Gilmore Girls
Even though I'd already seen this rerun, I was still totally blown away when steely Emily broke down after her date. There just something so shocking about the stoic, blue-blooded matriarch sobbing in the foyer of her empty mansion. (This is, after all, a woman who was ready to move on because her husband didn't pass her the butter at a charity dinner.) Yet her pain and loneliness were so believable and so palpable thanks to the amazing Kelly Bishop, who plays Emily with perfect amounts of aloofness and vulnerability. (Since I was talking Emmy nods last night, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the deserving Bishop. This has been her season, and she's running with it.) Lorelai and Rory clearly get their protective nature from her, which explains why Rory would be so bold as to ban Christopher from her mother's life. (That she ended up being right about his intentions only made the gesture even more powerful. Very inappropriate, but powerful nonetheless.) Should Lorelai have told Luke about her lunch with her ex? Probably. Did she need to explain herself to Rory? Not really. But when she lies to her about it, you know trouble's on the way. The breakup warning signs are out there; one of the joys of watching reruns is knowing where to find them. — Robin Honig

American Idol
Man, it's not usual that I agree with Randy, but dawggone it, this was a hot show tonight. Armed with a Billboard No. 1 theme, the final 11 had at it and had a blast. Of course, there were a couple messes, but they were few, far between and far enough away from the standouts that the result show's final three are pretty much a given. As for the next exile, well, I'd hate to be on the Seacrest end of that myself, so I'ma just say she'll be home in time for curfew. Or those Nanny repeats on Lifetime.

Anthony Fedorov: Truth be told, I used to think George Michael and Aretha's "I Knew You Were Waiting" was like, the best song. Ever. And Tony sounded just fine on it. Just not fine enough to remind me why I ever thought so highly of it in the first place.

Carrie Underwood: Don't tell Nadia, but I'm sort of with Simon here. Between the massively hot big hair and the Kelly pipes, Heart's "Alone" is the stuff that text-messaged wins are made of. Stunning enough to inspire the night's first round of Paula's special-needs seal clapping.

Scott Savol: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Oh, sorry. Vocally, the guy is smashing. Hell, even physically, his sunglasses aren't safe. Too bad we weren't safe from anything having to do with Phil Collins.

Bo Bice: Well, my magical flying panties are safe this week. His "Time in a Bottle" was just OK. Where's the heat, dude?

Nikko Smith: I take back everything I said last week about Urkel Jr. Anyone who can make a Sisqo tune sound like an actual song gets a thumbs-up. Then again, anyone who can get Paula to kiss Simon may also want to cut it out.

Vonzell Solomon: The Emotions' "Best of My Love"? Dayum, that was the best of my Vonzell. Please let tonight's theme be on this season's CD. I need to hear V kick it on a daily basis.

Constantine Maroulis: Huh. The Partridge Family's "I Think I Love You." I think we could have found something a wee bit better. Maybe "It's a Sunshine Day"?

Nadia Turner: As much as I hate to use words that hurt on this powerhouse, I'm wondering if she thought that mohawk would distract us from her first-ever flop. Good song back when everyone was up to their parachute pants in high-grade blow. Now? Not so much.

Mikalah Gordon: All along, I've been dying for this one to take on Taylor Dayne. And thanks to the blood running out of my ears, I fear I may actually be dying. Love will lead you back to the bottom, hon.

Anwar Robinson: We dig mini-Maxi Priest, right? So I feel for anyone attempting Chaka Khan's "Ain't Nobody." Except Chaka, of course. But she's every woman, so that probably helps.

Jessica Sierra: Turn around... every now and then I get a little bit terrified that the best of all my years have gone by watching bad singers botch worse songs. Then Sierra Miss comes along with the Bacall-rasp and makes it all better. Thanks, boo! — Damian Holbrook

[Editor's Note: Because of the Idol snafu, you can vote again on these performances on Wednesday night and the results will be aired on Thursday.]

The Amazing Race
I think there were four races this time around:
1) Who would come in first: Yeah, Rob and Amber won. They're either good, lucky or good at being lucky. What's really "amazing" is that the other teams haven't devised a way to slow them down yet (at least on camera they haven't).

2) Who would come in last: Unfortunately, it was Susan and Patrick who encountered an unusually haggard-looking Phil Keoghan at the end of the day.

3) Who was the least likable: This was a little closer than it has been lately. Usually Team Survivor blows away anyone and everyone in this category, but Ray came up strong on this leg. His stream of comments demeaning the other competitors provided a close finish. For instance: "Those people [Meredith and Gretchen]," he said, "don't belong in this race with us." Hmm, which one to choose... Oh, let's just call it a tie.

4) Who was the most pessimistic: Another tough call. As night fell, Gretchen and Patrick were the chief sourpusses for their respective teams. Patrick, the admitted "realist," nails this particular contest, though. (Patrick: Bet you thought you'd lose this one, too, right? Get it, dude? Aw, c'mon, just kidding.)

You know, when it gets down to this many teams, I almost wish there wasn't the constant threat of elimination. Of course, it substantially adds to the tension each week, but whenever a duo bites it (and I don't mean the meat from last week), an element is lost. Is there some way the producers could incorporate the NASCAR way of racing? That system has drivers earning a certain amount of points for each race, but they all have a chance until late in the season. My colleague Rob, TV Guide's expert on all things NASCAR and Carol Channing (long story), will be so proud that I actually — sorta kinda — remember this. — Danny Spiegel

Veronica Mars
I seriously cannot wait for next week's new episode. I feel like this show has been in reruns forever. Not that I mind that much; I'd rather watch an episode of the out-of-this-world Ms. Mars over and over than not to have her around at all — just in case any UPN execs are waffling about next season or anything. But my impatient, not-so-little self is dying to know more about Veronica's odd encounter with her mom, if she'll be spending more time with that dreamy deputy or the moody Logan and most important, who's responsible for the death of Lily Kane. The Neptune case is the most exciting TV murder mystery since Laura Palmer turned up dead.

Anyway, in tonight's rerun my fave little blondie detective showed off her Broadway vocal ability with her rockin' version of "One Way or Another." I, however, kept hearing the name of the cloaked culty Tritons and kept singing the song about the king's bevy of daughters from The Little Mermaid. And now it won't stop playing in my head. — Angel Cohn

House
I do so love when television not only entertains but educates us as well.
So, class, what obscure medical factoids did we glean from this evening's episode?

1) If you have a genetic condition known as OTD — avoid steak!
2) If you're taking Interferon meds to treat your Hep C — avoid Chinese herbal smoking-cessation lozenges!
3) If a young child starts shoving small objects up his nose — don't panic! It could be a sign of advanced intelligence; look for the pattern!
4) If you suspect that someone's just faking their coma, hold a Nintendo DS next to their head and wait for a response — then call 911!
5) Estrogen — it's not just for menopause!

Danny Nucci is plenty convincing as a wise guy, no? When he told House to do whatever it takes to keep his brother Joey in the hospital or, "one by one, I'll take away things you love until there's nothing left," I was shaking — with laughter, that is. All the cantankerous doc had to do was hand over his Nintendo DS and cane and say, "OK, now what?"

The real villain, of course, is Vogler, who represents everything that is unholy and terribly wrong with profit-driven modern medicine when he makes it perfectly clear to Dr. Cuddy that House has to go. "This is a business, that's all it is. You like him; that's bad for business." I think House should give the mob boys back the '65 Corvette and ask for a little help with the new administration instead.

So Joey comes out of the coma, case solved, everyone's happy — but hold on. We still have 20 minutes of show left. What gives?! Oh, wait, there he goes, comatose again. Just can't seem to make up his mind. Thanks to the contents of a little boy's nose however, House manages to solve the medical mystery as well as the bigger mystery regarding Joey's sexuality. Turns out that going into the witness protection program might be a ruse so that he could "come out." And while Joey's intern-slapping brother may not want to hear it, House won't let him bury his head in the sand, which gives us the best exchange of the night:

Bill Arnello: He's not gay!
House: Maybe not gay, but certainly delightful.

Only House could say that to a mobster's face and walk away unharmed. — Dan Roberts

The Shield
Nice of Aceveda to crack the case for Dutch and Claudette by empathizing with their rape victim and getting her to open up about the perp. But when he swiped a dub of the rape caught on surveillance tape and started rubbing himself to it? No, no, no! My pity is running out for this man. He has serious issues after his oral encounter from last season, and like his wife said in the last episode, "Whatever it is you need to do to help yourself... do it already."

Nearly as disturbing are Shane's antics, which are beginning to make Vic look like an altar boy. Not only is he in cahoots with Antwon and his crew, but he's taken it upon himself to give his new partner an "old school" education. First he tells him to pocket part of the take from a drug bust. Then "to establish their dominance," he orders a local pimp to have his girl perform a "back-alley Clinton" on his partner. When he starts to protest, Shane tells him not to worry 'cause, "It's all good in the 'hood."
At least when Vic goes off the reservation it's for a good reason. Like forcing a drug dealer to drink a bottle of mustard to make him puke up the crack he's swallowed. Crude but effective — and he saved the kid's life!

Still loving Glenn Close as the new captain. She fixed the toilet on her first day, so you know she means business! However, I don't know about this plan of hers to use "asset forfeitures" (aka seized drugs) to foot the bill for things like new plumbing. Something tells me that might not go quite so smoothly. Stay tuned. — DR