Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Design Star's wedding party woes,True Blood gets spellbound and The Next Food Network Star is...

For the finale of The Next Food Network Star,the remaining three contenders were given one last camera challenge that would leave just two of them to battle it out for the win. The odd man out here turned out to be Vic,who did his best yet still has a way to go in perfecting his onscreen skills.

The final showdown was then between Susie's Spice It Up! vs. Jeff's Sandwich King,with Guy Fieri directing both mini pilot episodes. Jeff and Susie did take a couple of takes to mellow out and hit their marks but they each managed to do their concept well.

The dish that Susie made for her pilot was a sopes with re-fried beans and chorizo,plus a slaw topping. She had a little trouble with focusing her energy at first but Susie ended up with a very good clip that made Jeff nervous about his chances.

The sandwich that Jeff made for his pilot was beef braciole,topped with peppers and crispy onions. The guy really had his act together here,after a few early stumbles and managed to slip in a couple of good jokes along with his culinary instructions.

The pilots were then shown to the judges and a panel made up of former TNFNS competitors from this season. Most of them praised Jeff for his star quality and spoke favorably of Susie,as well-except for Penny,of course!

Penny was quick to harshly critique Susie and suck up to Jeff there,perhaps trying to extend her "it's not personal,it's business" explanation for her behavior from the reunion special. Sorry,sweetie but that doesn't fly with me. As Kathleen Kelly once said "Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal."

So,this year's winner is Jeff and his new show,Sandwich King,will be premiering this weekend. Congrats to him and here's hoping that Vic and Susie may get their own FN shows sometime in the future:

The challenge on Design Star this week was to put together a wedding reception area,complete with groom's lounge a day before the actual ceremony. Dina Manzo was the special guest judge here,since she's having a brand new show on the network.

Guys,this is the second time that you've had a special guest judge who is basically there to promote their new series and frankly,I would prefer someone with a little more expertise instead.

The designers that worked on the groom's lounge were Mark,Kevin and Karl who clashed over the style choices to be made. The groom wanted a Rat Pack kind of set-up that Karl feared wouldn't go with the Victorian theme that the bride wanted for the rest of the space.

Kevin and Mark wound up selecting most of the pieces for that area,with Mark winning the challenge for whipping up a skateboard wall hanging that reflected the husband-to-be's interests and for his excellent use of mood lighting throughout the entire reception hall.

Meg and Kellie teamed up to do the flowers as well as the canopy hangings on the ceiling and with a lot of help from Karl,put up a gorgeous chandelier.

While the flower centerpieces weren't as even as they should have been,Meg at least went above and beyond by adding flowers to Cathy's sweetheart table(which was clearly lacking in that element). Cathy had put herself in charge of linens and tableware,due to her repeated reminders that her wedding designs have appeared in three different magazines- constant bragging is so endearing to others,is it not?

Was Cathy appreciative of that gesture? No,and she tried to toss Meg under the bus for that during judging.

She insisted that she assumed they would create a larger centerpiece,despite the fact that Cathy ignored Meg every time that Meg tried to ask her about what she wanted for the table. Cathy,do we really have to tell you what happens when you assume?

Leslie was working with Cathy on the linens but was being more bossed around by her than anything else. Some of that aggravation may have influenced her choice of glittery cover-up for a nice column table that was part of the sign in section.

The judges did like the long floor lantern that she chose(which Cathy kept putting the kibosh on)and if Leslie had gone off in that direction instead of letting Cathy's carping get to her,the end result would've not looked so thrown together.

Thankfully,Cathy was sent home this week for her lackluster selections along with her lack of team spirit. Victorian style cries out for opulence but her linens and plates were pretty standard stuff for any formal occasion.

Cathy's farewell video showcases more of her modest approach to life and makes that parting truly sweeter than sorrowful,I must say. Next time,things are still not all sunshine and roses as the designers are tasked to remake someone's actual home. Okay,people,time to put up or shut up-otherwise,you'll be joining Cathy outside the studio door:

On True Blood, Jessica survived the sun spell,thanks to Jason who was also man enough to turn down her romantic affections after she dumped Hoyt(Tommy would be interested in being her new beau,I'm sure,but then again,he might try to skinwalk her instead).

Meanwhile,the only fried vampire accounted for is the neighbor of Hoyt's hateful mother and King Bill uses his glamor power to make a quick spin on that incident on the local news,which ticks Marnie/Antonia off to no end.

During her rant,Marnie/Antonia reveals her full plans to wipe the vampire population out to Tara,who really doesn't have a problem with that. Considering what she's been through,I can't blame her for that attitude:

King Bill then arranges a parley with the witches,hoping to make some sort of peace accord but all involved know that it's going to get ugly fast. Eric and Sookie join the fight,after taking a break from magical sex in the snow time,and Sookie's telepathy is useful in warning Bill about a counterstrike spell floating around in Marnie/Antonia's brain.

As the battle rages on,Sookie is shot and carried off to safety by Alcide,which goes against the Switzerland stand that his new pack is taking,not to mention setting off Debbie's jealousy alarm. While I'm sure Sookie will recover somehow,the big question is what will happen to Eric,who is now under the complete control of Marnie/Antonia. Yep,things are about to get even crazier than before,folks:


SUGAR HIGH: If you miss watching Ace of Cakes,you can still see Duff Goldman singing the praises of pastry. Food Network gave him a travel show where he scoffs down goodies from coast to coast and it sounds like a sweet trip to the bake shop indeed:

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