<p>Abbie and Ryan of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Abbie and Ryan of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Chill Out, Freak'

It's a hot one in Bangladesh with bamboo drama aplenty
It's true in life as on "The Amazing Race" - No matter how down you are, no matter how bad a day or week or month you're having, you should never quit and never give up, because you never know when your personal struggles and failures will come in a Non-Elimination Leg of Life.
 
[Most of the days and weeks and months of my life are Non-Elimination Legs, I must admit. But I'm not really competing for a million dollars in life, so eliminating me would just be petty.]
 
That's just me trying to extrapolate some sort of deep meaning from Sunday's "Amazing Race" episode, because otherwise the lesson is something like, "Just because an option is worded very poorly and complexly doesn't mean that it won't end up being much, much, much easier than the more simply worded option." Brevity of expression does not equate to ease in either life or "The Amazing Race."
 
More after the break...
 
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<p>David Morrissey of &quot;The Walking Dead&quot;</p>

David Morrissey of "The Walking Dead"

Credit: AMC

Interview: 'Walking Dead' star David Morrissey discusses The Governor

'State of Play' star joins the cast on Sunday night
[If you know nothing about the character David Morrissey will be playing on AMC's "The Walking Dead" and *want* to know nothing about the character, this interview can be considered very spoiler-y and you probably wanna read it after watching Sunday (October 28) night's episode. The reality, though, is that while the interview goes into some depth on the motivations and psychology of Morrissey's character, it spoils absolutely nothing about what he actually DOES within "The Walking Dead."]
 
In his acclaimed career, David Morrissey is no stranger to playing characters of a political persuasion, whether it's Stephen Collins from "State of Play" or Gordon Brown in "The Deal."
 
Morrissey, who probably would prefer you not think of him as the male lead in "Basic Instinct 2," makes his first appearance on Sunday (October 28) on AMC's "The Walking Dead," playing a character named The Governor, but fans of Robert Kirkman's comic series know that The Governor is not a traditional politician, per se. The Governor is the leader of the Woodbury community and... let's just say that there are some potentially unsavory sides to the character, not that we're necessarily going to see that side immediately on the TV show.
 
I sat down with the "Viva Blackpool" and "Meadowlands" (or "Cape Wrath," if you prefer its superior British title) star three weeks ago to talk about The Governor, who wasn't in either of the first two episodes sent to critics. 
 
Like so many actors playing ostensible villains, Morrissey clearly doesn't interpret The Governor as being a bad guy, or at least not a one-dimensional adversary. In the interview, Morrissey gives his read on The Governor, including several unlikely inspirations for the character. He also discusses his developing Southern accent and his off-screen friendship with "Walking Dead" star Andrew Lincoln.
 
As I already warned you above, there are spoilers in this interview, but they're character spoilers more than plot spoilers. You can also check out my interviews with Danai Gurira, producers Gale Anne Hurd & Greg Nicotero, and with producers Robert Kirkman & Glenn Mazzara.
 
Click through for the full Q&A...
 
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<p>Katie Hanson of &quot;Survivor&quot;</p>

Katie Hanson of "Survivor"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Katie Hanson talks 'Survivor: Philippines'

Former Miss Delaware discusses the wisdom of trading rice for sandwiches
It's been a season of momentum swings on "Survivor: Philippines."
 
For the season's first month, the narrative was all about the decimated Matsing tribe, setting up four consecutive increasingly disheartened exit interviews with Russell Swan and his teammates.
 
Then, things changed. [It helped that the Matsing tribe was dissolved when it reached two players.]
 
Suddenly, the Kalabaw tribe has contracted Matsing's bad luck, losing two castaways last week and returning to Tribal Council on Wednesday's episode. After telling Jeff Probst that any vote would probably be a blindside, the Jonathan Penner/Jeff Kent alliance sent Katie Hanson packing.
 
The 22-year-old former Miss Delaware's departure capped a busy episode. In addition to losing an Immunity Challenge seemingly tailor-made for former baseball star Jeff Kent, Kalabaw also elected to trade its remaining supply of rice to the Tandang tribe in exchange for a picnic reward in a competition neither side seemed destined to win.
 
In this week's "Survivor" exit interview, Katie discusses the sandwich-for-rice swap, the swift demise of her all-female alliance and whether Jeff Kent's secret-keeping cost her tribe Immunity.
 
Click through...
 

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HitFix: On Wednesday night's episode, you seemed relatively blindsided at the Tribal Council. Watching the episode on TV, what did you learn about what was going on at camp than maybe you didn't previously know?
 
Katie Hanson: It's so funny. I had an inkling it was me by the way I was walking into camp, asked nothing about anything Penner just comes out, "It's Denise!" And it was obviously not Denise. It clearly was not going to be Denise. It was just like, "OK. You just made things really uncomfortable and it's almost obvious that it's me." And when I asked Jeff, "What was that about?" He acted really funny, for Jeff. That was not a normal reaction for Jeff, so it gave me a pretty clear idea that it was me. But it's like, you know, this is my only shot at "Survivor," so I've gotta try to scramble and make some things like... "Hello! It's makes sense. This is our time to get rid of him. What are you guys thinking?" You know?
 
 
HitFix: And why do you think that you were unable to make that magic happen?
 
Katie: I think that they established, which everyone had seen in previous episodes, that they've got this bond, that they've got this Guy Unity going on and I think that the whole idea that Penner has an Idol and that could potentially be useful in saving one of the guys through the Merge. So whether Penner chooses to use it for himself, which I'm sure he'll do, but if not, there's still that possibility that it could save one of the other guys and keep their alliance strong. And here I am. I really don't offer them much, but at the same time, it's like: If you take me through the Merge, I will be loyal to you and I'm not a physical threat, so I'm not going to prevent you from winning Individual Immunity. I am not gonna be your biggest threat here and Penner knows how to play this game and he'll play it well and he will play you. I'm sure that later on they will regret the decision of keeping him.
 

HitFix: One minute you guys got Denise and there was the possibility of a four-woman majority alliance and then Dana went out and Dawson was voted out and there you were at the bottom of the totem pole. You went from power to the bottom so fast. How did that roller coaster feel from your side?
 
Katie: Oh my God, it was devastating! First off, I was so close with Dana throughout this whole experience. We just bonded on so many levels and she was definitely a mommy figure and she just took care of pretty much all of us with the fire and the chickens and the meals. Dana just had it going on, but at the same time, Dana exhausted herself. It's just a shame, because I know she was a strong player and she was my No. 1 ally, so to see her go, it was like, "Oh my God! This is not going to be fun anymore living on this Island," because she made fun for me. And then also, I am now sticking out like sore thumb as person to potentially get voted out and with her, it was like that extra little bit of power that the girls' alliance had, so having her leave was definitely a pivotal point in the show and it ultimately ended in me going home, so it kinda stinks.
 
 
HitFix: You mentioned "fun" and often when alliances have all of the power, they can make things miserable for the people who are inevitably getting voted out. Was there any unpleasantness in camp life from that shift of power?
 
Katie: I think that overall, the guys were really great. Like we said last night, everyone got along so well that no matter who you are, you're getting blindsided. They definitely didn't make it uncomfortable, but it was pretty clear. I mean, everyone knew that Penner had the Idol, so that was a given and then it was so clear towards the end of my time there that the guys spent a lot of time with each other, so they must be bonding and you can't really take what Jeff tells you as 100 percent, because he's hanging out with Penner too much. I enjoyed living with these people, but I couldn't be a fool. You have to read between the lines and see what's really going on and I was definitely at the end of the rope here and it kinda stinks.
 
 
HitFix: The Mud Ball Reward Challenge ended up with a unique conclusion. You had a unique vantage point from the outside the whole time. Why did it seem to be so hard for anything to actually happen in that challenge?

Katie: I think that the people who were playing in that challenge were pretty evenly matched and it was a stalemate. The ball was going nowhere and everyone equally wanted to win this and at that point, it was just like, "Alright. We're exhausted. We've been out here for over an hour and literally we're getting nowhere." So it's like, "How long do you want to keep sitting and laying in the mud or do you want to discuss some things and get this over with." Yeah, I don't know. I was happy I didn't have to get all muddy and I still got sandwiches, so it worked out for me.
 

HitFix: Was it really just Skupin out there sitting on Jonathan Penner's head for an hour? Because that's what it looked like on TV.
 
Katie: No! They were definitely all rolling around. For a short period of time that was the case, but there would be certain slight movements that people got to readjust. I don't know. It was definitely uncomfortable for everyone who was playing in that challenge and I think that I can speak for them in saying that they were all pretty excited when it came to an end, especially Kalabaw, because we got the reward.
 
 
HitFix: You said that you're glad you didn't have to get muddy, but there was no part of you that wished you were able to get out there and actually compete in that particular challenge?
 
Katie: I think that I actually would have done really well in that challenge. The only problem is that I've never actually walked around in mud before and, of course, walking through these challenges, your foot is being consumed by this mud and you can hurt yourself! You can slip the wrong way and twist your ankle. So that's part's scary, but I think that I'm definitely an abled human being and I think that I would have done well in this challenge. But, like I said, if I don't have to get muddy, then that's even better.
 
 
HitFix: Is there a different to how that rice-for-Reward swap sounds when you're out there and you've been starving for 12 days, versus how it feels in your head now several months later?
 
Katie: Oh my God! I was like, "Give them the rice!" Trust me, we were 100 percent saving our rice, so they got a fair share of the deal. They definitely weren't screwed out of the deal. so that's for sure. But yeah, in the moment those sandwiches were great and, "Oh my God, we haven't have food like this in so long!" But in retrospective it's like, "OK, so that was probably dumb, because you don't know when the Merge is coming and it's pretty evident that now you can't catch fish after what Penner came back with and this can get pretty, pretty bad for you." I think a lot of people don't realize when you haven't been eating and your body has pretty much gone into starvation mode and when you finally feed it and gorge the way we did at that Reward, you get back and it literally goes right through you. It's like, "OK. That really did nothing for me, because now it's all gone and now I'm hungry again and now my rice is gone." So for the time being? Oh, it was a great idea! Was it the smartest? No. We totally acted on impulse.
 
 
HitFix: It looked as if you guys had a pretty major sugar crash when you got back. How much do you attribute losing the following Immunity Challenge to that crash? Or was it just one of those things where the other team just beat you?
 
Katie: Even growing up, I've always been afraid of the damn ball, so for me, I knew I was not gonna be good in this challenge. My parents signed me up for t-ball as a kid and I was in the outfield playing with my mitt and not paying attention. Yeah, I've always been terrible with catching, so I knew I wasn't gonna help them at all in that. But know, now, that Jeff is a pro ballplayer, I'm shocked he didn't get 'em every time. Knowing that, I wish we knew that he was a pro ballplayer, because Denise could have tried to throw to him the entire time, instead of trying to throw 'em to Carter. It literally made no sense! But anyway, back to your question... I think that, yeah, not having food... Tandang could energize themselves off of our rice and we were leaving that morning with whatever else was left from the Reward. And, lemme tell you, like I already told you, not much was left. It goes right through you out there. So we were kinda malnourished.
 
 
HitFix: I see how knowing Jeff Kent's real identity would have helped on this particular challenge, but if you had known Jeff's identity from the beginning -- longtime professional athlete, fairly well-to-do, etc. etc. -- would it have made a difference in your interactions with him, do you think?
 
 
Katie: I don't know. I think that I would have almost, probably, held him on a pedestal. Like, "Oh my God! He's a celebrity! I'm living with a celebrity!" I think it would have been that kind of effect. Also, with Lisa, I had no idea she was a celebrity and she probably also has money. You know? So it's like, OK, well, regardless of peoples' situations, we're all out here trying to play the same game. So yeah, once he gets in front of a Jury, he's almost a good one to have there, because no one's gonna want to give him the million dollars. You kidding me? You? You're loaded? Why do you need more? So he's almost a good one to have in front of a Jury, knowing that he's pro ballplayer. So I don't think that would have been a reason for me to send him home. In fact, it would be a reason for me to keep him there, because he's a pro athlete. He can make you win these challenges effortlessly.
 
 
HitFix: The season's other contestant with a pageant background, Angie, felt like that was held against her and it was hard for her to get away from. Did you feel like you had any similar issues? Or did no one know?
 
Katie: I never told anyone about being Miss Delaware and that kinda thing. I mean, what good could that possibly get you out there? Their assumption is, "What does a pageant girl know about living outdoors? A pageant girl knows how to put on makeup and look beautiful on the stage. What is that going to do for us out here in 'Survivor'? Absolutely nothing." So, for me, there was no rush to tell anybody. If they found out, fine, but why would I tell anyone that? No. Absolutely not.
 

 

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<p>Wednesday's &quot;Survivor&quot;</p>

Wednesday's "Survivor"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Philippines' - 'Down and Dirty'

A muddy challenge leads to a very interesting pact between Tribes
Pre-credit sequence. Team Penner returns to camp. Suddenly, Katie has gone from a position of power atop an all-female alliance to "the bottom of the totem pole." "Compared to these big strong men, I'm looking like the weakest link," Katie says, vowing to work her magic. That magic begins with Katie telling Denise about the possibility of Penner having an Idol. She's turning her powers against Penner in the hopes of getting one step closer to the Merge.
 
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<p>Gary and Will of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Gary and Will of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Gary & Will talk 'The Amazing Race'

Why it was important for the Super-Fans to respect the locals
If love for "The Amazing Race" were all it took to win "The Amazing Race," Gary Wojnar and Will Chiola would have had a longer and more successful run this season.
 
Instead, the two self-described Super-Fans capitalized on errors by other teams or errors by the cabbies driving other teams to narrowly escape three Legs, but on the fourth Leg, slowness finally got the best of Will & Gary.
 
In this week's exit interview the two Michigan substitute teachers and lifelong friends discuss how they prepared to fulfill their "Amazing Race" dream, what they learned about the realities of the "Amazing Race" experience and what they wish they'd seen and done.
 
They also discuss one of this season's running "Amazing Race" tropes, that of contestants blaming locals for their various failures.
 
Click through for the full conversation...
 
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<p>Simon Cowell passes judgement on The Lylas</p>

Simon Cowell passes judgement on The Lylas

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' - The Top 16 Revealed

After last week's fiasco, 'X Factor' tries to get past Judges' Houses again

Hey "X Factor" fans! Are you reader to find out which singers made the Top 16?

Doesn't it feel like we've been here before? Why, yes. It was less than a week ago that FOX ran an hour of "The X Factor" in the middle of a baseball rain delay, revealing 10 of the performers in the Top 16.

If you want to skip the first chunk of tonight's strangely timed episode, you can read my recap from last Wednesday

Or you can follow along with my live-blog as I pay minimal attention to the decisions I've already seen and then perk up for the last six announcements...

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Daniel Craig promises 'Skyfall' is 'a classic Bond movie'

Daniel Craig promises 'Skyfall' is 'a classic Bond movie'

What aspect of 007 has made the stunts more fun for Craig?
NEW YORK, NY - When Daniel Craig took over James Bond's 00-designation and his Walther PPK, it represented a rebirth for the franchise, one that some viewers were initially cautious about.
 
"'Casino [Royale]' was about sort of beginning again, sort of wiping the slate clean. I felt very strongly that we had to kind of push out all of the old to try and get something new, which kind of some people didn't like so much," Craig recalled when I spoke with him last week in New York City. "And I thought that was the only way, as did the producers. And we have." 
 
That Martin Campbell-directed film ended up being one of the most successful and well-received James Bond films in a franchise history that recently celebrated its 50th birthday. With the newest Bond installment, "Skyfall," Craig and director Sam Mendes were able to continue to build on the "Casino Royale" blank slate, while also looking back.
 
"And now that we've come to this point, It's possible to hopefully make a classic Bond movie," Craig says. "And I think Sam's done an incredibly good job at that. And we've got all the elements of all Bond movies, but something very modern as well. There's emotion, there's violence, there's action. There's all the things you need in a Bond movie, beautiful girls. It's all there."
 
Was it always the intent to do a circumspect classic Bond for the 50th anniversary?
 
"That wasn't self-conscious in any way," Craig says. "Sam, as he talked with everybody, [art director] Dennis Gassner and [cinematographer] Roger Deakins included, wanted to set out to make a movie that had great style. And those early Bonds were very much about that. They were very much about a style, and a look and a feel. So we were kind of nodding to it, were kind of respectfully nodding to it, and hopefully just bringing some of the kind of the gags in, but, again, not trying not to make them self-conscious, just to make them part of the plot."
 
In "Skyfall," Bond has his most formidable adversary in years in Javier Bardem Silva. He's matched with a pair of pleasing and capable Bond Girls, played by Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe. And from Shanghai to Istanbul to London, he's traveling the world as only master-cinematographer Deakins could depict. And perhaps the only thing as exciting as the film itself is the indication doesn't sound like he's ready to leave Bond behind.
 
"I think hopefully there's lots more to discover about him, and to play around with," he notes. "I never made it a secret, I've always sort of gone back to the Flemings and sort of looked at those, and sort of tried to mine those for ideas. And it's kind of plenty to do there." 
 
At the "Skyfall" junket, I also spoke with Bardem, Marlohe & Harris and Dame Judi Dench, so stay tuned for those interviews in the weeks to come.
 
For now, check out the full Craig conversation above.
 
"Skyfall" opens in the UK and around much of the world this Friday (October 26) and on November 9 in the United States.
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<p>Eddie Izzard and Jerry O'Connell of &quot;Mockingbird Lane&quot;</p>

Eddie Izzard and Jerry O'Connell of "Mockingbird Lane"

Credit: NBC

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 155

Dan and Alan talk 'Mockingbird Lane,' 'Happy Endings,' 'Homeland' and more

The

Happy Monday, Boys & Girls!
 
This was going to be a slow week on The Firewall & Iceberg, with only ABC's "Happy Endings" and "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23" and NBC's "Mockingbird Lane" to review. But then we added Dan's Reality Roundup, a couple questions from readers and a "Homeland" segment and suddenly there we were at 80-ish minutes, same as usual. 
 
Today's Breakdown:
"Happy Endings" (00:01:45 - 00:12:00)
"Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23" (00:12:00 - 00:24:25)
"Mockingbird Lane" (00:24:30 - 00:39:15)
Dan's Reality Roundup (00:39:20 - 00:52:30)
Listener Mail - Token Diversity (00:52: 48 - 00:59:20)
Listener Mail - Girls vs. Boys (00:59:25 - 01:04:20)
"Homeland" (01:05:00 - 01:20:45)

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed.] 

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

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<p>James and Mark of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

James and Mark of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Funky Monkey'

Despite the misleading title, this episode includes no monkeys
I need a ruling on this, "Amazing Race" viewers:
 
Is the streak of "Amazing Race" Legs determined by cab failures over or is it alive at three?
 
Mostly, Sunday (October 21) night's "Amazing Race" episode was finally able to jettison a team that had been dead weight since the premiere, but I can't say with absolute confidence that a faulty piece of cab steering didn't play a major role.
 
My vote is "The streak is over and Sunday's Leg came down to ineptitude on the part of the Racers and not the driver," but if you want to take the opposing side, I can't necessarily argue.
 
We can discuss after the break...
 
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<p>Dawson of &quot;Survivor: Philippines&quot;</p>

Dawson of "Survivor: Philippines"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Sarah Dawson talks 'Survivor: Philippines'

Dawson talks Jeff Kent secret-keeping and Jeff Probst kissing
I'm not sure I realized until seconds before it was time for her exit interview that "Dawson" was actually "Survivor: Philippines" contestant Sarah Dawson's last name. 
 
I did, however, know two things for sure about Dawson:
 
1) She was the only player so far this season able to identify future baseball Hall of Famer Jeff Kent in the wilderness, but she was voted off on Wednesday's (October 17) episode without ever revealing that information.
 
2) She had a bit of a crush on "Survivor" host Jeff Probst and when she was voted out, rather than using that last moment as a chance to spread the truth about Jeff Kent, she used it to give Probst a huge hug and kiss on the cheek.
 
Both of those facts, plus her announcement that if Jeff Kent wins he owes her a number of gifts including a pink gun, came up in my exit interview with Dawson, a conversation that proves that she could have been one of the most amusing, quotable players of the season, if only she'd been given any screentime.
 
Click through for the full interview.
 
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