Inside TV and Pop Culture with Liane Bonin Starr
The chetestants must cook for celebs and an Olive Garden fan
After last week's debacle, during which Tom actually took back the $10,000 prize because all of the food was so consistently lousy, I'm hoping the chefs can turn it around this week. If not, I predict food poisoning, intestinal distress and tears.
For the Quickfire Challenge, the chefs gather around Padma and a little old lady Dallas John thinks might be "Martha Stewart's mother." Alas, she's not. She's Marilyn Hagerty, the food writer for the Grand Forks Herald. She's been writing about middle-American restaurants in her area for 30 years! She recently wrote about the Olive Garden in her fair city, and it went viral (read her review here). She didn't even know what viral meant! Wow!
The pregnant Marchesa designer says she'd wear a dress from the Christmas junk challenge
As one of the judges on "Project Runway All Stars," Marchesa founder Georgina Chapman gets a chance to encourage and (sometimes) humble aspiring designers. Pregnant with her second child, she probably also appreciates the opportunity to sit down for a few hours. During a conference call with journalists, Chapman (who is married to "Project Runway" executive producer Harvey Weinstein) discussed why she decided to take on the show, why she's a fan, and why she signed up for her own special, "Project Runway Spotlight: Marchesa" (airs Thurs. Dec. 20 at 10:00 p.m.)
New mom Snooki admits her relationship 'will never be easy'
Could there be anything sweeter than watching a new mom cuddle with her newborn? How about said new mom noting that her kid farts a lot? Then slapping on the make-up to hit the clubs? That's a little more in step with season 2 of "Snooki & JWOWW" (debuting Tues. Jan. 8 at 10:00 p.m.).
The latest chick magnet says his heart is 'definitely mended' since Emily
During the last installment of "The Bachelorette," earnest Texas Sean Lowe seemed like a shoo-in to win the girl. His down home attitude, wholesome good looks and family focus seemed just right for single mom Emily Maynard. Alas, he got his heart handed back to him and now he returns to the ultimate group date as the newest star of "The Bachelor" on Mon. Jan. 7 at 8:00 p.m. In a conference call with journalists, Lowe talked about taking a second shot at love on national television, the drawbacks of a house full of estrogen, and why he doesn't care if he sees another rose again for as long as he lives.
The 'truth cannon' drops a bombshell about Adrienne, but Bravo won't reveal it
"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"
A few things happen in this episode on "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," many of them painfully mundane. Kyle gives her terror-behind-the-wheel Alexia a new Mercedes. Ken gets his hip replaced. Lisa reprimands one of her employees. Paul tries to barbecue and shows off his unfortunate back hair. None of this matters, because the focus of this episode is THE FIGHT. Yes, on a show that spews out verbal smackdowns the way Duggars pop out babies, this battle royale might actually be memorable past next week. In fact, I think it continues into next week, as that's the impression we get from the promo, and (thanks to the long, spidery reach of the Internet) it might have been the basis for a cease-and-desist letter against Brandi Glanville filed by Adrienne Maloof. So, whatever kickstarted this feud must have been horrible, right? There's no way of knowing, simply because Bravo didn't air it.
Kenya flirts shamelessly with Apollo, then pressures Walter for a ring
"The Real Housewives of Atlanta"
Before we get started, here's a question... What the hell is up with Walter? Kenya is clearly insane, and that's fine. We know why the other women hang out with her -- Bravo makes them -- and she's highly entertaining. Few things are more enjoyable than watching a card-carrying lunatic swan around a reality TV show and annoy all the other slightly-less-loco people on the show. But she's nuts, right? I can understand that Walter finds her attractive; she was a Miss USA (or is that Miss America? Kidding!) She can be charming. But I would think when girlfriend starts yapping about how her baby oven is sad and lonely and how she needs to get married NOW NOW NOW before her ovaries dry up, he'd necessarily run from the room screening, change his cell phone number, and spend a month overseas until she stopped driving past his house, breaking windows. Kenya redefines high maintenance. She makes Mariah Carey look like she could be the chick with uncombed hair checking you through the express lane at Target. What man would willingly sign up for this walking nightmare?
It's been a busy week, so get all your reality news here, now
Welcome to Reality TV Roundup -- a quick look at some of the reality TV-centric stories that have recently popped up across the fine, old Interwebs. Click away, my couch potato friends. But before you do...
SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! One more time: SPOILER ALERT. If you watch any competition shows, the latest elimination for each show is probably revealed in the text below. The hope is that, if you missed this week's program and would rather clear out your DVR than watch the episode, you can get a quick hit here. But don't come crying to me if you find out something you didn't want to know. You've been warned. Also note: lots of non-competition reality info lurks below, too.
COMPETITION REALITY SHOWS
Rob James-Collier, Hugh Bonneville and Joanne Froggatt hint at what's next
In the United States, fans of "Downton Abbey" must comfort themselves with, say, proper afternoon tea and the knowledge that season three of the show will begin airing Jan. 6. The bad news? Lucky Brits are already well into the season, and spoilers are already trickling onto the web to taunt us. But on Friday, "Downton" stars Hugh Bonneville (Lord Grantham), Rob James-Collier (Thomas Barrow), Joanne Froggatt (Anna Smith) and Leslie Nicol (Mrs. Patmore) were joined by the show's executive producer Gareth Neame and "Masterpiece" executive producer Rebecca Eaton for a excerpt screening and Q&A for fans and journalists in Los Angeles. As restrained as the show can sometimes be, the stars were as modern -- and often funny -- as their characters are not.
The Oscar winner admits this season is 'darker than anyone anticipated'
Jessica Lange in "American Horror Story"
As the tortured (and sometimes torturous) Sister Jude on "American Horror Story," Jessica Lange has had to grapple with a Nazi, a serial killer and the devil herself this season. But as tough as it's been, it looks like things are only going to get worse -- and not better. Lange talked to journalists in a conference call about what's up for her character, whether or not she'll be back for season three, and why she never knows what's next for her character -- and that's just fine.
The show about a family who makes duck calls scores big with a season finale
" was a ratings juggernaut Wednesday night, when the show's one-hour season finale became the network’s most-watched telecast of all time among all key demos, including total viewers, adults 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54. Whoever said a series about a family who makes duck calls and has some very unsexy menfolk rocking ZZ Top facial hair couldn't be a hit?