August 4, 2011

Reality Rundown: Sue Ellen Crandell Knows A Lot About Dance

Food Network Star • So You Think You Can Dance

Food Network Star - The "stars" head to Chelsea Market's market area for their challenge. They have an hour to run around and taste a bunch of junk, then have to pick one favorite and tape a "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" segment. My best thing I ever ate: pineapple Dole Whip Float from Disney World. Yours? So the "stars" run around and taste tons of grub and also ask a lot of questions so that their segment has information and not just saying, "this tastes good!" Susie's best thing is a pork dish but just lists ingredients rather than convey how tasty the food really is. Vic talks about a dish that's both chicken and eggplant parmesan, but must not listen at all since he too ignored describing the taste of the dish. Jeff heeds advice and talks about a delicious reuben, making me super hungry and showing he's a natural for this show. Mary Beth is a food blogger, so describing food is her forte, and she's sooo into the food even if she says "milimeter" too much. Whitney is immediately intimidated because Mary Beth also did crepes and did it first, so then it gets a little awkward eventhough she could've said the same thing cause she felt the same emotions. Bobby gives the win to Jeff, with Mary Beth right behind him.

The Star Challenge this week is to turn a protein into a roast. As winner of the Camera Challenge, Jeff gets to assign the proteins: Whitney- pork crown roast, Vic- prime rib, Mary Beth- duck, Susie- leg of lamb, and for himself, rump roast. Turns out not only are they making roasts, but they are getting roasted. The "stars" will serve their dishes to "A-list comedians" which includes Louie Anderson (yeah), Judy Gold, Gilbert Gottfried (f-yes), Aubrey Plaza, and Anthony "Hang Time forever" Anderson.

Vic serves his big-ass bone in prime-rib, which looks like Medieval Times portions, served with potatoes and maybe some asparagus. The panel thinks he should stick to the mama's boy angle and ditch the stupid-ass Vic Vegas thing. Mary Beth has never cooked a whole duck before so is in panic mode. She presents the panel blackberry glazed duck with potatoes roasted in the duck fat- tres fancy! Mary Beth's personality is totally lost in a boring, academic presentation- total nerdfest and not a single Aflac duck joke. Jeff's rump roast translates to an Italian beef sandwich with homemade chips and au jus. Jeff and the comedians hit it off and he gets forced to relive his old stand-up days of making jokes about being a fat kid. Gilbert tells Jeff he'd give him a cooking show just to never heard his stand-up again. Zing! Susie makes a spiced leg of lamb with chipotle potato au gratin and braised carrots with beets and carmelized onions. A shitload of starches tonight, fo sho. Susie is bright, bubbly, and still able to convey her emotional back story with a delicious dish. Whitney is all smiles until she talks about her parents and then gets all weepy. She prepares Berkshire pork and gives the TMI of the animal being only 3 years old and killed a week ago.

Judgment day. The panel was happy with their food and performances, meaning not everyone sucks now. Susie is praised for her raw talent and thinks she could be an excellent teacher and personality for the network. Whitney "inspires confidence" but she's kind of a drag and not fun. Mama's boy Vic is happy to leave Vic Vegas behind and become this new man, though the judges worry he might change personalities again. His massive slab of Flintstones meat didn't help much in the earning points department. Jeff did well with the comedians without trying to outfunny or get overshadowed, which turns Susie Fogelson on. Mary Beth's duck was delicious, despite her earlier panic, but she was such an Encyclopedia Britanica with her dumb duck facts. Jeff, Susie, and Vic are the stand-outs, and Jeff takes top honors again. 3 in a row for Jeff! The judges deliberate over whether to keep Whitney's top notch cooking skills or Mary Beth's eloquent way with words. It's Whitney who leaves the show tonight and I hope my buddy Phil is not still crying at he reads this recap.

So You Think You Can Dance - Holy crap, the finale is next week! Time flies fo sho. The guest judges this week are Christina Applegate (SUE ELLEN CRANDELL, PEOPLE) and Lil' C. And since there's so little left, I guess I should recap all the routines.

Ladies! Melanie is Little Red Swaggin' Hood and Twitch is the Big Bad Wolf for a Nappytabs hip hop fairy tale. It's every bit as awesome as that one sentence conveys. Talk about two powerhouse dancers together. Sasha dances with Kent (!!) in another beautiful Tyce Diorio contemporary routine about hitting the wall in a relationship. Tyce has been on fire these last few weeks and this one might be his best yet. So athletic and emotional, as they dance literally against a prop wall. Caitlynn sambas with my boyfriend Pasha, leaving me full of envy especially with that unbuttoned mesh shirt of his. Ow ow! Back to the topic at hand, the dancer is totally sexy and Caitlynn puts her hammy grins away as much as she can.

Fellas! Marko's paso doble with All Star Janette, and choreographed by All Star Dmitry, is hotness. The chemistry and intensity was there in full force. Tadd gets a period piece with All Star Ellenore which lets him swing on a classy chandelier. I think this routine should be called "doin' it on a chandelier." It's Sonya weirdness for sure, but I also felt it didn't have much actual dancing (Nigel agrees with me). Ricky is the controlling boyfriend with sticks to control All Star Jamie and it's the kind of routine that can save Ricky from being the obvious eliminee this week. Ricky's lines are amazing and the props don't hold him back.

The top 6 together! Ricky and Sasha are tasked with the first ever whacking routine, which is crazy-ass arms and legs. The costumes throw me off from enjoying the routine fully because I just don't understand if there's a story or timeframe or what. Spencer Liff must be a big Center Stage fan (as @NineDaves pointed out on Twitter) because the routine is about a dancer hot for her choreographer, but he's just in love with her dancing. COOPER NIELSEN, PEOPLE. That being said, holy shit this routine was HOT. Melanie is pure perfection and I will be crushed if she doesn't win this show. The night ends with another shitty boyfriend dance routine. The good news is it's danced with a lot of power and energy and not much smiles. Plus, Marko rules. Lil' C calls it double hashtag bucc, so all in all, a great night of dance.

To begin the results show, the top 6 dance a contemporary routine around a giant rose which concludes "prop week" on SYTYCD. Enough props, just dance! The judges don't want to reveal the results since there's only 6 left so instead of dancing for their lives, the bottom guy and bottom girl will be eliminated. Melanie and Marko just the stress relieved early when they are given the good news that they made the finale. The time fillers are awesome tonight: SYTYCD reigning queen Lauren and runner-up Kent perform Travis Wall's Emmy nominated "Collide" routine again and yes they kiss- ooo! The the Bad Boys of Dance perform to "Derezzed" from the Tron: Legacy soundtrack and you had me at the Daft Punk. Then early-jilted American Idol standout Pia Toscano sings. But who makes the finale? Sasha advances for the girls, sending Caitlynn home. I predict that next week the votes come down to Melanie or Sasha for the victory. And the lucky fella that'll dance in the finale is... Tad, so Ricky goes home.

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