Alex O'Loughlin and Bristol Palin
Here are our top TV moments of the week:
12. "Oh No She Di'nt" Award: Laguerta knew she was in some deep doo-doo after her last sting operation on Dexter resulted in the death of civilians. But rather than nut up and take responsibility for her actions, she suggests to Deb that they pin the blame on Manzone because her career would be least affected. Deb isn't having it, so Laguerta decides to throw Deb under the bus and get Manzone to back her story to the chief.
11. Most Engaging Day: After sleeping through their start time, Amazing Racers Chad Waltrip and Stephanie Smith seemed in store for a pretty bad leg until the short-fused Chad decides to pop the question mid-leg to his gal pal of six months with his late mother's ring. She says yes and they finish the leg in first place for the first time, winning a trip to Belize. And they lived happily ever after... until the next leg.
10. Best Means of Research: When a young girl is believed to be infected with smallpox after coming in contact with an artifact from a Dutch slave ship on House, the curmudgeonly doc thinks fast to find a translator to decipher the original captain's log from the ship for clues. Rather than find a translator in the hospital at the late hour, he goes for the next best thing: Skyping with a Dutch Internet call girl to read the log to the team. Problem-solving at its best.
9. Dirtiest Canucks: And here we thought Christina Aguilera was the "Dirrtiest" songstress around. On How I Met Your Mother, everyone's favorite Canadian pop star Robin Sparkles returns in an unintentionally risqué educational/crime show, Space Teens, with former BFF Jessica Glitter and Mr. Canadian Sex Acts himself, Alan Thicke. Beaver, joystick, wood and stripper pole jokes abound — but we have one minor quibble: No self-respecting Canadian would say "inches of wood" instead of "centimeters."
8. Best Cry for Attention: Who's the star of Sarah Palin's Alaska? Not Sarah. It's her 9-year-old daughter Piper, whose quest to be noticed is what we're fascinated by. She's pretty much the only candid person on the show, happy to tell the cameras about her mom's irritating addiction to her BlackBerry: "My mom is super-busy. She is addicted to the BlackBerry. She's like, 'Hang on, Piper; I'll be there in a second.' When she doesn't have cell phone service, she doesn't have to answer email and all that stuff."
7. Most Awkward Reunion: Rather than stretching it out over the entire (if short) first season, The Walking Dead reunites its hero, Rick Grimes, with his wife and son back at the survivor's camp. The scene is emotional and well-played by Andrew Lincoln, but it's Sarah Wayne Callies — whose character, Lori, has been knocking boots with Rick's best friend Shane — who gives the best performance. As she hugs her believed-to-be-dead husband, her eyes betray her mix of happiness, confusion and utter guilt.
6. Too Much Adrenaline Award: Hawaii Five-0 is never shy about delivering big action set pieces, but the small-scale war this week's episode delivers is out of control. When McGarrett learns an old Navy SEAL pal is actually planning to assassinate a cruel Asian dictator visiting Hawaii, McGarrett hides the leader and his family in his own house. When his foe inevitably shows up, McGarrett lights his lawn on fire with Molotov cocktails and engages in a long (and noisy) firefight. Whatever happened to neighborhood watch?
5. Best Atonement: Will the Botwins ever make it to Copenhagen? After Weeds' season finale, it doesn't appear so. Sure, Shane, Silas and Andy boarded a connecting flight via Paris, but Nancy (with baby Stevie) escape from Esteban and Guillermo using "Plan C": Nancy turns herself into the FBI and confesses to Pilar's murder.
4. Most Shocking Boot, Part I: After it became clear that the rest of the tribe was writing her name at Tribal Council, Brenda begs Sash to give her his hidden immunity idol to save her butt. But just when the masterful Survivor editors have convinced everyone that the idol is practically already in her pocket, Jeff Probst asks for any idols and Sash keeps quiet, forcing the longtime front-runner out of the game.
3. Best Tearjerker: Before she goes to the hospital for her first cancer treatment on the The Big C, Cathy tries everything to get her son to show his soft side before she tells him about her cancer diagnosis — sad movies, nostalgia, talking about death. Nothing seems to work. Adam finally opens the floodgates when he finds the lifetime supply of Christmas and birthday presents his mother has left for him in a storage unit she planned for him to see after her death.
2. Best Remake: Yes, most of the country (or at least the part that listens to Top-40 radio) is plenty sick of hearing "Whip My Hair." But if there's anyone to make the Willow Smith song cool again, it's the Boss. During his appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Bruce Springsteen accompanies Fallon (who's doing his dead-on Neil Young impression) on a slowed-down cover of the song, during which they croon and wail about keeping "the party jumping," using acoustic guitars and harmonicas.
1. Most Shocking Boot, Part II: Adding another notch to Dancing with the Stars' history of shocking eliminations, front-runner Brandy gets the boot, while perennial bottom (-of-the-leaderboard) dweller Bristol "the Pistol" Palin advances to the final on the strength of her (her mom's?) many supporters. Well, we know at least one person who isn't voting for her.