Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, February 02, 2012

Top Chef TX has a big Alamo adventure,The Vampire Diaries return yet again and a sad day for Downton Abbey

The special guest star on Top Chef Texas this week was Pee-Wee Herman,who rode in on his infamous bike to set up the Quickfire Challenge. The chefs had to make an innovative pancake plate for Pee-Wee and the winner of this round would get five grand for their trouble.

Despite Pee-Wee's insistence that every dish was "the best pancake I ever ate",they did select one person as the winner and that honor went to Ed. I have to admit,even though he annoys me at times,his pancake tidbits with fruit concept was the smart way to go.

For the Elimination Challenge,the Final Five had to cook a family style lunch for Pee-Wee and the judges at the Alamo. The catch was that they had to ride bikes(similar to P.W.'s)over to the Alamo and shop for food along the way.

They also had to find restaurants on their route that would grant them cooking space in their kitchens and only one person at a time could use that place. This lead to a lot of hectic antics and with the oppressive heat in Texas,stunts like this are a bit much for the chefs to handle,in my opinion.

Since Pee-Wee had told the chefs that chicken was a favorite of his,most of the food prepared for the Alamo lunch had that bird on the plate. Ed originally planned to make shrimp but couldn't find any during his limited shopping time.

The chicken and grits with red eye gravy that he made went over well for the most part,yet the meat was on the verge of being undercooked. I thought for a moment that he might get shipped home for this technical error.

Meanwhile,Lindsey took the win here for her stuffed zucchini that had beef cheeks,rice and goat cheese. Pee-wee loved how the zucchini looked like a boat to showcase the stuffing although Judge Gail found the goat cheese to be too much.

Sadly,my girl Grayson was asked to pack her knives and go. The biggest complaint about her chicken stuffed with egg yolk,Gorgonzola and spinach was the size of the protein on the plate and Judge Tom was irked by the fresh salad that accompanied the butternut squash.

He kept saying that tomatoes and squash don't go with each other and while that may be true,undercooked chicken(even on a low level)is much worse to me. On the bright side,Grayson has a shot in Last Chance Kitchen where she'll duke it out with Beverly. Again,another hard choice-I wish both of them could come back!

Next week,we'll find out who gets to return to the competition(it turns out that none of the competitors knew about LCK in advance)and even if you watch the attached video below,you won't know until the new episode,I promise:

The war took a terrible toll on Downton Abbey this week,as both Matthew and William were crucially injured on the battlefield. Matthew was the one with the better chance of survival but the price he pays for that is being wheelchair bound and possibly unable to have children.

Poor William was not long for this world and it was gratifying to see so many people do what they could to give him comfort in his final days. An extra note of kudos must be given to Dowager Countess Violet,for her take-no-prisoners approach to getting him transferred to Downton and then making sure his last wish to marry Daisy went off without a hitch.

Countess Violet may be a very opinionated woman but she does know when and where to wield her considerable influence for the benefit of those who really need it. She is not one to be gainsaid,even by the vicar:

I do have to say that Daisy's hesitation in this matter was getting on my nerves for awhile there. For goodness sake, girl,this adorable young man only wants to give you what he can(in the form of a widow's pension)before he enters the hereafter and all you can worry about is not being truthful with your feelings?

Yes,Mrs. Patmore was a little too pushy in encouraging your engagement but William truly loved you and finding a man like that,even on his last legs,is a blessing that some people would sell their souls for!*sigh*Perhaps I should be more charitable in my regard;after all,Daisy did do the right thing in the end and seemed to appreciate what she and everyone else lost as William passed away peacefully.

The turmoil doesn't seem to end,as next week's episode brings more bad news below and above stairs, along with a very unexpected visitor that could upturn the whole household:

After another brief break,The Vampire Diaries are back tonight with Damon and newly revived Elijah teaming up to set up a truce between Klaus and Stefan. Guess having a brother on a destructive streak is enough to make two unlikely fellas work together for the greater good.

Stefan will be stubborn about this,as no doubt Klaus will be,and things will probably get a whole lot worse before a hint of getting better comes along. However,I do like seeing Damon in take charge mode:


DON CORNELIUS: The creator of the 1970s ground breaking musical forum,Soul Train,died earlier this week at the age of 75.

Soul Train holds the distinction of being the longest running show in syndication,lasting from 1971 to 2006,with Mr. Cornelius stepping down as host back in 1993. Not only did ST give many R&B artists a strong mainstream platform to showcase their music upon,it was a welcome alternative/companion to American Bandstand for many viewers out there.

Despite the personal demons that lead Don Cornelius to his untimely demise,it is best to remember the joy that his work brought to others. May he rest in peace and dance The Soul Train line wherever he may be:

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