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"Top Chef Texas"

 "Top Chef Texas"

Credit: Bravo

Recap: 'Top Chef' - 'Quinceanera'

It's a slithery challenge when the chefs cook up snake

Time for the first elimination of one of the final 16! There's been a lot of bloodletting on the show thus far, but now that that ugly business is over, we can actually get down to business (and start picking fan favorites). Plus, we now have the online part of the show kicking in, which will allow eliminated chefs to cook again in an attempt to get back onto the show. It's like "Survivor"'s Redemption Island, but with food (and lots of it). I'm interested to see how this new, possibly improved show works, even if this does mean watching even more television on my tiny computer screen. I think if nothing else, the food quality this season is going to be pretty spectacular. Whether or not it's good television, I'll reserve judgment. It's not like we get to eat any of this stuff, anyway.

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<p>Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy have a chat with HitFix's own Film Nerd 2.0 about their new film 'The Muppets'</p>

Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy have a chat with HitFix's own Film Nerd 2.0 about their new film 'The Muppets'

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Toshi and Kermit and Miss Piggy in the first-ever Film Nerd 2.0 interview

Be warned... there is more cute here than you can possibly imagine

The overwhelming response you all had to the recent special "Star Wars" series we did as part of Film Nerd 2.0 has been beyond anything I could have hoped for, and I am genuinely thankful for each and every response.  Today, though, I think I've got something even better for you.

For the last couple of years, Toshi's been coming with me to occasional press days because of timing and logistics, and each time, he's been intrigued by the entire process.  He's told me several times now that he wants to grow up to do the same thing that I do, and while I think that's a big choice for a six-year-old to make, I am in a unique position to occasionally put together opportunities that are very special.

For example, with "The Muppets" coming out this month, I had a pretty good idea that we'd be speaking with some of the classic characters as part of the press day, and sure enough, when the invite came in, I saw that one of the interviews was a double-header with Kermit The Frog and Miss Piggy.

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Can Rihanna make it three weeks in a row atop the Billboard Hot 100?
Credit: Def Jam Records

Can Rihanna make it three weeks in a row atop the Billboard Hot 100?

Why is Taylor Swift happy this week?

Rihanna’s enduring relationship with the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 continues as “We Found Love” featuring Calvin Harris logs its third week at the summit.

The single, the first track from Rihanna’s new album, “Talk That Talk,” out Nov. 21, gets some company as the next single from the set, “You Da One” debuts at No. 73.

Rihanna isn’t the only one with good news: Taylor Swift has three songs debut within the top 30 of the Billboard Hot 100: “If This Was a Movie” starts at No. 10, while “Ours,” which she performed on the CMA Awards, arrives at  No. 13 (Tay-Tay’s favorite number) and “Superman” flies in at No. 26.  Why the activity?  In addition to the CMAs, last week marked the songs’ digital availability after being only physically available on the special edition “Speak Now” CD offered exclusively at Target, according to Billboard.

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<p>George Miller, seen here during the production of this week's new release 'Happy Feet Two,' is not only a guest on this week's podcast, but a major inspiration to our other guest, Evan Glodell</p>

George Miller, seen here during the production of this week's new release 'Happy Feet Two,' is not only a guest on this week's podcast, but a major inspiration to our other guest, Evan Glodell

Credit: Warner Bros.

Listen: George Miller and Evan Glodell join us for a special Motion/Captured Podcast

The director of 'Road Warrior' and the filmmaker behind 'Bellflower' on one podcast?

This week's Motion/Captured Podcast is one of my very favorites we've done so far, and I owe it all to the fickle nature of film releases.

When I saw "Bellflower" at this year's Sundance Film Festival, one of the first things that made me fall in love with it was the way the film made subtle nods to George Miller's amazing "Mad Max 2," better known here in the US as "The Road Warrior."  Now, I've got Evan on the podcast to talk about the home video release of his film, and it just happened to be the same week that Miller's new film "Happy Feet Two" is arriving in theaters.

The way we handled the recording was by having Evan come out to the house on Sunday night to record the main body of the podcast, and then I talked to Miller by phone on Monday afternoon.  There's a great deal of give and take between the segments, and I think it's a really great conversation that unfolds as a result.

We've also got a call this week during our Movie God/Remake This! segment from Keven Van Den Brink, one of our regular callers now, and he's once again calling in from the Occupy Nashville site, so we talk a little bit about how that's going and how things have evolved since the last time we spoke to him.

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<p>LeRoy Bell of &quot;The X Factor&quot;</p>
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LeRoy Bell of "The X Factor"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' - Top 10 Performances Live-Blog

Paula's lone Group goes against Simon, L.A. and Nicole's full squads

Welcome to Wednesday (November 16) night's live-blog for "The X Factor."

We're about to spend two hours watching performances from this season's Top 10, but is it really necessary? Can't we all just agree that America hates Groups, send Lakoda Rayne packing. Then Paula can head off to spend the rest of her fall some place tropical and L.A. Reid, Simon Cowell and Nicole Scherzinger's Boys, Girls and Over-30s can battle this out. 

Right?

Let's get to the show...

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"The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

 "The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

Credit: Bravo

'Real Housewives of Atlanta' star's wedding to become TV docu-series

Kim and Kroy's nauseatingly kute nuptials will air on Bravo

Were you secretly wishing you could have sopped up every moment of Kim and Kroy's kute wedding (can't think of an appropriate "K" word for nuptials, sorry)? No? Oh, well, Bravo is betting someone (or a lot of someones) are. Kim Zolciak’s extravagant (read: overpriced and tacky) wedding in a new docu-series titled “Don’t Be Tardy for the Wedding.”  

For those of you who missed it on "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," Kim and Kroy met a year ago, Kim got knocked up and the baby arrived prior to the wedding. All of that was documented on the show, but Bravo is blocking out special time for the all-important nuptials between Zociak and Kroy Biermann, Defensive End for the Atlanta Falcons. The only step left in their happy-ever-after is the wedding of Kim’s dreams. For more information, visit www.BravoTV.com

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<p>Laurence and Zac and Speckles of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>
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Laurence and Zac and Speckles of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

HitFix Interview: Laurence & Zac talk 'The Amazing Race'

The father-son adventurers talk sewing, dancing and more
Father-son adventurers Laurence Sunderland and Zac Sunderland had a roller-coaster Leg on Sunday (Nov. 13) night's "Amazing Race."
 
As the episode began, Laurence and Zac made a gutsy decision to deviate from the travel plans booked by the producers, opting to go to Copenhagen via London, alone. That gamble resulted in a three-hour lead, which promptly vanished when nearly all of the teams were left waiting overnight for a church to open. 
 
Then they seemed to have put themselves in jeopardy when Zac struggled with a dancing Roadblock and they ran the risk of more difficulties when they were U-Turned by Bill & Cathi. But even after completing both ends of the Detour, Laurence and Zac seemed headed for safety due to a snakebitten leg for Jeremy & Sandy.
 
Instead, Laurence and Zac got lost going out of the Detour and weren't able to navigate themselves to the Pit Stop in time.
 
In our exit interview, Laurence & Zac discussed their team dynamic, Zac's dancing and Laurence's maligned sewing comments.
 
Click through...
 
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<p>Ricky Gervais hosting the 2011 Golden Globes</p>

Ricky Gervais hosting the 2011 Golden Globes

Credit: AP Photo

Get ready Johnny Depp: Ricky Gervais is officially hosting the 69th Golden Globes

Is the third time the charm?

The HFPA confirmed the long speculated news that Ricky Gervais will return to host the Golden Globes for a third time this January.  The initial confirmation came from the organization's twitter account.

Gervais added a few minutes later the following tweet:

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<p>A scene from the Quay Brothers' &quot;Maska,&quot; one of 45 films longlisted for the Best Animated Short Oscar.</p>

A scene from the Quay Brothers' "Maska," one of 45 films longlisted for the Best Animated Short Oscar.

Credit: Se-Ma-For Studios

45 animated shorts longlisted for Oscar

Contenders range from Pixar to the Smurfs to the Quay Brothers

Aside from being a handy wild card in any Oscar betting pool (as much as I like recent winners "Logorama" and "The Lost Thing," I value them most for what I gained from their victories), the Best Animated Short Oscar is always fun to keep an eye on at this stage, given that it's almost impossible to handicap this far out, and yet not too difficult to research. So it is with the 45 shorts that were recently revealed to have qualified for the award, any number of which look from afar like potential nominees.

As usual with this category, shorts from major animation outfits like Pixar, Disney and Warner Bros. are jostling for space with minute independent productions from various corners of the globe -- what's lovely about this category is that size is rarely an advantage here. It's interesting to note that only one of Pixar's two 2011 shorts is on the list, and it's not the one ("Toy Story: Hawaiian Vacation") that preceded "Cars 2" in theaters; rather, their hopes lie with acclaimed festival player "La Luna," which you may recall Kris flipped for in Telluride. Smart move.

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<p>Selena Gomez</p>

Selena Gomez

Watch Selena Gomez be cute for several minutes in 'Hit the Lights'

Former Disney star and Bieber-lover wears some... outfits in optimistic dance track

I am not here to dump on every former Disney and/or tween-fanbased star that hits my desk. I actually want to pull for Selena Gomez, to mark a positive path for girls who want to be more than just Justin Bieber's girlfriend. I also actually, genuinely like "Who Says" and I think the styling for her "When the Sun Goes Down" was pretty stunning.

That being said, Selena Gomez' music video for "Hit the Lights" is something like a three-and-a-half-minute JCPenney commercial. Preceded by a Selena Gomez Kmart commercial. Wasn't there, like, three teases and a behind-the-scenes of this? For what?

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<p>Ringleader of &quot;The Muppets,&quot; Kermit the Frog.</p>

Ringleader of "The Muppets," Kermit the Frog.

Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

The Muppets face the indignity of product placement

Our fuzzy friends star in tongue-in-cheek UK cinema ad for phone network

Okay, so they didn't get the Oscars. Boo. But hey, work is work, so the Muppets have instead lent their services to UK cellphone network Orange (which, if you squint at it, looks kind of like Oscar) for the latest entry in a series of celebrity-satirizing theatrical ads that have become a customary part of going to the movies in Britain.

Essentially elaborate reminders to cinema patrons who haven't yet turned their phones off, the ads do so by sending up the commercial evils of product placement in films ("Don't let a mobile phone ruin your movie," is the recurring punchline) and the vulnerability of fading stars seeking career resuscitation -- all of which ties in nicely with the meta-narrative around "The Muppets" as a comeback vehicle for previously down-and-out vaudeville veterans.

Previous good sports who have appeared in the ads range from Sigourney Weaver to Spike Lee to Patrick Swayze to Juliette Lewis, so the felt gang is in good human company; the latest ad (embedded after the jump) isn't the sharpest in the series, but frankly, I'll watch these guys in life insurance commercials if it comes to that. (Meanwhile, how envious am I that Kris has seen the movie and I haven't? Guess.) 

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<p>Cirque du Soleil's Michael Jackson &quot;Immortal&quot;</p>
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Cirque du Soleil's Michael Jackson "Immortal"


Listen: Michael Jackson mash-up of 'Dancing Machine/Blame It On the Boogie"

Music from Cirque du Soleil's 'Immortal' show comes out Nov. 21

Michael Jackson’s “The Immortal World Tour” opened Oct. 2 in Montreal. The show, produced in collaboration between Cirque du Soleil and Jackson’s estate, features ambitious reinventions of some of the King of Pop’s biggest hits, performed by a live band as Cirque’s acrobats do seemingly impossible feats. The band, led by keyboardist Greg Phillinganes, plays to the late singer’s vocals.

Similarly to Cirque du Soleil’s tremendsously popular “Love,” which is built around the Beatles' hits,  “Immortal” takes Jackson’s music (solo and with the Jackson 5) and creates mash-ups and new arrangements. However, in the case of “Love,” the musical designers were George Martin, who, of course, produced all the Beatles hits originally, and his talented son Giles.  Music designer Kevin Antunes handles the duties for Cirque. He is best known for his work with The New Kids on the Block, Marky Mark, Britney Spears and ‘N Sync.

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