What’s Hot on TV New Year’s Eve – A New Year’s Eve Without Dick Clark

While we’ve had one or two New Year’s Eves without Dick Clark manning Time Square back when he was sick, we knew he was there somewhere. Yet this will be the first New Year’s Rockin’ Eve we will celebrate in many years completely without him. Ryan Seacrest will be filling in as he has been, and there’s also a special dedicated to Clark immediately preceding New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. Catch up with all the TV you may have missed at TV-Links.

1. College Football. Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl from Nashville, North Carolina State vs. Vanderbilt. 11:00 AM CT ESPN

2. College Football. Hyundai Sun Bowl from El Paso, Georgia Tech vs. USC. 1:00 PM CT CBS

3. College Football. AutoZone Liberty Bowl from Memphis, Iowa State vs. Tulsa. 2:30 PM CT ESPN

4. College Football. Chick-fil-A Bowl, Clemson vs. LSU. 6:30 PM CT ESPN

5. Enchanted. Disney did it up well in this one as they parody themselves and their fairy tale/princess movies. It stars Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, and Susan Sarandon. 5:30 PM CT NBC

6. New Year’s Rockin’ Eve Celebrates Dick Clark. Fergie and Jenny McCarthy host. 7:00 PM CT ABC

7. iHeartRadio Music Festival. Performances from Usher, Bon Jovi, Taylor Swift, Swedish House Mafia, Pink Aerosmith, Rihanna, No Doubt, Lil’ Wayne, and Miranda Lambert. 7:00 PM CT CW

8. Despicable Me. In this animated flick starring Steve Carell, a super villain plans on carrying out the ultimate plan to steal the moon, but gets stuck with three little orphaned girls that stand in his way. 7:00 PM CT Disney

9. The Mob Doctor. Constantine receives a champagne bomb, and he and Celeste try to figure out who’s behind it, Nate looks for help from Grace, and Grace treats Brett’s estranged brother. 8:00 PM CT Fox

10. Cake Boss: Next Great Baker. 8:00 PM CT TLC

11. New Year’s Eve. different storylines of love that intertwine on New Year’s Eve night, starring Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Jon Bon Jovi, Abigail Breslin, and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges.” 8:00 PM CT HBO

12. NBC’s New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly. Countdown from Times Square. 9:00 PM CT NBC

13. Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2013. Celebration coming from both coasts with special performances. 9:00 PM CT ABC


What’s Hot on TV Tonight – Final Week of NFL Regular Season

It's the final week of the MFL regular season. By the end of today we'll know which teams are in the playoffs and who is finished for the season. The Chicago Bears are going to need a win and some help from their rivals Green Bay to get in as a wildcard. Catch up on your other favorite shows at TV-Links.

1. NFL Football. Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions. 12:00 PM CT Fox

2. NFL Football. Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Viking. 3:00 PM CT Fox

3. 60 Minutes. The covered stories include human thoughts operating robotic limbs, an ex-Danish spy involved with the killing of Anwar al Awlaki, and Judd Apatow. 6:30 PM CT CBS

4. 16. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It's the fifth film adaptation in the series of books by J.K. Rowling. 7:00 PM CT ABC

5. Lion King. The animated Disney flick that seemed to start a whole franchise between movies, Broadway, etc. It's definitely a modern Disney classic. Thanks to my son watching it every day as a toddler, I know every single word. 7:00 PM CT ABC Family

6. NFL Football. Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins. 7:15 PM CT NBC

7. The Real Housewives of Atlanta. With the ladies back from Anguilla, it's time to see where relationships stand, and Kenya and Walter are in the romantic hot seat. After avoiding each other, the couple finally agrees to lunch, but Walter says he doesn’t think Kenya is wife material! Later on, the gang heads to a strip club, but their time is ruined when divorce rumors swirl around Phaedra and Apollo. 8:00 PM CT Bravo

8. Sister Wives. The Browns get read for Logan's graduation and push to get moved into their new homes by Christmas. 8:00 PM CT TLC

9. Finding Bigfoot. The team follows Australia's yowie. 8:00 PM Animal Planet

10. Ice Loves Coco. Coco starts rehearsing for Peep Show, but has second thoughts about not being with Ice. 9:00 PM CT E!

11. Shahs of Sunset. It’s no secret Reza has been emotional about his age, so he decides to hit the clubs to feel young again. After a few drinks, he becomes very flirtatious – including asking to smell another man’s armpits! Later on, Reza and MJ see each other at a cocktail party for the first time since their fight and are forced to confront their vengeful feelings, but Reza insults MJ and she leaves in tears! 9:00 PM CT Bravo

12. Sister Wives: Secrets Revealed. The Browns discuss being separated in four different homes. 8:00 PM CT TLC


Project Runway All-Stars 2: The Business of Fashion

Last week, on Project Runway, the designers had to craft looks inspired by the 1920’s.  They also took part in a fashion face-off, in which each pair of designers had to make a look for a specific social function.  Anthony Ryan won and Laura was sent home.

The following morning finds the remaining five designers walking along Fifth Avenue.  They stop at Elie Tahari, where Carolyn meets them.    Carolyn introduces the designers to Elie Tahari himself.  Together, they explain the challenge:  Make a ready-to-wear look.  It will be sold on retail, which means the materials have to fall within a given budget in order for the store to make any kind of profit.  The designers will have access to everything on the Elie Tahari fabric floor.  The look has to have a wow factor and be similar to garments Elie Tahari would sell.  The winning designer’s look will be sold both at the Elie Tahari stores and on the website.  The profits would go to Save the Garment Center.

The designers then sketch.  Uli decides to make a dress and vest combo, while Ivy decides on a dress.  On the fabric floor, Anthony Ryan decides to make a dress, and Uli decides not to use fringe or feathers in her look.  Ivy chooses a print with a sunset pattern on it.  Emilio picks mustard silk, while Joshua opts for magenta stretch fabric.

As they have to stay within a certain price range, the designers have to consult with one of Elie’s employees in the cutting room.  She okays Emilio and Ivy’s choices, but Uli has to drop her vest in order to stay within the budget.  Joshua has enough money left over to get magenta lace to go with his fabric.

Back at Parson’s, Ivy decides on a maxi-length dress, so she won’t have to cut up her beloved print.  Uli had gotten white fabric.  Looking around, she sees everybody else has gotten colors and promptly suffers  a bout of buyer’s remorse.  She realizes she needs a way to make her dress stand out from all the others.  Emilio is working on a color-blocked mustard and orange dress.

Joanna comes in to make her rounds.  She’s brought Elie with her, and he actually dispenses most of the advice this episode.  Ivy shows off her print, and Elie recommends making the dress shorter.  It looks a bit heavy now, but a shorter version could work as a summer frock.  As for Joshua’s look, Elie thinks the lace and exposed zipper are a bit much.

Joanna thinks Emilio’s color choices are interesting, but Elie doesn’t like the color-blocking.  He also thinks Uli’s dress looks too heavy, and she confesses her nervousness about sending down a plain white dress.  Elie gives her a pep talk, telling her to let go of her fear and to stop second-guessing herself.  Joanna likes Anthony Ryan’s print.  Elie gives Anthony Ryan a little talk about how you appreciate things more when you fight for them.

After Joanna and Eli leave, Emilio decides to dispense with the color-blocking.  Elie is the client, after all, and he said he didn’t like the color-blocking.  So Emilio will make a mustard dress with burgundy trim.

Anthony Ryan takes a few minutes to talk to his lover on a video chat.  Later, Ivy uses video chat to talk with Casanova, who encourages her to keep fighting.  He lost, but she still has a chance.

The models come in for their fitting.  Anthony Ryan is pleased to find that his dress mostly fits; it just needs minor adjustments to be perfect.  Ivy decides to leave her dress long, as she can’t bear to cut her beloved print.  Uli finds her dress is much too big, and she have to take it in, big time.

That night, Emilio tells the other designers what he knows about Elie’s background.  He was born in Israel and had emigrated to the United States about 40 years ago.  He was homeless for a time, but eventually found work as an electrician.  Eventually, he switched to fashion design.

The next morning, the designers get back to work.  The models come in for their final fitting, hair and make-up.  During this, Joshua discovers a major problem:  His exposed zipper is making his fabric buckle, so the dress looks ill-fitting and messy in back.  He doesn’t have time to fix it.

On the runway, Carolyn mentions that the designers’ dresses would retail for somewhere between $500.00 and $700.00.  She then introduces the guest judges, Elie Tahari and Stacy Keibler, an actress.

Anthony Ryan made a sleeveless black, blue, and white mini-dress.  He used a print with vertical stripes.  For a change of pace, he did not do anything to the back.  No exposed zipper, no cut-outs.  Smart move, because he’d sent down a lot of dresses with details in the back, that often exposed a good part of the model’s back.  Sooner or later, he’d have gotten dinged for repeating himself.

Joshua made a sleeveless magenta mini-dress.  The top part sags, so it almost looks as if the model has a third breast.  Even worse is the exposed zipper in the back which is pulling on the fabric, causing it to pucker horribly.

Emilio made a mustard gold dress with burgundy trim.  It’s sleeveless and knee-length.

Ivy made a long dress out of a blue, orange, gray, and black print.  The top part looks like a tank top, and it has slits going up the sides.

Uli made a sleeveless white dress out of a woven fabric.  She decorated the collar and shoulders with a very short fringe.

Afterwards, the designers have to face the judges, who start with Uli.  She tells them she was drawn to the white material.  Georgina likes the detailing on the shoulders, since it drew attention to the model’s face.  Isaac likes the length of the dress.  Carolyn loves it and Stacy calls it classy.  Elie says, “You used the fringe in the right way.”

Ivy says she fell in love with the print.  Carolyn likes the color blocking, but not the slits.  Georgina thinks the length of the dress makes it look frumpy.  Eli thinks the black at the bottom makes the model look heavy.

Emilio says that he liked the luxurious feel of the silk he’d used.  Stacy calls it beautiful and Elis likes the neckline.  Isaac thinks it’s a nice dress, but says he expects more from Emilio.  The judges also note that the mustard gold is a difficult color to wear.  (They’re right; you need dark skin to pull it off.  But Emilio’s model is black, so it makes sense he’d choose colors that look good on her.)

Next up is Anthony Ryan.  Isaac likes the mix of prints, but not the neckline.  Stacy loves the dress and Georgina thinks it looks youthful.  Elie thinks the dress looks easy to wear adds, “I was impressed.”

Joshua tells the judges that he wanted to use lace in his look.  Georgina loves the color, but says the profile of his design looks as if the model’s breasts were sagging to her waist.  “Nobody wants droopy breasts,” she adds.  Isaac also likes the fabric used and the lace, but dislikes the fit, the length, and the zipper.  Elie also likes the fabric, but dislikes the lace.  Carolyn thinks the zipper cheapens the look.

The judges then have their chat.  Uli made a versatile and elegant dress, and Anthony Ryan made a youthful dress that looks easy to wear.  Emilio’s dress was sellable, but not great.  Ivy had a good idea, but relied too heavily on her fabric.  Consequently, she produced a “blah” design.  Joshua had made the horrible mistake of using a zipper with a stretch fabric.

Carolyn then announces the judges’ decision.  Anthony Ryan and Uli had the high scores, and Anthony Ryan is the winner.  Ului and Emilio are safe, leaving Joshua and Ivy in the bottom two.  Ivy is out, so Joshua is in.

Next week:  The designers work with female veterans from the good ship Intrepid.


What’s Hot on TV Friday and Saturday – March Madness. Too Soon?

It seems a little early, but Saturday night, we celebrate seventy-five years of March Madness broadcasting. Perhaps that's the best we can expect from the programming the weekend before New Year's Eve. Catch up with your favorite shows you may have missed at TV-Links.


1. College Football. Russell Athletic Bowl from Orlando, Florida, Rutgers vs. Virginia Tech. 4:30 PM CT ESPN

2. College Basketball. Baylor at Gonzaga. 7:00 PM CT ESPN 2

3. Back to the Beginning with Christiane Amanpour. Important historical sites in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. 8:00 PM CT ABC

4. Killer Karaoke. 8:00 PM CT truTV

5. Say Yes to the Dress. Season premiere. In the first half hour, a celebrity brings attitude to the salon, and three brides fight to get the dress of their dreams. In the second half hour, Reeta is marrying Courtney's dad, and both women shop for wedding dresses, Trisha's dad helps her pick out a dress after overcoming heart failure, and Caitlin proceeds with her fitting now that her dad can be there. 8:00 PM CT TLC

6. Ghost Adventures. The most terrorizing haunted hotels that have seen shootings, murders, and gruesome hangings. 8:00 PM CT Travel Channel

7. College Football. Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas from Houston, Minnesota vs. Texas Tech. 8:00 PM CT ESPN

8. Vegas Brides. Series premiere. In the first half hour, the former Ms. Nevada threatens to cancel her wedding because of dress anxiety, and another bride lets indecision come between her and her wedding. In the second half hour, a bride will be the only one clothed at her wedding, meaning the dress has to make a statement, and a renaissance-themed wedding. 9:00 PM CT TLC

9. The Dead Files. Paranormal activity at a Wichita, Kansas, property. 9:00 PM CT Travel Channel

10. Teen Trouble. A rural Indiana teenager realizes she's headed towards drug abuse and unsafe behavior and asks for help. 9:00 PM CT Lifetime

11. College Basketball. Missouri at UCLA. 9:00 PM CT ESPN 2


1. College Football. Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, Air Force vs. Rice. 10:45 AM CT ESPN

2. College Basketball. Santa Clara at Duke. 11:00 AM CT ESPN 2

3. 75 Years of NCAA March Madness: Behind the Mic. The greatest memories of the NCAA Tournament. 1:00 PM CT CBS

4. College Basketball. UNLV at North Carolina. 1:00 PM CT ESPN 2

5. College Football. New Era Pinstripe Bowl, Syracuse vs. West Virginia. 2:15 PM CT ESPN

6. College Basketball. Kentucky at Louisville. 3:00 PM CT CBS

7. College Football. Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, Arizona State vs. Navy. 3:00 PM CT ESPN 2

8. College Football. Valero Alamo Bowl, Oregon State vs. Texas. 5:45 PM CT ESPN

9. College Basketball. Washington at Connecticut. 6:30 PM CT ESPN 2

10. Made in Jersey. In the first hour, Nolan and Martina's clients are the parents of an 18-year-old who joined a cult after disappearing from rehab, and Martina confronts Tommy about spreading rumors. In the second hour, Martina gets put up on the stand after a client attacks a chemical plant CEO because of a comment she made, and Darlene quits her job and gets more opinionated. 7:00 PM CT CBS

11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It's the fourth film adaptation in the series of books by J.K. Rowling. Harry is crushing on Cho, and he and the others enter a wizardry tournament. 7:00 PM CT ABC

12. UFC 155: Dos Santos vs. Velasquez II – Prelims. Eddie Wineland vs. Brad Pickett, Byron Bloodworth vs. Erik Perez, Jamie Varner vs. Melvin Guillard, and Myles Jury vs. Michael Johnson. 7:00 PM CT FX

13. The Mob Doctor. Doctors Devlin and Robinson care for a priest with a face bitten during an exorcism, Constanting considers a consolidation of power after finding out Russell King wants to take over downtown, and Nate looks for help from Grace with a runaway. 8:00 PM CT Fox

14. Six Little McGhees. In the first half hour, Mia gets emotional about not going to prom with her niece's prom coming up. In the second half hour, Cilky refuses to respect Mia's rules, ad Ro tries to fix things between the two. 8:00 PM CT OWN

15. Darling Companion. A neglectful husband and his wife look for her missing dog and the problems between the two begin to surface. Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline, Dianne Wiest, Richard Jenkins, and Sam Shepard star. 8:00 PM CT Starz

16. 48 Hours. After being conned by her boyfriend, a young woman goes missing. 9:00 PM CT CBS

17. Iyanla, Fix My Life Reloaded. Evelyn Lozada is the guest. 9:00 PM CT OWN

18. College Football. Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Michigan State vs. Texas Christian. 9:15 PM CT ESPN

What’s Hot on TV Tonight – Another Light Night

It's another light night tonight as far as TV fare. The only thing on the major networks is Charlie Brown celebrating New Year's Eve. Well, he misses part of it while he's finishing reading War and Peace. Let that be a reminder to you kids out there. Get caught up with that holiday break homework now, before you miss something fun later! Catch up on your favorite shows you may have missed at TV-Links.

1. Live! With Kelly and Michael. Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and the BellyDance Superstars are the guests today. Syndicated, check local listings.

2. College Football. Belk Bowl, Cincinnati vs. Duke. 5:30 PM CT ESPN

2. Happy New Year, Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown isn't having a great Christmas break as he has to read War and Peace during the time off and has to miss part of the New Year's Eve celebration. 7:00 PM CT ABC

3. NBA Basketball. Dallas Mavericks at Oklahoma City Thunder. 7:00 PM CT TNT

4. The Real Housewives of Miami. Bravo's Andy Cohen hosts a special reunion for the ladies of Miami to rehash this season’s drama. Anything is fair game when Andy is asking the questions… 8:00 PM CT Bravo

5. Four Weddings. Anjali has a medieval castle wedding, Cammi serves her guests bacon at her Harvard reception, Celeste has a fiesta in the backyard, and Jenna hosts heres at a maritime museum. 8:00 PM CT TLC

6. Mysteries at the Museum. An antique doll with connections to a tragic demise, the world of fashion ignited by an errant experiment, and a disaster begun by a stunt. 8:00 PM CT Travel Channel

7. Project Runway The designers create a ready-to-wear look on a retail budget, with Elie Tahari serving as guest judge and mentor. 8:00 PM CT Lifetime

8. Mary Mary. Mary Mary has a performance at the Apollo Theater to honor Lionel Richie, but when their hectic lives as mothers and wives keep them from learning the lyrics to All Night Long, it’s a disaster. 8:00 PM CT WE

9. College Basketball. New Mexico at Cincinnati. 8:00 PM CT ESPN

10. College Football. Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl, Baylor vs. UCLA. 8:45 PM CT ESPN

11. Impractical Jokers. The guys use shoppers in the mall to settle senseless debates, scream for ice cream, and set up protests in the park for unconventional causes. 9:00 PM CT truTV

12. Beyond Scared Straight. One young teen gets to sit in a restraint chair at the Oneida County Correctional Facility, and another gets handcuffed before entering 9:00 PM CT A&E

13. Wives with Beehives. 9:00 PM CT TLC

14. NBA Basketball. Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Clippers. 9:30 PM CT TNT


What’s Hot on TV Tonight – … Not Much

There's not a whole lot on tonight, the night after Christmas. The only thing the major networks are offering is the 35th Annual Kennedy Center Honors. This could be the source of some good entertainment with Buddy Guy, Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman, Natalia Makarova, and Led Zeppelin. Check out your other favorite shows at TV-Links.

1. Katie. The guest today is Michael J. Fox. Syndicated, check local listings.

2. The Other Guys. Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg star as detectives stuck on desk duty, who take a relatively minor case and spin it into something much bigger. 7:00 PM CT FX

3. Pretty Woman. Julia Roberts was nominated for an Oscar, but lost for her role as the prostitute. Ten years later, she picked up the Oscar for Erin Brockovich. 7:00 PM CT Lifetime

4. College Football. Little Caesars Bowl, Central Michigan vs. Western Kentucky. 7:00 PM CT ESPN

5. The 35th Annual Kennedy Center Honors. Caroline Kennedy hosts, and he honorees this year include Buddy Guy, Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman, Natalia Makarova, Led Zeppelin. 8:00 PM CT CBS

6. Toddlers & Tiaras. Jersie, Ashley, Gracie, and Faithlyn compete in Kentucky. 8:00 PM CT TLC

7. Hot in Cleveland. Elka gives Mamie lessons in flirting, Joy likes the thought of male pet-owners, and Victoria gets interviewed by her daughter. 9:00 PM CT TVLand

8. Top Chef: Seattle. In this week’s Quickfire, the cheftestants must harvest oysters, which turns into a disaster for one contestant who falls face first in the mud! Later on, the cheftestants cook for one of the hottest sports teams in Seattle, but Josie annoys the gang after a few too many drinks and pushes everyone to their limits. 9:00 PM CT Bravo

9. Cheer Perfection. Youth Silver doesn't perform well at the TRavelers' game, so Alisha gets the help of a super tough coach to get them into shape, and two mothers get into heated exchanges. 9:00 PM CT TLC

10. Fast Foods Gone Global. American fast food chains change their European menus by adding old world items. 9:00 PM CT Travel Channel

11. Happily Divorced. Fran suggests a friend renew the passion in her relationship. 9:30 PM CT TVLand


Top Chef: Seattle – Episode 7 – Drat! Foiled again!

After this week’s elimination, we have this season’s Top 10 in place (sort of, thanks to LCK and the text contest) and it becomes a legitimate exercise to begin speculation based on performance and edits as to who will be left standing when the season winds down. I’ll be doing that a bit later on. But first, we have a Massive Product Placement Challenge on our hands, and a good, old-fashioned head-to-head berry battle. Well, maybe that’s not old-fashioned. Except perhaps in Berry Country. Which is very different from Bear Country.
Boy, I’m digressing already and we’re only in the first paragraph.

Our Top 11 get the dual challenges of cooking while only using aluminum foil, and then seeing who can win head-to-head battles while using berries. And for the second week in a row, the winner of the Quickfire went on to win the Elimination Challenge. In this case, that winner of the Quickfire, due to the odd number, was not slated to go head-to-head with anyone. This meant no pressure – no worries about what someone else were doing, and no worries about elimination. That led to – just like Brooke last week – freedom to just cut loose and cook. And again, it worked. Perhaps more chefs down the road will take this path and just go for it after winning immunity.

Another thing we got was the ongoing antagonism between Monkey and everyone – while most of it has focused on OTV in the previous episodes, this week it was Stefan The Thumb’s turn to battle. It took the form of smack talk that started early on and just kept going throughout the head-to-head challenge. Monkey latched onto Thumb’s odd decision to use frozen fish – oftentimes, a kiss of death on Top Chef. Thumb kept insisting it was some sort of magical frozen fish that was better than gold or something. He got mad to see Monkey use it against him, whatever. Of course he’s going to use it against you – if you lose the battle you are going to face elimination. Every man, woman and Monkey for themselves.

We got another interesting plotline which based on next week’s previews could be something on the way. That plotline is that Josie is one odd duck. She had nothing for her dish – and she knew it, so she instead presented her food in a rambling, insane demo style that made the judges wonder if she was high. The telling shot was the long, long line at her station while Lizzie had no one waiting endlessly for a dish. The extra scene featured Monkey and OTV commenting about the nails on the chalkboard nature of her laugh. In the Stew Room, post-elimination, Josie flipped the bird to Thumb and got into it again. Next week she mixes it up. Are we about to witness the overdue unraveling of Josie? Honestly, I’m still surprised to see her on the show again – were there no other female chefs who were willing to come back?

Quickfire – Padma arrives with Steph, still the only woman to win ANY incarnation of Top Chef. Regular, Masters or Just Desserts. That’s still incredible to me. Steph is now apparently Food & Wine’s Best New Chef. And she still has awesome hair. The challenge is enwrapped in the episode’s product placement. Meaning that it is enwrapped in Reynolds Wrap. The whole friggin kitchen is wrapped in foil. Chefs have to select their ingredients – but everything is in foil. If they open it…it’s in the dish. We learn that Kish has a photographic memory here – which comes in awfully handy if everything is kept in the same place. Another twist – they can also only use foil to cook with. Nice. Micah wants to be Superman for this and see through things. That would easily be the lamest use of Superman powers in pop culture.

Latex Salesman is excited about the challenge and comes within one step of covering himself in foil.
Monkey gets pineapple and gets all sad. Kish amazingly decides to make a sponge cake in 30 minutes, with random ingredients and only foil to cook with and on. Hipster actually constructs a pot out of foil. I also wonder – did they just mop in there? Because the chefs keep slipping and sliding everywhere.

Hipster – Cannellini Bean Stew with Bacon, Asiago Cheese and Tomatillo – Steph likes the tomatillo addition to the dish.

Micah – Grilled Lamb with Tomato Fennel Panzanella – Padma found the lamb to be quite rare.

Thumb – Hot Smoked Salmon with German Potato Salad – He says something snarky about Asian flavors. I don’t know; I couldn’t make it out.

Monkey – Beef Egg Drop Soup with Braised Pineapple – Hmm…sounds gross.

Brooke – Bacon Roasted Yams with Bacon, Onions and Apple Salad – Padma thinks it was raw. Brooke had me at bacon roasted.

OTV – Roasted Chicken with Potatoes, Poblano, Tomatillo and Carrots – Steph liked the poblanos’ heat. I wonder if OTV or Hipster found the tomatillos first.

Kish – Almond and Chocolate Sponge Cake – Steph loved the moist texture.

Latex – Beer Poached Cod with Butter Beer Sauce – Isn’t butterbeer from Hogwarts? Anyway, Latex Salesman also fashioned a bowl out of the foil – he apparently also made a strainer. How did he find the time? Steph liked the fish.

Papa Smurf – Lemongrass Smoked Scallops with Tomato and Shallot Salad – Steph can really taste the smokiness.

The bottom feeders this week were Brooke for seasoning issues, Micah for rare lamb and OTV for chicken issues. Steph then surprisingly names six for the top – Josie, Latex, Thumb, Hipster, Papa Smurf and Kish. The cake earns the win for Kish, who gets immunity. The Top 6 becomes apparent as soon as the Elimination Challenge is unveiled. They pick their head-to-head opponent. This style of challenge was Steph’s first in her season. Kish will be cooling solo.

Papa Smurf takes Micah first, seemingly for his age, but one wonders if that’s who he thinks is the weakest of those to select from. Hipster takes OTV for an Oklahoma/Texas battle. Thumb takes Monkey, which I found odd. He knows Brooke, so I get that, but I wonder if he thinks Lizzie is stronger than Monkey. Anyway, Josie takes Lizzie, leaving Brooke for Latex. They have to cook something with a berry ingredient for 150 guests, three hours to cook and ten grand on the line.

Kish gets the tayberry and instantly thinks about goat milk. Papa Smurf and the Thumb battle over fresh tuna, leading the Thumb to go for the frozen tuna. Latex and Monkey go at it over a blender – with Monkey even provoking the Belgian to call him a jackass. Later on, the blender gets its revenge on OTV by spraying gravy on him. OTV sees into the future and thinks Hipster is spending far too much time on her chicken.

Hipster vs. OTV in Blueberry

Hipster – Chicken Pine Nut Terrine with Blueberry Mostarda – Steph found it very, very, very crunchy. Tom said it was rubbery and lacked flavor.

OTV – Savory Goat Cheese Mousse with Blueberry Compote – Tom felt he did a good job with the spices, and Gail said it was well-balanced and delicate. Tom jokes about how if you want a crunch, just eat Hipster’s dish. Ouch.

Winner – OTV

Josie vs. Lizzie in Raspberry

Josie – “Rock’n” Raspberry Roll – Sockeye Salmon, Dungeness Crab and Raspberry Aioli – The judges wonder if she’s actually killing the crab back there. Gail loved the berry usage, just not the taste. Tom can’t believe she made a spring roll with Mayo.

Lizzie – Raspberry Steamed Cabbage Roll and Heritage Pork and Bacon Stuffing – Padma loved it. Steph felt it was a great combo and risky dish.

Winner – Lizzie.

Papa Smurf vs. Micah in Strawberries

Papa Smurf – Ahi Summer Roll – Ahi Poke, Strawberries and Sweet Chili Sauce – Steph found it odd, but it worked. Gail liked the berry highlight.

Micah – Strawberry Fried Chicken with Strawberry and Bacon Biscuit – Gail liked the chicken, but the others were more meh about it.

Winner – Papa Smurf.

Monkey vs. Thumb in Gooseberries

Monkey – White Gazpacho with Spanish Chorizo, Gooseberries and Sweet Grapes – Steph found the berry overpowered. Padma found it too dense.

Thumb – Cali Crudo with Radishes, Gooseberries and Spiced Vinaigrette – Gail thought it was beautiful and Tom liked the sauce.
Winner – Thumb.

Brooke vs. Latex Salesman in Blackberries

Brooke – Spicy Smoked Chocolate Pudding with Blackberry Tapioca – Gail and Steph each thought the dish was smart.

Latex Salesman – Blackberry Soup with Salmon and Rhubarb Yogurt – Tom found it to be pretty bland.
Winner – Brooke.

Kish – Matcha Goat Milk Custard with Macerated Tayberries – Tom liked the custard, and Steph seemed impressed by the maceration.

Monkey, Josie, Latex Salesman, Micah and Hipster get sent in. Thumb mocks those who are worried, “Of course that’s the bottom, are you high?” Tom tells them that the diners selected them as the bottom – just as the judges would have done. Micah had a good concept, but Gail thinks it was too chewy and not enough strawberries. Josie’s was poorly executed and had awful mayo in the roll. Latex had some texture issues and should have not added the salmon. Hipster was halfway to a good concept, according to Tom, but just stopped. Padma thought it was lunchmeat salty. Remember that. Monkey was close, but had grainy chorizo. He blamed the crazy kitchen, but Tom reminded him that everyone had the same cooking challenges.

Meanwhile, the top chefs come in and Kish is announced the winner. Two weeks in a row for the double wins – first Brooke, now Kish. That’s three wins for Kish now, and we have to start looking at her as being a threat to join Steph.

Back to the bottom – Latex was a nitpick loss, so he’s safe. Micah did a lousy job on the berry and is in trouble. Josie didn’t have a clear flavor, while Hipster needed to cook hers to order. Monkey was full of excuses, but used the berry well. I felt that it was either Micah or Josie to go, but it turns out to have been Hipster.

LCK – Hipster vs. CJ

Because of Padma’s criticism of her dish tasting like salty lunchmeat, the two will have to make a sandwich with lunchmeat. CJ doesn’t usually do that. Hipster is excited. They have 15 minutes to shop, and 20 to make the sandwich. Hipster is making the sandwich she makes every day for herself. If she loses, at least she can eat the sandwich. CJ is making his own butter for his. Camba is wearing a “Big Ceej” T-Shirt. The Wiz encourages him to reach is “inner Ceej”, and Hipster is hoping he doesn’t mean her.

CJ – Vietnamese Inspired Ham and Butter Sandwich with Apple and Radicchio

Hipster – Oven-Roasted Turkey, Bacon and Avocado Sandwich with Pickled Onions

Tom found CJ’s to have too much bread, it had nice flavors. Hipster’s was the exact opposite, the bread fell apart. He suggested putting the lettuce on the outside to protect the bread from the avocado.
CJ survives again, and Hipster takes the sandwich.

Quickfire Hits
• Monkey thinks that the Quickfire presents a better shot at radio reception – only if you use those stupid glasses with the foil, Monkey.
• I never heard of a tayberry until this challenge. I was hoping for a snozberry. But who’s ever heard of a snozberry? Of course, the music makers and the dreamers of dreams.
• Seriously? Kish and Thumb snuggling on the couch again? What’s up with that?
• We learned that you can say “dickhead” on basic cable. Good to know.
• Kish was an orphan in South Korea before coming to America. Glad she found a family.
• Should I start calling Brooke, Fancy Girl Brooke?
• Micah named his kids Sage and Saffron. Wow. At least they weren’t stripper names like Cayenne and Cinnamon.
• Please just boot Monkey already, because if I have to write about his dickishness for more episodes.

Next week – Mud and roller derby

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What’s Hot on TV Christmas Eve and Christmas – Classic Holiday Programming

It's standard Christmas fare on TV tonight and tomorrow. Classic movies, a little bit of football, and lots of basketball. And of course, the marathon showing of A Christmas Story. Merry Christmas! Catch up with all the TV you may have missed at TV-Links.


1. Katie. Rod Stewart, Colbie Caillat, and Marcus Samuelsson are the guests. Syndicated, check local listings.

2. It's a Wonderful Life. This is probably the one Christmas movie that has been spoofed and redone so many times it's second only to A Christmas Carol. 7:00 PM CT NBC

3. A Christmas Story. The yearly marathon of twelve continuous showings. My sister and brother-in-law will probably have their leg lamp on in tribute. TBS

4. Disney's A Christmas Carol. The other night, Mr. Magoo played Scrooge, and tonight, it's Jim Carrey. 7:00 PM CT Disney

5. College Football. Sheraton Hawaii Bowl: Fresno State vs. Southern Methodist. 7:00 PM CT ESPN

6. Shrek the Third. The Shrek movies are cute stories, but let's get real. It's the voice talent that makes 'em what they are. 7:00 PM CT ABC

7. Home Alone. The first one is just such a classic. Before I was a parent I thought it was funny, and now that I am a parent I find it stunningly realistic, because I can actually almost see it happening. 8:00 PM CT ABC Family

8. One Christmas Story: People Rich in Spirit. Reading, Pennsylvania, citizens celebrate the holiday through economic hardship. 10:35 PM CT CBS


1. Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade. Performances by Lady Antebellum, Backstreet Boys, Colbie Caillat, Brad Paisley, Ross Lynch, TobyMac, Phillip Phillips, Yolanda Adams, Nick Cannon, Mario Lopez, and Maria Menounos 10:00 AM CT ABC

1. NBA Basketball. Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets. 11:00 AM CT ESPN

2. NBA Basketball. New York Knicks at Los Angeles Lakers. 2:00 PM CT ABC

3. NFL Holiday Spectacular. A look back through the most memorable holiday events throughout the years in the NFL. 2:00 PM CT CBS

4. NBA Basketball. Oklahoma City Thunder at Miami Heat. 4:30 PM CT ABC

5. College Basketball.Third-Place Game of Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Had Classic. 6:30 PM CT ESPN2

6. Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! The movie adaptation of the popular Seuss story, starring the voices of Jim Carrey and Steve Carell. 7:00 AM CT NBC

7. NBA Basketball. Houston Rockets at Chicago Bulls. 7:00 PM CT ESPN

8. Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It's the live version of the story with Jim Carrey, which is no doubt really good, it doesn't quite have the same magic as the original cartoon. 7:30 PM CT ABC

9. Rizzoli & Isles. Season finale. Dr. Hope Martin is looking for a favor from Maura, Jane is concerned about Lt. Col. Jones' spinal surgery. 8:00 PM CT TNT

10. Leverage. Featured tonight is a woman who's hot her police officer husband with his weapon, and stole from her church to cover a debt. 9:00 PM CT TNT

11. NBA Basketball.Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Clippers. 9:30 PM CT ESPN


What’s Hot on TV Tonight – The Sound of Music

Carrie Underwood is working on a remake of The Sound of Music due about a year from now. Will it be the same as the classic starring Julie Andrews? Probably not, but you can catch the classic tonight on ABC. Catch up on your other favorite shows at TV-Links.

1. NFL Football. Tennessee Titans at Green Bay Packers. 12:00 PM CT CBS

2. NFL Football. Chicago Bears at Arizona Cardinals. 3:00 PM CT Fox

3. 60 Minutes. The covered stories include singers Adele, Rodriguez, and Taylor Swift. 6:00 PM CT CBS

4. The Sound of Music. What's on your list of favorite things? 6:00 PM CT ABC

5. NFL Football. San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks. 7:15 PM CT NBC

6. Family Guy. Peter's Nativity story. 8:00 PM CT Fox

7. Oprah's Next Chapter. Jamie Foxx is the guest. 8:00 PM CT OWN

8. The Real Housewives of Atlanta. As the Anguilla trip comes to an end, there’s still plenty of unfinished business… at least in Kenya’s mind! Kenya hopes to leave the island with an engagement ring, yet her constant questioning of Walter makes him reconsider proposing to her. Meanwhile, the ladies have some last minute fun by riding horses along the beach, but NeNe reveals her huge fear of horses and opts to drink instead. 8:00 PM CT Bravo

9. Sister Wives. The wives plan to travel to Illinois, the birthplace of American polygamy. 8:00 PM CT TLC

10. Magic Man. J.B. travels to the San Francisco and the Bahamas to perform magic tricks. 8:00 PM Travel Channel

11. American Dad. A talk show reveals that Francine is the famous toddler who a firefighter rescued from a well, she falls down the well on the anniversary of the rescue and makes a discovery, and Stan and Roger hatch a business idea. 8:30 PM CT Fox

12. Ice Loves Coco. Ice and Coco have no power during Hurricane Sandy, and Coco teams up with the Salvation Army. 9:00 PM CT E!

13. Shahs of Sunset. It’s no secret Reza has been emotional about his age, so he decides to hit the clubs to feel young again. After a few drinks, he becomes very flirtatious – including asking to smell another man’s armpits! Later on, Reza and MJ see each other at a cocktail party for the first time since their fight and are forced to confront their vengeful feelings, but Reza insults MJ and she leaves in tears! 9:00 PM CT Bravo

14. Sin City Rules Alicia tries to clear the air with Lana once again, but Lana gets caught off guard. Jen's on a losing streak and gives Marco the bad news, and Amy warns everyone to be respectful during Wendy's party. 8:00 PM CT TLC

15. Finding Bigfoot. The team investigates alleged sightings in and around Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico. 9:00 PM CT Animal Planet


Project Runway All-Stars 2: The Roaring 20’s

Last week, on Project Runway, the designers confronted the dreaded “unconventional materials” challenge.  This time, in keeping with the season, they had to make clothes out of Christmas decorations.  Uli won and Casanova was sent home.

The following morning, the designers discuss Casanova’s ouster.  More importantly, they realize, that with only six of them left, there is no safety zone any more.  Everybody will either be in the top or the bottom from now on.

At the runway, Carolyn arrives bearing six silver envelopes, which immediately makes the designers apprehensive.  She gives a spiel about how modern fashion began in the 1920’s.  Ergo, the designers are to make a look inspired by the 1920’s.  She then passes out the envelopes and tells the designers to open them.  Each one contains  an invitation to a 1920’s social function:  an afternoon garden party, an afterhours’ speak-easy, and an evening social soirée.  Each designer will have to make a look that is suitable for their given event.  Thus, Emilio and Joshua will be making something for the afternoon garden party, Uli and Laura will be making a look for the evening social soirée, and Anthony Ryan and Ivy will be making looks for the afterhours’ speak-easy.

Carolyn then tells them this particular challenge will also be a fashion face-off.  The designers will have a day to work on their looks and $250.00 to spend at Mood.

Back at Parson’s the designers start sketching their looks.  Uli decides to make something with fringe, while Laura decides to use fur.  Emilio decides to make something from the late 1920’s, rather than the early 1920’s.  Joshua opts for a draped look.  At Mood, Emilio picks out a geometric print, while Ivy selects an expensive beaded black fabric.

Back at the workshop, Ivy tries to hide her work from Anthony Ryan, since he’s her direct competitor in the face-off.  He’s amused and declares he wouldn’t copy her anyway.  Uli is using fringes for her design.  She’s uncertain if this is a good idea, as she’s used fringe in some of her other designs.  She decides that since fringe was used in 1920’s fashion, she can probably get away with it.  Joshua is using a hideous loud print as a stand-in for muslin.  Anthony Ryan is making a black feathered capelet, while Ivy and Laura are both working with their beaded fabrics.

Joanna comes in to make her rounds, and she starts with Joshua, who is making a draped dress.  She tells him it looks “too marsupial,” which means the draping is hanging in such a way that it looks as if the dress has a pouch like a kangaroo’s.  Joanna thinks Emilio’s chosen print looks like something that would been used for a sofa in the 1920’s.  Emilio admits he didn’t consider that, and then adds he plans to evoke nostalgia with his look.  Joanna likes the pants Laura is making for her look, but thinks Uli’s dress looks a bit too similar to other things she’s done.  Joanna then admires Anthony Ryan’s capelet and Ivy’s beaded fabric.

The models then come in for their fitting.  Laura is delighted to find that her pantsuit fits her model perfectly, while Uli is distressed to discover that her dress is see-through.  In order to preserve decency, she is going to have to make an undergarment of some sort.  Joshua plays time-keeper, reminding people that it’s almost time to go home.  For someone who was notorious for stirring up drama during his season, he’s gotten very little screen time.  Either he’s behaving better this time around, or he’s been deemed irrelevant, given that he has very little chance of making the finals.  Or both.

On the day of the runway show, the designers get back to work.  The models come in for their final fitting, plus hair and make-up.  At least one designer asks for a bob for their models.

Then it’s off to the runway, where the designers find a somewhat different set-up.  Instead of the usual double line of chairs, the designers find small tables with a pair of chairs.  It’s an attempt to recreate a 1920’s speak-easy, complete with drinks.  Carolyn explains how the fashion face-off will work.  There will be a winner and a loser from each pair.  The losing designers risk being sent home.  The guest judges are Gretchen Mol, an actress who plays in Boardwalk Empire, a show set during the Prohibition, and Jenny Packham, an English fashion designer.

Joshua made a draped purple and gray dress.  An elaborate brooch appears to be holding the drapes in place in the front.  There’s also a strip of chartreuse fabric lining the purple fabric in the back.

Emilio made a sleeveless white dress with a geometric pattern that is more turquoise at the top, but gradually shades to gray at the bottom.

Uli made a silver and white dress with a long white fringe.  She also made a silver shawl.

Laura made a dark red pantsuit.  The sleeveless top is made of several panels of dark red fabric, some plain, and some decorated with glass beads.  It also has a plunging back.  The pants are wide and billowing.  She also made a shawl out of fur.

Ivy made a black and silver dress out of a beaded fabric.  She created a chevron effect, with the stripes angling downwards.  She used silver-gray leather for the shoulders, and put a fringe made of feathers on the bottom of the dress.

Anthony Ryan made a sleeveless black dress.  Over that, he put a sheer, silver sheath with pinstripes, so it looks as if the model is wearing a pin-striped black and silver dress.  The sheath also has a black fringe at the bottom.  Anthony Ryan also made a capelet out of black feathers.

Since there are only six designers left, nobody is safe.  Everybody has to face the judges, who start with Joshua.  He tells them he wanted to explore the freedom and fluidity of the 1920’s.  Georgina likes the brooch, which she says drew the eye.  She also likes the cut of the dress, which feels modern.  Jenny praises the pleating and says the overall design is “snappy.”  Carolyn praises the cut, but says the dress is too safe.  Isaac finds it uninteresting, but says it could be commercially successful if handled properly.

Emilio tells the judges that he was inspired by the geometric print of his dress.  Carolyn loves the detailing in the back, and Gretchen says the dress is really ladylike.  Jenny calls it elegant but dated.  Georgina says it’s impersonal.

Uli wanted to make a dress with a loose fit and she’d used the white fringe to provide movement.  Isaac loves the dress itself, but thinks the white fringe looks cheap.  Jenny says it’s very modern and Carolyn likes the shawl.

Laura was inspired by Art Deco, an art style that developed in the 1920’s.  Isaac praises the pantsuit, but says the fur was too much and “went cavewoman.”  He also thinks the fur makes the model look heavier than she is.  Jenny thinks the look is sophisticated, but Carolyn doesn’t like how the pants flared out to the sides.  Georgina dislikes the proportions of the look.

Ivy talks about how she’d used leather and a beaded fabric.  She’d wanted to create a geometric silhouette and used feathers to make her look more feminine.  Carolyn thinks the result is too literal, while Isaac says it’s too heavy.  Gretchen says it looks like something she’d seen worn at an art opening.

Anthony Ryan, who had been making a dress for a speak-easy, wanted to design a party dress that a woman could dance in.  Jenny likes the design, but thinks the “underneath could have been closer to the body.”  Gretchen says it’s young, fun, and very striking.  Isaac dislikes the feathered capelet at first, but then changes his mind.  Georgina says Anthony Ryan has a way of taking something and making it his own to create a modern and fresh look.

The judges then announce who had gotten which scores.  Joshua had the low score and Emilio had the high score for the garden party.  Laura had the low score and Uli had the high score for the evening social soirée.  Ivy had the low score and Anthony Ryan had the high score for the speak-easy.

The judges then have their chat, starting with the high-scoring designers.  Emilio is one simply by virtue of doing better than Joshua.  His look isn’t as good as the other two contenders’, though.  Uli’s look was light, free-spirited, but also complex.  Anthony Ryan’s look is exciting.

As for the low-scoring designers, Joshua actually did a good job– just not as good as Emilio.  Laura made a beautiful top, but horrible pants, and her taste level is boring.  Ivy’s look was poorly made– but she has excellent taste in materials.

Carolyn then announces the judges’ decision.  Emilio is safe, and Anthony Ryan is the winner.  Uli and Joshua are both safe, leaving Ivy and Laura in the bottom.  Laura is out, so Ivy is in.

Next episode:  The designers have to make a ready-to-wear look with a “wow factor.”

There is already news about Season 11, which starts on January 24, 2013.  Because of schedule conflicts, Michael Kors is stepping down as judge.  Zac Posen, a fashion designer who has sometimes served as a guest judge, will be stepping in.  Plus, the designers will start off working in teams.  Fashion design is a collaborative industry, so designers do have to be able to work with others, especially when they’re just starting out, like most of Project Runway’s contestants.  This change could result in drama kings and queens being weeded out.  I also suspect that there will be individual challenges towards the end, when there are too few designers left to make team challenges viable.  To learn more, read www.eonline.com/news/372422/project-runway-new-season-to-feature-teams-guest-judges-include-bette-midler-miranda-lambert-and-more