June 25, 2010

Reality Rundown: The Proof is in the Horrible Tasting Banana Pudding

The Next Food Network StarSo You Think You Can Dance
Top Chef DC

The Next Food Network Star - The stars walk into the NFNS studio to see a bunch of popcorn boxes so Giada gets right to the point and announces the Camera Challenge. Since Bobby Flay is out this week, a special guest judge is brought out and it's none other than the polarizing winner of NFNS2, Guy Fieri (and luckily there is not a pair of sunglasses resting on the back of his head). Inside each popcorn box is a genre of films and they have to create dishes inspired by that genre and then present it to camera. Selena's makes me laugh a little as she pulls Western and infuses her Italian to make "Spaghetti Western" with chili. It's Aarti who wins the challenge, with her horror movie meatloaf and she's really starting to win me over. She's a warm personality on screen and her food sounds good. Honestly, at this point it's so obvious who the top 5 are that I wish they could take a swift axe to several contestants right away.

The Star Challenge is a 2-parter, beginning with a mock red carpet and interacting with the press and paparazzi. Yes, because the NFNS is always known for being a tabloid fixture. Part 2 of the challenge is to pair up with the person with the same color swag bag as you and create a solo dish with your swag bag ingredient for a MGD 64 Grammy party for singer Colbie Caillet. They also have to make a collaborative dish their your partner using both ingredients. Considering some pairings are parsnip/peanut butter and cabbage/bananas, they are wary.

Herb and Brianna (who dubbed themselves "Team Sexy") win the challenge with their delicious MGD 64 and fennel dishes, even if Brianna is pretty miserable to be around and has zero star power. Paul is a total dick to Serena, because he feels her being a home cook is something to be frowned upon and the judging panel gets pretty angry at him. Aria and Dzintra are also in the bottom for a lack of team effort, but it's Dzintra's uncomfortable personality, frantic nature, and maybe because she shhh'ed Aria during their presentation that finally eliminates the headcase from the competition. In final parting words, one contestant tells Dzintra "we're sad to see you go!" and Dzintra sobs, "No you're not!" HAHA- it's true. I'm not sad at all.

So You Think You Can Dance - I feel like the judges and I are on a different page this week, with them praising some people I had no interest in seeing, while giving criticism to people I thought were great. The best routine of the night comes from the newest hip hop choreographer, Tassandra Chavez, which featured Lauren and Dominic (aka D*Trix), which redeems her from last week's stinker. Hands down, Kent is my favorite with his infectious personality and dance talent; his jazz was superb. The judges totally rip choregrapher Travis Wall for not really doing a jazz piece for Ashley, and proceed to basically take it out Ashley, who was actually very good. So the choreographer messed up- shut up and judge the dancing. Jose takes on Bollywood and fails with a smile (I bet he's still safe). Most importantly, the choreographer love of my live, ballroom's Jean-Marc Generaux, returns for not 1 but 2 dances. He's just hysterical and steals the show for me. Bottom 3 prediction: Melinda, Christina, Adechike.

The results show is duller this week than last, with Nigel babbling for a long time about National Dance Day on July 31. I'm sure you've all been practicing your routines. But the high point of the night is from dance crew Remote Control which features the amazing robot guy with scoliosis we've seen in auditions. His crew is awesome and there's no words to describe their movement. But you're here for the results and the bottom 3 are Christina, Melinda, and Robert. Robert?! Are you people high? He was great! Despite the judges still bringing up that, in so many words, America hates Melinda, the judges eliminate Christina.

Top Chef DC - Padma enters the Top Chef kitchen along with guest judge Sam Kass, assistant White House chef, to announce the Quickfire: the cheftestants will draw knives to pair up and create a sandwich (or as they "hilariously" call it a bi-parti-sandwich) in 30 minutes. That seems like an awful lot of time considering I'm slow at cooking at it takes me like 5 minutes to make a sandwich. Oh is there a catch! Each pair will need to wear a conjoined apron, kind of a play on a 3-legged race. This leads to a lot of fear of losing fingers while chopping, rightfully so. This season's a-hole Angeloand teammate Tracey win the Quickfire (and immunity) with a marinated flounder sandwich.

The elimination challenge is to create a school lunch for 50 middle schoolers with the restrictive budgets public schools face. And if you missed this original explanation, don't worry because this week's TC which is on a mission to beat into our heads that public schools are terribly underfunded. We get it! Now sous-vide something and say "top scallop"! So they are formed into teams of 4 and each person must create a course of the meal. Angelo plays the strategy card with his Quickfire victory and puts Kenny and Ed on his team because if they lose there's a good chance his biggest competition could go home. I take it Angelo isn't here to make friends. The usual team fights occur: the overbearing leader, kids hate onions, feta, and gnocchi. There are some pretty tasty dishes given out to the kids (I'm dying to try Tiffany's chocolate sherbert on top of a crispy sweet potato) and the kids enjoy their meal.

In what may be a first, the 2 teams brought into the judging room first are the losers and that is Team Angelo and another team that served sherry-braised chicken to children and a banana pudding with 2lbs of sugar. The judges scold them, send them away, and bring in the winning team, and name Kelly and his pork carnitas tacos (and onions) the winner. The bottom 4 are Kenny, Ed, Jacqueline, and Amanda. Ed's sweet potato puree was too spicy. Kenny is there because he didn't demand veggies. Amanda's sherry chicken was a stupid moveand gross. Caterer Jacqueline (who we all know was never a contender for the title to begin with) is eliminated for the sugary and grainy banana pudding. While I know the team sacrificed her cocoa to buy that ill-advised cooking sherry and thus killed fake-Laura Dern's chances, maybe she should've been smarter because what tween in their right mind likes banana pudding? I'm 25 and if you serve me banana pudding I'll slap that bowl right on the ground.

Photo Credit: BravoTV.com, BuddyTV.com, EW.com, FoodNetwork.comMTV.com


Azgal said...

Thank gawd Zintra left! She has no TV personality, she's just bizarre and has the gift of almost instantly making people uncomfortable. Ever since the 1st episode where she bailed on her team and the judges still kept her on, I've been waiting for her to leave.