Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Work of Art goes on the move,Top Chef JD moves closer to the finale and The Walking Dead starts season two with a zombie shuffle

When we last left the folks at Top Chef Just Desserts,Carlos had been eliminated and with only four chefs remaining,Judge Gail announced that they would be skipping the Quickfire Challenge in order to head straight for the Elimination round.

The chefs were asked to select an international cuisine to base their desserts on and for the twist element,they had to make their dish resemble a savory item from that country. A panel of well known fine dining chefs would be tasting the food,along with special guest judge Cat Cora(my favorite Iron Chef).

Chris chose France and decided to recreate a beef Wellington,which to my mind is more of an English than a French entree. Lucky for him,the origin of that main course extends to both nations.

He used chocolate mousse and raspberry jam to mimic the inner contents of the meat packed in puff pastry and despite using store brought pastry at the last minute,Chris did very well here and made it to the finale as expected.

The winner,however,was Sally for her tasty take on a Cuban sandwich. It was made from brioche bread with strawberry gel as the ham and cream cheese mousse. On the side,she whipped up a "potato salad"(which was actually fruit)and plantain chips.

The look of her food was voted most authentic and it put her in the top spot for the finale-Congrats,Sally!

In trouble was Matt,even though his manicotti did look impressive. It was made from creme fraiche cake with mascarpone ricotta mousse and tasted good,but a tad overwhelming in portion size.

Also,Matt played things safe by changing his mind late in the game about mixing tomatoes into his strawberry sauce. Fortune favors the brave,as they say!

However,Orlando was the one sent home. His paella was daring but some of the flavors didn't mix together as harmoniously as he planned. Judge Johnny praised his modest use of saffron but wasn't crazy about the beets added in to replace the chorizo.

Also,the coconut rice that he prepared for the dish turned out mushy. Sorry to see you go,Orlando. Granted,he was a bit of a know it all but the guy is talented. Next week is the finale and may the best person win!

On Work of Art,the contenders were taken for a brisk walk to a nearby park to watch a bunch of Parkour enthusiasts(it's basically guys jumping around and running on rooftops like they're in a Jason Bourne movie). Their challenge was to make a piece that represented motion.

The artists were split into two teams and while they had to create individual pieces,they all had to connect to the theme. During the early planning stages,Mentor Simon got real with both groups and flat out told them that their initial concepts(digestion,which sounded very science fair to me,and migration)needed to be scrapped.

With that mandate,one team got their act together and produced some interesting work. They went with a playground theme and called their show "Play With Me." My personal favorite was The Sucklord's "Flip the Rat" game,his version of a Coney Island boardwalk attraction.

His first suggestion for what the team could do was to make objects that would set off one motion onto another,similar to the board game Mousetrap. To his credit,he was willing to go along with the whole digestion deal(despite his doubts)but I'm pretty certain that the Sucklord won't be so restrained the next time a crazy notion is being pushed onto him here.

Michelle's "Dirty Playground" was not my cup of tea but the judges seemed to like it enough to consider it for the win.

Going dark in tone is fine but what does it say about motion when the big action here is yanking on the central wooden figure's "balls" to wave it's arms? Nothing that I want to think about,that's for sure.

Bayete won this round,for his video "Wheee!". It was double shots of him spinning around,which captured the childlike quality of motion that his group was aiming for. Since he was in the Bottom Three last time,earning this win was a nice little comeback for him.

The second group were reluctant to give up their muddled migration concept,so they went with "Loop",as in adding circles to their pieces. The results were poor to say the least and three of them were up for elimination.

The only one in that whole section that had any validity to me was Leon's "Hit." The swinging lamp which cast light upon a still scene of broken objects held a strong air of mystery(one judge compared it to Hitchcock)and there was an intriguing balance of order and chaos about that tableaux.

Leon wasn't up on the chopping block but I wish they had talked more about his contribution. Too bad he wasn't on the other team.

Lola ,on the other hand,simply made a mess with "Mend(We had a terrible time so I tried to forget it)". She grabbed a bunch of shredded medical papers,which gives me pause,and shoved most of them into a torn plastic bag.

It certainly looked too heavy to be considered motion and she even admitted that her work was done on the fly.

Sent home here was Kathryn,for her video "Splat". She recorded tossing slimy innards onto a plastic tarp and played it in a loop which barely tied into her team's agreed upon concept.

While I do have sympathy for the physical problems that influence her art,Kathyn's refusal to change lanes is not a good route to take for a competition like this. Hopefully,she's feeling better both in body and mind. Next week,we have a double elimination and the theme is pop art-I sense a major Sucklord moment coming!

Season two of The Walking Dead got things rolling with Rick and his remaining friends heading to Fort Benning to find some sort of answer.

They were forced to make a stop on a clogged highway in order to make repairs and during a zombie march,young Sophia was chased into the woods by a pair of flesh eaters.

Rick saved her but in doing so,the little girl got lost and a search party was mounted up. Personal tension arose along the way,with Shane wanting to head off on his own and Andrea thinking about doing the same. She suggested that they join forces,which may or may not lead to a romance there.

Judging by this clip from next Sunday's episode,more members of this group may be parting ways yet I would remind these folks that safety in numbers is your best option when it comes to fighting off zombies:


GRIMM: The second of two series this year with a fairy tale theme debuts next week and I still say it appears to be the one that lasts the longest. The show has some sense of humor about the fantastical proceedings the hero has to deal with and laughs do come in handy there:

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