<p>Pia Toscano performing during Wednesday night's 'American Idol'</p>

Pia Toscano performing during Wednesday night's 'American Idol'

Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - The Top 12 Women Perform

The Laurens shine, the Killer Z's struggle and Pia wins the night

Watching the Top 12 Men perform on-air on Tuesday, I realized that I'd fallen victim to In Person Inflation Syndrome, convincing myself after watching the taping that the contestants were better than they turned out to be.

What will that mean for the Top 12 Women on Wednesday (March 2) night?

I walked out of the Monday taping convinced that the gals were completely inferior to the guys. Did I suffer from In Person Deflation Syndrome and will they all prove to be far better than I thought? Or will it turn out that the women were even worse than my middling initial read?

Click through for my recap. Once again, I'll be including some additional tidbits from my time in the audience. The caveat is that Monday's taping was far more fluid than Friday's, so there may not be anything juicy this time around...

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<p>Casey Abrams of 'American Idol'</p>

Casey Abrams of 'American Idol'

Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - The Top 12 Men Perform

Did 'Idol' save the best for last on Tuesday night?

If you read my Top 24 preview, posted this afternoon, you know that I was in the audience for Friday's taping of Tuesday (March 1) night's performances by the "American Idol" Top 12 Guys.

Click through with my recap of the performances, judged tonight, plus little trivia tidbits culled from my attendance at the taping...

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<p>Sunday night's kangaroo-tastic 'The Amazing Race'</p>

Sunday night's kangaroo-tastic 'The Amazing Race'

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'I Never Looked So Foolish In My Whole Entire Life'

The Race stared down the Oscars with aboriginal art and kangaroo costumes
Sunday (February 27) night was Oscar night, but since "The Amazing Race" only began its "Unfinished Business" season last week, it wasn't like CBS was going to be able to air a clip show or even pre-empt new episodes for a week.
 
That meant that as "The Amazing Race" was beginning on the East Coast, I was putting together Oscars red carpet photo galleries. And as "The Amazing Race" was beginning on the West Coast, I was making more galleries and writing and assembling my Best & Worst look at the show.
 
So by the time I settled in to actually watch the episode, it was already past 1 a.m. That's never optimal time for recapping of any sort, but at least by recording the show in Pacific Time, I got my first glimpse at "The Amazing Race" in HD. The show now finally looks, as its title would seem to demand, "amazing."
 
Otherwise? It's hard to know what to say about Sunday's episode, titled "I Never Looked So Foolish In My Whole Entire Life," except that it was basically a mulligan, the next best thing to airing a Non-Elimination Leg opposite the Oscars.
 
Some thoughts on Sunday's episode after the break... Possibly fewer thoughts than normal... I'm sleepy. Very sleepy...
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<p>John Noble and Karley Scott Collins of 'Fringe'</p>

John Noble and Karley Scott Collins of 'Fringe'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Fringe' - 'Subject 13'

A fateful meeting leads to a break through for Walternate

The Friday night run of “Fringe” has polarized fans of the show, if comments around these parts are any indication. I know it’s polarized me, as I have winced as often as I have marveled at the steps the show is taking. I’ve tried to couch my reservations with the caveat that the proof will be in the multiverse pudding, but that hasn’t allayed fears that the idea of Peter’s choice of which Olivia to love will determine the fate of an entire universe seems a bit…well, hokey. It’s not that I need emotional resonance removed from my sci-fi. But I don’t want the entire endeavor to boil down to well-produced fanfic, either.

Full recap of Friday’s (Feb. 25) “Fringe” after the break…

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<p>Nina Dobrev of 'The Vampire Diaries'</p>

Nina Dobrev of 'The Vampire Diaries'

Credit: The CW

Recap: 'The Vampire Diaries' - 'The House Guest'

The Martins are determined to revive Elijah, but the plan comes with a cost

Time for more fun with vampires! And witches! Not so much with werewolves, because they’re in Florida or something, but they’ll come back eventually, I’m sure. So, we begin with suggestive frolicking. Elena tells Stefan they should go to school at some point. That Elena, always so conscientious! Stefan thinks this is cute because after a couple hundred years you realize higher education is a big waste of time. Actually, some people realize that a lot sooner. But I digress.

[Full recap of Thursday's (Feb. 24) "Vampire Diaries" after the break...]
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<p>Haley Reinhart made the 'American Idol' Top 24 on Wednesday. Who joined her on Thursday?</p>

Haley Reinhart made the 'American Idol' Top 24 on Wednesday. Who joined her on Thursday?

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - Presenting the rest of the Top 24

Will Jennifer Lopez return to hug the remaining Semifinalists?

When we left Paula Abdul... errr... Jennifer Lopez, the emotionally unstable "American Idol" judge was bawling and questioning her ability to handle the remainder of the judging process. 

Wednesday's episode ended with a big ol' "To Be Continued..." leaving as many as two viewers nationwide wondering if J-Lo would be able to return.

Click through for a full reveal of the rest of the Top 24 and to discover if J-Lo mustered up the guts to deliver both good and bad news...

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<p>Andrea of 'Survivor: Redemption Island'</p>

Andrea of 'Survivor: Redemption Island'

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Redemption Island' - 'You Own My Vote'

Phillip remains eccentric, but Rob's tribe may have a bigger threat
Pre-credit sequence. Francesca is gone, but she's not forgotten. Well, maybe the pronunciation of her name is forgotten by Phillip, but he's a former federal agent, so he can't sweat the details. But actually, we're starting with Francesca, who's alone on Redemption Island, mind racing. A sign promises a ration of rice and ample water and eventually the arrival of a potential competitor. Her provisions include flint, so her mind-set is strong. In fact, she figures that because she didn't make any enemies, she's in good position to eventually win the game. Plus, she doesn't have to spend time with Phillip.
 
[Full recap of Wednesday's (Feb. 23) "Survivor: Redemption Island" after the break...]
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<p>Paula Deen and Padma Lakshmi of 'Top Chef: All-Stars'</p>

Paula Deen and Padma Lakshmi of 'Top Chef: All-Stars'

Credit: Bravo

Recap: 'Top Chef All-Stars' - 'For the Gulf'

One chef breaks an unwritten law by stealing a recipe

We are down to the final six and it seems our beloved chefs are getting a little freaked out. Take Tiffany, for instance. She’s wearing make-up in the hopes it will improve her performance. Oooookay. Either CoverGirl has come out with some magical eye shadow (and you’d think they’d be selling the crap out of it), or Tiffany’s putting too much faith in make-up.

We get to see the chefs noodling around the condo, and Richard is showing Mike his sketchbook. He’s filled up two little books with recipes he’s dreamed up. He even makes little sketches, which is just adorable or kind of compulsive, though you can’t argue with the results. Mike looks over Richard’s shoulder and admires Richard’s attention to detail. This does not seem like a significant detail, but it is. Remember this moment, my friends.
 
[Full recap of Wednesday's (Feb. 23) "Top Chef" after the break...]
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<p>Hannah of 'America's Next Top Model'</p>

Hannah of 'America's Next Top Model'

Credit: The CW

Recap: 'America's Next Top Model' Cycle 16 premiere - 'Erin Wasson'

Tyra Banks begins with a twist and stages 'Wipeout' with models

In the past, America’s Next Top Model has experimented with themes -- say, short girls, or high-fashion contenders. It may seem that Cycle 16 of America’s Next Top Model has no common thread. Not so. Wise observers have taken a long, lingering look at this cycle’s contenders and declared the theme to be Skanks; however, to be fair, the fault may lie with the powerful cake eyeliner lobby that has apparently bought and paid for the show’s stylists.

Or maybe it’s the It’s Really All About Me Me Me Me TYRA Season, because for the first two minutes, that’s what we’re seeing: Tyra dressing up and saying stuff and channeling an Ashton Kutcher show from 2003.
 
Thankfully, the rest of this cycle’s format isn’t so agonizing. Before we can even get to the season’s initial shriekfest, we learn that Tya already has chosen the 14 finalists, including several token girls. (You know: Petite. Fat. Freckly.) 
 
Now we get the shriekfest as the 14 are fake rejected by Tyra and then allowed into the next Top Model house. 
 
Oh mah god,” a self-described babyfaced model named Jaclyn declares. “They tricked us.”
 
Welcome to reality television the modeling industry!
 
[Full recap of Wednesday's (Feb. 23) "America's Next Top Model" premiere after the break...]
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<p>Julie Zorrilla and Tim Halperin of 'American Idol'</p>

Julie Zorrilla and Tim Halperin of 'American Idol'

Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - Las Vegas and The Green Mile begins

After a sojourn in Las Vegas, 'Idol' begins announcing its Top 24

It's nearly time for the American People to take over on "American Idol." But "nearly" means "not quite yet" and "not quite yet" means we still have four hours of "Idol" ahead of us this week.

Up first? A trip to Las Vegas, as Wednesday's (February 23) "American Idol" recap kicks off after the break...

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