Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

An unexpected cooking lesson for The Next Food Network Star,white box blues on Design Star and True Blood's black magic woman

This was considered midterm week on The Next Food Network Star,as the remaining eight contenders were tasked to prepare a major meal for the judges and special guest Wolfgang Puck. The stakes were set higher than usual since two people would be eliminated,which made the tension run higher as well.

The squabbling in the kitchen was nothing compared to what happened to Jyll;she served what she considered to be risotto but Wolfgang disagreed. He literally took her back to the kitchen to show Jyll how to make it right.

To her credit,she kept up a good face about it(why two of the judges thought she was being "phony" was beyond me) but if I've learned anything from watching Hell's Kitchen,it's that you don't screw up the risotto!

Lucky for her,Penny was sent home instead. While her food was good as always and she was even on her best behavior with Mary Beth for once,Penny's lack of likability on camera was her ultimate downfall. I say,good riddance since her cattiness and overly competitive nature really grated on my nerves.

Chris joined Penny at the departure gate,mainly due to his lousy dessert(which he kept apologizing for as it was served)and his general lack of maturity.

He's not a bad guy but at this stage,Chris still has a bit too much of the teenager in him and he needs to get a handle on that before he can progress as a chef. Bobby Flay's exasperation with him was pretty sincere there.

Next week, the Final Six head to New York and do a demo on Rachel Ray's show-as they say,if you can make there,you'll make it anywhere:

For their second challenge,the gang on Design Star were given the white box rooms to decorate,using items bought from a food and restaurant supply store. They were all told that the room could be more creative than functional,offering up a lot of lee way there.

Some of the designers really knocked this one out of the park,like Tyler who had me wondering why he had bought nearly 400 bottles of water. The amazing light chair that was the focal piece of his room was more than a welcome sigh of relief.

Also worrying at first was Kevin's butcher paper wall but it turned out to be rather striking in a good way. It was a strong bit of pizazz that could have been balanced better yet the overall effect was pulled off well enough to please the judges.

The winner this week was Mark,for his Air Force inspired tribute to his grandfather. The judges loved how he made the futon resemble a fabulous flying machine and his wall motif was awesome.

I would've chosen Tyler for the win since those tin bowls that Mark had lined up on the sides didn't click so well,in my opinion but congrats to Mark for truly going big there.

On the downside,Cathy's spicy stone floor pattern was colorful yet her room was way too constrained. Her plate mosaic ideas were good but they needed to be expanded on,especially the one that went on the wall.

Meg's attempts to make a table stand up on glasses failed as time ran out but even if she had managed to make that work,the room would still be a clunker. The orange was too overwhelming and the shadowing she did for the furniture was a good idea not fully developed.

Sent home this time was J,who had a great idea for a fireplace made from a couple of end tables but buried it in a far corner instead of putting it as the centerpiece of her room. There was too much empty space that she didn't utilize and those wall hangings were kind of sad.

Next week,team work is needed for a home makeover and it looks like tempers are going to flare over who does what. Not going to be pretty,particular for the gal who spills the black paint on the new carpet:

More wacky hijinks ensue on True Blood as Jason makes a successful escape from the Hotshot werepanthers,Alcide helps Sookie corral a fairy blood drunk Eric and Bill discovers a family connection too close for comfort.

Meanwhile,Marnie is being haunted by her new spirit guide who apparently was a witch burned at the stake a few centuries ago. Jesus,Lafayette and Tara need her to be on her toes to find the right memory spell before Pam rips into them in her subtly restrained way(not!)yet Marnie is rather distracted to begin with without those freaky dream visions that her new friend has been sharing with her lately:

They do find the right spell to reverse Eric's memory loss but Pam's impatience sets Marnie's inner witch off and another nasty curse is unleashed. Pam winds up with a serious case of face rot and the rest of the group is starting to get as afraid of Marnie as they already are of vampires.

Personally,I suspect that Lafayette is the one with real power amongst them but he hasn't come to that conclusion yet. When the first raising the dead spell was done with the coven,part of that was due to his energy and only when he joined the circle to save Tara from Eric did Marnie become possessed by the ancient witch spirit. He might be the only one able to stop this crazy magic train in the end but we shall see:


FOR YOUR EMMY CONSIDERATION: Game of Thrones fans were pleasantly surprised to see this series earn 13 Emmy nominations,including Best Drama and a Best Supporting Actor nod for Peter Dinklage.

His take on Tyrion Lannister, the charmingly clever yet easily underestimated son of a viciously influential clan is another feather in his cap of acting achievements and I hope he receives his just rewards for this performance:

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