<p>Cara and Jaime of 'The Amazing Race'</p>

Cara and Jaime of 'The Amazing Race'

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' Finale - 'This Is How You Lose a Million Dollars'

One team choked, one team earned redemption and the right team won

 

The 14th installment of "The Amazing Race," which got off to a superb start, flagged for a few episodes, but then delivered one of my all-time favorite endings just last week, reached its conclusion on Sunday (May 10) night.

Titled "This Is How You Lose a Million Dollars," the finale wasn't as exciting as perhaps it could have been, something the producers presumably realized as they cut together an episode that included maybe only 40 minutes of racing (including commercials) once you took away the extended opening clip package and the triumphant hugging and tears at the final Pit Stop.

At the very least, though, I hope we can all agree that the right team won...

[Recap, with results, after the break...]

Read Full Post
<p>Eliza Dushku of 'Dollhouse'</p>

Eliza Dushku of 'Dollhouse'

Credit: Carin Baer/FOX

Recap: 'Dollhouse' Finale - 'Omega'

Joss Whedon's new drama ends its first season with some big Alpha relevations

Here we go. It’s been a long trip and this is probably the last episode we’ll see of “Dollhouse.” Despite the bumps, it’s been an interesting ride. We’ve seen Caroline, a young woman on the run from the law, decide to solve her problems by joining a super-secret organization that rents her body with custom-designed brain-patterns included. We’ve seen FBI Agent Paul Ballard toss his career in the crapper to chase down Caroline and the Dollhouse. We’ve seen a lot of Eliza Dushku in the flesh, as well as selected slices of the other cheese- and beefcake on the show, Sierra and Victor. And now, we’re left with Echo in the hands of Alpha, the rogue doll who went slashy-slashy and stabby-stabby a while ago.

[Recap and spoilers for the "Dollhouse" finale after the break...]

Read Full Post
<p>Stephen and JT of 'Survivor: Tocantins'</p>

Stephen and JT of 'Survivor: Tocantins'

Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Tocantins' - 'The Ultimate Sacrifice'

Coach continues to get on everybody's nerves, but will Debbie's big promise backfire?

 

Pre-credit sequence. We're down to the Final Six, as they return to Forza camp. JT is glad that the drama is gone, or at least the drama in cute little Sierra form. Little does he know that Coach is outraged that Erinn and Taj voted randomly at Tribal Council. He's ready to bring the Warrior Alliance, the alliance that stabbed Tyson in the back, back into play, reiterating, "There's a reason why we have a name." Coach is really hung up on naming things, isn't he? But I guess that's to be expected from a middle-aged man named "Coach." He's proud of his honesty and his boldness, but Debbie notes, "It is so old." As she goes and vents Coach's disapproval to her comrades, Coach continues his slide into Shakespearean excess, slouching in a chair, muttering, "Cowards, cowards, cowards all around me." Given the opportunity, I suspect he would exchange his kingdom for a horse.

[Is this Coach's last stand? Recap after the break...]

Read Full Post
<p>Richard Alpert may play a key role in not just next week's season finale, but in the show's overall mythology</p>

Richard Alpert may play a key role in not just next week's season finale, but in the show's overall mythology

Credit: ABC

Recap: 'Lost' #515 'Follow The Leader'

All the pieces are finally in place for the season finale, but in the ways we expected?

Before we get into it, I want to pose a question to you as we head into the last week of waiting this season.  I can't believe next week's two hour show is the end of it.  We're done with the season, and then next year, it's one last blast of episodes and we're done.  So my question to you is this:  what is the one thing that you absolutely, positively, no argument HAVE TO HAVE ANSWERED before the show finishes next year?  Either leave it in the comments or e-mail it it to me and we'll talk about them in next week's recap, which will also serve as a wrap-up for the season.

Can I just say how much I like watching Ben and Richard look like they have no idea what the hell is going on?  After watching them smile and gloat and sell the idea that they have all these answers they're just not sharing, it's nice to see that they may, in fact, be big fat liars who are just as confused as anyone else.  I'm not sure what was going on in that one little sotto exchange of theirs, but their relationship, which has always seemed tense at best, may be more complicated than previously suggested.

Big week for the couples on the island.  Jack and Kate are pretty much completely opposed in how to handle things, and the way he casually hurts her with his determination to "fix" everything is a fairly realistic emotional touch.  I like how he doesn't even seem to fully understand just what he's doing to her each time he talks about wiping clean "all the misery." 

[more after the jump]

Read Full Post
<p>Aminat of 'America's Next Top Model'</p>

Aminat of 'America's Next Top Model'

Credit: Jim DeYonker/Pottle Productions Inc

Recap: 'America's Next Top Model' Cycle 12 - 'Take Me to the Jungle'

Would Celia's fierce fashion sense keep her around or would the light hit Aminat the right way?

Fo, Fo, you fabu Blaxican, we hardly knew ye. You may be five feet seven inches, but you will always be tall to us. Fare thee well, tiny supermodel. Fare thee well, mighty midget.

Back to the catfight for that $100,000 Cover Girl contract. We have Celia, who, as we’ve learned, is 25 and photographs as “not frosh.” Teyona is perfect at everything she does, especially now that she has a decent wardrobe, which she won during a challenge. We have Allison, queen of the mighty seas, or, at least, the piscine kingdom, and -- who else? Oh, Aminat, almost forgot you were there. That can’t be good. 

[Recap for Wednesday (May 6) night's "America's Next Top Model" after the break...]

Read Full Post
<p>Kris Allen of 'American Idol'</p>

Kris Allen of 'American Idol'

Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Results - Down to the Top Three

Performances by Paula Abdul, No Doubt and Daughtry steal the Wednesday (May 6) night thunder

9:00 p.m. Sniffle. Sniffle. Still digesting that "Scrubs" finale. Will I have any tears left for whichever contestant gets eliminated on Wednesday (May 6) night's "American Idol"?

9:01 p.m. Who will graduate from the 'Idol' School of Rock and who will just get schooled?" That's Ryan Seacrest's big question. My big question: Have they fixed the "American Idol" stage yet?

9:02 p.m. We had over 64 million votes registered last night, the show's most-ever for an episode outside of the finale.

[Results and recap after the break...]

Read Full Post
<p>Lil' Kim and Derek Hough of 'Dancing with the Stars'</p>

Lil' Kim and Derek Hough of 'Dancing with the Stars'

Credit: Kelsey McNeal/ABC

Recap: 'Dancing with the Stars' - Results - Ty versus Lil Kim

Would the rapper be heading home, or did viewers finally turn on the dancing rodeo icon?

Very unlikely to become the ninth couple eliminated from this season of "Dancing With The Stars," Melissa & Tony open tonight's results show with a re-do of their perfect 30 samba.  It's as fantastic as it was last night, and Melissa is just as trampy-looking in a re-do of her sparkly-blue-showgirl getup.

With two dances per couple to recap, Melissa's dance leads into an extra long montage that let's us know what we already do: Melissa & Tony are in the lead (with 57 points), with Gilles & Cheryl and Shawn & Mark just behind (with 56 each).  Lil' Kim & Derek are falling a bit behind after being on top last week (with 52 points), while Ty & Chelsie are obviously the ones that deserve to go (with 46).  I'll be pretty shocked if that's not the case, but I should keep in mind that last week they weren't even in the bottom two.

We'll find out in 55 minutes.

First up to held build the tension is guest performer Jamie Cullum, who becomes the first performer this season that I've never heard of. He's fine I guess, but I refuse to ever say I enjoyed a musician "I first heard on 'Dancing With The Stars.'" Cullum leads into something called "Dance Center," which continues the show's horrible, horrible tradition of attempting parody.  A spoof of Sports Center featuring Len and two people I don't recognize and didn't catch their names, it's the producers' oh-so-clever way of ensuring once and for all that we are totally caught up on what's happened so far this season through childish humor.  Example of the jokes attempted: "Lil' Kim has one huge asset. And she knows how to work that asset."  They only get through 3 contestants, so I fear their return.

First, though, we actually get some news on the competition: Gilles & Cheryl are safe. Gilles is very excited, despite this being very obvious to everyone other than him.

Dance Center is back already. They giveth, they taketh away.

Now Samantha's introducing the "Macy's Stars of Dance" by saying were about to see the biggest stars this dance floor has ever seen.  Bigger than Belinda Carlise!?? Actually, no. It's Marty Kudelka and Dee Caspary, who I'm not totally unaware of. I'm sure they are genuinely huge in the dance world, and with good reason: an intense number to Coldplay's "Vida La Vida" set inside a giant star is definitely the highlight of the night thus far.

We get one more couple that has made it to next week's semi-finals: Melissa & Tony. Shocking.

Ugh, now it's the pro-dancer part of the competition (where a separate competition decides who would be next professional dancer).  Do I really have to do this?  Quick, and with no feeling: There's three left -  Afton, Anna, Mayo - and they have been paired with three former contestants (Cody Linley, Maurice Greene and the only one I recognize, Lisa Rinna - to go on this show is one thing, to RETURN is a true stamp of the F-list star).   The best part is Rinna's rehearsal montage with Mayo, who is a foot taller than her.  Ever the cougar, Rinna says something along the lines of "your body is just so different than I'm used to. I'll just have to get used to. Like if I was sleeping with you."  He's a child, Lisa.  And very likely gay.  And aren't you still married to Harry Hamlin?  Wait.. later I see him in the audience clapping for you, so yes.

Mayo and Lisa are probably the weakest couple, with both Afton (with Cody) and Anna (with Maurice) excelling in both my eyes and the judges. 

Alright, 7 minutes left. Let's get to this.

One more safe couple: Shawn & Mark.  So we get the obvious bottom two, Lil Kim & Derek and Ty & Cheslie.  And let's hope after an umpteenth commercial break we get the get obvious voted off. Lil Kim CAN'T go home.

And... she DOES!  Travesty!  Lil' Kim and Derek are somehow, thanks to a bunch of extreme ill-judgement on the part of the viewers (those 18 Jewel fans can't be entirely to blame either), have been voted off!  For the first time, I feel emotionally connected to the show, and not in a good way. Ty better be gone next week...

Are you as annoyed as Peter?

[Peter Knegt is the associate editor of indieWIRE, where he also writes a blog, The Lost Boy.]

<p>Allison Iraheta of 'American Idol'</p>

Allison Iraheta of 'American Idol'

Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - Classic Rock Night for the Final Four

Adam Lambert opens and closes the show with stadium-ready performances

The collapse of a portion of the "American Idol" stage left the Final Four performing without the benefit of a full dress rehearsal. But surely the sage vocal coaching of Slash would be sufficient to steer them to solid Classic Rock Night performances?

Click through for recaps of the four solo performances, plus what I can only pray will be the first and last use of "American Idol" competitive duets...

Read Full Post
<p>Lil' Kim keeps workin' it in rehearsals to try and stay in the game.</p>

Lil' Kim keeps workin' it in rehearsals to try and stay in the game.

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Recap: 'Dancing with the Stars' - Performances - Week 9

Can Lil' Kim pull through with two dances in one night?

It's the "hooome stretch of the competition," "Dancing With The Stars" co-host Samantha Harris asserts as our five remaining couples - including the will-she-be-there-or-not Melissa Rycroft, who sat out last week with an injury - head down those stairs and into ninth competition episode of the season.  It's a two hour format again (oh, yay!), as made possible by a complicated new format (two dances per couple, a ballroom round and a latin round, in which for the first 15 seconds the stars will dance alone), and many extra montages.

The Ballroom Round:

Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas

Shawn breaks down in tears in preparation the quickstep, alleging "it's just so fast."  Being an Olympic gymnast and all, you'd think she'd be able to handle it, and she makes it quickly clear she most certainly can.  Dancing to "Friend Like Me" from ABC owner Disney's "Aladdin" (which unfortunately provides an excuse for one-too-many goofy facial expressions care of a too-in-character Mark), Shawn is on fire.  Fast, fun and focused, her and Mark rouse the crowd and put on a serious show.   It turns out they broke some sort of quickstep rule by separating (who knew?), but the judges love them anyway.  Bruno calls her "Spunky Spice," unaware Spice Girls jokes have been kind of over for about a decade.

Score: 27


Ty Murray & Chelsie Hightower

Lucky to be here, and unless there's another injury care on the part of the others, the likeliest to go tomorrow, Ty is pretty proud of himself for making it so far. Chelsie reminds us exactly how:  "What Ty may lack in talent, he makes up for in hard work in determination."  But, as we know, work and determination can only go so far... and Ty & Chelsie's Argentine Tango exemplifies this.  While certainly not anywhere near their worst work this season, the whole time Ty looks intensely frightened, and at one point he starts doing these little kicks that make him look like some cowboy-robot hybrid.  Somehow, Len is love with it, but Carrie Ann and Bruno rightfully acknowledge Ty's shortcomings.

Score: 25 (his highest yet, but certainly the lowest of the night)


Lil' Kim & Derek Hough

Coming off a first-place finish last week, Kim's aim this week is to show off her versatility this week with a waltz.  But I question whether that's always a good idea.  Wearing a floral, unrevealing dress she tries to do just that with a very lady-like, refined performance.  And I hate to say it - Kim's my favorite - but it's kind of boring, and even a little sloppy.  She just looks awkward up there - like she's trying so hard to not be herself.  Though, once again, the usually crabby Len is all over it, the others generally agree.  Bruno puts it kind of perfectly: "You're more comfortable being a tramp."

Score: 25 (a tie with Ty.. eee)


Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke

Gilles goal this week is very simple. He wants to reclaim the top slot.  And so far, his competitors are making that potentially easy for him.  Gilles decides to do a little research for his foxtrot, heading to a ballroom to witness some examples. It pays off.  Gilles is smooth, sexy (he even goes a blows a kiss to Carrie Ann, which frankly, might be a bit much), and - most importantly - accomplished.  He's the only dancer that consistently gives performances in which it's totally unclear who's the "star" and who's the professional dancer.  Len points out some technical issues I was unaware of, but generally the judges are very impressed ("you are in a class of your own," Bruno says).

Score: 29 (on his birthday!)

Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani

Despite being judged on some horrible rehearsal footage due to an injury, and getting the lowest score of the week, Melissa was previously saved by those rapid Bachelor-fans.  And apparently, the treatment for her injury is working, and she feels capable of taking on tonight's double dose of dancing. Her first effort - set to Sarah McLachlan's "Angel" with dressed very much like (a trampy version of) one - doesn't show signs of her injury, but isn't her best work either.  It's definitely a graceful performance, but it doesn't seem particularly challenging, and despite a pity standing ovation, I - and the judges - are left relatively unimpressed.  Gilles for the win.

Score: 27


I cannot believe I have to do this all again. And as some torturous intermission, the competition-within-the competition (where people compete to become a "pro dancer" next segment), gets a recap, and we learn that Brent and Snow have been eliminated.  If you care, and want me to elaborate, I'm sorry.

The Latin Round:

Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas

Not surprisingly, we get TWO rehearsal montages. This time around, I have really nothing to note re: Shawn and Mark other than potentially quote about how Shawn is "determined to make this work," or something. But I won't. Instead, I'll cut to the performance, which starts off with an intense solo from Shawn.  Perfectly dramatic in the midst of some wild pasa doble moves, Shawn brings that intensity to her moves with a shirtless Mark.  They are totally in sync, and Gilles officially has some competition tonight.  The audience, Bruno and Carrie Ann all flip out for it, and the thing I like I about the Shawn is how genuinely affected she seems by their praise.  Len is slightly less enthusiastic, and the audience almost jumps him for it.

Score: 29 (their best score yet, which + 27 = 56 for the week)


Ty Murray & Chelsie Hightower


Jewel gets her fourth close-up-from-the-audience of the night as we head into her hubby Ty's second montage, which gives us his umpteenth explanation about a being bull rider and latin dancing don't mix.  Allegedly ready to rumba (to "Free Fallin'"?!), the pair do offer some impressive moves, but they are mostly care of Chelsie, or Ty's ability to lift her up and throw her around a lot.   His solo is downright horrific, some sort of awkward striptease-esque number that leads him into the audience and to, who else, Jewel.  The judges go on about how likeable he is (really?), but all question whether he belongs to be here.  Let's make it happen, voters. It's time.

Score: 21 (which + 25 = a pilthy 46)


Lil' Kim & Derek Hough

Alright, Kim, its the salsa, be the tramp you're met to be. "I'm going to bring back the bionic booty," she announces.  Yes.  Wearing, well, not a lot, Kim is the ball of energy we all know she can be.  Her in-the-middle solo ups the ante, complete with a splits and some serious bionic booty shaking (its nearly pornographic, seriously).  She's obviously in her element and having a lot of fun, and Derek goes right along with her.  The judges' main complaint is that maybe she was having a bit too much fun, and thus missed some technical requirements, but it was difficult for anyone unaware of professional dancing rules, or even remotely attracted to women, to notice.

Score: 27 (+25 = 52)

Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke

Gilles ultimate goal on this show was do to the Rumba, and he's ready to show the latin lover deep inside him. This bodes well.  Starting off with a unspectacular solo (is he moonwalking and stripteasing at the same time?), him and Cheryl move into a dance set to "Sexual Healing" that's as pornographic as Lil' Kim's solo. At one point they are actually rolling around on the floor, dry humping (I'm not exaggerating). But  despite the over-the-top quality of it, the two of them are very impressive together, and like earlier tonight - they are clearly the most accomplished couple.  But I don't know how that solo's going to play out with his scores (the judges were all very confused).

Score: 27 (+29 = 56, that's - deservedly - a tie with Shawn...)

Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani

The Samba seems suited to Melissa, so this could be her chance to show she's still a contender. She's freaked out about doing the solo, but I can't help but think: I've been watching this show for 1 hour and 55 minutes now... Just. Be. Over.  Melissa opens with the solo, going the sexy stripper route like her competitors Kim and Gilles.  Its effective. She moves into her Samba with Tony, which involves a whole lot of shaking, and very impressive execution of moves that must be particularly challenging in the wake of an injury.  Though I'm not a big fan of Melissa, it's clearly the best dance of the night.  She is totally overjoyed by pulling it off so well, looking like she's going to burst into tears as she heads over to hear the judges essentially call her flawless.  

Score: 30! (+27 = 57, putting her in the lead).

So, I'd say still a four way race, but Lil' Kim is just barely hanging on.  Still, if she goes instead of Ty, its as much of a travesty possible on a d-list celebrity dance competition. But my guess is that if there are in fact a few heterosexual males that watch this show, she's safe.

Who will survive?  Check Peter's recap tomorrow on HitFix.

<p>Kiefer Sutherland of '24'</p>

Kiefer Sutherland of '24'

Credit: FOX

Recap: '24' Episode 21 (4 a.m. to 5 a.m.)

On this week's '24,' racial profiling pays dividends and one character explodes

If the scenes from *next* Monday night's episode of "24" are any indication, *this* Monday (May 4) night's episode was the last dead-weight filler episode before the three-episode charge to the end of the season.

With the exception of one explosive surprise (not all that surprising, mighty explosive), there was almost no purpose to anything that happened in Monday's episode other than making several characters feel really bad about themselves. If guilt and misery turn out to be a key motivation for the remainder of the season, then this will have been time well-spent. If not? Well, it was just another way to kill time with the Yankees-Red Sox on in the background.

Recap of what events there were, after the break...

Read Full Post