America's Got Talent, Mad Men
There are certain rules in normal human life, and this week, TV broke most of them. Top Chef filleted Rule No. 4: Be graceful in defeat. The Early Show trampled Rule No. 6: Don't add insult to injury. And Jersey Shore made a mockery of Rule No. 9: When a fake boob-thing pops out of a girl's top, try to be sort of cool about it. Only America's Got Talent remembered the most important rule of all, Rule No. 1: Don't assume stuff about people. Welcome to Top Moments, breaking-the-rules edition.
9. Sorest Losers: Top Chef's Kenny responds to his team's loss by throwing winning team member Alex under the bus. Kenny's teammate Kevin, meanwhile, deals with defeat by throwing a fit in the stew room. Maybe they can make a salad of sour grapes?
8. Grade-A Cliffhanger: On the summer season finale of Pretty Little Liars, Hanna finally learns the identity of the mysterious A. But as she goes to tell the others who A is, she's hit by a car.
Meet the Bachelor Pad contestants
7. Silliest Twists: The brand-new Bachelor Pad sets its tone early with a swimsuit-clad Twister contest between its ex-Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants. Craig M.'s big win earns him the right to take three ladies on a date, but it doesn't really matter because the goal on Bachelor Pad is money, not love. (Kind of like the regular Bachelor and Bachelorette, but this time they get hard cash instead of future bookings.) Still, the show's distracting complications let you pretend, for a few seconds, that you aren't just watching to see half-naked pretty people.
6. Whoops of the Week: In an effort to keep his "true love" Rachel safe in the Big Brother 12 house, Brendon attacks multiple houseguests, hoping they will vote him out instead of Rachel. But it doesn't work, and Rachel is unanimously booted, leaving Brendon alone in the house with the players he's been trashing for days. So, um, good luck.
5. Least Necessary Public Humiliation: A guy tries to catch a ball at a Houston Astros game, then loses it in the glare and moves aside. The ball hits his date in the arm. Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith uses the occasion to jokingly browbeat the poor schnook. "In normal human life, if a foul ball comes your way, you know what men do?" Smith asks. "They stand up and they catch the foul ball. That's what men do." The all-in-fun vibe evaporates when Smith asks if they're still a couple. Their long pause suggests they aren't, but it's apparently not because the guy didn't catch the ball. It's because he failed to do some other manly thing, like wrestle a stampeding bull to the ground, which is what men do.
4. Best Man Date: After learning his "first wife" in California has cancer, Mad Men's Don Draper drinks too much of Lane Pryce's biteless booze and takes his stuffy British colleague out for probably the best night of Lane's life. How to complete an evening that includes Lane berating a movie patron in Japanese, heckling a stand-up comic, and molesting a T-Bone steak? Don goes the procure-him-a-hooker route.
13 Jersey-tastic movies and shows
3. Poorest Fake-Boob Decorum: Victorian rules of etiquette prescribe that when a lady loses her jelly-like cleavage enhancement in a hot tub, all gentlemen present shall make some excuse to leave the tub, allowing privacy for the insert's discreet replacement. When this happens on Jersey Shore, however, the men make the disappointing decision to instead throw the insert around and note its resemblance to a chicken cutlet. "Yo," says Pauly D. "Put that on the grill!"
2. Best Backup Dancer: Ellen DeGeneres has always been good for some competent dance moves, but she proves herself better than we'd ever have guessed in a routine for the So You Think You Can Dance finale. She even performs the choreographed mistakes perfectly. The dance with all-star tWitch Boss pays tribute to one tWitch did earlier this season with Alex, before an injury took him out of competition. Walking out onto the stage on crutches, Alex looks thrilled with his surprisingly good replacement.
1. This-Never-Gets-Old Award: Unexpectedly great singers have been a staple of talent shows for as long as goofy white dudes have been rocking Showtime at the Apollo. The Susan Boyle formula continues on America's Got Talent this week with Jackie Evancho, a tiny 10-year-old who — yes — turns out to be a phenomenal opera singer. Say it with us yet again: You can't judge a book's phrasing and pitch by its cover.
What were your Top Moments?
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