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Top Chef Is Bringing Fan-Favorite Contestants Back For Season 16’s Last Chance Kitchen

Top Chef is gearing up for Season 16 in Kentucky, which means another season of its digital companion show Last Chance Kitchen is just around the corner! Bravo is ready to give defeated contestants a way back into the competition and has revealed its lineup of fan-favorites who will kick things off. Brother Luck, Jim Smith, and Carrie Baird will all get another shot to compete after each fell short in previous seasons.

Brother Luck is back in the fray and will certainly be a force to be reckoned with on Last Chance Kitchen. Luck, who has been working professionally in kitchens since age 14, won five straight battles in Season 15 before finally falling short to the eventual Top Chef winner of the season, Joe Flamm. One can imagine he’s going to put everything he has into this Last Chance Kitchen appearance.

Brother Luck has a bit of an advantage going in, as he’s appeared on other cooking programs since his time on Top Chef. Luck successfully won his episode of Beat Bobby Flay, and was runner-up on an episode of Chopped. He’s obviously someone who performs well in timed challenges and could be a strong contender to beat the competition and make his way into Top Chef Season 16.

Alabama chef Jim Smith is back on television and the Top Chef franchise for the first time since Season 14. Smith had a solid start in his first run but ultimately ended up getting eliminated in the 7th week of the competition after losing the sudden death Quickfire Challenge. Last Chance Kitchen will be his shot at redemption, provided he can take the heat of this kitchen’s fiery competition.

In the real world, Smith has been continuing his work for the state of Alabama and working on the opening of his first restaurant, The Hummingbird Way. Bravo noted Jim Smith has a strong appreciation for local Alabama ingredients, so perhaps that will be something he tries to work into his time on Last Chance Kitchen.

Carrie Baird is another Top Chef contestant from Season 15 looking to dominate the competition in Last Chance Kitchen and work her way back onto the big show. Baird has achieved the highest amount of success of the incoming veterans, but her fourth-place finish denied her a chance to compete in Last Chance Kitchen.

Carrie Baird is a successful restauranteur in the Denver area, and will soon be opening another restaurant in New Orleans. Her high placement in last season’s competition certainly makes her a tough competitor going into Last Chance Kitchen, but her lack of experience on the specific aftershow may hurt her. Viewers will just have to wait and see!

Last Chance Kitchen is scheduled to premiere on Bravotv.com directly following the Season 16 premiere of Top Chef Thursday, December 6 at 9:00 p.m. ET. For a look at what else is on television around that time, or in the weeks beyond that, be sure to visit our fall and midseason premiere guides.

Lin-Manuel Miranda Fires Back At Critics Over Mary Poppins Returns Rapping

Lin-Manuel Miranda is best known for his esteemed Broadway musical hit, Hamilton, which has the American founding father rapping about his incredible though tragic life. So, when he was cast as the leading man next to Emily Blunt’s Mary Poppins in the upcoming sequel, the potential addition of Miranda’s hip-hop influence raised concerns in some who want to see the musical stick to its roots.

It’s hard to argue about the original movie, and Lin-Manuel Miranda is absolutely right. Dick Van Dyke does rap in a scene in Mary Poppins and it’s pretty amazing. During the iconic live-action/animation hybrid sequence, Mary Poppins and Bert take a lovely stroll in the village and sing “Jolly Holiday”, sitting down with the cute penguins for a bite. Bert then lists several women’s names in the rap segment (much to Mary’s frustration), before he performs that cute dance with the penguins to woo her.

For a refresher, Lin-Manuel Miranda even tweeted the scene to demonstrate his point that rapping in Mary Poppins isn’t a new idea. Take a look:

While the actor will be delivering some of his signature style to Mary Poppins Returns, audiences shouldn’t expect a downright Hamilton-esque performance from Lin-Manuel Miranda, just because he’s in the movie. The film marks his first leading role in a film, and it’s also a project he doesn’t have writing credits on. Miranda has much to offer that he has yet to show audiences yet, and seeing a bit of his rapping in the movie would likely be a treat to his fans.

For Mary Poppins Returns, the music has been written and composed by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman who have written music for the ABC musical television show Smash, and recent Broadway musicals for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Hairspray. The pair follow one of the most beloved team of composers behind Disney films, the Sherman Brothers, who wrote the music for 1964’s Mary Poppins. The film went on to win Best Original Song at the Oscars for “Chim Chim Cher-ee” along with for Best Score.

Ahead of the release of Mary Poppins Returns, two tracks have already been released from the movie, one of which featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda’s vocals — and in his own cockney accent too. “Trip a Little Light Fantastic” primarily shows off his vocals leaving the mystery of his rap in the sequel yet to be seen. The highly-anticipated sequel to Mary Poppins comes to theaters on December 19.

Mariah Carey Explains Infamously Saying She Doesn’t Know Jennifer Lopez

The holiday season is here, so we should expect to hear a lot more Mariah Carey these days. But beyond the famous Christmas songs that she sings, Carey is back in the spotlight thanks to her new album, Caution, which came out earlier this month. In the midst of doing interviews for the brand new release, Carey also touched on some of her earlier career moments — including her infamous comments about Jennifer Lopez.

Specifically, Mriah Carey was asked why she said she didn’t “know” Jennifer Lopez in the early ’00s, which has since sparked a meme in recent years. Particularly when, in 2016, Carey claimed she “still” didn’t know her. While the comment is famous for being reportedly filled with shade, Carey claims that she was actually being nice.

Mariah Carey‘s blunt admission about Jennifer Lopez came during an expansive interview with Pitchfork. While many people over the years have taken Carey’s comments to be pure sass, the “Always Be My Baby” singer claims in this conversation that she was actually trying to be civil and kind to her fellow musician those years ago. Evidently, that wasn’t how it was received by numerous people, who turned it into a meme for dismissing people.

It’s hard to know for sure if Mariah Carey is telling the truth here or not, but it’s pretty common for innocent comments to be taken wildly out of context. It wouldn’t be the first time people on the Internet took what was meant to be inoffensive and turned it into something sneering. Alas, that might be the case here, based on what Carey is claiming in this recent interview from over Thanksgiving’s festivities. You can never be too sure of anything, after all.

Admittedly, Mariah Carey is used to everything she says being dissected in one way or another. Rather than be exhausted by all the noise, the musician thinks it’s best to tune a lot of things out. Because Carey believes that if you spend too much time obsessing over it, you can “drown in that.”

Neither do we. Alas, that’s probably the healthiest way to go. It’s never good to be obsessed with what other people say about you, because you might find yourself too caught up in all the noise. There is a lot that is written and said about Mariah Carey, and she doesn’t seem too interested in hearing it.

In the spirit of opening up, Mariah Carey recently admitted that she has bipolar disorder. Although she knew back in 2001, Carey didn’t tell the public, because she claims she “didn’t want to believe” it was true. It took her years of self-reflection before she came to terms with the diagnosis. Particularly with the new album currently available in stores, we should expect to hear even more from (and about) Mariah Carey in the next few weeks.

11 Must-See Moments From Ariana Grande’s Dangerous Woman Diaries

Witnessing Ariana and Pharrell in the studio together proves they were a match made in musical heaven. While recording “Get Well Soon,” they shared a deep convo about how the intensely personal Sweetener closer is meant to make people “feel rainbow clouds,” and Ari explained how much that song and “R.E.M.” mean to her.

“These two, I feel like, sound like my DNA. They’re how I wish I felt, how I’m striving to feel,” she said, later adding, “This feels like the most ‘me’ an album has ever felt. A lot of people were like, ‘How does it feel stepping out of your comfort zone?’ And I’m like nah, I don’t feel like I stepped out of my comfort zone, I feel like I found it.”

Sounds Likes Chris Evans Might Not Be Done Playing Captain America After All

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been going strong for a decade, although the future of the shared universe is largely a mystery. Avengers: Infinity War threw everyone for a loop, when The Russo Brothers killed off half the galaxy, resulting in many of Marvel’s finest falling. The studio has been keeping everything around Avengers 4 and Phase Four under wraps, but the fandom seemed fairly certain that Chris Evans would be retiring from Captain America.

Chris Evans is one of many of Marvel’s stars who are coming to the end of their contracts. And after the actor seemingly said goodbye to his signature role after wrapping Avengers 4, his departure from the MCU seemed inevitable. But according to co-director James Russo, he’s not quite done. Russo recently said of Evan’s infamous tweet:

I think it was more emotional for him than us only because he’s not done yet. I won’t explain what that means, but the audience will soon understand what I’m talking about.

Not done? Not done?! This update is sure to make many Marvels fans out there very happy. Chris Evans is one of the mainstays of the MCU, and its hard to imagine the shared universe without his Steve Rogers. But what could The Russos have planned?

Joe Russo’s comments to USA Today is a potential game changer, as Chris Evans already seemed to have one foot out the door of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. His tweet after wrapping Avengers 4 seemed to put the final nail in the coffin, with many Marvel fans expecting Cap to potentially be killed off in the upcoming blockbuster. But if the Russos say “he’s not done”, then maybe there’s still hope for the Avengers leader.

As a reminder, Chris Evans tweeted back in early October than he had wrapped his role in Avengers 4, and seemingly hinted that he was through with the MCU as a whole. He wrote,

Officially wrapped on Avengers 4. It was an emotional day to say the least. Playing this role over the last 8 years has been an honor. To everyone in front of the camera, behind the camera, and in the audience, thank you for the memories! Eternally grateful.

Call me crazy, but “thank you for the memories” sounds an awful lot like a goodbye. Yet Joe Russo’s recent comments seem to paint a different color, with Captain America somehow still involved in the MCU as a whole. Unfortunately, there won’t be any answers at least until Avengers 4 finally arrives in theaters, so the fandom will be left to wonder and theorize for the foreseeable future.

Chris Evans’ departure from the MCU has been a long time coming. In fact, many cinephiles theorized that Cap was going to bite the dust in Avengers: Infinity War, especially when the trailer showed him going toe to toe with Josh Brolin’s Thanos. But Steve Rogers was one of the few characters to survive the snap, alongside the other OG members of The Avengers, as well as War Machine, Rocket, Okoye, and Nebula.

It should be fascinating to see how it all shakes out in Avengers 4, and what Marvel’s mysterious plans for Phase Four end up being. While fans were expecting Chris Evans to retire and pass the shield to a new Captain America, Joe Russo’s recent comment might indicate that he’s staying. And in that case, the possibilities are endless.

If Chris Evans isn’t departing the MCU, perhaps he’ll end up making a new deal for additional appearances. Scarlet Johansson is seemingly in a similar position, as Marvel is finally giving her a Black Widow solo movie. Since her contact is up, Scar Jo should be able to negotiate some serious cash money for this appearances– as well as any other potential crossovers. Perhaps Chris Evans will end up doing the same.

Narratively, there are a ton of threads and plot lines to be pulled at for Captain America, and which Joe and Anthony Russo would have to tie up if Avengers 4 ends up being Chris Evans’ final bow. The audience is still largely ignorant of Cap’s life during the time gap between Civil War and Infinity War— where he operated outside the law as a vigilante alongside Black Widow and Falcon. He’s also got a romantic connection with both Widow and Emily VanCamp’s Agent 13, although the latter was noticeably missing from the conflict with Thanos.

Avengers 4 will also likely focus on the strained relationship between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark. Their juxtaposition is what brought on the titular battle in Captain America: Civil War, and the duo didn’t exactly end on good terms. Cap and Iron Man were also kept separate during the events of Infinity War, so they’ve yet to resolve their issues onscreen. It should be interesting to see how an apocalyptic event like Thanos’ finger snap will put their quarrel in context.

Of course, it’s completely possible that Joe Russo is simply pulling our leg, and trying to throw the rabid Marvel fanbase off the tracks of Avengers 4. With almost a year of theories separating the two Avengers flicks, it’s likely that someone out there has figured out the events of their upcoming blockbuster. Those intimately involved with franchises like the MCU have to keep their cards close to the chest, so it’s also hard to take Joe Russo’s comments at face value.

The wait between Infinity War and Avengers 4 has already been pretty excruciating, considering how insane Thanos’ finger snap of death was. While there’s a year difference, Marvel did plan two releases to keep us satiated. Ant-Man and The Wasp brought the Quantum Realm into play for Avengers 4, while Captain Marvel will bring Brie Larson’s powerful hero to the MCU for the first time.

Avengers 4 will arrive to answer all our questions in May 3rd, 2019, although Captain Marvel will come first on March 8th, 2019 In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.

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Rocky’s Exit From The Creed Franchise Makes Perfect Sense

Warning: SPOILERS for Creed II are in the ring. If you haven’t seen the film yet, throw in the towel and come back once you’ve seen the movie.

Sylvester Stallone shocked the Rocky fandom yesterday, as he seems to have said goodbye to Rocky Balboa for the last time. While some are probably still skeptical about this announcement, as we’ve said goodbye to this character two previous times with him, this time feels like it’s going to stick.

Or at least, it totally should stick, as Creed II has given the legendary fighter his perfect exit strategy. Going over this latest film’s finale, as well as a very crucial third act moment, it all pretty much spells out a perfect ending for Rocky Balboa’s legacy.

We’re looking at Creed II’s finale with some depth, as well as what it means for Rocky’s legacy. So if you don’t want to find out what happens at the end of the latest film in the Rocky/Creed franchise, this is your last chance to bail. If you’re still with us, touch gloves and get ready to rumble with how Rocky Balboa has finally gotten his perfect ending.

Despite the protestations of his family, and Rocky himself, Adonis Creed agreed to a rematch to Viktor Drago. With their first fight ending in a disqualification against the son of Drago, and Adonis on a lengthy road to recovery, the prospect of a rematch was too much to pass up. Eventually though, Rocky came back at the insistence of Adonis’ adoptive mother/the wife of his late friend Apollo Creed, Mary Anne. A reunion is had and a partnership is re-forged — a partnership that delivers Adonis the win in his rematch against Viktor Drago in Russia.

As Adonis Creed basks in the appreciation of the Russian crowd that saw his victory firsthand, Rocky says something particularly poignant to him. “It’s your time.” It’s a line that’s so simple, and yet so mighty to be coming out of Rocky Balboa’s lips. Of course, it also sets up Rocky for one perfect, final scene that gives this moment more meaning.

The final moment of Rocky’s storyline in Creed II sees him going to Vancouver, showing up on a random doorstep to ring the bell. Only, it’s not a random door step. As it turns out, Rocky’s taken a trip to see his son, Rocky Jr., who he hasn’t seen since 2006’s Rocky Balboa. Answering the door is his grandson, Logan, who Rocky Sr. is seeing for the very first time. Rocky Jr. invites his father to come in, after grandfather and grandson have a cute little chat, and the two start to make amends.

It’s hard to say goodbye to a character like Rocky Balboa, especially when you take into account how big of an influence the Rocky franchise has had on the worlds of film and sports, as well as pop culture in general. Sylvester Stallone’s mythic boxer has been a fixture ever since he first took the ring in 1978, and he’s cast a long shadow ever since.

That’s great if you’re looking to keep Rocky in the title of your franchise. Alas, Creed is the name on the door these days, and the story has shifted Rocky’s character into more of a mentoring role. So while he’s still very important to the franchise, eventually he was going to have to leave anyway. Adonis needs to be the hero of his films, and having defeated Ivan Drago, he’s made Rocky’s exit a sensible achievement in two very big ways.

First, Adonis is now a fighter at such a level that he can hold his own. Two bouts in the ring with Viktor Drago punished his body tremendously, but ultimately, he prevailed. Should he continue his boxing career, he’s pretty much learned everything he can from Rocky Balboa at this point. So it feels like a good time for Rocky to put on his hat and head out to deal with his own issues.

Second, and most importantly, through Viktor’s defeat, not only has Adonis avenged his father’s death at the hand of Ivan Drago in Rocky IV, he’s helped Rocky finally get over the one fight that’s plagued his mind with decades of regret. Again, Balboa Sr. clearly has some issues he needs to get over in his life, and a pretty big one was the death of his former rival, turned friend and trainer, Apollo Creed.

Now that this big stumbling block is out of his way, there’s room for Rocky to deal with everything else in his life that needs to be squared away. He’s passed on his sage knowledge to the next generation and truly helped Adonis Creed become the fighter that he was always meant to become. Now we enter the next phase of Adonis’ life.

But for Rocky, he needs to start looking inward now by fixing his relationship with his son and starting one with his grandson. Looking through the franchise’s history, boxing’s never been a problem for Rocky Balboa. With enough training and some montage action, he could defeat pretty much any opponent. Ultimately, his bigger problems have always been in the personal realm, and that’s what this ending allows him to finally fix.

As far as character finales are concerned, Rocky Balboa has gotten probably the best result he could have ever hoped for. He’s been a heavyweight champion. He inspired peace between the US and Russia. He even beat cancer and helped a young fighter seeking a direction in life find his way. Now it’s time for Rocky Balboa to hang up his gloves, and his trainer’s hat, and start picking up the pieces at home. The fact that he’s even able to do so, in a lifetime that could have ended or disabled him physically several times over, is something that’s truly spectacular.

Creed II is in theaters now, and if you want to relive Rocky’s previous fights, Rocky through Rocky V are all available on YouTube for free streaming, with ads.

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New DVD Releases: When To Buy The Latest Movies And TV Shows In November 2018

We’re approaching the holiday season, which means there are a slew of big box sets and other fun releases the studios are putting out to entice buyers to purchase stocking stuffers for movie fans across the country. In fact, we’ve already put together a 2018 gift guide featuring some of 2018’s biggest releases.

Still, in December, there’s way more from the major studios coming out. Some big summer releases are finally making their way onto Blu-ray, DVD and Digital, including the hard copy release of Mission: Impossible — Fallout. There’s an exciting superhero release in Venom and while a lot of other big releases are movie-related, there are also a few popular TV releases as well.

Among those are Westworld: The Complete Second Season and the first season release of the new series Yellowstone.

As the month wears on and we get closer to the Christmas holiday, the new releases do taper off some, but there’s still a lot to look forward to this month, with White Boy Rick and more wrapping things up at the end of the month.

Digital releases are same day unless otherwise noted in the early Digital column. If you’d like to see Blu-ray, DVD or Digital release from November 2018, we have you covered. You can take a look at this month’s releases, below.

Tuesday, December 11 Blu-ray, DVD And Digital Releases

Peppermint
Smallfoot
The Equalizer 2
The Orville: The Complete First Season
River Runs Red
Galveston
Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero
Colette
Unbroken: Path To Redemption

Week of Tuesday, December 11 Early Digital Releases

Venom
A Simple Favor
White Boy Rick
Night School

Tuesday, December 18 Blu-ray, DVD And Digital Releases

Venom
A Simple Favor
The House With A Clock In Its Walls
The Predator
Little Women
Assassination Nation
Life Itself
Fahrenheit 11/9
The Sinner: Season 2

Week of Tuesday, December 18 Early Digital Releases

Bad Times At The El Royale
Mid90s

As we wrap up 2018, there have been a slew of exciting releases that have hit homes, both via Digital and physical copies. Take a look at January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October and November. Be sure to let us know about your favorite movie or TV purchase this year and we’ll see y’all in 2019.

30-Minute Pasta With a Superlative Sausage Ragù

TRENDS DON’T HOLD much sway with David Nayfeld. This chef cooks to connect on a deeper level. “A dish should sit on your palate,” he said. “So when you’re done, you take bread and wipe the bowl.”

At his restaurant Che Fico, in San Francisco, soulful dishes like this rigatoni with a warming sausage ragù draw crowds. “Before we opened, I thought a lot about what I want to eat again and again,” Mr. Nayfeld said.

The…

American Horror Story: Apocalypse Finale Had Murder House Connection Fans May Have Missed

Viewers were a bit let down by the death of Michael in American Horror Story: Apocalypse. Many didn’t consider his demise all that meaningful, considering how much build up he received beforehand. Despite that initial reaction, the moment was apparently part of a huge callback to the first season of the series, Murder House.

If you look a little closer, as Reddit user SwimminAlicia did, you will notice something. They point out that Michael’s death in Apocalypse parallels Adelaide’s in Murder House.

In Apocalypse, Mallory hits Michael with her car, putting him on death’s door and setting off an intense final encounter between Michael and Constance.

In Murder House, Constance’s daughter Adelaide is killed in a hit-and-run accident on Halloween. Adelaide and Michael do not just share their cause of death in common. Their bodies also end up in very similar positions after each accident. Here’s a reminder of how Adelaide looked after her hit-and-run:

How Constance reacted to each American Horror Story death, however, was entirely different. After Michael was hit, he begged for Constance to take him into the Murder House. That way he could live on as a ghost. While she seemed to consider it, Constance ultimately denied his pleas to be taken there. Thus, allowing him to die. Before she leaves his side, she tells him where he can go — to Hell.

When Adelaide was struck, Constance had a very different reaction. She attempted to bring her daughter onto the property of the Murder House, so that she would be a ghost there. Constance’s efforts failed, though, and a dying Adelaide was saved from having her spirit trapped in the home.

Like Constance, Adelaide and Michael had entirely different takes on wanting to be taken to the Murder House. As mentioned above, it was quickly clear that Michael wanted to be brought there before he died. Meanwhile, Adelaide’s feelings about her mother’s attempts to bind her to the Murder House came out after the fact.

When Constance used medium Billie Dean to contact her late daughter, viewers learned how Adelaide felt about her mother’s attempt. In the episode, Adelaide shared that she was happy her mother had failed to drag her to the Murder House in time, and shared that she did not wish to be trapped there.

It’s unlikely that these parallel deaths were a coincidence. Aside from how each character died, and the position they were left in after their accidents, the characters both played important parts in Constance’s life. Also, American Horror Story, with all it’s connected seasons and characters, rarely does anything haphazardly, and the parallel scenes are quite blatant, so it is hard to imagine the similarities are accidental.

Not only do you have the two deaths mirroring each other, you also have Constance’s reactions to both of them. While she attempted something out of emotional desperation for Adelaide, she made a calculated choice regarding Michael. But, in the end, she lost both of them.

American Horror Story will return for more seasons on FX. While you anticipate the next installment of the series, tons of new shows await. New episodes of other shows will be airing this fall and throughout the midseason, so be sure to keep your viewing schedule up to date.