What’s Hot on TV Tonight – Thanksgiving, Gangnam Style

When I think of celebrating Thanksgiving, I don't think of doing it Gangnam Style. Nevertheless, Psy appears tonight on The Tonight Show. Catch up on your favorite shows you may have missed at TV-Links.

1. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. 8:00 AM CT CBS, NBC

2. NFL Football. Houston Texans at Detroit Lions. 11:30 AM CT CBS

3. The National Dog Show. John O'Hurley and David Frei host. 3:30 PM CT NBC

4. NFL Football. Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys. 3:30 PM CT Fox

5. College Football. Texas Christian at Texas. 6:30 PM CT ESPN

6. The X-Factor. Two people will leave, and Cher Lloyd performs. 7:00 PM CT Fox

7. Pro Football. New England Patriots at New York Jets. 7:30 PM CT NBC

8. Glee. Marley's, Jake's, and Ryder's feelings escalate, and Blaine has an encounter with the Warblers. 8:00 PM CT Fox

9. Four Weddings. Four moms judge the weddings of each other's daughters. 8:00 PM CT TLC

10. Mysteries at the Museum. Don Wildman first travels to Las Vegas’ Clark County Heritage Museum to examine a simple poker chip that was salvaged from one of Sin City’s most opulent hotels, then heads to the Marshall County History Museum in Warren, Minnesota that houses a damaged 1970’s police cruiser with a past, then goes to the Confederate Relic Room in Columbia, South Carolina to learn the story behind a battered sword that was carried by a Civil War general. 8:00 PM CT Travel Channel

11. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The guests tonight include Bradley Cooper, Natasha Leggero, and Psy. 11:05 PM CT NBC

What’s Hot on TV Tonight – A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

With A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on tonight, and may everyone reading this tonight remember the same thing that Charlie Brown found out on Thanksgiving. It doesn't matter what you eat on Thanksgiving; what matters are the people you spend it with. Check out your other favorite shows at TV-Links.

1. Survivor: Philippines. The survivors compete for a spa getaway, and of them has an attitude that causes tempers to ignite. 7:00 PM CT CBS

2. Whitney. Whitney needs a cash, so shares a joint checking account w ith Alex, and Mark buys a bar. 7:00 PM CT NBC

3. Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. I'm not a big turkey fan, so I think I would actually prefer the ice cream sundaes, toast, pretzels, popcorn, and jelly beans. I would also prefer Chandler Bing's Funyons.7:00 PM CT ABC

4. The X Factor. The finalists perform. 7:00 PM CT Fox

5. Baggage Battles. 7:00 PM CT Travel Channel

6. NBA Basketball. Los Angeles Clippers at Oklahoma City Thunder. 7:00 PM CT ESPN

7. Guys with Kids. Sheila tries to impress everyone making Thanksgiving dinner, and Gary decides to spend the day waiting in line for a TV to go on sale. 7:30 PM CT NBC

8. The Neighbors. Jackie helps Debbie plan for Abby's birthday, Larry shadows Lenny at work, and Reggie tries to get Amber a gift. 7:30 PM CT ABC

9. Criminal Minds. A school bus filled with kids goes missing near Washington, D.C. 8:00 PM CT CBS

10. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. The detectives investigate reports of sexual abuse an an private school, and secrets throughout the decades are exposed. 8:00 PM CT NBC

11. Ghost Hunters. TAPS gets schooled on the history of deaths at Western Kentucky University. 8:00 PM CT Syfy

12. Life After Too Chef. Disaster strikes minutes before the openings of both Richard and Jen’s new restaurants! Richard realizes the prices are misprinted on the new menus, causing him thousands in lost revenue. Later on, Jen learns her pop-up restaurant is severely understaffed, and she has to run around buying wine glasses instead of cooking for her opening. To add insult to injury, she doesn’t make reservations for the investors which could mean her pop-up dreams going belly up. 8:00 PM CT Bravo

13. The Houstons Remember Whitney. In the first half hour, a trip to the hospital, and Pat tries to spend time with Krissy and her daughter. In the second half hour, Cissy Houston gets a lukewarm reception from Krissy, and Krissy ignores family activities while trying to get her career on track. 8:00 PM CT Lifetime

14. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Five bodies are found in what appears to be a meteor site in the desert, and Finlay recognizes one of the people, causing her to reminisce about the past. 9:00 PM CT CBS

15. Chicago Fire. The firefighters spend their Thanksgiving tending to a meth lab, a gang shooting, and a ten-car pileup. 9:00 PM CT NBC

16. Private Practice. Jake finds out he will have to meet Henry's social worker and worries about an incident from his past, Addison is suspicious of Jake's patient, and James pursues Amelia 9:00 PM CT ABC

17. American Horror Story: Asylum. A mysterious little girl gets abandoned at Briarcliff, the Monsignor and Dr. Arden make a Faustian pact, and the Bloody Face origin is revealed. 9:00 PM CT FX

18. Deals from the Darkside. Steve and his team seek answers on a pair of shackles from a famous prison for witches and try to determine the authenticity of Stef’s finding: a piece of the Hindenburg. 9:00 PM CT Syfy

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19. Top Chef: Seattle. Carla is pushed to the edge in this week’s Quickfire, when she thinks her teammates are making sexist remarks and poking fun of her dish. Later on, Chef’s Tom and Emeril step away from the judging table and into the kitchen as they lead their own teams in an epic Thanksgiving cook-off. 9:00 PM CT Bravo

20. Food Paradise. 9:00 PM CT Bravo

21. My Life Is a Lifetime Movie. A teacher is accuses of being a sex offender, and woman becomes obsessed with her neighbors. 9:00 PM CT Lifetime

22. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The guests tonight include Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Kris Jenner, and Dan Cummins. 10:35 PM CT NBC

 

What’s Hot on TV Tonight – DWTS Semi-Finalist Eliminations

Who's it going to be that gets eliminated tonight on Dancing With the Stars? It's a tight race with the finalists, and it's a double elimination to boot. Pardon the pun. Catch up with all the TV you may have missed at TV-Links.

1. NCIS. Capt. Wescott continues helping the team follow a terrorist, Abby gets excited regarding the NCIS Thanksgiving dinner, and Tony is curious when he finds out Ziva is making special plans. 7:00 PM CT CBS

2. The Voice. Another elimination, and Rascal Flatts performs 7:00 PM CT NBC

3. Dancing with the Stars. Another double elimination, and The Wanted and Paula Abdul perform. 7:00 PM CT ABC

4. Hart of Dixie. The guy Rose has a crush on becomes infatuated with Zoe, Lemon asks to start a catering business with AnnaBeth, and Lavon tries to impress Ruby's grandpa. 7:00 PM CT CW

5. Raising Hope. Jimmy tries to win a candy-selling contest in order for Hope to ride on a float in the Thanksgiving Day Parade. 7:00 PM CT Fox

6. Giuliana & Bill. Giuliana and Bill race to Denver to witness their son being born. 7:00 PM CT Style

7. Ben and Kate. Will tries to convince Kate to go to her high school reunion to confront a bully, and Ben is concerned he can't keep his and B.J.'s secret from Kate for much longer. 7:30 PM CT Fox

8. NCIS: Los Angeles. The team investigates possible links between a dead naval tech scientist, a surfer, and an Internet video, and Kensi and Deeks go undercover to follow suspects 8:00 PM CT CBS

9. Go On. Ryan and Steven compete for the affection of a friend who is visiting from college, and Ryan makes plans for Thanksgiving with the support group. 8:00 PM CT NBC

10. Happy Endings. David wants to give his friends and authentic Navajo Thanksgiving, Max digs up a copy of the lost season of The Real World he and Brad were on together, and the group remembers how they all met. 8:00 PM CT ABC

11. Dr. Emily Owens, M.D./span> Emily is embarrassed by a patient, neither parent is a match for a teenager who needs a liver transplant as a secret is revealed, Cassandra tries getting info about Will, and Tyra sets up Emily and her ex. 8:00 PM CT CW

12. New Girl./span> Jess schemes to get her divorced parents back together on Thanksgiving, and Schmidt and his visiting cousin try to prove their manhood in a competition 8:00 PM CT Fox

13. Flipping Out. The contestants create original makeups based on the drama Grimm. 8:00 PM CT Bravo

14. Little People Big World: Wedding Farm./span> The whole family chips in to make the first booked wedding a success, then behind schedule and over-budget, Matt and Amy are desperate to finish construction on the new property. 8:00 PM CT TLC

15. Dangerous Grounds. Todd Carmichael travels to Madagascar where 200 miles and 165 million years of evolution separate this large island from mainland Africa resulting in some of the most unique plants and animals on the planet. 8:00 PM CT Travel Channel

16. Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition. With a theme of the land of fairy tales, a dancer has a difficult time becoming the evil stepmother, and a dancer is injured during rehearsal. 8:00 PM CT Lifetime

17. Tia & Tamera. Tamera hires a doula, Tia looks for career advice from TV mom Jackée Harry, and Tia starts a vegetable garden. 8:00 PM CT Style

18. The New Normal. Shania and Bryan have a meat-free Thanskgiving and adopt all the turkeys at the farm, and the family invites people they want to make amends with to dinner. 8:30 PM CT NBC

19. Don't Trust the B—– in Apartment 23. June can't afford to fly home for Thanksgiving, so Chloe invites her to her parents' home, and James tries to get a photo op in a soup kitchen. 8:30 PM CT ABC

20. The Mindy Project. Mindy is at Gwen;s to cook the holiday dinner, but gets sidetracked when a recent date is there with someone else, Danny mans the office, and Betsy and Jeremy visit Betty's family. 8:30 PM CT Fox

21. Vegas. Sheriff Lamb has to protect Savino when a hit it put out on him, and the election results for the mayor's office are revealed. 9:00 PM CT CBS

22. Parenthood. Jasmine and Cdrosby organize a school vent, Amber finds out more about Ryan's past on a spontaneous road trip, and Mark and Sarah run into a dilemma. 9:00 PM CT NBC

23. Private Practice. Henry's biological mom wants to be involve din his life, challenging Addison's role as a parent, and Addison's mentor shares a difficult secret. 9:00 PM CT ABC

24. Covert Affairs. Season finale. 9:00 PM CT USA

25. Sons of Anarchy. Jax has to scramble to try and put his affairs in order, and Nero takes care of business with his old crew. 9:00 PM CT FX

26. Total Blackout. Contestants play a game of tanks and have a difficult time identifying one creature. 9:00 PM CT Syfy

27. Oprah: Where Are They Now? A 7-year-old schizophrenic, a man who's lost over 250 pounds, and the winner of Oprah's first dirty dancing contest. 9:00 PM CT OWN

28. Million Dollar Decorators. It’s a tale of major mishaps- Jeffrey fears he made a mistake by giving Ross the lead on a major design project he messes up (and it’s a for supermodel and actress Amber Valletta!) Meanwhile, Kathryn runs into issues during the installation of a stunning, multi-million dollar home in California wine country that she worries could cost her the gig. 9:00 PM CT Bravo

p>29. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The guests tonight are Lindsay Lohan, David Gregory, and Wanda Jackson 10:35 PM CT NBC

What’s Hot on TV Tonight – Pete Townshend and Philip Phillips

I doubt that they're performing together, but both Pete Townshend and Philip Phillips are on The Tonight Show tonight. Phillips is scheduled to perform, but not Townshend, according to the listing. Catch up with all the TV you may have missed at TV-Links.

1. The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Alyson Hannigan and Sophia Grace and Rosie are the guests. Syndicated, check local listings.

2. How I Met Your Mother. Marshall has to do damage control after his friend interviews for a job at the firm, and Robin negotiates Barney's return to the strip club circuit. 7:00 PM CT CBS

3. The Voice. The top ten perform. 7:00 PM CT NBC

4. Dancing with the Stars. The remaining couples dance to Michael Jackson songs. 7:00 PM CT ABC

5. 90210. Navid gets jealous and arranges for Liam and Lindsey's sex tape to be shown instead of Liam's new movie, Rile confesses how he feels to Annie, Max tries to find out how his company's technology got jacked, and Taylor feels guilty about Adrianna. 7:00 PM CT CW

6. Bones. A pod that contains the crime-scene cleaner's remains washes onto a each, and Angela and Hodgins find out a secret about Cam. 7:00 PM CT Fox

7. Breaking Amish: Extended Episodes. An extended look at three episodes. 7:00 PM CT TLC

8. Made in Chelsea. In the first hour, the group goes on a hunting holiday, Funda confronts Caggie about her feelings for Spencer, Millie and Rosie both want to go out with Hugo, and Ollie looks for relationship advice from Binky. In the second hour, Millie wins Hugo in the bachelor auction, Ollie explains to Binky why he broke up with Gabrielle, and Caggie and Funda make friends with each other. 7:00 PM CT Style

9. Basketball Waives LA. Brooke's relationship with Draya could be hindered by good news she receives, and Bambi reacts when Gloria closes her off during an argument. 7:00 PM CT VH1

10. Two and a Half Men. Walden plans a surprise for Zoey's birthday. 7:30 PM CT CBS

11. NFL Football. Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers. 7:30 PM CT ESPN

12. 2 Broke Girls. Carolina and MAx try to get two Amish boys to build a barn for Chestnut, and Andy finds something out about Carline. 8:00 PM CT CBS

13. Gossip Girl. Blair gets ready for her mom's arrival, unexpected emotions arise as Serena helps Dan find somewhere new to live, Ivy helps Chuck find evidence that incriminates his father, and Rufus and Ivy look forward to their gallery opening. 8:00 PM CT CW

14. The Mob Doctor. Innocent bystanders get caught in an ambush intended for Moretti's crew, and Grace tries to end Moretti and Constantine's feud. 8:00 PM CT Fox

15. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Adrienne prepares herself for Lisa’s return, and decides it’s better to forgive and forget than re-live the troubled past. (hmmm, we’ve heard that one before.) Later on, Yolanda has a few too many cocktails, and lets a whole dinner party know all about Brandi’s recent sex life, causing the usually reserved Taylor to step in and call her out. 8:00 PM CT Bravo

16. The Layover with Anthony Bourdain. Season premiere. Anthony Bourdain takes on Chicago, the city he deems to be “the only other true American Metropolis.” For a bit of off-beat culture, Bourdain checks out the International Museum of Surgical Science. He drinks in dive bars galore, samples hot dogs, Polish sausages and Italian beef sandwiches (he prefers them hot, sweet and wet), and conducts an informal poll on whether native Chicagoans really eat deep-dish pizza. 8:00 PM CT Travel Channel

17. Witness. French photojournalist Veronique de Viguerie heads to the South Sudan with a militia of farmers who use weapons to protect themselves against Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army. 8:00 PM CT HBO

18. Mike & Molly. Mike gets sick on Thanksgiving, and Molly is secretly excited about not having to cook, until Vince invites his brother over. 8:30 PM CT CBS

19. Hawaii Five-0. A computer hacker's murder prompts an investigation, and McGarrett tries to stage a reunion. 9:00 PM CT CBS

20. Revolution. As Miles and the gang head to Monroe's lair, they have a difficult time separating fantasy from reality, and Danny becomes suspicious of Rachel. 9:00 PM CT NBC

21. Castle. While picking up a murder witness, Castle and Beckett are ambushed, which forces them to take the witness on the run with them. 9:00 PM CT ABC

22. Intervention. A 24-year-old woman who turned to drugs after being sexually abused as a teen is looking at prison, if she can't get cleaned up. 9:00 PM CT A&E

23. Married to the Army: Alaska. Lindsey has a difficult time with an emotionally-distracted husband, Blair's lingerie shopping gets disrupted, and Salina is rushed to the hospital because of abdominal pains. 9:00 PM CT OWN

24. Startup's: Silicon Valley. Things get a messy as a love triangle arises after Hermione goes out on a date with Jay, who’s also been seeing Sarah. Whoever said nerds don’t get action should really meet this cast…. Hermoine even admits what her best foreplay is (hint, it involves a dance floor.) The next night, Sarah puts out Jays fire and throws her drink on him after finding out about his steamy date with Hermione. 9:00 PM CT Bravo

25. Love Gams: Bad Girls Need Love Too. The rivalry of Shane and Taylor with one of the Bad Girls comes to a head. 9:00 PM CT Oxygen

26. Teen Mom 2. Leah and Corey begin custody mediation, Chelsea and Adam take a step forward, Jenelle fails a drug test, and Kailyn tries to connect again with her mom. 9:00 PM CT MTV

27. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Jessica Biel, Pete Townshend, and Philip Phillips are the guests tonight. 10:35 PM CT NBC

Amazing Race 21 – Episode 8 – PENCILS DOWN! NEXT ROUND!

Can you recall a more fun episode of the Amazing Race where the end result was pretty obvious from the first minute? Let me put it simply – we are at our Final Five now and I ask if anyone really has a team they truly dislike? I mean, each team has had moments – especially in Moscow – where they had very relatable moments. I can honestly say – if Texas won the Race, I would not be that upset. I use them as the example because of the remaining five they are probably the one I have the least affection for – and that’s really no fault of their own. Trey has gotten such a boring edit it is hard to relate to the guy.

Let’s cut to the chase – we pick it up where we left off. Hairs looking around for their wascally cab driver who absconded with their passports and stuff. Apprentice was chilling by the poolside watching the Goats fail miserably at synchronized swimming – part of their deal to work their doomed leg together – and the other three teams chilled at the Pit Stop. As it turned out, the Goats failed all the way to the moment the pool closed for the night. No Detour for them. They get the clue along with a nice four-hour penalty. D’oh!

The two teams headed to the Roadblock and the Locks of Love. Abbie and Josh took the task and Josh revealed himself to be a lock savant. His skills in deciphering puzzles should earn him a spot on Survivor: Puzzle Edition enabling him to lock horns with Boston Rob and Jonathan Penner. He was done so quickly that he strolled over and helped an exhausted Abbie with the task. Two Roadblocks for the price of one. The Goats could have left her to flounder, abandon their pact and hope and pray that Abbie took four hours and one minute to finish. But that would be ridiculous. Their only hope was a non-elim as they went to the Mat.

They stepped on together – but they all knew Apprentice won this battle because of the Detour. But Phil stunned them with the news of one other team’s struggle. Interesting to note that he didn’t tell them who or why. Both were fine. I wondered about the penalty and if they chose to enforce it the next leg because of non-elim or due to the Hairs’ issue. I recall the Roadblock penalties get enforced during the leg, but cannot recall the deal with Detour failures in recent seasons. Emily and Nancy memorably blew the Detour in Thailand in Season 1 and had it enforced on that leg – but that could have changed.

The Hairs check in without ID and are given the chance – find the passports, complete the tasks and the Speed Bump, and have a chance at surviving. Did anyone out there think this was going to happen? Especially after we left them for such long swaths of time? Give them credit – they tried. Working in government I know how hard it is to get a passport with incredible short notice. Not impossible – but really difficult, especially from a foreign country. It was find it or be done – no hope for a new one for Abba. And finding the cabbie would be a needle in a haystack – and even if they found him, they had to hope he was honest and would still have the ID and bags.

Spoiler alert – they failed. Now their only chance was for a double non-elim – something the show has done twice in 20 previous Races (Seasons 3 and 11).

Meanwhile, we get to see the other five teams Race in Russia – and boy was it fun.

First fun part – the cabbies. Maybe to offset the villain who took the Hairs’ bags, this leg found a Rogue’s Gallery of Russian cabbies to drive our friends around. They were so much fun, I want a Russian version of Taxi with these guys filling the roles of Alex, Reverend Jim, Bobby, Elaine and Tony. We had Texas’ driver bring them to seedy Moscow instead of the Agriculture Academy. How do we know this? Broken bottles! And let’s not ignore his Mr. Noodle attire. Oh, the humanity! We had Magic Mike’s driver get them to the task on time, but then get a bit lackadaisical afterwards, choosing instead to munch on a Danish and sip some coffee. And the Twins’ get a jovial – what else for the Twins? – driver who uses his 37 years of cabbing experience to deduce that the ladies, cameraman and boom mike guy want nothing more than to get a McRib sandwich. They are only available for a limited time, after all.

The Hairs must be watching this back thinking – why couldn’t we get a character instead of a thief!

Second fun part – the geography professor. I want to hang out with this guy. He looks like he should have played the teacher in any hair metal band’s video from the 80s set in schools. Perhaps Hair James even knew him! But he sat at the front of the class while the Roadblockers tried to solve the math puzzle at the heart of the Roadblock challenge, waiting for his moment to shine. When time ran out, he stepped up in a thick, cartoony Russian accent – “PENCILS DOWN!” And after the many failures – “NEXT ROUND!” After the Racers solved it, he pulled the ole switcheroo – “I’m really sorry but…YOU WIN!” Top moment- Ryan’s big hug for Professor Awesome.

Third fun part – the Detour Part 1. Most Racers did the dancing task – which I would have passed on because it seems as if the other one was built especially for me. But first, dancing. This season has a bunch of physically fit contestants – especially three of the five teams remaining. Magic Mike are professional dancers. Abbie is a dance instructor. Ryan is a master of martial arts. Trey apparently played football, with Lexi cheering him on in full Bring It On mode. There was no doubt these teams would choose dancing. The Twins are no physical slouches either – so clearly we were going to get some dancing on. Best parts – seeing the true skills shine through. Abbie was a rock star, as was Y. MM James managed to grimace through his hurt ankle and still likely do much better than I could have on a bionic leg. Trey struggled – but not that badly.

Best part – Nat (I think – seriously, twins. I never stood a chance with them) splitting her pants in the course of dancing not once, but twice. Heh.

Fourth Fun Part – Detour Part 2 – How do you not take this one! As a history major, who took several Russian history classes, it was built for me. Go to a fake cocktail party and identify several famous figures in Russian history before moving on. I’ll bet if I walked in there, I’d have been done in about 45 seconds. You had to find Stalin, Lenin, Peter the Great, Cathy the Great, Tsar Nicky II, Brezhnev, Brezhnev’s eyebrows, and Trotsky. Sadly, no Yeltsin, so we can just look back on the ol’ drunken lug’s antics with President Clinton in clip form.

The Goats do this task – and while it is a missed opportunity not seeing them dance, it was the right call. They swept in and out of there as fast as I would – although they chose to linger and have a bit of fun. To be honest, I’d be tempted to do the same.

And we never got a chance to see the Hairs much. It was telling that when teams departed the Pit Stop that we never saw their departure times. Apprentice/Goats were probably hours behind the Top Three, but there was no telling just how far behind the Hairs were from the pack. Heck, they could have a full day behind after passport searching. They were doomed. They started the leg and all we saw was a mere glimpse into what tomfoolery that Speed Bump would be. We see the Hairs in video only – aired over a VO from their exit – of them riding in a limo with a Russian Orthodox priest. What POSSIBLY could they have been doing! Please CBS – put that on the website. Stat.

So, down to five teams. Likely one more non-elim coming. Maybe a Superleg. The Goats are longshots to win – barring any other huge missteps by other teams. And none of the other four teams has really separated from the pack – I could see any or all of them finishing in first place. And don’t forget – Apprentice is still in line to win $2 million.

What’s Hot on TV Tonight – American Music Awards

It's the 40th anniversary of the American Music Awards. I'm hoping to see forty years of great music tonight on the telecast. However, the scheduled performers are all “today's stars,” which is a pity, as they could have used this for some great performances from artists from days gone by. Catch up on your other favorite shows at TV-Links.

1. NFL Football. Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions. 12:00 PM CT Fox

2. Figure Skating. ISU Grand Prix: Trophee Eric Bompard Cachemire from Paris. 1:00 PM CT NBC

3. NASCAR Racing: Sprint Cup. Ford EcoBoost 400 from Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, FL. 2:00 PM CT ESPN

4. NFL Football. Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots. 3:00 PM CT CBS

5. America's Funniest Home Videos. Six former winners compete to win $100,000. 6:00 PM CT ABC

6. 60 Minutes. The covered stories include the e-year investigation into the largest drug trafficking cartel seen, Infant morality, and college football programs. 6:30 PM CT CBS

7. The Cleveland Show. Holt uses Rallo to pick up women, Cleveland opens an airport pub, Hold and his dad help a drunk Cleveland land a plane. 6:30 PM CT Fox

8. The 40th Anniversary American Music Awards. Scheduled performers include Carrie Underwood, Pink, Pitbull, Taylor Swift, Niki Minaj, Linkin Park, Christina Aguilera, Ke$ha, No Doubt, and Usher. 7:00 PM CT ABC

9. The Simpsons. Homer finds out his bowling buddy does accounting for the mob, Lisa begins eating bugs after she passes out while playing her sax. 7:00 PM CT Fox

10. Oprah's Favorite Things: 2012. Military wives are awarded, and Oprah shows off her must-haves for 2012. 7:00 PM CT Fox

11. Big Rich Texas. Leslie announces her engagement to her very wealthy beau, Kalyn tries bonding with her mom, and Cindy puts the move son Tyler. 7:00 PM CT Style

10. Rehab with Dr. Drew. Dr. Drew tries to convince Drewbee to come back, and Erika's drunk boyfriend calls the center. 7:00 PM CT VH1

13. NFL Football. Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers. 7:15 PM CT NBC

14. The Amazing Race. In Moscow, contestants have a difficult time staying in sync during a challenge, and one team makes a huge mistake. 7:30 PM CT CBS

15. Bob's Burgers. Bob wants a memorable Thanksgiving, but Mr. Fischoeder wants to use Bob and his family to fake a dinner to make his ex jealous. 7:30 PM CT Fox

16. Family Guy. The criminal who landed Joe in the wheelchair becomes a fugitive, and Quagmire, Joe, and Peter try to find him. 8:00 PM CT Fox

17. The Real Housewives of Atlanta. When Porshe improperly introduces Kenya Moore as ‘Miss America’ to a crowd at a charity event, the two leave their manners at the door, and have full on showdown at the event. Later on, NeNe and Gregg go for a ‘romantic’ (waaaat, is this the NeNe and Greg we know from last season?!) day at the spa. 8:00 PM CT Bravo

18. Sister Wives. The Browns put money down on land to build home all in one place, hoping to get their family back together, and one wife's bad credit could affect the entire family. 8:00 PM CT TLC

19. Extreme Yachts. Extreme Yachts” travels the country to see how top designers and nautical engineers create some of the most amazing vessels ever to hit the high seas. Each episode will follow three incredible builds from design through launch. And, we’ll see how cutting-edge technology and the finest materials add up to opulent floating palaces with all the comforts of home … and more. 8:00 PM Travel Channel

20. Glam Fairy. Jessica books her own outside jobs believing she is being overlooked, and Alexa makes a shocking announcement. 8:00 PM CT Style

21. The Walking Dead. As Andrea grows closer to the Governor, Michonne makes a decision about Woodbury. Back at the prison, Glenn and Maggie go on a run, while Rick continues to struggle.8:00 PM CT AMC

22. Boardwalk Empire. Nucky tries to keep Jess Smith quiet and neutralize the Gups/Joe Masseria alliance, Margaret thinks about a different future, Van Alden's side business backfires, Gyp's shipment is short, and Chalky sees an opportunity. 8:00 PM CT HBO

23. Dexter. Deb confronts Hannah and Dexter about Hannah's murders. 8:00 PM CT Showtime

24. The Good Wife. Will believes a judge is biased against his client, Grace becomes affected by a classmate's death and makes a questionable dating choice, Zach tries to help Peter's campaign, and Kalinda becomes suspicious of Nick. 8:30 PM CT CBS

25. American Dad. Stan invites his newly widowed mom to move in, and she and Roger fall in loved and get married, while Steve and his buddies find a lost movie script. 8:30 PM CT CBS

26. Ice Loves Coco. Ice is concerned his persona is not family-friendly enough for an event, and Coco shoots a calendar with Spartacus and Maximus. 9:00 PM CT E!

27. Married to the Army: Alaska. Yolanda tries promoting sisterhood to the battalion wives, Army wife etiquette becomes an argument, and Sarah's housewarming takes a downturn. 9:00 PM CT OWN

28. Breaking Amish: The Shunning Truth. Part two of a reunion special. 9:00 PM CT TLC

29. Finding Bigfoot. The team travels to an apple orchard in Vermont to see a photograph of a baby being carried by an alleged Bigfoot. 9:00 PM CT Animal Planet

30. Treme. Crawfish ravioli attacks Janette, Terry survives an assault, and LaDonna finds the meaning of the threatening gestures. 9:00 PM CT HBO

31. Homeland. Brody starts to crack under the pressure of playing double-agent and dealing with Dana's accident. Will he jeopardize the mission (and his deal with the CIA)? 9:00 PM CT Showtime

32. The Mentalist. Brett Stiles lends a hand to Jane to break Lorelei out of prison, hoping she will lead them to Red John 9:30 PM CT CBS

33. Nicki Minaj: My Truth. Part 3 of Nicki preparing to launch her new album. 9:30 PM CT E!

Top Chef: Seattle – Episode 2 – Survivor Comes To Top Chef

Welcome to Seattle. Officially. Here we go – Feature. Showcase. Cash. Title. On the line. We have 15 chefs who survived the cut and they are filing in to the Top Chef Kitchen for the first Quickfire. I am sure nothing unexpected will happen…

Guess what! It does. How did I not know that Top Chef was going to pull a Survivor and bring back past contestants to compete with new ones? Was this public? Am I THAT clueless? All of these are possibilities. And yet, here we are. What surprised me is that even after CJ, Finn and Josie were brought in, I never thought this would be what was going on. I even thought – boy, that’s a random collection of past chefs. What I don’t understand is why these three? I can understand Stefan – Finn, as I called him way back in Season 4, since he’s Finnish (I’m so clever) – since he arguably got robbed of the title that season when Hosea benefitted from the genius of Richard Blais and nabbed the win from Finn.

But CJ and Josie? CJ had a respectable sixth place finish in Season 3, but Josie went out in 11th place in Season 2, eliminated before the immortal Michael Midgley departed. It’s almost as if the producers threw a bunch of names in a hat and pulled this trio out. Glad to see CJ – who I liked a lot in Season 3 – but I don’t think anyone was clamoring for his return. And most fans have long forgotten who Josie was in the first place. CJ is hard to forget – not often you get to see a giant.

So, anyway, these three join our 15 and we have 18 chefs this season as a result. To refresh – joining Finn, CJ and Josie: the good-looking crew of JJ, Micah and Kish. The potential villains – Tesar, The Wiz and the Real Housewife. The beard and moustache of Old Timey Villain (OTV). The English impaired Yagi Bear. The man in the Red Hat – now to known as Papa Smurf. The Belgian who has so many potential nicknames – I am sticking with Latex. And the rest of the ladies – Lizzie, Hipster, Brooke, Eliza and Camba.

A lot of good nicknames and last names this year.

Anyway, with so many chefs there is very little room for anything other than the challenges. The non-cooking parts of this week’s episode basically focus on the reaction to the returning players. Just like Survivor – they ain’t happy about this twist – especially OTV. It did seem that Josie was starting to be accepted into the fold mid-episode, but I assume most of the conflict will be between Finn and the group. Just like in Season 4. If anything, Finn seems to have become more arrogant over time.

Quickfire – CJ, Finn and Josie judge with Padma. And, may I say so, so nice to have you back, Padma. My TV was lonely without you. The task was to group into five teams of three and make a shellfish dish in 20 minutes. The teams all seem to race for the geoduck. Or as it is pronounced, gooey duck. No idea why we don’t spell it that way – so much cooler. The reason for the preference – it cooks quicker. Smart reason. Tesar instantly shows that he lacks political correctness by saying he chose Yagi Bear because she was Japanese and must have good knife skills. He also started to strategize while Padma was still explaining. DUDE! Don’t interrupt Padma. Nobody puts Baby in a corner. Padma stops and tells him “excuse me, I’m not finished.” You’ve been warned.

Brooke foreshadows a bit for the Elimination when she notes the contrasting styles within her team – especially with Latex. The Wiz works with John Elway – and as a Dan Marino fan, it makes me not like him. The teams scramble, and Hipster barely finishes, so no plating issues this year.

Project Runway All-Stars 2: Picture This

Last week on Project Runway, the designers had to make “wearable art” inspired by “aerosol art,” more commonly known as “graffiti.”  In this variation on the textile challenge, the contestants had to spray paint  a design on some fabric and then use the results to make an outfit.  Emilio won and Suede was sent home.

The following morning, Carolyn simply tells them that the next challenge will be an interactive one, and then sends them off to Joanna, who will fill them in on the details.  Joanna  introduces the designers to Sandra Micek, an executive from USA Today.  Together they explain the challenge.  USA Today has collected photographs sent in by fans of Project Runway via Twitter.  Some of the pictures were sent by fans from other countries, including Spain, Russia, and Indonesia.  The designers are to pick a photograph and then make an outfit inspired by it.  Sandra also tells them to think about the story behind their picture, and asks them, “What is your headline?”

As there are only two computers with USA Today’s photolibrary downloaded into them, only two designers can make their choices at a time.  Since Emilio won the last challenge, he gets to go first, and he invites Casanova to use the other computer.

Before the two men start searching the photolibary, Sandra tells the designers that the winner of the challenge will be featured in USA Today.  Emilio picks a picture of a young girl who reminds him of his niece.  Casanova chooses a photograph of a black person in a white, androgynous outfit.  He decides to make something similarly androgynous.

Althea picks a picture of a British train station and Ivy chooses a monarch butterfly.  She tells us that it represents change and evolution.  Kayne chooses a picture of vintage jewelry and Uli picks a picture of clouds taken from inside an airplane.  Joshua picks a colorful abstract painting and Anthony Ryan chooses a picture of a walkway.  Laura chooses a picture of water ripples and Andrae chooses a picture of a pensive-looking black girl.  He thinks she looks “forlorn.”

The designers then sketch, and Althea decides to make pants, since she’s only made dresses thus far.  Emilio decides on an exuberant look matching his girl’s personality.  Then it’s off to Mood, where the designers spend 30 minutes and $150.00.

Back at Parson’s, Laura decides to make her own print. When she complains to Joshua about the fact that she was picked last to use the photolibrary, they have a talk about her relations with the other designers.  He advises her not just to mind her manners, but also to not get caught up in people’s drama.  He warns Laura that if she focuses too much on other people, she’ll get distracted from her own work.

Joshua decides to make his top first, as that will be more complicated than his skirt.  Andrae DR’s that he feels like an outsider.

Joanna comes in to make her rounds, and she’s accompanied by Alison Maxwell, the style editor from USA Today.  They start with Andrae, and agree that his look could be “brilliant or bonkers.”  Laura chose a beautiful picture, but should concentrate on making something many people could wear.  Laura snottily DR’s that she does not make clothes for “farmers,” but makes fashion-forward garb.  That attitude strikes me as inappropriate unless 1) you’re very, very good and/or 2) you’re making avant-garde or haute couture.  Neither of those apply here.  Emilio tells Joanna that he’s doing a t-shirt dress and loves the attitude of the girl in his photo.  Joshua is making a structured, multi-colored shirt and Joanna cautions him to make sure it doesn’t look “too arts and crafts.”  Alison likes Uli’s work, but Joanna fears that Kayne’s look, with its black lace and red fabric, could look very “hookery.”  Joanna likes Casanova’s pants, but not his hat.

Ivy talks about how her butterfly made her think about how things evolve, and Joanna responds that she thinks Ivy has found some real energy.  Anthony Ryan tells Joanna about how he’d depended on designing clothes to get him through his battle with cancer.  His headline will have to do with “always moving forward.”

Joanna is pleased that Althea is stretching herself by attempting a suit, but she wonders if the result will be as “special” as the photo that inspired it.  At the end of her rounds, Joanna tells everybody, “I’m sure you felt emotion when you chose your picture.  Make sure that emotion transfers into your final product.”

The following morning, it’s the day of the runway show.  The designers busily work until the models come in– and some of them continue to work.  Then it’s time for hair and make-up.  Casanova thinks that Kayne’s look makes his model look like “a Parisian prostitute with a chicken on her head.”  One of the women describes Josh’s gaudy shirt as looking like something from Rainbow Brite.

On the runway, Carolyn introduces the guest judges.  Tavi Gevinson is 16 years old and the creator of the fashion blog, “Style Rookie,” while Charlotte Ronson is a fashion designer.  Then it’s time to start the show.

Kayne made a sleeveless red dress with black lace covering a cutout in the back.  He also made a feathered headdress.  Laura made a sleeveless cream gown with blue spatters that look like she had an accident with about a dozen pens.  She then dyed the bottom half of the gown brown, which makes it look as if the model had waded through mud.

Andrae made a green, red, and yellow dress out of pieces of cloth that have been zipped together.  He also had the model wear a bunch of strings with the same color scheme in lieu of an actual necklace.  Casanova made white, billowing pants and a matching sleeveless top with the back cut out.  He also made a wide brown belt and a fedora of the same color.

Althea made a khaki suit with a green top.  The jacket has mid-length sleeves and the pants are capris that seem not to fit properly.  Joshua made a bright blue skirt out of some shiny fabric.  He also made a sleeveless, color-blocked shirt using red, orange, and yellow fabric.  He then added black trim and what might be black buckles or clasps across the front.

Uli made a long, off-white dress that has a long slit up the front.  It also has a plunging back and a sculpted bustier that looks a bit like a corset.  Ivy made an orange sleeveless top and black and orange skirt.

Anthony Ryan made a snug white skirt and a sleeveless black and royal blue shirt.  The shirt has black mesh across the front.  Much of the back was cut out, and strips of black fabric were sewn across the gap.  Emilio made a sleeveless dress with a loose, bright yellow top and a very poofy light gray skirt with yellow lining.

Carolyn then calls Laura, Andrae, Joshua, Anthony Ryan, Emilio, and Althea.  They will have to face the judges, while the other designers are safe.

The judges then start with Althea.  Everybody seems to hate the pants, although Charlotte does like the jacket.  Carolyn thinks the whole outfit is drab.

The judges praise Anthony Ryan for his ability to have his photo and outfit reference each other.  Tavi, in particular, likes how he captured the spirit of the photo.  Georgina does ding him for his color scheme, saying that he’s used it before.  She urges him to take a chance and use something different next time.

The judges don’t like Joshua’s look at all.  Georgina thinks it’s too costumey, and Isaac thinks it’s simply too much.  Tavi doesn’t think the blue skirt and multi-colored shirt go with each other.  Nor can she see either garment going with anything else.  Ouch.

Andrae explains how he’d made his dress out of zippered panels.  He also says the mood is supposed to be “forlorn,” and Isaac says he doesn’t see “forlorn.”  (Neither do I, as I don’t associate bright colors with “forlorn” or any other synonym for “sad” you care to name.)  Georgina then tells him that putting zippers and stretch fabric together causes the fabric to buckle, which is exactly what has happened with Andrae’s dress.

Laura tells the judges that she dyed her own fabric.  The judges are suitably impressed.  Tavi also thinks that Laura did a good job of capturing the mood of her photo.

Last up is Emilio.  Isaac thinks the dress is light and modern.  Charlotte thinks it’s a fun dress– but might be hard for people to actually wear.

The judges then have their chat, starting with the designers they’d liked.  Anthony Ryan had made a sexy outfit and Laura had done a good job dying her dress.  Emilio’s look was bold and light, but would not be an easy dress to wear.

As for the designers they didn’t like, Andrae’s look resembled something from Footlocker and his styling– with those colored strings– was awful.  Althea had made a nice jacket, but horrible pants.  In her defense, khaki can be a difficult material to work with.  Joshua’s look was schizophrenic and an overly literal interpretation of his photograph.

Carolyn then announces the judges’ decision.  Emilio is in, and Anthony Ryan is the winner.  Laura and Althea are safe, leaving Joshua and Andrae in the bottom.  Joshua is in, so Andrae is out.

Next week:  The designers have to make androgynous designs and work with male models.

 

What’s Hot on TV Friday and Saturday – Matchmaker Santa

The Hallmark Channel is going to make sure we're aware that Christmas is coming whether we like it or not. Tonight is Matchmaker Santa costarring Lacey Chabert, Florence Henderson, and John Ratzenberger. Catch up with your favorite shows you may have missed at TV-Links.

Friday

1. NBA Basketball. Utah Jazz at Philadelphia 76ers. 6:00 PM CT ESPN

2. Undercover Boss. The president of Cinnabon INc. goes undercover in her own company. 7:00 PM CT CBS

3. Last Man Standing. A neighborhood car is egged, and Mike and Vanessa won't let Eva quit soccer, so she gets drunk at a party. 7:00 PM CT ABC

4. America's Next Top Model. Season finale. In the first hour, Kelly mentors the aspiring models, the eliminated finalists make an appearance, and the winner is chosen. In the second hour, behind the scenes. 7:00 PM CT CW

5. Kitchen Nightmares. Ramsey tries to help the owners of Ms. Jean's Southern Cuisine in Pennsylvania turn the restaurant around. 7:00 PM CT Fox

6. Monsters Inside Me. An expectant young mom in a coma gets a sudden infection, and a Texas woman finds out her lungs are filled with parasitic worms. 7:00 PM CT Animal Planet

7. Malibu Country. Reba is insulter that Mr. Bata wants a rapper to record one of her songs, Lillie Mae finds she has a secret admirer, and Cash attempts to hide his accent. 7:30 PM CT ABC

8. CSI: NY. An elite prep school student is murdered, and Lindsay visits her dad in Montana to face past issues. 8:00 PM CT CBS

9. Grimm. Adalind avenges her mom's death and wreaks havoc, Capt. Renard's obsession escalates, and Monroe gets a surprise visit. 8:00 PM CT NBC

10. Shark Tank. Business ideas include an energy and nutritional supplement designed and tested by the military, a new way to shop for bridal wear, and a wine-tasting cruise. 8:00 PM CT ABC

11. Fringe. The teach orchestrates its own event. 8:00 PM CT Fox

12. Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids. In the first half hour, a competition for the Maid of Honor duties, a bride has a groomsmaid, and a bride considers changing the color of the dresses during fittings. In the second half hour, the bride's bossy older sister and her fiancé team up against her choosing college colors she hates, and another bride has a huge wish list for her second wedding. 8:00 PM CT TLC

13. Raised Wild. An anthropologist investigates a rumor of a boy being raised by monkeys in Africa. 8:00 PM CT Animal Planet

14. Ghost Adventures. Zak, Nick & Aaron travel to the Tor House, former home to American poet, Robinson Jeffers, who predicted he would talk to the living 50 years after his death. The guys watch in awe as they glimpse a misty figure by the tower. 8:00 PM CT Travel Channel

15. NBA Basketball. New York Knicks at Memphis Grizzlies. 8:300 PM CT ESPN

16. We Will Always Love You: A Grammy Salute to Whitney Houston. Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson, Usher, Yolanda Adams, and CeCe Winans perform during this tribute. 9:00 PM CT CBS

17. Dateline NBC. Christina Aguilera, Lauren Scruggs, and Kelly Rutherford are interviewed. 9:00 PM CT NBC

18. 20/20. Stories tonight include misleading foods, restaurant kitchen secrets, airplane food, testing for germs in restaurants, and comparing pricey foods to less expensive options. 9:00 PM CT ABC

19. Haven After Duke sets out to investigate a name he found in his grandfather’s journal, he’s transported back in time to 1955. 9:00 PM CT Syfy

20. Brides of Beverly Hills. In the first half hour, Rachel Reilly comes back to help her sister find a wedding dress, and it's a stressful situation when a bride and her mom get engaged at the same time. In the second half hour, a Marilyn Monroe impersonator gets the perfect dress, a devout Pentecostal virgin bride, and Renee is thrown for a loop by her final bride appointment. 9:00 PM CT TLC

21. Real Time with Bill Maher. Panelists include David Frum, Michael Moore, Ana Navarro, and Eric Idle. 9:00 PM CT HBO

22. Hunted. Sam wakes up in the hospital to see someone familiar who promises to be an ally. 9:00 PM CT Cinemax

23. Late Show with David Letterman. The guests tonight are Dr. Phil McGraw, Carmen Lynch, and Divine Fits. 10:35 PM CT CBS

Saturday

1. College Football. Kent State at Bowling Green. 11:00 AM CT ABC

2. College Football. Iowa at Michicgan. 11:00 AM CT ESPN

3. College Football. Northwestern at Michigan State. 11:00 AM CT ESPN 2

4. College Football. Washington at Colorado. 12:30 PM CT FX

5. College Football. USC at UCLA. 2:00 PM CT Fox

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

7. College Football. Wake Forest at Notre Dame. 2:30 PM CT NBC

8. College Football. Ohio State at Wisconsin. 2:30 PM CT ABC

9. NASCAR Racing: Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 from Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, FL. 3:30 PM CT ESPN

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

11. College Football. Tennessee at Vanderbilt. 6:00 PM CT ESPN 2

12. College Football. Stanford at Oregon. 7:00 PM CT ABC

13. Matchmaker Santa. Melanie, a young baker with a long-standing childhood Christmas wish of finding her true love, is excited about visiting her boyfriend’s lake house over the holidays. But when a mysterious mall Santa interferes and her travel plans get mixed up, she finds herself stranded in a charming town with her boyfriend’s handsome assistant and a quirky cast of locals. 7:00 PM CT Hallmark

14. College Football. Kansas State at Baylor. 7:00 PM CT ESPN

15. 48 Hours. In the first hour, mothers working as private investigators. In the second hour, a look at twenty women over the past forty years who have gone missing or been murdered on a highway. 8:00 PM CT CBS

16. Welcome to Sweetie Pie's. Upper Crust gets ready for crowds, Ike, Pops, and the others beg for their jobs, Jenae makes the decision to move without Tim, and Charles tries to be a fisherman. 8:00 PM CT OWN

17. 48 Hours: Hard Evidence. In the first hour, police get a top in the case of a young mother who was fatally beat while she slept at home. In the second hour, the case of a woman who shot and killed her husband and claim self defense finds ends after two trials 8:00 PM CT TLC

18. Tanked. A treasure-chest tank for a Detroit children's hospital, new roles for Heath and Agnes, and a homey tank for a leasing company. 8:00 PM CT TLC

19. My Fair Wedding: Unveiled. In a special look-back episode, David takes us back to his most memorable brides and most mismatched couples. 8:00 PM CT WE

20. John Carter. A war-weary human captain gets transported to Mars and stuck in an epic conflict with the native beings of the planet. 8:00 PM CT Starz

21. Wedding Band. The band draws the attention of a popular sci-fi actress when they play ComiCon. 9:00 PM CT TBS

22. Iyanla, Fix My Life. The guys is an actress struggled with addiction and was publicly humiliated 9:00 PM CT OWN

23. College Football. BYU at Washington State. 9:30 PM CT ESPN 2

24. Saturday Night Live. Jeremy Renner hosts, and Maroon 5 are the musical guest. 9:30 PM CT NBC

 

Survivor: Philippines – Episode 9 – I’m Like A Storyteller

Clap. Clap. Clap.

This season just keeps on delivering. It is not going out on a limb to call this the best Survivor season in the last few cycles – probably the best since Heroes vs. Villains, and perhaps better that that season. I am close to saying that barring a fizzled out ending, this season is well on its way to Top 5 overall and perhaps better.

Why is it so good? Just like every season it comes down to casting – and this season has hit a home run. The stunt casting has been stellar – Penner, Scoopin’, Kent and Blair all have been solid to great players. Even Swan provided entertainment, albeit unintentionally. The new players have brought some character and good game play – think Malcolm, Denise, RC, Abinormal, PBP. And don’t forget Angie’s…um…contributions to our TV viewing. Even dudes who have advanced far, like Carter and Artis, cannot bring the show down.

I would like very much for more three tribe seasons. This dynamic is a good one and Survivor has a reputation over the years of tinkering with the formula and keeping what works (hidden idols), and discarding the mistakes (Medallion of Power). The wild card of Denise/Malcolm on the merge has added some spice this season. However, the better ingredient is one that is hard to factor in – the willingness for tribal allegiances to shift.
Think about where we are after the seismic shift in power this week. We have a Final 8 with no real power alliance which can safely run the table. None. The PBP alliance is shattered – it is now only a duo of PBP/Abinormal. And I am positive that is not sealed – both of them would bolt on the other in a heartbeat. The only truly solid one is Malcolm/Denise. Scoopin’/Blair is another decent bond – but the vote split from the two of them this week needs some explanation. And then there are the Kalabaw survivors – Penner and Carter. Are either bound to each other? Not that we have seen before – Carter was more Kent’s guy.

In theory, we could have four duos vying for power. There could be mad scrambles for combinations before each remaining Tribal Council. Truly incredible to see how after 25 seasons, the dynamic can be unique. The closest season to this full-on free-for-all that I can think of was the Amazon way back in Season 6. Alliances rose and fell that season seemingly each week. The next five cuts this season could be similar.

Survivor has never won the Emmy for Best Reality Series – heck, the Amazing Race has won almost all of them (one for Top Chef) – and in fact, has not even been nominated in recent years. This season deserves consideration – specifically this episode, or last week’s episode. There is one scene this week which I think should go down in the archives of classic Survivor scenes. The beach therapy session between Blair and Penner.

After the insane Tribal Council, Blair seems to be getting push back from her Tandang allies. This is weird, because if memory serves, she basically scrambled together votes at the last minute to save the Tandang alliance. She tried to flush Malcolm’s idol, and her tribe failed to believe her or go along with her. She suggested Plan B out in the open – cobbling together the vote victory and confusing Penner in the process. She has been nothing but a loyal vote despite being treated like crap by her alliance. Penner being the Survivor vet that he is – and having played a very intriguing season back on Cook Islands – knows that the Tandang alliance was ready to crumble. He just needed to find the right bricks to pull – ironically, he pulled them, but a different section collapsed.

He and Blair came to the beach and he began to work on her like a master. He read her because he understood show business. Blair was a child star – she’s been an actress her whole life, even if she wasn’t working as one. Part of the actress persona is one where you seek to entertain, to gain approval from smiles, applause and attention. As a child star, you are put into the strange position of potentially out-earning your parents and becoming a professional at the same age most kids are just being kids. Penner is an actor/writer – and he knows that. He tells her he knows she has always been a pleaser, and been worried her whole life about whether she is pretty enough, or gained too much weight. She stares at him with tears going down her cheeks and just mutters, “How do you know this?” Penner smiles and says, “Because it’s my business too.”

Seriously, it’s like dialogue from a Kate Hudson movie. Well played, Penner. Is he manipulating her? Yes. Is it game play? Absolutely. Does he mean every word he said to her? I think so.