Stay Tuned
Reviews, previews and much more on "The Real Housewives," "How I Met Your Mother," "NCIS" and many more of your favorite shows. This is the place to talk about all of the things that make us "Stay Tuned"…

Thursday, December 22, 2011

"The X Factor" Finale Part 2: Paging Brian Dunkleman

I have never hosted a show on national television. But I have seen enough competition show finales to know what a host should do when it comes to the final moments of the season—get out of the way. Unfortunately, no one shared that with Steve Jones…

WOW! How bad were those final moments of “The X Factor” tonight? I admit, I didn’t watch the entire show. After last night’s hot mess, I just couldn’t stand it. But I wanted to see who won and I tuned in for the last 20 minutes. And if I had been watching all season long, I would have felt severely cheated.

Before I start ripping the show apart, let me first congratulate Melanie Amaro. I liked Josh and Chris, but she deserved to win. I still have ZERO idea what Simon was thinking when he sent her home. I look forward to seeing her Pepsi commercial during the Super Bowl.

Now, back to the ripping…

In his conference call a few weeks ago, Steve Jones said that the director was constantly yelling in his ear telling him what to do. If that was the case tonight, then the director needs to be fired right along with Steve because the two of them did what you NEVER do in a season’s closing episode—they stepped on the winning moment.

Steve announced Melanie’s name and she went into shock. But we completely missed Simon Cowell’s joyful reaction, which would have been nice to see since we’re so used to seeing Simon’s surlier attitude. And then, just as Simon barely got his arms around Melanie, Steve started asking for them to break it up so he could talk to her and asking for Josh and Nicole to get out of the way. He never paused to let Melanie soak it all in—even for just a second. And after seeing the show’s awkward ending, when Steve approached Melanie AGAIN for a comment, it’s obvious that there was plenty of time for that pause to occur.

I totally understand that the show must move on, but there are better ways to do it. Have you ever seen Ryan Seacrest tell people to stop hugging? Have you ever seen Tom Bergeron kick people off the stage so he can talk? No, because these guys are live show pros. Even Brian Dunkleman handled it better in the first season of “American Idol.”

Maybe Simon should look Dunkleman up for next year…

So what did you guys think? Are you happy with the winner? And what do you think needs to be changed before next year?


And I’ll have more from Melanie after she talks to the media tomorrow…

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"The X Factor" Performance Finale: I'm Still Confused...

Tonight should have been the crowning moment of “The X Factor.” The moment that would make us forget all about “American Idol” and appreciate the talent and intelligence of Simon Cowell.

Instead, tonight made me realize just how different “Factor” is from “Idol.” And that’s good for “Idol” and terrible for “Factor.” I think some serious changes will need to be made before next season or the show’s stay in the states will be a short one…

But before I get to that, let me talk about tonight’s show. Because I have not been able to see the show each week, I have been unable to experience the growth of the final three—Josh Krajcik, Chris Rene and Melanie Amaro. And I honestly didn’t see any growth tonight because the show wouldn’t let us…

As they kept reminding us all night tonight, the prize here is a $5 million recording contract—a huge prize. But apparently someone forgot to tell the producers or the judges or whoever decided that one of the only two songs the finalists sang would be a duet with a star. Duets that were nowhere near the finalists’ comfort zones, keys or nowhere near any duet we’ve ever seen during an “Idol” finale.

From the minute Josh began “Uninvited,” it was bad. The key was off, the song was off and Alanis Morrisette ended up completely outsinging him. Chris had better luck with Avril Lavigne and “Complicated,” but not much. And the usually amazing Melanie had zero energy at the start of “I Believe I Can Fly” and got absolutely schooled by a sensational R. Kelly. And then the judges had to critique the duets? What?

Then instead of allowing the contestants to concentrate on their final songs, they had to come out and sing a few lines of “They Don’t Really Care About Us” to accompany Cirque de Soleil’s performance from Michael Jackson: The Immortal Tour. And that was why? That’s something you see during a two-hour finale, NOT during the final performance show. Yes, they had to fill 90 minutes, but there had to be a better way. How about letting each finalist sing three songs as the FOX press release sent out two hours before show time promised?

So how about those final performances? I thought they were all great although I was confused by Melanie’s anger. It’s appropriate for the song, but she seemed like she wanted to beat someone up after the performance and barely cracked a smile at the judges’ praise. Normally, I’m opposed to hearing a contestant sing the same song three times in a season, but Chris had no choice but to close the season out with his signature “Young Homie What You Trippin’ On?” I think it will all come down to whether Melanie’s powerful voice can overcome the emotion of Chris’ story. I think it can, but it will be close…

However, since I always root for the Ohio team, I’d love to see Josh pull out an upset…

Now back to those things that need changed. I guess Simon likes the whole gladiator arena aspect of things, but to me, it’s ridiculous. Random, fake-sounding screaming by the audience does not create energy. In fact, it deters from the performances. The screams completely stepped all over the key change in Melanie’s song that should have been her moment. Maybe that’s why she was mad…

I also don’t get the cheesy announcer announcing each contestant after his or her mentor has already introduced them. And the video montage and the opera music that goes with it? What are they going for? If they’re going for unbelievably cheesy, they’ve unbelievably succeeded. I think the show needs to dial back the theatrics and dial up the performances AND the one thing that sets the show apart from the others—the interaction between the judges.

And one other thing needs dialed up—the host. I know I said I would take it easier on Steve Jones from now on, but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t state the obvious—he’s just not meant for this. If he had more energy, maybe we wouldn’t need such fake energy from the audience. And a little more interaction between host and judges could go along way as well. I think the show seriously needs to look at that before next season.

So what did you guys think? Who do you think will win? Were you disappointed with tonight’s show? Or maybe you were disappointed with the entire season?

Feel free to post a comment here or talk to me on Facebook or Twitter

Photo Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FOX

"The X Factor" Finale: Um, What?

Oh, "The X Factor." What in the world is this mess you're presenting with?

I'll have MUCH more to say later. If you want to weigh in now you can post a comment here or follow me on Twitter @angelahbentley.

Stay Tuned...

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Today's Column: A Perfect Christmas Treat

In today's "Stay Tuned" column, I review the new ABC Family Christmas movie, "12 Dates of Christmas" starring Amy Smart and Mark-Paul Gosselaar.

As longtime readers know, I am a HUGE MPG fan. And he is great in this.

You can read my review here.

And as for "Bag of Bones." Nope, still haven't gotten up the nerve...

Photo Credit: Christos Kalohoridis/ABC Family

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Steve Jones of "The X Factor": "I'm Not Rude"

Because of other obligations, I haven’t been able to watch “The X Factor” every week. In fact, I’ve only seen three or four episodes this entire season.

But every time I do see it, I have the same problem—host Steve Jones. If you follow me on Twitter (@angelahbentley), you know I’ve called him rude and proclaimed him to be “no Ryan Seacrest.”

So when FOX invited me to a conference call with him to promote “The X Factor,” my first instinct was to blow it off. But I’m glad I didn’t. Because what I discovered is that the real Steve Jones is nowhere near the one we see on TV. The real Steve Jones is funny and engaging with personality to spare. And I think the show needs to find a way to spotlight that.

There were several questions about what the hardest thing for him is and he admitted that cutting off the judges—which I hate—is the hardest part for him. Even harder than eliminating the contestants.

“It’s a hard show to do. The live element, steering the judges. It’s hard to come across as fun when you’re steering it in a short amount of time,” Jones said.

“Two hours is a long time, but we have the judges to contend with. And they speak endlessly. I relish every word these people say. But I’m the guy who has to cut them off. It’s the most difficult part of the show. People at home are enjoying what they’re saying

Everybody at home is saying, ‘Why is he stopping Simon Cowell?’ If I don’t, the show will just end and I’ll get into trouble with FOX.”

Jones said the criticism is to be expected and he can handle it. But what hurts is when people call him rude, which I’ve already admitted, I have. “I’m not and I am nice. I’m there to move the show along.”

I totally understand Jones’ opinion, but I still think there is a better way for him to steer the show. And once he figures out how to put his personality into it more, I think he might just find it. But the director and producers need to give him a little longer of a leash, in my opinion…

As for the contestants’ reactions to what he has to say, Jones said he can handle that as well. But he admits figuring out the right thing to say is something he needs to work on for the future. “I’ve got broad shoulders. If people want to vent, so be it…You can’t prepare for it. I don’t know who’s about to leave. I don’t know what’s going to come out of my mouth. [The director] is saying, ‘Move them out of the way. They can’t hug right now. Move them apart.’…It’s exciting. I enjoy the pressure.”

Most of the call was devoted to Steve himself, so we didn’t hear a lot of his opinions about the final five. But here’s more of what he had to say…

On how it’s been for him: “It’s been fantastic. It’s definitely measured up to dream job status.”

On the death threats he’s received: “It is a TV show. Everybody just chill out.”

On comparisons to Ryan Seacrest: “I’m hugely flattered. He’s a titan of the industry. The biggest host on the planet. He’s a fantastic host. I couldn’t be more happy.”

On what he likes the most about doing the show: “I enjoy hanging out with the contestants and seeing them flourish and becoming little superstars. I love watching the judges. I just don’t know what the h--l is going to be coming out of the judges’ mouths. Steering them is a challenge.”

On whether he’ll be back for season two: “I always exercise caution with these things. Really I hope I’ll be back.”

On Simon’s reaction last week to Drew being eliminated: “It was childish on Simon’s part. When he refuses to comment, it defeats the purpose of the show. That’s why I was a little bit annoyed. I want to know what that complicated man is thinking. I know he felt utterly crushed. The great Simon Cowell shut down in that moment”

On the interaction between the judges: “It’s very exciting to watch. One of the aspects that surprised me is the lack of theatrics. It’s all real. Simon was really p---ed at Nicole and Paula. It surprised me how nasty it can get. There are big egos out there. None of them wants to lose. It can get really horrible on occasion.

On how America has been doing so far: “I’m not one to argue with America. They’re all so talented at this level. Anybody leaving was going to be a shock. That’s how lucky we’ve been.”

Tonight, the final five—Melanie Amaro, Marcus Canty, Rachel Crow, Josh Krajcik and Chris Rene—will perform two songs. Tomorrow night, Lenny Kravitz and Mary J. Blige will perform on the results show.

“The X Factor” airs tonight from 8-9:30 p.m. and Thursday from 8-9 p.m. on FOX...

And the finale, by the way, is scheduled for December 22nd

Photo Credit: Nino Munoz/FOX

Monday, December 05, 2011

She's BA-ack!

Got some fantastic news in my inbox today from CBS…

Rose is back!

Melanie Lynskey will appear on tonight’s episode of “Two and a Half Men” as Charlie’s stalker, Rose. Has she found a new target?

I hope so…

“Two and a Half Men” airs tonight at 9 on CBS…

Photo Credit: Darren Michaels/Warner Bros.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Your Faves Get Set to Return to the "Runway"

“Project Runway” is hauling out its very own all-star edition this January, but without its regular stars, Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, Nina Garcia and Michael Kors.

“Project Runway All Stars” will be hosted by supermodel Angela Lindvall and judged by Isaac Mizrahi and Georgina Chapman. “Marie Claire” Editor-in-Chief Joanna Coles will serve as the mentor.

So who’s competing? Here’s the list…

· Kenley Collins (Brooklyn, NY) – Season Five, Second Runner-up

· Michael Costello (Palm Springs, CA) – Season Eight, Fourth Place

· Gordana Gehlhausen (San Diego, CA) – Season Six, Fourth Place

· Mondo Guerra (Denver, CO) – Season Eight, Runner-up

· Mila Hermanovski (Los Angeles, CA) – Season Seven, Second Runner-up

· Kara Janx (New York, NY) – Season Two, Fourth Place

· Elisa Jimenez (New York, NY) – Season Four, 10th Place

· April Johnston (Savannah, GA) – Season Eight, Fifth Place

· Rami Kashou (Los Angeles, CA) – Season Four, Runner-up

· Austin Scarlett (New York, NY) – Season One, Fourth Place

· Jerell Scott (New York, NY) – Season Five, Fourth Place

· Sweet P/Kathleen Vaughn (Pasadena, CA) – Season Four, Fifth Place

· Anthony Williams (Atlanta, GA) – Season Seven, Fifth Place

I’m a little bummed that there aren’t more competitors from the early Bravo years, but I understand why not…

But did anyone really want to see Kenley back?

The designers will be competing for an exclusive designer’s boutique in select Neiman Marcus stores and on, $100,000 in techonology and office space from HP and Intel, $100,000 cash from L’Oreal Paris, a feature in “Marie Claire,” a guest editorship with “Marie Claire” and a sewing studio from Brother International.

“Project Runway All Stars” premieres January 5th at 9 p.m. on Lifetime….

Photo Credit: Copyright 2011 Lifetime Entertainment Services

"The Closer" Celebrates Christmas AND 100 Episodes

“The Closer” will celebrate its 100th episode Monday with an appearance by one of my favorite actors…

Fred Willard will guest star as Santa Jack, a man the Major Crimes Division gets involved with when a Santa’s entrance into a Christmas Village goes terribly wrong.

Remember that “The Closer” is scheduled to air its series finale sometime in early 2012.

Monday’s episode, “You Have The Right to Remain Jolly” airs at 9 p.m. on TNT…

Photo Credit: Mercedes Heinila/TNT

TNT Debuts the New "Dallas" Trailer

Here it is, ladies and gentlemen. The new “Dallas” trailer from TNT…

CBS Revamps Its Morning Show...Again

CBS has announced the name of its new morning show and it’s…“CBS This Morning.”

Wow, how did they ever come up with that one?

The hosts are Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Erica Hill. John Miller will serve as Senior Correspondent, Rebecca Jarvis as Business and Economics Correspondent and Jeff Glor as Special Correspondent.

The new show premieres Monday, January 9th from 7-9 a.m. on CBS…

Photo Credit: Craig Blankenhorn/CBS

FOX Announces Its Mid-Season Schedule

FOX announced today its mid-season schedule and as usual it’s a tad confusing…

So let me just show it to you as FOX presented it in the press release:


Monday, Jan. 16:

8:00-10:00 PM ALCATRAZ (Series Premiere)

Mondays, beginning Jan. 23:

8:00-9:00 PM HOUSE (Time Period Premiere)

9:00-10:00 PM ALCATRAZ (Time Period Premiere)

Monday, March 12:

8:00-10:00 PM ALCATRAZ (Two-Hour Episode)

Mondays, beginning March 19:

8:00-9:00 PM HOUSE

9:00-10:00 PM TOUCH (Series Premiere)



Tuesdays, beginning Jan. 17:

8:00-9:00 PM GLEE

9:00-9:30 PM NEW GIRL

9:30-10:00 PM RAISING HOPE

Tuesdays, beginning March 6:

8:00-8:30 PM NEW GIRL (encore)

8:30-9:00 PM BREAKING IN (Season Premiere)

9:00-9:30 PM NEW GIRL

9:30-10:00 PM RAISING HOPE



Wednesday, Jan. 4:

8:00-9:00 PM GLEE (encore)

9:00-10:00 PM MOBBED

Wednesday, Jan. 11:

8:00-9:00 PM MOBBED (encore)

9:00-10:00 PM MOBBED

Wednesday, Jan. 18:

8:00-10:00 PM AMERICAN IDOL (Season Premiere, Part One)

Wednesday, Jan. 25:


9:00-10:00 PM TOUCH (Special Preview)

Wednesdays, beginning Feb. 1:


9:00-10:00 PM MOBBED

Wednesdays, beginning Feb. 15:

8:00-10:00 PM AMERICAN IDOL (Two-Hour Episodes)



Thursday, Jan. 12:

8:00-9:00 PM BONES (encore)

9:00-10:00 PM THE FINDER (Series Premiere)

Thursdays, beginning Jan. 19:

8:00-9:00 PM AMERICAN IDOL (Season Premiere, Part Two)

9:00-10:00 PM THE FINDER



Friday, Jan. 6:


Fridays, beginning Jan. 13:


9:00-10:00 PM FRINGE



Saturdays, beginning Jan. 7:

8:00-8:30 PM COPS

8:30-9:00 PM COPS


11:00 PM-Midnight ENCORES

Midnight-12:30 AM ENCORES

Saturday, Feb. 11:


11:00 PM-Midnight ENCORES

Midnight-12:30 AM ENCORES



Sunday, Jan. 8:

7:00-7:30 PM BOB’S BURGERS (encore)

7:30-8:00 PM THE CLEVELAND SHOW (encore)



9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY

9:30-10:00 PM AMERICAN DAD

Sunday, Jan. 15:


8:30-9:00 PM NAPOLEON DYNAMITE (Series Premiere)

9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY

9:30-10:00 PM NAPOLEON DYNAMITE (Special Time)

Sunday, Jan. 22:


10:00 PM ET/ AMERICAN IDOL (Special Broadcast; Approximate Start Time)

7:00 PT

Sundays, beginning Jan. 29:

7:00-7:30 PM BOB’S BURGERS (encore)




9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY

9:30-10:00 PM AMERICAN DAD

Sundays, beginning March 11:




8:30-9:00 PM BOB’S BURGERS (Season Premiere)

9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY

9:30-10:00 PM AMERICAN DAD

See what I mean?

According to the release, “I Hate My Teenage Daughter” will return with all-new episodes following “American Idol” in the spring. If this had been yesterday, I would have told you not to hold your breath, but “Daughter” had a good premiere last night…

Also, “Glee” and “Bones” are scheduled to return with new episodes in the spring…

The thing that really bothers me is that “Breaking In” is scheduled to follow a rerun of “New Girl.” I’m hoping they’ll find something else to put there between now and March…

In case you’ve forgotten, “Alcatraz” is the drama from J.J. Abrams starring Sam Neill and Jorge Garcia. “Touch” is the new Kiefer Sutherland drama (WOO HOO!) and “The Finder” is the “Bones” spin-off…

Photo Credit: James Dittinger/FOX