October 1, 2010

Reality Rundown: WTF = Watermelon To Face

New! The Amazing RaceThe Biggest LoserSurvivor: Nicaragua
Top Chef: Just DessertsProject Runway

New! The Amazing Race - The 11 teams begin the race in Gloucester, Massachusetts and unfortunately their first task isn't to identify the pregnancy pact girls. Phil explains that the team that comes in 1st this leg gets a huge prize: the Express Pass. The Express Pass can be used any time on the race and allows a team to bypass a challenge before they begin it. Pretty cool idea. Phil gives usual schpiel and explains there are 2 planes departing Logan Airport, but the 1st flight can only accommodate 3 teams. Everyone runs, grabs their packs, a jumps in those goofy teeny cars to speed to Boston. Can I insert here how upset I am I didn't see TAR in town? I've waited years for the chance at seeing a route marker. Boo! Anyhoo, the 3 teams that get flight #1 are BFFs Ron and Tony, dating couple Jill and Thomas, and newly dating Chad and Stephanie who almost missed the line. My picks to win, volleyball players Katie and Rachel, were so close but begin the line for the 2nd flight. The teams all get to officially meet, bond, and learn each other's nicknames. Off to jolly old England they go. I hope they bring back Skins on DVD!

At the buttcrack of the morn, the planes land in London where teams forget the driver's seat is on the right side of the car and the stick shift panic kicks in for many. Chad is 10 hours into the race and yelling already; this is why I didn't pick them to win. We learn that Nat, half of the doctors team, is a type 1 diabetic whose insulin is getting all messed up from the crazy time differences. Birth mother Andie is the worst clutch driver ever and burns it out, strands them in traffic, then solves the problem. All of this chaos is for the teams to get to Stonehenge for the next clue; the clue is for them to find Eastnor Castle, where the next clue will be. The clue is to "storm the castle" by climbing a ladder while being pelted with water by angry peasants; they will retrieve a flag, cross a big ass moat, and bring the flag to a knight in shining armor. I love when the racers get attacked by locals! The dating couple, home shopping hosts, and doctors take the early lead, but have some sinking boat issues due to balance. Chad and Stephanie arrive and Chad processes to get hostile on the boat; ugh, get eliminated now!

The teams bring their clue to a knight in shining armor that's located by some badass jousting. The Road Block is what we've all been waiting for: shoot a melon at suit of armor 50 feet away. Jill and Thomas complete the Road Block first, get their clue from the jester for the Pit Stop and check in as team #1 and win the Express Pass. They are psyched, obviously, because this could be a huge advantage down the line. But you don't care about this part- what about the famous viral video?? It's the melon shot heard round the world as home shopping Claire loads her balista, shoots the melon, but it flips backwards and whacks her in the face with a loud thud. It. Is. Awesome. It's still hilarious even after about 50 viewings of it. I think the icing on the cake is right before the shot, her nonstop talking partner said "Riiiiight in the kisser." Claire's got a slammin' headache, but her partner Brooke tells her she has to finish this- "they don't call it the Amazing Race for nothing." Claire toughs it out and takes out her knight; her partner won't STFU. They are team #4.

As some teams rest from completion, others are still hard at work. Father/son Michael and Kevin hilarious try to balance on the boat, falling in many times, but watching father/daughter Gary and Mallory shows them the proper technique. Dating Nick and Vicki and the BFFs Ron and Tony are totally lost, driving all over, stopping at gas stations to get directions. Nick and Vicki get to the castle and climb the wall but can't see the stack of turtle-shell looking boats, after they already had trouble finding their flag. Dumb! Meanwhile, more and more teams check in as Chad and Stephanie, who should've been #6, are lost in the woods trying to find the Pit Stop. The Father/Daughter, Father/Son are 6 and 7, with Chad and Stephanie coming in shortly after. The Birth Mother/Daughter are team #9, so the question is who will check in last and who will be the 1st Philiminated? Nick and Vicki check in 10th, but Vicki still doesn't get that London is a city, not a country. BFFs Ron and Tony are the last team to check in and get Philiminated. Wow, I was thisclose to picking them to win this whole race; glad I didn't go that way!

The Biggest Loser - The losers arrive at the ranch and almost immediately Alison announces an additional team which is the yellow team made up of 2 people from the casting challenges they felt needed this experience. Despite wearing matching shirts, they're informed they are competing as individuals and not pairs. The losers head to the gym, get a few laughs in, then begin their Bob and Jillian torture regime. For some reason, some of the guys favorite fatty sandwiches come via packages and Jillian uses it to berate us people who like to indulge in shit food- so sue me! Dr. Huizenga gives his standard episode 1 medical evaluations where he tells each they are a ticking time bomb to death- I fast forward.

Suddenly at the one hour mark, when a challenge would begin, the weigh-in happens. Let's get right to the good stuff! The yellow line is feared by all, but now the yellow line is chasing after them in terror: instead of 2 below the line, 8 will be under it and up for elimination. Well what a shocker, 7 of the 8 below the yellow line are women. A-duuuuuuuh. Twist again! The 8 below the yellow line will compete in a challenge- the bottom 2 will then be the losers up for elimination. Rick, who had the highest percentage of weight loss this week, gets to save one loser right off the back and picks his green shirted com-padre, who is of course a guy, meaning a woman will definitely be eliminated. The women fight it out, almost literally since Red Jessica doesn't want to go home, in a sprint to retrieve a flag. By the end of the challenge, the bottom 2 are the youngest (Pink Allie) and oldest (Purple Tina, with her sassy purple glasses) contestants. Allie is voted off the ranch with the consensus being she can do it at home and Tina needs it. Next week: Tina wants to quit, losers pissed they made the choice to keep her.

Survivor: Nicaragua - La Flor, or Younger Tribe if you're Jeff Probst and could care less, is a tribe kinda split with Alina, Kelly B, and Jud (who the show officially calls Fabio in his name tagline) on the other side. This doesn't matter too much this week as La Flor wins the immunity challenge of rolling barrels and tossing bean bags (much like an elementary school Field Day), and they didn't even use the Medallion of Power. They win reward in the form of spices and fruits and Kelly B (that's the Kelly with the prostetic leg) tries to be slick to see if the next immunity idol clue is there. It is there, but NaOnka sees it too and let's it be known to Kelly B. As soon as La Flor arrives back at camp, NaOnka goes hood on Kelly B (her words) and gets that clue. She can't decipher it, and neither can Brenda, but they at least know Kelly B can't get a power that can save her.

Escada aka AARP hear howler monkeys in the distance, so follow the noise to find food. This allows Jimmy Johnson to display a talent many of us had no clue he had: talking to monkeys. Jill convinces Marty to tell the tribe he has the idol to stay in good favor, which he reluctantly does. Jimmy T is honored that Marty would put the team first, while Tyrone kind of sees that Marty is playing this game for himself. How would he know that? Because after losing the immunity challenge, Marty puts his plan into motion to get out Jimmy Johnson who is a threat as the leader. Physically, shoeless Danny is really weak and should be the one to go but the tribe unanimously votes off Jimmy Johnson. So long, inspirational pep talks!

Top Chef: Just Desserts - The baketestants meet Gail and Sylvia Weinstock, acclaimed wedding cake decorator who rocks glasses like the Old Navy lady, for the Quickfire which is to make a wedding cake. They get an hour and a half to make a wedding cake (Zach: "Have you been snorting buttercream? That is not rational."); they will receive a sheet cake which they can decorate, put filling, etc. With a mere hour and a half, I'm not sure if it's possible to create a lifesize bride cake. As always, Malika is a clunker whose cake structurally sucks and gets pissed when Morgan calls her "Shaky" rather than her name. Gail calls times up and it looks like Cake Wrecks party there; holy shizz there are some messes. Shaky, I mean Malika's cake collapses before judging even happens and she cries, though not as crazy as Seth. Speaking of, Seth can't make a layer cake so presents a tiny cake. Hey turd, you place a smaller cake on top of a larger one- LAYERS, done! Top 3: Erica for detail work, Morgan's clean fresh rum-soaked cake, and Heather H's was delicate, feminine and elegant. Erica is named the winner of the challenge, based on who Sylvia would've liked to use for her wedding cake.

Elimination challenge is asking for drama: they are split into 2 teams (glee or pep) by drawing plastic cookies from a cookie jar. A glee club that isn't that Glee club barges into the kitchen singing "Top Chef, Top Chef..." and listing desserts, shortly followed by some cheerleaders that aren't those Cheerios who, let's be honest, I don't know what they said in unison. The elimination challenge is to throw a bake sale for each respective squad to help them fund raise. The winning team is the one that raises the most money (technically collects the most tickets) and then that winning team gets $5,000 or $1,000 each cause you split it. Chump change. There's a peanut butter vs. butter hoarding battle. Kids OD on sweets. Results are in: with a mere $10 difference, the Pep Squad team wins and the school's Pep Squad is going to cheer camp. No one's a real loser on Top Chef Just Desserts so they add another 0 to the final amounts, letting the Glee Club also have enough to go to their singing thing (plus another $5k for the school). Money bags!!

Judges' Table: the winning Pep team goes in first. There are 3 standouts from the team. Eric's krispy bars have a great texture and lightness, but is also mature in taste. Malika's toffee fudge brownie is ideal bakesale fare and while the base recipe was Eric's the toffee elevated the brownie. Despite her being a trainwreck, I want to make and eat that brownie right now. Erica's big ol' cookie is described as "the ultimate chocolate chip cookie" and Sylvia wants the recipe. Eric is named the winner, making up for his horrendous Quickfire cake and shows a true baker, not a fancy pastry chef, can excel too. The Glee losers head in to face elimination and teamwork is a focal point. Danielle singles out Seth, while Zac believes Seth was necessary in plating. Heather brings up that she wanted to make a chocolate dessert (whoopie pies- and yes, she should've done it and not to brag but I make them pretty awesome too), but her team insisted on a cookie. Seth's financier, even with creamsicle sauce, was too fancy for a bake sale and kid's don't want a food lesson; it was made perfectly though. Heather's peanut butter cookie was ordinary and something anyone could make (judge Dannielle later says "you could almost taste the resentment in her cookie." Yum? Danielle's coconut cupcake was dry. Zac's strawberry shortcake was delicious but not ideal for eating at the bake sale- too much of a take-out treat. Yigit's pudding had far too much ginger- it was the least-selling dessert on his team. Heather's cookie of resentment eliminates her from the competition but at least that ray of sunshine personality of hers will get her far...

Project Runway - Heidi pops in for her 45 seconds of hosting to, as usual, send the designers to Tim for their challenge. In the workroom there's computers of the designers as kids, dressed like the 80s/90s messes they were (like Mondo dressed as a sad clown- no lie). The challenge, a repeat of last season's excellent challenge, is to design your own fabric for your look (using their HP computers of course). They fabric should be from an inspiring moment or time; the designer can be whatevs. The designers begin to make their textiles, drawing on personal stories and a huge bomb is dropped when Mondo is a making a pattern with a plus sign: he's HIV positive and he's held in this secret for 10 years, even from his parents.

Tim comes into the workroom post-Mood and sends in some "special guests" who he encourages they be nice to. If you were shocked that their family entered, you don't know reality TV. The work day is suspended so that they can frolic around New York with their family guest. Hey, they have to fill 90 minutes another way besides making them do a 2nd look yet again. Mondo wants to open up to his mom, but they're having such a good time, it's her first time to NYC- he doesn't want to ruin the moment. So sad.

Good looks: April's print is a self portrait of her parent's divorce. The silhouette is cute; it's one-sleeve, asymmetrical and a little poofy. The judges unanimously love her print best. Mondo's print is so Mondo: bright, symbolic, trendy. He makes some bangin' pants that FUPA'd ladies can't wear with his textile with a funky shirt in a totally different pattern. Nina loves the look, though she wishes she knew the story behind it. After a wonderful critique, Mondo opens up to the judges (and his peers) about the true meaning behind his pattern. The room is stunned, teary, but Mondo feels free; very powerful. Mondo wins the challenge again- threepeat!

Everything else: Gretchen's print is white with a pattern of something like a sun bonnet- it's hard to describe, but it's pretty. She makes nice stretchy pants and a simple tank to showcase the pattern, though they aren't spaced well. Michael's print is inspired by an "evil eye" and the look is so dark. The addition of orange makes it Halloween to me, and it looks like she's wear a tie over a strapless dress. Christopher's California influence (call it California casual) is a water-inspired print top and denim pants. The look is flattering but boring; it could be at any Limited or Express. Andy's pattern is "bubbles of memories"; the print is nice, but the clothes aren't my cup of tea. Shorts and a vest? Are you Serena Van Der Woodsen?? His mom distracted him; bad excuse, bub. Valerie wanted to honor her father by making her textile like a blue print. The top screams figure skater, and the bottom is similar to her napkin dress from challenge #2. Too many layers, odd fabrics to layer; meh. Valerie is OUT, but she can dry her tears with those napkins sewn to her dress.

Photo Credits: BestWeekEver, BravoTV.com, Fans of Reality TV, MyLifetime.com, NBC.com, Survivor.com


Brian @ PWYJudges said...

Well, Miss Mel - you had a lot to cover! Loved the watermelon to the face; it was even better in the episode than in the promos.

And last night's Project Runway was so emotional! I love Mondo so much!