June 11, 2010

Reality Rundown: I Would Walk 500 Miles (Just to Get More Screentime)

New! The Next Food Network StarThe Bachelorette
New! So You Think You Can Dance

New! The Next Food Network Star - The time of the year has returned to find the next Guy Fieri, sans Corey Feldman-esque looks and the sunglasses on the back of the head. Instead of the usual New York setting, the aspiring stars are put in some posh LA house and even get a brand new NFNS studio complete with all the cooking equipment and ingredients you'd need and a demo kitchen for filming. Upgrade! The stars are a decent batch this season and I see several that I think could be stars. Bob and Suzie of Food Network greet the contestants and explain they need someone who is great on camera, but could also be a brand to hock products. The first challenge is to create a dish that demonstrates who they are using chicken and potatoes. The top 2 are farm-fresh Aria and personal trainer/personal chef Herb, and I already see these 2 being top contenders for the prize. I see Selena as marketable, but she's a cute young girl making Italian dishes- sound familiar? Beware contestant mentor, Giada DeLaurentis!

The next day begins a 2-part Star Challenge with the 1st task being to film a 15-second promo for their show, so each really needs to hone in on their speciality. Most promos stink and wouldn't get me to tune in (but another slam dunk for Aria). The 2nd part of the challenge is to split into 2 teams and cook a 6-course lunch for a celebrity chef. Who could it be?! It's Wolfgang Puck! He's such an awesome judge and offers some wonderful critiques. Some weirdo named Dzintra scratches her cornea mid-dessert prep and has to go to the hospital, so Aria and Tom try to finish it off. It stinks. However, since Aria's Gray team wins the Star Challenge (and she personally wins the challenge- she's unstoppable already!), Dzintra gets another week to try and redeem herself and stop being so annoying.

It's Herb's Black Team up for elimination. The bottom 2 are Alexis and this dullard Doreen (with her ever-exciting cooking show titled "Dining with Doreen"- zzzdajsl - sorry that's my head hitting the keyboard because it's so dull). Doreen failed on her dish and then spent the whole meal apologizing with her weird mouth. But Alexis' beignets were a hot mess (Wolfgang Puck announces that if he served these to his wife his wife would divorce him- SERVED!) and he's the first one declared not a star.

The Bachelorette - Ali starts her 1st solo date of the episode by picking Roberto up and whisking him away on a helicopter. For a girl afraid of flying, this show is torturing her. They arrive on a rooftop to find a high wire for them to traverse to get to dinner. Mid-crossing Roberto stops to give Ali the ultimate kiss and she's like, "It's like no other kiss I've had!" and it's like, duh, because you're dangling over the edge. People, life is not like Spiderman. They eat, laugh, snuggle on a rooftop mattress- it's cute. Ali is totally into Roberto, even using the Spanish from rap music to ask for a kiss. He shuts her up with more making it. He obviously gets a rose.

The group date is getting to be in a music video for the Barenaked Ladies- they're even less relevant than Shania Twain! The guys feign excitement, but mostly because they receive their scene scripts and it's mostly kissing Ali. Jonathan the Weatherman becomes this season's crazy Michelle, worrying about his on-camera kiss, to the point of crying. Ali shuts him up with a big smooch (eventhough she doesn't really want to kiss the Weaterman) and he's all ga-ga. He awkwardly whispers to her later if she'd like to sneak off for a real first kiss but is thankfully interrupted. Frank, meanwhile, gets so jealous because he must've had this delusion that Ali would kiss only him. He creepily discusses wanting to be Ali's first for everything, and at least gets his first slap in the face from a woman via Ali (it's for the video). Once he sees Ali smooching Kirk in the photoshoot and the wrap party afterwards, he realizes that this is the GD Bachelorette and Ali's going to kiss a lot of dudes. Everyone frolicks in a rooftop pool having the time of their lives, but not "Rated R" Justin since he has a cast. He plots his next move...

Knowing that his crippled leg is holding back his screentime bonding time with Ali, and after several random conversations about the guys wishing they could just visit Ali up the street, Justin sneaks out of the house and hobbles a couple miles to Ali's house. More than likely, he hobbled like 200ft and then some producer drove him- hey, this shit sells. He also coincidentally brought along photos to show Ali about his family and you would think they'd be far more wrinkled if they were just carried in his back pocket. This gesture impresses Ali, making her extremely late for her next 1-on-1 date with Hunter.

So poor Hunter is a sad sap waiting around and wondering why his date is starting later than usual. Ali brings Justin back to the house, goes home, and returns to pick up Hunter. Hunter gets to go to Ali's house for some grillin' and chillin', which allows Justin to brag to the camera that he was really the 1st guy at Ali's. What a tool. Well, Ali and Hunter hit it off as friends, but their is zero chemistry romantically which means the worst hot tub scene in Bachelorette history. Hunter brings up the rose and Ali gets all guilty and dumps him and send him away in a cab.

The rose ceremony cocktail hour brings out more Frank jealously, Justin's claims that he'd quit wrestling for love, and some poor guy being unable to open a bottle of champagne (which he thinks makes him a sho-in for a rose - it doesn't). Ali brings up Justin's visit to the house to Roberto, not realizing the guys didn't know. Roberto tells the guys who in turn confront Justin, and his argument is he just wanted to see Ali. Their response is, "we all do!" They realize that not only did Justin pull this stunt, but it was a douche-move to interrupt what would've been Hunter's solo date time. Ali can't decide if she should listen to the guys opinions on Justin, because she must completely forget she was the loudest shouter of someone not being there for the right reason with Jake. Of course she keeps Justin and you have to hope she's just playing along for TV and isn't that dumb. Two nobodys go home and miss out on the beginning of a trip of love around the world.

New! So You Think You Can Dance - Audition weeks flew by which is good news for us all since I think covering auditions is a waste of time. The sum it up, tons of talent this season (except Nashville where I'm pretty sure no one got through to Vegas). This is the most competitive season yet because there are only 10 spots (5 guys, 5 girls), as opposed to the usual 20. In the end, they choose 11 dancers because they can't bear to lose returning dancer Billy Bell. Of the 11 dancers, 8 are contemporary (eventhough the judges made a big deal that they couldn't choose all contemporary). The 11 are rounded out by a hip hop guy, latin girl, and tapping girl. Let's dance!

To get us revved up and introduce us to the Top 11, we get an episode of pure group routines and no voting. Let me tell you, this season has talent and personaliy! It's even hard to be snarky cause there's some good shizz here! Oh and the All Stars? Talk about favorite dancers: Dominic (aka D*Trix from Quest Crew of America's Best Dance Crew), Twitch, Mark, Lauren, Ade, Allison, Anya, and of course, the SYTYCD love of my live (and my mom's)... PASHA. Be still my heart.

The group dances are all amazing and what I like most is that the choreographer sits at the judge's table while discussing their routine so they can give more insight. Loudmouth Mary Murphy is no longer a judge, but choreographer of choice Mia Michaels now takes her seat. Routines include a Tyce Diorio Broadway number, a sizzling Latin trio, a hip hop initiation, and more phenomenal jazz/contemporary routines. I'd break them all down, but that's a lot of names. Next week when the competition begins, we'll start naming names, critiquing, and hopefully getting my snark on.

Photo Credit: BuddyTV.com, FoodNetwork.com, NYDailyNews.com, Screencaps from Hulu, TVBoyfriends.com