What’s Hot on TV Tonight – DWTS Finale and the Grinch

The beloved Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas makes its first appearance of the season tonight, followed by Shrek the Halls. Immediately after is the Dancing with the Stars finale that will determine the first All-Stars winner. Catch up with all the TV you may have missed at TV-Links.

1. The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The guests today are Ellen Pompeo, Jason Sudeikis, and Miguel. Syndicated, check local listings.

2. NCIS. with the team looking for an abducted teenager, Abby and Ziva work with the teenager's friend who witnessed the kidnapping. Gibbs looks for help from a former contact, and Tony becomes jealous when Ziva and another man make plans. 7:00 PM CT CBS

3. The Voice. Another elimination, and 50 Cent and Kermit the Frog performs 7:00 PM CT NBC

4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Nothing fails to put me in the Christmas mood like the carton version of this story. There's just something about all those little Whos standing in a circle holding hands around the Christmas tree singing Welcome Christmas that gets to me every time. 7:00 PM CT ABC

5. Hart of Dixie. Zoe and Lemon have a difficult time with Ruby and Lavon's new relationship and decide to find Ruby's true intentions, and Wade tries to avoid having an awkward conversation with George. 7:00 PM CT CW

6. Raising Hope. The family takes part in a 1K walk, Virginia and Burt feel their ages, and Jimmy has a hard time supporting Sabrina when she fights with her ex. 7:00 PM CT Fox

7. Giuliana & Bill. Giuliana and Bill celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary and adjust to parenting, and little Duke gets his photos taken. 7:00 PM CT Style

8. Shrek the Halls. Shrek, Fiona, and the kids celebrate the holidays as a family, but it turns chaotic with visits from Donkey, Gingerbread Man, Puss n Boots and the others. 7:30 PM CT ABC

9. Ben and Kate. Kate gets turned off and can't take Will seriously after seeing his expression as he plays the guitar, and Tommy finds Ben a job at the country club. 7:30 PM CT Fox

10. NCIS: Los Angeles. The team investigates a retire CIA agent's murder, and Hetty is questioned for her knowledge of the case. 8:00 PM CT CBS

11. Go On. Misty May-Treanor invites Ryan to play beach volleyball with her friends to help him get back into the dating scene, and Danny begins having feelings for Sonia. 8:00 PM CT NBC

12. Dancing with the Stars. Season finale. The winner of the first All-Stars season will be announced. 8:00 PM CT ABC

13. Dr. Emily Owens, M.D./span> Emily and Tyra finds out an infant has a condition, leading the parents to make a difficult decision, the faith of a patient is shaken, and Will breaks protocol, upsetting Micah. 8:00 PM CT CW

14. New Girl./span> Jess learns a friend is pregnant, leaving Jess and Cece to worry that they are running out of time to have kids, and Schmidt looks for advice on pleasing Emma. 8:00 PM CT Fox

15. Rizzoli & Isles./span> A man dies from poisoning, as Jane and the team try to find the source of contamination, Stanley's true feelings come out, Tommy and Lydia don't agree about their baby's custody, and Det. Korsak gets back together with his ex. 8:00 PM CT TNT

16. Flipping Out. On the season finale of Flipping Out, Jeff and Jenni can’t move past “Cabogate” and head to a therapy session to work things out. After Jeff continues to insult Jenni, his therapist suggests maybe the two should break up for good! Jeff and Gage finally move into their dream home, but their arrival is bittersweet when they lose a member of the family. 8:00 PM CT Bravo

17. Little People Big World: Wedding Farm./span> Amy delivers her little girl to college, leaving Matt to take care of a wedding event. The horse wranglers don't arrive on time, and the farm manager drops the cake. 8:00 PM CT TLC

18. Dangerous Grounds. Todd Carmichael ventures deep into the jungles of Borneo in search of one of the world's rarest coffee beans. 8:00 PM CT Travel Channel

19. Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition. The remaining dancers try to master worldly dance styles, a dancer has a hard time connecting with the history of the people that were the inspiration for her routine, and two dancers have a flexibility test. 8:00 PM CT Lifetime

20. Tia & Tamera. Tia plans a baby shower for Tamera, who is looking for advice from her doula as she makes delivery plans. 8:00 PM CT Style

21. The New Normal. Bryan and David find out the sex of their baby accidentally, Goldie is reminded of her unfulfilled dreams seeing Shania's school assembly performance, and Shania gets suspended. 8:30 PM CT NBC

22. The Mindy Project. Mindy gets put in a difficult position when a neighbor teen asks for birth control, and Danny hears a complaint about Morgan. 8:30 PM CT Fox

23. Vegas. Rizzo hires a singer, who is also Savino's ex-mistress, and Ralph, Dixon, and Jack work with the military on a murder investigation, with clues leading them to an Air Force base. 9:00 PM CT CBS

24. Parenthood. Julia has a difficult time being a stay-at-home mom, a neighbor threatens the Luncheonette's future, and Mark and Sarah don't agree on issues of parenting or their relationship. 9:00 PM CT NBC

25. Leverage. The group sabotages a huge store to prevent it from destroying a small town. 9:00 PM CT TNT

26. Sons of Anarchy. Jax makes arrangements to change things around at the club. 9:00 PM CT FX

27. Million Dollar Decorators. Kathryn travels to Dallas to help an old friend with her new home, but finds her friend has gone behind her back and changed the designs, causing the two into a power struggle that could sink the job and their friendship. Martyn and Mary journey to India to design a tabletop collection for One Kings Lane but major creative differences threaten to derail the collaboration. 9:00 PM CT Bravo

p>28. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The guests tonight are Julie Bowen, the cast of the Rocket City Rednecks, and Melo Greene. 10:35 PM CT NBC

 

Amazing Race 21 – Episode 9 – Do We Really Have To Talk About The U-Turn Again?

Ah, crap.

We have to talk about the U-Turn again. Seriously. I expect to hear “I Got You Babe” playing on the clock radio. And having to address this one more time is taking me away from being pissed about Team Apprentice’s removal from the Race – and connected to that elimination – the inexplicable dislike shown to this team by some of the other teams. The dynamic of this season continues to be incredibly strange.

But first, the U-Turn. For those who continue to think poorly of teams that use it – and how it “speaks volumes about” the other team (looking right at you Abbie and Ryan – you know I love you guys, but come on) – let me ask you a question. Do you hold the “Draw Four” card in Uno? Do you boo when your team blocks a field goal? Do you cry foul when someone kings a checker? No. Because these are rules of the games you have agreed to play. The minute you start running when Phil’s eyebrow tells you to, you have agreed to Race according to the rules provided. Parts of those rules include the existence of the U-Turn.

Just as you are entitled to build hotels in Monopoly, you are entitled to use a U-Turn. And just like with Monopoly, if you care to win, you should make sure you use it.

I have zero problem with Magic Mike using the U-Turn this week. None. It was actually the correct play. They were not in danger of elimination, so no need to U-Turn someone close to them in time. Why not U-Turn a team definitely behind you if it could guarantee their elimination? And given the opportunity, why not take out a serious threat to your chance of winning the Race? They debated it, and I think they were clearly disturbed about the motivations of the other teams who hatched a rather good plan to eliminate Team Apprentice. However, they reached their decision with the correct motivation – Team Apprentice has a better shot at threatening their win than the Goats. Take them out. Smart play by Magic Mike, and I respect it. And I think, out of the moment, Team Apprentice respects it too.

Now, as for the Twins and Texas. Shame, shame, know your name. I give the Twins full and mad props for devising a rather ingenious strategy to the Double U-Turn. The first team to arrive at the station would U-Turn Apprentice. The second team would U-Turn the first team, thus taking away Apprentice’s only play – U-Turning the Goats. Brilliant. What I do not like is their motivation for doing so – directly from the mouth of the Twins – Apprentice is “annoying” and due to win $2 million if the won. The hell. I would applaud them if they said to the camera – “We want to take out Abbie and Ryan because they are a serious threat to win the Race if we don’t take them out. We are using the U-Turn to better our chances to win.” Instead, they used it like 15-year-olds pissed off about what their besties said about them in homeroom.

First, the “annoying” crack. I have watched every second of every episode of the Amazing Race dating back to the first run (or with Kevin/Drew, walk) from the very first starting line in New York City. I have seen annoying teams. Oh, my. Annoying teams galore. In fact, I am watching one team right now who won’t stop screaming everything they say, and won’t stop repeating the exact same thing over and over and over again. And it ain’t Abbie and Ryan. I’m looking at you, Twinnies. Pot. Kettle.

If anything, again, Abbie and Ryan have come across as a rather genial team. Sure, they started the Race off with a lot of cockiness and with a laughable goal of beating the record of leg wins. Sure, Ryan has a tendency to say too much and be a bit full of himself. I get that. However, one thing we have watched with these two is absolutely no intrateam squabbles. Remember Jonathan and Victoria? Remember Brendon and Rachel? Remember Mika and Canaan? Remember Terence and Sarah? Remember Nathan and Jennifer? Oh, the list of annoying couples just goes on and on. None of that from Apprentice.

In fact, we have seen them and the Goats develop the strangest alliance in Show history. Granted, it is an alliance forged two episodes ago out of a horrible airport obstacle. They were forced to race many hours behind the other teams. Even an airport bunching this week couldn’t make up that difference. However, they didn’t have to Race together. They could have shook hands at the airport and got balls to the wall against each other – something which has been the norm in past seasons in identical situations. I recall Steve/Dave and David/Jeff in Season 4 stuck at an airport in France doing the same thing. Instead, the Goats and Apprentice (Apprengoat?) said to hell with the Race and did it together. The same situation presented itself this week and they did the same thing.

And Apprentice released the Goats from their word to Race together once the U-turning happened. At the second Detour, we also got one of the more endearing moments in Race history. In the rain, Abbie had to beg for Euros as Ryan cranked the organ in the streets of Amsterdam. And one woman elected to dance with Abbie. A lot. A whole lot. She then gave them several Euros to enable them to finish the task, and Abbie gave her a hug. And then Ryan did. And then Abbie again. And boy, what a hug, coupled with tears. It was one of those reality moments in reality programming which is far too rare. I call that kind of hug a “mom hug” – one that is reminiscent of when you were a kid and crying over whatever life threw out at you and your mom just enveloped you with an embrace. And all was good. I recall getting a mom hug from my aunt when my mom died which I can still recall, and do so at times of despair. Mom hugs. Good for what ails you.

Now, about the $2 million thing. Twinnies. Nat and Nad. And Texas. Lexi and dude who rarely talks. I really need to ask you this – why do you give a shit how much money Abbie and Ryan would win? It’s not your money. It’s CBS’ money. Just shut up and try to win your own million. And in the alternate universe where Apprentice did win the $2 mil, just suck it up and try harder to win the first leg when you come back for Unfinished Business 2. Seriously teams on the Race – stop U-Turning teams for revenge, jealousy or other stupid reasons.

So, it is official now – with Team Apprentice out, my allegiances fall squarely on the Goats and Magic Mike. I love the way Y is running this Race – he is clearly having fun, like in moments where he talks to ducks swimming on Amsterdam canals. His cause is a good one – I wish I could have given my parents hundreds of thousands of dollars to help them beat cancer. And the Goats just seem like good guys and have the Abbie and Ryan stamp of approval. I don’t think the Goats can win the whole thing – they have barely hung on for just about the entire Race – but stranger things have happened. Danielle won a share of the title against a roster of All-Stars – ANYTHING can happen.