The Amazing Race, Oct. 7 – Familiar Foe Takes Down Another Team

There are differences of opinion out there on how great of a rule change this option of the this season's The Amazing Race winners getting $2 million is. Personally, I like it … at least this season. I like when these reality shows that have been around for so long change it up so that the players and the viewers don't know what's coming next. I might not want it again after this season, but for now, I like it.

The first team to leave from the pitstop in Shanghai, China, are Abbie and Ryan at 5:35 AM. Their clue tells them to fly across the South China Sea to Surabaya, Indonesia. After landing, they will travel across a bridge and make their way to the Alun Alun Stadium to find their next clue. Apparently the rule changes did not get rid of the Express Pass, as the winner of this leg will receive it. Ryan complains he's sweating behind his kneecaps, which he thinks is awkward. They're scared to be in first place, knowing it makes them a huge target.

Amy and Daniel are the next to leave, just one minute later. Remember, they told Abbie and Ryan where the woman with the abacus was, and the other team then passed them to reach Phil Keoghan's mat first. Amy recalls them being bummed that they just missed out on the chance for the $2 million. She also admits she is very strong, but says she has prosthetic legs, and she already had to learn how to walk again and start snowboarding, so she already knows she has that drive.”

Caitlin and Brittany leave at 5:41 AM and nearly get hit by a car when crossing the street. Natalie and Nadiya leave at 6:05 AM and have a hard time pronouncing the destination. They discuss their crazy background, saying their parents came from the two fighting sides of Sri Lanka. They think growing up in a third-world country benefits them, as they've done many of these things that the others are afraid to do.

Rob and Kelley leave three minutes later. He mentions that they met in the monster truck business. Her husband was his best friend, and was killed in an accident. She recalls Rob being very good to her during that time, staying with her and helping her with her kids. They eventually fell in love. He says she is the first person who made him understand with love is.

The teams start arriving at the airport. Amy and Daniel arrive first. Rob and Kelley book a flight leaving at 8:20 AM that will take them through Hong Kong. They're hoping to then get tickets while they're there to Indonesia. There has to be a way to find tickets to Indonesia in Shanghai, doesn't there?

Amy and Daniel get a flight leaving at 10:05 and taking them to Indonesia. She knows everyone is probably going to end up on this flight, but thinks that will be okay. Abbie adds that everyone will be on this flight unless they mess up. Rob and Kelley see the others all huddled together and are trying to hide from them, wanting to run their own race. Well, if you're making the right decisions, that's okay, but …

James and Abba arrive, as do Gary and Will. They're all getting the same flight. Kelley remarks that either they are making a good move or a bad move to not follow the pack. James2 arrive as well and get the same flight as the rest of the majority. Jaymes refers to it as “the cool kid flight.” They're excited to catch up to everyone else.

Rob and Kelley run to their gate and believe they are duping everyone else and that they'll be in the front. The other teams all catch the other flight and don't know what happened to Rob and Kelley, who they refer to as “Monster Truck,” but wonder if they pulled a fast one.

The flight carrying the majority of the teams lands in Jakarta, and their flight leaves at 5:35, but there's another one leaving at 4:25. It's full, but James and Abba are going to get on the standby list. The other teams are secure with their 5:35 flight. They hope that “Long Hair” don't get the earlier flight, but it turns out they do.

Rob and Kelley are waiting for their flight with a four-hour layover and are wondering if they are in the front or the back of the pack since they don't see any other teams at the airport in Hong Kong. Again, they're running their own race.

James and Abba's flight lands, and they take off for the stadium. The second flight lands carrying most of the others. The sisters, Natalie and Nadiya, really like Lexi and Trey and refer to them as the Texans, noting they're so far away from home.

James sand Abba cross the bridge and start looking for the cluebox. They find it, along with a note telling them to take a number. They see that whatever it is will open at 8 AM. Amy and Daniel get number two, and Abbie and Ryan grab number three, and this makes Amy happy to know that the team that started out the leg in the lead is beatable. James2 gets number four, Trey and Lexi get number five, and the sisters get number six. These last two teams end up making an alliance.

Josh and Brent get number seven, and Caitlin and Brittany number eight. They get upset about them not having air conditioning “in this place,” which is apparently outside. “It's hot as crap out here.” Gary and Will get number nine. They all realize that Monster Truck will be number ten an that they're not even there yet.

Rob and Kelley are on their flight on their way there, as she says she's not sure if they did good or bad. He notes there are some physically fit young people in the race, and when they burn out, that's when “Ma and Pop will roll right on by.” He still believes they're in the lead right now. Sigh.

Monster Truck's flight touches down finally, and they head out to get a taxi. They get to the bridge and take the last number available. The sisters greet them and ask what happened. Rob tells them they had a four-hour layover. He likes to be the last team, though, as what matters is who will be the first team to the mat. They're just gliding under the radar. They're lucky it's an overnight wait and that they were allowed to catch up as much as they were.

Project Runway 10, Episode 12: Of Leading Ladies and Lame Judges

Last week on Project Runway, the designers had to make baby clothes fit for Heidi’s Truly Scrumptious line.  They also had to take care of crying baby dolls, which was both demeaning and annoying.  Sonjia and Christopher both won for making, respectively, the best boy’s and girl’s outfits.  Elena was sent home.

The following morning, Fabio tells us that he’s delighted to have made it to the Final Five.  Melissa notes that she, Fabio, and Dmitry have all won one challenge apiece.  As Sonjia and Christopher have won multiple times, they probably have two of the Final Three spots sewn up.  Ergo, Melissa has to make a better outfit than Dmitry or Fabio in order to win her spot.

On the runway, Heidi congratulates the designers for getting to this point.  She tells them that this is the last challenge before Fashion Week and it will determine who among them will go.  She then sends them to “a far, far away place,” that turns out to be Oheka Castle, which was built about 100 years ago by Otto Hermann Kahn.  Tim is waiting for them.  With him is Billy B. from L’Oreal Paris who tells them about their new make-up line, Electric Fantasie.  There are four make-up groups for four “leading ladies”:  Enchanted Queen, the Seductive Temptress, the Wise Mystic, and the Artsy Muse.  The Enchanted Queen uses a lot of black and red, the Seductive Temptress combines neutrals, metallics, and green, the Wise Mystic uses cool colors, while the Artsy Muse uses warm colors.

Tim goes on to explain that the challenge will be to make an avant-garde look inspired by both the Oheka Castle and the Electric Fantasie make-up.   Tim then draws names from the button bag and thus assigns everybody a lady:  Fabio gets the Enchanted Queen, Sonjia gets the Seductive Temptress, Dmitry gets the Wise Mystic, and Melissa gets the Artsy Muse.  Christopher gets to pick and quickly chooses the Enchanted Queen.

The designers will get 45 minutes to sketch on the castle grounds, $400.00 to spend at Mood, and two days to complete the challenge.  As the designers roam the grounds and sketch, Dmitry decides to make a suit, while Sonjia decides to make a form-fitting look for her temptress.  Christopher imagines an evil queen look, and Fabio imagines a young, regal queen in a structured coat.

At Mood, the designers get 45 minutes to shop.  Sonjia hunts for materials that will fit her color palette.  Melissa tells us that she feels “lost,” because she didn’t get the Enchanted Queen, which would have let her use a lot of black.  Instead, she has to work with the more colorful Artsy Muse.

Back at Parson’s, Tim tells the designers they have until 10:30 p.m. to work on their looks.  He strongly urges them to be ambitious and tells them the judges are expecting two months of work in the next two days.  As soon as he leaves, Sonjia discovers she has a serious problem:  She can’t find the gold fabric she’d really wanted, and she’d bought five yards of the stuff.  She vows to “make it work,” and starts fiddling with some green fabric.

Tim comes in to make his rounds and starts with Melissa, who is working with leather.  He warns her to really watch her time.  Christopher is working on a look with an hour-glass figure and exaggerated hips.  Tim says nothing, but seems dubious.  Dmitry shows off a blue coat, and Tim warns him that unusual sleeves are not enough to make a garment avant-garde.  Fabio has made a coat and is working on a dress and shorts.  Tim really dislikes the coat, calling it “costumey” and “flat.”  Last up is Sonjia, who apparently doesn’t tell Tim about her missing fabric.  If she did, the audience doesn’t see or hear about it.  The gold fabric is apparently history, which is a shame, as gold and deep green go great together.  Anyway, Tim gives Sonjia a pep talk mixed with tough love, telling her that he doesn’t think she has shown her true, full potential.  He urges her to “unleash” something.  At 10:30 p.m., the designers head home.

The following morning, the designers get back to work.  Fabio apparently slept poorly and tells us that he feels “dead.”  At Parson’s, Sonjia DR’s that she doesn’t want the judges to dismiss her look as something they’ve seen before.  She is working on a green dress with pleats, and plays around with the material.

Fabio talks about flipping a pair of pants upside down when he was in design school, and decides to try the same trick with his coat.  Billy B.  comes in for the make-up consultations, and not surprisingly, he uses the make-up from Electric Fantasie.

Tim comes in to make his rounds again.  He starts with Fabio, and comments, “You’ve had an epiphany.”  He really likes Fabio’s coat now and calls it “buoyant and sculptural.”  Melissa has finished a black and white skirt and describes what the rest of her look will be like.  Upon hearing her plans, Tim notes, “You have a lot to do,” and lets her get back to work.

Tim then visits Sonjia and isn’t impressed with her green dress.  He warns her to not to make something that looks like a student project.  He’s even less impressed with Christopher’s black dress– which he thinks looks like something from the 1890’s.  It’s beautifully made, but not avant-garde.  Dmitry’s look has the same problem:  It’s exquisitely made, but not avant-garde.  Worse, the silhouette is too similar to other stuff he’s made before.

After Tim leaves, the models come in for their fitting.  Things go well for Fabio and Sonjia; their outfits may not be avant-garde, but at least they fit.  Christopher is also happy with his dress, while Melissa has doubts about hers.  After that, it’s time to go home for the night.

The following morning. it’s the day of the runway show, and the designers talk a lot about how close they are to Fashion Week, about how much it would stink to get sent home now, and how about how it’s always been their dream to be a fashion designer and go to Fashion Week.  We’ve heard it all before.

As the designers work, Tim comes in to tell them that they will have extra time for hair and make-up.  He then sends in the models.  As his model gets her hair and face done, Fabio works on what he calls “finishings,” which have to be made by hand.  Not surprisingly, when Tim comes to collect everybody, Fabio and Melissa are both still working.

On the runway, Heidi introduces the guest judge, actress Zoe Saldana.  She’s also a co-founder of the fashion website www.mydb.com, which is short for “My Fashion Database.”

Melissa made a long black and white patterned skirt with a slit up past the knee that exposes the skirt’s coral lining.  She also made a sleeveless black shirt with coral trim around the collar, and a turquoise leather vest.  The model’s also wearing black leather gauntlets.

Fabio made a short-sleeved maroon jacket and sheer black palazzo pants that billow so much they could be taken for a gown.  He also made a sheer black top that’s woven or braided in the front.  It’s very dark and doesn’t look particularly queenly.  (On the other hand, neither do many of Elizabeth II’s outfits…)

Dmitry made a structured dark blue suit with a high, detachable collar.  It also has a plunging back and exposed zipper.  If one thinks “slightly futuristic” equals “avant-garde,” then this could qualify.  Similarly, if one equates “mystic” with “monk,” then this look might be sober enough to fit.  But, it’s really just a suit.

Sonjia made a green gown.  She used illusion to cover up her model’s and much of her front.  Unfortunately, it’s significantly lighter than her model’s skin tone, which makes it obvious that it’s there.  The rest of the front is covered by two folded pieces of green material.  I get the feeling that if Sonjia had had her gold fabric, she’d have used a lot less illusion, and the resulting dress would have been stunning.

Christopher is last up, and he made a glittering black gown with exaggerated hips that give the model an hour-glass figure she doesn’t really have.  Black feathers decorate the shoulders.  In a bizarre touch, the model’s also wearing gauntlets made of black feathers.  The model looks more like a comic book supervillain than any kind of queen.

Then it’s time for the designers to face the judges.  They start with Sonjia, who did the Seductive Temptress.  Dumb Comment #1:  Heidi loves the color and the concept and can see it on the red carpet.  This is not for the red carpet.  The difference between a red carpet look and an avant-garde look is comparable to the difference between a Maserati and a concept car  Heidi does add that that the illusion doesn’t match the model’s skin tone at all.  I agree that there’s no excuse at this point in the competition for Sonjia not doing a better job there.  Dumb Comment #2:  Nina says she sees green as the color of envy, not sexual temptation.  Green was part of Sonjia’s assigned color palette.  She had to use it– especially after her gold material went missing.  Again, nobody apparently mentioned this fact.  Dumb Comment #3:  Michael thinks it looks like an ice skating costume for Nancy Kerrigan.  Nobody ice skates in long gowns, not even ice dancers.  He does note that there is too much illusion, especially in the back.  He also thinks all that illusion makes the dress look like something an old woman would wear.  Zoe simply thinks the gown looks incomplete.

Christopher is next, and he did the Enchanted Queen.  Dumb Comment #4:  Michael likes the eye make-up, while Heidi likes the nail polish.  What about the gown, guys?  Michael feels the dress is Gothic and costumey.  The feather gauntlets are “coo-coo.”  He and Zoe both would have liked to see some construction in the chest area.  There’s an “emptiness” there.  The problem is that a look that exaggerates the hips doesn’t work that well on a small-breasted woman:  it tends to make her proportions look out of whack.  Heidi adds that she likes the back better than the front.

Dmitry tells the judges that his Wise Mystic lives in a castle.  Heidi thinks the suit is amazing, as there are angles she’s never seen before.  Zoe thinks the sleeves are stunning, but get lost amidst the other details of the look.  Michael dislikes the shoulders and the “Vampira” collar, which Zoe then compares to collars worn by the Chippendales.  Nina calls the tailoring impeccable.  Yes, but is it avant-garde?  So far, nobody has said anything about whether any of these looks are avant-garde or not.

Fabio also worked on the Enchanted Queen look.  He wanted to show the conflict within her.  Michael likes the jacket., but not the palazzo pants.  Zoe likes the jacket as well.  Fabio demonstrates how his jacket can be flipped upside down and then worn, and the judges are suitably impressed.  Nina likes the jacket, too, but Heidi and Zoe don’t like the overall look.

Last up is Melissa, the Artsy Muse.  She was reminded of Andy Warhol and wanted to use bold colors.  Michael loves it.  He loves the fact that she made separates and used colors.  Nina loves the vest, but thinks the skirt is too long.  Heidi  wonders aloud which is uglier:  Melissa’s look or Fabio’s.  Zoe likes it, and Michael praises Melissa’s skill at working with leather.

Heidi then asks each designer why deserve to go to  Fashion Week and who should go with them.  They answer the first question with the expected natter about they learned to sew as children, how they have so much more to show, how they’ve dreamed about going on Fashion Week since they were twelve years old, etc.  As for the second question, Melissa would take Sonjia and Fabio; Fabio would take Melissa and Christopher; Dmitry would take Fabio and Christopher; Christopher would take Fabio and Dmitry; Sonjia would take Melissa and Dmitry.

The judges then dismiss their designers to have their chat.  As they can’t agree on this particular challenge, they discuss designers’ past efforts as well.  They note Melissa made something with a rock and vibe this time, which she has had not done before.  That shows she has range.  She’s also adept at handling color.  Sonjia “respects women’s bodies,” which probably means she knows how to make a woman look sexy without making her look like a tramp.  They do wonder about her showmanship and if she has a “story to tell.”  That last is Dumb Comment #5.

On this show, and probably in the real world, fashion designers have to walk a line between pleasing their clients and remaining true to their own style.  We’ve seen designers get tossed from going to one extreme or the other.  Nathan got sent home in the “real women” challenge for trying too hard to please his client and making a tacky dress as a result.  Ven eventually annoyed the judges with his origami rose fixation.  Given that Sonjia has already won three challenges, the answer would seem obvious.  If it’s not, then it’s time to rethink some of the challenges.  In particular, it might be a good idea to toss some of the corporate challenges, like the Lord and Taylor challenge and definitely toss irrelevant nonsense like the baby clothes challenge, and replace them with challenges that would let the designers express their own sense of style.

The judges continue with Christopher, who makes beautiful, intriguing clothing.  Dmitry had made a perfect jacket.  His aesthetic tends to be severe, but he has excellent craftsmanship.  Fabio is androgynous and likes to play with gender roles.

Heidi then announces the judges’ decisions.  Christopher is in and Dmitry is the winner.  Melissa is also in, leaving Fabio and Sonjia in the bottom.  Fabio is in, which means Sonjia is out, which makes no sense, especially when the judges were shown discussing past challenges as well as this one.  Given that Sonjia had three wins to her credit, she should have gone on to Fashion Week, and Melissa or Fabio should have been sent home in her stead.

Next week:  The Final Four have to make collections which will determine the three who go on to Fashion Week.  Plus, Tim sees the designers at home.

What’s Hot on TV Tonight – Treehouse of Terror XXIII

It’s just the end of the first week of October, and only a week after The Simpson’s season premiere, but already they’re airing their Halloween special, Treehouse of Terror XXIII. It’s a great early surprise. Catch up on your other favorite shows at TV-Links.

1. NFL Football. Cleveland Browns at New York Giants. 12:00 PM CT CBS

2. NASCAR Racing: Sprint Cup. Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 from Talladega Speedway in Talladega, AL. 1:00 PM CT ESPN

3. MLB Baseball. Game 1 of National League Division Series, Washington Nationals at St. Louis Cardinals. 2:00 PM CT TBS

4. NFL Football. Chicago Bears at Jacksonville Jaguars. 3:00 PM CT Fox

5. MLB Baseball. Game 1 of American League Division Series, New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles. 5:00 PM CT TBS

6. America’s Funniest Home Videos. Season premiere. A goldfish’s funeral is ended by a premature flush, animals making strange sounds, and people who are scared on amusement park rides. 6:00 PM CT ABC

7. Into the West. Part 6 of 6. Chronicles the events leading to the massacre at Wounded Knee. 6:00 PM CT AMC

8. 60 Minutes. The covered include the potential risks of Huawei, A Chinese telecom giant, doing business with the united State, eyewear company Luxottica, and singer Rodriguez. 6:30 PM CT CBS

9. The Cleveland Show. Season premiere. Cleveland and the others go to a rival high school to see a football game, and Donna gets in trouble with the police because of her sexy Halloween costume. 6:30 PM CT Fox

10. Once Upon a Time. Regina keeps trying to find a way to get her powers back, David keeps trying to find Mary Margaret and Emma, and the seven dwarves find out what happens when a townsperson tries to leave Storybrooke’s city limits. 7:00 PM CT ABC

11. iHeartRadio Music Festival. Performances by Usher, Bon Jovi, Taylor Swift, Swedish House Mafia, Pink, Aerosmith, Rihanna, No Doubt, Lil’ Wayne, Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley, Enrique Iglesias, and Green Day. 7:00 PM CT CW

12. The Simpsons. Homer and Marge observe the Mayans predicting 2012 as the end of the world, Marge faces an unholy pact’s consequences, and Bart goes back in time to buy a comic book. 7:00 PM CT Fox

13. Making Monsters. Season premiere. In the first hour, the important Transworld Trade Show event is creeping up quickly and the Distortions team creates Hell’s Rider – a Grim Reaper character with a motorcycle – and brings back the huge Black Widow for her second debut. In the second hour, Ed Edmunds is feeling the pressure when Distortions gets not only one, but two orders for custom made pieces to be delivered during the same week. That is, until he finds out where everything will be going … 7:00 PM CT Travel Channel

14. Big Rich Texas. Season premiere. The Woodhaven women try to figure out if Leslie’s billionaire boyfriend is real, Whitney argues with Bonnie over her decision to move in with her boyfriend, and Kalyn thinks about quitting her job. 7:00 PM CT Style

15. Rehab with Dr. Drew. The fight between Eric and Ashleigh continues, Jasmen denies the seriousness of her addiction, and a war begins

16. NFL Football. San Diego Charges at New Orleans Saints. 7:15 PM CT NBC

17. The Amazing Race. One team plays bold and risky, and a contestant suffers a breakdown. 7:30 PM CT CBS

18. Bob’s Burgers. The Belcher kids give up their usual trick-or-treating route and go to a neighborhood known for giving out full-size candy bars, and Linda and Bob attend Teddy’s Black and Orange party. 7:30 PM CT Fox

19. Revenge. Emily keeps delicately weaving her way back into the Grayson’s lives with still keeping ties to Amanda and her unborn child. 8:00 PM CT ABC

20. Family Guy. The Griffins are selected to have their TV choices monitored, and Peter comes up with a scheme to control it. 8:00 PM CT Fox

21. Jeff Dunham: Minding the Monsters. Jeff Dunham’s Halloween special with his characters are decked out in costumes. 8:00 PM CT Comedy Central

22. Oprah’s Next Chapter. Jason Russell is the guest. 8:00 PM CT OWN

23. Long Island Medium. Theresa leaves Long Island and surprises everyday families and her fans. 8:00 PM CT TLC

24. Snapped. Two teenage girls are pushing into a love triangle that leads to a deadly confrontation. 8:00 PM CT Oxygen

25. Glam Fairy. Season premiere. Alexa and Danny have different ideas about their wedding, and Olivia suggests a big, Turkish wedding, but Jon runs into difficulties scheduling the event. 8:00 PM CT Style

26. Hell on Wheels. Two-part season finale. The first part finds the town celebrating as Cullen prepares for battle. In part two, Cullen fights to save Hell on Wheels. 8:00 PM CT AMC

27. Boardwalk Empire. Nucky and Owen hide out, Mickey makes an important decision while Nucky is gone, and tensions mount in the Capone-O’Banion feud. 8:00 PM CT HBO

28. Dexter. Deb offers Dexter a solution, asking (or rather, insisting) that he “Trust me.” 8:00 PM CT Showtime

29. The Good Wife. The firm sees budget and staff cuts, Will hopes his first case after the suspension will see a big payday, and Alicia helps Peter’s campaign unexpectedly. 8:30 PM CT CBS

30. American Dad. During the family’s tropical vacation, Stan gets orders to kill the activities director, and Jeff and Hayley try to rekindle their relationship. 8:30 PM CT Fox

31. MLB Baseball. Game 2 of National League Division Series, Cincinnati Reds at San Francisco Giants. 8:30 PM CT TBS

32. 666 Park Avenue. Behind the walls of the Drake, Jane makes a frightening discovery as she renovates Mr. Barlow’s apartment, Henry makes a decision on whether or not to provide Gavin inside info to one of his projects, and Danielle has a romantic liaison. 9:00 PM CT ABC

33. Married to Jonas. On a family camping trip, big news is revealed, and the reaction isn’t what was expected. 9:00 PM CT E!

34. The Real Housewives of New Jersey. This week’s reunion picks up right where Rosie left off, after eloquently declaring, “….I’ll rip her head off!” While it doesn’t appear any heads were literally ripped from their skulls, Joe Giudice joins Teresa in the hot seat for the second installment of the reunion, and the ladies hold nothing back. Will Joe reveal to Andy who he was speaking with when confronted about the now infamous Napa phone call? 9:00 PM CT Bravo

35. Breaking Amish. The cast doesn’t agree about the positives and negatives regarding being Amish, Sabrina wants to connect to the Puerto Rican culture, and Kate’s DUI past begins to catch up to her. 9:00 PM CT TLC

36. Breaking Amish. Predators, scavengers and bacteria all feed off of a fallen elephant, yet his demise contributes to a new life. 9:00 PM CT TLC

37. Halloween Crazier. From the PennHurst Asylum – a mental hospital turned haunted house – in Spring City, PA, to running for your life at the 5K Zombie Race in Darlington, MD, this special reveals some of the nation’s most extreme Halloween activities. A pumpkin race in Manhattan Beach, CA, a pumpkin regatta in Damariscotta, ME and Providence, RI – a town with so many lit jack-o-lanterns they may break a world record! 9:00 PM CT TLC

38. Bridezillas. Bridezilla Cristal punishes a tardy bridesmaid and loses her mind when her mother-in-law tries to “help” with the centerpieces. Meanwhile, Bridezilla Davina is left frenzied and fuming over her fiancé’s bachelor party. 9:00 PM CT WE

39. Treme. Janette, Aunt Mimi and Annie agree new deals, Toni looks for a killer, L.P. Everett meets the family of his victim, Antoine plays in Texas, and Sonny plays music closer to home. 9:00 PM CT HBO

40. Homeland. Carrie trusts her instincts and shows “Courage Under Fire”. 9:00 PM CT Showtime

41. The Mentalist. A diamond cutter is murdered, and Jane meets a young woman claiming to be his late daughter. 9:30 PM CT CBS

 

What’s Hot on TV Friday and Saturday – 2012 Pennant Race

Really? How did it get to be time for the baseball playoffs? Oh, it’s October already? Huh. Catch up with your favorite shows you may have missed at TV-Links.

Friday

1. CSI: NY. Arsonist Leonard Brook starts targeting people from his past. 7:00 PM CT CBS

2. Shark Tank. Business ideas include a party-favorite chicken dip, a spring-loaded laundry hamper, and a wireless gadget that helps track keys and cell phones. 7:00 PM CT ABC

3. America’s Next Top Model. The models take pictures of themselves during road trip pit stops, and have a photo shoot at their motel. 7:00 PM CT CW

4. Monsters Inside Me. A toddler stops eating, only wanting salt, a business exec has a ruptured colon, and an older New Mexico couple get ill on a trip to NYC. 7:00 PM CT Animal Planet

5. Paranormal Paparazzi. The “Paranormal Paparazzi” reporters uncover stories about Will Ferrell’s haunted trailer, a séance in Lizzie Borden’s House, a UFO crash in South Carolina and a paranormal investigation team who hunt in the nude. 7:00 PM CT Travel Channel

6. MLB Baseball. American League Wild Card game, Baltimore Orioles at Texas Rangers. 7:30 PM CT TBS

7. Made in Jersey Martina’s client pleaded insanity for manslaughter and was institutionalized, but now claims she’s innocent, and Bonnie’s boyfriend meets the family. 8:00 PM CT CBS

8. Grimm. Angelina arrives with bad news, Nick wants Hank’s help to keep Monroe safe, and Capt. Renard has a visit from a former acquaintance. 8:00 PM CT NBC

9. Primetime: What Would You Do? Situations include an insensitive grocery store manager’s handling of a germophbe, a cashier recommending a customer get healthier alternatives, a woman breastfeeding a toddler in public, and a dad buying liquor for his teenager. 8:00 PM CT ABC

10. Fringe. The fringe team has to get info from the Observers-controlled Harvard lab. 8:00 PM CT Fox

11. Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta. In the first half hour, Carol wants a sexy gown for her renewal ceremony, but her football star son doesn’t approve, and Gretchen’s mom disagrees on a lace-backed gown. In the second half hour, a Southern belle’s family doesn’t agree about her form-fitting modern gown, and another bride’s overbearing sister tries to relive her own wedding through her little sister. 8:00 PM CT TLC

12. Ghost Adventures. Zak Bagans, Nick Groff and Aaron Goodwin head to the Great Lakes to explore the demonic activity overrunning the Palmer House Hotel in Sauk Centre, MN. The investigation gets personal when a dark spirit beckons Bagans and Goodwin, speaking their full names. 8:00 PM CT Travel Channel

13. America’s Most Wanted. 8:00 PM CT Lifetime

14. Boss. Kane gets forced into forming a tenuous alliance with Alderman Ross to try to maintain his hold over Chicago. 8:00 PM CT Starz

15. Blue Bloods. Danny and Jackie find out that a woman who recanted her abuse story is in a relationship with a councilman, and Danny experiences upheaval when Linda returns to work. 9:00 PM CT CBS

16. Dateline NBC. A woman harboring a secret is murdered. 9:00 PM CT NBC

17. 20/20. Stalker/murdered Waseem Daker’s victims discuss his conviction. 9:00 PM CT ABC

18. Haven A Boston police officer tries to link the latest body to similar cases. 9:00 PM CT Syfy

19. Secret Princes. Competition increases as the princes try to keep their cover, and one lady may have impressed two of the princes. 9:00 PM CT TLC

20. The Dead Files: Dead Files Revisited. Steve DiSchiavi and Amy Allan update their previous investigations of paranormal activity at the Mackay Mansion museum in an old Nevada mining town, and a family home in Blackshear, Georgia. In Nevada, we learn whether or not the museum’s tour guide has taken the necessary steps to exorcise a mean-spirited entity and the ghost of a mischievous little girl. In Blackshear, we’ll find out if their clients’ daughter is still being visited by the ghost of someone who burned to death in their house. 9:00 PM CT Travel Channel

21. Real Time with Bill Maher. Panelists include Will Cain, former Rep. Mark Foley, Kerry Washington, Frank Luntz, and Bill McKibben 9:00 PM CT HBO

22. Strike Back. Several AFrican nations are included in Knox’s plan for the nuclear bombs, and Dalton confront Christy Bryant regarding the CIA’s dealings in Africa. 9:00 PM CT Cinemax

23. Late Show with David Letterman. The guests tonight are Billy Crystal and The Wallflowers. 9:00 PM CT CBS

Saturday

1. College Football. Navy at Air Force. 11:00 AM CT CBS

2. College Football. Kansas at Kansas State. 11:00 AM CT FX

3. College Football. Northwestern at Penn State. 11:00 AM CT ESPN

4. College Football. Arkansas at Auburn. 11:00 AM CT ESPN 2

5. College Football. Arizona at Stanford. 2:00 PM CT Fox

6. College Football. LSU at Florida. 2:30 PM CT CBS

7. College Football. Illinois at Wisconsin. 2:30 PM CT ABC

8. College Football. Georgia Tech at Clemson. 2:30 PM CT ESPN

9. MLB Baseball. Game 1 of American League Division Series. Oakland Athletics at Detroit Tigers 5:00 PM CT TBS

10. College Football. West Virginia at Texas. 6:00 PM CT Fox

11. College Football. Georgia at South Carolina. 6:00 PM CT ESPN

12. College Football. Miami vs. Notre Dame. 6:30 PM CT NBC

13. College Football. Nebraska at Ohio State. 7:00 PM CT ABC

14. College Football. Florida State at North Carolina State. 7:00 PM CT ESPN 2

15. Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s. The Upper Crust employees are fighting, and after a meeting with Mr. Bussey, Tim feels trapped. 8:00 PM CT OWN

16. My Fair Wedding: Unveiled. Wedding planner David Tutera’s bride Melanie thinks her groom, Dominic is heaven-sent. David finds her heaven-and earth theme to be tacky. Melanie wants cotton balls strewn down the aisle and thinks her groom would look divine in an all-white tux. To top it off, the bride’s mom insists that her daughter wear her old wedding dress – or else! To blow off steam before the wedding showdown, David decides to get a wild tattoo. 8:00 PM CT WE

17. The Muppets. The Muppets and their fans join together to raise $10 million to save Muppet Studios from a greedy man who only wants to knock down the building and drill for oil. 8:00 PM CT Starz

18. MLB Baseball. Game 1 of National League Division Series, Cincinnati Reds at San Francisco Giants. 8:15 PM CT TBS

19. 48 Hours Mystery. Suspicions arise on a wife and her best friend when an unfaithful husband is murdered. 9:00 PM CT CBS

20. Iyanla, Fix My Life. Popular bloggers’ friendship ends due to jealousy and backstabbing. 9:00 PM CT OWN

21. Pit Bulls and Parolees. Season premiere. Tia is convinced after issues with the local community and government to move the Villalobos Rescue Center from California to New Orleans. 9:00 PM CT Animal Planet

22. Beyond the Headlines: The Carolina White Story. Carlina White tells her kidnapping story, and her birth parents and her kidnapper’s family gives their own perspectives. 9:00 PM CT Lifetime

23. College Football. Washington at Oregon. 9:30 PM CT ESPN

24. Saturday Night Live. Daniel Craig is the guest host, and Muse the musical guest. 10:30 PM CT NBC

 

Another Project Runway All-Stars Already?!

Has Lifetime lost its collective mind?!  They’re premiering another Project Runway:  All-Stars on Oct. 25.  The first All-Stars, which resulted in Mondo Guerra winning, had premiered on Jan. 5, 2012.  Carolyn Murphy will replace Angela Lindval as the host, while Isaac Mizrahi and Georgina Chapman will return as judges, and Joanna Coles will play mentor.  So far, so good.  Isaac and Joanna in particular had done good jobs with their respective roles.

The problem is the cast:  Wendy Pepper (S1, 3rd place), Andrae Gonzalo (S2, 6th place), Uli Herzner (2nd place), Kayne Gillaspie (S3, 5th place), Althea Harper (S6, 2nd place), Emilio Sosa (S7, 2nd place), Peach Carr (S8, 11th place), Casanova (S8, 10th place), Ivy Higa (S8, 8th place), Anthony Ryan Auld (S9, 7th place), Laura Kathleen (S9, 5th place), Joshua McKinley (S9, 2nd place).

See the problem?  In my not-so-humble opinion, someone called an “All-Star” should be extraordinarily good at their craft.  In this context, an All-Star designer should be somebody who had either made the finals or just missed them.  In other words, they should not have finished any lower than fifth place.  The first Project Runway:  All-Stars had met this criterion:  Everybody except Elisa Jimenez (S4) had come in fifth place or higher.

In All-Stars 2, we’ve got five designers who all finished below that.  All three of the Season 8 designers had placed blow fifth place in their season.  Andrae and Anthony Ryan had also finished below fifth place.  Likable as some of these people might be, they are not All-Stars material.  (And why are there so many designers from Season 8, anyway?  They’d used up all the good or interesting ones in the first All-Stars!)

Seriously, the talent pool is simply not deep enough to have two All-Stars shows in one year.  Project Runway is or should be about skill and creativity, not “big” personalities.  Casting people because of their personalities might work on shows like Survivor or Big Brother, but it shouldn’t happen on a show supposedly intended to find the best new fashion designer.  The fact that the casting department seems to like designers with obnoxious personalities only makes it worse.  Does anybody really want to see Ivy or Joshua again? They were insufferable enough the first time around, thank you very much.

Another related problem is the fact that these people supposedly earn their living as designers, which means some Project Runway alumnae doubtless had other commitments that kept them from being on All-Stars.  Where all the winners, for example?  They’re probably working.  Project Runway gave them a leg-up and they’ve moved on since then.  Why are Peach and Casanova back?  Probably because people like Jillian Lewis (S4, 3rd place) and Korto Momolu (S5, 2nd place) said “No, thanks.”   Why are Wendy, Ivy, and Joshua back?  Probably because nobody sane wants to hire them or otherwise work with them.  I’ll grant you that Joshua did place second in his season, so he is a legitimate contender.  That doesn’t change the fact that he acted like a complete jackass during his stint on the show.

The designers’ likely commitment issues may explain why so many of the contestants are from the later seasons.  The designers from the later seasons have had less time to establish their careers and may therefore feel more need for the exposure that Project Runway can give them.  They may therefore be more available or at least more willing to come back for another shot.  The first season, by contrast, wrapped up in February 2005– over seven years ago.  Most designers from the first season are probably either established designers with a niche and corresponding clientele, or they couldn’t make a go of it and have moved on to something else.  In any case, they are probably not willing or able to participate in All-Stars.

On top of all that, having two All-Stars in one year cheapens All-Stars.  The first All-Stars, for all its flaws, felt special.  One of the prizes, for instance, was an internship at Marie Claire.  The guest judges were mostly people within the fashion industry, as opposed to the usual actresses.  The smaller than usual cast made it seem as if the chosen designers were truly an elite group.  All-Stars 2 doesn’t feel special at all.  It feels more like Lifetime is trying to cash in on the success of the first  All-Stars by cranking out another as quick as they can.

It is simply too soon for another Project Runway:  All-Stars.

Survivor: Philippines – Episode 3 – Skupin, Bleeding From The Face!

This really had little to do with the goings on in the episode – as the plot was squarely in Matsing yet again – but it may be one of my favorite Probstisms ever on the show. I mean – just take that out of context. How often in life could you exclaim that someone was bleeding from the face, and not have any responsibility to do anything to help that person? And seriously, is this going to be a thing this year? Skupin hurting himself? Was this season brought to you by the Irony Fairy? It makes you wonder if the fire incident was all that surprising after all!

But, it doesn’t matter much – at least for now – just how much Skupin bleeds from his face, because he was just a minor player in this rather disappointing episode. We had Miss Utah Angie and her Soon To Be Delicious Plate of Ponderosa Cookies. We had the budding Penner/Kent drama. And we had the implosion of the RC/Abi alliance. I think those are the important developments.

First, we head to Tandang and the worst Day 1 alliance in show history. RC and Abi got together at the start of the season and have since become frenemies. After this week, they are going to become enemies soon. Abi has turned out to be Single White Female crazy in some ways – I have to be honest, I watched the beach argument with RC twice and I have no friggin idea what they are arguing about. She’s a nutcase. RC walked away because, really, what can you do when someone is getting mean and vicious to you for no reason.

Then, in the middle of the crazy, Abi went and made a great strategic move. She gathered up Pretty Boy Pete and shared the idol clue with him. If RC was on the outs with Abi, she was going to go around her back to grab up the idol. She went all around the camp searching for it. Pretty Boy Pete – or PBP – asked if she stuck her hand in the rice to find it. Thanks for the help there, PBP; I’m sure they never thought of that one. And thanks for sticking your dirty hands in the rice, Abi. The best part was after she found it she went crazy and said she knew it was there. Well, why didn’t you START looking there? Was she trying to build the drama?

PBP was all for it, and really, why wouldn’t he be all for it. He made some weird comments about being on surveillance, which makes me wonder if he isn’t reporting to The Specialist on the side. However, PBP actually showed some game of his own – he found Blair and threw her a lifeline as part of a budding four-way alliance with him, Abi and Artis. Of course, she said yes because she was the next to go. If this foursome holds, Skupin and RC are all of a sudden in trouble, which is a shame because I dig RC. She was an all-star during the challenge. She dived down to get the puzzle pieces in three consecutive dives, and then later went back for more.

Meanwhile, on Kalabaw, if you were looking forward to hearing from Maria or Dawson – skip ahead and move on to the next section. They were not heard from. Carter (who?) was also barely heard from – he mentioned blindsiding Penner as part of a pow-wow, but that was about it. The Tattoo Lady didn’t speak either – just a few shots of her doing the diving challenge. So, it was essentially a two-man, two-act play between Penner and Kent. Penner starts off the play with one of the greatest first lines of any play ever written – “My ass hurts.” Thanks, Jonathan. While he opines about his painful butt, the tribe notices the missing part of the rice container. Penner plays dumb, but Kent instantly knows what happened. The idol has been found, and Penner has it. He chides himself for not realizing it, and that’s the brilliance of this hiding spot, it is just too easy. And we are left with the growing impression that Kent is actually more than stunt casting – he’s a player. And, he may actually be a villain.

After the tribe bangs out the challenge in workmanlike form, we actually head back to the tribe. I was wondering what was going on when we went to the challenge only 19 minutes into the episode – I suspected that lots of stuff at Matsing was about to go down, but I now realize it was two other reasons. First, it was the incredible lack of anything interesting on Day 6, and second, it was the Penner/Kent scene and the Abi Idol Search that provided the most interesting things on those tribes. Because we get a follow-up moment between the two last names. Penner realizes that Kent knows that he knows he knows. So he approaches him about working together. Kent agrees – why not keep the Idol Man close by, after all!

Except there was a catch to the deal after they shook hands and Penner went off on his merry way. It seems, Kent used the dreaded four-finger handshake. This is the long-lost cousin of the crossed fingers behind the back clause to any handshake agreement, so it seems. In the Book of Kent, only a firm manly handshake can seal a deal with the same permanence as the Unbreakable Vow. We will see how this plays out down the road, especially since the previews indicate a manly five finger handshake between the two next week.

What’s Hot on TV Tonight – Presidential Debate

With the two sides seeming very far apart, this should be a very interesting Presidential Debate tonight. Check out your other favorite shows at TV-Links.

1. The Steve Harvey Show. First Lady Michelle Obama is the guest. Syndicated, check local listings.

2. Survivor: Philippines. A survivor is hurt during a challenge, and an unlikely alliance is considered. 7:00 PM CT CBS

3. Animal Practice. George cares for a sick dog and a 9-year-old boy who get left at the animal hospital. 7:00 PM CT NBC

4. The Middle. Frankie gets fired from the car dealership and vows not to take just any job, and goes to tech school. Axl starts his senior year, and Sue mentors a freshman. 7:00 PM CT ABC

5. Oh Sit! Twelve daredevils go head-to-head through obstacle course-type eliminations, and Kat Graham performs. 7:00 PM CT CW

 

6. The X Factor. The first night of boot camp in Miami. 7:00 PM CT Fox

7. Guys with Kids. With four boys, Marny wants a girl, and Sheila signs everyone up for a child CPR class. 7:30 PM CT NBC

8. The Neighbors. The Weavers bring the Bird-Kersees to a mall outside Hidden Hills, and Jackie and Debbie question each other’s intentions. 7:30 PM CT ABC

9. Presidential Debate. Jim Lehrer moderates from the University of Denver. 8:00 PM CT All Major Networks and Cable Channels

10. Supernatural. Dean emerges from purgatory, but his reunion with Sam isn’t what he expected. Kevin escapes from the grasp of Crowley. 8:00 PM CT CW

11. Ghost Hunters. The team travels to Oswego, New York to investigate a sanctuary for Jewish refugees during WWII, Fort Ontario. 8:00 PM CT Syfy

12. Cracking Addiction. A mother-son intervention team from Dallas. 8:00 PM CT TLC

13. Paranormal Witness. The abduction of Arizona logger Travis Walton in 1975. 9:00 PM CT Syfy

14. Life After Top Chef. For the first time in Bravo history, Life After Top Chef pulls back the curtain on four of America’s favorite chef’testants and follows them in the continued pursuit of their dreams. Richard Blais, Jenn Carroll, Spike Mendelsohn, and Fabio Viviani reveal what they’ve been up to after the show, and whether or not life after the hit series has been an easy road. 9:00 PM CT Bravo

15. Addicted. Lindsay is addicted to painkillers after a knee injury. 9:00 PM CT TLC

16. Food Paradise. Sizzlin’ smokey bacon goodness across the country, including a cheesy bacon lasagna in Idaho, a 5-pound bacon bomb in Chicago and bodacious bacon brownies in New York. 9:00 PM CT Travel Channel

17. The Challenge: Battle of the Seasons. New pairings, threatened alliances, and one of the seasons continues to break down. 9:00 PM CT MTV

18. Late Show with David Letterman. The guests tonight include Tina Fey, Rick Santorum, and L.P. 10:35 PM CT CBS

 

What’s Hot on TV Tonight – DWTS 2nd Elimination

The celebrities of Dancing with the Stars face their second elimination tonight. It wasn't so much of a shock to see Pamela Anderson go home last week. If tonight's results yield the same, we'll see Bristol Palin go home after she scored much lower than everyone else. She'll need a lot of at-home votes to save her. Catch up with all the TV you may have missed at TV-Links.

1. The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Lea Michele, David Spade, and Matchbox 20 are today's guests. Syndicated, check local listings.

2. NCIS. An NCIS facilities manager's body is found four months after he disappeared, the team faces mandatory psych evaluations, and Gibbs is worried about Abby's recurring nightmares. 7:00 PM CT CBS

3. The Voice. The best of the blind auditions. 7:00 PM CT NBC

4. Dancing with the Stars. The first hour looks back on last night's performances, and in the second hour, Katherine Jenkins, Placido Domingo, and Cher Lloyd perform, and the second couple is eliminated. 7:00 PM CT ABC

5. Hart of Dixie. Season premiere. Zoe has a hard time choosing between Wade and George, and Lemon tries to find a job and her own apartment. 7:00 PM CT CW

6. Raising Hope. Season premiere. The Chance family meets Sabrina's mother at Sabrina's grandmother's funeral, and Sabrina and Jimmy's relationship is affected by Nana's last will and testament. 7:00 PM CT Fox

7. Giuliana & Bill. Giuliana goes into nesting mode after seeing the baby's ultrasound, and Bill tries to keep her grounded. 7:00 PM CT Style

8. Ben and Kate. Kate has to admit the truth to Maddie's principal after being caught in a lie, and Ben tries to teach Kate about confronting fears. 7:30 PM CT CW

9. NCIS: Los Angeles. A retired Marine's remains are found after a drone strike on a bomb-making compound in Afghanistan. 8:00 PM CT CBS

10. Go On. Ryan realizes he needs to do things for himself, the group helps Lauren study, and Steven asks Ryan to be his wingman. 8:00 PM CT NBC

11. The Next. The remaining six finalists compete. 8:00 PM CT CW

12. New Girl. Jess and Nick talk about their relationship, Schmidt pretends he's a son of Mitt Romney in order to date a beautiful Republican. 8:00 PM CT Fox

13. Face Off. The contestants enter the steampunk world of Bethesda's hotly anticipated video game, Dishonored! 8:00 PM CT Syfy

14. Airport 24/7. In the first half-hour, a TSA officer intercept a firearm tucked inside a carry-on bag through the checkpoint x-ray and a potential terrorist with three forms of ID, of Middle Eastern descent, and a knife deliberately hidden in a sneaker. In the second half hour, a driver comes within inches of his life when his car flips over outside the terminal. Customs hones in on a shipment of tractor parts originating in South America, traveling through Miami onto Africa. Security Director Lauren Stover arranges to help a young lady surprise her boyfriend – a soldier who is returning from his tour of duty in Afghanistan. 8:00 PM CT Travel Channel

15. How Playboy Changed the World. How Playboy magazine changed the world while impacting people's daily lives. 8:00 PM CT HISTORY

16. The New Normal. David plans a family dinner to inform his mom about the baby, Bryan and Goldie commiserate about mother-in-law problems, and Jane looks for David's medical advice after having an unusual sensation. 8:30 PM CT NBC

17. The Mindy Project. Mindy chooses a reformed ex-con as the new nurse, and Jeremy tests his breakup skills by firing a problematic, elderly nurse. 8:30 PM CT Fox

18. Vegas. A craps dealer is killed during a home robbery, and it seems to be connected to a similar case. Savino needs to get his new count room manager to trust him. 9:00 PM CT CBS

19. Parenthood. Crosby, Jasmine, and Jabbar's family dynamic could change, Sarah spends time with her boss's daughter, Zeek makes a new friend, and Victor tries going to an after-school activity. 9:00 PM CT NBC

20. Private Practice. Addison's house is the setting for doctors reminiscing, and Sheldon counsels a patient who is suicidal and makes a confession. 9:00 PM CT ABC

21. Sons of Anarchy. The Sons get together to face a new adversary, bringing complications. 9:00 PM CT FX

22. Hot Set. Two set designers compete to create a throne room fit for extraterrestrial royalty. 9:00 PM CT Syfy

23. Flipping Out. In the wake of Andrew’s recent (and dramatic) departure from Jeff’s employment, the crew receives a call from him begging to be re-considered for the position. Can Jeff forgive someone who removed his microphone, and sped away in his car after being confronted about a simple lie? Meanwhile, Jeff faces additional work drama after visiting his property and realizing his staff is way behind deadline. And he doesn’t seem to care. 9:00 PM CT Syfy

p>24. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The guests tonight are Carol Burnett and Armie Hammer. 10:35 PM CT NBC

 

Amazing Race 21 – Premiere Commentary – Have You Not Had Fallopian Tube?

Welcome back TARFans – and please, please, as always, read Laura’s recaps for the goings on in Phil’s World. I’m just here for backup. We have another Race! Before we go further into my take on the show – a quick meet and greet for the teams:

Jaymes/James – Really? James with a Y? I’m already mad at them. They are Chippendales dancers. Less mad, because, hey, it’s a living. Team Magic Mike have brought their collars with them – THAT will get annoying.

Caitlin/Brittany – A pair of tall blondes who were college buddies. They are athletic, beautiful, one snorts when she laughs, and I will never, ever be able to tell them apart.

Amy/Daniel – She had bacterial meningitis and lost her spleen, a kidney, part of her hearing and both legs. Damn. Now she’s a competitive snowboarder. I stand corrected. It’s not Phil’s World, it’s Amy’s World. We’re just passing through. Dan is the on-again, off-again boyfriend.

Natalie/Nadiya – Twin Sisters – Born in New York, raised in Sri Lanka. Well, really, that old story? They finish each others’ sentences, appear to play rugby and do yoga by iconic bridges, and broke up with boyfriends for each other. Oh, and they screech at each other. Hopefully that stops soon.

Josh/Brent – The Fabulous Beekman Boys. If that means something to you. I never saw it. They were NYC exec. Now they are goat farmers in Sharon Springs, NY. Life partners too. Very dry sense of humor.

Abbie/Ryan – Dating Divorcees. Uh oh. That is rarely a good combo on this show. She’s a dance instructor and he’s a jujitsu dude. He seems to think choking her is a metaphor for the Race. I think he’s been watching a different Race. Or he just remembers his stint trying to be Martha Stewart’s Apprentice. Really. He was on that show.

James/Abba – Both look like they played Hair Metal, but it seems only James has. With White Lion. Wait. That’s awesome. Abba – and that’s a nickname – is an entertainment lawyer. And I guess lawyers in that industry could get away with that look.

Rob/Kelley – They are both monster truckers. He’s a big dude.

Gary/Will – Superfans Unite!! They finally got on the show after seven tries. Gary’s a giant, Will’s a hobbit. They should be lots of fun. And judging by their shirts – they are from Michigan.

Rob//Sheila He’s a lumberjack, and he don’t care. She gave up her career to be with him. And apparently, to be dominated by him. So that’s a special relationship to watch on TV.

Trey/Lexi – Stereotype youngsters from Texas who could have come directly out of a rejected spec script for Friday Night Lights.

The big news for the Race took place right at the starting line – if a team wins Leg 1 and goes on to win the whole thing…they get $2 million. I’ve been wondering when Survivor and The Amazing Race would get around to upping the ante with the prize money. It’s been the same since 2000 & 2001 respectively. So many other format twists have come and gone – but not the prize. Personally, I would like to see one where it is a huge prize – five mil or something – and you only get winners on the island or on the Race course. Get moving Burnett and Bertram – get that cast, stat!

As we learn later on, one team’s generosity with information could wind up costing them $500,000 each should they win the whole Race. Which leads into the old share info or not share info debate. I think there is a place for both plans – and the decision to share here came solely from it being the first leg, with adrenaline kicking in. If this decision came after a few legs and they became hardened Racers – no way would info be shared.

What’s Hot on TV Tonight – Dancing with the Stars, Week 2

It was quite an exciting season premiere of Dancing with the Stars last week. It can only be even better this week. Catch up with all the TV you may have missed at TV-Links.

1. Katie. Donal Trump, Jimmy Fallon, Andy Cohen, and Chef Sunny Anderson are the guests. Syndicated, check local listings.

2. How I Met Your Mother. The other guys propose relationship amendments to their significant others after witnessing Barney prepare a pre-nup, but Quinn gets upset and makes a pre-nup of her own. 7:00 PM CT CBS

2. The Voice. Blind auditions continue. 7:00 PM CT NBC

3. Dancing with the Stars. The couples perform the jive or the quickstep. 7:00 PM CT ABC

4. The iHeartRadio Music Festival. Performers include Taylor Swift, Aerosmith, Rihanna, User, Lil Wayne, Green Day, No Doubt, Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias, Linkin Park, Pink, Mary J. Blige, Prince, PSY and Ne-Yo. 7:00 PM CT CW

5. Bones. The Jeffersonian team tries to identify victims of a hotel garage explosion, and Sweets works with a temporary partner while Booth handles the department's budget. 7:00 PM CT Fox

6. Alphas. Rosen and the team try to reach for lifelines, and she tries to fight through her grief. 7:00 PM CT Syfy

7. Switched at Birth. Bay and Zarra are in danger as they search for tagger ruining their street art, and Chef Jeff's confuses Daphne with his mixed signals. 7:00 PM CT ABC Family

8. Lovetown, USA. In the first hour, Dan has a surprise date, Ron fights for a second change, and Paul finds out things are not okay. In the second hour, Paul Brunson confronts the singles he thinks are being dishonest, and churches won't work together. In the third hour, Kailen plans a wedding, Paul helps the singles with heartbreaking decisions, and Oprah checks on the success. 7:00 PM CT OWN

9. Breaking Amish: Extended Episodes. In the first hour, Four Amish and one Mennonite leave their homes to explore life beyond their farms. In the second hour, The Amish end up in New York and experience several firsts. In the third hour, The cast breaks the Amish and Mennonite rules by buying updated clothing and getting tattoos, Kate and Rebecca pursue modeling careers, and the families of Abe and Rebecca show up to bring them home. 7:00 PM CT TLC

10. Partners. Louis interferes after finding out Joe and Ali haven't been intimate lately. 7:30 PM CT CBS

11. NFL Football. Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys. 7:30 PM CT ESPN

12. 2 Broke Girls. Max and Caroline hope Martha Stewart will support their business,and Caroline loses a good luck charm. 8:00 PM CT CBS

13. The Mob Doctor. GRace first treats the victims of a hit-and-run, and is then ordered by Constantine to treat the responsible driver. Someone from Grace's neighborhood is brought into the psych ward after a bar fight. 8:00 PM CT Fox

14. Major Crimes. A murder conviction is overturned, causing Tao to question his past actions, and Rusty struggles to be himself while spending time with his dad. 8:00 PM CT TNT

15. Warehouse 13. Season finale. Artie tries to wipe out half the world's population by releasing a deadly virus. 8:00 PM CT Syfy

16. Hoarders. A painter with a home filled with thousands of nude portraits has his family concerned, and a hoarder is forced to move his food and television into the bathroom. 8:00 PM CT A&E

17. The Real Housewives of New York. After kicking Aviva’s 80-year old father out of her charity event, tensions reach an all-time high between Ramona and Aviva. Ramona and Sonja claim they come bearing peace but rouse tensions yet again, this time at Heather’s charity event. Later on, Ramona’s surprisingly heart-felt apology to Heather throws her best friend Sonja under the bus. 8:00 PM CT Bravo

18. Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. Behind the wheel of a classic Citroen DS, Anthony Bourdain coasts down a quiet road in Burgundy, joined by television host and Burgundy native Ludo Lefebvre. Together they visit Lefebvre’s hometown of Auxerre, and his grandmother who prepares jambon chablisienne, visit a seventh-century old sheep farm to sample the famous Burgundy lamb, and stop at Nuits-Saint-Georges to visit Maison Ilan, a winery owned and operated by an American. 8:00 PM CT Travel Channel

19. All on the Line with Joe Zee. Fashion designer Korto is confused by her lack of success and looks to Joe for guidance. 8:00 PM CT Sundance

20. Mike & Molly. Joyce conveniently disappears, leaving Mike and Molly forced to care for Vince when he hurts his back. 8:30 PM CT CBS

21. Hawaii Five-0. McGarrett wants Catherine's help in finding his mom, and the teams as August March for help in handling a deadly art heist. 9:00 PM CT CBS

22. Revolution. Nora brings Charlie and Miles back to the rebel camp, Maggie and Aaron search for Grace, and Danny takes a stand. 9:00 PM CT NBC

23. Castle. With Beckett back from her suspension, she and Castle investigate a weather forecaster's death, and try to keep their relationship hidden from coworkers.. 9:00 PM CT ABC

24. Intervention. A woman who had once dreamed of being a teacher is instead addicted to alcohol and crack, and her family fights over her dad's enabling ways. 9:00 PM CT A&E

25. Gallery Girls. It’s back to New York for the Gallery Girls, except for Chantal who jetted off to Paris with her boyfriend. Chantal's absence adds to the mounting tension at EOC, since Claudia’s left to hold down the fort while unpaid bills keep pililng up. Meanwhile, Maggie expresses her over-confidence in landing a hot new job, and Amy searches frantically for a new place before her deadline’s up. 9:00 PM CT Bravo

26. Bad Girls Club: Mexico. The girls go stateside for the final PInk Kitty performance. 9:00 PM CT Oxygen

27. Get to Work. Season finale. Three unemployed people relate over the commonality that getting high brought them to an all-time low. Now, they’ll have to change the way they see themselves if they hope to find jobs. 9:00 PM CT Sundance

23. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Bryan Cranston, Rebel Wilson, and Cher Lloyd are the guests tonight. 10:35 PM CT NBC