<p>Michele of 'Big Brother'</p>

Michele of 'Big Brother'

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Big Brother' Tuesday: Mystery Twist and Power of Veto

In which Kevin gets stuck, Natalie gets annoying and Michele gets smart

Oooooh, it's time for the mystery twist! I can only hope the twist is as game changing as the Coup D'Etat, which succeeded in putting Jeff in the lead and making Chima go all hella lotta crazy (quite a twofer, even by reality TV standards). But I fear it may be one of those B.S. twists along the lines of, hey, no more organic vegetables in the kitchen or heads up, hamsters, the jacuzzi is on the fritz. But Big Brother has been delivering the crazy-making goods thus far, so maybe I just need to have a little faith.

[Full recap of Tuesday (Sept. 1) night's "Big Brother," complete with Mystery Twist and Power of Veto spoilers, after the break...]

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<p>Alexander Skarsg&aring;rd of 'True Blood'</p>

Alexander Skarsgård of 'True Blood'

Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO

Recap: 'True Blood' - 'Frenzy'

Bill gets answers from the Vampire Queen, Tara gets restless and Eric shares his feelings about children


It's gettin' close to the finale of this season of "True Blood," and we all know what that means! Someone. Will. Die.

If Vampire Bill has his way, that someone will be Maryann, she of the succulent blood pies. But he needs advice. So Vampire Bill has traveled to see the Vampire Queen of the, um, area. She is quite literally long in the tooth. When Bill arrives, she's kinda busy chewing on another lady. But the Vampire Queen, she is a just and fair queen, and she eventually makes some time to see her subject. Bill fills in the Queen on the maenad situation, while the Queen reads an old Vogue magazine. The Queen explains that Maryann and her good times cannot be killed. But here's a sort of reveal: Maryann was likely once a human. 

[More shocking revelations from Sunday (Aug. 30) night's "True Blood" after the break...]

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<p>Christina Hendricks of 'Mad Men'</p>

Christina Hendricks of 'Mad Men'

Credit: AMC

Recap: 'Mad Men" -- 'My Old Kentucky Home'

Sterling Cooper employees find themselves working overtime in a variety of ways and Roger hosts a garden party


Were "Mad Men" set in the 1980s and not the 1960s, I'd be tempted to make a "working for the weekend" joke at some point in this recap. Tonight's episode, the third of the young season, focused on several scenarios in which various people in Sterling Cooper's employ were forced to work overtime while officially off the clock. It also set the scene for the impending generational divide that will only become more pronounced as the season and series progress. 

[Full recap of Sunday's (Aug. 30) "Mad Men" after the break...]

At one point in tonight's episode, Paul Kinsey quoted the end of T.S. Eliot's famous poem, "The Hollow Men": "This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but a whimper." The world didn't end with a bang nor a whimper in the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis, but it's clear that the events from last season's finale still casts quite a shadow over the lives of these characters. And yet, the world stubbornly moved on after the stand-down, leaving these people to exist under an ever-growing sense of apocalyptic doom. Instead of feeling elation over their survival, they instead live with one eye constantly surveying the landscape, and react to uncertainty in various ways. They lung at any type of happiness, desperately grasp onto to any semblance of the past, or burst forth to create some new type of landscape that can survive the oncoming onslaught. In honor of the book Gene Hofstadt makes Sally read to him, let's call it "The Decline and Fall of the Old America."

Take Sterling's horrific blackface performance of "My Old Kentucky Home," the song which gave this episode its title. Garish? Yes. Racist? Beyond question. But it's also a kind of statement on Sterling's part, a futile one in which the world in which he was raised somehow can continue at this point in time. One can look at his marriage to Jane as not merely a mid-life crisis but a sad attempt to stave off mortality itself. Contrast that performance with Pete Campbell's dance-as-audition, using moves familiar to Sterling's generation not to entertain his wife but in order to claim sole possession of Head of Accounts. He undoubtedly learned those moves from a generation he loathes, but isn't afraid to use those moves in order to get ahead. He's OK with killing their generation with flattery. (And Harry Crane's wife is killing herself for marrying a man with so little game.)

Speaking of flattery, Betty Draper certainly didn't shy away from the dotage bestowed by a member of the NYC Mayor's office while waiting for Pete's wife to emerge from the powder room. With Don itching to escape at any given moment, it's Betty who not only insists they attend in the first place but keeps them there until almost everyone else has left. But she's not in love so much with the attention from Francis as she is intoxicated by the atmosphere generated by Sterling's country club. A handsome stranger touching her pregnant belly is a byproduct not of a woman jealous of her husband's past indiscretions, but a woman longing for a time and place that probably never existed.

We've previously seen Betty's attachment to her childhood home. She idealizes that abode to the point of fetishism; as her brother pointed out last week, she subconsciously omits the years spent fighting with her father in that house. But just as Roger longs for the quote-unquote "good ol' days" as evidenced by his performance, so too does Betty long for a time in which a posh country club could feed the fantastic lie that life as a whole was somehow alright. For a price, you could purchase happiness as well as immortality. Too bad Jane's drunken confession that she knew about Betty's supposedly secret separation punctured that illusion by night's end.

Behind the scenes, however, the façade fails. In perhaps the stand-out scene of the episode, Don mixes drinks while conversing with a man escaping a wedding being held simultaneously in another part of the country club. This man, Connie, describes the wedding as a "match made in the board room," and the two bond over their lot trapped at work events posing as social functions. Connie also wistfully points out that as a penniless child, he enjoyed looking at a nearby mansion in much the way Betty views her childhood home. However, he enjoys the view inside the mansion looking out to be much less agreeable. It's a conversation that's met with understanding by Don. Pete Campbell would have undoubtedly not understood it at all.

With all this going on amongst the senior level players at Sterling Cooper, the lower rungs on the ladder did not escape their fair share of extra off-the-books labor. Due to a last-minute request from Bacardi, the creative team had to stay all weekend to pitch five new ideas. Kinsey and Smitty took this opportunity to smoke dope under the excuse of "inspiration." Peggy took that opportunity in order to more fully ingratiate herself into the male-centric office with a quote that I hope will someday be featured on dance remixes: "I'm Peggy Olson, and I want to smoke some marijuana."

What followed was unfortunately stereotypical drug banter, the type of obvious dialogue that the show usually so masterfully avoids. However, I am curious as to whether of not Peggy's final "I am woman!" speech to her overprotective secretary was supposed to be triumphant or hopelessly delusional. The show is obviously striving to show her trying to come out from the doormat under which she lived for most of Season 2; let's wait and see if she's flying high or pulling a modern-day Icarus. 

While Peggy achieved a new level of consciousness, Joan suffered a new level of indignation while hosting a dinner party for her husband's coworkers. Looks like Greg isn't exactly the most well-respected surgeon in his hospital, with his mistakes vaguely alluded to by his colleagues to an unsuspecting Joan. As such, his constant degrading of his wife seems a by-product over his own shortcomings at work. Not the most original character motivation, but at least the show finally gave him one.  

But just to ensure the party didn't linger on his less-than-reliable hands, he turned his wife into a prop, strapping an accordion around her and all but shouted, "Dance, monkey, dance!" While Joan performed enchantingly, she shot daggers with her eyes at the man she more than likely regrets marrying. Had she attended the garden party, she might loathe her station less. But Jane's earlier appearance in the office only served to remind her of the road not taken. 

Threaded all through these various Sterling Cooper-centric stories lay the most problematic one of all: Gene Hofstadt and the Case of the Missing Five Dollars. I will admit to spending most of my time during these scenes praying that Gene didn't one-up Sterling's racist performance or straight-up strike his grand-daughter. Were Sally's theft a way to try and keep her father in the house, I would get her actions. But "kids sometimes just steal" isn't dramatically interesting in the least. As such, I experience of mixture of horror and utter boredom during these scenes. Not the best combo. I understand that Gene's presence is meant to disturb as much as depress, but I'm hoping his presence inside the Drapers' household is short-lived. In a show in which silences say much more than anything verbalized, it's jarring to insert this much shouting into the mix.  

In short, the good outweighed the bad, but there was plenty of both to be found. Sterling's continuing self-destructive behavior in the wake of his firm's sale continued to fascinate. Pete's literal nimble footwork to secure his promotion delighted. Don's conversation with a kindred soul was beautifully written and gorgeously played. But Peggy's ham-fisted dialogue and Sally's kleptomania failed to reach the show's usual heights. Hopefully next week's episode will find more elegant ways to have these characters try and maintain their balance while the world shifts under their feet. 


Thoughts on the "My Old Kentucky Home" episode of "Mad Men"?

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<p>Jeff of 'Big Brother'</p>

Jeff of 'Big Brother'

Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS

Recap: 'Big Brother' Sunday: Cry, Baby, Cry

In which a new HoH is crowned, we learn about Jeff's perfect woman and everybody cries

So, it's time to see who wins the delicious graham cracker and hot chocolate HOH competition, which makes me totally hungry and nervous at the same time. With Jeff forced to sit on the sidelines, I don't have a good feeling about who's landing in the luxury digs this week, and you know what that means – the target is going to be firmly placed on Jeff's muscular back. But I'm getting ahead of myself. It's time to watch the sugary, chocolate-y goodness.

[Full recap of Sunday (Aug. 30) night's "Big Brother" after the break...]

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<p>Michelle is on the cusp of elimination for the second straight week on "Project Runway."</p>

Michelle is on the cusp of elimination for the second straight week on "Project Runway."

Credit: Weinstein Company

Recap: 'Project Runway' - Mitchell's mom shorts vs. Malvin's eggs, who loses?

Rebecca Romijn is the guest judge for this pregnancy themed edition


Do you ever think Heidi Klum missed her calling as the dictator of a very small fascistic country, someplace that has exceptionally clean streets but canes citizens for chewing gum, perhaps? Maybe we should all just be happy she’s on “Project Runway,” where she’s less likely to hurt someone. Not that I don’t love her. I don’t know what that says about me, but I suspect it’s not good.

Everyone is recovering from last week’s elimination. Mitchell’s glad he didn’t take a bullet, and I’m glad he didn’t, too. Althea is shocked that Ari is gone, shocked, I tell you. Because... people don’t get eliminated on this show?

Oh, you know how this week’s challenge is for everyone to create a non-whale like outfit for a pregnant supermodel? I was kind of thinking it was Heidi, even though I think this was filmed so long ago that her fourth baby wasn’t even a glimmer in Seal’s eye, but in fact Heidi reveals that hugely pregnant Rebecca Romijn will be the lucky model for their pregnancy fashions. What, she’s too good for Pea in the Pod?

Anyway, everyone hustles over to FIDM to play with their pregnancy pads. Now, I know Christopher won the last challenge and he’s a natural born genius or something, but he has a tendency to say things that make me think he not only needed a design school education, but maybe something past fifth grade, because he actually points to one of these pads and asks, kid you not, “Is this where the baby goes?” and I’m thinking he just means where it goes on the mannequin but I’m not entirely sure. He also wears potholder on his head during the diary cam interview, and I just don’t know what to think.

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<p>Natalie of 'Big Brother 11'</p>

Natalie of 'Big Brother 11'

Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS

Recap: 'Big Brother' Thursday: More muscle hustles home

In which we visit the Jury House, Jordan gets hungry and another twist is coming

Ever notice that the studio audience for BB always looks REALLY happy? And maybe a little bloodthirsty? That's particularly disturbing tonight, as Thursday is always Live Eviction Night, which is really only one step removed from Live Execution Night and I'm telling you right now, it's only a matter of time before we start seeing those in prime time. Just saying. Until then, whoo hoo, a head is gonna roll tonight! And possibly a big, bald, baby head at that! Of course, judging from the promo leading into the show, it may not just be Russell's noggin, as Jordan went all gangsta and chest-butted him, but as I hadn't heard any rumors of her unfortunate demise, maybe she survived after all. 

[Full recap of Thursday's (Aug. 27) "Big Brother," with spoilers, after the break...]

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<p>Kevin of 'Big Brother'</p>

Kevin of 'Big Brother'

Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS

Recap: 'Big Brother' Tuesday: The Power of Veto is weilded

In which Jeff and Jordan have a non-lovers quarrel, Kevin discusses his sexuality and somebody new goes on the block

"I was impressed when I made a Lego castle. With directions." Jeff's little "Wow, am I a dumbass" confession from Sunday's episode is our intro into this one, and I'm really hoping the editors chose it because it's funny and it's easy to make fun of hot people and not because Jeff is, indeed, a little slow. Because this week, as HOH, he's got to use that little pea brain of his if he wants to make it to the final four. But even I couldn't tell him who he can trust in this house, except for Jordan, so maybe being a little dense is no big deal – as long as you're street smart or good at reading eyebrows or something.

[Full recap of Tuesday (Aug. 25) night's "Big Brother" after the break...]

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<p>Jason, Bill and Sookie finds strange things going on as they return to Bon Temps in the latest episode of "True Blood."</p>

Jason, Bill and Sookie finds strange things going on as they return to Bon Temps in the latest episode of "True Blood."

Credit: HBO

Recap: 'True Blood' - New World In My View

Sookie, Bill and Jason return to Bon Temps, but are they in time to stop Mary-Ann?

Everything’s all sad now, because Godric has let himself catch on fire in the sun. Loney gitt-tar music plays as Sookie walks back into her room in the Hemophiliac Hilton. Or is it her room? Eric Northman is shirtless in there, and crying and speaking without using any contractions. Wow. Things are even much worse than I thought. Then Sookie kissed Eric, which makes this a fantasy. And thus opens the tenth episode of this here second season of True Blood.

Sookie wakes up in a the back of a car, on her way home back to Bon Temps with her brother. She and Jason are talkin’ ‘bout somethin’ when they realize the town is all tore up. The streets are a mess. Everybody got black eyes, including two random day players who are eating wood and flashing bras. Can Sookie help? Maybe, maybe not, but she’s bound to do some epic talkin’ in the meantime.

Sweet Jesus on a kabob stick! Mary-Ann is building a giant tower made of fruit and vegetables and the most expensive meat that her bald minion can find.

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<p>Jeff from 'Big Brother 11"</p>
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Jeff from 'Big Brother 11"

Recap: HOH Jeff has surprises up his sleeve on 'Big Brother'

But can he pull them off?

It's Sunday, Sunday, Sunday, and that means we (at least those of us who don't subscribe to the 24/7 feed, you cheaters) finally find out who won HOH in the wildly exciting (not) can recycling competition. With Lydia out of the house, the crazy quotient in the house is a bit on the low side, which is always disappointing, but that only means that it's game on, as the remaining six need to strategize, scheme and outright lie to win. So less crazy, more devious, and that's just fine with me.

We pick up where we left off with the fascinating can drop. If I thought this was fun to watch, I would go hang out at my local recycling center to put bets on the homeless guys. Anyway, Jordan tells us she is desperate for Jeff to win, because he's the only one she trusts, plus it's always more fun to get under the covers with someone who's just gotten a big ego boost. Kevin tells the diary-cam he needs to win because his alliance is down to pretty much... um, him. Russell also needs to win, because he's a big, strapping guy and thus has a target on his back, though he doesn't win as much as you'd think a big, strapping guy would. Natalie reveals she needs to win. Okay, we get it, everyone needs to win. Because if they didn't need to win, do you really think they'd be trying to stuff cans into pipes when they could be hitting up Big Bro for a pitcher of margaritas?

Then, we flashback to Lydia's eviction, which wasn't that exciting the first time, but apparently we have slow learners in the viewing audience. Kevin tells us that this was a harrowing moment for him, because he was besties with Lydia, and he does actually use that exact word in a very sincere way, even though he's not a 13-year-old girl. He liked Lydia, he liked her a lot, even though he occasionally contemplated taking Dae Yum Yum and ripping his one-horned head off. Okay, he didn't say that, but I'm pretty sure he thought it.

Natalie also informs us that, seeing how she didn't convince Jordan to kick Russell's ass to the curb, she now plans to make friends with people she normally wouldn't, which means she'll be reeking sincerity as she tries to crawl up the butts of everyone in the house this week, and we know how much Natalie enjoys being meek and humble. Can't wait!

Russell reflects on how Captain Unitard decided to only hug Kevin before skulking out the door, which he thinks is just damn funny, so if Lydia was hoping her snub would deeply wound her housemates, she thought wrong. Jordan apparently couldn't have given less of a crap about getting a hug from Lydia because she was just happy to see that drama queen go. And since the word is that Lydia didn't clean up after herself or wash a single dish for the week before her elimination, hell, I'd be glad to see her go, too, although I would have thrown a crusty pot at her head as she walked out, just to make my point.

For anyone thinking Natalie is getting a walk this week because of her little fib about Michele and Russell conspiring against the house (though they sorta were), Jeff tells us that just because Russell didn't leave the game doesn't mean he's not a target. So yeah, not so dumb after all, that Jeff.

Then, back to the cans. Love those cans. Russell reveals he is very upset about the sliding board action that kicks in halfway through the game, which makes me wonder if he'll jump down and tear one out with his teeth because we know how Russell gets when he's pissy. For a good, long while Kevin and Jeff are neck and neck. Jeff might have been way in the lead, but he says Russell is totally messing him up by banging on the railing every time he runs back from collecting a can. Which I'm sure really is annoying, but I find Russell's competitive nature weirdly endearing, possibly because he looks so much like a very determined baby what with the little round head action he's got going on.

Natalie tells us this challenge is super hard, as anyone who's ever tried to play one of those Carnival midway games to win a stuffed Spongebob Squarepants well knows. Jeff reveals his secret to getting a can in a pipe - holding it by the tab. God, doesn't that sound like a euphemism for something nasty?

Then, because no one looks nervous enough, Jordan reveals that the houseguests with the fewest cans become have-nots for the week. Kevin reveals he wants to get his grub on, so this gets him all fired up. Apparently he is not a fan of squid or pork guts. Picky, picky.

We also learn that any player can put another player on ice for 60 seconds by using a gold can - all you have to do is drop a gold can into one of your pipes after calling out the name of the person you want blocked. Michele is tempted to use a gold can, but she's afraid it will make her a target. But Russell, he's all about the gold can. Hell, if the option was drop a gold can and your toughed competitor will get a kneecap broken, you know Russell would go for it in a heartbeat.

So, when Kevin develops a healthy lead over the rest of the housemates, Russell uses a gold can on him. But Kevin is so far ahead of everyone else, he doesn't even break a sweat. So of course he isn't really paying much attention when Jeff starts banging in cans like nobody's business. Again, not a euphemism for anything dirty, just cans. In a pipe. Get your mind out of the gutter!

Then, because Kevin is a pouty 5-year-old at heart, he decides to use two gold cans on Russell. Now, this is great news for Jeff, because without Russell banging against the barrier they both share like a big ol' gorilla, he really gets his game on and, in fact, wins it. By one can. Sorry, Kevin.

Apparently Natalie came from behind, too, because the have-nots for the week are Michele and Russell. Which only goes to show that using the gold can, not a great idea after all.

Jeff is thrilled to finally be HOH. Jordan's psyched, too, but she still dodges him when he tries to sneak a kiss as if he has vicious halitosis or perhaps the black plague. Of course, Jeff and Jordan are the only people who are happy, because everyone else is worried. And they should be, because Jeff says it might be time for him to make an unexpected move. And we know Jeff isn't shy about the unexpected moves.

After the competition is over, Natalie grinds salt in Kevin's wounds by pointing out that they're the only two who haven't won HOH, and then Jeff keeps the salty goodness going by reminding Kevin he was poised to win and totally didn't, then he asks Kevin if he got the shakies at the end, which sounds like something you'd ask a small child. Kevin, of course, plays along, because he hopes Jeff will think of him as a floater who can't win things, which is really quite true.

Later, Natalie tries to buddy up with Kevin by reminding him that he was one can away from victory, then suggests she and Kevin make a final four deal with Jeff, because they're loyal and wonderful and generally awesome and Russell and Michele so aren't. Is Natalie really loyal? I guess her general annoyingness has caused me to lose sight of that asset.

Then, it's time for Jeff to show off his HOH room! And maybe he should have asked mom to leave off the school pictures, because Jeff grew up wearing a bowl cut, which reminds Jordan of the movie Dumb and Dumber, and once she said that I thought, wow, maybe the bowl cut doesn't just look stupid but actually MAKES you stupid, which would account for some guys I grew up with. But then I remembered there was a show I needed to watch, so back to it.

For Kevin, the joys of seeing Jeff through the years through his photos allowed him to enjoy the various stages of hotness in Jeff's life, which is interesting because up to this point I hadn't really gotten the lusting vibe from Kevin, but he has been away from his boyfriend for over a month, so, there you go.

Though Jordan decides they she and Jeff are two peas in a pod after he gets choked up reading his letter from his mom and dad, their relationship doesn't look so promising when she tries to convince him to take her to Hawaii with him when he cashes in his free vacation. Jeff tactfully informs her that she'll have to put out if she wants to go with him, and Michele, who probably wants to crawl under a piece of patio furniture being in the middle of this conversation, tells Jordan she's a big tease. Jordan tells the diary cam there will be no hanky panky in Hawaii, and that her mother says men always think with their penises and I'm kind of thinking Jordan is on her best behavior since her mom informed her she watches her on the TV every week in her HOH letter, so Jeff may have better odds for getting laid than he thinks. Then, Jeff tells the diary cam he's always wanted to go to Hawaii for his honeymoon, so maybe he'll end up going with Jordan after all and I think, seriously, dude, you are getting so far ahead of yourself.

But enough sex talk. It's time to get back to the business of the game, and Russell is knocking on Jeff's door wearing his sweet and innocent baby face. Russell asks Jeff if he has any questions for him, like he'd just completed a lecture series or given him a complicated medical diagnosis, but then Jeff asks about the Russell-Michele union, as he's just a little curious as to whether Russell intends to gun for him next week.

Somehow Michele also appears in the room, which makes me think there may be some creative editing here, but both Michele and Russell squirm around Jeff's request for the straight dish. Instead of saying, of course we'd never stab you in the back!, Russell just answers a question with a question, which is "What would the advantage of that be?" The advantage of that would be the only other big, strong guy in the house being gone, but maybe I'm just not getting the game. Then, Russell tosses the hot potato to Michele, asking her if he ever asked her to team up with him, which she answers with the very, very vague, "Well, we were chatting about lots of stuff." Someone remind these two never to try to start a Ponzi scheme, because they wouldn't be able to con ten bucks and a soda cracker out of anyone.

Not surprisingly, Jordan tells Jeff she doesn't trust Russell or Michele at all, and she actually thinks they'd be better off casting their lot with Kevin and Natalie. Jeff and Jordan get so riled up talking about Russell, Jordan decides to go downstairs and rake him over the coals. Oh my, this should be good.

While Russell and looks like the least relaxed person to ever be relaxing in a hammock, Jordan and Jeff pick at him, trying to get something a little more reassuring out of him, like a kidney or a pinky swear, but no dice. Jeff then tells the diary cam that, having not gotten a good answer out of Russell, he doesn't know who to trust. Other than Jordan. And he can't even trust her to put out if he takes her to Hawaii.

Now, back to the sex theme of the episode. Michele notes that Jeff has become the BB gardener, and we have some soft porn footage of her tanning in her bikini while she admires his strappin' hot bod. Yes, Jordan kinda likes watching Jeff be garden boy. Kevin likes this, too. Kevin says Jeff is a sexy shirtless gardnerer watering with his hose. And he means that in the dirty way, because he makes a little face and rolls his eyes to let us know he's all kind of turned on. I feel like I need a shower. But not from Jeff's hose. When did watering vegetables become naughty?

Then, it's time to see the have-not food, and Russell and Michele investigate their churros and chitlins. Michele doesn't dig the intestines, but she likes the churros. Kevin thinks it's totally unfair they got amusement park food, because he likes churros and when he was a have-not, he got squid, ew.

The poor hamsters have to find ways to waste away the hours, and Natalie wants to play poker with Jeff and Russell. She tells us that, even though everyone thinks she's young and dumb, she's really 24 and she's smarter than everyone thinks. She brags that she won a tournament in Vegas, so when Russell whips her ass Natalie is not a happy loser. Russell does not like unhappy losers, and the friendly game of poker devolves into a screaming fight, during which Jeff points out, jeez, we're playing for Now and Laters, chill out, which has absolutely no effect.

Natalie, being such a sore loser, tells us she wants Russell to eliminate because he thinks he's so great, but really we know she wants him out because, like, he whipped her ass at poker and he wins stuff, and she doesn't.

Nominations are around the corner, so Michele tells Russell she wants to talk to Jeff to check on their status. She enters the HOH room to find Jeff lying on the bed and Jordan taking a bath... in a bikini? Well, considering we can actually see her in the bathtub, which implies there's a camera trained on the bathtub, bikini makes total sense.

Jeff reassures Michele that the final four plan is definitely in place, but in the diary room he tells us the truth - that he only told Michele what she wanted to hear, and he's playing a game. Go, wily Jeff, go!

However, Russell is playing a game, too, and when Michele tries to reassure him that Jeff's on board, he isn't buying. He knows he's on the block, or at least suspects he will be.

I'm just starting to think Jeff may be a crafty guy playing dumb, and then we see Jeff and Michele in the backyard. Jeff complains that he doesn't feel tan. Michele says she works with very pale people because she works underground 7 days a week with brains and rats, which makes her sound like Igor but we're sure her job really isn't as bad as building Frankenstein's monster. Then, Jeff asks her about her job. "What do you do? Find new... things?" We watch Jeff's little head spin as Michele talks about her job. Jeff thinks Michele should counterfeit money instead. He tells her he was happy when he made a Lego castle. With directions. So, he's happy there are smart people like Michele. In case he needs help with his next Lego castle, I guess.

Finally, Natalie and Kevin bite the bullet and suggest the final four deal to Jeff. Jeff admits that he doesn't trust Russell anymore to Kevin and Natalie, but says he's thinking of putting them both up as pawns with the idea that one of the four of them will win POV, allowing them to backdoor Russell. Natalie and Kevin aren't thrilled about this, but it's the best offer they're going to get.

Behind closed doors, Jeff tells Jordan he can do one of two things - put up Natalie and Kevin and backdoor Russell, or put up Russell and Michele and try to convince Michele she's just a pawn. Jordan tells Jeff he should do what he needs to do, but she doesn't trust Russell. And when Jordan doesn't trust someone, her eyes bug out, so you know she's serious.

Russell tells the diary cam that, if he was Jeff, he'd put himself and Michele up. Which I have to agree with, really. Maybe the next few challenges won't involve weight lifting, but Russell is still a worthy competitor.

Finally, it's time for nominations. Russell gets the first key. Michele gets the second. Jordan gets the third.

Kevin and Natalie look resigned but not angry. Jeff tells them they were nominated because he doesn't like them, just kidding, but he wants Kevin to experience all that BB has to offer and Natalie's used to it, so why not go back to the block? Jeff keeps the mood light and no one seems truly angry, which makes this one of the less tense nomination ceremonies of recent weeks.

But that doesn't mean everything's smooth sailing from here. In the diary room, Jeff says he put Russell's key first to make him feel safe, but he shouldn't. And then he rubs his hands together in an evil way and does that mwahahahahahaha laugh. Okay, no he doesn't, but Jeff isn't playing this game like a sucker. And that, I think we can all agree, is the best way to play it. But if Natalie wins it by some fluke, I will be SO mad.

Was Jeff a sucker to put up Natalie and Kevin instead of Russell and Michele? Is Natalie really a good poker player? And would you hire Jeff as your gardener?

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<p>Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn and "Project Runway" are back.</p>

Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn and "Project Runway" are back.

Credit: Weinstein Company

Recap: 'Project Runway' - The groundbreaking show returns

Could the most interesting contest be gone after the first show?

It’s back! It’s back! And I don’t even care that now I have to confess that yes, I am actually watching a show on Lifetime, because I have missed my Project Runway so damn much I’ve been thinking of taking a pair of scissors to wardrobe and channeling Christian Siriano by saying everything’s a hot mess and maybe even getting that awful, spiky Kate Gosselin haircut he wears. Am I too excited? Yes, yes I am.  But if it’s wrong to say I need me some Tim Gunn, then hell, I don’t want to be right.
Okay, even though I’m a little sad Korto Momolu didn’t win the Project Runway All-Star Challenge (she is so not the number two girl of Project Runway in my book), I think tonight will be PR at its best, and that might be true just because I’ve had lots of time to forget the show’s cliches and now they’re just nostalgic and cute. The painfully drawn out reveals, the auf weidershens, the “work with it” directive from Tim, oh, it all makes my heart go pity pat this week. Ask me by the time they’re down to final four if I think any of that crap is cute, well, probably not, but let’s cross that bridge when I get to it.
First off, we meet Ra’mon Lawrence from Minneapolis. He’s a very ambitious person, because he dropped out of med school to snip patterns, which is surely making his parents want to kill themselves on a daily basis. But for someone from freakin’ Minneapolis he has a whole lot of snobby attitude, which makes me hope someone accidentally on purpose pours coffee on his next design.
Logan Neitzel from Seattle tells us he’s definitely different from a normal fashion designer, which I think is his way of telling us he’s straight. He can also fix cars. So, really straight.
Jonny Sakalis of West Hollywood is a short fireplug of a guy who lets us know right up front that he’s tried out three times, but he didn’t get on the show prior to now because of a pesky crystal meth addiction. Which tells us up front he actually has brain damage. I watch my Intervention, I know these things, people. And his teeth, probably not so good. Just keep an eye on this one, because I know where they’re filming this show and it’s walking distance from crack alley. And if Jonny’s from WeHo, he knows he’s walking distance from crack alley. Producers, give this guy a security guard!
Then, we meet Gordana Gehlhausen of Charleston by way of Yugoslavia, so she’s in this for all the girls out there with big dreams but who are starting with small steps, which sounds more impressive when the person saying it sounds like Natasha from the Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoons.
Then, some quick hits, because there are too many designers to fit in before the first commercial break.
Malvin Vien of New York walks in looking like a plaid 80s nightmare, while Carol Hannah Whitfield of Charleston looks like a blond nothing, but hey, so did last year’s winner, so whatever. Qristyl (and no, that is NOT a typo) Frazer of New York is a plus-sexy designer, which means she makes clothes for big, sassy girls. Shirin Askari of Richardson, Texas (Shirin means sweet in Farsi!) works with things that function as more than one thing, which basically means she makes things that are a little ugly but they have a bonus cape attached.
And then it’s time to bust out the crazy, because we meet the Feather Prince, Nicolas Putvinki of New York. Anyone who tells you that “people in New York know me as the Feather Prince” is one step away from saying “people in New York know me as the guy with a tin foil hat who takes baths in McDonald’s restrooms and often smells like pee.” But until that day comes, he likes chiffon and plans to win.
Mitchell Hall of Savannah is working in the business side of fashion, so he knows what sells. Epperson of New York looks like he’s from a 70s R&B cover band. Then there’s Christopher Straub of Shakopee, Minnesota, which sounds like an unfortunate place to be from. He also looks like he could be in a band, but sadly, I think that band would be Bare Naked Ladies or Hootie and the Blowfish.
Ari Fish of Kansas City, Missouri likes to talk to fabric and ask it what it would like to be. She’d like to make clothing that could also be a tent and purify your water. I think she may be living in a tent next to the Feather Prince once all of this is over, but hey, good on you, girl.

Then it’s Athea Harper of Dayton, Ohio, who looks like she’s from Dayton, which means she’s about 10 years behind the current trends. Plus, she has prom queen hair, so I think her days are numbered.
Irina Shabayeva of New York says her dog Princess is the inspiration for every purse she makes, because her ugly little ratdog likes to be carried, and I automatically hate her because anyone who carries a dog in a purse should really be euthanized. Sorry, but it’s true. Then, we swing back to Epperson, who reveals his oldest kid is about the same age as the other contestants, which has got to suck for him, but I say, hey, diversity! Go Oldie McOlderson! I am now totally rooting for him.
Then, it’s toast time on the roof to enjoy the beautiful weather which Heidi cheerfully points out the designers will never see again until they’re eliminated or literally climb out of a window. Oh, and everyone meets Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum. You know, I keep forgetting Tim has a day job running Liz Claiborne, and it makes me want to buy some Liz Claiborne, but then I remember it’s Liz Claiborne and I don’t. We learn they’ll be working at FIDM (The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising if you want to drag it out), which means they’re stuck downtown, which pretty much is like going to New York and staying in Buffalo instead of Manhattan, but welcome to my city, designers!
Oh, and we have another designer to meet. Louise Black of Dallas tells us she likes vintage, which accounts for the bad Louise Brooks haircut and the unflattering make-up. She is ready for her close-up, to which I say, if you’re really ready for your close-up, you need a kinder shade of foundation unless you’re auditioning for a zombie movie.
Then, Malvin tells us he’s androgynous. To which I say, really? The hair didn’t give that away at all.
There are a few other moments with the new cast that flitter by so fast you’d better have TiVo, but I’ll try to pick out a few memorable ones. I noticed Althea is working a Farrah thing, very blonde and smiley, and who knows, this is L.A., it could take her far. Christopher says he couldn’t go to design school because of a death in his family, but he’s been doing it himself and that’s just fine. But really, this isn’t a good sign. It’s sort of like saying, hey, I wanted to go to dental school, but I discovered you can pretty much fix your own teeth if you have a good two-way mirror and a tolerance for pain, and that may be true, but um, let’s not give you an office right away. 
Jonny reveals to his roommates that he’s worried about the challenge, and his stomach is tied up, and I’m thinking, great, he’s going to walk down 6th Avenue and bam, he’ll be dancing naked on the roof and crying while pulling out his own molars. But I will say that would make great television for at least one episode, so I’m not totally down on the idea.
Then, our designers are dragged to the 60th Annual Emmy Award red carpet, where Tim tells them they must do a red carpet look for their first challenge. The winner, as usual, will get immunity next week. Then, it’s off to FIDM, which looks pretty much exactly like FIT. Why are they even bothering to do this in L.A.?
The go to Mood, they buy stuff. C’mon, if you’ve seen the show, you know the drill. Because even in L.A., they go to the same damn store. They shop, they run around like frantic chickens, they spend money, it’s all good.
Back at FIDM, Ari reveals that she doesn’t sketch. She just meditates on the garment, then decides. Oh ma God. She is so going home it’s not even funny. She even flops around the room contemplating her garment while everyone else is sketching to drive home the point that she operates on some bizarro plane where little angels and pixies float down from the ether to pepper her with good ideas. What the F?
Mitchell informs us that he loves pressure. Which is good, because I’ll just give you a hint. He’s going to be under a lot of pressure. Like Barney Frank at a town hall meeting filled with Lyndon Larouche supporters pressure.
Ra’mon gets weepy thinking about someone wearing one of his designs on the red carpet, but that doesn’t make me like him. I’m telling you, the guy’s got a bitchy vibe going. Which probably means he’s super talented. So he could have done brain surgery or design dresses. Figures. 
Jonny starts getting nervous. And says he needs his support structure. He feels lost and overwhelmed. I’m waiting for him to steal someone’s wallet and go hunting for meth. Boy’s jonesing, hardcore. Of course, seeing an addict actually break down in front of them makes everyone worry about Jonny, if only because he looks like he’s going to do something crazy and stupid and he’s very close to sewing needles and scissors as well as the dresses they’re working on, and we all know Project Runway doesn’t cut you any slack if your stuff gets messed up. Ra’mon sits with Jonny for a while, so maybe he’s not all bad, or maybe he just needed to sit down.
Then, Tim sits down with Johnny to give him some fashion therapy. The Great One asks Johnny, “Are you being too hard on you?” and I think I would totally go to Tim for therapy, because he’s all avuncular and stuff and those glasses make him look wicked smart. Johnny says he’s emotionally obliterated, but Tim says he can do it and they hug it out. Which apparently works, because he calls Tim Gunn a god and instantly gets to work.
Carol is working on a corded bodice. Mavin’s dress is ineffable. Ari’s dress looks like it will be crap that bears a surprising resemblance to EPCOT.

The next morning, Johnny tells us he woke up happier and more confident, and Jesus, I think Tim is actually magic. Why didn’t we send him to North Korea?
At FIDM, Christopher reveals he doesn’t know what smocking is. He doesn’t know a lot of designer terms it turns out, having skipped that all-important design school phase. He says this doesn’t matter, but come on, I know what smocking is and I can’t even sew on a button. Don’t be smug, Christopher.
Then, it’s time for Tim to drop by and give everyone his semi-honest opinion, which usually entails him holding his chin and staring over his glasses and asking designers if they really like what they’re doing, which causes half of them to get defensive and the other half to break down in tears. He does have powers, I’m telling you. Tim looks at Christopher’s dress and says it’s not styled correctly. He calls Ari’s halter dress a halter diaper, but she isn’t worried. Ra’mon is doing architectural elements, which might result in a big butt and Tim gets all puntastic and says the big butt is a big but. Mitchell’s dress is Victorian. Finally, he won’t give Qristal a straight answer about her dress. But I will. Qristal, it looks like you dress drag queens in Miami. That shiny-ass K-mart special you’re working on is plain UGLY.
Four hours remaining...
So, the designers are closing in on the finish line, and of course they’re peeping at the competition. Qristal thinks Ari’s dress is interesting, but unless it’s all about flashing vag, it needs pants. Which Ari only seems to realize, um, at the last minute. Mitchell discovers that his measurements were a little off. As in five inches off. So he essentially has to throw out his dress and start over. Hey, he said he liked pressure!
Two hours remaining...

Mitchell tells his model he has to stitch her into her dress. Christopher is sympathetic, but Ra’mon is all snotty about Mitchell’s bad luck, telling us that the poor guy’s got to send a naked model down the runway. I told you, he’s got some bitch in him, that Ra’mon. 
Mitchell is very worried about his naked model.
Finally, it’s to the runway. Michael Kors is back, Nina Garcia is back and tonight we have a guest judge... someone who has spent a lot of time on the red carpet. And it’s... Lindsay Lohan? Seriously? I mean, to call her a designer of her own line is like saying she formulated the chemical mixture of her spray-on tan crap. She designs leggings, people. Leggings.
So let’s get to it.

She busts out a silver, shiny old Hollywood dress, which is kinda boring but not bad.
Her dress is more interesting than Althea’s, but the ruffle around the bodice is not wowing me. Too much volume.
His dress looks like something you wear to a job interview. Nice detailing and elegant, but not fancy enough for red carpet.
Okay, she’s naked. In a sheer nightie. But maybe he can sell this to Victoria’s Secret. It’s sad, because the original dress he designed was interesting, if a little Victorian for my taste.

Her dress is a two-tone hot mess. I blame the lighting on the runway, which makes the contrasting color look like a mistake.

For someone who never went to design school, this isn’t half bad.
Very sedate, very sophisticated, very Angelina Jolie.
Her dress is... okay
Go Epperson! This is dramatic and the neckline is totally high fashion, but the fake fur around the hem, ugh.
It is indeed a halter diaper.
Hey, Meth Head pulled it out! This is actually a very pretty, different look for red carpet.
Honey, Hedda Lettuce called, she says one of the girls in her drag queen review needs her dress back.
His dress isn’t bad, but it’s a little dull in grey on grey.
His dress is sexy and has some nice detailing, but it’s too short.
The judges make their decisions.  Shirin, Epperson, Jordana, Carol, Logan, Althea, Nicolas, Irina, Melvin and Louise are all safe. Then, it’s time for the best of the best and the worst of the worst.
Qristal is, no surprise, in the latter category. She says Miley Cyrus would wear her dress to the Emmys. And I say, only if she gets a head injury. Nina says the seam looks crooked, Michael says it looks schizophrenic, and I say,  I expected nothing less from someone who spells Cristal with a Q.
Christopher says his ideal model is going to the VMA Awards. Heidi thinks his dress is hip and young. Michael thinks it’s cute and edgy. Nina likes the dark romance of it all. Lindsay would like fewer ruffles, but she likes it. Hey, maybe you don’t need design school after all! But I’m not changing my mind about dental school.
Then, it’s Ra’mon’s turn.  Michael likes his dress and thinks it’s well made. Lindsay really likes it, but says it’s safe. Heidi thinks it looks expensive.
Ari wants her model to wear her dress to the VMAs. In 2080. Before collecting her Nobel Peace Prize. Did she go off her medication? Just curious. Michael says the model looks like a disco soccer ball. Nina generously says it’s a little out there, which is a huge understatement, and I’m wondering why the judges are being so nice. Lindsay says Ari should make sure someone will buy her crazypants stuff, and there has to be an awareness of what’s too out there.
When it comes to Jonny’s dress, Nina says it’s seductive and not overly sexy. Lindsay says the low back and V in the front is sexy. Michael says the dress is so interesting he didn’t need an interesting color, which makes sense to everyone but I don’t know, I like the red.
Mitchell explains his horrible nightgown mistake to the judges, but Heidi says models lie about their age and height and everything else, which I guess he was supposed to know through some sort of psychic e-mail system, and Heidi points out PR rules show no mercy in a chipper voice that makes me think Seal has his work cut out for him. Nina says the dress is completely sheer and unwearable, but she likes the attitude. Michael says it looks whipped together, and it’s a cool nightgown, but not right for the red carpet.
Then, the judges confer.
Nina says he needs confidence, but Lindsay says it was the closest to making sense on the red carpet.
Michael thinks the shape is cool. And it is, truthfully, the most interesting dress from a design standpoint.
Heidi says she’d wear his dress, which is probably the biggest compliment he’s going to get.

 Michael was not okay with the taste level. And honestly, anyone who does not frequent Wal-Mart would agree.
Nina doesn’t know if she’s serious or not, but Michael almost likes her intense spaciness. Why, why are these judges tiptoeing around?
Michael says no one could wear it. But I still don’t think he’s going home.
And the winner is... Christopher! Who knew? The guy who doesn’t even know how to smock, go figure! He cries like a little girl about it, but it’s almost sweet. Maybe he’s just relieved not to be in Minnesota.
Then, it’s down to Ari and Mitchell for elimination. Really? They keep Qristal? Come on!
The first to be eliminated, which has got to suck...Ari. Which is okay, because now she can get the mental help she so clearly needs. Even so, I’m a little surprised. Ari’s halter diaper also showed an impressive amount of detail and artistry, even if it didn’t cover the crotch, and I was curious to see what weird ass crap she’d churn out next week. I mean, if you look at a lot of designers (Viktor & Rolf did some scary stuff with burlap to create real-life Russian stacking dolls

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