May 29, 2012

The Bachelorette: RIP Shellie the Egg Gimmick

The Bachelorette - Week 3

As Emily's mom brings her breakfast in bed (really?), Chris Harrison heads to the dude's mansion to ramble on about the dates. One group date, two individual dates - no surprise.

Chris' solo date card says "love in a steady climb" so let's get ready for the first extreme date of the season. What starts as a nice stroll through Charlotte ends as dinner on top of a building and to get to dinner they have to throw on some harnesses and climb up. It's not even extreme, it looks stupid. It's just taking steps in the air, not against the building, and sorta pulling up. Emily freaks out when thunder and lightning starts, rightfully so. Shouldn't they take people down when poor weather comes? Nah, they'd rather catch a death on camera. They get to the top, the people below cheer, and Chris gives Emily a celebratory high five? At first I thought c'mon dude but you know it was a little early and also I love a good high five. Over dinner, Emily admits if she saw him at a bar she wouldn't have the balls to approach him. Chris says he'd definitely approach her eventhough he's sort of a timid guy and then they play porn background music? WTF is up with this date? Chris' relationship background brings up that he is 25 and Emily's like "Whoa, red flag." Yeah, being one year younger is such a red flag because 25 year olds never have kids. Chris defends his cause and that he's here for Emily and all the other stuff (family). Emily's always date older dudes but Chris is mature and she digs it, so she gives him a rose. The date continues to another in-town concert with some country artist I don't know (Luke Bryan) and awkward dancing in front of a crowd. Chris wants to be respectful so he asks Emily if he can kiss her at the end of the song, she urges him to try, and he gets the smooch. The crowd woooos like a Saved by the Bell studio audience.

Second date is a big ol' group date with the teaser "let's play." Emily and her men get together in a park to toss a football, Tommy Wiseau style, and have a few laughs. Emily disappears for a minute and all her girlfriends are chillin' at the park and will get to meet all the guys and judge them. Emily head's back and brings back her flock of dudes ("are we getting manicures?" says one sexist guy) and they're like oh shit soccer moms hate my guts. Guess who the ladies like? Single dads and dudes who have experience dating single moms. Best question, "So what's the deal with the guy with the egg?" Yes, he brought it to the freakin' park and ugh, the Party MC shitty dances more. I want to be besties with Emily's friend Wendy who asks absurd questions and makes them strip. But the fun doesn't end with soccer moms: bring in a convoy of children!! The guys get mobbed by a bunch of kids for the weekly Emily-teaches-you-what-real-life-is-like date. Won't lie, a fun idea for a date to let kids and guys who are overgrown kids wreaking havoc on a playground. Ryan makes the mistake of saying Emily shouldn't get fat by being lazy and that if it happened he'd love her but probably not love on her. Great work, doofus.

With the playground interrogation over, Emily and the guys have a night date at a club called Butter. Emily takes her friends advice and decides to make sure to get to know Sean and Doug better. Sean has no dad experience but knows he's been raised right to be a good dad, and Emily wants to know more about Doug than his single dad status (he was a foster kid). Tony is bummin' because he misses his son so much, especially after playing with rando kids that day. Emily and single dad Doug both make attempts to pep Tony up and a phone call home doesn't help matters. Emily sets Tony free because she doesn't want to keep him if he isn't definitely the one. Sorry this section of the date is lacking in snark; Tony's depression is harshin' the snarkage. The downer night ends on the upbeat note of giving Sean the rose.

Emily and Arie go to the greatest theme park in the Pigeon Forge, Tennessee region: Dollywood!!! Guys, I loved Dollywood when I went as a kid; we'd go to Pigeon Forge and pan for gold, ride Go Karts, shop at the Peace Frogs store... now I want to go back. Of course, I didn't get there via private plane so slightly different. They stroll hand-in-hand around the park, sipping fresh lemonades, and taking Emily on her first rollercoaster. I'm dying of theme park jealously. Emily and Arie head inside a theater where there's two mics and a piece of paper telling them to write a love song, when we see a thin pair of legs and glittery boots walking out. "Well hello there," says DOLLY FUCKING PARTON. Emily loses her shit at the sight of her idol. Emily's reaction at seeing Dolly Parton in person is the most genuine, real moment this show has ever produced. Emily calls this the best day of her life, as she and Arie smile and dance. Even better: Emily gets alone girltalk time with Dolly. Can we address how impressive it is that Dolly strums a guitar with those long acrylic nails? Super impressive, guys. Also, judging by the way Emily is smiling at Dolly I think we might have a real twist ending at the end of the season. Dolly, will you accept this rose?

After being swept off her feet by Dolly, Arie gets his groove back at a private barn dinner. They talk about Arie's relationship with his ex's kids, how close it was and it was hard to leave them. Talk turns to Emily and Brad's failed relationship which seems to be that Brad wasn't necessarily ready for marriage and fatherhood. Arie believes he's ready. Arie wonders if his busy race car schedule would impact their relationship and Emily embraces it, but I think the message is it's all cool as long as you don't go bangin' on the road. Emily gives Arie the rose after messing with him, and a quick kiss. They finish the night with a romantic carousel ride in the boring seats making out and not on the awesome horses. Emily is smitten because Arie reminds her of Ricki's dad. Ok prediction time: Arie is Emily's end pick. No spoilers, I haven't read Reality Steve. I just feel like this is the pick.

Emily gets all glammed up for the cocktail party and rose ceremony in her sparkly dress and probably too much perfume since she let the kid spray her. First to get Emily time is Heli-Kalon, who Emily laughably calls genuine when he is wearing fake hipster glasses. Heli-Kalon doesn't like sharing because he's spoiled. He also says he's coming to terms with the idea of his first kid not being his own, then gets mad at her for not letting him finish. Mind you, moments before he cut off every time Emily spoke. Emily wonders if there's more to him and by Emily I mean producers who want the season dick around. Egg guy Travis takes the advice of Emily's friends and gets rid of Shellie the egg. Shellie is smashed on the ground; America weeps. The guys give a final toast and pour a little out for Shellie. It's a beautiful moment. Emily and some dude Alexandro have a terrible conversation where he honestly talks about Emily and Ricki being a compromise. Yiiiiiikes. Emily gives him the boot right away and says he's leaving like the gypsy king. And he's confused he got cut? Did someone give this guy drugs in the house or something? Emily wants to run away and takes a moment to chill out with Arie and kiss a bunch. Again guys, pack your fucking bags because Arie has this shit on lock. Meathead Ryan is pissed. Sean swoops in to be the other kissed guy at the cocktail partying, helping Emily's shit night turn around, giving a beautiful little speech about wanting to be Ricki's father regardless of blood.

Rose ceremony timeeeee. With two dudes already dumped, I don't know how many else Emily will send to cry outside the mansion in the wee hours of the morning. Emily gives her final rose to some dude Nate we've never seen but it doesn't matter because she eliminates the horrible dancing Party MC. Heli-Kalon smiles, defeating his mortal enemy Stevie. Only one awkward dancer can be on a season Stevie, and that is Emily.

Next week: fuck North Carolina, we're heading to Bermuda.

May 28, 2012

Reality Rundown: Unlucky Number Cheven

5/28/2012 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments

Around the World in 80 Plates

Around the World in 80 Plates - The chefs take a bus to Barcelona to pick up the clues for The Course and of course someone pronounces Barcelona with a lisp to be super (thuper) authentic.  Bartalona!  The teams must find the Teleferico de Montjuic (clock tower) where they will find Curtis and the exceptional ingredient.  The teams are:  men are red, and black are the women + Nookie.  At the clock tower, Curtis explains the challenge which is to to sort, pack, and prep three types of seafood worth different amounts of money, with only 25 minutes to do so.  Gross-out alert: squeezing out inksacks into little vials.  Nookie's speedy skills help bring the behind black team neck-in-neck with the red team.  The team that makes the most money when the truck arrives wins the exceptional ingredient.  Red team wins with 386 euros (over black's 356) thanks to the sepia ink; their exceptional ingredient is red prawns.  Both teams budget for this week is their fish money.
This week, the teams will take over one restaurant together instead of competing bistros.  They will still compete as teams to create a three course seafood menu using all the gross shit they cleaned at the port.  Teams head to a famous popular marketplace to shop where, surprise, Cheven and Jenna are still really annoying.  Chaz flips out when Cheven wastes time in a wine shop and they leave with lots of items but not a true shopping list of necessary items.  Later, Jenna poses the idea of making alliances to survive and Nicole rejects it.  Cheven tries the same thing. Isn't it funny the two annoying people are the ones trying the hardest to make this a game?  Then they both end up being the loudmouth presence as front of the house.

The courses are served head-to-head together for both teams.  The first course is the red team's merluza crudo with gambas rojas (the red prawn) and the black team's tapas trio.  The black team's tapas is much preferred to the botched, uncooked prawns which one of the famous chef dudes says has the texture of baby food.  For the second course, the red team serves monkfish with white beans, liver mousse, and chorizo; the black team's dish serrano wrapped monkfish which is a little overcooked.  The meal is finished off with dessert: cava sabayon, cake crumbs and fresh fruit from the team team, and bruleed custard with macerated fruit.  Liz botched the dessert, unable to brulee the custard, so it's not what was listed on the menu and Jenna moans a bunch.

A difference of only two diner votes made the decision between this week's winner.  Chaz takes credit for a fish that wasn't his (again), Nookie was the brains behind the black team's menu, and Liz had brulee issues but the dish was still good.  The locals choose the black team as their winner and Nookie is the most valuable chef.  Red team voting is gonna be a shitshow.  Cheven's lack of front-of-the-house presence may have contributed to the diner's opinion and experience.  Chaz ruined the prawn and then throws another fit about it should never have been called a ceviche.  The red team returns to Curtis and Cat to vote.  Gary gets one vote for not having a larger role in a dish, one for Chaz, but three for super-annoying Kevin aka Cheven.

May 22, 2012

The Bachelorette: You're Dumped, Wocka Wocka!

The Bachelorette - Week 2
The show makes a big intro showing how this season of the Bachelorette is being filmed in Charlotte this season so Emily can be close to her daughter. Except this show is hitting the road in two weeks and the kid is being brought around the world so yeah, so much for that Charlotte tourism boost. Young mom Emily talks to the old soccer mom crew, while Chris Harrison works on expanding his arms' wingspan to tell the guys about the dates this week. And then they get drunk at the pool.

The first date card is for Ryan, the ex-football player where he'll "be her King in the Queen city." Queens are fucking amateur; it's all about the Khaleesi. Ryan and his nips in the sky blue V-neck gets picked up by Emily in her Tahoe, then speculates for what crazy date they'll have. Helicopters? Hot air balloons? Nope. He gets to go to Emily's house and help her unload groceries and make cookies for her week as soccer "snack mom." This is the real Emily deal people! All I can think while they are making these cookies is gurl, get a KitchenAid, mixing cookies by hand is bullshit. Then they drop the cookies off but Ryan has to stay in the car and stare creepily at a soccer field full of six year old girls. God if the cops rolled up it would've been hilarious. But the date isn't over and Ryan gets decked out in a suit and Emily in a sexy magenta asymentrical lace dress for their evening date. The restaurant Osso has a red carpet and all the townies take pics like Kate Middleton came into town for a quick bite. They talk about relationship stuff, like how the chase is fun but the chase ends and then what. Emily doesn't want this process to be a competition; she doesn't want to be the game, she wants love. Emily worries Ryan is possibly too perfect like Brad (Brad was NOT perfect and a total dud), but she gives him the rose and a cheek peck. No real smooches. The night is wrapped up with awkward slow dancing in front of the entire town for a not-so-private concert of "one of her favorite bands" Gloriana. What an odd date and Ryan pointing out it's surreal is astute. This show is a weird form of dating.

Date card #2 is a big ass group date with thirteen dudes which means a lot of strange hugs. The guys and Emily will be performing (singing, dancing, comedy, whatevs) to raise money for a very verbose charity that I didn't get the name of. Since these guys are just aspiring famewhores with no experience, true talent is brought up to bring the talent: Kermit and Miss Piggy. Best. Date. Ever. The only way this date could be better is if Emily and a guy doubled with Kermit and Piggy in a helicopter. Ahhh Fozzy is there too for stand up comedy lessons! Charlie goes to see Emily and admits he can't do the comedy bit because he's still having speech issues from his accident and is really insecure; Emily had no idea he had any issues, but understands, so Charlie opts to dance instead. Kermit is the first one to gets handsy with Emily, getting the prime job of zipping up her dress. Piggy is livid. The show begins and it turns out Emily's dancing could maybe be worse than mine. The crowd eats up the flashy number, especially Ricki who is in the audience scoping out the future dad prospects. Fozzy introduces Kyle and John do their terrible interpretation of stand-up and Miss Piggy hosts a talk show for a dating game-esque segment. Stagefright Charlie just has to answer what he'd do to impress a girl, and with a bright red face he says he'd keep reminding the girl how special it was to have someone so great in his life. Since the saying goes that you have to kiss a few frogs to meet a prince, Emily gives Kermit a little peck, setting Miss Piggy into a fit of rage to force Kermit into admitting his love for her. Emily brings Ricki on stage to sing (or stare in a state of shock/awe) with Kermit and Miss Piggy and it's such a sweet moment I could get verklempt because they sing "Rainbow Connection." Chris Harrison sits in for Waldorf, making snide remarks with Statler which is the most I've ever like that robohost.

After the greatest date ever possible, Emily and her guys head to a rooftop cocktail party and a rose is looming on the table. Game on, fellas. Emily thinks Jef with one F is cute, but he's sort of avoided her and she feels like a 12 year old with him, weird missed glances. Jef is getting used to her glancing at him, but also glancing at others. Rain interrupts the rooftop fun, so it's inside to a swanky loft to continue the nonstop wooing/harassment of Emily. The annoying party MC asks Emily about her dance choices and the guys spy on MC and laugh at his dorkiness. Kalon (aka Heli-Kalon) interrupts the madness and gets a chat time with Emily, but then some dude interrupts almost immediately into the conversation and refuses to wait the two minutes Kalon requested. Party MC says oh well, you did the same to me. Touche, whatever. Emily gives her date rose to Jef with one F because, I'm reading between the lines, she loves his Brandon Walsh hair.

The last date of the week is for supposed Matthew McConaughey looklike Joe (yeah, no Emily) to take a private plane with Emily to her home state of West freakin' Virginia. DYING. Muppets AND West Virginia? It's like all my favorite things in one episode (except helicopters). They go to The Greenbrier which is this beautiful spa resort that I've been obsessed with the idea of visiting for years. Emily has been coming here since she was a little girl, getting makeovers and shizz. They cannonball into the pool and that's all we see until Joe waits for Emily at the bottom of the staircase for her grand entrance for dinner. Down she comes in a dark pink evening gown, taking Joe's breath away (assumption). Emily sees potential in Joe but is also noticing the spark she wants is missing (foreshadowing!) Posed the question of where he sees himself in five years, Joe is sort of vague but promises if he's there in the end he'll move wherever she wants. The topic of kids comes up and Joe doesn't want to be so planny and textbook in a relationship, whereas Emily wants to pop out a shit-ton of kids it seems. Emily and Joe write love notes to put into the Greenbriar's love block, and Joe's note is to come back again some day with Emily and Ricki to meet her parents. Emily's heartbroken because despite that beautiful note, she can tell Joe is not the one. She tearfully breaks it off with Joe and I guess seeing him leave his suitcase at the door earlier was even bigger foreshadowing. Cue the ill-timed fireworks at the hotel while pulling a semi-Mesnick!

Meanwhile at the house, the conversation comes up about Ricki and that whoever is seeking Emily needs to be ready to become a dad as well. Heli-Kalon says it's something he's coming to terms with and then tells single-dad Doug that by Doug coming on the show he put being a dad on hold. WHOA Heli-Kalon, not cool. Doug puts Kalon in his place, explaining he wasn't going to do the show but his son is the one who convinced him to give it a chance. And Heli-Kalon officially becomes the season villain.

Emily's hot mom helps her get dressed in a royal purple one-shoulder floor length gown for the cocktail party and rose ceremony (I want that dress). Race car driver Arie didn't have a date this week, so gets time with Emily first and they laugh and bond as it turns out Arie has dated a single mother before. They hit it off and she gets all giggly and smiles; they could be a good pair. Ryan gives Emily a gift of a rolled up parchment longest letter in the world while Tony in lurking in the shadows having to listen to this deep letter to get some alone time after. Awk-waaaaard. Tony finally gets his alone time which he needs because he wants Emily to know he is a father as well. Heli-Kalon tells Emily that the environment and experience is a lot different than he expected, meaning he didn't realize people wouldn't love him being a douchey asshole. "Wolf" sums it up best with his life theory: "If you're a dude and you have Louis Vuitton luggage, you're an asshole." Chris Harrison pops out to clang the champagne glass and get this show on the road.

Rose ceremony! The first rose goes to Heli-Kalon just to get reaction shots of a bunch of angry dudes. The roses are handed to a mix of well obviously he gets one and "Wait, I've never seen that guy before." So really at this point with so many guys in the mix, the question is who got jilted? Not stupid Party MC Stevie, leaving me to internally groan. The roseless gentlemen are biology teacher Aaron (the fake hipster glasses didn't help his case it seems) and financial adviser Kyle. I don't know who he is either.

Next week: Dolly motherfucking Parton's glorious tittays at Dollywood.

May 20, 2012

Reality Rundown: Kim Wins Survivor - DUH

Finale! Survivor: One World - The dream of an all girl final five has come true, except instead of Kat it's the dead log that is Christina.

The first immunity challenge of the week is a balancing maze of puzzle pieces that creates clues for numbers to unlock a lock. So basically, it's four different challenges from this season re-hashed, no surprise as this show is full of recycling. Chelsea and Alicia gather the pieces first, but Kim regains the lead by solving the puzzle first and in the three-way end battle gets the combination. Now that Kim is immune, she needs to truly pick a side and her options seem to be taking out Alicia or Chelsea. Chelsea has been her strongest ally but could take votes from Kim in the end. Tribal Council is all about Kim and basically everyone handing the fucking game to her because no one is playing. When given a chance to speak up, Alicia says she has been with Kim from day one and that is what we call sealing your fate. Chelsea's final words is that tonight's vote will either gain or lose her jury respect. Kim does not play her hidden immunity idol (last time to play it) and the votes come rolling out: in a 3-2 vote, Alicia heads to the jury.

En route to the final immunity challenge, it's the fallen survivor torch salute where they lament the other terrible players. Leif sleeping in a crate - never forget. The immunity challenge is to lift and place ten bowls with some wobbly steel contraption thing (that's the best description you're getting of this kinda kooky challenge). Kim and Christina are dead even throughout the challenge. Can you imagine if Christina won? LOLOL. Kim wins again so yeah give her the giant check now and call it a night so I can watch Game of Thrones. Afterwards, Christina wants Kim to tell her in advance so that it's not a blindside. Kim tells her straight-up sorry, you're done. And so Christina rolls over, dies, and doesn't even attempt to campaign to another person. Fucking waste of a person on this show. At Tribal Council, Jeff can't believe there was no scrambling at camp and that Christina didn't make an attempt to break the final three girl alliance. Sabrina gives a great speech on why even though she's not scrambling she's fighting to be in the game shows that persuasive nature in Sabrina that Kim feared. Christina's torch is snuffed to not a single person's sadness.

Sabrina takes a moment alone to take in the beach surroundings and remember why she signed up for this game, how she'd tell her students about this, and how she was laid off. But she wipes away the tears and puts her game face back on. Sabrina, Kim, and Chelsea share in the final three breakfast with mimosas and food and great, I'm hungry again. Chelsea is happy she made friends and Kim found inner strength again after a tough divorce. But the fun ends and the three make the walk to the final Tribal Council.

A complete, freshly scrubbed jury enters Tribal Council as the emaciated, dirty final three sit around the campfire ready to make their arguments to win. Chelsea stands to make her speech and explains she made a 100% alliance with Kim to get far in the game and dumped her emotional playing at the merge to keep her distance from those she eliminated. Kim expresses how she loves this game and took it on as a game of poker, full of strategies and emotionally draining at times, but she did it for family. Kim hopes the jury will understand this is a game and she did what was necessary to win. Sabrina's strategy was to have boundaries, scale back her physical game and lose challenges, and decided not to confront people head-on about eliminations to avoid dirty hands. She explains she was a teacher but laid off two weeks before the game began so she had to win this game.

Time for a bitter jury! Jonas tells Chelsea the guys dubbed her season's hottest and asks her to give a move that she dictated, not Kim; Chelsea admits she made the move to eliminate Kat. Kim says she didn't bring Christina for fear of a bitter jury not based on gameplay. Christina wants to know who Kim would've eliminated if she kept Kim; Kim says she could beat Sabrina so would've eliminated Chelsea. Christina then asks Chelsea why she hates people- LOL. Jay questions Sabrina's laid back strategy which she explains it because she can be overbearing at times and didn't want to get in people's faces. Mike asks Kim about blindsides and she lays it out there that she used Troyzan's dislike of Mike to her advantage. It seems where the jury dislikes Kim is her failure to take the blame. Tarzan thanks the women for letting him stick around longer enough to see his wife, and then uses a lot of ridiculous vocabulary to express his emotions about the love of his wife. Leif said he was sad to be voted out and Kim's reasoning is trust; they never knew where his allegiances truly laid. Sabrina says she punked out for not telling him to his face he was going home. Alicia claims she was a kingpin and had pawns just like Kim and Alicia would've won the game against her. Troyzan says he doesn't hate their guts, but his main beef lays with Kim. Troyzan asks Kim about the moment she made the move to take him out and she says it was when they decided to eliminate Jonas from the game. Kat is the last to speak and she was so hurt, especially by Kim who "destroyed" her. She admits that as a child she had open heart surgery as a child and will be having it again next year and that being angry is a waste of her time. She urges the jury to vote on the best game and not on anger. Damn, Kat got deep and made everyone verklempt. And now the jury must vote for the winner of Survivor: One World and then Jeff will scurry off with the votes and read them at the reunion.

Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of Survivor: One World is....


Then it's the reunion.  Kim gets about four questions before Jeff spends the hour asking questions to everyone else, particularly the horrible Colton.  Colton is uncomfortable with the person he was on the show and insists he's not a racist and would make out with Shemar Moore.  Colton does point out that while he's a villain no one wants to talk about, after he left the show got boring (kinda true). He never really apologizes for his actions until after his mom apologizes for his behavior. But shit gets real weird when BLOSSOM aka Mayim Bialik defends Colton and him and some rando guy think Colton should play again. NO. NEVER. STOP.  Tarzan's extensive vocabulary words are real, Kat is healthy, and Alicia has gotten a lot of feedback for being a jerk on the show (she cries).  The fan favorite comes down to Tarzan, Troyzan, Chelsea and Kim, which is then narrowed to Troyzan and Kim.  Kim wins in a "clean sweep" so she adds more money to the pot.  Troyzan lives in a world of delusion when people on the streets allegedly tell him he's one of the best players ever.  Leif feels like he represented little people well and Christina says it was her strategy to roll over and die and be quiet.  And as all reunions wrap up, a teaser of next season is shown (Survivor: Phillipines) where three former castaway evacuated for medical reasons from past seasons game will get another chance to play.

And now my friends comes the most important results on them all: who won the Survivor Pre-Show Winner Prediction.  If you're new, at the beginning of each season of Survivor I predict who I think will win based on questionnaires, pre-show interviews, etc. This season I came so close with my pick of Sabrina (but my gut was right because I was teetering between Sabrina and Kim).  This season we don't have one winner: we have four!  Congratulations to @jacobjunior7, @hstrong_, @vojha, and Andy W.  Even better... you've won a prize! Email me your mailing address to get your awesome prize. 

Around the World in 80 Plates - This show immediately this show is deemed more repulsive by me when the opening credit sequence tells us with a voiceover that the show is brought to us by Chase Sapphire. Wow, that is obnoxious.

After winning most valuable chef last week, Chaz gets to assemble a new black team to back him up and then they get to travel to France via first class on the train.  When they arrive in Lyon, they must drive around the city to complete The Course.  The red team gets to the location first (a farm) which is to identify six sheep cheeses.  Jenna says she is a master of cheese so she steps up to the plate and messes up a bunch, allowing the black team to arrive 20 minutes into their identification.  The next task is to herd sheep without touching them and I hope a very clever pig could be around to assist them.  The black team is able to herd sheep faster with their strategy of making a human pen, allowing them to regain the lead they lost while being crappy drivers.  The last task, complete with dullard Curtis Stone on a barge, is to pair wines with a plate of ingredients that are to flavors of the wine.  Kevin "Cheven" is annoying, but really knows France and their food and Chaz doesn't like Cheven's constant talking.  Nookie comes in and help the black team get a victory.

The Takeover task is to run a restaurant with all Lyonnaise cuisine and it must include quenelle (spelling? Don't know, the show doesn't care to explain it except that it's hard to make and made of fish, eggs, and butter).  The black team, since they won the course, gets a master class dinner by a MOF Chef Joseph, which is a huge deal in the culinary world.  The red team has to investigate Lyonnaise menus on their own.  Jenna continues to be an annoying, bossy bitch.  Chaz gets pissy at the fancy dinner because Chef Joseph likes having a good time with Avery, and she'll prove her chops because she's taking on the infamous quenelle.

The red team is the first to feed the judges.  First, quenelle with herbs and Lyonnaise potatoes which one diner calls "swollen pasta."  Next, a haddock with sauce gribiche by Nicole - again, never explained so we don't know what gribiche is.  Sai makes a salad Lyonnaise which is a delicious dish, but takes way too long for a GD salad.  The meal is completed with a chocolate brownie with a strawberry sauce (not French at all).  John fails at expediting, making the red team's service a matter of chaos especially when they run out of fish.  The judges traverse to the next restaurant to dine at the black team's restaurant.  Avery's pike quenelle with nantua sauce is first out and Curtis makes the comment that "this is how it should look" in comparison to the red team.  Chef Joseph is there to dine and lets the team know he's very proud of them.  "Cheven" makes a legume salad with ham and the diners don't love this dish.  Nookie makes fois gras with onion jam and it's a hit.  A roasted chicken by Chaz is critiqued for being too big a portion.  A decision is made to fire up all the dishes at once to make it all like a tasting instead of course-by-course meal and some diners are confused.

Based on the local diners opinions, the favorite restaurant and winning team is the black team for their flavors.  The most valuable chef is Avery for her delicious quenelle, which helped her team clinch the win.  The red team is up for elimination and the immediate target is Nick because of his bad quenelle.  John thinks the salad Lyonnaise by Sai is elementary and took to long to make, even if the diners enjoyed this traditional dish.  Sai thinks Nicole's failure to count the haddock and not being able to serve the right amount of diners is unacceptable as well.  The red team returns to the front of the house to reveal their votes.  Sai is eliminated for making an easy dish in the slowest manner possible.

Next week: Barcelona, Spain.

May 15, 2012

The Bachelorette: Bobbleheads, Eggs, and Boomboxes

The Bachelorette - Week 1

If you didn't watch before, Emily's ex-boyfriend was a racecar driver who died in a plane crash and right after he died, she discovered she was pregnant with her daughter Ricki. After one of the most chemistry-less relationships I've seen on this show, single mom Emily is no longer with Brad and willing to give fake TV love a shot.

What kind of studs did they pick for Emily? Well one dude's video is him getting out of a helicopter so I think you can guess who I'm smitten with (Kalon? Oh that's a dumb name). There's an ex-football player/now trainer with the most adorable dog. There's a divorced single parent that has "two thumbs and is going to marry Emily" (doubtful). And dear god people, there is a black person! To my knowledge there hasn't been a black suitor since Jillian's season. And he has a cute dog. Some dude survived a balcony collapsing and he has a cute dog too. Methinks Emily wants a surrogate dog. Another guy, Jef with one f, runs a charitable bottled water company and my girl @MamaXanax pointed out he has Brendan Walsh hair. There's a dude Arie who is a racercar driver which is either Emily's type or a way for the show to rub salt in open wounds.

Ricki helps Emily get ready and soon enough Emily is outside chatting with the newly separated Chris Harrison and his trademark hand moves (I think he's up to four or five instead of two). Emily is wearing a champagne/nude one shoulder evening dress with lots of sparkles, though their tailor did a crap job makes it fit well. Different this season is the house is in Emily's hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina and not that Los Angeles sex pit they've been in for years. And she's doing greetings indoors! Good news is I looked at the driveway and eventhough it's not important, it was totally watered down. Then, the first limo pulls up and it is on.

Turns out there's a couple single dads in the bunch, an immediate bond to Emily. One dude says a lame quote about taking his breath away while down on his knees; yeah, no. Emily cracks a big smile when she sees racecar driver Arie and watches him walk away to take a peak at dat ass. I thought lumber salesman was my favorite rando career but I think the grain merchant from Brazil might win that title. Stevie the "party MC" brings a boombox and dances like an idiot and then the next guy, Charlie the balcony dude, says he hopes he doesn't have to do that. HA, zing. I like you most. Tony the lumber trader introduces himself as "Charming, Prince Charming" while holding a glass slipper on a pillow. Best entrance ever goes to Randy who enters dressed as an old lady to introduce the special guy that is himself. One guy is named John but people call him "Wolf" so I guess he's best name by default? Now is terms of weird, Travis brings Emily a giant egg as something symbolic of Emily and Ricki? Like weird. If he said it was a dragon egg for the Khaleesi he'd be a winner in my eyes but now he's the freak with a Yoshi egg. And then, fuck all your entrances, because a helicopter comes down from the sky to land on the grass. It's Kalon and he's a luxury brand consultant and fuckin' ballin'.

Cornball entrances are over and now it's time for the guys to get shitfaced and steal one-on-one time from each other. Emily gives one last speech about knowing this process worked and I think she means half-worked since her engagement fell apart in like three months. Emily loves the attention and the guys are drooling at her beauty. If you thought creepy gifts ended at entrances, you are wrong because Chris busts out a bobblehead of himself, and then one of Emily, and they play with them. All the guys razz on Travis' ostrich egg and all the guys prefer this goose egg to ballin' ass Kalon's helicopter (I want to call him Ballin' Ass Kalon but I think Heli-Kalon might be a better fit). Single dad Doug steals Emily's heart by having his son Austin write him a letter of recommendation to show how cool and nice he is. The lame-o DJ gets made at Heli-Kalon for not wanting to give him his alone time with Emily. Umm who would want to give up their time? Arie is nervous that his background is in racing and it might freak Emily out and guess what, she's not and loves racing. God's little marionette Chris Harrison pops out to remind Emily about that first impression rose and then guys who haven't spoken to her panic. After a few more convos, Emily gives her first impression rose out to single dad Doug who knows how she feels, missing her kid and stuff.

With Doug safe, it's time to eliminate some other dodos from the group and I'll immediately say the DJ Spazzo needs to go. Chris Harrison taps a butter knife against a glass to corral the troops and they line up ready for judgement day number one. No pointing listing who she does pick because who cares, let's know the rejects! No she didn't cut DJ Stevie the annoyance but that's probably because producers love his hatred towards Heli-Kalon. Amongst the rejects, a dude with six kids, the black guy (and he probably got a lot of airtime to defend themselves against the lawsuit that they're racist), a fitness dude who strips down for the end credits, and a divorced marine biologist.

This season on The Bachelorette: we up and moved production to North Carolina just to peace out two weeks later to travel around the world and makeout! Ricki gets a trip around the world! Someone calls Ricki "baggage" and Emily tells them to get the fuck out. YEAH!

May 13, 2012

Reality Rundown: WTF is a Ploughman's Sandwich??

Finale! The Amazing RaceSurvivor: One WorldNew! Around the World in 80 Plates

Finale! The Amazing Race - This truly awful season (sans Mark/Bopper, an All Stars shoo-in) is wrapping up and I can't wait.  I'm not even just disliking the season for casting the abysmal Brenchel.  When I get to a final episode and I can barely choosing a team to back, you did poor casting.  That said, I'm going for Border Patrol agents Art and JJ because they've been good racers, hate Brenchel, and make fun of the other teams too.

All teams hop on the same flight to Hiroshimo, Japan (shocker) where there will be one more elimination before the final leg.  Teams purchase tickets for a bus from an electronic kiosk but Brenchel have issues getting tickets and miss the bus, giving the first Rachel bitchfest of the evening.  After all the bus ticket buying nonsense we then get treated to train tickets buying nonsense. YAWN.  Thank god the ticket stuff is over, OH WAIT IT ISN'T.  They buy a third set of tickets for a ferry and Dave/Rachel get left behind again, hours behind.  No one must watch this show because everybody knows that if you catch a late night ferry the clue is behind locked gates that won't be open until the wee hours.

After a day of dumb fucking ticket chasing, the teams get their clue when the sun rises and I really expected it to be instructions to buy another ticket for like Cirque du Soleil or something.  It tells them to go to Hiroshima Peace Memorial for some American guilt for the atomic bomb.  After being respectful for once and not screaming, teams get on a bullet train to Osaka.  Thankfully we didn't have to watch them buy tickets.  The clue in Osaka is a Road Block for one teammate to appear on wacky fake Japanese game show, Bring That Chicken Home Game.  You can to run on a running track and jump up to retrieve rubber chickens and this is such a Big Brother-esque task it's like you think something is rigged in favor of the devil's favorite team.  Vanessa does the Road Block and it's the worst decision ever for someone with a sprained ankle.  Ralph sees Vanessa struggling and wants her to stop, finish the leg, and take the time penalty.  Vanessa is insistent that she finishes the task and eventually catches the chickens, but whatever because she needs her fake lashes to look good.

The next clue is the Umeda Sky Building with a product placement computer Detour clue.  Teams can either become pick up sushi off a conveyor belt and place on a BINGO board (BINGO? Count me in) or become street photographers for cardboard cutouts of sumo wrestlers.  Dave/Rachel are the only team that choose the picture task, after having one of their bitching session at each other; they seem to complete it really fast but not without Rachel scaring locals with her annoying enthusiasm.  The other three teams pick the sushi probably for the free sushi they get to consume after the BINGO card is covered.  I think the strategy all teams should've taken is not diagonal or across, but a straight down because then you could just grab all the sushi with the letter marker and try to figure out the right answer.

Rachel/Dave check in at Osaka Castle as team #1 for the 7th time, tie the record for most leg wins, getting into the final leg, and win a trip to New Zealand.  Art/JJ finish the sushi before the other teams, but get lost at the grounds of the Pit Stop, as do Brenchel.  Vanessa/Ralph almost catch up, but not fast enough and are eliminated from the Race.

Ending this race around the world, the teams buy tickets (!!) and fly to Hawaii to find their next clue at the Twin Towers.  The teams have to ascend and rappel the Tower, finding their clue when looking down from high above.  Art/JJ cannot make sense of the clue and end up driving all over to wrong locales before finding it.  Dave/Rachel finish first and it seems his advantage of knowing Hawaii (likely from his military days) helps them get around the island easier to the park with the clue.

The big clue they found leads them to a Roadblock to shave ice for snowcones and then give it to some fat Hawaiian actor.  Another truly exhilarating challenge this season.  Good news is, this boring leg is given a jolt of amazing in the form of HELICOPTERS!! H.R.E.A.M!  Somehow Brenchel misinterpret the clue that says "make your way on foot to the helicopters in the outfield" and take a cab to a stadium.  First off, it said on foot you idiots.  Second, who cares, now they'll lose.  The realization that they fucked up is glorious and leads to a great screaming meltdown.

Dave/Rachel are lightyears ahead, starting the next task of rescuing a swimmer using a jetski towing a sled like Mitch Buchanan would do (well he's based in LA, but you get the reference).  After completing this task, the next clue is at the Coral Kingdom Gate and it's another leave-everything-up-to-a-cabbie finale.  Per usual.  Art/JJ find the right clue which is a Roadblock a Hawaiian games of Hawaiian land sledding and rolling a lava rock to make a goal.  Dave/Rachel find the wrong clue at a dock that tells them to board across the water, but that's not the right clue. So they get to the finish line of clapping hands and cheers, so ecstatic.  While they are the first team to arrive, they haven't even done the Roadblock so they have to paddleboard back and do the Roadblock.  Cue producer-cued reaction shots from racers we've forgotten.
When Dave/Rachel show back up at the Roadblock, Art/JJ realize they have a chance but first Art needs to stop being shitty at sledding.  It's a battle of two strong teams and it's real close now.  Rachel nails the sled far easier than Art, and it's painful to watch him fail so miserably and give Rachel the chance to get ahead and beat them.  Not just blonde Rachel, red demon Rachel beats Art on the sled too; he beats her on the lava rocks.  Dave and Rachel get the clue, take the ATV as instructed, re-paddle across the water, and win The Amazing Race along with the most leg victories in the history of the show.  Art/JJ are second, Brenchel third.  Peace out another snooze of a season.

Survivor: One World - Last man standing Tarzan isn't as dumb as he's been playing and starts some gaming to make it into the four, and possibly final three.  He approaches Kim with an idea of bringing Alicia and Christina along to the end because they are easy to beat; Chelsea and Sabrina need to go.  Tarzan has a plan which is to tell each woman he'll hype them up in the final three to help them win, like he'll still be happy with third.  Chelsea and Christina talk end game and big mouth Christina relays all this back to Kim, Alicia, and Tarzan.  The tribe is dividing and things are gonna get weeeeeird for Kim, who is straddling the middle.

The Reward Challenge this week is to run around spinning discs to form a decoder that unlocks a combination box and releases a flag.  The winner gets to booze, shower, sleep and eat on a yacht.  I can't decide if I'd vomit more spinning around in the challenge or from yacht seasickness.  Chelsea wins reward and brings Sabrina and Kim along.  Maybe if Christina didn't run her mouth she'd be getting fresh and clean on that boat. HAHA sucker.  Kim, Chelsea, and Sabrina scour the layers of dirt from their skin, throw on some cult robes, and bask in the sun and breeze.  Back at camp, Chelsea's choice of saying she'd pick "fair" for the reward and taking Kim boggles their minds.  They decide to vote off Chelsea if given the chance and want to test Kim's loyalty.  God forbid they consider voting off the universally loved Kim. THAT is why Kim will win this game.

When the women return from the reward, Alicia tells Kim immediately about Tarzan's loyalty test plan.  They cross-reference stories and realize Tarzan is using the same play with everyone, trying to take out Kim and/or Alicia.  Good news for Alicia is she isn't going home this week after winning the fishbone puzzle or as I know it as, yet another recycled challenge.

Tarzan is a weirdo at camp, per usual.  Alicia has to decide whether to give up her power and dump Tarzan or take out Chelsea.  Kim lets Sabrina know that she has planted seeds with Alicia to get Tarzan eliminated based on his attempt to play everyone.  Kim is aware that Chelsea is this week's target on the other side and she's worried that they potentially switch and vote for her.  Chelsea brings up the idol and Kim passes off that idea, showing her true colors in that she wouldn't try to save her ally.  Kim thinks getting into the final four with an idol isn't wise.  Ummm yes it is, that's why you have it.  Tarzan makes one last plea to Alicia to take out Kim, pointing out how she fooled the guys before.  Then he wears a teeny girls tanktop. Awk-waaaard.

Tribal Council!  Tarzan admits to the jury he helped the ladies take the men out to last in the game and doesn't think he'll win because he's already rich.  The risk, however, is that the men might pick Tarzan just because he's a man.  Sabrina is worried that panty-headpiece wearing Tarzan could be playing them all and that would be the saddest ending.  The reward is discussed and Christina feels trust was broken with Chelsea when she didn't take her on the reward, but Chelsea reminds Christina that she broke her word after blabbing secrets.  The votes are read and the tribe votes off Tarzan who leaves with a bit of class and not sobbing like a baby like someone else last week.

New! Around the World in 80 Plates - Twelve chefs meet hosts Curtis Stone and former Iron Chef Cat Cora in London to begin a culinary adventure around the globe.  Right of the bat, the group must split into two teams to compete.  Then they list dozens of rules that I didn't keep track of at all.  I guess we'll take it as we go?

The first task is called The Course and the two teams must partake in a pub crawl.The red team hops into cabs for their first pub and when they arrive they divvy up the dishes to get the food down fastest.  The black team opts to make a mad dash on foot to their pub but they do a shitty job reading the map, thanks to some chick Sai who has a military background but must have never read some Rand MacNally.  At the first pub, the teams must finish three plates of black pudding hash and drink one Pimm's cocktail. At the second pubs there is a choice to eat three steak and kidney pies or drink three yards of ale; both teams drink the ale in the giant glasses, spring break style.  Now kinda drunks, the teams make their way to the final pub where Curtis and Cat are having a drink.  There is one last menu item and that is for the team to finish six plates of fish and chips and one pint of scrumpy (which is cider).  Let it be known I would HOUSE that fish and chips.  The red team finishes The Course first and wins the Exceptional Ingredient (kinda rolled my eyes with this element's name).

Ok, so next we learn that the teams will each take over one of the gastropubs they visited and prepare five authentic dishes, three of those being the pub favorites that they tasted earlier and no one tried the steak and kidney pie.  The Exceptional Ingredient is potatoes, which is a key ingredient for the three main dishes; the black team can't have potatoes at all which sucks ass because errbody knows Brits love their potatoes.  The locals that frequent the restaurants will choose the winning team and then the losing team will have to eliminate someone.  
At the Duke of Cambridge, the black team serves fish (cod) with polenta chips, black pudding with poached eggs, steak and kidney pie, grilled halibut with creamed rocket (arugula), and a dessert of bread pudding.  Over at the Drapers Arms (which seems to be a far quieter pub), the red team re-names the pub British Pub, American Pride which is bad luck and disrespectful.  For food, there's bubble and squeak (no idea WTF it is, no explanation), steak and kidney pie, fish and chips (which are straw fries), Ploughman's sandwich, and finally the black pudding as a hash.

The red team is praised for their pub's service, but the diners did not like the steak and kidney pie and the black pudding hash.  The black team praises Chad's leadership in the task and the diners were happy a dessert was offered.  The black team wins the challenge, eventhough they didn't have beloved potatoes, and gets "safe passage" to the next city.  One chef from the winning team is given immunity, and that is Chad for showing leadership in the kitchen and planning the menu (Cheven is pissed because he came up with dessert).  The victory seemed to come down to the dessert, which someone on the red team did suggest but it was nixed.  The red team then convenes to discuss who should be up for elimination.  Noogie, who make the steak and kidney pie dry, tries to show his strengths like expediting and his performance in The Course.  Nookie throws out Claire, a harvest chef who pushed for vegetarian food, as a possible person to be eliminated.  One by one, the chefs name who they think should go home to Curtis/Cat, and based on execution of the dish, Claire is given three votes of the six for elimination.

So now that the episode is over, let's go over my thoughts on the show.  Overall, I like the concept.  It's Amazing Race plus Top Chef, tossing in the Survivor elimination aspect.  I found the rules of the show overwhelming and confusing at first and their buzz words (exceptional ingredient, safe passage) corny.  I called 80 Plates a recappers nightmare on Twitter because it was so nuts.  And while I love them showcasing local cuisines, I have no idea what a Ploughman's sandwich is and they never explain it.  Perhaps the show could benefit from showing explanations of local dishes so we know what it is or should be.  Having locals judge the cuisine is a good idea because they know what it should taste like and I like teams having to nominate others for elimination because it makes for drama and strategy.  Having professional judges, like guest judge Nigella Lawson, seems totally pointless when diners choose the winner and the teams make the elimination decision.  Speaking of judges/hosts, I've always found Curtis Stone and Cat Cora to be sort of lifeless and boring and there's no need for two hosts to do nothing.  Despite my nitpicking, I was far more interested in this first episode of 80 Plates than I was the last entire season of lagging Top Chef so I'm interested to see where the chefs go and what ridiculous dishes are created.

May 3, 2012

Reality Rundown: Touche, Whatever

The Amazing Race - The teams are sticking around for another leg in India, as it typically happens on the show. The first clue is picked up at a temple and there's a fast forward or a clue to yet another clue. Rachel/Dave arrive at the temple first but already did a Fast Forward, so they cannot do it. Brendon/Rachel decide to take on the challenge: shave their heads. HAHA lose that fake red weave, Rachel!! "I paid $500 for extensions. It'd be so sad," Rachel sobs. Brenchel do not do the Fast Forward and head to the next clue with a slight time delay. Bopper and Mark do in fact take advantage of the Fast Forward, hours behind and after a gross Speed Bump to paint a tiger on a chubbo's tummy.

That clue is a Road Block where teams will have to spin and spool 40 feet of coconut rope. Rumpelstiltskin shit, son! As you may imagine, it's truly thrilling to watch (yaaaaawn). All the teams are together for the task, and the Border Patrol guys realize that because Brenchel didn't do the Fast Forward, Bopper and Mark could do it and knock one of them out. But I think they kinda understand Rachel's hesitation given it's a head shave, but that doesn't mean JJ doesn't try to convince Rachel to go back and do the head shave so Bopper/Mark can't. Vanessa and Ralph finish first and as they run to the cabs, Vanessa bites it - BAD. She's pretty sure she heard her ankle pop but she brushes the twist off.

Teams find their next clue with a local barber, shaving some dude on the street. It's a Detour with a choice of decorating an elephant and then hauling their shit or pack and deliver boxes full of dried ginger. Minus the shit, I'd totally go for the elephants because that is a once in a lifetime experience. Art and JJ do the boxes and lament that Rachel wouldn't shave her head in a race for a million dollars. I mean, she's just shaving off fake hair anyways right? Art and JJ are far behind, cutting JJ's hand pretty nasty in the process.

Dave and Rachel finish the elephants first and head to the Pit Stop via ferry. To keep their lead, they bribe the ferry guy to take off so other teams can't get on the same ferry. They check in first and win $10,000 each - six leg wins? Brenchel and Vanessa/Ralph land on the mat at the same time, naming them teams two and three, but Phil makes an ominous remark about not finishing the tasks correctly. It starts another Vanessa/Rachel bitch-quarrel that leads to amends. Art and JJ arrive at the Pit Stop and check in fourth, not eliminated. Thanks for the fake teaser that some team fucked up. Despite using the Fast Forward, Bopper and Mark still check in last and are eliminated.

Survivor: One World -After Christina realizes she was stupid enough to almost get voted out, Alicia realizes having a dumb Christina around at the end is better than a smart Sabrina. Nooo she's my pick to win, don't do it!

Inside tree mail is a Spring crate and know immediately videos from home will be on that product placement phone.  And because we viewers know this "twist" has been done to death, we know their families are actually on the island, you get a quick hug, and there's for a competition to hang out.  After seeing Tarzan's video from his wife, know they are 64 with no kids, Sabrina is actually playing to hopefully get Tarzan to win too.  How nice!  The challenge is to untangle themselves (castaway and relative) from a rope through an obstacle course.  The winner and their loved one head to a beautiful spot for some grub and margaritas (not Chili's $5 margaritas, Phil).  The challenge winner is Kat and her cousin, narrowly defeating Kim and her sister.  As always, Kat gets to bring someone along and picks fucking Kim.  Seriously?  You are fucking dumb.  She also picks Alicia and says her reasoning is because she has wanted to hang with these two for a while and get drunk.  The others (including Kim) don't agree and think Tarzan and Christina should've gone.

Kat thinks she's won the best reward yet because I guess she doesn't get that besides adding loved ones, it's the same shit as every other reward.  On the reward, Kat and Alicia babble about this being the final three.  Kim tells her sister that she is leaning towards this scenario because it's a simple, easy win against these two morons.  At camp, Sabrina goes off about Kat's horrible choice for the reward since Tarzan needs to see his wife and Christina's dad had a kidney transplant and they could use any time they could get.  An idea is tossed out for Kat to maybe be voted out, with Chelsea pointing out that the eliminated men bonded socially with her.  Chelsea hopes Kim will agree with this plan; Kim relays what happened at the reward and it looks like Sabrina's butt is on the line. Nooooo.

In this week's Immunity Challenge, the survivors standard on a ledge while holding a handle behind their back, which is constantly being cranked to lower them closer to the water and add pressure.  Sabrina is first to step out- sheeeeeeeit.  Then others start to fall.  Kat and Kim become the final two, dangling over the water.  Kat really wants to win, muttering about it and murmuring "C'mon Kim," but Kat thankfully falls and Kim wins.  The Kat pouts about losing.

Kat bitches at camp about losing to a 28 year old (she is 22) and worries she'll never beat Kim in challenges.  Kat and Alicia claim they control the show and can't wait to blindside Sabrina.  But once Alicia saw how weak Sabrina was in today's challenge and how strong Kat performed and her perservance, Alicia's mind changes.  Kim knows Kat could get votes in the end and worries more about Sabrina being able to sway a jury at the end against Kim.  Chelsea doesn't agree with her ally Kim and would prefer to keep Sabrina in over selfish Kat.  Kim has to make a decision that will blindside either Kat or Sabrina and shit's about to go downnnn.

Tribal Council and I'm nervous. I want to finally be victorious in my pre-show winner prediction and for the first time, I'm terrified.  Kat's dumb reward challenge choice is discussed, like why would she pick Kim who didn't even take her on the reward last week.  Kat's excuse is always being young and 22, which the tribe is totally over hearing.  In discussing the Immunity Challenge, performance is discussed and Alicia brings up Kat's strength and poor attitude after losing.  Kat says a blindside will be fun and exciting, as she always gets excited when a blindside happens, showing her arrogance.  The votes and after one Sabrina vote (my heart sinks) Kat gets blindsided and cries. LOLOLOL blindsides are funny!!