Monday, June 30, 2008

The Mole: 6/30/08

In the pre-action confessionals, Craig worries that he almost died, Nicole bemoans the fact that everyone she pegs as the Mole gets booted (I know the feeling), Clay thinks that Jesus would want him to win, and Paul thinks that he is smarter than everyone else.

Moving onto the challenge, Craig is worried because it is so cold out, and he is recovering from hypothermia. They are at a train station which was a holding area for prisoners, and they were chained together. Of course this means that the contestants are chained together, by their ankles, to steel bars. The object is to free themselves from the chains, and there is only enough slack for one person to move forward at a time. A key door opens every 10 minutes and if a person grabs a key, they can free themselves, eat, and sleep comfortably. If everyone is free by dawn, $25,000 will be added to the pot. The catch (and there is always a catch) is that there is an exemption card next to the key, and if anyone takes it, no money will be added to the pot, and anyone who is not unchained at the time the card is grabbed will have to sleep in the chains.

Here's the thing. If the Mole took the exemption, it might just be too obvious.

Craig is the first to promise to take the key, because he is worried about his health. Mark says that he doesn't trust anyone. Clay had a hard time deciding to step back and give Craig the slack he needed. Craig does get the key and goes in to the warmth. Clay keeps having serious trust issues. Kristin wants to go in next, and Mark feels defensive. Kristin claims to be worried that she is going to get pneumonia. Alex seems willing to trust people. Kristin is finally given slack to get to the window, and she grabs the key. Paul swears on his daughter that he will take the key. In his confessional, he says that you shouldn't trust anything he says. He reaches for the card, but takes the key instead. Alex and Mark and Clay are feeling completely on edge and won't trust anyone. Everyone wants Mark to go next, but Mark doesn't want to go next, even saying that he can't trust himself. Clay decided to go, and the coalition with Mark is faltering. Clay took the key. Nicole got her slack next, and she took the key. Alex decided to go next, and he took the key. Then it is up to Mark to take the exemption or the key. Alex called it an Evil Exemption. Mark is still bitter about the loss of his notebook, and he is moping a little too much about it. He finally entered the dining room, but before telling them if he took the exemption, he wanted to know what they were all talking about while he was gone. He did NOT take the exemption, and I am happy. Many are surprised.

The pot is now $177,000.

Clay brought up the point that the Mole wouldn't need the exemption.

As a present, Mr. Host Man gave everyone fresh new journals. Mark acted as if you had just returned his puppy dog. They are heading out of the Andes, into Mendoza, and it looks gorgeous.

On the way to Mendoza, they do some exchanging of information for their journals. Paul doesn't want to give up anything. Mark is still moping. Clay thinks they should share. Paul says that because Paul is a criminal lawyer, he is hypocritical because he is religious. Sticky ground there. Paul is really annoying. Craig worries that the game is bringing out the worst in people. Craig left the van with Mark and Paul and Clay and went into the other van. Paul tried to boot Clay from the van, and Clay tossed the lemon at Paul and ended up moving, too, then he asked Kristin to move into Paul's van. Seemed to cause harmony, and road singing, to be restored. Van Two is Paul Free. Perhaps not the most inspired lyrics, but Paul was being pretty obnoxious, so I don't blame them for their song.

The next morning, they have breakfast, and Mr. Host Man asks if Craig is feeling any better, with the better climate. In answer, Craig has a hacking coughing fit, and says his health might be exemption worthy. Paul says that the fact that he got to keep his original journal should be enough for him. Mr. Host Man says that they are going to be letting off some steam, and Nicole, a little too eagerly, asks if they are going to get to shoot things. Paul is quick to say "maybe something, not somebody!" Was he worried?

Time for the second challenge. It's called Travelers. They are going to be split in teams of two, and using different forms of transportation, they have 45 minutes to reach a statue. Each team to get there will add $10,000. The twist is, there is one person leftover. The first person who said "Exemption" at breakfast (Which is Craig) is the Transportation Captain. He gets to choose the teams and the mode of transportation. If no one reaches the statue, he'd get exemption, but no money will go into the pot.

Craig takes off with Mr. Host Man to pick out transportation. Craig is going for the exemption.

Alex has to dress up like a conquistador and has to lead a donkey, which he cannot ride. Mark will go with Alex and has to wear scuba gear, which he dubs "insulting."

Clay will be riding a unicycle, with Kristin on stilts.

There is a llama costume, and Nicole is going to be the head, and Paul is going to be the llama's rear end. Nicole is more than pissed about it. Mark started complaining bitterly about it, and said that he wouldn't even try. Alex suited up in his conquistador costume, but everyone else opted out. They all drive to the monument, and Kristin and Paul and Mark claim that it was a collective decision. Craig wonders if Mark's repeated opting out indicates him as the Mole. I would tend to agree. Mark is my current pick. Easy as that, Craig picks up an exemption.

At dinner, Craig apologized for being kind of ruthless in his transportation picks, but he is still happy to have the exemption. Others agree that they would have gone for the exemption in his place, but they claim that they would have done it in a different way. I'm not so sure. Nicole stands by the decision to opt out, saying it's not that much money, and calling the potential $30,000 added to the pot a paltry sum. Alex (in confesssional) says maybe for some, but he's a musician, and that's a lot of money. I'm on his side. Then Nicole said that Craig has zero scruples. In confessional, Craig calls Nicole a psychopath, and is worried that he is surrounded by crazy people.

Mr. Host Man asks how people are doing without outside contact. Mark says that he hasn't gone a day in 19 years without speaking to his wife, and now it's been 23 days. That's rough. Paul says that he has resorted to talking to a lemon. If this was Survivor, Probst would trot out loved ones. Alas, it's not.

Quiz Time!

  1. Is the Mole Male or Female?
  2. In the All-for-One mission, according to Mr. Host Man's perspective, where was the Mole chained, from left to right?
  3. In All-for-One, when did the Mole grab the key?
  4. Did the Mole get inside of a sleeping bag during the All-for-One mission?
  5. In Travelers, what was the Mole wearing?
  6. In Travelers, what form of transportation was the Mole assigned to?
  7. Who was the Mole paired with in the Travelers mission?
  8. At breakfast before Travelers, where was the Mole sitting, clockwise to Mr. Host Man?
  9. Has the Mole had an exemption to date?
  10. Who is the Mole?
(At this point, I am not even going to venture to guess concretely)

There is another tie, like last week. The difference in time is 1 second, and the slower person will be eliminated.

Alex is safe, followed by Paul, and then Kristin is eliminated. I know some people had her pegged as The Mole, and I guess they are wrong. Nicole looked stunned and at a loss for words. Nicole is the last woman, and says it's ironic, because she's an OB/Gyn and deals with women exclusively.

Next week is a recap show, with unseen footage, and then a new episode.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Next Food Network Star: 6/29/08

(I want to apologize for the late blog - weird weather caused interruptions in the satellite last night, so I recorded the late show)

knows that he is in trouble... first it was raw food, then it was too much slapstick. Lisa thinks the only thing she needs to work on is her on camera persona. She's got that right, because right now, her on camera persona is not friends with me.

It's challenge time. Chef Car Cora enters to explain the picnic like baskets on the tables to the perplexed contestants. It is all about descriptions. They have 30 minutes to create an original dish with the six ingredients in their basket, and then they have to describe their dish on camera.

Here's what's in their baskets.

Lisa: Udon noodles, beets, ginger, chicken, lemon, scallions.
Jennifer: Basil, Swiss chard, prosciutto, pork tenderloin, mango, almonds
Kelsey: Cod, Saffron, blood orange, fennel, polenta, onions
Shane: Avocado, habenero, flank steak, anchovy, cumin, garlic
Adam: Napa Cabbage, turkey, mushrooms, cilantro, heirloom tomatoes, gala apples
Aaron: Strawberries, white chocolate, pound cake, dark chocolate, coconut chips, cinnamon

They all seemed to do a pretty good job with the cooking. Then comes a twist. They have to describe other people's dishes! They will have 90 seconds to taste the dish, and then describe it.
Kelsey gets to describe Shane's dish, and she uses the words "burst of flavor," twice, and she didn't say what was in it, and gets a lovely surprise of habenero when she thought it was citrus. Cat Cora said that she didn't say why the flavors were so good, and that was a problem. When the camera stopped rolling, Kelsey downed a glass of water. Yup, that's habenero for you.
Shane's up next with Kelsey's dish. He did a good job figuring out what was in the dish, and he did a good job visualizing everything.

Time for Adam's chance with Aaron's dish. He keeps talking about the perfect bite, but I think he missed a lot of the ingredients. He also shoved a lot of food into his mouth right when he was supposed to be wrapping up. Not strong.

Aaron didn't introduce himself and seemed pretty tentative on camera. He took a long time contemplating the dish and not talking. Not good. Cat told him he had to think on his feet.

Lisa squints her way through describing Jennifer's dish, and I couldn't concentrate on what she was saying because of her giant pearls. She did a pretty good job describing the dish. Cat thought she seemed a little false.
Jennifer had a really hard time with Lisa's dish, and couldn't tell what anything was. She kept saying "and what is this over here?" She thought the udon noodles were linguine, and she didn't say anything of substance.

Shane ended up winning the challenge, and I think that was an earned win.

The second challenge of the show has a prize of getting the winning recipe featured in Bon Appetit. They have to make a 45 minute simpler version of a complex dish.

The choices are Beef Wellington, Coq au vin, and Turducken. They will work in the same duos that they had for the first challenge. They also have to make side dishes.

Shane gets to pick first, with Kelsey. Kelsey is delighted when Shane chooses Beef Wellington.

Adam and Aaron get the coq au vin, and Lisa and Jennifer get the Turducken. Neither are really happy about the choices made for them. They will be serving the editors and staff of Bon Appetit.

They have 30 minutes to go shopping for their ingredients.

Aaron and Adam's Coq au vin redo is up first. Adam's side dish was the polenta, and Aaron's was the pasta. Aaron was really nervous with Adam's idea to use bone-in chicken breast, and Aaron ended up winning out because the bone-in stuff wouldn't cook. They also had issues with their polenta being "gluey," and Aaron was unhappy with the plating, thinking it looked really sloppy. Adam was kind of funny during presentation when he said "Coq au vin brings up so many memories... the first time I had it was about 10 minutes ago." Aaron was not feeling proud of the dish, and was feeling nervous. He admitted that the sloppy plating of the pasta with the pasta hanging over the edge of the bowl was a mistake. The judges thought that the chicken was ok, but the polenta was a bad idea, and they were hoping for some more stew-like components.

Lisa and Jen's Turducken redux is a turkey medallion, with a pre-roasted chicken as a part of stuffing, and duck sausage. Jennifer is making acorn squash side dish, and Lisa is making roasted green beans. Lisa had one piece of duck confit, and it was roasting along with Jennifer's squash, and then Jennifer broke a big bottle of apricot juice all over the grill and everything had to get thrown out. Lisa thought that the turkey was a little bland, so she tried to make a highly seasoned sauce (or velote, if you prefer. Lisa does), but Jennifer didn't like it, and thought it was too herby, saying it tasted like she had just eaten a hunk of tree, and they don't use it. Lisa is really disappointed by that. During the presentation, Jennifer spent a lot of time apologizing for the lack of squash and duck confit, and said that the velote was not good, so it wasn't served.

Shane and Kelsey do their best with the beef wellington redo. Shane is doing creamed pearl onions, and Kelsey is making roasted veggies, and Kelsey is a whirlwind around the kitchen. They had the nicest looking plates in the group, and I would be most likely to eat their dishes! They did the absolute best presentation, too. How did it taste? The Bon Appetit crew had a problem with the plating, but the flavors seemed ok. The selection committee liked the way that Kelsey can answer questions thrown at her, but wish that she would stop saying how little experience she has. I would tend to agree.

It's evaluation time! Everyone is nervous. Kelsey was criticized for her descriptive skills about Shane's dish in the first challenge. Bob told her she needed to up her authority and stop talking about culinary school. Aside from the slightly unappealing look, their No-Nightmare Beef Wellington was really well received.

Jennifer was again warned that she was not knowledgeable enough about the food she was trying to describe, and the fact that she messed up with the second challenge was a problem. The judges said that they were going to be reminding Lisa that she needs to be more human (instead of vulcan).

Aaron got dinged for his inability to taste and talk at the same time, and though their chicken was yummy, they had almost no connection to Coq au Vin. Adam is told that his polenta was ridiculously unappealing, and he is really just there because of his personality. Aaron is told that he is self-editing in presentation, and that is his biggest problem, because he hasn't really shown himself.

In the end, Shane and Kelsey's Beef Wellington won the challenge, and I was not surprised by that. They are both safe, and I think that's proper.

Lisa is safe because of her skills and expertise. It's not her personality. Aaron is safe with a warning that he has to bring more of himself to camera. Adam is told that he is on super thin ice on a culinary standpoint, and Jennifer is told that her lack of some level of expertise is really a problem, and she is heading home. I think it is the time for her to go. I like her personality, but she just had a hard time showing that she can cook. Adam needs to step up the cooking, and tone down the buffoonery, and maybe he can get somewhere.

Next week's got Rachel Ray, and I like her, even though I know many do not. Looking forward to it!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Yeah, I'll be watching this

Teaser from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog on Vimeo.

Not sure when it's coming, but it's coming to an internet near you... I love Joss Whedon, Neil Patrick Harris, and Nathan Fillon. How can it go wrong???

Thursday, June 26, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance - Results 6/26/08

The intro group number was messed up. Made me wonder if it was another Shane Sparks. They all looked like they were in Nightmare Before Christmas. Mark looked mighty evil and as if he was having a great time. He plays characters really well.

Ok, it was a Mia Michaels routine. Not surprised by that one, either.

Cat's dress looks like it's on upside down by mistake. The ruffles are threatening to eat her neck. It's disconcerting.

After a super de duper quick change (is this show live? If so, I am impressed with the speed make-up people), Thayne and Chelsea T. are deservedly in the bottom 3. Katee's half dress and Joshua's tight pants are safe. Mark and Chelsea's routine last night took my breath away, and I am so pleased that they are also safe.

Kherrington and Twitch are the first ones in the next group who are safe. Joy! Courtney and Gev will dance another week, with no solos tonight. Comfort and Chris were not hard hitting enough for the music last night, at least for the judges (looking back, I think Chris especially needed a lot more oomph), and they are in the bottom 3.

The final group is Kourtni and Matt, and Jessica and Will. The only thing I could find wrong with Kourtni and Matt last night was the questionable wardrobe... you'd think they could have dressed them more like superheros, wouldn't you? Will could do better with another partner, though it did look like he nearly dropped Jessica once or twice... Kourtni and Matt are in the bottom 3, and I don't think they deserved it at all. Jessica needs to be in the Bottom 3, because I don't think that she is bringing her all to the stage. Nigel gave Matt a little acting lesson, putting on a few pretty good different accents, and I hope that Matt got the point.

The guest performers tonight are a dance crew that includes Ryan, Dominic, and Hok from previous seasons. Hok is still amazing. I didn't see Dominic or Ryan until after, but there were a lot of strobe lights. It was a pretty awesome routine with crazy break dance moves.

Solo time!

Chelsea Trail spun around a lot, and I guess she was good, but I still can't get behind her. She didn't wow me.

Thayne had a lot more feeling in his dance, and he had some amazing leaping splits. I liked his solo more than I expected to.

Comfort brought a lot of cool moves to her solo, and I felt her more than I felt Chelsea.

Chris was pretty good, but he doesn't really do it for me.

Kourtni had a really spunky solo, and I want her to stay.

Matt moves in such a fluid manner, and I really thought his solo was cool and unique. And he danced to Jason Mraz, who I think is pretty neat, too. So I have hope for him.

After the solos, I say Chris and Chelsea T. are going home.

Jordan Sparks is up to perform while the judges are off deliberating, and she looks very prom ready in a hot pink dress with a bright orange waistband. I guess that's a look. The shape is good for her, but I think it's this close to taffeta. She had little extensions in her hair that matched her dress. How... interesting. Oh right, she was singing. She's good. She is not my favorite, because she sounds like so many other singers out there now, but she is good. (I was a Blake Lewis fan... I still want his cd, even though I read someplace that he has been dropped by his label. Boo on that)

Nigel wasted no time dismissing Chelsea, and I was right on at least one of my predictions. I wasn't sold on her dancing, and I don't like listening to her talk (is that awful? I find her voice really annoying). Matt was applauded for his solo tonight, and I am thrilled. I also thought it was genius. Chris is eliminated, and I am 2 for 2!!!

Can't wait to see how Thayne and Comfort dance together next week.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance - 6/25/08

I think one problem I have this season is that there are so many contemporary dancers, it's really hard to keep them separate in my mind. I'm sure they will individualize themselves as the weeks go on, but there are so many contemporary dancers! Anyone else find that strange this season?

Joining Nigel and Mary this week is Adam Shapman. Mary is really sparkly tonight, but at least her chest is covered. Cat looks gorgeous, with very big hair and a doily inspired dress. Adam just finished filming Adam Sandler's new Christmas movie, and Lacey and Travis from previous seasons are in it. Neat. Mary says that the pack is tight this year, and it is hard to tell who is going to be booted next. Then she tried to puncture poor Adam's eardrums by letting out a shriek. Nigel once danced with Cyd Charise, who sadly died this week, and urges everyone to go rent some of her movies, and I agree.

Twitch and Kherrington (Hip hop, choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon) Kherrington says that Twitch sounds like a bear when he lets out a good laugh, and Kherrington is apparently a shopaholic. He beseeches America to stop her from buying more shoes if they see her in the store. The routine today is a "prison break." Like some of the other non-hip hop gals, Kherrington finds herself grinning some of the time, but she managed to get other expressions in there, too. It was a cute routine, and they are just so darned likable. Nigel said that they are both brilliant dancers, and captivating, and he loved the choreography, with a good entertaining story, and he thought it was danced brilliantly. He could think of nothing negative to say. Mary looks like a chandelier broke on her and she just decided to go with it. She wasn't sure about the outfits, but it worked. She yelled that they were good, and then let out a very loud and obnoxious screech. WHY does she do that? Adam is left slightly frightened of Mary, and she cackled at his fear. Adam encouraged Twitch to work with Kherrington with strong hits if they get hip hop again, and thinks that they did a beautiful job. He urged Kherrington to be sure to stay in character. I agree.

Courtney and Gev (Rhumba, choreographed by Tony Meridith and Meridith) Courtney said that Gev looked like a little girl when he was younger, and Gev lets us know that Courtney is in school to be a special ed teacher. They were kind of uncomfortable with the grabbiness of the routine, with Gev groping Courtney's butt and thighs. The very beginning of the routine is a lift with Courtney sliding down Gev, and it was kind of a rough slide. The middle bit was pretty good, but the routine seemed kind of slow. The end was also a little rough when Gev had to lower her to the ground, but it was solid. Maybe I just don't love Rhumba. Nigel thought it was great and they felt the passion. He said that Gev reminded him of Dominic from last season a little. He applauds that the wardrobe budget could only spring for half a dress for Courtney, and I agree, she looks hot. Mary loved it, and applauded the spiral turn, and didn't see what I saw in the shakey slide in the beginning. Adam says that Mary looks like a pretty disco ball, which is a nicer way of saying what I said earlier. He loved the routine, and suggested that Gev needs to be more careful with his hand extensions, and Courtney needs to watch her leg extensions. He is harassed for being long-winded, but I actually really like his constructive criticism. More than Mary's cackling!

Comfort and Chris (Jazz, choreographed by Tyce Diorio) Chris is a big food moocher, apparently, and Comfort was in a beauty pageant when she was younger. Tyce calls this routine grounded and Earthy, with an African influence, and there are sheets as props. Chris is hoping for a Mary scream. Please no. The routine was set to Marylin Manson's The Beautiful People, and it was fascinating. The sheets were not overused, and the two of them danced wonderfully together. I really enjoyed the whole thing. I would say it succeeded in being Earthy and down and dirty. Nigel wanted more with the sheets, and didn't love the whole thing. He thought there was power missing, and thought that the beat was not sold by Chris. He wanted everything stronger, bigger, and more animalistic. Mary agreed, and wanted it more wild, and did not scream. At least there's that. Adam said it demanded more performance because there were not a lot of tricks. He wanted to feel the music moving through them, but felt they were more moving to the music. Hmm. I liked it more than they did, but I can see where they were coming from.

Jessica and Will (Disco, choreographed by Doriana Sanchez) Jessica's nickname is apparently Ariel because of the Little Mermaid. Will is an absolute gentleman, and Jessica appreciates that. Doriana thought that Jessica was fooling around too much in rehearsal, and that's not good. The routine was fun and they did a great job of being in sync. Some of the lifts were just gorgeous, and Will got to do a grand flipping sequence at the end. Nigel thought that they danced very well, with a couple really wrong bits. At the end when Will held Jessica in a split, he dropped his hand, and she was a good partner and dropped her hand, too, and they said that was good partnering, even though it wasn't right. Mary applauded the personality, and thought that Jessica should be proud of herself. Then she shrieked. Ugh. Adam thought they were very good, but doesn't think that Jessica is as sure of herself as she should be. He called Will scary-good.

Kourtni Lind and Matt (Contemporary, choreographed by Sonya Tayeh) Kourtni has a tatoo on the back of her neck that says "... and so she would dance." Matt has a ninja mask that he likes to wear. She's confused as to the reason for it. Matt defends it as an accessory. The routine is about two comic book characters flirting with each other, and it is supposed to be really playful. Could be good. It was almost hip hop-ish, and it was a lot of fun. Nigel loved how quirky it was, and he thought that dancers would understand it a bit more than the general public. He still wants Matt to relax a little. Mary shrieked that she is buying whatever weird stuff Sonya was selling. She applauded the synchronized leaps. Adam let Matt know that the ninja mask thing is just weird. He loved their control and hated poor Kourtni's outfit, and worried that wardrobe was going to poison him. He wanted Matt to dig in a little more.

Chelsea and Thayne (Quickstep, choreographed by Heather Smith) Thayne apparently wants to be a fashion designer, and likes to make wardrobe choices for Chelsea, and he makes some of his own shirts. Chelsea is a flower thief. Heather used a hula hoop to try to get them in the proper frame. Chelsea looks gorgeous tonight in a shimmery purpley dress, and Thayne looked really elegant, too. It seemed to be a good quickstep, in my eyes, though Thayne had a big smile plastered on his face the whole time. It looked weird. Well danced, in my untrained opinion. Nigel thought it was a little too bouncy, and wanted them to have more fun. Nigel thought they could have had the smiles drawn over them, and that was exactly what I saw. He did think it was better than he thought it was going to be. Mary admitted it is a really difficult dance, and loved their outfits. Their entrance was good, but missed the substance of it. She felt it fell short of a lot of previous quicksteps on the show, and I agree. She thought that Chelsea let Thayne down a little. Chelsea is officially off the Hot Tamale Train, and Thayne is holding on by a string. Adam said they didn't look comfortable, and didn't look in their element, and urged them to make sure the audience never sees that they are not comfortable. I agree.

Mark and Chelsea H (Hip hop, choreographed by Napoleon and Tabitha) Mark's pinkies are crooked, and Chelsea is a tomboy off stage. The story of the routine is about a workaholic and his girlfriend. Both the dancers like having characters for their routines. I do believe this is the first time I have ever seen hip hop done in a suit, and it was wonderful. They are both good actors. It was fantastic. Nigel is loving Napoleon and Tabitha and is really pleased with Mark and Chelsea. Mary thought it was believable and really emotional. Adam let out his own scream, with a fist pump, and it was way less annoying than Mary. He likes the "lyrical hip hop." He loved that he saw the feeling in their eyes, and he called them the couple to beat. I think I agree.

Katee and Joshua (Samba, choreographed by Tony Meridith and Melony) Katee wants America to know that Joshua is a softy, and Joshua wants America to know that Katee screams like a boy. Joshua is terrified and Katee is feeling a little shy. Katee got the other half of Courtney's dress, in a different color. The footwork was good, but I wasn't feeling the hips or the chemistry so much. Maybe I was wrong. Nigel thought it was sexy, and also noticed that Katee got the other half of Courtney's dress, and thought that Joshua has a fantastic samba rhythm and applauded the cut of his pants, which showed off his impressive backside. Nigel saw chemistry that I didn't see tonight. Mary cackled about how hot it was, and gave them high marks on everything, and welcomed them to the hot tamale train, with two first class tickets. Maybe I should go back and watch the routine again. I thought that Chelsea and Mark were much hotter. Adam said that they ended the show geniusly, and made sure that Katee knows that she is hot.

My faves for the night were Kherrington and Twitch, Chelsea and Mark, and Kourtni and Matt. Chelsea and Mark are absolutely on top for me for their performance tonight. I want to rewatch and rewatch and rewatch. That's saying a lot, because I don't normally like hip hop. I think it's the lyrical hip hop I can get behind.

Katee and Joshua are in the middle for me, along with Jessica and Will.

In the Bottom Three? I think Courtney and Gev could be in trouble, and though I liked them, Comfort and Chris. Chelsea and Thayne are in danger, and I can see them going home.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hell's Kitchen: 6/24/08

It's the final 3, and no more Jen! You can't see me, but I'm doing a Happy Dance.

The final three are also pretty happy to be there, without Jen, and would rather lose to each other than to Jen. I agree.

Before the challenge, Corey's mom and boyfriend come in, then Christina's parents, and Petrozza's father and girlfriend. They get to eat Ramsey's signature dish with their loved ones, and then (unbeknownst to them), they have to recreate the dish. Christina is the only one who thinks about the possible twist, and spends some time deconstructing the dish. Petrozza blubbered.

Off to the kitchen with them!

For meats, Corey decided that it was filet of buffalo, Christina chose venison strip loin. Petrozza also chose buffalo, then tasted again and went back and chose the venison like Christina.

All chefs chose pancetta, carrots, onions, cabbage, and parsley, and Christina was also looking for white bean puree, but couldn't find them at first. She looked again and found them way at the top.

For the puree, Christina is doing the white bean puree, Corey is doing potato parsnip, and Petrozza seems to be doing nothing.

All chefs are making a red wine reduction, though Corey added some raspberry framboise.

Corey was right about the framboise and the cream in the cabbage, which Christina's mom thought was in it, and she didn't listen to him. Unfortunately, Corey's meat choice was wrong. Christina won the challenge, with a close second to Petrozza because he skipped the puree. The losers have to be on bar duty, including hand crushing ice. Christina and Ramsey are dining out for a three course meal and a double decker tour. As a surprise, her parents are going with them.

While they are chipping away at ice, Corey pretended that the ice was Jen a few times to get the anger out. Petrozza got some critique from Jean-Philippe about the glassware polishing, and had to redo some. Poor guy.

For the dinner service, each contestant will take a turn running the hotplate. Ramsey wants to find out if anyone can run the kitchen as well as they can cook. Each gets some assertiveness training from Ramsey before getting his chance. Petrozza seemed to do a good job at his training, didn't lose it, but seemed uncomfortable. Christina started off, according to Ramsey, sounding like a cheerleader, but got better when he got her second chance. Corey was way too nice her first time, said that she isn't a good actress. We'll see how she does when it's real.

Ramsey started out running it, and the chefs got the appetizers out well. The sous chefs are also working in the kitchen, and also doing sabotage to try to trip up the contestants.

Petrozza is up first, and does ok, but then he missed that the risotto was lacking peas. Christina had a problem with overcooking scallops, then overcooking salmon, then undercooking salmon. At least Petrozza caught those problems. Christina was really hoping for a trouble free service, but her hopes were dashed. Then she missed the prawn with the John Dorey, then she dropped her pan. Petrozza's chance at the hotplate was done, and he did well.

Corey is up second at the pass, and could not read the handwriting, and there was a missing entree that she didn't catch. She was good at keeping people communicating, and then Chef Scott did some sabotage and sent up the wrong sauce, and she didn't catch it until after she sauced the wellington. She was sent back to her station.

It is Christina's turn, and it is her chance to redeem herself. She admitted that she kind of enjoyed yelling at her team. She must have been doing a good job because Chef Scott said that he wanted to kick her ass. Corey found her voice annoying. She spotted the sabotage of basil instead of mint in the mashed potatoes, and that was a good job.

All three chefs got together to finish the desserts up, and we actually got to see them making the desserts. They finish service and felt good.

Ramsey wastes no time in reminding them that even though they did well overall, someone has to go home. Corey ran her section well, but her skills at the pass were horrible. Christina was great at the pass but a mess at her station. Petrozza was sloppy at the pass in the beginning. Each of them has to nominate one person to go. This is a tough decision for them all, because they are all friends and respect each other in the kitchen.

Corey nominated Christina. Christina nominated Corey. Petrozza nominated Christina.

Petrozza is the first one safe, and joining him in the final two is Christina. I think she deserved it. She was so much stronger at the pass than Corey, which is a huge important skill. This actually ought to be a decent final. Next week is the Hell's Kitchen version of Restaurant Wars. Jen AND Matt are both back as sous chefs in the final. Wonder who will get stuck with each of them.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Mole: 6/23/08

My pick for the Mole got booted last week, so now I am not sure anymore. Losing both Ali and Bobby in one week threw some people for a loop. Craig was feeling lost without Bobby, and Nicole thought Bobby was the Mole, so she is back to square one. Victoria only trusted Bobby, so she doesn't know what to think now.

The players travel from Chile to the Andes in Argentina. It is beautiful scenery. Paul debuted Lemonhead, the Mole Mascot. Not sure about that, either. They are at 7200 feet altitude. Craig was a fish out of water because he is used to warm weather.

They are split into two teams of 4: Selfish, and Selfless.

In the Selfish Group are Nicole, Victoria, Clay, and Kristen

In the Selfless Group are Paul, Alex, Craig, and Mark.

The Mission is called Midas Rush. They have 200 gold bricks, at 5 lbs each. In homage to the Incas, they have to carry as many bricks as possible to the top of the 10,000 foot mountain. Each brick could be $250, for a possible total of $50,000. The teams need to get to the top together, and the first team to reach the top gets exemption. For the whole team. Clay decided to only put 5 bricks in his bag, even though he could have taken more, because he wants to make it to the top quickly.

As the Selfish Group heads out, they take 23 total bricks, for $5,750. The selfish group grabbed $9300 worth of bricks, 38.

Nicole complains about hiking, claiming that she only "hikes" to Bloomingdales. She got really fatigued early, and said that she wants to throw suspision on herself, and it works. Craig and Pail also struggle.

Halfway up, Mr. Host Man shows up saying that they have to grab a 10 or 20 lb scale, and they grab the 10 lb one. This is also in homage to the Incas. Mark ended up leaving some gold behind, which was an iffy decision. The Selfish Team trudged along well, and the SelflessTeam had some issues with poor Craig, and Mark's hand was falling asleep from holding the scale.

The Selfish Team got to the top with 23 bricks and they got an exemption. The Selfless team made it with about 30 seconds to spare. Their total is 57 bricks, with $14,250. There is always a "but" for the exemption. They have to decide who gets it, because only one person is going to, and if they can't decide, they forfeit the exemption, and all the money. Luckily, they come together and choose Clay, even though Kristen really wanted it and she kind of gave in.

The grand total is now $143, 250 in the pot.

Craig did a great job getting to the top of the mountain, but going back down, Craig got hypothermia. Yipes!! Ambulance was called, and he was taken away. The other players had no idea what was going on with him. He ended up being released on the condition he stayed warm and rested. He also had altitude sickness. Poor guy.

Alex and Victoria seem to have a little coalition going on. Mark claims not to be obsessive about his journal, but he is totally obsessive about his journal. He's kind of smart though, and is working it through like a giant logic puzzle.

At dinner, Mr. Host Man asks how vital their journals are. Lots of people said that they were vital, with Paul saying he could give it or take it, and Mr. Host Man takes all the journals and leaves the contestants (minus Craig, who skipped dinner because the drs were worried about a relapse) to eat dinner in shock.

After a break, Mr. Host Man returns, with journals in tow. He wrote down a few favorite comments, with a Mission in mind "Who Said That." He first rounded the pot up to $144,000. Each correct answer of Who Said That will give $2000 more to the pot.

Victoria: Who said at dinner, Victoria drank a lot? She guessed Mark, and was correct.
Clay: Who said "Very quiet, cool guy, I like his eyes? He guessed Kristen, and was correct.
Paul: Who said they are hoping this time, it will end out right. He guessed Nicole and was wrong.
Kristin: Who said that Mission One was the stupidest thing anyone ever did for money? She guessed Nicole, and was right
Alex: Who said you are taking control? He guessed Mark and was wrong.
Mark: Who said This is to easy, mispelling too? He guessed Paul and was right.
Nicole: Who wrote Nicole is here for fame? She tried to opt out, saying she had no idea, then she guessed Paul. She gave an option to fess up and get $2000, and Victoria guessed right.

However, Nicole was coughing and blinking and Mr. Host Man said it was a signal and took away $2000.

She is looking more and more like the mole, but she is doing it on purpose, I think.

Dessert is served, and it's creme brulee. After dessert, they are going for a drive, ending up at a little barrel fire. Someone can give up their journal. Alex and Paul are willing. Alex said he was willing to give his up, and then Mr. Host Man had him gather up everyone else's journal, and put them on a table, which he then set flame to. Mark is really pissed. I think he was about to cry, and then he went MIA after going off to sulk for a bit. They finally found him, still sulking, about how sadistic the whole thing was.

The next day, they have dinner, then the quiz without their journals. Craig joins them, and Mark is pissy because Craig got to keep his journal. Mr. Host Man says it's a possible advantage to make up for the disadvantage of missing the observations from the night before.

And it's quiz time:
1. Is the Mole Male or Female?
2. In the "Midas Rush" Mission, what color pants was the Mole wearing? (Blue or Black)
3. In the "Midas Rush," did the Mole's team decide who got exemption?
4. How many gold bars did the Mole's team carry to the finish?
5. At the end of Midas rush, from Mr. Host Man's perspective, where was the Mole standing, from left to right?
6. To date, has the Mole received an exemption?
7. During the Who Said that Mission, was the Mole's answer disqualified?
8. Was the Mole's journal burnt?
9. During "Who Said that, did the Mole confess to having written a comment about another player?
10. Who is the Mole?

There is a tie on the quiz, which means that the slowest time will be eliminated, and it is a 5 second difference.

Victoria is executed tonight, and I am sad about that, because I liked her. A lot of other people seemed to think she was the Mole.

Next week looks like some more diva behavior from Nicole is on the way, and Pail is going to freak out some more. It's going to be fun!

Who do you think is The Mole?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Next Food Network Star: 6/22/08

Tonight's show starts with Tyler Florence's entrance into the studio, and the contestants have to do a technique video in 60 seconds on a cooking skill. The best one will be on the homepage. Cool. They will have basically no prep time for their technique, because their items are hidden and revealed right before their time starts. Can they think on their feet?

Adam has to break down an artichoke. He was funny, and managed to get some tips across, but Tyler thought he was a bit sloppy and not expert-looking. I agree. But he is good on camera.

Aaron is next, and has to demonstrate cutting up a pineapple. He spend a long time showing how to save the top for a garnish. Ummmmm. He should have kept that for the end, if he had time. He had a hard time speaking and cutting simultaneously. That's a problem.

Kelsey has to french a rack of lamb. She attempted to keep her energy down, because of her previous problems being too crazy. She didn't get done the whole thing, but she was a little more subdued, and Tyler liked her.

Shane's task is to open a coconut, and he completely failed. He made one hole and no juice came out. Ooops.

Nipa is baffled about how to clean a squid, and she told Tyler that she had no idea, and he said "fake it." She did, and was completely horrible. She was laughing on camera, when she said that she was going to clean a squid, and Tyler said he likes her hook of being a Mid-Western Indian girl, but she didn't take charge and she didn't have authority over the challenge. I agree whole-heartedly.

Lisa made a comment about how she needs to make friends with the camera, and calls it a "cold machine." See? They already have something in common, making friends shouldn't be that tough! She has to truss a chicken for her challenge. She threw in her "beautifully basic" catch phrase. Tyler told her she was not engaging with the camera. I agree.

Jennifer has to shuck oysters. She said "I'm going to attempt to show you" how to shuck and oyster. She tried, but spend most of the time saying that she is sensitive to oysters and they make her sick. Oops. Tyler told her to stop apologizing. Jennifer had a little melt down, but got through it. Tyler talked her down some, and let her know that she had a great personality, and he wanted to like her.

The winner of the first challenge is Kelsey, and I think she deserved it. Tone it down a little, and I liked her a lot more.

The next challenge brings them a lot of fish, and Chef Michael Simon, from The Next Iron Chef (yes, I watched that one, too). The executive chef from Red Lobster came in, and announced that the winner will get their dish featured on the Red Lobster Fresh Fish menu. He said that they like to keep it simple, so the dish needs to showcase culinary expertise, and freshness, and be broadly appealing. Each person needed to pick one fish and make a dish. They need to do one dish for the Red Lobster menu, and then there was an "Iron Chef Challenge" where they had to use fluff, caramel, coffee beans, grape jelly, white chocolate, fruity cheerios, or cola with their fish. With the same fish.

Because she won the first challenge, Kelsey gets to choose first, and she picked white chocolate and tilapia. Hmmmm. I guess white chocolate could work somehow. It's a pretty mild flavor, so you might be able to do something with it.

Adam chose caramel, because he used to steal them as a child, and halibut.

Aaron chose the cola (which would have been one of my top choices) and cod.

Jennifer took the mahi mahi, and fruit cereal.

Lisa took Artic Char and the coffee beans, which would also have been one of my choices.

Shane took fluff and sole.

Nipa got trout and jelly, and she is flipping out about using fish, which she has never touched before. Ok, that's not good. The others also questioned her demeanor. I really want to like Nipa, but she's making it really hard to root for her.

Shane started by making a garlic parsley puree with the fluff.

Lisa decided to do tar tar, which I do NOT think is good for a wide audience base.

Kelsey's actually sounded really good. She was doing a white chocolate macadamia tilapia.

Nipa's fillet skills were ridiculous. Really bad.

Jennifer is using the fruit cereal to crust the fish.

Aaron had a problem with his grill not heating up enough, and he was really upset.

After their prep, they are all shuttled off to the sea port, where they have to feed 30 people. 30 coast guard men and women. Lisa is nervous about serving tartar for them. Maybe she should have thought of that when part of the challenge was "broadly appealing."

Each person has 35 minutes to finish up their dishes. Kelsey is up first, and she is worried about being endearing and not annoying. Her dishes sounded really yummy, and she was appealing. The judges liked it, and liked her personality.

Adam was chopping with two knives and it was insane. He then decided to trip on purpose to make an entrance, and his joke fell flat. He was really pathetic at his presentation. He didn't know what to do with himself when no one was laughing at him. The fish tasted too fishy to the judges, and it is called "miscooked, not well thought out," and also "a train wreck."

Jennifer is really nervous, because she tasted her fruity cereal fish and she thought it was too sweet. She then did the SAME THING again, and basically apologized for her dish before anyone tasted it. She realized what she had done as she left, but it was really unfortunate. No one commented on the taste of her dishes.

Coming up next is Nipa, and she is so completely out of her element, but she made a tandoori trout and a trout with grape jelly, cilantro, and mint, with raita. She then did a bollywood dance, which was just weird. She came across as trying too hard. Her fish, though a little overcooked, was basically tasty, which is good.

Lisa fell flat on her butt with a quart of sauce all over her head. That is why you don't wear $300 shirts and Pucci shoes in the kitchen. It's not lack of style, necessarily, but basic common sense. The arctic char tartar sounded dreadful, but she brought in her personal experience, because her brother is in Iraq, so it was important for her to serve the guard members. She was also kind of funny when she mentioned that she was "so enthusiastic" about her dish that she decided to wear the sauce, and if anybody wanted more sauce, she had extra. She did, however, miss the mark, according to the Red Lobster judge, with the tartar. Thought so.

Shane did a good presentation, and the judges appreciated his technique and his flavor.

Aaron was worried about his cod, and it was dry. He was unhappy with it, but worked with it as best he could. His presentation was really nice, but it was not good tasting. The judges wanted more personal story, which they have been missing from him.

It's evaluation time, and a few of the contestants are naturally nervous. Jennifer looked ready to apologize for apologizing, but then she would apologize for apologizing for apologizing. It can only go downhill from there. I hope that she has a better spin on it from that.

Lisa's camera friendliness was questioned, and her total lack of understanding of the challenge was also questioned. Presentationwise, though, Lisa should spill a quart of sauce on her head every day, because they loved seeing her look human.

Shane didn't do so hot in the technique challenge, but at least he was convincing. His dishes in the fishes challenge didn't sound so good, but they tasted great, so that was a good thing.

Adam's buffoonery in the technique challenge was good. In the second challenge, not so good. They called his crepe amazingly bad, and his fish really dry, and his presentation really shocking. Unless his show is going to be "Cooking with Kramer," the cute little entrances have got to stop.

Nipa was uncomfortable with the squid, and uncomfortable with fish. The judges said that she seemed disrespectful, and Chef Simon was offended by how she filleted the fish and threw most of it out. Her flavors were good, though.

Kelsey did much better today, and toned down the cheerleader. Her fish dishes were very impressive.

Aaron's problem with the pineapple top was questioned, and his cod looked pretty but was really disappointing. They want him to share more.

Jennifer's beer battered mahi-mahi was good, but her fruity cereal fish was really too sweet. Her apologizing is really a problem. She needs to look in the mirror every morning and say "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me." Maybe that would help.

The winner of the fish challenge is Kelsey. I think it is a good win for her. Interestingly, her white chocolate dish is the one that was chosen! I wish there was a Red Lobster in my area so I could try it!

Along with Kelsey, Lisa and Shane are safe.

Jennifer says that she has been insecure since she was a child, and she wants to improve. She'll get the chance and she is safe.

Aaron is also safe, even though it was a rough week for him. He said that his son ran away before he started the competition, and he wants to be able to express himself. That's so sad. I hope his son comes home.

It's down to Nipa and Adam. Nipa is gone this week, and I can only hope that some other Indian Cooking show comes up on the Food Network, because I really want to see it. Just not with Nipa. She even said taht she wasn't sure she ever really wanted to win it. Neither am I.

After the show ended, there was a little promo for Kelsey's Red Lobster dish, and I am less sure about her on tv when I saw that. She is cute, but I am not sure I would watch a whole show with her.

She's no Guy Fieri, that's for sure.

So I still don't know who I am rooting for. If Jennifer would stop apologizing, I would love her. Aaron has some great skills, but I need to see it. Shane could be a contender. Lisa is so .... Lisa, and I don't like her on my tv. Adam could be good if he tones it down some. Can't wait to see what next week brings.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance - Results Show 6/19/08

Will tonight be the night that Susie goes, or is she going to become the Sanjaya of SYTYCD this year? Time to find out. Well, after an hour or so of fluff. At least this fluff is mostly interesting.

It starts off with a Shane Sparks routine. Comfort got a nice little moment where she got to pop it with the guys, and she was definitely featured. It was a hot routine, and I am not even usually a fan of hip hop. Shane is fantastic.

Cat is dressed in a fab chartreuse dress tonight. It's a hard color to wear, and she carries it off brilliantly. Mia is dressed in gingham, and Mary looks like she is wearing a breastplate, but at least those suckers are covered after last nights' appearance.

Katee and Joshua find out their fate first, and they are deservedly safe. Twitchington gave me chills even on the recap, and they are safe. Chelsea and Thayne didn't get great comments last night, and didn't connect with voters, either. They are in the Bottom 3.

Chelsie and Mark's tango was pretty hot last night, and voters were feeling it, too. They are safe. Matt and Kourtni did a pretty fun fox trot last night, which I liked, and they are safe, so people must have agreed with me. Will and Jessica's hip hop was pretty uneven (at least on Jessica's part), but Will's "genius" must have driven people to vote, because they are safe, too. There was much rejoicing.

Susie and Marquis' salsa was rather lackluster, and they are happily in the bottom 3. Well, they weren't happy, but I sure am. Comfort and Chris krumped last night, but it wasn't as strong as it should have been, and they are in the bottom 3, too. Courtney and Gev were one of my favorites last night, and I am thrilled to see them safe.

I totally called the Bottom 3 couples (well, after an edit.. oops).

It's time for a flamenco routine from someone who I missed the name of, but he's auditioned for this show before. I love flamenco music, and the dancing is pretty hot, too. After that, there's the blatant Snuggle Product Placement Happy Dances.

Chelsea Trail's solo is up first. She did a pretty good solo, with lots of personality, and that was good.

Thayne is up next, and he has some pretty amazing extensions and leaps, including a backflip. We'll see if it was enough to keep him around.

Susie was up next, and she did a lot of throwing her pink-tinged hair around, but I still want more hip action from a salsa dancer! She can go.

Marquis followed her, and did some impressive moves, including a flip to a sitting forward bend. I think Susie is holding him back from reaching his potential.

Comfort got to do her thing next, and I hope that she doesn't go anywhere.

Chris' solo was kind of boring and lackluster. I think he is in trouble. the other two guys seemed to work their solos much more.

My in-the-moment prediction for leaving tonight are Susie and Chris. While the judges deliberate, Flowrider performed, and I fast forwarded, since I really don't like hip hop music. I can appreciate the dancing, but the music? Not usually.

Before delivering results, Nigel made a strange basketball analogy. His point was, whoever leaves tonight is still a good dancer. Chelsea is told that she needs to step it up, but she's safe for tonight. Susie didn't use the stage well in her solo. Nigel thinks that Comfort hit her stride during the Shane Sparks routine, and hopes that her injury gets better. Susie is gone. I am thrilled. Will she go back to teaching?

Thayne's personality, spirit, and potential are good. Marquis was called on being full of tricks and not so much dance. Chris has been asked to bring his personality to the dance, and the judges saw personality in his solo (I didn't really), and Marquis is going home. Not the worst decision, and the other couples stay intact for now.

I can't wait to see what next week brings!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance - 6/18/08

Cat's got a very fun dress on, with a fuzzy hem. Her legs are amazingly long. The judges tonight are Nigel, Mary, and Mia, fresh from a bleach job, looking slightly ridiculous. Mia claims that the season is going to be "benoodles." I wish she would stop making words up, and I would be really unhappy playing Scrabble with her, because she would keep insisting that her words were in fact words.

Thayne and Chelsea Trail (Jazz, choreographed by Mandy Moore) They appreciate the positivity of each other, but Thayne thinks Chelsea sleeps too much, and Chelsea thinks that Thayne is too superstitious. The jazz routine is based on a king and his forbidden love. Chelsea's voice is a little annoying to me. I found the routine really intriguing. I couldn't stop watching it. I did think that they both looked a little like court jesters instead of a king and his consort. It was neat. Mia hated it, saying that it wasn't executed well. He called Thayne a little dumpy. Mary also thought the chemistry was lacking. Nigel also thought it lacked believability, and also didn't like the costuming.

Mark and Chelsie Hightower (Argentine Tango, choreographed by Alex DeSilver) Mark likes the way Chelsea's hair smells, and Chelsea can appreciate Mark's quirkiness. Mark feels like Chelsea is a bit like a little sister, and Mark is a bit reserved for Chelsea. They feel weird in rehearsal getting up close and sexy, because they feel like brother and sister. Mark claims to be a dance carnivore, loving meaty dance. I thought their dance was sexy as all get out, and the "war with the feet" was very well played in my unprofessional opinion. Poor Chelsea got her pinky toe stuck outside of her shoe at some point, but Cat came to the rescue at the end. Mia loved the performance, calling them the most perfect odd couple, showing beauty and quirkiness. She said their dance was fantastical. Mary loved everything. Her strange top is almost Paula-like in it's absurdity. I think Mary is setting her sights on being the odd center judge. Anyhow, she thought the whole dance was on point. Then she shrieked and cackled. Nigel thought it was great, but thought that Chelsea should have made it a little sleazier. Ok.

Will and Jessica (Hip Hop, choreographed by Cicely & Olisa) Will loves Jessica's joy, and Jessica loves Will's focus, though sometimes he is too focused and internalized. Will doesn't like it when Jessica questions herself. They didn't like being in the bottom last week, and are hoping that the hip hop connects more with voters. I don't know that I believed Jessica as a hip hop dancer. They did a good job, but I thought she was too smooth. Mia thought that Jessica was kind of like a cheerleader, and I agree. She thought Will was a genius. Mary agreed with Mia, and called Jessica powder-puffy. Nigel actually thought that Jessica did a really good job, and thinks that Will ought to be in the top 4. Cat awkwardly said "Word, Nigel, Word," and that doesn't work at all.

Kourtni and Matt (Foxtrot, choreographed by Jean-Marc Genereaux) Matt likes that Kourtni is tall and beautiful and has great eyes you can get lost in. Kourtni likes that Matt compliments her, but doesn't like that he is tone deaf and loves to sing. Matt doesn't like that Kourtni doesn't appreciate his singing. I thought this was a fantastic routine, and Kourtni does the flapper look well. Matt looked like he could have stepped right out of The Great Gatsby. Mia thought it was great old Hollywood elegance. She loved Matt, but thought that the only time that Kourtni showed strength is when her leg is in the air, because she hasn't made peace with how tall she is. Mary loved the choreography and did some shrieking. She thought the dancing was a mixed bag, with some bad footwork. Nigel said that he was not at all disappointed, but thought that Matt was a bit soft in his arms, a bit "twee." He also thought that the performance was a bit fake, and wanted more honesty. He did enjoy the performance, though.

Courtney G. and Gev (Contemporary choreographed by Mandy Moore) Courtney likes that Gev is strong, and Gev likes that Courtney is pretty, but doesn't like that she has a boyfriend. Courtney doesn't like that Gev is short and they are about the same size when she's in heels. There were some awesome lifts in the routine, one right after another, and the emoting was fantastic. Mia thought that Courtney did a good job, but thought that she "jazzified" it, and wanted more melting. She loved Gev, though. Mary screamed, I winced. She loved it. Nigel thought they are a well balanced couple, but didn't believe the emotion in the routine, though it was danced well. Cat wants to put the tiny couple in her pocket.

Katee and Joshua (Broadway, choreographed by Tyce Diorio) Katee loves how caring Joshua is as a partner, and Joshua loves Katee's smile. Joshua is always nitpicking Katee, though, and Katee does an "awkward moment" dance, which Joshua claims not to like. Their dance last week still gives me chills. Joshua did an amazing back flip. Katee didn't seem as big in her moves as Joshua, and she had a big smile plastered on her face all the time. They got Nigel dancing in (and out of) his seat. He said he loved that it was straight entertainment. He called Katee a beautiful spirit. Mary let out a scream, and I want to muzzle her. Mia said that she thought it sucked, but she was just kidding, she agreed that it was amazing. She loved their connection and their spirit.

Susie and Marquis (Salsa, choreographed by Alex Desilver) Marquis appreciates Susie's addiction to energy drinks, and Susie likes that Marquis is a goofball, but thinks he eats too much before rehearsal and his breath smelled. Susie's hair smacks Marquis and he doesn't like that. Alex said that Susie was not really a salsa dancer, but just a street salsa dancer, and she was hurt by that. During the dance, she was still a little shaky on a handstand split hold move that she had issues with in rehearsal, but they had a really cool lift, and Susie can't move her hips like Heidi from a couple seasons ago, though. Heidi's hips amazed me. Mia loved the choreography, but didn't love the performance, and thought that Marquis was a little jell-o like. Susie was not quite where Mia wanted her to be. Mary said that it didn't work for her so much, and she expected more from Susie, and thought she was over thinking everything. Nigel said he wanted it to be firey, and it was not.

Kherrington and Twitch (Viennese Waltz, choreographed by Jean-Marc Genereaux) Twitch loves that Kherrington is really positive, and Kherrington is appreciative of how strong Twitch is. Kherrington's legs are too strong and hurt when they kick poor Twitch, and Twitch wears glasses with no lenses and that confuses Kherrington. The waltz is inspired by Jean-Marc's daughter with Rhett's Syndrome, and that's sad. The routine gave me shivers. THis is how to make a Waltz memorable. Twitch lifted Kherrington so high it was awe-inspiring. Twitch looked incredible, and Kherrington looked gorgeous. I got goose bumps all up and down my body. Mia was nearly moved to tears, but thought that Kherrington was smiling too much. Nigel defended Kherrington's smile, and called it elating and uplifting. Mia shot back that she wanted more reality and less smiles. Mia loved Twitch. Mary thought that Kherrington brought joy, adn Twitch was insane, in a good way, and she was near tears. Nigel called it a French-Canadian Viennese Waltz, and he loved it.

Comfort and Chris (Krump, choreographed by Lil'C) Comfort loves how humble Chris is. Chris loves how versatile Comfort it, but thinks that she talks too fast sometimes. Comfort doesn't like how much Chris sweats. Chris had a hard time being hard hitting in rehearsals. The camera work in the routine sucked, because it couldn't focus on anything, and it was hard to see anything. I also didn't like that the song had to be bleeped out for a good part of it. Comfort was amazin, but I still am not sure I believed Chris. He did improve, though. Mia sucks up the the choreographer yet again. She is a Comfort fan, too, and thought that Chris worked really hard and pulled it off. Mary cackled into her critique. She thought that Comfort could have hit it harder, and thought that Chris was respectable. Nigel thought that his granny is more gangsta than Chris, and then proceeded to grab his crotch awkwardly, then threw in a Hulk reference. He also expected more of Comfort.

It's over for the night, and my least faves were Marquis and Susie, Comfort and Chris, and Chelsea and Thayne. Again, I would love to see Susie gone.

My favorites were Chelsie and Mark, Twitch and Kherrington, and Courtney and Gev. The others are all in the middle for me.

There's going to be a Shane Sparks group routine tomorrow, and that is always fun.

Hell's Kitchen: 6/17/08

(Sorry I didn't get this blogged last night - I was out)

Christina is very upset that Jen is still around. Jen thinks it's because she's threatening. Not so much. It's because she's a total biotch. While they are all out for their smoke break, Jen said that she has no hard feelings and that she will be there if Christina needs her. I'll see that when I believe it. Corey is right with me, and thinks that Jen is entirely fake. I tend to agree.

Before the challenge, Ramsey says it's time for them to be truly tested. Everyone will come up with a dish and cook it for 80 customers, and these are no ordinary customers. Jen dreams of celebrities. I have a feeling it's going to be something entirely opposite of celebrities. Their votes will determine the winner of the challenge, so whoever it is, it's important. They have 1 hour to cook.

Christina decides to make and Island Turkey Sandwich, with avocado and heart of palm.

Corey is making a grilled salmon blt on brioche with a side of veggie chips.

Petrozza is making a monte cristo, with a little bit of a kick.

Jen is making grilled grouper with rum butter sauce and a mango salsa.

Corey had some troubles with her salmon, and had troubles skinning. Christina was calm and singing, and that made Corey nervous. Jen called Petrozza's sandwich a heart attack dipped in a stroke with a side of cardiac arrest. But it looks like it will taste good.

Corey had nothing plated when it was time to go, and that's not good at all. She was scattered.

The guests enter, and they are pregnant moms!! Yipes! At least no one had sushi on the menu! Corey bemoaned the lack of men she could flirt with, and had to go back and make more, leaving pregnant women waiting.

Petrozza made a good impression for being a dad. Jen was sure she was going to win because she had the most complicated dish.

Corey came in 4th, because she had a heck of a time getting her food out. Jen is shocked to come in third, and Petrozza came in second, but only by two votes! Christina won, and got a shopping trip to Beverly Hills, and over $1000 to spend. Jen claims to be more of a fashionista than Christina and would have been a better winner. Boo hoo.

The losers have to clean the dining room and polish everything. Corey also got bitter, telling Christina to not trip over her heels. Christina had Lisa Kline (owner of the boutique) as her personal shopper. Ramsey had fun watching Christina Pretty Woman it up, and had to have been happy that Petrozza didn't win. Corey and Jen were seething with jealousy, and no one talked to Christina when she came in to help prep. Don't they know that they have to work as a cohesive team to get food out of the kitchen? Petrozza is the first one to talk to her, and at least he recognizes that it's about teamwork. Before service, Ramsey gives them a pep talk - come together as a team, emerge as individuals.

Corey and Jen get off on the right foot with perfect scallops and "stunning" risotto. Didn't last long, and Jen's rice turned to mush before long, and she got called out by Ramsey. She fixed her mistake, but Chef said her inconsistancy proved that she was lazy. Christina managed to burn Ramsey's hand by putting a handle over the flame and not saying anything. She promised it wouldn't happen again, then it happened again. and Ramsey was not pleased. Jen did not start cooking eggs when she was asked to, because she was busy stirring risotto. One pan if risotto. Christina stepped in and cooked some, then when Ramsey asked Jen, she did it. Corey knowingly sent John Dorey that was not done to the pass, and they slid past Ramsey, but they got sent back by the table.

On a retry, she got it right. Petrozza sent out some good stuff, but then got in trouble for having a horribly dirty work area. He was still able to send out some stunning meat, and Ramsey said "I don't care if you work like a pig if you can serve meat like that." Funny.

It's a completed service in record time, which is how it should be when it's the top 4. Ramsey called it their best service. They have to come to a consensus of which two are going to be up for elimination.

Jen claims to feel like she has a heart. Petrozza doesn't buy it. To decide who's going up for elimination, they decided to write two people each, no repeats, to figure out who is going to be up. Christina got 3 votes, which means than someone (probably Jen) wrote her name twice, because Corey didn't put her down. That's just bad. I want Jen gone. She's sneaky and a liar.

Jen is put up first, and Corey offered to go up against Jen in hopes that she'd be stronger than Jen and get Jen cut. Ramsey started saying "Corey," and I was really upset, until he finished with "say goodbye to Jen," and Jen is gone. I did a little dance. Now I kind of like all of the top 3. Do I think they are the best top 3 ever? Absolutely not, but they are pretty good. Now that Matt and Jen are gone, it's less painful.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Mole: 6/16/08

Last week, it was pointing so blatantly to Bobby being the mole that I am sure this week he is going to be useful and physically fit.

In the post credit confessionals, Paul and Nicole got into it with each other again. It's ridiculous in a way. I don't like either of them. But a death threat? Paul is milking it for all it's worth, claiming to be unable to sleep.

Martin, Clay and Bobby have been working in a coalition, and sharing information to try to figure out who the mole is. That's interesting.

Ali brought the death threat up to Nicole, and she said it was all a tactic to get under his skin.

It's Challenge Time. They have to split into two groups of five - one group who can't trust anyone, and the other who trust blindly. The mission is called "Fruit of the Luge." One Can't trust player and one Trust Blindly player are paired in teams, to go on a luge. The Can't Trust person will be in front, controlling the speed with a hand brake. Oh, and with a blindfold on. The Trust Blindly player will be in back, calling directions. The Can't Trust people has to memorize 7 fruits grown in Chile, in order, and then the person who was blindfolded have to go to a fruit market and pick the fruit and place them in order. Each correct fruit is $2000.

The first team is Clay and Bobby, with Clay in front. Bobby called the avocado a pear, and luckily, Clay figured that out in the market, as there were no pears. He managed to get 5/7 right, adding $10,000 to the pot. If I were thinking strategically, Bobby as the Mole could have been sabotaging Clay calling the avocado a pear, and he also failed to mention the color of grapes, though there was only one color at the market.

Next is Paul in front, Ali in back. Paul also got 5/7. Another $10,000.

Victoria is in front of the next one, "engulfed" by Craig. They were talking at the finish line, and that was against the rules. Wonder if they will be called on it... they got 7/7, and $14,000.

Kristin and Mark also get 7/7 and add another $14,000 to the pot.

Alex and Nicole go last, and Nicole called green apple twice. That skewed everything and they only got 1/7. What the heck! That causes Nicole to be up in front in the "Who's the Mole" race.

They could have earned $50,000 for their efforts, but since Bobby and Clay and Victoria and Craig kept talking after the finish line, they are down to $26,000. That sucks.

The total pot is $89,000.

Mark and Clay are now wavering in their coalition with Bobby, and silently shut Bobby out of their alliance.

The next day, the players were told to dress up in their "Sunday Best." They have a spa day booked "because the game has been so tough," Mr. Host Man said, cryptically. They seemed to have fun, but still talked game. Kristin seems to suspect Nicole, then Alex. All the players got yummy looking massages, including a chocolate massage and a grape massage. There was a gratuitous vision of Craig with no shirt on getting his massage. Not sure we needed to see that.

In the sauna, Bobby chats with Mark, and he is sounding kooky. Enter Mr. Host Man, sneaky clothing thief, to present the next mission, to players stuck in their spa robes. That's just mean.

Mr. Host Man sent all the clothes out to get "cleaned and pressed," with only their shoes and underwear. The mission starts by splitting the group into two teams of three and two teams of two. There are dinner reservations at 6:30 at a fancy restaurant, and anyone who can make it there adds $5000 to the pot, and it's a little after 4 when the challenge starts. The contestants have to convince people on the street to give them dressy clothes. Men need button up shirts with collars and ties, and pants. Women need a "two piece top" and pants or a skirt. They can't wear their robes.

Anyone who doesn't have underwear on under their robes gets slick Mole Branded underwear. The guys get Mole briefs, and the women get Mole Sports bras and "booty shorts." Craig ogled the women. Clay chose to opt out, and is followed by Mark, who claim that "dignity is more important than money." Whatever. That's just not playing the game.

Bobby and Craig set out together, and Craig quips that they look like a Walking Impersonation of the number 10. I can totally see it. Bobby is bony skinny, and Craig is... not. Nicole went with them and was doing her diva thing. People deny giving them clothes left and right, though one woman wanted to feed Bobby.

Kristin, Ali, and Victoria were looking mighty sexy. Two of them have "hooker boots" on. They are surrounded by bus loads of "Catholic school boys."

Paul and Alex are the first ones to have luck, due mainly to Alex's mad Spanish skills. They get some shirts from cab drivers.

Bobby got a shirt, and then Nicole got a shirts, and a skirt, and an apron, and she was done. Nicely.

Ali, Kristin, and Victoria got a sweater, but it was looking dire.

Paul picked up a shirt along the way, and then got pants and a tie. Alex got some pants when Paul found a New Yorker with a spare pair of pants, and then he got a tie. They are the first ones to the restaurant.

Ali wanted to give up, and that made Victoria and Kristin question her motives. They soldiered on, and went on, and managed to charm some men out of pants, and then Victoria found a woman on her smoke break, who had three pairs of pants! They were in.

Craig, Bobby, and Nicole had more luck when they ran into a theatre group, and found the rest of an outfit for Bobby, and a shirt to fit Craig. Then, they stumbled upon the laundromat that their actual clothes were at, and Craig snagged his. The others changed into their original clothes as well. Hope that doesn't break any rules. They made it to the restaurant and brought all the clothes with them. Seems to be ok, and they earn $40,000. Clay and Mark stand outside the restaurant staring up longingly.

Turns out that the address to the laundromat was on the card of the restaurant, coded in Roman numerals. Sneaky.

They meet at another restaurant for the Mole Quiz the next day, I assume. They were asked who they thought was obsessive about the game, and they call Mark. Mark takes offense to Paul. Mark insults Paul. Paul insults Bobby when he brings up that you should be decent to people. Craig gets upset at Paul's wording, and Paul goes a little ape. Nicole said in her confessional that she was going to kill Paul with kindness because she couldn't actually kill him. Paul said that he was planning on firing people up so that they would mess up on their quiz.

Hey - viewers can take the quiz, too, on You have to register first, and I don't feel like it, but there it is for you all.

Question 1:Is the Mole male or female?
(Nicole shares her numerology theory as to why Bobby is the mole. Because he was wearing a number 5 jersey in soccer, and they were served 5 items at dinner, and Bobby's name has five letters. Ok. That's off the wall.)

Question 2: During the "Fruit of the Luge" mission, which group did the mole join?
(Victoria questions Ali)

Question 3: Who was the Mole paired with during Fruit of the Luge?

Question 4: Did the Mole put two apples in the fruit lineup answer?

Question 5: How much money did The Mole's team ultimately add to the pot during the Fruit of the Luge Mission?
a) $0
b) $2000
c) $10000
d) $14000

Question 6: In the spa portion of the Dress Code Mission, which kind of specialty massage did the Mole receive?
a) Grape
b) Chocolate
c) Hot Stone
d) Did not receive a specialty massage

Question 7: Did the Mole participate in the Dress Code Mission?

Question 8: What was the composition of The Mole's team during Dress Code?
a) All Male
b) All Female
c) Mix of male and female
d) The mole did not participate in the Dress Code mission

Question 9: In what order did the Mole's group enter the restaurant during Dress Code?

Question 10: Who is the Mole?

At this point, I am no longer sure. Ali is a possibility.

Before getting to the meat of the elimination, Mr. Host Man offers a $20,000 bribe to anyone willing to leave without being booted. There are no takers.

Kristin is safe, and so is Mark. Victoria asked if she could take the money now, and was denied, but is safe. Then Mr. Host Man offered $30,000 to leave without failing the quiz. Anyone could take it. Ali decided to take it, and there goes my idea as to who could be the Mole! I was wrong. Goodbye Ali. There is shock that she took it, and Bobby vows that he is in the game for keeps. Mr. Host Man reveals that Ali would have been safe, but surprise surprise, the elimination will continue. Alex passed the quiz, and Bobby is eliminated! There goes my second guess at being the Mole. Now I am really stymied. Victoria is in tears about Bobby leaving, and Craig was close to the same reaction.

So, could it be Paul? Nicole? Someone else entirely? Any thoughts?