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Stars Earn Stripes: Todd Palin survives by shooting straight

Alaska Dispatch

Former First Dude Todd Palin's Alaska-honed shooting skills helped him survive Monday night's episode of the reality TV show "Stars Earn Stripes," TV Grapevine reported Tuesday.

"Todd and Laila are up first. Laila is nervous as she takes off, but pulls through when it comes to her part of the mission," the website reported. "Todd knocks it out of the park when it comes to taking down targets."

"Taking down targets" is apparently the Hollywood euphemism for hitting what you aim at when shooting a rifle. Palin's familiarity with firearms clearly gave him an advantage on a show that looks like "The Apprentice" with guns, stunts, aircraft and speeding trucks.

Teams of stars compete against each other on a challenge course designed to mimic what one might encounter in combat, and the worst performers go home at the end of the show. "Nick and Terry are the last to complete the mission," Grapevine said. "Nick is scared and wants to leave the competition, but after a talk from his partner, decides to stick it out and go as far as he can. He lost a lot of time with the shots."

Because of that, Terry gets sent home at the end of the show. Grapevine identifies Todd, Laila, Nick and Terry only by first names. Apparently they are such big stars everyone is supposed to know who they are. The one best known to Alaska Dispatch is Palin, who is known in the state for his shooting and snowmachine riding skills, though not at the same time. Palin is a former Iron Dog snowmachine race champion and the husband of former, half-term Gov. Sarah Palin. It was during her tenure in Juneau, the state capital, that he picked up the nickname "First Dude." The show has been panned by some on the left who think it glorifies war, and by some by some on the right who think it trivializes military service.

The show is also failing in the highly competitive marketplace of reality TV. Fox News reported that its "Hell's Kitchen" chopped up Todd and the gang of stars.

Hit Fix reported that "'Hell's Kitchen'... won the 9 p.m. hour with 6.17 million viewers and a 2.5 rating among adults 18-49. CBS's reruns of '2 Broke Girls' and 'Mike and Molly' averaged 5.37 million viewers for second and a 1.5 key demo rating for third. ABC's 'Bachelor Pad' averaged 4.75 million viewers for third and a 1.6 key demo rating for second. NBC's "Stars Earn Stripes" was down significantly from last week's premiere with 3.55 million viewers and a 1.1 key demo rating."