<p>Steve-O and Lacey Schwimmer of 'Dancing with the Stars'</p>

Steve-O and Lacey Schwimmer of 'Dancing with the Stars'

Credit: Kelsey McNeal/ABC

Recap: 'Dancing with the Stars' Results - The prankster or the cowboy?

The dance-offs are done, but Steve-O and Ty are in danger on 'Dancing'


The usual recaps inform us that going into Tuesday (April 14) night's "Dancing with the Stars" elimination (which, for some reason, will no longer feature a dance-off), Steve-O and Ty are facing some measly scores from the judges, while Shawn, Gilles, Melissa and top-scorer Lil' Kim continue their reign as the top four. There is no mention of Lil' Kim's alleged near-wardrobe malfunction, which was cut from the west coast feed last night.

With only eight people left to potentially eliminate, there's a lot of time to fill in between, and the "fun" begins with the cast of a "West Side Story" revival doing "America"! Then backstage Samantha gets us some obvious information from the contestants. Kim wants to stay at #1.  Ty admits he was less than spectacular. Steve-O is "eternally grateful" to continue to be on the show.  THIS is riveting television, people...

[Full recap, with results, after the break...]

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<p>Kris Allen of 'American Idol'</p>

Kris Allen of 'American Idol'

Credit: Chris Cuffaro/FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - The Top 7 sing Songs of the Cinema

With Quentin Tarantino as their coach, the Top 7 went to movies like 'Once,' 'Easy Rider' and 'Armageddon'

Tuesday (April 14) is "American Idol's" second shot at delivering an hour-long episode. Last week's first attempt didn't work out so well, unless you happened to be praying for strong (and fake) ratings for the return of "Fringe."

The theme on Tuesday is Songs of the Cinema, with "American Idol" favorite Quentin Tarantino actually in the audience sitting behind Simon, checking up on how well the singers responded to his coaching.

The gimmick is that the judges are only going to talk two-at-a-time tonight. Really? With seven singers performing over the course of an hour, they can't fit in comments from four judges? They've done 10 singers and three judges in an hour before. Why not do two judges and Tarantino if you have to doctor with the formula? Heck, why not to Simon and one additional judge on each performance? Who knew that Nigel Lythgoe was the the producer who held the secret to making the show run on time and that in his absence all would be chaos?

Full recap after the break...

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<p>Elisha Cuthbert of '24'</p>

Elisha Cuthbert of '24'

Credit: FOX

Recap: '24' Episode 18 (1 a.m. to 2 a.m.)

A shocking character reversal! A surprising death! An arrest! And the return of Kim Bauer!


I'm having a hard time figuring out what to make of Monday (April 13) night's "24." I'm having a hard time even several hours after watching the episode, several hours after I'm normally able to get a recap up. On one hand, I'd blame the matzah, on the grounds that my brain requires leavening for all of my good ideas to rise. On the other hand, I'd blame the idea that rarely has "24" as totally straddled that line between awesome and awful as it did on Monday night and I still can't determine which side of that line the episode finally fell on.

Stick with me as I battle through a few of the episode's major sticking points in my mind.

Recap, with spoilers, after the break...

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<p>Christina Rose as Angela Petrelli on 'Heroes'</p>

Christina Rose as Angela Petrelli on 'Heroes'

Credit: Chris Haston/NBC

Recap: 'Heroes' - '1961'

Angela takes her broken family to help heal wounds from her past in order to deal with their present-day danger.

“Heroes” went down the rabbit hole and ended up in “1961,” the year in which Angela Petrelli met up with other future members of The Company. This week’s episode followed the “Company Man” model of episodes, staying primarily with Angela Petrelli’s mission for forgiveness in Coyote Sands, Arizona. While the backstory was compelling, the present day action was marred by melodrama that nearly derailed the hour.

Work your way through this sudden sandstorm for spoilers…

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<p>Cheryl Burke and Gilles Marini on last week's 'Dancing with the Stars'</p>

Cheryl Burke and Gilles Marini on last week's 'Dancing with the Stars'

Credit: Kelsey McNeal/ABC

Recap: 'Dancing with the Stars' - Performances - Week 6

Lil Kim plays jailbird, Melissa is bendable and Steve-O continues to struggle

To mark the halfway mark of this season's "Dancing With The Stars," our eight remaining contestants are taking on the jive and romba on Monday (April 13). I'm not exactly sure what these dances are, but I do they involve chest-exposing, figure skater-esque clothing.

Full recap after the break...

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<p>Michael and Mark (or Mark and Michael) of 'The Amazing Race'</p>

Michael and Mark (or Mark and Michael) of 'The Amazing Race'

Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Rooting Around in People's Mouths Could Be Unpleasant'

Penalties galore, as Mark & Michael and Kisha & Jen run afoul of 'Amazing Race' rules


Penalties on "The Amazing Race" are confusing. The show seemingly has a long and convoluted manual of rules and regulations, a "Strunk & White's Elements of Style" for the reality TV world traveler, but we only learn what those rules are if they're broken and even then only occasionally. Teams have been eliminated from the race and subsequently told reporters that they'd been penalized previously, but since that penalty hadn't impacted that particular leg, it never made it onto TV.

So much ethically questionable behavior takes place during the course of the Race that viewers are often left puzzled about which behaviors raise Phil Keoghan's hackles. Heck, contestants are often left unable to understand why some things generate penalties and others are allowed to pass. Do they not get the rule book? Do they not read the rule book? Reading has, as we know, often been a handicap for various pairs. 

Somewhere Bertram van Munster is serving as the final arbiter, but it'd be good to know what he was basing decisions on.

Sunday (April 12) night's episode, titled "Rooting Around in People's Mouths Could Be Unpleasant" included multiple penalties and I'm guessing that the show's various online fan hubs will be full of viewers trying to make sense of what went down.

[A discussion of said penalties, and a full recap, after the break...]

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<p>Eliza Dushku of 'Dollhouse'</p>

Eliza Dushku of 'Dollhouse'

Credit: Isabella Vosmikova/FOX

Recap: 'Dollhouse' - 'Spy in the House of Love'

We could tease you with 'Rashomon'-esque plot details, but instead we'll just say this: Eliza Dushku as a dominatrix

This episode is told through several people’s eyes, like a very famous Japanese movie you’ve probably never seen, but trust me, it’s like that. For the sake of simplicity, we’re going to boil it down to the basics: Eliza Dushku in leather and garters for a dominatrix gig. Spy in the Dollhouse. Everyone under suspicion. It ends with someone being sent to the attic, and someone being shot.

Oh, you need more than that? Come on, I told you about the dominatrix outfit. OK. Fine. Here you go.

[More on Friday (April 10) night's "Dollhouse," titled "Spy in the House of Love," after the break.]

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<p>Joe of 'Survivor: Tocantins'</p>

Joe of 'Survivor: Tocantins'

Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Tocantins' - 'The Dragon Slayer'

Coach gives himself nicknames, JT builds alliances, Tyson protects his face and Joe accumulates pus


Pre-credit Sequence. It seems like only yesterday that Jalapao was in control and Timbira was only a challenge or two from being run out of the game for good. Now, as Jalapao returns to camp, they're down 6-4 with the merge looming. After losing his cuddle-buddy Sydney, Joe is especially concerned, as is the ultra-competitive JT. Only Taj is comfortable, perhaps because she escaped elimination. "We're just Jala. We lost Pao," Taj cracks predicting that maybe their luck is just a day away from changing.

[Recap for Thursday (April 9) night's "Survivor: Tocantins" after the break...]

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<p>I have no doubt that Ben (played by Michael Emerson) is planning something very, very bad in this photo from ABC's 'Lost'</p>

I have no doubt that Ben (played by Michael Emerson) is planning something very, very bad in this photo from ABC's 'Lost'

Credit: Florian Schneider/ABC

Recap: 'Lost' #512 - 'Dead Is Dead' Ben faces Smokey's judgment

Plus we learn more about Widmore and what happened (or didn't) to Penny

The end is in sight, we're being fed huge pieces of the puzzle each week, and even if some of those pieces only confuse us all over again, I am getting the sense that we are very, very close to understanding the endgame of the series.

I was talking about "Lost" to a friend recently, and he was upset because he felt like the show was cheating.  "It's supposed to all make hard science-fiction sense.  It's supposed to be possible.  Now there's all this magic and time travel and... I quit.  They cheat too much."  First of all, did they really promise at one point that every single thing on the show would be explained by science?  Because if they did, that was definitely a mistake.  Second of all, as I tried to explain to my friend, they left reality behind about twenty minutes into episode one.  Complaining about that now is like someone sputtering about dirigible safety because they're pissed off at the Hindenberg crash.

What I find fascinating at this point is the way the larger picture comes into focus.  The way we're learning the whole history of the island.  And most of this is material that literally cannot have come one episode earlier in terms of storytelling.  "Lost" is a game, certainly, and much of the game involved just getting all of the pieces into play in order to start paying everything off.  To just now get to a place in a series where we can see something like the first meeting of Charles Widmore and Benjamin Linus, and the context has real meaning for the long-term relationship they're going to have... that's why I commit to any TV show in the first place.  I want to have an experience in a narrative where my investment pays dividends in the form of emotional payoffs, character payoffs, story payoffs.  I don't need things to add up everywhere or even in any "normal" order, but eventually, for this sort of storytelling to really work, you have to deliver.  You can only tease for so long.

[more after the jump]

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<p>Finally somebody brought Paulina Porizkova and Clay Aiken together. Thanks, 'America's Next Top Model'!</p>

Finally somebody brought Paulina Porizkova and Clay Aiken together. Thanks, 'America's Next Top Model'!

Credit: Eric Liebowitz/The CW

Recap: 'America's Next Top Model' Cycle 12 - 'Acting Like a Model'

The models learn to act with a little help from Clay Aiken. That Clay Aiken? Yes, that Clay Aiken.


Know what I think, when I think supermodels? I think Clay Aiken! And know what’s really cool? So does Tyra Banks! She made sure that Clay “Linda Evangelista” Aiken was front and center as a guest in tonight’s episode!

But before we get to that really obvious partnership, let’s recap within a recap. Allison has no range. There was some sort of Thanksgiving-looking dinner at one point. Natalie refused to clean. Everybody accuses everybody else of being a bitch. Next segment. Tyra Mail.

[Full recap of Wednesday (April 8) night's "America's Next Top Model" after the break...]

“Tomorrow you will molded into a fine piece of Clay,” it says.

You mean Clay AIKEN?! SO excited for this total synergy. I am just shocked it took so long for someone to put these two killer franchises together.

At some random stage, the girls pair up and get acting tips from judge-slash-ex-supermodel Paulina Poritzkova. Tahlia cannot break out of her shell and is called out by Paulina for not doing enough, well, calling out. Then everyone is given a small script -- something about some ex-model something something -- and told to memorize it, because they’re gonna be acting with it. Soon.

So now we get Clay Aiken, finally. 

“I got the impression that she has a little bit of an attitude,” Aiken says of Natalie. Aiken also labels Tahlia’s style as “lazy.” But Celia surprises everyone by going way over the top and showing comedic flair. However, the prize -- $5,000 worth of merch from Joe’s Jeans -- goes to London. London has been gaining weight and fears she will not fit in the jeans. Could her weight problem send her home? I certainly hope not, not when Tahlia also clearly needs to shed some pounds -- and, more importantly, inhibitions.

Next challenge: Oh, look. It’s McKey, the last cycle’s winner. I want more Clay. But whatever. McKey will walk the girls through their first Cover Girl commercial test. There’s a good chance that Natalie’s increasingly apparent arrogance will come through on camera; before the shoot even starts, California native Natalie manages to call her rivals “hicks.”

I see we’ve found a weakness in Teyona, who doesn’t know where to point her head when a camera is looking. Aminat is also disappointing; her big personality shrinks and disappears on camera. 

But the really laughable contestant here is Allison. Oh, god. She is as flat as her giant eyes. Mr. Jay has no idea what to do with her. He can’t even edit around her. Ouch. So far we’re seeing a lot of camera time on Allison, which means two things: She will be in the bottom two and she will NOT be going home.

Next group in front of the camera includes Tahlia, Natalie, London and Fo. Her performance, in the words of Mr. Jay, is “average.” London is closer to “door to door salesman,” in the words of the client. In other words, overacting.

Oh, Tahlia, ouch. Ouch. Oh God. Ouch. There’s more? Ow. Owie ow. She. Blows. Every. Line. 

“I know the competition is hard,” Mr. Jay declares, “but this is nothing compared to really being out there.”

Panel time! Who of the eight goes home? Clay is on the panel, so he will help choose. 

Celia is up first, and it’s clear she has a natural talent, ranging from comedic to natural. Teyona is up next. Her eyes disappear when she poses too hard. Interesting.

Allison comes under heavy hire -- for wearing the same dress twice! Ouch! Reer. 

“Wearing the same thing again it’s like Groundhogs Day,” Tyra says. Really? Fine! Then YOU buy her a new dress, Tyra! At any rate, she seems to be improving ... just a bit. 

Aminat looks super-hard in her shoot, like she’s worried or angry. Teyona upstages Aminat during Aminat’s prime shoot. 

London’s approach does not translate with the judges -- at least, not in her main footage. She manages to upstage Natalie in HER shoot. Confused? So am I. Here’s even more confusing info: Tahlia looks great -- in FO’s shoot. And Fo looks awesome in Tahlia’s footage. My head spins.

So who goes home?

Deliberation is murky. Celia has done best in the commercial; Teyona continues to impress Nigel, despite a squinty camera appearance. Allison’s lack of personality comes to the fore during her deliberation. All the judges hate Fo’s main commercial; London’s fatness dominates talk about her. Aminat -- meh. Feh. Am I even here right now?

As for Natalie, Nigel says, “she looked like a Bond girl doing a Cover Girl commercial, neither shaken nor stirred.”

Wish I knew what that meant.

Celia is called first. No shock there. But with so many other weak performances this week, it’s tough to see who is going home.

Turns out the bottom two are Allison and Tahlia. Guess who’s going home! Oh, come on, when there’s a burn victim in the pair? Allison, right? Wrong! Hooray! Tahlia, finally, is sent packing. Burn victim or not, she simply lacks talent.

And she seems more focused on being some unknown person’s role model anyway. I don’t want that in my supermodel. 


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