Damn it, they've gone and messed-up a GREAT (and one of my favorite) Reality TV Shows!!!!
ABC aired the first episode (of 6) of Celebrity Mole Hawaii. Crap. Good structure, bad implementation. Seven "celebrities" (and I use the term very loosely) in the competition with <shudder> Ahmad Rashad as the host (in place of Anderson Cooper, who is now firmly stationed at CNN, thank you very much. The "celebrities" are Stephen Baldwin (“Usual Suspects”, the only credit for something legitimate), Corbin Bernsen (“L.A. Law” and "Major League"), Michael Boatman (“Spin City” and ""Arli$$), Kim Coles ("In Living Color" and “Living Single”), supermodel Frederique Van Der Wal, Kathy Griffin (“Suddenly Susan”), and Erik von Detten (“Princess Diaries” and another ABC "hit" "Dinotopia"). Ewwww. ( Here's a great quote from Kathy Griffin: "I have gone from 'B-List' to 'D-List,'" she said in an interview. "I skipped 'C' altogether. I jumped right to 'D.'" )
Now, in case you haven't heard, there was a fire December 17th at the Hollywood Center Studios, where the show was being edited. Stone Stanley Entertainment (the production company) had issued a press release just yesterday saying they were able to make the premiere date today!!! (2500 tapes and hundreds of computer hard drives, as well as written logs were completely immersed in 3 feet of murky water used to douse the fire).
The show just doesn't feel right technically. The edits are poor, perhaps because there wasn't enough of recovered footage to make clean, flowing edits. The incidental music feels weird. Maybe they rushed the editing? On top of that, the press release doesn't say anything about the rest of the episodes - are they edited yet? Also, every single commercial break seems to lead with a tease for the next segment which I don't remember the show doing before.
So the first game was called "On The Line". While one player hangs from a zip line 50-feet over a waterfall, the other players must navigate them to buckets placed around the canyon walls. That player must then fill each with water, navigate back and empty its contents into a container counterbalanced with a moneybag that must be raised to win. Stephen Baldwin completes the task quickly. Frederique fails to beat his time, but Michael Boatman succeeds, adding $20,000 of $30,000 possible into the pot. The second game was called "Baa Baa Black Jack" Ahmad, wearing a white cowboy hat, stands behind a blackjack table and deals a hand for himself: a 3 and a queen, totaling 13. The object of the game are for three teams of two to corral 2 of 52 sheep (each marked as a playing card), beating Ahmad's hand. Only Erik von Detten and Frederique succeed in getting two sheep in the pen and win with 19. Because Stephen sat-out, he had a special game: catch "The Mole Sheep" (one wearing the Mole Logo) that is out with the other playing card sheep, and he will double the pot and earn himself an exemption. He does it successfully. Time for dinner and an execution, where we see the familiar Red Thumbprint come up for Kim Coles, and she leaves.
Accomodations Provided by The Fairmont Orchid Hawaii.
I just don't know if I can stomach the bastardization of the show. At least they've kept all of the game elements intact (even the fact that the players keep the money, unheard of in celebrity versions of shows).