Welcome to ‘What Is Your Damage,’ Annie Barrett’s summer shop of all the melodrama and self-absorption she misses from springtime reality TV. Every Tuesday and Friday, she’ll rant about a current offense to her humanity, then assess readers’ damages via video replies. Don’t be shy about admitting what annoys or intrigues you. We’re all in this pop cult together!

What’s your damage, Olympics? Stop making me feel fat! Great, column over. From the back, to the middle and around again…

I already complained about Ryan Lochte’s diamond-encrusted grill (and prognosticated its eventual takeover of the nation) during the trials, so what else is there? Oh, EVERYTHING.

Most prominent in my mind right now: What is your damage, Andrea Kremer? NBC’s poolside interviewer has been relentless in her bizarre quest to curate this creepy atmosphere in which the U.S. swimmers feel worse than they do already. She gets an easy perfect ’10’ on the Damages scale.

Last night after Michael Phelps won his semifinal heat for the Men’s 200M Fly, she immediately dug into the DARK SIDE of whatever might be flying through his head. “I want to check in on the state of Michael. Walk the Phelps fans back in the U.S. off the ledge here…. Which Michael will we get to see? The one who didn’t make the podium in the 400 IM or the one who had the phenomenal split in the relay?”

WHAT?! No one is on any ledge here, silly. “Which Michael shows up?” she demanded, to which Phelps awkwardly teased, “We’ll see in 24 hours,” because what else could he possibly say?

“Oh, come on. WHICH ONE?” She inched closer, flames thrashing through her pupils. Like he knows! As if he’s keeping the secret to himself (and the other version of himself) instead of offering it to her as exclusive scoop? And if he doesn’t eventually break down and promise a gold medal, she won’t have gotten the real story here? Gross.

Kremer was also brutal to the guys after they lost to France in the free relay, and won’t give up on that storyline either. Last night she asked Lochte “Where’s your confidence level?” after “obviously some disappointments in the relay.” It’s like she WANTS him to be thrown off to generate and then doggie paddle endlessly in a whirlpool of more drama. Lady this isn’t reality TV! It’s the Olympics. Show some class.

Stop criminalizing silver medalists, Andrea Kremer! The hate stops here.


NBC’S Today show promo that spoiled Missy Franklin’s gold medal-winning race (10)

Dude. Not cool. I did everything right yesterday — stayed off Twitter, didn’t check Olympics news, watched NBC for 16 hours like a zombie (#RejectedOlympicEvents). DON’T SHOW ME WHAT’S ABOUT TO HAPPEN THREE MINUTES BEFORE IT COMES ON. Are you nuts? Greedy guts.

Getting Closer With Dan and Rowdy

I first became obsessed with their persistent closeness back during the trials, but it deserves a revisit. Every few seconds, Dan Hicks turns in and glares intently — not even into Rowdy Gaines’ eyes but slightly downward — with great focus, as if he must inhale the will to live right out of Rowdy’s lungs. Just give him a lung, Rowdy! Stop the madness. scoundrel Darren Franich and I have decided Dan and Rowdy need to star in a sequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope once this pool party is all over. In the psychological thriller Lane Line, Dan and Rowdy strangle Ryan Seacrest with a lane line, then invite the NBC Olympics team over for dinner (Costas cameo!). Eventually Andrea Kremer wanders over to ask where it all went wrong, and that’s pretty much the movie. On the Damage scale: (7)


For securing the rights to clone a Zac Efron/David Beckham hybrid way before we even thought to. (4)

London Weather

A beach volleyball travesty. ZERO visible cheek. (8)

NEXT PAGE: Damage danger zone! Kindly stop cutting away from the cuddling swimmers!

The Beach Volleyball Dancers

I feel like they live in the ’80s but pretend it’s the ’60s? I’m so confused. Summer Lovin’! (1)

Athletes with much more intriguing names than mine

Just when I thought nothing could beat “Destinee Hooker.” (It can’t.) (5)

This wacky airline terminal bullpen

I’ve become obsessed with it to the point where I’m getting angry we don’t have one in the EW office. (3)

NBC again!

For cutting away juuuuust as things were getting frisky following South African Cameron van der Bergh’s Sunday night 100M Freestyle win. (9)

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge

For upsetting Harry with his likely prediction that someone was about to get his bollocks crushed by the deadly pommel horse. (10)

French swimmer Camille Lacourt

For not actually being in my apartment. (10)

NEXT PAGE: Everyone gets wet. Plus: My video replies to YOUR damages

They’re Getting Wet

With some light nipple-rubbing and a flirtatious “Oops, I missed my mouth again” water bottle routine, China’s Sun Yang had me too hot and bothered to focus on what was really important: Rowdy Gaines’ chances of survival up in the skybox. The pool’s right there, Sun. Just splash some of it on yourself and be done with it. (6)

Or subtly sidle up to a spigot like British synchronized diver Tom Daley. (0)

The extreme close-up “Chalky Foot Cam” in gymnastics


These dorks in the AT&T UVerse commercial

It just wouldn’t be an impromptu pool party without our big-ass flatscreen! (10)

Meredith Viera’s sporty outfits with sexy heels

Pick a side! (3)

This year’s all-new Olympic event, Ushering In the Industrial Revolution

BOR-ING. (5)


WHAT IS *YOUR* DAMAGE THIS WEEK, READERS? Tell me! The next few installments will probably focus on the Olympics, but it is your God-given right to bitch about anything you want. Reader Damages for July 31, 2012: I’ve ranked the following atrocities, submitted by readers this week, on a scale of 1 (harmless) to 10 (Heather Chandler).

–NBC’s Olympics time-delay

–Ryan Seacrest at the Olympics

–The Olympics (if you’re just not that into them)

–Me going on vacation and not telling anyone

–Ryan Seacrest and Julianne Hough reading Fifty Shades of Grey

–Kourtney K.’s baby knocking Ernest Borgnine off Twitter Trending Topics

American Ninja Warrior

–Matthew McConaughey’s face

–The Eastwood family’s constant touching, need to say “cheeks”

–Food Network vs. Investigation Discovery

–reality shows bringing past cast members back on

–Daniel Craig

–Fetch of the Week: South of Nowhere marathons on Teen Nick

–reader Colleen’s rambunctious 4-year-old

Click on the text prompts in the video player below to see my assessments.

If the player isn’t working for you, go here!

What is your damage? What is with you today? What’s with today, today? Let me know what’s annoying you by sending me a “question” in the video box. You can also tweet and/or e-mail me your damages. Do not mail me your damages. I do not believe in paper.

Why is this awful column called “What Is Your Damage?” Excellent question. Here you go.

Update: Today’s Fetch (the anti-Damage) is that Monday’s episode of Bunheads was called “What’s Your Damage, Heather?” Thanks to reader Rebekah for the heads up.

Thanks for playing along!

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