American Idol: two go home

That sound you hear is me patting myself on the back, but more on that in a minute. Last night’s “American Idol” results show was a bit different than usual, as they had contestants perform in small groups rather than in those larger, pageant-type numbers. And I liked it.

They kicked off with the two country singers, Lauren and Scotty, performing “I Told You So,” and it was really, really good. Then Ryan Seacrest told them that they were both….safe!

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Top Chef All-Stars: Jamie continues to skate

Last night “Top Chef All-Stars” resumed on Bravo, and there are 13 chefs left. They began as host Padma Lakshmi announced the Quick Fire Challenge, and told the chefs that they would be going up against a world class chef in a race of speed. That chef would create a dish quickly and they would each have to create their own dish in that amount of time. The chef? Head judge Tom Colicchio. This was must-see TV, because no one who watches the show has likely ever seen Tom cook before. And these all-star chef-testants were in awe of Tom, as was everyone watching. The dude created a fish dish in 8 minutes, 37 seconds that looked amazing, and I don’t even like fish.

So the least favorite dishes were Dale (pad thai gone wrong), Jamie (one single clam on a plate) and Angelo (made a raw dish when Tom specifically said not to). The top dishes were Mike Isabella (made a similar dish to Tom’s–black sea bass with capers and olives while Tom’s was with clams, tomato and zucchini); Marcel (made a similar dish but with Asian flavors like dashi broth); and Richard (grilled beef tenderloin and foie gras). The winner was Mike, and his prize was a new Toyota Prius as well as immunity! Wow.

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Top Chef All-Stars: tennis anyone?

Last night’s episode of “Top Chef All-Stars” was mostly shot at the site of the US Open tennis tournament in Flushing, New York, which took place back in August and September. Anyway, host Padma Lakshmi along with Top Chef Master Tony Mantuano announced the quickfire challenge, which was to make some sort of holiday stuffing. Of course, they couldn’t make it that easy. The chef-testants were asked to do this without using any utensils and having to be as resourceful as possible. The winner would receive both immunity this week AND $20K. Wow.

Tony’s least favorites were Carla’s quinoa, which she jokingly referred to as “undente,” meaning it was not cooked enough. She knew it and so did Tony. He also didn’t like Tiffani’s sweet maple stuffing because it was too sweet; and Casey’s mushroom dish, which didn’t really resemble stuffing at all. His faves were Tre’s cheddar/bacon/chili cornbread stuffing; and Marcel’s stuffing with raisin brioche, cherries and currants. Tre was the winner, so he had immunity this week as well as a cool 20 grand. Nice!

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Top Chef All-Stars–two more go home

The episode of Top Chef All-Stars began this week with shock that Jen was sent home last week. Really, it’s going to be a shocking elimination every week with this cast of heavyweights, isn’t it? But many of them felt Jamie deserved to go home since she got hurt and went to the hospital, thus skating by last week. Then the quick fire was announced with host Padma Lakshmi and chef David Chang. They would break into four random teams, based on how they were standing at the moment. They would each have the same ingredients to work with–to prep and create a meal as quickly as possible using lamb, garlic and artichokes.

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