August 13, 2010

Reality Rundown: America's Favorite Dancer is LoFro

The Next Food Network StarFinale! So You Think You Can Dance
Top Chef DCProject Runway

The Next Food Network Star - The final 4 are shipped off to exotic New York City where they head to a studio decked out to be a mini Kitchen Stadium. That's right: the chefs will compete in a mini-Iron Chef America challenge, having to create 3 dishes highlighting the secret ingredient, as well as provide commentary when they aren't cooking. The selection panel as the 4 Iron Chefs will judge their dishes based on originality and taste. They get sous-chefs in the form of eliminated castmembers, but it's pretty pointless since they are barely shown.

Aarti and Herb battle first and their secret ingredient is: SHRIMP! Herb gets to work making healthier versions of Cuban food and Aarti very slowly makes her way around the kitchen. It's a miracle she even finishes 3 dishes in time. Meanwhile, Tom and Aria are doing the commentary and Tom is a total natural, while Aria is a total clunker. She knows zero about food and just laughs and makes unfunny jokes. At the tasting, Herb makes 2 good dishes, but Aarti is a total slam dunk. The Iron Chefs tell her that her food is good enough to be on their show, which is a pretty impressive feat for someone typically lacking any confidence.

Tom and Aria battle next and their secret ingredient is: BACON! Aria makes breakfast and we're not talking like the most amazing breakfast ever. Like the shittiest, lamest breakfast ever that any person can make. She barely uses the bacon. Tom goes on a bacon overload, even making a bacon steak which can't even be cut by the judges knives. Bob Tuschman calls it "the single worst dish in Food Network Star history" but he's still safe. It's a good thing Aarti made the meal of a lifetime, because her commentary is even worse than Aria's. Herb's excellent with his banter with Alton Brown, but he can't read cue cards. He lands himself in the bottom 2 with Aria, but Aria has been deemed stagnant (and I'll personally say I'm sick of having food explained to me like I'm 5 years old) and she is a long last eliminated.

Finale! So You Think You Can Dance - The final 3 will perform 4 times and a solo- I need a nap just thinking about that. But I must say going into the finale, there has never been a final 3 I've liked so much. Any of these dancers could win and I'd be stoked. Kent and All Star Lauren kick off the evening with a Bollywood number about a groom who decides at the last minute to end his wedding and fun, quirky, and let's Kent make goofy faces. Lauren and Twitch get a Nappytabs political campaign hip-hop routine to that awesome new Kanye West song and it's definitely rocking for vote for Lauren. Considering she's a whit e girl, Lauren's got swagger. Robert takes on an electric jazz with All Star Mark and they had me at Devo's "Whip It." It's dynamic and energy-charged and so different than any other Tyce Diorio routine we've seen.

Second routine. Robert and Lauren perform a contemporary piece about getting home, accompanied by a pillow. It's a beautifully danced piece and the minimalistic music really helps you just get engulfed by the dance and not focus on what hit song it is. It's Kent's second routine, but Lauren's third, and they team up with Mandy Moore for a jazz routine. Will there be smooches at the end? Kent wishes! Tyce Diorio's song choice slides to #2 this week since this jazz is to "Hip to Be Square" by Huey Lewis and the [GD] News and it a fun dance. The judges didn't dig it though- didn't see it as challenging and I agree. It was fun but not the "Rhapsody in Blue" of dancing.

Third routine. Kent and Allison play dysfunctional super-couple in a contemporary piece and it's great, not to mention Kent puts away his cheesy grins for some emotional honesty. Robert's next number is Broadway with Kathryn, telling the a story of an investigation, but again the music rules with "Cool" from West Side Story. This is my favorite routine of the night- it's sexy, technical, and like the song says, "cool." Lauren's final dance is a perfectly done cha cha with MY Pasha (yes, dibs on Pasha) which leads to the moment of the night. Nigel points out the costume designers don't put buttons on Pasha's shirts any more and Cat Deeley responds "And it's a good thing." CAT DEELEY FOR AN EMMY. Lauren gets the ultimate compliment: Mia Michaels say if she was still a dancer, she'd want to dance like Lauren. The performance episode concludes with Kent and Roberto doing a malvaos routine which means gangster. It's kind of like a fighting dudes tango and it is a million times better than AdeChike/Jose's paso doble.

The final is a big 2 hour extravanganza of the best routines of the seasons, returning faces (good to see you Mary Murphy!), and one insane guest star. Hyped all night, Twitch is on the stage to perform the amazing "Out of Your Mind" routine he originally did with Alex Wong, but Alex can't dance, so who will come through that stage door. ELLEN F'ING DEGENERES. It's hilarious and she definitely pulls her weight. Great twist. My favorite moment of the night was last season's winner, Russell, krumping with Lil' C before passing the title on. I'm a krump-a-holic, so this was awesome. Quest, aka Quest Crew, performs and they've gotten even better since winning America's Best Dance Crew. But who cares about this, you just want to know who wins. So Robert comes in third place, but still comes out and wows the crowd with his Bollywood routine. It's down to Lauren and Kent. Cat slowly opens the results card. America's favorite dancer is... LAUREN! How awesome! I have to say I think the best dancer won this season, which typically isn't what happens at the end. What a great season, amazing talent. Maybe I will pay $60 for the tour...

Top Chef DC - Quickfire- tag team cook off! Split into 2 teams, 40 minutes total, each chef gets 10 minutes to cook, and everyone is blindfolded when they're not cooking. Kevin and Ed draw knives and become team captains, so Kevin picks Kenny, Kelly, and Amanda for the Blue Team. Ed's Red Team is Tiffany, Angelo and Alex (well, he got stuck with Gollum). The Blue Team is so in sync you would think they planned it all in advance; they made pasta with prawns in a mustard sauce. The Red team is a little bit of a mess, with Alex/Gollum making an early error of seasoning the fish that was just supposed to be poached. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is the guest judge because she is a total expert of food relays. The Blue Team wins and gets to split $10k (from Dial Nutriskin- peace out Gladware).

Aw shit y'all, it's about ta get poppin': RESTAURANT WARS! The teams need to make a 3 course menu, with 2 options for each course, and each teammate must be responsible for at least one dish. Don't let Gollum near the sea salt! The guest judge is Frank Bruni, who we're told is the toughest critic ever. Obviously they have not seen that lanky critic from Ratatouille who hated everything (except food cooked by rats which gave him a hallucination/culinary epiphany).

The Red Team's restaurant is the Mediterranean themed Evoo. The Red Team makes an easy decision to make Alex work front of the house since his cooking sucks. Angelo takes on the executive chef role, but they don't make dessert. Boo! Alex helps with the prep work, but he's butchering the fish, and the rest of the team is unorganized. Alex does no cooking at all and is a total turd to his waitstaff. Smeagol he is not this week. He's also terrible with the judges, making them wait for food, and the dish they claim he made stinks. The rest of the team's dishes are tasty, so Alex's all-around ineptness is ignored. The Red Team gets called in for judging first, completely baffling the very-confident Blue Team. Red is the winning team, despite Alex being the worst host ever. The individual winner is Ed fora delicious piece of turbot (it's fish, not an American Gladiator). Ed wins a trip to vineyard and a comically large bottle of wine.

The Blue Team, who call their restaurant Twenty One 21, is far less of a mess with their "progressive American" food and still puts a dessert on the menu: a chocolate ganache tart (which I think Kelly made before, but whatevs, sound delicious). Kelly is assigned to run the front of the house, which makes her nervous, but she does a good job at it. The Blue Team continues to be great by having the servers taste the food, not being a dick to them, and actually greeting the judges. Unfortunately, their food stinks, with runny soup, overcooked meat, a giant hunk of goat cheese. The Blue Team is disappointed to be the losers, considering they saw how much of a hot mess the Red Team was in the kitchen. They defends themselves, citing that every team member conceived and made their own dish, where the Red Team pushed Alex out front so he wouldn't screw them over. Kevin insists that Alex should be the one going home for doing nada and being a crummy chef and they all let that be known to Alex. Initial front-runner Kenny's 2 dishes get him sent home, and somewhere Angelo is dancing a jig of happiness.

Project Runway - The designers meet Tim to discover their next challenge to create an outfit using supplies from a party store. Please tell me someone uses one of those crepe paper bananas! The winner of this challenge gets the best prize: immunity. Tim warns the designers that the judges frown upon table clothes, wrapping paper and anything that could resemble fabric, so it makes total sense that Casanova picks black tableclothes and stuffed puppies. Is it a language barrier or does he just not listen at all? Some dude named AJ is poised to be a frontrunner since his usual designs include toys, etc. but instead he's a nervous wreck.

In the workroom, 2-challenge-winner Gretchen is a buttinski and keeps giving her opinion and assistance, even when it's not wanted. Gretchen has more of a 'tude now that she's a winner and the others notice. Halfway through the episode I realize this one isn't boring me as much as past weeks. Maybe it's because I'm moderately obsessed with buying tchotchkes at the party store. Sailor hats, ice cream cone sippy cups, you know. After Tim's critiques, mostly positive, he lets the designers know that when the models arrive later they have a little surprise for them. Party store pinatas?? No, goodie bags filled with more shit that they will need to create an accessory out of.

Runway time! Kooky iconic designer Betsey Johnson is the guest judge this week and I can't imagine a better choice for this challenge (OK, just 1: Heatherette). Valerie makes the most adorable, wonderful black and white dress made of folded napkins. Nina calls it "fun yet sophisticated" which is the perfect description, though Betsey Johnson likes the idea of spilling on yourself and ripping your dress to clean it up. Andy, who I just want to give a Proactive starter kit to, uses spools of black ribbon to make an almost spiky dress with a paper crane effect that's so hot. She looks like she could kick your ass, but in a fashionable way. Gretchen uses garlands to make a fringe skirt that looks just like something I saw at J. Crew this weekend and couldn't afford. She also makes a jacket out of a paper bag. I know her ego's imploding, but man, she is good. Andy is the winner of the challenge, despite getting into a tiff with Gretchen backstage.

Oh the bad ones. AJ, remember he's supposed to be awesome since he does this crazy stuff normally, makes a hot pink super-short eyesore. Nina calls it a hot mess, to which AJ says "Thank You." "That's not a compliment," Heidi explains. Casanova's dress is so horrible I am almost speechless. It's like a plastic silver front that's straight down, and the back is full silver ruffles with a scarf made of stuffed puppies. Michael Kors gives the most astute summation of the dress: "She looks like a transvestite flamenco dancer at a funeral." Betsey Johnson is off her f'ing rocker, liking the dress, mostly the back. Casanova has no taste and needs to go. It's not even funny any more. Sarah uses cardboard palm trees and a silver tablecloth to make a dress for a paperdoll. Heidi calls it "sad" and it's a dull look and thinks she did nada. Being boring is considered a crime of fashion more than making the ugliest, most tasteless garments in the history of the show and Sarah is AUF'd.

Drama isn't over yet! Just when the show seems over, ambulance are shown and Ivy has apparently passed out in the hallway. The paramedics get her some oxygen and put her on a stretcher. What the heck just happened?

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Arizonagal said...

Woohoo too happy for Lauren. Robert was hunkarific. Kent has the personality of a golden retriever, which is not a bad thing.