Friday, August 27, 2010

Project Runway 8/27/10--"There IS an I in Team" summary

Previously on Project Runway: Ivy was fine. Everyone had to make outfits to go with awesome hats. Mike D. made a cool top that mimicked his hat, but somehow Mike C. made a goddess-type dress with a handkerchief hem and everyone loved it and he won. Chris had a great coat, that Tim loved but the judges thought it was horrid. April made hot pants, only in white so they looked like a diaper. Imagine her shorts but all in black. So much better, right? But Kristin made a weird black dress with red swoops, to go with an orchid hat, so she was out. (click for more)

Everyone is still pissed Mike C. won. Andy and AJ can continue to say whatever they want if they will wander the apartment in their underwear. (Kmanpat: “Yes please!”) April is confused that no one understood her “diaper”. She said it, not me. She says all she can do is to just keep doing what she’s doing. Peach says that if April has a target on her back, then so does she. April looks incredulous.

Heidi’s dress is so short it might as well be hot pants. First off, they will be working in two teams of six. Then she CLAIMS there will not be team leaders. That just means Heidi won’t be assigning them. There will still be team leaders. Someone from the losing team will go home. Mike C. gets to pick his first teammate. Plus he has immunity which is nice. He picks Gretchen. April says he’s a dumbass and asks “Do you WANT to hire Hitler?” OK I think that’s going a little far, but I do agree that Gretchen is going to run that team. There’s not much question about it. Heidi draws names for the second team, and she picks April. Valerie is irritated because she does not want to be on a team with Mike C. OR April. They go back and forth. Gretchen gets to pick, then Mondo (that’s who April picked), and so forth. The teams shake down like this: Mike C., Gretchen, Chris, Andy, Ivy, and AJ. The other team is April, Mondo, Mike D., Valerie, Casanova, and Peach. Hmm, one team has strong players and one seems to be misfits. I’m sure the strong team wouldn’t choke and lose because that never happens. Peach is chosen last and makes a big deal about looking around and waving her hand in the air. Hee. Peach tells us that everyone who has won a challenge is on the other team. The producers help us out with a chyron and sound effects. Hee. Mike C. is pretty confident, while April labels his team “a clusterfuck”. Too many egos. I like April.

Tim greets them in the workroom with some random new guy who is now the consultant for Garnier. They have to make a 6 piece collection for fall 2010. BORING. I get that this is relevant and the people who show at Fashion Week (whoops, almost wrote “Bryant Park”) probably should be aware of these things, but it’s basically a “make pretty clothes” challenge. There are concepts and textiles. One from column A and one from column B. So here’s what’s on trend for fall, I guess: minimalist, 50’s retro ladylike shapes, menswear for women, military, gold, camel, leopard and cheetah prints, plaid, and lace. Blah. Someone should make plaid military clothes though. The Garnier guy talks about hairstyles on trend. They have an hour to sketch, and then $1000 PER TEAM at Mood. And ONE DAY. Seriously? One day?

Mike D. asks that everyone respect each other. The other team is hollering, I guess, and Gretchen is sharing her opinion that they should do menswear for women. With leopard and cheetah. Valerie volunteers menswear also but Peach thinks it can go flat too easily. It appears April talks them into military. Mike C.’s team decides on camel menswear for women. April’s team votes for military, overruling Valerie who says she’s OK with it. Lace military. Interesting. They’re all making their own looks, but sharing them with each other. For example Valerie says what she’s planning on, and Mondo says he can play off of that with his blouse. Like that. They seem to agree pretty well.

Mike C.’s team is delegating somehow. Like, if someone does tailoring really well they’ll do all the tailored pieces. So no one person is responsible for an entire look. I can’t tell if that’s a good idea or not. It plays to everyone’s strengths, but what if two pieces end up not going together? Gretchen tells everyone that the other team has “cuckoo drama” so they need to do tailored and clean. AJ insists he can clean up his shredded thing because that is a thing he likes to do for himself but “this is about us”. His strategy is to make something cohesive. Oh, AJ. That is not a good sign for you. Mike C. is sketching something he thinks is an idea but no one seems to care. Everyone’s totally agreeing any time Gretchen says something, though, so he’s kind of bitter. Oh, like you didn’t see that coming from a mile away. Ivy thinks their only problem is if Mike C. throws them all under the bus because he has immunity. Then she says that to his face. Gretchen is so proud of them! Barf.

In the other room, Peach wants them to all agree on colors, so they don’t all show up with random stuff. Valerie thinks Peach should just do whatever she wants to, but Peach insists that isn’t how a collection works. Valerie blames this on Peach’s being on the bottom and being insecure. I think Peach has a good point. Peach thinks that everyone in her group has already decided they’re losing, so they aren’t even trying. Valerie thinks the solution to this is for Peach to tell them what she wants to do, but Peach wants to have agreement. She’s not really bitchy, but Valerie thinks she’s being snapped at and claims they’re trying to work together. Telling Peach to do whatever she wants is not working together.

“Team Luxe”, Gretchen’s team. Gretchen claims they mutually agreed on rich tailored pieces. Really what I hear is Gretchen saying things and then Ivy gushing over how awesome that idea is.

Shopping is the usual, except that Gretchen is like “Meet me at the stairs, Michael. Don’t go anywhere but the stairs, Michael!” like he’s 5 years old. Mike C. ditches Gretchen, who worries along with AJ that he’s going to screw them. Gretchen claims that if he screws it up she will kill him. Yeah. Later Gretchen and AJ dance like white people.

Team April is going to drape and then make sure everyone has enough fabric before they cut anything. Gretchen is telling Team Luxe what to do. Ivy is the only one making an entire look head to toe. Valerie says she found out how the other team is doing pieces and somehow this is similar to vomiting and having diarrhea at the same time. April doesn’t trust Valerie. Gretchen is worried about AJ because she thinks his craftsmanship sucks. Valerie tells Casanova to not to underdo it. I see that Casanova has fantastic shoes with curly toes. Kick ass. He says that in the past he’s’ gotten in trouble for having too much stuff so he wants to be careful of that. Be “softener”. Ivy tells Mike C. how to make a cowl neck when he asks her about it and then rolls her eyes in confessional about how he doesn’t know how to do it and she doesn’t have time to teach him. He says he can do it, and she shoots back that he said that last time but he didn’t. Mike C. threatens to go off on her. Gretchen wants to go micromanage but Chris talks her out of it. Instead, Gretchen, Chris, and Andy fiddle with his top while he’s out of the room. She claims his sucking is making her worried.

Hair consults. April and Valerie ask for French braids but messy. And fauxhawks. He gives them a much better suggestion. That’s cool; usually the Garnier person just agrees with whatever is going on. Gretchen and Andy want something modern, and so they’re doing “modern old Hollywood glam”. It’s actually like, long waves. Eh. Gretchen declares them the winners. The judges never really care about the styling that much.

Tim time! April’s team goes first. Tim warns them not to let their clothes look old. He loves Mondo’s look. Tim tells Peach to put her color under the lace, and Valerie pipes up to agree with Tim. Then she starts to tell him about her zippers and chains, which makes Tim concerned. April is cleaning up her look. Casanova is worried because Tim never has anything good to say to him. This time is no different because the look is too old. Tim tells them to keep helping each other.
Team Luxe. Gretchen thinks this is “an authentic collaboration”. They explain to him about how they’re not doing looks, but pieces. Everyone is doing “roughly” three pieces, except Gretchen, who is doing two, and who feels like she’s in every piece even if she’s not sewing it. Because she is telling everyone what to do. Tim thinks they’re ambitious, and also he feels he needs to say their collection is boring. Hahaha.

Casanova needs to take a break, because he’s upset about what Tim said. Valerie thinks he’s just having a diva moment. She and Mike D. try to get him back in the workroom to finish. They tell him his clothes are breathtaking. Valerie is really nice to him in person, but in confessional she’s offended he is upset. You can’t do that. Tell him to cry and cut. He I guess is napping on the couch. Valerie blows into the workroom but no one is there to hear her announcement. She’s super pissed that they might lose and someone would go home, as if they wouldn’t all throw Casanova under the bus for not finishing. I mean, I would. Casanova would probably admit he didn’t feel like finishing.

Model fitting. Casanova’s model has to go looking for him. He’s on the phone to his aunt. His model tells him he has to not let other people get him down and do what he thinks is best. This works much better than Valerie and Mike’s ass-kissing (or he’s ready to get back to work because he‘s feeling better) and he returns to the workroom. AJ has restarted the back of his dress so there is nothing for his model to try on. Mike C. knows that his blouse doesn’t fit, and all of a sudden Gretchen and Chris are telling him what to do with it. Gretchen is “disappointed” in AJ and Mike. See, this is why people are so irritated with Gretchen. Valerie doesn’t think Casanova can finish, but she’s mad. Gretchen is disappointed like she’s their teacher or mom or something. She tells Mike that if he can’t do it someone else will.

Casanova says he is maybe too old fashioned for this show. “I just can’t work with sluts” Hee. He makes something happen, although he doesn’t know how he managed. Gretchen is suddenly making pieces for every look, even though when Tim was there she only could come up with two pieces.

In the morning, April feels confident because while their group is all creative, the other group is all Gretchen. Who, by the way, woke up at 4am freaking out and made a to-do list. April’s team is much calmer. Gretchen says “I need it” whatever. Their team is running around. Ivy mostly. Andy’s model is hemming pants. Seriously, all their models are sewing. Chris is making the grandpa sweater that Gretchen I thought was making? Everyone thinks they’re awesome.
Guest judge is Georgina Chapman, cofounder of Marchesa. April’s team is up first. Mondo: orange leggings, with black walking shorts over the top. Her blouse is a sleeveless v-neck, with a halter that has some gold fittings. Over one shoulder there is some rope, like on a military dress uniform. I don’t know about the leggings. There is no back. Peach: high waisted pencil skirt in royal blue, with gold chains and buttons over her belly button. Then the top is a camisole made of raspberry with a black lace overlay. These two pieces do not go together; however I wish I had that top. April: black pants, a sleeveless black top with vinyl lapels. The top of the top is striped. If that makes sense. Also there is a large exposed zipper over her ass. Valerie: white skirt and cropped jacket, with gold fittings, and a blue tank. There are buttons on the skirt and gold rope on the jacket. Also there are matching blue leggings. Gretchen whispers that this is not related to the last one and they’ve won. Shush. Casanova: tight white pants with gold buttons up the side. The top is all black lace, with an opaque placket down the front, and the same backless shape as Mondo. There is a high neck and little cap sleeves. It doesn’t look too matronly to me but what do I know? Mike D: black skirt and a black lace top. The top is one-shouldered with loops along the other shoulder. We don’t get a good look at it, just as we haven’t seen him work on it for the entire show.

Team Luxe. Since they all worked on everything, probably I’ll just describe the outfits. First up: red pants and a long white tunic with a belt. The tunic just looks like an oversized linen shirt with the sleeves rolled up. There’s a little more of the red as a scarf or cravat or something. The leggings aren’t solid red, they have a panel of camel on the inside of her legs. Look 2: high waisted palazzo pants, and a gray blouse with a halter neckline. There is also a grandpa sweater cardigan. And no back to the blouse. Exposed zipper GAH. Look 3: short skirt, white blazer with a belt and a red top. The blazer is really wide and has a band at the bottom hem. It looks like maybe it was too big. Look 4: red leggings, gray shorts, and a long sleeved gray top. Then there is a very long camel vest. I thought they were supposed to do camel in everything? But some of these looks only have a belt. I think this is Ivy’s look. Look 5: gray leggings or tight pants, and a sheer white blouse. And I mean sheer. There’s a cowl neckline and also a cropped camel jacket with a keyhole in the back. The pants have zippers at the bottom. Look 6: red dress and camel jacket. The dress is short and has a keyhole. The jacket is nice.

April’s team wins! Hahahahaha. If only because it pisses off Gretchen. But you knew it was coming. The misfit team always wins. Losers get sent to the Scrap Bin (love it Duabe!) where they promptly express their shock. Valerie says they wanted to make a cohesive collection that was balanced between hard and soft. Heidi thinks it is young and fun. Georgina likes that each design is obviously from a different person, but they all fit together. Gretchen complains that their collection wasn’t cohesive. I never am able to figure that out. Like, the clothes have to look like they go together, but they can’t all look the I can’t judge on cohesiveness. Gretchen thinks that their collection doesn’t look like any of them “and I think that’s a Project Runway first”. Well, whoop-dee-doo. Back to the runway. The clothes are versatile, with excellent styling, not costumey, excellent hair. And they LOVE Casanova’s look. And it’s well made. They also love Peach’s top. People think Casanova should win. He thinks Peach should win.

In the Scrap Bin AJ and Ivy think that they should all go down together as a team. Why can’t you own up to what you did? AJ is like, I hope no one decides when they get down there to change their minds! Shush. When Heidi asks them about the collection, Gretchen starts off by saying it was so important for them to truly collaborate and not just make their own designs. You already lost. You can stop trying to change their minds. They wanted to use their strengths and support weaknesses. So Heidi pounces on that and asks who the weakest designer is. To her credit Gretchen doesn’t say anyone’s name. Although now she’s crying and then everyone is crying and the judges are stone-faced. I love it. Ivy is all, “It’s like someone said your baby is ugly”. I am such an evil person. This is so entertaining to me. Heidi reminds them that Mike C. is safe from elimination, and Gretchen (dry-eyed now) says she just wants to say one more thing, that they should think of who they want to see more from because they think that’s the best way for the judges to pick who to eliminate. Did you just tell Kors and Nina how to eliminate someone? Really? Kors is like, um, fashion is tough, and good for you to be a team but you just ended up with boring. They tempered their styles and it just ended up lame. Nina points out that every outfit has a proportion problem. There’s no design, and the colors are “ghastly”. There is also no luxe. They think the worst look is the one Ivy did by herself. Nina and Kors can only shake their heads. Heidi asks about the sheer dress, which AJ made, but it’s not so much a shirtdress as it is a shirt. When they show a close-up it’s shiny. It’s not interesting. Gretchen admits that they had realized these clothes looked old, and they call her on changing her tune. Then she takes responsibility for the styling, saying “I’ll take responsibility for the styling, but I also feel like I had to style maybe a crappy collection, trying to save it.” Heidi and Nina point out that before she was telling them how awesome it was and she said she loved it. Kors wants to know if this is “her world” who had the hardest time dealing with it. Oh, that would be Mike C. Well, she lasted longer than I thought she would. Georgina likes the back of the blouse he made. Gretchen claims that she had to work with Mike so much that her own clothes suffered. Seriously, she has come around and changed her tune and no one is buying it. Heidi asks Ivy who was the weakest, and she says Mike C. but Heidi is having none of it. Out of the people up for elimination, who was the weakest? All of them throw Mike C. under the bus, as he has immunity and can take it, except AJ says he himself was weak. But no one will name someone who is up for elimination. Gretchen gets anxious and says she doesn’t want to be a martyr and volunteer herself, which is not what they asked her to do anyway. So she just pleads her own case. Ivy calls Mike lazy or possibly ignorant.

This is a waste of time! 5 people are up! Andy asks them to go by what they know of the designers, and Kors is like, that’s not what we do. Except it’s TOTALLY what you do. They ALWAYS add in past performance. Gretchen is like, fine, then I guess you want to know what we all made. The judges are like, damn, finally. I love this runway judging. So they go through what they made. AJ only made one thing. Sad.

Back in the Scrap Bin Gretchen doesn’t want to talk about it. Of course. They all admit to throwing Mike under the bus because he was the worst. He just sits there, and eventually says that he doesn’t agree but that’s what everyone else thinks so whatever.

April’s team! Everyone stepped it up! Everyone got to express themselves and Casanova especially did a great job. Peach too. Team Luxe was not luxe and also they were boring. Gretchen talked too much and changed her tune too quickly. She also spent all that time worrying about everyone else. Nina rolls her eyes. They all have a good laugh about how everyone named Mike as the weak link. It’s clear they don’t believe it for a minute. They hate Ivy’s look. AJ gave up his design style and also only made one thing. Heidi knows that Gretchen was the leader and she cowed everyone into doing what she said. But if she was the leader, but didn’t show her own style, did she just boss everyone around? Kors wishes they’d picked someone out to eliminate.

Casanova wins! Well, good for him, although I would hope he feels silly about all that drama. The whole team gets to leave. Mike C. gets to leave. He wishes all of the rest of his team good luck, which is more than I would have done. He’s upset that his team threw him under the bus. Chris is in. Ivy is in. Andy is in. Gretchen made all the decisions and they were bad. AJ spent all his time making one poor dress. Gretchen is in. Damn. AJ is upset to have gone out for something that wasn’t really him. Yeah. Tim appears to tell AJ to sit down and deliver a message to Team Luxe. He does not understand their behavior. “I don’t know why you allow Gretchen to manipulate, control, and bully you. I don’t. Understand. It. And AJ, you’ve taken the bullet, and now I have to send you to the workroom to clean up your space!” …did that just happen? Did Tim just call out a designer? OMG. Ivy knows Tim doesn’t just randomly say shit, so she thinks they all just figured it out. She certainly thinks he was right. Tim I love you. Gretchen says she’s not manipulative and her feelings are hurt because she just wanted to help and AJ said he wanted to make a shirtdress but it didn’t have to be a boring shirtdress. Wow. I don’t think you won any points with that. AJ, Kman and I are going to come visit you. Kman claims to know where you work. Not that we are stalking you, that is totally not it. We just think you are awesome and we’d love to give you some business.

Next week: new models. Tim has a surprise. I have no idea!
Clicky clicky

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Top Chef 8/25/10--"Making Concessions"

Previously on “Top Chef”: first was an episode of “Chopped” where everyone had mystery ingredients to incorporate into one dish. Most people flailed badly, including Angelo, and in the end Tiffany wins again. The Elimination challenge is something I saw on an episode of “Dinner: Impossible” which was to disguise food. “Dinner: Impossible” did things like make cake out of meat with mashed potato frosting, and hot dogs that were really ice cream with pound cake buns and candy relish. Sadly no one did anything like that. It somehow turned into a sort of deconstruction challenge. While Kelly managed to make kung pao shrimp into a soup without ever having eaten kung pao shrimp before, Tiffany’s deconstructed gyro won. Now she’s won $20,000 so far and a trip to Paris. Amanda tried to disguise soup by making soup, and Angelo continues to flail and fail with purchased puff pastry, but Alex finally went home for just making terrible food. (click for more)

For some reason Ed is wearing a bright yellow dress. Tiffany claims it for her own, as Ed wanders the house and pretends nothing is going on. Kevin says “Damn girl! You lookin’ rough in the morning!” Hee. Someone points out that he may be naked under the dress. Or possibly wearing some of Tiffany’s panties. Ew. Kelly was not surprised Alex left, or that Amanda was also in the bottom. Angelo talks about how when he was young he cut out pictures of famous chefs and made a creepy altar to them. With candles. So he could pray to them. Amanda says he reads Tony Robbins books and says mantras to himself. Positive self-talk! I don’t think you’re in such a great position you can make fun of him, Amanda.

Padma has brought Rick Moonen to greet everyone. I saw him when I was watching Miss Universe, as the girls went to his restaurant in Vegas and he gave them cooking lessons or something. Everyone hopes for seafood, as Rick is known for it. Padma starts listing metaphors for the winner: “top banana”, “the big cheese”, etc. This show needs a new writer. This Quickfire is about idioms. See, that’s cool, I don’t need Padma to list off 4 or 5 for me. They must choose an idiom for their dish. Kelly points out that “hide the salami” is one of the idioms. The winning dish will be sold by Schwan’s. Tiffany wants her name on it. Kevin picks “bring home the bacon”. Amanda takes “the big cheese”, based on the fact that she likes cheese. Kelly gets “sour grapes”, Ed takes “hot potato” (too easy), Tiffany wants “spill the beans”, and Angelo takes “bigger fish to fry”. I guess there were extras. I wanted someone to have to do “hide the salami”. Or “apple of my eye” which is illustrated by apples with googly eyes, and big eyeglasses.

1 hour to cook. As people run around there is a big product-placement shot of Morton’s kosher salt. Really? Amanda says that cheese should be great as a frozen meal. She flails while Ed rolls his eyes and interviews that she has no technique. Angelo proves that his mental collapse is proceeding nicely by claiming Amanda is a “dark horse”. Tiffany is using canned beans because of the time limit so she knows she needs to mess with the flavors. Kelly feels everyone else is disorganized. Angelo tears around and talks to himself. Kevin has a bacon trio. Ed is trying to make gnocchi.

Ed: herb and roasted garlic gnocchi, spring vegetables, and mushroom fricassee. Yum. Tiffany: pan-seared cod over stewed beans, Swiss chard, carrots, and bacon. Kevin: bacon puree, chopped bacon, and bacon froth with a poached egg. Froth. Sigh. Angelo snots that you can’t freeze that. True. Kelly: pan-roasted chicken breast, caramelized Brussels sprout leaves, and red grape sauce. Angelo: chile crusted tilapia satay with Asian tartar sauce, sambal, and sriracha. Amanda: macaroni and cheese with bacon and jalapenos, and a pork chop on the side. Hee, “side of a pork chop”.

Rick did not like Kelly’s dish. The Brussels sprouts and grapes didn’t “sing”, and Amanda’s dish was too heavy-handed. Now she’s pouting. Shut up, Amanda. Kevin made bacon light and balanced, and Ed’s gnocchi was well thought out. Ed wins! Angelo makes fun of his head unnecessarily.

For the Elimination challenge the chefs will be working a concession stand at a National’s game. Well…”high-end” concession stand food. And only during the pre-game. I’ve worked a concession stand at a Rams game. It was not fun. They’ll all work as one team, making at least 6 dishes.

Tiffany complains that Kelly talks a lot, but she’s saying how they should all agree so they don’t end up with 6 beef dishes. That’s an excellent point. Then she starts talking about sandwiches and she’s lost me. And then she starts assigning people proteins. Amanda admits they’re not a team. No one really tells Kelly to back off, and no one tries to be leader instead of her either.
30 minutes to shop with $2000. Wow. It’s not clear if they have to just make high-end food, or if it has to be “inspired” by traditional ballpark food. For example, Amanda is making tuna tartare. Not really inspired by anything I usually eat at the ballpark. Although you can get sushi at a California ballpark.

3 hours to cook. Angelo’s making pork that will take at least 2 ½ hours to braise. Tiffany is making her own sausage for meatballs. Amanda is going to put her tuna in a grinder, because she doesn’t want to deal with it tomorrow in an unfamiliar kitchen. She’s asking Angelo for advice, which Kevin thinks is stupid. No one thinks she should listen to Angelo. Ed lets us know that the huge budget is because they have to serve 150 people. He decides that at 3 corn and shrimp poppers per person, he has to make 550 poppers. Sigh. Did they cut the part where he said “3 per person plus extras?” Please? Because…it just pains me. Ed runs around and snaps at Tiffany when she doesn’t understand him. Amanda labels this as “out of control”. We hear pans falling over. I think he gets it all wrapped up.

Back at home Amanda realizes that someone will have to run the counter and take orders. Kelly says it can’t be her because she’s set up to cook everything when they get there. Angelo interviews that Kelly is sneakily methodical and it’s ballsy. Angelo then steps up and says he’ll take orders.

Kevin says he doesn’t trust Angelo. I doubt Angelo will sabotage everyone while taking orders, when it would be so obvious that’s what he’s doing. The kitchen part of the stand is really small. Everyone gets an hour. Angelo realizes he can’t plate and take orders at the same time, but doesn’t want to ask someone else to do it, because they naturally will not be as careful with his food. So he starts passing guest check pads to everyone, I guess so they can all take orders. Kevin tells him it’s not ever going to work that way. They get in a stupid argument about whether or not Kevin should calm down. I do hate when I’m pissed and people tell me to calm down, though. I feel you, Kevin. He rightly points out that Angelo is not in charge and he should have thought about this last night when he volunteered to work the counter. Various people offer to help plate Angelo’s dish. Ed says he’ll cook it, and then jokes that he changed his mind. Just to mess with Angelo. Heh. I think Tiffany and Amanda are going to help out with putting orders up? Calling out orders? Something.

Tom time! He brings some Nationals players with him. Also he’s wearing a long-sleeved flannel shirt for some reason. Kelly thinks the players are cute. They are kind of cute. They’re also ridiculously tall. Kelly is freaking out but knows she should stop freaking out. Amanda’s tuna has turned gray. Angelo tells us in voiceover that he could have helped out Amanda by telling her to put oil on it, or something to keep it from oxidizing, but he’s not that nice. Kevin asks Tiffany to taste his dish, and she tells him it’s not salty enough. She refuses to keep her mouth shut about how his dish could be better. Kevin is still bitching about Angelo.

Service starts, and there are a TON of people in line. Tiffany is yelling back at Angelo and entertaining people. All she hears is meatball subs (her dish) and crab cakes (Kelly’s dish). I hope they save some for the judges. The ball players roll in and cut the line. They goof around which is entertaining. Mostly they like everything except I think someone doesn’t like Ed’s. Angelo reminds everyone to save food for the judges which was nice of him.

Oh and here are the judges. Well that was convenient. Kelly: open faced crab cake BLT and sweet potato fries. I love sweet potato fries. Tiffany: Italian meatball sub with fennel, basil, pesto, and fresh mozzarella. Amanda: yellowfin tuna tartare with fennel, Meyer lemon, and fava bean puree. None of these things can hide the gray tuna. She claims to like the flavor. They sort of like it. But it’s not appetizing looking. The crab cake is excellent but salty. Tom claims the point of ballpark food is to get you to drink more beer so, plus one for that. Tiffany’s dish is wonderful but sort of hard to eat. Eric says to take charge. Hee.

Ed and Angelo mess with each other and Angelo tells us that Kevin needs to be more positive. OH I am on Kevin’s side now. Do not tell someone in a bad mood that they just need to be more positive. You are looking for a kick in the teeth. Angelo: sweet glazed pork on lobster roll with sweet sesame pickles. Kevin: chicken kabob with romesco sauce, shoestring fries and smoked paprika aioli. Ed: shrimp and corn risotto fritters with jalapeno aioli. Oo, that sounds good. The fritters are well cooked and tasty. The chicken is good but the fries got soggy sitting on top of the skewer. Which is too bad because Kevin says he used the fries to add crunch. Some random person explains why no one is ordering chicken: everything else is far more interesting. Angelo’s pork has too much bread and it killed the finish of the dish. Tom thinks they all worked together well. They did, mostly.

Commercial interlude: Angelo gets his phone call home. He talks to his fiancée every night for 5 or 6 hours. He says when he wins the money he’s bringing her over from Russia.

We’re at the point where everyone comes out for judges’ table. Padma asks how Angelo ended up in front, and he said that he offered to “take the lead” because he has a sandwich shop. Tiffany interrupts to let them know the whole debacle with Angelo trying to hand out guest check pads to everyone. They have a stupid “oh no, you go ahead” argument, and then Angelo admits that he started to worry about his own dish so he started to do just that, and Kevin interrupts him to say that they had decided Angelo would work the counter last night, so it wasn’t exactly right to wait until today to say anything. Padma moves on, because no one cares. Ed’s fritters were delicious and easy to eat. Tiffany’s was not easy to eat but also delicious. The meatballs were flavorful. Ed wins. Remember how we were like “Angelo is so great and will win everything!” Yeah. Ed wins a copy of Rick’s cookbook and a trip to Australia. Wha!? Damn. Padma kicks Tiffany and Ed out of the room.

Amanda tried to do something different but the color was terrible. She tries to explain how she didn’t know what the kitchen would be like, but in a real restaurant she never would have cut up her tuna the day before. Her fellow competitors back her up as Tom keeps on her about how that was a horrible mistake. Kevin’s marinade didn’t come across in the flavor. The skewer was unwieldy and the fries got soggy. He had tried to get everything in one bite. Kelly’s crab had a good flavor but maybe needed a little bit of crunch. And thinner bacon. Angelo made some good pork, but the bread sucked everything out of the sandwich. Tom points out that as a sandwich shop owner, Angelo knows bread choice is very important. Padma adds that there was also too much sugar.

Kevin’s dish had too much going on, with a romesco sauce AND an aioli. Tom is still irritated at the fries on top of the skewer. Padma calls it a fatal mistake. Amanda shouldn’t have put her fish through a grinder either. Tom keeps defending her vegetables. Angelo knew his dish was sweet but didn’t fix it properly. Plus the bread thing. All of a sudden Kelly’s lettuce was bad and the tomato jam was bad, not really a BLT, I guess we need drama since we know they didn’t have that much to say about it before.

No, Bravo, I’m not going to watch “Watch What Happens Live” to find out who the fan favorite was from this season. You know why? Because fucking Andy Cohen, is why.

Kelly’s dish didn’t come together, Amanda cut her tuna too early, Kevin had soggy fries, and Angelo had soggy bread. Amanda is sent home. Hmm, I thought they might send Angelo home. Not sad, though. She says she came a long way, and then says she’ll remember this experience for the rest of her life, as if somehow her life is so awesome she might forget that time she was on reality television for weeks and weeks.

Next week: NASA. And Buzz Aldrin. Everyone freaks out. Last episode before they all go home and come back for the finale.
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Friday, August 20, 2010

Project Runway 8/19/10--"Hats Off to You" summary

Previously on Project Runway: Gretchen was really proud of herself and got cocky. However the producers suddenly cut in a lot of clips of her talking about how awesome she is, which is kind of suspicious. I’m sure she is annoying, but maybe she’s not as annoying as they want us to think. She did say things like “my skills will cause everyone to step up their game”. The actual challenge involved a party store, which was fun. I always like the unconventional materials challenge. Gretchen did do well, in that she had a good jacket, but Andy made a whole dress out of ribbons, and he won. Casanova had no idea what he was doing, but Sarah’s dress was too boring and she went home. After listening to Gretchen, which they imply was why she went home, although Sarah doubted herself and she could have done that without any help from anyone. Also Ivy was taken to the hospital, and we ended on that cliffhanger. Why didn’t the preview say anything about that? Plus how come Ivy gets screen time but no one else who fainted the previous episode is even mentioned? (click for more)

We start again with Ivy on the floor being tended to. Gretchen and Valerie talk about how Ivy smoked and drank Diet Coke but didn’t really eat or take care of herself. At 3:20am Ivy returns to the apartments. She was dehydrated, they said. She doesn’t want to be inspired by the hospital room.

Heidi appears with the velvet bag, except she said last time that the losing designer’s model was automatically out. She is excited, as she reminds Andy that he has immunity. The models come out with the most awesome hats ever. Mike D. loves it. These hats are designed by Philip Treacy. These are wild, artistic hats, feathers, cones…just go look at the website. The challenge is to design a dress that goes with one of these hats. Andy gets to pick first, and he will work with the model wearing the hat he picks. Everybody picks hats. No one likes Peach’s model’s attitude, but she’s gorgeous so Peach keeps her. Obviously many people want to stay with their models, but hesitate because of the hats they are wearing. Kristin keeps her model, who is wearing a giant orchid.

Everyone gets a photo and one day to make a dress. 15 minutes to sketch, and $150 at Mood. Ivy seriously WAS inspired by the hospital curtains.

Casanova breaks the sewing machine, possibly, and then threatens to quit. Ivy interviews that she expects Casanova to be a diva, being a queen and all. He interviews that the judges know he can sew, but they expect him to have taste, so he has to win the next challenge, to prove to them he has taste. I don’t really get it either. Valerie discovers that she didn’t buy a zipper, like it matters and she can’t sew her model into the dress. Ivy offers an extra one. Kristin doesn’t like how literal the challenge is. Well…mostly how literal her hat is. She’s flailing. Valerie kind of freaks out but she’s going to persevere. Ivy makes sure to eat.

At dinner everyone talks about the different hats. Kristin is liking her hat more and more the longer she works with it. It…seems to be making her horny. No, really. She calls it “a big vagina”. Someone in the sewing room (full of gay men) asks why that makes her excited. Kristin says “Well, doesn’t it make you…oh look who I’m talking to”. Hee. Everyone talks about how they like her. Various people wish Mike C. a happy Father’s Day. Ivy says his dress is a hot mess. It’s just kind of…brown. Mike C. himself hates it.

Tim time! Valerie has made herself a headband out of a measuring tape. She’s got white faux leather for a jacket. Tim says nothing. He tells her to get rid of random stuff with no purpose, and edit. April has a pointy conical hat, with horizontal pink and white stripes. She is making booty shorts. Woah. Not only that but they are white, and are cut in such a way as to remind Tim of diapers. Not good. AND they’re quilted, are you serious? Ew. Mike D. looks like he’s making a bodice out of corrugated cardboard. He thinks it might be sci-fi but Tim encourages him not to be boring and middle of the road. Kristin has a plain black dress, but Tim doesn’t like that it’s fussy. Kristin starts cutting the neckline of the dress on the mannequin. Gretchen interviews that she hates Kristin’s work, but I don’t like her weird bun on top of her head. Kristin talks about a shrug but Tim recoils in horror so she is probably not going to do that. AJ has polka dots, and Tim tells him that a woman who could afford that hat, could afford a dress where the polka dots line up. Hee. Peach’s skirt is short, but not up “to show the good china”. I should start using that euphemism. Mondo has…black and white polka dots and then smaller yellow and brown polka dots. I don’t know. Chris’s print is a great gray with a black rose pattern. He thinks he is slowly getting better. Casanova feels his design is awesome, until Tim is like, um…I’ve seen this a million times before. Then he declares it “Donna Karan 1998”. He encourages Casanova to consider the woman who would wear that hat. Casanova says that the hat is editorial and no one is going to wear it, silly man. Not true. There is more misunderstanding. It looks like he bought a dress. Casanova doesn’t seem to care. Tim gives up. Mike C. admits he hates his dress. He’s got some puckering, and is concerned, as is Tim who tells him to change it all. But at least he knows his dress sucks.

With 5 hours left, Tim leaves and lets them all know the winner this week will have immunity. Mike C. starts over. Mike D. says that the other Mike doesn’t even have a ruler, and that “there are many ways to skin a cat…but you should probably bring a knife.” Oo, I need to start saying that too. Casanova claims he is almost done. Gretchen snots that April’s work is student work too. Seriously, I don’t want to hear about who you think has student work. You thought Andy had student work last week and he beat your ass. Mike C. gets a phone call with his son. He thinks he’s onto something good. The models come in for fittings. Kristin wonders about Mike C’s taste level. Wow…when April’s model puts the shorts on they REALLY look like diapers. Kristin loves her dress, and Casanova says something incomprehensible about it. Mike D. doesn’t know what to do about his skirt.

In the apartments everyone trash-talks everyone else. Nothing really sticks out.
In the morning people still are talking smack about everyone. Kristin wants some feedback. Casanova puts on a mud mask and Mike D. makes fun of him. He does look silly, but so does everyone when they wear a mud mask. When they all get to Parsons, flailing ensues. Tim enters to give them 2 hours to finish. Chris thinks he might win. Peach will get her model in the dress even if it takes a stick of butter. Philip puts the hats on the models himself. And he also comments on the dresses a little bit. Ivy is trying to be perfect. Then she nearly runs over a cameraman on the way out of the workroom.

Heidi walks onto the runway…ok first of all, they’re playing Seal. That is enough to cause me to have a fit. Then, she’s wearing a hat that is a black and red rose with a giant tall spiral stem thing. And a plain black dress. Flergh! That is what I think. Also, how exactly is that attached to her head? Philip is back to guest judge. Mike C.: rusty orange dress with a handkerchief hem and a deep V bodice. There is a gold sash wrapped around her, like the straps were super long and they used them as a belt. Her hat is a huge orange oval, with two little tails around her eyes. Remember Lady Gaga’s lobster mask/hat, where the antennae curved around her eyes? Like that. It’s orange but more red than his dress. Gretchen: beige short dress, with ruffles cut into it so it looks ragged. The bodice has side boob. It’s not really beige, there’s a sort of checkered/animal print to it. And leggings. And a black leather belt. The hat is a gray flat piece, on its side, and then spikes coming off the other side. Like she has a Mohawk and the hat is lying alongside her hair. Kristin: black dress with a red underlayer. The red is looped around, from under the skirt to the back of the dress, and again popping out from the bustline. Her hat is a big purple and white orchid. The red also shows up as a tail. Mike D.: the top still looks like cardboard, but it’s got a stand up collar, sort of, with no back, and it does seem to be cool. There is also an orange full skirt. The hat is round in the back, like she’s plastered a circle to the back of her head, then it comes forward over her head, and it comes to a point over the top of her head. It’s triangular, the part that frames her face, and then a big circular halo behind her head. I hate describing these hats. Valerie: red baby doll dress with a handkerchief hem and a white shrug. Her hat is really a black mask with sequins. The back of the dress is a racerback but the zipper really sticks out. AJ: black dress with white polka dots. The bodice has a big cowl collar, that stands up (not drapey), and the skirt is full but has some stiffness to it. It’s a cute dress. The hat is a big flat tan hat with a huge chinstrap. The skirt also has a scalloped hem, and there’s a big black sash.

Andy: huge hot pink jacket with huge sleeves and a double collar, and a pencil skirt in the same color. It reminds me of Chloe Dao’s finale collection. There is a tiny black bodice above the skirt. Not tiny like she’s falling out, but tiny like, the pink comes up to her boobs. The hat is a giant white circle with one strip of black. Like a clock. Ivy: light pink blouse, not super exciting but it’s a wrap top, and a white pencil skirt to the knee. Her hat is a bright pink flat cap with a big pink rose and a spiky feather thing. It’s almost a turban. April: black sleeveless vest and white booty shorts. They still look like diapers, even though there is a strip of black at the bottom of the leg hole. Her hat is a conical hat, with a really pointy top and a flat brim, in horizontal pink and white stripes. Nina is like, shading her eyes from the booty shorts. Chris: that gray and black print I described earlier, which is a sleeveless long vest or jacket, with a black belt. there is a gray miniskirt and gray tights that match, and high black boots. You know what it reminds me of, is that coat that Victorya and Jillian made for the avant-garde challenge, that awesome ruffled coat with the pink plaid? Not that this is a coat with plaid, but the cut and the way it sits on her makes me think of that outfit. Her hat is a big black Mohawk of black netting. Peach: first of all, her hat is a double swirl of black and white spiky feathers. Her dress is pink and beige floral print with a peplum and a short skirt. Casanova: plain black dress with a V neck and ¾ length sleeves and no black. His hat is a metallic swirl, with an inner swirl of neon yellow-green. Mondo: purple sleeveless vest, and then black and white polka dot pants with brown and yellow polka dot trim. Wow. Then his hat is a bright red spiral attached to her forehead.

April, Mike D., Chris, Mike C., Valerie, and Kristin get to be judged in more detail. Mike D. thought the hat reminded him of a warrior and a farmer. But not in a bad way. The skirt fabric is that permanently wrinkled stuff, which I like. Philip loves it. Wait, the skirt fabric wasn’t like that, he made it. Awesome. Everyone loves it, it’s dramatic and compliments the hat. Kristin wanted black to offset the orchid. Kors hates the black and thinks it doesn’t go with the hat. Her shoes have flowers too which is bad. Philip initially liked the stripes on the back but in the end he wants something more fragile. She politely disagrees and says she wanted her dress to flow. Nina says the black makes it not as soft. Chris wanted the dress to flow because his hat had a lot of hard angles. Heidi thinks it’s too dark and not happy enough. What? The hat is black netting. Kors hates the leggings, and the fact that she’s trying to be street but failing. Also they hate his top, which I really like. She does not look weighted down to the floor. Whatever. Mike C. wanted to transition the movement of the hat to the dress. Kors of course loves it that it’s not perfectly matched and not a costume. I see what Tim was saying about the judges this season. Not that Mike C. has a dress that sucks, but it’s not that great, I don’t think. To his credit, he sells it. April tries to sell her outfit, but no one is buying. Kors doesn’t like how literal it is. The back isn’t even fitted properly, and there’s a big black zipper. April admits she didn’t want to overpower the hat, so she made some mistakes. Valerie talks about scoop necks and the jacket being hard somehow, even though it’s a sleeveless white shrug. The judges all love it. Interesting. Philip, though, doesn’t get it or where it’s coming from.

Back in the…whatever room. Duabe says “Scrap Place”, and katnap says “Green Room”. Both are good suggestions, but it’s late now and I can’t decide. Will decide later. Mike C. brags about his dress, and everyone makes faces. They are also shocked that no one liked Chris’s outfit. April starts to cry. It was really her and she was confident.

Bad: Chris thought his look was edgy but it was dated and stiff. I still liked it. Kors admits that the vest was a good design on its own. Kristin’s whole outfit never came together. Nina thinks she has some talent. April had “triple panties” but the jacket was potentially OK. Plus she didn’t make a dress which Heidi likes. Good: Mike C. was effortless and perfectly coordinated. Valerie’s dress the regular judges liked, but Philip was bored and does not agree. Good. Someone should disagree. Mike D. was original and the outfit flattered his model.

Valerie is in. Mike C. is the winner. He’s so thrilled. Everyone fakes being happy. In confessional Ivy is all “WHAT THE FUCK?!?! OMG I said it!!” Gretchen complains, but she’s just bitter she wasn’t in the top. Mike D. is in. Chris is in. Kristin is out. That’s sad, she really did have a tough hat. Everyone is glad to see April, including Casanova. She makes fun of Casanova’s accent which is cute. Kristin is relieved to get back to the real world. She’s very calm about the whole thing.
Back at the apartments everyone bitches about Mike C.’s win, except his apartment, for obvious reasons.

Next week: two teams, Casanova is tired, people argue, dramz. That is when you have more drama than the word “drama” can handle. OK, it’s a typo my sister wrote and then kept. But that’s what it means.
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Top Chef 8/18/10--"Covert Cuisine"

Previously on “Top Chef”: we had Restaurant Wars and everyone forgot that 1. the cockiest team generally loses, and 2. this is the challenge that causes strong chefs to go home. It looked like Kenny’s team was working well together and that their food turned out better, but that was not the case. Ed won, based on delicious turbot. Alex mostly seemed to fail, and his team didn’t trust him to make a dish so he didn’t really make one, but since his team won he gets a free pass. I know. I don’t like it either but that’s how that works. Also it feels like the producers really want me to hate Alex, and while I do find him annoying, when people are so obvious they want me to think something it makes me want to be contrary just because. The judges decided that even though Kenny was a good leader, he made mediocre food, and they didn’t want him to stay just because he was a good leader. Even though they’d eliminate someone for being a bad leader. So Kenny went home. Tom’s said in his blog that he has been lobbying for the show to hire actual professional front of house people, that know what they are doing and can still comment on whether the kitchen is screwing up front of house stuff. I think that’s a fantastic idea. (click for more)

Kevin is still complaining about Alex. Everyone is whining about how Kenny is stronger than Alex (and Amanda, let’s not forget) but do they ever watch this show? How many times have they had Restaurant Wars and a very strong chef is eliminated? Tre? Seriously. Alex points out, rightly, that he had nothing to do with their team losing. Angelo politely refrains from gloating that his competition is gone.

The Quickfire apparently will involve large black boxes with question marks on them. And Wylie Dufresne. I like that no one this season claims to do molecular gastronomy so we don’t have to deal with that arrogance. Padma says they’ll start their dish with what’s in the box, but at some point more mystery boxes will arrive with more ingredients to add in. So it’s like a super hard episode of “Chopped”. (Kmanpat: “’Since they stole Ted Allen from us, we’re going to use his show as part of our Quickfire and mutilate it.’“) Tiffany is kind of freaking out. Also this will be a high stakes Quickfire worth $10,000. Angelo mentions that he wants that money to move his fiancée here from Russia.

40 minutes to cook. Inside the box is a fish, fava beans, and a tin can with no label. HA! Alex asks for a can opener, someone says Tiffany has one, but she doesn’t. This prompts Alex to talk about how everyone hates him but he doesn’t care. He continues to ask for a can opener, and dude. Get your own can opener. Inside the can is hominy. There appears to be a large amount of flailing, which is to be expected. Angelo admits to being lost. A Secret Service guy shows up. Really, like, black suit, shades, the whole bit. Inside the box is squid and black garlic. Black garlic? Apparently it’s fermented. Kelly says it’s smoky and sweet. She doesn’t want to confuse her flavors. They seem to be about halfway through. Then another guy shows up with ramps and passion fruit. Ramps are like wild onions, mostly. I think. Tiffany doesn’t know what to do with ramps, and we’re talking things like, do you eat the leaves? That’s important, or it could be. ANOTHER box, with jicama. I love jicama, just raw. Although if you get an old one the texture suffers and gets mealy. Angelo is seriously freaking out.

Alex: rockfish with fava bean puree, ramp fondue and sautéed squid. Guess it was rockfish. His plate looks kind of, eh. He knows it though. He claims the ramps have been “slowly melted”. Tiffany: fish stew with hominy, fava beans, saffron, and black garlic. These dishes are all going to sound the same. Kelly: “Yucatecan” seafood stew with black garlic, fava beans, & grilled ramps. Amanda: crispy skinned “striped bass”, squid fricassee, leek and mushroom fondue. I put the fish in quotes because I’m not sure where she got striped bass from when everyone else has been saying rockfish. Kevin: pan seared rockfish, hominy puree, jicama and passion fruit salad. Ed: rockfish sashimi with hominy-basil puree and grilled squid marinade. Angelo: smoky hominy pot-au-feu, squid, rockfish tataki, and passion fruit gel. Pot-au-feu is beef stew, tataki is quickly seared fish that is then marinated in vinegar and served with ginger, and gel is apparently what you get when you want to serve gelee but can’t cool it in time.

Wylie says that Alex’s puree was good but the rest of the dish was poor. Amanda’s dish was oily and the skin was not crispy when “crispy” was in the title of her dish. Tiffany integrated her dish well, and Kevin’s fish was well cooked. Kevin now tells us how he would love $10,000 for a new, bigger house. But Tiffany wins again.

For the Elimination challenge, the chefs will be cooking for the CIA. Padma says something about secret agents, and then says that they will be taking on a classic dish and then giving it a “disguise”. But the flavor should remain the same. So immediately I think of meat cake. Like, it looks like cake, but it’s really meatloaf with mashed potato frosting. They did this on “Dinner: Impossible” once. Whoever was in charge for challenges this episode must watch Food Network. Amanda: French onion soup. Ed: Chicken cordon bleu. Angelo: beef Wellington. Kelly: kung pao shrimp. Tiffany: gyro. Kevin: Cobb salad. Alex: veal parmesan. Padma says they’re serving tomorrow to some CIA officers and also the head of the CIA. Amanda blathers about seducing spies. The winner gets a trip to Paris. Random. Ed says his girlfriend has been bugging him about going on vacation.

30 minutes and $200 to shop. Alex talks about himself and how he used to be a professional videographer. After watching him with the waiters last week I can’t imagine he gets along with his clients. He claims that not having been a chef for very long lets him be more creative. Kelly has never made Chinese food in her life. She is planning to find some kung pao sauce to write down ingredients. Oh good, for a minute I thought she was planning to use bottled sauce. Angelo is buying puff pastry to make pizza. Ed comments on his buying pastry, but I think puff pastry is a pain to make.

2.5 hours to cook. Tiffany loves spy stuff. She seems to be deconstructing her dish in order to disguise it. Amanda also talks about spy stuff but somehow is more annoying about it. She’s still making soup. Kelly says it better be awesome soup if you’re disguising soup by…making soup. Kelly is also making soup, but has no idea what kung pao is supposed to taste like. Why didn’t she open the bottle and taste it? Alex tries to give her advice but she sniffs in confessional that he has no idea what he himself is doing so she’s certainly not going to believe he knows what she should be doing. Amanda says she likes and respects Alex. Of course. He’s making his veal stuffed inside tortellini. Angelo feels that the judges will be cool with his puff pastry, since it’s not the main focus of the dish. Kevin reminds us that John, the first contestant out, also bought puff pastry. But I also think that when you took out the puff pastry, John didn’t do enough. I might not do it, though, were I on this show. Alex says his spy name is “Dr. Zhivago” but that his favorite spy is “Get Smart”. 1. that’s not his name, his name is Maxwell Smart, and 2. don’t talk about his shoe phone like no one knows about it and it’s awesome because EVERYONE KNOWS THAT. Ed is putting his chicken on the inside and the ham on the outside. Kevin is changing textures, but he’s concerned it might not be enough of a new identity.

The CIA building is pretty impressive. They make it seem like they just waltz on in, even though I’m sure there were security people everywhere and some metal detectors. 1.5 hours to cook today. Ed is looking for cameras in the corners of the kitchen. Angelo knows his dish is not his best but he talks about how this is his life. Kelly says an hour and a half is plenty of time to make rice and do her cooking. Amanda is realizing she didn’t really disguise her dish. Alex says he decided at the beginning that for this show he wasn’t going to make anything he’d ever made before. Seriously? That doesn’t seem like the best strategy. Ed is unimpressed. Kelly confirms that her rice cooker should shut off when it’s done, and there is an ominous screen shot that I paused to look at. It does have a “warm” setting, but even if it doesn’t, rice cookers at least turn themselves off when they’re done cooking. Tiffany is getting worried because her dish is pretty simple. Kelly’s rice cooker begins to beep, and she finds it to be mush. She flips out because she’s used to cooking at high altitudes. But…it’s a rice cooker. You put in rice and water and push a button. Maybe she put too much water in? Tiffany encourages her to make rice on the stove so she can have rice. Tiffany also helps her plate, and spouts the reality show cliché of “I only want to beat the best”. Angelo continues to freak out. He’s kind of falling apart.

I thought they might let the contestants present their dishes but I guess not. Angelo: tartlet topped with slivers of beef, instead of beef Wellington. Ah…Padma is making them guess. The Director says it was a poor disguise and they would have captured this dish and hung it. Hee. It was salty and the pastry was hard. Eric Ripert knew he took shortcuts. Kelly: spicy shrimp broth with rice and Szechuan shrimp tempura, for kung pao shrimp. Wylie and Tom know what it is but some of the other guests guess pad Thai. It was good though, and seems well received. Tiffany: roasted leg of lamb with smoky eggplant, tomatoes, and pickled onions, for gyro. There doesn’t seem to be any yogurt. They guess right, but mostly because they know the dish is hiding something. I think that they wouldn’t have thought it was anything in disguise if no one told them. Eric says its the most elegant gyro he’s ever eaten. Kevin: romaine lettuce, tomato, bacon, Roquefort, avocado, cucumber, and turkey. It is the saddest little pile of salad, it looks like it’s about three bites worth. Tom doesn’t like that it’s still a salad, and he also liked it but he likes Cobb salad. Padma is making small talk with the Director, who gets a slip of paper in the middle of the conversation and then bails. Oo, big secret government happenings! Or a producer thinking how awesome it would be if it looked like there were big secret government happenings! I wonder if the paper says “Read carefully and then excuse yourself from the table”. The rest of the table looks annoyed for some reason.

Amanda claims Alex just fails at presentation and that makes her sad. Also she calls him “wise”. Amanda: consommé with oxtail marmalade, caramelized onions, and shaved gruyere. It doesn’t look like a lot of broth. They know it‘s French onion soup, but one girl thought the cheese was coconut and it threw her initially. Tom likes the idea of oxtail marmalade but this one is too sweet. Alex: veal and Parmigianino cheese tortellini with tomato sauce and tempura cheese. There is a cube of veal, and a cheese tortellini on top. That is important to the criticism, which is that the meat is tough. They sort of guess it‘s veal parmesan, but they might have lucked into it. Wylie thinks it was the hardest dish to guess, and Eric wants less disguise and more execution. Ed: roasted chicken breast, ham and cheese croquette, spring onion soubise (sauce). Eric knows exactly what it is. It’s an excellent dish, just very easy to guess.

In the kitchen everyone tastes each others’ food. Kelly tells Amanda her marmalade is sweet but tastes good, and Angelo wonders that there is eggplant in Tiffany’s dish. Angelo talks again about how worried he is.

Commercial interlude: Kelly and Alex talk about the director of the CIA and how he must know all kinds of shit, like who killed JFK and if there are aliens. Angelo says there’s one alien in LA, and then points at Alex. Ha! Then Alex is all creepy and “You never know!” which is not funny. I totally laughed at Angelo though.

Padma collects Tiffany, Kelly, and Ed for the top 3. Kelly knew soup would look completely different. The flavors were right and the rice offset the spiciness. Tiffany made her dish elegant and changed it from a handheld food into a plated dish. Ed perfectly executed all his components and cooked his chicken properly. The winner is Tiffany. She’s rapidly becoming the one to beat. AND now she’s won her honeymoon.

The Loser gong greets Alex, Amanda, and Angelo. Amanda knew her dish was not disguised enough. Tom wanted something other than soup, but she also made her marmalade too sweet. Angelo also failed to disguise his dish, and he knew it. Then he admits he bought pastry. Tom wanted something completely different, and Eric nails him for not having any creativity in a challenge that encourages as much creativity as you can handle. Alex’s plate wasn’t obvious, but Wylie says his disguise ended up being poor execution. He says that now is the wrong time to try something new that you’ve never done before. Tom says he’s had better cheese at street fairs and better tortellini out of a box. One of them is 7th best, and that is how they all cooked today. Damn. Tom’s pissy today.

In the Stew Room Angelo says he should go home. Kelly is not very sad. Padma says everyone failed to give them good food, but they also failed at disguising their dish which was the whole point of the challenge. Alex’s dish took a lot of time, and it at least was a good idea, but his execution was terrible. Amanda just failed entirely. Tom wished she would have done more than grate cheese and make bad broth. Angelo can do better than what he did, and they think he just froze and panicked.

Tom says the bottom three disguised themselves as poor cooks. Ha. Alex is out. God, now maybe everyone will shut up. Not that I’m sorry. It’s telling that when he goes back to the Stew Room everyone is like, “Oh.” He is unhappy, naturally, because he thought he would win. He knows that everyone disliked him because of the pea puree and also Restaurant Wars, and he was frustrated too but he chose not to “vent and create hostility”. Whatever. You’re still annoying. Bye.

Next week: concession stands. Sweet. Kevin yells at Angelo. Someone serves raw fish at the ballpark.
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Friday, August 13, 2010

Project Runway 8/12/10--"It's a Party" summary

Previously on Project Runway: everyone has to make an outfit to go on a Marie Claire billboard. There are still too many people, because two designers didn’t even get any air time for their photo shoot, so it was obvious they were safe. Gretchen made a jumpsuit, and I don’t like jumpsuits, but it made a fantastic billboard and she won. Jason failed to finish his garment, again, and pretended that his safety pinned dress was on purpose. The judges didn’t buy it, though, and he was sent home. Then they decided Nicolas’s cape thing was too annoying to let slide so they sent him home too. Also three people were carted off in ambulances, including Tim. He said in his vlog that he passed out while they were doing the runway stuff, then Jason also needed an ambulance, plus someone else he couldn’t remember. So when Tim came back and was like “Jason didn’t even wait for me!” that was because he was in the hospital. Tim didn’t seem sorry to see him go anyway. (click for more)

Ivy congratulates Gretchen on her win. She says the group is “loving” as we cut to Mike D. saying “I hate that bitch Gretchen!” But he’s saying it in the same tone that my sister uses when she calls me bitches so…it’s funny. (PPombo: “That’s because YOU’RE PLURAL bitches.”) Gretchen says that everyone was rooting for her. Cut to Sarah saying how annoying it is that Gretchen won. And she’s serious. Peach says her attitude changed a lot. Gretchen interviews that her two wins will push everyone to get better. Andy says he’s done his best, but he hasn’t been in the top, so he’s confused. Someone makes a joke about the short bus. Hee.

Only the winning designer gets to switch models if she wants. But next week, who knows what they’ll do. Gretchen stays with her model. Now that that’s out of the way, Heidi starts talking about celebrating and how Tim’s going to throw a little party for them. Andy is like, um…duh, I know we aren’t really having a party. That’s why I like Andy.

Tim greats them in front of Party Glitters. Oh man, the store front is like, sheet metal with neon multicolored letters. It is super sketchy looking. Also “Party Glitters” sounds like a boutique for drag queens. I love it. It’s the unconventional materials challenge! Which is hopefully awesome. Tim also tells them that the judges don’t like it when they get lazy and use tablecloths and wrapping paper. Well, I think you can do a good job with wrapping paper but it’s harder. I mean…trash bags. They have $100 and 30 minutes. Tim tells AJ that this is his challenge. He’s thrilled. He asks if there are plastic tiaras. Gretchen complains that this is cheese ball and shiny crap and that is not her. Tim reiterates to everyone that they can have muslin but it must be covered. Ivy says the phrase “party vomit”. Casanova says he can’t make a dress with bullshit. He’s finding stuffed animals and tablecloths. He says something about how that is almost fabric, and we flash back to “Two Minutes Ago” (according to the chyron) and Tim telling everyone that the judges hate that. Andy seems at a loss. Sarah says Gretchen is on top of her game. Valerie buys a large amount of crap.

Mike C. is excited. Peach has a plan. People are grabbing shoes…I guess they are really concerned about styling. Gretchen says she needs to stay true to her aesthetic no matter what the challenge, which is a good thing because randomly the judges will complain about that when they get bored. AJ goes to Mondo and says he was going to do “birthday” but Mondo looks like he might be doing “birthday” so they should talk. Mondo says he’s doing a quincenera, which is different enough from a birthday that AJ is fine. Tim appears to give them until midnight tonight to finish. He also tells them that the winner will have immunity.

Casanova is skinning and gutting his stuffed animals. I hope for a Lady Gaga Kermit coat. Kristin and Mike D. comment on him but it boils down to head-shaking. There is a lot of random stuff around. Chris has a big flower piñata, I believe. For a hat. Hee. Mondo is feeling comfortable, as he cuts up paper plates. Andy is braiding ribbon. AJ admits that he does things like this but not under this time constraint. His audition had some dresses with random toys and stuff, but he’s hoping he can pull it off with one day. If he uses random things, he wants everyone to see what it is so he won’t hide it. He thinks this challenge he’s supposed to disguise everything. Mike C. just wishes AJ would stop talking. (Kmanpat: “He can come over and talk to me, I wouldn’t mind.“) Valerie has black and white napkins, and streamers. Gretchen loves it. Sarah originally had a tablecloth, but decided the judges would hate it and is taking some cardboard palm trees and painting the pieces or something. Casanova also has a tablecloth, and someone tries to warn him about it, but he totally doesn’t care. They’ll all enjoy that because they are into “circus stuff” and he is not. He knows they are not making piñatas. Dude, someone should make a piñata dress. Paper mache and candy! Andy is now weaving ribbons. He doesn’t have a lot of time to finish. Mike D. has silver streamers. Gretchen makes fun of him and he interviews that she always has to say something. Peach agrees that Gretchen’s side of the room is “chattery”. April is irritated that Gretchen always has her two cents to put in. They certainly are editing her to look bossy and full of herself.

Tim time! He tells AJ, again, that this is his challenge, but AJ thinks that isn’t so when everyone else is doing the same thing. I guess…he would rather stand out by using party supplies when everyone else is making real clothes. Mike C. complains in confessional that it’s all AJ talks about so of course they expect something awesome. I guess it’s like Kayne and the Miss America challenge. AJ is kind of at a loss. Tim worries that his pieces won’t go together. Valerie is planning a teal belt but Tim wonders if it’s an afterthought. They make a “My Fair Lady” reference but I did not like that musical at all so…fleh. She’s scrapping the teal. Andy doesn’t have enough ribbon to make a dress out of it, but possibly a skirt? Gretchen interviews that his work is student work, and so he’s not a threat like she thought. I notice it looks like Andy’s hands are black from the ribbon. He needs to stop experimenting and start constructing. Kristin has a brightly colored skirt and some little rubber animal finger puppets or something. Ivy snobs that Kristin doesn’t deserve to be here. Tim giggles at the finger puppets. Sorry, “animal wooly balls”. When he regains his composure he says it’s so ridiculous no one could disapprove. But she has real balls if that doesn’t work! Tim would prefer the wooly balls. Hee.

Back from commercial and it’s more Tim, which is nice. Ivy has Mylar balloons and some corseting. Tim loves it but she has a serious time issue. Chris is a little concerned about…some ribbon? I don’t know what that is on his skirt but Tim says it’s fabulous. Peach wanted to be subtle, but it’s party supplies. Tim tells her she’s so uptight it’s like she has a piece of coal up her ass. Well, he doesn’t say “ass” but you get the point. “Make it into a diamond and pull it out!” Mike C. has a one-shouldered red dress which Tim loves. Sarah’s cut up the leaves from the palm tree in colors and it looks playful. Gretchen has made a pencil skirt out of shiny streamers (that stuff that hangs in curtains). Mike says his is better. Gretchen, meanwhile, is making a faux leather jacket out of paper bags. Time for Casanova. Oh, Casanova. He says the other designers told him he couldn’t use “tableclothes” but he didn’t buy anything else. I mean, you can still use them, I guess. Tim shakes his head and asks why he didn’t listen outside the party store, and Casanova is like, I don’t know what is the point. Tim explains that he is welcome to use tablecloths but the judges don’t like it. No mention is made of the stuffed animals. Tim loves the potential in the room, and the concepts behind the garments. He also says the models will have a little surprise.

Mike C. goes over to Sarah and whispers that he had such an awesome review! Yay! But she can’t figure out what to do with her cut up painted palm tree. It totally could work, I like her colors. Gretchen tells her to focus on the teal but scrap the pink. Oh, use the pink too. But she paints over it with teal.

The models enter with gift bags. Valerie knows it’s not good, and Andy is like, take it away. They have to use the materials in the gift bags to make an accessory. I can’t tell if they all have the same things, but it appears to be ribbons and sequins and stuff. Everyone has stuff for their model to try on except Andy. Valerie’s skirt is so heavy she’s afraid it will come apart from the top. I think several people are in trouble, time-wise.

Mondo has a fake mustache and he asks his roommates if he should wear it to the runway show. I don’t know but I‘m glad to see him joking around with people as opposed to last week. Everyone talks about if Gretchen will win again but all I can notice is that AJ has glasses and he totally looks like Artie and if you don’t know who I’m talking about you need to start watching “Glee”. In the workroom, someone hollers that they have two hours, and Gretchen tells everyone to make sure to leave time to clean their workspace. Seriously? Model fitting and accessory flailing. They’re showing a lot of the hair and makeup stuff, more than they used to, but it’s still not super exciting to me. Although, Ivy is like, I want her like me but more professional, so the head makeup guy tells Ivy to close her eyes and stand still so the artist can look at her. Andy is still flailing. Peach and April offer to help him out. Gretchen interviews that he has a time management issue. Well…yeah. Are you complaining he has extra help? Or that he has a time management issue? I don’t understand. Ivy is also flailing. Chris worries she might tear the dress. Sarah is hot gluing her dress together. I think everyone manages to finish.

Guest judge is Betsey Johnson. Love it. Chris: gold short dress with a full skirt and sleeveless top with a boat neck. It’s in gold with little ribbons of color. It looks like he made it out of fabric, but it’s napkins sewn together. The back is a little longer than the front. It’s super cute. Mike D.: A-line skirt in blue with a white panel in front, and a silver one-shouldered top made from garland. The skirt is made from paper, I think, because it’s very stiff and it isn’t tight enough around the waist. They no longer put what the stuff is made out of on screen like they used to. Maybe it’s plastic? I think the skirt might be too shiny for paper. Andy: short black dress with one shoulder strap. It’s pretty short, but the ribbon is all spiky and he styled it punk so it looks very very good. He even managed to make a design of silver down the front. AJ: the top is strapless with a sweetheart neckline, pink with a purse print. Maybe it’s a tablecloth. The skirt is tiers of black and pink, very full ruffles, and some beads too. It’s cute. And short. Ivy: gray one shouldered dress with a fuller skirt. The whole dress is covered in pewter gray folder napkins, or balloons or whatever it is, so looks ruffly, at one hip there is a little purple. But it doesn’t fit right? I don’t know, something about it doesn’t look right. She doesn’t look thick, you can see her waist. Maybe it just looks heavy. Mike C. long red dress with one shoulder (OMG why does everyone have one shoulder?!?!) and a mermaid skirt. It looks like a real dress. I’m not sure what it’s made out of, but it’s got a lot of ruffles. Peach: white tank top and a zebra print skirt, short and full with pink sticking out of the bottom like a petticoat. It’s very young, like, 13 year old young. It does fit though. Gretchen: slim skirt made out of gold and silver garland, a tank top with an interesting cut-out design in the center, and the cropped “leather” jacket with elbow-length sleeves made out of paper bags which actually does look like leather. But that skirt is so weird, and she put her model in knee high beige suede boots.

Mondo: strapless bodice made from the rims of paper plates (I saw him cutting them up) and a short full skirt made of plastic leis. All in hot pink. It looks fantastic. He put black leggings and a tiara, but I don’t care, it’s awesome. Casanova: strapless gown with a mermaid skirt. It’s all in charcoal and black. The top has sparkles in it, but I can’t get a close enough look. The skirt is black, but the gray is ruffles that cover the whole back of the skirt. How would she sit down? Kristin: simple short dress with a V neckline. The top has a tropical sort of print, although it doesn’t fit her chest right, and the skirt is gold with plastic green strips over it. It’s kind of a baby doll but it also looks like the dollar store. April: short black dress, one shouldered (argh!) with silver spikes over her chest and up the shoulder. I’m not sure what they are but it looks cool. The whole dress is folded and kind of spiky. It doesn’t fit quite right but that’s not unusual today. Sarah: short silver dress with blue leaves sewn on like another skirt and across the top of the bodice. Eh. Valerie: black and white dress with a deep V neckline and a ton of folded napkins in the skirt. She’s done so well it looks like an accordion of paper. The top is just plain smooth black. I really like it.

Peach, Mike C. Ivy, Kristin, Mike D., Mondo, Chris, and April are safe. Aww, I hoped Mondo would be in the top. We get to see those designers backstage gossiping about who is top and who is bottom. Heidi tells the models that if their designer is eliminated, they’re automatically out. Valerie made a cuff as her accessory, and she also says she listened to what the judges said last time about her styling. Kors thinks it’s a “360” which IT IS NOT because 360 degrees is back to your starting point. He wants to say 180. Kors loves how she looks but knows she blew off the accessory. Everyone loves the dress, they love the sexiness and the sophistication. Betsey says she loves it especially because you have napkins near you at all times. AJ used cupcake foils for a necklace, which is cool. Heidi thinks he threw everything at the dress that he found. Nina agrees and says “hot mess”. AJ says “thanks” for some reason and Heidi is all, it’s not a compliment. Calm down. Kors starts talking about the shape and for some reason this prompts AJ to tell everyone his model’s bra size. What Kors meant was that it’s not far enough to look like he didn’t fit her on purpose, but it’s not perfect enough to look like he made it that way for a reason. I think. Sometimes Kors doesn’t make sense. But when he says he’s not sure about a fringe crotch that makes sense. The beads and stuff are in the front right on her crotch. Betsey wishes he’d taken it so much farther it exploded. Andy only used ribbons, except making a fingerless glove out of a balloon. Kors can see Heidi and Rihanna fighting over it. Ooo, they would. Rihanna should win. Nina likes it but Betsey wishes for more “fun”. Casanova talks about how the skirt is posters and tablecloths, and the scarf is the plush animals…I’m not sure about all of that. Kors starts us off with “transvestite flamenco dancer at a funeral”. Awesome. If Casanova had been trying to be funny it would have been better, but at least it’s well made. The front of the dress doesn’t match the back at all. Too many things going on. Sarah had a table liner and the palm tree. Nina says it’s simple, and Kors tells her it doesn’t look like a fully realized idea. The palm tree thing didn’t work and she should have rejected it. She should have gone with her gut and scrapped them instead of taking Gretchen‘s advice. Gretchen hand-cut her skirt into chevrons so it wasn’t all one length. Her accessory is a cuff too. No one had super exciting accessories except AJ. Nina thinks it’s fabulous, even if the skirt is a little long. Betsey declares it “Tina Turner and Dreamgirls on the bottom and Mad Max on the top”. But no one likes the boots.

Backstage. OK. We need a name for this room. We’ve got the Stew Room for Top Chef. Suggestions? I guess we could call this the Stew Room too but it’s not about food. Everyone talks to the designers who just got back. Someone asks Andy how he did, and he says they all liked it, and then Gretchen says his piece was really beautiful and I think is going to continue talking, and someone (a couple of people) tell her that she should let him talk. He does, but then she pipes up again to tell him how good he is, or something. AJ talks over her, and she gets her bitchpants on to be like, can I talk? And AJ is like, sure, you talk ALL THE TIME. The editors really want us to hate Gretchen. I am suspicious. Then AJ is like, oh, I know I started that, but I don’t want to argue with you tonight, which is fairly obnoxious, but Gretchen loses all her points by telling AJ he’s just “sensitive” because he’s on the bottom.

Bad: Casanova has no taste and everyone pretty much laughs at him. Sarah did nothing and they were bored. Untrue, all she did was worry about the palm trees. She did know it was bad though. AJ’s dress just didn’t work. Good: Valerie’s model was sexy, it was styled well, and was good all around. Andy’s look was beautifully made and well put together. Gretchen made several pieces that they liked, and they praise her styling even though they all hated the boots.

Valerie is in. Andy wins! Good for him. Gretchen looks irritated. She’s in though. AJ is in. Casanova is in. Oh, you know it’s because he’s entertaining. He does a cartwheel behind the scrim. Sarah doesn’t want to say goodbye. Mike C. cries. She knows she should have done the dress she wanted to do in the first place.

Now we cut to an ambulance at Atlas, where Ivy has passed out in the hallway. I’m not sure when this is, because Gretchen seems to imply that they were leaving the apartments. I mean, they’re at Atlas and not at Parsons. Maybe she fainted on the way home. Ivy says she’s just tired. They actually take her to the hospital, and that’s the end of the show.

Next week: Philip Tracey and a large number of kick ass hats. Nina rolls her eyes a lot. And hopefully we find out if Ivy dies or what.
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Top Chef 8/11/10--"Restaurant Wars"

Previously on “Top Chef”: everyone had to cook Ethiopian food, or at least “Ethiopian-inspired” food, for the Quickfire and also Marcus Samuelsson. Tiffany won, which is cool because it wasn’t Angelo, who said he used to work in an Ethiopian restaurant and he totally knows what he’s doing. Then everyone was supposed to cook the foods of different countries. However, Kevin knew nothing about Indian food but made something delicious and ended up with the winners. So it wasn’t an absolute requirement that you make authentic food. He didn’t win, though, Tiffany made tamales and won with those. And she won $10,000. Alex was in the bottom but instead, Stephen went home for mushy rice.

Amanda says her buddy Stephen went home and she’ll miss him. Then she includes herself in “the best of the best”. Kenny is irritated that he is in the middle.

There are red and blue aprons and blindfolds waiting for the Quickfire. It’s the tag team cook-off! There is no more immunity, but the winning team will share $10,000. And probably have the opportunity for double or nothing. They pick knives, and Kevin and Ed end up with the picks. Kevin takes Kenny, Kelly, and Amanda, while Ed takes Tiffany, Angelo, and gets stuck with Alex. Ed knows he, Tiffany, and Angelo are on the same page, but who knows where Alex is.
Kenny and Tiffany take the first leg. Kenny starts some prawns, while Tiffany breaks down a fish and leaves the head so they know what fish it is. Amanda and Alex are second. Amanda immediately knows where Kenny was going and what she needs to do. Alex seasons the fish and Tiffany thinks this is too early. Third is Ed and Kevin. Tiffany and Alex have a whispered conversation where they hope Ed can see the salt on the fish so he doesn’t salt it again. Kevin knows what he is doing and what he is supposed to be doing. Angelo and Kelly are last. Angelo has no idea what to do because the station is a wreck. He salts the fish again. Kelly is just fine.

Padma brings in Nancy Pelosi to taste the dishes. Seriously? How did they swing that one? Blue team (that’s Kevin, Kenny, Kelly, and Amanda): sautéed shrimp, angel hair pasta, mustard sauce, and crispy basil. It looks really good. Nancy says it reminds her of home, San Francisco. Red team (Ed, Tiffany, Angelo, and Alex): roasted red snapper, wilted greens, and maitake mushrooms. It is salty. So what I think happened, is you’re supposed to salt and pepper proteins like fish right before you cook them, and that is what most people do, so Angelo was not expecting Alex to put salt on the fish 25 minutes before it was going in the pan. And it’s not like he can taste it to find that out until it’s too late.

Nancy of course awards the Blue team the win and the money. Padma kicks her out. Tiffany blames Alex for the loss. Now it is Restaurant Wars! These are your teams! 3 course menu, two options for each course, each person must be responsible for a dish. Tiffany worries about having Alex on her team. The guest judge will be Frank Bruni, who is a very tough food critic. The Terlato boys show up to say they’re providing wine and prizes, I think. They’ve done that before.

Half of each team goes to Whole Foods and the other half to Restaurant Depot. Alex asks Tiffany what they’re doing, and she’s just like “worry about your own list”. He does have to know what she’s planning, but she’s fairly rude to him. I know he’s annoying and all and I don’t much like him either but this kind of thing backfires. Angelo and Ed in the other car decide to put Alex in the dining room, which can’t be much better than having him in the kitchen. Kevin thinks they should be a team even if they don’t like Alex. Plus you can’t just decide to stick him there when he’s not even in the car. 45 minutes for shopping, $1000 at Restaurant Depot, $1500 at Whole Foods. We watch shopping for a whole like, 45 seconds. Just long enough to see that Tiffany and Alex have no list, because they didn’t have time to make one, so they’re just putting stuff on the cart.

2 hours to prep today. Red team has to make the menu. Angelo says he just naturally fell into the role of executive chef. First course for the Red team is tomato soup, or crudo of black bass and yellowtail snapper (Tiffany). Second course: striped bass and clams, or slow-baked turbot (Ed). Third course: sautéed rib eye, or lamb chop. It looks like Angelo has told Alex to prep all the proteins, thinking this will keep him busy. The Blue team has put Kelly in the front of house role. She’s nervous, and is planning for her dish to be a cold soup, so she can get it all set up before she goes out to the restaurant. Not a bad idea. First course: chilled corn soup with crab salad (Kelly), or warm beet salad (Kenny). Second course: strip steak (Amanda) or halibut (Kevin). Third course: chocolate ganache tart with ice cream (Kelly), or crispy goat cheese (Kenny). I put names where the contestants assigned dishes. Shockingly, Kenny has put himself in charge of his team. Angelo decides Alex is screwing up the butchering so he takes over with a bunch of cursing. As the Blue team is packing up all their stuff, Alex is still butchering. Red team is flailing somewhat.

Angelo tells us his team’s restaurant is “EVOO”, pronounced “E-vooooo” and not “Ee-Vee-Oh-Oh“, but all I can think of is stupid Rachael Ray. Thanks, Angelo. He says something about Mediterranean flavors but I’m still irritated. There is a small fight about grill space. Everyone is all in each others’ way. Kelly is nervous about leaving. Alex is too slow for everyone, and Tiffany discovers that Alex left scales and bones on her fish. Really? That’s sad. Kevin calls 3 hours left, and I’m too lazy to go look at how much they started with. Kenny’s restaurant is “2121” which is the address of the Top Chef house. Blue team is getting along very well. You know what? They didn’t get the chance to double their money. Amanda, however, is using a wood-burning grill and has to learn where the hot spots are and all that stuff. Angelo is getting agitated and Kenny has noticed. Then for some reason Angelo says to Alex that there is no talking in the kitchen during service? Alex says that they don’t trust him and that’s bullshit, except even I know to take the scales off fish.

Alex and Kelly meet the servers and talk to them about whatever. You’ll notice that they stopped making them design and decorate their spaces. “Hell’s Kitchen” quit with that too. No one really cared and they never made it a big enough part of judging. Alex tells some waiter how to clean things and that he wants new tables or something. He’s a big jerk but at least he admits it. Blue team brings out their dishes to let the servers taste the food. Amanda says if they are as excited about the food as the chefs are, that will translate to diners. Alex feels his descriptions of the food are good enough. Kenny notices that Alex is pretty rude to his servers. Yeah…I wouldn’t work for him.

I think they also stopped letting people pick what restaurant they wanted. Both of them seem full. Right away a Red team server forgets to put 3 crudos on a ticket. Alex gets them, Angelo is still freaking out, some poor waiter gets yelled at.

When the judges show up to the Red team side, Alex is busy explaining about the crudo to that table, so no one is around to greet the judges. I’m sure they’ll try to complain about that, but Alex probably should be reassuring guests. It’s not like he was wandering. He babbles about the Mediterranean concept for a while. Angelo is not doing as well as he wanted but he knows he has to step it up for the judges. The first course comes out. The tomato soup is advertised as “confit of tomato” and comes with a squash and olive crouton. The crudo looks pretty good. It also has a Meyer lemon-caper relish. And a “summer salad” which is just micro greens. That’s what Alex says when Tom asks him what that is, it sounds better than “micro greens”. Gail says the crudo is too salty. Angelo’s made the soup, which goes over well. Tiffany complains about Alex “pushing tables to the right time”, and I’m not sure what that means but it sounds like he’s messing up the flow of food out of the kitchen. The judges are bitching about their second course so I guess it’s slowing them down. The striped bass comes with a fennel salad, chorizo, clams, and stewed spinach. The turbot has eggplant caviar and black olive jus. Frank especially likes the turbot. Tiffany made the other fish dish, and it was a good dish after her first course. Third course comes out fairly quickly, or at least we don’t hear whining. Sadly Alex calls the lamb chop a pork chop. Someone did that on “Next Food Network Star”, they had shrimp and called it tuna, or something ridiculous, but they got around it by joking that that was silly, one is huge and one was tiny, tuna are so small! So everyone laughed and no one seemed to care. Anyway, the lamb chop has an English pea puree, smoked bacon, and parmesan foam. The rib eye has crushed walnut potatoes and balsamic fig reduction. The lamb was cooked well. They seem to like the walnut potatoes, maybe? But that dish is not terribly Mediterranean. Frank complains about the lack of service and that the back of house didn’t monitor what Alex was doing. And they’re irritated by the pork/lamb thing. They all bail for the Blue team’s restaurant.

Commercial interlude: Amanda’s beef is getting sent back because she’s overcooking her meat. It’s grass-fed, I guess, so she says that’s why she can’t handle it. I don’t know, I don’t cook meat that often and certainly not grass-fed beef.

Kelly is around to greet the judges, of course. They are excited about dessert. The corn soup is as described above, but we can see that their restaurant is not “2121” but “Twenty-One 21” which somehow is more annoying. The beet salad has a warm chorizo-citrus vinaigrette. The soup is tasteless, and since Kelly had described their restaurant concept as seasonal and local, they nail her for non-seasonal corn. The beet salad has too many things going on. Second course time. The strip steak has roasted sunchokes and maitake mushrooms. The halibut has fennel marmalade and tomato-fennel emulsion. The steak is cut too thinly, but the sauce is good. The fish is pretty to look at, and I think it sounds fantastic. The judges love it. Last course! The goat cheese has a strawberry rhubarb relish. And the chocolate ganache tart has blackberry-chocolate chunk ice cream. Oh, that is a difficult choice. The tart is wonderful but the ice cream is tasteless. The cheese is horrible. Some random guy complains that cheese on salad is not dessert. Both restaurants had good dishes and poor dishes. Kelly was much less nervous than Alex and they seem to like her better. Both teams failed to stick to their stated restaurant concept. Ed says Alex came back and told them everything was awesome, which he doesn’t fully believe.

Padma collects the Red team first, which confuses Amanda because she says she’s never been this confident going into elimination. Kevin promises to lose it. So we’ll see if he does it, because the Red team wins. Stupid. They do start off by telling Alex he was super nervous, and he swears he was awesome everywhere but their table. Angelo’s soup was great, Tiffany’s bass was crispy, Ed’s turbot was perfectly cooked. Angelo also admits that Alex had the idea for the lamb, but Angelo and Ed executed it. They liked that too. The winner is Ed. He’s also won a trip to the Terlato vineyards in Napa, and a double magnum size bottle of wine.

Loser gong! Kenny starts talking about how he’s shocked because the other team flailed a lot in the kitchen. Gail says they don’t care about that. Kelly was charismatic if slightly clumsy. They tell her her soup was too thin. Frank says something about Kenny’s beet salad and compares it to Hamburger Helper? Even Kenny looks confused. Kevin did a good job with his fish, though. Amanda overcooked her beef, and claims to be shocked even though she seemed to know it was happening to all her beef. She apologizes, and then Tom is like, we all think so, but I think she was trying to say she didn’t think she overcooked it, not that Frank somehow can’t tell overcooked from perfect. Kenny didn’t execute his cheese course properly. Kenny still says that his team all cooked their dishes, because Alex never actually cooked any of the lamb that was supposed to be his dish. He throws them under the bus and says Alex didn’t even conceive that dish at all, because his team wouldn’t let him and they didn’t trust him. Kevin says Alex should go home.

They all get back to the Stew Room and then they all start ganging up on Alex, saying he didn’t do anything and he should go home for that. And Kelly started it, which I didn’t expect at all. Kevin is the loudest though. He says that Alex’s group even threw him under the bus by sticking him out in front of house. Angelo starts trying to defend his team, but Kenny says that everyone was supposed to be responsible for a dish, and Alex was not responsible for coming up with any dishes. Alex says he did what he was told, so whatever.

Kelly’s soup was too thin and tasteless. Amanda’s one dish was not done properly, and she only had that one dish. Kevin, however, was responsible for only one dish that happened to be delicious, and Tom doesn’t want to send him home for that. Kenny’s two dishes weren’t that great, but he was a good leader and they’ve sent home poor leaders in the past. They bring up Alex, but since that team won everyone is safe.

Tom praises everyone in addition to telling them what they did wrong, except he isn’t that nice to Amanda. Then they send Kenny home. Wow. I didn’t think they would do that. He’s kind of shocked too.

Next week: the CIA, and that’s the real CIA, not the Culinary Institute of America. Also Angelo buys puff pastry, and Wylie Dufresne.
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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Project Runway 8/5/10--"Larger Than Life" summary

Previously on Project Runway: 17 people came to New York, and although there were cameras everywhere, people felt they were not yet on the show and this was a problem. Everyone had to make an outfit out of someone else’s clothes. There wasn’t as much drama as there could have been. Gretchen was declared the “unanimous” winner, as if everyone else’s clothes were horrible garbage, which wasn’t true. McKell styled her model horribly and apparently that was enough. Her dress was cute though. I think Casanova and Jason seem more interesting in terms of reality TV personalities. We all know the producers interfere a lot with this show. I watched Tim’s vlog and he was very upset with the judges, and he says it only gets worse. Someone came down on him for saying the judges smoke crack and he says he stands by his statement. When Tim has to show up on the runway and explain to the judges that all the designers are doing what he told them so lay off? Not a good sign. (click for more)

Today we have decided to have the longer credits sequence with people’s soundbites and Casanova’s kickboxing and Mondo’s shorts and knee socks.

Sarah declares herself a zombie and the show “public torture”. Wah. Chris is ready to go. April feels shocked that McKell left because her dress was cute. April also loves Peach, who is pointing out to the girls that while many girls sharing a bathroom is not ideal, many boys sharing a bathroom is also not ideal. High maintenance boys. True that. For example, Andy has an airbrush makeup kit. Mike D. only really knows Casanova but knows nothing else about anyone else except that Chris is hot and Mondo is weird. Mondo talks about being kind of a loner.

Heidi drags them to a rooftop and tells them they’re “officially” on the show, which must be the same thing as when they tell them that “three” people will show at Fashion Week. Joanna Coles is there also to tell them about the next challenge, which is to design one look for the “Marie Claire” woman. She is fashion forward, confident, sexy, etc. This look must tell the audience all those things at a glance, and the winner will be featured in a billboard campaign. Everyone is excited. Damn…when the title said “LARGER Than Life” I had been hoping for plus-sized models. Oh well. Chris declares this “operatic”.

Back to the workroom for 30 minutes of sketching and reading Marie Claire. AJ is going for punk rock/Gwen Stefani/Courtney Love. That could work. His captain’s hat works too. Mike D. seems to be planning to wing it. Gretchen is making pants. Mondo is making a list of fabrics and notions. When he gets back with all his stuff he’ll plan the look. Jason is making an “infinity” dress that somehow has the number 8 in it, for Season 8, although to me it just looks like a backwards S. He talks about death and infinity.

Everyone gets to go to the real Mood now. $150 and 30 minutes to shop. We see some of Nicholas’s sketches, a jacket and slim skirt. If they’re using the extra half hour for things like that, then I’m all for it. We’ve seen much more of sketching than we used to. People are having trouble finding things. Peach can’t find any houndstooth or tweed, just wool. Ivy freaks out. She wants “translucent, with stiffness”. Valerie is making a modernized trench dress, in red.

They have until midnight tonight to finish. Peach knows she picked the wrong fabrics because she likes polka dots and just picked out polka dots. She is kind of frustrated with herself that she stayed in her comfort zone. People complain about the sewing machines. April complains about Kristin, mostly that she’s headstrong. Valerie might be changing her mind. She babbles at a mile a minute to Mike D about it. Casanova goes to AJ to talk to him about a design. He’s asking AJ to help him, but can’t phrase it as a question, which has nothing to do with the language barrier and everything to do with not understanding how to pitch your voice when you ask a question. AJ is really confused and finally says he’s not going to help Casanova pattern. Casanova says he respects that AJ is into the competition, and even though everyone else is sharing opinions, he’s not taking it personally.

Tim time! Valerie is putting a fitted skirt on her trench coat dress. Gretchen loves Valerie’s work and thinks she’s competition. Tim tells Valerie something looks cheap and Valerie is thrilled. Or possibly horrified. Tim goes to Mondo and says that he took something matronly and made it modern and that is so impressive. The last challenge. He tries to describe what he’s doing because he doesn’t sketch. Tim has faith in him, though, based on the last challenge, so Mondo doesn’t get any reprimands. Jason has lots of grays. Tim doesn’t get the 8 either. Valerie makes a comment about Jason’s “Clockwork Orange” bowler hat, which is funny. He wants intense because it’s going to be on a billboard. Tim is concerned for time. Jason brings up again how he’s straight and it’s a “gay man’s world” which is such bullshit. Tim is not giving you a hard time because you are straight. He doesn’t trust you can finish your garment in time and he doesn’t like your stupid concept. Gretchen says this is the first pair of pants she’s made without help. April interviews that Gretchen is not creative. Casanova has a dark jacket with elbow length sleeves that he calls “sailor”. It doesn’t seem very sailor. Tim calls it matronly and Casanova claims to not know what that means. Nicholas calls him on it (in interview) and says they’ve heard him speak perfect English in the workroom, so it’s an act. Nicholas gets his turn next and brags about his top and how awesome it is. It’s mostly backless, except for some fabric across the shoulders. Gretchen thinks he copied her. Well…she had a mostly sheer back, with more fabric. Nicholas’s fabric is not sheer but there’s less of it. I don’t know that there’s enough to call copying. It’s a bare back. Tim worries about the shawl/jacket/circle thing. Actually he says he’s ambivalent. Mike C. loves his jacket and is so proud until Tim hates it and calls it “Blanche Devereaux”. Mike gasps and clutches his pearls. Hee. It’s like, shiny patterned fabric with poofy short sleeves and a butt bow. He thought it was fashion forward. Yeah…no. Peach explains her plan well but then admits to being lost. Her top and skirt don’t go together. Tim says she needs to stay true to herself.

Peach starts over with 4 hours left. Everyone talks about what they’re doing, I think they’re all talking to each other and asking advice. Now Peach has a hot pink bubble skirt but it sucks so she starts over again. Tim reappears and reminds everyone of the challenge, and then tells them this week’s twist: in the morning, everyone gets a photo shoot with a Marie Claire photographer. They get to run the thing, to get the best picture. The picture will be factored into the judging. That’s a good twist. Jason whines that now he won’t have time to finish.

Model fitting. There is a lot of pinning of fabric while models are trying things on. Casanova asks Gretchen’s opinion of a gang of things. She claims he is charming enough that he’s not annoying. Peach is still trying out ideas. She keeps talking about going home. You know what? They didn’t have model selection this week.

Gretchen tells Casanova he’s her “bosom buddy” but then must explain “bosom”. Now he thinks he’s her boob friend, or something. Nicholas interviews he thought Mondo would be very chatty but he’s silent. Nicholas whines about his model’s huge boobs. Peach has something, even though she feels defeated and tired.

Back at Atlas the girls hang out and drink. Well, Valerie, Ivy, Gretchen, and Sarah drink in their apartment. AJ gossips about how he doesn’t know Jason at all because he doesn’t share any information about himself. Some of the boys drink and then wonder where Mondo is. Mondo interviews that he’s lonely and needs to make a connection with someone and he hasn’t yet. But they’re not ignoring him; I think his roommates really did want him to hang out with them. He’s gone to bed while the rest of them hang out. He starts to cry because he feels he’s never been loved for himself, just what he can create.

Kristin doesn’t know if she has time to get everything done. Ivy is worrying about everything. Tim comes into the room full of flailing to deliver the models and give everyone 2 hours to get them ready. Andy is done enough that he’s not rushing. Mondo asks Valerie’s opinion of the accessories he has. For some reason he’s wearing blobs of fake fur on one shoulder. Collier Strong is not in the makeup room. It is some flamer with a handlebar mustache. I guess we’re going to get extended hair and makeup onscreen time. Peach is glad to just have clothes on her model. Jason ran out of time, so he is safety pinning where buckles were supposed to go. That’s two dresses in a row that were not finished. Mike C. says that Jason is the kind of creepy that makes you wonder if he’s going to stab you with some scissors, so he’s made sure to be Jason’s friend. Hee. He does the Psycho noise and stabbing motion in confessional. I like him.

Photo shoot first, before the runway show. AJ: short strapless yellow dress with a double black stripe running down the front, and a wide black belt. There’s a lot of black jewelry and a black clutch and very dark lipstick. It’s a cute dress, if not super exciting. I don’t read Marie Claire so I have no idea what would go in that magazine. Gretchen: navy satiny jumpsuit. The top is mostly two wide strips of fabric laid over her shoulders to make a deep V and flutter sleeves, and then the bottoms are crop pants with little ties at the back of the leg. There is almost no jewelry, just some ankle boots. I am not a big jumpsuit fan but it’s cute. April: short dress with a high neck. The main part of the dress is in this blah brown/olive green/non color. Over the shoulders and the neck are ruffles of dark purple, so it looks like a weird cap on the dress. I don’t know if I like it. Andy: bright purple satin top with a lot of ruffles, and wide legged gray pants. I think it looks good, but Gretchen interviews that he does too much stuff and it’s student work. Mike C.: short shiny party dress with a strapless neckline and a big peplum over a tight skirt. At least I think it’s supposed to be a peplum. And a giant necklace. Chris: slim black skirt and a sleeveless top in gray lined with coral. There is a small peplum but it looks cute.

Nicholas: gray short skirt, a lavender top, and a dark eggplant cape. There’s no getting around it, it’s a cape. It fastens at her throat and sweeps down to her butt. Valerie: red dress with a zipper down the front, a short skirt (although…maybe a slight bubble hem?) and no sleeves. The neckline isn’t quite a V but isn’t quite a keyhole either. There is a slight standup collar. It’s very modern and I really like it. Kristin: light sleeveless top with either a pink scarf or a big poofy pink collar. The skirt is shorter in the back than in the front? Maybe on one side? I don’t get it. Sarah: high waisted skirt in charcoal and a V neck top with cap sleeves in eggplant and lapels that match the skirt. There seem to be details of little strips of coral or maybe slits in the dress that let her skin show through. Peach: short dress with pink polka dots and a big brown scarf? Backwards collar? She also has a problem with her model, where she isn’t getting anything from her in the photos. Casanova: light skirt, knee length, and a shiny jacket. The jacket is black, with loose sleeves gathered at the wrist with wide cuffs, and fastened at her waist with a big oval buckle of some sort. I stopped talking about the makeup and hair because mostly it was the same, although Casanova has styled his model to look like Laura Bennet. Mondo: sleeveless black top with a mock turtleneck and a poof of lace, a gray checked wool skirt with tiers, and black leggings. She looks cute. I don’t know about the lace though. It’s like a cravat sewn onto her chest. Valerie declares him “whack-a-doo” but says it works for him. Jason: It’s just a silver dress with some folding, and he put the model in black flat ankle boots which is weird. He tries to claim his dress can be styled in so many ways that’s why he didn’t actually sew it, he put safety pins in it. No one is buying it. I still don’t see the 8. However in the photo you can see where he neglected to sew a main seam and the model’s stomach pokes through, along with a very obvious safety pin. He claims the judges need to look past “these little closures”.

I think I may have missed a couple people. I’ll catch them on the runway. Heidi pretends they might eliminate more than one person. She also tells them no one will get immunity this week. Joanna is back for the judging. Nicolas: you can see from the closeup of the picture he chose that his top actually has gathering right in the middle for a sort of starburst effect, and the skirt is about 6 inches longer in back than in front. And it’s tight so it looks really weird. And then the hem of the skirt swoops up at the sides so it’s rounded. His picture is good, but the cape is in his model’s hand so what’s the point? Plus there’s still no back to it. Jason: he claims his dress is “impeccably” sewn. But I can still see the safety pin. AJ: for some reason, on the runway his dress has gathered or ridden up or something and now his model looks pregnant. Peach: the brown in her look is two strips of fabric down a V on the back of the dress, and draped straight across the neck of the model in the front. There are also regular shoulder straps. It’s like reverse lapels. Mike D.: short black dress with bat-wing sleeves and a high neck. It’s in a fabric that has shiny horizontal stripes somehow. It looks fab. On the runway two things become clear: the “stripes” are actually an open weave so that’s her skin we’re seeing, and the skirt is so short she’s about to flash everyone. However this is the first we’ve seen of his dress today so I’m willing to bet he slides through. Ivy: gray shift dress with a thin belt and a turquoise collar necklace. It’s so boring. Even the color is like, putty blah gray. There is like, one stripe of sort of chartreuse on the skirt. Valerie: her skirt actually has flaps of fabric for some interest when she moves. Andy: the ruffles on the top are actually poofs. And the sleeves are accordion style so you can fold them up or down, depending on your mood. They do look good. On the back of the pants, not directly down the backs of the legs but far enough behind it’s not visible in the photo, are two stripes of the same purple the top’s made out of. Kristin: her skirt is asymmetrical, longest on her left side. The pink was a scarf, which she can remove to reveal a bustle? Really? The back of the sleeveless top has a giant pile of fabric right on her butt. Gretchen: her jumpsuit has a deep V in the back to match the front. Mondo: not only does his model have a lace cravat attached to her chest, but underneath is some of Peach’s pink polka dotted fabric. April: when the model walks you can see how horrible the fit is on the dress. Also there is an exposed zipper all the way up the back. Also also her model shakes her ass too much when she walks.

Heidi calls out Mondo, Peach, Nicholas, Jason, Valerie, and Gretchen as the top and bottom. AJ loses it when he gets backstage. Aww…poor baby. Come let me make it all better. Everyone backstage says they think Valerie is the winner, but they can’t decide who is going home. They all think Nicholas has finishing issues, but then Kristin thinks it would be unfair if Jason went home. Jason can’t finish anything either!

Peach talks about how she likes polka dots and Heidi hates them. There is no sex appeal. Kors says “Amish cocktail” which is hilarious. Everyone thinks it is matronly and old, and not youthful like polka dots should be. Plus they hate the brown. She tells them this is look number three. Valerie wanted simple and elegant. Nina says it’s sexy but conservative. It’s simple, but has enough interest to not be boring. Jason talks about his 8 again. Nina is bored and has spied the safety pins. Jason claims this is intentional. Kors doesn’t know when anyone would wear this; evening it is a bed sheet, day it is a walk of shame dress. Joanna can’t imagine why he picked a picture where you can see a hole and safety pins. No woman would wear this to an office. Jason claims it’s HIM for Marie Claire, as opposed to Marie Claire. He starts hiking up her skirt, and Heidi is worried, but he’s just trying to claim it’s reversible, or something. Gretchen wanted to appeal to all ages. She also points out that she’s got a closure on the top to make the V almost down to her navel. They love the photo and Heidi likes the easy-access front. Kors thinks you can wear something under it and it’s like sportswear. I know jumpsuits are a thing, I just personally don’t like them. Nicholas talks about his cape. Nina says there are too many things going on for a billboard. Joanna calls it “utterly unsexy”. Kors points out that Nicholas even knows that the cape sucks because he picked a photo without it. When they look at the back, you can see in closeup it’s raggedy. Nicholas talks day-to-evening, but Kors is like, does she have to wear the cape all day? Because she might be joining a religious sect. Hee. Mondo presents his dress, which they seem to like. His picture is very cute. I hadn’t noticed, but the skirt has a weird waistband. Like…there is a belt, but the fabric of the skirt sticks up over the belt like a collar. I’m really not feeling it.

Jason blames his model and says she’s not a runway model. Then he claims he’s not making an excuse for his sucky dress. Judge time. Good: Mondo was eye-catching and the photo had movement and was not posey. Gretchen was sophisticated without being old, and appealed to a lot of ages and seasons. Valerie was sexy but not vulgar, a cover dress. Bad: Jason should not need a disclaimer for his clothes, and the picture was terrible. He was too concerned with his 8. Nicholas was too ambitious, every piece had something wrong with it. Peach: Kors says you have to be 11 or 70. Mostly like 70 with pearls and pumps. It’s well made, but no one likes it.
Mondo is in. He’s in a much better mood now. Gretchen wins again. Good for her. Mike C. fake valley-girls that he is so happy for Gretchen! But (back to serious) he thought Valerie should have won. Valerie is in. Peach is in. Jason is out. Well, at least they didn’t let him get away with that two weeks in a row. When he goes backstage to tell them, they tell him to sit down and talk to them, but he’s like, no, I have to go. No wonder you find it so tough in this industry. Tim tells us that Jason left before Tim could even come back stage and tell him good luck and pack up his stuff. Nicholas is out too. Wait, what? No way! He’s pretty upset because I think he felt he was safe. When he gets in the back he’s sobbing and AJ comforts him and tells him he’s awesome. Everyone is super nice to him, actually. He sticks around for Tim, too. Ivy says having two people sent home makes her realize someone is going home every week. Yes, generally that’s how that works.

Gretchen’s model does not get to do the photo shoot and be on the billboard, which seems unfair. They go see the billboard, which I am pretty sure doesn’t have her name on it which sucks. It’s a cool billboard though.

Next week: Tim throws a party! Not really. It‘s the “unconventional materials“ challenge and that is a party supply store. Hee. Gretchen and AJ bitch at each other. Someone gets an ambulance and from the commercials it looks like Kristin. That can’t be good.
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