Reality Check: 'Big Brain' contestants weather challenges

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On this week's episode of "The Big Brain Theory: Pure Genius" (Discovery, Wednesdays), the eight remaining contestants were treated to a display of wind, fire and water destroying a little playhouse and some Costco-esque patio furniture.

With such havoc in mind, they were instructed to devise a portable shelter that could hold one person while withstanding said elements.

Oh, and it had to fit inside a large duffle bag and be capable of deploying within five minutes.

Blue team captain Alison Wong was open to all suggestions, and thus unfocused, the group frittered away valuable time. "Wrangling engineers is like herding cats," noted Blue team member Tom Johnson.

The Red team was more direct, going with a segmented cone design from the start. While things did not run entirely smoothly -- as with previous challenges, West Virginia native Dan Moyers had a few skirmishes with teammates -- Red accomplished two goals to Blue's one (neither team's design withstood a cannon blast of water), and it was goodbye, Alison.

Family's fame game

Fifteen minutes of fame? A new show predicts it can make one family "Famous in 12."

Actually, it's 12 weeks. If you've ever wondered what makes the extended Kardashian clan worthy of the spotlight, this is not the show for you.

TMZ is behind the production, which seeks to take one presumably unknown family and challenge it to do the kind of things that are a staple of the "Real Housewives"/"Kardashian" universe.

The family will hang out at big events, maybe spend hundreds of dollars buying underwear at pricey boutiques, and, possibly, one member might even get involved with Taylor Swift. (We are making this up, although in truth, the show will "challenge" family members to live the celeb lifestyle and faithfully record all of it via social media.)

This is a pass/fail competition. If the family does NOT live up to fame-grabbing expectations, it will sink back into obscurity.

"Famous in 12" will air in mid-2014 on the CW.


Maria Sciullo: or 412-263-1478 or @MariaSciulloPG.


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