You get a ten! You get a ten! Everybody gets tens! It’s the semifinals!

The semifinals were obnoxious. Once it was announced that our three Olympians were in jeopardy, both the judges and the hosts were insufferable for the remainder of the night. They were shocked! They were appalled! They were heartbroken! They were unfortunately not speechless! The judges kept telling each of the Olympians that they deserve to be in the finals. People, we get it, you think Candace should be eliminated. Message received loud and clear – no one’s arguing. During one of these spiels about how the Olympians don’t deserve jeopardy, the camera panned to Candace who was not quick enough to hitch a smile on over her scowl. I don’t blame her – if everyone on the show kept implying I didn’t deserve to be there, I’d be pissed too.

Proving that the DWTS producers are really running out of ideas, the semifinals were “American Icons Night.” Um, if you say so. All this seemed to include was a bunch of guest stars in rehearsal packages and really terrible music selection. Oh, and Derek’s final Macy’s Stars of Dance of the season – a pretty cool number that was all about film sets and props. The guest judge was Kenny Ortega, and my inner fourteen-year-old squeed while listening to the director of High School Musical. He was a fine guest judge, better than most of the guest judges this season.

Numbers fun: this week marked Derek’s record-setting eleventh appearance in a semifinal (breaking the record he’d previously shared with Cheryl); he’s only missed the semifinals twice in the seasons he participated in. Mark and Maks are both on their seventh semifinal, Peta is on her second, and this was Sharna’s first semifinal.

After two hours of interminable reminders about their jeopardy, the couple heading home is… Charlie and Sharna! Yes, Charlie faced the cruelest cut of all, almost making the finals but not quite. Fifth place is nothing to sneeze at, but it’s not what an Olympic champion is used to. This is Sharna’s best finish yet. Honestly, Charlie had really grown on me, and I’m kind of sad to see him go. In fact, both Olympians really stepped up their game this week, finally delivering performances of the caliber I expected all season. It only serves to emphasize how much Candace does not belong here.

Not to toot my own horn, but I did pretty good with my early finalist predictions. I called correctly that it would be James, Amy, and one of the figure skaters. (I was mistaken in thinking Danica would make it over Candace.) It will be an interesting final next week.

Charlie started off his last night with a bang, delivering a fantastic foxtrot to “New York, New York.” He received another perfect score, and seemed like he was on top of the world. Then it all came crashing down. Charlie attempted a samba to a song by some notorious B.I.G. (I think that’s what Tom said – why is this guy notorious anyway?) This is pretty much the worst song to samba to that I’ve ever seen on the show, and Charlie and Sharna made a brave attempt. The judges had a medley of critiques to level at Charlie, and gave their nines with stern disapproval. But Carrie Ann and Erin both want to live in Charlie’s world full of smiles – we even got to see Charlie having a chat with his mirror self to get pumped up in rehearsal. Upon his elimination, Charlie was a class act, repeatedly trying to give Sharna the big bow at the end.

Now, let’s welcome our finalists!

First Place, 80 points: Meryl and Maks (Jive, 40 + Viennese Waltz, 40). M&M had a very good week for the semifinals. Kristi Yamaguchi dropped by rehearsal to chat with Meryl, but the focal point was Maks’s creative block regarding the choreography. Meryl actually showed a bit of personality trying to cheer him up – well done to her! They did a jive to “Hound Dog,” which was a damn sight better than the Michael Bolton doghouse fiasco. Considering jive is all about being larger than life, I thought Meryl did very well; her technique was obviously flawless. Maks was feeling warm and fuzzy and started kissing everyone in the ballroom – both Carrie Ann and Bruno looked like all their dreams had come true.

Their Viennese waltz is their best dance by miles. Meryl was so incredibly expressive, bringing the performance alive like she hasn’t all season. It was a superb waltz, filled with drama and passion. Perfect score well-deserved on that one. I’m curious as to where Meryl will end up – Maks is notoriously terrible at finals, but Meryl now has the entirety of her and Charlie’s fanbase united behind her. Just think, this fanbase when divided got two stars to the semifinals; when they all rally behind Meryl she might be unstoppable.

Second Place, 78 points: Amy and Derek (Quickstep, 39 + Jazz, 39). For the Quickstep, Amy put on her bouncy feet! I think it’s kind of awesome that she just puts on the appropriate feet for each dance. Whether it was the feet or a call from Oprah that put a bounce in Amy’s step, her Quickstep was great. Len was a grump and gave them a nine. I disagreed with that nine, but I also disagreed with the raves Amy got for her jazz number.

For once, I was not as enamored of Amy and Derek’s dance as the judges. The judges all treated this number as the greatest thing since sliced bread, but I was not particularly impressed by Amy sitting on a table for 80% of her routine, especially the week after her stool-focused Argentine tango. Yes, her sliding down the table was impressive; the rest not so much – it seemed a tad lazy, to be honest. And I, too, saw the slip-up that Carrie Ann mentioned – they lost sync once early on. Best part however, was Kenny’s improv: “From Len, the ten!” “From Ken, the ten!” Bravo, Mr. Ortega, bravo. Kenny Ortega also said to Derek, “You have reinvented choreography for this generation.” No arguments there – I cannot wait for next week’s freestyle!

Third Place, 76 points: James and Peta (Cha-Cha, 40 + Rhumba, 36). There was “a bit of ‘Bad’” in Bruno’s crotch, but everything else about their cha-cha was good. I’m kind of over the Michael Jackson tributes on this show, but I thought James and Peta did a spectacular job doing a proper cha-cha as a Michael Jackson homage. The rehearsal package was about some music producer visiting James – not nearly as compelling as usual, but everyone’s allowed an off week.

Considering James and Peta’s samba (“the party dance”) was the sexiest thing in DWTS history, I had to wonder what they’d do with a rhumba (“the dance of love”). They took everyone by surprise by doing a sweet and romantic rhumba, not a particularly raunchy one. I suppose that anything racier than their samba would belong on Game of Thrones. The judges came down hard on his arms and hands – I didn’t really notice that, but I did notice him sticking out his butt at some points, which was a critique some weeks ago. Carrie Ann said James is the smartest contestant, and I agree – he’s done a perfect job this season. And with Charlie gone, I think James stands a pretty good chance of winning.

Last Place, 72 points: Candace and Mark (Viennese Waltz, 34 + Jazz, 38). Candace is dancing for God. She loves the word of God. She really wants us to know about her relationship with God. By the time her rehearsal package was over, I didn’t care what her dancing was like, just as long as she shut up. Her Viennese waltz was okay, but it garnered the only eights of the night. In round two, Candace performed a very impressive jazz number, perfectly in sync with Mark. I enjoyed it so much more without a rehearsal package about her faith preempting it.

She also wore a leotard that she probably would have severely objected to two months ago – yay for growth! Bruno manically beckoned her to the Dark Side, but more importantly, Candace got her first tens of the season! And from Len and Kenny, no less! It is glaringly obvious that she does not belong in the finals, but hopefully she’ll be sent packing next Monday and can trade in her dance shoes for a Bible.

Will you miss Charlie and his world of smiles? Which of the four finalists do you want to see take home the Mirrorball Trophy? Who would you rather have seen in the finals instead (coughDanicacough)?

When the news broke about X-Men: Supernova being adapted for film, the reactions were as predictable as they were extreme: “Yay!” from the fanboys and “Oy vey” from the general populace. And strange as it feels to me, I align with the casual moviegoers, despite being the guy who went to see the last two X-movies dressed as Mystique and Cyclops.

A quick word about my X-geek credentials: I’m not a comic book reader, but was obsessed with all the TV shows, and transferred that obsession to the film franchise. And I don’t hate The Last Stand as much as you want me to; I just thought it was meh.

I think rehashing the Dark Phoenix storyline is a bad idea both financially and creatively. Financially, it wouldn’t go over well with casual moviegoers. Anyone who knows enough to be excited about a Dark Phoenix movie would go see it anyway, and everyone else will wonder why they should bother seeing a story they just saw 12 years earlier. There’s a reason Amazing Spiderman made less than two-thirds the gross of the original Spiderman, despite 3D and a decade of inflation — why bother paying to see a film when you can just stream the last incarnation?

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When the news broke about X-Men: Supernova being adapted for film, the reactions were as predictable as they were extreme: “Yay!” from the fanboys and “Oy vey” from the general populace. And strange as it feels to me, I align with the casual moviegoers, despite being the guy who went to see the last two X-movies dressed as Mystique and Cyclops.

A quick word about my X-geek credentials: I’m not a comic book reader, but was obsessed with all the TV shows, and transferred that obsession to the film franchise. And I don’t hate The Last Stand as much as you want me to; I just thought it was meh.

I think rehashing the Dark Phoenix storyline is a bad idea both financially and creatively. Financially, it wouldn’t go over well with casual moviegoers. Anyone who knows enough to be excited about a Dark Phoenix movie would go see it anyway, and everyone else will wonder why they should bother seeing a story they just saw 12 years earlier. There’s a reason Amazing Spiderman made less than two-thirds the gross of the original Spiderman, despite 3D and a decade of inflation — why bother paying to see a film when you can just stream the last incarnation?

Creatively, I want to see the film franchise take on a new story, instead of trying to do an old one better. Sony finally figured that out: no one wants to pay to see Peter Parker watch Uncle Ben get killed yet again, so just move on. Even from watching the cartoons and reading Wikipedia, I know that X-Men has some fantastic storylines to explore: Genosha, Legacy Virus, or House of M. When the films have given the fans a cinematic incarnation of an exciting new story, the results have been overwhelmingly positive: consider Days of Future Past, or the excitement for Old Man Logan.

Even if they redo Dark Phoenix, what are the odds it’ll be that much better? Sophie Turner is not a markedly better actress than Famke Janssen. It would be at the same studio, produced by a lot of the same people who did The Last Stand and Apocalypse. It may be time to just write off the Dark Phoenix saga as a lost cause for the film franchise. Fans will always have the original comics to return to, and two animated incarnations of it (‘90s X-Men and Wolverine and the X-Men).

It’s the same way I feel about the Harry Potter franchise: I wish we could get decent movie adaptations of the books, but I’m much more excited for new stories in Fantastic Beasts, and happy to ignore the movies in favor of rereading the books. Films are not the be-all-end-all creative expression of a story.

Of course, I’ll still go see X-Men: Supernova when it comes out, but I really hope the next X-Men film gives me something to be excited about. I am familiar with going in to see films and thinking, “God, I hope they don’t eff it up again.” That’s how I felt for the latter Harry Potter movies. I’d be happy if they did a film centered on Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey, because I thought she was one of the few highlights of X-Men Apocalypse, but I truly hope they just leave the Dark Phoenix storyline well enough alone.

Do you want to see a retread of Dark Phoenix, or are you over it?

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. showrunner Jed Whedon discusses those killer twists and writing fanfiction in the aftermath of the spring finale.

Jed Whedon wrote and directed Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, the episode that brought the current LMD storyline to an ostensible close. “Self Control” also completely changed the game for the rest of the season, sending Daisy into the ‘upside down’ of the world of the Framework to rescue the rest of the team.

But the Framework is a world where resolved regrets have appalling consequences — and that world is run by the likes of Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen. Whedon offered up his thoughts on upcoming themes, that crazy return, and the life and death stakes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Hydra.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. showrunner Jed Whedon discusses those killer twists and writing fanfiction in the aftermath of the spring finale.

Jed Whedon wrote and directed Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, the episode that brought the current LMD storyline to an ostensible close. “Self Control” also completely changed the game for the rest of the season, sending Daisy into the ‘upside down’ of the world of the Framework to rescue the rest of the team.

But the Framework is a world where resolved regrets have appalling consequences — and that world is run by the likes of Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen. Whedon offered up his thoughts on upcoming themes, that crazy return, and the life and death stakes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Hydra.

First, what’s it like being an evil genius, destroyer of fandoms?

Oh well, you know! I get a lot of love-hate tweets at me.

When did you first have the idea to go into this alternate timeline, and basically write fanfiction of your own story?

You know, we end every year with talking about what next year will be. So last year, we had a lot of different things on our plate that we wanted to get into the season, and I think you can see we packed a lot in. But there’s sort of three big ideas — Ghost Rider, LMDs, and some sort of alt-world where we could, as you say, write some fanfiction for our characters and explore new things.

You know, I think this is our eighty-first episode that just aired, and that’s a lot of stories. So it’s refreshing for everybody, in production, action, and writers, to flip the script for a little while and get to sort of shake it out and use a new muscle.

So that’s something we talked about doing, and then figuring out how to do it, and how to make all those stories sort of become one thing was the real puzzle. And that’s where the Darkhold came in, and the idea that, finding a way that the Darkhold could sort of get us new tech, and the tech could get us to Alt-World. And so it was sort of a year in the making, and then it’s just a question of, what do we want to do in there? What kind of fun do we want to have?

Speaking of that, can you clarify the parameters of the Framework? Is it really an ideal world, as Aida and Radcliffe seem to think?

Yeah, I think that Radcliffe and Aida set out to duplicate the world, and with some of the info that Aida got from the Darkhold, they were able to do that. Now, the one change that they made was they plugged I think five people into it and repaired one regret for each of them, and that seems to have had a little bit of a ripple effect. We’ll get to learn more about the nature of that reality, but they were setting out to make our world. And it just seems when you change something, there’s a little bit of a butterfly effect.

So putting Jemma aside, who is decidedly her own case as she is apparently dead, which character’s new life do you think will be most surprising to fans?

Well, that’s a little bit of a wait and see question. But one thing I can say is that the themes we’re exploring are sort of, are you different if you’re in a different situation? Or are you inherently the same person? Obviously, we see May standing without much fear in a Hydra building, seemingly like she’s on top of the world. And so the question is, is she still her? Or have her new experiences changed her enough to be someone else?

Those are some of the themes that we’re going to explore. And you’ll get to see how each person is different and sort of judge for yourself who is the most different. But those are some of the themes we wanted to dig into. Is there a true you, or are you made up of your regrets — and what happens if you take those away?

And in terms of Jemma, you were very careful to obscure the date of her death on the tombstone. Is there any significance to that, or a mystery we should be keeping an eye out for?

In general in the Marvel Universe, dates are avoided. Because so much is connected… and I think that if you really asked, they would say that since the first Iron Man movie, like, two months has passed, or something insane! [laughs] You know, I think that we try to avoid them in general, but also it’s just so that you don’t know what’s happening, and we don’t have to answer all those questions, or stick super strictly to the exact timeline of when things would have occurred, so that we can have a little more wiggle room in terms of what stories we tell.

But yeah, we don’t know if it happened 20 years ago, or recently. We don’t know because we put a little flower over that!

But there’s a chance that we’ll see Jemma again?

There is a chance! And I’ll just say that we love Elizabeth [Henstridge] too much to have her go out off camera.

Okay, cool! So in terms of Ward, you definitely know how to keep the fandom churning! Is there a possibility that he will show up beyond the alternate universe, or is his role strictly in imaginary land?

Well, we’ll have to wait and see. But right now, there’s only five people in the Framework who actually have bodies in our world. [Ward] is a simulation, but he’s a simulation of exactly who he was. As Yo-Yo says, how do you populate a whole world? And Daisy very conveniently answers, “With the Darkhold.” It’s sort of our catch-all/fix-all solve this year, the Darkhold. It gave them this ability to sort of duplicate our world, so he is Grant Ward as we knew him.

Now, the world is different around him, and so whether or not he reacted the same to the changes in the world, we’ll see. But Grant Ward never enters the picture and makes things run smoother!

That’s for sure. So if you were to boil down what we can expect from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Hydra, what would you say?

Nightmares and dreams coming true.

…Oh boy.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×16, “What If…” will air on Tuesday, April 4 at 10:00 p.m. on ABC.

Instagram has launched a new feature which’ll decrease the amount of stress you may feel when creating a post.

Sometimes you want to share multiple pictures or videos from one experience, but you may want to avoid clogging your friends’ feeds with multiple posts in a row. Or, you just can’t decide which photo you want to share to brag about your night.

One solution has been to stick multiple images into a single frame — a trick that became so popular, Instagram made their own app for it called Layouts. But stress no more! On February 22, Instagram released a new feature which lets you upload multiple photos to a single post.

Read full article

Instagram has launched a new feature which’ll decrease the amount of stress you may feel when creating a post.

Sometimes you want to share multiple pictures or videos from one experience, but you may want to avoid clogging your friends’ feeds with multiple posts in a row. Or, you just can’t decide which photo you want to share to brag about your night.

One solution has been to stick multiple images into a single frame — a trick that became so popular, Instagram made their own app for it called Layouts. But stress no more! On February 22, Instagram released a new feature which lets you upload multiple photos to a single post.

Multi-image Instagram posts are limited to the square format and only use one caption, but each image can receive their own filter. To view all the images, your followers swipe left or right. Up to 10 images can be placed in a single post.

In a way, the new feature lets you create a Snapchat or Instagram-like story that lives forever. It’s a welcome addition — previously only available to advertisers — and should streamline each user’s feed.

Now it’s Snapchat’s turn to copy off of Insta. Is it only a matter of time until Snap lets you permanently keep photos, videos, and stories accessible to the public in some sort of profile?

Tags: Instagram