Interview: Jenn Brown talks 'Survivor: Worlds Apart'

Latest booted castaway discusses her Auction win and people who sucked
<p>Jenn Brown of &quot;Survivor: Worlds Apart&quot;</p>

Jenn Brown of "Survivor: Worlds Apart"

Credit: CBS

"[H]appy people don’t make TV, most of the time," admits "Survivor: Worlds Apart" veteran Jenn Brown. "It's for drama. You want to see the fights. You want to see the people yelling. But the happy moments? There were so many great moments out there."

You wouldn't necessarily know about those great moments based on how Jenn went out of the game. Two episodes after an Immunity Idol play that represented one of the "Survivor" season's most exciting moments, Jenn was ready to leave the game and tried to convince people to vote against her. Instead, the castaways took the opportunity to get rid of major threat Joe. But one episode later, Jenn was leaving after a decisive vote that saw even allies Shirin and Mike vote against her.

Don't worry, though. Jenn was in on Shirin and Mike's votes. But at the time, she definitely left with a bad taste in her mouth.

"A lot of people sucked super-hard," she said at the time.

In her "Survivor: Worlds Apart" exit interview, Jenn sounds a bit more mellow about her fellow contestants, finding nice things to say about nearly all of them, though she definitely still holds a grudge against Will for his treatment of Shirin.

In our conversation, we talked about her evolving friendship with Shirin, her strategic frustrations with Joe and, most importantly, what the heck she won at the "Survivor" Auction, a giant concoction rendered unintelligible by the episode's editing.

Click through for the full Q&A with Jenn...

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Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Can I Get a Hot Tub!'

And why I want Hayley to be my new Waze navigation voice
<p>Friday&#39;s &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Friday's "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

I want Hayley from "The Amazing Race" to be my new Waze voice.

Is that so much to ask?

FOX keeps teasing me with Waze voices from their shows -- Terry Crews, Tom Mison, Will Forte -- and then pulling them for no good reason. Right now I'm using Vlade Divac and as funny as Vlade has been at times over the years, his directions aren't amusing me and he bumbles "left" and "right" in ways that leave me a bit perplexed, which would cause a real problem were it not for the reality that I rely on Waze to give me a few major points, but I often ignore the little things, like when Waze tries to get me to take left turns onto crowded intersections without lights.

I want Hayley from "The Amazing Race" as my Waze voice so that she can keep telling me the correct way to go and I can follow my own path and every time I shoot by her preferred street, she can shriek at me and as I keep driving further and further past, she can tell me to slow down and listen to her, pausing only to swoon about different cute guys walking down to street, and finally she can just give up and yell, "I'm always right and you never listen!"

Yup. I want Hayley from "The Amazing Race" to be my new Waze voice.

I wonder how long it would take for me to have the hollowed-out eyes and shell-shocked expression that Blair is sporting at this point, a mien that says "If I win a million dollars, this will have been totally worth it, but if somehow we don't win and all we get is one stupid trip somewhere... TOGETHER... I'm gonna utterly snap on Phil Keoghan."

That's my major takeaway from Friday (April 24) night's episode of "The Amazing Race."

What? You got something more dramatic from the episode? Liar.

More after the break...

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Recap: 'Survivor: Worlds Apart' - 'Bring the Popcorn'

The 'Survivor' Auction leads to advantages and discord
<p>Will of &quot;Survivor: Worlds Apart&quot;</p>

Will of "Survivor: Worlds Apart"

Credit: CBS

Pre-credit sequence. "I've got a really solid plan," Rodney says. He's beginning the episode by plotting Mike's demise. Tyler is intrigued. Mike is watching with caution and no longer considers Rodney to be part of his alliance.

Bid Fortuna. It's time for a pre-credits "Survivor" auction. How odd. They each have $500 and, as always, the auction could end without warning. A covered plate goes to Will for $100. "It's probably grilled ass or something," Will says. Nope. It's a mystery note. "You just bought yourself out of this auction," the note says, telling Will to leave immediately. Everybody is shell-shocked by what happened to poor Will. But an uncovered plate of chicken and waffles goes for $300 to Shirin, who claims she didn't want to bid for an advantage. But most of the group is waiting for an advantage. So because the "big players" are holding out and not bidding for food, we just zip through a bunch of treats without knowing exactly what's being bidd on -- I don't have a clue what Jenn got -- or how much people are paying. Probst throws in a wrinkle and puts messages from loved ones on the table and Shirin tells everybody that Jeff has, in the past, allowed anybody to buy letters for whatever price was established by the winning bid. So Sierra gets a letter for $20 and Probst doesn't try to screw Shirin and everybody can buy letters for $20. It appears there's a gentleman's agreement that everybody will go in with the $20, so they'll all be even while awaiting the advantage. Mike swears he's going in and walks to Probst... BUT HE DOESN'T TAKE A LETTER, giving him a $20 head-start in bidding for that advantage. Well, then! On that note? Off to commercial!

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Recap: 'American Idol' Season 14 - Arena Anthems and Top 5 Reveal

Soccer stars Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan will be on-hand for some reason
<p>&quot;American Idol&quot; Season 14 Top 6</p>

"American Idol" Season 14 Top 6

Credit: FOX

Wednesday (April 22) night's "American Idol" theme is Arena Anthems, which is relatively meaningless both because it's a relatively meaningless designation, but also because I'm not sure that "arenas" are in the future for this season's Top 6.

And that's not me being bitter that the patently unfair "Idol" Save sent Joey Cook packing last week, because as much as I appreciated Joey's distinctiveness, this wasn't going to be a great theme for her either.

But if Rayvon Owen is in the Bottom 2 again and he's saved by the "Idol" Save again, it'd be nice to get somebody from "Idol" to admit that they basically screwed up the entire season with this elimination twist.

Let's see what's in store!

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Interview: Joe Anglim talks 'Survivor: Worlds Apart'

Joey Amazing discusses how close he came to cheating 'Survivor' death again
<p>Joe of &quot;Survivor: Worlds Apart&quot;</p>

Joe of "Survivor: Worlds Apart"

Credit: CBS

For a couple "Survivor: Worlds Apart" episodes, it looked as if Joe Anglim might be able to pull off the unthinkable. 

Targeted for elimination at every vote -- when your nickname is "Joey Amazing," people don't like to keep you around -- Joe was spared pre-Merge elimination when the Joaquin-Rodney romance somehow made them into an alleged power couple. Then he won two consecutive Individual Immunity challenges and it seemed fair to wonder if he would ever lose.

"100 percent," Joe told me regarding whether he began to believe he could run the Individual Immunity table. "I was very confident that I could possibly go all the way."

And in Wednesday's episode, even though he lost Individual Immunity, it briefly looked as if the combination of an elaborately designed fake Idol and Jenn's desire to semi-quit might earn him at least one more day in the game.

Joe admits he doesn't know what he would have done strategically if he'd gotten that reprieve. 

He did not. Mike was briefly confused by the fake Idol, but he wasn't fooled and Shirin made a play to get on Mike's good side, leading to Joe's elimination.

In this week's "Survivor" exit interview, Joe discusses the "kryptonite challenge" that ended his Immunity streak, his ideal fake Idol design choices and the questionable Reward participant selection from the previous episode.

[Note that this interview was conducted via email due to my travel schedule, hence a couple places where I wasn't able to have direct follow-ups.]

Click through for the full Q&A...

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Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Back in Business' and 'Moment of Truth'

A double-episode in Africa features great photography, minimal drama
<p>Friday&#39;s &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Friday's "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

This season of "The Amazing Race" is just struggling with producing drama. 

Although yes, two teams have started Legs in first and ended them in last, the more frequent result this season has been teams starting Legs in last and stumbling along for an hour without ever really coming in contact with anybody else and then going home. It happened with Libby & CJ. It happened with Harley & Jonathan.

And it happened again in Friday (April 17) night's double-episode that could just as easily have been titled "You Know The First Hour Is a Non-Elimination, But At Least The Scenery Is Beautiful."

Indeed, Friday's Namibia episodes were probably "The Amazing Race" at its most beautiful. There were boundless deserts, bounding wildlife and some of the best photography the show has utilized. 

At no point did I ever feel like Friday's episodes were anything less than gorgeous to gaze upon and thus I only sometimes felt frustrated that we were inching toward an inevitable non-conclusion at the end of the first hour and then yet another worst-to-worst demise at the end of the second hour. 

I can't say, though, that I wasn't frustrated by one of the most anti-climactic Roadblocks in the show's history or by yet another example of egregious product plugs, as "The Amazing Race" has seemingly lost the capacity to just integrate a product without being utterly obnoxious about it.

Let's talk a bit about Friday's "Amazing Race" after the break, but perhaps only a little because I'm once again in a distant local doing my "Amazing Race" recap late at night on an episode that doesn't merit great analysis.

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Recap: 'Survivor: Worlds Apart' - 'Livin' on the Edge'

A fake Idol, an aspiring quitter and funny impressions boost a straight-forward episode
<p>Wednesday&#39;s &quot;Survivor: Worlds Apart&quot;</p>

Wednesday's "Survivor: Worlds Apart"

Credit: CBS

Pre-credit sequence. Hali's gone. I may not miss her, but Merica will, especially the awesome sloth who may or may not have anything to do with camp. Dan, standing by his "flippers never win" nonsense, is lecturing Shirin on how to play "Survivor," but Shirin is still hoping for a Blue Collar fracture. She wants to go to the end, which will only work if somebody on Blue Collar splits from the rest. Shirin tells everybody that she's voting for Mike at the end, which is the start of her fracturing process. Will she find help from Rodney? Boston's Finest thinks Dan is wrong in saying that flippers don't win the game, but he emphasizes that it matters when you flip and he sounds ready to flip at some point. How soon? Dunno, but let's just say Rodney isn't Blue till he dies at all. "I don't need no more friends. What I need is zeroes in my bank account," he says, promising he's got a Mike Tyson knockout punch coming, an analogy that lines up with his previous treatment of women. A storm is brewing and Jenn is miserable about her position in and participation in the game. "For selfish reasons, I don't want Jenn to go," Shirin admits, but she's also looking to make a new alliance of some sort. Shirin goes to work and she goes first to Mike and Sierra. Mike thinks that taking Shirin on would be a good way of getting rid of other threats and Shirin wants to target her former White Collar mate Carolyn. He's interested. And for Shirin, while she knows that flipping wouldn't put her in the driver's seat immediately, she's hoping to be "in the passenger seat backseat driving." Well, if she can pull this off, I'd be impressed.

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Recap: 'American Idol' Season 14 - American Classics performances plus Elimination

Who did America target for elimination and who did Twitter send home?
<p>The &quot;American Idol&quot; Top 7</p>

The "American Idol" Top 7

Credit: FOX

Wednesday (April 15) night's "American Idol" theme is American Classics and America played some role in choosing the eligible songs and at some point, somehow, we'll find out who America put in the Bottom 2 and then America will get to go on Twitter and choose who we/they want to save.

That's a lot of responsibility on you tonight, America.

Good thing I only have to recap!

Click through and follow along.

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Interview: Hali Ford talks 'Survivor: Worlds Apart'

Whose vote against her was 'like the dog returns to his vomit'?
<p>Hali of &quot;Survivor: Worlds Apart&quot;</p>

Hali of "Survivor: Worlds Apart"

Credit: CBS

I'm still not sure why Hali Ford and her alliance were so surprised at the end of Wednesday (April 8) night's "Survivor: Worlds Apart." 

I guess I can understand why Hali was surprised. It would have been reasonable that, given the options in her four-person minority group, the game steering Blue Collar group would have targeted the seemingly stronger Jenn or the seemingly more annoying Shirin rather than voting against Hali, who proved a patriotic member of the newly merged Merica Tribe.

But even after talking to Hali, I don't get why they assumed that wobbly Blue Collar partisan Sierra was going to join their anti-Dan vote, nor why anybody had a reason to expect either Will or Tyler or anybody else to give them enough votes to actually succeed. 

In this week's "Survivor" exit interview, Hali tries to explain what went wrong with the vote, why she was disappointed in Joe's strategic play and why it was more important to target Dan than Rodney. She also suggests that had she made it through this vote, she was prepared to move over to an alliance with Mike, even though we never saw them bonding on TV.

There were phone connection issues here that left me tentative about asking several Constitution studies questions that I had ready. I just wasn't prepared to have to repeat and over explain that sort of question. Apologies.

Check out the full Q&A below...

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HitFix First Look: 'Amazing Race' teams dangle high above Monaco

Check out an exclusive clip from the Friday, April 10 episodic
HitFix First Look: 'Amazing Race' teams dangle high above Monaco

It's always a bit surprising when "The Amazing Race" is making its first appearance in a particular country, but Friday (April 10) night's episode will be the initial visit to Monaco for Phil Keoghan and company. [Actually, I can't say with any certainty that this is Phil Keoghan's first visit to Monaco. I just know it's his first visit with "The Amazing Race."]

Check above for a HitFix exclusive clip of the couples dangling high above Monaco in a task that features both ziplining -- It feels like we've done that at least once already this season -- but also precarious wire-balancing. 

Do not watch if you have vertigo!

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