Or "The One Where Adam Got Sent Home" (mark my words).***
I really should have turned this into a drinking game. But I just haven't bothered to outline how! So some rough guidelines:
Once for any time somebody says something stupid (like TC4 Andrew's "culinary boner" comments)
Once for any time somebody does something stupid (like Jen's christening the one-hour turducken last week)
Thrice for any time Lisa mentions the "Three C's" (she hasn't done this since episode one, so the rare Three C reference merits that much)
Once for each time a contestant cries (It's a show, people.)
Feel free to add your own!
And now, the festivities...
10:00 BTW, I think the most likely eliminees tonight are as follows:
How close will I get tonight?
10:01 Uh-oh, just heard thunder. This might not get through to the end here. Stay tuned...
10:02 Whoa, Lisa, what the hell was that on your head? No drink.
OMG - Adam wants to get to the final four? You're kidding.
10:03 Bobby has a secret spy message from Agent 30, er, Rachael Ray. They are cooking for the Rachael Ray show. Oh boy oh boy oh boy!!!
10:04 Captain Obvious Statement of the Show goes to Aaron: "I have a problem in front of the camera." Er, drink?
Double uh-oh: Brownie Troop 2113 is tasting tonight!
10:05 This must be these kids' wildest fantasies: make what these kids love. Er, what is with this kid that likes broccoli and pizza?
10:06 Okay Kelsey they want you to be an authority but you didn't have to call her a shrimp!
10:06 Lisa, why don't you just speak ONLY in French to the kid? Call 'em haricots verts till the cows come home, but to everybody else they are fucking green beans! DRINK! (UPDATE - Okay, to the kids at least they are. And me.)
10:07 DRINK! Adam admitted he is still mentally trapped in childhood.
Meanwhile Shane is having absolutely no luck with this kid. There goes that lucrative career as a fourth grade teacher!
10:08 Kelsey is aiming to lose the quickfire by making crap that a college student would normally eat. Didn't look appetizing. Aaron's broccoli-burger pita pizza looks better.
Adam's BBQ-packed spinach pita might actually not be a bad idea after all. The second thing that the judges don't spit out?
10:09 Flatiron steak with horseradish sauce is Lisa's choice. I totally agree that you should not dumb down your food for children. But something just tells me that these girls are not going to eat anything covered in horseradish sauce.
10:11 Coming up: Tuschie rips Lisa and Shane each a new hole - but as quietly and reservedly as possible.
10:13 I wish I had something like that Fivethirtyeight.com to tack how the different Next Food Network Star contestants were doing. And Kelsey is polling high in North Dakota, but can she pull off a win over Shane in Maryland? We'll see...
10:15 Now the gang head on over to EVOO Studios for a little pep talk and a friendly giggle.
Sweet Jesus, she has an organization called "Yum-O"!? I felt this one coming: DRINK!
10:16 Aaron, dude, everything makes you nervous. Michaela will help you though.
As much as I can't stand La Ray, I do admit this is a great idea - cook a dish in under four minutes, with a kid. Just don't keep your back to the camera. Or the kid - you should've seen the messes I made in the kitchen when I was nine!
10:17 Dang, it actually looks pretty good. I think Aaron is overcoming his on-screen jitters. That's what he needs: a Girl Scout next to him as his itty bitty sous chef. The judges agree: Aaron is in the moment, and he is back on his game. He's not going home.
10:18 Okay, I know I am not the only one thinking this will be the Battle of the Annoying Food Network Stars. I'm just sayin'.
10:19 Kelsey goes for the Paula/Ina moment with just a bit o' butter. Kelsey defers to sous chef Demetra and, er, talk her thorugh this. It would look more appetizing but the yogurt looks, um, not like yogurt to me.
Meatballs AND eggs AND bananas with yogurt? Dear Lord, it's brunch!
10:21 Well YEAH, Kelsey, delegating the cooking duties isn't the best way to do that segment.
10:22 Based on the preview of the next three contestants, if they actually air this episode of The Rachael Ray Show I might actually break down and watch it (which would be a first). More for the MST3K value of the experience, mind you.
10:26 You're ta-kin' his, you take Shane's self-con-tro-hole... Shane is so engaged with the food - and so ignoring Francesca. She certainly looks like she's enjoying herself. I can picture him in the kitchen with his future daughter-or-son: "Okay, sweetie, come watch Daddy cook!"
10:28 Dang, Rachael really is a charmer with the kids, yes?
Francesca: "I **SNIFF** want **SNIFF** to **SNIFF** go **SNIFF** home **SNIFF**"
10:29 And now Lisa comes to teach this kid a graduate seminar on haricots verts and horseradish cream sauces. At least she prepped it before. "Kid, you just go ahead and dump it in that bowl there. Just make a big mess!"
10:30 Oh my word, that look on Lisa's face just screams "I WILL KILL YOU ALL".
10:31 Couscous really is a kid-friendly dish, no? And Lisa also made a hell of a lot of stuff. Wow.
10:33 So far I think the contestants rank like this (the first being the most likely to go home tonight:
1. Kelsey (wow, way to fall from last week, dude)
2. Shane (you too)
Where will Adam squeeze himself into that line-up?
10:35 Looks like Ted Allen has forsaken Bravo for an Alton Brown-esque gig on the Food Network. The man is adorable, no?
10:36 And it's Adam and Shanasia. Oh how cute - he's her sous chef. Way to blame the kid, man. Real class.
Oh my, he's engaging. And in a good way. And look how he's utilizing that sous chef. Could Adam be saving his hairy little butt tonight?
10:37 What kid likes spinach? Does Shanasia get a spinach merit badge for that?
10:38 Damn, Adam, I am amazed! This time last week if someone had told me, "No, Adam will pull it out of the fire and do well next week," I would've called you a fool. AND he made something that was edible, too!
10:39 And the next challenge will take the final four finalists to Vegas! So who ain't goin' to Vegas? Well, my money is on either Kelsey or Shane. Which surprises me, considering how much the judges ooh'd and aah'd over them these last few weeks.
Even more surprisingly, I think Adam might actually win tonight.
10:44 The judges are grinning. No, more so than normal.
10:45 And now the judges' comments:
Aaron: Turn your back on the audience and you make us MAD! At least you pulled it out in the end. He worked it like a pro, dude.
Adam: For a change, it tasted good. And Bobby still makes the "How much do you actually know about food?" comment - and everybody glances at him. Maybe it was too little too late?
Kelsey: Be more authoritative does not mean, "COOK FOR ME NOW!!!" You have all the authority of a TA on her first day of school.
Shane: If your kid was so shy, why did you feel the need to ignore her? Technical-yet-joyless. Ah, just like home, right Shane? Take-home message: technique still can't be soulless.
Lisa: Blah blah blah, something in French.
Lisa: "The kid told ME 'I want couscous' as soon as I told her to. So SNAP! back atcha, beeyatch!" **cocks head in confrontational way**
OMG the look on that Brownie's face was priceless. The one where Lisa is ranting on "I LOVE YOU!" like a deranged Barney.
I'll have to wait for Minx to put up a picture of it. Until then, here's one I have found on the internet just now to demonstrate:
10:55 Okay, I think Kelsey or Shane is going. Probably Shane. Yep, Shane.
Aaron and Adam are the first who are safe!
And now it's down to Lisa, Kelsey and Shane:
Kelsey: I'm empassioned? And I can inspire? (College accent, hence the question marks)
Lisa: Didn't catch that.
Shane: I have a ton of inspiration. No, really, I do!!! Why is that so hard to believe!?
10:57 Kelsey: has less authority and more passion.
Shane: Has more knowledge and zip/zero/zilch life experience.
Lisa: Apparently they think she is evil. Can she go the distance?
I still think it's Shane.
10:58 The next to move on is... Lisa. She's speechless and teary. DRINK!
And the last one to Vegas is... Kelsey.
Sorry dude. Shane seems disappointed. But I can't really tell.
10:59 And so our final four are goin' to Vegas where they meet up with Paula Deen. I was wondering when she'd show up.
11:00 What's with all the bees?
POST-GAME ANALYSIS - Wow. I was so wrong about how tonight would turn out. How I thought people would do at the beginning, from best to worst, actually wound up going the other way. Last week's Wonder Twins were this week's bottom two, while last week's guys-who-just-missed-getting-kicked-out were the first two to get the great news. I really don't know how next week will turn out. But mark my words: the person going home will be... get ready for it... a human.
Well that narrows it down to, oh, everybody. But you can't say I'm wrong, can you?
*** From the top of the post: Yes, I was wrong. Don't mark my words after all.