The final three are chosen â€“ but are they the right ones?
It’s the penultimate week of “So You Think You Can Dance,” which is both exciting and a little sad, as it’s just another reminder that the real shoe-in for the season finale is sitting on the sidelines. Yes, I know, you’re probably tired of hearing Alex, Alex, Alex, but even watching last night’s sometimes stellar, sometimes wince-worthy performances, his absence is sorely felt. But there’s always next season, if he (and we) are lucky, so let’s get on to the results!
[Thursday's (Aug. 5) "So You Think You Can Dance" recap after the break...]
The final four dance for their lives â€“ and one rises above the rest
Four dancers left! Eight days until a winner! The judges are powerless! The tweens hold the cards! Lord save us! Okay, maybe thatâ€™s an exaggeration, but donâ€™t count out the power of those tweens! I mean, those tiny little fingers really can text at the speed of light, you know. But the show is starting, so letâ€™s get to it!
Itâ€™s time for the Power of Veto â€“ but will Kristen or Hayden be saved?
Don’t you hate it when very, very white people say biatch? It’s almost as bad as anyone other than Snoop Dogg saying foshizzle, but it’s especially funny when Rachel says it, because she’s more likely to burst into tears because the game is, like, so friggin’ hard than yank out someone’s weave. But she’s all about throwing the attitude, even if she’s completely unprepared to back it up. And so let the fighting begin!
Sookie has a vision, Jason fights for love and there's a new Authority in town
As we open on this 7th episode of "True Blood’s" Season 3, Sookie is still in the Slave Pens, where she was trying to free Bill, only to be waylaid by a chompy Lorena. Sookie uses her power to talk victims into a stupor to good effect; she distracts Lorena, who was just in the middle of trying to snap Sookie in half. Vampire Bill leaps up with a sudden bout of vampy strength and overpowers Lorena, allowing Sookie to stake Bill’s maker.
Poor Lorena. She had such a good stylist, too.
[Full recap of Sunday's (Aug. 1) night's "True Blood" after the break...]
Itâ€™s time for nominations, and Rachel wobbles after talking to one housemate
To quote Andrew, Mazel tov indeed! Despite all odds, Rachel has won HOH for a second time, Andrew has exposed Hayden and Kristen’s showmance on his way out of the house and basically, the hamsters have all gone ballistic. Truthfully, I find Rachel and Brendon wildly annoying, but I find the brigade (I still refuse to capitalize that – these doofuses are strictly lower case) even more so, so I’m rooting for the power couple by default.
The House's other showmance is exposed and a new HoH is crowned
Because of the Television Critics Association press tour, my "to-watch" pile includes "Boardwalk Empire," the season premiere of "Sons of Anarchy" and more. Instead, I'm watching "Big Brother." HitFix's ace recapper Liane Bonin is only one person and she's got "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Project Runway" tonight. So with Liane indisposed, let's get to recapping.
Minute-by-minute countdown to elimination after the break!
8:02 p.m. I'm not sure that Andrew has really enlightened America about Orthodox Judaism. In fact, I think he's probably confused more than a few audience members. I'd kinda like for him to spend the next Sabbath at home before he starts doing serious harm. [I'm not saying that he's perpetuated any stereotypes himself, but he's gotten a mighty weird edit and I fear a lot of folks are going to interpret his "weirdness" as "Jewish weirdness." Just my own concern here...]
8:02 p.m. Julie Chen, who we saw at press tour yesterday, is rockin' a sleeveless top. She sets the drama for a potentially weird night of voting, as two floaters are on the block, in Andrew and Kathy.
8:03 p.m. We begin by reliving Andrew's weird "Brendon and Rachel, I'm coming after you" speech from Wednesday's show. It's a speech that confused Britney, who fears she may be in "The Twilight Zone." Rachel was also confused, fearing that Andrew joined the rank of the haters. And Kathy is *also* confused, vowing to fight.
8:04 p.m. Andrew says that he made a bold move. He seems to have put a target on his chest to make himself seem like less of a threat? Or something? Seriously, I have no clue. But Brendon reassures Rachel that he knew all along. Rachel is pissed off. "BREndon is nOt suPpOsed to kEEp sEcretS frOm ME! Who is hE in a relAtionship wiTh? AndREw or ME?" Sigh.
8:06 p.m. More confusion from Matt, Lane and Kathy and Britney.
8:06 p.m. Matt calls Andrew into the HoH room and warns Andrew that everybody thinks the speech was staged. "Oy vey," Andrew responds. Ugh. Or, rather, oy vey.
8:07 p.m. Rachel annoys me and her voice cuts through my brain, but she's not wrong to be ticked off at Brendon and pretty much everybody else. But Brendon says, "I love you." It's a big moment for him, but she's unimpressed. "I hOpe yOU gUys knoW whAt you're DOING, because you'Re plAying with firE," Rachel says. And then, like the hero of a bad '80s action movie, she adds, "And I am FIre." BURN!!!
8:09 p.m. Kathy breaks into tears saying that she's in the game to pay for her son's education. She wants to make sure that her son is taken care of. Ragan is moved. Ragan is moved by everything. And in this case, Kathy's tears are causing Ragan to reconsider his definition of "fighter." Before, Andrew was a fighter. Now, Kathy is a fighter.
8:10 p.m. Kathy is also working Kristen, who tells Kathy that she's the only person she can relate to. All of this has left Andrew feeling "almost like an outcast or a leper." He's crying and blowing his nose, lamenting his absence of a true ally in the game.
8:11 p.m. Andrew storms into the bathroom and tells Kristen to stop playing him. She's confused and then angry, following after him and telling him that they haven't been communicating for days. She blames the silence on him. "You haven't come to me! She comes to me to talk!" Kristen rages. She gets all red-in-the-face bellowing at Andrew and warning him that he's digging his own grave. Good gracious!
8:13 p.m. The Brigade has a choice. Matt says tells Hayden and Enzo that keeping Andrew may make more sense, because Andrew has made himself a big enough target that the next HoH will come after him instead of one of the brigade. Enzo, who barely seems to have any hair, agrees. They all concur that anybody who diverts attention is good for The Brigade.
8:18 p.m. We're live and it's time to chat with the hamsters. How surprised are Brendon and Rachel not to be on the block? "I am SO shOCked, JuLie!" Rachel agrees. What does Lane miss most about home? He misses spotlighting. Yikes. How is Enzo doing with Britney's elocution instruction? "I am who I am and that's it," Enzo says, before getting tested by Julie. The self-described Chenbot coaches him on how to say "dog" and "coffee." She then giggles and mocks him. This is so weirdly condescending.
8:20 p.m. The hamsters are on a one-week break from slop. Nice for them.
8:21 p.m. Meet Stacy, Matt's wife and subject of Matt's big lie. She tells us that Matt's extremely intelligent, but he lacks common sense. Ummm... Tell us something we haven't been seeing for three weeks, Stacy. Although she's wearing a hot pink "Team Matt" shirt, Stacy admits to being shocked that Matt decided to give her a bone disease. "I don't agree with what he did," she says frankly. She's still complicit in the lie and feels guilty, though she insists he didn't do it to be malicious and evil.
8:23 p.m. Is the Saboteur Twist really over? That's Julie's question as we cut to break. I'm guessing "No," because otherwise, that's a weird question to be asking.
8:26 p.m. Matt's in the HoH room and Julie immediately brings up the bone disease lie. Matt's convinced that it is, indeed, working. "I'm certain I've offended some people," Matt acknowledges, but how can I listen to him with his weirdly spiky hair? It's distracting. Matt says that he feels good about his deal with Brendon and Rachel. Of the Brigade Alliance, Matt says that Hayden may be the weak link, just because of Kristen, but vows to stay true to him.
8:27 p.m. Time for final speeches, pre-elimination. Kathy goes first, telling the hamsters they make her heart beat and she loves them. Kathy says she's OK with leaving the house, as long as she does it on her own terms. Andrew backtracks on yesterday's speech, saying that actually Brendon and Rachel aren't the big threat and they aren't the house's only couple. Then he outs Kristen and Hayden's late-night fooling around. He goes through a series of secrets of Hayden and Kristen's secrets about the other houseguests. He's talking much too fast for me to catch every word, but looking at the faces, it's clear that he's making his point, at least somewhat. He warns Hayden to extricate himself from Kristen, ultimately heaping all of the blame on her. He ends with "Captain Kosher Out." Yikes. That was a bit crazy. And by "a bit," I mean "bonkers."
8:30 p.m. Kristen votes first. She was on Andrew's side earlier but now? She votes to evict Andrew. Rachel votes to evict Andrew, still agog about what happened earlier. Britney also votes to evict Andrew.
8:35 p.m. Enzo votes to evict Captain Kosher. Brendon also votes against Andrew. That's it for Andrew, though Lane and Hayden pile on as well. "I vote to institutionalize and evict Andrew," Ragan says, pouring Kosher Salt on Andrew's wounds.
8:36 p.m. Bye, Andrew. We don't hear any of the words exchanged upon his exit until Andrew walks out the door with wishes of "Mazel Tov."
8:38 p.m. "And they we have to do a competition after this?" Enzo says.
8:39 p.m. Julie is more impressed. She tells Andrew it was the best Last Plea speech she's ever seen. "But it didn't work," Julie adds. She asks Andrew why he didn't use his showmance information to blackmail Kristen and Hayden for their votes. Andrew's eyes go blank, as if he'd genuinely never considered that possibility. On the way out the door, Andrew says he told Hayden to get rid of Kristen. Julie asks Andrew about Matt's wife's disease and Andrew says that "as a medical doctor," he'd never heard of the condition and was skeptical. Julie's revelation that the disease was real, but Matt's wife is fine leaves him conflicted.
8:41 p.m. In exit messages, Matt tells Andrew he dug his own grave. True story. Kristen blames Andrew's lack of communication. Brendon is grateful for Andrew's friendship and calls him "a king among kings." Kathy also is sad to see Andrew go. "FRankLY AndREW, I'm nOt reaLLY that SaD to see you GO!" Rachel says. And for the third straight week, Rachel accuses the eliminated contestant of trying to get between her and her man. Oy vey. Hayden congratulates Andrew for representing his faith honorably. Good of Hayden there.
8:42 p.m. A new twist is on its way!!! Also, a Head of Household competition.
8:47 p.m. This HoH is called "Big Brother Knockout." The contestants go head-to-head in a competition requiring some memory of previous challenges. I have no idea what it has to do with boxing. Hayden knocks Britney out first. He wisely chooses to have Brendon and Rachel go against each other next, with Rachel knocking Brendon out. She wise chooses to have Kirsten and Hayden battle, with Kirsten taking Brendon out. Rachel knocks Kathy out. Kristen wins again, beating Enzo. Rachel wins again, taking out Ragan. Lane knocks Kristen out.
8:51 p.m. It's Rachel vs. Lane for HoH. And Rachel wins. Say what you will, that was an impressive performance with everybody gunning for her and Brendon. It's her second time as HoH.
8:52 p.m. Next week, we bring Pandora's Box back into the game. A new Saboteur could be introduced. America will get to vote on which contestant is given the offer to become Saboteur. The power is in your hands, America!
8:53 p.m. Team Britney!
8:57 p.m. The episode ends with rather fun footage of the HoH aftermath. Kristen and Rachel are yelling back and forth, with Rachel pretty much declaring that Hayden and Kristen are going up on the block this week.
8:58 p.m. Darnit, I want to stay and watch the shouting, but instead...
What'd you think of Andrew's departure? Was he going home even without the crazy speech? In that case, does he deserve a big ol' pile of credit for leaving chaos in his wake? I sure think so. If you're doomed, might as well sow discord, eh?
â€œRunwayâ€ is back with an extra half hour and a grueling intro challenge
Oh ma God, “Project Runway” is back, and not a moment too soon! I don’t know about you, but my life is just a little emptier without Tim Gunn cradling his chin and ordering shaky designers to make it work. I briefly contemplated buying some Liz Claiborne separates just to get my Tim fix, and then I got past it, in part because the brand is moving to JCPenney in August and it’s not really in stores right now, unless you count Liz Claiborne New York, which is only available on QVC, and I don’t shop QVC because it tends to make me fall asleep. Probably because it only ever occurs to me to watch it when I have insomnia at three in the morning. Anyway, I got over it, and now he’s back with Michael, Nina and Heidi and really, life is good again.
A favorite ends up in the bottom three â€“ and two dancers go home
So it’s time for a “SYTYCD” first, in that their sending home two people at once. Which isn’t a first I’d get all excited about, but I guess Fox needs to work an angle, so we need to hear this little factoid over and over again until, presumably, this becomes a Can’t Miss episode and we stand over a water cooler discussing it with co-workers. To which I say, if you’re not already that committed, a double elimination isn’t going to send you over the edge. But let’s move on, because, well, it’s a very special episode, isn’t it?
The competition gets tougher â€“ and yet another dancer is injured
I love this. Cat announces that, miracle of miracles, no one is injured tonight! And promptly tells us all the dancers will be hoofing it three times each this evening. Gosh, how did all of those dancers get injured before? It couldn’t have been overuse, could it? Hmm, it’s all a mystery! Seriously, find a musical act for Wednesdays, producers, before we have some serious bone breakage.
The POV competition takes a twist the brigade doesnâ€™t predict
Oh, boy. Another day with Matt HOH is just like bamboo under the fingernails, if you ask me, but there is a dim light at the end of the tunnel, as it’s time for the POV. The light is dim, of course, because the likelihood or Rachel or Brendon not only competing in the contest but winning is pretty slim, and the annoying “brigade” seems to have pretty much everyone under their thumbs, so if someone else wins the likelihood of Rachel or Brendon getting backdoored is pretty good. Matt may not be as smart as he thinks, but he’s clearly smart enough to be controlling the game in the short run, and that’s just a drag when there’s no one I’d like to see get a good old fashioned humbling than him.