So You Think You Can Dance, July 25 – Watching Great Dancers Leave

The eliminations last week just seemed cruel. All the people that landed in the bottom from the previous week's voting had done so well. It was just so hard to watch four of them leave. It has to get even harder tonight, although only two dancers will be leaving at the end of the night. .

The group dance tonight features the dancers dressed like Charlie Chaplin, both guys and girls. They dance to The Here and After by Jun Miyake. It's filmed all in black and white, with the only color being a red umbrella being passed throughout the dancers. I'm not sure who to credit for this one, but I'm going to guess Travis Wahl or Tyce Diorio. It turns out that Tyce was the correct guess.

Joining Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy at the judging table tonight is Christina Applegate, back again for her second turn as judge. There's no chit chat tonight with them. It must be a busy night. They have asked the dancers to tell us something they believe we don't know about their partner.

What Tiffany Maher knows we all know about George Lawrence II is that he runs track, but what she doesn't think we know is that he peed his pants at his first track meet at the sound of the starting pistol. While everyone knows Tiffany is pretty, George doesn't think we know she's smart. She had a 5.2 GPA and is her class Salutatorian.

They're working with Napoleon and a very pregnant Tabitha D'Umo on a hip hop routine that is inspired by Adventures in Babysitting. The dancers are their babysitters in the scenario, and they are going insane when the baby cries. Tiffany thinks the dance is harder than babysitting. They dance to Out of My Mind by B.O.B. feat. Nicki Minaj. Tiffany may be smart and beautiful, but she can also get down. She's much better in this than you'd expect her to be.

Nigel thought it was a great NappyTab routine. Their routines are always fun with a bit of a story to them to keep us interested, even the people not interested in dance. He would like to see them getting a little grungier with the hip hop, but it was perfect to open the show. George looked to be a little tired at the end, surprising for a track star. He, too, tells Tiffany she “got down.”

Mary is out of her mind over this couple. They were fabulous and she thought it was so cute with the Dr. Seuss set. She thinks Tabitha and Napoleon played it just right. For the two of them it was right, as well as with Tiffany and George. George is growing up every week and hasn't disappointed her at all. She thought he was really rocking it out, and Tiffany was really getting down. At first it was so soft and sweet, then the music started, and she came out like Princess Dynamo. Mary thinks they're fabulous partners together.

Christina did not expect that dance from either of them. Tiffany is so tough and scary, but she had such a great balance of her goofy sweetness, and that “I never look good in a dress doing this.” On the parts that were slow, she'd like to see it soupier. Other than that, “X marks the spot.” I'm not quite sure what that means.

Brandon Mitchell tells us what we don't know about Amber Jackson is that she's a hair stylist, which makes sense with the different hairstyles she's sporting every time we see her. What we don't know about Brandon is that he's in the main crew of Step Up: Revolution. Does he even need this show if he's already working with Adam Shankman?

The two of them are taking on a Ray Leeper jazz routine. Ray explains it's about a couple who lives in the south who work very, very hard. Brandon explains he comes home, sees this woman who he's happy to see, and it goes from there. She calls it sexy. Since they're a couple put together after the eliminations last week, Ray knows it will be important for them to work on their chemistry. They dance tonight to Dr. Feelgood (Love is Serious Business) by Aretha Franklin. Sexy it is. They definitely have chemistry.

Christina says she's not religious, and while they bleep out what she says, I think she thanks Jesus Christ for that. She asks how excited they were to dance to that song, and also felt it was so private that we houldn't have been there watching them. From the first minute watching Amber sigh, she knew we were going to go on a journey with her. It is the best she has ever seen her dance. What differentiates her from the others is she has some gut and passion that is so sexy and beautiful. She completely forgot Brandon was a stepper because he was so strong and there for her and sexy as well.

Mary, fanning herself, doesn't know what kind of cereal Brandon and Amber had that morning, but there was definitely some soul in that bowl. They've been after Amber to show performance, and tonight it's a sultry snd soulful performance. Brandon is a stepper, sure, but he did fabulous. He had an unforced masculinity and just keeps stepping it up.

Nigel agrees with Cat Deeley that it was reminiscent of the Breakfast Table routine with Sasha and Twitch. Nigel calls it babymaking choreography and wonders if he choreographed Napoleon and Tabitha. He agrees with Mary that they've been trying to get Amber to show what she was feeling, and it was the first time she let it out. Brandon is so strong, and was throwing her around, yet at the same time he was so careful when he put her down on the chair. Yet, he needs to lower his shoulders.

Janelle explains what we don't know about Dareian is that he's a daredevil on and off the stage. He skateboards and is crazy. He thinks it's strange, but cute at the same time that she likes to write rap. It's just kind of weird.

Janelle Isis and Dareian Kujawa worked with Pasha Kovalev on a cha cha. She calls it sexy, fun, and so incredibly hard. Pasha wants Dareian to be really cool and incredibly strong and not fall into Janelle's charm. He thinks at the end of the day, they'll be perfect for this cha cha, despite Dareian saying his hips don't move like that. They dance tonight to Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen. I never thought of cha cha when I've listened to this song. She definitely has the hips for this, and while he doesn't, he's a strong dancer in all other ways.

Mary tells Janelle and Dareian they had a phenomenal couple of tricks in the dance, but the dancing was going in and out and they had no real chemistry. The transitions were so rough, mainly because they're not connected to their center with their arms. The feet were lacking as well. They're the most adorable couple, though, and are sure to have lots of fans.

Christina recognizes it's not Janelle and Dareian's genre, but that they gave their best. Janelle sparkles and is a beautiful girl with such poise. Dareian is a great dancer, but his strange hand things he had going on were distracting to her.

Nigel thinks Christina picked up on that really well. The arm that isn't doing any work is being forgotten about and is just being left there. Dareian needs to watch his feet, because he turns his toes in and picks his feet up which isn't right for this style. Janelle is so sexy when she belly dances, but he didn't find that in this routine, whether it was because she was nervous or another routine. When you see Pasha and Anya do these routines, there's a connectivity that's sensational, and he didn't feel it from Janelle and Dareian.

Top Chef Masters 4 – Episode 1 – Excuse Me, I’m The Queen of Lemons

I have been gone from writing about cooking for so long, I forgot that the show actually returned! That’s right – this week marked the return of the Top Chef franchise after a virtually unheard of two month absence since Paul took the gold in Top Chef. We return with the franchise’s middle child – Masters. To sum up its past – first two seasons had a goofy preliminary round format and a wooden model host. Season 3 replace her with the hunky Curtis Stone, and sliced the participants down to 12 in a more standard Top Chef Competition format. Floyd took the title the last time the Masters threw down for competition – and battled for glory, ego and cash for charities.

Returning for action – Stone is host once again. Judges James Oseland (Bert on these pages due to how he reminds me of what Sesame Street’s Bert would be if he was an adult human food critic), Ruth Reichl (no nickname, but RR in my shorthand notes), and new judges. Salon and Gourmet writer Francis Lam did not appear this week, but LAist Food Editor Krista Simmons did. She may or not be related to Gail, but one thing is for sure, she looks like she could have played Katniss in the Hunger Games. That’s right – she’s 15 years old. Not really, but I was so distracted by how young she looked, I almost asked her to babysit.

The Masters

Patricia Yeo Om Restaurant & Lounge / Moksa Pan Asian Izakaya – Charity: Heifer Project International. A Bobby Flay disciple – she focuses on Asian-inspired American food, and Asian street food. And I must say, she looks so much like Margaret Cho’s version of Kim Jong Il from 30 Rock last season.

Takashi Yagihashi Takashi Restaurant and Slurping Turtle – Charity: Japanese Tsunami Disaster Relief. James Beard winner of Best Chef: Midwest in 2003. And his Noodles restaurant was one of the “Five Best Noodle Shops in America” by Bon Appétit.

Art Smith LYFE Kitchen and Southern Art Restaurants – Charity: Common Threads . Season 1 contestant Smith is back and 120 pounds lighter. He was once Oprah’s personal chef and owns Art and Soul here in DC. And he’s wearing a snappy hat.

Thierry Rautureau Rover’s and Luc – Charity: Food Lifeline. Another past contestant, and another snappy hat, and in fact, his nickname is “The Chef in the Hat.” His Seattle restaurant was featured in tons of food publications.

Missy Robbins A Voce Madison and A Voce Columbus – Charity: Grow to Learn NYC . A Georgetown grad who moved to Chicago, and like last season’s Sarah, became a student of former Master contestant Tony Mantuano. She cooked for the Obamas – and hopefully it was healthy, or else Michelle will kick her butt.

Kerry Heffernan NYC Chef – Charity: City Harvest. Part of me hopes that he is related to Kevin James’ character in King of Queens. He wound up working for Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud and was a guest judge during All-Stars.

Debbie Gold Kansas City’s The American Restaurant – Charity: Children’s TLC. She was also a former contestant and is prominent KC chef – I was just there, and didn’t go to her place. However, I did go to an amazing BBQ restaurant connected to a gas station. Gold built 40 Sardines into a hugely successful restaurant and was nominated for “Best New Restaurant” from the James Beard Foundation. Now that’s a good name for a restaurant. Or a punk band.

Lorena Garcia Lorena Garcia’s Cocina Restaurant – Charity: Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Inc . A very good looking woman from Venezuela, she left law school for cooking. Her restaurant is in the Miami airport – which beat the hell out of a Cinnabun. She was also a guest chef on All-Stars.

Mark Gaier Arrows – Charity: Equality Maine Foundation. That’s right – a gay man name Gaier. That’s like my college astronomy professor named Telesca. True story. Mark’s Maine restaurant was chosen as “One of America’s 10 Most Romantic Restaurants” by Bon Appétit and “One of America’s Top 50 Restaurants” by Gourmet.

Clark Frasier – Arrows – Charity: Outright Lewiston/Auburn. Mark’s partner – at home and at work. And they look exactly the same. So that will be fun for me to recap. They look like how the band Nelson would look today – if they became a gay chef couple.

Chris Cosentino Incanto Restaurant in San Fran – Charity: Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Research. Cosentino has been notably featured on the Food Network in The Next Iron Chef America and Chefs vs. City. He’s also got a line of clothes – but I don’t expect him to show up on Project Runway.

Season 4 takes place in Vegas. Vegas, baby! Vegas! They gather in the kitchen and we discover that Yeo (sorry, it’s shorter than her first name) was once Chris’ boss. Chris actually utters that they “all can cook in our places of business.” Really? I thought this was Top Chef Amateurs. Sigh.

Stone tells them that we are in Vegas and they will have to do Vegas things this season. In this case, play food blackjack. They are paired up and are dealt two cards per team – however, instead of 21; they are getting ingredients on the cards. They only get 15 minutes to cook, and Chris laments that his catfish is whole, so he has to filet it in that time. After some frantic cooking, the teams put out their plates. Of course, the Masters are judged by three casino dealers. Because that makes sense. The one guy is name Bryon. Not Byron, which is what I spelled out at first. Bryon. He spells it that way, making me instantly hate him.

What’s Hot on TV Tonight – Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony

The Summer Olympics officially begins tonight, live from London. It's the first city to host the Games three times. Queen Elizabeth will be on hand to officially welcome the world.. Catch up on your favorite shows you may have missed at TV-Links.

1. Live! With Kelly. Joel McHale is the guest cohost, and Olivia Munn, Lou Diamond Phillips, Skipper Bivins, and Trent Jackson are the guests. Syndicated, check local listings.

2. XXX Summer Olympics. From London, Queen Elizabeth II officially opens the Games. 6:00 PM CT NBC

3. Tyler Perry's House of Payne. In the first half hour, “First Dance.” In the second half hour, “Invention of Trust.” 7:00 PM CT TBS

4. 20/20. 8:00 PM CT ABC

5. Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse. In the first half hour, “The Will and the Grace.” In the second half hour, “Engagement Ring.” 8:00 PM CT TBS

6. Say Yes to the Dress. Tisa wants to look hot in her dress, Victoria is looking for a dress for a wedding in eight weeks, and Emily tries hers on for the first time 8:00 PM CT TLC

7. XIII. XIII follows a trail tracking his identity to a paramilitary training camp where he receiving his training. He wants to learn what he was being trained for, but has to go up against the camp owner.. 8:00 PM CT Reelz

8. Common Law. Wes and Travis see each other from a different perspective when their mentors get called in. 9:00 PM CT USA

9. Lost Girl. Bo's physique is threatened by what she finds while investigating a disappearance. 9:00 PM CT USA

10. Boxing. Raymundo Beltran vs. Hank Lundy. 9:00 PM CT ESPN 2

11. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The guests tonight include Jeremy Renner, Betty White, and Joss Stone. 11:35 PM CT NBC


Big Brother 14, July 26 – The Game Is “Shaping Up”

Right now Chill Town 2 is sitting pretty up in the HoH. But if they don't win HoH this time, they could be targeted in a big way. It's likely to be a physical competition this week, and if that's the case, it paints favorably for Shane or Wil to win. Chill Town 2 might want to hold down their laughing from the DR.

After Frank nominates Danielle to replace Shane on the block, she remarks that Dan's abandoning her. She doesn't think she'll even get Shane's vote. Things haven't been going well for her, but even with everyone's backs turned towards her, she thinks she'll still stay. Frank notes he and Boogie are working with Janelle's team, so Danielle was the only choice. The group is too tight to start making waves this early. JoJo thinks it's a good thing she's up against Danielle, because if she goes, Dan goes too. She wants to make sure the house knows that, along with all the other reasons she should stay over Danielle.

Dan finds Danielle and tells her he abandoned her for a reason. She hopes it's a very good reason. He explains in the DR that he told her she'd be alone to motivate her and and light a fire under her to get her going. His intention wasn't to make her upset, and he realizes now he might have gone too far. It's his job as coach to reel her back in and get her to focus. He tries to explain that to her and apologizes, then promises to help her get out of this mess. She tells the DR his plan hurt her feelings, but she knows he had good intentions.

In the Have Not room, Shane tells JoJo to remember there's always a way back into the game and he vows to keep her in it. Ian enters and they abandon their discussion. He turns the light off and Shane announces that it's roasting in there and that he's down to his thong. JoJo says she's about to take her pants off as well. Shane tells her to come over there with him, but she doesn't want him to tempt her like that. Ian is “skeeved out by it.”

JoJo asks to make out, and Shane tells her he doesn't kiss smokers, but she promises that she brushed her teeth. Ian jokes that he's stuck in the room while Shane is trying to board the Staten Island Ferry. Shane and JoJo start talking about kissing abilities, and Ian adds that he's been told he's heavy on the tongue. Umm, TMI.

Danielle tells Ian the next day that she heard all of them talking the night before, and he tells her JoJo and Shane were joking about climbing on top of each other. Danielle looks shocked, because of all the flirting Shane has been doing with her. She gets upset and says “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”

Danielle enters a room with Janelle and Ashley and asks if they want to lay out. They're thinking about it, but Janelle says she's a lazy bitch. Danielle suggest they go back to when Janelle was single. And if that's the case, Janelle says the guys have to be tall. Ashley says Shane is too little, and she's afraid she'd crush him in bed. She thinks he's becoming “emancipated,” explaining it's when you're so skinny you start to get introverted and your insides get stuck in your shoulders. Sigh. They all agree if they weighed what Britney does they wouldn't care about small guys. Janelle says her breast implants alone weigh about 8-1/2 pounds.

Danielle tells the other two girls what Ian had told her about Shane and JoJo. Danielle admits it hurts that she lost to Staten Island. Janelle knows how dangerous a showmance can be, because she's been in them before. They'll take each other to the end and vote together. This is making her want to get JoJo out. Pretty smart Danielle, she gets revenge against this girl moving in on her guy in more than a couple ways.

JoJo enters the HoH room and finds Britney. She tells JoJo she's not sure if she's staying. She definitely doesn't want to lose two players in one week, though, after Wille's removal from the game. Britney tells her to stay quiet and not to tallk crap about anyone. It has to be all pink roses and rainbows coming out of her mouth. It's also bad news for JoJo that Danielle and Janelle are now buddy-buddy. Britney goes down to the DR and does her impression of JoJo, “Yeah. No. I know. I know. No. No. Yeah. Yeah. I know,” then utters the obvious, “Obviously you don't freaking know.”

Britney talks to Boogie while eating beef jerky, and tells him not to send JoJo home after Danielle. She wants him to know Danielle is smarter than he thinks she is. Boogie just smiles. She can't have JoJo running around in circles and laughing and saying I know to everyone. She wants to force her to let her do all the talking. He knows the only reason to keep Danielle is if the coaches do come into the game.

Boogie knows it sounds weird to want to keep Dan, but he thinks everyone else's automatic instinct will be to target the coaches. She asks if he could convince Ian to work with him, and he's pretty sure he could. He believes she just rested her case. She points out he has the numbers in the house, and he's fully aware he has all the power. They don't have anything against Dan, but they wouldn't mind seeing him pack a bag and leave on Thursday.

After another look at the moments right before Willie left the house, Julie Chen talks to the houseguests live. She asks Joe what was going through his mind when things with Willie were escalating. He wanted to protect himself, and to also tell Willie if he can't handle the heat to stay out of the kitchen Julie figures he means the bathroom. Ian was in the bathroom in his towel and tells Julie he was extremely worried for his safely, but from working as an R.A. at Tulane, he wanted to step in and break it up.

The houseguests get treated to the video of the BB Cantina competition for the first time. Britney explains she thought it was incredible and she was so happy and proud of Shane winning. It was well worth her jumping into a giant bowl of guacamole.

Britney mentions to Boogie that some people thought Wil would be back, and Boogie adds an “I wish,” because he's fun, smart, and saracastic. Dr. Will speaks from his Dr. Tattoof office. As soon as he and Boogie met, he knew they'd be good friends. Some alliances stab you in the back, but Chill Town stabs you in the front. This is Boogie's first time in the house without him, and he thinks he's doing a good job with his team. He's coaching Frank to be his new Frankenstein. He thinks he's trying to build a bigger Chill Town member. Boogie's ego got to him though in the Coaches Comp.