What’s Hot on TV Tonight – Democratic National Convention

Tonight the Democrats get a chance to answer the Republican responses from last week with a convention of their own. What will be the highlights? Catch up with all the TV you may have missed at TV-Links.

1. Steve Harvey. Series premiere. Ali Fedotowsky is the guest, and stories include advice for the worst dater in America, how to stop a mom who shares too much online, and a robot comic. Syndicated, check local listings.

2. MLB Baseball. New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays. 6:00 PM CT ESPN

3. America's Got Talent. The second twelve semifinalists perform. 7:00 PM CT NBC

4. Hell's Kitchen. The final two are determined, with renowned chefs evaluating their final dinner-service menus. 7:00 PM CT Fox

5. High School Moms. A student deals with self esteem, weight issues, and a son with behavioral issues, and a first-time mom-to-be tries to fix her relationship with her mom. 7:00 PM CT TLC

6. MasterChef. The final three discuss their experience and create a dish that shows their personality and passion, and the final two are chosen. 8:00 PM CT Fox

7. White Collar. The team investigates museum heists that seem to target rare artifacts. 8:00 PM CT USA

8. Face Off. The artists create a traditional Chinese New Year dragon to function in a dance routine.. 8:00 PM CT Syfy

9. Coma. Part 2. A young medical student finds sinister events at the hospital after a surprising number of patients who are otherwise healthy are put into comas during routine procedures. 8:00 PM CT A&E

10. Beverly Hills Nannies. Season finale. In the first hour, a nanny's life falls apart easily. In the second hour, Ross Matthews reunites the nannies and the moms. 8:00 PM CT ABC Family

11. Flipping Out. Season premiere. The exciting designer series Flipping Out returns for its 6th season following well-known house flipper and interior designer, Jeff Lewis! This season, the demanding décor expert manages to turn the lives – and homes – of everyone around him upside down as he wrestles with a growing business, new staff members, crazy clients and plans to start a family of his own! 8:00 PM CT Bravo

12. Mysteries at the Museum Special. Don Wildman reexamines the most peculiar tales in the Mysteries at the Museum archives. Whether it's a plaster cast of the original Siamese twins, the unexpected discovery of 36 perfectly preserved corpses, or mysterious creatures from the extreme depths of the ocean, these are some of the most outlandish artifacts to be found in American museums. 8:00 PM CT Travel Channel

13. Top Gear. The guys travel from Portland to San Francisco without the benefit of filling up, and the toughest off-road machine in the world. 8:00 PM CT HISTORY

14. Dance Moms. Abby gives each dancer a solo to help her decide about Nationals, Melissa signs her girls with an agency, and Kelly helps Brooke with her singing aspirations. 8:00 PM CT Lifetime

15. Democratic National Convention. From Charlotte, NC. 9:00 PM CT Major Networks and News Channels

16. Covert Affairs. Arthur makes it a top priority to bring Simon in, and Annie requests the assignment. 9:00 PM CT USA

17. Collection Intervention. Joe and Rebekah who own 30,000 comics, and Dahveed discovers his toy-selling business isn't going well when Elyse arrives to help him earn a profit. 9:00 PM CT Syfy

18. TV Guide Magazine's Top 25 Best Oprah Show Moments. Moments 17-14. Oprah and Gayle King's road trip, Oprah's 50th birthday party, and an interview with Michael Jackson's kids. 9:00 PM CT OWN

19. Abby & Brittany. n the first half hour, as graduation nears, Abby and Brittany travel to Windy City for a last weekend together, and get around on Segways, eat deep-dish pizza, and view the city from the 103rd floor. In the second half hour, it's graduation day, and Abby and Brittany get ready to cross the stage to get their diplomas. but have to finish one last student-teaching assignment. 9:00 PM CT TLC

20. Counting Cars. In the first half hour, Danny and Kevin land in hot water when a motorcycle pullover doesn't go well, and a woman brings in her recovered IROC-Z and leaves with a solution to bust the thieves. In the second half hour, Danny and Shannon honor fallen troops with a custom motorcycle, and Danny and Kevin push it hard to acquire a 1971 Monte Carlo. 9:00 PM CT HISTORY

21. The Week the Women Went. The men get their daughters ready for the Miss Sweet Carolina Pageant, and a domineering mom confronts her son's fiancée at the women's camp. 9:00 PM CT Lifetime

22. All the Right Moves. Travis and Kyle have to perform at a dance convention, and Teddy tries to keep Taja from quitting. 9:00 PM CT Oxygen

23. Teen Mom. Reunion. 9:00 PM CT MTV

24. The Burn with Jeff Ross. Anthony Jeselnik, Natasha Leggero, and Todd Glass help Jeff roast the week's topics, and then he roasts people who park in handicapped spots illegally. 9:30 PM CT Comedy Centralp>25. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The guests tonight are Kevin Hart, Rep. Ron Paul, and Robert Cray. 10:35 PM CT NBC


Top Chef Masters 4 – Episode 6 – They’re Sexy And They Know It

Wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle yeah.

Once again, sorry for being tardy this week. This time, I actually have a culinary excuse. I have decided to reboot P90X this week, and this time, do the Tony Horton suggested meal plan. The only problem – I am one of the world’s worst cooks. Yeah, I know, the irony of this column is overwhelming at times, but that’s the case. I spent this week basically trying my wife’s patience as we made about four recipes per night of various sauces, soups and other dishes. One thing about this plan – 3000 calories per day of healthy food is a boatload of food. And thank goodness for all of those calories – after cooking and exercising deep into the night each day for a week, I was exhausted.

So, I didn’t get to watch Masters until Sunday night this week – and boy, what a strange episode it was! It had Stone flirting mercilessly with the guest judge, and it had an odd and deeply intriguing fight between Lorena and Yeo. It also featured the Masters’ version of Restaurant Wars – as it would be far from interesting to see these chefs battle over opening a restaurant, since all of them have done just that 10 times over. It’s a novelty for regular Top Chef because those chefs are not usually restaurant owners. So, a little twist on the challenge and we had this week’s Thai challenge.

Quickfire – Top Chef is bringing sexy back. Lorena even helped out the theme by giving us a literal “Bowm Chicka Bow Bowm” song. It seems Dita Von Teese is the “epitome of sexy.” I don’t think I would have gone there – not in a world where Scarlet Johansson exists. But she’s pretty sexy. And as it turns out – incredibly – she’s also the first really good stunt celebrity casting they’ve had. It seems that Dita knows her food. The challenge is to make a sexy dish using tons of traditionally sexy ingredients – oysters, chocolate, champagne – and others which could be sexy if you’re creative enough. Five grand and immunity are on the line.

CC starts by chanting “sugar, sugar.” I would have liked it if he sang instead. Other chefs were busy destroying the arsenal of blenders. Art began to question his sexuality thanks to Dita, and Lorena broke out some impressive knife skills. As someone who has chopped a lot of veggies this week, I can appreciate how hard that is. Kerry is making a tuna salad – and I instantly scoffed at the notion of tuna being sexy. I would be proven wrong later. Takashi began talking about sweet and slimy sexiness and I started to get uncomfortable again.

Dita begins her tasting with Stone – which would later have to be accompanied by a couple of cigarettes – by dropping a line about how the tease is important, but you need a payoff in the end. Yowza.

Art – Ile Flottante – Chocolate Vanilla Sauce with Strawberries and Brittle Bits Dita shows her cred by instantly identifying the dish as an Ile Flottante. He wants to dive into a giant vat of it. Naked. And awesomely, Stone is flustered by her comments. It’s really funny. Dita later added that it was a bit too chocolaty.

Lorena – Tuna Telitaas with Avocados and Arugula – Stone thinks that is a lot of cilantro. Dita thinks it was delicate and light, but not sexy. She would be too worried about getting anything in her teeth.

Takashi – Chilled Oyster and Sea Urchin with Yuzu-Truffle Vinaigrette – Dita said this is made out of three of her favorite things. She calls it cold, fresh, slippery and sexy. And Stone flirts even more with her. Seriously, give these two a show. That’s good onscreen chemistry.

Yeo – Chawanmushi, Caviar, Tempura Asparagus and Love Apple Salad – These are more things that Dita loves – she equates it to soft caresses followed by a quick smack. Excuse me while I get a cold glass of ice water.

CC – Foie Gras and Figs in Rose, Fig and Champagne Sauce – Dita wants to lay around and feed figs to, well, I think most everyone watching inserted themselves into this scenario.

Kerry – Seared Tuna with Uni, Soy and Aromatics – She is sexually excited over the uni. She adds that when you’re out seducing, you don’t want a heavy meal. Damn. Dita Von Teese, ladies and gentlemen. She sure can deliver the promises.

The bottom two is Art and Lorena. Art’s was a wise choice, but not a true Ile Flottante. Lorena’s wasn’t sexy. Kerry and Takashi make the top two – with Kerry’s giving her the ability to “go all night.” Holy crap. Takashi’s “felt good sliding down her throat.” No. words. Takashi gets the win, the cash and immunity.

For the Elimination Challenge, the chefs will be concentrating on Northern Thai flavors by visiting the famous Vegas Thai restaurant, “Lotus of Siam.” They must make a Thai inspired dish as they create their own Thai restaurant – each of them creating at least one dish on the menu. Lorena is worried about the challenge, but Yeo has confidence since she used to live in Thailand. They must be ready to serve in 12 hours. Yeo speculates that Lorena and Art would not be good at this challenge because she is not sure how good of a line cook they would be.

Before shopping, they go and visit Lotus of Siam and get a feast from the little old Thai lady who runs the place, Shuipan Chutmera. And her very cute granddaughter, who I am hoping is at least 18 years of age after commenting on her cuteness. Or else, I feel really badly about myself. Lorena sees a coconut soup which makes her realize that Thai and Latin cooking are not all that far off from each other. At Whole Foods, Kerry seems to be buying the entire meat and fish station, asking for “all that, all that, all that.” There is some drama/comedy as Kerry tries to communicate via two-way with CC to explain that they can’t find raw peanuts or duck.

The chefs break down the job responsibilities and Art and Lorena are basically assigned the job of the front of the house. This stems back to Yeo’s comments about their line cook experience. Lorena is not pleased about this and tells us in confessional that she has plenty of line cook knowledge. This leads to the clash in the kitchen between the ladies. It is presumably about Yeo’s displeasure over Lorena’s mise en place and Lorena’s reaction to Yeo’s attitude. However, what I think happened here was Lorena was steaming over being sent to the front of the house and she took it as a slight. And she blamed Yeo for it. I am sure Lorena has had to deal with that kind of thing her whole life – a woman in the kitchen, especially an attractive one, has probably been dealing with respect problems from Day One. And we watched it manifest on cable TV. Fascinating.

Anyway, back to prep. Kerry is trying to make taro palatable. He calls it simple, but only if you’re a master. So…not simple. Glad this isn’t Top Chef: Simpletons. The other dynamic with Kerry is that he has elected to be the expeditor except that he is not being all that aggressive. Now, CC and his big mouth…that’s an expeditor. And as we see later on, the service troubles the group had would have been solved with CC calling the shots.

Shuipan and granddaughter Penny join Bert, Lam, Stone and Alan Systma, the young critic from last year who looks like Michael Ian Black. Less funny though.

Lorena – Pisco Chicken Soup with Galangal, Cilantro and Lime – Alan thought there were too many garnishes, as her chilies were all over the dish. Shuipan liked the dish though.

CC – Sirloin Steak Larb Tartare – CC has taken the flavor of larb, although I chuckled because I thought he said lard. Shuipan thinks that for an American, this dish was good. Ha! Lam thinks it is beautiful, with a great clean beef flavor.

Takashi – Yellow Curry with Shrimp and Crispy Noodles – Penny and grandma praise the curry.

Art – Cashew-Crusted Chicken, Crispy Rice Salad with Lemongrass-Lime Vinaigrette
Lam didn’t feel enough of a Thai inspiration. Alan thinks the vinaigrette was the saving grace.

This is where we have some drama. Yeo and Kerry are serving the last course and need to send it out together. However, Kerry isn’t ready, so Yeo needs to scrap her duck and re-cook in order to make it work. However, doing so, she winds up with awfully rare duck. And gets rather pissed.

Kerry – Braised Pork Belly with Chinese Mustard Greens and Taro Root Puree – Alan thinks that there is nothing not to like. Stone thinks taro is mainly just for spackle, but boy, Kerry made it tasty. Shuipan said this one was the closest to Thai style of them all. Which guarantees a win for Kerry, right? Right?

Yeo –Seared Duck Breast with Green Pineapple and Massaman Curry – Bert thinks the duck is frighteningly rare. So much so that he actually sends it back. Alan agrees about the chewy meat. Shuipan thinks the herbs needed to be harsher.

All six face the critics and Bert tells them they made good dishes but not all were with the signature flavors of Thailand. CC and Kerry make the top. Alan tells CC that it was nicely constructed, but wisely held back on flavor. Lam tells Kerry there was thoughtfulness on the garnishes, and Stone adds a comment from a diner that it was “Thai meat and potatoes.” The win and ten grand go to CC. Kerry is still without a win, and yet is now in the Final Five.

Lorena, Yeo and Art hit the bottom. Welcome to third place, Takashi! Art is not surprised to be there. Stone says it was plain, simple, but boring. Bert thinks he put “Southern jazz hands” on the dish. That’s awesome. I just picture the Savannah production of “Guys and Dolls” now. Lam tells Lorena she had a problem with garnish, but good chicken. Stone said the chilies needed to be cut to infuse the flavor. Yeo tries hard to avoid blaming Kerry for her issues but the critics push her. Alan did like the smokiness of the eggplant, but Bert said the dish felt more French than Thai.

The critics confer with Bert thinking that Lorena should not have poached the chicken separately, it felt like two dishes. Alan said the garnish error was an amateur move. Stone thinks Yeo was an inch from being the best, but that duck. It seems Kerry’s fears about being the cause of her demise were unfounded. He was possibly the cause of her not winning the challenge outright. Alan thinks Art struggled to translate his style, and Lam thinks it was just too bland.

Art and his personality get the heave ho. He will be missed. However, bland and boring is often the kiss of death on this show. He and Lorena have a tearful farewell and Art vows to one day open a restaurant with her. I hope it is here in DC – because I am there!

Quickfire Hits
• Sometime in between last week and this week, it seems that Wolverine got his claws into Lorena’s wardrobe. Did that not look like claw slashes across her shoulder?
• It was as if Stone was having way too much fun with the food/sex analogies. A “sensual feel in the mouth?”
• CC thinks foie gras oozes sex. If he could manage to infuse that into a dish, he’d make a lot of money.
• Did Art really dream about chocolate? He should have dreamt about Thai food.
• It is somewhat disconcerting to hear Yeo talking about burlesque. It’s almost as if someone replaced the script of the first half of this episode with that of the Real Housewives.
• Did Yeo demand that one of the other chefs not call her Jesus?
• One of those Thai dishes contained pork blood. Well, I think I would bypass that entrée on the menu.
• Extra scene – Kerry and Yeo make up.

Next week – – Sugar Ray Leonard. And Stone going the full Michael Buffer.

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