TRANSLATION: MEMPHIS: Say 'Cheesy!' 

For those of you that revel in the millennial delight that is reality television, you may or may not have missed your chance to watch Memphis shine last night. Twice in fact.

Oh that’s right--we may be a smaller city, but not too small for Elimidate, the riveting comedy-drama that pits four singles up against one another for the wonderful opportunity to win a date with some swinging single!

Not to mention our wild-card presence Trenyce, on American Idol, which I swear that I don’t make a regular habit of watching. Really.

As I may have mentioned before, reality TV sort of terrifies me. Perhaps I’m too serious, but the idea of the nation’s biggest exhibitionists defining in the public forum what “reality” is supposed to be, or at least lending a marketing campaign to reality is a bit unsettling.

But I think that’s just my academic view.

Because I love to snicker. Isn’t there something about the format of these programs that allows our mean-spirited sides to come out for a minute, as we develop love or hatred for the “real” characters that fill these shows?

Isn’t it sort of a form of new wave therapy, in which we can make ourselves feel better that we aren’t one of “those people?”

Anyhow, Maybe I’m losing my point here. It seems that the format is here to stay, love it or hate it. (Damn those Friends characters for demanding their exorbitant pay hikes. Surely reality TV is a cheaper option for the networks.)

But back to last night. Oh Elimidate, how I love to hate you.

On this particular episode the nation got to watch as four women clawed over a U of M student named Randy whose claim to fame is that he knows how to treat women “like a queen.” He followed that up with the proclamation, “and I’m your king.”

Sounds like my kind of man.

Anyhow, on their date the contestants clawed all over Sir Randy on an evening that included stops at Silky O’Sullivan’s, The Pig on Beale, The Flying Saucer, and finally Raiford’s.

The highlight of the date had to be the series of lap dances and ear-nibbles that were the Flying Saucer portion of the date. Not because of the dances themselves, but more so because of the hilarity of the people in the background--a fine collection of rowdy drunk Memphians hooting and roaring with every one of the girl’s moves.

I also liked one of the girl’s quips at Raiford’s, describing her competitor as “Scary J. Blige.” Nothing like a group of girls dissing one another to make for a fun half-hour of TV.

To be honest, I normally hate Elimidate, but I found my self enjoying it, just because I recognized the landscape. Mr. Raiford himself even had a cameo appearance, getting down on his multi-colored dance floor.

And Randy liked it too I guess, describing the evening as the best date he’s ever been on. A date with four women? Go figure!

If you missed this gem of late night TV, I cry for you. It truly was an enriching experience.

But hey, there’s always re-runs, and maybe you’ll get lucky and Trenyce will make it to the next round on American Idol.

That might speak better for us as a city, anyhow!

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