'Amazing Race' Exclusive: Brendon and Rachel reverse roles in Sri Lanka

'Amazing Race' Exclusive: Brendon and Rachel reverse roles in Sri Lanka

See a clip from Sunday's challenging dance task

In case you missed it, after last week's "Amazing Race," I'm now Brendon & Rachel's No.1 Fan!

OK. That's an overstatement, probably, but it's not an overstatement to say that I definitely experienced a wave of affection for Brendon & Rachel after the way the "Big Brother" veterans supported Margie & Luke during last week's tumultuous drink-mixing Detour in Kuala Lumpur. That was good of them. I've got no sarcasm or cynicism when it comes to the way Brendon & Rachel calmed and encouraged Luke in a tough moment.

It's possible, in fact, that Brendon & Rachel have actually changed since we saw them last. There's been minimal crying and almost no shouting to start the season and if you want to see something truly weird, check out this HitFix exclusive clip from Sunday (March 23) night's "Amazing Race" episode.

It involves dancing in Sri Lanka and you may be surprised at how they handle some adversity!

Watch the clip above and come back to HitFix tomorrow night for my recap.

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TV Ratings: 'Shark Tank' leads ABC Friday wins, while 'Dixie' and 'Line' boost The CW
Credit: The CW

TV Ratings: 'Shark Tank' leads ABC Friday wins, while 'Dixie' and 'Line' boost The CW

'Whose Line' tops 'Rake' among young viewers

Fast National ratings for Friday, March 21, 2014.

CBS struggled through another night of unimpressive NCAA Tournament second round ratings, allowing ABC to dominate Friday in all measures, led by "Shark Tank."

In its second Friday airing, FOX's "Rake" reproduced last week's dismal numbers and while the legal dramedy was able to edge out The CW overall, new episodes of "Whose Line Is It Anyway" topped FOX among young viewers. Things were also very close between FOX's 9 p.m. comedies -- with an "Enlisted" repeat -- and The CW's encouraging time period premiere for "Hart of Dixie."

On to the numbers...

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<p>Round 2 of the NCAA Tournament didn&#39;t help CBS&#39; ratings</p>

Round 2 of the NCAA Tournament didn't help CBS' ratings

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: March Madness starts slow as 'Scandal,' 'American Idol' pace Thursday split

'Community' and 'Parks' get a bump without CBS around

Fast National ratings for Thursday, March 20, 2014.

Second Round coverage from the NCAA Tournament got off to a slow start for CBS, allowing "Scandal"-driven ABC to win the night among young viewers, while "American Idol" helped FOX eke out an overall win.

For "Scandal" it was a good week, as a big cliffhanger and the lack of "Elementary" competition led to a small bump. The news was less good for "American Idol," which fell below a 2.0 rating in the key demo.

Without CBS' in the mix, both "Community" and "Parks and Recreation" made rare visits above the 3 million viewer mark, while "Parenthood" rose above 4 million.

On to the numbers...

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<p>Jennifer Lopez of &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

Jennifer Lopez of "American Idol"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 13 - Top 10 Results plus Jennifer Lopez performs

Another so-so performance night means another potentially surprising vote

Once again, we're facing some uncertainty as Thursday (March 20) night's "American Idol" results loom.

After Wednesday's variably so-so performances, I can imagine a variety of potential eliminations. However, I remain uncertain on which singers would force the judges to use their Save. Probably Alex Preston and Caleb Johnson would be guaranteed saves. But who else? Malaya? Probably. Jena "Gina" Irene? Maybe. Anybody else? I'm not so sure.

I'm using a J-Lo picture, because I know she's not going home and I also know she's performing tonight. I don't, however, know how to consistently spell "I Luh Ya Papi," but I know it's J-Lo's new song about her appreciation for the postseason exploits of David Ortiz.

Also performing on Thursday? Something called Royal Teeth.

Click through for the full recap!

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<p>&quot;Survivor&quot; host Jeff Probst</p>

"Survivor" host Jeff Probst

Credit: CBS

'Survivor' finale shifts to Wednesday as CBS announces Spring 2014 end-dates

'Crazy Ones' gets an hour-long finale in April

On behalf of the three or four people out there who recap both "Survivor" and "American Idol," I can now mark May 21 on my calendar with a malevolent skull-of-dread.

CBS announced its Spring 2014 finale dates on Thursday (March 20) morning and the major switch is that for the first time in 10 years, "Survivor" has opted not to go with a Sunday finale and will, instead, wrap the "Cagayan" season on the aforementioned May 21, sticking with the normal Wednesday air schedule.

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First look at 'Gotham' star Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock
Credit: WBTV/FOX

First look at 'Gotham' star Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock

WBTV and FOX Batman not-really-prequel also stars Ben McKenzie

Get ready for a bunch of these first-looks in the next couple weeks. FOX and WBTV are teasing the first look at Donal Logue in character from the upcoming straight-to-series DC Comics adaptation "Gotham."

Logue will be playing Detective Harvey Bullock, described as Future Commissioner Gordon's "rough-around-the-edges" partner and mentor. The character "plays loose with police procedure, but he gets results... and he does it with old-school, forceful panache." 

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<p>Eliza Taylor of &quot;The 100&quot;</p>

Eliza Taylor of "The 100"

Credit: The CW

TV Ratings: 'Survivor' tops 'Idol' again on Wednesday, while 'The 100' premieres strong

'The 100' draws The CW's biggest time period audience since 2010

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, March 19, 2014.

With "American Idol" lagging behind "Survivor" in the 8 p.m. hour and only edging "Criminal Minds" among young viewers in the 9 p.m. hour, CBS and FOX had a tight race for Wednesday supremacy. As of now, the two networks tied in the key demographic and CBS holds a slim advantage overall, though anything could change.

Among other notables, "Mixology" took a solid drop without a new "Modern Family" as lead-in, while NBC's various dramas were also down a hair.

The CW had the night's best news, as "The 100" premiered above its "Arrow" lead-in, giving the network its biggest midseason hit since the 2010 premiere of "Life Unexpected." "The 100" was The CW's most watched show in its time period since September 2010.

On to the numbers...

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<p>Farewell, Beauty Tribe.</p>

Farewell, Beauty Tribe.

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Cagayan' - 'Odd One Out'

A Shuffle puts an end to Beauty vs. Brains vs. Brawn

Pre-credit sequence. J'Tia is gone. "It's a complete roller-coaster ride," reflects Spencer, who is very grateful that Tasha and Kass chose him. "I just knew if we kept her, we would be back there in three days and regretting it," Kass reflects on her decision, which she describes as a "last minute" switch. "How my team has played this game is ridiculous. We're not the Brain Tribe, we're the Crap-for-Brains Tribe," Kass notes, dubbing the tribe, "Just a rolling log-jam mess with a couple nerds on top." Spencer jokes that the only thing standing between them and the Final 3 is "two entire tribes." The next morning... Tree-Mail! There's a hint that Reward and food are coming and they're hungry. The Brains think this is the start of their comeback. Or at least that's sure what they hope. Everybody arrives at the beach ready for a challenge and... "Alright everybody, drop your buffs," Probst says without hesitation. "Brains, Brawn and Beauty is no more," he adds. Time for some Harrison Bergeron-style weights, brain-shocking and paper bag masks!

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<p>The &quot;American Idol&quot; Top 10</p>

The "American Idol" Top 10

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 13 - Top 10 Performances - Top 10 Songs Night

The remaining contenders sing Billboard hits

Welcome to another somewhat strange, very open-ended "American Idol" theme night.

Last week, we discovered that "Bennie and the Jets" was a Song From the Movies because it was heard in "27 Dresses."

Thursday night's theme? Top 10 Songs. Past? Present? Future? Any chart?

Let's find out!

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<p>If this still from &quot;The 100&quot; makes you swoon, you probably don&#39;t care about my review anyway.</p>

If this still from "The 100" makes you swoon, you probably don't care about my review anyway.

Credit: The CW

TV Review: The CW's 'The 100' has a rough start but improves a little

HitFix
C
Readers
n/a
Post-apocalyptic teen drama lacks even slightly appealing characters

Stop me if you've heard this one before: In elementary school at some point, we had to do extended book reports. I chose "Lord of the Flies," as you do. Well, part of the assignment was to select a character you liked at the beginning of the book and do a chapter-by-chapter diary from that character's point of view. 

I sympathized and empathized with Piggy, so he was an easy choice for my diary-writing. For a couple chapters, I wrote lengthy entries about the challenges of being a pudgy, bespectacled outsider in a group of increasingly feral kids, discovering how quickly the trappings of civilization fall away. Then, of course, very bad things happen to Piggy and his beloved conch. 

Briefly, I was crushed. Subsequently, I realized that my assignment had just gotten vastly easier. For the last chunk of the diary, I wrote nothing other than the chapter and "Still dead."

There are a variety of reasons why Piggy's death in "Lord of the Flies" is so shocking and powerful. You don't necessarily need to love the character. Frankly, he's a bit of a pill. Other characters want to be noble or savage. Piggy wants to be civilized and domesticated in exactly the way a grown-up would want them to be, not in any organic way. His death doesn't have subtle meaning. It has whack-you-over-the-head-with-a-mallet portentous meaning, but it still hits home. It hurts because you don't want the character to die, but you also don't want the idea that the character represents to die. And it kicks you in the groin because "Lord of the Flies" was written back in the days before "Hunger Games" and whatnot, back when the idea of killing off juvenile characters in fiction was something that writers didn't do haphazardly. Writers had to earn those deaths and they didn't make the assumption that they were being badass just because they offed somebody too young to buy scratchers at the 7-11. 

The flipside of that coin might be The CW's new drama "The 100," which premieres on Wednesday (March 19) night in the protected 9 p.m. confines after "Arrow." 

We've made a lot of jokes over the years about The CW's assembly line of hot young stars, with the punchlines peaking this fall when the network actually dipped back into the Amell gene pool to pair Robbie Amell's "Tomorrow People" with Stephen's "Arrow." We always suspected that CW stars were a renewable and somewhat interchangeable resource, often harvested and refined from Australia. But with "The 100," the formula has expanded to accentuate the disposable nature of these chiseled, all vaguely familiar thespians. 

The CW once talked about doing a "Battle Royale" series, but the network seemed to realize that in a post-Columbine, post-Newtown, post-Aurora world, some tip-going was required. "The 100" isn't that "Battle Royale" remake, but it is a futuristic drama that revels in killing off young characters, sometimes with intended gravity, but usually with a cavalier shrug of disinterest. There's so much happening and so many characters moving around in "The 100" that it's impossible to care about anybody getting killed off, so you're just supposed to feel like the show is exhibiting braveness on principle. 

Here's the weird and confusing and disappointing thing about "The 100": If I had reviewed it off of the first two episodes, I'd have been veering in the direction of a D/F-grade review and you'd have gotten to see Angry Dan. If I'd have reviewed it off of the first four episodes, I probably wouldn't have moved above a D+/C-. I've seen six episodes and my grade has inched up even more. I thought those first two episodes were awful -- Badly written characters being acted poorly and put through uninteresting pacts. I thought the next two episodes were bad -- Still badly written, poorly acted characters, but at least they were doing some unpredictably things. 

The last two episodes I watched? I'm not going to say they're good. They're not. But there's a narrative that's finally taking shape and a few -- not close to all -- of the actors are settling in to their roles, correcting performances that were misdirected in the pilot. I'm still struggling to find a single character whose fate I'm even vaguely invested in, but my outright antipathy towards some of the characters had begun to fade.

In the end, that makes for a conflicted review on "The 100." I really can't recommend the show at all. But if you're intrigued by the premise and kernels of the pilot interest you, I can assert that "The 100" gets better. That's tepid encouragement in general, but it's more enthusiastic if you watch the pilot and you actually like it. 

Honestly, that could probably be my review, but more detailed and show-specific thoughts are after the break.

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