Reality Check: 'Farm Kings' season ender proves bittersweet for family
September 7, 2013 4:00 AM
Isabella Vosmikova/USA Network
The guys' team == Cameron Tylor Harper, left, DuBois native Chuck Lines, Mikey Benzaia, Moises Ramos, second from right, and Chris Grant, right == took the championship on Monday's finale of "Summer Camp" and will split $250,000. They are shown with host Matt Rogers, fourth from left, and next to him Kyle Kleiboeker, who was voted most valuable camper and won a Jeep.
By Maria Sciullo Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
As Great American Country's "Farm Kings" ended its season Thursday, there was a great deal of self-aware shirtlessness and some real sadness.
The Kings -- mother Lisa and her nine sons and one daughter -- run Freedom Farms in Butler County. They've expanded to include livestock and a larger farm market, but members had expressed a dream to some day also own the nearby Middlesex farm where the kids all grew up.
It's owned by the kids' father, Joseph, and, at the time of filming, was up for sale. But eldest brother Joe realized they wouldn't be able to afford the asking price, which ended the episode on a somber note.
Another brother, Luke, is pondering his chances of getting into medical school. He observes that a middle-class first-generation farm kid might not be what schools are looking for.
But shirtlessness lightens the mood of the episode. Lisa King commandeers a calendar photo shoot and cheerfully harasses her boys into a variety of beefcake shots.
The one exception, she says in planning the months with daughter Bitty: November. It should be all the kids kissing their mom.
"They have to have their shirts on, otherwise it would be weird."
They agree it's kind of weird, anyway.
Elsewhere on reality TV ...
• The geek inherited the Earth, or at least $50,000, when DuBois native Chuck Lines led the guys to the championship in USA's "Summer Camp" finale Monday.
His four bunkmates relied on the Eagle Scout to win two crucial challenges, one of which involved untying knots while suspended 40 feet in the air.
Mr. Lines was referred to as the "sci fi nerd" on the show.
• With three episodes to go on "Breaking Pointe" (The CW, Mondays), anxiety fills the air. Injuries and cracks in personal relationships are making some of the principals squirrelly.
"Cinderella" opens but with glitches. Pittsburgh native Allison DeBona is disappointed when her longtime boyfriend doesn't fly in to watch her dance and once again questions her inclination to leave Ballet West.
• There were tears all around as some teams cracked under pressure and others were able to speak briefly to loved ones via cell phone -- talk about great coverage, they're in the middle of the California wilderness! Satellite, perhaps? -- on "Capture" (The CW, Tuesdays).
Although day 12 of the competition began with Green ally Gold (brothers Chris and Nick Wallace) being chosen as the hunt team, a weird twist gave the captured Red team a chance to become the hunt team.
IUP students/Green team Kareem Dawson and Antoine Burton found themselves in a footrace but were able to outrun the Red team of Rob Anderson and Jacob Kosior. Later, Red captured Gold and the latter was sent home.
• Imagine Tim Gunn making it work on Syfy.
That pretty much sums up the concept behind the fantasy network's upcoming "Camera Ready." A press release promises "10 visionary costume designers will stretch imagination and artistry by competing in challenges to create works of costume art for film, television and music videos."
Hey, it worked very well with special-effects makeup ("Face Off") and to a lesser degree with set design ("Hot Set").
The winner most certainly does not show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week but gets $100,000. The project currently is in development.
• Know your saints and prophets? Can you differentiate between James, son of Alphaeus, and James, son of Zebedee? Then take a crack at trying out for season three of GSN's "The American Bible Challenge."
National auditions begin next Satruday in Cleveland and Charlotte, N.C., with Sept. 28 events in New York and Dallas. Casting sessions are ongoing in Los Angeles through Sept. 29.