Two couples get the boot, plus Boyz II Men and Kevin Rudolf
"Tonight, our stars are in double trouble," Tom exclaims in the intro the third elimination episode of "Dancing With The Stars." He's referring to the show's "first ever!" double elimination week, though we've yet to learn if this means a double dance-off. Tom also lets us know that co-host Samantha Harris, barely able to speak due to some sort of laryngitis-y illness (which provided much entertainment last night), will be giving her voice "a rest tonight." Aw..
An excessive recap informs what anyone who watched last night already knows - perfect scorer Gilles, as well as Lil Kim and Melissa were the week's big winners with the judges, while Holly, Steve and Steve-O are going into the double elimination with really, really low scores.
And what's this? Gilles & Cheryl are going to re-perform their perfect score dance? Tom explains this is a "Dancing" staple, and I should have known as the contestants get fewer, the filler gets more excessive. But after watching it last night, and getting a third of it replayed in the recaps, do we really need it again?? And besides, they don't possess the same intensity they had last night (reasonably, I assume, because they're very tired). So why mess with the memory? Ah, yes. You have a FULL HOUR of programming for something that could take two minutes.
Tom, after once again informing us yet again why Samantha isn't speaking, tells us that there WON'T be a dance-off of any kind tonight. Why? "Because its a double-elimination." Tom - that doesn't really explain the reasoning. Why not do a triple dance off? You've got the time.
Anyway, we finally get the first two safe couples: Gilles & Cheryl (shocker!), and Lawrence & Edyta (alright, that's actually a bit surprising.. but I assume Lawrence has the football-enthusiast boyfriends of "Dancing" fans vote all tied up). And the first couple in the bottom three: Holly & Dmitry (they're so gone tonight). And the first performer to whore themselves out on "Dancing with the Stars" tonight: Kevin Rudolf, who I am completely unaware of by name. He sings "Let It Rock," a song I do recognize but not in any positive way. The supplementary interpretative dance is really awkward. No professionally choreographed dance should ever be created to this song. It looks like a strip show. Rudolf looks like a 45 year old man dressed like what he thinks 20 year olds dress like. I wikipedia him to learn he's 26, but stand by my opinion.
One more safe couple: Shawn & Mark (not a surprise, but seriously: at least give us two at a time)
Jewel has allegedly complained to Tom that he's blocking her shot. Tom decided to acknowledge this on live television, thus making for the night's best moment so far as Jewel looks super embarrassed. And now, from best to worst: it's time for some ballroom dancing number choreographed by someone who's name I didn't catch but I assume is a dancing world big shot. Bathroom break!
I come back to a montage of stars and dancers discussing the "double elimination." Some of them are kind of confused about how it works. Explain to us again, Tom!
One more safe couple: Chuck & Julianne (ugh), and one more not-so-safe couple: Steve-O & Lacey, and... another performer: Boyz II Men. Who are most definitely finished with the transformation suggested in their name. And I thought there were four of them? Anyway, they're a step up from Rudolf, but get TWO numbers (including "End of the Road," which I'll admit gets the 12 year old in me a little excited).
After a pointless montage of the judge's thoughts on the season so far, this show finally gets going: Lil' Kim & Derek (yay) and Melissa & Tony are both safe. So that leaves David & Kym, Ty & Chelsie, & Steve & Karina for the last bottom slot. You'd THINK given their 12 last night, it'd be Steve & Karina, but who knows...
Cue a 6 minute tutorial as to how "Dancing With The Stars" voting works. I swear to god, next week I'm only blogging the last 10 minutes.
Finally, we're here (I think, though I'm sure they'll cram in another montage somehow). Ty & Chelsie? Safe. Steve & Karina? Bottom three. So David & Kym are safe, and the judge's lowest three scorers are rightfully the overall lowest scorers.
With no dance-off, here we go... The double couple voted off tonight: Holly & Dmitry, and - in a bit of a surprise - Steve & Karina. Holly doesn't seem like she cares, but Steve gives a heartfelt little speech about Karina. Cue "End of the Road" (well isn't that perfect) as they do their final dances.
'American Idol' gives Apple a pat on the back, while Adam and Kris shine
The theme for Tuesday (March 31) night's episode of "American Idol" is Popular Downloads on iTunes, which means absolutely nothing.
I guess it's always nice to plug for your sponsors, though. But why not "Songs to Sing While Cruising in your Ford"? Or "Songs that Would Make a Great AT&T Ringtone"? Or "Songs as Refreshing as a Cool Coca-Cola"?
Find out what the night's theme meant to the "American Idol" Top Nine after the break...
Patient Zero, an ambush and an unfortunate Presidential appointment on this week's '24'
It's rare for anybody to praise a network's on-air promotions staff for restraint, but if ever there were an episode that could have been advertised as "The Episode of '24' That Changes Everything!" Monday (March 30) night's episode was it.
This was big. This was even bigger than Tony Almeida eating a candlelight dinner by himself.
[It's so big I can only talk about it after the break... With spoilers...]
As the Petrellis seeks to heal familial wounds, Danko seeks help in an unlikely place.
I’m sure this goes without saying, but “Into Asylum” was a let down after last week’s brilliant “Cold Snap.” But that’s got more to do with “Snap” being a singular shot of awesome into the mediocre circulatory system of “Heroes” in general. “Asylum” slowed down the season-long chase for the superpowered, as two relationships were repaired and one Axis of Evil was formed.
Read shape-shifting spoilers after the break.
We aren't sure that Gilles Marini is actually a 'star,' but he did get the season's first Perfect Score
What ratings-hungry new rule or revelation does Dancing With The Stars have up its sleeve this week? Well, first off, this week will feature the first ever double elimination, which I suspect means a dance-off between more than just two couples! (Tom sells it: "This means double the drama!). And top of it, we get two dances never before seen on Dancing With The Stars! The dances are called the Argentine tango and the Lindy-hop, and we learn the former is "all about sensuality" (aw, Denise Richards, you missed your big shot by a week), and the latter, similar to the jitterbug, is "all about fun." Let's judge for ourselves:
[All the performances recapped after the break...]
Mark & Michael get a rare double-penalty, Margie nearly passes out and karma is a fickle mistress
Someday, when HitFix has made me rich and famous and I decide to leave the entertainment journalism game, I'm going to go back to grad school and get my PhD. When that occurs, I plan on creating a dual degree program in Religious Studies and Television Theory. My thesis will be titled "Keoghan and Krishna: Case Research on Karma and 'The Amazing Race.'"
Sunday (March 29) night's "Amazing Race" episode, whimsically titled "Gorilla? Gorilla?? Gorilla???" will probably get its own chapter, as it exposes both the power of "Amazing Race" karma, but also its sad limitations.
[Recap with spoilers after the break...]
Eliza Dushku's Echo heads back to college, experiences another glitch and we learn her last name
Previously on... Yeah, last week definitely picked up the pace. Ballard, suspended for his investigation of the Dollhouse. Sierra’s handler, a scumbag rapist, killed. Ballard’s girlfriend/neighbor, secretly an active, does the killing. And Dominic – still kind of a dick.
We open Friday's (March 27) new "Dollhouse" with a flashback, to before Echo was Echo, when she was still just Caroline. She’s in a bad spot, and DeWitt offers her a way out: five years as a doll. Yes, we’ve seen this before, but we finally learn the name of DeWitt’s mysterious employer: the Rossum Corporation.
[More after the break...]
Matt Giraud is the latest 'Idol' favorite to make a surprise trip to the Bottom Three, but would he force a Judges' Save?
8:00 p.m. ET Smokey Robinson has never seen an "American Idol" competition this tight and if there's anything Smokey Robinson knows, it's reality television handicapping. If you're curious, he likes Coach on "Survivor: Tocantins" and he's picking Fo on "America's Next Top Model." He's still undecided on "Make Me a Supermodel," but he's amused by that Mennonite girl.
8:02 p.m. There were 36 million votes cast last night. Unfortunately, none of them will be able to save Alexis Grace. You can never undo what you've done, America. So learn to love Scott MacIntyre. He's your fault.
[How did America vote? Full recap after the break...]
One of the oldest paradoxes in time travel is brought to life this week
Excuse me for posting this recap in the morning instead of last night, but as I went to sleep for a few hours, I was still thinking about the episode. It's not my favorite of the season by any means, but it's one that demanded a little extra reflection.
One of the most difficult things about an ensemble show like "Lost" is making sure that every character is well-served, and as much as I love "Lost," it doesn't always pull off that task as well as it should. If there's any character out of the main ensemble who feels adrift most often, it would be Sayid Jarrah, played by the unflappably cool Naveen Andrews.
Traditionally, whenever there is nasty work to be done, Sayid is the character that the show turns to, drawing on his past with the Republican Guard in Iraq as justification for letting him do what no one else will. This week, all of that nasty seems to catch up to Sayid, and the entire episode essentially becomes one man's struggle between the devil and the angel on his shoulders, leading to one of the season's best endings, a moment that perfectly dramatizes one of the oldest questions people ask about time travel.
"If you had a time machine, would you go back to when Hitler was a kid and kill him before he ever got started?"
[more after the jump]
The girls worked on posing, pretended to be immigrants and, in an elimination surprise, one girl turned snitch
It’s episode four of cycle 12 of "America’s Next Top Model"! Too many numbers for you in a single sentence? Of course! This is a show about models, not crime-fighting mathematicians. Geez.
So Nijah went home last week; Allison got to stick around because she’s less boring than Nijah, who, by the time this sentence has ended, I will have totally forgotten.
Oh, interesting. Rihanna isn’t featured in the anchor Cover Girl commercial. Do I smell a backlash against the singer because of her personal choices? Do I love a conspiracy story?
[Full recap after the break...]
Sandra is strutting around more than usual, given that her picture was the best last week. It’s obviously hell on the rest of the girls, simply because Sandra is annoying and mean and a horrible soul. But before I can enjoy a real catfight, the doorbell rings, and Toccara is there. Oh my God, her voice could make the beard on the Lincoln Memorial bleed. Just show up and give out the clothes you “bought,” which probably means picked up from a sponsor. The visit is apparently all about nurturing one’s “personality.” And, apparently, walking on the Top Model house catwalk, because that’s all kinds of fun, right?
Before she leaves, Toccara hammers home that you, like, really need a personality. Kthanxbai!
A dance-themed Tyramail can mean only one thing: Benny Ninja, vogue pioneer and posing queen. The girls all head to Marquee to meet Ninja and a model-turned-DJ named Sky Nellor. This challenge is all about matching one’s poses to music, because, apparently, photographers care about such things.
Nellor spins beats and the models come out in pairs, trying their best to pose to the music. Kortnie and Sandra fail; the former thinks about being funny too much, the latter is too unaware of her body. Tahlia and Allison don’t fare much better, but Celia kills it, as does a cool, jazz-inspired Aminat. Back at the house, Allison vows not to let her poor showing get her down.
Here comes the challenge: At a club called Mansion, a pair of designers who go by The Blondes agree to provide the fashions. A crowd will determine the winners. Of course this is a crowd of extremely elite drag queens -- the best posers on the planet, and I mean that in a good way. This is "Paris is Burning" all over again.
Allison gets called out as “sour,” which is good, right away. So is Kortnie and Sandra. Then Celia gallumphs onto the stage and owns it. Girl, you. Can. WERQ.
Aminat gets even eaten alive, as does Tahlia. Natalie wins her round, destined for a pose-off with Celia. Celia has the presence of mind to work with her crazy gold garment, and she wins over the drag queen handily.
Back at the house, Tahlia breaks down. This is because the crowd hated her, and that’s because she isn’t a very confident model, and THAT means she isn’t a very good model. She begins to talk about going home. Will she actually remove HERSELF from the competition? Will she? WILL SHE?
Before we can analyze, it’s off to another photo shoot. Tahlia confesses to the stylists in hair and makeup that, once again, she isn’t sure she should be there. Celia voices what everyone is thinking: We know you’re a burn victim, and that’s just so special, but really. Go home.
The next photo shoot takes place at Ellis Island. Benny Ninja will join each model as she tries to channel an immigrant arriving from the old country. They’re actually using a real, honest-to-goodness, old camera and everything!
Sandra is up first. Her stiffness makes her more like the way an 1850s immigrant might look right now, as opposed to, you know, back then. Fo gives it her all. London has a naturally dramatic face, and she falls effortlessly into her “character.” Teyona, once again, can do no wrong. And then comes Kortnie. God, honey, you are so pretty, why must you flop like a sack in front of this old, old camera?
Now here comes a surprise: Tahlia’s shoot is actually good. Did I miss something?
Celia -- let’s not even spend any more time on her. She just rules. Can we move on? Good. Because Aminat seems to be experiencing some difficulty. She seems to falter with every frame, while Allison works her waifish anchovy eyes to full effect.
Panel comes next. Please, lordy, lordy, let Sandra go home. I don’t care if she adds drama to the competition. She grates.
Teyona just seems to own the judges. They love her shoot. London, inexplicably, fails to impress because she’s looking off in the distance, but Sandra just bombs completely. She’s handed the judges yet another profile, and even I, a 36-year-old shorty with a big ass, knows to give a photographer some range. The judges also like Aminat and Allison.
Fo is up next. Like London, she does not connect with the camera because she isn’t, you know, looking into it. Natalie is praised and even given a comparison to Keira Knightley.
Oh God, here comes Kortnie. She can do no right. And she’s so pretty! Are the planets out of alignment. Nigel declares her eyes to be “dead.” Tyra says she “underperformed.”
Tahlia, for her part, looks like a hot mess in person, but she has the best photo of the bunch this week. Celia does meh.
So who goes home? Sandra is in the bottom two. Hooray! But so is Kortnie. And, sadly for the known world, it’s Kortnie who goes home. Next week: More misery with Sandra at the Top Model house! Oh, yay.
And then ... OH NO SHE DID NOT. Celia just stood up in front of Tyra and ratted on Tahlia, saying that Tahlia didn't want to be there. But Tyra and the judges' decisions stand. Look for Celia to take some serious heat next episode.
Would you describe Celia as more of a "snitch" or a "rat" or a "stoolie" or a "narc"?