Cole (third from left), Dareian (third from right) and the rest of the guys on SYTYCD.
We have a top twenty on So You Think You Can Dance! Our boys Dareian (of the "lousy feet") and Cole (the martial arts dancer) are in, but Abigail and our other pals are not. In their first performance on stage, Nigel commented that Dareian is the smallest guy in the group, but he still commands attention. Mary told Cole, "I don't think we're seen anybody quite like you in the top twenty," and I have to agree. Congratulations, guys! I can't wait to see what they have in store for us this season.
Cole (in orange) takes us out to some kind of funky ballgame.
Not quite so good news for Nicole on Around the World in 80 Plates. The chefs were in Hong Kong, and the two teams had to wrap live crabs in a market and then make dumplings that were up to dim sum standard. Nicole took control of the first leg of the challenge, but her slowness and difficulty with the pinchy crabs irked her teammates. She took responsibility for the dumplings as well, but she wasn't able to make up for lost time, and the women's team lost.
Nicole holds her own against a very aqua background.
In the kitchen, the chefs were cooking individually for the first time in the challenge that had them coming up with "innovative Chinese food." Nicole made smoked duck served with squid noodles and green tea, and while the diners enjoyed the dish, they graded it as the least innovative. Judge Cat Cora agreed that Nicole played it too safe. In the chefs' deliberation, John went off on Nicole for not having enough passion. As Nicole had been at the bottom of the totem pole for some time, it was no surprise that all of her competitors unanimously voted her off. Nicole, I'm sorry that you're gone, especially since this show is more about running around and doing menial tasks than it seems to be about cooking. If any of you guys eat at her restaurant Bushi-Tei in SF, let me know how it is.
It was also a week of firsts on Duets, where the competitors were performing for viewer votes instead of the judges' scores for the first time. We learned that Jason's parents have been supportive, putting out flyers to get votes for their son. Aww. The theme this week was songs from this millennium, but Kelly pointed out that Jason's pick "Mercy" is old school. I don't think that that was necessarily a bad thing, as he and Kelly had high energy (though Kelly had noticeably more, as usual) during their performance and both of them seemed to have a good time. Jennifer said that Jason has the teenage girl vote in the bag, but John pointed out that Jason still looks stiff and unnatural as he moves around the stage. We'll see what the voters think when we get the results next week.
Jason fistpumps over the fact that Kelly is currently blond.
We got to see a whole lot of Angela and Dustin's relationship on Push Girls when he made his first visit to LA since their separation. We're reminded that the two were together for thirteen years before Dustin's work in Vietnam and Angela's difficulty in living with him there led Angela to ask for a separation. "I'll always think of him as my soulmate" she explains before they talk on Skype before his trip and she finds out that he's seeing someone. Meanwhile, Angela's caretaker Aunt Judy and her friend (and fellow push girl) Auti want Angela and Dustin to get back together -- even Auti's husband Eric likes having someone around who understands what he goes through as the partner of a woman in a wheelchair -- but Angela just wants her decision to separate to be respected.
Dustin and Angie share an intimate moment over some paperwork, as you do.
Of course, this is easier said than done. When Dustin arrived, Angela said, "it was like nothing changed" at first, but then when everyone was eating dinner together, Dustin was visibly distracted and uncomfortable. Nevertheless, Dustin is as caring and helpful as ever, lifting Angela into bed that night (something her aunt cannot do) and then showing Judy how to get Angela into her standing frame, a necessary exercise to get Angela's bone density up and fight her osteoporosis. Throughout it all, Angela realized that she wanted them to get back together too, but a conversation with Dustin convinces her otherwise. "It is what it is, " Dustin said with sadness. "We just gotta let it go, we gotta move on." Angela tearfully agreed, and it was an emotional trip getting him back to the airport to return to Vietnam. Angela is certainly a strong woman, as her aunt explains at the top of the episode, but you'd have to be made of stone to not see the pain and loneliness she feels at Dustin's words and departure. But Angela never feels sorry for herself, and she ends the episode looking hopefully toward the future.
A couple quick notes on some great scripted shows that returned this week: MTV's Awkward has its season 2 premiere, bringing back Jenna and her friend Ming, who's still under the watchful eyes of her parents (her dad picks her up just before midnight from the new year's party they're at), but now she has leverage because ... she found porn on her laptop? Okay EW. You need to get your own computer, dad.
Ming mid-party removal.
Louis CK's comedy Louie also came back, and in the first episode of season 3 we see Louis break up with a girlfriend, get his car completely smashed by construction workers, and then buy a new motorcycle on a whim. All is going okay on the bike until he gets into a bad accident and finds himself in the hospital under the care of a doctor played by Peter Y. Kim. The doc doesn't even try to hide his disdain at the foolishness of people who ride dangerous motorcycles and get hurt (or killed), but he allows a woozy Louis to leave after lending him his own cell phone so that Louis can call his ex-wife. Much nicer than any doctor I've encountered in the city!