Friday, May 20, 2011

"I didn't have an affair with Elvis, I had an hour with Elvis."

So this is super late! My apologies! Suffice it to say it’s been a bit of a rough evening/day/evening/morning. But also, this weeks’ ep was rough.
Kinda corn and expected and just plain yawny.
You be the judge…
When the Masters get to the kitchen they find blindfolds, nose plugs and headphones. They’re gonna have to take a Delta Airlines flight?! Hey, I call it The Screaming Baby Express (some of you know what I’m talkin’ ‘bout, Congrats Stripes and Gbag! New parents up in this piece!) So, oh, hm, the Bravo producers jacked one of Gordon Ramsay’s challenges from Hell’s Kitchen-
The Quickfire Challenge
Identify 5 ingredients using one sense, 5 rounds, 1 minute per ingredient. The Master who identifies the least amount in each round is out. The last one gets 5k for their charity but, immunity is No Longer On The Table.
Yeah! Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. (Which makes me think of getting scrapes and bruises cause things that are nitty and gritty leave scars.)

First round- Taste!
Water chestnuts, Worcestershire sauce, cashews, papaya and mustard greens. Everything is in little glass bowls and they can’t use their fingers- awesome!
Floyd reveals (to Camera) he’s claustrophobic (how the hell does he work in little kitchens?), has a balance issue (whuuut?) and knows he won’t be able to do this.
Jesus, just leave now, Floyd.
Tough Traci gets Worcestershire all over her chef whites, Unibrow is concerned about his gag reflex. (Honey, I gag every time you’re on screen, consider this payback.)
When they take their blindfolds off, the trays are gone- oh snap they have to remember what they thought they tasted and write it down? -and Curtis is suddenly behind some sort of podium, game show-style. Hm…

Sweet Mary Sue gets one out of 5 but Floyd gets NONE! Out.
Next, Smell: epoisses cheese, hot sauce, root beer, rice vinegar and mayonnaise.
Tough Traci gets NONE! Out!
Touch: okra, gummy bears, Arborio rice, blackberries, chayote (a squash also known as a vegetable pear, from Mexico.) They get to feel but that’s it. Unibrow is the proud father of two hairy children so he gets the gummies right away. Naomi does not. She and Tio tie with the least so it’s Unibrow vs. Sweet Mary Sue in the Sound test!

Curtis obliges and they shout out an answer. Sadly there was no: “Yes, that’s the sound of me rubbing butter on my rock hard abs.” As I’d hoped.
Curtis pours milk over Rice Krispies…
Mary Sue: “Vinegar and soda.”
Unibrow: “Tapioca”
Unibrow yells out celery before Mary Sue when Curtis snaps a stalk, neither guesses potato chips when Curtis eats them (really?), Unibrow hears Curtis shucking an oyster and calls it and lastly he guesses that he was buttering toast.
They should have just had to touch and eat something like asparagus steamed and chopped with Jello and then when they open their eyes they find out it’s in a bread bowl shaped like a nose! Gourmet boogies! Ewwwwww!

Elimination Challenge
Top Chef Masters is hosting a date night. To tell us more here’s Chris Aagaard.

Who the hell is Chris? Well, he’s going to propose to his gf of four years and the Masters have to make a six course meal, each Chef responsible for one, for 21 couples plus the Critics, inspired by a seminal moment in he and his girlfriend, Victoria’s history.
Okay seriously, who the hell is Chris?
How did he get this opportunity?
Oooooh. I just Googled. He’s a producer. He made a bunch of shorts and then something called TEENAGE DIRTBAG that, unfortunately, was not about Chris Brown.

Chris sits with the nonplussed Masters (Naomi was really the only one who said congratulations when he announced he was going to propose) and passes around photos. Floyd is particularly blah about it.

Unibrow says it’s a big PDA moment and he’s not into PDA (or shaving) but that’s okay because he loves to cook. Chris tells them time stopped when he and Victoria kissed for the first time.
Yawn. Let’s hope Chris is a better producer than he is a writer.
He recalls a moment they walked down the street and saw a marquee for Paris, je t'aime and she said: ‘…that means I love you’ and he bought her a bracelet that said, yep. Je t'aime.
Unibrow: “This is poignant, and makes me throw up in my mouth.”
I half agree. It’s poignant to Chris but it’s really corn village. This is reality TV Bravo- we want the racecar driver who, ironically was almost hit by a car while crossing the street. The driver of the car? His fiancé? See what I’m saying?
More sleep inducing revelations: his gf made salmon and fooled him into thinking it was chicken (???) they’ve never had shellfish, they like beer and pretzels and that’s fun. Tio thinks it’s fun too. She just woke up according to her hair.

Floyd decides to make things exciting since he almost went home last time. Sweet Mary Sue gives Unibrow the idea to do onion rings that look like bracelets. Zzzzzzzzz.

Shopping 30 Minutes - $200
Sweet Mary Sue gets mussels and clams even though Chris has never had them. Tough Traci decides to do dessert -not her forte. Tio is making…a pretzel. Man if she doesn’t go home I’m going home.
In the kitchen everyone gets to reminiscing about their relationships. Unibrow met his wife before his eyebrows met.

Mary Sue ended up marrying her business partner’s ex- husband. Scandalous! Oh, apparently her partner encouraged it. HOLD UP! Tough Traci is having equipment problems! Her scale is off by 3 ounces! She starts over. Why did she choose desserts anyway? She wanted a challenge or somethi-


2.5 hours to prep!
Tough Traci cuts the velvet cupcakes she was going to make and just goes for the apple galette.
Sweet Mary Sue cuts… off the tip of her thumb. How bad is it?

Apparently she’s throwing the tip of her thumb into the garbage here.
The amazing part is her reaction: “Oh darn it. Darn it.” I want this woman with me when I rob a bank. Btw you did not read what I just typed. Some of you will be our alibis.

In the interest of the proposal, Chris and Victoria’s mother’s come in and watch their kids on the close circuit TV. Let’s hope there’s no ‘under-the-table-follies’! Then here come the Critics- Curtis sits with Gail who looks gorgeous (stylist- Winning!)

and The Barber is with the other Gael, former TCM Critic and hat wearing broad who banged Elvis Presley, Gael Greene, ya’ll.

Let’s call her The Hat!

Floyd’s kama sutra black pepper shrimp with watermelon, lime and mint is beautiful! The Barber: “Look at how the shrimp are entwined.” Someone wants to make it a three-some! The Hat almost hates tearing the spooning shrimp apart. The Barber says he’s feeling amorous toward The Hat because of the heat in the dish. Curtis notes everyone going for their water and wine and we get a quick product placement of a wine label that reads QuickFire, Top Chef wines. (Uh huh.) Gail, of course, thinks there’s nothing wrong with going for wine.

Tio’s soft pretzel with pale ale cheese sauce, frisee salad with mustard vinaigrette looks….like a pretzel with salad. Soon-to-be-proposed-to Victoria is in “heaven.” The Barber calls it junior high romance compared to Floyd’s college romance. What’s the difference? They both involve cheap beer, hickeys and having someone’s hand smell like a condom.

In the kitchen, Unibrow and Floyd tell Mary Sue to plate before her time runs out: “Mary Sue!” “What are you doing?!” “You better start plating!” and she snaps back: “I’m going!!!” Mary Sue is not sweet when she’s being rushed and stressed and missing part of her thumb! Her seafood stew with mussels and clams Portuguese style with sausages and wine broth has one big crouton that The Hat pronounces: “Crew-tun” and says is too crunchy for a romantic dinner. Yeah well it’s too hot for that hat, Hat.

Naomi asks everyone to help her plate and is concerned about how rustic her plate is compared to Unibrow’s that comes after it. Her porcini-braised chicken thigh with sweet potatoes two ways was a show stealer and the happy couple loves it.

Unbrow directs the waiters like a flight attendant: “I will trip you on purpose.”
Why would you say that?
Do you speak to your children that way? I think I’m gonna call DSS and have them check.
His strip steak with broccoli, onion ring, celery root puree and bordelaise sauce is “focused and succinct.” The Barber chews on a piece of meat forevs though. The Hat:"...look at how you're chewing, this is not attractive, it's not seductive." The Barber stops chewing long enough to say he's heard about her affair with Elvis. The Hat: "I didn't have an affair with Elvis, I had an hour with Elvis."
Well dayum!
Apparently she was the only woman in the hotel room after a show and he took her hand and led her to the bedroom. On her way out he asked her to call room service and order a fried egg sandwich for him. (I am Not making that up.) She says that’s why she became a food writer. Delightful! The Hat is invited to my apartment for wasabi peas and red wine Anytime!

Traci’s pink lady apple galette with whipped crème fraiche and caramel sauce has Je t’aime written in chocolate across the plate and is…dry. Gail wants to be swept away by a dessert. Um, I don’t think there’s enough liquid in the galette for that. But hey there’s plenty of vino, drink up! When the Chris’ gf sees the plate with the word written across it she’s ecstatic. Chris feeds her but still doesn’t propose and she has no clue.

Then Curtis stands and thanks everyone for attending and introduces the chefs. Claps all around. He spins some crap speech about how every couple’s relationship is very special but there’s one couple that’s here for a very special reason.

Chris is crouching here people. He’s not THAT short. After he asks her the Bravo producers CUT TO their Moms, then the diners, then The Hat, the Masters, Victoria,

the ring, the Moms, their Mom’s hands, their Mom’s Mom’s hands, the dry gallette, the last can of Bud Dry, then the ring, then more diners, then Tom Colicchio at home watching the diners, then finally, back to Victoria who says: “Yes, of course” and crouches down and kisses him the way she will for the rest of her life because she’s a foot taller than him.

Then out come the Moms!
Then Curtis gives them a giant bottle of Chimney Rock Cab Sav and a 3-day 2-night stay at a vineyard.

Then they toast and kick them in their asses because that's what life will do them and it’s Critic’s Table Time!

They ask to see Naomi, Sweet Mary Sue and Floyd.
Unibrow asks Tough Traci and Tio if they thought they were in the bottom. TT says ‘No.’ Tio is blank.
The Critics…loved their dishes!
Floyd’s dish was sweet and fruity and spicy, Naomi’s crispy chicken skin was rustic and delicious and Sweet Mary Sue’s seafood stew had a ton of flavor.
The winner…Naomi! Again! Her total is up to 25k.
When they get back, Unibrow: “Well one of us is going home.”
That’s riiiiight, Uni!
Unibrow: “I assume they want to see all of us?”
OH just get your narrow a** in there already, sh*t!

The losers line up, Tio having been here many times barely explains herself when Gail says she wanted more of a correlation between the salad and the pretzel. She replies that she creates playful food and that’s what that was.
Um, that was something I wouldn’t have any choice but to eat that because I’m vegan. But it’s not an entrée.
Traci defends her gallette, The Barber says the pink lady is a dry apple and when Curtis asks if she’s surprised to be there TT says everyone had great dishes and (arms crossed) they’re “splitting hairs at his point.”
Gail shoots Curtis a look like- ‘ah, we’d jump all over that comment if this were Top Chef proper.
Will no one be contrite here?
Unibrow says the meat was “fine.” Hm, okay.
The Barber says his meat was chewy and The Hat says you shouldn’t having something chewy when you’re trying to seduce the guy across the table. True dat. Chewing doesn’t really work in a seduction situation. Don’t any of you dare Google chewing and s*x! Not that I did but don’t you do it! And I don’t want to hear about it either!

Then Uni says three people hit the nail on the head- the challenge was about hitting the six events in the couple’s life they listed and the three of them did that. “I felt like it was appealing to a relatively pedestrian crowd and I was gonna do that.”
Curtis: “So…do you cook down to people?”
Uni: “You gonna pay the bill? Yeah I’ll cook down to ya, anytime.”
Holy Crap!

When Naomi asks what happens and Tio and Tough Traci explain, Unibrow: “And you guys had such nice responses to them and I’m like…”

Unibrow: “Eff you. Whatever.”
Jesus. Imagine for a moment what occurs when Uni’s wife reminds him that he forgot to pay the water bill?

In the dining room, unbeknownst that she’s been given the bird, The Hat explains that Tio could have made a lobster pot pie with a pretzel puff top -Yum! Check out Hat! Gail said a salad and a pretzel on the side “is not something that’s gonna win our hearts.” Not necessary to add the ‘heart’ part, Gail, but I like the words “not” and “win” when used with Tio in a sentence.
Unibrow’s dish was called banal and Curtis didn’t like his attitude. Call his wife! I be she concurs! The Hat says Traci’s tart was missing something and could have had applesauce under the apple. This woman is No Joke. She can just pump out menu items at will!

Man now I’m torn! I wouldn’t mind Unibrow leaving but Tio has GOT to go, right?!
I mean a salad and pretzel? I love both but if I had to pay $12.95 for one at a restaurant I might steal the saltshaker just to compensate.

The chef…going home…is...
An appropriate end to a boring ep!
Curtis gives his usual: she’s “…a fabulous chef and she made some wonderful dishes” speech. The other chefs hugged her and pretended to care. Tio said she was there to serve a purpose for that moment in Chris and Victoria’s life. “If it doesn’t please the critics then it doesn’t please the critics.” It doesn’t. It doesn’t please anyone. Chris and Victoria will have many more incredible pretzels in their lives, Holmes. Don’t get it twisted. (Pun intended.)

Next week, hopefully a more exciting ep, at least it will be Tio-free! Let's see, the Masters cook for an edible science fair (yawn) and PADMA’S IN THE HOUSE! Whut!
(I’ll share where that particular ‘Whut” came from, it got me through a 17 hour day!)

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