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<p>Jamal croons on &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Jamal croons on "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Choir Boy at Heart'

The teams head to Vienna for dancing and singing
A couple minor ethical and strategic wrinkles entered the game in Sunday (November 3) night's episode of "The Amazing Race," livening up an episode that probably would have been disappointingly flat otherwise. 
 
And you could sense the "Amazing Race" producers feeling the same way, because there's no way this was how this particular Leg was structurally designed to work. Human drama is fine, but trumped up human drama can only go so far to redeem a Leg that featured an anti-climax of a Fast-Forward, a dud of a Detour and a Roadblock in which the local mentors worked hard to upstage the contestants.
 
I'm not sure I have much to say about the Leg, even with the ethical and strategic wrinkles included, but whatever I have to say is after the break...
 
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<p>Michael Sheen and Caitlin FitzGerald in &quot;Masters of Sex.&quot;</p>

Michael Sheen and Caitlin FitzGerald in "Masters of Sex."

Credit: Showtime

Review: 'Masters of Sex' - 'Brave New World'

Allison Janney is fantastic as Mrs. Scully turns to Masters and Johnson for help

A review of tonight's "Masters of Sex" coming up just as soon as I turn you in for 12-year-old library fines...

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<p>Rick (Andrew Lincoln)&nbsp;and Carol (Melissa McBride) on &quot;The Walking Dead.&quot;&nbsp;</p>

Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Carol (Melissa McBride) on "The Walking Dead." 

Credit: AMC

Review: 'The Walking Dead' - 'Indifference'

Two different road trips go poorly for Rick, Carol, Bob and the others

A review of tonight's "The Walking Dead" coming up just as soon as the color brings out my eyes...

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<p>On &quot;Boardwalk Empire,&quot;&nbsp;Narcisse (Jeffrey Wright)&nbsp;and Nucky (Steve Buscemi)&nbsp;go to the Cotton Club together.</p>

On "Boardwalk Empire," Narcisse (Jeffrey Wright) and Nucky (Steve Buscemi) go to the Cotton Club together.

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Boardwalk Empire' - 'Marriage and Hunting'

Van Alden, Chalky and Narcisse have all had just about enough, thank you

A review of tonight's "Boardwalk Empire" coming up just as soon as Mr. Roebuck apologizes to me personally...

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<p>Claire Danes as Carrie in &quot;Homeland.&quot;</p>

Claire Danes as Carrie in "Homeland."

Credit: Showtime

Review: 'Homeland' - 'Still Positive'

Carrie tries to turn the tables on Javadi, and Dana decides it's time for a change

A review of tonight's "Homeland" coming up just as soon as I take a taxi to a CIA safe house...

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Listen: Britney Spears' new single, 'Perfume'
Credit: RCA

Listen: Britney Spears' new single, 'Perfume'

Ballad from 'Britney Jean' shows her vulnerable side

Britney Spears wants to “mark her territory” with her scent in “Perfume,” the new single from “Britney Jean,” and it couldn’t be more different from first single, “Work Bitch.” Spears premiered the song on Facebook Sunday evening and, guess what? She's actually singing.

This is Spears as we haven’t heard her—or at least not for a long while: singing a straight-ahead ballad with no talking and no heavy beat behind her as on past semi-ballads like “Unusual You” or even all the way back to “Sometimes.”

Though still slickly produced, on “Perfume” the focus is on her vocal and the emotional weight of the lyrics as Spears hopes that the next woman to touch her man can smell her perfume on him. She admits she’s insecure and “I want to believe it’s just you and me/sometimes it feels like it’s three in here, baby,” and not in a good way as she extolled in 2009’s “3.” It’s the kind of ballad it’s easy to imagine Gwen Stefani taking on.

Spears’ singing is as strong as it has ever been here (let the guessing begin on how much it was doctored in the studio) and this is the best song she’s done in years. Plus, given how successful Spears’ several lines of cologne are, we can only imagine the tie ins planned between song and the scents.  Let the cross-branding begin!

"'Perfume' is incredibly special to me because it hits close to home, and I think the story is relatable to everyone," Spears told E! "Everyone's been through an insecure moment in a relationship that's left them vulnerable and I think this song captures that."

What do you think of "Perfume?"

 

 

Official artwork for Britney Spears' Perfume

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"Once Upon A Time"

 "Once Upon A Time"

Credit: ABC

'Once Upon A Time' recap: Will 'Ariel' betray a friend for love?

When secrets are revealed, will the Charmings be torn apart?

At long last, Ariel will be joining the "Once Upon A Time" players, and I'm hoping she'll add a lighter element to the unrelentingly dark Neverland we've been largely stuck in. While I know her story will get a twist and happy endings are hard to come by, this season has suffered from a limited amount of fresh blood (and thus, fresh stories). C'mon, mermaid, we're counting on you!

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Watch: One Direction's new video for 'Story of My Life'
Credit: Sony Music Entertainment

Watch: One Direction's new video for 'Story of My Life'

Time travel with the boy band to their past

One Direction takes the title of its latest song, “Story of My Life” literally in its new Ben Winston-directed video.

For the clip of the emotional break-up ballad, the quintet took a different approach. Surrounded by photos of thousands of photos, the lads take actual photos from their lives and bring them to life and into the current day.

For example, Harry Styles takes a photo of him of his mom from when he was a toddler and advances it the present. The other people in the photos age along with the boy band member but don’t interact with them at all, until the end.  Liam Payne’s photo is him in formal wear with his family; Zayn Malik and his sister have their moment in his choice, while Niall Horan shares a musical moment  with his brother.

Perhaps, the most touching vignette is when Louis Tomlinson advances a photo of him as a little boy posing on a sofa with his parents and grandparents (or grandparents and great-grandparents) and in the modern photo, the eldest couple are no longer there because they’ve died.

It’s a change of pace for the band and one that their fans will go over frame by frame, for good reason.

The track is the second single from One Direction's new album, "Midnight Memories," out Nov. 25.

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<p>Brandon and Adam of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Brandon and Adam of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Brandon & Adam talk 'The Amazing Race'

Beard enthusiasts share some ribald tales from the road
Last week, best friends and beard enthusiasts Brandon Squyres and Adam Switzer became the second straight team to go from first to eliminated in this unpredictable "Amazing Race" season. 
 
One Leg, they were building a commanding lead in Norway and coasting to victory in a hall of cheering Vikings and the next Leg, Brandon & Adam were struggling with a Double U-Turn in Poland, trying to get locals to give them change for pretending to be a statue. 
 
It was an abrupt reversal of fortune for Brandon & Adam, but they kept smiling and cracking jokes til the end, meaning that just like their first-to-worst predecessors Ephraim & Chester, these two will be missed.
 
In this week's interview, Brandon & Adam have amusing confusion about this website's name, discuss the circumstances of their "Amazing Race" demise and relate a couple very funny moments we didn't get to see on TV.
 
Click through for the full conversation.
 
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'SNL' uses Kerry Washington and Al Sharpton to mock its lack of black female cast members


"SNL" uses Kerry Washington and Al Sharpton to mock its lack of black female cast members
The "Scandal" star was forced to play multiple black women in the cold open, while Sharpton, the MSNBC star who hosted "Saturday Night Live" in Dec. 2003, appeared also appeared in the cold open Host Kerry Washington, however, did not directly address the controversy. PLUS: "SNL" parodies "What Does the Fox Say?"

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Taran Killam and Kerry Washington

Taran Killam and Kerry Washington

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' – Kerry Washington and Eminem

Get your red wine and popcorn ready as the 'Scandal' star hosts for the first time

Let’s talk about race and “Saturday Night Live”.

Let’s talk about it even though every time we do, it devolves into anarchy in the comments.
 
Let’s talk about it specifically because of that anarchy, which rather than dampening any desire to have a rational discussion about it only makes me want to keep attempting to have it.
 
Let’s talk about it not simply because Kerry Washington is the host this week, but rather because it’s a useful conversation to constantly have.
 
Let’s talk about it because I’ve already talked about it here, here, here, and here and the rage that inevitably flows from a small, vocal portion of the readership is often more instructive about the show’s than anything I can bring to the table.
 
Let’s talk about it because talking about it is in fact talking about ways to make a show near and dear to the hearts of many “SNL” fans better.
 
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<p>Jonathan Rhys Meyers of &quot;Dracula&quot;</p>

Jonathan Rhys Meyers of "Dracula"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: Big 'Dracula' drop as 'Shark Tank,' 'Blue Bloods' lead Friday

'Grimm' falls as well, with NBC going to third
Fast National ratings for Friday, November 1, 2013.
 
"Blue Bloods" kept CBS in its familiar and dominant position atop Friday's overall rankings, while ABC capitalized on a strong "Shark Tank" and drops from NBC's "Grimm" and "Dracula" to regain its Friday crown among young viewers.
 
While the "Grimm" drop put it in line with the drama's regular Friday performances from last season and beyond, the "Dracula" decline was far steeper, slipping 0.5 in the key demo and nearly 1.8 million viewers. Neither "Dracula" nor "Grimm" was aided by a low-rated "Why We Love Vampires" special courtesy of NBC News.
 
There weren't many other notables on Friday, though "Last Man Standing" and "The Neighbors" both bounced back to season norms after a week away, while The CW's "The Carrie Diaries" added a few viewers in its second airing, but remained low in the demo.
 
On to the numbers...
 
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