Survivor
Tonight was one big mass of confusion and disappointment regarding Palau. After getting off to a late start because of the prez — which baffled my poor TiVo — I finally got to watch Survivor and my fave Stephenie got sent packing. Poor little She-ra was one tough competitor. They might not have wanted this pint-size threat around, but if I'm ever stranded on a desert island, she's the one person I'd want with me. Loved Jeff in full Monty Hall-Let's Make a Deal mode, continuing this Survivor season's mean streak by not showing the tired tribers the items they were bidding on. They could have wasted their not-earned cash on a jar of crabs. And Probst is getting more honest; he outright told Ian that he reeked. Which led to the most bizarre back-scrubbing ever, with Gregg loofahing Ian. I've heard the phrase "I'll scrub your back if you scrub mine," but never did I think I would see it demonstrated in quite this way. — Angel Cohn

The Apprentice
I think that The Donald may end up hiring a woman this year, because Alex was sent home on a memory malfunction, and it can't be Craig. No way! The only reason he's gotten this far is because he's been lucky enough to be on winning teams and never got picked to go on the losing Net Worth team because no one wanted him. A perfect example of how useless he seemed was during the T-shirt task tonight. FYI: Hanes kindly sent me both T's to see for myself, and I just knew that the Magna design was going to be the winner. The heart was just a cuter look and more fun; Kendra was right to ignore Craig's idea about going with the stars. Besides, should anyone take fashion advice from a man who was wandering around the suite with a pick in his hair? That look went out in the '80s, along with parachute pants. Glad Kendra stuck to her guns so that when they got to continue their cat and dog-fighting in the unfriendly skies, she was able to outmaneuver him there, too. — AC

CSI
Last night's episode in the facility for the criminally insane reminded me of that Bill Murray line from Tootsie: "This is one nutty hospital." And for good reason. This joint recalled the Arkham Asylum — psychos like the Joker, Two-Face and the Scarecrow would have felt right at home. Moreover, since CSI doesn't have a loony dude in a bat costume with cool gadgets to crack their cases for them, things got pretty hairy. Not only did the victim — an inmate named Robbie — eat hair (and bandages), he was an unwitting victim of the Jocasta complex. You've heard of the Oedipus complex. Well, the Jocasta is worse. It's the Oedipus in reverse — the mother is attracted to the child. (To paraphrase Admiral Dewey, "You may cringe when ready, Gridley"). The child was Robbie's fellow inmate and lover, Adam. The mom was Nurse McKay, who murdered Robbie to keep Adam for herself in a m&#233nage &#224 twisted no doubt intended to gag CSI's Law & Order: SVU rivals. Buckets of blood added to the grotesque quotient, especially when Adam slit his own throat after assaulting Sara at a nurse's station. But that's not the only reason Sara felt unsettled. "When my father died, my mother came to a place like this," she told Grissom, vividly recalling the sights and smells of that horrific environment. Still, she stayed on the case to the bitter end. It was a treat to see her nail the diabolical Nurse McKay to the wall. Turns out the grooves in Adam's pottery absorbed his incriminating conversation with mom like a vinyl recording. I always did like LPs. — G. J. Donnelly

ER
So I'm still in shock about Constantine. I dressed in black from head to toe today in mourning. Oh, wait. I'm here to talk about ER, not Idol. Sorry. Taking a deep breath... OK. I'm the first to admit that I rarely get through ER without crying at least once. This episode, another directed by former cast member Paul McCrane, didn't fail. As we continue to slowly say goodbye to Noah Wyle, he is giving us his absolute all. Noah's and Maura Tierney's scenes with the legendary Red Buttons were Emmy worthy for all three of them. I've been a fan of Red's ever since The Poseidon Adventure when Carol Lynley tried to convince him that "There's got to be a morning after." Well, thanks to Dr. Carter, there will indeed be a morning after for Red's Ruby character. Interesting to see Carter look back to ten years ago when he was just an intern, and I like how Shane West represents the former Carter. That closing scene between Noah and Red was the one that made me weep.

Meanwhile, it was nice to see Pat Carroll and Louise Fletcher again as the mysterious panhandlers. Pat even gave us a subtle, Ursula-like laugh. Methinks we'll see these poor unfortunate souls again during the remaining three new episodes.

Funniest moment was Linda Cardellini's Samantha buying the pregnancy test and the store clerk lady giving her that cutesie smile, which then made Linda give a classic Bea Arthur "Gonna have to kill ya" face. Priceless. — Dave Anderson

The O.C.
Huh. How do you like that? Fox went and got legit by preempting our Orange County kids for the presidential press hoo-ha. So there's no show tonight, gang. Well, there was, but I'm not going there. Politics and TV mix about as well as Pepito the Wonder Chihuahua and people who aren't me. Such a loyal little buddy. Anyway, I digress. We've got zippo here, so I figured maybe late-night would be worth a peek. And you know what? It was hot, thanks to a certain guest on...

The Late Show with David Letterman
And no, I don't mean Paris Hilton. Granted, it was great to see Dave grill the human Barbie on the ugliness with her unhacked sidekick Nicole Richie, even though she refused to be anything but gracious about her ex-bestest bestest. Yeah, lots of "I don't want to talk about it," blank-faced shrugs and one really sincere "I wish her the best." Which you know totally meant "That hateful hag cleaned up and started getting more press than me... I will cut her!" Oh, well. It's Hollywood, hon — you're only as good as your last porn scandal, so you might wanna get crackin'. Maybe a House of Brazilian Wax? No, the real hotness came courtesy of, ironically, Jo Frost. Damn. Whether it's the accent or the stern glances or some freaky Mary Poppins kink I'm not ready to explore, there is something so sexy about the Supernanny. I sort of want her to send me to the Naughty Corner, you know? Just watching her advise Dave on raising his little Harry had me toying with fatherhood just so JoJo could come over and straighten out my demon spawn. Because I'm pretty sure I'd be the Dad from Hell. And speaking of...

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
...had Jane Fonda! And guess what? Turns out Papa Henry wasn't a big old cuddlebum! Like we needed her to tell us that. Please, I saw On Golden Pond. That wasn't acting, that was therapy, OK? And I know a lot of people are still sore about that tacky Hanoi thing, but I'm more disturbed by the very raunchy line she just dropped about Ted Turner's donations to stop female-genital mutilation. "He puts his money where his mouth is"?!! Good lord. Thankfully, she made up for this — and her heinous scorpion broach — with some tips for escaping family-dysfunction junction. "You try to understand your parents, forgive them and move on." Very O Magazine, right? Of course, this only works if your parents screwed up. Mine didn't — despite what some of you e-mailers think — so I'm just gonna try to understand the folks who caused last night's American Idol, forgive them and move on. Inhale love, exhale bitterness, confusion and blind rage. Ahhhh... This way, we all win. Except for Constantine. And Nadia. And Nikko. Dag, that hippie psychobabble ain't working. I'm going to bed. — Damian J. Holbrook

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