Monday, June 17, 2013

HGTV Star and Food Network Star! A Recap and Rant...Part Two

I love a loft. The exposed brick walls, hardwood floors, high ceilings and wide-open spaces are cool, and funky and a bit of a challenge to design, so I was kind of anticipating this week’s challenge.
Until …. Since the loft features mostly warm wood-and-rustic-brick tones, the group—at Boris’ Miss America smile prodding—picked cool tones for the walls: purple and teal. How.Eighties.
They also decided that their ‘clients’ were a fashion gal and a rock star. How.Eighties.

Cris and Tylor: The Living Room
Tylor instantly tells us he doesn’t like Cris because she was on the bottom last week—maybe he’s used to bottoming, I dunno—so, well, you know that means Cris will out-do Tylor this week. The suspense of it all!
Tylor found an old VW hood and was going to paint it and turn it into wall art. I pictured fabulous high gloss sheen, but Tylor pictured dirty graffiti and the number 85. I know!

Cris found and old camera and tripod and put lighting package through it and made a floor lamp. And that’s what saved her. A lamp.

The living room was cool, and I liked some of the auto-bike-themed wall pieces, but the VW misstep killed me. I do think Tylor redeemed himself by turning a cigarette machine into a coffee table.

They’re safe.

Brooks and Jeribai: Den/Workspace
Jeribai instantly picked Brooks as his partner because Brooks won last week for his Smell-o-Design. And then this week, feeling rock star client-ish, Brooks air-guitars around the space until an idea comes to him. Luckily, the idea was a guitar cable chandelier because that was cool.
Jeribai—looking good in a muscle T—was more about corrugated metal along one wall. It was cool, but it was a bit of a yawn; as was his Find A Vintage Piece and Repurpose It.
He bought a stool and recovered it. He turned an un-upholstered stool into an upholstered stool.

Now that screams Design Star, no? No.

Brooks, for all his wackiness, and for all his I’m’a teacher and stuff, was a bit nervous during his Camera Challenge when he, um, painted an old record player, closed the lid and called it a table.

But, the cable chandelier, and the metal wall saved them.

Anne and Tiffany: Bedroom
Anne, for being on the bottom last week, turned into the Little Dictator this week. If Tiffany suggested something Anne said, ‘No.’ I was waiting for the bitchslap that never came.
Tiffany found an old sign to repurpose as a headboard and she wanted to paint it but Anne said, wait, what, ‘No.’ Which, I admit, was a good call. The bad call was Tiffany putting a string of blue lights inside the piece to light it up. I would have painted the wall behind it, and let that shine through, but I’m not on the show so they didn’t get my idea.

Anne’s repurpose was an old desk as a table. I know! But she was good on camera, so she gets points there. Still, and this kills me, while the bedroom was probably the best room, Anne got the win because she picked out good bedding.

Yes, the judges praised her for redeeming herself this week and getting sheets and blankets.

She gets the win this week and I say, Design Star, my ass.

Abby, Boris and Jessie:  Foyer, Dining Room, Kitchen
Jessie instantly declared, ‘I’m the loft queen’—though I thought the real queen was Boris—and you know what that means for Jessie.

Boris and Jessie seemed to dominate Abby, making her paint, and then repaint, the walls, and charging her with all the sewing of drapes for Jessie’s kitchen space, while they shopped and had cappuccino’s and biscotti out and bout.
And Abby took it. Which meant her foyer was like a giant cave with a tiny black table in the center and a purple rug beneath. If that’s the first impression of someone’s home, I’m’a be thinking they living in a crack den.
Boris’ dining room was another big space, with the table pushed against the wall near a banquette. When you have a huge space, why shove everything against one wall. I mean, if I was having dinner there, it wouldn’t be worth the twenty minute trek to the kitchen for more wine.
Speaking of the kitchen: Jessie the Loft Queen tackled the kitchen; didn’t design it, mind you, but she bought accessories and painted the bar and hung the drapes that Abby sewed. She found some old Safe Deposit boxes to use as spice racks, which I thought was a good idea until she painted them gold. Gold? Oh.Honey.No.

Boris gets saved to practice his Miss Congeniality speech, while Abby and Jessie go Bottom Two.

And guess what? The Loft Queen went home. Color me surprised, but don’t color me teal and purple.

I knew Jessie was going the minute she said ‘I’m the loft queen.’
Boris' smile is creepy.
To hear The Goiter praise someone for buying good sheets kills me.
What’s a Sabrina Soto?

Like Design Star, Food Network Star is down to ten contestants, and this week is all about surprises and food knowledge.

The Mentor Challenge: show the judges that they can use a Mystery Ingredient—and make it the star of the dish—and tell us all about it.

Chad—who shows off his pecs in a T-shirt… thankyouverymuch—gets Salsify, which he keeps calling Sassify until Bobby Flay corrects him like a Harsh Schoolmarm. He makes a Salsify-Corn-Bacon Hush Puppy that Bobby also calls dense.

Danushka—who tries telling us that she’s funny while looking smug and bored—gets Dragon Fruit. She makes a Shrimp Salad put atop sliced Dragon Fruit. She’s called ‘not creative.’ Not funny.

Russell got Arrowhead Root and paired it with some of his Sins, AKA Pecan Pesto which overpowered the starchy root.

Viet is given Umeboshi—salted, pickled plum—and creates a gorgeous looking Crab and Avocado with Umeboshi Vinaigrette. Alton said he needed more Umeboshi and if Alton says it, you know it’s true. But, again Viet, points for cuteness and creativity. 

Lovely uses her Rambutan—a fruit which tastes like peach—to make a bread pudding with Champagne and Raspberry sauce. Naturally, her glammed up sauce overpowered the dish.

Rodney uses Karela, AKA Bitter melon, to make a salad with berries and gin. Alton liked that the Bitter Melon was the star of the dish.

Damaris gets Mango Pickle, which she says, and I’ll take her word for it, tastes like bacon. So, she makes a sautéed cabbage and cauliflower concoction that Bobby Fly liked. Go figure.

Chris, who comes off as arrogant—he makes fun of the Pec-adorable Chad’s pronunciation—gets Bottarga, which is a dried fish rub and very powerful. He uses it sparingly in a salad; so sparingly Alton said he couldn’t taste it.

Nikki, the veggie gal, gets Cuttlefish, and so she, too, makes a salad with a cuttlefish garnish because she likes the veggie to be the star. Alton disagrees.

Stacey uses her Durian—a weird sea creature-looking fruit that stinks to high heaven but tastes sweet—to make a custard. It was good, but her rambling presentation was off-putting.

Rodney and Damaris win the Mentor Challenge and get to sit out the Star Challenge, though they are tasked with judging their fellow chefs. Uh.Oh.

Star Challenge: Chopped, with special guest judge because Giada’s gone shopping, is latest Iron Chef, Alex Guarnaschelli.
Team One: Chad, Viet, Russell and Danushka. Their basket contains hot dogs, beer, peanuts and cotton candy. I automatically thought Hot dogs and beer, with a side of peanuts and a cotton candy dessert. I win?

Chad made Hot Dog Waffles with Cotton Candy Beer Syrup. His presentation was good, and the judges liked that he was able to make a good waffle. I liked that he wears tight T’s.

Viet made a Hot Dog and Beer Ramen. If you’ve ever smelled hot dog water, I bet you’d think this idea sucked, but the judges liked him though they want him to be more passionate in his presentation.

Russell added tofu to processed dogs and made a dumpling of sorts. He got props for tofu usage, but dinged for running long in her presentation. Sinful.

Danushka looked bored, and told the judges she was bored, and made a Dog Rocket, or something, with Sriracha sauce. Damaris said she looked bored, and that made Danushka come alive because How dare Damaris say that! They liked the food, hated her personality.

Team Two: Stacey, Lovely, Nikki, Chris. Their basket was Chicken Nuggets, Fruit Leathers, Goldfish Crackers and Apple Juice.

Stacey decided to use her 30 minutes to make a Chicken Pot Pie. She barely finishes—using Chris as a helper—and her Pot Pie is barely cooked.  The judges say that even if she finished, and even if the pot pie was fully cooked, it still would have been awful.

Lovely makes Stuffed Pepper, or Stuffing on a slice of Pepper with Apple Juice. Alex called it too sweet, and Alton called her too smooth—like she’s reading a script—in her presentation.

Nikki—the veggie gal, lest any of us ever forget—makes a Broccoli and Chicken Nugget Deep Fried Spring Roll with a Sweet-and-Spicy Sriracha Dipping Sauce. Alex loved it, and fellow competitor Rodney ‘dug’ it.

Chris decided to turn the nuggets into Fried Chicken and makes a Fruit Leather and Apple Juice Gastrique. He gets done so fast that he’s able to help Stacey not finish her pot pies. But, in his presentation, he mentions having a ‘broken life’ and using food to build himself back up. He’s a former drug addict and alcoholic who says he used food and cooking to heal. Suddenly, I like Chris, and will forgive, a little bit, his arrogance.
Chris gets saved by his story and his gastrique, while Viet’s finesse keeps him in the game. Lovely, while too robotic, and Stacey, even unfinished, are also safe. Nikki is the last of the savees. Savees? Really, Bob?

So Russell, of the Sins, and Danushka, of the Funny, are Bottom Two and, well, as happens in life, sinfulness always beats boring.

Danushka packs her knives and hits the road on a Highly Unsuccessful Comedy Tour.


the dogs' mother said...

Rock star and fashion designer... what about an engineer and tutor, eh??

I specifically looked to see that the kitchen cabinets and appliances were all there (no Sears sponsorship this year I guess).

It was all rather horrid but I agree about Brook's chandelier - about the only creative thing there.

Food Network Star - Sad to see Danushka go. She was a welcome change from the usual hyper chirpy or tense I MUST WIN THIS or my life will be over or stab you in the back contestant.

R.J. said...

I'm guessing it's a good thing I forgot to ask you when Design Star was on based on your take. I'll continue to stay away from this season.

Lira2012 said...

This crop of designers is just sad, apart from Boris who is hella creepy and Brooks from Brooklyn, the sprightly elf.

As to Foo Network ***, I really do find Danushka funny--meatpacking district comedy.

mrpeenee said...

Design Star started without me? I'm missing the train wreck? Dang, I gotta go catch up. said...

So far, I’m getting a kick out of this season of “HGTV STAR” … because it’s the best comedy on the network. This group of misfits is not designing … they’re shopping. And they’re not even doing THAT well. I’ll keep watching just to see how long David Bromstad can keep a “straight” face.