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Wednesday Review: The Americans, Mixology and a New Survivor Twist

Matthew Rhys

Leave it to a spy to know how to get under a rival's skin. In an upcoming and typically intense episode of FX's The Americans (Tuesday, 10/9c), a captured Mossad agent challenges Soviet mole and master of disguise Philip Jennings (Matthew Rhys): "Your name isn't your name, is it? Is your face your face? Are your children your children?"

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American Idol: The Top 13 Revealed

Keith Urban, Jenifer Lopez, Harry Connick, Jr.

And then there were 13.

American Idol named its Top 13 of Season 13 Thursday night, with viewer votes and judges' wild cards determining who ended up among the finalists from a pool of 10 guys and 10 girls who were selected earlier this week.

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American Idol Rush Week: How Did the Guys Do?

Emmanuel Zidor

Tuesday was Ladies' Night on American Idol, but on Wednesday the judges turned their attention to the guys. "We just have a new breed of musician and singer coming up," judge Jennifer Lopez told Ryan Seacrest before the performances began.

The show repeated its head-scratching formula from Tuesday, only allowing 10 of the Top 15 guys to perform on stage, with virtually no explanation for viewers as to why the remaining five got cut. Former judge Randy Jackson, as well as alums Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry, also all returned as mentors.

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American Idol Rush Week: How Did the Girls Do?

Adam lambert, Marrialle Sellars

Another day, another American Idol dream crushed. Tuesday's episode kicked off Rush Week, in which only 10 of the Top 15 girls were chosen to sing live in their bid for the finals. read more

Randy Jackson Previews His American Idol Homecoming

Randy Jackson, Briston Maroney

Randy Jackson returns to American Idol tonight in his new role as mentor, guiding the contestants through Rush Week. The 31 remaining hopefuls will cycle through Jackson's workshop, a series of classes focusing on vocal skills, styling and social-media training. Former finalists Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry will also be around to field questions. Idol's top dawg breaks down the intensive two-day process.

TV Guide Magazine: Why did you want to come back for this workshop?
Jackson:
Being a judge, you don't have that closeness with the kids. I know they have a trillion questions, so I really wanted to prepare them for the show and make it informative. You've got all these people at the top of their fields who want to help. This is for the rest of the [contestants'] lives, so they have to take advantage. It's like a college-prep course, and I'm the dean!

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Beyond Harry: 9 More Refreshing Changes Coming to American Idol

Randy Jackson

Can American Idol continue its winning revamp? The reality competition series has already introduced Harry Connick Jr. to the new judging panel, guitar-accompanied auditions, The Chamber, abbreviated Hollywood rounds and even a viewer-decided semifinalist vote. As Idol enters Rush Week -- airing Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (8/7c, Fox) -- more changes are on the way to revitalize the teenaged show. read more

American Idol Semifinalists Chosen — But There's a Twist!

Judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick, Jr.

American Idol put the remaining contestants out of their misery (so to speak) by selecting the rest of the semifinalists. Sort of. Read the recap for the big twist at the end.

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American Idol: Who's Made It to the Semifinals So Far?

Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick, Jr.

American Idol brought the most painful cuts so far. On Wednesday, judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr. began the process of picking their semifinalists: 15 boys and 15 girls. Read on to see who took the next step to accomplish their dreams. read more

Wednesday Review: Harry Connick Idol-atry, BBC America's Fleming

Harry Connick Jr.

Who dat? Only the best thing to happen to American Idol in this post—Simon Cowell era.

Harry Connick Jr. may not be as instantly recognizable as his fellow Idol panelists Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban, but in a world where too many reality-show judges act more like cheerleaders (yes, The Voice, this even applies to you), this New Orleans crooner and accomplished cutup has what I'd call (apologies to Cowell) the X — or expert — factor. He's exceptionally entertaining, extremely knowledgeable and expansively personable — even when his explosive opinions earn him the labels  "Hatchet Harry" and "Harsh Harry" from the kinder, gentler Lopez and the occasional disgruntled contestant. But how can you not love an Idol judge who hates the word pitchy and refuses to be wowed by caterwauling vocal gymnastics?

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Ask Matt: Idol Judges, Glee, Sleepy Hollow, The Following

Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban

Send questions and comments to askmatt@tvguidemagazine.com and follow me on Twitter!

Question: What do you think of the 13th season of American Idol so far, Matt? read more

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