Survivor: Blood vs. Water – Ep 9 – Two Obvious Boots For The Price of One

So, yeah, I am not a fan of the Double Tribal episodes, but you already know that. If feels to me like a poor way of whittling down a large cast in 13 episodes where no one was forced to leave the game for injury. And it also feels like there was nothing going on during those days on the island.

But mostly it’s usually an excuse to lump together two eliminations that fall into two categories – they were really obvious, or they involved people who barely got an edit. That’s what we had this week.

Spoiler alert – The Unloved is still a thing. And Vytas and Tina are chilling on RI with Aras. A winner, his brother and another winner. And one will be out for good next week. And how weird was it…nobody was eliminated from the game this week. How amazingly boring!

But of course, for anyone who has watched 27 seasons of Survivor…that was no spoiler. You’d have to be crazy not to see this coming. I mean, sure, the editing did their best to make us think that the Unloved were going to turn on Monica, but there was no real logic to such a move with Vytas and Tina still hanging around. The Unloved did the right thing – get rid of your threats before excising the bottom of your alliance.

And make no mistake about it – the Unloved control this game. The core crew – Tyson, Gervase, Hayden, Caleb and Ciera – would have to really stumble badly to mess this up. Monica, Laura and Katie are not going to make waves – especially, based on next week’s previews, if Ciera is willing to betray her own mother. Man, this young lady came to P. L. A. Y. The interesting thing about the Core Five – I really think all five of them have a real chance of winning a jury vote. This is turning out to be a truly fascinating season.

Also fascinating – the drama from the first Immunity Challenge. We had an old fashioned Survivor disgusting food challenge. First up – two groups of five eating 40 live mealworms. They are trying mealworm shooters – which would be the worst Happy Hour special in the history of Happy Hour specials. Vytas has his fall to the ground, forcing him to pick up his half chewed worms and eat them off the ground. Of course, at this point, how much more gross can you get? Amazingly, Vytas and Monica finish after Tyson and move on.

Even more amazing – Gervase advanced out of the next round. Gervase. One of the most classic horrible gross eaters the show has ever had. Amazingly, Boston Rob is one of them – it’s his Kryptonite. But on Season 1, Gervase was just horrid at this and lost the face off against Stacey on live grubs. He still smacks himself in the head to get psyched up – but here, he finishes just after Hayden and just ahead of Caleb to advance. It helped them that Ciera quit and Tina essentially spit hers out.

Next – three ounces of pig intestines. Tyson – remaining on fire – asks how they are prepared. Snerk. However, I guess not good enough for him as he struggles badly. Monica and Gervase advance to the Finals – with Gervase edging Vytas. As learned on Facebook and Twitter, from both Monica and Gervase, there was a deleted course to this Evil Top Chef challenge – cow eyeballs. Regardless, Gervase has a chance for redemption.

With grubs. Ouch. Nice move, Show. He tries hard, but Monica pulls it out. Impressive. Probst even calls her Culpepper. Awww. Has he EVER voluntarily called a woman by her last name on the show? Dawson asked for him to it – mainly out of looooooooveeeeee for him.

Vytas tries. He tries to put it on Katie – don’t let there be too many women around. Don’t let there be two pairs left. Smart. He even offers Tyson his jury vote for three more days. Amusingly, Monica forgets she has immunity and gets super paranoid as Vytas scrambles and thinks she’s going. Laura has to remind her about the necklace. Lady, you just ate worms, guts, eyes and grubs for that. How can you forget that so soon?!?!

Vytas knows he is doomed, but goes out swinging against Monica, kind of unexpectedly. He tells her she’s last in the Unloved – probably correct – and that she was duped by Tyson. He presumably doesn’t realize that Tina essentially blew that one with Monica. She goes back to her husband’s vote out and calls him to blame for that. That was actually Caleb, but yes, Vytas cast the deciding vote. Anyway, he’s sent to RI to join his brother. It’s shame, he has game. I expect to see him back at some point.

The interesting thing to me is how Monica likely sealed her fate as the seventh wheel. She was so made at Vytas that she voted for him. The plan was for Ciera, Monica and Laura to vote for Katie, and Tyson, Gervase, Caleb and Hayden to vote for Vytas. Presumably, three votes could be sent at someone in the Unloved – probably Tyson. Or Thai Son. By flipping, she left Katie with two votes. If Vytas had an idol – possible, the second one was never found, but no one really knows that – and played it, that’s three on Tyson and two on Katie. That’s EXACTLY how Tyson voted himself out of Heroes vs. Villains. He flipped from a close split vote and got burned. If he got booted AGAIN for this dynamic, he would have flipped out.

Top Chef: New Orleans – Ep 7 – Where The Chefs Disappoint John Besh

This was not a very good episode for the remaining 13 chefs…well, except for Nina. However, it doesn’t seem that she ever has a bad episode, unless being dragged down by Big Easy Mike. She does not miss him after his departure, she says about him, “I’m sorry Boo Boo, you’re a douche.” I’m sorry, Nina, but the amount of Boo Boo references we’ve had so far…I just have to…I can’t resist…ok, new nickname!

So the chefs are hanging out on Casa De Chefs and Padma and Besh wander in clad in jeans and boots. Please, just reflect with me for a moment…Padma in jeans and boots. Cmar says Besh literally wrote the book on New Orleans that she read before the show. The chefs are told to pack a bag and come with them. Padma wouldn’t have to ask twice to get me to pack a bag for an overnight. In fact, I have a bag already packed just in case such an occasion should arise.

They are being taken to the farm, and Iowa Carrie is thrilled. The chefs are shown a local veggie – the Creole Tomato and told they have 20 minutes to put together a dish that highlights the local fave. Vega laments that the Quickfires keep getting shorter – and that one will soon be only a minute long. I want to see that challenge. Justin informs us that this kind of tomato has a thin skin and a high acid level. Huskey is making a toad in the hole with tomatoes – and I kind of love that choice.

However, others are having big problems thinking of tomato dishes. Cap has the sun bugging him. Cmar cannot figure out any tomato dish that works. Bene can’t believe that he’s dealing with having to make another tomato dish. Nick is confident because there is a Philly tomato that is rather similar. Boo Boo and Vega are both making a cold tomato soup – but the heat has been a major issue. Boo Boo has a ton of ice – but I am unsure how that ice survived all of that heat.

The judges join them:
Bene Soup. Besh loves the balance.
Carlos Poached tomato. Besh is fascinated by the raw flowers in the dish.
Cmar Steak and tomatoes. She knows he’s disappointed. She calls it a blind date gone bad.
Boo Boo Soup. Besh is amazed she kept it cold.
Nick Tomatoes and Melon. Padma thought it was fresh and refined.
Justin Tartare. It is a lightly sautéed squash blossom which makes it work.
Cap Seared tomato. It didn’t cook enough.
Louis Tomato Seed Bouillon. Besh thinks the juices are great.
Huskey Toad in the hole. Padma thinks it is really good.
Vega Roasted tomato soup. Padma said it tasted better than it looked.

Here’s Carrie’s in case you were wondering – no judging for it.

And Sara’s.

And Chung’s.

On the bottom, Vega’s messy dish, Cmar’s too simple dish and Cap’s very safe dish which failed to elevate the tomato. On the top, Boo Boo’s chilled soup, Carlos’ elevated tomato, and Louis’ top flavors. In the end, Boo Boo earns the win and immunity.

For the Elimination Challenge – They are going to be cooking at Besh’s restaurant in his tiny kitchen. And for some unknown reason, other than the amount of money they gave Magical Elves to be on the show, the dishes will need to feature Philadelphia brand cream cheese. Um…ok. They can use no other dairy products, not even butter. Um, this just sounds like a bad idea. And they wonder why the resulting dishes were not up to par. The chefs draw and find out which course they are preparing, and learn that the winner will take home ten grand.

At La Provence, the tiny kitchen seems to be an issue, as is the limited pantry. Cap imagined the headline of a Top Chef trampled for baby squash. Sara is getting nervous from her recent poor outings, Cap is creatively slicing his veggies – I am sure that will not be an issue later on. Louis is making a creative dessert, Bene is confused by chicken, and Chung is overcooking blueberries. Nick has no yeast, so he elects to make a good ole Jersey Shore funnel cake.

Besh is doing Tom’s walkabout. Not really sure why. Sara is having trouble stuffing her lamb, while Cap is busy butchering the hell out of his. And we are off…

Vega Snapper.
Huskey Veggies.
Carlos – Beets and Carrots.
Nina Zucchini Blossoms.
Sara Lamb stuffed.

Besh liked the depth of Carlos’ flavors. Gail thinks Vega needed to do more, and she also loved the floral notes of Boo Boo’s. She adds that Huskey thought outside of the box, but the oyster is too salty. Sara’s is undercooked, but nicely seasoned.

Bene Chicken Breast.
Carrie Braised Chicken.
Justin Duck Breast.
Cap Seared lamb chops.

Carrie’s is too dry, but Besh thought it was gutsy. Gail thinks the sauce is too soupy. Tom can’t believe how bad Bene’s is, and Gail thinks it was pretty clueless. Cap’s meat is not consistently cooked through. Justin’s is not focused and flavored.

Louis Graham Cracker Mousse.
Nick Funnel Cake.
Chung Egg Custard.
Cmar Peach Mousse.

Cmar’s custard is busted. It’s not good. Nick’s cream cheese is featured and Besh found the cake to be a pleasant surprise. Chung’s is overdone and lacked enough sweetness. Louis’ is featuring a soggy graham cracker.

On the Big Brother screen, Besh praises Nick’s and Padma thinks Boo Boo was awesome. Gail is a fan of Justin’s. But that’s all the praise we get.

Cap’s is badly cut, but he claims it was on purpose. Tom thinks Cap and Bene made a bad family meal. Padma didn’t like Sara’s balance of flavors, and Tom thinks there is a story behind how badly Cmar’s sauce broke apart.

The winners were Boo Boo, Nick and Justin. I thought Nick would earn the win, but Boo Boo gets the back-to-back wins. Bene, Sara and Cap find themselves on the bottom – and I was a bit surprised that Cmar was not one of them. Sara knows she didn’t do well, and Bene explains that his veggies steamed too much. Cap’s plating was sloppy and had an execution problem.

In the end, Bene gets the knifing and is sent to LCK to cook with canned veggies. There, he battles with Booth and becomes the latest to fall to the Aussie beauty.

Quickfire Hits
• Summer Camp With Knives is going to one day be a low budget slasher flick, isn’t it?
• Cmar left her shirt on when swimming. The other women didn’t. I don’t have a joke here, just an observation. Either she’s embarrassed to disrobe on TV, or she burns at the first sign of sunlight.
• Carrie teaching them all little nature tricks…nice moment.
• I never would have imagined that Boo Boo, Cap and Bene would be a little friendship circle. And they were making s’mores!
• If I ever plan on producing a movie based on John Besh’s life, I am totally casting Gary Cole in the lead role.
• Padma went there with a “Travis-ty” joke. Even I wasn’t going there.
• Extra scene – what farm animal would the chefs be. Really. That’s what it was.

Next week – We have jazz.

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Survivor: Blood vs. Water – Ep 8 – Power Plays And The Largest Piece of Pie

Again, sorry for lateness. Explanations all in due time. It’s just been rather busy.

Which is a shame, because this episode rocked. Almost every season my favorite episode is the merge episode. It’s not only a moment that marks the turning point in the game, but it is also the moment where the moves come fast and furious and there is inevitably someone who is getting blindsided.

This episode marked the coming of age of Tyson 3.0, who has essentially wrested control of this game. For now. And it made me wonder about something. And I know what you are going to say, if you are going to praise Boston Rob for the 8 millionth time, you guys should just get a room already. I know. My man love for Boston Rob is well documented on these pages – and as a Yankee fan, trust me, it kills me. But once again, the best player in the history of Survivor may have his fingerprints on another player’s game.

Taking his last two appearances on the show – Heroes vs. Villains and Redemption Island – and seeing the players he played with, what do we have? Coach 3.0 on South Pacific was light years beyond anything he showed in his first two seasons. When Phillip and Andrea came on the second Fans vs. Favorites they were different strategic players. And now we have Tyson 3.0. He was Rob’s right hand man on HvV, until Tyson got duped by Russell and managed to vote himself out of the game. And ruin Rob’s game in the process. But other than that, he spent all that time with Rob. And I wonder how much has rubbed off.

Because this Tyson is a different player. Not every three-timer improves – think Russell, who had only one kind of game to play and that got old over time. Think Colby, whose third game was pathetic. Think Rupert who still can’t make strategic moves four times in. Tyson found himself in what appears to have been a pre-game alliance, which if he stuck with it, would at best earn him fifth or sixth place. And he could have done that, and it would have been his best finish yet. And he could go on the reality show appearance circuit and brag over those who never got that far. But he didn’t.

He spearheaded a new alliance, one forged by the actual goings-on of the game they were playing. Thanks to the tribal shifts, and the early vote outs, he found himself on a tribe with four others whose loved ones were voted out. And the idea struck him – let’s join together. It was a brilliant move. Along with Gervase, Caleb, Ciera and Hayden, they were targeting the power couples – Aras/Vytas, and presumably Tina/Katie. And the smartest move of all the smart moves would be to take out the only one of that crew to have won and never lost. Aras.

Aras was a better winner on Exile Island than I give him credit for – because I felt Terry and Cirie dominated that season. But his social game is impressive, and he’s a real physical threat. And now here he is at the merge, reunited with his brother, and strongly aligned with the mother-daughter. And he thinks he is home free. It makes me absolutely certain that Mrs. Rupert’s exit last week was not for reasons we witnessed – it was because Tina was saving Vytas for her alliance with Aras. The Yoga Man was a huge threat this season and Tyson wisely saw that to be true.

And credit to Gervase, who hasn’t played this game for 12 years, and the version he played was very different. He never made a power move that season, mainly because no one other than Hatch and his alliance understood exactly what they were playing. But here was Gervase presented with a choice – this new logical alliance, or the first one he was in. And I believe he chose wisely. That man now has a real good chance of winning this thing if he plays his cards well.

Tina wisely saw this to be an issue, asking Vytas early in the episode if Aras had Gervase locked down. He didn’t. Then she turned around and made a rookie mistake – telling Monica that she had moved up to fifth in the alliance, ahead of Gervase and Tyson. Never. Ever. Say that. To someone. Monica wisely read between the lines – she was fifth place if she stayed where she was.

Ironically, this season only, that fifth position is a rather good one for her to be in. She’d be with two couples. She just needs to pick one, vote with them and make the Final Three. Assuming, of course, there is a final three. And I’m not sure about that. We have 11 players left – it’s either a F3 with eight on the jury, or F2 with an odd number of jury members. But I get where she was – traditionally, you don’t want to be told that. And it burned Tina because Monica is a logical add to the Unloved Alliance.

Top Chef: New Orleans – Ep 6 – Aranchiphobia

In the aftermath of Booth’s exit last week after Captain Vietnam and Sara failed to ace the Vietnamese food challenge, they are a mess. Sara is in immediate tears, and the next day as Big Easy Mike is ominously foreshadowing later events by sharpening his knives as Cap calls his mom.

And that’s how the episode begins. With a call to mom. It ended with a little bit of redemption for Captain Vietnam.

But first – To the Quickfire Kitchen!!

We have a repeat of a cool challenge – the everything is wrapped in tin foil challenge. You pick what you think is going to be helpful, but whatever you pick is yours to use. It’s a great idea and a fabulous use of product placement. The twist this time is that the chefs are on two teams and will not be the ones picking the items.

Enter Gail and Padma…and their moms. Um…ok. Kind of random, but let’s go with it. Renee and Vijaya will have five minutes to shop for the teams. Renee is completely Gail’s mom – same personality. Padma is a bit more of an extrovert than her mom appears to be, but mom still seems pretty cool. Plus, she gave the world Padma, so she holds a dear place in my heart. Huskey notes that Renee is really fast shopping. His mom shops slowly, so this challenge would be a bit of an issue.

The moms also have to pick out equipment, as that too is wrapped. The chefs get the expected random hodge podge – baking soda, eggs, mustard, strawberries, leeks, lamb, pineapple, okra, etc. The teams divide up the ingredients among themselves and have to create three dishes out of the mess. Nina, Huskey and Bene get the leftover stuff and decide to make soup. Carlos has a coconut crème sauce that his mom made when they were poor. Carrie is desperate for a whisk – she has to improvise. Cmar is using really stinky cheese and is making it work. Nina is lamenting having to put beans and cherries together.

Team Simmons
Sara/Cmar – Sara’s down to the wire cooking of the lamb
enabled it to be cooked properly.

Big Easy Mike/Justin – Team New Orleans’s fish had some sake included in it.

Carrie/Chung/Louis – Carrie said her arm almost fell off making the sabayon but she made it work.

Team Lakshmi
Carlos/Cap A spicy Asian/Mexican mashup

Nick/Vega The fish dish got some yummy sounds.

Nina/Huskey/Bene – Gail was worried the soup had too many ingredients.

As it turns out, Gail loved the Asian/Mexican dish. She was impressed with Nick and Vega and had some issues with the soup. She loved Team Big Easy’s flavors, had issues with the lamb and liked how Carrie managed to do it without a wisk.

However, Team Lakshmi earned the win and split ten grand seven ways.

Elimination Challenge – Glee’s Lea Michelle is throwing a Halloween party. Presumably, this was taped before the Glee tragedy occurred, or else the party would seem to be in some poor taste. Lea is a super fan of the show – and proves it with some of her critiques later on. Cmar is a super fan of Lea and wants to hang out. But not in a creepy way. Cmar is starting to grow on me quite a bit.

The chefs are paired up based on where they were standing. Big Easy Mike and Nina get joined up from across the room. This would prove to be some fatal standing positions later on.

Lea follows a vegan lifestyle. Nina thinks God put animals on the earth to be eaten. I wonder if she owns a dog. Personally, I think animals evolved into what they are today, as did we, and such a thing as the food chain developed. Lea has made a choice not to eat them. Because humans can choose things. Because we have an evolved brain. Just saying.

However, she is not really a vegan as she adores cheese, as she repeatedly reminds the chefs. Amazingly, the judges were surprised later on at the amount of cheese served. Clearly, they didn’t see the footage. She doesn’t like sweet things – clearly, she is sweet enough. She loves all veggies, but not beets. Remember that. She loves Italian food and Mexican food. Someone, presumably Carlos, asks if she likes Mexican men. Perhaps, but only with ample cheese.

The Voice, Oct. 21 – Real Battles

Unlike the previous week’s battles, these really are battles and not duets. Not that duets are bad, it just makes it really hard to choose one or see one of them go home. Tonight it’s not as difficult.

Battle: Josh Logan, 33, Manchester, NH vs. Michael Lynch, 27, Chicago, IL. Team Christina and Ed Sheeran. They both have a lot of soul, leaving Christina to think this song is perfect for them to explore and “bring their own energy to the table.” Christina encourages them to make it their own instead of following the Maroon 5 original. She would also like them to move around and play with the audience instead of just standing in one place to sing. The secondary goal to winning is to impress Adam since he wrote it.

Song: Harder to Breathe

Me: Josh is just so much more natural with this song. Michael does admirably, but it’s just not in his wheelhouse.
Cee Lo: He enjoyed the confidence and effortlessness of both performances, but Josh almost sounded identical to Adam, and that’s a compliment. He didn’t even see Michael coming.
Blake: He was into it and recognizes Josh’s likeness to Adam as well. He knows it’s easy to get wrapped up in Josh being overpowering, but they both gave 110%.
Adam: It’s really easy to screw up this song, but it was a lot of fun, and these two guys did amazing. Josh did overpower Michael, yet there isn’t anything he could say negative about either one.
Christina: The song was written in a way where rhythm is crucial. She adores Michael, and he’s so talented. Josh is amazing, and it’s no joke the way he put his own spin on ad libs and soul.
Winner: Josh

Battle: George Horga Jr., 19, Portland, OR vs. Juhi, 16, Franklin, TN. Team Cee Lo and advisor Miguel. Cee Lo likes the song choice because it’s young and fresh, and that’s what he’s expecting from these two singers. George reminds Miguel of a Bruno Mars type with the grit in his voice. There are a lot of times where Juhi is putting in her own personality to the song, and George needs to do that too.

Song: The Best I’ve Ever Had

Me: His voice cracks a little, taking away from a very solid performance. This one just comes down to a matter of preference in style.
Adam: George had a bad note, but sang well after that. Juhi has a great voice, but he worries she’d be backed into a corner because she’s so specific.
Blake: The good thing is he isn’t George’s coach, as he was too aught up in the bad note. There’s something that really jumps out at him with Juhi. He would go with her.
Christina: Both brought something interesting to the song. Juhi has character in her vocal that makes her stand out, and George stood out as well, just differently.
Cee Lo: Juhi is just 16, but very brilliant. George came out after being here for three years to pursue a passion. He wants to bring someone who wants to pursue this and doesn’t even consider a plan B.
Winner: George
Steal: Adam steals Juhi, not believing that Cee Lo is letting her go.

Battle: Austin Jenckes, 25, Duvall, WA vs. Brian Pounds, 24, Austin, TX. Team Blake and his advisor Cher. He paired Austin and Brian together because they’re both edgy but can also be vulnerable. He’s thinking of the Hank Williams Jr. version of the song for these two country singers. Cher wants Austin to think about not showing all his cards in the beginning. Brian needs to find a way to connect to the song. Austin is used to playing smaller venues without a mic and needs to adjust his performance. Brian decides to lose his guitar for the performance and just sing.

Song: Love Somebody

Me: Like the first battle tonight, they’re both fantastic, but Austin is just far too natural. He has a ready-to-record voice.
Christina: On a more emotional level, she connected more with Austin and would go with him.
Cee Lo: Brian’s voice is strong, but a few moments needed to connect more. Austin’s approach is more effortless.
Adam: What Austin did with the song gave him the advantage, but that’s not to say Brian’s voice isn’t equally strong. Yet, he gives it to Austin.
Blake: The way Austin loses himself in a song, he leaves his heart laying on the stage. They’re dead even as far as their vocals.
Winner: Austin

Battle: James Irwin, 31, St. Louis, MO vs. Matt Cermanski, 20, Phoenixville, PA. Team Adam and advisor Ryan Tedder. They’re paired together because both of them have auditioned for the show before but didn’t make it. Whoever moves him the most will get his vote. This is a Ryan Tedder song. He explains it’s about his struggles to pursue music when he married young and was supporting someone else. James needs to not draw the words out. Matt requests a key change and loses the request but finds what he thought he couldn’t.

Song: Counting Stars

Me: Matt starts out shaky but picks it up after the first few lines finding his voice. But James still seems to be more of a natural.
Blake: He heard the same strengths and weaknesses in their voices, but it was cool to watch James perform, while Matt has a voice that reminds him of Adam’s. He’d go with James.
Christina: Matt did a better job on his first falsetto. James started strong, but Matt ended strongest.
Cee Lo: He agrees with Blake and not Christina. Matt has a fuller voice as compared to James’ chest vocal, but it cut through clearer for Cee Lo.
Adam: He believes in them both and thinks they both have work to do.
Winner: James

Battle: Destinee Quinn, 20, Surprise, AZ vs. Lina Gaudenzi, 23, Miami, FL. Team Christina and Ed Sheeran. They were paired together for their ability to bring a soft sensibility to a song. Christina chose this song to make each other step outside their comfort zones. Christina can’t get them into the emotion of the song. She wants them to be “mad as hell” like what they’re singing. This is probably one battle that doesn’t seem near ready for “primetime.”

Song: Not Ready to Make Nice

Me: While the coaches all seem really impressed, I’m still not finding the emotions in this. It seems more faked with body movements.
Cee Lo: Lina has a strong, definitive voice, but he watched Destinee really live that song out loud.
Adam: He saw no issues with emoting, but heard some technical problems. He’d choose Lina.
Blake: He’d choose Destinee because of her connection with the song and the way she was almost about to cry. As for execution, though, it has to go to Lina.
Christina: Destinee won it for her emotion, yet Lina won it for her range and pushing to other places.
Winner: Destinee
Steal: Adam steals Lina because of her potential.

Battle: James Wulpert, 22, Lancaster, PA vs. Will Champlin, 30, Receda, CA. Team Adam and advisor Ryan Tedder. They are paired together not because they both wear glasses but because he wants to take them both out of their comfort zone. They’re cut from the same cloth musically, making it’s redundant to have them both move forward, so he needs to see who’s stronger. Will has soul, but doesn’t have the range and great pitch that James has. While James is technically perfect, he needs to tap into that emotion.

Song: Radioactive

Me: Both of these guys can rock it out way more than you would think by looking at them. And both worked on the things they were told to.
Blake: James was a surprise since he doesn’t look the part, And Will looks the part and is a badass musically. He’d go with James.
Christina: There’s no question. She’d go with Will because he had the more solid performance. She was surprised that James pushed a little too hard.
Cee Lo: He likes James’ style because it’s so unassuming. For his own intrigue and amusement, he’d go with him.
Adam: James had the least to prove and did an incredible job. Will stepped it up in rehearsals.
Winner: James
Steal: Christina steals Will just when you think he’s out of it.

There’s just one steal left, and that belongs to Cee Lo. Just like in the Blinds, he was the only coach who had a spot left on his team. For anyone who is already on his team and hasn’t battled yet, it’s not a good thing. They know if he doesn’t pick them, they’re out, as no one else can steam them.

Survivor: Blood vs. Water – Ep 7 – A Classic Episode Of Survivor…

…a classic filler episode that is.

Wow. Yawn.

First, folks. Halloween trumps blogging. As does work. And that’s what happened since the episode aired. Thankfully it wasn’t as if this episode warranted much blogging. I mean we spent about a third of the time of the episode in the Truel. And it wasn’t as if anything interesting was going on.

What was going on? The worst reality show fan fiction ever written. Big Brother Winner and Survivor Crazy Person start dating and join forces on another season of Survivor. Awwww. However, like many contestants on these shows, the two of them are either actors already, or worse, people who think they can act and desperately want to prove it.

What was the drama here? Kitten was concerned that her early exit would lead to Hayden breaking up with her. Not exactly Romeo and Juliet level of drama. So she says she was proud not to cry – and then she cried. It sure made me nostalgic for community theater. Kitten kept up the drama upon entering RI Arena. You could almost visibly see the wheels turning in Hayden’s face – do I cry? What do I say? Reality Bot 9000 cannot compute.

Kitten essentially tells her boyfriend that if the roles were reversed she would take his place at the arena. Needless to say…he does not agree. Again, you can see the wheels turning. How to convince her otherwise? He asks her a question for which he already knew the answer – who had a better chance of winning?

Obviously it is Hayden. First of all, he’s not standing in RI Arena about to take on a doctor and a puzzle queen at a puzzle. Second of all, Kitten really never had much of a chance anyway. She has no strategic skills and was obviously not well placed in an alliance. If they switched, she would wind up among a tribe of men and Ciera. Why would they keep her?

Needless to say, Kitten stood no chance. Especially with the fact that Laura could just look at John’s completed puzzle and copy it. Kitten was doomed from the start and then had a bad luck of the draw. I think anyone who watches this show closely knew Kitten wasn’t going to make it far – for a returning player who received so much attention the first time around to receive barely any…you knew she was pre-jury.

The rest of the episode…well…we had a challenge. Yeah. That challenge led to some weird goings on before Tribal Council. For the second time, the show chose to use interviews of Mrs. Rupert that were recorded during the first three days. She’s wearing a red buff on her wrist. Were there really no other good interviews of her?

We were led to believe that her telling Vytas that he was going home ruined the trust the rest of the tribe had for her. Because she spoke out of turn. In a nice way. I don’t buy it. I think she’s always been on the outs. I think Vytas did a good job in getting in with the women. I think they like having a guy around – especially if needed at challenges. I think that Tina and Aras may have had a pre-alliance of winners. I think Laura was doomed the minute Rupert swapped with her. She does not have the social skills or strategic skills to overcome the deep hole she was placed into.
That was it. A very slow, quiet pre-merge episode.

The most interesting thing that occurred – in my opinion – was the beginning of what may be a new power alliance. I thought Tyson and Gervase were part of that winner-alliance with Tina and Aras. But perhaps not. Interestingly, Tyson seems to have moved against them. His plan is a good one – there are six people in their tribe, and five of them have had a loved one voted out. Just Aras has not. It’s a smart play by Tyson – the only wrinkle is if Ciera and her mom get reunited after the next Truel. But he could decide to ignore this for a moment and take the free sixth person. Deal with Samoa Laura later.

So, Tyson’s Alliance of The Lonely, plus the Truel winner puts them at six. The foursome of Aras, Tina and family have Monica. That does it. That’s a 6-5 merge advantage. They take them out one by one, turn on the Moretts at some point if Laura is back, and we could see a Tyson, Gervase, Caleb and, well, what do you know, Hayden grouping at the end.

I guess they were right. Hayden does have a better chance at winning.

Top Chef: New Orleans – Ep 4 – Captain Vietnam and The Adventure of the Italian Shrimp

Sorry for the delay – as I said in my Survivor article…things got in the way. It’s been quite hectic on my end and could continue for a bit. I will do my best to be as prompt as possible.

Also, I was driving around the great State of Maryland checking out various takes on our home state cuisine. As you know, we are known for our crabs. I found this one place near Hagerstown that made crab with prune juice, shallots and a touch of Tabasco sauce. Fried up and served in a pita. It was so good; I stole the recipe and entered it into a Taste of Maryland contest, and called it authentic Maryland crabs. I can’t believe I didn’t win. I mean, I had it in Maryland; it had to be good, right?

Not that anything like this BS story could happen in Top Chef, of course.

Wait a minute…

This week we were introduced to a brand new culinary superhero – or supervillain, depends on your line of thinking – Captain Vietnam. Or that could be a Communist Party creation extolling the virtues of the state. This version of Captain Vietnam’s secret identity is Travis – the as of now quietest member of the cast. I can’t say “who” anymore when mentioning him – he is now Captain Vietnam. He’s also engaged me on Twitter a few times – and I will add, I love that and wish more Survivors or Chefs would do it. I get a kick out of it. So, Cap, take what I’m going to say with a grain of salt, but no lemongrass, because I know you and your fellow chefs are super-talented, but I can only mock what I see on TV.

And this was kind of fun to mock.

Emeril and Baohaus owner Eddie Huang came to visit the Chef House and informed the lot that there was no Quickfire this week (twice now), and gave them a crash course instead on the prominent Vietnamese population in New Orleans. This sub-culture has grown bigger over the years – if I recall, a few years back the city elected a Republican Vietnamese Congressman. Cap was thrilled by this – he’s a Vietnamese expert, based partially on his boyfriend (I think ex, but that’s neither here nor there). He and Sara are psyched to cook their favorite cuisine and have been paired on the same team as well. The challenge is make a Vietnamese dinner as a team, with at least one dish highlighting shrimp. This is code for – if you make the shrimp and screw it up, you’re going to LCK.

The chefs go on a tour of the city and various Vietnamese restaurants, shops and the shrimping docks. Cap confidently tells us that he can give a crash course in Vietnam himself, no offense to E & E. He tells them all about the things he loves about the cuisine. He talks about the use of romaine, which Sara disputes. He assures her they do and that all the noodle bowls in Denver use it. That should do it – I remember reading about the Battle of Denver in 1971 in my Vietnam War studies. Gripping.

More to the point, Cap tells a story of going to Central Vietnam and chowing down on a dish that involved shrimp, tomato sauce, lime, Thai chili and other ingredients. The others are skeptical, or so it appears. Booth reveals her Thai experience – including being on an elephant reserve – and never hearing anything about tomato sauce. Bene is happy – his Italian background lends itself to this dish. So, they latch onto his recipe and are eventually tied to its fate.

The problem is – and I am sure Cap will defend this – the rest of the chefs involved, especially E & E and Tom, think it’s crazy. Why use some obscure dish when showcasing Vietnamese food – why not make something more traditional to show how much you get the nuts and bolts of that style. I’m sure there’s a regional way to make a great pot roast in Italy – but if you were doing an Italian food challenge, most likely pasta or tomato sauce would be more of a way to go. Tom chides him at Judging that you can find a McDonalds in Paris, but it doesn’t make it French. Well, maybe the fries.

The Amazing Race, Oct. 27 – Three Left Feet

Last week’s episode of The Amazing Race ended with the teams still racing. Only Brandon and Adam had reached the Pit Stop. Tim and Marie didn’t have their clue showing the Pit Stop and were lost. Nicole and Travis pulled up and offered to exchange that information for the second Express Pass. Tim and Marie hadn’t made a decision yet on it when the episode ended.

Departing from: Norway

First Clue: Teams will need to travel by boat and plane to Gdansk, Poland. They will then travel to Solidarity Square at a shipyard to get their next clue. They are cautioned that there is a U-Turn ahead.


Brandon and Adam: Childhood friends from Chico, California. They’re here to race. They’re here to have fun, not to sit around and sleep. They announce that they’ve now been racing for about thirty straight hours.

Jason and Amy:Dating and from New England.

Nicole and Travis: Married ER physicians from Atlanta.

Leo and Jamal: Cousins from Southern California.

Tim and Marie: Exes from Morristown, NJ.

Tim and Danny: Oil plant workers from Cordell, Oklahoma.

Ally and Ashley: NHL ice crew teammates from Long Beach, California.

Nicky and Kim: Major League Baseball wives from the Midwest. They are definitely excited to find they are still in it and still racing, and that they were not eliminated.

With a boat departure of 8:30 P.M., Brandon and Adam realize all the other teams will catch up to them. All of the teams also catch the same flight into Poland.

On the boat, Tim and Marie secretly give their second Express Pass to Nicole and Travis. They want other teams to believe they still have it. Apparently Nicole and Travis gave them the directions to the Pit Stop that they were looking for to gain the Express Pass.

Second Clue: Teams will travel by taxi to the Golden Gate and Old Town Gdansk to get their next clue. Order of Arrival: Tim and Danny, Jason and Amy, Nicole and Travis, Nicky and Kim, Brandon and Adam, Leo and Jamal, Ally and Ashley, and Tim and Marie.

Third Clue: Detour: Pose or Polka. In Pose, teams will copy the stance of a historic bronze statue of Neptune to earn donations from spectators. Once they earn $75, they will get their next clue. In Polka, teams will learn and perform a choreographed routine in full costume to the satisfaction of their instructor to get their next clue. Order of Arrival: Tim and Danny, Nicole and Travis, Jason and Amy, Nicky and Kim, Brandon and Adam, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, and Tim and Marie.

Pose: Nicky and Kim, Brandon and Adam (switch to Polka), Leo and Jamal (after being u-turned), and Brandon and Adam (They return after being U-Turned).

Polka: Tim and Danny, Nicole and Travis, Jason and Amy, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, and Brandon and Adam.

Express Pass: Tim and Marie.

Order of Finish: Nicky and Kim, Jason and Amy, Nicole and Travis, Tim and Danny, Tim and Marie, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, Brandon and Adam, Leo and Jamal (after their U-Turn), Brandon and Adam (after their U-Turn).

Fourth Clue: Teams need to search the riverfront for the Medieval Harbor Crane to get their next clue. They also need to wear their costumes until the end of this leg.

Fifth Clue: Double U-Turn:Order of Arrival: Jason and Amy (do not use), Tim and Marie (do not use), Nicky and Kim (do not use), Tim and Danny (u-Turn Leo and Jamal), Nicole and Travis (do not use), Leo and Jamal (are U-Turned and U-Turn Brandon and Adam in return), Ally and Ashley (do not use), and Brandon and Adam (are U-Turned). Teams will make their way to the longest apartment building in Poland to find their next clue.

Sixth Clue: Roadblock: Order of Arrival: Tim and Marie, Jason and Amy, Nicky and Kim, Nicole and Travis, Tim and Danny, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, and Brandon and Adam. One person from each team will use the twelve addresses provided to search for a rose-filled pastry. Once they find the right flavor, they will receive their next clue. They are warned that they may be penalized for bad manners. This can’t be good news for Tim and Marie or the Afghanimals. Participating: Marie, Amy, Kim, Travis, Danny, Ashley, Leo, and Brandon.

With Kim taking the elevator to the different floors, Travis hits the button on every floor while he runs down. She figures it out and switches to the stairs. He also catches up with Amy and Marie who are working together and knows they won’t go back to a place they already tried, so he starts following them. They work with him and split up to cover twice the territory.

Ashley and Leo work together as well.

Order of Finish: Nicole and Travis, Tim and Marie, Jason and Amy, Tim and Danny, Nicky and Kim, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, and Brandon and Adam.

Seventh Clue: Teams will now search for Phil on the Sopot Pier, the longest wooden pier in Europe and the pit stop for this leg of the Race. The winners of this leg of the Race receive a Travelocity trip for two to Hawaii.

Pit Stop: Order of Arrival: Tim and Marie, Jason and Amy, Nicole and Travis, Nicky and Kim, Tim and Danny, Leo and Jamal, Ally and Ashley, and Brandon and Adam (eliminated).

Nicole and Travis realize that when he helped Marie and Amy, it cost them first place, yet they have the only Express Pass still in play.

Express Pass: Tim and Marie give their second Express Pass to Nicole and Travis in exchange for directions to the Pit Stop. Tim and Marie use their Express Pass on this leg. They realized they were in last place and that they stood a good chance of being U-Turned. Nicole and Travis’ Pass is still in play.

Teams to Get Lost: Leo and Jamal, Ally and Ashley, and Tim and Marie. They ask to be taken to the shipyards instead of Solidarity Square.

Sound Bites: Tim: Would you rather be in this taxi right now with this guy who has no clue where he’s going or be shoving sharp objects into your eye?

Danny (in a dress): I didn’t really feel sexy. I felt pretty humiliated.

Danny to Tim: You have three left feet. You’re terrible.

Brandon and Adam: We need boobs. Apparently that’s what does it.

Next Week: Teams join the Vienna Boys Choir while Marie steals Jason and Amy’s taxi.

Brandon and Adam went from first place to last place on this leg. They aren’t so worried about losing the money but are a little sad to be missing out on the rest of the Race. They know they couldn’t buy the experience with the million dollars. They were doing crazy stuff before the Race, and it’s not going to stop them from continuing to do crazy stuff.

Survivor: Blood vs. Water – Ep 6 – Living La Vetus Loco

See what I did there with the title? Who’s impressed? A little Ricky Martin. Making fun of Kitten. It’s all good. If only there was something else to mock in this episode…wait, don’t worry, I’ll think of it.

Apologies for the lateness – it’s been a trying time in the life of this blogger. I’m sure I’ll share soon. But for now, just accept it. I haven’t even watched Top Chef in its entirety yet. So, for fans of both of my columns – I’m sure there’s at least one! – the chefs should be up sometime this weekend.

But for now…Survivor BvW has turned the page to the next stage of the game. Drop your buffs. It’s time to shuffle!

After the Truel, before the tribes are sent back, Probst drops the bomb on them – they are randomly selecting new tribes. Tyson amuses me by asking to pick last – let fate decide. By the way, this was a great Tyson episode. Tyson 3.0 has been as good as Coach 3.0 so far. Let’s see how long it lasts. Clearly, the Show is looking for having the dynamic of family members playing with each other. The pairs remaining – not including RI folks – Katie/Tina, Aras/Vytas, Kitten/Hayden. The Show got one pair to play together – Katie/Tina. I am sure they wanted the brothers or the romantic couple for dramatic reasons – but they got the mom/daughter.

The problem is with the switch…it is almost, just almost, a gender battle now. One tribe is all women+Vytas, and the other is all men+Ciera. That puts both Vytas and Ciera in a tough, tough position. One was tested already…and Vytas did a great job with it. The amazing thing to me is that while all of the talk was centered on Vytas and Kitten on that tribe during the scheming, not one person brought up Tina or Katie. For a season that has had tons of creative strategizing based on these built in pairs, the first moment we had one of those pairs reunited…no one seemed to care!

Oh! Time to mock! Not only was Tina not targeted for having her daughter with her, but she was not targeted for her incredibly boneheaded move at the challenge. There have been bad challenge performances in the past. Seriously bad ones. Too many to count. One of my favorites was Jamie cutting the rope in Guatemala. But rarely do we see someone so badly screw up the rules the way Tina and Laura did in the first task.

The Challenge – the tribes have to swim out and open a roped gate and retrieve a lobster trap filled with puzzle pieces. Three different pairs go out to do this. Once they have done this, two people assemble a vertical puzzle. Simple, right? You’d be wrong.

First out, Gervase/Aras and Tina/Laura. Smart pairing Aras with Gervase – as we learned in the first challenge, Gervase needs him in the water. He wants him in the water. They do well here. Meanwhile, the ladies open the gate and start swimming back. No lobster trap. Probst instinctively calls to them, but then stops. He can’t really influence things. The tribe is screaming at them to go back. But both women are swimming, heads down, and can’t hear a thing. Amazingly, they get back to the beach and Tina still seems confused by what happened. Meanwhile, Tyson and Caleb are already getting the 2nd one. Hayden and Ciera get the third as Monica/Vytas were getting the 2nd trap. Incredibly, Tina and Monica furiously work on the puzzle and catch up to Aras and Tyson. In fact, not once, but twice(!), Tina calls for Probst. They are not correct. There is much hysterical premature cheering. Aras and Tyson finish it – and Tina has a very poor challenge under her belt.

But no consequences.

Vytas was behind the 8-ball from the start. The ladies were targeting him – very easy vote that way. He was up against Tina, Monica, Kitten and Laura – who have been playing together from the start – and he came over with Tina’s daughter. His only plays were these – realize that Laura was a bit of an outsider before and exploit it, focus on the Tina/Katie pair and break it up, or do what he did…watch for an opening and pry it open. He wisely opened up about his past – a group of women, especially three moms, would completely embrace that kind of vulnerability. He was correct.

Then he got his opportunity. Kitten provided it. I suspected Kitten wasn’t going to be a factor this season. She was getting a very quiet edit, especially for someone who was such a personality in her first time around. I knew she was not going far – so when they started showing her getting in trouble, I was pretty sure she was done. Kitten didn’t leave well enough alone and went after her old One World tribesmate Monica. It seems Monica’s been one of those chatty constant schemers this season. What’s hysterical there is two-fold – first, that’s what they complained about with Colton, and second, Kitten is complaining about someone being too chatty?!? Kitten? Wow.

The problem for Kitten was that she went to Tina with this, and she apparently had no idea how close Tina and Monica were. It makes you wonder if the alliance with the guys is going to survive the tribe switch. It also makes you wonder whether or not the alliance will include Katie and Vytas as well. That could be our Final Seven, folks. Tina went to Monica, who then instantly confronted Kitten, whose pants instantly caught fire. Monica knew she was lying, and at Tribal, it spiraled downhill for Kitten. Her only play was tears and begging – and that rarely works. This is the second time she’s been blindsided and second time she reacted with fits of crying. Not that there’s anything wrong with crying – but for getting voted out of a reality show twice? C’mon.

What was telling with Kitten’s continued immaturity was her reaction on RI as she joined John and Samoa Laura. She is worried about disappointing Hayden because, and I quote, “who wants to date someone who didn’t make the merge.” Whoa. That’s the level of depth in reality show relationships these days? Hayden won Big Brother and is likely to finish ahead of her on Survivor, and that makes her unattractive to him?!? Wow. Kitten really puts great weight behind reality TV. Note to Kitten – it’s really not that cool. No one outside of this circle of fans, viewers and contestants have any idea who you or Hayden are. If you guys make each other happy…your talents on Survivor will not matter. Although, he will probably tease you about it until the day you die. Or breakup. Because sometimes til death do you part is not something that happens.

And so Kitten goes to RI and is likely not going to be there for very long. With 11 contestants now in tribes, There is likely going to be a merge after the next Truel. Twelve has been the go-to merge number in recent seasons with the Final Three and nine-person jury. Nothing is set in stone, of course, but it is very likely this will be the last Truel pre-merge. If my suspicions are correct, the power alliance will be Tyson/Gervase/Aras/Tina/Monica/Vytas/Katie. That leaves Hayden, Caleb, Ciera, Laura and either John/Samoa Laura/Kitten on the outside looking in. The question will be – can the five figure out a way into that alliance? Can they identify that they are in the minority before it’s too late? And can they fashion a makeshift alliance and flip two to come over. Or force a 6-6 tie. We already know that Vytas doesn’t want to draw rocks.

This is a daunting task – but on Survivor, anything is possible. We’ve seen it for years.

Truel – Now for the actual elimination challenge. John, Culpy and Samoa Laura enter the arena. Ciera claims to have felt her mother’s vote out last night. If so, that’s pretty cool. I wonder if she can see dead people too. Probably not.

The three are presented with a challenge involving a balance beam, bags of puzzle pieces and a tile challenge. I won’t call it a puzzle because they had to place tiles from 1-100 in order. Not exactly a puzzle. I instantly predicted a win for Samoa Laura. First of all, balance beam challenges always favor the smaller people – often women. Second, she’s a great puzzler – even “puzzles” like this one. Needless to say, she absolutely rocked the challenge. Win for Laura and another three days on RI.

John and Culpy were left to battle for survival. John had some serious balance beam issues – falling at one point and landing on it in such a way that would make Candice really unhappy. Down the stretch John held a lead of about five or six tiles on Culpy and held on to claim second place. That means the end of Culpy. Rarely has there been a Survivor who so dominated a season early with their personality and yet fail to make the merge. How much of this was Culpy’s personality and how much of it was Probst’s and the show’s obsession with the Alpha Male…well, hard to say. Nevertheless, he’s out.

At least he figured out a way past the burning of the buffs at RI – he tore his in half, burned it and kept a souvenier. Smart.

I assume we’ll be getting to the merge next week. It’ll be interesting. Halfway home, and we have one interesting season of Survivor on our hands.

The Voice, Oct. 15 – Battles or Duets?

These battles continue to blow me away. They are all so good that I’d rather have them just keep them around as duets. If you listen to the iTunes versions of the winners singing the songs, they’re not nearly as good as when they were battling someone else.

Battle: Jacob Poole, 30, Warner Robbins, GA vs. Matthew Schuler, 20, Yardley, PA. Team Christina and her advisor Ed Sheeran. She teamed these two guys up because they both have rock inspirations. She chose the song for them because because it says “Battle.” She thinks if Jacob would have chosen a song like this in the blinds, he would have turned more chairs. Matthew runs the risk of being overzealous. Christina and Ed don’t like the way Matthew changes it up but do like what Jacob does.

Song: My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark

Me: This is phenomenal! I like this version better than the Fall Out Boy version.
Cee Lo: It’s one of the best battle rounds he’s ever seen.
Adam: It was like a musical ass-whooping. Matthew was a favorite going into it, but no one got their asses whooped today. He’d still go with Matthew.
Blake: He’s waiting for noses to start to bleed. Jacob was a one-chair turn, and he’s more impressed by him right now.
Christina: They are both so beyond talented.
Winner: Matthew

Battle: Kat Robichaud, 29, Raleigh, NC vs. R. Anthony, 23, Tampa, FL. Team Cee Lo and his advisor Miguel. He picked this song because it has a lot of angst and attitude and is sensual with power. He wants to see if they can form a personal connection to the song. Instead of pairing them for their similarities, he did it because of their differences. Miguel expects R. to run every line; he thinks doing it less will make it more interesting. Cee Lo wants to hear Kat’s roar and rasp, and Ed wants her to let it build.

Song: I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing

Me: It’s an amazing battle, but Kat’s the one who gives it something you won’t see anywhere else.
Adam: His biggest regret from the blinds is not turning around for Kat. R. is a new surprise and challenges his love for Kat.
Blake: He agrees with Adam about R., but Kat is pumped and puts that intensity into everything she does. He gives the battle to her.
Christina: She compares Kat to a tiger with a claw coming out. She has much love and appreciation for R.’s crazy vocal control.
Cee Lo: The most untrained ear could hear the precision in R.’s voic. Kat is a dynamo, and he needs a natural disaster like that on his team.
Winner: Kat

Battle: Cole Vosbury vs. Lupe Carroll. Team Cee Lo

Song: Africa

Cee Lo: Very well-performed by both, but Cole was cool while handling it with care.
Winner: Cole

Battle: E.G. Daily vs. Sam Cerniglia. Team Blake.

Song: Something to Talk About

Blake: E.G. did a phenomenal job of waiting until the end, then letting it fly.
Winner: E.G.

Battle: Ashley Dubose vs. Justin Blake. Team Adam

Song: Just a Fool

Adam: Moving forward, he has to go with somebody who is prepared for everything he knows is coming.
Winner: Ashley

Battle: Monika Leigh, 28, Boulder, CO vs. Ray Boudreaux, 25, Lafayette, LA. Team Blake with advisor Cher. He pairs these two together because they both have that blues thing he wishes he had. He gives them this song because it’s fun and fits into their sound. Ray has great volume, meaning Monika needs to pull from her “bootstraps.” Ray’s having a hard time hitting the high notes. Cher finds Monika too inconsistent. Blake doesn’t want Ray to hold back.

Song: Some Kind of Wonderful

Me: Monika does improve on her performance based on the first time she sang the song in rehearsals, but it just doesn’t come close enough to comparing to Ray. I would have liked to have heard E.G. or Donna from yesterday’s Battles singing it instead of Monika.
Christina: She felt Ray was digging a little more deeper, while Monika had a great moment opening up the second verse.
Cee Lo: There’s a difference between singing and sanging, and Ray can sang. Monika seemed to get lost a little in the vibe.
Adam: He’s still mad at Monika for not turning around for him, and Ray is capable of so much he couldn’t see in the blinds. He has a lot of talent.
Blake: He loves Monika’s freedom onstage, and trying to get her to do the same thing twice is like herding cats. Ray just “sang the crap out of that” and showed range.
Winner: Ray (with his toddler daughter rooting for him loudly in the audience)
Steal: Cee Lo steals Monika, surprisingly. Christina know it’s because she’s using her heart just like him.

I’m surprised Monika was stolen, but it’s interesting that Christina believes it’s because of emotional reasons rather than her talent. If anyone is going to make choices based on emotion, though, it’s Cee Lo. Being that he said earlier he wasn’t stealing because he was waiting or just the right person, it seems strange.

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