Pia Toscano, Ryan Seacrest
Our top moments of the week:
14. Best Discovery: When Mrs. McCluskey finds an unconscious Andrew on her couch on Desperate Housewives, instead of acting concerned, she acts like, well, Mrs. McCluskey. She calls Bree and gives her a hint of the problem — "It reeks of Mai Tais, and you gave birth to it." "If I wanted a drunk homo on my couch," she continues, "I would have married my college boyfriend." Apparently, warmth and sensitivity are so 2009 on Wisteria Lane.
13. Butt Out Award: Rejected from her and her mother's dream school — Berkeley — Amber completely unravels after a classmate asks her about her college plans at the prom on Parenthood. She tearfully tells her mother that she's done letting her mom fix her life because "it's not working" and that she's going to start doing what feels right for her. Judging by the cigarette hanging from her lips later, that includes smoking. It's a very drawn-out and complicated way of telling mom to "butt out," but when you have one of TV's best criers on deck, you just gotta go for it.
12. Cutest Proposal: Did you hear the one about Howard proposing to Bernadette? On The Big Bang Theory, Howard provides a moment of truth — not to mention complete adorable-ness — during his friends' rumor-spreading when he proposes to Bernadette — or at least he tries to. "Let me just stop you right there," she says, cutting him off. "I will." "You will what?" he asks. "I will marry you!" she replies. Aww. Doesn't it feel like yesterday that he was hitting on anything with a pulse? Mazel tov!
11. Best Evil Twin: After observing that 50 percent of the 200,000 newly added private-sector jobs went to multi-hyphenate James Franco on The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert takes issue with the actor's perceived title of Renaissance man and plans to expose his "Rena-nemesis" as a fraud. And who better to help than Franco's evil twin, Frank Jameso? "You really wanna make him mad?" Frank asks. "Ask him about the Oscars." One question: When will Frank Jameso pop up on General Hospital?
10. Saddest Knockout: Hours after winning his gruesomely bloody comeback fight on Lights Out, Patrick "Lights" Leary is told by his wife, Theresa, that "everyone's waiting." "Everyone?" a confused Lights asks. "For your press conference," she says. He replies: "Who won?" — a punch-to-the-gut reveal that his pugilistic dementia has set in, and a reminder that he really did leave it all in the ring. Too bad we won't see what happens next.
9. Panic Attack of the Week: On America's Next Top Model , the panel confronts Brittani on her rivalry with the perpetually difficult and brow-furrowed Alexandria. The result finds Brittani invalidating her point by sobbing, flailing and, in a Top Model first, leaving judging for the girls' dingy holding room. There, she collapses into a child's pose, drinks from a giant jar and sobs unlike any other contestant in ANTM's history. A gasping Britani eventually rejoins the panel to face more wagging fingers and sheds more tears, of course.
8. Most Heated Confrontation: It's all bromance and Black Hammer curses on the Top Chef: All-Stars reunion until Andy Cohen presses Elia to explain her post-elimination comments to the Chicago Tribune, in which she accused Tom Colicchio of being a sell-out for shilling Diet Coke and denounced his use of corn-fed beef in his restaurants. Quietly simmering with rage, Colicchio fires back that he only endorses products he uses and also serves grass-fed beef ("I buy more from small farmers than you will in your lifetime," he spits. Oh, snap!) before telling the Season 2 alum that this is a good lesson in media training. Andy gives her a chance to retract her comments. "No, I stand by it," she says. Here's another lesson for you, Elia: Don't bite the hand that feeds you.
7. Early Emmy Front-Runner Award: Margo Martindale is a revelation as Justified's Mags Bennett, who collects a huge payday after she proves to the coal company that they are at her mercy. (You can't remove the ore without the roads that run across Bennett land!) But Mags' glee is cut short when Marshal Raylan Givens shoots and kills her son, Coover, to keep him from hurting Mags' virtually adopted daughter Loretta. Her sadness eventually turns to stone-cold anger, leaving no doubt that the Givens-Bennett feud is back with a foreshadowing of vengeance.
6. Most Eye-Popping Moment: After a long day chasing a clue-leaving serial murderer known as the Port-to-Port Killer, NCIS' Tony and Ziva drown their sorrows (and their relationship woes) at the local watering hole. But before they can say goodnight, the bartender delivers a drink from a patron who has since mysteriously disappeared. Before Tony can take a sip, he notices that one of the ice cubes in his drink contains an eye ball — a souvenir from the Port-to-Port Killer's next victim.
5. Best Stand-In: The Good Wife manages to turn standard drama on its head once again, this time with —surprisingly — a little help from Toys R' Us. With Titus Welliver MIA, the series makes the best (and funniest) of the situation by replacing him with a voice-activated phone in the shape of a lion. Just as Glenn Childs is at his most threatening — demanding to know where two missing pages are in a report and why Cary may or may not know about them — the lion moves around to the sound of his voice and transforms the scene from biting drama to absolute hilarity. Maybe Peter should use one of those to tell Alicia about Kalinda? No? Just a thought.
4. Art Attack of the Week: In the first fully fledged, forehead vein-popping meltdown of this already tense season of Celebrity Apprentice, Meat Loaf explodes at Gary Busey over... art supplies. While seething and shaking over missing paints and brushes he thought Gary yanked, Meat Loaf unleashes the destined-to-be-immortal line, "I bought those motherf---ing sponges!" The whole thing turned out to be a misunderstanding on Meat Loaf's part, but it was worth the ride.
3. Most Beautiful Tragedy: We knew it was coming. The show is called The Killing. And yet, when the blank-faced Detective Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) directs her to crew to raise a submerged car from the river, water pours from the chassis in a gorgeous waterfall of sadness. Inside the trunk, the waterlogged, fragile, lifeless form of young Rosie Larsen floats in the fetal position, glowing under the floodlights that reveal the gold butterfly necklace that ID's her.
2. Falling Slowly Award: Dancing with the Stars delivers a falling star when Kirstie Alley tumbles onto Maksim Chmerkovskiy after he suffers a charley horse during their rumba. It's unfortunate, awkward and totally not a big deal (lest we forget about this or this or this), but props to them for finishing the lovely routine. After all, it perfectly encapsulates Kirstie's personal story (for storytelling week) of pushing forward when life knocks you down: She lost her mother and nearly lost her father in a car accident just as she nabbed her big break, a role in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
1. Worst Fake-Out: After an overly confident Jacob Lusk said he would only be in the bottom three if "everybody in America wasn't ready to look at themselves in the mirror," you would think he would be saying his goodbyes on American Idol. But after a particularly brutal — and confusing — fake-out, it was Pia Toscano who was sent home in a vote that dropped jaws and made J Lo tear up. "I'm shocked. I'm angry. I don't even know what to say," Lopez told Seacrest after the vote. Following an emotional performance of the song that started her rise to the top — The Pretenders' "I'll Stand By You" — Pia ended her Idol run with her back to the camera, buried in Jacob's chest, her sobs picked up by the live mics.
What were your top moments?