A reader weighed in on last week's comment about "Survivor" cast members not using their eyeglasses to start fires anymore.
Says Brian: "Regarding ‘Survivor’ and starting a fire with your glasses: The reason why you can't is because you're near-sighted. There are two types of lenses: Concave (thicker on the sides than in the middle) and convex (thicker in the middle than on the sides). Near-sighted people need concave lenses in order to correct their vision and concave lenses make light spread out. Far-sighted people, on the other hand, need convex lenses and convex lenses concentrate light. There are many more near-sighted people than far-sighted people. That said, you'd need a pretty hefty prescription in order to concentrate enough light to start a fire. And for those who are about to bring up "Lord of the Flies" and the use of Piggy, the near-sighted boy's glasses to start a fire, I should point out that that is one of the myriad things the book got wrong."
Let's get to your questions.
Q: Will CBS bring back “Rock Star” with another group looking for a lead singer? In my opinion, it was the best of the reality shows last year and really grows on you week after week. The talent was terrific! I am now a big INXS fan as a result. —Rich, Rockville, MD
A: “Rock Star” is returning this summer. Since last fall — well before CBS’ January announcement that the show would return — there were rumors about which group would use the series to find a lead singer, as INXS did last year. Van Halen was repeatedly mentioned, as was Queen.
Early on, executive producer Mark Burnett suggested that the show might just form a brand new group, and that’s exactly what it’s doing. The new group will be called Supernova, and the show will find its lead singer.
But the band won’t be without star power. Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee, Metallica’s Jason Newsted, and Guns ‘n’ Roses’ Gilby Clarke will form the rest of the group, which will produce an album and tour in 2007. The show airs this summer, but it’s still casting, although time is running out. If you have what it takes to front a group with those four rockers, apply now. —A.D.
Q: On “American Idol” last night I noticed the ending replays of all the performers, some were different then the actual performance we just saw. Example Katharine McPhee, her hair was in front of her shoulders during the main performance but in the ending replay her hair was behind her shoulders. What’s the deal? —Danielle, Modesto, Calif.
This week on “American Idol,” during his final, falsetto note, Ace held his arms out as the camera circled him. But during the “recap” with the numbers for voting, he sang that note with one hand on the mike. How and why were the two performances different? Did they use rehearsal footage of him for the recap? I’ve noticed this before with other contestants in other seasons, and it’s always confused me. —Kate, Michigan
A: Boy, "American Idol" viewers are a sharp-eyed lot. We received numerous variations on this question, and the answer is embarrassingly simple. Yes, FOX tells us that the short montage of all the singers shown at the end of the night is put together using dress rehearsal footage, not shots from the performances viewers just watched. It's merely a time-saver, said a network representative, noting that production staff can't assemble the montage quickly enough using same-night footage, since the show is live. —G.F.C.
Q: On “American Idol,” when someone is sent home they play a montage of their Idol experience. What is the song they use in that montage? Some of the words are “you had a bad day...” —Jane
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A: It's Daniel Powter's “Bad Day.” Here's his Web site, which includes the video for the song. —G.F.C.
Q: Do the cameramen on Amazing Race stay with one couple the entire trip, or do they switch off? Also how many cameramen per team? —Susan, Washington
A: Each team travels with exactly two people: a camera operator and a sound technician. (In our very first column , we explained how these two people stay invisible.) There are other crews, known as the “zone” crews, who record the footage at challenges or the pit stop mat.
Executive producer Bertram van Munster has described the crews that travel with the teams as the children of the team. That is, the contestants can’t go anywhere without their “kids”; they can’t get on a plane unless four seats are available, and they have to wait if their “kids” have to change a battery or go to the bathroom.
At every pit stop, the camera crews switch around among the remaining teams. That way, contestants and crew don’t bond, and no team can claim an unfair disadvantage because they had a slower crew. —A.D.
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