Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Top Chef serves up a shower,Blush's Final Three and Sylar is back for blood!

This week's Quickfire on Top Chef had everyone facing off on each other in a taste test challenge. Two by two,each chef had fifteen seconds to taste a sauce and identify the highest number of ingredients correctly. After three rounds and a Mexican mole sauce,Hosea won immunity for the big Elim to come.

The Elimination challenge was to prepare four courses for Judge Gail's bridal shower(congrats on your wedding there,Gail),that had special guest judge Dana Cowin of Food And Wine magazine attending. The chefs were divided in four teams via a knife pull and had to use the classic bride theme of something old,something new,something borrowed and something blue.

Team Old had the first course and they decided to do a tomato triple play,with Hosea making a gazpacho,Stefan whipping up a terrine and Jeffrey creating a version of carpaccio that was topped with a scoop of tomato sorbet.

Stefan had been vehemently against the sorbet(he's getting on everyone's nerves with his bossiness)but Jeffrey stuck to his guns and it was the bridal party guests' favorite part of the dish.

Jamie lead Team Borrowed in "borrowing" from Radhika's Indian background by serving up lamb with a spicy carrot puree and kale. Both Radhika and Jamie wanted to keep the spicy favors subtle but strong and their combined efforts there were successful.

Ariane made the lamb and despite a few moments of "will it or won't it be ready?",it turned out to be perfectly cooked,like the porridge that Goldilocks chose. The lamb was good enough to earn her another win(Ariane seems to have a real knack with meats)and a bonus prize of cookware. Jamie was bummed out about not winning again,but,hey,it's still early yet! Buck up there,Jamie.

Team Blue,on the other hand,had plenty to feel bad about. Fabio talked Leah and Melissa into doing a fish dish(since there's no such thing as blue food,and apparently blue berries don't count)which was fine except that it was so bland that folks were calling it "old people food."

Team New,however,received the harshest criticism at Judges' Table and for good reason. First,Eugene came up with the idea of a surf and turf sushi roll that the guests could put together themselves. The problem with that was that he forgot to explain that during service,which left the ladies confused.

Also,Eugene overcooked the rice and tried to save it by adding chili powder to it. Dude,one of the most basic things about screwing up rice is that it's best to just throw it out and start over. You can't make mushy rice work.

Carla made a salad that was set in fried won ton bowls,not a bad idea. Too bad that Danny took it upon himself to add mushrooms in at the last minute without consulting her-what was up with that?

It seems like common courtesy to me to ask a fellow chef,"hey,I think this would be great in your dish-can we try it?" Danny slipped those mushrooms in while they were plating,which didn't give Carla a chance to taste them(they turned out to be awful). She didn't go off on Danny for that,but her holding back nearly cost her here.

Danny was the one who was sent home and rightly so, Not only for the mushroom bit but he kept insisting that his team's food was great. Yeah,with overcooked rice,under cooked beef,overcooked shrimp and bad mushrooms,plus everyone telling you how much they hated it! Not smart,my man. Next week,we're getting Martha Stewart in what looks like a Christmas party challenge. Ho,ho,ho!

The Max Challenge on Blush for the Final Four was pretty tough. They were paired off to do a "Blind Man's Brush",which had one make up artist giving directions to the other person to match a photo that only one of them could actually see.

Poor Todd wound up with Maxi,who can't take or give direction at all. Maxi claimed not to understand the simplest things like what a rectangle was(Dude,I'm one of the worst math students ever and even I can figure out how to make a rectangle!)and when it was his turn to tell Todd what to do,he kept speed talking so fast that Todd had to keep putting his hand up in pause mode.

Nolan and Farah worked very well together,earning them a win here and Nolan ended up with an advantage for the Elimination round. He was allowed to assign models to everyone for a "Hollywood icon" make up. Not only did each person have to make their girl resemble a classic film star but they also had to chose a hairstyle and wardrobe that suited their icon's persona.

Maxi was assigned Greta Garbo and he did really make his model emulate her style well. I do agree with him that she had more of a Charlize Theron resemblance from the start but he pulled this off(good move to make sure she had the right kind of hat)and won the challenge,plus a place in the Finale.

Nolan joined him,with a very nice Audrey Hepburn look. Todd managed to make it also,even with a so-so Marilyn Monroe. Congratulations to all of you guys and I'm looking forward to the finale,big time.

Condolences to Farah,who had to pack up her brushes due to an unconvincing Sophia Loren make over. She did try her best,but the end result here was some heavily applied eye brow and eye liner that didn't capture the sultry nature of Loren.

The finale should be great and my personal pick for the winner is Nolan. He's done well consistently through the competition and has been very nice to one and all. Good luck,Nolan!

Even the show's naysayers had little to complain about Heroes this week,with Claire making an early connection to Papa Bennett and Hiro having a touching last moment with his dying mother. My theory about Hiro becoming the catalyst turned out to be somewhat right. Unfortunately,he wasn't able to hold on to that power for long,with Papa Petrelli snatching it away from him.

The big news is that Sylar is now back in psycho killer mode with even less fear than before. After torching Elle's remains(sorry to see you go,Veronica Mars),Sylar found a listing on her cell phone of a woman with truth detecting abilities.

He chose to hunt down at her workplace,where her fellow co-workers were about to give her a surprise birthday party. That didn't slow our boy down one bit:

He then went over to Pine Hearst to test his new skills on Papa Petrelli,who was in the midst of a showdown with Peter and the Haitian.

When the dust cleared, Sylar told Peter that he no longer had any need to go after him since Peter's power well has run dry. However,it doesn't look like Peter will be feeling the same way. I don't know how this volume will end next Monday but odds are that Sylar intends to have more bodies hitting the floor:


THE AMAZING RACE: Congratulations to Nick and Starr,the brother and sister team who won the race and a million dollars to boot. The siblings were a little bratty at times but never nasty and it's nice to see a couple of determined young people get such a good start out in life.

It was particularly a photo finish;they ran this last leg neck in neck with Ken and Tina in hot pursuit(Team Superbad was quickly left behind). While they didn't win TAR,Ken and Tina did seem to patch up their trust issues. Good for them and best wishes for their marriage to happily go forward:

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