Inside TV+Movies with Daniel Fienberg
Skupin, Denise, Malcolm and Lisa battled for the million dollars
The "Survivor: Philippines" Final 4
A bientot, Abi.
No pre-credit sequence for finale
week. Too much "Previously on..." recapping to do. It's Night 36 and it's a silent night, indeed. "That's like having a tumor removed," Skupin quips, calling the ousting of Abi "the best feeling" since he's been out there. "She was just full of fire," Denise says, euphemistically. "The bad news is that she went out with a bang," Malcolm laments, concerned that people keep blowing up at Tribal Council and praising him. Skupin reaffirms to Malcolm that they're still aligned, but Skupin calls this 'a 'Survivor
' alliance." Skupin, however, isn't sure that Malcolm's such a slam-dunk and he suggests he has a better story than the presumptive winner. The next morning, Tree-Mail promises something about a dragon, but doesn't say whether it's Immunity or Reward. Denise fears she may be the next target, so she's ready for whatever comes next.
The season's villain doesn't blame culture or editing
Abi-Maria of "Survivor: Philippines"
"I do not want to blame it on culture and I do not want to blame it on editing."
With those words, uttered late in her exit interview, I found myself coming very close to liking Abi
-Maria Gomes, the primary villain of "Survivor
Yes, Abi-Maria still makes excuses for the actions that led to her becoming pariah on "Survivor" this season, actions like helping to cause the implosion of her tribe thanks to a fabricated feud with RC or tormenting a vulnerable Lisa or gloating after a Reward. But those excuses include a torn ACL that threw her out of synch from the start of the game, rather than criticizing teammates or Jeff Probst or her Brazilian heritage.
In fact, Abi-Maria sounds pretty honest about the way she behaved in the Philippines, or at least about the way it looked like she behaved, since she describes much of the experience as "foggy."
In the conversation, Abi-Maria talks about her thwarted desire to be "a Brazilian delight" and how she and RC probably would have butted heads even if Pete hadn't created chaos. She also discusses her aggressive confrontation with Mike Skupin on Wednesday's episode, including the strategy behind calling him an "idiot" and a "moron" at Tribal Council.
Click through for the full interview...
Million dollar winners discuss their unlikely Race triump
Josh and Brent deliver pizzas on "The Amazing Race"
And, to hear many fans discuss it, Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell were the most surprising winners in the show's history. The goat farmers and stars of Planet Green's "The Fabulous Beekman Boys
" (now airing in repeats on Cooking Channel) were saved by at least one Non-Elimination Leg and by near-countless examples of the fickle finger of "Amazing Race" fate. They won exactly one Leg during the entire season.
Of course, the Leg they won was the only Leg that counted and even that didn't come easy as Josh's confusion with pizza toppings nearly doomed The Beekmans
early in the finale, only to open the door for Josh's redemption on the season-closing Roadblock.
In their exit interview, Josh & Brent discuss their capacity to overcome adversity both in life and on "The Amazing Race
," particular as it relates to pizza delivery. They discuss their relationships with Natalie & Nadiya and also with unlikely airport allies Abbie & Ryan. And while Cooking Channel has yet to formally order a third season of "The Fabulous Beekman Boys," they make their pitch for what that season would include.
Click through for the full interview...
Would news of L.A. Reid's departure be mentioned on-air?
"X Factor" guest performer Bruno Mars
We're eliminating one "X Factor" contestant tonight, but all of the news on the Interwebs is surrounding the loss of one of the "X Factor" judges.
Per media reports, L.A. Reid won't be back next season.
All together now: So what?!?
Will the other judges be wearing black tonight?
Will Tate Stevens be wracked with guilt wondering if he caused L.A. Reid to give up on "X Factor"?
Will Mario and Khloe follow him out the door?
Will this all set up another "X Factor" overhaul in an attempt to lower ratings for next season?
And who's going home tonight?
Click through for the full recap...
Dan and Alan talk Golden Globe nominations, 'Sons of Anarchy' and more
Happy Thursday, Boys & Girls!
Have you been up since 4:45 awaiting Golden Globe nominations only to find out that "Mad Men" isn't one of the five best dramas on TV? We have! And that's why it's time for an occasionally grumpy installment of The Firewall & Iceberg postcast.
In this week's podcast, we chatter about SAG Awards and Golden Globe nominations. We also discuss the finale and full season of "Sons of Anarchy
" and then our ongoing disillusion with "Homeland
" reaches its penultimate week.
And get ready for a multi-podcast week next week. Because we love you!
Here's today's breakdown:
Golden Globes/SAG blather (00:01:30 - 23:00)
Listener Mail - Toupee Fallacy and Bad Actors or Bad Writing? (00:23:40 -
Listener Mail - The future of "Parks & Recreation" (00:30:45 - 35:45)
Listener Mail - "The Shield" and "Sons of Anarchy" into finale discussion (00:36:20 - 00:53:55)
"Homeland" - (00:53:55 - 01:12:10)
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.
The Chippendales discuss their run from near-elimination to second place
Jaymes and James of "The Amazing Race"
It wasn't a direct path that Jaymes Vaughan and James Davis took to "Amazing Race" success to into the hearts of fans.
In the first Leg, the two Chippendales
performers seemed to embody every himbo stereotype we wanted to pre-judge them with. Mental gaffes caused them to very nearly get eliminated in that initial episode, as they survived only by virtue of being marginally faster than a middle-aged couple.
But then, a funny thing happened. Jaymes & James began to grow on viewers. Their high spirits were infectious and Jaymes was good for two or three quotable lines per week, sometimes more. And as we got to know them, it became even easier to like them. Jaymes was competing to assist his father, currently battling cancer -- head over to ForgetCancerNow.com -- while James just wanted to win a car for his mother. All together now: Awww.
By the time James overcame a seemingly excruciating ankle injury to limp through a Russian dancing challenge, the Chippendales were the team most fans seemed to be rooting for.
Jaymes & James came up just short on their "Amazing Race" journey, finishing second, but I'm assuming we haven't seen the last of them and I'm guessing we probably haven't seen the last of them on "The Amazing Race
In their exit interview, Jaymes & James talked about changing viewer attitudes towards their current profession, how nearly leaving after one Leg reshaped their attitudes and their goals going forward. Oh and Jaymes says his new single, not a direct follow-up to "Vampire,"
is coming out before the end of the year.
Click through for the full interview.
In the season's penultimate episode alliances are shifting
Michael Skupin of "Survivor: Philippines"
Pre-Credit sequence. Anybody remember who went home last week? Anybody? OK. Fine. It was Carter. Man-Dana? That other guy who was out there who isn't there anymore? Nevermind. It's back to DangRayne for the Final 5. "Thanks for keeping me, guys," Abi tells everybody, as if an active choice had been made to validate her very existence. "I am over the moon," she tells us, before the editors cut to the moon to show what Abi is not, in fact, over. Abi's unsure if anybody buys her Fantasy Immunity Idol, but she's planning to keep fantasizing. "This game isn't fair," says Blair Warner, who has now fully embraced her "I'd rather go to the end with somebody I can beat" revised ethos. This ethos is concerning Malcolm, who knows that if Blair Warner's head is in the game, she's dangerous going forward. Foreshadowing?
Emblem 3, Carly Rose Sonenclar, Tate Stevens and Fifth Harmony perform
It's Final 4 time on "The X Factor."
But really, if we're being honest, it's time for the Top 2 -- Carly Rose Sonenclar and Tate Stevens haven't let anybody else in since voting began -- and then Emblem 3 and then, somewhere in the distance, Fifth Harmony. The stratification in this "X Factor" season was established early and other than the occasional minor blip -- Vino Alan's elimination was no more or less random than how high he'd be polling previously -- nothing has changed. It was a fantastic idea for "X Factor" to reveal vote ranking, but it was also a horrible idea. Everybody wants to believe that voting on these shows is fluid and that one great performance can turn somebody from an underdog to a star, but that probably isn't the case at all.
So what difference could Wednesday's show possibly make? Do we really think that Tate and Carly Rose can be displaced in the finale?
Let's see how the performances go...
Third place team talks about alliances, found money and traveling the world
Trey & Lexi of "The Amazing Race"
In an "Amazing Race" season lacking any one dominant team, dating couple Trey Wier and Lexi
Beerman briefly looked like they were in position to take control.
From the sixth Leg to eleventh Leg, the former University of Texas football player and his former cheerleader girlfriend never finished lower than third and picked up three wins (most for any team this season) and a pair of second place finishes.
Then, continuing that momentum in the finale, Trey & Lexi completed a pair of tasks in the lead and reached the season's last challenge with an advantage. The matching of flags and local greetings left Lexi frustrated and stymied, as Team Longhorn slipped from front of the pack to third at the closing Pit Stop. Despite the setback, Trey & Lexi were still enthusiastic at the mat, with Lexi making the latest in a running-gag string of not-really-hints for Trey to make her an honest woman.
Lexi made another of her marriage jokes in the couple's exit interview, which also covers the intense last task, their close friendship with two of the other racing teams and the money-finding incident with James & Abba, an event that also featured in yesterday's exit interview with Natalie & Nadiya
Click through for the full conversation.
The 4th place team discusses 'finding' money and being seen as villains
Natalie and Nadiya of "The Amazing Race"
On Sunday (December 9) night, "The Amazing Race
" wrapped up its 21st installment with possibly the most unlikely winner in the show's history.
And on Monday morning, I talked with each of the final four teams, including the million dollar winner. Counting down from fourth to first, HitFix will be running one interview per day. [I'll do the same thing next week with the "Survivor: Philippines" winner and remaining contestants.]
Up first? The season's fourth place finishers, the last team eliminated before that climactic Leg, which took the Top 3 to New York City.
No team on this season's "Amazing Race" produced the diversity of opinions that greeted Sri Lankan twins Natalie
To fans, the Twinies were boundlessly enthusiastic and endlessly quotable and, in the early going, brought energy to a potentially dull season.
To detractors, the Twinies were shrill, loud and bullying. And depending on your definitions for "find" or "steal," they helped separate James & Abba from a chunk of money, leaving the Rockers begging in the streets of Bangladesh.
But what did viewers expect? As one twin observed in the finale, "We've always been evil. We've never been nice."
In our conversation, the Twins were unapologetic about the money incident, but admitted that they gave the show plenty to work with when depicting them as villains. They also talk about their current friendship with all of their fellow Racers and their surprising enthusiasm for the season's winning team.
Click through for the full conversation...