Sunday, July 20, 2008

NFNS4 Live-Blogging: Ultimate Vegas Buffet

Ah yes, Las Vegas. City of buffets. At least, that's how I remember the massive one they had at the Aladdin (now the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino). So much! And all for just $21 (that was Thanksgiving of 2003). And if you work there, it's probably not that much at all. Of course, now they have some cruddy, "even more overpriced than normal since it's Vegas" Planet Hollywood menu. Yekhkh.

So our final three find themselves making buffets for Vegas' many casino employees. Ooooh, I wonder what Celine Dion will be having?

How about tonight's loser's head on a stick? The way things have been going I am just clueless about anyone's chances tonight. Adam was a sure thing to leave last week - and he's one of Paula Deen's favorites! Kelsey was oooh'd and aaah'd over for the last few weeks - and then she gets booted unceremoniously.

And now it's down to Adam, Aaron and Lisa. Each has unique problems, but I'm going to go out on a limb and make some predictions (which echo the ones I made last week, about this week). I have it broken down into pros and cons:

Most likely to leave tonight:

Pros: Winning personality; usually funny; food has been tasting better lately
Cons: Food still doesn't usually taste as good as what the others make; is a goofball; Tuschie doesn't like him; possibly nuts.

Most Likely First-Runner-Up:

Pros: Did you see him make that chicken parmigiana in just 15 minutes!?; fans seem to adore him; food is tasty; makes French food (one of the three cuisines the Food Network is allowed to showcase on a regular basis) accessible to the masses
Cons: Did you see him forget to make that chicken parmigiana for the first 60 minutes of last week's challenge?; is deathly afraid of the camera.

Least Likely to lose:

Pros: Feisty; somewhat more interesting than her competitors; food is usually tasty; has fewer problems than the men - not afraid of the camera (Aaron?), not prone to catastrophic mess-ups due to semi-hilarious comedic entrances (Adam?)
Cons: is more of a diva than the other contestants (though still not as much of one as this yutz:

Y'all knew you'd see him again at some point;

possibly nuttier than Adam (bloggers, apparently, have it in for her); not well-liked by fans or, again, bloggers
And: The whole "Lisa-won't-blog-no-more" thing - is she just hiding something about her possible win? (Or someone else's, maybe?)

But don't ask me about the odds. I think things will play themselves out this way over the next two weeks, but I haven't had the best track record. Too bad the folks at aren't calling the odds on this instead of that other big contest, President of the United States.

9:58 Just catching the Mad Men marathon before the show starts. God, these people smoke too much.

10:00 I really, really don't think I can handle an hour of Guy Fieri.

10:01 Oh, I forgot: something they've never done before. now that I think about it, they probably won't be sending anyone home tonight.

I totally forgot Kevin was on the show.

10:02 Adam is so adorable in the morning.

And our finalists head to the Venetian, which - honest to God - truly does look like daytime inside all the time. It really looks like it's natural sunlight but it's not! I'm serious - go to Vegas, check into Circus Circus, and walk over to the Venetian to see it.

10:03 Aaron: "Promos!?!?!? ***HYPERVENTILATION***" DRINK!

10:04 Wine angels?

Lisa has been dragged to the Mandalay Bay. They're putting her in a ridiculous getup and hoisting her up on cables. Apparently she is afraid of heights.

10:05 How can I cook six peas in a penguin!? - half-remembered quote from "This Year's Model," the Season 3 episode of Family Ties where Elyse is filming a frozen dinner commercial

10:06 Lisa is not happy with her performance. C'mon Leese - why WOULDN'T anyone perform normally while suspended in the air grabbing wine bottles?

Aaron is in the New York New York casino, still hyperventilating about that big camera-shaped thing.

10:07 Quest que c'est "Night of the Living Dead"?

10:08 These tourists are staring at him like he has lobsters crawling out of his shirt. The last take was better.

Lie of the night - Aaron: "I have no more fears". Yeah keep tellin' yourself that.

10:09 Bally's has a casino?

The Jubilee Theater and two gorgeous Vegas showgirls await Adam with a tux. Frankly, he'd look funnier in the showgirl costume.

10:10 Line of the night: Adam: " show is handmade **BLEEP**"

Adam's a bit cockier than he should've been. Dummmb, da-dummmb-dummmb-dummmmmmmmmmmb.

10:12 I knew they fired that English guy from Dinner: Impossible! I'm not going crazy after all!

10:14 Damn, the Wynn is gorgeous! Another hotel I won't be staying at.

The challenge: each person must create his or her own buffet.

10:16 More to the point: cook for the employees and many Vegas chefs, in 6 hours, and a budget of $1,000. And shop at Whole Foods, which'll get them each three bags full of food!

10:17 Uh, Lisa, forgot something? Hope she caught, oh Lisa, um,... oh well.

10:18 And our sous-chefs are Mr. Lack of Personality, Ms. Perky-Personified and Jennifer. (No snappy nickname for her, already put her out of my mind.) Wait, didn't she get eliminated before Nipa? Guess somebody couldn't be bothered to come back...

10:19 Adam needs a smoker. Dude, just go to Mad Men. Even the kids smoke on that show, right?

10:20 And Lisa figures out what she left behind. It just dawned on me: couldn't the camera crew have been bothered to tell her she dropped something?

Coming up: Adam yells, Aaron laughs, Lisa sings, and some irritating kid in a tux and sneakers stands on a big red dot.

10:25 The finalists look so adorable in their dress whites!

10:26 Aaron has 100 pasta dishes on the menu?

My God, look at all this stuff they're making here. One thing is for sure: this is not Lisa's day. her pork crown is burned on the outside, but at least it ain't raw. Eggs, Adam?

10:27 Lisa's display is elegant, Adam's is over-the-top, and Aaron's... intimidated.

10:28 Pirates, drag queens, Spamalot cast, and the chefs of the Wynn Resort are all here. Folks, put on a show for 'em.

10:29 Lisa is trying out for the next Nashville Star (don't quit your day job, Wynonna). One knight is in shock. The food does look delicious.

10:30 Aaron? WTF? DRINK!

10:31 After crashing and burning, Aaron finally leaves the "comedy" to Adam, and introduces his buffet.

Aaron: Don't. Ever. Do. That. Again.

10:32 Adam could do a bag over his head and do better than that last bit (ouch). Instead Adam avoids being goofy and just yells a lot.

I wonder who got on Cher's bad side? You do not want to get on a drag queen's bad side, okay?

10:36 Wow. Vegas is weird.

God, Tony and Tina just can't stop bickering at each other even for a big buffet like this one.

Le Rêve: should anyone be forced to wear that around her neck?

A picture was linked here last night from a travel website, and the photographer was fully credited. The link has since been removed. Assuming it was done on purpose, to stop "copyright infringement" (or free publicity for the website and photographer), either the photographer or the proprietor of the website is an asshole. I have therefore happily removed the website's and the photographer's names from this blog post.

10:38 Tuschie (to Lisa): you can sing! (kinda)

Yep, I'd be most intimidated by the chefs, too.

10:39 As for the chefs assessment of the food:

Aaron's was boring.

Adam's buffet was the best, and most well-executed.

Lisa's? Did she run out?

10:40 Judges abo0ut Aaron:

Crabcake was great, but the salad was boring, strange, blah.

Magician makes cream pie disappear

10:41 Why don't you kiss them instead of talking them to death?

10:44 I'm still amazed that they want to win. I mean, who would've thought?

10:45 And now we're at Judges' Table:

Aaron: Promo had the flow, came a long way, but still some technical problems - until now

buffet: Whatever the hell that thing was before he served the meal fell hard and flat. As for the buffet? Pasta overkill, all overshadowed by those crabcakes. Not his best cooking moments tonight.

Lisa: Promo in the sky with wine! Hey, that looks like fun now that I think about it. At her best, she beams, and is her own worst competition.

As for the buffet: I'm sorry, the song annoyed me, but the buffet killed - in a good way! Guy got some of the dried pork.

Adam: Promo? Adam is pretty dashing in a tux (I bet he likes his dinner dates though). Sue thought his humor worked tonight.

And the buffet: he wasn't prepared for the presentation - he bored them. Now the food: put too much on his plate? Well, the pork and pizza worked well for him. The performers and chefs were most impressed by him of the three. Adam gets verklempt, Lisa and Aaron shoot darts at him. He feels incompetent next to Lisa and Aaron.

10:51 How much you wanna bet they send nobody home? That's what I think will happen: they send no one home. I'm just getting those Project Runway 3 vibes.

Oh, and did y'all know that the fifth season of Project Runway debuted this week? Neither did I! Now that PR is moving to Lifetime, Bravo is doing everything it can to send it out with a whimper.

10:56 Dramatic waiting scene

Judges' summary:

pro: confident,
con: likeable? Meh.


pro: you just like the guy
con: one really bad week


pro: his food was, hands down, the favorite tonight.
con: Oh - it's Bobby that hates him. No, Tuschie. No, Guy. No, Suze.


Frankenstar! Piece the best of each together!

10:59 I KNEW it! I just hope that none of them bitches about illegal stitch work.

POST-GAME ANALYSIS: I just knew they would do that. But I still like the idea of piecing the best of Lisa, Adam and Aaron together to create some weird Frankenchef. As long as they don't use Sandra Lee's liver - it must be shot to hell after all those "Cocktail Time" segments.


Anonymous said...

Man-what an unfair promo test for Lisa. Aaron just had to walk and talk. (And Bobby Flay was a lot more patient, supportive and encouraging for Aaron than Guy who was shaking his head at Lisa!.) Adam just had to hang out with a two showgirls and do a few choreographed moves. (And did you note how Guy was more supportive of Adam, too?) Lisa had to deliver her lines while on cables that she was obviously nervous if not terrified of! C'mon-dealing with heights and cables and everything else, versus walking and talking or being with showgirls? What's wrong with a little equality?!

John said...

Lisa certainly held up well with those cables. That just looks like fun to me. Craps? Bo-ring! And showgirls? Ick.

Anonymous said...

OK, so my air conditioner crashed and we had to go outside and check it out at judgement time. R U saying that no one is going home this week? I concur, I thought Lisa's promo was the toughest, but I think she pulled it off.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I agree that Lisa pulled it off, but it still seemed unfair. And wow-OK, I want Aaron kicked off for his whole "I have an eating disorder" comedy routine. It was more than just unfunny-it was callous, mean, and disgusting. I have a friend who is currently battling an eating disorder. It's NOT funny-it's heartbreaking. It's an illness like any other and should be treated that way. It's a tough thing to battle, and Aaron should be absolutely ashamed of himself, and frankly, Food Network should be ashamed of itself for airing it. What next-making fun of cancer patients or the developmentally disabled or tossing banana peels on handicap ramps? There's no excuse.

He should have been kicked off for that disgusting display alone. But-he didn't do well connecting to the cameras, again (although I'll grant that he did ok on the final promo), and his cooking wasn't great, either. There was nothing Vegas-like about his buffet, at all, and that was the point of the challenge. Do you send a guy home for one bad week? YES! How was his flubbed buffet, going all simple at what should have been a big, bold buffet, different from last week where Kelsey tried to please the judges by doing more gourmet-type meals? She had one bad week and she went home for it. Aaron should have not merely gone home, but been kicked out on his rear-end for the E.D. "comedy".

John said...

that's exactly what I was thinking with the "eating disorder" schtick that Aaron was doing. Very tasteless.

As for who didn't go home tonight (which was, again, everyone): the more I think about it, the more I think that the reason they sent nobody home was because they love Aaron so much that they didn't want to send him home while keeping Adam, who inarguably had the best food this week. If anybody was wondering before if any of the judges liked him at all, it should now be obvious: they do not like Adam. The only reason he hasn't been kicked off yet is because there is always someone worse than he.

Anonymous said...

I just don't like any of them. I prefer Top Chef. I KNOW it is for a group of people, but I still prefer it. Seriously, would you watch any of these people on a weekly basis?

John said...

I do agree. Top Chef is a bit more melodramatic, but these people are just irritating, in that Sandra Lee/Rachael Ray way. And look how much success the show has had in spawning new stars:

* Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh, a gay couple from New England who, though adorable enough, weren't exactly appointment TV (maybe Logo would make it into a more interesting show)
* Guy Fieri, the most irritating man on the Food Network (Can a heterosexual man be perky?)
* And Amy Finley (known by many Food Network fans as "Whatshername"), who won last season. A woman with the personality of wallpaper paste. And half as exciting, too.

God I am so MEAN! I'm not proud of this. How the heck did this happen? These people are human beings. Oh, but I'm sure they've all heard much worse.

theminx said...

You are mean. But that's why your blog is so entertaining :)

I think they're going to use Sandra Lee's liver - as a theme ingredient on the next episode of Iron Chef.