Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Top Chef's Restaurant Wars,Jenn turns Blue in Hell's Kitchen and Idol can smell which David is Cookin'

After an early morning Quickfire challenge that had the chefs working the egg station at a local diner,Judge Tom announced that he wouldn't be judging the Elimination round due to attending a charity event. He gave directions for the location of the EC,where Padma gleefully informed them that Restaurant Wars was back on-YAH! It's the best challenge ever on Top Chef,the show wouldn't be the same without it.

Antonia won the QF,so she had first pick of people to work with and she chose Richard and Stephanie(both of whom I would love to see in the finals). Their restaurant was called "Warehouse Kitchen" and the food theme was fine dining in a relaxed bistro atmosphere. Spike,Lisa and Dale decided to go with Asian food(what a surprise...not!)and called their place "Mai Buddha".

The chefs were given another announcement during prep,as Anthony Bourdain visited each kitchen and told them that he was replacing Judge Tom on the panel for this Elim. Restaurant Wars,with Bourdain on board..sweet! The Mai Buddha team was extra nervous,since Bourdain knows Asian food inside and out(the man's eaten cobra hearts,for Pete's sake!). Also,each team was allowed to have one of their former competitors join their group for some extra help. Mai Buddha had Jen and Warehouse Kitchen got Nikki,who not only helped out with the fresh pasta but pointed out that the clams needed to be rewashed before serving.

Warehouse Kitchen received tons of praise,from the beet salad opener to the linguine with clams and sausage,right down to the gorgonzola cheese cake. Stephanie ran the front of the house and she did a great job. Warehouse Kitchen won the challenge and Stephanie was chosen for a special prize,a trip for two to Barcelona,nice!

Mai Buddha,however,was a big mess. Starting with the decor chosen by Spike,which consisted of numerous buddha statues and purple napkins that made Bourdain feel he was eating at Prince's house,to the botched laska soup and sloppy mango sticky rice(why they would let Lisa near rice again is beyond me)and Dale's butterscotch scallops that Bourdain said"looked like a melted candy bar" but didn't taste as good as one,this team went down in flames.

Lisa and Dale took turns throwing each other under the bus,while Spike smirked on the sidelines(something that the other guest judge,Jose Andres,noticed and called Spike out on). In the end,Dale had to pack his knives and go. He did make some good food at times but it's his attitude that's holding him back from being a real top chef.

I felt bad for Louross this week in Hell's Kitchen;both teams were given a twenty item challenge,to create four dishes with that number of ingredients to work with and not only did each item had to be used,no one could copy an item from someone else's dish.

Bobby and Jen(who agreed to join the Blue Team to even things up) insisted that Louross add veal to his red snapper dish,which he didn't want to but went along with,anyway.

Louross didn't plate the veal on time,so he had to serve his fish alone(he didn't want to have the veal on the red snapper anyway,since it would throw the flavor off).

Ramsey noticed the missing ingredient and Louross,to his credit,admitted it right away,instead of using Jen's lie about rendering the veal fat into the dish(she also ratted him out to Ramsey and stewed during the punishment detail,blaming him for the whole mess). Jen needs to get over herself,seriously:

The Red Team did poorly during dinner service,which had two food critics in the crowd,and Rosann took the fall here. She screwed up the veggie station yet again,burning things so badly that she was running of items to be served.

Matt reverted back to his bad cooking ways,messing up the meat station. He and Rosann went up on the chopping block but Christina was called on the carpet for her lousy performance as well. Hey,Christina,stop trying to be the leader and start being a good chef there,your work might actually improve!:



American Idol's Battle of the Davids is over,and Cook is the one left standing,YES! Archuleta's a nice kid but clearly Cook was the stronger and more seasoned performer out of the two. While I still wish that Carly Smithson could've made it to the Final Two(and why did they pair her up with Michael Johns during the finale? Jason Castro gets to sing a solo,but not Carly?!),I am glad to see Cook come out on top.

A couple of suggestions for next season,AI-first,since Paula spends most of her time dancing at the Judges' table,why not install a go-go dancer cage for her to prance around in? Also,could Randy pick up a new cliche handbook to qoute from,please? So tired of hearing "You can sing the phonebook" and "Red hot molten lave TONIGHT!" Any how,congrats to David Cook. You did good,buddy:


UGLY BETTY: Lindsey Lohan guest stars on the finale tonight,playing her usual brand of mean girl and hopefully showing up sober for the rehearsals. Naomi Campbell also drops into Mode,so folks need to be on the lookout for those pesky flying cellphones that follow her everywhere:

MIND OF MENCIA: Carlos is back and pumped up with plenty of social humor and pop culture parodies,such as his take on the new Indy Jones movie. Enjoy!:

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