Under the Radar

Stars Earn Stripes: Heaven With a .50 Cal

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On this week's Stars Earn Strips, retired Green Beret Grady Powell let us know that his idea of heaven: a hot girl with a .50 cal machine gun, specifically WWE wrestler Eve Torres. Both Grady and Eve played for the winning team this week alongside actor Dean Cain and SEAL memoirist Chris Kyle.

This week's episode felt a lot less solemn, less about "honoring the troops" and more about the fun of blowing up targets. Maybe everyone had settled into filming the show or maybe the machine gun got everyone's adrenalin pumping. It's too bad that didn't really happen much in the first two episodes, because the ratings haven't been what the network was looking for: NBC announced last night at the end of the episode that they're combining the last two episodes and finishing up the series next Monday night.

Nick Lachey's strategy of dragging his team down so he can survive by winning the elimination shootout works again this week. Still, it's pretty obvious that the final winner is probably going to be Todd Palin or Eve Torres with an outside shot for Dean Cain, who seems to be doing just enough to get by and waiting in the weeds for other players to screw up.

We've been trying to nail down an interview with one of the operatives on the show, but we suspect that NBC publicity has pulled the plug and we're not going to get anything out of them at this point.

Our commenters inspired a little research this week. Haters on our blog have dismissed Stars Earn Stripes as another Hollywood Liberal product, so that inspired me to do a little background checking on the Stars crew. My own experience suggests that most people who work in entertainment are way more concerned with their own employment than politics and that most show biz folks are uncomfortable when Sean Penn or Charlton Heston start running their mouths.

Executive producer Mark Burnett is a foreigner and executive producer Dick Wolf went to Yale with President George W. Bush and supported his presidency. You can find plenty of attacks on Dick from both the extreme right and the extreme left online, attacks that the guy probably laughs at while he's cashing those Law & Order syndication checks.

Dean Cain has long declared himself to be a Republican, plus he went to Princeton (another first-hand observation: no matter what the media says, the overwhelming majority of people walking around with Ivy League diplomas are pretty conservative). Todd Palin is married to an actual Republican ex-Governor, so let's just ignore all those claims about him being an Alaskan separatist. Nick Lachey has also been public about his support for Republican politicians.

Maybe me Google skills don't match yours, but it seems like Laila Ali, Terry Crews, Picabo Street and Eve Torres have kept politics out of their public profiles. The Biggest Loser trainer Dolvett Quince just might be a Democrat, based on this quote about his friendship with Todd Palin.

So: Stars Earn Stripes has raised some money for military charities, raised some important questions about whether having a career in the arts automatically makes you a lefty and allowed some true American badasses a shot at earning a Hollywood paycheck. One more week to go.

You can watch all of this week's episode below:

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