Interview: Carolyn Rivera talks 'Survivor: Worlds Apart'

'Survivor' finalist discusses the social game failure that may have cost her the million
<p>Carolyn of &quot;Survivor: Worlds Apart&quot;</p>

Carolyn of "Survivor: Worlds Apart"

Carolyn Rivera had a rough "Survivor" finale night.

Not only did the Florida-based corporate executive lose the "Survivor: Worlds Apart" crown to Mike Holloway, but she received fewer votes than she anticipated, in tying with Will Sims for third with one vote apiece.

And then to make things worse, Carolyn's candidacy for next season's "Survivor: Second Chances" fell short. [It's no solace, probably, but Mike thinks Carolyn got hosed in the Second Chance voting process]

So you'll forgive me for treating Carolyn as the season's second place finisher, at least in terms of exit interview publication. 

Carolyn earned it. 

In addition to a key Individual Immunity win, a crucial play on a hidden Idol that she found sans clue and successful maintenance of majority alliance that would have won the day were it not for Mike's Immunity hot streak, Carolyn also earned her place in the Final 3 with a thrilling, tie-breaking fire build victory over Rodney. For the last few weeks of the season I repeatedly said that Carolyn was one of only two players with a deserving claim on the Sole Survivor crown. She just fell short.

In another slightly truncated exit interview -- Carolyn and Will were supposed to be paired, but I ended up with slightly less time for them as individuals -- Carolyn discusses the adversity she faced as an older woman, the social failings that left her weak with the No Collars on the Jury and the frustration and then elation of that fire tie.

Click through for the full Carolyn Q&A and look for the season's last "Survivor" exit interview tomorrow night...

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Interview: Rodney Lavoie Jr. and Sierra Dawn Thomas talk 'Survivor: Worlds Apart'

Rodney explains how 'Survivor' sexism is like Deflategate
<p>Rodney and Sierra of &quot;Survivor: Worlds Apart&quot;</p>

Rodney and Sierra of "Survivor: Worlds Apart"

Credit: CBS

"Survivor: Worlds Apart" fourth and fifth place finishers Rodney Lavoie Jr. and Sierra Dawn Thomas called me as a package deal on Thursday (May 21) morning following the "Survivor" finale.

The pairing probably spared Rodney lots of repetition about the various sexism and misogyny charges leveled through the season and discussed through the finale. Those issues came up in our conversation, but it wasn't the meat of the exit interview.

In a season with a 6-1-1 vote, I let Sierra and Rodney defend casting their respective votes for Carolyn and Will instead of eventual winner Mike. 

We discussed a few strategic points in the game, we circled around the sexist comments, the edit and who apologized to whom. 

And we talked about Rodney's birthday and his feelings about Tom Brady's suspension in Deflategate. Which Rodney compares to excessive attention to "Survivor" sexism.

Paired interviews are a good way to deflect problematic questions!

Check back over the next few nights for my exit interviews with Carolyn, Will and Mike.

And check out my full Q&A with Rodney and Sierra below...

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Recap: 'Survivor: Worlds Apart' Finale - The Winner Is...

A rough season reaches a competitive finale and an apology-filled live show
<p>Jeff Probst of &quot;Survivor: Worlds Apart&quot;</p>

Jeff Probst of "Survivor: Worlds Apart"

Credit: CBS

Pre-credit sequence. It's Night 35 and the Top 5 castaways return to camp. Carolyn is giddy. Mike is incredulous. Rodney is offended that Carolyn didn't tell him about the Idol, which is funny since Carolyn's offended that Rodney voted for her. They agree that without Idols or advantages remaining, everybody wants Mike out, which is especially funny since Mike was the only person to support Carolyn at the previous Tribal. But loyalty doesn't go very far when you're this deep into "Survivor."

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Recap: 'The Amazing Race' Finale - 'Monster Truck Heroes' - The Winners Are...

The teams head to Dallas and all of those Selfies finally pay off
<p>&quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

"The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Man, I feel sorry for Phil Keoghan. 

All he wanted to do was help two nice people find love and CBS forced him to conduct an "Amazing Race" season around it and then nobody found love and he's stuck giving away a million bucks to two people who probably will never speak again.

I kid. Phil Keoghan loves "The Amazing Race" and I have no doubt that given a choice between traveling around the world twice per year as "Race" host and hosting a dating show, he'd never host the dating show in a million years.

But either he really, really, really wanted to validate the premise of this "Amazing Race" Blind-Dating season or some of the producers really, really, really wanted him to validate the premise of this "Amazing Race" Blind-Dating season.

That mean that in Friday (May 15) night's "Amazing Race" finale, Phil was stuck saying things like, "Any regrets for coming on the Race and not finding love?"

Part of me wanted somebody to say, "Yes" so that Phil could rip off his Chris Harrison mask and yell, "HOW DARE YOU?!?" 

But nobody did.

So it was just Phil lamenting into the void things like, "I know you wanted to win the million dollars, but you were also looking for love."

Nobody felt regret. 

"Amazing Race" tried to do something that "Amazing Race" wasn't equipped to do this season and the experiment was an utter failure, but it speaks to the resiliency of the format that it didn't destroy the season entirely. I don't think this was a great season of "The Amazing Race," but whatever problems I had with the season were entirely about weakly integrated product placement, redundant challenges and problematic Race architecture that left too many Legs stagnant and unchanged from start to finish. Other than the occasional awkwardness of Phil trying to play yenta, the dating twist was hardly a distraction at all. Those Date Rewards? I don't think they were even mentioned half of the time. And the blind-dating contestants themselves never volunteered information on whether they were experiencing stirrings in their hearts or loins, because nearly all of them knew immediately that "The Amazing Race" is a pretty dumb way to find love, nearly as dumb as doing your speed dating on a bus unable to drive below 50 mph. 

[The end of the episode suggested in the vaguely possible terms that Jeff and Jackie are in some sort of cahoots, be it emotional or physical nobody wanted to prod too hard. If they get married, hopefully they'll ask Phil to officiate, because he seemed really disappointed not to be doing that and even Matt & Ashley asking him to do their wedding didn't seem to make Phil happy.]

So maybe nobody really found love this season.

But at least two people won a million bucks, right?

So how did that go down?

Recap of the finale after the break...

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9 burning 'Naked and Afraid' questions answered

Details about the hit Discovery Channel show
9 burning 'Naked and Afraid' questions answered
Credit: Discovery

You know Discovery's "Naked and Afraid," now in its fourth season, is a success not just because it's been renewed, but also because of all the knock-off shows that are popping up. There's everything from VH1's ridiculous "Dating Naked" to this summer's "The Island with Bear Grylls," which is like "Naked and Afraid" except without the nudity.

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'Amazing Race' Finale Exclusive: Soaring through Cowboy Stadium for a million bucks

Four teams are heading to Dallas for tonight's 'Amazing Race' finale
'Amazing Race' Finale Exclusive: Soaring through Cowboy Stadium for a million bucks

Season 26 of "The Amazing Race" wraps up on Friday (May 15) night with an episode that takes the four remaining teams from Peru to Dallas for that climactic rush to Phil Keoghan at the mat.

Yes, for the second straight season, it's a Top 4 in the "Amazing Race" finale, as Mike & Rochelle were saved from elimination at the end of last week's episode, but they've been told that one team will be sent home during this closing Leg.

This season's twist has been the introduction of a quintet of pairs featuring strangers on a hypothetical blind date around the world. 

Has that twist worked? Well, it depends on how you look at things.

Of the four remaining teams, only Mike & Rochelle were dating previously and they've been quantifiably the weakest of the last quartet. They're going up against Laura & Tyler, Jelani & Jenny and Hayley & Blair, all "blind-dating" couples, though there have been no demonstrable indications of romance from any of those pairs.

So do we think that the 75 percent Top 4 representation of blind daters is a validation of the idea that strangers can concentrate only on The Race and not on established dynamics and that that's a good way of racing? Or is it a validation of the idea that all three groups of blind daters are composed of young, in-shape competitors with solid intellectual backgrounds, including two layers and a doctor-nurse duo?

We'll see who comes out on top in tonight's "Amazing Race" finale in a few hours, but first, check out this exclusive clip from tonight's episode featuring what appears to be a genuinely nutty Roadblock hoisting competitors to the top of Dallas Cowboys stadium (AT&T Stadium, if you happen to prefer branding). It looks both nauseating and kinda awesome.

Watch the clip above. And check back later for HitFix's recap of the finale.

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Recap: 'Survivor: Worlds Apart' - 'My Word Is My Bond'

Tribal Council is full of twists and turns
<p>&quot;Survivor: Worlds Apart&quot;</p>

"Survivor: Worlds Apart"

Credit: CBS

Pre-credit sequence. Tyler is gone, so is Carolyn in charge now? "Tribal tonight was a whole lot of fun for me," Mike says, giddy at breaking up The Six. He knows, however, that he either has to find another Idol or keep winning Immunity to stay around. "Everybody wants Mike gone," Dan says, claiming that Mike has proven to be selfish and self-centered, promising that he won't work with Mike, who has to be the hero. "Mike, he has to be the hero. It's the fact that he's so arrogant and he's so condescending," Dan insists, reminding us of his advantage and the alliance he thinks he's in with. "I don't trust Dan," Carolyn says, calling Dan the biggest threat other than Mike. Carolyn wants options and tells Mike that they have to target Dan next, if they can find the numbers. She also tells Mike about the nature of Dan's advantage, which confuses him for a while. "I am smack in the middle," Carolyn declares, still planning on booting Mike if he doesn't win Immunity. Well, this sets things up interestingly, I guess?

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Recap: 'American Idol' Season 14 Finale - Nick versus Clark - Who wins?

Two men enter. 126 minutes later, one man is crowned as our penultimate Idol
<p>Your &quot;American Idol&quot; Season 14 Finalists</p>

Your "American Idol" Season 14 Finalists

Credit: FOX

Nick or Clark?

Clark or Nick?

Who will be crowned our 14th and penultimate "American Idol" winner?

And why must it take 126 minutes to find out? When "American Idol" was a colossus straddling the TV landscape, this sort of bloated spectacle wasn't just justified, it was practically necessary for FOX. Milk every blessed second out of "American Idol"! 

But Tuesday night's performance finale lost to "Undateable" in the 18-49 demo. That's a bit sad.

But maybe ratings will still perk up for the actual finale.

Follow along with me as we go on this lengthy journey to either Clark Beckham or Nick Fradiani's confetti-filled coronation...

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Recap: 'American Idol' Season 14 - Tuesday Finale - Top 2 Revealed

Jax, Clark and Nick enter, but who will remain for Wednesday's finale
<p>&quot;American Idol&quot; Top 3</p>

"American Idol" Top 3

Credit: FOX

It's a night of penultimates on "American Idol."

Tuesday (May 12) is the season's penultimate episode as we wait to see which two contestants will be competing on Wednesday night to become the penultimate winner in "American Idol" history.

Yup, FOX announced on Monday that "American Idol" will end after next season.

Let's see how Ryan Seacrest and company acknowledge the end of the road and who goes home in this showdown between Jax, Clark Beckham and Nick Fradiani...

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'Good Wife,' 'Amazing Race,' 'Odd Couple' lead CBS renewals

Predictable stuff like 'NCIS' and 'Survivor' are also renewed
<p>&quot;The Good Wife&quot;</p>

"The Good Wife"

Credit: CBS

After keeping mum last week on renewals, CBS is moving forward with an eye on Wednesday's upfront presentation to advertisers.

CBS has renewed eight dramas, a comedy and a trio of reality favorites, plus two veteran newsmagazines that weren't going anywhere anyway.

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