Sunday, July 13, 2008

TNFNS4 Live-Blogging: Vegas Throwdown

Thunder is a-boomin' again tonight, and it's damn loud. So if there is no live-blog tonight, or if it stops abruptly midstream, you know why.

Since the judges keep pulling the rug out from under us, I'm just not bothering to predict a damn thing now. Predictions will come during the show...

10:01 Okay, yadda yadda yadda, just get it the hell over. Malaise is a-settin' in, y'all...

10:02 Talk about a red-eye flight! What,, is it 4:30 or something?

Ah, Southwest. The only airline that still doesn't even charge for two checked bags, much less one.

10:03 Uh, Kelsey, that ain't the real Caesar.

10:04 That table reminds me a wee bit of the Gershwin Hotel. Just silly fun stuff.

10:05 And fresh in from her gig in Tunica, Mississippi, is La Dean herself. Leese reminisces about her granny from the Volunteer State. DRINK if you don't know what state that is!

10:06 Paula: "Food brings people together, transcending: races, sexes, countries, religions, sexual orientations, height, even vegetarians and meat eaters!" A culinary UN. Join hands and sing "Kumbaya, My Lord!"

10:07 And El Flay makes 'em do some fucking throwdown. ***ROLLEYES***

Oh what's this? A 75 minute throwdown/interview!? Again, DRINK!

Dayna Devon, fresh in from The Soup Extra, gets ready to interview while Lisa and Adam have to make each other's dishes - Lisa makes Adam's mac and cheese, Adam makes Leese's cassoulet.

10:09 Adam = ChaOs! Lisa = Cassoulet! Mmmm, beans and sausage. Adam zhuzhes it up with several types of sausage and pestos.

Adam = Cassoul-aos?

10:10 Adam loves the boxed mac n' cheese, and so he tries to make his totally different (!?!?) DRINK! Lisa makes it her own by... um... making a goat cheese sauce with grilled poblano and tomato. Yep, SIMPLE!

10:11 And speaking of simple: Adam's making LOBSTER MAC! Sigh. DRINK!

10:16 Well, a good idea from Adam for a change: focus on the food. Hmmm, surprising.

Men can't do two things at once? Ha! Excuse me, Dayna, but... (stopping typing to look at the TV... What was I doing?

10:17 AND panko. I love panko, too, bud. I'd eat it every meal, well, cover everything I eat in it at least.

10:18 Lisa: Don't. Ever. Dance. Again.

10:19 Ooooh, NFNS4 pulls a fast one on us: Paula says she hates lobster mac n' cheese - but not YOURS, Adam!

10:20 Yikes - she really doesn't like Lisa's. Owwie.

Lisa has more luck with her cassoulet. Paula is verklempt. Ditto Bobby Flay. Northerners and Southerners love your cassoulet, Leese. It IS the meal of America! East of the Mississippi, at least.

Adam: your cassoulet sucks. Oh well!

10:22 I agree with Leese. She and Adam are on level ground - each excelled at his or her own dish, but loused up the other's.

10:26 And we are back. it's Kelsey and Aaron. Stuffed pork loin (Aaron's) and chicken parmagiana (Kelsey's). Actually, a rousing round of chess-boxing would be fun, too.

10:27 Aaron, um, buddy, don't bother with the sides. Uh, dear? Oh fuck it, he can't hear me anyway.

10:28 So, Kelsey pulls the old different-cut-of-meat trick. And Aaron further proves that ol' "men can't multitask" meme from 10:16.

10:29 wait, Aaron doesn't know what a chipotle pepper is? Well, it IS big n' bold, that's for sure. Kelsey goes for ittybitty and dainty.

10:30 Aaaand who's more annoying: Kelsey or Extra's Danya Devon?

WTF? Fifteen minutes before the end of the 75-minute challenge, and Aaron is the very last person to realize that he forgot to do the chicken. This is worth a whole page of


I guess men really can't multitask!

10:32 Of course, the real irony of that Budweiser ad is that the company is now owned part-and-parcel by a Belgian country. Maybe it won't taste like piss now?

10:34 God puts them back on almost even footing by making Kelsey overcook her chicken parm. "LOOK BOBBY I KNOW WHAT I AM DOING! ***BIG GRIN***" DRINK!

10:36 Well well well, Aaron finished the chicken in time after all!

Let's see how the judges liked the chicken parm...

Kelsey: chicken parm satay!

Aaron: garlic cream sauce chicken parm.

Kelsey's sauce pleases Bobby. Suze looks happy. Paula notes its appetizer-like ittibittiness. Aaron, on the other hand, whipped up a soul-satisfying chicken parm in just fifteen minutes! Eat that, Rachael Ray!

10:38 Kelsey's and Aaron's pork go in different directions. Aaron's is sweet and heat, Kelsey's is restauranty. Oh, was her pork what was overcooked? It's incredibly small, that's for sure.

10:39 And Kelsey's meat was fugly. Just smack her why don't ya?

10:40 Okay, so where are we now? well, let's assess:

Lisa and Adam: pretty even. Each had one fabulous dish, and one sucky dish. Paula said she hated Lisa's mac n' cheese, and everyone agreed Adam's cassoulet was "beginner-y". I'll say they're even. I just don't know how they'll be assessed on these guys' personalities.

Kelsey: Both of her dishes were weak and petite. Tasty, but...

Aaron: just wiped the floor with her. And he almost forgot one of his dishes. And that was even without multitasking. And with one hand tied behind his back! And without anyone to tell him what chipotle is!

As for personality: I don't think Aaron made a good or bad impression on the judges, but Kelsey seemed to look amateurish to them again.

So I think the likeliest to go home tonight is Kelsey, followed by either Lisa or Adam. Aaron, I think, is safest of these four, despite his forgetting the chicken parm.

10:44 And we are at judges' table...

10:45 And "Garza vs Gertzler" are up. Adam's best dish ever was his lobster mac n' cheese. Lisa's energy was very go-getter-y, but not for her mac n' cheese.

Cassoulet: represents Lisa perfectly, while Adam makes cassoulet porridge. Mmmm. Cue the rain of bears.

Personality wise? Lisa is nervous making. Adam = ungracious? I didn't get that. Well okay, he didn't look up. Ah, so his humor needed to be there.

10:47 And then they inquire about his viewpoint. And there's Tuschie's critique: you have no passion, dude.

Kelse vs Aaron: Pork-wise, Aaron's pork was beautiful, Kelsey's not so much. threw her POV out the window.

Chicken parm? Kelsey made it cooked and crispy, but the sauce didn't go with it. Aaron's? Chicken was cooked perfectly. I KNEW Aaron would be... oooooh, Aaron's performance was sucky.

Dude: talk and cook at the same time, not talk, stop, cook, stop, talk, stop, cook, stop. I'm painting my living room while I type this, man. Look at me! I'm multitasking!

10:50 Kelsey: "Well this one time? At culinary camp?" DRINK if you can't figure out that reference without cheating...

And self-critiques all around.

10:51 Let me guess: circle back.

I hate circle back.

10:52 Y'know, I'm just thinking back to Aaron's forgetting the chicken dish. It's just amazing how he not only pulled it out of the fire, but so perfectly. Of course, since he fears the camera and can't talk while cooking, it may all be for naught.

10:54 Okay, now I'm kind of clueless. I truly have no idea who is going home. I no longer think Aaron is safe, that's for sure. Nope, any one of these bozos could go bye-bye. So I'll just pick a random name and say, er, um, Kelsey!

10:55 And now the problems with our final four:


Aaron: Great until he's in front of a camera. What's the point of having your own TV show then?

Kelsey: PERSONALITY!!! Crispy, too.

Adam: Learning on their dime. Bob thinks he's dispassionate about food.

10:56 And Aaron is safe first, followed by Lisa. Didjeridoo music sends them off for some strange reason.

10:57 I think it might be Adam now. He's overdue and Bob don't like him.

10:58 And I shoulda stuck with my first guess. I lose whenever I play along in the car with NPR's Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me! too. Kelso walks off with a perky smile and a chirpy crispiness! And hey, she got to the final four.

10:59 Aaaaand the final free, er, three, psychoanalyze themselves.

11:00 And next week our last three eliminees are brought back as sous chefs. Looks like a buffet for Vegas workers.

And a first in the history of the show? Let me guess: they're not eliminating anyone, right? Please Sue, Project Runway pulled this in Season 3.

POST-GAME ANALYSIS: Did I not say a few weeks back that Aaron was going to the finals? I did! Still not quite sure how Adam made it there. But seriously, with all the problems Aaron has on-screen, I just don't see him winning.

So my assessment for the final three is as follows:


And she didn't even have to mention those pesky Three C's.

Now excuse me: I'm watching The Soup.


Anonymous said...

Damn it. Kelsey was the best on screen personality. Her food was accessible, it was things that I wanted to eat, and I could learn from her. Adam is too screwball to learn from, Lisa is a bit too intimidating, and Aaron doesn't know how to cook and teach. Her show is one that I actually would have wanted to watch.

John said...

Wow, that was THE fastest comment I've ever had after one of these posts! True, she has personality - though I do like Adam's too. But again, I'm really not sure why he is still there.

Screwball: yep, that pretty much sums up Adam. I think he's gone next week, and I kinda liked him, too! Really though, maybe I'm blind but I just don't see how Lisa is intimidating. Must just be me since EVERYONE seems to see this from what I'm reading.

bertski said...

Baltimore Snacker you rock.... but AARON ROCKS !!!

Lisa is a Vulcan goddess. I love her but my boy Aaron is tearing it up. C'mon ... did u see how amazing that Pork Loin was presented. And really ... during a taped show, Aaron will have a MINIMAL adjustment period in front of the camera ... believe me ... he'll be just like he is during the in-between clips ... comfortable, natural, funny and cool.

Adam is cool as a cucumber .. its the Philly in him but he has no shot against the culinary chops of Aaron or Lisa.

From Worst To First... From the Gutter to Butter. Lots of wine tonight (Artesa Pinot Noir).... Pouring some for my homey. Till next week.

John said...

First off, thanks. I try to rock :D

His presentation was good, definitely, especially with that 15-minute chicken parm! but again, the judges keep on bringing up his timidity in front of the camera. If he's taking it to the top, TushCo will want to see Aaron get some stronger TV chops. I could see either Aaron or Lisa winning - not Adam. Not that I don't LIKE the boy, I just think he won't win.

theminx said...

Dunno about Lisa winning - she's been doing a lot of bitching and moaning recently on the Food Network Addict's blog.

I hope Aaron wins.