December 17, 2010

Reality Rundown: Please Pack Your Douchey Tie and Go

Finale! The Amazing RaceFinale! The Biggest Loser
Survivor: NicaraguaTop Chef All-Stars

Finale! The Amazing Race - It's the beginning of the end, as the final 3 board flights to finish their race around the world in sunny Los Angeles, to the tune of Katy Perry's "California Girls" (could it be a hint a ladies team will win??). Brook and Claire bust out the leopard print hot pants for this special occasion. The teams race out of LAX and head the the Long Beach Pier to retrieve their clue: take an elevator to the top of a crane, grab a clue, and then bungee swing back to the bottom. Nat/Kat take an early lead, with Nat being apprehensive since she's afraid of heights, but the other teams catch up and hope she has a height panic attack so they can pass her. Of course they do it right away cause it's the GD finale and if you piss it all away in the finale you're a dingaling.

The next clue sends the teams on a helicopter ride to a surprise destination (did the Bachelor producers create this task?) Surprise! They land at the Rose Bowl and find a Roadblock which instructs one team member to decorate 3 sections of a Tournament of Roses float ALONE. Good lord is that hard and if it is shaped like a stick of butter then it is definitely the Paula Deen Grand Marshall float. It's not, but it's a very timely task that's also subjective based on their arrangement of the flowers. The next clue has 3 questions that will lead to the next location, and there's difficulty finding someone willing to help them get the answers via phone. Jill/Thomas get screwed when their cabbie doesn't know what a Google search is, Brook/Claire use a hotel's internet, but Nat/Kat are able to convince an operator to answer the clue. It leads them to Quixote Studios in Griffith Park, Stage 7.

At Quixote Studios there's a giant screen with 48 different people from around the world in hats; they must identify, in order, the 11 people they've encountered across the race. Legendary gameshow host Bob Eubanks is there to give them the clue when done cause, yeah, no idea why. Nat/Kat were smart and kept notes throughout the race, which helps them keep track of the countries and narrow down the people. Before any other teams get to the studios, Nat/Kat complete the task and are given their final clue: get to the finish line at Greystone Mansion. There's some editing to make Brook/Claire look like they're catching up, but it's all editing: Nat and Kat cross the finish line and are the first female team to win The Amazing Race! I'm so excited and I knew a female team would win this season- I just picked the wrong one. After some Phil interviewing of the finalists, hugging and stuff, we the viewing audience get a tip: next season is "Unfinished Business" aka All Stars 2 and it will be in HD. It would be huge news if that didn't leak like 4 weeks ago online.

Finale! The Biggest Loser - The end is here and I hardly care who wins. Well OK, I only like Ada so I guess it's obvious where my loyalties lie. Right off the bat, Ada and Elizabeth are revealed and slimmer and, obviously, Ada wins the at-home vote to head to the final 3. Bob and Jillian come out, Bob in a tux, Jillian in a Saturday Night Fever suit. Then all the eliminated losers begin weighing in for the Biggest Loser At-Home Prize. Adam from the Blue Team is first to weigh in and grabs an early lead, losing 45% of his body weight. Mid-episode Jesse almost swoops in to beat Adam, but it 1lb short- bummer! Rick loses 165 (47%) weighs in, takes the lead and gets to stand awkwardly next to Alison Sweeney for the next hour. Patrick seems like a shoo-in until Mark comes out, spray-tanned and hair-dyed, oh a super skinny. He loses 213lbs (50.5%) and wins the at-home prize. Winner winner Jennie-O boneless skinless chicken breast dinner!

The final 3 come out on stage and look great, though Patrick should seriously throw on a fucking blazer and class it up a little. It's a big event. Frado hops on the scale first and loses 44% of his weight; no way is he winning with those numbers. Ada weighs in with 99lbs lost (38%) which is a bummer since I actually like her. It's now totally obvious that Patrick is going to to win because the winner always weighs in last to make the confetti blast work in the ideal setting. Patrick wins losing like 181lbs, most likely winning because he talked so much that he dropped another 15lbs in hot air.

Also to note, The Biggest Loser 11 starts in merely 3 weeks (god forbid we get a break) and there are 2 new trainers. The twist: they can choose to train with Bob/Jillian on the ranch OR train with the mystery trainers at an unknown locale. Geez, wonder how much they'll have to pay the contestants to pick option 2? Instead, if you chose the new trainers you essentially have 4 weeks of immunity while the Bob/Jillian people face regular eliminations. Ugh, just when I thought I'd get a breather from recapping this bore-fest.

Survivor: Nicaragua - Sash tries to make good with Fabio, claims he's running the game, and mentions as long as Fabio doesn't win immunity the plan goes on. Talk about foreshadowing! But shortly after, a cell phone is found at Tree Mail with clues for a reward challenge and videos from their loved ones. Everyone cries at the videos, but of course, this is just a tease: their loved ones are there at the challenge! For the reward challenge, the family members will compete together for a chance to spend the day with their Survivor loved one- twist! The survivors retrieve bags of letters from a pool, their family member will solve the puzzle. Chase and his mom win and brings Sash/his mom and Holly/her husband on their cruise. Someone's pandering for votes! Chase wonders what happens to the losers, "They will be taken and executed." HA! Super mis-leading promo. Fabio is completely heartbroken that Chase didn't pick him, since he would've picked Chase had circumstances changed.

Fabio, Dan and Jane return to camp, bitter at losing a chance to be with their family, but also how much Chase kisses Holly's ass. Fabio feels played, Jane wishes she could have time since her daughter is going to college, and they agree it could've been a million dollar decision. A bitter person alliance would be so amazing right now. Meanwhile, the other 3 and family are eating junk food on a boat and make a final 3 pact. They're a bit confident, with the plan to eliminate Fabio in full force. You know the arrogance will bite them in the ass tonight.

The immunity challenge is a blind-folded symbol reading challenge thing to make a matching symbol shield. Who really cares, you just need to know who wins. FABIO WINS! So the arrogant 3 have to change their votes to get rid of someone else, so the easy target is lazyass Dan. Fabio is pushing for Jane because she's guaranteed to win, but Chase is hesitant and it becomes a big decision of should Jane come to final 4. Sash and Holly want her out, Chase is still indecisive, and they are all horrible liars when approached by Jane, who gets the hint pretty quickly. Jane is heartbroken, but still sassy enough to give Sash the finger when he says she could beat any of them for the million. The wrath of Jane needs to make a power move with Fabio and Dan, but instead throws water on the fire.

Tribal is amazing. Jane knows she's going out and does so in a Festivus Airing of Grievances: Holly stealing $1,400 in personal property (Dan's shoes) and lets the news of the 4-way alliance out which shocks Dan and Fabio. Since there's an alliance of 3, Jeff calls them out and even confers in front of the rest of the tribe (and jury) that next to go is Fabio or Dan. Jeff asks the 3 outsiders why they haven't formed an alliance, so Jane proposes they vote off Holly because Chase and Sash both have idols. Now Holly's nervous, Chase is confused, and the votes are cast. Chase and Sash both use their hidden immunity idols so any votes cast against them are null and void. Jane is unanimously voted out by the tribe, not even by a tie. While Jane could've won, when there's an overly arrogant alliance YOU TAKE THEM OUT. DUH.

Top Chef All-Stars - The chefs all agree Jamie should've went home last week since Jen was strong and Jamie spent the whole challenge in the ER. That is neither here or there, as the game goes on. In the kitchen with Padma is guest judge David Chang, and the Quickfire is to split in 4 teams of 4 and complete mise en place and then create a dish using all those ingredients. First team done hits a red button to start a 15 minute clock, forcing the other teams to speed up. Fabio's amazing garlic smashing gives the Black team an early lead and quickly finish the rest of their mise en place, so they hit the button. 15 minutes left, so chaos in the kitchen happens, with only 15 minutes to finish prep, conceptualize and cook their dishes. Red team is worst for the overpowering Parmesan on their lamb carpaccio, along with the Black team (despite having the lead) for their spicing on the Tandoori-rubbed pork chop. Best are White's simple and complex carpaccio and Blue's crispy lamb chop bold flavors. The Blue team (Richard, Stephen, Spike Trey) win $5k each (no immunity).

The teams get a little field trip in their teams to unique restaurants around New York, with the challenge being to create a dish worthy of being on that restaurant's menu and please their chef. The twist is that the groups will be competiting as individuals against each other and there's a double elimination. At Ma Peche, Tiffany, Fabio, Angelo and Mike sample French Vietnamese food and enjoy the food while suffering through Angelo. Richard, Stephen, Trey, and Spike dine at Marea which focuses on coastal Italian (as opposed to inner-city Italian?) Stephen is a stuffy arrogant a-hole and tries to act like he's hot shit. Carla, Tiffani, Asian Dale and Marcel eat at Wylie Dufresne's WD50, which means Marcel's gonna make foam- know that! Carla is worried at the huge style difference between her cooking and WD50's. Jamie, Antonia, White Dale, and Casey get a cocktail with a fish in the bottom of the glass at David Burke's Townhouse. Yeah, whimsical is one way to describe it.

The judges cab-it from restaurant to restaurant to taste the dishes, dining alongside the restaurant owner at each. What if they hopped in the Cash Cab on their way to Ma Peche? That'd be epic. I'd cover all the dining and comments, but quite frankly I'd be blogging forever, so let's just do judges' table, shall we?

Top group: Asian Dale, Tre, Angelo, and Antonia. Antonia makes a delicious play on peas and carrots. Angelo put white chocolate on his fish, which is crazy but worked. Tre's fish was perfectly cooked, simple and the star of the dish. Dale knew Wylie loved eggs, made it good, and made a broth that tasted like breakfast (this I need to try). Dale wins the challenge and a 6 night trip to New Zealand. Bottom: Stephen, Tiffani, Fabio, White Dale. Fabio was definitely out of his element and lost his way with a ton of ingredients to compensate; his lamb was overdone too. Stephen considers himself "an expert in Italian food and wine" and knows he messed up. The flavor and scent was unpleasant, even though the salmon was cooked well. Tiffani's dish was watery and mushy and let the molecular gastonomy take over. Dale's dish was too crazy; he delivered a breakfast dish with veal and it was too sweet. Eww. The judges deliberate and the axe falls on Stephen and Dale for the double elimination. While they are told to pack their knives and go, it's important that Stephen take his douchey ties too.

Photo Credits:,,, Dlisted