Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, August 13, 2009

TC Masters take command,Design Star's double trouble and the Sookie saga continues

For this round of Top Chef Masters,the blindfold taste test was given as the Quickfire Challenge and even for such renowned chefs,this was a tricky one. Michael Chiarello came out in first place here,with getting the most right(seven out of twenty)and was granted a slight advantage for the Elimination Challenge.

The challenge was to make a buffet lunch,using former TC contenders as their crew. No one wanted to work with Chiarello(who had first choice),since he was channeling the drill instructor from Full Metal Jacket but everyone loved Hubert. There was a slight tiff between Chiarello and Dale over a fridge but it was all talk,no action.

A number of changes were tossed at the chefs last minute;the location of the luncheon went from an indoor dining room to an outdoor terrace at a hotel,plus two hours before the food was to be served,each team had to drop a member.

Hubert had Antonia,Elia and Spike,who was let go but the food was apparently amazing. His team had about 18 different choices for folks to choose from and all of the judges agreed that his $2000 budget was well spent indeed.

Rick Bayless' team included Alex,Betty(who was let go)and Richard,who offered up one of his nitrogen techniques to make avocado ice cream which Rick loved and generously credited him with. Rick and Hubert both were considered the best buffets and made it to the finale,yah!

Chiarello had Fabio,CJ and Brian(sent off at the end)whip up a rustic Italian buffet which was lackluster at best. The swordfish drew the most complaints,with Gael Greene commenting about how "grainy" it tasted. It was touch and go there for Chiarello during the Elim for a bit.

Anita Lo,however,was sent off to pack her knives. Her team(Jamie,who had worked with her previously and was cut last minute,Dale and Elan)was running far behind even before the switch-ups and it didn't help matters much that a good portion of her buffet was a raw bar of oysters and other fish.

The outdoor dining area had no shade available to protect the food from the heat,which lead to very low scores for Anita. It was a shame,but she did get some money for her charity(breast cancer awareness)and made some very memorable plates during her run.

The TC Masters finale will be next week,plus the premiere of a new season of regular Top Chef set in Las Vegas. The new batch of chefs are not starting off with the small stuff;their first Quickfire Challenge is the infamous mise en place relay race and one of them winds up cutting it a tad too close to the bone:

Design Star had a double garage makeover challenge this week,with a double elimination added on to make things more interesting. They had to work in teams again and while Antonio,Jason,Torie and Jany didn't have too many problems,there was a throwdown during the judging amongst the ladies over the furniture selection.

They went for a Hamptons style,which was deemed too "textbook" by Judge Candice,and Jany insisted that she was keeping Torie"in line" with the design. That spat cost Jany her chance at a HGTV show(unless she gets that online gig the network's been promoting).

No one wanted Tashica on their team,but Dan,Nathan and Lonnie got stuck with her. She kept complaining that her voice was being ignored,but she didn't have much to say in the first place.

Her whining was so bad that the judges dismissed her right off the bat. The rest of the group did a good job with their garage but they should've replaced the door as the clients had asked them to. That old one didn't allow any light to come in and they had the money for it(ten grand budget,hello!). Don't be so stingy next time,folks-it could really cost you!:

Sookie and friends were rescued from the Fellowship of the Sun's clutches on True Blood last time and major props must be given to Jason Stackhouse for manning up to save his sister. It's about time that he started using the big head to make decisions there,plus keeping on the good side of the vampires is not a bad idea.

His best moment was when he got to deliver a nice bit of personal payback to Reverend Newlin,who is such a pompous jerk that I can't even feel sorry for him about his dippy wife cheating on him(those two truly deserve each other):

Sookie's fat(metaphorically speaking)is still in the fire,as Lorena stopped by the Dallas nest to have a little girl talk. Fortunately Godric was able to stop things from going too far but he won't always be around to keep Lorena from flashing her fangs at Sookie and Bill again:

Judging by the promo for the next episode,the Dallas area is going to get even hotter for vamps but somebody needs to go home to Bon Temps. Folks are going to hell sans handbasket and Sam is in need of some major backup here:


MAD MEN: Season Three begins this Sunday and while many pertinent plot points are being kept under wraps,I think it's safe to say that things will be going off with a bang:

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