What’s Hot on TV Tonight – Guys’ Top 10 Perform on Idol

The guys takes the stage tonight to answer what the top 10 females did last night. Will they match it? Catch up on your favorite shows you may have missed at TV-Links.

1. The Ellen DeGeneres Show Russell Brand and Wolfgang Puck are the guests today. Syndicated, check local listings.

2. The Big Bang Theory. Koothrappali decides not to leave his apartment, and Sheldon is impressed with Penny's acting skills. 7:00 PM CT NBC

3. Community. The study group goes to a convention, Annie enjoys the hotel luxuries, and Jeff spends time at the bar with a fellow fan. 7:00 PM CT NBC

4. Zero Hour. Hank and Beck have a confrontation with White Vincent, and Rachel and Aaron dig up info about the rose commandment. 7:00 PM CT ABC

5. The Vampire Diaries. Caroline has concerns about Elena's state of mind, Damon is surprised about the reaction Rebekah has to somber news, and everyone gets upset over the rest of Shane's plan. 7:00 PM CT CW

6. American Idol. The top 10 guys perform. 7:00 PM CT Fox

7. NBA Basketball. Miami Heat at Chicago Bulls. 7:00 PM CT TNT

8. Guinness World Records Gone Wild. Records include blindfolded 50-meter dash, a different use for the shard end of a construction worker's shovel, a woman skipping, and a man with blocks of ice. 7:00 PM CT truTV

9. Glory Hounds. 7:00 PM CT Animal Planet

10. Two and a Half Men. Walden and his ex consider getting back together, and Alan worries she's not good enough. 7:30 PM CT CBS

11. Parks and Recreation. Leslie and Ben try to finish a project in two hours that should take years to complete, Leslie's speech goes missing, Ben starts a new job, and Anna asks an important question. 7:30 PM CT NBC

12. Person of Interest. A deadly, and sexy government operative tackles terrorist threats, making it difficult for Reese and Finch to protect her. 8:00 PM CT CBS

13. Grey's Anatomy. People begin hearing about Seattle Grace's financial issues, Catherine wants Jackson to move to Boston, and the interns are worried about their jobs, the doctors work on saving the hospital and meet a possible investor, and Alex impresses Jo . 8:00 PM CT ABC

14. Beauty and the Beast. Heather asks Tess to help stage an intervention, Evan contemplates a proposition, and Vince makes a hard decision. 8:00 PM CT CW

15. Mysteries at the Museum. Don Wildman travels to the Conrad Hilton Community Center Museum in Cisco, Texas to examine a pair of handcuffs that once bound the wrists of an infamous bank robber. Then he heads to the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook, New York to look into a glamorous dress once worn by a socialite involved in a scandalous murder case. Wildman then goes to the Arizona Military Museum in Phoenix Cultural History to see a simple leather bag that once belonged to a legendary prisoner of war. 8:00 PM CT Travel Channel

16. Project Runway The designers design a performance looks and red carpet look for Miranda Lambert. 8:00 PM CT Lifetime

17. Mary Mary. Tina gives birth to Santana, and Erica has a performance in Atlanta. 8:00 PM CT WE

18. Comic Book Men. The guys want to make a Stash sandwich, and a valuable comic. 8:00 PM CT AMC

19. 1600 Penn. The President's brother visits the White House, threatening the brothers' relationship with their long-standing rivalry, Becca prepares for an interview, and Skip pans to do his own White House tour. 8:30 PM CT NBC

20. Anger Management. Charlie goes on a date with his daughter's teacher. 8:30 PM CT FX

21. Freakshow. For Sword Swallower's Day, Asia tries to swallow a sword, and the performers' competition heats up. 8:30 PM CT AMC

22. Elementary. Sherlock is on the case when a rich philanthropist is intentionally infected an incurable disease, and Sherlock sends Joan to a suspicious dry cleaners for her to learn deductive skills. 9:00 PM CT CBS

23. Scandal. Olivia and the others act as matchmakers for a newer politician, David believes he's being followed, and Fitz has to deal with a delicate hostage situation 9:00 PM CT ABC

24. King of the Nerds. The first Nerd Anthem competition. 9:00 PM CT TBS

25. Suits. Harvey and Jessica don't agree about the firm's future. 9:00 PM CT USA

26. Archer. Archer is bitten by a snake in a special place. 9:00 PM CT FX

27. Impractical Jokers. The guys have a series of challenges that include giving palm readings and manicures. 9:00 PM CT truTV

28. After the First 48. A cash of an unidentified shooting victim in Louisville is cracked by an unexpected tip, and three fearful co-defendants are asked to testify against a killer. 9:00 PM CT A&E

29. Kathy. Steven Weber, Kate Walsh, and Aubrey Plaza are the guests. 9:00 PM CT Bravo

30. What Not to Wear. Shannon Elizabeth is still stuck in the young, sex kitten persona seen in her movies. 9:00 PM CT Bravo

31. Immortalized. Page Nethercutt vs. CJ Fegan in an “End of the World” theme. 9:00 PM CT AMC

32. NBA Basketball. San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Clippers. 9:30 PM CT TNT

33. Legit. Jim is rejected by a youth mentoring program, while Ramona asks him to be a positive influence for her nephew, and Steve gets upset over an unexpected discovery of his ex and the neighbor. 9:30 PM CT FX

34. Upload with Shaquille O'Neal. Series premiere. Shaq helps a depressed cat, auditions for a movie, and Loni Love takes part in the Shaq Don't Crack competition. 9:30 PM CT truTV

35. Late Show with David Letterman. The guests tonight include Johnny Depp and Bill Carter and the Blame, and Stupid Human Tricks are included as well. 10:35 PM CT CBS

What’s Hot on TV Tonight – American Idol Live Performances

After what seems like a fairly short beginning of the season, it's time for the live performances on American Idol. Tonight we hear the ladies. Tomorrow the guys. Do you have any early favorites? Check out your other favorite shows at TV-Links.

1. The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The guests today are Wanda Sykes, Kate Upton, and Kym Douglas. Syndicated, check local listings.

2. Survivor: Caramoan – Dawn becomes a target, and Phillip gives his alliance undercover identities. 7:00 PM CT CBS

3. Whitney. Whitney believes her dad has changed for the better when he gives her $5000, and Alex thinks she should rent an art gallery to display her photos, but instead she gives the money to Lily. 7:00 PM CT NBC

4. The Middle. Frankie is concerned when Brick wans to attend a three-day field trip to Chicago, and Sue wants to know if Axl's friend Darrin has feelings for her. 7:00 PM CT N\ABC

5. Arrow. Oliver asks out Det. McKenna, someone close to Oliver is targeted by a jewel thief, and Thea's purse is stolen. 7:00 PM CT CW

6. American Idol. The top 10 girls perform. 7:00 PM CT Fox

7. Ghost Hunters. The team sees a door in the main room close by itself on the DV-R & goes to investigate it. 7:00 PM CT Syfy

8. Big Rich Atlanta. Harvin is nervous about displaying her artwork at an event hosted by Sharlinda, and Meagan's fashion boutique on wheels runs into problems. 7:00 PM CT Style

9. NBA Basketball. New Orleans Hornets at Cleveland Cavaliers. 7:00 PM CT ESPN

10. Guys with Kids. Gary has a difficult time keeping up with his new career and parenting responsibilities, Emily and Nick are kept up all night by a missing noisy toy, and Ernie gets held back at play group. 7:30 PM CT NBC

11. The Neighbors. Larry and Reggie are obsessed with winning and Oscar and videotape a spelling bee that sees Max going head to head with Dick Butkus. 7:30 PM CT ABC

12. Criminal Minds. The team travels to Austin to investigate when victims are discovered who all have watches set to inaccurate times, and the stalker gets closer. 8:00 PM CT CBS

13. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Detective Rollins' sister turns up beaten and pregnant from her abusive boyfriend, and while the SVU tries to keep her safe, Det. Rollins takes drastic action leading to an internal affairs investigation. 8:00 PM CT NBC

14. Modern Family. Phil shows up at Claire's college reunion, Jay wants to win a big bowling tournament, and an elaborate photo shoot with Joes has bad results because of a wig malfunction. 8:00 PM CT ABC

15. Supernatural. A polive officers has nightmares where he murders innocent people, and Sam and Dean investigate when the murders begin happening in real life. 8:00 PM CT CW

16. Ghost Mine. Patrick & Kristin are investigating the mine and, after finding artifacts from former miners, see something moving in the dar 9:00 PM CT Syfy

17. Hoarding: Buried Alive. A hot-tempered man moves back in with his 93-year-old mom and fills her home with clutter. 8:00 PM CT TLC

18. Baggage Battles American border to a non-descript warehouse in Canada, where 403 Auctions sells unclaimed items from airports, misguided freight, consignments, end-of-lines, overstock and surplus items. 8:00 PM CT Travel Channel

19. Kimora: House of Fab. Johnny has a difficult time concentrating on the video shoot because of a recent breakup, and Kimora holds a photo shoot with fashion bloggers. 8:00 PM CT Style

20. Suburgatory. Tessa starts giving relationship advice to everyone, even people who don't ask for it, and George and Dallas are coaches to a T-ball team. 8:30 PM CT ABC

21. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. A man Sara encounters turns up dead, leading to her becoming a suspect, and she feels the impact of her and Grissom's separation. 9:00 PM CT NBC

22. Chicago Fire. Cruz gets himself and the other firefights in danger, Casey tries to fix things with his sister and mom, and the team helps the bomb squad with a dangerous call. 9:00 PM CT NBC

23. 20/20. In segments relating to the upcoming Academy Awards, memorable acceptance speeches from the Oscars, funny monologues, unscripted moments, and red carpet fashion. 9:00 PM CT ABC

24. Southland. A drive-by injures Mendoza, and Ben tries to solve the case, Lydia investigates a female boxer's husband's murder, and Cooper and Steele have it out during a traffic stop. 9:00 PM CT TNT

25. Necessary Roughness. Season finale. The Hawks' season could be destroyed by a scandal started by a secret, and Dani comes to a decision regarding her feelings. 9:00 PM CT USA

26. The Americans. An assassin tries to kill President Reagan, Stan puts pressure on his source within the Rezidentura to determine if the KGB was behind an attempted assassination. 9:00 PM CT FX

27. Top Chef: Seattle. Season finale. The final three are given free reign in Tom's restaurant. 9:00 PM CT Bravo

28. Street Eats. In South Korea, Japan, Taipei, Singapore, Bali and India, street food bring a mix of sweet, savory and spicy flavors, sometimes all in one dish! From crispy pigskin to octopus and grilled buffalo, it's a gastronomic adventure! 9:00 PM CT Travel Channel

29. America's Supernanny. Two teachers with out-of-control children get help from Deborah. 9:00 PM CT Lifetime

30. Washington Heights. Taylor and Reyna have an intervention for Frankie, Jimmy meets Eliza, and JP meets a record label rep. 9:00 PM CT MTV

31. NBA Basketball. Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers. 9:30 PM CT ESPN

32. Late Show with David Letterman. The guests tonight include Hugh Jackman, Zosia Mamet, and The Americans. 10:35 PM CT NBC

The Amazing Race, Feb. 17 – Looking for a Vodka-7 But Finding a Clue

Really? The next season of The Amazing Race is starting up already? It seems like it was just a few days ago that the Beekman Boys won the Race. How are we looking at another new crop of teams already? And it’s really season 22? All this from a show that was on its way to cancellation before hitting season 5.

The eleven teams will be starting from Los Angeles, the Griffith Observatory to be exact. The teams are:

Chuck and Wynona, married 15 years, Alabama. He says they’re a cross between redneck and country. He has a mullet, yet has no idea what it is. He loves taxidermy and calls it an obsession along with hunting. For him there’s nothing like killing an animal, eating it, and keeping it on your wall forever. Alrighty.

Bates and Anthony, brothers and professional hockey players, North Carolina. Bates has played for fifteen years, and his ultimate goal is to win the Stanley Cup, but this is a new goal for him. Anthony is missing his front teeth, probably thanks to a puck.

Mona and Beth, working moms, Colorado. They refer to themselves as stereotypical soccer moms and mothers of three and are also roller derby girls. They think they’ll kick some ass on the Race.

Max and Katie, newlyweds, Buffalo. They were married for just three weeks before leaving on the Race and are considering this their honeymoon. She will knock out anyone who gets in their way, and he refers to her as his bulldog.

Dave and Connor, father and son, Salt Lake City. They are best friends and share nearly everything including having cancer. Dad had prostate cancer; son had testicular cancer. But for Dad, the news that his son had cancer was the hardest news he has ever gotten. Fortunately, they’re both cancer-free, and Connor is now a professional cyclist. Every day is a gift, and that’s how they will look at the Race.

Jessica and John, dating, Southern California. They’ve been dating for four years and have thought about marriage, but don’t want to rush into it. Clearly, though, she wouldn’t mind it a bit. They’re both surfers too.

Idries and Jamil, twin doctors, Chicago. They’re both OB/GYNs and spend their time together 24/7, figuring it’s like having a clone. Yet one of them, I can’t tell them apart, says he will be the leader and his brother the follower. From hereon out, they’ll be “The Twins” or “The OB/GYNs.” I will never be able to tell them apart or who is doing which task.

Pam and Winnie, best friends, Los Angeles. They realize they don’t look like tough girls but say they aren’t afraid of anything. They aren’t looking for love unless you have a million dollars taped to your body. If they win the Race, Phil Keoghan needs to be careful presenting them with that big check.

Joey and Meghan, YouTube sensations, Los Angeles. They figure they’ll dominate the Race. Combined, they have over half a million subscribers on their YouTube channel. They’re cute, yeah, but he says they’re also competitive.

Matt and Daniel, best friends and firefighters from South Carolina. They’ve been best friends since they were five years old and have spent the past six years at the same station, same shift, and same truck. They have each other’s backs and are confident they can win this.

Caroline and Jennifer, country singers, Nashville. They are two members of the band Stealing Angels. They’ve been on tour for the last four or five years and promise to flirt if they have to to win. They’ve both looking for love and possibly husbands, but figure they’ve been doing it in the wrong places.

What’s Hot on TV Tonight – Bachelor’s At-Home Visits

It's the at-home visits tonight on The Bachelor. And from the previews, it looks like the brother of one of the girls doesn't approve of this method of finding a husband. Catch up with all the TV you may have missed at TV-Links.

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

2. How I Met Your Mother. Ted gets an unexpected call from the Captain, leading the gang to remember their last awkward encounter. 7:00 PM CT CBS

3. The Biggest Loser. The teen test in a pop challenge to help the adults win immunity, two Losers clash with each other leader Jillian and another Loser to have a confrontation, and the contestants team up during an exhausting challenge. 7:00 PM CT NBC

4. The Bachelor. Sean travels to the final four ladies' hometowns. 7:00 PM CT ABC

5. The Carrie Diaries. Carrie looks for help from Mouse to cook Thanksgiving dinner, Maggie concludes she hasn't considered her future, and Sebastian's mom leaves him alone over the holiday. 7:00 PM CT CW

6. Bones. The team investigates a seemingly innocent 15-year-old boy's death and find he was involved in illegal activity. 7:00 PM CT Fox

7. Continuum. The Liber8 change their tactics and kidnap a corporate executive and hold her for ransom. 7:00 PM CT Syfy

8. Switched at Birth. Daphne makes a decision regarding Travis, Bay and Noah's relationship keeps growing, and Toby meets a new volunteer at his dad's campaign headquarters. 7:00 PM CT ABC Family

9. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Kim shows off her new nose, Taylor doesn't go to Kim's party, and Adrienne gets upset with Paul. 7:00 PM CT Bravo

10. Finding Bigfoot: Further Evidence. Three hours of looking further into investigations of Bigfoot sightings. 7:00 PM CT Animal Planet

11. Jerseylicious. Anthony decides to write a book on the New Jersey style's history, Gayle considers a facelift, Gigi would like Olivia and Tracy to have a meeting to help resolve their differences. 7:00 PM CT Style

12. Rules of Engagement. Liz looks for RUssell's help when she wants to have a baby, and Jeff gives Timmy advice that backfires. 7:30 PM CT CBS

13. 2 Broke Girls. Caroline and Max get a street performer removed from the entry of their store and pay a heavy price. 8:00 PM CT CBS

14. 90210. Liam experiences PTSD symptoms getting ready to testify against Ashley, and Silver gets bossy when Dixon realizes the surrogate has an incredible singing voice. 8:00 PM CT CW

15. The Following. Hardy and the am make their next move, which spreads panic through the followers' hideout, and Carroll looks for a lawyer from his past. 8:00 PM CT Fox

16. Dallas. Ryland continues to expose Ann's secrets, John Ross solidifies his plans to take over Ewing Energies, Christopher and Pamela Barnes changes tactics, and an enemy from the past surfaces 8:00 PM CT TNT

17. Being Human. Sally runs into her brother and makes a deal with Donna so that he doesn't die. Josh struggles to raise Erin, who is working for Liam and tries to kill Aidan. Aidan remembers when he was first made a vampire. 8:00 PM CT Syfy

18. Bunheads. Michelle and bash use the dance studio an evacuation center when the town is threatened by a nearby fire, and Sasha and Roman get closer. 8:00 PM CT ABC Family

19. Oprah's Favorite After-the-Oscars Moments. Oprah goes behind the scenes of the awards where the celebrities are interviewing each other. George Clooney interviews Julia roberts, Russell Crowe interviews Nicole Kidman, and Sidney Poitier interviews Jamie Foxx. 8:00 PM CT OWN

20. Vanderpump Rules. Lis threatens to fire Stassi, Scheana breaks down emotionally while at work, and Jax tries to get Stassi back. 8:00 PM CT Bravo

21. Cake Boss: Next Great Baker. In the first half hour, Buddy is asked to make a 50th anniversary cake for Spiderman, the Next Great Baker is late for work, and plans begin for Momma's benefit gala. In the second half hour, The family gets ready for Momma Mary's Benefit Gala with a special performer scheduled to surprise her, and Buddy is asked to make a cake in the shape of a life-size chair for a furniture company. 8:00 PM CT TLC

22. Bizarre Foods America. Andrew Zimmern heads to Denver. From ancient hunting methods like falconry, to immigrants cooking traditional foods with American twists, to an Adventurous Eater's Club with people open to tasting just about anything, the pioneer spirit is still strong when it comes to eating in the Mile High City. 8:00 PM CT Travel Channel

23. Mike & Molly. Mike decides to get tested at a fertility clinic, and Vince gets a door-to-door vacuum sales job. 8:30 PM CT CBS

24. Hawaii Five-0. Danny obsesses about the all-pro game during the weekend it's scheduled in Hawaii, and a star player helps the team solve the murder of a tech executive. 9:00 PM CT CBS

25. Deception. Lyritrol gets closer to being on Bower Pharmaceutical's shelves, Edward finds out something disturbing about the drug, Joanna follows a lead, and Sen. Haverstock reveals his identity to Mia. 9:00 PM CT NBC

26. Castle. A plot to kidnap a businessman's daughter is revealed during a murder investigation, and FBI Agent Harris helps with the investigation. 9:00 PM CT ABC

27. Monday Mornings. Sung won't apologize to the wife of a patient who died during surgery, Ty and Michelle consider a moral dilemma, Sydney and Liebermam aren't able to leave the their work behind when on a date, and Buck's name shows up in a malpractice lawsuit. 9:00 PM CT TNT

28. Lost Girl. Bo is convinced that something is wrong with Kenzi, and when Bo starts acting increasingly erratic, the gang is forced to stage an intervention. 9:00 PM CT Syfy

29. Hotel Impossible. Anthony Melchiorri travels overseas to beautiful Rincon, Puerto Rico, the center of the island's surf scene, to help save the Casa Verde Guest House and Hotel. Owner William E. Bonbright is overworked and under-qualified to take on all operations at the hotel, and guests primarily complain the hotel's bar is too noisy at night. 9:00 PM CT Travel Channel

30. Teen Mom 2.Leah faces reemerging feelings for Corey, Jenelle and Gary get together with Jace, Kailyn and Jo fight, and Chelsea is afraid she is pregnant again 9:00 PM CT MTV

31. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Kevin Bacon, Dennis Rodman, and Kevin Eubanks are the guests tonight. 10:35 PM CT NBC

What’s Hot on TV Tonight – The Amazing Race Season Premiere

It seems like we just got done watching The Beekman Boys win The Amazing Race, and now it's time to start over with another season. The preview states that three teams will quit during the Roadblock tonight. It's worth watching just for that alone. Does this mean they quit permanently and are out of the Race? Or do they want to quit but are talked out of it? Catch up on your other favorite shows at TV-Links.

1. NHL Hockey. Pittsburgh Penguins at Buffalo Sabres. 11:30 AM CT NBC

2. College Basketball. Ohio State at Wisconsin. 12:00 PM CT CBS

3. NASCAR Racing: Sprint Cup. Daytona 500 Qualifying. 12:00 PM CT ABC

4. College Basketball. Louisville at South Florida. 12:00 PM CT ESPN

5. PGA Tour Golf. Final Round of Northern Trust Open from Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, CA. 2:00 PM CT CBS

6. NHL Hockey. Los Angeles Kings at Chicago Blackhawks. 2:30 PM CT NBC

7. 60 Minutes. Stories include Israel's Iron dome missile defense system, Africa Mercy hospital doctors and nurses who help people with maladies in third-world countries, and Maggie Smith. 6:00 PM CT CBS

8. Dateline NBC. Stories include A hometown hero shocked to find he's a suspect in his wife's murder. 6:00 PM CT NBC

9. America's Funniest Home Videos. Clips include a woman finding out she's going to be a grandmother, a girl thinking it's Santa on the phone, sisters recording their dad on video, a man scaring his son, and a girl rewriting a nursery rhyme. 6:00 PM CT ABC

10. The Cleveland Show. Cleveland's mom runs away with George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars, and Cleveland Jr. has an elaborate fantasy involving the office supply store. 6:30 PM CT Fox

11. The Amazing Race. Season premiere. The teams head to Bora Bora and go skydiving, with three teams quitting during the first Roadblock. 7:00 PM CT CBS

12. Once Upon at Time. Emma, Henry, and Mr. Gold look for Gold's son in New York, and Hook, Cora, and Regina look for one of the most precious possessions belonging to Rumpelstiltskin. 7:00 PM CT ABC

13. The Simpsons. Bart and Milhouse have a shaving experiment, examining the perks of adulthood, Mrge tries to save Maggie from children's TV dangers, and the Oscar-nominated short film, Maggie Simpson in: The Longest Daycare. 7:00 PM CT Fox

14. 2013 NBA All-Star Game. From Houston. 7:00 PM CT TNT

15. The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Cynthia lets Kenya help with the Miss Renaissance pageant, Phaedra, Apollo, Kandi, and Todd have dinner together, and Kandi gets ready for her duet. 7:00 PM CT Bravo

16. SI Swimsuit 2013 A fashion shoot in Antarctica, Africa, and Asia. 7:00 PM CT Travel Channel

17. Bob's Burgers. Linda quits her restaurant job thinking Bob doesn't appreciate her, leading him to have to run the place, and Tina meets a possible soulmate while restocking the milk fridge. 7:30 PM CT Fox

18. Good Wife. Will and Diane ask Cary and Alicia to go up against them in a mock trial, and Eli tries to stay with his position in Peter's campaign. 8:00 PM CT CBS

19. Revenge. The Graysons go big at their annual Labor Day party, and Amanda and Jack sail along on their honeymoon in deadly seas. 8:00 PM CT ABC

20. Family Guy. Meg nabs Chris taking money from Lois' purse and makes him do chores, Chris is tired of the pact with Meg and runs away to be with Herbert, and Stewie and Brian grow obsessed with Anne Murray. 8:00 PM CT Fox

21. Kourtney and Kim Take Miami.Kourtney wants to move from the hotel to a house, Scott is overly friendly with Khloe, and Rob has a difficult brekaup. 8:00 PM CT E!

22. Shahs of Sunset. Reunion. 8:00 PM CT Bravo

23. Gypsy Sisters. Mallie and Robbie pick a wedding date, Laura makes plans for a 15th anniversary party in honor of Kayla and Richard, and a bachelorette party to Ocean City. 8:00 PM CT TLC

24. Snapped. A wife kills her cheating husband to celebrate the new year. 8:00 PM CT Oxygen

25. Walking Dead. As the group debates their next course of action, Rick wanders after a lost friend. Daryl and Merle question their choices. The Governor restores order in Woodbury and makes plans to punish those responsible. 8:00 PM CT AMC

26. Girls. Hannah signs a deal for an e-book, Marnie acts as hostess for Booth Jonathan's art party, Adam convinces Ray to go on an adventure, and Jessa sticks around with Hannah. 8:00 PM CT HBO

27. Shameless. The city need to do work on the sewer main, and before they start digging, Frank has to find Aunt Ginger's bones. 8:00 PM CT Showtime

28. American Dad. Roger pretends to be an imaginary friend of Jeff's in order to move around without a disguise, Stan finds out Roger is an alien and demands either Roger or Jeff be killed, and Steve is insecure about his body. 8:30 PM CT Fox

29. Enlightened. Amy loosens up around Jeff, and Levi comes back from rehab in Hawaii. 8:30 PM CT HBO

30. The Mentalist. The team gets pushed into the cutthroat world of academics investigating a case at the natural history museum that involves a grad student. 9:00 PM CT CBS

31. Chasing the Saturdays. Vanessa and Una connect again during a night out, and Rochelle's life is changed by a discovery. 9:00 PM CT E!

32. Finding Bigfoot. The team search for Indonesia's oran pendek on the island of Sumatra. 9:00 PM CT Animal Planet

33. Hot Hotels Sets. Anthony Melchiorri examines the best hotels in movies. 9:00 PM CT Travel Channel

34. Mob Wives. The women are overwhelmed by the Hurricane Sandy destruction and help their neighbors and each othe`. 9:00 PM CT VH1

35. House of Lies. 9:00 PM CT Showtime

36. Californication. Hank and Charlie are sent by Atticus on a hunt, and Marcy comes to decision regarding Stu. 9:30 PM CT Showtime

Top Chef: Seattle/Alaska – Ep 15 – Midnight Train To Georgia

You know that thing where you lose a reality show but you don’t care because you have a beautiful baby girl waiting for you at home? Of course you don’t because only one person in the world knows that feeling. It’s OTV’s world and we’re just livin’ in it.

The Final Three in this cooking competition remains in Alaska to cook for sled teams and the Governor of Alaska. And you cannot see Russia from his house. It is exciting for Brooke and Papa Smurf as they punch their tickets to the Finals in Los Angeles and await the identity of the LCK victor to round out the official Final Three. But even though these were fun and strange challenges, which is not what this episode will be remember for in the annals of Top Chef. In fact, if we were doing the memorable moments challenge next season, CJ’s burger is not going to be the one for Season 10. It will be OTV getting the news that his baby was coming and he was going to miss it. Barely. I mean, if the chefs get to go home right after the Final Two is determined, and the Finale happens in Los Angeles, that means that OTV got to go home somewhere between 1-3 days or so after the birth of his child. His wife was even a week past the due date – if only his kid had waited the full 10 days that my kid waited to emerge; OTV could have possibly been there.

But then we wouldn’t have enjoyed the wonderful television that we got instead. After the chefs had completed their prep time the day before the Elimination Challenge, we join the three of them at the bed and breakfast. Brooke was getting weepy about missing her son, and OTV was getting nervous about his late-arriving kid. The guilt he felt about leaving for the show was building. He asked Brooke about how long she was in labor. Days. “Thanks for the mood killer,” said OTV. Not helping there, Brooke “OTV’s wife” – as the graphic indicates – calls OTV from the hospital. She is starting to have it get to her. She “just wants you to be here,” she says to her helpless husband. “OTV’s mother-in-law” gets on to inform him of the contractions. Great, always helpful for the mother-in-law to get involved, amirite?

Well, OTV doesn’t sleep at all. And really, who can blame him? But that cannot be at all helpful for him as he gears up for a huge challenge. We eventually get the moment – OTV Skypes with his wife after all is done – still no name, but she permits her face to be seen, interesting – and there is a third party to the conversation. Ladies and gentlemen – meet Georgia Valentine. A young lady who possesses perhaps the greatest name ever for a Tennessee Williams character. And if you do not get a little misty eyed watching surly OTV meet his daughter for the first time, then you really need to make a doctor’s appointment. Mrs. OTV tells him it wasn’t so bad, perhaps they could have another one. Awesome. And mazel tov, OTV.

Now for my moment as amateur head doctor. OTV went from this moment of joy to start the day to his elimination at the end of the day. Did this affect him negatively? Yes, I think it did. Not negatively in a cosmic way – you will take a healthy little baby girl over a reality show any day of the week. But it was negative performance-wise. I think OTV was rather distracted as he conceptualized his dish, as he prepped it, and certainly as he prepared it. The conceptualizing was the main problem with the dish – as Tom later told him, it was physically impossible to make it in the time allotted – and I am certain that OTV’s mind was elsewhere throughout this challenge. If I can go a step further, perhaps subconsciously he knew that he could not pull this off and that he actually wanted to lose. Could the guilt of missing the birth of his daughter have sabotaged his game deep down inside, beyond the facial hair and into the depths of OTV’s soul? I don’t know. He probably doesn’t know either. I’m just throwing it out there. Either way, OTV had a great run on the show and can hold his head up proudly.

I speak about him in the past tense because he failed to survive the final LCK competition. So he is out – in sort of a nebulous order of finish. He was eliminated from the main completion in the Final Three, but someone else will replace him in the F3. He is kind of fourth then, but fifth in the sense that we head to the Finale with four chefs alive to win, and OTV is not one of them. Way to confuse the organized mind, Top Chef!

Anyway, we learn here that the final LCK completion is taking place in the here and now – and it would have to be when you think about it. How else would they know who made it through the Save a Chef? That means that the Finale is essentially filming right now – tough job for the Top Chef editors to bang this out in only a couple of weeks. OTV has lost a lot of weight as he joins Kish in the final battle. CJ and Lizzie come out and Tom informs us, and them, that with 61% of the vote, Lizzie has won Save a Chef. Wow. I found that to be a bit of an upset, and I think CJ did too. And that ends the chances of the three returning chefs. Top Chef fails to match Survivor’s record for returning contestants – where a returnee has always reached the end of the competition whenever they employed that gimmick. OTV, Lizzie and Kish battle it out for the LCK win, and we do not know who made it through. That will be revealed in the next episode – but we do know that it will be Kish or Lizzie.

The big news there is that there is a 66.6(repeating) chance that the second female Top Chef champion will be crowned. I’d have to say that Brooke is the odds on favorite right now – although the roll she was on in Alaska is now over after the delay and the return to LA. Kish would be second if she got back in the game – she is only out because she refused to stand up for herself. Lizzie and Papa Smurf are about even in my mind – both are solid chefs but neither has brought out the “wow” factor the way Kish and Brooke have done this year.

One way or another, it should be an interesting finale.

Project Runway 11: Two Unconventional Materials for the Price of One

Last week on Project Runway, the designers had to make outfits that Heidi could wear while promoting her new perfume.  She wanted two outfits:  one for a T.V. commercial and one for a P.R. event.  There were therefore two winners, from the seemingly invincible Team Keeping It Real (Team KIR):  Kate (commercial) and Daniel (P.R. event).  Cindy from the Dream Team was sent home.

The following morning, the designers get up and get ready.  Benjamin vows to do better.  Other designers wonder if there will be a team swap, as the Dream Team is down to five contestants, while Team KIR is eight strong.

In the workroom, they find lots of scented candles.  Tim explains that the candles are 2-in-1’s, which means they have two scents mixed into their wax.  Similarly, the designers face a 2-in-1 challenge.  It’s a take on the ever-popular “unconventional materials” challenge, in which the designers will be using two types of unconventional materials:  flowers and hardware.  Each team will make six cohesive looks, and the looks have to incorporate both flowers and hardware.  It’s the ultimate play on hard and soft.

Tim then notes how lopsided the teams have become.  He then invites the Dream Team to pick two designers from the other team.  After consulting in a huddle, they choose Stanley, for his organizational skills, and Layana, for her stylistic sense.  Tim then invites Team KIR to choose a new teammate, but specifies they can’t simply take Stanley or Layana back.  They have to pick somebody new.  They choose Michelle, who is less than thrilled, because she doesn’t like Patricia.  Team KIR now has seven players, while the Dream Team has six.

Each team will have 45 minutes to caucus, a budget of $2500, and two days to complete the challenge.  During the caucusing, Stanley suggests a theme:  1950’s Dior.  Everybody agrees this is a good idea, as it seems like a simple way to ensure a cohesive collection.  Over on Team KIR, the designers simply discuss what they’d like to make.  Upon discovering they have apparently similar ideas, Michelle and Richard decide to work together.  Another designer notes many of their proposed looks would be suitable for somebody like Bjork– who had once worn a dress incorporating a stuffed swan to the Academy Awards.

Tim then takes everybody shopping.  First, the designers spend thirty minutes at a hardware store.  Samantha decides to get most of her materials there.  Then it’s off to the flower shop, where they spend another thirty minutes.  Amanda tells us that she doesn’t like flowers with their rounded, organic shapes, as she prefers clean lines.  Joseph, on the other hand, does like flowers.

Back at the workshop, Amanda discovers that the moss she’d intended to be the base of her dress is falling apart.  Her teammates lend her an adhesive to help it stay together.  Similarly, Michelle and Richard are having problems with their chosen materials.  Ben on the Dream Team decides to make his own textile, worrying his teammates, as he’s had time management problems before.  Michelle and Richard figure out a way to make a bodice out of mini-blinds.

The next morning the designers get back to work.  Samantha is working on a lattice design for her look.  She’s worried because while she knows what to do for the top, she doesn’t have a clue what to do for the bottom.  Joseph has made a net.  His idea is to attach things to it and make a dress that way.  Daniel looks around and realizes that Team KIR’s looks aren’t cohesive.  Everybody is just doing their own thing.

Tim comes in to make his rounds and he starts with Team KIR.  While he likes some individual designs, he does notice the lack of cohesiveness.  Team KIR then belatedly picks a theme:  “history of fashion.”  Each dress will represent a different decade.  That will explain the divergent looks.

Then it’s off to the Dream Team.  Tu shows off a vest and Benjamin displays the loom he has built in order to weave his own textile.  Samantha has cut out shapes she will assemble into a dress.  Tim, not surprisingly, cautions her and Benjamin to watch their time.

Then the models come in for their fitting.  Amanda is having problems with her moss dress and wishes she could start over.  Joe suggests a solution, ” Cut the flower petal panel off the back and put it in the front”.  She does so.

On the day of the runway show, the designers get back to work.  Tim sends in the models.  Layana helps Samantha finish her look.  Michelle looks around and comments that Team KIR’s looks are still not cohesive and look as if they were made by people from different planets.  After the models go to hair and make-up, it’s time for the show.

On the runway, Heidi introduces the guest judges, fashion blogger Leandra Medine and actress Bette Midler.  Team KIR is up first.

Daniel made a pale green sleeveless dress that flares out dramatically at the hips.  Just what every woman wants:  a dress that makes her look bigger.   Joseph used gray mesh to make a long-sleeved, boxy dress.  He then decorated it by draping red, green, and white flowers over it.

Richard and Michelle made a black framework out of mini- blinds with an exposed back.  The “skirt” consisted of the framework, plus a lot of greens and red, orange, and purple flowers.  Patricia started off with a brown mesh and then simply decorated it with greens and red and white flowers.

Amanda made a sleeveless snug mini-dress.  The bottom portion is made of green moss, while the middle is decorated with orange and yellow petals.  The top is a sort of yoke decorated with silver cotter pins.  Kate made a flared, sleeveless dress with a white halter that drapes over the upper portion of the skirt, which is mostly red, but the hem is black.  Most of the garment is covered with flowers.

Next up is the Dream Team.  Matthew is first, and he made a black and white bodice out of ropes and mopheads.  He also made a short skirt out of yellow moss.

Stanley made a sleeveless green dress with a flared skirt.  Tu made a light yellow vest out of rope and made a banded skirt out of greens and bright yellow flowers.  Benjamin made a sleeveless orange and yellow dress with an exposed back.

Samantha made a skirt out of translucent gray mesh and an overskirt out of the same material.  She then stuffed both pieces with green leaves and decorated the overskirt with yellow petals.  She also made a sleeveless top out of tan and white paper.  The white parts have a lattice effect.

Layana made a dress out of what looks like yellow rope or string.  She then decorated it with leaves and pale pink flowers.

Afterwards, Heidi announces that this was a very close contest.  The designs had been so beautiful it was hard for the judges to decide.  But, the Dream Team won by a narrow margin, and Team KIR “came in second.”  The Dream Team won for a not wholly unexpected reason:  Their collection was more cohesive.

The Dream Team face the judges first.  Bette calls their collection “whimsical and beautifully made.”  She also praises the group’s craftsmanship.  Leandra also praises the artistry of the collection.  Nina loved Samantha’s trapped leaves and Zac liked Layana’s cage.

Then it’s Team KIR’s turn to face the judges.  They explain that their collection was inspired by fashion history, with each designer working on a different decade.  Thus, Kate’s look was inspired by the 1950’s, Amanda’s by the 1960’s, Patricia’s by the 1970’s, Joseph’s by the future, Daniel’s by the 1980’s, and Richard and Michelle’s by the 1990’s.  Okay, in my humble opinion, unless somebody completely messed up their chosen decade, Joseph should go home.  The other contestants were working with real fashions and real decades, while Joseph was just making up stuff.

The judges did like their looks overall, but Nina hadn’t spotted the decade theme until after hearing it explained.  Richard and Michelle’s look reminded the judges of Madonna.  When Heidi asks Team KIR, which of them should go home, Richard nominates Amanda– and his teammates agree, citing Amanda’s struggles with the moss.

The judges then have their chat, starting with the Dream Team.  Benjamin had made his strongest piece yet, thus recovering nicely from earlier debacles.  The judges were also suitably impressed that he’d made his own loom.  Samantha and Layana’s pieces were Heidi’s favorites.   As for Team KIR, Amanda’s proportions were off, and she seemed defeated.  In my opinion, that last shouldn’t be a consideration unless there is no other way to make a decision.  The judges do discuss why everybody on Team KIR had nominated Amanda, with the consensus being it was a dog-pack mentality.  For whatever reason, everybody had just gone along with Richard’s suggestion.

Heidi then announces the winner:  Samantha.  The rest of the Dream Team is safe.  Kate, Daniel, Michelle, Richard, and Patricia are also safe, leaving Amanda and Joseph in the bottom.  Joseph is out, which means Amanda is in.

Backstage, everybody says good-bye to Joseph.  Then Tim comes in and announces that he has something else for the designers.  They need to meet him and Heidi on the runway in ten minutes.  To be continued…

Next week:  The cliffhanger is presumably resolved.

What’s Hot on TV Friday and Saturday – Beyoncé: Life Is But a Dream

After headlining at the Super Bowl, Beyoncé seems to be all over the place. On Saturday she is interviewed by Oprah and is also the subject of her own film, “Beyoncé: Life Is But a Dream. Catch up with your favorite shows you may have missed at TV-Links.

Friday

1. NBA Basketball. All-Star Celebrity Game. 6:00 PM CT ESPN

2. The Job. Contestants compete for an editorial assistant position with Cosmopolitan. 7:00 PM CT CBS

3. Dateline NBC. A murderous love triangle that includes a beauty queen, devoted wife, and a musician. 7:00 PM CT NBC

4. Last Man Standing. Mike finds out Boyd isn't using the BAxter name anymore, and Kristin, Mandy, and Eve create a Valentine's Day music video 7:00 PM CT ABC

5 Kitchen Nightmares. Chef Gordon Ramsay lends his expertise to Levanti's in Beaver, PA. 7:00 PM CT Fox

6. Four Weddings:Grooms Take Over. The grooms take over the wedding planning and judging. 7:00 PM CT TLC

7. Malibu Country Lillie Mae and Reba shelve their plans when a neighbor confession to something that surprises the whole family. 7:30 PM CT ABC

8. CSI: NY. Mac and the rest of the team look into three love stories that went awry. 8:00 PM CT CBS

9. Shark Tank. The inventions proposed include a teen-developed unsafe-driving detector, a s'mores twist on mini-muffins, and an online chat therapy business. Kevin O'Leary makes a million dollar offer. 8:00 PM CT ABC

10. Touch. Marin's attempt to expose Aster Corp. has global consequences, Guillermo keeps tracking down the 36 Righteous Ones, and Jakes leads Lucy to a woman who has connections to her mission daughter. 8:00 PM CT Fox

11. 2013 NBA Rising Stars Challenge. The top rookies and second-year players in the NBA face off. 8:00 PM CT TNT

12. Say Yes to the Dress. In the first half hour, Shari looks for a vow-renewal dress, Alex only has 24 hours to find a dress before going back to Canada, and Ebony is nervous about a fitting after losing thirty pounds. In the second half hour, Kandice looks for a blingy dress for a vow-renewal without a budget, Barbara wants a sparkly sexy gown to match her stilettos, and Tykeshia returns for her fitting. 8:00 PM CT TLC

13. Ghost Adventures. Zak Bagans, Nick Groff and Aaron Goodwin travel to locations where the spirits develop powerful attachments to the people they've left behind. They visit the home of Gary Galka, a paranormal engineer who had a very personal journey into the paranormal, after the heartbreaking loss of his daughter Melissa. The guys also investigate a house where a violent demonic entity possessed a man, and its malevolent energy followed him home. 8:00 PM CT Travel Channel

14. Blue Bloods. A 10-year-old boy dies because o an incident in the projects, Danny winds up in anger-management classes, and Frank attempts to lend a hand to a young Turkish woman who is trying to avoid persection. 9:00 PM CT CBS

15. Rock Center with Brian Williams. Stories include Chengdu Research BAse of Giant Panda Breeding, The American Bible Challenge, and a lawyer trying to get justice for crimes against Detroit women. 9:00 PM CT NBC

16. 20/20. Stories cover cruise ship disasters. 9:00 PM CT ABC

17. Merlin. King Arthur is the target of a dangerous assassin – his wife and Queen, Gwynevere. 9:00 PM CT Syfy

18. Something Borrowed, Something New. In the first half hour, Lauren needs to stop trying to please her mom when she's set on passing down her own gown. In the second half hour, Amy has yet to find a dress to match her personality, even though her wedding is just a few weeks away, and her mom wants her to wear a family heirloom, despite the fact it's falling apart 9:00 PM CT TLC

19. Real Time with Bill Maher. The panelists include Robert Zimmerman, Joel McHale, Donna Brazile, Jon Meacham, and Jamie Weinstein. 9:00 PM CT HBO

21. Banshee. Wicks (Michael Kostroff), an ex-con from Lucas’ past, passes through Banshee, triggering memories about the Albino (Joseph Gatt), a brutal insider enlisted by Rabbit (Ben Cross) to make Lucas’ prison life a living hell. Proctor turns to extortion when a reverend refuses to sell his home to make room for a casino hotel. 9:00 PM CT Cinemax

22. Late Show with David Letterman. The guests tonight are Helen Hunt, Jeff Caldwell, and The Maccabees. 10:35 PM CT NBC

Saturday

1. College Basketball. Villanova at Connecticut. 11:00 AM CT ESPN

2. College Basketball. Xavier at Dayton. 11:00 AM CT ESPN 2

3. College Basketball. Pittsburgh at Marquette. 12:00 PM CT CBS

4. College Basketball. Purdue at Indiana. 1:00 PM CT ESPN

5. College Basketball. Virginia Tech at North Carolina State. 1:00 PM CT ESPN 2

6. PGA Tour Golf. Third Round of Northern Trust Open from Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, CA. 2:00 PM CT CBS

7. College Basketball. Missouri at Arkansas. 3:00 PM CT ESPN

8. College Basketball. UCLA at Stanford. 3:00 PM CT ESPN 2

9. College Basketball. Duke at Maryland. 5:00 PM CT ESPN

10. College Basketball. Detroit Mercy at Valparaiso. 5:00 PM CT ESPN 2

11. American Ninja Warrior. Contestants look to land a spot in the finals. 7:00 PM CT NBC

12. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It's the second film adaptation in the series of books by J.K. Rowling. 7:00 PM CT ABC

13. NASCAR Racing. The Sprint Unlimited from Daytona International Speedway. 7:00 PM CT Fox

14. Oprah's Next Chapter. Beyoncé is the guest. 7:00 PM CT OWN

15. Too Cute!. Calico kittens at a dog-grooming salon, mischievous shorthairs, and tabbies playing outside. 7:00 PM CT Animal Planet

16. College Basketball. George at Mississippi. 7:00 PM CT ESPN 2

17. NBA Basketball. All-Star Saturday Night. 7:30 PM CT TNT

18. Blackboard Wars. A principal and his staff start transforming one of the country's worse high schools. 8:00 PM CT OWN

19. 48 Hours: Hard Evidence. After sailing the Caribbean for twenty-two years, Don NOrth goes missing near Panama, and his loved ones were afraid his stolen ATM card trail would lead them to his killer. 8:00 PM CT TLC

20. Pit Bulls and Parolees. In the first hour, a best of season four. In the second hour, Hurricane Isaac floods Villalobos' evacuation location and isolates Tia. 8:00 PM CT Animal Planet

21. Cyndi Lauper: Still So Unsusual. Season finale. In the first half hour, Cyndi is exhausted after traveling and performing. In the second half hour, Cyndi releases her memoir. 8:00 PM CT WE

22. College Basketball. Texas at Kansas. 8:00 PM CT ESPN

23. Beyoncé: Life Is But a Dream. A multi-faceted portrait of the 16-time Grammy Award-winning singer, businesswoman, songwriter, actress, entrepreneur, wife and mother, showing off the extraordinary gifts that have made her a global phenomenon, and stripping away the veneer of stardom. It includes extensive first-person footage, some of it shot by Beyoncé on her laptop, in which she reflects on the realities of celebrity, the refuge she finds onstage and the transcendent joy of becoming a mother last year.8:00 PM CT HBO

24. John Carter. Based on the novel “A Princess of Mars” by Edgar Rice Burroughs. 8:00 PM CT Starz

25. 48 Hours. Two women shot by a soldier.mn 9:00 PM CT CBS

26. Flipping Vegas. Scott buys eleven unfinished villas in Lake Las Vegas with the intention to flip them within forty-five days. 9:00 PM CT A&E

27. Unfaithful: Stories of Betrayal. After finding out her husband has gotten someone else pregnant, a woman falls for another man, and a man's wife is diagnosed with cancer, leading him to turn to another woman. 9:00 PM CT OWN

28. 48 Hours: Left for Dead. A crime spree through the Utah wilderness that turned a family cabin into a house of horror. 9:00 PM CT TLC

29. Saturday Night Live. Christolph Waltz is the guest host, and Alabama Shakes the musical guest. 8:00 PM CT NBC

 

Survivor: Caramoan – Ep 1 – It’s DeJa Vu All Over Again

Hello Survivor fans and welcome to Season 26. If the locale looks familiar, well, it should. We are back in the Philippines. Again. This time with fewer sitcom actors and guys who fell into fires. Although, with the same amount of Malcolms. After watching Probst risk his life with an amazing cold open stunt – seriously, he was standing on top of some giant, Dr. Seussian rock spire as helicopters carrying Favorites came zooming past him – we meet the 10 Fans. If they didn’t think that the 10 of them weren’t going to be facing a group of returning Survivors, then they couldn’t have been big fans. Why else would they have been separated from the rest of the competitors?

We are treated to montage of the exploits of the returning Favorites – and interestingly, we don’t see much victory. Cochran flipping, Corinne bitching out Sugar, Malcolm blowing the million, Philip being Philip, and both Erik and Brandon giving away immunity. This group truly is a random collection of flawed Survivors. They are so flawed that I totally expect to see the Smoke Monster show up and Merry the Hobbit to say, “Guys, where are we?” If Cochran has Daddy Issues, we have some eerie business.

Meanwhile, the Others…er…the Fans, are hard to get a feel for – this is the nature of Fans vs. Favorites. I remember from the first one, it took a few episodes to really get to know the new guys. The Favorites are so familiar and full of big personalities we already know that it is just easier to gravitate attention towards them. The Fans, not so much. We have a few of them getting some attention this week, but several others barely got much screen time. Meanwhile, Favorites like Corinne and Brenda also got little attention, but we know them already, so it doesn’t have the same feel to it. This is natural – we know these 10 so it is easy to relate to them instantly.

But let’s not avoid the obvious with this first episode…we had Survivor history made. Just as Jacob and the Smoke Monster represented opposites on “Lost,” we now have our counterpart to Sandra Diaz-Twine. Welcome to Survivor infamy, Francesca. It was almost too perfect an outcome for entertainment purposes to have Francesca go out first again, so perfect that I expected it wasn’t going to happen. I sat there watching and expecting to see my preseason pick to go all the way get booted first – how embarrassing. But despite getting four votes, Andrea survived, presumably thanks to the mini-coalition of Cochran and Dawn siding with her. This meant that Francesca was bested once again by The Specialist and his supporters.

Let’s talk about the dynamic as it unfolded – and recall that alliances formed on the first three days have often resulted in foreshadowing of the season’s endgame. Recall the Day 1 alliances of Rob and Amber, of Yul and Becky, of Russell and Natalie (and Parvati), and of Coach’s Crew in South Pacific. Sometimes we can learn a lot by these first few scenes.

The Legacy of Boston Rob – We may never get to see Boston Rob play Survivor again. After playing the perfect game in his fourth try, Rob is probably done barring an all-winners edition. And speaking of that – imagine how good that would be, with real life couples Rob/Amber and Jenna/Ethan competing against each other! However, his legacy lives on – this time with Philip and Andrea. Each are trying to take their experience with him in Season 22 and use it to their benefit. Philip has even developed the BR Rules – including forming a strong alliance, creating a sub-alliance, and bailing on your alliance before they bail on you. He probably shouldn’t forget Rob’s initial reasoning for allying with Amber.

Philip leading an alliance seems like a disaster waiting to happen, but Andrea can easily slip into that role. Philips interaction with Erik indicates that while he may have the lessons down pat, he may not be the best at implementing them. Andrea can. Just as long as she isn’t as obvious about it as she was this week, as her duplicity was caught onto right away. She was able to hide her allegiance from Matt the last time, so we know she has the skills.

The two Redemption Island castaways have linked up – so it seems – with Malcolm and Corinne. Brandon, Erik and Brenda appear to be on the opposite side for now in the minority alliance, as the South Pacific duo of Cochran and Dawn have teamed up to be the power swing votes. I’ll tell you this – Cochran and Dawn seem really determined to shake off their experiences in their first season and to win this time around. You can see it jump off the screen when they spoke, as you could whenever Andrea and Philip were on. I didn’t get that from the others. It seemed to me that Brenda, Corinne and Malcolm were almost sleepwalking through the beginning of the game – although Malcolm’s first challenge performance was quite impressive.

Will this Redemption Island/South Pacific grouping be what drives the season? Impossible to tell now, but they did get a lot of noticeable airtime. I expect a tribal shuffle to come at some point, so many groupings now could become moot as that happens, but from time to time you see these early alliances even survive those shuffles – see South Pacific, Vanuatu, and others.

Meanwhile, the Fans have a similar grouping happening, but with a bit more comedy. It seems Mike and Matt – the M&M Boys – have become the Fans’ version of Cochran and Dawn. Their two votes could alter the Fan balance of power between the Mean Girls/Guys alliance of four and the other three women with Sgt. Slaughter. I personally hope they avoid the Mean Ones if only because I like to see arrogance and stupidity punished. Just like the Meathead Alliance from South Pacific, basic math skills are needed. And when I say basic math, I mean math my six year old learned to do two years ago. Four out of 10 does not a majority make. And note to Eddie, you’re not even the best looking dude on your tribe. This red-blooded heterosexual man can safely say that title belongs to Reynold.

Oh, and Reynold, way to insult Allie’s looks in a confessional and then grope her ass the first night you sleep together in the shelter. It’s the first night! Way to class up the joint, guys. Although, if you’re going to snog someone, might as well do it before the halitosis and body odor kicks in. And comparing yourselves to the “cool kids lunch table” at school is a sure fire way to piss off the vast majority of the viewers, most of whom did not sit at the cool kids’ table. Seriously, these people are fans of the show?

I would include Sgt. Slaughter (Shamar) on the list of dumb fan moves based on his immediate arguing with Matt over whether or not shelter or fire should be stressed. Quick and easy answer…the both should be stressed. What do you have, an appointment or something later that day? You have plenty of time to build a shelter and try to make a fire. However, I can’t kill Sgt. for this as when they did spend the time on the fire…they made it. Good for them – that’s really hard to do.

First Challenge – No time wasting this season! The Favorites land and the most love from the Fans seems to go to Cochran, Dawn, Brandon and Philip. No one seems to react to Corinne and Brenda, while Malcolm is a total stranger to these people, as this season was filmed two weeks after the last one ended. Sgt, Slaugher seems to think the Faves are lunchmeat. Yum, I’ll have a Boehlke sub. Or a Meehan hoagie. Is a Brenda Lowe grinder a bit too raunchy for you guys?

Anyway, the challenge is to have groups of two from each tribe to wade out into shallow water and retrieve a large ring. Then they must bring it back to their team’s pole. The trick is, of course, to avoid the other team who will try to steal it or drag you to their pole.

Round 1 – Dawn/Erik vs. Sgt./Julia. Erik gives a hilarious “oh sh*t” moment upon getting a good look at the hulking Sgt. Wait, forget Slaughter… he’s Sgt. Hulka!!! The Fans easily take a 1-0 lead.

Round 2 – Brandon/Andrea vs. Eddie/Hope. The love story between the “best looking Survivors” begins in a rough manner. Eddie the fireman gets owned by Brandon the wacko. Eddie tosses the ring down the course and almost takes out Probst. Little Andrea manages to pull the beauty queen across to the pole, but Brandon manages to lug all of them to the goal. 1-1 tie.

Round 3 – Philip/Brenda vs. Sherri/Mike. The Specialist turns into the Foot Specialist, or the Podiatrist, if you will. He drags Mike though the water by his foot and dominates the challenge. 2-1 Faves.

Round 4 – Cochran/Francesca vs. Matt/Laura. Poor Cochran gets put opposite the woman. Already he’s getting emasculated. The four of them slow walk the course to the ring and Laura taunts Cochran, “You think you can handle me?” To which Cochran gives the awesome comeback, “You wouldn’t believe what I can handle.” HA!! Francesca smacks down the Bearded Man and Cochran gets down and dirty with the scrum as Francesca pulls them to the goal. Faves 3-1.

Round 5, FTW – Corinne/Malcolm vs. Reynold/Allie. The other pair of lovebirds battle to avoid the loss. Reynold and Malcolm sprint to the ring and then get into it. Hard. Malcolm loses his pants and women (and select men) around the world swoon. It is rough, but Malcolm slowly pulls the pile to the end and the 4-1 victory. Then gets slammed into the water by a jubilant Brandon. Maybe this is why Malcolm was so quiet afterwards.

Second Challenge – Unfortunately for Cochran the Tomato, there is a second challenge. The good news is he didn’t die. This challenge is a vertical one – five stories of ladders and crates on each level. Groups of two race to each successive level and toss the crates over the side to release sandbags. The final pair collect them, and for some reason, only one seems to toss them into six holes. The first to toss one into all six holes wins.

Level 1 – Cochran/Philip and Sherri/Laura head to the first level. No real surprises here – Cochran really couldn’t do much more with the giant sunburn feet.

Level 2 – Francesca/Corinne and Mike/Hope go to the second floor. No changes – sides are even.

Level 3 – Erik/Brenda and Matt/Julia clash. Erik flies up the ladders and gives the Faves a slight lead. We start getting the really cool camera angles from the top levels.

Level 4 – Brandon/Andrea and Eddie/Allie head up, and once again Brandon does a good job on the challenge. Andrea too. That’s two in a row for them.

Level 5 – Malcolm/Dawn and Shamar/Reynold. The Faves maintain the lead and Malcolm stakes them to an early 3-0 lead in bags. That’s before Reynold storms back and seemingly nails six shots in relatively quick fashion. He is an unexpected sand bag savant. The Fans win immunity and get the flint they lost in the first challenge. Malcolm, who no one has a relationship with, is in serious danger at this point.

Tribal Council – Except, no one really ever brings up Malcolm’s name. Curious. The Faves do a whirlwind of scrambling to figure out who is going out first. Phil’s name is tossed out there, as is Francesca’s. Then Corinne becomes an option – not sure if that’s due to her unexpected kind move in providing Cochran with a “delightful” cold homemade washcloth to soothe his burns. Philip is focused laser-like on Francesca, and apparently her extended family and hometown.

Francesca begins to overthink things and speculates that Philip and Malcolm’s easy-going attitude implies one has an idol. It appears she never considers the fact that they may be relaxed because they have the numbers. Brandon, of course, doesn’t trust Andrea. Probably because she’s a beautiful woman and … we know all about Brandon’s unease around the attractive ladies. So now Andrea is the target. This all seems to happen over a 15 minute span before Tribal Council.

At Tribal, Brandon thinks they are all chiefs and thus no leader and much chaos. Philip admits to purposefully mispronouncing Francesca’s name the last time around as he says, “Francesca, Francesca, Francesca.” Incredibly, Beetlejuice didn’t show up, unlike on “Community.” Francesca suggests she just may be bad at Survivor, and Probst calls her on it. D’oh! She also admits to getting paranoid. They all admit to paranoia – and Cochran says that even at the last minute things could change, and recalls Boston Rob doing the “hand on the shoulder” to get Phil to vote for Kristina and flush her idol. Malcolm hilariously puts his hand on Cochran’s shoulder and probably causes much sunburn pain as a result.

We only see two votes, leading me to think it may be a 9-1 thing, but it is Francesca vs. Andrea and a somewhat split vote. Andrea hides behind her hands and thanks the tribe (specifically, I presume, Dawn and Cochran) for sparing her. And Francesca makes history. Two Survivor stints, and she has spent less than a week in the game. Ouch.

Treemail Top 10
• First words of the season go to the Bearded Man. Will Matt go far? Is that foreshadowing? Will see more shots of Hope in night vision, as she is instantly the best looking person ever shot in night vision. Seriously, how does one get that talent?
• Probst wonders as the Favorites arrive in the helicopters – will it be explosive once these personalities collide? Well, hopefully not while they are still in the helicopters!
• Watch out Fans! That gator is sneaking up on you! And speaking of animals, how awesome was that monkey/bear thing chomping on the grasshopper?
• More “Lost” fun…anyone notice them arriving on a boat called “Vincent”? It surely was “Not Penny’s Boat.”
• Cochran’s sunburn was hilarious because it was not me. That looked painful. He was so swollen he looked like he was turning into the Red Hulk.
• Sgt. Hulka called for Mike to break Philip and Brenda’s wrists. Probst wondered about that one, but he meant it in the figurative-batting-swing sense, not the broken-bones-get-kicked-off-Survivor sense. One thing about him – that man can stretch. Yowsa!
• You knew Phil had to have the underpants, which seem saggier this season, and Cochran had to have the sweater vest. Are those items of clothing the most iconic in show history at this point? Maybe Boston Rob’s Patriots (S4) and Red Sox hats (the other three times) are first. Jerri’s hat? Rupert’s tie dye shirt. Russell’s hat. Penner’s hat. Lots of hats.
• Was there anything more awkward than Francesca and Philip’s first on-screen interaction since Redemption Island’s first Tribal Council? Perhaps Probst can produce the rock that Francesca said she would eat if she got voted out first again.
• Point for Philip – calling Corinne “The Dominatrix” might be the greatest use of nickname in the history of the show. Andrea The Eliminator is a good one too – but man, I’m jealous of that nickname creation.
• Anyone notice that we got lots of action on Day 1, culminating in the Allie groping, and then cut to Cochran’s sunburn and the rest of the action on Day 3. Did nothing happen on Day 2?

Votes – Francesca 6 (Cochran, Dawn, Malcolm, Philip, Corinne, Andrea), Andrea 4 (Brandon, Erik, Brenda, Francesca).

Next week – Brandon goes crazy already. Surprised it took this long.

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What’s Hot on TV Tonight – Top 40 Revealed on American Idol

The top 40 of season 12 of American Idol will be revealed tonight. How did this new crop of judges do with picking talent? Would Simon Cowell approve? Catch up on your favorite shows you may have missed at TV-Links.

1. The Ellen DeGeneres Show Sofia Vergara and Josh Groban are the guests today. Syndicated, check local listings.

2. The Big Bang Theory. The g uys look for perfect Valentine's Day gifts, and Stuart and RAj throw a “lonely people” party at the comic book store. 7:00 PM CT NBC

3. Community. Pierce accidentally locks himself in his panic room on Halloween, and the gang searches through his house to find the lock code for the door. 7:00 PM CT NBC

4. Zero Hour. Series premiere. Hank's wife finds an antique clock at a flea market and is then abducted by an international terrorist, and Hank questions everything he ever believed as the search for Leila continues. 7:00 PM CT ABC

5. The Vampire Diaries. Damon meets up with one of the five hunters on the island, Stefan confesses to Elena, and the stakes change for all after new info about the cure is revealed. 7:00 PM CT CW

6. American Idol. The top 40 is revealed. 7:00 PM CT Fox

7. NBA Basketball. Miami Heat at Oklahoma City Thunder. 7:00 PM CT TNT

8. Guinness World Records Gone Wild. Records include a watermelon slicing team with swords, cockroaches in a man's mouth, catching arrows while blindfolded, diving into a shallow pool. 7:00 PM CT truTV

9. Two and a Half Men. On Valentine's day, Walden is depressed and tries to get Kate to give him another chance, and Alan's holiday plans go awry. 7:30 PM CT CBS

10. Parks and Recreation. Ben and Leslie organize a black-tie event to raise money for the park, but city emergency drill upsets their plans, Andy prepares for his police academy exam, and Ran. 7:30 PM CT NBC

11. Person of Interest. Reese and Finch try to save the life of a hotel maid and fun into a litany of suspects, and Det. Carter contemplates an of from the FBI. 8:00 PM CT CBS

12. The Office. A manager gives Pam déjà-vu during a job interview in Philadelphia, Dwight asks Angela to accompany him on a mission, and Andy comes back from his trip. 8:00 PM CT NBC

13. Grey's Anatomy. Seattle Grace spirals toward financial ruin forcing Owen to into tough decisions, Jo and Alex try to save the life of an infant, and April turns to Jackson for advice in dating. 8:00 PM CT ABC

14. Beauty and the Beast. Vincent and Cat aren't positive they can trust Alex, Evan figures out the woman he's dating is holding secrets, and Heather falls for Joe's little brother. 8:00 PM CT CW

15. Glee. Will and Emma get married on Valentine's Day, bringing former and current New Directions members together for the event. 8:00 PM CT Fox

16. Project Runway The designers create garments from hard and soft materials from a flower shop and hardware store. 8:00 PM CT Lifetime

17. Mary Mary. Tina gives birth to Santana, and Erica has a performance in Atlanta. 8:00 PM CT WE

18. Comic Book Men. Walt and the guys decide to throw a birthday party at the Stash. 8:00 PM CT AMC

19. Anger Management. Charlie gives his patient a placebo pill that is supposed to reduce anger. 8:30 PM CT FX

20. Freakshow. Todd Ray tries to convince a living giant and a bearded lady to join The Freakshow and be a part of the two-headed bearded dragons’ birthday party. 8:30 PM CT AMC

21. Elementary. Det. Bell is attacked, and the investigation becomes more complicated than Sherlock imagined, and Sherlock wants Joan to go to self-defense classes. 9:00 PM CT CBS

22. Scandal. Fitz isn't sure who he can trust, a handsome stranger captures Olivia's interest, and the Pope & Associates team works a case for David Rosen. 9:00 PM CT ABC

23. King of the Nerds. The Nerd War of the week requires intelligence, teamwork, and athleticism. 9:00 PM CT TBS

24. Suits. Scottie comes back and makes things more difficult for Harvey and Jessica's battle against Hardman. 9:00 PM CT USA

25. Archer. Archer's ex fiancée asks him to save her cyborg boyfriend from being trapped in outer space. 9:00 PM CT FX

26. Impractical Jokers. 9:00 PM CT truTV

27. After the First 48. A young man claims he's the witness to a 17-year-old's shooting and makes an unusual deal with prosecutors. 9:00 PM CT A&E

28. Lost and Found. An orphaned teenager looks for family, an American solider has a reunion with a canine, and high school sweethearts see if they still have it. 9:00 PM CT OWN

29. Kathy. Russell Brand is the guest, leading him and Katy to realize both of them have been lucky in show business, unlucky in love – so this year they’re skipping the talk show ‘foreplay’ and skipping straight to sex fantasies. Kathy’s live sensors will surely have their work cut out for them this week – below is a special sneak peek from Russell and Kathy’s dirty minds! Danny Brown and S$AP Rocky guest as well. 9:00 PM CT Bravo

p>30. What Not to Wear. A transsexual who has been living as a woman for nearly the past decade. 9:00 PM CT Bravo

31. Immortalized. Immortalizer Beth Beverly squares off with Challenger Kevin Clarke in a taxidermy battle with the theme “Size Matters.” 9:00 PM CT AMC

32. NBA Basketball. Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers. 9:30 PM CT TNT

33. Legit. Jim, Steve, and Billy go to court to testify about the night criminals broke into their home searching for drugs. 9:30 PM CT FX

34. Late Show with David Letterman. The guests tonight include Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Grohl, and Sound City Players with Stevie Nicks. 10:35 PM CT CBS