Two weeks after his train-wreck performance on America's Got Talent, the man to whom everything is a domino, Kinetic King, was able to pull off his act as intended when he was brought back for Tuesday's wild-card round. His design of sticks, cups and strings collapsed in a chain reaction and it was ... kind of leisurely and anti-climactic? Whatever. A slower pace is better than a fall on one's face...
From the time it was announced, Russian Dolls (Thursdays at 10:30/9:30c on Lifetime) was compared to Jersey Shore. But local-cultural focus is where the similarities end — borscht will never be the new pickles. Instead, this show, which is set in Brighton Beach ("Like another planet, it's one square mile of Brooklyn jam-packed with crazy Russians," one cast member explains in Thursday's premiere), is more tempered and a lot less wild.
Like Jersey Shore, though, it does spell out the parameters of this Russian-American cultural intersection explicitly (think back to the first few Jersey Shore episodes when virtually every sentence started with...
The Daily Show
In this clip from Tuesday's Daily Show, Jon Stewart rips Newsweek a new one for its cover image of Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann. "Newsweek! Newsweek! That's a s----- picture of Michele Bachmann, and clearly not an accidentally s----- picture of Michele Bachmann," he notes. He then runs through several shots of Bachmann that are far more flattering than the one on the magazine's cover, noting, "You gotta go pretty far out of your way to find a crappy photo of Michele Bachmann, and you did. Why?" And then, the kicker...
Beyond Scared Straight
On the Season 2 premiere of Beyond Scared Straight, at-risk youths once again are thrown in a prison where people scream in their faces and otherwise attempt to show them that jail is no place to end up. This episode takes place at the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte, N.C., where one of the teens laughs when an inmate basically says he's going to rape him. Inmate Catoe, who's awaiting trial for assault with a deadly weapon, refers to the kid Alex as "Alexis," says they're "fittin' to be married" and tells him that he's going to put him in a dress. Hilarious, right? WRONG!...
The Powerhouse Choir from John Burroughs High School in Burbank, Calif., performed during the YouTube round of America's Got Talent auditions. Before their shaky performance of Katy Perry's "Firework," one of them talked about how this troupe inspired Glee (and indeed, the show has been shot at John Burroughs). She also noted the choir members' tendency to sing "all day, every day" and be told to shut up by their non-singing friends. Ha, that's perfect...
Jes Hudak's ride to the Top 2 of Platinum Hit was rocky, to say the least. Underrated by her peers (and flat-out antagonized by Nick), she exhibited the effects of her stress at one point in what looked like a meltdown at judging. Despite it all, she bounced back to become the show's first runner-up. Below, Hudak tells us why being an underdog was to her advantage, why she shared something as personal as her past assault on national television and how, regardless of what you may think, she's a "diehard optimist"...
Even in increasingly tolerant times, rare is a portrayal of a gay man on TV as well-rounded as Scotty Granger's was on Platinum Hit. The show's second runner-up openly presented exactly who he was inside (per the demands of a songwriting competition) without ever seeming like he was reducing himself to a stereotype or defining his entire existence by his sexuality. In fact, Scotty's sensitive, thorough portrayal may be the show's greatest contribution to pop culture (that is, until some of its talented contestants make good on their potential).
We talked to Scotty about the show's handling of his sexuality, why he uses the word "lifestyle" to describe it, how the show helped with his craft and why he was one of the only cast members to bond with Platinum Hit antagonist Nick...
Sonyae Elise was the queen of concepts on Platinum Hit, and her status took her all the way to victory in the songwriting competition. She repeatedly impressed judges with her clever wordplay ("Love Me to Life" was among her praised tracks) and keen understanding of what makes a pop song work. The 22-year-old winner was able to defeat even the most musically trained of her competitors, despite not playing an instrument herself.
Below, she discusses her victory, her prizes (which include a publishing deal with Sony and the Writers Camp, as well as a record deal with RCA/Jive), opening up on national television and her secret to understanding pop music so well...
Sesame Street's upcoming 42nd season promises a gaggle of celebrity guests who'll frolic with children and puppets — as well as some skits based on pop-culture references.
Speaking of those, Glee (in a skit called "G"), Deadliest Catch ("The Heaviest Catch"), the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark ("SpiderMonster the Musical") and cooking competitions...