Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Much like the Soviet Union, Andre cannot last

I was rooting for Andre. I really was. VJ bugs me. He's a cocky bastard and he reminds me of people I know who think they are all that and a side of fries, but in reality, they're not even worth bad potato salad. Andre thought about it, realized he can't even speak proper English so giving a Power Point presentation would be tricky, and used his phone to call Pickel, who everyone loves and who can talk anyone's ear off. No one saw it coming and even VJ was like, very sneaky, you coward. And then he had to go speak up and babble about nothing and I think that might have ruined it.

If I could do a good Russian accent when people asked me how I was doing I would say "I'm feeling Soviet!" Clicky clicky

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Project Runway 12/12/07--"What's the Skinny?" summary

Previously on Project Runway: the designers have to take old busted trends and make them relevant, which is stupid because if they were relevant they wouldn’t be old and busted. Jillian leads her team by creating clothes she would wear, and she wins. Chris, as adorable as he is, is destroyed by the shoulder pads and loses. (click for more)

In the morning everyone is sad to see Chris go. Jack is talking about sewing one handed with one hand over his mouth. He says he thought he had a pimple inside his nose but it’s getting worse and he’s all swollen. Like, his whole upper lip and that part of his face. He thinks it might be a skin staph infection, because he‘s had them before. Dude, those are serious. Ricky tells him to get over it and come on. I’m pretty sure he’s joking.

Heidi tells the designers to meet their models. There is a huge silhouette (which confuses everyone) and it’s a woman in a gigantic wedding dress. Steven thinks it might be sisters of designers or something, but then he doesn’t know any of them. Each of the women has lost a large amount of weight and these are their favorite outfits from their heaviest. They still have them? I mean, speaking as someone who is the “before” size they’re talking about, if I lost that much weight I’d burn those clothes. Everyone introduces themselves and says how much weight they’ve lost. Some of them have lost the equivalent of an entire person. The challenge is to make a new look with the old clothes. Christian bitches about it. Heidi draws names to pair people up. The main thing to know is that everyone has mostly normal clothes, except the woman in the wedding dress, who is paired with Steven.

Chris left them a farewell note and it’s so cute. You can tell everyone really liked him. They have until midnight to make an outfit that is suitable for everyday life but also expresses their view as a designer. Tim gives them 30 minutes to meet with their clients. Victorya is like, they’re not ideal model size and the rules are different. None of them are that fat, but they are not models for sure. Kevin says game on. Christian is pissed because the girl is super boring and always wears black and doesn’t like print or color or dresses or sleeveless or anything that Christian would like. Someone call the wahmbulance. Steven has no idea what to do with himself. That’s totally not fair. Christian got a black t-shirt and jeans. Steven has a wedding dress. How is he going to make something for every day? They only get $10 and 15 minutes to shop at Mood. Steven is going to use the wedding dress as trim for a black dress, and Jillian has found fabric in the exact color of the shirt she has, because the shirt has too much seaming or something. That’s about all shopping is good for.

Work time. I don’t know if I could cut up someone’s wedding dress. Jack’s face almost looks worse than it did this morning, if that‘s possible. He doesn’t want to leave because the treatment is hardcore. According to Tim’s Take (which is back! Hooray!) it’s a week in the hospital on an IV. He says that the infection is something anyone could get, and his immune system isn’t suppressed, it’s just tricky to treat it. Staph infections are nothing to play with even if you are healthy. He calls his doctor on the phone and his doctor wants him to come in right away. He worked hard to get here and he’s pretty upset about it. Tim comes in and he and Jack go outside to talk. Sweet P says his health is more important than the competition. Tim calls them around, and Jack’s sobbing, and he tells everyone that he doesn’t want to leave at all, but he isn’t comfortable staying, and he quits. I’m going to cry. I mean, I know he’s OK now, but this sucks. Everyone cries when they say goodbye.

Kit says it was hard to handle the emotions. Everyone seems pretty down. Suddenly Ricky is wearing shoes off the accessory wall, because he’s the same size as the model and he wants to look at his clothes with heels. It’s freaky. (Kmanpat: “He’s entirely too comfortable in those.“) Tim makes them gather around for another surprise, which is Chris! Now that I think about it, wasn’t he in the previews? Maybe not, they’re not that stupid. Either way I can’t remember. They brought him back to take Jack’s place. Everyone cheers and is happy! Yay! He gets to stay overnight to work because it’s so late in the day. Now their clients come in for fitting. Chris loves the challenge since he is no stranger to dieting. Christian…seems to be making nothing awesome. He’s taking the shirt in and he’s then going to take in the pants. Blah. It looks briefly like Steven’s client will be mad for not having color but she doesn’t care. Steven thinks he’ll be done on time. There is no client drama a la Angela’s mom, which is good because that was stupid drama, but also bad because it’s more boring.

Chris asks to see Steven’s wedding dress and he loves it and asks for it. Because he’s going to wear it. Sadly this does not happen. Christian says fierce again but it’s not to the camera. Maybe that’s just how he talks.

Tim comes in and asks Christian how fierce his outfit is. Hee, Tim mocks you. Someone else in the background laughs too. Elisa’s outfit is busy; there are multiple layers and a slip that sticks out of the bottom of the skirt. Tim thinks it doesn’t work for the client. I like Elisa. I just want to say that. Steven tells Tim that the wedding dress is only going to be used as “cuff and collar” and let me tell you, that’s not what I think of when I think of “cuffs and collar”. Tim is worried he’s throwing away most of the dress, but Steven pretends like he might stand up to Nina if questioned. I’d like to see that. Chris wants to make a sailor suit. Yeah. Tim warns him not to make a costume. They agree that he should make as many decisions as he can now while he still has his brain, and Tim says, “I’ve make more bad decisions at 3 o’clock in the morning than I can list.” Everyone laughs and Steven demands names. Hee! Tim claims to be an old fart since he didn’t even think of that. He promises to come back at 4am after his bad 3am decision. (Me: “Do you think that‘s what happened to Andre?”)

Christian talks smack about being finished, and in response, Sweet P asks the room if it’s against the law to kill a 12 year old. Chris says you‘d have to wait until he turns 12. Hee. Christian then asks the room, “Don’t these bitches know I’m way better than them?“ and at first I thought he was still joking, like when you tell people to shut up when they’re making fun of you. But watching it again, he seems more serious. Can’t take the heat, can you? Everyone goes home and ditches Chris in the workroom. He doesn’t want to be eliminated twice in a row.

In the morning when the designers get to the workroom they wake Chris up to go back to work. He’s so confused that he can’t even remember if he made anything. It’s done, but he has no idea if it sucks or not. Steven doesn’t know what’s going on, but he does know he‘s not done at all. Models! Kevin says everyone is looking at his model because she’s fabulous. Jillian knows that everyone can tell that she didn’t use the clothes she was given. Christian reminds us that he is awesome, of course. Chris is glad that his clothes don’t totally suck. Christian talks smack. He says that stupid thing about “the judges might die over it, or die because of it.” Honey, it wasn’t that funny the first time. Elisa says that if her client is happy, then she’s won as far as she’s concerned. Ricky is crying. I know that is not news, but this time I think because his client is super happy and he’s touched. Steven runs around like a crazy person and he says panic is fun. He’s reduced to gluing the hem of his dress, as his client looks on in horror.

Heidi is wearing a very short dress with a blousy top and it’s not that great. Also she needs a haircut because her bangs are too long. She welcomes Chris back, and I just had a thought. When they kicked Keith out, they didn’t bring anyone back to replace him. Interesting. Guest judge: Patrick Robinson, head designer of the Gap. Nice fro. Sweet P: halter dress in green. It used to be a giant olive caftan. Jillian: another halter dress with a racerback, this one in red. Ricky: empire waist top and capris. It’s very cute. Chris: it’s a light blue top and a pencil skirt with a red sash and pleat in the back. I think the sash might be what pushes it over the line but I like the fit. Christian: she’s got pants and a black ruffled shirt. It’s very Christian. Eh. Victorya: green velvet knee length dress, where the center bodice part looks like a different fabric. Reversed maybe? Or from the sleeves? It used to be one of those floor length long sleeved velvet dresses people sometimes think us fat girls like to wear. There’s a belt but I think it could be more flattering. Elisa: red jacket, long tunic with knee length skirt. Or possibly short dress with the slip peeking out. Kit: pink dress with a faux wrap top. It‘s OK. Kevin: yellow strapless bustier tunic (out of a blazer) with leggings. Very hot. Steven: she looks like a pilgrim. It’s all black with a white collar and white cuffs on elbow length sleeves and then the skirt is below the knee. Rami: sleeveless top and pencil skirt which looks great.

Steven, Christian, Chris, Kevin, Jillian, and Elisa are called out. Everyone else can go. Kevin’s model loves his outfit. Everyone loves it. Kors is like, be careful with leggings, everyone has them so it’s not unique. Blah, whatever. Elisa says that Tracy needs active stuff. There’s a sash I didn’t see before. Heidi wanted something more classic. They think that Elisa didn’t make something that fit her client. She’s also cut her client into sections and she’s short. Jillian gets called out on the fact that she used new fabric, but that‘s about the only thing bad. Kors says it’s a dress that makes her look great but not hoochie. Nina wants something with the original shirt but she is sexy and tasteful. While we’re on the subject of not using the materials given, Steven gets yelled at next. Kors is speechless. He thinks the fabric was amazing (white polyester satin? Um, no) but it’s the beading he wanted. Stupid. Christian gets high praise, it’s super commercial, the client loves it, etc. Chris’s client feels good about his “costume“, and they like the top, but not the red. Kors is like, 1957 Shirley McClaine hooker with a heart of gold, or something. Shut up, orangey. You will never match “barefoot Appalachian Lil’ Abner Barbie” so stop trying to come up with stuff.

Judge bashing. Not bashing the judges, but the part where the judges bash the contestants. First though they discuss that they love that Kevin‘s model loved her outfit and the bustier was great. Christian’s clothes are young and cool. Jillian has a beautiful dress. Elisa didn’t match her client and visually chopped her body so it looks stumpy. Steven’s outfit was a failure because he didn’t use any of his fabric. Apparently they were all waiting for some crazy fabulous thing all in white with beading. I bet if that’s what he had given them they’d complain about how it was too much like the original outfit. Heidi brings up that she looked like a French maid, but really, it’s a pilgrim outfit. Chris gets in trouble for the costume thing again. I just don’t see it. I guess that’s me.

Jillian is safe. Christian wins. Woo. He gets immunity, which is pretty sweet. (Me: “You know this means we’ll have to listen to him talk about how awesome he is.” Kmanpat: “Don’t you mean…fierce!” Me: “…No. No I do not.”) Kevin and Chris are safe. Steven is out. Aww! I like his sense of humor. His dress did suck, though. He says just because the judges don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s awful. He doesn’t have any parting words about how he’s going to keep going or anything. He seems kind of lost.

Next week: Tim is waking them up to freak them out. They jump up and down. Jillian fails. Sweet P freaks. The workroom looks totally trashed.

Clicky clicky

Monday, December 10, 2007

I hate promo monkeys

So I'm enjoying the photo shoot, loving Andre and noticing that Andrea is really, really bossy. And VJ isn't that great but he thinks he's hot, which is pretty typical. And then they're showing how similar all of VJ's shots are to Andre's. And they really are. VJ insisted that he didn't copy, but come on, dude. You hide encyclopedias, you eavesdrop on people practicing their lines, you outright cheat and call your friend for info about the car. Do you really think we're going to believe you when you're like, "I only copy off people I like, so I didn't copy you"? And then Mary Alice is all, VJ, this shot looks totally like Andre's, and Andre is laughing and VJ looks uncomfortable, and then commercials.

And then when we get back from commercials, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HAPPENS. Mary Alice goes back to talking about how VJ sucked at the beginning but then got better, and then never mention it again. Something must have happened because Andre doesn't interview that Mary Alice let it slide or whatever. I wanted to see VJ get called out! The previews implied he'd get called on all his BS! Stupid promo monkeys. Clicky clicky

Friday, December 7, 2007

Top Chef Holiday Special summary

Dear Bravo: What’s up with your scheduling issues recently? No episode titles for “Project Runway“, episodes of “Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style” not airing when you say so, this special airing an entire day early so everyone can spoil people? Not that I’ve found spoilers. Everyone has been great about that, actually. It’s just that you’d think that a network could handle themselves better. (click for more)

We have CJ, Tre, and Sandee from season 3. Season 2 gives us Josie, Betty, and Marcel. Sigh. Tiffani and Stephen are coming from season 1. There is $20,000 at stake. I missed Padma. I saw Katie Lee Joel on “Iron Chef”, and not only did they not mention “Top Chef” once, but she still had the same monotone delivery. Sad.

Everyone arrives in Chicago, at a brownstone I guess they‘re staying at. Steven still has wide ties. He is opening a restaurant and the money could help. Also he can buy some more ties and suits. Tiffani is also opening a restaurant, and she says that’s one of the reasons she’s here, is “Top Chef“. Huh? Without that show she wouldn’t be famous! She claims people wanted her to win. Josie tells us she left kicking and screaming and has a ton of talent. Betty shrieks the instant she gets in the door. Good Lord, I did not miss that. Marcel is getting out of the car after her and at first I thought he was mocking her, but no. He looks better somehow. Also he gives Betty a hug. She tells us that her arguments with Marcel were caused by the circumstances and that she’s embarrassed. Now she can step back and see Marcel for who he really is. As he’s greeting Josie the camera shows her standing pretty far away from them. She’s just looking at the camera and smiling without opening her mouth. I think she still doesn’t like him. Well, in that battle of the seasons special or whatever, he was kind of a jerk. I love the Christmas stockings and menorah combo in the house. Marcel thinks he can get along with Betty. But then he scrunches up his face. You know they only cast those two for the drama. Sandee shows up next, with new stripy hair. Yay! Tre comes in, all low-key and competent. We did really all think he would win. He’s going to win it for all of us who contacted him and said he was awesome. And then there’s CJ. (Kmanpat and I: “CJ!!!!!”) In his interview he starts to describe his likes and dislikes like a dating video. He’s started a catering company and I want to hire him but I don’t know where he works. (Kmanpat: “Does he like math teachers?” Me: “…Shhhh, you can‘t talk anymore.”)

Betty (on a producer’s insistence I am sure) takes all the stockings down and passes them out. CJ empties his and declares “It’s f*cking broccoli!” OK, first of all, it was broccolini, which is totally different. But giving CJ a stalk of broccoli with a gold ribbon? That was hilarious. Also a Christmas card from Tom. Tiffani has a “I’m not your bitch, bitch!” T-shirt, Pepto Bismol for Josie (that was the color of that soup thing when she lost), those hand gripper things you use to increase your hand strength for Tre (I…don’t know), a tie for Stephen, KC Masterpiece for someone (I am going to guess, Sandee), hair product for Marcel. Hee. Everyone also gets aprons.

A lot of cooking and goofing off. Marcel says he liked to see Tre and CJ cooking and he thought they were good when he watched their season. Betty throws food at him later. Tre talks to us about his impressions of Marcel, which are that he has pure talent and knowledge, and he is also an asshat. But those things all together usually make a great chef. Josie wants to win, and she talks about how she and her girlfriend and some friends got jumped outside a bar and got beaten because she was gay. That was a really scary thing. She’s just glad everyone walked away and they’re all fine.

In the morning everyone goes to the Top Chef kitchens (they’re filming Season 4 in Chicago) and I know it’s not really December so this is entertaining. Padma is there with “Santa Claus.” I hope that’s Tom. The Quickfire is to make a treat for Santa in 30 minutes. “But that’s so easy!” you claim. Oh, you know there’s a twist. Under the tree is a present for each person, which has an ingredient they have to use. Heh. Much eye rolling from everyone. They draw knives to get numbers, and then Padma is all, “Who knows how to play ‘Dirty Santa?’” Stephen looks horrified. Santa, of course, raises his hand. Betty explains for us that once the first person picks their present, the second person can steal it from them, and so forth. If you’ve ever had a white elephant gift exchange, you know how this works. That’s not what we call it though. Tre is up first, and he gets cheese balls. Not Cheetos, but the kind made out of spreadable cheese rolled in nuts. I was hoping they’d make them steal gifts before opening, but sadly that doesn’t happen. CJ gets smoked salmon. He wants to leave Tre handicapped with the cheese balls. Betty steals the salmon, so CJ ends up with canned truffles. Tiffani steals these too. I guess you can’t steal things back. However, I must applaud Tiffani because the next gift he ends up with is a nutcracker. HA! Oh, and walnuts, but you don’t care about that part and neither did I. Hee. Marcel takes the truffles (which Tiffani throws at him) and she gets sweet potatoes. Sandee has prosciutto. Yum. Stephen wants the sweet potatoes, and he starts talking about some experimental dish that he wants to try. Tiffani opens up caviar instead. Josie is last, and she can basically steal whatever she wants, so she takes the truffles. Marcel ends up with fatty tuna. Wow, good deal. Canned truffles vs. toro? Now Santa gets to take off the hat and beard and I am horrified to discover it’s Eric Ripert. Oh, Eric, you are worth so much more than that. That makes me sad. I mean, he has fake eyebrows and makeup and everything. Marcel freaks out. Josie is glad to cook for him; she was jealous of the third season.

Stephen is making yam soup with lavender. Hmm. Marcel is treating the toro with integrity and making simple. Tre is thinking cheesy pasta or rice or something. Betty is doing something with leeks and a saffron-orange vinaigrette? I’m not sure. She has salmon so I guess it’s a salad. CJ is thinking walnuts and shrimp. He feels that you’d better deliver if you have something awesome like truffles. Josie gets some scallops and then goes on a hunt for a can opener. The Amazing Cameraman (on loan from “Amazing Race”) shows us a whole bin full as she interviews that she couldn’t find one. Finally she takes her chef’s knife to the can. She’s using the heel of the knife to get rid of the lid. Lots of frantic running around. Josie’s can looks chewed up. Then she forgot to put the sauce on the plate. Oops.

Sandee is up first. She’s made a salad for her prosciutto with dried cherries and a little chili, a port wine sauce, and an apricot and mustard chutney. Well, that’s what the graphic says. Apparently she’s made three separate piles, with different sauces and one is seared. No reaction. No reactions for any of the dishes, actually. CJ serves roasted walnuts with apples and shrimp. Tre has sage encrusted chicken breast and rice pilaf with cheese. The cheese isn’t the main player! That wouldn’t fly on “Iron Chef“. Betty is using the royal “we” as she talks. The leeks, apples, raisins, and arugula are underneath the salmon, with the vinaigrette over all. Josie is kind of freaking out, because she is missing two major components. The dish has a fried egg with a scallop, pine nuts, and shaved truffles on top. I know she’s missing her sauce, but I’m not sure what the other thing is. She should know by now to just pretend that’s how it should be; half the time they won’t figure it out. Apparently there aren’t that many truffles? She wants Eric to overlook a lack of truffles. I don’t know. Marcel serves toro tartar with a fried egg and prosciutto on toast with a chive puree. It looks awesome and I want to try it. Stephen has made his yam soup (yams are not sweet potatoes) with lavender, mocha and a sage chip, with olivo crostini. Tiffani has a seared scallop and a blini, both with caviar on top.

Eric hated Stephen’s, because the lavender was too strong. Hee. He seems to accept that it probably sucked. Tre’s rice was undercooked. Josie didn’t have any truffles. Marcel was one of his favorites (the toro and egg were silky), and also Betty (sweet but good) and CJ (sauce could have been too sweet but wasn’t). God Betty’s mouth is huge. CJ wins. Yay! He’s honored.

For the elimination challenge: they will each make a 3 course holiday dinner for 9 diners, served head to head. After each course 2 chefs are eliminated. After all three courses, there will be a final two, and the judges will pick the winner. Since CJ won the Quickfire, he gets a free pass for one of the first two rounds, but he can’t use it to get in to the final. Kind of like the hidden immunity idol on Survivor. They get $350 for Whole Foods, and then they’ll go to the Washburn Institute (I don’t know if that’s spelled right and I can’t find it, so sorry) and cook for 3 hours. Marcel loves this challenge. Sandee interviews that if you screw up, it’s not the fault of the money, the timing, or anything else but you. I like her.

Shopping time! There’s a Whole Foods near me. I love their deli/prepared foods section. It’s fab. CJ is going to stick to what he knows and not go all “feast of 100 fishes”. Stephen’s menu is shown to us: celery root gnocchi, veal osso bucco, and poached pear pistachio tuile. He knows the osso bucco has to start cooking right away. Josie loves the selection. Sandee goes to produce first so she doesn’t wait for the other chefs at the meat counter. Betty’s menu: duck beignets, rack of lamb, and baklava. Beignets are fried pastries like donuts, and usually they’re sweet but I think Sam made some with sweetbreads or other offal one time and they looked really good. Fried duck, though. I’m not sure about that. Then she’s talking about making baklava with white chocolate and mascarpone and raspberries. That’s not baklava. CJ’s menu: beef carpaccio, goose breast with oyster stuffing, and cardamom panna cotta. Oh, CJ. Panna cotta is the kiss of death on this show. He’s kind of nervous about the goose but happy about having quince. Tre was looking for celery root, but he discovers Stephen has bought all of it. So he goes over to peek in Stephen’s cart, and I am hoping he steals it, but he says it was too green and he would never have bought it himself. Hee.

It’s cooking time! Everyone runs around. Tiffani’s menu: bacon wrapped apple, duck breast spaetzle, butterscotch pudding. It’s really homey but the holidays are homey. CJ knows his immunity won’t help because he wants to win on his own merit. Josie says that 3 hours would normally be enough time if they weren’t competing. Her menu: duck duo (stupid duos), turkey and gravy, oysters Rockefeller. Interesting, no dessert. She warns against over thinking. Betty looks for her yeast and starts to break down. She can’t find it, and it’s for the beignets, which is the first course. Oops. Tre is like, sucks for you, don’t tell everyone your weaknesses. Betty freaks out for a while and then decides to make duck baklava instead. Like, roll the duck and cherry mixture in the phyllo dough. I’m not sure what she’ll do for her third course, but whatever. She thinks it might be better, but again: not baklava. Tre’s menu: seared scallops, veal loin with mac & cheese, and lamb chops. He knows pastries can kill him so he’s not doing it again. Sandee’s menu: mushroom soup, fried turkey breast, and chocolate pecan pie. I want chocolate pecan pie. However, she’s only made pie crust once before. That’s not a good sign. Marcel’s menu: roasted monkfish, dumplings (that’s all it says…dumplings), and lamb chops. It’s always tricky to serve the same thing as another contestant, especially when you’re serving head to head. He’s multitasking and planning out his timing.

After some commercials, Marcel is working quickly but he’s not freaking out yet. He says if you’re not rushing, either your menu is too simple or you aren’t trying. Tom comes by to investigate. Woo Tom! He greets everyone, since he hasn’t seen them yet. And then they get right down to it. He’s doing a good job of not giving advice. We don’t learn a lot from these segments. Tom is kind of chatty, and it’s nice to see but everyone is just talking about their menus which we‘ve already seen. Although we do learn that Stephen has not picked out any wines. Horrors! Marcel wants to redeem himself from the turkey roulade, but as I recall that was the best dish that episode. Even Tony Bourdain liked it and he’s a jerk so you know it must be true if he gives out praise. Tom is wishing everyone happy holidays which is so contrived. Blah. Tom leaves them with an hour to work. He’s thrilled to see everyone, and talks about them behind their backs. Betty has no idea what she’s going to do for her third course if she gets that far, so I guess they have time in between courses to do stuff. He wishes Stephen would spend more time in the kitchen and he thinks Josie will bring the ethnic food.

Sandee worries she’s spent too much time on her pie. Everyone frantically plates. They all get to go out to the table, and everyone has big serving platters instead of individual plates. I like that, it’s more like a family dinner. The panel is made up of people who’ve judged previous episodes: Elizabeth Falkner, Eric Ripert, Alan Wong, Alfred Portale, Norman Van Aken, and then Padma, Gail, Ted, and Tom. The contestants look like deer in headlights. Marcel’s monkfish has prosciutto peppernata and parsley puree. I think peppernata is a relish. Tiffani’s bacon wrapped apples (yum) have brussel sprouts too. Josie has her duo of duck, but apparently the duo is that she has both breast and leg meat. There’s sour cherry and fig chutney with both. Stephen’s gnocchi have parmesan cheese. CJ has endive with beets and horseradish cream to go with the carpaccio. Tre serves scallops with Swiss chard and butternut squash puree with pomegranate brown butter. Sandee has mushroom soup (it does not have a very good color) with Chinese soup spoons that have mushroom puree, bacon, hazelnut, and egg, I guess to add in. Betty serves her duck rolled in phyllo dough (it’s not baklava and I’m not calling it that). It looks like an egg roll gone wrong. There’s mushrooms and a port onion reduction. Padma gives them 30 minutes to work and sends them away. Stephen says you could walk out with plates in hand and they could send you back out.

Everyone serves themselves. Sandee’s soup is watery and not creamy. The monkfish is rustic and excellent. Ted calls Betty on the “baklava” label. Gnocchi does not make a good appetizer, plus the gnocchi themselves suck. Ted drops one from the serving spoon in the dish, and there’s this loud crash like he dropped a rock. They can’t be that heavy. Back in the kitchen Marcel’s dumplings are described in more detail: they are chicken liver and truffle turkey dumplings. CJ had good colors on his dish but his beef feels like an afterthought. Ted likes Tre’s scallops the best. Gail doesn’t understand Tiffani’s dish and feels more like a garnish but everyone else likes it. Tom liked Josie’s duck flavors. Back in the kitchen Josie is discovering that leaving the turkey for her second course in the oven during serving may cost her. It looks all dried out. She hopes that someone will also overcook their food. Right on cue Betty tells us she left her lamb in the oven too long. Padma feels that Stephen, Sandee, Betty, and CJ are the worst. But CJ has immunity, so he’s OK.

Everyone comes out with their second course in hand. They aren’t allowed to put their plates down yet, because Tom has to tell Sandee and Stephen their dishes suck and they can leave. Sandee’s upset to not serve her dish in her hands. Stephen talks about starting a restaurant so he’s not in the kitchen, and being a restauranteur, or something. He’s drinking a beer, I think, so it‘s serious. Marcel serves his dumplings with a savory bread pudding and Tuscan style torta. Tiffani has the spaetzle and duck, with wine and orange jus. Betty’s rack of lamb is pistachio encrusted, wrapped in prosciutto, and served over lentils and tomatoes. Sorry, “sugar plum” tomatoes. Sigh. You know I wanted to go to TGIFriday’s and have her soup and sandwich dish that they put on the menu, but then I started to not like her so I never went. But I forgot how she liked to name stuff. Josie has bacon wrapped turkey breast and pumpkin gravy. Tre serves his bacon wrapped rack of veal with French beans and mac & cheese. CJ has fall spiced goose breast and the oyster stuffing has quince. There are two sauces, mushroom gravy and pomegranate jalapeno. Oo.

Tre wants to make food people want to make themselves. Judges exclaim over this course. They know Josie’s turkey is overcooked. Marcel also gets slammed because the liver dumpling thing sucks. CJ’s goose is great, Tre’s dish is good, Tiffani is excellent. Betty’s lamb was overcooked and underseasoned. Ted says that Josie was better than Betty and Marcel. CJ dances in the kitchen. What? He does! Then he says he’s “confidently worried.” Hee. Betty makes a giant almond cookie for her dessert. Marcel is cooking his lamb unevenly on purpose.

Tom sends Betty and Josie back to the kitchen. Oh well. Marcel has lamb chops with butternut squash puree, parsnip chips, maple syrup and pomegranate gastrique. Tre’s lamb chops are crusted in horseradish and mustard, with parsnip puree. That’s a tough call, based on description. Tiffani has salted butterscotch pudding with caramel and orange and clove whipped cream. She kind of freaks out about the caliber of judges. CJ’s panna cotta has roasted squash with poached figs and gingersnap crumble, with a red wine and balsamic reduction. They look like giant marshmallows. Tre’s lamb is much better than Marcel’s. They don’t like his uneven cooking thing. The pudding is distracting, it’s so good. CJ’s looks sloppy but the squash is really good and they like it. Everyone comes back out one more time so Tom can get rid of Marcel and CJ. Aww! CJ needed that money and he knows his dish could have been better so he’s sad. (Kmanpat: “He can live with me! We’ll…work something out.“) Marcel doesn’t seem to care that much.

So it’s Tre vs. Tiffani. I like Tiffani a lot more now than during her season, and Tre was always really good, so this is pretty awesome. Padma tells them it’s so hard to decide between the two of them that they’ve got a surprise: one more course. They both look pissed. Tiffani thinks she should have seen it coming. They can use anything they want, including any leftovers. So that means if they like someone else’s dish, one that never got served, they can totally steal it. Interesting. They have 30 minutes. They both kind of stand there until Padma yells at them to get going already.

Tiffani immediately grabs Sandee, Josie, and Stephen. CJ doesn’t even know what she’s saying and he mocks her fast talking. She practically rips stuff out of Tre’s hands and claims it for herself. Stephen very leisurely grabs his dish that he plated but never served and wanders over there. Eventually everyone figures out what is going on. Tre tries to get Stephen to help him but he’s all, I have to help Tiffani. Tre wanted his osso bucco. Tre wants to do a dessert with all of Betty’s stuff that she made. Raspberry and walnut crepes, yum. Tiffani wanted to do a leftover turkey sandwich, kind of as an F YOU to the judges, but then she decides on some puff pastry with the osso bucco on top. Betty enjoys working with Tre and she likes his dish. Josie wants Tiffani to win for all the girls.

Tom jokes that they were expecting open faced turkey sandwiches and to her credit Tiffani doesn’t smack him but only says she came this close to doing exactly that. Tiffani says she already made a dessert, so the only option is to take them into the next day: braised veal on puff pastry with truffle butter. Tre says he was “forced” to do to a dessert: raspberry and walnut crepes with balsamic reduction and white chocolate mascarpone. Tiffani’s dish was juicy, even though the puff pastry wasn’t cooked quite enough. Tre’s crepes were festive looking and good. Of course there seems to be some dissent about whose dish is better. Padma then says that she, Ted, Gail, and Tom will make the final decision. So they can get lost. That’s…rude.

Now we have a judges’ table and I am so done with this episode already. They’ve relocated to the set because everyone is in the Stew Room instead of the kitchen. Both Tre and Tiffani get praised but the judges say nothing important and that was two minutes of my life I won’t get back. Everyone gets to come back in to watch the ending. And the judges give the money to Tiffani. Cool. I mean, I really like Tre, but I’m OK with this. She is glad to win for all the female chefs. Tre wins cookbooks signed by the guest judges. Eh. He’s OK with losing to Tiffani, and he got to show his fans he had a good day and he’s talented. Everyone gets hugs! Happy holidays! Come back next year for Season 4!

Clicky clicky

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Project Runway 12/5/07--"Trendsetter" summary

Previously on Project Runway: the contestants have to design an outfit for Tiki Barber to wear on the Today show, even though almost none of them have designed for men before, or know who Tiki Barber even is in the first place. Since it’s a menswear challenge, guess what that means? Male models! Somehow everyone managed to work through the distractions and make some clothes, sort of. Except Kevin, he wasn’t distracted. There were a lot of disasters, but Jack managed to win with some pants and a striped shirt. Kit made a fleece blazer that was pretty cool. Ricky thought he could pin all his hems without the judges noticing (duh), but in the end Carmen went home since she didn’t even have enough time to make a shirt. In other news, Jack is dating Dale from Top Chef. Really! Look, I found a story about it. SO CUTE! I want to hang out with them. (click for more)

In the morning, Kit is reassuring Sweet P that her outfit didn’t suck, and Carmen’s would have. Rami and Chris brainstorm the fragrance for Project Runway perfume: tears, sweat, and Chinese food. Hee. I like Chris. Rami too.

It is so odd to see Heidi skinny. I’ve gotten too used to seeing her pregnant. She only brings out the winning and losing designers’ models: Carmen’s model, Marion’s model, and Jack’s model. Jack wants to swap, and he takes Ricky’s model. There is no motherf*cking walkoff, for which I am sad. Ricky gets Jack’s old model, so the other two girls are out. Ricky does not cry, although he does make a comment about Jack‘s “true colors“. (Kmanpat: “Which are hot, and competitive. And hot.“) Heidi says there are “old friends” and some girl in the workroom with Tim. Sweet P calls senior citizens. That would rock.

Nina is there waiting for them. There are 12 photos of hideous fashion trends. Like, neon. All these trends are out. The best part is that Jillian is wearing overalls, which is one of the looks. Ha! I mean, hers are well fitted, which usually isn’t the case, but ha anyway. Tim draws buttons so they can pick their looks. Jack picks pleather and calls it “Britney Spears on crack”. Victorya: underwear as outerwear; Christian: zoot suit; Rami: poodle skirt; Kit: fringe; Elisa: cut outs; Jillian: overalls (hee); Ricky: neon; Kevin: 70’s flare; Chris: shoulder pads; Steven: dancewear. Sweet P thinks her button is stuck to the bottom of the bag. She ends up with baggy sweater. Now comes the extra twist. They have to work in teams of 3, and they have to incorporate all 3 trends in their 3 piece collection. Christian is going to die. Good. And it has to be cohesive and relevant for today, of course. Tim says they can pick their own teams, in the next minute. I guess pick people whose fads will work with yours? There’s a lot of discussion about strategy, and how the teams ended up the way they did, but it’s not very interesting. They have $225 and 2 days, an hour to sketch. Nice. Plus each team needs a leader. That means “scapegoat”.

Sweet P, Steven, and Chris decide that Chris is in charge. Or…Steven and Sweet P kind of go, “Not it!“ and Chris is left in charge. Steven suggests they each draw an outfit with their trend, and they’ll try to make them cohesive some other way, but each trend will only be found in one outfit. Jillian is in charge of Rami and Kevin. This team is going to have all 3 trends in each outfit. Ricky tells Victorya she’s the mediator, he’s the leader. Elisa is just along for the ride. Make sure you note that she refused the leadership position. Very soon after this decision Victorya is explaining how they’re going to design things. Ricky interviews that Victorya seems bossy so it’s good he’s the leader, so they don’t get micromanaged. Christian is the leader of himself, Kit, and Jack. He thinks that each outfit kind of needs to have each trend in it for the collection to be cohesive.

Shopping lets us know that Christian has labeled his team “team star” because they are hot and celebrities. Also he says “fierce” again. He needs to quit saying that. (Kmanpat: “Seriously. Not fierce.“) Ricky decides on duchess satin. Steven runs around.

Back in the workroom, Kit and Christian giggle about fringe looking like armpit hair. Sweet P has a sack dress, a sweater dress for Steven, and Chris is making a short jacket and a long dress. He mentions that people have pigeonholed him, what with the giant wigs and all, but he is still a good designer. Uh oh, bad foreshadowing. He shows Steven the shoulders of his jacket. Steven‘s response is “sweet merciful crap.” Hee. Ricky says he’s trying to speak to Elisa in a way she can understand. That’s so condescending. He basically says it’s like she’s high and that’s how he talked to her so she would understand what he wanted. He‘s really an ass about it. Christian tries on his jacket and it has giant kimono sleeves and it’s hilarious. Jillian says she and Rami worked together well in the previous team challenge but she’s not sure of Kevin. She starts telling him what to do and that he’s doing it wrong or whatever, but he seems pretty calm about it. Jillian basically says if they fail, it’s Kevin’s fault because he’s not fast enough.

Day 2. Sadly I do not see Jack carrying Christian into the workroom. (Kmanpat: “That‘s not sad. All is as it should be.”). Kit reminds us of the challenge, but really I am noticing her gun pendant. Suddenly I hear a Tim Gunn impression. Is it Santino visiting? No, it’s Steven. “Designers, you’re screwed, there’s nothing you can do to fix what you’re working on, carry on!” Hee!! It wasn’t as good as Santino, in that I can tell it’s not Tim, but he has the tone of voice down. Victorya claims not to be a “bossy cow” but rather she has ideas. I guess she just has to express them. She starts telling Ricky how to fix his garment, cleaning it up or whatever. It certainly sounds like she’s the leader, since she’s saying “personally, I would like it clean” and not “I think it would look better if you cleaned it up.” Ricky thinks she needs to do her own stuff.

Tim comes for a visit, and says that they’re sending in the models right now, and they’ll have 30 minutes to fit. Nice. Chris’s team thinks it looks like a collection, but Sweet P hates Steven’s. The color, possibly, which is a very boring beige, except they are all boring beige. Jillian tells Kevin all the pleating on his shorts is gone because they used Jillian to measure and the model is bigger. Kevin says he did what he was told and they can’t redo it. Victorya hates her design, it looks like a jester. Sorry, “a harlequin at Festivá l”. So she’s going to totally redo it. Ricky is pissed she didn‘t ask him. He doesn’t like the criss cross straps on the bodice because there are “too many lines“. She pretty much ignores him and says she likes the straps. Meanwhile Jillian is standing around passively complaining about Kevin, but not actually talking to Kevin. She thinks he might not get done. Rami knows when you are in charge you have to push people so things don’t get ruined.

Tim comes by again to investigate. He likes Christian’s group. But then Chris’s group doesn’t have cohesion, and Chris’s jacket doesn’t go. Also the dress looks more modern without the jacket. He’s come by 2 hours before the end of the day so I‘m not sure what they can do about it. He tells Jillian’s team that all the clothes look like Jillian’s clothes. Ricky’s team isn’t finished or refined. Victorya starts talking about tweaking silhouettes, plural. She’s basically taking over and claiming all the designs as her own. Tim is confused but he does establish that Ricky is supposed to be the leader. When she pauses, Ricky tries to defend himself, and she uses the phrase “Can I finish?” which is never a good sign. After Tim leaves, Ricky tells her he didn’t like how she didn’t tell him what she was doing when she decided to change her design. Victorya says that there were things that were clearly wrong, but Ricky interrupts her to point out that they were wrong to her. He feels she should just shut up and go with it, but she won’t send clothes down the runway that she doesn’t like, and also why did he want to be leader anyway? Way to change the subject. He tells her if she thinks she’s been leader this whole time then she can just go ahead and be leader then. She’s all, no, I like that someone else stepped up, but I wanted you to do your job. You can’t make other people take the job and then bitch that they suck. Especially since he only stepped up because you refused to do it. Ricky interviews that probably she wanted to be team leader and then didn’t have the balls. The argument ends when Victorya basically tells Ricky they need to get back to work but “we will continue this discussion.“

Rami tells Kevin to get stuff done. At midnight, when the day’s pretty much over, Jillian bitches to Rami that Kevin’s too slow, the shorts should be done. Rami, as he’s telling us she worried about her own garment too much and that‘s why there‘s a problem now, tells Jillian she didn’t seem that concerned because she didn’t do anything about it. She doesn’t want to breathe down someone’s throat. Rami is just like, we don’t agree and that’s OK and then the fight’s over. See how nice that was? Victorya lets Ricky know she‘s disappointed because he wouldn‘t make decisions about anything. What decisions? By her own admission she made changes without asking him. And he had decisions and she ignored them. Ricky fires back that she was so concerned with his look that she had to do her own twice. Ricky thinks this is a disaster, the collection isn’t cohesive, and they’re screwed. Victorya says she stands by her garment, and when Ricky insists that he also stands by his garment, she just snaps “OK” and walks away.

The morning of the runway show, Jillian is still freaking out about Kevin. The boys joke about going to Denny’s. Their apartment seems like so much fun. Ricky is done, and Elisa is mostly done, but Victorya is still working. Ricky pretends that he is insulted she didn’t ask him for help. I thought he was pissed because he is supposed to be in charge and she did things without him, but he‘s making it sound like she should have known her design was terrible and asked him to give her some advice. Kevin needs a magic rabbit. Models come in. Kevin pounds buttons with a shoe. Chris’s jacket isn’t that great, according to Steven. Ricky says Victorya’s bodice is just wrong and he starts to fix it. He complains that it makes the model look flat chested, but Victorya wants it to look flat because she’s seen it before and she‘s used to seeing it on the runway. Ricky takes offense since he’s a lingerie designer and somehow her personal opinion of how she wants her dress to look is an insult to him. I mean, I don’t think the model should look flat chested, but I don’t think she’s doing it just to piss him off. She says that once she let it sit it looked good. Kevin finally finishes the shorts. Jillian tells him she’s impressed but in the same monotone she spoke in when she was complaining about him. She feels bad about doubting him, I think. The lack of emotion throws me. Christian slams Ricky’s and Chris’s collections and they all suck but at least he admits the judges might like them.

Our guest judge today is Donna Karan. Sweet. Jillian: overalls with flared bottoms, and pleats at the hips. Not something that many people can wear, but that’s not the challenge, so whatever. The top is a sheer sleeveless top with a floppy bow, so I guess that’s the poodle skirt? Kevin’s shorts look OK, they are cut wide, and there’s a halter top with a poofy neck that reminds me of Daniel V.’s orchid outfit. Rami’s dress has a big full tiered skirt with a close-fitting top, in denim. It’s cute, very Jillian. Chris’s team is up next. I don’t mind Chris’s shrug that much, but that might be because I tend to not like shrugs and bolero jackets in general. It’s boxy. The dress is cute though. Sweet P: knee length sweater dress with a bubble hem and a turtleneck dicky. She calls it “rad“. Steven has a wrap top and leggings. It’s sort of a very short kimono robe. I don’t know. How is that dance? Christian: pinstriped pencil skirt, blazer, high-necked top. I can see the zoot suit, obviously, but I don’t really see any fringe or pleather. Kit’s dress is cut very loose, with a square neckline (and I think some very short upholstery fringe) and it’s in a gray pinstripe, and there are leggings. Still no pleather unless they were claiming the accessories were pleather. Jack’s outfit is another pencil skirt with a tight vest and top with cap sleeves, and a very long tie or skinny scarf. WHERE IS THE PLEATHER? Ricky’s got bright gold and red with a sheer top like an ice skater would have. Very 80’s but I wouldn‘t really call it “neon“. Elisa’s dress is great, it’s one shoulder, black with geometric shapes along the neckline. I think the shapes are supposed to be cut outs, showing the color beneath. It’s too bad her model can’t walk, though. Not because of Elisa’s outfit this time, either. Victorya has a tight bodice top that might look like a corset if you were to squint, and a short flowy skirt. I’m not sure what in their collection was supposed to be “underwear as outerwear”.

Today there is a clear winner, so they’re just going to announce it now, and that is Jillian. She and her team get to leave. Christian looks sad, but his team didn’t suck, so he can leave too. Heidi addresses Ricky and Chris directly and says their teams suck and one of them will be out. Oo team leader dies. DK doesn’t like Chris’s design, it’s not cohesive. She busts out “liquidity” to tell Steven his dress doesn’t have it and it doesn’t look like dance. It doesn’t, really. They like Sweet P’s dress, although it should have been exaggerated. They don’t find any modern take on shoulder pads in Chris’s dress. It’s not relevant for today, except that shoulder pads aren’t relevant for today, so WTF? DK says the “totality” of the garment is lacking. This judging makes no sense. They want Sweet P to exaggerate her trend, but Chris’s shoulder pads are “awkward” and not relevant. Nina likes the concept of Ricky’s team, but not the construction. Elisa gets high praise, and Victorya gets praise for the fit, which she quickly gives to Ricky. Nina reminds him that he’s had construction problems in the past, and his dress looks the worst. He claims that micromanaging his team made him behind. So…not so much with the avoiding micromanagement, then. Elisa tries to defend him by saying he helped her out a lot. Kors says he killed his team with his choice of fabric because it’s so impossible. They ask Victorya about Ricky’s leadership, and she claims to have had a “heavy hand” in the first two looks and says she claimed responsibility. Heidi is like, I asked about Ricky, not you. Kors knows she‘s trying to say she took over, and Victorya says she can‘t help but to say what she thinks, but she also expects a “counterweight“. I think she‘s saying that Ricky should have told her to shut up and do what he told her. It sounds like she wants to voice all her opinions, but also that Ricky should have stood up to her? Ricky knows she has no respect for him. Kors says this weird relationship shows in their clothes. Now is the time to ask who should go and start throwing people under the bus. Victorya and Ricky throw each other under the bus, and Elisa says she always says herself when asked who should go. Steven says Chris, and Chris says Chris, but then Sweet P says that Steven’s outfit stands out the most so he should go.

Judge bashing. Ricky’s design wasn’t great, plus it was so unfinished. Victorya gets in trouble for trying to claim to be the leader. At least I think so. Chris’s team didn’t have a collection, and it wasn’t relevant either. Steven’s actually was the least like the other two but Chris’s jacket was horrid. Kors says the jacket was “mother of the bride” but I think that like insane crotches that’s something he tries to say once a season. They’ve made it seem like Ricky might go, but he didn’t get any interview time to talk about how fashion is his life so I know he’s safe.

Sweet P, Elisa, Steven (phew!), and Victorya are in. So it really is down to Ricky and Chris. I don’t like this at all. Both of them had the worst looks on their teams. Ricky is in. Dammit. I love Chris, he’s so fun! He stands by his look, but he’s just going to go back to his life and he hopes he brought fun. Bye, Chris! If you ever want to come over and hang out we can make fun of people and giggle.

Next week: Jack is sobbing and upset and oh no I remember what this is. Now I am sad too. I have absolutely no idea about the challenge, though.

Clicky clicky

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I gasped so hard I gave myself a coughing fit

I mean, seriously! There was a montage! No one dies when they're doing a voiceover for a montage! Clicky clicky

Sunday, December 2, 2007

I don't know what Carter Oosterhouse has to do with cars, but I don't really care

You guys. Carter Oosterhouse. Delicious eye candy. Good with his hands. He has nothing to do with making go carts. I don't think anyone cares.

I mean, first Santino, and now Carter? These guest stars are awesome. I also love how Andre, Brett, and Rachel have an "alliance" to get rid of VJ and Andrea, but they are incompetent so it never works. Except that then they had that weird twist of the voting. How is this relevant? I mean, it's not based on skills or anything. If anything, the person getting nominated is likely to be the best person in the house.

Also, do car show models have to talk? I thought they just stood there and looked pretty. And THEN Brett came back in all mad and started bitching about the spinning show floor! Don't warn VJ about the floor! Although, he was the only one smart enough to step off the turntable. I can see why they want to get rid of him. Even if he hadn't called his friend to cheat and get information, he still reacted well to the surprise.

It's so weird, at the beginning I couldn't STAND Andre, but now I find myself rooting for him. His Communist ways are growing on me. Clicky clicky