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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 10, 2005 - 07:35 am:   

Normally I support anything to do with combat sports, but I stop short at this travesty of a reality show. First of all, it's apparenttly rigged. The boxer knocked out on the first show, previously undefeated Peter Manfredo, the NABO champ, is according to inforned sources allowed back on the show and makes it to the final. Ridiculous. You gotta love it. A show about boxing and it's fixed. Secondly....Tommy Gallagher, the so-called "coach." I know Tommy Gallagher from NY, He's the sleaziest guy in boxing. He trained a Russian cruiserweight contender who disappeared--Tommy was interrogated over his (Tommy's) connections with the Russian mob in relation to this and Tommy took the fifth. I thought he was dead. It was out on the street that Tommy stole money from Sonnny Franchese, a mafoso who has long been involved in boxing--that kind of crime generally gets you dead and Tommy did disappear for a while. The only reason I can think of now that he's surfaced is that he's using his salary to pay back Franchese. Why Mark Brunet, the show's creator, is dealing with Gallagher, I have no idea. All he does is yell stupid shit at the boxers, while a bunch of anonymous black and Mexican guys do the real training...and he's a giant sleazebag. Like my pal, Michael Dailey, who writes for the Daily News, said on meeting him, Never trust an Irish guy who dresses like a guinea (pork pie hat, gold chains, etc,)


Okay, now I'm gone...really. :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, March 10, 2005 - 07:46 am:   

Yeah, next thing you know, Burnett will be structuring a reality show around an insider trader/perjurer who's done time.

Doh!!!! :-)
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Minz
Posted on Thursday, March 10, 2005 - 09:54 am:   

Even from a relative layman's POV, I was wondering how Gallagher was the trainer--he didn't do dick. Not to mention shouldn't there be TWO head trainers, one for each team.

I also wish they would've spent more time showing the whole fight, and less on watching the reactions (some reaction shots were fine, but too little was seen of the fight).

I'll be disappointed if Lucius is right and they bring Manfredo back. He looked like the man to beat from the sparring sessions, but hats off to 'Phonso, who whipped out his balls and then backed it up and beat Fredo's ass. And, all things being equal, it was a pretty good fight. Fredo really rebounded in the second round, but Phonso took care of business and finished him off. I found myself enjoying the show. Too bad there's typical Hollywood BS (poser like Gallagher, artificial manipulation in bringing 'fredo back, etc). But I'll probably keep watching because it is interesting, and I don't get much of a boxing fix otherwise, mostly because I'm too cheap and too much of a homebody to spend the money & time it'd take to really follow the sweet science.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, March 10, 2005 - 10:49 am:   

The "bringing ousted contestant back to affect the outcome" schtick is sort of a Burnett trademark. They started doing it with the "juries" on Survivor, then I think they threw Omorosa back into the mix just for grins on "The Apprentice." I doubt that Burnett even understood how pithy the Manfredo move was as a comment on the state of boxing. He's just a guy who recycles ideas.
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Duane
Posted on Thursday, March 10, 2005 - 03:52 pm:   

A rich guy who recycles ideas.
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Duane
Posted on Thursday, March 10, 2005 - 03:55 pm:   

Hey, I'm gonna give it a chance. One episode does not a flop make, even though the ratings were terrible. At least there's something real about it--the contestants do fight.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 06:55 am:   

I watched the last half last night and got strangely into it. This guy Jesse got to pick who he would fight and went out of his way to pick the toughest guy, then beat him.

The calibre of fighting is definitely better than the Oscar boxing show, and the fights are edited to at least let you see the guys mix it up.

I'll probably watch again, even if it is Mark Burnett.
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Minz
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 08:18 am:   

I agree, Dave. I thought the fight looked good. But I wish we could've seen the whole fight--too many crowd shots, and you couldn't tell how much was edited out. The rounds all seemed short. I understand that probably took out some of the lulls of the fight, but I'd rather have seen the whole thing, just using the editing to maximize the right camera angle, etc. (The quick cut-outs to cheering teammates were okay but in truth could've been captured with better use of camera while still showing the fight. The only good cutaway was showing Jesse's father providing advice during the fight--and damn good advice as fas as I could tell.) For this show, the battle at the end is a much bigger showcase than just another session of voting somebody out.
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Duane
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 08:32 am:   

It was the same plot as the first show. Weak guy picks tough guy and beats him. And if they're gonna show crowd reaction, don't you think they should avoid repeating them? Sixteen weeks of watching Sly half-stand and lurch sideways while gaping will get old. I'm about through with it.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 08:53 am:   

I agree, too many reaction shots that got in the way of the fighting, which was actually sort of compelling.

I also thought some of the reaction stuff looked fake, either hammed up (Sugar Ray making pop-eyes every time somebody landed a punch) or staged, like when Jesse landed a big uppercut and they cut to Leonard in the audience, miming an uppercut.

Also, it seems kind of a waste to truck Jimmy Caan in for the fight and not use him for anything but a celebrity extra. Him, I would have liked to see more of (although not Burt Young or Tony Danza).
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Duane
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 09:18 am:   

LOOKED fake??? :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 10:57 am:   

Well, I'm trying to be nice here...
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Duane
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 11:11 am:   

Why?
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 11:22 am:   

Very good question, and one that I am asking myself more often each day...:-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, April 15, 2005 - 01:37 pm:   

At last, the Powers That Be have seen enough reality TV. The IRS got Capone; can they end this scourge, too?

Reality TV winners get tax reality check

Having a contractor create your dream home for a television show is great. Then the tax bill comes.
April 15, 2005: 2:48 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Some reality television winners apparently got a brutal reality check this tax season.

Daily Variety reported Friday that families featured on the ABC hit show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and Fox's "Renovate My Family" not only are getting their dream homes, but also nightmare tax bills.

One Illinois husband and wife, according to the entertainment industry publication, discovered it owes $529,000 in taxes after Fox-hired contractors tore down their old house and built a new one with special accommodations for their paralyzed son. The renovation aired on Fox this past summer.


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Unexpected tax bills aren't new for reality TV show contestants who receive cash, merchandise or services. "Survivor" winner Richard Hatch, for instance, is being prosecuted for failing to pay taxes on his $1 million in winnings.

And in another highly publicized case, Oprah Winfrey took heat when she gave away free Pontiac G6 cars to 276 members of her daily show audience but didn't cover their tax bills.

The report in Daily Variety, however, said the belated tax bills are becoming serious problems for winners of home renovation and other wish-fulfillment shows now in vogue.

"You can ruin someone's life by giving them everything they want," one Hollywood producer told the trade paper. "If you take a log cabin and replace it with a mansion, there are tax consequences to that."

The tax pain isn't limited to the initial renovation costs. Property taxes, insurance rates and utility bills all could rise too.

The producers of "Extreme Makeover" try to lower contestants' tax bills by leasing their property during the two-week renovation and filming. Those renovations are then usually tax-exempt.

Meanwhile, the producers of "Renovate My Family" told Daily Variety that they cover the tax bill for families on their show.

But the Illinois couple doesn't want the headaches that come with their new house. They want the Fox show producers to buy it, the report said.

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Lucius
Posted on Friday, April 15, 2005 - 02:11 pm:   

I like reality TV. First of all, it gives me something I can put on and keep following while working toward the end of a day when I'm tired. Secondly, reality shows validate my view of human beings and this makes me happy. Thirdly, I liked Japanese TV before it arrived on these shores and it was even better.

That said I don't watch Extreme Makeover (or any of those kind of things, the Bachelor and its clones, etc.), and I could care less what happens to those stupid pudfuckers from weehauken or otomwah-- I think it's funny as hell.

I also no longer watch the contender. :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, April 15, 2005 - 04:25 pm:   

Lucius, I respect your love of reality TV. But the thought of all those smug, flabby, shrieky Oprah housewives waving their car keys around for photographers as if to say "nyah nyah" to America getting hit with a tax bill by the IRS is just too damned funny. Next, they can go after all the crazies who won cruises on Ellen DeGeneres and all those shrews in the audience for the Oprah "My Favorite Things" holiday show. Next stop: awards show gift baskets!!!! [diabolical laughter, sound of Mussorgsky on pipe organ] :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, April 15, 2005 - 05:01 pm:   

I agree --

I like Survivor, The Great Race, and The Apprentice. That's it. Don't do anything else.
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Bruce
Posted on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 02:50 pm:   

The Contender is officially toast as of today...

http://www.cnn.com/2005/SHOWBIZ/TV/05/16/tv.newseason.ap/index.html

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Lucius
Posted on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 04:08 pm:   

Thanks, Bruce. Lasted longer than I figured.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 04:48 pm:   

That having been said, a pretty good fight on Sunday. Much as I loathe unreality TV, I've got to say that these guys are really putting in terrific efforts and appear to be making some good fights. If they just devoted the second half hour of the show to showing the fight straight through, it would have been more worthwhile.
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ben peek
Posted on Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - 05:15 am:   

i saw this interview with stallone on larry king the other day. (channel surfing. it always amuses me to find larry king on telly down here.) anyhow, stallone was talking out contender being canned, and also about one of the boxers who died in it. they were a bit sketchy on the details (i assume he killed himself) but stallone was trying to walk the fine line between 'it was great tv!' and 'it was a tragedy' and not doing a real good job of it. you had this impression that the fellow was just a footnote in a stallone dinner party.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - 05:28 am:   

When Stallone filmed Assassins in Seattle, he attended a private Neil Young show that I also attended, and I was delighted to learn that he was, as advertised, a complete asshole, bossing flunkies around etc, and that he was short enough for me to have comfortably used him for an ashtray... :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - 06:27 am:   

He is starting to get pretty scary looking. Don't know what kind of lifts/peels he's had done, but he's working on that "Joan Rivers" look.
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Minz
Posted on Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - 06:42 am:   

Here's hoping he sinks to Michael Jackson's appearance level.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - 08:05 am:   

Ditto....
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ben peek
Posted on Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - 06:55 pm:   

i don't reckon it'll be far off. dude is fifty nine but looking like that plastic botox smooth fifty nine. anyhow, maybe rambo four will finally be the film that does him out of screen time and i can exist without running across him.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 07:13 pm:   

Word is the Contender will resurface on cable next year. And then there's this....


"THE CONTENDER" KEEPS FIGHTING
>
> MIDDLEWEIGHT STARS TO SET OFF FIREWORKS IN THE RING
> ON




> JULY 5 IN LAS VEGAS
>
>
>
>
> LOS ANGELES, May 25 ˆ Don‚t just look to the sky for
> fireworks this summer, as due to popular demand,
> Contender Partners will keep the Independence Day
> holiday going on Tuesday, July 5, with a spectacular
> night of boxing featuring the stars of the reality
> series „The Contender‰. „There is an overwhelming
> demand for this show and these fighters all over the
> world,‰ said Mark Burnett. „We are incredibly
> excited to be able to bring you more championship
> boxing from „The Contender‰ so quickly.‰
>
>
>
> Likely to compete on this card, which will be held
> at a Las Vegas site to be determined, will be the
> final four participants of „The Contender‰: Jesse
> Brinkley, Alfonso Gomez, Peter Manfredo Jr., and
> series champion Sergio Mora. „The Contender‰
> captured the hearts of fans around the country with
> its mix of world-class boxing action and human
> interest stories that took viewers beyond the ring.
> 16 fighters competed for one million dollars and the
> opportunity to fight live in prime time at Caesars
> Palace in Las Vegas, with Sergio Mora outpointing
> Peter Manfredo Jr. on May 24 to win the tournament.
>
>
>
> The live finale of the series finished very strong
> in the ratings (based on fast national numbers),
> building to a 4.8 in the key A18-49 rating with a
> total audience of 10 million viewers by the end of
> the stirring seven round battle between Mora and
> Manfredo Jr. that many believe is a Fight of The
> Year candidate. „The excitement generated by these
> fighters has been astounding and a testament to the
> adage that if you give fans quality action with
> world-class fighters, they will come out in droves
> to support it,‰ said Sylvester Stallone. „We‚ve
> watched the birth of the next generation of boxing
> stars this year on „The Contender‰, and July 5 will
> be a night no fight fan will want to miss.‰
>
>
>
> Tickets for the first „Contender‰ show sold-out in a
> mere five minutes, and seats are expected to go fast
> for the second live show featuring these future
> boxing superstars.
>
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 07:06 am:   

I don't have the same negative feelings about the show that some of the hardliners do. I thought some of the fights were pretty entertaining. And you have got to take your hat off to Sly and Sugar Ray for finding a way to resuscitate boxing's image and reintroduce it to network TV. They are using the "reality TV" fad to do what boxing used to be so good at, introducing the mainstream TV audience to up and comers via network exposure. Maybe they will actually rekindle some interest and jump-start a few careers.

Maybe they could actually get some top-ten guys to participate in a round-robin elimination tournament next season. What a concept!

I wondered what they were up to. Sly was harping on the whole "rematch" concept so heavily during the season finale, it was obvious those guys had something up their sleeves.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 07:16 am:   

They've already jump-started two careers. Sergio Mora's and ALphono Gomez. Gomes, especially. As a welter fighting and beating welters, he made a lot of friends. The talk of a rematch is ludicrous. The fight was one-sided and Manfredo was out on his feet at the end. Another round and he'd have been KOed. Credit should go to Mark Brunet, whose idea the show was.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 07:19 am:   

Yeah, Manfredo was pushing his punches, not to mention smothering himself all night. Do you mean a welter fighting and beating middles? I could definitely watch Sergio Mora again...he was a pretty slick boxer, although he could use a little pop.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 07:28 am:   

Yeah, Middles. Mora can win a belt, maybe. And he had more'n enough pop for Manfredo, who did not help himself.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 07:30 am:   

And wasn't Manfredo the guy who won the hour of free coaching from Angelo Dundee? The way he fought off the ropes, it looked instead like Mora had Dundee in his corner!
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T Andrews
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 07:39 am:   

Hello guys. This isn't a thread I've ever stepped into, but I've tortured myself watching this show and thought I'd spew a few things.

1. Manfredo never should've been let back on after losing in the first match. Not fair.
2. Manfredo's wife, with potentially-traumatized babe clinging to hip, screaming like a harpy, should take up boxing herself. Why do these guys let their kids see them get busted up?
3. Sly is gross. Don't older guys get it? Dyeing your hair jet black makes ya look OLDER. A little salt and pepper would be much better. He's a nob.
4. So many continuity errors...Sugar Ray shakes fighters hand pre-fight while wearing grey suit; is seen in stands minutes later in navy suit.
5. Sergio Mora was fun to watch against Manfredo. I know nothing about fighting, but I think he's great. I liked his asides to Manfredo's corner. I liked the lick of the glove before he delivered at the end. He's got fire. His first post-fight words were classy.

Thanks. I'll now return to my usual haunts...:-)
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 08:27 am:   

T, What was your take on Gomez?

Mora was cool.

You know, the kid thing, I've been to cards at casinos and you see boxers' kids crawling over the chairs in the audience, and they don't seem traumatized. What traumatized the kids on Contender, IMO, was the lights and the cameras focused on them. In a real life setting, I've never seen a kid act traumatized no matter how bad daddys getting beat.
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Minz
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 08:43 am:   

'Phonso is the bomb, and I doubt I'da ever heard of him without this show. Dave's got the right of it; they deserve some credit for getting boxing back on TV. Hopefully season 2 will clean up the shortcomings and annoyances. Plenty of nits to pick, but let's not burn the forest, just prune and trim the trees.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 09:32 am:   

I had not realized Fonzie was a welter, but it explains why he always seemed smaller than the other guys. The guy must have some stones to step in with guys so much larger.

The all-time kid-trauma champ is a wrestling doc called BEYOND THE MAT, in which the kids of Mick Foley (renowned for his ability to soak up insane abuse) go nuts watching their dad get pummelled. I imagine how cool boxers' kids are probably depends on how much they are immersed in the sport and gym culture. A kid who is around the gym a lot probably thinks fighting is perfectly normal. I wouldn't be surprised if the producers take steps to "encourage" displays of angst in the audience. Good TV, don'tcha know...
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T Andrews
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 09:50 am:   

Alphonso was my favourite from day one. Quiet, sharp-witted and ballsy. I missed a few fights, including the one he lost to Manfredo. I think they're available to view online, though.

Lucius, I'll take your word on the kids surviving with their psyche intact. As Dave just pointed out, I suppose it's all relative.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 10:13 am:   

T, Dave made the point--most of these kids have been in the gymn since they were in diapers, and watching Daddy (or mommy) take a shot has lost its effect.


Yeah, Alphonso is going to be a star. Imagine the stones it takes to challenge a world-ranked middleweight his first fight at the weight. He's a serioulsy good welterweight once he gets back down ib weight, He almost killed Brinkley with those liver shots. But I betcha he has a future in the movies--he's gonna get some work outta this.

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