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Jersey Shore Recap: Return of the Dirty Hamster

Sometimes television shows are forced to slow things down a bit with what’s commonly referred to as a “place-setting episode.”

This is the term for an installment in which not a whole lot happens, but the stage is set for major drama to come.

It’s generally a convention of scripted dramas, but occasionally even reality shows have to lull us into a false sense of security before stabbing us in the belly with the guido equivalent of the Red Wedding:

Yes, Angelina Pivarnick made her not-at-all-awaited return to the world of Jersey Shore last night as part of Pauly D’s “kamikaze” prank war on his roommates.

You almost have to respect a guy who’s willing to ruin his vacation just so he can enjoy the pained expressions on his friends’ faces. Almost.

Anyway, Pauly was probably motivated less by his desire to reign supreme as the prank war champion and more by prompts from the show’s producers, so “Jolie” is back in the presence of people who can’t stand her and are often quick to violence.

Two quick observations about Angelina’s return to the show:

1. How hilariously staged and scripted was the scene where she first walks through the door?

Like, Mike’s reaction was probably legit, but the version of Angie’s swaggy entrance that we wound up was clearly the result of a few dozen takes.

2. Angelina is looking pretty good these days, right?

Sure, she still dresses like she should be serving Tony Soprano a Glenlivet at Bada-Bing, but she seems to have taken care of herself.

Anyway, the timing couldn’t have been weirder, as Pauly extended the invitation to Angelina during what was supposed to be a guys-only weekend.

It’s almost like the powers that be surveyed the situation, realized that the guys’ weekend was just as boring as the girls’ visit home and decided to take action.

Yes, you may have noticed that we skipped straight to the last five minutes of the episode in this recap, but what came before the return of Angelina was easily the driest assemblage of loosely-connected scenes Shore has ever offered up.

The girls visited their kids.

The guys yelled about t-shirts and returned to the club where everyone is half their age.

Ronnie didn’t cheat on his pregnant girlfriend, and Vinny wasn’t overly-friendly with any cocktail waitresses.

Pauly hooked up with a pseud-Sammi-lookalike, and Ron got mildly pissed about it, but that was about it in terms of drama.

Like we said, sometimes a slower episode is needed in order to pave the way for future installments.

But after last night’s snail-paced affair, we better be in for an old-school Snooki vs. Angelina throwdown next week.

Watch Jersey Shore online in order to get caught up on this season’s slightly uneven offerings.

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The Real Housewives of New York Season 10 Episode 8 Recap: A Frittered Friendship

Carole Radziwill and Bethenny Frankel have been at odds for the entirety of The Real Housewives of New York Season 10

Things took a turn for the worse on The Real Housewives of New York Season 10 Episode 8 when the ladies took a trip to the Berkshires, and, well, the drama kicked into high gear. 

In true Dorinda Medley fashion, she arranged a 1920a themed murder mystery that brought everyone together, and it did not take long for Carole and Bethenny to go to war. 

When the game came to a close, Dorinda asked Carole and Bethenny if there was tension between them. 

“I don’t feel tense; I really don’t feel tense. Our vibe is different; there’s a shift. And in a group, everyone feels the shift,” Frankel said, before turning to Radziwill and saying, “I don’t have a problem with you.”

“I heard that you were either upset with me about something to do with Adam not going and working for your charity for free or you are upset with me and my level of financial support for your charity,” Carole told Frankel after hearing about the way she was talking about Adam wanting money for a charity event. 

“I didn’t ask for more financial support,” Bethenny said in response. “I don’t need any support for your charity. You didn’t ask me about it once. Never. This summer, you didn’t ask me about it all.”

“Truthfully all I said is that I didn’t really hear from Carole really ever about Puerto Rico and she didn’t see really interested in it,” Bethenny said in a confessional to audiences. “It’s the honest truth.”

“That’s not true, Bethenny,” Carole said after Bethenny’s information dump. “Don’t lie, don’t lie.”

Carole then went off on a tangent about an article that was floating about the two women being at odds with each other. 

“I killed the story because I said there’s absolutely no way the story is true,” Radziwill recalled.

“Now I hear these rumblings that it actually might be true. I don’t understand why you wouldn’t come to me. We had conversations over the summer!”

Carole then proceeded to drag Bethenny for contacting Adam without asking her about it first, and Bethenny said that she never even called or emailed him. 

“Okay, so what did you do? Smoke signals? Whatever it was, you did not tell me,” Radziwill said in an epic rant. 

“You can’t parse out people’s words like that. No, don’t do it. It’s not nice. Friends don’t do that. If this is the vibe, I don’t like it. And I don’t think it’s just a shift.”

“You cannot say something, be wrong, and then start whining to get out of it,” Bethenny fired back.

“It was not a Sunday, it was a Saturday, so already you’re wrong. You can’t be so commandeering when you’re not telling the facts. … I care because I am accurate in every single detail.”

“It doesn’t matter if it was a Saturday or a Sunday or a goddamn Tuesday,” Radziwill screamed at Bethenny, adding: “I’m just trying to understand why this happened and how it has affected our friendship.”

They continued to go at it, but there was apparently no end in sight, and they were going to keep the fight going as long as the cameras were rolling. 

The rest of the episode was taken up by the murder mystery, and well, it was a complete and utter drag. This level of filler should not be present this early in the season. 

What did you think of the episode?

Hit the comments below. 

The Real Housewives of New York continues Wednesdays on Bravo. 

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The Voice Recap: Who Won Season 14?

The Voice Season 14 has been a hot mess from start to finish. With mind-boggling decisions from the coaches, to the bloated live episodes, it’s becoming clearer than ever that the show is running out of steam. 

The show should air for one night a week, and have the eliminations in the same episode as the performances. It’s becoming a drag to watch, and the ratings are reflecting it. 

These expanded finale episodes are stuffed with filler, performances from stars we have heard so much about that we’re sick of, and more performances from the potential winners. 

Britton Buchanan, Spensha Baker, Brynn Cartelli and Kyla Jade were the final four of The Voice Season 14, and while they were all very great at performing, only one of them could win. 

Before we got to the first batch of results Season 13 victor, Chloe Kohanski made a return to the stage to perform her new single, “Come This Far.”

It was a surprisingly robust track, and it was filled with the high notes we’ve come to expect from this vocal powerhouse. 

The true test for Chloe will be whether she can emerge from The Voice’s shadow and carve a career of her own in which she thrives instead of disappearing into the ether like much of the others from the show.

In an unsurprising move, Spensha Baker was voted out first, meaning she came in fourth place. Kyla Jade came in third place. 

This left Buchanan and Cartelli in the competitive loop for the title of The Voice. In an unsurprising move, Brynn Cartelli took the win. 

Brynn has been one to watch all season long, and that’s down to her strong vocals and versatility as an artist. You could throw any song her way, and she would make it her own without much of a struggle. 

Brynn’s win also gave Kelly Clarkson a win in her first season as a coach. That’s got to feel pretty great, and knowing Kelly is coming back for Season 15 is music to my ears. 

Despite this season’s flaws, Kelly has been a great addition to the panel. She’s brought a whole new energy with her, and it would make sense to get rid of some of the other coaches to make way for newer additions. 

Okay, what are your thoughts on Brynn winning the whole thing? Was someone else robbed?

Does the show need some big changes?

Hit the comments below. 

The Voice returns in the fall on NBC!

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The Voice Recap: Who Had the Best Original Song?

The top four took to the stage Monday night to perform a cover, an original single and even a duet with their coach. 

Oh yes, it’s the end of The Voice Season 14, and that can only mean one thing: Lots of performances from your favorite contestants. 

Let’s break down the four remaining stars and how their final performances panned out. 

Kyla Jade (Team Blake)

Kyla kept the ball rolling with a cover of “With a Little Help From My Friends,” and boy, it was a real showstopper. 

When she moved on to he original song “The Last Tear,” it seemed like it was going to be one of those slow songs with very little substance. 

However, it was so much more. With Kyla’s signature high notes on full display, she continued to throw the ball out of the park and prove that she deserves a place in the finale. 

When it came to her duet with Blake, she sprung a leak. Her strong vocals did not mesh well with Blake’s country voice, and that could be problematic when we get down to the final vote. 

As it stands, Kyla has a good chance at winning, but she’s not a slam dunk. 

Britton Buchanan (Team Alicia)

Britton’s cover of “Good Lovin” was a complete and utter dud. In fact, his vocals have never been his strong point. He parades around the stage at a fast pace. 

That could explain why he pants his way through his songs. He needs to stand in one place, and sing. This is The Voice, not So You Think You Can Dance. 

The good news for Britton is that his original single was filled with striking lyrics that almost made up for his lack of spark as far as the vocals are concerned. 

His duet with Alicia of “Wake Me Up” was bizarre. There was nothing remotely unique about it. It came across as a karaoke duet, and that’s not going to do Britton any favors when it comes to voting. 

Spensha Baker (Team Blake)

Spensha’s cover of “Merry Go ‘Round” was not the best. It was one of her worst performances to date, but that’s not to say it was terrible. 

Her vocals were still very much present, but it seemed like she was tired of fighting her way to the finish line. 

Thankfully, she brought her A-game back to the forefront when it came to her original single, “Old Soul.” The single did feel like something you would expect from someone on Team Blake, and it was performed ever so well. 

Unfortunately, her performance with Blake was dull and uninspired. There was a mismatch in the vocals, and it showed. 

These two should not be performing together. It’s a bad combination. 

Brynn Cartelli (Team Kelly)

Brynn kicked things off with “Skyfall,” and while it’s always a big no-no to tackle an Adele song, she aced it. She flawlessly aced all of the notes and proved she is one of the best contestants of the series. 

Even her original single, “Walk My Way” sounded like something you would expect from a seasoned recording artist. 

Finally, her performance with Kelly was similarly solid. They both had strong voices and managed to refrain from overpowering each other. 

Which of the four will win the coveted title of The Voice?

We will find out Tuesday at 8/7c!

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American Idol Recap: Who Won Season 16?

ABC’s rebooted American Idol crowned its first winner on Monday night in an episode that was so bloated with guest appearances, and other pointless things to keep viewers on tenterhooks before getting to the good stuff. 

Seriously, there was so much filler that it could have passed as a whole nother show entirely. 

The two-hour live finale kicked off with Lionel Richie performing “All Night Long,” and it was still as impressive as it was in 1983. 

The top 10 contestants joined him on the stage to throw their vocals into the ring for it, but they were overpowered at every turn by Lionel’s excellent vocals. 

When we finally got to the first round of results, it was more than halfway through the show, which is problematic. Ryan Seacrest confirmed which of the three were going home. 

As expected, Gabby Barrett secured the lowest amount of votes overnight and left the show in third place. 

Something very unexpected happened after that. Caleb Lee Hutchinson and Maddie Poppe aka the final two confirmed that they were, indeed, dating. 

It was a great twist in an otherwise polarizing finale, but things took a cheesy turn when they performed a duet of “Over the Rainbow” together. 

There’s saying you’re in a relationship and then there’s throwing it at the audience like you’re selling it. 

In the end, Maddie Poppe was crowned the winner. If you’ve been keeping up to speed with the show this season, you will likely be well aware that Maddie has been the most consistent throughout the whole process. 

Her performances have been solid, and she has made every single moment of the process count. Out of all the top 10, she is the most marketable star. 

The real test will be whether a lesser-viewed Idol can still propel contestants to stardom. Despite returning after a hiatus, the ratings have not been great. 

But ABC has faith, and the show will be back for Season 17 in 2019.

The rest of the finale was filled with performances from celebrities such as Bebe Rexha, Nick Jonas, and even judges Luke Bryan and Katy Perry. 

With the revived season officially in the can, it’s time to look ahead to the next season. The good news is that the judging panel will remain intact next season. 

Despite some issues with the format, the judges have been very constructive.

Katy has been a real treat as a judge. Instead of trying to apologize to Taylor Swift live on air at every opportunity, she’s been helping these contestants realize their true potential. 

Okay, what do you think of the winner? 

Should someone else have it to the finale?

Hit the comments below!

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Dancing with the Stars Recap: Which Athlete Won?

Dancing with the Stars: Athletes came to a dramatic conclusion Monday night as the winner of the condensed season was announced. 

Yes, this was the fourth episode of the season, and it was also the season finale, so there’s that. We’re not going to lie: The breakneck pace was a little bit much. 

Also, the finale was just one hour, which was a little too quick to let all of the dancing soak in. It was one extreme to the next. 

Given the world’s obsession with Adam Rippon leading into the season, we already felt like we knew so much about him, while the other contestants fell by the wayside. 

But did Adam manage to beat out the others to emerge with the coveted Mirrorball Trophy, or did someone else manage to eke out a victory?

Let’s break down the final dance routines of blink, and you’ll miss it season. 

Tonya Harding and pro Sasha Farber

This dancing duo kicked things off with a Viennese Waltz, and it effortlessly showed off the progression from Tonya. The former athlete struggled in week one, but quickly came into her own. 

Judges’ Score: 26/30

They then moved on to a Freestyle that was pretty great. Everything about it was fine-tuned, and you could tell they had been rehearsing like crazy. 

They could be part of an All-Stars series down the line. Yes, they’re that good. 

Judges’ Score: 30/30

Josh Norman and pro Sharna Burgess

Much like Tonya, Josh has been improving since the season kicked off. His first performance of the night with Sharna was solid, but not showstopping. 

Judges’ Score: 27/30

It turns out, they were saving the good stuff for the Freestyle because they achieved a perfect score!

Judges’ Score: 30/30

Adam Rippon and pro Jenna Johnson

Adam and Jenna continued to ooze chemistry and class as they performed the Jazz, and got a perfect score in the process. 

Judges’ Score: 30/30

Things slowed down for them when it came to the Freestyle, and they did not secure a double perfect score. You win some, you lose some. 

When those performances were all said and done, the cast reunited and performed a group performance that helped show off how much greatness they had all achieved throughout the season. 

In the end, we learned that Adam Rippon and Jenna Johnson were the victors and had won the first all-athlete edition of the series. 

While it was great to watch people who knew a thing or two about exercising on the show, this season was one of the worst because everyone was just too good. 

It’s better to watch the middle of the pack performers wind up on finale night. 

What did you think of the winners?

Hit the comments below. 

Dancing with the Stars returns to ABC in the fall. 

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Grey’s Anatomy Season 14 Episode 24 Recap: All of Me

For an episode that was supposed to be dealing with the exits of both Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew, Grey’s Anatomy Season 14 Episode 24 was actually a happy affair that helped all of the characters make big decisions. 

There was a necessary time-jump thrown in for good measure, and during the break, April had quit her job and was helping communities that needed her. She regained her faith. 

Oh, and she was also getting jiggy with Mathew once again, so there’s that. 

Alex and Jo’s wedding day kicked off with a thud when Jo learned that she had been accepted on the fellowship she applied for in Boston. This frightened Meredith because she was scared at the prospect of losing Alex. 

In a selfish move, Mer offered Jo a job as an attending surgeon, and Jo took this as Alex asking her to do it and flipped the eff out. When Jo realized the error of her ways, she and Alex made their way into a shed (I think!) and had some pre-marital sex. 

However, they were both stuck in the shed … with a decomposed body. 

But it was alright, their friends and co-workers were at the wrong wedding anyway thanks to a technical glitch with the link April sent out. As they geared up to leave the faux wedding, the bride’s mother took a heart attack. 

Bailey led the mother to the hospital because she knew what was going on and she was greeted by Teddy, who was back … with a big secret. 

This whole incident made Bailey realize that she needed a break from the hospital to live her life and she offered Teddy an interim role as her replacement. 

Teddy revealed to the bride’s mother that she was expecting a child just as Amelia realized she harbored feelings for Owen. 

Yikes. 

When the wedding planner ate shrimp and took an allergic reaction, the doctors had to keep their wits about them in order to save her life. They managed to save her, but the wedding did not go ahead. 

Instead, it took place on the ferry and Meredith ordained it. No, we’re totally not kidding. 

April, Jackson, Matthew, and Arizona were ominously missing, but we learned they were still on the island. Matthew admitted to April that he loved her and was happy to be back together with her. 

They subsequently got married at the place Jo and Alex were supposed to get married. So, yeah, there were three weddings in one episode!

Arizona was gearing up to leave town to open her own clinic with Herman, and she smiled every single time Callie sent her a message. 

April and Arizona got happy endings, and it’s probably for the best. Could you imagine ABC HQ this morning if one or both of them were killed off?

What did you think of the big finish?

Hit the comments below. 

Grey’s Anatomy returns in the fall.

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Jersey Shore Recap: Cheating Keto Guido

If you’ve been watching from the beginning, we probably don’t need to tell you that Jersey Shore Family Reunion is quite different from the show’s original iteration.

The OG Jersey Shore saw the housemates doing their best to get loaded and laid, stopping at nothing to achieve these goals, provided they weren’t forced to mess up their spray tans or elaborate hairstyles.

Family Vacation, however, is aptly named, in that the guidos and guidettes are often forced to be on their best behavior, a circumstance you can probably relate to if you’ve ever shared a coastal rental property with your immediate relatives for a week.

That may sound boring, and Vacation is undeniably much slower-paced than its predecessor, but in its own way, the series is just as engrossing as our very first excursion to Seaside Heights.

The stakes are higher, the jokes more consistent (and less problematic, if that’s your thing), and the storylines are more compelling, as we’re watching the crew attempt to navigate the choppy waters of adulthood and not simply dodge “grenades” and social diseases.

Much of the season has focused on Ronnie’s infidelity, and we’ve derived a whole lot of guilty pleasure from comparing the travails of his relationship at the time the show was filmed with his ongoing romantic difficulties, as documented on social media.

(Astonishingly, Ronnie and Jen Harley got back together this week.)

But last night was Vinny’s turn, as the Keto Guido repeatedly crossed the line while partying with the other members of MVP.

To his credit, Vin tries to do right by his model girlfriend, Elicea, but with a full bottle of Grey Goose sloshing around in his carb-deprived body, that’s easier said than done.

Vinny never takes things quite as far as Ronnie, but he knows that his girlfriend would not be pleased by his flirtatious interactions with the bottle service girls of South Beach.

In an effort to alleviate his guilt, Vinny calls Elicea in order to confess his misdeeds, at one point clarifying that he obtained the phone numbers of not one woman, but two. 

“What kind of guido math is that?” asks a befuddled Pauly.

It does seem weird to assure your girlfriend that you got two numbers instead of just one, but we think we see the logic in Vinny’s confession.

Something about the image of him drunkenly connecting with random strangers is less unseemly than the thought of him pursuing one woman all night.

One of the most shocking developments of Family Vacation, of course, has been the fact that Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino has matured into one of the more stable housemates.

Granted, Sorrentino is facing prison time so he’s pretty much been forced to cool his jets, but he does seem to be doing his best to atone for his decade or so of wildly douchey behavior.

On last night’s episode, Mike recruited Jenni to help him pick out an engagement ring for his girlfriend.

He proceeded to have an anxiety attack because adulthood, but the man deserves credit for taking baby steps in the right direction.

Meanwhile, the rest of the cast combed South Beach in search of the perfect girl for Pauly, as though a famous DJ needs any help hooking up in Miami.

Pauly predicted that his friends would have trouble finding a mate who meets his exact specifications and in the end, we were treated to a lame visual gag as Vinny dressed up as Pauly’s ideal woman.

Hey, we said the jokes have a higher success rate than the original Shore; we never claimed they land 100 percent of the time.

Although actually, Pauly and Vinny might really want to consider finding comfort in one another’s arms.

It seems the Keto Guido’s reckless behavior was too much for Elicea, as Vin is now officially single.

Watch Jersey Shore online for more bad decisions from people who are deep into their thirties.

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The Real Housewives of New York Season 10 Episode 7 Recap: On an Island

The trip to Puerto Rico for Bethenny Frankel and Dorinda Medley proved to them that there were more important things in life than worrying about the latest fashion trends or bickering with their friends. 

On The Real Housewives of New York Season 10 Episode 7, the pair made their way to Puerto Rico to bring some relief with them to the citizens. 

Bethenny had already been in Puerto Rico after the hurricane hit and was surprised that it looked the same as it did after the hurricane months later. 

“It’s been several months since the hurricane, and it looks like it was yesterday,” Bethenny said.

“We are so out of touch with our eyelashes, and our selfies and our bulls*** and literally people don’t have the basics,” she added.

In fact, Bethenny had $ 125,000 worth of gift cards to hand out to families in need. Dorinda was also feeling sentimental about the whole thing. 

She gave a child a gift, and passed some money over to her mother. 

“She wants all the things for her daughters as we do for ours,” Dorinda noted to the audience. 

While those ladies were doing their best to help people, Ramona Singer and Sonja Morgan were back in New York City working on their friendship. 

If you watch The Real Housewives of New York online, you will know that these two have been struggling to remain friends ever since last year’s big bust-up. 

The pair embarked on a limousine drive to go shopping for some expensive things. They seemed to have put the past behind them, and it was about time. 

“Sonja is in rare form. I don’t care if she’s ribbing me,” said Ramona with a grin. 

Later, the ladies met up for dinner, and Sonja was not impressed at being ignored by Tinsley. These two were once close friends, but they are no longer on talking terms. 

Sonja has been talking smack about Tinsley for some time now, claiming that Tinsley has men pay for her lavish lifestyle because her family are not rich enough to pay for the hotel she’s in. 

Enter Bethenny who felt that Sonja still deserved a little bit of respect because, well, she opened her home to Tinsley in her time of need. 

Another day, Bethenny and Dorinda met up and chatted about Carole’s boyfriend, Adam Kenworthy. Bethenny dished that she asked him to be part of the aid effort as a photographer and that he refused to work for free. 

“He asked what’s the comp. There is no comp,” Bethenny said to Dorinda about his request for money. “It just rubbed me the wrong way.”

Bethenny had already told Carole about the encounter, but unsurprisingly, Carole stood up for him.

The final big event of the episode focused on Carole’s friend’s book party, and Ramona told Carole that Bethenny was dragging her. 

Despite Carole saying to Bethenny that she was not impressed with her, the pair put the past aside and made things right with each other once and for all. 

Okay, what did you think of all the action?

Sound off below!

The Real Housewives of New York continues Wednesdays on Bravo!

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The Voice Recap: Which Four Contestants Got Eliminated?

Eight became four on the latest episode of The Voice as the NBC juggernaut whittled down the contestants to make way for next week’s grand finale. 

But were the right people sent home? It’s not like the coaches have final say on who makes it to the finale. There are a variety of metrics that come into play, and one of them is iTunes sales. 

As always, there was a lot of beating around the bush before we got to the final results. Kane Brown showed up as a guest act and performed a surprisingly solid song, “Heaven.”

The true showstopper, however, was Blake Shelton who performed “I Lived It.”

There’s no denying that Blake is a great performer. When he’s up on the stage, it’s like all of the other country crooners aspire to be just like him. He’s a tough act to follow. 

When we got to the actual result, Spensha Baker, Brynn Cartelli, and Kyla Jake were granted a place in the finale, but Rayshun LaMarr and Jackie Foster were immediately sent packing. 

The middle three consisted of Pryor Baird, Kaleb Lee, and Britton Buchanan, who had to sing for one last chance to return to the stage on Monday night. 

Let’s break down the three performances. 

Pryor Baird (Team Blake) – “Soulshine”

Pryor continued doing what he does best: Oozing confidence and proving that he’s a force to be reckoned with. His rendition of this Allman Brothers classic was solid if a little unspectacular. 

Kaleb Lee (Team Kelly) – “Simple Man”

Kaleb continued to be a bit all over the place. His performances have never been anything to write home about and his latest one seems like something he could be sent home over. 

Britton Buchanan (Team Alicia) – “Dancing On My Own”

Okay, so here’s the thing: The moment it emerged there was a sing-off, and Pryor was involved, I thought Pryor had it in the bag, but Britton came, he conquered and left me wanting a whole lot more of those wonderful vocals. 

When it got down to it, Britton was saved, and Pryor and Kaleb were sent packing. Like, it’s great Britton got the chance, but I can’t help shake the feeling one of the other three should have gone home. 

Poor Pryor. 

What do you think of these results?

Who do you want to win?

Hit the comments below!

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