November 30, 2011

Charity of the Month for November 2011: Community Servings

11/30/2011 Posted by Mel Got Served
I'm great at donating, bad at blogging. I've been meaning to post for weeks but have been a slacker. Forgive me.

I was riding the train from from work and along with staring at the weird people, I always check out the ads. That's where Pie in the Sky, part of Community Servings, got my attention. Pie in the Sky is their Thanksgiving drive where people can sell pies, donated by restaurants, to raise money for meals to deliver to people with critical and chronic illnesses who cannot shop or cook. Every Thanksgiving you can either buy a pie for your dinner and pick it up or buy a pie that they'll deliver to one of their clients. I was like a day late to donate a pie to someone else so opted instead to donate directly to the organization. Just $25 can provide a week's worth of meals to someone. During these holiday times, it's a small thing that can make a huge difference.

Plus how could Mel Got SERVED not donate to a charity with SERVINGS in its name?

November 27, 2011

Reality Rundown: 20 Miles to Legoland!

11/27/2011 Posted by Mel Got Served , , No comments
The Amazing RaceThe Biggest Loser
Top Chef: Texas

The Amazing Race - Teams head to the Hans Christian Anderson statue to retrieve their first clue for this leg of the race. It's a Road Block: memorize a poem, ride a bike with a map on the wheel, and then repeat the poem verbatim in a super dramatic way. Because it's a tourist landmark, Cindy encounters issues reading the poem since a bunch of schmos are blocking the poem. Most teams just can't ride a bike and look at a map on a wheel at the same time. Others need to step up their acting game.

After they finish the poem they head to LEGOLAND! George Michael, 20 miles to Legoland! At Legoland they need to put together some legos while riding a Lego version of the tea cups with a pirate theme. HURL CITY, YO. Sandy almost pukes and almost is no fun when you're watching reality TV. Do it to it, gurl. Once they complete the puzzle, teams have to drive across the border to Hamburg, Germany where I'm hoping there will be a Five Guys eating challenge. Nope, they now have to take a train to Brussels, Belgium which, quel surprise, is an equalizer. At some point, Cindy loses her ticket and we know this because the show does a dramatic zoom in. How do racers never notice their camera person not moving and taking a shot of the ground? Cindy/Ernie don't have enough Euros to buy another ticket and need to get ta thinkin' so they get on the train and decide to see if the conductor can help them reprint while on the train. Oh wait, the conductor never ends up collecting tickets so nothing happens.

The next task is a Brussels from Muscles challenge where they need to get in some skiivies, get a nasty spray tan and oiled up, and perform body building moves. It. is. gross. From day one I'm like, man I can't wait to see the old people in speedos and bikinis so mind read. I don't know if there's any ball slips because of online pixelation but I sure hope there was! Amani and Marcus wisely make the choice to take their time practicing so they get it right the first time. It pays off because they arrive at the mat first except it's to be continued leg! I hate non-elimination legs, but I love to be continued. It lasts forever and they get cranky. Yesss.

The Biggest Loser - The kitchen is covered in plate of delicious Thanksgiving food, which Alison decides is an opportune time to remind us we all eat like shit that day. There's three incentives benefits to this Thanksgiving temptation: $500 per pound lost this week, an at-home gym installed, and a 3lb advantage. They have five minutes to eat as much as they want but it's not about how much you eat, just who has the lowest number on the bottom of the plate. Lowest number gets to pick first, etc. Sunny can't believe everyone is eating and gives into eating to not be the only one not participating. It becomes a little psychological, deciding whether to stick to one dish and or try to get a lower number while perceiving others had a good number and that's why they ate less. The winners are, in order: Vinny 3lb advantage, Becky the home gym, and Antone gets the money for pounds lost.

The big cliffhanger this week is that if John, the last red team member, is eliminated, Dolvett is out. Anna makes her people play tennis. The losers have a Thanksgiving dinner where they say what they're thankful for. Bob likes Sunny best because she reminds him of her sister.

There's a challenge to race one mile on one of those Jacob's Ladder endless staircase machines. Enjoy those calves tomorrow, losers! There are three prizes, a give/get: give the Biggest Loser meal plan to an eliminated contestant (and get some for yourself), $2,500 to give and $2,500 to keep, and a 1lb advantage for yourself and a 1lb disadvantage for someone else. John completes the challenge first and picks the 1lb advantage (he will give the disadvantage at the weigh-in). Sunny comes in second and picks the meal plan (her meal plan to give goes to Bonnie). Ramon rounds out the top three and is given the remaining prize, the money (he also gives $2,500 to Vinny).

At the weigh-in, John gives the 1lb disadvantage to Sunny because it's easier to knock out a woman and Sunny has the potential to lose much more weight. Classy move! John loses only 5lbs (ouch), upped to 6lbs with his advantage (1.94%). Maybe the creepy slicked back hair reduced his weight? Antone wins $4,000 for losing 8lbs. Vinny passes the 100lb mark, making it a special weigh-in for him (11lbs lost plus a 3lb advantage). The two below the yellow line Sunny (lost by 1/100th of a percent thanks to the disadvantage) and Ramon. Sunny is pissed because it's allegedly Thanksgiving week and this is a shitty thing. John gets the chance to save face and keep Sunny, yet still votes her out because he wants to compete against Ramon. What a turd. Based on a tie, Ramon is eliminated for having the lowest weight-loss. Ramon heads home, gets his own makeover, go on a skydiving date. And of course we'll see him propose on the finale.

Top Chef: Texas - The kitchen is filled with tons of super hot chilis and the hotter they are, the more money their worth. This is because if you win the challenge, the hotter chili you use the more money you make (up to $20,000 if you use the ghost chili, the hottest chili in the world). Only one dude (Paul) chooses the ghost pepper for the money and to test his skill, while others choose varying degrees of heat. The risk pays off for Paul, who made a chilled coconut soup with ghost pepper relish; he wins $20,000 and immunity.

The Elimination Challenge is a chili cook-off and all I can imagine is a big bowl of Scott Tenorman chili. The cheftestants are split into teams of three to create one pot of chili and get all night to cook. No time limit? Score! Oh that's because they have to cook it at home, not in the Top Chef kitchen. They will serve their chili at a rodeo and the attendees will select a winner. Along with the raid on the supermarket, the house becomes a shitshow to grab equipment, stuff from the fridge, and a spot to cook. Chili tastes better the longer it cooks so a lot of teams pull all-nighters to get the perfect stew.

The rodeo begins and all the cowpokes start sampling all the chilis. Green team (Sarah, Chuy, Chris C) makes chili con carne, no beans with beef chuck topped with a roasted corn mixture. The flavor gets better as the judges eat it, but wish they had a bread or tortillas for all the extra sauce. Red team's (Dakota, Whitney, Chris J) chili is braised brisket and short rib and just typing that makes me hungry. It's smoky with a fair amount of heat (so kids don't like it) but the texture is a little odd. Blue team (Heather, Edward, Paul) have smoked brisket chili with summer pickles (and topped with pork rinds- ew). Black team (Nyesha, Beverly, Richie) serve chili mole with cornbread, so it has chocolate and cinnamon in it. The cornbread is a pleaser but the chili isn't what they judges necessary wanted. White team (Lindsay, Grayson, Ty-Lor) become mortal Texas enemies when they serve a three bean and beef chili (since beans in chili is a Texas no-no). They have poblano cornbread though and any cornbread is OK by me. The pickled veggies in the chili is divisive amongst the panel.

Padma rides into the rodeo on a horse to announce the winner, selected by the diners, of the chili cook-off. The Green team wins and while I'm sure the chili was great, perhaps Sarah's constant declaration of being an authentic Texan helped. The Black team is named worst chili by the judges. They have a chance to prove they belong in the competition by transforming their losing chili into a winning dish. Beverly makes seared tuna with habenero creamed corn. She is given credit for owning up to the mole by using the sauce while changing the flavor profile. Nyesha serves Frito-encrusted black tiger shrimp with roasted corn salsa. The judges think it lacked sauce and the corn seemed easy. Richie also rocks the Fritos, encrusting a pork tenderloin over potato hash and ricotta cheese chili puree. The judges find it lacking in seasoning, one-note, but made a lot. The person bucked from the Top Chef rodeo is Richie, making his BFF Chris very sad.

November 20, 2011

Reality Rundown: Bunnies Jumping Hurdles Are Cuter Than Anything Imaginable

The Amazing RaceThe Biggest LoserSurvivor: South PacificTop Chef: Texas

The Amazing Race - It's off to Copenhagen, Denmark, a first time ever for the show. Not a first time ever: shoving Ford Focus product placement down our throats. Oh and there's another dumb Double U-Turn will be waiting for them in Denmark. The only thing that could be good is that dumb father/son Laurence and Zac used the U-Turn on Amani and Marcus last week but it didn't matter since they were ahead of them. All teams are on the same flight to Denmark via the Netherlands except for Laurence/Zac who book a different flight via London, which arrives first. Amani and Marcus make the dumb mistake in Amsterdam that everyone will be on the same flight so they go eat and doddle around a Hudson News or something. Wrong! Everyone is way gone and they are stupidly still there.

Who gives a shit about flights though when there's an equalizer, as the clue opens at 7am (well, Marcus and Amani might because their flight lands at 8:20am). When the location opens, teams need to search for two flags that will tell them their next destination: Frederiksborg Slot. The teams deduce that "borg" is castle and a map at the castle incorrectly advises the dating couple to go to some other castle. I don't even know this couple's name but eventually learn it's Jeremy and Sandy; still don't care. This dumb mistake gives Amani and Marcus time to catch up, but then blow it by having horrible sense of direction and an overuse of football metaphors.

At the Slot the teams encounter a Road Block: one person needs to rock a period costume and learn a three-part old timey dance. Zac is horrible at it and takes forever and his dad yaps that he could've done better if he did it because it's "his forte." Well maybe you should fucking volunteered, braggart. After dancing to some hypnotic flutes, the teams perform a Detour: lead a rabbit through a steeplechase course on a leash or churn butter. In case you were wondering, seeing bunnies on leashes completely an agility course is the most adorable thing you will see in your entire life. Churning butter is less adorable and a little more like watching an episode of Gigolos.

Ernie and Cindy finish their tasks first and make it to the Double U-Turn first and use it on Bill and Cathi since they were churning butter together; Ernie isn't a fan of the move. But since Bill and Cathi come upon the Double U-Turn second, they U-Turn Laurence and Zac since they know they were behind them. I am happy about the U-Turn only because everyone was churning butter and neglecting the adorable bunnies since animals are temperamental at challenges. Bill and Cathi nail the course thanks to their newest, cutest pal, Speckles. Amani and Marcus easily get their bunny through the course too which shows that bunny challenges are perhaps the best choice going forward.

Ernie and Cindy head to the Pit Stop, Havet Ship, and finally win a leg (and a trip to Fiji). Jeremy and Sandy get so lost and they seem the obvious elimination choice, or maybe just last place seeing how many non-eliminations there have been. U-Turned Laurence and Zac have a quick course thanks to an encore use of Speckles but then get insanely lost driving and stuck in a massive traffic jam. This mishap allows Jeremy and Sandy to check in as team #5. Laurence and Zac are eliminated from the race.

The Biggest Loser - Alison informs the losers they are competing in a pentathlon all week and teams are gone; singles time! Return of the yellow line! The person who has the most pentathlon points at the end of the week wins immunity; last place in points gets a 1lb disadvantage. Alison, who has been standing by an election curtain, asks the losers to rank each in order of most deserving aka popularity contest and the coolest/least biggest a-hole gets 7pts and so forth. Sunny uses the Sean season 1 of Survivor strategy: alphabetical order. Others do strategy, Bonnie gives better scores to teachers, and John goes by weight-loss. So one event down, four to go!

Event 2 is to retrieve pegs to eliminate other players, so it's about playing the game and removing the threats. Sunny wins the challenge taking out Becky. Event 3 is "Knowledge" which is nutrition trivia. In a question about cheese, Bonnie calls it "mozzarelly" and "provoloney." Antone wins trivia with close to a clean sweep. Event 4 is strength and balance by pulling themselves across a pool while balancing on some bright yellow peanut shaped float thing. Surprise, Bonnie falls immediately. I figured she'd fall on the pool deck so she beat my expectations. Sunny wins her second event, making her a contender for that final prize. Olympian Apolo Anton Ohno comes by to shove Subway sandwiches down our throats. Actually, the losers throats but how annoying. Apolo leads the losers out to event 5, the final event, is to run a mile really fast but Apolo is going to run with them to motivate them. Jeez, maybe they should've hired you instead of the failed athlete. Ramon wins the event and beats his normal mile time.

The highlight of the episode for me is when Dolvett has a talk with John and opens up about his past as a foster child and being adopted. Won't lie, I got verklempt. I love Dolvett. Dolvett encourages John to fight and explains the reason he is pushing John by dropping a medicine ball on his stomach to make him fight. John later opens up to Dolvett about the death of his father and how he did the ceremony. OMG sad.

Weigh-in. First, the results of the popularity contest are given and Antone wins immunity and top of the chart. Sunny's alphabetical order totally effed her over- HAHA! Last place is Bonnie, so she gets a 1lb disadvantage. Bonnie loses 5lbs, which is surprising and shows she doesn't give up (except at attempting to run a mile). Unfortunately, everyone has a really good weight loss week where 5lbs (1.88%) for a woman is kinda low. Bonnie falls below the yellow line with her former teammate Becky (4lbs, 2.15%). Bonnie cries a bunch and I had to have my roommate translate that Bonnie requests to be voted out and to keep Becky.

Survivor: South Pacific - If you play the game three times you should be a master, so Coach's improvement is somewhat awesome. He tries to pacify the remaining Savaiis about Jim being a threat, though Whitney isn't buying Coach's Kool Aid. Cochran admits to sipping it and does a little Dragon Slayer Chi with the man. Coach admits his paranoia and vows to protect Cochran as well.

There's a "duel" between Ozzy, Jim, and Keith to balance poles with a board on top. The winner of the duel sticks around, the two losers because the first two jury members. No one is routing for Ozzy, Whitney is routing for Keith, Coach routes for no one, and others want Jim to win. Well Jim drops out first so bummer there. Keith falls out afterwards meaning Ozzy's fish binge paid odd. He then yaps more about enjoying time alone at Redemption eating fish and getting strong.

Immunity challenge: balance a bowl of rice on their heads across teeter totters and put into a container. Brandon, Dawn, and Sophie are the top contenders in the race. Sophie gets real ballsy and fills her bowl over the rim. This extra rice adds lots more weight and tilts her rice scale to victory. No reward or anything but there's a big twist coming to Tribal Council and Jim won't announce it til either.

Dawn is desperate to stay and Cochran is open to flipping again and rejoining Dawn and Whitney, which he thinks will make him look better to the jury. After the immunity challenge, Cochran double checks with Coach that Dawn and Whitney are the targets. Cochran is smart enough to think ahead that the twist could be an immediate immunity challenge and another vote and sees he could be in trouble. Dawn and Whitney aren't rolling over and decide Albert would be the best bet at a logical player. Albert's open to this because it gets him in good Savaii graces on the jury, takes out Coach's bottom bitch, and makes Cochran feel appreciated and higher up the food chain. How does Albert convince Cochran? By telling him Cochran is definitely looking at seventh place and he buys it (whether it's true or not, who knows). Albert and Cochran approach Sophie to help make this Edna plan happen and Sophie's torn about being a swing vote. Coach sees the scrambling and is not pleased and threatens "instant death" to those who "go against the family."

Tribal time! The pecking order is the discussion because Savaii is getting Pagonged and Jeff doesn't believe Cochran isn't thinking ahead further. Coach denies being the tribe leader and Whitney rolls her eyes cause it's so obvious Coach is the don of his scrappy little mafia. Jeff talies the votes and my main lady Dawn is heading to Redemption Island to eat fish and fruit with Ozzy. What a waste of exciting editing.

Cochran's earlier suspicions are correct and there is an immediate immunity challenge and vote happening at Tribal. The super quick immunity challenge is survival trivia questions with a wrong answer being immediate elimination. #1 target Whitney comes very close to winning immunity, but Sophie beats her in a final true/false question. Whitney is then quickly voted off. Next week, Cochran will probably go and it'll be a full Pagonging of the Savaii tribe.

Top Chef: Texas - Audition bullshit is finally over and now it's time for the good shit: Quickfire. And the first real Quickfire: cook some rattlesnakes. And I won't even dignify reusing the Snakes on a Plane line Padma drops. Soooo 2007. Bottom: Paul, Richie (too much citrus), Nyesha (overcooked rattlesnake). Best: Beverly, Dakota (beer battered, yum!), and Sarah. The winner of the Quickfire is Dakota, who gets $5,000 and immunity.

The cheftestants draw knives to be put into two teams: pink and green. Their client is a 15 year old girl having her Quincenera which is like a Sweet 16 except a year earlier and Spanish. They have to cater the event and since it's a birthday party there has to be a cake. Ding dong Keith botches immediately for the pink team by purchasing cooked shrimp for a cooking competition dish. Uhh, duh. The blame should go to the others too for not saying anything. There's some team friction with Keith who just wants to compete and skip the bickering. Green team has an authentic Mexican on their team to validate flavors so score one for green.

Pink team's dishes are: avocado fritter, pork tenderloin with pineapple salsa, ceviche with some popcorn, choclo con chile, enchiladas with salsa verde, carne asada, cochinita pibil, and a cake with strawberry and pineapple. The green team serves: pork carnita charrone, shrimp ceviche with yuca chip, tomatillo gazpacho, empanadas, goat birria, beef short rib asada, pulled chicken mole, and a vanilla tres leches cake that's got a crazy lean on. All in all, Blanca has a pretty sweet birthday, wears a big pretty dress, and gets to be on TV.

The winning team is the green team, meaning crybaby Beverly is safe (ugh). The obvious target is Keith, the cooked shrimp purchaser. They call in Ty Lor, Sarah, Lindsay and Keith to the judge's table; they are the least favorite dishes. A lack of leadership and poor menu planning are cited as main reasons for the downfall. The cooked shrimp comes up quickly and Hugh thinks it was a dumb move and deserved the lashing he got. Ty Lor's corn fritter was dry. The storebought tortillas Lindsay used sucked. Keith gets flack for using a flour tortilla for his empanadas, since you use corn tortillas. Sarah is like "I grew up in Texas and never use flour tortillas" and the judges are like, um shouldn't you have spoken up? Sarah is this season's Lisa- WHO BURNED MY RICE? Considering Lindsay lived in Mexico and failed, it's kind of a strike for her right off the bat. The first to go is Keith and his crummy empanadas and shrimp buying skills.

November 13, 2011

Reality Rundown: No One Curr About Fish

The Amazing RaceThe Biggest Loser
Survivor: South PacificTop Chef: Texas

The Amazing Race - I hate to be a Debbie Downer but watching TAR this season is like homework to me. This week the teams take a bus to the town of Salima for their clues and are warned there's a Double U-Turn ahead. Angry Mel alert! A team is still in the race because of last week's non-elimination so they have to complete a Speed Bump and there's the possibility for two teams to get screwed over, or the non-elimination team to get royally screwed. This show is so poorly planned this season. The bus doesn't depart until 7am so, surprise, Amani and Marcus are able to catch up with the pack and cut the line to get onto the same bus.

Amani and Marcus are immediately greeted by their Speed Bump when they arrive in Salima: solve a slide puzzle. Finally, a Speed Bump that is challenging and not like "drink this glass of water." The rest of the teams jump right into the Road Block, which is to operate a bike taxi and drop off a customer. Would be a lot nicer if they got a banana seat. Jennifer finishes the task but doesn't have her clue since she left it with her brother, meaning she's stumped what to do after she's dropped off his passenger. She is wandering around hoping to see another team rather than, I don't know, find your goddamn brother, get the clue, and start over?? It takes her ages to make that decision which was to come back anyways or something.

Next task is the Detour to paddle canoes or unload cargo from a ferry boat, walking in the ocean. In case you can't decide, the most obvious choice is the canoes since the cargo is to unload a shitload of stuff and people. The show didn't even put fucking effort into this and instead made an obvious Double U-Turn fuck-over task. Can you tell I'm over this shadow, a shadow of what it once was? Ernie and Cindy can't operate a foreign canoe and opt to use their Express Pass to skip the canoe (and the lugging) and avoid being U-Turned. Amani and Marcus are the true geniuses that do the unload the cargo. Did I mention they have to carry PEOPLE TOO? They end up getting ahead of a few times so I guess it's not too hard to lift people and cabbage when you're a former NFL player.

Ernie and Cindy reach the Double U-Turn first and instead of stickers there are touchscreens to use technology to fuck other people over. Laurence/Zac (the father/son team) try to U-Turn Amani and Marcus but haha shitheads, they were there just before you! It's an Ernie/Cindy and Andy/Tommy footrace battle to get to the Pit Stop first. It's so close, pretty much the only exciting thing to happen all season; Andy and Tommy are team #1 when they get checked in by Malawi's Coolio doppelganger. Andy and Tommy win $15,000; I am one step closer to an accurate winner prediction. Justin and Jennifer are way behind thanks to the setback and for once, there's no a goddamn non-elimination and they are out of the race.

The Biggest Loser - Ramon is crushed they sent his girlfriend home. The loser explain their vote was because Jessica was strong and a "threat" which some people don't like that the competition angle came up. Joe thinks he made the best decision for the blue team, but Ramon isn't hearing it. If the game is going to be played, dear god let Ramon throw the weigh-in!

Alison shows up not to the losers but to the trainers. This week, only one loser per team will represent their team on the scale and the trainers will have to select. The trainers have until the weigh-in to decide so I guess the best worker of the week (or the fattest person left) will be their choice. The trainers are there to benefit everyone though and give equal time, perspiration, and therapy chats to each team member.

All the losers and trainers head to the Art Institute of California's Los Angeles school for a challenge. The teams, along with their trainers, have to whip up a healthy dish in 30 minutes and be judged by Biggest Loser winner Olivia and Devon Alexander, the author of all the Biggest Loser cookbooks that people drain their money on. The prize for this challenge is super lame: a private chat with Olivia and their recipe in the new cookbook. There's also 1lb advantage, so that's a decent prize that makes up for the other junk. The winning team is Bob and the black team's pork medallions and slaw, which had only 210 calories. Impressive! The black team enjoys their victory lunch with Olivia and get scrapbooks made by their families.

Weigh-in. The trainers have to select their weigh-in loser before everyone climbs on the big fake scale. The "lucky" losers: Becky (black), Joe (blue), and John (red). John loses 10lbs (3.04%) and isn't happy; turns out old lady Bonnie did much better percentage wise. Becky loses 6lbs for the black team along with the 1lb advantage (3.65%), which leaves her team unscathed. Bob is mastering this season. Anna made a wise choice not picking Sunny (2lbs) and Ramon loses only 6lbs. Only Joe's weight loss masters in terms of the game this week and he loses only 2lbs and they are up for elimination. The black and red team get to decide who goes home from the blue team between Joe and Sunny. Joe is eliminated from the game and feels a little betrayed. You mean like when you kicked off Ramon's girlfriend last week?

Survivor: South Pacific - Post-Tribal, Ozzy and Cochran talk solo and Cochran explains it wasn't a revenge vote but him playing the game he's loved for 11 years. Then Whitney asks if Cochran was the vote (um, dingaling, he admitted it a Tribal) and Whitney is pissed and is "disgusted" by him. The Upolu embrace the sad ginge. Coach later performs his Dragon Slayer Tai Chi on the beach and gets a shaky fist. Perhaps he's shaking his fist at the tribe name: TE TUNA.

Immunity challenge this early? Oh yes because it's Double Tribal Council night! The first immunity challenge is in stages: toss coconuts, first four to finish then crack coconuts and spit water into a tube Double Dare style. Physical challenge! I was routing for Dawn, who each week surprises me. Instead Jim of the former Savaii tribe wins immunity. Ozzy is screwed.

Coach and Ozzy talk because Ozzy knows he's done. Coach doesn't mind the desperation pleas but is also like ehh too little, too late, love your Jesus hair. Dawn does some ass-kissing in case her name comes up and considers flipping again. Jim and Whitney bitch about Cochran flipping. Jim proposes to Ozzy that he'll give Ozzy his immunity necklace tonight to try to get everyone else to vote out Cochran. Wow, this is dumber than Ozzy's original Redemption Island plan.

Tribal Council. Savaii makes their arguments to show that they always saved Cochran and he's dishonorable. Jim makes his "epic speech" about getting rid of turncoats, wanting to give the immunity to Ozzy, blah blah. Coach has no plans to change the game and thinks getting rid of Cochran would send the message if you stand up for yourself you lose. Ozzy uses his god awful "I feed the tribe" argument. No one gives a flying fuck about the fish Ozzy. After talking such a big game, Jim keeps his immunity necklace and Ozzy is sent to Redemption Island. Again. Ozzy joins Keith at Redemption Island and dives deep into the reef to catch a gigundo fish for them to feast on. Oh jeez, maybe they should've kept you on the tribe!!!

Immunity challenge 2! They have to balance on a beam while balancing a ball on a bow. For the arrogant players, they can sit out the challenge and feast on breakfast goodies: muffins, donuts, iced coffee. Coach is torn because he should compete but he is hungry. Only Jim, Dawn and Whitney compete in the challenge; all of Upolu and Cochran binge-eat on donuts. HAHA AWESOME. Best moment: Probst asks Coach if he regrets not doing the challenge and Coach just begins to laugh with a mouthful of donut. Dawn claims she'll stay up as long as she can so Upolu can stuff their faces because they're "one tribe." Kiss ass! Dawn ends up bobbling and falling and Whitney wins immunity.

Cochran dances around camp wearing Coach's gaudy blazer. Jim thinks Cochran is playing a great game for third place and is confident he's out. Jim approaches Sophie and Albert, who he believes aren't drinking the cultist Kool Ad, with a plan to get rid of Edna. Albert appreciates the effort but would much rather get rid of likable, friendly Dawn, who is making friends with Upolu and getting in with the alliance. A tribe talk has Coach trying to evaluate whether to get rid of the snake (Dawn) or the rhinoceros (Jim).

Tribal Council. Jim is physical, Dawn is likable (and pretty physical, too). Brandon doesn't buy Dawn's earlier kind words after she contradicts herself and feelings about the breakfast feast. Brandon is ready to pick off all of Savaii one-by-one, excluding Cochran. Whitney cries about being vilified. In the Savaii sacrifice, it's Jim meeting up with his bros at Redemption Island.

Top Chef: Texas - More audition round qualifiers- gahhhh. The "final" group (because we know the kinda-rejects will cook again tonight) have to decide as a group who will cook with each ingredient. There's octopus, brussell sprouts and most importantly: RICE! WHO BURNED MY RICE?!?!? There's one more twist: under another silver platter, each person gets a timer with different time allotments to cook. The people with 20 minutes are not pleased! Moving on: Paul (grilled trout), Lindsay (braised veal), and some other chick whose name I missed (Korean style octopus). Bubble chefs: Andrew (roasted mushrooms), Laurent (duck). There's another rice failure when the risotto dude fails to plate.

The bubble chefs are freed from the stew room afters hours of judging each others' merits. There are two slots left and the buble chefs have one more qualifier to get in. The almost-cheftestants can use any ingredients to make a dish that proves why they should be here. This guy Edward really slices his hand up and while he wants to jump in right away, the medics clean his shizz up first. Blood free duck, please! Coats go to Grayson (bacon wrapped shrimp with fig) and Edward (bloody duck dude). Thank god auditions are over cause this is dullsville to recap.

November 7, 2011

Reality Rundown: Enough GD Non-Elimination Legs

The Amazing RaceThe Biggest Loser
Survivor: South PacificNew! Top Chef Texas

The Amazing Race - The teams finally leave Thailand and fly to Malawi, Africa (home of Madonna's baby!) And whaddayaknow it's an equalizer with everyone on the same exact flight. Their clue takes them to a tobacco warehouse to pick up the next clue: a Roadblock. One teammate will have to transport 10 bales of tobacco through the warehouse using a little dolly. The actual workers of the warehouse are the only distraction, cheering and singing as the racers complete the task. It's fun to see how excited they are. The old folks and Amani/Marcus are at the back of the pack due to crappy seats on the plane and bad cabbies. For a big dude, Marcus sucks at pushing the little cart and the team that departed first from the Pit Stop is now dead last.

After haulin tobaccey, teams take cabs to Memorial Tower to retrieve the next clue. The clue is a Detour to sew up seams on a coat and pants or to head to a local school and build two children's toy trucks. I'd do the trucks just to give back to the kids with a fun toy, but the suits would also be helpful so it's a win-win. Ernie/Cindy and old folks Bill/Cathi do the sewing which isn't too hard but a little tricky to find. Jeremy and Sandy finish the toys first and head to the next clue at a wooden furniture shop.

The teams need to pick up two beds at the furniture stop and transport them on a truck to the next Pit Stop. No beds, well they'll have nothing to sleep on and get a penalty. Sibling team Justin and Jennifer are team #1, but didn't pay the truck driver that helped with the beds. This means Andy and Tommy, who arrived seconds after, are team #1 (again!) and win a trip to the British Virgin Islands. Amani/Marcus end up behind thanks to a broken down cab on the way to the Detour. They kind of catch up and eventhough Bill/Cathi have the didn't-pay-the-driver-blunder too, Amani and Marcus are last to check in. Oh but who gives a shit because there's a third non-elimination leg and who the fuck cares there's no stakes on this race.

The Biggest Loser - The age-based teams and gone and now Anna will be able to get people of a variety of ages eliminated. To get their new teams, the losers put on their original age shirts and meet up with Samantha Gene Brady. The nine are split into groups of three and have to guess calories of dishes. If you come closes you pick first, second picks second, third gets stuck with Anna (cause we KNOW that's what'll happen). In the end a young, middle, and old will end up on each team. The new teams are: Jessica, John, Bonnie with Dolvett; Vinny, Antone, Becky with Bob; Ramon, Sunny, and Joe stuck with Anna. Ramon doesn't like Anna for her stupid personal comments last week so this should be awesome. Now Joe picked Anna not for her hot bod or training abilities: he chose based on the members of the team. Now did he mean they would be a strong team or that he could beat the other two? We'll see.

Right off the bat, Ramon airs his grievances with Anna for being a buttinski. Joe just continues to insist Bob knows him so well and Anna will fail. Anna tries to explain that they can't be addicted to trainers, they need to do this on their own. Then she tells Joe to not be a crybaby. Anna kicks her teams' asses to show she's the boss. John, now on Dolvett's red team, breaks down in tears in Bob's arms. O. M. G. You're insane. Dolvett brushes it off and is ready for the challenge of working out losers in different age ranges and skills. Antone is a little mopey with Bob because he misses the old team. Again, get over it. Not bitching? Bonnie! She's free of Anna, loves Dolvett, and has an emotional breakthrough about finding love again.

The challenge is most awesome: slip 'n slides! They'll sliiiiide down, pick up blocks, and use these blocks to spell out the prize they want. Bonnie takes her time down the slide so that her teammates can do the puzzle and she cries at the end? Another fake injury? Nope, overwhelmed with joy. The blue team wins with "Immunity for 1" and the black team is just seconds behind (they were shooting for "3lb advantage"). Blue team has only five minutes to choose who gets immunity and are all boo-hoo we all want immunity. Well maybe you should've read the puzzle right. They rock/paper/scissors for it and Joe gets immunity.

Weigh-in! We learn a twist this week is that the two winning teams will vote one person off the losing team. Dolvett's red team puts up some great numbers (3.84%), with John dropping 15lbs- crazy! The black teams heads to the scale and all hit double digits (4.15%)- crazy x2! For Blue, Sunny and Ramon put up great numbers and it's up to immune Joe to not screw over the team. Joe drops big weight too and gives the blue team safety (4.91%). Goddamn, now I can't make Anna sucks jokes. Dolvett ends up the losing trainer again and it's time for the blue and black teams to vote off a red teamer. I figured it was a pretty obvious vote with Bonnie heading home. Except the votes aren't coming out in Jessica's favor and she's eliminated. Ramon ain't happy, especially with his new teammates.

Survivor: South Pacific - Savaii starts planning for post-merge. Keith is passive aggressive and Cochran agrees to be the double agent that will pretend to flip on his tribe. Ozzy, over at Redemption Island, tells Christine that Cochran played the idol which eliminated him from the game. Will the move pay off?

In a weird twist that clearly screams "tribe merge!", everyone is invited to watch today's duel between Christine and Ozzy. Ozzy puts on a pissed off show while Cochran plays sad sap loser; Upolu doesn't buy it. The duel is to construct a long ass stick to collect keys to unlock locks. We've seen this a bunch of times. And of course, Ozzy's master plan could come to fruition, because indeed the winning playing will re-enter the game. After kicking ass for many days alone, Christine loses the duel. This means Ozzy's ballsy move pays off and Savaii might've pulled off something amazing. If anything, this is a huge selling point for Ozzy should he make the finale.

The newly merged tribe gets their feast and crushes some brews. Coach and Cochran have a little chat and he tells Coach the tribe hates him. Coach isn't stupid and completely calls Cochran out on everything and can tell it's some BS story and it was a bold move that played off and Savaii will be drawin' rocks next Tribal. Coach said if it's true Cochran felt ostracized, join the Upolu side and change the game. Cochran is not sure what to do: he actually trusts Upolu but reciprocates the trust from Ozzy and gives the immunity idol back. Cochran and his Savaii tribemate Dawn talk about their outcast status and worries about backstabbing the tribe, however Savaii treated Cochran like shit and she feels bad for not standing up for him.

First individual immunity challenge and what a second, there are two necklaces! One man and one woman will win immunity. They have to balance a coconut on an ever-expanding rope. This could be huge for Cochran and Dawn! Or just Dawn since she wins immunity for the girls while Cochran barely outlasts first-out Edna. Oh lordy, Cochran. The men comes down to Ozzy and hot Albert balancing their coconut. Albert drops and Ozzy wins immunity.

The Savaii 6 chat who to vote for and choose Rick after considering Sophie. If both tribes go 6/6 then you have to draw rocks and whoever pulls the purple rock goes home. Cochran tells Sophie the Savaii plan and Cochran might be wavering- it's hard to tell. Cochran just doesn't want to get jumped gang style after Tribal. Dawn and Cochran chat and he's thinking of flipping his vote once they get to a second re-vote.

Tribal- gaaaaaah what'll happen. So it's an obvious fact that there will be a 6-6 tie and likely it'll be up to fate to choose who is eliminated. I'm trying to pay attention but all I can think is "pull some fucking rocks!!!!" The immunity idol is a question and Albert points out Ozzy's horrible acting skills. Ozzy says WE, his tribe, have the idol. Ozzy plays the idol at the vote, or rather he gives it for Whitney to play. One problem: all the votes are for Keith so that didn't work. The votes are tired between Keith and Rick so there is a re-vote and you can only vote for Keith or Rick. The votes come in 7-5... Keith is eliminated. Cochran immediately admits he flipped and says he'll explain. He's called a coward by his team and Brandon defends him and says that's what you get for talking to people like that. Wow, SERVED. But then I feel SERVED because Keith's not out-out... Redemption Island still exists. Oh FML.

New! Top Chef Texas - 29 chefs meet up at the Alamo because it's Texas and you need to shove a Texas landmark in within the first 25 seconds or this season is shit. They will split into groups of three and then compete to make it into the top 16. The potential cheftestants head to the Top Chef kitchen for their first quickfire, hosted by head judge Tom Coliccio and new judge Emeril Lagasse. The teams will need to create dishes using the different cuts of a full pig (which they need to butcher themselves) and then majority rules when judging their dishes. You're either in, our, or on the bubble and will need to compete again. Those who make the grade get their navy blue Top Chef coat.

First group, which is like 90% chefs from Chicago. Some asshole guy, whose name I could care less to learn, brags the whole time and then ruins pork tenderloins and other meat. Tom is like, go, please go, you're cut. YAY! Two of the chefs competing are actually colleagues at the same restaurant and help each other. Coats go to: Chris (for an interesting take on pork and applesauce), some chick who made crispy pork skin, Nyesha (braised pork shoulder with TexMex flavors), Heather (baby back ribs over grits), Richie (onion soup with pig ears). On the bubble are cruise chef Molly (soup) and Grayson (itty bitty stuffed pork tenderloin). They will compete another time to maybe get the 16th slot.

Group 2 quickfire: all ten must pick the same ingredient and make a dish using it. The group picks rabbit and I weep on the inside. I thought Padma was the ultimate fail at pronouncing Tyler until I saw a dude's name was actually Ty-Lor. My apologies, Padma. Who gets coats: Whitney, Keith (cold rabbit and corn salsa), Dakota (rabbit creppinettes), Ty-Lor (confit rabbit leg with a side of sweet mustache), Chris (confit rabbit, best cooked of the day according to judges), and Chuy (adobo marinated rabbit). Bubble: Ed, Janine (rabbit nugget over grit and hash).

But wait, there are still nine chefs we haven't seen and bubble people. NEXT WEEK DORKS.