the second game. I was surprised that it was just vibrating steps rather than the spinning discs, but I guess they figured the game was hard enough as it was. The husband also pointed out that with the spinning discs, they'd probably fall off the steps, which would be bad.

The Red Robots went first, with Justin on the top step, Dan in the middle, and Megan at the bottom. Justin and Dan weren't doing very well at coordinating the transfer of milk so Dan was just getting soaked with the sour milk. Ewwwww. Megan was really tall, so she had some difficulty getting the milk from her bowl into the bucket so far below, but she managed to twist herself around quite a bit to accomplish that. The Red Robots were pretty confident in the job they'd done.

The Green Tigers were up next, with Brent at the top, Linda in the middle and Cathy at the bottom. Brent really struggled at first. He was ladling the milk into his bowl, but he didn't seem to realize that he had his head tipped forward, so as he poured in the milk, it just came streaming right back out. Other times, he totally missed and was just basically pouring the milk on his head. The Red Robots were watching this and loving it. Finally, Linda was able to give him directions on what to do since she could see the problem he was having, and he started to get the hang of it, and they were managing to transfer bowlfuls of milk. Cathy also had an easier time getting milk into the bucket because she was shorter, but she also seemed to have mastered a method of flinging her head so that all the milk in her bowl pretty much landed in the bucket.

After both teams had gone, the results were revealed. As in the previous milk challenge, the Green Tigers ended up with about twice as much milk as the Red Robots, so they won the first game.

One thing I did like better about this game was that you couldn't automatically tell how much milk was in the buckets. With the baby bottle game last week, you could see the milk as it accumulated in the bottle, so even before they announced the official results, it was obvious that the Green Tigers had gotten more milk. This time, they did the reveal of the contents of both buckets afterward, so you didn't really know until then who had won.

The contestants then went to get ready for the second game. I wonder if they were given the chance to shower or clean up. I mean, Dan and Brent at least were covered in that sour milk stuff!

Before the second game, Rome introduced Judge Bob to preview the game - and Judge Bob was dressed as Mr. Banana Man! How awesome was that!!!!! (Unfortunately, they didn't have that segment up on the site, so I don't have a screen shot of that. I should be able to get a picture elsewhere at a later time, so I'll try to remember to include that in next week's summary.)

OK, sorry, lost my head there for a minute.

The second game was called "big foot bang bang". Each of the contestants would be dressed as a fruit or a vegetable. Of the three team members, one would be the kicker, and the other two would be the helpers. On the opposing team, one would be the goalie, and the other two would control him/her. The kicker was hanging from a rope/harness, and he/she had his/her feet in a giant shoe. One team member would place oversize balloons on a tee, and the third team member would push the kicker to kick the balloon into a goal net. Meanwhile, the other team would have a goalie hanging in the front, dressed in a cactus costume. He/she could sort of wave his/her arms around, and the other two team members were on opposite sides of the goal with a pulley system to move the goalie across the front of the goal. Their job was to block the balloons, and the cactus costume had prickly stuff that would pop the balloons upon contact. The goalie really couldn't move much and could really just wave his/her arms a bit. The team with the most goals in the allotted time was the winner.

The Red Robots went first, with Justin in a costume of grapes (and he very much enjoyed playing with two particular grapes that were strategically placed on his chest), Dan was dressed as an apple, and Megan was the kicker, dressed as a carrot. For the Green Tigers, Linda was the goalie in the cactus suit. The Red Robots had a hard time at first, and balloons went everywhere, including one that went squarely into Judge Bob. However, they soon learned the hang of it, and they managed to score two goals before the Green Tigers also got the hang of the defense. Brent and Cathy did a good job of yanking Linda back and forth to block and pop the balloons. The Red Robots ended up with a total of two goals.

For the Green Tigers, Linda was dressed in the grapes, Brent was dressed as an apple, and Cathy was the kicker dressed as a carrot. She made some comment about having been a soccer coach or something, so she was really looking forward to this. For the Red Robots, Dan was the cactus goalie, with Megan and Justin pulling.

Green Tigers ready for action.

Red Robots on the defense.

Since the Green Tigers had won the first game, they had won an advantage - which was one free kick. So, Dan was moved to the side, and the Green Tigers got their free kick - and the balloon went right into Dan's suit and popped. Justin's interview had him making fun of them for failing at the free kick. And then when the game actually started, the Green Tigers got goals from their first 4 (or more) balloons. The Green Tigers kicked the Red Robots' asses. Badly. Severely. Cathy was making goals left and right, literally, and Justin and Megan were completely failing at being able to move Dan around to block anything. Justin was mad because he thought the Green Tigers were rubbing it in, and Cathy was of the attitude that they were going to be in their faces with this win. The Green Tigers scored a total of 12 goals to win the game.

And after the Green Tigers' third goal, I wondered why they didn't stop the game. And I kept wondering that every time they scored another goal and were allowed to keep attempting more goals. As I recall, every other time where the second team or contestant knew what they needed to win, they stopped once they reached that point. Once the Green Tigers had gotten their third goal, the game was over. It didn't matter if they scored 3 or 400 - they still won. Rome made some comment about there being no mercy rule, but I would swear they didn't previously just let them go on. It was like they were just allowing the Green Tigers to humiliate the Red Robots. It was just weird.

Cathy's winning streak remained unbroken, and Megan was worried that she'd be in the elimination game.

For winning, the Green Tigers' reward was to attend a Samurai festival. The next morning, Mama-San dressed each of them in an outfit called a hakama. Justin saw them and commented (to the camera, not to them) that Brent looked even more like Whoopi Goldberg when he was wearing a dress. His obnoxious comments are really getting on my nerves. Wasn't he supposed to be the mastermind or something? Not doing great on your losing team, dude.

The Green Tigers were then taken to where a group of Samurai were, and they watched them demonstrate fighting with swords up close and personal. They were then given their own lesson in learning sword movements, and then they were dressed up in armor and were able to participate in a parade through the streets where they were able to demonstrate their new skills. They loved this experience. I think this has been the coolest reward so far. Hmmm, Cathy's gotten all of the rewards they've had. Wonder which one was her favorite so far?

For the Red Robots, losing again meant another punishment. Their task was to turn bamboo into chopsticks. They started off having to harvest these gigantic bamboo trees. They were massively tall and thick - I had no idea bamboo could grow like that. They had to cut them down and then chop off the smaller branches and then carry the huge bamboo stalks. Because of the hard work, Justin made some derogatory remark about why they needed chopsticks anyway and hadn't they ever heard of forks. Dude. Shut.Up. After that, they had to saw them all into smaller sections and then split them into smaller pieces and then were shown how to basically whittle/carve chopsticks from the bamboo. They were told they had to make 50 chopsticks. Dan ended up doing pretty well, but Justin sucked at it and then, appropriately enough, given the sour milk challenge and his grapes outfit in the second challenge, he expressed sour grapes about how he was ok letting Dan be good at making chopsticks because it didn't matter to him. W.

Dan, Megan, Justin and bamboo harvester dude in the bamboo forest, in the midst of trying to cut down one of the giant bamboo stalks.

Megan struggling with carrying a huge bamboo tree.

Megan sawing off a section of bamboo.

Justin having difficulty making chopsticks out of bamboo.

It then came time for the elimination game. Dan, Justin and Megan talked about who should be in it, but they couldn't come to an agreement, but that's just what Megan wanted. She wanted a stalemate, knowing that the decision would then go to the Green Tigers, and she figured she'd be saved by them. But should she have been so sure of that?

Rome called the Red Robots out on the stage, and for some reason, he kept referring to Megan as his "edamame". Does she know that he's calling her a soybean? And why is she flirting with him and kissing him? Although Rome did say, in Japanese, that she was his girlfriend. Too funny.

The Red Robots did admit to being unable to come to a decision about who would play in the elimination game, so the Green Tigers were called out to decide for them. And, sure enough, they saved Megan and chose Dan and Justin to play in the elimination game. And they were shown their costumes for the game - velcro suits! Yeah!!!!!! I love this game!!!!!

The game was called "You Look Funny Stuck On Wall" and was the same game used for an elimination last year. Each contestant wore a suit with huge strips of velcro on it. There was an outline on a wall of different shapes that a human body could be in, and the contestant had to jump on a trampoline and try to fit their body exactly into the outline. Whoever got the closest to being in the outline won the round, and the person who won four rounds won the game.

Justin wasn't particularly good at first, but Dan was even worse. He said (again) that he'd been homeschooled and had never been on a trampoline before, so he had a really hard time getting the hang of how it worked. Justin won the first two rounds handily before Dan finally figured it out and won a round. For the third round, Dan went first, and then they left him hanging up there and then went to a commercial! The husband and I laughed at that, and he said he thought they did that to someone last year too. Justin ended up doing really well, and he won that round, making it 3 to 1. On the next round, Justin did well, but he had one leg that was really hanging out, so there was a chance for Dan. All of the other contestants were really rooting for Dan. But Dan tanked it, not even coming close to the outline. Justin won his fourth round and the game.

The Sayonara Mob came in to tear Dan off the wall and carry him out.

I really wanted Justin to lose because he's just getting entirely too obnoxious, and I didn't want to have to listen to him anymore. But, that's not to be yet. I think I'm rooting for either Brent or Cathy. I realized that I can't really tell the difference between Linda and Megan, and they're the only ones where I still have to read the chyron to figure out who it is. But I seriously don't want Justin to win.

I'm sorry to see Dan go. He played well, and he survived two elimination games but got sunk on his third. If there was some way that I could actually say something to him, it would go something like this:

Dan, you seem like a really nice guy, but dude, you really have to stop hiding behind the whole homeschooling thing. You're 25 years old. Unless your mother homeschooled you until very recently, you've had years to learn about the world. Just because you had a conservative, religious upbringing and have a set of morals that you live by doesn't mean that you have to be sheltered and completely unaware of the world out there. A co-worker of mine was homeschooled until high school, and she's definitely not sheltered. You might not have known how to really work a trampoline (I've never been on one either, though I get the intellectual idea of how it works), but that has nothing to do with having been homeschooled. Stop using that as an excuse for things. For goodness sake, you work in a library! There's all kinds of information in there. Reading isn't as good as doing, but at least you can be exposed to a lot of things. And don't just stay in your library - get out and experience the world for real. You don't have to do debaucherous things or anything like that. There are plenty of fun and exciting and interesting things to learn about and experience. There's a great big beautiful tomorrow out there!

OK, sorry, lost my head there again.

Best of luck to you, Dan.

Dan Barbour
Willful yet likable, Dan is a librarian who "has an opinion about everything." Whether the topic is politics, movies or the color of the sky, Dan's the type of guy who "always believes he's right, and everyone else is wrong." But don't let his choir boy looks and tendency to blush fool you. This avid poker player is no pushover, and he's not afraid to manipulate a situation to his advantage. This self professed virgin was home schooled and is the product of a conservative, religious upbringing. He never curses, and his favorite phrase is "Oh my word." He'll be the ultimate fish out of water not only in Japan, but also living with the other Americans.
Age: 25
Hometown: Shrewsbury, MA
Occupation: Librarian

They're down to five contestants left now, so I think it would be time to forego the teams and just have individual contests. The challenge next week with the luggage conveyor belt looks awesome!

Oh, and for anyone out there who might know what happens in future episodes, PLEASE, no spoilers of any kind in the comment section, not even little hints or anything like that. I don't want to know *anything* until I see it on the show. Thanks!

Hai, Majide!


Sherry said...

Justin's comment about the chopsticks made me want to stick one up his nose. All the way up. Wouldn't hurt anything, since I think it's hollow up there. I was sorry that he wasn't elminated, because I like Dan, even with the annoying homeschooling excuse thing.

Judge Bob as Bananaman only makes me love this show more. :) BananaBob! YAY!

Dan B said...

So I decided to take a trip down memory lane, and found your post. It's been a few years, but it's still fun to go back and read summaries and watch clips of what was quite an experience. This is Dan from the show and I saw your "message" to me. I made this rule originally to never reply to any comments about me, because I didn't want to give any negative folks (and there were plenty) the satisfaction that I might see the hate they were spreading from the safety of their screennames. Your note wasn't hateful though, and the recap was very well done. I just wanted to respond. Reality show casting folks cast characters, not people. I am far more than just a sheltered kid, now and back then. The editing they did on that show was crazy! They did a great job building a character, but it wasn't exactly me. They would put us in interview rooms (trailers) for hours and hours, and we'd end up saying dumb crap or even lines we were given - it's how a show is made. That trampoline line has come back to bite me so many times! It was fun, I loved the producers, so this isn't an attack on them at all. I just figured now that time has passed (and I'm no longer bound to silence by a contract with ABC!) at least I told someone that these shows, while reality in nature, depict whatever the heck they want. Peace!