Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Top Chef gets hot dog diggity,Blush goes animal and True Blood has a new girl in town

Top Chef had a very New York Quickfire this week;with Donatella Apia as the guest judge,the chefs were asked to make a hot dog as good or better than any you'd find at a NYC stand. To up the ante,a hot cart vendor from Queens was also present,to give some compare and contrast.

Jill was the only one who used prepackaged franks in her dish,a spring roll,which made it quite a dud.

Stefan's "international" hot dog,with it's mix of Italian,Irish,and American ingredients didn't go over too well either. He thought it would be a big hit,but Donatella told him that she wouldn't go anywhere in the world for that dog-can you say "ouch"? I think Stefan can!

The QF winner was Radhika,who whipped up a kabob style dog that had tomato jam and pickled cucumbers. She received immunity for the Elimination Challenge,which for the chefs to create a three course menu at Judge Tom's signature restaurant,Kraft.

The folks who would be eating the food(and adding their opinions)were made up of people who tried out for this season of Top Chef but didn't make it. Not the most impartial group of taste testers,you might say!

An early crowd pleaser was Jamie's corn soup that had been accented with a touch of mint. I'm not a starchy soup fan myself(I prefer mine to take the form of a solid slice of bread at the meal)but it did look very appetizing and delighted the judges enough to put Jamie in the Top Three here.

Carla joined her with a tasty apple tart given a peach tea and apple cider reduction kick to it. While the judges would've liked a more stylish use of the cheddar cheese part of the plate,it was the flavor that won out.

Fabio took the big win,with his beef carpaccio dish. At first,he was on the defensive with the judges,thinking that they didn't like it but laughs and smiles broke out when they informed him that they considered his to be one of the best.

Not so happy was Hosea,who actually thought his avocado and chilled crab combo was guaranteed to do well. Turns out that the fish tasted tinny and somewhat off,with the avocado coming out slimy in a really bad way.

Ariane's lemon meringue martini with a cherry surprise at the bottom was so startling sweet that Padma wound up spitting out a mouthful in her napkin(from the look on her face,I seriously thought she was about to puke).

This is the second time that Ariane has been in the Bottom Three and it's only the second episode this season! She needs to step up her game right quick or she'll definitely be told to pack her knives and go next time.

Lucky for her,Jill was the one asked to leave due to her ostrich egg quiche that tasted like glue,according to Donatella. Jill committed the same culinary sin as Patrick did on the premiere,choosing an unfamiliar but fancy food item to work with.

Let this be a lesson to you,kids-taking risks is great,but if you're working within a limited time allotment,it's best to go with something you know how to cook right. Experimentation is fine if you have the time! Next week,we're getting a Thanksgiving challenge,with special dinner guests,The Foo Fighters(I kid you not). Sounds like fun.

On Blush,the first challenge was to create a full body make-up based on an animal. The make-up artists were divided into teams of two and Todd and Nolan won for their zebra inspired look,which was rather chic. They also added a elegant dark line to the model's jaw that framed her face very well.

Mo and Rainell tried to get a little out-of-the-box creative by giving their model a "monkey suit"(a tuxedo design). Unfortunately,the end results were a major mess that had sloppy edges and didn't suit the theme at all.

For the elimination round,everyone got to work on a photo shoot for a jewelry ad. They were asked to give their models a 1940s glamor/high fashion look,which confused some folks(you guys need to do your homework there!)and brought out the best in others. Farah did great guns this week,with her gal and took the win for this one.

Rainell had a serious case of stubbornness and wound up going home for it. The bright purple eye shadow she put on her model was godawful and the photographer told her early on that he hated it and that she should change the makeup.

Rainell,however,thought it would impress the judges and left the look as is. Since this challenge was about working well with others,along with make up skills,she lost out big time. Even as she was packing up her stuff,she kept saying that what she did was "memorable". Yes,it was but not in a good way,hon! Come to think of it,Jill said the same thing about her bad egg quiche;another lesson,people. Don't just try to make any old impression,try to make one that people will want to look back on!

I know that I've already written about True Blood this week,but I couldn't pass by the hilarious hijinks of Jessica,the newly made vampire turned by Bill as his punishment for staking Longshadow,courtesy of the Tribunal. Her enthusiasm for the undead phase of her existence is amusingly annoying,to say the least. Yet,she does earn bonus points for wanting to snuggle in Eric's lap(something I wouldn't mind doing myself),that is a sign of good taste.

It looks as if Eric will be taking charge of Jessica for now,but not without demanding a future favor of Bill that he may not want to return:




SOUTH PARK: This season's episodes have been pretty much hit or miss lately. However,they scored a home run with a riff on the recent vampire craze and yes,there is a reference to Twilight(it's not the main target of the parody-that honor goes to Hot Topic):

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