Thursday, March 20, 2008
Top Chef becomes a cooking zoo,Beatles week on Idol,part two and The Riches return
The Quickfire on Top Chef this week was to create an entree using five and only five
ingredients purchased at a farmer's market and/or found in the TC pantry(exceptions to this rule being salt,pepper,sugar and oil)to be judged by Wylie Dufresne,who also stayed around for the Elimination Challenge as well. I like that concept;usually there's one special judge for the QF and another for the Elim,which made no sense to me.
Mark was a little jumpy during the farmer's market shopping(also,a tad pushy while waiting his turn;you need to mellow out,dude,seriously!)and forgot one of the ingredients that he had bought. However,his steak with turnips,mushrooms and peaches came out well and earned him not only a win but immunity for the Elim.
A patented TC knife pull divided the chefs into teams of three to cater a reception at the Lincoln Park Zoo and their menus were to be based on the diet of the animal each team was named for(Bear,Lion,Vulture,Penguin and Gorilla). A pretty cool conception,altho for some reason,Team Gorilla added lamb to their mix. Uh,guys,it's a vegetarian menu and even without the whole "true to the animal" diet thing,most folks would frown upon throwing meat in. The judges didn't call them on it but still,I don't think that's a good thing for a chef to do.
Team Gorilla had other probelms,like Stephanie's crab salad that was mixed too early and was all watery by serving time(fortunately,her banana bread saved her from going home)and Valerie's blinis,which were also made way too soon and dried out. Team Bear was also on the chopping block,for their disasterous mushroom stuffed with blueberries that they tried to salvage by covering it with cheese(none of them tasted it with cheese before serving it-not smart,folks!). As Judge Gail rightly put it,"it looked more like something a bear would produce rather than eat."
The big winner here was Andrew,for his squid ceviche and a "glacier" made with yuzu and mint. He was on Team Penguin,who did very well over all. Mark whipped up an anchovy croquette that had the judges raving about it's goodness and the team also had a nice flow on their table with a black and white theme that suited their animal namesake. Good job,Team Penguin!
Valerie packed her knives after her botched blinis were chosen as the worst of the bunch. From the clips they showed for next week,looks like there's going to some major fighting going on in the kitchen. I just hope it spices things up a little and doesn't overpower the whole show,as it's been wont to do in the past.
I'm very disappointed with American Idol voters this week;first you put Carly Smithson in the Bottom Three(I don't care what Simon said,she sang "Blackbird" beautifully!)and then you take away my Rock N' Roll Nurse! What gives?
"Well,why don't you vote then,Lady T?" I would,but the last time someone in my house voted in this season's AI,we lost Danny Noriega to the Text of Doom. I'm trying not to jinx things,okay?!
Kristy Lee Cook has been stinking up the joint for the past two weeks(her version of "You've Got to hide your love away" hid the melody away. She tied cement blocks to that tune and dragged it around the stage like roadkill)and should've been sent home by now. Instead,Amanda Overmeyer gets the boot. What a world!:
COME BACK, AMANDA,COME BACK!
A person who deserved to be in the Bottom Three this week was Michael Johns,for that Cliff Notes version of A Day in the Life. It was not just a complete mess of music but those lighting choices for the background made it look like he was performing live from the Ninth Circle of Hell!
His Sanjaya award winning performance should be taken as a warning to those who would attempt to shorten long songs. Sometimes,it can be done and sometimes,it can not. There is no try. Just say no,people!
I HEARD A BAD BEATLES SONG TONIGHT,OH BOY!
THE COMPLETE AND UNABRIDGED VERSION
Oh,well,at least Carly is still here. She gave the best performance of the night,in my humble opinion,and the only thing she did wrong was agree to wear that awful red top with the wreath neckline. Next week,the theme is Andrew Lloyd Webber. Any takers on which singer is going to mangle "Memory"? My money's on Kristy:
Season two of The Riches premiered this week,and it's picking off where they left off from,with Wayne staying behind in Eden Falls to see what he can salvage(not to mention keeping Dale from going to the cops about his secret and figuring out what to do about Pete).
I'm glad that Nina decided to run away with the Malloys;I like her and Dahlia's going to need all the help she can get. Her being in charge of the kids and "Grandma" is bound to lead to trouble,even more than that cliffhanger with the driver of the van they were stealing having a big old hand cannon aimed at them(stealing transportation in Texas is a very risky venture there!). So far,so good.
SOUTH PARK: Is it just me or is South Park starting to resemble outtakes from the Brothers Grimm? Look,I like risk taking humor and the bold social statements that Matt and Trey make from time to time but this new season is really freaking me out.
The Britney Spears as a human sacrifice metaphor,I totally get and while I do agree that the media overkill on her is pretty nasty,it was hard to laugh after Britney blew her head off and yet still lived. The horror movie references were well done(like the bit about Miley Cyrus at the end)but the whole thing was starting to feel more like a heavy handed message than satire. Between this and last week's "Cartman curing AIDS with money" routine,South Park is really getting preachy here.
ROOT OF ALL EVIL: Lewis Black's new Comedy Central show(which comes on right after South Park) has been rather funny,with it's debates about which is worse,Oprah or the Catholic Church and Donald Trump vs. Viagra. That's the kind of topical humor I like to see,something smart and snappy,not off putting:
OPRAH VS. THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
TRUMP VS. VIAGRA
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- books and reading (792)
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