<p>Zev and Justin of 'The Amazing Race'</p>

Zev and Justin of 'The Amazing Race'

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'We Had a Lot of Evil Spirits Apparently'

The teams head to Japan to play in the mud
"The Amazing Race" is a competition/challenge series that happens to go through a number of foreign countries, sometimes taking advantage of the cultural specifics and topography of said countries, but sometimes just using those countries a convenient way-stations for a game or two.
 
That is to say that "The Amazing Race" is not a travel show. It's a show on which people travel. 
 
Maybe because "The Amazing Race" is no stranger to Japan and maybe because a full quarter of an episode had to be dedicated to a choice between two flights ostensibly arriving 15 minutes apart, Sunday's (March 6) episode made a very compelling case that The Land of the Rising Sun is a place where people talk funny, dress funny and perform really wacky rituals. Rarely have I noticed the show falling so completely and utterly on its face when trying to showcase another nation and its rituals.
 
But there were a number of reasons why Sunday's episode was pretty poor. Casual mockery of the Japanese was only part of it.
 
Click through for the full recap...
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<p>Miley Cyrus</p>

Miley Cyrus

Credit: Dan Steinberg/AP

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' - Miley Cyrus and The Strokes

Did 'SNL' return with an episode that was pretty cool?

I know, I know: you’re worried about Miley Cyrus hosting “Saturday Night Live.” But look at it this way: a lot of people were worried about Taylor Swift hosting, and that ended up being one of the strongest episodes in recent years. Plus, given this season’s tendency to make the host fit around the cast (as opposed to the other way around), it’s possible that her youth, singing voice, and hopefully game attitude will produce some interesting sketches.

Then again, it’s possible that the entire show will consist of “The Miley Cyrus Show,” a lot of Charlie Sheen sketches, plus The Strokes intermittently saving the day. Could go either way. I’m staying positive until showtime.

As always, I’ll be grading each sketch in real time. Onto the show!

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<p>Lauren Alaina of 'American Idol'</p>

Lauren Alaina of 'American Idol'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Results - Down to the Top 13

Who did America send home in the biggest voter cut in 'Idol' history?

"American Idol" begins Thursday (March 3) night's telecast with 24 singers competing for a number of spots expected to be somewhere between 10 and 13. Whether we end up trimming 11 singers or an even higher, it will be the most carnage the American People have ever been responsible for in a single episode. And sorting out the surviving contestants will take a full two hours of over-extended triage.

Click through to find out what you've done, America...

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

Stephanie of 'Survivor: Redemption Island'

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Redemption Island' - 'Keep Hope Alive'

Somebody finally goes home, while Russell begins to scramble
Pre-credit sequence. We begin on Redemption Island on Night 5. Matt arrives at camp and wakes up a disoriented and confused Francesca. "Why are you here instead of Phillip?" Francesca asks, somewhat incredulous at the blindside. Matt hadn't even packed his stuff. The two bootees agree that Boston Rob is a scoundrel. Now Matt is feeling like "a goober." But he's philosophical. He wants to be the underdog and to return for the chance at the million.
 
Full recap of Thursday's "Survivor: Redemption Island" after the break...
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<p>Mikey learns about his roots on 'Top Chef All-Stars'</p>

Mikey learns about his roots on 'Top Chef All-Stars'

Credit: Bravo

Recap: 'Top Chef All-Stars' - 'Give Me Your Huddled Masses'

This elimination challenge is so tough even the judges are stumped

Five chefs remain – and one of them is Tiffany. Huh. Richard can’t believe Dale went home last week, neither can Tiffany and for that matter, color me stumped, too. What no one says (except for Tiffany) is that everyone was pretty sure she was packing her knives last week, as she’s seemed to be circling the drain for a while now. I’m not saying she isn’t talented, but some of her dishes have seemed, if not inedible, a little rough. At this stage in the competition, the bar has been raised awfully high and I’m just not sure she’s firing on all burners, so to speak.

[Full recap of Wednesday's "Top Chef" after the break...]
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<p>Brittani of 'America's Next Top Model'</p>

Brittani of 'America's Next Top Model'

Credit: The CW

Recap: 'America's Next Top Model' - 'Alek Wek'

The models take acting lessons and then pose with live bees

Sexsational: It’s the “werq” of 2011, ladies! And it’s also the word that the judges have used to describe Molly, the first panel winner. Poor Nicole, meanwhile needs to get her youth on; she’s been told by the panel that she photographs 15 years too old. Ouch! But will Tyra pay for her laser peel?

[Full recap of Wednesday's (March 2) "America's Next Top Model" after the break...]

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<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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