Nina Hämmerling Smith

Top Chef's Controversial Hung Wins — and Says He Deserves It

Hung Huynh, Top Chef

In the end, after 14 episodes and 27 competitions, Hung Huynh was declared the winner of Bravo's Top Chef Season 3. The 29-year-old executive sous chef at Guy Savoy in Las Vegas, who was born in Vietnam and trained in both Asian and classic French cooking, was the season's most controversial competitor (he was accused of not playing well with others). The morning after he won the $100,000, a gourmet vacation and some other nifty prizes, Hung told us why he really is the best. Tell the truth — did you know you were going to win?
Hung Huynh: I had a good feeling; I felt pretty confident, but it could have gone any way. I had no idea except after we watched the show last night, and then I felt even more confident. If you hadn't won, who of all the other competitors this season would you have wanted to see as the new Top Chef?
Hung: Definitely Tre... read more

Law & Order: CI's Eric Bogosian Talks TV

Eric Bogosian, Law & Order: CI

When Law & Order: Criminal Intent returns for its seventh season tonight at 10 pm/ET, don't look for it at its old home, NBC: The series has moved to USA, and its stars, including Eric Bogosian, Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe, couldn't be happier. "I feel like it saved the show," said D'Onofrio about the switch. We talked to actor/monologist/author/Manhattan fixture Bogosian, who plays Captain Danny Ross, about the move to USA, how he ended up as part of the Law & Order universe, and working with some pretty big personalities. This is your first time as part of a permanent TV cast. Why Criminal Intent?
Eric Bogosian: I had been keeping an eye read more

Survivor Smackdown: Pro Wrestler Goes Out with a Fight

Ashley Massaro, Survivor: China 

When the Zhan Hu tribe lost its second consecutive immunity challenge last Thursday on Survivor: China (8 pm/ET, CBS), 28-year-old WWE wrestler Ashley Massaro was the second person voted out. Never one to go down without a fight, Ashley told what went wrong with her game, and how it all came down to one thing (or one person). So what did you in?
Ashley Massaro: My conflict with Dave was the biggest problem. He's just not capable of leading. The other people I was friends with, like Erik, Jaime and Sherea, would come over and complain. They'd say, "We should be making food right now, not building a barbecue pit.... Can you go tell him?" Dave is very aggressive when you challenge him. I'm used to that, so I'm just like, "Listen [Laughs], this needs to be said, sorry. We need to be ge read more

L&O: SVU's Tamara Tunie Sees Dead People

Tamara Tunie, Law & Order: SVU

A month before the new season of Law & Order: SVU (premiering tonight at 10 pm/ET, NBC) began, caught up with Tamara Tunie, who plays unflappable medical examiner Melinda Warner. On the set of her directorial debut, See You in September, which is slated for a 2008 release, Tunie talked about her "day job" over breakfast.

Dealing with the deceased has never been a problem for Tunie, who was raised outside of Pittsburgh, where her father was an undertaker, so Tunie "grew up in a funeral home." "As a young adult," she says, "I helped my father by doing women's hair. I've been around dead people — it's not a big deal." Though many of her scenes take place around the victims of gruesome crimes, it never gives her the chills. "I certainly had been in a morgue before, so that wasn't new. I've been seeing read more

Survivor-fried Chicken: Oldest Player Is the First to Go

Steve "Chicken" Morris, Survivor: China

On the premiere of CBS' Survivor: China (Thursdays at 8 pm/ET), the Zhan Hu tribe was the first to vote off one of its members: Steve "Chicken" Morris, 48, from Marion, Virginia. The day after his onscreen dismissal, the affable farmer told what went wrong, who he thinks will go far and what it was like to travel abroad for the first time in his life. Hi there, Chicken. Should I call you Chicken?
Steve "Chicken" Morris: If I can call you Nina. [Laughs] How did you end up with that nickname, anyway?
Chicken: I grew up on a commercial poultry farm, and in the seventh grade, I got into FFA, and the nickname kind of stuck, you might say. If you come to this part of the country and look for Steve Morris, you're not gonna find him.

TVGui read more

Avatar Preview: Final Season Ends with a "Big Bang"

Avatar's Aang

Ask any kid and they'll likely be able to tell you all about the incredible animated adventure Avatar: The Last Airbender (premiering tonight, 8:30 pm/ET, Nickelodeon). But the youngsters aren't the only ones watching this fable of a boy trying to save the world: One notable proponent is M. Night Shyamalan, who has signed on to direct three live-action movies based on the adventures of Aang and his friends. Avatar has also found a devoted following among fans of Hayao Miyazaki's work (like Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away) and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Like Tolkien's epic tale, Avatar was always c read more

Big Brother's Evel Dick and Daughter Daniele Sound Off

Daniele and Dick Donato, with Julie Chen, Big Brother 8

After 81 days and countless dramas, Evel Dick emerged as the $500,000 winner of Big Brother 8, with his daughter, Daniele, taking the $50,000 second prize. The dynamic Donato duo certainly faced their share of controversy and managed to survive being on the block — with each other — three times. The day after their big win, the two shared their favorite moments of the summer, what they plan to do with the money and some surprisingly tender insights about each other. What was the key to your success?
Dick: Working together. Best teammates ever, best team ever! That's been your motto since making it to the final two. Why do you think you worked so well together?
Dick: Nobody else did what we did, including Danielle and Jason and their secret alliance in Season 3, Will and Boogie in All-Stars, the twins in Season 5, the exes in read more

Big Brother's Jen Explains Her "Jenius" Strategy

Jen Johnson, Big Brother 8

After a week of bad behavior, Jen Johnson was evicted from the Big Brother house last Thursday, surprising most viewers only in how long she'd lasted. (Jen had been on the block three times in a row earlier in the season). The 23-year-old "fun nanny" for Vanna White's kids was characteristically open about why she went off slop and what she really thinks of Dick and Daniele. You said that you just didn't fit in at the house. Why was that?
Jen Johnson:
The rest of the house [guests] were much more into the game spirit rather than real-life spirit. I was there to experience the games, or wear a unitard, or make friends. Everyone else was two-faced and backstabbing and liars. It was like, "I don't want to be friends with these people," so I'd rather just be by myself. But then, how horrible is t read more

Big Brother's Dustin: My Ego Trip Was My Downfall

Dustin Erikstrup, Big Brother 8

Proving yet again that on Big Brother a pawn is never just a pawn, 22-year-old Dustin Erikstrup was evicted last Thursday after volunteering to go on the block opposite Dick. The shoe salesman and recent college grad from Chicago shared with his thoughts on his "shysty" housemate, becoming the first member of the BB8 jury, and how his overconfidence got the better of him. To what do you attribute your eviction?
Dustin Erikstrup: The fact that I egotistically nominated myself to go on the block this week led to the inevitable demise of Dustin in the Big Brother 8 house. I made bold moves in the house and overconfidence led to my demise. What kind of bold moves?
read more

Big Brother's Latest Evictee Gets Himself Kicked Out

Mike Dutz, Big Brother

In what has been called the stupidest move in Big Brother history, 26-year-old Mike Dutz antagonized HoH Dick into putting him on the block during last week's veto competition. The painting contractor originally from Wisconsin spoke to us about his broken alliance and why he did what he did. Did you know you were the one going home?
Mike Dutz: I wasn't surprised; in campaigning the last couple of days, it was kind of [sounding] to me like the votes weren't there, just through people's body language. I definitely felt threatened; I was prepared to hear my name. How were you campaigning?
Mike: I took the opportunity to display that I was a man of my word, a person of values. I stuck my neck out on the line during the veto competition to hopefully prove that to people. You said that there was a backstory to why y read more

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