Axis Dance Company
Our top moments of the week:
13. Bumpiest Arrival: After spending hours traveling to St. Barts, battling her fear of flying all the while, Aviva arrives at the latest Real Housewives getaway only to be "accidentally" flashed and then yelled at by Ramona and Sonja for bringing her husband. Aviva calls the two girls "white trash" as they both do their best to talk over her. Aviva eventually makes amends with Ramona, but Sonja is left steaming. It's the cheap direct-to-DVD sequel to Scary Island that no one asked for.
12. Worst Mix-Up: If you ever mistakenly take too much Ambien, make sure to not go on live TV right afterward. Tom Brokaw, unfortunately, does just that on Morning Joe. The esteemed newsman appears out of sorts and drowsy as he uncomfortably slurs his way through an answer. (He was later taken to a hospital and discharged.) But at least Brokaw can laugh about it all: "All is well Early AM I mistakenly took a half dose of Ambien and made less sense than usual," he tweeted. "Made a better comeback than Giants..."
11. Best Tribute: A day after his friend and frequent Late Late Show guest Michael Clarke Duncan died, Craig Ferguson pays tribute to the Oscar nominee by showing an outtake from when Duncan tagged along for the show's week-long trip to Scotland in the spring. All Ferguson wanted Duncan to do in the clip, he explains, is pantomime pistol-shooting, but Duncan had something else in mind. The footage is funny, sweet, with Duncan being his usual irrepressible, charming self. RIP, MCD.
10. Best Breakdown: The 2012 MTV Video Music Awards fail to offer up any truly surprising or shocking collaborations, but oddly enough actors Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg are the ones to pick up the slack when they present the Moonman statue for best hip-hop video. The two talk about how rap has become emotional before Andy is already spitting about how he seeks "unavailable partners." Rashida, daughter of legendary record producer Quincy Jones, brings it as well: "Sometimes I eat my feelings and I blame them on my therapist/I resent my parents for enabling my confidence and never really giving me a chance to be a woman. YOLO!" Kanye, take note.
9. Most Tragic Heroine: On the Doctor Who premiere, Oswin Oswald (who bears a striking resemblance to the highly anticipated new companion played by Jenna-Louise Coleman) is a sassy, soufflé-baking computer genius who cyber-aids The Doctor in defeating the Daleks from her remote bunker. When he arrives to save her, however, he only finds a plunger-wielding Dalek in a padded cell. Turns out the Daleks had recognized her advanced intellect long ago and encased it in a Dalek shell. The human world she's living in? All fiction, created by her mind. Oh Doctor, how we've missed you and your bittersweet moments!
8. Worst Movie Night: On White Collar, Neal decides it's finally time to watch an old recorded VHS tape that his father's partner, and close family friend, Ellen, tried to get him to watch when he was little. Neal braces for the worst as he pops the tape into Peter's player and presses play. What's on it? Static. Is the real tragedy the fact that Neal doesn't know what was erased, or that Mozzie was able to find a VHS player?
7. Worst Impromptu Performance: On Bachelor Pad, the three remaining teams have to perform karaoke versions of Night Ranger's '80s hit "Sister Christian." After Rachel and Nick do a pretty impressive job, Jaclyn and Ed take the stage only to immediately forget the lyrics. After asking the band to start the music over, to no avail, the duo resort to jumping around and dry-humping each other on stage. If only they had remembered that the song was about a brother and sister.
6. Best Impromptu Performance, Part 2: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stops by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and announces that he went to his 130th Bruce Springsteen show the night before. To celebrate (and just because, why not?), Chris and Jimmy break into an impromptu duet of the E Street classic "Thunder Road." Just don't get any ideas for when Paul Ryan stops by, Jimmy. Rage Against the Machine is pissed enough already.
5. Most Inspiring: No matter which political party you vote for come Nov. 6, every American can get behind former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who offers a touching moment when she leads the Pledge of Allegiance at the final night of the Democratic National Convention. 20 months after being shot in the head and nearly losing her life, Giffords takes the stage confidently — and without assistance — before she jumps into a rousing and powerful Pledge of Allegiance. Despite the fact she can't bring her right arm over to cover her heart, her pride in reciting the words gives the pledge new meaning as she brings the crowd near joyful tears.
4. Cruising for a Bruising Award: What's that saying? Never work with animals and kids? Conan O'Brien may adhere to the former after a water buffalo-riding segment goes awry on his talk show. During a dress rehearsal, O'Brien barely mounts the buffalo when it flips out and bucks him off on to the floor. "It really hurt. It really effin' hurt," he says the next day. "But I did get something out of it: the greatest bruise of my life." He drops trou to reveal an eggplant-colored and —sized welt on his left thigh. Ouch! Maybe Coco should've asked "Ted Turner" for some buffalo-riding tips?
3. Holy Crap Award: Breaking Bad's midseason finale features a very literal "Oh, sh--!" moment. After taking his meth business global and making more money than he can possibly spend or launder, Walter White — perhaps deflated by the loss of his partner Jesse or a bad prognosis during a follow-up with his oncologist — tells his wife Skyler, "I'm out." But when Hank excuses himself from a quaint family get-together to use the bathroom, he discovers some interesting toilet reading. Mixed among the magazines is a copy of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, and the title page is inscribed by none other than Walt's former meth-cooking partner, Gale Boetticher. That's right: Hank knows Walt is Heisenberg! Talk about being (toilet-) bowled over!
2. Most Inspiring Dance: Two dancers from Oakland's AXIS Dance Company, one who uses a wheelchair, take to the So You Think You Can Dance stage in a routine far more imaginative, athletic and challenging than anything Glee's Artie ever busted out. While there is the expected rolling and arm-waving, we didn't foresee full-on wheelchair lifts or the muscle-straining, vein-popping arm balances. Add to that graceful musicality and innovative use of angles, and that's a number that will have softie judge Mary Murphy crying her eyes out.
1. Worst Betrayal: On Covert Affairs, Annie is thisclose to fleeing with spy/love interest Simon (Richard Coyle) when her mentor and CIA legend Lena (Sarah Clarke) creeps into her home and shoots both of them in the chest — twice. But perhaps Annie should've seen this coming: You can never trust someone who's already been a double agent on another show.
What were your top moments?