<p>The &quot;American Idol&quot; Top 6</p>

The "American Idol" Top 6

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - Top 6: Burt Bacharach and Song I Wish I'd Written Night

It's a double theme night, as we get 12 performances

We're down to the Top 6 on "American Idol" and since the shows aren't getting any shorter, that means we're looking at a double-performance night. And with each singing going twice, we also have a pair of dueling themes.

We have that old "Idol" standby with Songs of Burt Bacharach and Hal David -- I didn't have enough characters to get "Hal David" in this headline, but he's important, too -- and then we have the more ambiguous Songs I Wish I'd Written. 

Wouldn't it have been cool if "Idol" had turned that second theme sideways and let any contestant with writing chops do a song they actually had written? Who amongst us wouldn't want to watch a full performance of Angie Miller's original? And I hear Janelle writes, too. Bring it on! Oh well.

On to the recap. Share your thoughts below...

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 176

Dan and Alan talk 'Da Vinci's Demons,' 'Shameless,' 'Justified,' 'Mad Men' and more

The

Happy Monday, Boys & Girls! It's time for a busy installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
 
With finales for "Shameless" and "Justified," premieres of "Veep," "Nurse Jackie" and "Da Vinci's Demons" and our first in-depth "Mad Men" discussion of the season, we went 90+ minutes and could have done much more except for scheduling restrictions.
 
Whee!
 
It's unclear if next week's podcast is going to be delayed a day or two. We'll let you know when we know!
 
Anyway...
 
Today's breakdown:
"Da Vinci's Demons" (00:01:10 - 00:18:00)
"Nurse Jackie" (00:18:15 - 00:28:45)
"Veep" (00:28:50 - 00:36:05)
"Justified" finale (00:36:40 - 00:48:35)
"Shameless" finale (00:48:40 - 01:03:30)
"Mad Men" (01:03:30 - 01:31:55)

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.

<p>Elisabeth Moss of &quot;Mad Men&quot;</p>

Elisabeth Moss of "Mad Men"

Credit: AMC

Interview: 'Mad Men' star Elisabeth Moss discusses Peggy's return and lying to reporters

Also, we discuss why Peggy-Don 'shipping is just plain wrong
Across the six interviews I did with various stars of AMC's "Mad Men," I don't know if a single actual plot-point was spoiled. Matthew Weiner runs a tight ship.
 
The sixth interview probably could, in some hyper-sensitive circles, be considered a spoiler merely by the actor in question.
 
Yes, Elisabeth Moss is going to be back on "Mad Men" this season. I'm sorry if Peggy's presence in last season's finale didn't give that away, or if that fact was also unspoiled despite Moss featuring in both promotional images and trailers for the new season.
 
Elisabeth Moss and Peggy, Don Draper's favorite protegee, will be back on "Mad Men" this season. 
 
Of course, you may have been fooled last spring when Peggy took a new job offer and abandoned Don and then Moss gave a number of interviews saying that she didn't know what was next for Peggy and that her fate was in Weiner's hands. 
 
In this interview, Moss admits to perhaps a wee bit of lying last spring and discusses how Weiner told her about what was coming next for Peggy. We talked about the "Mad Men" culture of secret keeping and then we had a long back and forth about why it's strange people have to keep asking if Don and Peggy are eventually going to hook up. 
 
Click through for the full conversation
 
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<p>January Jones of &quot;Mad Men&quot;</p>

January Jones of "Mad Men"

Credit: AMC

Interview: 'Mad Men' star January Jones discusses Betty's transformation

She jokes 'I don't know what the hell I'm doing most of the time'
Back in January, if you'll recall, I interviewed January Jones in Park City, Utah about her Sundance Film Festival premiere "Sweetwater" and I got to break the news of the "Mad Men" Season 6 premiere date to her.
 
At the time, although she hinted we'd get more Betty Francis this season, she couldn't tell me anything about what was coming up for Season 6.
 
Jones still wouldn't have been able to tell me anything when we sat down last month for a pre-premiere conversation, so we spent most of the time looking back and discussing the physical transformation Betty underwent last season. Here, Jones discusses her initial discomfort with the prosthetics and her fears about being used as a prop, as well as the ways in which the experience improved her acting.
 
Before talking to Jones, I had spoken with John Slattery, who wished he'd gotten to direct her more and said, "She has a way of making it look like it's all really happening in real time while we're shooting it and it's sorta wild to watch." So I made sure to talk with Jones about the immediacy of her process.
 
It's an interesting conversation and it won't spoil anything for you, so click through for the full interview...
 
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<p>&quot;Mad Men&quot; star Jon Hamm</p>

"Mad Men" star Jon Hamm

Credit: AMC

Interview: 'Mad Men' star Jon Hamm says we'll learn more about Don Draper's past in Season 6

Emmy favorite also talks about directing his second episode
When I sat down with Jon Hamm two weeks ago to chat about Sunday's (April 7) Season 6 premiere of "Mad Men," my first question was about the sense that as the show gets deeper into the '60s, Don Draper's polished image has begun to fray around the edges.
 
At that moment, Hamm seemed a little frayed himself. Yes, he still looked dashing enough to do a magazine photo shoot or walk a red carpet, but he was also clearly fighting off an unpleasant cold. After a day of interviews, his voice was raw and he was bundled up as if it were a January day in Manhattan, rather than a March day in Los Angeles, complete with a scarf that could be described as nothing less than jaunty.
 
Like a trooper, Hamm weathered my 10 minutes of questions, which marked the end of his interview schedule for the day. He had a good answer for my question about Don's fraying and also about the increased emergence of Dark Don in recent seasons. He talked about the process of directing his second episode.
 
And although you won't get any concrete spoilers out of anybody associated with Matt Weiner's Emmy-winning drama, Hamm dropped some hints about aspects of Don's past that may return or be explained this season.
 
Click through for the full Q&A.
 
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<p>Corinne Kaplan of &quot;Survivor: Caramoan&quot;</p>

Corinne Kaplan of "Survivor: Caramoan"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Corinne Kaplan talks 'Survivor: Caramoan'

Wednesday's blindside still stings for the 'Gabon' Favorite
Depending on whether or not you count Brandon Hantz's self-immolation as a formal "Survivor" elimination -- he was voted off, but not at a real Tribal Council -- it had been a long time since a Favorite went home in this second "Fans vs. Favorites" installment. 
 
And if everything had gone according to plan, another fan was going to be sent packing on Wednesday's (April 3) episode. It seemed as if everybody had a tacit agreement that Sherri was going to be departing next, which worked out for several of the myriad secret alliances bubbling up post-Merge.
 
But then Corinne Kaplan told her increasingly insecure buddy Dawn about a not-so-hypothetical hypothetical situation in which she was joining with several of the Fans to turn around after Sherri's elimination and vote Phillip out. Remembering her failures in her own season, Dawn told Cochran about Corinne's plan and soon everybody knew and suddenly Corinne went from seemingly pulling all the strings to being blindsided.
 
Just another week on "Survivor."
 
In this week's exit interview, the always quotable "Survivor: Gabon" veteran discusses the pain of being blindsided, her confusion at Dawn's flip, her frustration at Erik's wishy-washy vote and being frazzled by Phillip's craziness. 
 
Click through for the full Q&A...
 
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<p>&quot;Mad Men&quot; star Vincent Kartheiser</p>

"Mad Men" star Vincent Kartheiser

Credit: AMC

Interview: 'Mad Men' star Vincent Kartheiser discusses a maturing Pete Campbell

Or has Don Draper's former adversary matured at all?
By now, you've probably read Denise Martin's Vulture interview with a wonderfully animated Vincent Kartheiser, in which the "Mad Men" star shared his opinions on Twitter and bill-shredding, while also flicking paper footballs at his interrogator. 
 
I had a different kind of interview with Kartheiser. In our conversation, the "Angel" veteran talks about Pete Campbell's development from Don Draper's dangerous wunderkind adversary to his current incarnation, a differently discontented man with a receding hairline, a double-chin and a growing realization that he's no longer the youngest man in the room. 
 
Kartheiser talked about how his own maturation process hasn't always mirrored Pete's and he discussed a physical transformation that includes shaving back that hairline.
 
Throughout the interview, Kartheiser was tearing pieces of paper into one-inch-wide strips and the ripping sounds are frequently audible on my recording. It was only after hearing my colleague's story that I realized those strips were likely nascent paper footballs. 
 
No projectiles were aimed in my direction. But I think it's an interesting interview anyway...
 
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<p>Kree Harrison from Wednesday night's &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

Kree Harrison from Wednesday night's "American Idol"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - Top 7: Results - Plus Carrie Underwood and Casey James

Will Lazaro Arbos go home or will the judges use the Save?

It seems like a good night for a Judges' Save, doesn't it? 

I could be wrong, but I've got a feeling.

Otherwise, it's going to be a full hour just to watch Casey James [Remember him?] and bid farewell to Lazaro Arbos, which would almost be anti-climactic, wouldn't it? 

Click through for the full "Idol" Thursday (April 4) adventure...

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<p>John Slattery of &quot;Mad Men&quot;</p>

John Slattery of "Mad Men"

Credit: AMC

Interview: 'Mad Men' star John Slattery discusses Roger Sterling's long, strange trip

Slattery also discusses his latest directing experiences
In yesterday's first interview of "Mad Men" week, Jessica Pare taught us about the challenges of promoting a show that you're not allowed to preview at all. Of course, she also talked about Megan's gifts as an actress and about the allure of Dark Don. I still like the interview, even if she wouldn't admit she was in Hawaii.
 
But not all of the "Mad Men" interviews I did focused on the future or on things the actors couldn't talk about.
 
A four-time Emmy nominee, John Slattery saw Roger Sterling go through some changes last season, fighting back from the brink of obsolescence with the help of enlightenment gleaned in one of the great LSD trips ever captured on film/video. Where does Season 6 find Roger in his journey? Well, without spoiling specific details, Slattery was able to give some insight into the character's progression.
 
In addition to acting on "Mad Men," Slattery has also become a key part of the show's directing stable, helming the exceptional "Signal 30" last season, as well as "Blowing Smoke" and "The Rejected." Slattery directed two more episodes this season and we talked about his learning curve behind the camera and the unique challenges of achieving the writer-specific "Mad Men" vision. 
 
Click through for the full interview, which manages to be thoughtful and interesting without spoiling anything at all...
 
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<p>The post-Merge &quot;Survivor&quot; flag</p>

The post-Merge "Survivor" flag

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Caramoan' - 'Blindside Time'

After the Merge and an eating challenge, folks try to shake things up
Pre-credit sequence. Anybody remember who we voted out last? Oh right. Julia. Bikal returns to camp and they've probably forgotten who they lost as well. Everybody congratulates Michael as The Last Remaining Bikal Fan. "I made sure I got The Gay," Corinne says, proud of her Tribal Council role. For some reason, Phillip decides to call Dawn and Corinne over to "confess" that he threw the challenge. Corinne is... Let's say... "skeptical." "You could have just told us," Corinne tells Phillip, who insists it was an in-game decision. "That's convenient. That's around the same time you blew the challenge," Corinne tells us. "He's so cuckoo-for-Coco-Puffs. There's no question that Phillip has to go," she adds.
 
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