<p>Gordana of 'Project Runway'&nbsp;</p>

Gordana of 'Project Runway' 

Credit: Lifetime

Recap: 'Project Runway' - 'The Best of the Best'

A challenge to create a companion piece leads to tension between Althea and Irina
Oh boy, there are only six designers left, and just two of them are boys. Girl power! Irina is thrilled about this, because it's about time women had a little bit of a say in the male-dominated fashion industry. And though it pains me to say it, I am so down with Irina on this. If I have to try on another pair of pants that only fit girls who have not gone through puberty or have the misfortune of being built like Chazz Bono, I will take out the first snippy salesgirl I see. I'm just saying.
Anyway, it's "Runway" time! Whee!
[Full recap of Thursday's (Oct. 29) "Project Runway" after the break...]
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<p>&nbsp;Jaison of 'Survivor Samoa'</p>

 Jaison of 'Survivor Samoa'

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Samoa' - 'Houdini Magic'

As Foa Foa's struggles continue, Russell contemplates a dramatic move to shake up the tribe
Pre-credit sequence. It took me a few minutes to remember that the big twist of last week's "Survivor: Samoa" was that nobody went home. Well, nobody except for Non-Psycho Russell, which means that Psycho Russell can now just be "Russell." We start the episode at Non-Psycho Russell's old tribe, Galu, still trying to figure out what comes next. The guys are mostly concerned about how to keep Shambo with them to prevent her from joining forces with the ladies. They only need Shambo til the merge, though, and from that point, it's "Bros before Hos." 
[Full recap of Thursday's (Oct. 29) "Survivor Samoa" after the break...]
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<p>Nicole of 'America's Next Top Model' in brown-face for Wednesday's episode</p>

Nicole of 'America's Next Top Model' in brown-face for Wednesday's episode

Credit: The CW

Recap: 'America's Next Top Model' - 'Let's Go Surfing'

A trip to Hawaii brings surfing, sunburn and a lesson in mixing races and makeup

 After many episodes, the sad diagnosis must be brought out into the open: Sundai, you are not a model. You are extraordinarily gorgeous, and your eyes are the stuff of legend, but you stand there in panel like a junior high school band major who plays Warcraft with all of her free time, and in this business, you need to be a level 80 mage in front of the camera, not just in front of your computer. There. I said it. You're cute, Sundai, but no.

[Full recap of Wednesday (Oct. 28) night's "America's Next Top Model," with spoilers, after the break...]

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<p>Russell Ferguson of 'So You Think You Can Dance'</p>

Russell Ferguson of 'So You Think You Can Dance'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'So You Think You Can Dance' - The Top 20 perform and 2 dancers go home

Noelle Marsh has to miss Tuesday's performances, but the judges eliminate two other hoofers

After Monday's Top 20 showcase episode, "So You Think You Can Dance" kicked off its formal competitive season on Tuesday (Oct. 27) night with its first pairings and, shunning democracy, our first elimination, courtesy of the judges' whims.

With HitFix's normal "SYTYCD" recapper otherwise indisposed, you're stuck with me, dear readers. And I can only warn you that while I'm sure I'm a solid judge of vocal talent, which it comes to dancing, I barely have a clue what I'm talking about. So feel free to set me straight.

The episode begins with Nigel Lythgoe explaining that Billy Bell is no longer with us and that Noelle Marsh is also indisposed for the evening. Noelle will be replaced by a stand-in for the night, but if she can't return next week, she'll be out.

Here we go...

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<p>&nbsp;<span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: 'Lucida Grande'; color: rgb(27, 27, 27); white-space: pre; ">Hayden Panettiere of 'Heroes'</span></p>

 Hayden Panettiere of 'Heroes'

Credit: Justin Lubin/NBC

Recap: 'Heroes' - 'Strange Attractors'

With Rebecca seeking to claim Claire for the carnival, Samuel sets his eyes on another recruit.

 "Heroes" giveth, and "Heroes" taketh it away. In other words? Par for the course in this improved, but still mixed, volume of the show. For everything that works, something else steps in and results in a response often favored by C+C Music Factory. In other words, there were plenty of things that made you go, "Hmmm," in this week's outing, "Strange Attractors."  

Since the title of the episode derived from Claire's storyline, let's start with her, shall we? 
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<p>&nbsp;<span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: 'Lucida Grande'; color: rgb(27, 27, 27); white-space: pre; ">Mollee Gray of 'So You Think You Can Dance'</span></p>

 Mollee Gray of 'So You Think You Can Dance'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'So You Think You Can Dance' - Top 20 Showcase

Things will get serious on Tuesday, but on Monday, the "SYTYCD" Top 20 showed what they can do
It's time for a closer look at our top 20, and, as usual, it's going to be THE MOST TALENTED SEASON EVER. Just once I'd like to hear Nigel or Cat or someone say, you know, the people who turned out this year kinda sucked, so it's going to be a pretty so-so season. You may want to try us next year. Just kidding. Kind of. But I will say, based on tonight's show, this is going to be one interesting, weird and definitely loud season. And for once, I have to agree that almost anyone could win it, because with a few exceptions, these kids look goooood.
[Full recap of Monday (Oct. 26) night's "So You Think You Can Dance" after the break...]
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<p>&nbsp;Jon Hamm of 'Mad Men'</p>

 Jon Hamm of 'Mad Men'

Credit: AMC

Recap: 'Mad Men' -- 'The Gypsy and the Hobo'

While Betty decides what to do about the contents of Don's desk, an old client stirs up trouble for Roger.

As we near the end of the third season of "Mad Men," the 1960s are moving faster than ever for the show's major characters. Whereas earlier seasons seemingly moved in slow motion, with action moving at an almost glacial pace, Season 3 finds its central players noticing the earth beneath their feet is moving ever more rapidly. In the widening tectonic crevices left behind lies the difference between the lives these people thought they would lead and the lives they actually live.

This week's episode, "The Gypsy and the Hobo," centered around three couples looking at each other in the eye and seeing the illusions of their lives dissipate, leaving behind a reality that is both unforgiving yet oddly banal. Much in the way that life went stubbornly on in the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis at the end of Season 3, so too does life continue to proceed even after deep secrets and shameful truths rise to the surface. And rather than hold off until the end of the recap to deal with the most seismic event, let's join Don and Betty in the kitchen, shall we? 

[Full recap of Sunday (Oct. 25) night's "Mad Med" after the break...]
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<p>&nbsp;Flight Time and Big Easy of 'The Amazing Race'</p>

 Flight Time and Big Easy of 'The Amazing Race'

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' -- 'Do it for the Hood! Do It for the Suburbs!'

Still in Dubai, one team builds on a big lead, while a water slide proves a Waterloo
When most "Amazing Race" fans go through the show's history, their favorite teams and their favorite tasks, "The Amazing Race 8" usually goes conspicuously unmentioned. That was the "Family Edition," which stunk because of the teams of four, stunk because very few of the legs left the United States and stunk because there's something awkward and unsightly about watching small children face challenges in high pressure situations.
I highly doubt that Bert Van Munster and company are going to go down the "Family Edition" path ever again and if they ever have their doubts regarding why emotionally unformed kids shouldn't be allowed on the Race, they should just check out Sunday (Oct. 25) night's "The Amazing Race."
Nobody in America was a fan of FOX's short-lived "Nashville," but those of us who were forced to watch an episode or two for work already knew that Mika was an innocent, a sheltered, coddled naif. I guess you can take that as an insult, but I don't mean it that way. I just don't know that I've ever seen a reality TV contestant less prepared to face even a scintilla of adversity than poor Mika. And I watched every episode of "Kid Nation."
So what Mika did on Sunday night may have seemed like a pathetic and humiliating choke job, I don't view it that way. Sometimes spoiled children just misbehave and when that happens, sometimes it costs the people they love a whole heap of money.
[Recap of Sunday night's "The Amazing Race" after the break...]
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<p>&nbsp;Dichen Lachman of 'Dollhouse'</p>

 Dichen Lachman of 'Dollhouse'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Dollhouse' - 'Belonging'

After concentrating on Victor in the last episode, 'Dollhouse' turns its attentions to Sierra


First, a programming note: Fox is pulling “Dollhouse” for the month of November. If you are reading this recap, you surely already know this and have written an irate blog post or something about it, but when the show returns, it will be for three two-hour “events,” and then the remaining three hours will be burned off at some point in time. Hence, when the show returns, these recaps will bloat to 7,000 word recaps of both episodes, probably involving elaborate citations of the works of Immanuel Kant. Maybe the ratings will perk up and we’ll all get to follow this show for years to come. Maybe the ratings will slowly crawl and some other network (or DirecTV) will figure, “What the hell?” and pick it up for another 13-episode season. Most likely, though, none of this will happen. But God willing and the Hitfix.com don’t crash, I’ll be here, covering this until the bitter end.

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<p>&nbsp;Christopher of 'Project Runway'</p>

 Christopher of 'Project Runway'

Credit: Lifetime

Recap: 'Project Runway' - 'Around the World in Two Days'

Designers struggle to capture inspiration points, and one has a mini-breakdown

 Oh boy, this is the Nicolas/Raggedy Andy/Chucky nervous breakdown episode, if the promos are to be believed, and I'm just so excited. Of course, with Nic it's anyone's guess what a nervous breakdown actually looks like, but I'm hoping it entails ripping out some of that awful hair, because boyfriend really needs a new look that doesn't appear to have been cut with a bowl over his head. But anyway, it's time for "Project Runway!"

Carol Hannah is sad Shirin is gone. But Carol Hannah is not a dummy, as she notes that she and the other remaining designers are trying to spot the sad, stray sheep to determine which one will be picked off next and also so they know which names to slap on their voodoo doll/pin cushions each week. Okay, maybe not that last part, but you know Irina would turn her pin cushion into a voodoo doll if she thought anyone was in her league. Which she doesn't. We hate Irina a little, don't we?
Now that we're down to the final weeks, Nicolas says he has to assert himself as a designer. Because America, here he comes. Prepare yourself for many, many white, sparkly spandex dresses, America. About five of you won't look horrible. But I could be overestimating.
Heidi tells the designers they're going to Beverly Hills, which excites all the designers who've never been to Los Angeles before, because they just don't know any better. Logan says all the stars are shopping in Beverly Hills, because he's never been to Robertson Boulevard and doesn't know what a stylist is.
In Beverly Hills, they meet, as promised, Tim Gunn and a famous designer, who turns out to be Michael Kors. Which would be more exciting if he wasn't, oh, a judge. But he tells the kids he's very inspired by wonderful places around the world, and he wants each of them to pick one of his inspirational places as an inspiration to design an outfit. I so want to see an Eiffel Tower dress, don't you?
Carol Hannah picks... Palm Beach.
Nicolas picks Greece, because New York would be too easy. Shut up, Nicolas, you red-haired boob.
Althea picks St. Tropez
Gordans picks New York
Irina picks Aspen, because outerwear is her specialty. Shut up, Irina.
Christopher picks Santa Fe
Logan picks... Hollywood. Because you know if this designing thing doesn't work out, he's made for extra work on “90210.”
Thirty minutes to sketch, then off to Mood with $150 and, oh yeah, gotta make that outfit by tonight. Have fun!
At Mood, Gordana buys jewels. Irina bitches that she needs more money for a winter coat. I hear that, sister. But I just wait for a sale at Macy's.
Back at FIDM, Nicolas is creating (wait for it) a fantasy of a woman who lives in Greece. Awesome. Maybe she'll have antennae and hooves. And wear, hmm, white.
Irina is completely irritated by all the designers getting along and joking around and not hating each other, so she takes it on herself to hate all of them. Somebody's got to do the dirty work around there.
Yay, time for Tim Gunn's check-in! Gordana is making a necklace. Tim wants her to start on the dress and stop screwing around with the necklace. But she's confident for now, until she's not. Tim thinks Althea's outfit is looking cute. But he says she has to watch her proportions. Christopher tells Tim he's making a flowy little dress with a brown belt. Tim tells him to avoid clichés.
Good thing Irina isn't conducting the Tim Gunn check in, because she thinks Christopher's dress looks like something an Amish woman would wear. And it pains me to say this, but I kind of agree with her if this half-finished outfit continues the way it's going. The blue is too blah and the top seems shapeless. But unlike Irina, I'm not going to judge a half-finished outfit. Because I'd like to think I'm not entirely evil. Yet.
Carol Hannah tries to explain to Tim why she's making an ugly print maxi dress. Tim thinks it's cliché. Tim comes over to look at Nicolas' outfit. Hey, look, tons of white fabric! Tim thinks different is good as long as it's stunning. Is this stunning? If previous experience is any indication, no, it's not and it will look like all his other color blind outfits, but the judges will looooove it.
Logan is doing a slouchy Hollywood look that is very Hollywood, in that it might be pajamas and we've all seen what Britney Spears looks like when she goes to get her daily Starbucks fix. Tim tells him to focus on cohesion. Tim thinks Irina has accomplished a lot, because she's made pants and she hates people too much to waste time talking to them. Tim tells her to watch her proportions. Nicolas thinks her outfit looks like costume, which is funny coming from the guy who keeps making White Witch Halloween outfits.
But if Nicolas hates Irina, well, I'll just say I'm hating Nicolas a whole lot less, because this woman is just mean through and through. She informs us that the level of creativity and craftsmanship among the other kids hasn't increased, and those talentless losers are getting by with the bare minimum. Carol Hannah points out that it's been clear since the beginning Irina wasn't there to make friends. Duh.
Althea thinks if Christopher can get his Amish outfit down the runway and not get eliminated, then she doesn't know what's going on. And even Christopher admits it looks like Little House on the Prairie. So he hems the skirt, so it will look like Jailbait Dance Party on the Prairie.  
Back at the apartment Nicolas, who was such a bitch earlier in the season, now says he loves the other designers and they're all his friends. He thinks everyone is talented. Who stole Chucky the homicidal doll and left behind this walking Hallmark card?
Nicolas informs us he had a little nervous breakdown the night before. Wha? Was that it? Was that THE breakdown we were promised? And we didn't get to SEE it? Or was his loving huggy moment with his co-designers the breakdown? His not being able to do a cute top, was that it? I am SO disappointed. I wanted hair pulling, crying in a fetal position and possibly uncontrollable vomiting. Damn overpromising and underdelivering previews!
I am taking a moment now. Lifetime, you are so on my naughty list.
Okay, I'm back. And we're off to the runway, because it's time for another round of Meet the Judges! Michael Kors, of course, Nina Garcia and actress/designer/model/alien killer Milla Jovovich.
The vest is cool, but after that it's white pants with suspenders and a tank top. Maybe I'm missing something, but this isn't wowing me. At all.
Cute outfit. Not amazing, but... cute. The blousy overshirt is a nice touch, and the super short leather shorts are pretty trend right. For women who weigh ten pounds and are six feet tall, but still, trend right.
I actually like white shirt/grey pants combo this a little more than I thought I would. But what the hell does this have to do with Greece? Wear this in Greece and all you'd get is sweaty and the sleeves would be covered in hummus by the end of lunch. Fail.  
Carol Hannah
I am not a fan of this green maxi dress. I think Carol Hannah wore the black and white version of it last week. The braiding is cool, though.
Holy crap, boyfriend almost saved this outfit. It's flouncy, the belt is good, and despite the blah top any Amish girl who wears it will be kicked out of the township, which, from a fashion perspective, is probably a good thing.
I wish I hated the cowl neck sweater and the trim brown pants. But it's pretty awesome. The cut-out back on the sweater is even more awesome. But I do hate the fur vest. Irina probably eats kittens and shoots minks for fun. Because she's just that kind of person.
This is a pretty sweet little grey dress. The necklace is nice, and it's a sophisticated look. Pretty darn Park Avenue.
The judges have decided. Time to deliver their verdicts and crush someone's dreams forever. Mwahahahaha!
Althea, dead in the middle, gets a pass into next week.
We start with Irina. Milla likes it. Michael likes the cut-out sweater. Nina feels she's being drawn into the fantasy. Heidi think she's done an incredible job. Then, on to Christopher. Nina was hoping for brighter colors. Michael isn't a fan. Milla likes the belt, but Heidi thinks that's the only good part of it. Ouch.
On to Carol Hannah. Nina loves the braiding and the print. Milla would live in that dress. Heidi thinks it's beautifully sewn. Michael loves the fabric. The judges are disappointing me. But then again, Palm Beach makes me think of sticky sunscreen and humidity, which makes me want to shower immediately.
Next, Nicolas. Michael thinks he made an outfit for “Grease” the movie instead of Greece the country. Good one, Michael! Nina wants fantasy. Heidi thinks it's weird the shirt is too tight in the middle and too loose in the arms. Milla wishes the top was a dress.
Gordana is sweating. She starts making excuses about the dress immediately. But Milla loves the necklace. Heidi thinks it's quite beautiful. Michael thinks it's a sexy, sophisticated dress and very Park Avenue. Gordana should know when to shut up.
Nina thinks Logan blew his outfit on the styling. It didn't bother Heidi. Michael said he needed to do something outrageous, and he made clothes, not fashion. Milla thought it was blah.
Judge chat time! Heidi wishes Irina hadn't done everything camel-colored. Nina liked Gordana's fantasy. Milla wishes she'd be more confident, but thinks she's good. Michael thought Carol Hannah picked the right fabric. Milla thinks she has something to say. Nina thinks she needed something extra.
Nina thought Christopher made a top that was too boxy. Heidi thought it was unwearable. Looking at Nicolas' outfit, Milla wished he hadn't made the pants. Michael doesn't understand why he picked grey menswear fabric, but I was just relieved it wasn't white. Heidi didn't mind Logan's outfit. Milla says if it was Project I Didn't Mind It, he'd win, but he needs to take things to the next level. That Milla! She's pretty saucy for a guest judge. Must be the alien killing background.
Time to bring out the victims, mwahahahaha!
Carol Hannah is... in. Irina is... the winner! Heidi says it made everyone want to sip champagne in a ski lodge. Personally, it made me want to strangle Irina with her sweater. Irina is now super confident and, since she has no competition, she knows she has to compete with what she's already done. Shut it, Irina.
Gordana is... in. But warned she needs to have more confidence. Which makes me think she would have won if she'd shut her mouth. D'oh!
Loser time. Wah-wah.
Logan is... in. Christopher is... in.
Nicolas is OUT. This is a little bittersweet for me. I mean, Nicolas was working my last nerve, but over the past few weeks it's as if his heart had grown two sizes larger and his hatred of Irina really worked for me. And if someone had snuck up behind him and shaved his head, you know, I would have forgiven a lot.
Nicolas isn't sad. He's going to move to London or Paris or Japan. Tim tells him his work was beautifully executed and he's a great designer. Which is true. If you like white. And need a costume for Halloween.
Do you think Nicolas deserved to go? Is Irina working your last nerve? And what did you think of Carol Hannah's maxi dress?