Monday, July 06, 2009

The Next Food Network Star Episode 5

Bear with me people. It was a long weekend and I'm not feeling particularly funny....

After her success last week, Melissa is feeling a mite cocky.

Debbie is a bit more realistic.

You mean they saw something in Guy Fieri other than "douchebag?"

At the Food Network Kitchens, Bobby Flay introduces the wannabes to a monitor which holds the frightening countenance of one Rachael Ray.

Rachael starts blathering on about how much she loves kids as food. Or maybe that was kids AND food. Anyway, I tuned out after the first time she said "yum-o."

The grown-up food turns out to be Brussels sprouts, squid, and tofu. Sorry, but I know grown-ups who won't touch at least one or two of the above. Hi Dad!

Jamika thinks it's a challenge for Dinner: Impossible.

Debbie ponders the possibilities.

Kid Bibimbap! Mmmm!

Because there are three ingredients and six wannabes, there are duplicates. Jeffrey and Jamika both get stuck with tofu, Melissa and Michael get Brussels sprouts, and Katie and Debbie get squid.

For this challenge, the tasting panel comprises Bobby Flay, Rachael Ray, and three brats precious imps, Kylie, Michael, and Angela. Each wannabe must do a 2 minute on-camera presentation while the kids make faces and gagging noises at him or her.

The squid gals are the first to face the firing squad.

I really can't stand looking at Katie. She's like something out of a horror movie, and that's before prosthetic make-up. The thought of having both her and Rachael Ray on camera together :::shudder::::

Watch out! She's unhinging her jaw!

Rainbow, huh? Do you ever wonder why it all comes out some shade of brown?

You were destined to cook squid for kids? God doesn't like you very much, does he?

Debbie likes to remind her audience of her heritage, just in case someone mistakes her for, say, Polish.

Surprisingly, the kids turn out to be pretty good judges who make more insightful comments than the smug chefly twits on Chopped! or Top Chef. Hi Scott Conant!

Next up were Melissa and Michael. Melissa pureed Brussels sprouts into a pale green goo and mixed them into mashed potatoes. Now, I love both veg, but that doesn't sound good to me. (I don't believe in "hiding" vegetables, either.) She didn't finish her presentation in time.

Michael started out sure - he made "puppets" by skewering Brussels sprouts and frying them. But his presentation was a big mess. Like a bad burrito, he kept repeating himself.

Yeah, but don't worry - you'll do much worse later on.

Finally, we have Jeffrey and Jamika. Jeffrey talks about cooking for his son, and his food and presentation are appreciated by all. Jamika, on the other hand, got too consumed with doing stupid things like pretending corn silk was earrings or a moustache and ran out of cooking time.

She was, understandably, upset with herself.

Yeah, but don't worry - you'll do much worse later on.

For the next challenge, the wannabes have to take kid food and transform it into adult fare. And present it on the Rachael Ray show. Debbie gets all giggly and excited at the mere thought of being on the Rachael! Ray! Show! and pees in her pants.

For crap's sake - it's not Oprah.

This time, the pairs will work together. Katie and Debbie have to do mac and cheese and chicken nuggets, Melissa and Mike get tomato soup and grilled cheese, and Jeffrey and Jamika have hot dogs and baked beans. Except for the infernal chicken nugget, I don't consider any of the foods to be "kid food." (Mac & cheese, tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches = heaven. As long as none of it came out of a box or can.) To me, kid food is ketchup sandwiches (ketchup on white bread), peanut butter and grape jelly (on white bread), and bologna (on white bread). Not that I ate any of that stuff as a kid - I ate...Brussels sprouts, squid, and tofu.

The teams head to the market to buy ingredients and contemplate the task at hand. None of the wannabes seem to be on the same wavelength as their partner. That could be a bad thing, or it could prove to be quite entertaining. But then this is the Food Network so "entertaining" is out.

After shopping, they have 1 1/2 hours to prep in the Food Network kitchens.

The next morning, Melissa and Michael go first.

...or, it might be a big steamy pile of poo.

Melissa took off like an out-of-control train, barreling down the tracks and threatening to take out anything in her way.

And Michael was freaked out by the plethora of cameras.

He said he felt like they were judging him. Honey, the cameras are the only thing out there that *won't* judge you.

Food-wise, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, and Speak No Evil (see above) thought it was pretty good.

Next up were Debbie and Katie.

While making cheese sauce, Debbie tossed in some garlic with the excuse, "I'm Korean." Hunh. I thought she was maybe Transylvanian or something. Otherwise, she was very natural and relaxed in front of the camera.

On the other hand, Katie droned a bunch of boring good-for-you whole-wheat blather, all the while making eye contact with neither audience nor camera.

Katie's baked chicken breast fingers were predictably dry but the shrimp mac and cheese was "pretty good." Must have been the garlic.

Last, and maybe even least, were Jeffrey and Jamika. He started talking and wouldn't shut up; meanwhile, Jamika stood there like a statue. Eventually she started working on the beans but in a robotic just-going-through-the-motions manner.

Fogelstein couldn't believe her eyes. And Jamika was, once again, understandably, upset with herself.

Finally, after all three of the painful presentations were over, Rachael Ray tells the wannabes that only 5 of them will be going on a field trip for the next episode - to hot-n-steamy Miami, where they will not only be judged on their culinary expertise and ability to make love to the camera, but also on their beach bodies.

Ha! Just kidding! We don't want to see any of them in a Speedo.

The wannabes meet the Selection Committee in the Screaming Yellow Room of Doom. This week the lights are reasonably dim. First we hear Bride of Fogelstein complimenting Katie.

Tushface agrees. They thought she was scary and condescending in the children's challenge. Rainbows!

They next complimented Debbie on her confidence level on the RR show....

...but told her to knock off the Korean crap unless it had a point.

They then questioned Melissa's use of raw Brussels sprouts in the mini challenge. She felt rushed for time and wasn't able to explain their presence during the presentation. And I care so little about her, I didn't even listen when she finally explained it, nor did I bother to write it down. Zzzz.

Next they ripped into Michael. Fogelstein says she thinks he is chaotic, which of course is part of his charm.

It's that red hair/purple tie combo again.

Jamika and Jeffrey were next. The judges thought they behaved in a matter that was uncharacteristic for either of them, and it was uncomfortable to watch. That pretty much sums up this whole show, doesn't it?

They deem Melissa, Jeffrey, and Debbie to be safe (no winner though) and shooed all of them out of the room in order to deliberate on who was being voted off the island this week.

And the loser is...Katie! Woo hoo! No more nutritionist bullshit and scary pop eyes!

Next week: Melissa throws everyone under the bus!


Kristine said...

If Rooster Boy (or just Cock, if your Stefan Richter)wins this, I may have to cancel my cable. Cartoons are supposed to be on Nickelodeon.

John said...

But would she make Kid Bibimbap? Oh, I think Debbie's Korean BTW.

I never noticed that about Katie's jaw. At least we never need to see it again.

I'll work on that Melissa pic.

Miss Ginger Grant said...

I'm not sure why I watch this remarkably bad show on this remarkably bad channel! I think it's just because it makes me feel like I'm "in the know" when I read your recaps, which I wouldn't miss for the world!

PS> have I ever mentioned how much I HATE Rachel Ray? WHY DOES SHE SCREAM EVERYTHING SHE SAYS? That's why she's so hoarse all the time!

Johnny said...

Thanks for the commentary so I don't have to watch this train wreck. I even enjoyed the shot at the judges on the other FN shows. I'd love to see the Chopped judges have to compete on that show and make lame excuses.

LauraK said...

I almost forgot to watch this week because I was on vacation.

I tuned in late, missed the quickfire, and then fell asleep before the end. Captivating show.

I don't really care about any of these people but I think the Korean girl is going to win.