Welcome Top Chef fans and Iron Skillet devotees (all five of you)!
Tonight's Liveblog is dedicated to my love of the new and improved Zaftig Padma. As two of you know, I am picky about my Top Chef hosts. When Top Chef Masters tried to make a household name of Kelley Choi, I was less than impressed. Aside from Ms. Choi's lack of serious kitchen cred, it's hard to take anyone seriously when they talk about food when they look for all the world like a ginormous lollipop -- itty bitty stick body topped with an outsized, freakishly large head. I had few kind words for Ms. Choi, and I missed my Padma.
I acknowledged Pregnant Padma at the end of season six. But I don't really think too hard about when skinny women get pregnant. I mean, everyone gets a little pudgy when they have a bun in the oven. It's after they have the kid that things get interesting. Because skinny Hollywood women need to lose the baby weight fast. I mean, FAST. If they haven't done thier "Look-at-how-little-baby-wieght-I-have-NOW" spread for People Magazine within a month, they will have to endure the dreaded murmurings of how they are "struggling" with their weight, and how "worried" they are that the Hollywood Babydaddy might go elsewhere for love and affection now that she is not a perfect size zero.
That's why I love Zaftig Padma so much. She is heavier than she was before and unashamed of it. She wears outfits that are just as clingy as they ever were, and she looks fantastic, even better than before. And she's eating everything with gusto. Zaftig Padma simply rocks.
And so, without further ado, I will wrest the remote control from my husband, change the channel from "Mythbusters" (a beautifully sick show whose sole function seems to be finding crazy ass excuses to blow shit up), and begin:
8:54 -- Trying to get the remote back...hubby really wants to watch the "superplow" -- a rocket powered sled with a blade that is going to be hurtled at an unsuspecting car.
8:57 -- car has been sufficiently demolished, I turn the channel in time to watch the demise of Timothy, again.
8:59 -- So here we go...the "peer review" episode is apparently on the way.
9:00 -- And the scenes from last week are up....Tamesha is being kissed up to by Man-ho Angelo, and Kenny is the self-designated "beast" of the kitchen...whatever the hell that means.
9:01 -- Scenes from the Top Chef house....from the looks of it, probably in Addams Morgan or Dupont Circle, which would put it close to the Hilton.
9:02 -- It's the "weird protein" challenge, featuring Michelle Bernstein. Andrea knows her. They are apparently rivals in Miami.
9:03 -- Ostrich, crocodile, emu eggs, the list is fantastic.
9:04 -- Angelo the Man Ho gets duck testicles. And Ed has cooked with them before.
9:05 -- they have 45 minutes to get this going. Angelo is now completely befuddled by his duck balls.
9:05 -- Andrea is trying to deal with her emu eggs.
9:06 -- And Padma announces the twist -- they have to switch with the person on their left. Kelly is now stuck with the emu egg. Ha! Smug little git gets it....
9:07 -- And now the duck testicles are with someone else.
9:08 -- Tamesha has duck tongue, Andrea ends up with wild boar, and does a chop and risotto
9:09 -- Kevin gets the duck balls. Angelo is now working with crocodile. But it's undercooked. Stephen does frog legs. Manly man Kenny has snake.
9:10 -- OH NO! They cooked llama! ALex ends up in the bottom, as does Andrea. She is not happy.
9:10 -- Kelly is the star with the emu egg, and Tamesha's duck tongue was great. And Amanda's llama is a big hit.
9:12 -- I gotta say....of all the Real Housewives of Wherever, I think Bethenny is the one I'd most like to have coffee with.
9:14 -- You know, when Jodi Kasten did her open letter to Gordon Ramsay, I couldn't have agreed more. I kind of want to watch Master Chef, though, because I want to see what kind of game these home chef have....
9:15 -- Kelly wins, and gets immunity for the elimination challenge. That will make things interesting.
9:16 -- they are going to make dishes best served cold. And the dishes will be served to half of the other contestants. And Kelly will taste all the dishes. And the special twist is going to be done on a cruise.
9:17 -- the USS Sequoia is a pretty neat experience. But what's going to be most entertaining here is going to be watching the gamesmanship here. THe contestants this time around seem really into the strategizing.
9:19 -- And apparently Angelo is out on deck strategizing. Tiffany and Ed are commiserating in a corner. Kevin and Kenny are downstairs commiserating. I think Kevin is working the feud between Angelo and Kenny. Might not be a bad piece of strategy, that.
9:20 -- Angelo is working on salmon, and Tamesha is foolishly letting Angelo get too close. Alex vows integrity. We'll see how long that lasts....
9:22 -- would I ever eat duck testicles? Probably not. I gotta say.
9:23 -- I am still mystified by the Dial sponsorship of Top Chef....truly.
9:25 -- Andrea is looking at tartares. And she is getting psyched out by the presence of Michelle Bearnstein.
9:26 -- Kevin is doing veal and beef. Kenny is doing lamb. Lamb really tastes too strong when it's cold, I think.
9:27 -- Tamesha does NOT like Amanda. And it's entertaining. But Tamesha LOVES Angelo. But is she too reliant on him? Angelo is a bit of a game-player.
9:29 -- Being judged by peers has the cheftestants a little ruffled. Ed thinks it won't get personal....poor deluded Ed.
9:30 -- And here's the interesting wrinkle....will the cheftestants deliberately put the better chefs on the chopping block, just to get them out of the game.
9:31 -- the first dishes come out Amanda, Kenny, Alex, Ed, and KEvin.
9:32 -- The cheftestants are wailing on the dishes.
9:33 -- Honestly they haven't said a single positive thing about ANY of the dishes. Even Collicchio is starting to question things.
9:34 -- They say Kevin's is the best. And of course they all go after Kenny. Man, this is pretty interesting.....
9:35 -- And I am conflicted about Real Housewives DC. It's an interesting schitzoid dynamic. In this town, privacy is important, becasue reputation is paramount. So I am sure no one who's REALLY anyone would agree to be followed by TV cameras. Which means that the show is probably populated by wannabes. Then again, that would describe the Real Housewives of New York, too.....
9:39 -- Ed and Angelo have apparently competed before....and Ed used to bang his girlfriend. Apparently the Man Ho can't keep his end up, so to speak....
9:42 -- And here we go...the second group is getting up. I think one of the big things that separates chefs from home cooks is knife skills. And Angelo is over-dressing his salmon.
9:43 -- And the other chefs are at the table. Tiffany did a tuna dish, Angelo's salmon is there, Andrea with her trio of tartares, and Stephen with chilled beef, and Tamesha has scallops.
9:45 -- Tiffany fares well. Stephen's chilled beef gets mixed reviews, and Tamesha's dish is considered "weird" and "funky." Angelo's dish is also criticized. Tiffany's dish is nominated for the win.
9:46 -- And Tamesha goes on the chopping block.
9:47 -- And in the stew room, Angelo has to bring up that they put Kenny on the chopping block.
9:48 -- Tiffany and Kevin are invited in to discuss who wins.
9;49 -- and the judges say that they agree with the chefs that the winners belong there. And Kevin wins. That sort of surprises me, because up until now, he's been decidedly mediocre.
9:50 -- And Tamesha and Kenny are called in to see who goes home. And the judges are discussing the dishes. Tamesha's dish had too much pepper, and again is considered "odd."
9:52 -- And Kenny's dish gets ragged on because the flavors were muddled. And Kenny decides to go ahead and say that he thinks it's gamesmanship. And Michelle Bearnstein kills that notion. Because she just got here.
9:52 -- Kenny forgot to keep it simple. Tamesha put too many strange things together. So the big question is, whose is the biggest failure?
9:54 -- Personally, I think that Tamesha is headed home. I think when you combine the technical mistakes in teh cooking of the scallop with the conceptual mistake of the odd flavor combinations, you have a pretty insurmountable case for your elimination.
9:57 -- apparently I am not alone in my unwillingness to eat duck balls.
9:57 -- Here we go with the Tom Collicchio canned speech summarizing the state of affairs.
9:58 -- and the loser is......Tamesha. You knew they couldn't possibly lose the Beast this early, right?
9:58 - Tamesha, I don't think your dish had MINOR mistakes, honey.
9:59 -- and of course, they are all blaming Angelo. Really, it's that she's young and did something impulsive.
9:59 -- And have Ed and TIffany cross the line here? And did Alex steal someone's pea purree? Tune in next week....
Thanks for tuning in, and I'm off now to watch "The Choir" on BBC America....That Gareth is so cute. And he looks like he's 12 years old. Between him and Matt Smith as the new Doctor Who, BBC America practically has me panting every night.....
See you next week!