Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Next Food Network Star - NBA Chocolate Challenge

Just when you thought Colombe was a hippy dippy airhead she turns out to be a stone cold beeyotch. Other than that and an uncharacteristically incompetent performance from Michael, everyone is true to form. Adrien is well competent; Amy is didactic; Paul is a big gay spaz;

At the NFNS apartments Adrien and Tom are missing thier families, particularly Adrien and Tom. Amy gives the totally cliched statement of doing it for her family.

We then go to the Food Network Kitchens where Guy Fieri walks in who is hosting and judging this week. I do wonder if Dan and Steve are resentful that Guy's Food Network career has taken off, while their's is stuck in the 8:00 am on a Sunday slot. Anyway, Guy then intoduces Darryl Dawkins, otherwise known as the Chocolate Thunder. This feels weirdly racist to me, but if Chocolate THunder is something he named himself, whatever. I'm also indifferent because i have no idea who Darryl Dawkins is. The first challenge is to make a chocolate dish, savory or sweet. Guy also says that two competitors wil lbe leaving this week. Much F4 ensues. Paul saves Tom's ass by telling him not to let his chocolate seize. Rory sets another dishtowl on fire. JAG is making something complicated with a wine reduction. BTW, has anyone seen the articles about JAG embellishing his resume? It appears he never reached the level of Corporal in the Army and then he never graduated from cooking school. His "defense" is that he never actually LIED he just let the Food Network assume things about his resume. If he's in the final two, please do not vote for him. Colombe spends a lot of time looking for cinnamon where Paul saves Tom's ass again by handing him the cayenne. They then have 30 seconds to present their dish on camera with a requirement to give a tip. And seeing the judges lined up, Bob Tuschmann is really tiny. Shorter than me and I am not tall in the least.

Chocolate Challenge:

Paul - Makes a chocoalte in Phyllo thingy with a whimsical presentation. He's actually farily on it and not annoying. His tip is to use flicks of a whisk to decorate with chocolate. Not a great tip but otherwise a decent performance (for a change!). The judges love the dish.

Tom - He makes a cocoa encrusted pork tenderloin with roasted squash and a banana ravioli. In other hads i think this would be a magnificent plate, i ntommy's it just feels off. Also off is his performance which is kind of inert. He also has 7 seconds left when he's done.

Rory - She makes a chocolate mousse. In a bit of brilliance, she gives her ti at the beginning, saying that body builders eat dark chocolate for strength. Her mousse looks grainy.

Josh - Makes a Mexican style tempura with a mole. It looks good. He seems a little less mean but I'm still not feeling him. And probably never will.

Adrien - Finally they bring up the fact that he hosts a local cooking show. He makes pork tenderloin with a dark chocoalte barbeque sauce. I find his plating to be kind of bleh but otherwise he's really got the Tyler thing going on. The judges can't taste the chocolate.

Amy - Like Paul she makes a chocoalte thing ina phyllo cup. Her voice is so measured and yes she does talk about French Food. She blathers on and doesn't get ot her tip. I am really surprised noone is taking the Rory route and giving their tip first. The dish is great.

Colombe - She wants to come across more authoratative but she comes off as bizaarely perky. She makes inedible chocoalte-brioche French toast sandwiches. She tip is that chocolate isn't sinful. That's so not a tip.

Michael - Does way too much ass kissing to Darryl Dawkins and makes a cardinal sin of calling him the chocolate passion and not chocolate thunder. He seems to forget this is an on-camera challenge and just talks to the judges. His dish is a s'more. Guy is pissed.

The next challenge is to please fans by making food in a cart. Darryl says this is just like the NBA where you have to keep the fans happy. I totally call bullshit in this by saying two words - Kobe Bryant. 'Nuff said. Back to the competition, they havet o serve their food at a New Jersey Nets game. This is exactly like the food cart challenged in th first season of Top Chef.

At the market, much chaos ensues. Then it comes to THE INCIDENT. In the checkout line, Colombe finds a bag of food that isn't hers. It's fairy clear that Paul was in front of her so it's his. Also clear is that Paul is still in the market. A simple, "hey Paul don' forget your bag" would have been enough. But she lets the bag sit at the store. At the kitchens more F4 and then Paul discovers that he's missing a bag. I will say this - Paul does just move on and seasons his beef as opposed to dwelling on the lost bag. Colombe lies like a dog and says she never saw a bag. Adrien is supportive of Paul and lets Paul borrow some of his BBQ sauce. Colombe is already pissing Guy and the world off by making "all natural" nachos using canned cheese and bought tortilla chips The only thing she is making is the pico de gallo. JAG is making a chili dog in a pita. And Adrien is making bacon wrapped mushrooms with BBQ sauce. That doesn't sound like much cooking to me. Amy is making a chicken quesadilla with mango bites.

Back at the apartment, we witness THE THROWDOWN to THE INCIDENT. Amy calls Colombe out on her treachery saying "if I saw a spare bag, I would have held it up and said, 'Anyone lose a bag?" YES!!! While Amy is totally superior and schoolmarmish about it, she's also totally right. Colombe responds in confessional by saying "Amy is good at doing the right thing all the time."

At the nets arena more and more F4. Paul is losing his battle to not spaz out. Colombe is now pissing Rory off by continuing to open the heated holding area. She stands by the holding area so that Colombe doesn't keep opening it. Because Colombe really didn't cook anything, she helps Paul with his dish which earns her brownie point with Paul. In a portentous moment Guy tells the contestants they have 9 minutes till showtime and to put their smiles on and their food up to temperature.

The crowd streams in. JAG and Michael shine in the customer service and friendliness department. Rory earns a lot of hatred from me by saying she's wearning a pushup bra to get the guys. The ladies can go screw themselves. Guy walks by Paul's cart and tests the temperature of his burger. It is well below the 140 degrees necessary to be sanitary. This feels like some Food Network drama because Guy could have tested BEFORE the meat went on the cart. Paul is scrambling even more. The selection comittee stands by Paul's cart waiting for a burger. Ok so here's how it shakes out:

Paul - Hawaiian beef burger with grilled pineapple. IS TOTALLY ANNOYING TO THE JUDGES!!!! he even does a hula. HAAATE!!!

Colombe - Dear god what a mess. It's her sad ass nachos. THe panel zings her on Sandra Leeing her dish with all of the brought crap. She's still so stoned.

JAG - Chili dog pita. Gets much props by making nachos WITH HIS OWN THREE CHEESE QUESO!!! Hmm....who doesn't that resemble.

Tom - Making ginormous meatballs that really can't be eaten in a stadium. He seems depressed.

Rory - Bringing the rock in a big way. The judges smarkily notice the rack. They aren't happy. And yes these are the people who put Giada in Paradise on the air. If you didn't notice she makde cheesesteaks.

Adrien - BBQ bacon wrapped mushrooms. Once again seems competent and engaging.

Michael - I think he hits it out of the ball park (not to mix metaphors) with this one He makes shrimp versions of lobster rolls. He says that it's for folks who don't want heavy food. It also seems very portable.

At judging, JAG wins the chocolate challenge and Adrien wins the cart challenge. They are sent upstairs. The judges hate Michael's focusing on the jduges and not the camera at the chocolate challenge but really had a good performance at the NBA challenge. Bob says that a Food Network star should be strong in EVERY episode. To which I call bullshit on because have you seen the early episodes of Everyday Italian? Giada is stiff and awkward. Colombe is called out for her bad cooking and her lack of knowledge of food. Amy is criticized by her fast talking on the chcolate challenge. They also ask her about the appropriateness of her dish in the NBA challenge. Amy responds by sayin that in San Diego her dish would have been appropriate. That's silly because quesadillas are everywhere. The judges are tired of Rory setting things on fire. The judges are also wondering why Tommy seems to be retreating into himself. Tommy responds by saying he is missing his family. This is a reality show. You will be away from your family. The judges actually love Paul's food. They hate his frenetic energy. He complains about being a short order cook ecuase he had to cook his burgers again.

The bottom three are Colombe, Paul, and Tom. Colombe is asked to leave and she stalks off the set with a perfunctory goodbye. Paul is put out of his misery and is sent home. Unlike Colombe everyone is really sad at Tommy departure. Big group hug for Tommy (sans Colombe). Tommy will never leave his family again and Adrien is really sad that Tommy is leaving.


Stef said...

I loved that the judges gave Paul the specific advice not to "spin out" - which he didn't understand, and then he whirly-gigged out of the room like a total spaz, and they said after he left, "That's spinning out!" :-)

Adrien is my tv boyfriend.

VARD said...

Would everyone PLEASE stop crying?? Enough already! Haven't been overly impressed with any contestant, especially now that I've seen everyone get mopey and full of self-pity. Blech.