Our top moments of the week:
9. Best Comeback: On the premiere of So You Think You Can Dance, redheaded contemporary dancer Caleb Brauner is back after having shared a hilarious and memorable audition dance with his dad last year. Unfortunately, since then, his father has died, but that lights a fire in Caleb. Although he doesn't make it in New Orleans where he first tries out, he auditions again in Chicago with a heartbreaking routine inspired by his dad's final voicemail. It's intense, it's emotional and incredibly powerful. This time, Caleb makes it through.
8. Best Prank: The judges on America's Got Talent have seen it all — or so they think until 33-year-old Larry the Mime delivers a horrible audition in which he falls multiple times. After receiving four no's from the judges, Larry is, ironically, handed a mic and in a Southern accent, calls Howard Stern a "moron" and rips into the rest of the judges before heading menacingly for the judges table. Howie Mandel panics, calls for security and tries to flee — way to protect your fellow judges, bro! — before Melanie Brown suddenly yells, "It's you!" It turns out that Larry is actually host Nick Cannon in an elaborate costume and makeup. We've been waiting years for someone to shut that guy up — we just never thought he'd be the one to do it to himself!
7. Worst Family Reunion: Incest between sibs Chris and Cathy is just so last movie, so Lifetime's Flowers in the Attic sequel Petals on the Wind ups the ick factor with additional whiffs of almost-incest between Chris and his jealous younger sister Carrie, between him and his unhinged mom Corrine and between Cathy and her mom's hot young trophy husband. The creepiest family interaction of all, however, occurs when Corrine's mother gives her a trunk containing the corpse of her dead son Cory, whom she had killed with rat poison a decade ago. Someone needs to keep all of these Dollangangers from procreating period, not just with each other!
6. Best Surprise: When Scandal star Bellamy Young appears on Los Angeles' KTLA on Wednesday, she's on hand to help Sam Rubin & Co. read the announcement for the Critics' Choice TV Awards nominations. But when she only rattles off five names instead of six for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, Rubin says, "So you missed a card, so read that card" and then hands her an index card bearing her name. "No, you read it," a stunned and overwhelmed Young says. "That's very cool!" Even cooler? Master prankster and fellow co-star Joshua Malina helped plot the whole thing!
5. Best Remembrance: Nearly 30 years after Larry Kramer's searing play about the early days of the AIDS crisis debuted on Broadway, HBO's adaptation of The Normal Heart still beats loudly. But no death or breakdown underscores the despair the disease would bring — it has claimed 36 million lives to date — better than Tommy's tradition of saving his departed friends' Rolodex cards in an heartbreakingly fast-growing stack in his drawer. "What am I supposed to do? Throw it away in the trashcan? I won't do that. No, I won't. It's too final," he says in a gripping memorial speech. "Last year, I had five cards, now I have 50. A collection of cardboard tombstones bound together with a rubber band."
4. Worst Misfire: Guess they don't play sports in da club. 50 Cent unfurls one of the worst first pitches ever before Tuesday's New York Mets-Pittsburgh Pirates game, when his toss basically veers into another zip code. Fitty's taking it all in stride, but we'll give him credit for going for it (or die tryin').
3. Worst Reveal: Viewers of The Bachelorette are no strangers to seeing the men strip down for various group dates. On this week's episode, the stripping reaches new heights when some of the men partake in a male revue a la Magic Mike, in which they dress in costume before shaking their stuff for a theater full of women ... and host Chris Harrison. Ranging from camouflage speedos and firefighting gear (with sledgehammers, natch) to cowboy attire complete with lariats and thigh-hugging chaps, the night's entertainment can't get much more steamy, right? Wrong! Andi gets a little more than she bargained for when Nick S. strips off his robot getup until he's half-naked and then bends over. "Oh my God, I kind of saw a part of a man that no woman is supposed to see!" Andi exclaims. Shield your eyes, Chris!
2. Best Bloodbath: Just whenHannibalmakes you feel sympathy for its titular cannibalistic serial killer, the show's Season 2 finale guts you (literally). After Hannibal realizes that Will didn't kill Freddie Lounds, Hannibal decides to turn Will's trap against him. The result is an all-out battle at Hannibal's house that ends with Jack bleeding out in the pantry and Alana languishing on the sidewalk after being pushed out a second-story window by ... a surprisingly not-dead Abigail Hobbs! But the centerpiece of the carnage comes when Hannibal lovingly pets Will's face before gutting him with a linoleum knife and slicing Abigail's throat (again!) in front of Will just to punish him for his betrayal. We've heard of bad breakups, but this takes the cake!
1. Best Song and Dance: Mad Men's midseason finale says goodbye to one its regular characters in tremendous (if a bit surreal) style. After watching the Apollo 11 crew successfully walk on the moon, Sterling Cooper founding partner Bert Cooper dies rather unceremoniously. But after Roger negotiates a way for rival firm McCann-Erickson to buy out SC&P in order to keep Don's job and undercut Jim Cutler, Bert appears in a vision to Don to impart a final lesson in the form of song. Bert, played by Tony winner Robert Morse, croons "The Best Things in Life Are Free" and does some soft-shoe (in stocking feet, of course) with a group of dancing secretaries. It's hard to imagine a better curtain call than that.
What were your top moments?