Project Runway All-Stars 2: For the Veterans

Last week on Project Runway, the designers had to make ready-to-wear clothing “with a wow factor” for Elie Tahari.  Anthony Ryan won and Ivy was sent home.

The next morning, the final four designers meet Carolyn on the deck of the Intrepid, a national historic landmark.  She then introduces them to some “special guests”:  female veterans.  The designers will be designing outfits for the veterans for a special event.  The designers will have a $150.00 budget.  They will also have thirty minutes to talk with their assigned veteran.

Joshua is assigned to Captain Leslie Smith of the U.S. Army, who has a prosthetic leg and a service dog.  She lost the leg while stationed in Bosnia.  She had suffered a blood clot and the doctors had to amputate in order to save her life.  She’s going to a military event honoring veterans and would like a pretty, short dress.  She likes leopard print, which makes Josh’s day.

Anthony Ryan is working with Captain Donna Barrios of the Air Force, who is celebrating her 40th birthday.  She wants a long strapless dress and describes herself as “a boob hider.”  In other words, she wants something that will de-emphasize her breasts.  Given that she’s got the largest breasts of the group, that could be a problem.

Emilio gets Petty Officer First Class Lisa Dalhouse of the Navy SEALs.  She’s going to a friend’s bachelorette party in Las Vegas.  Her favorite color is yellow, and she wants a short dress.

Uli’s veteran is Corporal Jessica Lord of the Marines.  She’s going to a friend’s wedding and wants a long dress similar to what Uli herself is wearing.  Her favorite color is purple.

Then it’s off to Mood, where Emilio tracks down some yellow fabric.  Joshua finds some leopard print that he deems to be “too graphic,” so he buys some green dye in order to tone it down.  (For a one-day challenge?  Is he nuts?)  Uli can’t find any purple fabric she likes, so she gets some black and white print instead.  Anthony Ryan picks out some ombre fabric.  It’s dark gray at one end and shades down to a lighter gray.

At Parson’s, the designers get to work.  Anthony Ryan comments that his client has the largest chest.  Josh test dyes his print and asks Anthony Ryan for advice.  Huh?  The competition’s almost over, dude.  He shouldn’t be helping you.  Emilio informs us that his client does not want a lot of glitter on her dress.

Joanna comes in to make her rounds and starts with Anthony Ryan.  She advises him to consider a one-shoulder or strap for support.  Joanna notes that Uli is making a dress similar to the one she’s wearing, and Uli tells her that her client had asked her to do so.  Joanna likes Emilio’s short yellow dress, but wonders whether he can pull it off, since he’s used to making red carpet looks.  She comments that Josh seems to “have the wind beneath his wings.”  He tells her that he had a brother who had served in Afghanistan, so this challenge means a lot to him.

Afterwards, Anthony Ryan picks out some royal blue shoes to go with his outfit– and answers Josh’s questions about dying.  The models come in for their fitting and Emilio finds that the top portion of his dress doesn’t fit.  Anthony Ryan discovers that his client is a lot chestier than the mannequin he’s used.  Since Joshua is waiting for his dyed fabric to dye, he only has part of his skirt finished.  Later, at the apartment, Anthony Ryan notes that his competitors had all placed second in their seasons, a fact he finds interesting– and intimidating.  (He’d placed seventh in his.)

On the day of the runway show, the designers get back to work.  Emilio is frantically working on a new bodice for his look.  Anthony Ryan is trying to think up ways to draw in the waist of his dress, which currently looks like a sack.  The veterans come in for their final fitting, and then go to hair and make-up.  Jessica and Leslie tell Uli and Joshua how much they like their dresses.  Joshua has even made a little sweater for Jessica’s dog.  Emilio has whipped up a bandeau top for his look.

On the runway, Carolyn introduces the guest judges, actress Katie Holmes and designer Carmen Marc Valvo.

Uli is up first.  She made a sleeveless, black, white, and gray dress.  The thin stripes form a chevron on the front.  The dress is floor-length in the back, but knee-length in the front.  Black straps double as decorations.

Emilio made a short, lemon yellow dress with a bandeau top that exposes a lot of the back.

Anthony Ryan made a long gray ombre dress that is dark up top, but shades almost to white at the bottom.  It is held in place by a set of wide white straps.  There is a slit up the skirt, which is very loose and billowing, and makes his veteran look heavy.  Worse, the color contrast between the dark gray top and the lighter skirt calls attention to the part of the body that Donna wanted hidden.

Josh is last and he made a little black dress with undyed leopard print at the hem of the skirt.  The dress has short sleeves and a v-neck collar.  Josh also made a black and white leopard print sweater for the service dog.

Afterwards, the judges talk to the designers.  Carolyn tells them that they will be judged on how well they worked with the veterans as well as the dresses themselves.  The judges then start with Josh.  Katie says the dress looks comfortable.  Carmen asks if Leslie had wanted the dress to be short enough to show her prosthesis, and she answers, “Yes, I’m proud of my service and my survival story.”  Isaac, perhaps jokingly, says the dog, which is also named Isaac, needed a more glamorous sweater.

Next up is Emilio.  Katie loves the color, but Georgina dislikes the bodice.  Isaac doesn’t like the bodice, either.  Carolyn loves the overall design.

Then it’s Uli’s turn.  Carolyn loves the back, and Georgina praises the hemline.  Isaac likes the dress, but dings the embellishment just under the collar, saying it looks like a last-minute addition.  Uli admits it is. Carmen loves the fit.

Last up is Anthony Ryan.  Carolyn thinks it’s lovely, but that Donna seemed “hidden.”  Donna says that was what she had wanted.  She had been in an accident and the resultant inactivity had caused her to gain weight.  She therefore wanted a look that would hide the weight.  Georgina would have also liked to see more of Donna’s body.  Isaac says the dress is not particularly flattering, but still feels fresh and young.

The judges then have their chat.  Josh had actually made something elegant.  Uli had also done a good job, marred only by a poor choice of embellishment.  The proportions of Anthony Ryan’s dress were off, and Emilio’s looks “homemade.”

Carolyn then calls the designers back to hear the judges’ decision.  She asks Katie to announce the winner:  Joshua.  Uli is also safe, leaving Emilio and Anthony Ryan in the bottom two.  They turn out to be safe as well.  Nobody’s going home this week.

Next week:  The designers go to Paris and face a couture challenge

What’s Hot on TV Tonight – Fiesta Bowl

Tonight we have another bowl game, the Fiesta Bowl. And while NBE aired all new episodes last night, tonight it’s CBS’ turn with new shows throughout the night. Catch up on your favorite shows you may have missed at TV-Links.

1. The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Alison Sweeney and Allen Stone are the guests today. Syndicated, check local listings.

2. The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon gets accused of sexual harassment, then ends up getting Raj, Leonard, and Wolowitz in trouble. 7:00 PM CT CBS

3. Mobbed. In the first hour, strangers help a woman tell her boyfriend that they are breaking up if they don’t get married. In the second hour, the strangers help a woman explain to her husband that she’s pregnant. 7:00 PM CT Fox

4. Two and a Half Men. Alan invests in Kate’s fashion line with Walden’s money, and the double life he’s leading begins taking a goll on Walden. 7:30 PM CT CBS

5. College Football. Tostitos Fiesta Bowl from Glendale, AZ, Kansas State vs. Oregon. 7:30 PM CT ESPN

6. Person of Interest. Finch protects a young who reminds him of himself by going undercover, and Carter takes off on a dangerous FBI mission. 8:00 PM CT CBS

7. The Real Housewives of Miami. Part two of the reunion continues the drama from last time with new guests Alexia Echevarria and Elsa Patton joining the ladies to rehash the past season. 8:00 PM CT Bravo

8. Four Weddings. Jessica and her fiance get wrist tattoos before their backyard wedding, Lynette gets married at a working cattle farm, Wendy’s guests are greeted by pilgrims, and Nicole’s guests have a boat cruise around Boston Harbor. 8:00 PM CT TLC

9. Project Runway The designers create outfits for female veterans to wear to a special event. 8:00 PM CT Lifetime

10. Mary Mary. 8:00 PM CT WE

11. Elementary. A luxury hotel’s general manager is found dead in a laundry machine, and Sherlock offers an apprenticeship to Joan. 9:00 PM CT CBS

12. Impractical Jokers. The guys have a discount store shakedown, test fate with the “Wheel of Doom,” and try to be Hibachi chefs. 9:00 PM CT truTV

13. Beyond Scared Straight. A spoiled drama queen learns a lesson from the criminals at Oklahoma County Detention Center. 9:00 PM CT A&E

14. Lost and Found. After seventy-three years, Holocaust survivors are reunited, an ex-student athlete gets a letterman’s jacket, and girls who have the same name and age. 9:00 PM CT A&E

15. Kathy Griffin: Kennedie Center On-Hers. Kathy talks about her encounters with celebrities, and “The Real Couples Therapy Beyond Scared Housewives” is featured as well. 9:00 PM CT Bravo

16. What Not to Wear. 80s teen pop star Tiffany feels the need for a makeover. 9:00 PM CT TLC

17. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The guests tonight are Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austin “Chumlee” Russell, Rick Harrison, and Ziggy Marley. 10:35 PM CT NBC

What’s Hot on TV Tonight – NBC Back in Action

NBC is back in action tonight with new programming, and Fox has new programming on as well, but the rest of the networks are still showing reruns. Cable stations are beginning to spring back to life too. Check out your other favorite shows at TV-Links.

1. Live! With Kelly and Michael. The guests today are Matthew Morrison and Whitney Cummings. Syndicated, check local listings.

2. Whitney.Without consulting Whitney, Alex lets his ex crash on the couch, and Lily has a date at Roxanne’s apartment. 7:00 PM CT NBC

3. Mobbed.In the first hour, a woman has strangers honor her firefighter dad and the memory of her sister, who died in a car crash. In the second hour, a woman uses the strangers to help surprise a friend she’s secretly in love with. 7:00 PM CT Fox

4. Guys with Kids.Nick and Chris can’t agree on who brought Sheila into their life, Gary discusses his chipped tooth, and Sheila and Chris wait for Ernie’s first word. 7:30 PM CT NBC

5. College Football. Allstate Sugar Bowl from New Orleans, Florida vs. Louisville. 7:30 PM CT ESPN

6. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Det. Tutuola’s ex-brother-in-law gets arrested for attacking a pries, interrupted holiday celebrations, and a church scandal is dug up in the resulting investigation. 8:00 PM CT NBC

7. Toddlers & Tiaras. Kendyl, Jozy, and Alanna comete at the IFF pageant in Lexington, KY. 8:00 PM CT TLC

8. Chicago Fire. Cruz decides to confess to Case after struggling with guilt, Severide wants Dawson’s help with his injury, and Herrmann gets involved with an unpleasant business deal. 9:00 PM CT NBC

9. Nashville. Rayna Janes’ and Juliette Barnes’ intersecting stories are told through clips. 9:00 PM CT ABC

10. American Horror Story: Asylum. The Devil is confronted by the Monsignor, Dr Arden’s experiments have a shocking conclusion, and Dr. Thredson gets behind a reunion for Kit. 9:00 PM CT FX

11. Hot in Cleveland. Melanie becomes involved in an office love triangle, Joy finds something out about Sean, Victoria has insecurities over dating a movie star, and Elk and Mamie have an encounter with the law. 9:00 PM CT TVland

12. Top Chef: Seattle. Blades are drawn in this week’s Quickfire Challenge, when the cheftestants’ knife skills are put to the test as they must demonstrate their sharpening skills. In the Elimination Challenge, tribute is paid to the most memorable moments in Top Chef history, and sabotage is afoot when two chefs cook to remain in the contest. 9:00 PM CT Bravo

13. Cheer Perfection. Alisha wants to make sure Youth Silver keeps improving, and Shannon is in charge of a last-minute charity fundraiser. 9:00 PM CT TLC

14. Fast Foods Gone Global. From McDonald’s in Marrakech offering the McArabia, to Dunkin Donuts’ date donuts in Dubai, to Schweppes Malt brewed by Coke in Ghana, American fast food chains adapt their menus to honor local flavors in Africa and the Middle East. 9:00 PM CT Travel Channel

15. Happily Divorced. Fran receives news about her flower ship from a partying neighbor, and Elliot is away. 9:30 PM CT TVland

16. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Tonight’s guests are Kevin Hart, Betty White, and Dwight Yoakam. 10:35 PM CT NBC

What’s Hot on TV on New Year’s Day – Rose Bowl

New Year’s Day is always all about the Rose Bowl, but there are several other bowl games on today as well. You have your pick throughout the day and night which ones to watch. Catch up with all the TV you may have missed at TV-Links.

1. 124th Tournament of Roses Parade. Jane Goodall is grand marshal. 10:00 AM CT NBC and ABC

2. College Football. Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl from Jacksonville, Mississippi State vs. Northwestern. 11:00 AM CT ESPN 2

3. College Football. Capital One Bowl rom Orlando, Georgia vs. Nebraska. 12:00 PM CT ABC

4. College Football. Outback Bowl from Tampa Bay, Michigan vs. South Carolina. 12:00 PM CT ESPN

5. College Football. Rose Bowl from Pasadena, Stanford vs. Wisconsin. 4:00 PM CT ESPN

6. Totally T-Boz. Series Premiere. T-Box moves to LA to launch her solo career, but still needs to share her plans with Chilli. 4:00 PM CT TLC

7. Dance Moms. Season premiere. In the first hour, Abby Lee Miller and the moms discuss their experiences of being on the show, and the daughters perform. In the next ninety minutes, Abby is disappointed that the girls are skipping class, holds an open audition to replace Brooks and Paige, and welcomes a new dancer, and Chloe and Maddie compete. 4:00 PM CT Lifetime

8. College Football. Discover Orange Bowl from Miami, Florida State vs. Northern Illinois. 7:30 PM CT ESPN

9. Emily Owens, M.D. Will finds painful memories when a car accident victim is brought to the ER, Emily’s cancer patient refuses surgery, and Will makes a choice between Cassandra’s and Emily’s studying method. 8:00 PM CT CW

10. The Sisterhood. Series premiere. First Kady Tara and husband Pastor Brian looking to make friends, being new to Atlanta, and Tara makes some of the local preachers’ wives shocked and upset. 8:00 PM CT TLC

11. Parenthood. Crosby and Jasmine help a family member with financial difficulties, Kristina shows of a new look, and Hank and Sarah have an evening together. 9:00 PM CT NBC

12. In the Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman. Weight gain, sexual demands, and desire for a baby upset the balance of power in a couple’s relationship. 9:00 PM CT OWN

13. Million Dollar Decorators. Lindsay Lohan hires Kathryn to reinvent her new home in the Hollywood Hills but things begin to unravel when the paparazzi pay them a surprise visit while the two are out shopping. Meanwhile, Martyn returns to his hometown to help his sister renovate an English Pub, but chaos erupts when the ceiling caves in before the opening party! 9:00 PM CT Bravo

14. Sin City Rules. Alicia holds a brunch to get everything straight about her employment status, Lana discovers what Amy has found and wants a truce night, and Jen has a hard time with a serious health condition. 9:00 PM CT TLC

15. Finding Bigfoot: Further Evidence. The team looks back on its journey to Ohio to see a videotaped encounter what an assumed Bigfoot. 9:00 PM CT Animal Planet

16. NFL Road Tested: The Cleveland Browns. The Cleveland Browns prepare for a road game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. 9:00 PM CT Travel Channel

17. Biggest Baddest Model Moments. The FAce host, Nigel Barker, goes behind the scenes to show some of the most wild moments. 9:00 PM CT Oxygen

18. Double Divas.Molly and Cynthia give some lift to a local choir’s singers, and Cynthia invents bras for men, but I think they already did that on Seinfeld. 9:30 PM CT Lifetime

Top Chef: Seattle – Episode 8 – Barking Up The Wrong Tree

Sorry for the delay, but not only has my agenda been jam packed, I just cannot understand why Bravo keeps running new episodes during holidays. It’s almost as if they don’t have a calendar in the corporate offices.

This week’s episode furthered the plotline of Josie as a Crazy Person, and added some new elements to the Saga of Monkey – the Most Hated Glasses on TV. We learned some more about Monkey’s personal life and his falling out with his daughter. This was brought out during his pairing with Brooke, leading to some emotion and a very good working relationship with the younger woman. And then (SPOILER ALERT) at the end of the episode after it was announced that they had won the challenge, Brooke is shown reveling in the win, while Monkey laments how much sweeter a solo win would have been. Come on. I really hope that was an out of context quote and he was really not being that dickish. But, based on the behavior in previous episodes…not very confident about that.

Meanwhile, we got an early read on what the episode would focus on at the very beginning when Stefan “The Thumb” woke up and began railing about Josie and how the mere sound of her voice caused him distress. The whole thing blew up when the chefs attended the roller derby to watch the inspiration for their Elimination Challenge compete. Josie was there to be THAT fan at every sporting event who yells crap at the players from far away and who tries to get rhythmic clapping going, chants and perhaps the wave. THAT fan makes me want throw everything I have the ability to throw at them. THAT fan is what makes people not want to go to games. It ain’t about you, THAT fan. Shut up. And watch the damn game.

OTV (Josh, for those new to the column, short for Old Timey Villain) continues to complain about the Josie Show back at Olive 8. It seems Josie had a few too many which led to her loudness. OTV mentions some spilled beer and loudness. Micah is with OTV and the group out on the patio while Josie lies down on the couch, presumably to pass out. I read this next incident as Josie knew they were talking about her and heard Micah’s voice, so she decided to confront him. He told her no one was calling her names, and she said she had every right to call him an a-hole or a d-bag. She then waved her hands up and down her body and said, “This tree right here?!? Don’t bark up it.” She then implied that Micah was “hiding in the closet,” which I assume meant she thought she was outing him. Then she ended with “Namaste, bitches,” which I think implies the exact opposite of what Namaste is supposed to mean. OTV spoke for the viewers when he asked, “What just happened?”

What just happened was Josie continued to go crazy, and this season continued to have a lot of attention being paid to chefs behaving badly. Whether it be the insanity of Josie, the obnoxiousness of Monkey, the chatter of the Real Housewife, or the surliness of OTV, there have been plenty of Chefs Gone Wild. Who knew that a season featuring all of this anti-social behavior would have Stefan The Thumb nowhere to be found? He may not be mellow, but he sure is more enjoyable to watch.

Something else he gets…talking about the product placement in glowing terms will guarantee you some face time on camera. It may also shave off a piece of your soul, but hey, camera time.

Quickfire – The chefs head to the shore and are told to dig up their own oysters to be used in the challenge. How many other shows send contestants into nature and witness them eating the local wildlife raw and in the wild? The challenge is to make oysters on the half shell for Emeril. Daunting task. Five of the chefs will make them cold, the other five hot. Overcooking is a big risk with oysters as they are a very delicate meat. Five grand to the winner, no mention of immunity.

Papa Smurf Sheldon wanted hot, but got cold. Brooke can’t open the shells very well and Micah is excited to cook for Emeril. Bart the Latex Salesman (check your Seinfeld trivia based on his last name) is making the risky champagne sauce oysters, as there is just a short time to cook. Monkey is making garlic butter New Orleans-style, except he is layering with a light foam of parmesan and garlic rather than cheese. The Thumb is smoking oysters – which I think is now legal in Colorado. Josie is making Spanish Rockefeller and has her sauce break with only 4:30 left.

Kish – Hot (she sure is!) – Oysters with Caramelized Honey Tomato Broth, Celery Leaves and Chili – Emeril likes the celery.

Thumb – Cold – Smoked Oysters with Potato Vinaigrette and Flash Frozen Salt – Emeril says there is a nice crunch.

OTV – Cold – Oysters with Pickled Cucumbers, White Soy, Cilantro and Red Chili – Emeril asks if he shucks a lot? No, he does not.

Lizzie – Cold – Oysters with Crushed Currant Juice, Crushed Pink Peppercorn – Emeril liked the drizzle.

Brooke – Cold – Oysters with Salsa Verde, Cilantro, Horseradish and Red Chili – Emeril has shell shards. Not good.

Monkey – Hot – Oysters Poached in Garlic Butter with Swiss Chard and Garlic-Parmesan Foam – Emeril says the cheese is not heavy.

Josie – Hot – Wood-Roasted Oysters with Chorizo and Cilantro Cream – Emeril said there was not overpowering chorizo flavors.

Micah – Hot – Crispy Fried Oysters with Arugula Salad, Hot Sauce and Lemon – Emeril likes the seasoning, it was not overpowering.

Latex Salesman – Hot – Oysters with Champagne, Butter and Cream – Padma asked if he roasted at end? Yep, he did.

Papa Smurf – Cold – Oysters with Chilled Old Bay Broth and Ginger Scallion Pesto – Emeril liked the hints of ginger.

Bottom Group – The Latex Salesman, the richness of the champagne sauce masked the oyster flavor. Josie, for her broken sauce. And Monkey for the cheese that had no pop.

Top Group – Lizzie. Emeril loved chance she took with berries. Micah. It was risky, and the spices popped. Brooke. The salsa had beautiful flavors, and didn’t take away from oyster. Winner – Micah. It was his first win, and he being a single dad – needs the money.

Elimination Challenge – Roller girls. Josie is super psyched, as we have already discussed. It seems she was a “Pro” football player. I think I remember that from her season for some reason. Lizzie is just worried that she won’t have to cook on roller skates. The chefs will be cooking for the wrap party of their season. The chefs will be cooking in teams of two. Monkey winds up with Brooke – Brookey – which I am not sure is a nickname she authorized. Latex Salesman commented that no one wants Josie, but he’ll be a team player. Big mistake.

Five skaters are present and all have a nickname – Teriyaki Terror, Jalapeno Business, Eddie Shredder, Kutta Rump and Tempura Tantrum. As the QF winner, Micah gets the first choice and takes Jalapeno. Papa Smurf is next and takes Tempura. Thumb takes Eddie. Brooke –Kutta. Josie gets Teriyaki.

During prep, the key moments include Josie wanting aggressive spice based on her heritage. But Latex is afraid of over-spicing his part of the meal. Thumb teases Monkey about going to roller rinks in the 50s. Monkey reveals that on those old dates he ate pizza and the girl ignored him. He also revealed how his wife left him years ago with his 18 month old daughter. Monkey sure has a past on him. OTV & Papa Smurf at making a tempura dessert – Tantrums in your mouth sauces. That team is the husky mustaches team.

Thumb scoffs at Micah’s team’s choice of a stuffed jalapeno as not being bold and daring? He also tells Kish that in 1986 he was 14 years old…and she was three.

Padma, Emeril, Tom, and Monobrow are doing the judging. Or should I say, Padma Smacks Me. Heh. And Bam Bam Legasse.

Monkey/Brooke – Thai Beef with Lobster Jasmine Rice and Thai Slaw – Padma says it smells nice. Mono says the flavors build well; it has a nice acid, and limeyness of the slaw. It sure is spicy and Mono says it was quite bold.

Josie/Latex – Steak Teriyaki with Forbidden Rice, Beet Blood and Green Papaya Salad – The roller girl calls it unique. Mono asks if it is unique good, or unique crappy. She says it was too earthy. Mono suggest that means unique crappy. Tom wonders why skewer individual pieces, since you have to sauté each of them.

Lizzie/Micah – Crab-stuffed Jalapeno with Avocado Cream, Onion and Pepper Relish – Jalapeno Roller Girl is totally eyeing up Padma! Mono says it was better than he thought, and then he reacts to the hot ad spicy part. Tom said the flavor was great. Jalapeno says they took a party food and elevated it.

Thumb/Kish – Corn Puree, Chicken Liver and Sunny-Side Up Egg – Chicken inside out. Emeril said it was delicious- the liver perfect, egg overdone. Tom felt there was missed opportunity to shred chicken on top. Eddie likes the concept.

OTV/Papa Smurf – Tempura Yuzu Curd with Shiso, Fresno Chili, Sweet Potato and Vanilla – The boys tell the judges to smear the curd across all of the sauces. Emeril thinks it was a great idea. However, the main part was not fried enough. Mono found the rest to be cool. Emeril suggests the small fryer can create a problem, but the tempura was delicious.

Winners – Monkey, Brooke, Micah, Lizzie. The big winner is Monkey/Brooke. Meanwhile, OTV and Thumb trash talk the popper in the Stew Room. Monkey sends Josie & Latex and OTV and Papa Smurf to the Judges Table. Thumb & Kish are proud third place finishers.

Latex did rice and beef and red beets. Josie did marinades. Tom asks if they tasted. Latex made one plate before sending it out. Tom wondered about how he didn’t think it was lacking seasoning. They hoped that Josie’s beet flavor seep in and would… But Tom cuts them off and scolds, if you mix something properly seasoned and something bland, you end up with bland. When he pounded Latex for yet again failing to season properly, you knew the writing was on the wall. And he got Josie for not going back to taste again and simply taking him at his word that he seasoned it properly. Mono called it syrup on boring porridge.

OTV thought they did well and pushed the bold envelope. OTV suggests that the problem had to be the tempura. He throws Papa Smurf under the bus here, but reluctantly, and Papa didn’t seem to take offense. OTV talks about feeling pressure to get things out to the judges, and thus the early release of the food.

Then OTV made the CJ mistake and tried to find out why their dish was worse than one of the winning dishes. Oh, OTV. Did you not see what happened to CJ? He called the popper a concession stand meal. Tom said that once they roasted it, peeled it, made a nice salad, stuffed it, etc. it was no longer concession stand. Padma added that none of Micah/Lizzie’s elements went wrong, but OTV/Papa Smurf did. Tom finished by saying the main part of their dish was a disaster. Boom. Or Bam.

And the Latex Salesman is out. Padma offers to send him a bag of salt, and he quips that it was not healthy. No one complains about his seasoning back home. Except some of the biggest names in the culinary business on a nationally televised competition program.

LCK – We have the Battle of the Tall Men. The challenge is to take “bland and boring” and make “full-flavored and delicious.” They have to make chicken breast – which is the culinary version of a blank canvas.

Latex is making a tea sauce, which Tom found interesting. He is also going heavy on the salt. CJ is going more subtle, and is apparently really warm in that room, as he is sweating. A LOT.

CJ – Marinated Chicken with Mushroom Reduction, Greek Yogurt and Roasted Lettuces

Latex – Roasted Chicken, Carrots, Greek Yogurt, Tea Infused Sauce and Speculoos Cookie

Tom says that CJ had clean flavors, and smokiness, but the tarragon was overpowering, even though the chicken was moist. Latex solved the seasoning problem – the salt brought out sweetness, the spices were there, and the chicken right on money. They both nailed this challenge.

Winner – CJ. The streak continues.

Quickfire Hits
• In the car on the way to get the oysters, Thumb jokingly whined, “Are we there yet, Mom?” Interesting that Brooke is Mom to Thumb in this disturbing afterschool story.
• Monkey even wears his glasses on the forehead while driving! STOP IT! I must add that I missed last week’s hysterical moment when Monkey crashed into the kitchen doors. That bears mentioning.

• He may be frustrating, and obnoxious, but Monkey knows his business. Case in point – oysters taste like the water they live in. His father was a bayman. He is not a bayman like his father was before. Can’t make a living as a bayman anymore. There ain’t much future for a man who works the sea. But there ain’t no island left for islanders like me. Yo yo yoooooo!
• Seeing all of those Bart photos, you kinda knew he was in trouble.
• Extra scene – Padma. On skates. Thumb admits to being the Season 9 DVD to make a Padma reel. Great idea. Oh, and nice 70s effects on the skating, Show.

Next Week– It seems the chefs are assigned a past season and have to make a dish from that season.

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