Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Next-to-Last Episode of the Next Food Network Star

This week we see that the final trio of wannabes is still soaking up the cigarette smoke and the rich fragrance of flop sweat at the blackjack tables in Lost Wages. For this penultimate challenge, they are herded to the Venetian where they wait for something interesting to float out of the canal. Sucks to be them because all they get is a big turd boat full of Guy Fee-eddy, accompanied by Bobby Flay.

Rid the world of the bristle-headed bozo!

Like I said, sucks to be you, Leese.

Fee-eddy explains the upcoming challenge to the wannabes. Each will be spirited off to a different cheeseball location on the strip and forced to memorize an equally cheesy 30-second promo written by the Food Network especially for them.

Lisa is taken to Charlie Palmer's Aureole in the Mandalay Bay, admittedly one of the less-cheese-ical spots in town. She is wardrobed in black and harnessed-up Bond-age style and hoisted into the gimmicky Wine Tower for her promo. She gets about 14 seconds to learn her lines, understandably *@$#-ing them up several times, completely frustrating herself. The fact that the harness is probably crushing her ladyparts is not helping.

Ever the trouper, she tries to look on the bright side of things.

Aaron films his spot on the casino floor at Planet Hollywood, aided by Bobby Flay. He was nervous and a bit stiff, but in the end did a pretty good job of it.

Adam goes off to Bally's to canoodle with members of the "most critically acclaimed topless revue" (according to Bally's site) Donn Arden's Jubilee. He did not appear to successfully talk the ladies into removing articles of clothing, although he did offer to take off his pants and show them his hairy Tuschman.

But wait, Aaron - it gets worse. Fee-eddy returns! He announces the elimination challenge - create an "over-the top monster buffet" for fifty guests. Each wannabe gets six hours to make at least five dishes. And to make matters worse, they get "helpers" - Shane, Jennifer, and Kelsey.

The wannabes shop at Whole Paycheck where Lisa leaves behind a 5+lb package of monkfish filets and Adam begs for a donation of wood. Get your mind out of the gutter! Hickory wood! For smoking. Damn, Adam, just carry your food through any casino and you're sure to end up with a smoked product by the time you leave!

We then see boring scenes of cookery. Apart from the wide selection of asshats, Top Chef this ain't.

The wannabes set up their buffets and await the guests. It turns out to be a bunch of performers - guys who appear to be from Spamalot but may well just be bellhops at Excalibur, a selection of female impersonators, chefs from the Wynn, and "singer-comedian -impressionist-actor" Danny Gans who was so Botoxed-up and perma-tanned, he looked like Wayne Newton.

Lisa decided it was time to show another facet of her personality and sang her presentation.

Although it initially looked like he was going to play the harmonica, instead Aaron said something utterly stupid about having an eating disorder and forks in his pocket.

Joan Rivers (or is that Doctor Joyce Brothers? or is it Regis Philbin's wife?), Diana, and Cher were not impressed.

Adam merely bored the crowd.

After the painful presentations, the entertainers stampeded the buffet. They complimented both Lisa's and Adam's food.

Back at Seizures Caesar's...

...the judges discussed the promos as well as the buffets and deemed that Aaron's 30 seconds displayed "winner's energy." His buffet, on the other hand, failed because of the inexpensive pasta dishes, although his crabcake was very well-received.

Lisa's promo looked pretty good to me after editing, and she was complimented on her "huge huge risk" in singing for her supper. The buffet itself was praised for looking like who she was.

Adam's promo turned out well. His buffet also received accolades, particularly for his smoked pork chop which was the favorite overall dish. Unfortunately, it was clear that he did not prepare well for the presentation portion of the program. He cried, because someone has to cry every week.

Because everyone pretty much sucked evenly this week, the judges decided to do something never before done...on TNFNS. Top Chef already did it this season. Yes, they decided to not eliminate anyone this week and have all three go back to NY to compete in the finale.

Only one more week left, people! Thanks for slogging through this with me!