This one is going to ramble a bit, so hang in there and I'll get to the point eventually.
I didn't watch much of the Junos Sunday night because, quite frankly, the first hour didn't wow me that much. When I first flipped over to the channel there was a band screaming at me. Now, I like to think at 37 I'm not that old and that I still have fairly decent, open-minded and diverse musical taste. But let's be candid here, the band was screaming at me. I've heard other bands scream at me, and they can be entertaining done in the right context. But no, I had a Canadian band (I think it was Alexisonfire) screaming at me in a rather boring, unoriginal and irritating way. A way that says "We are too cool for fucking words, standing up here screaming at you, suckers."
So I flipped that station. Came back a short while later and Nelly Furtado was accepting an award. I've always thought it was tacky to have the host of the show be nominated for a single award, let alone the small farm that Furtado was nominated for on Sunday. The speech was boring, flipped away.
Flip back, Furtado was doing some kind of pre-taped segment that was supposed to be funny. It was awkward and dull. Flipped away.
Came back again and there's the Tragically Hip mutilating a song. I mean, there are no other words for it. I like the Hip quite a bit, but they were clearly butchering something hideous. Become exceedingly depressed watching the Hip suck, and flip over to the Amazing Race All-Stars on CBS. There was a racket last week about how CTV (which airs the show in Canada) was considering tape-delaying the Junos and showing the Amazing Race first because it is a much bigger rating draw than the awards show. Guilt and fury from the Canadian music industry caused them to change their mind.
Given the ratings the Junos received perhaps they should have considered sticking with the original plan. It might also tip them off that next year's show should not have yelly people, sucky Hip songs or be in Saskatchewan.
But anyway, I flipped over to the Race at 8 p.m. I haven't been following the show as closely since Rob/Amber got eliminated. Plus, a list of who gets eliminated next leaked online and it's been spot-on. Let's just say that every aggravating and annoying team in the race is right there to the finish. The thought of watching some of those teams for weeks on end fills me with a deep and abiding loathing.
Still, in a toss-up between the aggravation of the Junos and the horror of some of the Race contestants, horror won out. Besides, just because you know how it's going to end, doesn't mean it's not interesting to see how the got there.
So the Racers go to Poland and one of the stops is Auschwitz. Now, just looking at it on TV gets me a bit emotional. Going there would probably devastate me. Going there in the middle of the night would quite possibly leave me a wreck unable to function for several days. This doesn't make me a wuss. It makes me a normal human being.
I'm not criticizing how the players handled that. However, if you were the producers and you're zipping around Poland and you've just done Auschwitz, how would you follow that up? I have no idea, but may I humbly suggest that a big sausage eating contest might not be the way to go. Especially when you have a scene where a beauty queen and a little person get to vomit all that sausage back up in order to make room for more. All the while everyone is making suggestive remarks about how hard it is to consume two feet of meat. I'm not 12 years old and seeing sexual innuendo in innocuous things. You'd have to be an idiot not to catch on, it was that blatant.
If you think it can't get any more tactless than that, how about the final challenge where people have to dress up in a suit of armor and lead a horse to the final pit stop. And once again, the little person is in armor (and likely still sick from eating and puking all the sausage) and does not one, but two, face plants.
Dear lord. I mean it, dear lord. The sausage and the face plants would have been bad enough on their own, but right after Auschwitz? Somebody needs a smack in the head for that bit of programming. You hate to say it's a new low for reality TV programming because, really, there have been so many lows over the years. But that episode of the Race might deserve a place in the Reality Show Hall of Infamy.
When it got to be a bit too much, I occasionally flipped back to see if there was anything still going on at the Junos. Sadly, I appeared to have missed the couple sitting in a convertible in the front. What couple, you might ask? This one.
Now, let's say this is all a big misunderstanding on everyone's behalf. As soon as Farley Flex says they've won the car, that's game over for CTV. Dock it from Flex's pay if you must, but you have to give that couple a car. Going up to them later and saying "ooops, sorry but Farley made a mistake, you didn't actually win this shiny new convertible that we're making you sit in" is a bit too late. Because you know they're not going to be happy. And you know they're going to talk to the media and complain.
Besides, someone clearly didn't crunch the numbers. A Solstice is about $27,000 to buy. There are going to lawyers involved in this now. Plus, there are the heaps of bad publicity that CTV and likely GM are going to get over this. I guarantee you that adds up to more than $27,000. If someone was clever, they'd find out how much the goodies in the loot bags that all the performers and presents receive costs. If it's more than $27,000 each, and I'll bet it is, then it's going to start looking really bad. "We'll give the pampered rock stars gifts, but not you lowly people."
Look, bite the bullet and give them the damn car (I'd pick yellow as a colour). Sure it'll be painful for the suits. But hey, it could have been worse. They could have watched a little person puke sausage and then doing a face plant in a suit of armour.