Today in Tampa Bay Reality TV: Shannon Magrane goes to Vegas and Monica Culpepper survives Survivor
Pity this poor TV critic.
Just about every major reality TV show now airing on television has someone from the Tampa Bay area in the cast, from Survivor and American Idol to The Voice, The Amazing Race, Undercover Boss and, soon enough, America's Got Talent.
Last night was a perfect example of the logistics required to keep track. While Tampa mom and wife of ex-NFL star Monica Culpepper made her network TV debut at 8 p.m. Wednesday with the premiere of Survivor: One World on CBS, Tampa teenager Shannon Magrane (right) was earning a standing ovation from the judges on American Idol for a bluesy, sassy version of "What a Wonderful World" on Fox. (thank goodness for a DVR with two channel tuners)
"What the hell was that?" pop star Jennifer Lopez shouted as Magrane finished up. "you just surprised me. And I don't get surprised very often."
Judging by the previews of tonight's episode, where contestants sing in Las Vegas, Valrico's Jeremy Rosado also moved forward in the competition, though he wasn't shown on camera Wednesday. Both Rosado and Magrane are rumored to be in the show's Top 24 contestants listed after the Las Vegas performances, included on a spoiler website which also revealed Magrane's standing ovation weeks ago.
Meanwhile on Survivor, Culpepper wasn't shown much, as the 18 contestants were evenly divided by gender and separated into two teams living on the same beach. Producers seemed to chose challenges early on which were physical, leaving the women unable to grab enough supplies to start a fire and losing a competition for immunity.
But because a member of their team broke her wrist during the immunity competition and left the game, no one was ejected. Still, host Jeff Probst -- who is aptly named -- prodded the female team to reveal deep personality conflicts and a lack of leadership. It will be interesting to see how producers subvert that equation as the game plays out.
But so far, Tampa Bay viewers have lots of folks to root for -- with the CEO of Tampa-based Checkers fast food restaurants appearing on CBS' Undercover Boss on Friday.