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Listen: Britney Spears' new single, 'Perfume'
Credit: RCA

Listen: Britney Spears' new single, 'Perfume'

Ballad from 'Britney Jean' shows her vulnerable side

Britney Spears wants to “mark her territory” with her scent in “Perfume,” the new single from “Britney Jean,” and it couldn’t be more different from first single, “Work Bitch.” Spears premiered the song on Facebook Sunday evening and, guess what? She's actually singing.

This is Spears as we haven’t heard her—or at least not for a long while: singing a straight-ahead ballad with no talking and no heavy beat behind her as on past semi-ballads like “Unusual You” or even all the way back to “Sometimes.”

Though still slickly produced, on “Perfume” the focus is on her vocal and the emotional weight of the lyrics as Spears hopes that the next woman to touch her man can smell her perfume on him. She admits she’s insecure and “I want to believe it’s just you and me/sometimes it feels like it’s three in here, baby,” and not in a good way as she extolled in 2009’s “3.” It’s the kind of ballad it’s easy to imagine Gwen Stefani taking on.

Spears’ singing is as strong as it has ever been here (let the guessing begin on how much it was doctored in the studio) and this is the best song she’s done in years. Plus, given how successful Spears’ several lines of cologne are, we can only imagine the tie ins planned between song and the scents.  Let the cross-branding begin!

"'Perfume' is incredibly special to me because it hits close to home, and I think the story is relatable to everyone," Spears told E! "Everyone's been through an insecure moment in a relationship that's left them vulnerable and I think this song captures that."

What do you think of "Perfume?"

 

 

Official artwork for Britney Spears' Perfume

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"Once Upon A Time"

 "Once Upon A Time"

Credit: ABC

'Once Upon A Time' recap: Will 'Ariel' betray a friend for love?

When secrets are revealed, will the Charmings be torn apart?

At long last, Ariel will be joining the "Once Upon A Time" players, and I'm hoping she'll add a lighter element to the unrelentingly dark Neverland we've been largely stuck in. While I know her story will get a twist and happy endings are hard to come by, this season has suffered from a limited amount of fresh blood (and thus, fresh stories). C'mon, mermaid, we're counting on you!

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Watch: One Direction's new video for 'Story of My Life'
Credit: Sony Music Entertainment

Watch: One Direction's new video for 'Story of My Life'

Time travel with the boy band to their past

One Direction takes the title of its latest song, “Story of My Life” literally in its new Ben Winston-directed video.

For the clip of the emotional break-up ballad, the quintet took a different approach. Surrounded by photos of thousands of photos, the lads take actual photos from their lives and bring them to life and into the current day.

For example, Harry Styles takes a photo of him of his mom from when he was a toddler and advances it the present. The other people in the photos age along with the boy band member but don’t interact with them at all, until the end.  Liam Payne’s photo is him in formal wear with his family; Zayn Malik and his sister have their moment in his choice, while Niall Horan shares a musical moment  with his brother.

Perhaps, the most touching vignette is when Louis Tomlinson advances a photo of him as a little boy posing on a sofa with his parents and grandparents (or grandparents and great-grandparents) and in the modern photo, the eldest couple are no longer there because they’ve died.

It’s a change of pace for the band and one that their fans will go over frame by frame, for good reason.

The track is the second single from One Direction's new album, "Midnight Memories," out Nov. 25.

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<p>Brandon and Adam of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Brandon and Adam of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Brandon & Adam talk 'The Amazing Race'

Beard enthusiasts share some ribald tales from the road
Last week, best friends and beard enthusiasts Brandon Squyres and Adam Switzer became the second straight team to go from first to eliminated in this unpredictable "Amazing Race" season. 
 
One Leg, they were building a commanding lead in Norway and coasting to victory in a hall of cheering Vikings and the next Leg, Brandon & Adam were struggling with a Double U-Turn in Poland, trying to get locals to give them change for pretending to be a statue. 
 
It was an abrupt reversal of fortune for Brandon & Adam, but they kept smiling and cracking jokes til the end, meaning that just like their first-to-worst predecessors Ephraim & Chester, these two will be missed.
 
In this week's interview, Brandon & Adam have amusing confusion about this website's name, discuss the circumstances of their "Amazing Race" demise and relate a couple very funny moments we didn't get to see on TV.
 
Click through for the full conversation.
 
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'SNL' uses Kerry Washington and Al Sharpton to mock its lack of black female cast members


"SNL" uses Kerry Washington and Al Sharpton to mock its lack of black female cast members
The "Scandal" star was forced to play multiple black women in the cold open, while Sharpton, the MSNBC star who hosted "Saturday Night Live" in Dec. 2003, appeared also appeared in the cold open Host Kerry Washington, however, did not directly address the controversy. PLUS: "SNL" parodies "What Does the Fox Say?"

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Taran Killam and Kerry Washington

Taran Killam and Kerry Washington

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' – Kerry Washington and Eminem

Get your red wine and popcorn ready as the 'Scandal' star hosts for the first time

Let’s talk about race and “Saturday Night Live”.

Let’s talk about it even though every time we do, it devolves into anarchy in the comments.
 
Let’s talk about it specifically because of that anarchy, which rather than dampening any desire to have a rational discussion about it only makes me want to keep attempting to have it.
 
Let’s talk about it not simply because Kerry Washington is the host this week, but rather because it’s a useful conversation to constantly have.
 
Let’s talk about it because I’ve already talked about it here, here, here, and here and the rage that inevitably flows from a small, vocal portion of the readership is often more instructive about the show’s than anything I can bring to the table.
 
Let’s talk about it because talking about it is in fact talking about ways to make a show near and dear to the hearts of many “SNL” fans better.
 
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<p>Jonathan Rhys Meyers of &quot;Dracula&quot;</p>

Jonathan Rhys Meyers of "Dracula"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: Big 'Dracula' drop as 'Shark Tank,' 'Blue Bloods' lead Friday

'Grimm' falls as well, with NBC going to third
Fast National ratings for Friday, November 1, 2013.
 
"Blue Bloods" kept CBS in its familiar and dominant position atop Friday's overall rankings, while ABC capitalized on a strong "Shark Tank" and drops from NBC's "Grimm" and "Dracula" to regain its Friday crown among young viewers.
 
While the "Grimm" drop put it in line with the drama's regular Friday performances from last season and beyond, the "Dracula" decline was far steeper, slipping 0.5 in the key demo and nearly 1.8 million viewers. Neither "Dracula" nor "Grimm" was aided by a low-rated "Why We Love Vampires" special courtesy of NBC News.
 
There weren't many other notables on Friday, though "Last Man Standing" and "The Neighbors" both bounced back to season norms after a week away, while The CW's "The Carrie Diaries" added a few viewers in its second airing, but remained low in the demo.
 
On to the numbers...
 
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<p>One could argue that 'Thor' was the moment where Agent Coulson really came into his own as a character and became the pivot point for 'The Avengers'</p>

One could argue that 'Thor' was the moment where Agent Coulson really came into his own as a character and became the pivot point for 'The Avengers'

Credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel sets 'Thor 2' crossover for 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' in mid-November

Jonathan Frakes is set to tie the show to the newest Marvel Universe movie

Well, of course they are.

Entertainment Weekly broke the news that Jonathan Frakes will be directing an upcoming episode of "Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D." that will directly connect to the events at the end of "Thor: The Dark World."

That's all you need to know if you don't want to be spoiled at all for the upcoming movie or for the TV series, or both. You can stop reading and just know that Marvel and Disney and ABC have made one of the most profoundly obvious decisions in the history of corporate synergy. They are going to use their TV show that exists because of their big hit movies to lay some expository pipe between one of those big hit movies and the rest of those big hit movies, and the show will promote the movie while the tie-in promotes the show and the new movie promotes not one but two or even three new movies and where does the commercial stop and where does the movie begin at this point can you even tell me?

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<p>Arcade Fire's Regine Chassagne and Win Butler</p>

Arcade Fire's Regine Chassagne and Win Butler

Credit: AP Photo

Arcade Fire's 'Reflektor' will shine brightly on Billboard 200

Tis the season for Christmas albums to bow on the chart

Arcade Fire’s “Reflektor” will kick Katy Perry’s “Prism” out of the top spot, as the Canadian group’s newest sells up to 140,000. “Prism” falls to second place with sales of around 95,000.

Coming in at No. 3 will be Clarkson’s “Wrapped In Red” with sales of up to 70,000, followed by The Robertsons’ “Duck The Halls” at No. 4, moving 55,000 units.

Two more country debuts follow: Toby Keith’s “Drinks After Work” looks good for No. 5 (40,000), while Thomas Rhett’s “It Goes Like This” will bow at No. 6 (35,000).

Drake’s “Nothing Was the Same” is in a dead heat with Linkin Park’s latest “Recharged,” for the No. 7 spot, with sales of up to 35,000, while Miley Cyrus’s “Bangerz” and Lorde’s “Pure Heroine” are duking it out for the No. 9 spot, with each targeted to sell up to 32,000, according to Hits Daily Double.

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<p>Kat works a puzzle on &quot;Survivor: Blood vs. Water&quot;</p>

Kat works a puzzle on "Survivor: Blood vs. Water"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Kat Edorsson talks 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water'

Did Hayden break up with her because she didn't make the Merge?
The first thing you'll probably want to know (and the first thing I'll admit I wanted to know) is that Kat Edorsson and her "Big Brother"-winning boyfriend Hayden Moss are still together. 
 
Whew. 
 
Much of the opening act of Wednesday night's "Survivor: Blood vs. Water" was dedicated to 23-year-old Kat's concern that Hayden would break up with her over her failure to reach the "Survivor" Merge. The anxiety and tears climaxed in extensive deliberation between Kat and Hayden as to whether or not he should take her place in the Redemption Island Duel, a task that involved Kat's acknowledged nemesis, puzzles. 
 
Other Kat nemeses included Monica, who she worried was over-strategizing, and Tina, with whom she shared her Monica concerns, but who promptly turned on her and instigated her Tribal Council ouster. 
 
In this week's "Survivor" exit interview, Kat discusses her relationship with Hayden, her puzzle handicaps and the particular challenges of this season's twists.
 
Click through for the full conversation from Thursday (October 31) and to find out what Kat & Hayden dressed as for Halloween…
 
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ABC gives full seasons to 'The Goldbergs' and 'Trophy Wife,' cancels 'Back in the Game'


ABC gives full seasons to "The Goldbergs" and "Trophy Wife," cancels "Back in the Game"

"Super Fun Night" also got a four-episode order from ABC.

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<p>Malin Akerman of &quot;Trophy Wife&quot;</p>

Malin Akerman of "Trophy Wife"

Credit: ABC

ABC orders more 'Goldbergs,' 'Trophy Wife' and 'Super Fun Night'

'Back in the Game,' however, will end after 13 episodes
ABC stirred up a little late-afternoon excitement in the TV world on Friday (November 1), ordering up additional episodes for three of its freshman comedies.
 
Per ABC's announcement, Tuesday duo "Trophy Wife" and "The Goldbergs" both received full back-nine orders. While "Super Fun Night" wasn't quite as lucky, the Wednesday comedy earned an additional four episodes.
 
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