Two weeks ago on Top Chef they pulled the old bait and switch and you get a car and you get a car and you get a car and you’re all going to the Bahamas! So last week it was off to the tropical islands to get cookin’.
But before they can get to the Quickfire, everyone is just blown away by Richard’s beard.
One of our favorite pastimes on this blog is noting the preponderance of Crocs on Top Chef, so it wasn’t surprising to see today’s search term, “top chef crocs.” But this All-Stars season has been disappointingly devoid of the rubber footwear (as well as tattoos, which had become a recent Top Chef signature look). But luckily Season 9 court jester Angelo has provided us a worthy substitute.
As we touched on yesterday, in last week’s food meets fashion Quickfire challenge Angelo did his best to make pineapple skin look like a crocodile skin purse. Unfortunately, Angelo ran into two problems, 1) it looked disgusting, and b) he doesn’t know how to spell “crocodile.” Sorry, Angelo; the first rule of Top Chef is you don’t talk about Top Chef; the second rule is that you know how to spell crocodile. The third rule of Top Chef is that you don’t tell Issac Mizrahi that Roberto Cavalli is your favorite designer.
Before we talk out last night’s Top Chef: All-Stars, we need to talk about our feelings regarding Chinatown.
Chinatown is our least favorite part of Manhattan. That is, of course, if you even choose to consider the neighborhood part of Manhattan, which we have trouble doing. We recently had the misfortune of reporting to an office in the heart of Chinatown everyday, and it was a miserable experience (going to Chinatown, not the job). The Grand St. B-D station is our least favorite stop along the New York City subway’s 656 miles of track.1 We’ve long detested the experience of exiting that station, being hit with the foul stench of imported fish, most pungent in the mornings when the seafood is “fresh.” The neighborhood is a visual and olfactory nightmare of rotting fish, fruit with horns, garbage and garbage juice.
Unbelievably, we’re about to enter our third calendar year in existence. It seems like just yesterday we were scrambling to put together our best of the decade lists (which makes sense, because we didn’t actually post one of those until this week). In 2011 we hope to be even more timely, on-point and just plain better. Until then, let’s try to end 2010 on a high note with our not-at-all anticipated Best Shows of the Year:
1. Community: This was an absolute no-brainer. Far and away Community was the most original, ambitious, rewarding, warm, funny, creative, fearless show of 2010. It was just a little over a year ago when the show delivered its holiday episode, “Comparative Religion” (featuring mustachio’d Anthony Michael Hall), and we began to feel then that the show was truly building towards something special. When Community returned in January of this year it began what should be considered one of the greatest runs of any comedy series in television history, playing “can you top that?” with itself from week to week. Solid episodes like “Investigative Journalism” with Jack Black, “Physical Education” with a nearly naked Joel McHale, and the truly superb Goodfellas tribute “Contemporary American Poultry” culminated in the single best episode of 2010 across the board, the paintball-splattered, action movie homage masterpiece “Modern Warfare” (we know that we’ve already proclaimed the greatness of this episode, but it’s worth doing over and over again).
We did it guys! We made it to the end of another season of Survivor. And we’ll tell you what, despite what the general consensus seems to be, we found this to be a thoroughly entertaining season. Filled with a disconcerting number of weak, unlikable players, yes. Lacking a truly great storyline, showdown or blindside, perhaps. Nearly ruined with the loss of Jimmy Johnson, you bet. A total failure in attempting to change the game with the Medallion of Power, for sure. An all-time great Sole Survivor, not likely. But coming on the heels of All-Stars, we feared the worst. And, thanks in part to one of the more gratifying wins in recent memory (it certainly helps make up for giving the million to Sandra), Survivor: Nicaragua restored our faith in the franchise, proving it could still entertain and astonish, even without Russell Hantz, Tom Westman, or water-based challenges.
But before we get to the finale, we need to first revisit the trend that has dominated the most recent episodes.
Oh, Jen, you broke our heart. Not because you were eliminated from Top Chef: All-Stars on just the second episode, but because of the way you went out: bitter, rude, disrespectful. Now, Jen, don’t get us wrong, we love your feistiness, your spunk, your proclivity for profanity. There’s very little we enjoy more than a tough broad. And we were delighted that you returned for All-Stars with a renewed determination and confidence, after showing some mental weakness during your first go ’round in Vegas. But Padma Lakshmi is in a Carl’s Jr. commercial, so when you’re in front of the judge’s table you better show her some respect. Be a bitch, just be a classy bitch. Like Jackie O. Or Bea Arthur.
Because Top Chef: All-Stars starts tonight! (did we mention how excited we are for this? Oh, we did. Well, we’re going to say it again: We’re really excited for this).
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Our money is on Richard Blaise. And not because he was the clear favorite in Season 4 and, by his own admission, choked in the final. And not because we’ll squeeze an excessive amount of joy out of calling him “The Blaise.” But because The Blaise is rocking the orange Crocs. Dude is angling for a role in Wes Anderson’s next stop-motion film (watch your back, Batali).
The Blaise Means Business
We also like Las Vegas‘ Jennifer Carroll. Girl looks good. Good and ready.
In last week‘s Survivor: Nicaragua recap we pointed out that we felt Brenda and Sash were not really in control, and could very well find themselves on the outside looking in. We also meant to add that, despite appearing to call the shots, Brenda is not Parvati, the cunning siren (and arguably best player in Survivor history) who probably seems like the best comparison for Brenda. Unfortunately for Brenda, there are critical, significant differences between the two. Brenda might feel like she has everyone under her thumb, but she lacks both the charm and, more importantly, the ruthlessness of Parvati (and while Brenda has seemed more than physically capable, we’d argue that she doesn’t possess Parvati’s considerable strength). Yes, Brenda had a seemingly strong alliance, with two of her closest allies, Sash and NaOnka, possessing immunity idols, but those two people are clearly intent on keeping those idols for themselves, while Parvati managed to acquire idols without even trying. Brenda went to Tribal Council with an idol in Sash’s pocket, while Parvati basically went with a bucket overflowing with her own. (And speaking of Sash, we probably should have also been pointed out that he’s no Russell Hantz, lacking his killer instinct, his courage, and, most notably, his deviousness).