Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, October 06, 2011

Top Chef JD takes another double dip of elimination,TAR teams need to double back and the Vampire Diaries romances need to take a number

The Quickfire Challenge on Top Chef: Just Desserts took a breakfast break this week by having the contenders whip up the perfect doughnut to go with the variety of coffees set up for them.

Mark Israel of The Doughnut Plant was the special guest judge for this round that offered up ten grand as the prize but not immunity(it's off the table from here on in).

This was a sweet victory for Carlos,who has been treading water for the most part and bummed out on not yet getting a win.

Fortunately,his orange and lemon bomboloni with passion fruit ice cream(I don't picture ice cream with doughnuts,normally,but hey,when in Rome...)wowed Mark and Judge Gail,plus Judge Johnny who popped in for the tasting as well.

On a sour note,one of the chefs was eliminated based on this QF and that sad honor went to Megan. The honey cardamon glaze on her cake doughnut hardened up so fast that the doughnut was stuck to the plate.

For the regular Elimination Challenge,the remaining six chefs divided into two teams to make a chocolate presentation. Each team had to make a chocolate showpiece and every one in the group had to create their ultimate chocolate dessert.

The usual set of judges were joined by Wylie Dusfrene and each team got to taste the other's dishes. Their opinions of each other's food was strongly encouraged by the Judges' panel.

Orlando headed up one team with Carlos and Sally,spending most of his time working on the showpiece. He was worried that by letting the two of them prepare his dessert that he would be setting himself up for a downfall.

Personally, I thought it was more worrisome when he kept debating Judge Johnny during the QF over whether or not cardamon was promised in his doughnut. Dude,is this the right time to fight with a judge,with more than one elimination spot open? You need to know when to pick your battles,that's all I'm saying.

Orlando was right in trusting Carlos and Sally to finish up his dessert. The puff pastry chocolate mousse with mango coulis and cocoa nib sorbet was enjoyed by both the judges and the competitors alike,without too much criticism.

Also, I liked the theme of Orlando's showpiece which was the evolution of chocolate-nicely done,sir!

With Carlo's peanut butter,banana and chocolate mousse and Sally's caramel mousse in a chocolate sphere rounding things out,their team was declared the winners of this challenge. Orlando was extra happy about that,since he and Chris(who headed up the other team)have been rivals for some time now.

Speaking of Chris,I wasn't impressed with his showpiece at all. The size and shape of it wasn't anything that most folks watching Food Network Challenge haven't seen a hundred times over.

He claimed that it was "modern" but it takes more than some wavy pieces of chocolate and some white chocolate flowers to pull that off. I know that season two of Work of Art starts next week but this felt like a special sneak preview of similar pretentiousness here.

Katzie and Matthew were also on his team but it might as well been just Chris and Matthew alone,since the two of them shut her out completely. Nothing wrong with teaming up with a close friend on a challenge but there's a reason for being on a team,gents-it's called "working well with others!" Not just picking your favorites to work with because that option is not always available to you in real life,believe it or not!(okay,mini rant over).

Not surprisingly,their team was up for elimination. Chris also made a chocolate brioche that fell flat in terms of taste and Matthew's chocolate tart with sorbet and compressed cherries wasn't much better. Guess you fellas aren't a good influence on each other when it comes to cooking either,heh?

The one that went home was Katzie,for her boca negra cake that was too huge to fully eat. The jasmine added to the passion fruit curd was hard to discern and the texture of the mousse was very mushy to boot. *sigh* I was really getting to like Katzie and with a little more encouragement,she might have stayed in the game a bit longer.

Next week,the chefs have to deal with the old "one hand tied behind my back" routine. Some things are classic for a reason,folks!

The second leg of this season's The Amazing Race was extra tricky,with one team having to complete a Speed Bump and all of them up for a double elimination. That should have made everyone rev up their alertness levels but nearly every team fell prey to one small stumbling block.

At the end of the Road Block challenge,each team had to hand over the money earned during their task to a group of kids at a nearby orphanage. However,a sign on the table ,where the children were waiting to hand them the next clue,informed them that all of the money they had on them was to be donated.

When each team that did not heed the sign got to the Pit Stop,they had to go back and give their remaining cash to the orphans before being checked in. Only three out of the eleven teams paid any attention to the sign in the first place,which goes to show you that this competition is more than a game of physical skill. Brains and brawn,people,that's the name of the game!:

Things are complicated enough on The Vampire Diaries without the emotional roller-coaster that most of the lovelorn characters have to ride here. Let's look at Caroline and Tyler for instance;he's a werewolf,she's a vampire. That should be enough to make the situation hectic,right?

Nope,apparently since Tyler's mom reacted to her son having sleepover dates by shooting Caroline with a tranquilizer dart and handing her over to her dad(played by former Heroes regular Jack Coleman) which lead to Tyler revealing to Mom that her little boy is a big bad monster,too.

That's not even mentioning how down in the mouth poor Matt is after seeing yet another one of his girlfriends leave him for a supernatural boyfriend. Somebody needs to set him up with a stable and stay put lady, stat! Plus,Jeremy is seeing the true ghosts of his former girlfriends,which means Bonnie should get home faster than she planned.

Meanwhile in Elenaland,our heroine is still bound and determined to save Stefan from his sidekick duties to Klaus,who is not understanding why he can't turn others into hybrids like him(hint: the glitch is a certain doppelganger gal who's not dead).

To complicate things even further,Klaus has revived his sister Rebecca,who had a fling with Stefan back in the Prohibition era and has lost a magical amulet that is needed to figure out Klaus' little problem. That charm is hanging around Elena's neck,naturally and she has to rely on Damon for protection with him a)holding back his feelings for her and b)still bummed out over Stefan killing his mentally compelled rebound girl.

Got enough crazy on your plate? Katherine is not out of the picture,as she makes somewhat helpful phone calls to Damon and keeps secret tabs on Stefan. I think a flow chart might be necessary at this point to keep track of all the love/lust ins and outs of the show:


THE WALKING DEAD: Season Two is just days away and to say that the stakes are higher is seriously an underestimation. I am so looking forward to this:

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