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Tuesday, July 10

TNFNS... WEEK 6(?)

I don't even remember which week this is. Anyhow, Sunday's episode was a filled with ups and downs. Let's get to it.

The kids got to practice their Iron Chef Skills in Food Network's kitchen stadium some other location Alton Brown dubbed "kitchen stadium junior." Nothing but the best for these folks

Despite being rather short with most of the contestants, Alton Brown seemed to enjoy his temporary role as Chairman Kaga.

Michael Salmon, Tommy Grella, Colombe and Adrien were back to serve as sous chefs. The contestants were judged on their personal battle, as well as their ability to serve as a food commentator. Oh, the fun that must ensue.

Did I mention my favorite southern, female Iron Chef showed up to judge? Cat Cora is so sweet, so I had my doubts about whether or not she'd be tough enough. Even when she's like, "I really didn't like this dish" you just want to hug her.

Bob Flaymaster also judged this week since, you know, he doesn't have anything else to do.

First up to battle were Paul vs. Rory. Paul expressed his typical over-confidence only to not do so well in judging, while Rory actually surprised me and performed well under the pressure . Even Amy won my confidence.

Rory's food sounded really good and I'm beginning to think she may have what it takes. Amy was praised for her food knowledge, which really wasn't all that great, but just much better than everyone else's horrible performances. Not to say I knew what the difference was between a panko breadcrumb and a regular breadcrumb, either.

Alton may have been somewhat aggressive with his questions, but Paul's answers were just plain stupid.

Yes, Alton prepares heavily before each episode, but he sure as hell isn't going to reply "Plummy!" when asked where a particular type of plum tomato is from.

JAG, who we're told early on how much he loves Iron Chef, failed miserably, setting off the smoke detector in the process. He tried to "hold back" on his cooking which was a bad move. We even get to see the "former Marine" crying on his bed.

Ugh... I'm tired of him.

In the end, the judges "couldn't come to a consensus" on who should go home and even had to send the final two, Paul and JAG, back upstairs.

Which brings me to a sidebar, the judging room is INSIDE the house that the contestants live. Way to save on shooting locations, FN! Notice all the funky props and random TV with the logo on it next time.

Once again, they tricked us with their hints that Paul would be the one to stay, only to kick him off. I don't particularly love Paul, but I think he deserved to stay more than JAG. I realize this was all filmed way before the "embellished military career" stories came out, but still.

You should check out the "After the Elimination" video up on

Among other things, we find out that JAG and Paul are smokers. They'll fit right in with Rachael and Paula!

While packing, Paul laments that if he didn't have his boyfriend Jeremy he'd "be totally screwed."

It's one of the longest after-elimination videos ever. There's a lot of kisses and crying and stories from JAG about how he hasn't had a "real friend" for a while. Hmmm.........

Is JAG next to go? Rory? Amy?

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At 7/10/2007 9:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do Paula and Rachel Ray really smoke? Tsk tsk.

At 7/10/2007 10:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Paula just quit. Had no idea that Rachey-poo inhaled cancer sticks!

At 7/10/2007 10:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Listen to her voice--it sounds worse all the time. Also, just the way she moves her mouth is quite indicative of a heavy smoker.

At 7/10/2007 11:59 PM , Anonymous Conrad5 said...

To those who decry the dearth of gender diversity at the FN, I say to you this (in a really bad, nasally, Edward G. Robinson voice)…”Where’s your lack of diversity nyahhhh?” It looks like Paul’s mincing days (at last on camera) are over. Send him home with the (un)complimentary FN spice rack. Props to Amy for a tremendous comeback. She rose like a phoenix from the ashes of JAG’s incinerated chicken. Props also to Bobby Fillet. No, I still think he’s an arrogant jerk-off, but anyone who can make JAG so verklempt, is worthy of some respect. Bobby sounded like a prosecutor in the culinary Hague, as he interrogated JAG about the alleged “Caribbean” influences in his dishwater soup.

I’m a huge Alton Brown fan. I’ve probably learned more about cooking from his shows than from any book. But his over-acting at the beginning of each challenge was enough to make Tony Danza cringe. This kind of tutelage, budding TV hosts don’t need. More egregious than that though was Rory’s dis of Alton. You don’t tug on superman’s cape! Good strategy Rorster. That was almost as astute as JAG serving Susie Fogelson a bowl of carcinogenic chicken soup.

I hate to sound too Cartesian, but I see a pattern developing here. The winner of each weekly competition usually tanks the following week. Conversely, the most dejected and humiliated contestant (who survives the cut) always seems to triumph in the next episode. This can only mean one thing…get ready for the Jagdish show!

At 7/11/2007 12:11 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was so mad that Paul is gone. :( But now I hope Jag is in the final two--that way maybe his embellished military career will come back to bite him (by losing votes).

At 7/11/2007 12:55 AM , Anonymous Pat said...

Aw, I thought the JAG-Paul "bro-mance" was sweet.

As for Rory, I don't know how old she is, but most women learn by their senior year in college that "I'm just kidding!" is passive/aggressive hostility. I'm surprised the judges and Alton didn't call her out on that.

At 7/11/2007 7:38 AM , Blogger JordanBaker said...

I've watched (more than) my share of reality TV, and I appreciate a good fake-out as much as the next gal.

But honestly? If FN wants us to take this show seriously, they need to dial them waaaay back. They made Jag look so incompetent this week that passing him through became thoroughly ridiculous. If they'd shown him doing anything well or not bagged all of his dishes, it would've made some sense.

As it is, I'm betting Jag goes next week so they're guaranteed a female winner.

At 7/11/2007 8:45 AM , Blogger jacob said...

conrad5 e-mailed me this follow-up to the word
verklempt. Enjoy!

At 7/11/2007 5:45 PM , Blogger Recipe Tweaker said...

ugh, I really dislike JAG...if I have to listen to him say this is Joshua Adam Garcia..blah blah blah again I'm going to scream. This last episode was great, because I got to see him cry....I know, thats not nice...but he bugs me. He just thinks he is sooo great. I thought since he set off the first alarms he was going to be the one going home...no such luck though...I'll keep my fingers crossed for sunday!

At 7/11/2007 11:44 PM , Blogger amanda said...

don't like any of 'em. that's all.

At 7/12/2007 6:13 AM , Blogger Emilie said...

Wow, I did not know that Rachael or Paula smoked. I guess I can see it now, that Rachael smokes. She has kind of a smoker voice.

At 7/12/2007 6:54 PM , Anonymous curmudgeonfish said...

Funny how everyone's giving Alton a hard time for being strict and critical of the contestants, yet they seem to give Giada a big pass for doing the same thing during her judging episodes! Alton was critical, but Giada drew blood!

At 7/13/2007 5:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

J.A.G. reminds me of The Incredible Hulk. "JAG get mad! You won't like JAG when he get mad! JAG smash!!!" Seriously, would anyone at TFN want to work with this guy?? Talk about "prima donna" [or big baby, if you wish]!!!

I'll miss Paul. He had a Jerry Lewis quality about him, only without the subtlety and restraint. In fact, the JAG/Paul duo at the military base reminded me of a Bizarro Universe Martin and Lewis. Does anyone know if JAG can sing???

I was surprised that you didn't comment on Adrienne's shirt the night he was kicked out. I mean, those flowers??? What's up with that?? Was he trying to be Gene Autry? Or maybe Gene Tierney???!

I'm glad Amy is still around. But don't the contestants realize that part of being on this show is being away from home?? I think they need a better screening process and a better psychological exam, too!!

Anyhoo, love the blog. Keep it up!!!

At 7/13/2007 7:55 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just watched the Tivoed Rachael Ray show from this morning and to my surprise I think the front runner is hands down Rory. She was the most put together, her food looked great and she was incredibly relaxed and personable. Amy was annoying as all hell with her "France" "Paris" "French" repetoire and her dish didn't look appetizing. Jag was OK but offensive when he kept calling Rachael "Baby" and "Honey". Rory now has my vote.

At 7/13/2007 10:58 PM , Blogger getinmyface said...

Jag and gag rhyme. Coincidence?

At 7/15/2007 6:29 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can live with Amy or Rory winning (not necessarily in that order).


At 7/15/2007 9:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear god, no Rory.

Her gums don't fit on my screen!!!!! Besides, she's an a-hole....

At 7/16/2007 1:39 AM , Anonymous DingDong said...

I think the reason why Alton Brown and some of the other FN stars/judges are so harsh on these contestants is two fold. First, regualr show hosts probably consider them 'amateurs' or just plain lucky to have won a contest, so in the eyes of Alton and some others these FNC contestants are wannabe's at best and far from a host who made it on talent alone. Second, I think FN hosts harbor a lot of insecurity. Seriously, outisde of Rachel Ray and briefly Emirl, how many other hosts have gone on to do other things? Yes, some have restaurants and/or books, but the network show is the platform that brings all of this. Without the show, your marketability diminishes considerably, not to mention the fact that you have no other significant outlet on cable to compete with FN. I guess you could - in some very morbid way - compare FN hosts to a pro wrestling career. Weird, yes I know.


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