Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Season of the Spit Take

Foam Kills
First, a few highlights from the Thanksgiving Episode:

Sexy Pants beats out Starbuck to win the Soup Is Good Food Quickfire, and gets to choose her team for the Elimination Challenge with White Asparagus Soup that she hates. She picks everyone who has won anything and Crabman for Team Sexy Pants.

The Elimination challenge is to use a copy of their concert rider as a guide and make Thanksgiving dinner for the Foo Fighters. Winners get front row seats to the concert, losers wash all the dishes.

Chutney makes Stuffing Vindaloo ...I kid, I kid. It is pretty much unanimous that her vegan stuffing is the best dish of the day. Of course it was. Everybody knows that stuffing is the best part of thanksgiving.

Luigi makes Pumpkin Tiramisu. I make gagging noises.

Team Jersey Girl's Workout Shorts is everyone who hasn't won anything.

Hair Product emerges as the leader of Team Jersey Girl's Workout Shorts, but once again, the talk is all about his organizational skills, and not so much about his cooking skills. None of his dishes are good and his Pumpkin Slime Avec Berries is singled out as one of the worst dishes on his team.

Faced with nothing but microwaves and toaster ovens to make Thanksgiving dinner for the Foo Fighters, Top Dishwasher busts out his mad MacGyver skills to make a grill out of bear skins and stone knives, or a chafing dish and some kind of rack, I forget which. His grilled pork nets praise and helps send his team into an early lead.

Jersey Girl's turkey is somewhat surprisingly the best dish for her team.

Bob (man, I wish I could think of a nickname for this guy) makes Banana S'mores with Vanilla Cat Spit.

In a close match, Team Sexy Pants pulls from behind to win in the Dessert Round. Team Jersey Girl's Workout Shorts goes down on the weakness of their foam-based desserts.

After the break, we find out that nobody on Team Sexy Pants can dance, and No Nickname Bob goes home with a tearful farewell, leaving Starbuck as the last member of Team Rainbow.

What have we learned? Put it on the board, kids: Foam is stupid.

Ready Now? Here We Go.
No Nickname Bob left sad notes for his buddies telling them that they should bring it, baby girl.

Let There Be Bacon
It's a breakfast amuse bouche challenge. I wonder if anyone will stuff an apple.

It comes down to Sexy Pants and Starbuck again, and again, Sexy Pants gets immunity largely because Starbuck didn't cut hers in half. Starbuck can't believe this crap. Maybe that thick layer of Big Top Pink lip gloss is throwing off her palate. She's wearing a lot for someone who isn't a clown, is what I'm saying.

How About Tomorrow Instead?
The challenge is to make a dish for presentation on a TV show within a very strict time limit (or not so much, you know, whatever).

Starbuck is up first, and holy crap, she can't cook eggs. She waffles on whether to break the rules by going over the time limit or to serve a very runny egg. She foolishly decides that rules count.

Chef Raddichio spits out the Mouse's Shrimp Napalm. Even Padma can't believe how flaming hot it is. Rocco (did I mention that Rocco DiSpirito is the guest judge? Consider it mentioned.) bluntly tells her that he doesn't believe she tasted it.

The top 3 are chosen right away. Luigi's Tuna Tartare is chosen. Apparently the judges are so giddy over his accent that they've forgotten how passe they think Tuna Tartare is. Somewhere the Veterans of Foreign Foods are mobilizing for a march on New York. Jersey Girl's Tomatoes, Feta, and Watermelon goes through. Tomatoes and feta is great. I can see watermelon and feta being tasty. Tomatoes and Watermelon? I'm not so sure about this one. The group is rounded out by Hair Product's Middle Eastern roll.

Because it is sooooo late they will put off judges table until tomorrow. Surprisingly, everyone seems to buy this.

Chef Radicchio wakes up the winners in the middle of the night, and whisks them off to 30 Rock to meet Tina Fey. Not really. Instead of getting a real prize, they have to prepare their food on the Today Show. They all avoid laughing when someone is introduced as the show's "food stylist."

The other contestants are woken up at a slightly less horrible hour, but they have to watch the Today Show, so it's kind of a wash.

Big Hair Lady spits out Hair Product's food, and somebody hates fish or something and Jersey Girl wins by default.

Doubleyou Tee Eff?
There's 10 minutes left, so hold on to your seats. There must be some huge twist coming up.

Oh, hey, look at that. The twist is that they run 8 straight minutes of commercials broken only by a 30-second segment that tells us that Sexy Pants and Crabman are an item. In the interest of good taste, I'll refrain from making crab jokes and instead reflect upon the fact that we now have an explanation for Crabman's spot in Team Sexy Pants last week despite his awful Canned Whatever The Hell Is In This Can Salad.

...on Team Sexy Pants, I mean. My bad.

When we come back from this interminable commercial break, I'm confused by the fact that I've apparently tuned into The Next Food Network Star by mistake. You didn't like Starbuck's body language? Seriously? What happened to "all about the food"? Hung was a complete jackass, and I don't recall that ever being brought up as a reason to kick his ass off the show.

And that brings us neatly to my biggest beef with the show. Bear with me. You've heard this before. If you're not going to enforce the rules of the challenge, there's no point actually giving the challenge. Give Starbuck an extra 30 seconds like you gave Sexy Pants, (How many of the other contestants ran over the time limit? I remember several still cooking after time was up who aren't in the loser's circle.) and she's in the top three instead of the bottom three. How are the contestants supposed to know when you're actually going to care about the terms of the challenge? Did she miss a memo, or did you just expect them to know that you were only joshing around with the time limit this time?

Fortunately, in the end, the judges realize that they're just being dicks by expecting Starbuck to follow the rules since they didn't really ask anyone else to, and The Mouse becomes the second contestant this season to advance after having a judge spit out their inedible food. (The third if you count Hair Product, but he was one of the winners in this episode. Take a moment to roll your eyes. I'll wait.)

That leaves Whatshisface with the failed Rose Creme Brulee as our victim du jour.

Next Week: "I thought she said thespian.": Bork's Secret Heartbreak


SouthernBelle said...

Yaaaaaaaay!!! Your Top Chef recaps rule! Also, your names for the food are brilliant! I LOLed at Banana S'mores with Vanilla Cat Spit and Shrimp Napalm.

I thought Pumpkin Tiramisu sounded vile, but I guess it must've tasted good. Therein is the downfall of this show - I want to taste everything so that *I* may judge!

PS - Get over to the Funny Gals blog and join my new game!

Dale said...

From now on, I plan to announce / introduce anything I cook (almost nothing) as Shrimp Napalm! Hilarious.

vikkitikkitavi said...

I was sorta hoping they would make Anthony Bourdain a Thanksgiving tradition. In season two, when the dinner starts to fall apart, Bourdain turns to Thanksgiving dinner host Tom and says "What kind of crackhouse are you running here, Colicchio?"

Best moment ever.

vikkitikkitavi said...

Oh, and am I the only one who thinks Carla bears an uncany resemblance to SideShow Bob?

GETkristiLOVE said...

I live for these posts.

I was so pissed that lame-o Jersey girl won with beefsteak tomatoes cut up pretty on a plate.

Anonymous said...

It was a toss up between the rainbow girl or Jersey girl, but I've made the decision that Jamie the rainbow girl is most definately the bitch this season.