Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

A TC All-Star conchs out,a TAR:UFB team falls behind and we award our first Sanjaya award of this Idol season

As the finals continue on Top Chef All-Stars,the latest Quickfire challenges had the remaining four contenders break into teams of two to prepare 100 plates of food,keeping each portion consistent and precise.

Richard and Mikey thought they had it made in the shade with their pork Bolognese but Antonia and Tiffany won this round with a beef tenderloin served with a salad of cilantro and chimchurri sauce. Sorry,boys-your sneering at the ladies' "slice and serve" style only bounced off of them and stuck you right into the loser's circle.

The Elimination challenge took the chefs to a "deserted island" where they had to make a celebratory lunch for the Nassau Yacht Club,using conch as a component of their dish. They had to cook on the beach and supplies were waiting for them when they landed,except for the conch.

Everyone had to don snorkeling gear and dive into the ocean to hunt for the conch. That turned out well but getting the meat out of the shell was rough(Mikey seemed to be the only one who knew how to do it the best by putting the shells in boiling water)and there were a number of troubles involving the heat of the grills along the way.

Even without his usual bag of chemical tricks,Richard managed to be creative with his dish by making linguini noodles out of sweet potato to go along side his spiny lobster and conch. That impressed the judges but some of the fish was undercooked.

Antonia's red snapper with conch tartare and lobster nage hit a home run amongst the Nassau Yacht folks for the spicy kick she gave to the food.

Judge Tom kept grumbling about how the conch was cut up too small for his taste to the point where I was getting worried about her. Fortunately,she's still in the game.

The big winner here was Mikey,for his banana wrapped grouper with braised pineapple and conch vinaigrette. Judge Gail particularly raved nonstop about the pineapple and the most negative that anyone could say about his dish was that it was a little overwhelming at times.

Mikey gloated with joy over beating Richard,who is getting stressed to the point where he might turn into the Hulk(I wouldn't be all that surprised,honestly,if by the end Richard went all literally green and mean). Gotta watch that bragging there,Mike-it could jinx you at just the wrong time!

Packing her knives to go was Tiffany,whose conch and coconut chowder had a nice flavor but was served too cold to really make it pop. Adding to the chill factor was the conch ceviche which did the dish no favors. It was also deemed too sweet.

Tiffany gave this do-over her best effort and while I wish her well,I am glad to see her leave over Antonia. I think it would be great if the Final Two came down to Mikey and Antonia,having the long lost-newly reunited cousins battle it out there.

Next time,a simple challenge throws everyone off and Antonia calls Mikey out about a dish,making my desire for the two of them to battle it out all the more tangible.

One of the teams that I'm rooting for on The Amazing Race:Unfinished Business is Kent and Vysin,aka Team Goth,but they got off to a bad start on this leg that took everyone to China.

They got lost on the way to the airport and missed their mandatory flight(which might give them a penalty down the road). They caught a later one yet were still hopelessly behind all of the other teams.

What makes matters worse is Vysin's tendency to melt down at every setback. She really got frenzied during a Roadblock that required calm thinking in order to find the right zodiac charms. Fortunately for Team Goth,this appears to be an extra long leg,so they have a good chance at playing some serious catch-up. Still,Vysin needs to mellow out but not as much as Ron does(who is driving poor Christina even more crazy than before):

The theme of the week on American Idol was Sing a song from the year of your birth and just about every other person had a cold or was about to get one. That explained some of the lackluster performances but the winner of our first Sanjaya award for Worst Song can't make that excuse at all.

Casey Abrams was considered to be "daring" in his choice of "Smells Like Teen Spirit",the most memorable tune from Nirvana's music catalog. However,the end result was more clueless and screechy that anything else. Sorry,folks but I truly believe that Animal from the Muppets could have done a better and bolder rendition here:




GAME OF THRONES: Winter may be ending but for the upcoming miniseries due to begin April 17 on HBO,a chill is setting in for the sword and sorcery gang from the celebrated novels of George R.R. Martin.

The trailers for Game of Thrones are getting more intense and intriguing,a good combination to lure in viewers unfamiliar with the books yet curious about the scent of fear and blood being fanned into the promo flames:

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