Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Bunheads making whoopee,TAR's fight club mentality and the winner of Top Chef Seattle is....

For the second half of the tenth season finale on Top Chef Seattle, Kristen and Brooke faced each other in a cook-off before a live audience that included the judges along with the winners of the previous TC seasons.

 Each lady had her own sous chef pit crew. Kristen's consisted of Stefan,CJ and Kuniko while Brooke had Sheldon,Josh and Lizzie.

 I would have thought that Stefan would be on Kristen's team but they didn't show us how the teams were selected,so who knows? They had five rounds of cooking for 160 people and the winner would be the first person to get three out of five.

Kristen had a great start in Round One,with a chicken liver mousse that accompanied a frisee salad with mustard,prune and hazelnuts. Everyone loved the flavor combination(although Judge Gail wasn't too thrilled with the salad greens)and it was an easy one-two-three vote for her.

 Brooke's crispy pig ear salad was ,alas,too crispy. Thanks to CJ,who was clearly seen burning that key ingredient, the judges couldn't enjoy the rest of that dish as much as they wanted to.

Fortunately,Brooke was able to make up for that loss in Round Two with her seared scallop dish. It was served with salt cod,something that Emeril loves,and the black currant and mustard seed vinaigrette was a big hit as well.

 Kristen's scallop plate,with Meyer lemon and bitter orange,was also a crowd pleaser. The voting  was very tight for this round but in the end,Brooke managed to earn a much needed win.

Brooke then went for a redemption moment in Round Three,by making a better fried chicken than she did during that particular challenge. Her vadouvan chicken wings with a sumac yogurt tahini and pickled kohlrabi were a pleasant surprise but Judge Tom had doubts about how all of the elements meshed together.

 Kristen won this round with a celery root puree that had bone marrow and mushrooms. Despite a couple of complaints about the temperature of the food and how the mushrooms were cooked, she easily claimed victory.

With Kristen up by two,Round Four was crucial for Brooke to win. She paired pork cheeks with red snapper,which seemed like a truly satisfying combination there.

 However,Kristen's red snapper with tarragon,leeks and uni sealed the deal for her. She won for the third and final time,becoming the newest Top Chef champion.

Congratulations,Kristen! You are a winner in more ways than one and best wishes for your fabulous future. Brooke,don't feel too bad,you did your best and would have made an excellent addition to the TC winners circle.

It was actually nice to see two good people in the prime of their careers competing with such positive spirit and good sportsmanship. Thank you,ladies,for making this competition a feast for the soul as well.

Too bad the same can't be said on other shows. On The Amazing Race,Jessica and John were called upon to honor their agreement regarding the second Express Pass by father-son team David and Connor.

 According to the pact,David and Connor were supposed to get the pass but John and Jessica insisted that it was more important not to let everyone in on their deal. They invoked a "Fight Club" clause,claiming that if their alliance was exposed,the contract was null and void. First of all,that condition was never brought up during the pact and/or agreed to by all parties involved. As Judge Judy would say,you can not unilaterally alter a contract,verbal or otherwise.

Second,the real reason that Jessica and John want to hold off on handing the pass over until they have to is to get the rest of the teams  to suck up to them. So not cool,plus there is no reason not to hand over the pass to David and Connor while still keeping the alliance under wraps. Those two just bought themselves a bucket load of bad karma,if you ask me:

 Meanwhile,twin brothers Indries and Jamil(who came up with the Express Pass pact in the first place)wound up going home.With one of the guys being held back by his fear of water,their chances were pretty slim to begin with but at least they finished this leg of the race without giving up,a strong point in their favor:

Bunheads had their "winter finale" this week,with Michelle taking another shot at Broadway with an audition and the girls considering making sex ed more than just a classroom assignment. Despite all of Sasha's determination to drag her friends into that arena with her,it turned out to be Ginny who went solo on this mission.

 There's talk that the show might not continue,which would be a real shame at this narrative point. Many interesting plot developments and new characters,such as Truly's uber bossy sister Millie(played by GG alumna Liza Weil) have been introduced,along with some more character development and to end the series now would deprive the growing number of viewers of a proper conclusion

 Come on,ABC Family,don't give up on these girls now. This may not be the ratings grabber that Pretty Little Liars is but the time and talent on display here is well worth the long term entertainment investment:


GAME OF THRONES: Season three starts near the end of March and while I won't spoil anything for those who haven't read the books,I must say two words- Red Wedding. Keep an ear and eye out for that,that's all I am going to give up,folks:

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I agree, Bunheads deserves at least a second season. It has a pretty strong cult following online and that last episode was fantastic. I hope it returns.