Monday, July 15, 2013

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

HGTV Star! The Unconventional Challenge!!

It’s almost over, and if we are to pay attention to what Carlos says when I rant about the inanities and insanities that are HGTV Star [?], while I may watch again, I’m done recapping. 

Yes, I said it last year, but just when you think you’re out, they pull you back in. But I’m over the heavy product placement—seriously, I think I’ve now seen the outside of every single furniture and accessory store in the LA area—and I’m over the nitwit judges who seem to have no other job at HGTV than this show; exception, though, I guess is Soto, who recently had a show called The High/Low Project.

Whatever. Let’s get into this before I bore myself to tears ….This week is the, ahem, non-traditional challenge; season’s past saw a glass house challenge, a yurt challenge and a container box challenge. What’s left? An ice chest challenge? Nope. School buses. Out in the middle of nowhere, Jeribai tells us as they walk up the manicured path with cars whizzing by on the road just behind them.

Tiffany, Brooks, Jeribai and Anne will remake a school bus in whatever way they choose, functional, or not, because, you know, that’s a show.

She was all about Alice In Wonderland and I was all about, Turn this shiz off. Then she said she wanted to go dark and kinda of horror-ish, and I was sucked back in. She went Mad Hatter Tea Party and I thought it would be a great piece, with a rather macabre theme, but then Bromstad stepped in and warned her not to go gory.

Um, David? She never said ‘gory’ she said ‘dark’ but then you made her afraid and she decided to keep in fairytale.

It was nice, but safe. Quirky but safe. The one flaw was the back of the bus where she stuck a bunch of potted plants like it was the after-sale at the local nursery.

This weeks’ Camera Challenge, though, presenting a new use for an old treasure on The Talk talk-show, showed Tiffany can be fun and spontaneous. But she took an old frame and put in a white board—instead of a chalkboard … how clever … not—and, um, yeah. Boring.

But, betwixt the TV challenge and the too-safe-Tea-Party, though, Tiffany scored the big win.

We learned that Jeribai was a personal trainer for a hot minute—and yet we got not one shirtless Jeribai this season—so he wants to do a Gym Bus, fit for a boxer to work out in and to lounge in after the workout.

And, to remind us all that he’s Jeribai, he put his signature logo from EpOne on the back wall to remind the judges that he’s a strong competitor. Or something.

He was the only one, however, who removed the wheels wells so he could create an entirely flat floor front to back; smart, smart idea because it really opened up the space.
What didn’t open it up were the striped, oddly colored curtains that seemed bent and stapled to the roof. And let’s not get started on his accessories: candle-less candle holders and a desk lamp smack dab in the middle of the desk.

But, this week’s Camera Challenge showed Jeribai being very comfortable and cute on-camera while turning a desk into possibly the shortest kitchen island ever. And there was a couple of Hey Gurl moments from Jeribai which made me wonder about him …  And then wonder again why he kept his shirt on all season.

This seemed to be the challenge for Brooks because it was all about unconventionality, at which he excels. He wanted to go super Spaceship in his bus, and then created some slatted wood zeppelin “egg shell’ thing at the back of the bus and suspended a chair in it. It was cool and unconventional. But the rest of the bus was just chairs and seating areas and weird little, as he called them time and again, curiosities.

I mean a whisk and a spatula?

Yeah, not so space age to me. And on his Camera Challenge he was a bumbling mess, turning a suitcase into a medicine chest filled with, you guessed it, curiosities. It was a cool idea, but his oopsy-daisy-dropsy demeanor was kinda wrong.

Still, he got a pass because …..

At the outset of this week’s challenge, Anne said this was hers to win—which we all know means she’s going home—because she’s deigned custom motor coaches before.

But, she turned it into a motor coach—without a kitchen though, so it was really a guest room on wheels. She had the shopping mishap again—buying a sofa that was too big for the space; Yip and Soto, two of the tiniest people on TV, could not sit across from one another without bumping knees. And, again, she blew the bed, making it look very sloppy, though the wallpaper was a nice touch.

Perhaps she should go on the Wallpaper network?

All in all it was a Meh Moment. As for her Camera Challenge, she flipped over an end table, tossed in a pillow and called it a doggie bed. Seriously. Cute? Okay. But … seeeeeeeeeriously? Plus, she could only giggle while appear too ill-at-ease on TV.

So, in the end play it safe school bus and giggly schoolgirl gets sent home.
I’ll miss her bright red hear; my retinas are still burning.

The Goiter in the blue galoshes? Really? So, it was a school bus challenge and she decided to dress like a schoolgirl. She’s an idiot.

I also get annoyed when they bust the chops of the designers for their Camera Challenges; not so much this week when it was, ALLEGEDLY, live. But, I wonder, how many takes does The Goiter get to stop mumbling and yet they give these designtestants one shot to get it right?

Yip and Soto on the couches? When a seating arrangement is too small for Vern Yip, it’s too small! Dammit!

Then right there at the end, Vern uttered the line that since all three designers are just so so good, they’ll all be going into the finale.

Um, Vern, do you think the audience is so stupid to believe hat you made this decision last minute? I mean, the entire season is planned out and scheduled to within a minute of its life, and you expect me to believe that this “surprise” is real?

You’re not that good.

FOOD NETWORK Star! Culinary Vocabulary!
We start off with the cheftestants coming into the kitchen to see Bobby Flay in chef white! Oooh scary! Whatever.

This week the cheftestants will taste a dish prepared by Bobby Flay and not gag. I kid. They have to taste it and then, in one minute, describe it without using buzz-words like delicious, awesome, sexy, incredible and wonderful.
The Flay dish is Ancho-Chile-Honey Glazed Slow-cooked Salmon, with a Black Bean sauce, Blistered Jalapeño Crema and Tomatillo Salsa.

How’d they do …?

RODNEY:  "Outta sight”! “Dyn-O-mite”! He’s a 70s sitcom star.
NIKKI: She uttered the first delicious but recovered nicely.
CHAD: He couldn’t form words, so he kept eating. Nom nom nom.
DAMARIS:  She tried so hard not to be flaky that she turned out boring.
RUSSELL: A buzzereded, rambling mess.
STACEY: Really kind of flawless, and told a story to boot. She wins and gets a bonus in the Star Challenge.

Create a dish that is their culinary POV and then put it up for auction. Whichever dish gets the highest bid, is safe. Stacey gets to add an extra $10 bucks to her highest bid since she was the Queen of Vocab Wars.

How’d they do …?

CHAD: Texas Barbecue Poutine. Poutine? Sounds like puta or putan, both of which mean, um, whore, so … oh, it’s French fries, cheese curds and gravy. Yeah, still sounds kinda whore-y. But he added barbecued steak and sausages. His pitch to the auction audience—a group calling themselves Gastronauts—was a rambling mess, and his food, while sausage-y good, was potato bad.
RUSSELL: An Egg-and-Bacon Sandwich Revolution; with smoked trout eggs, pork belly, puréed brioche and horseradish ice cream. WTF? His presentation was just as disorganized, because he just basically gave a shopping list of what was in his food.
STACEY: Maple Bacon Cheesecake. Turned out to be kinda runny Maple Bacon Cheesecake. In her presentation, she comes off too me-me, and too polished; there is no edge. The verdict on her food was that it had a good crust. Really? That’s high praise?
DAMARIS: Green Bean Casserole, with Shiitake Mushrooms and Goat Cheese Mornay Sauce. I stepped away from the table at the words green bean and casserole. But she was good fun on the auction block, without being skeevey sleazy, and everyone liked her dish.
RODNEY; Berry-Rhubarb Pie with Bacon Crumble Topping. Um, yeah … his presentation starts out with a joke that he thinks he’s talking to, wait for it, astronauts. Funny stuff. I.Kid. A waste of time. His show would make me switch channels faster than an all-day HGTV Goiter Fest. But, everyone loves bacon, even topping a pie.
NIKKI: Wild Mushroom Pasta with Shrimp On The Side. I liked her presentation because she pushed her Veggie Agenda without being pushy, and everyone liked her dish.

DAMARIS: Better presentation than ever, but still ….. Her dish sold for $130. I would have wanted 130 casseroles for that much money.
RUSSELL: he now has two POVs: The Revolution and The Sin, but he needs top pick one. And he needs to lose pureed bread. Still, his dish sold for $150.
RODNEY: Waste of time presentation, but his pie was a win. His sold for $140.
CHAD: Why a poutine, they asked? And why soggy fries, they cried? And why so sloppy on the presentation. His dish scored $150 also.
NIKKI: Good, strong POV, and her dish was the favorite of the judges, though it sold for just $130.
STACEY: She’s good, she’s solid, she’s too practiced. But, her cheesecake sold for $180, even without her $10 advantage.

I hate to say I knew it, but when I saw Chad show up in those red pants, I flashbacked to Viet being axed in the very same pants, and I knew my Silvery Foxy BBQ Daddy would be going home.

Bacon is the new black.

Bobby Flay thinks far too much of himself.

But, at least this completion lets the contestants work their own magic without stupid gimmicks and team challenges.

Plus, there was an awful lot of bacon. Maybe HGTV Star! should think of adding bacon to their designs?


the dogs' mother said...

It is worth watching HGTV because of your recaps. :-)

We made note there is not a big enough table to turn into a dog bed for Tar and still fit in the house...

Yup, there is no reality in reality tv (when we saw you *last* week* uh huh)

I really want to try horseradish ice cream!

At least we are at the end of HGTV star - because Project Runway starts this week! :-) said...

But, Bob, if you stop doing your recaps I'll have NO reason to watch at all! ;)

I really, honestly, believe that I could do better than half of the "designers" in this competition.

I thought the professor was worse than Anne and that he should have been "auffed" instead of her.

The whole thing has just become silly. That being said, I'd rather watch five episodes of this drivel than 30 minutes of House Hunter International. Bleh!

BloggerJoe said...

When HGTV started out, it was about showing people at home how to do things. Somehow, over the years, it has morphed into a weird version of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. I'm bored with nearly every show they have, and watch a few just for the eye candy. And I'm usually working at my computer while the shows are on. This is our last season of HGTV Star, too. Food Network star and the food network shows we'll probably keep up with for at least one or two more seasons. It's still about teaching us how, and I'm a foodie from waaaaay back. This season of FNW Star doesn't have the drama some of the previous seasons have had, but at least the network hasn't lost its way yet.

Jannean Albarran said...

I found your blog when the HGTV Star season began and google searched for recaps (other than the fawning blog on the network). I love your take (and rants) and hope you reconsider your decision to make this your final season. I'm new to Food Network Star (and yes, Bobby Flay does think very highly of himself) so I'm not sure what happened to past winners but I've learned to not get too invested in the Design Star winners shows as they seem to have a very short shelf life. BTW, did you watch Top Design when it was on Bravo? That was a legitimate design show so it's no surprise it was cancelled.