<p>Pete's torch is extinguished on &quot;Survivor: Philippines&quot;</p>

Pete's torch is extinguished on "Survivor: Philippines"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Pete Yurkowski talks 'Survivor: Philippines'

Was his strategy of 'creating chaos' worthwhile in the end?
I wasn't around to recap last Wednesday night's eventful episode of "Survivor: Philippines," but due to the Thanksgiving holiday, I was still able to have my weekly exit interview and chat with Pete Yurkowski about his torch-snuffing.
 
In one of those reversals of fortune that happen three or four times every "Survivor" season, Pete went from atop a seemingly powerful majority alliance to out-of-the-game over a two-episode span. First he helped minimize the Tandang domination by voting against long-time rival RC, then he lost a tenuous ally when Mike Skupin flipped on Artis. And finally Pete was forced to beg for Skupin's support when it became clear that primary target Abi's Immunity Idol made him the next player on the block.
 
Pete's attempts to convince other players that Malcolm, holding an Idol himself, would be better blindside fodder amounted to nothing when host Jeff Probst spent a full Tribal Council dwelling on the collective antipathy towards Abi.  
 
In a conversation marked by long pauses and frequent dodges, Pete discussed his relationship with Abi, his dislike of Skupin and whether or not his own attempts to generate random chaos ended up doing more harm than good. 
 
Click through for the full Q&A...
 
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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 158

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 158

Dan and Alan talk 'The Hour,' 'Treme,' 'Revolution' and more

The

Happy Tuesday, Boys & Girls!
 
After taking last week off for Thanksgiving, we're back with another installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
 
In this week's podcast, Sepinwall and I review the new season of BBC America's "The Hour," talk about the finale of "Treme" and the midseason finale of "Revolution" and discuss two weeks of "Homeland." We also answered a few pieces of Listener Mail. Oh and Alan talks a little bit about a certain new book you might have heard of.
 
Next week's podcast could be light, so feel free to send more mail and we'll get to some of it!
 
Here's today's breakdown:
Alan's Book (00:00:50 - 00:07:10)
"The Hour" (00:07:15 - 00:16:05)
Listener Mail - "Last Resort" cancellation (00:17:05 - 00:26:35)
Listener Mail - female TV stars in movie ensembles (00:27:00 - 00:30:35)
Listener Mail - Skippable "Cheers" seasons (00:30:35 - 00:32:30)
"Revolution" (00:32:50 - 00:43:05)
"Treme" (00:43:10 - 53:30)
"Homeland" (00:53:35 - 01:16:22)
 

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

Jaymes and James of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Fishy Kiss'

The teams head to Amsterdam where a Double U-Turn looms
Sunday (November 25) night's episode of "The Amazing Race" was simultaneously very simple and yet very complicated, wasn't it?
 
None of the tasks completed during the episode were especially difficult, but there were definitely a lot of them. We had a Roadblock and a Detour and a Fast-Forward, plus there was a Double U-Turn. And then, as if that weren't enough, we got several layers of travel drama. 
 
There was such a myriad-assortment of busy-ness that there were three or four majority contributing factors to the week's elimination, even though none of them had to do with success or failure at any challenge. 
 
The result was that this was a third straight week in which "The Amazing Race" delivered a strong episode, despite major structural problems. 
 
Then again, when was the last time "The Amazing Race" delivered three straight episodes of this caliber? 
 
It's been a while, so I guess I won't quibble.
 
[On to the recap after the break. Apologies if any of this is scattered. I'm on an 11-hour flight returning from a vacation and it's already two or three in the morning in my head...]
 
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<p>Josh and Brent on &quot;The Amazing Race.&quot;</p>

Josh and Brent on "The Amazing Race."

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'We Was Robbed'

Egos, ankles, and pants take a beating in a 'unique' Moscow showdown.
[Note: Dan is on vacation, so Myles McNutt is filling in for this week's "The Amazing Race" recap.]
 
When last week’s “Amazing Race” ended with “To Be Continued,” it was a different ending than we’re used to seeing with that particular phrase: whereas sometimes the show has done this when a leg gets extended (and the “Pit Stop” becomes a halfway point), in this case it was to put off the inevitable conclusion temporarily. Josh and Brent were failing miserably at the Synchronized Swimming Detour after falling behind due to a missed connection, but then James and Abba lost a passport, meaning that it was a race to see whose failure would be most insurmountable.
 
“We Was Robbed” tells that story and a few others, although they’re also different stories than you may be used to seeing. If you watch “The Amazing Race” to see teams race against one another, you likely enjoyed the first twenty minutes of tonight’s episode. If you watch “The Amazing Race” to see teams race against themselves in a seemingly meaningless march to the finish line, though, you were in for a treat.
 
To find out who won the race for failure, and who ended up leaving Russia empty-handed, click through for the full recap…
 
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<p>Artis of &quot;Survivor: Philippines&quot;</p>

Artis of "Survivor: Philippines"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Artis Silvester talks 'Survivor: Philippines'

What was Artis' problem with Skupin and his deal with Pete and Abi?
"You're asking people to give you a million dollars and as human beings, nobody in their right mind wants to give an a***hole a million dollars, unless he's up there with other a**holes," says Artis Silvester, summarizing one of the basic truths of "Survivor."
 
Those are wise and fitting words for the 53-year-old, who became the most recent player voted out on "Survivor: Philippines."
 
Artis didn't get an especially complimentary edit on "Survivor," receiving very little screentime and spending much of that time mocking, maligning or fighting with returning player Mike Skupin.
 
However, Artis came away as practically saintly compared to his alliance-members Pete and Abi.
 
In his exit interview, Artis makes it clear that while he was aligned with Pete, the more problematic Abi was merely an unfortunate byproduct. He also discusses his issues with Skupin and he insists that he knew who Jeff Kent was, even if that never was featured on TV.
 
Click through for the full Q&A.
 
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<p>Melissa Rosenberg</p>

Melissa Rosenberg

Interview: 'Twilight' scribe Melissa Rosenberg talks 'Breaking Dawn' and ABC's 'Red Widow'

How does the screenwriter expect viewers to respond to a key new scene?
It's been a busy couple weeks of "Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" content on this blog. 
 
I've posted video interviews with stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner and Elizabeth Reaser & Nikki Reed and Kellan Lutz & Jackson Rathbone and Michael Sheen, as well as director Bill Condon.
 
Closing the week, on the day of the film's premiere, my last interview is with Melissa Rosenberg, the franchise's lone screenwriter dating back to "Twilight" in 2008. 
 
Hardly an unknown when she landed the "Twilight" gig, Rosenberg's credits including "Birds of Prey" and "The O.C." on the small screen, as well as a little dance film called "Step Up." Still, Rosenberg has achieved a new level of prominence for transferring Bella and Edward and Jacob from Stephenie's Meyer's books to blockbuster effect.
 
And with that new level of prominence has come a new level of scrutiny, as Rosenberg has felt the love of "Twilight" fans when she perfectly captured Meyer's key moments and the outrage when she changed punctuation or a hair style. With "Breaking Dawn - Part 2," she's ready for both reactions, especially for a key late scene that may surprise even devoted readers.
 
That prominence has also led to more big-ticket writing gigs, including ABC's midseason drama "Red Widow," starring Radha Mitchell.
 
In this interview, Rosenberg discusses her connection to the "Twilight" franchise after scripting five films, as well as her expectations for audience reactions to The Scene We Can't Discuss in Detail. 
 
We also talked a bit about "Red Widow," which will bring a very cable sensibility to wherever ABC decides to slate it this spring. 
 
Click through for the full Q&A.
 
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'Breaking Dawn' director Bill Condon talks changes from Stephenie Meyer's book

'Breaking Dawn' director Bill Condon talks changes from Stephenie Meyer's book

Helmer also says how his stars are different from their public images
I suppose it was my fault, but my interview with "Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" director Bill Condon involved more discussion of "Dreamgirls" than I might have expected.
 
The thing that most "Twilight" fans probably don't realize is that Condon previously stared down a rabidly devoted fanbase when he adapted that beloved musical, steering Jennifer Hudson to Oscar gold. But don't worry, Condon is quick to note that "Twilight" fans are the more passionate lot. 
 
In our conversation, Condon discusses his confidence that those fans will enjoy The Scene We Can't Discuss from "Breaking Dawn - Part 2," the scene that isn't exactly in Stephenie Meyer's book and that's sure to cause plenty of rumbling (positively and, perhaps, negatively). 
 
He also talks about his three stars and how they differ from their public image, or at least how two of them differ. Which one lines up with their reputation? You'll have to watch the full interview.
 
This is the last of my "Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" video interviews. I've already posted my "Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" interviews with Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner and Elizabeth Reaser & Nikki Reed and Kellan Lutz & Jackson Rathbone and Michael Sheen.

I still have a long written Q&A with writer Melissa Rosenberg to post tomorrow. 

Assuming it's midnight wherever you are, the film is now in theaters.

 

<p>Carly Rose Sonenclar of &quot;The X Factor&quot;</p>

Carly Rose Sonenclar of "The X Factor"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' Top 12 - Two eliminations and Taylor Swift performs

Who got sent home after Wednesday's Diva Night performances?

After a weak Performance Wednesday on "The X Factor," I'm not sure if two eliminations on Thursday (November 15) night will be enough. We're just killing time on four or five acts at this point and any reprieve tonight may just mean that those survivors will have their Thanksgiving spoiled next week. Better to send them all home tonight and let those performers enjoy turkey.

I'm not sure which two will be tapped for elimination, but I'm pretty sure neither of them will be Carly Rose Sonenclar, so she's this week's recap cover-girl.

On to the full recap of eliminations and Taylor Swift after the break...

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'Breaking Dawn' star Michael Sheen discusses Aro's laugh, Volturi bonding and his James Bond future

'Breaking Dawn' star Michael Sheen discusses Aro's laugh, Volturi bonding and his James Bond future

Powerful 'Twilight' vampire now sports a powerful mustache
In 2003, David Morrissey and Michael Sheen played Gordon Brown and Tony Blair in Stephen Frears and Peter Morgan's political drama "The Deal."
 
For some reason I find it funny that in the past two months I've talked with David Morrissey about hobnobbing with zombies on "The Walking Dead" and Michael Sheen about his latest tour of bloodsucking duty in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2."
 
There's nothing like an acclaimed British actor to add prestige to vampires, werewolves, zombies and more.
 
In "Breaking Dawn - Part 2," Sheen adds more than his respected pedigree. As Aro, telepathic leader of the vampire-ruling Volturi, Sheen adds impeccable menace and, once again, archly camp hilarity. 
 
In particular, Aro's laugh as become a weapon as finely honed as Jane's pain-infliction. That was the first thing I bought up when I sat down with the finely mustachioed Sheen, who explains the laugh's origin, even crediting franchise scribe Stephenie Meyer for assistance. 
 
In our conversation, we also discussed the off-camera bonding among the Volturi, his upcoming Showtime drama "Masters of Sex" [featured in this separate interview snippet] and, in jest one assumes, his James Bond future.
 
I've already posted my "Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" interviews with Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner and Elizabeth Reaser & Nikki Reed and Kellan Lutz & Jackson Rathbone. Expect one more as we get closer to Friday's (Nov. 16) premiere...
<p>Abi-Maria of &quot;Survivor: Philippines&quot;</p>

Abi-Maria of "Survivor: Philippines"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Philippines' - 'Little Miss Perfect'

Loyalties are tested as Jonathan Penner scrambles once again
Pre-credit sequence. I still don't understand Jonathan Penner's vote from last week's wacky finale. Let's see if we get an explanation as Dangrayne returns from booting Jeff Kent. Mike Skupin is the first to speak, calling it Tribal Council History, raving at Blair Warner stepping in to rescue him. Abi, though, is pissed off at everybody, sarcastically thanking Skupin for voting against her. He didn't. Penner, if you'll recall, did vote against Abi, and he doesn't deny it, saying he doesn't like to be kept in the dark on Plan Bs. Penner is, in fact, still trying to make sense of the overall vote. HAHA. We spent all that time last week trying to make sense of Penner's potentially passive aggressive vote to get Jeff Kent out? Nope. It turns out that he just didn't know the play. "So I'm the one who blew it by not voting for Pete?" Penner asks Man-Dana. He genuinely has no clue if he made a horrible mistake. That's really hilarious and I guess I appreciate his candor. Meanwhile, Blair Warner and Malcolm make bygones, though Blair Warner is feeling like in lying and betraying and breaking promises, she did herself a disservice. "You're just amazing," Blair tells Malcolm, thanking him for being magnanimous. "It's bigger than me," Blair Warner says of "Survivor." 
 
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