Stars Earn Stripes: Heaven With a .50 Cal

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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15 Comments

  1. Grady Powell says:

    Im up for an interview, James. I wasn’t aware that you were interested in speaking with us.

  2. chuck says:

    Kyle is a true hero. gen clark is a non hero

    I liked the show until clark showed up.

    Lots of respect for the real guys thanks you.

    Clark is a suit.….sorry i wont be watching.

    guys keep your eye on the ball. hollywood will burn you. it’s an ambush. if the show bust it wont be there fault.

    best of luck you guys are real blue blood americans and deserve all we have to offer. again Thank you for being Americans that we can count on.

  3. Gerald Bronowski Gow says:

    I think the should have used regular soldiers with MOS’s like 19D and 11B.

  4. SSG Michael Porter says:

    I’m a weapons instructor for the Army, and I love this show. Having celebrities get a taste of what soldiers do is a great idea. Even better is that they are playing for charity. I especially loved watching Eve Torres behind the Ma Deuce. I agree with Grady, heaven! She can be my gunner any day. I hope the network approves a second season.

  5. Karen Navolanic says:

    I watch the show because I am a huge fan of the operatives. I have read Chris Kyle’s book American Sniper and loved the book. I have also read Lone Survivor, Service, Black Hawk Down, Fearless and Red Cell. I have the utmost respect for the military men and women but especially the special op guys. I told my husband if I ever have to be rescued, I hope its a Navy Seal, Green Beret or Delta Force. ****** is an understatement. I have never even touched a gun in my life, but I would like to shoot Chris Kyle’s .300 win mag. Huge fan of Grady Powell, hope he writes a book too, it will be on my list to read. What these special ops men are put through is unbelievable, they have my utmost respect.

  6. Kathy Tomasino says:

    I love this show & a whole group of us watch every week together! Anything to further the fine efforts of the Military and for people to know what a tough job it is, ranks no#1 in our household.
    I love the Operatives and how well they have handled working with the “Stars”.
    We do want to make one comment.….
    Eve Torres & Grady Powell do look like they would make a great team :-)

  7. Celayha says:

    Stars Earn Stripes received criticism before the show even aired because it was stars teamed up with the armed forces. It cheapens war, it makes it commercial, it glorifies war: the complaints were coming from a thousand different angles. Why does everything have to be so polarized? This show is doing something great by giving those “privileged” actors and actresses a chance to see what the training is really like. On top of that, they are raising money for a military or first responder charity which I think is fantastic. I’ve been watching the show since the first episode and I’ve enjoyed it. I make sure that my Hopper records each episode for me since I’m working at Dish when the episodes air. That way, when I come home at night I can sit back and watch what I’ve missed. My husband is a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and I can tell you that not enough is being done for these organizations or for the soldiers that are in these conflicts. Maybe more people should look at the positives and not just what they perceive to be negative.

  8. Diana says:

    Grady not only are you a skilled operative, but I love your personality and you had great chemistry with Eva! I’m watching this show because of you, not any of the celebs! I would love to see more! So please interview him please! Team Grady! Xoxo

  9. Helene says:

    Grady & Eve I watched also because of you 2, the chemistry was freaking awesome and both of you are so cute.… I hope maybe after this is over you might take the time to consider persuing a realtionship???? SOOOOO glad u wonand i was jumping up and down.…

  10. Helene says:

    loved u and Eve as a pair and think u could be a pair after the show.…

  11. Congrats on your win, man! Hubs and I were thrilled you two won!

  12. Sonya Peay says:

    I loved this show. It encouraged me to see the stars have struggles too and fears they have to overcome. Watching them beat those fears, getting comfortable, and end up enjoying their former fear, I realized the reason we should fight our fears. I feel the extra shooting at the end was a tension reliever. I loved the series and would love another round! Has all the neigh sayers forgotten the purpose of the whole show? Our troops need these charities and they deserve our respect immensely! We should be ashamed of the treatment our troops get when they come home. When I hear some are homeless, losing their homes, injured vets can’t get proper medical care, (the list is long) it makes me angry and embarrassed for us all. Stars Earn Stripes never lost focus of the point of the show. It brought attention to our troops, what they go thru and gave them gratitude and respect they so deserve! It earned money for charities that support our troops, and information to the charities available. I have the greatest pride in OUR TROOPS, I RESPECT and LOVE them for fighting for my freedom regardless of who I am. THANK YOU MILITARY TROOPS, you’ll forever have a special place in my heart!

  13. Estela says:

    Grady I was cheering you on the whole time. You and Eve had great chemistry. I also enjoyed Dean and Kyle Ithey looked like they became fast friends. Congress on our win and keep smiling. Hope for second season.

  14. Diane Regan says:

    Everything Sonya said and then some. Shame on NBC if it’s not brought back.

  15. Lisa says:

    The ratings went down for all shows not just SES. Seems the nice weather was a big draw..
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/​04/23/business/med…
    TV Viewers Are Missing in Action http://​www​.nytimes​.com
    Across the television landscape, viewing for all sorts of prime-time shows is down — chiefly among 18– to 49-year olds, the most important audience for the business.