“The Taste” Semi-Finals Get Political

March 6, 2013

By Karen

With only one more week to go of Anthony Bourdain’s ABC cooking competition, somebody should sell souvenir T-shirts…

I Survived

skull-crossbones

The Taste

Last night was semi-finals, with the theme “Seduction.” Ingrid Hoffman was guest judge.

The show’s biggest waste has been guest judges. They’ve been ineffective human spackle on the logic hole created by having judges mentor and blind-taste.

This week’s prize for that challenge wasn’t immunity, but a massive cookware set.

Ludo reluctantly passed over Gregg’s spoon in favor of his new squeeze, Sarah the food blogger. And Sarah won.

We got another brief moment of Ludo and Sarah making goo-goo eyes. And after seeing how she stiffened and averted her gaze when Ludo kissed her cheek upon winning, you’ll never convince me those two aren’t an item.

Tony’s team was down to Diane, and while mentoring he coaxed her to remind us she once lived in a cardboard box under a bridge or something. Then he had a cut-away to swear Diane really, really wants to win.

Nigella worked alone with her Mississippi trailer girl, Lauren.

Malarkey still had Jeff and Khristianne.

(For the record, can anybody tell Khristianne’s gender? ABC’s website uses “she,” and I thought she’s female, but last night everybody was calling her “Christian.” Wouldn’t “-ianne” be a female name and pronounced like “Ariane?”)

Ludo still had Paul, Gregg, and Sarah. Swearing at and demeaning his team has been a winning formula.

While waiting for the big challenge to begin, Bourdain emphatically declared, “There’s nothing sexy about dessert,” to show he had no idea Diane was doing something uninspired with fruit and melted chocolate.

When judging began, Gregg and Sarah suddenly popped into the finals. Because nobody hated their spoons? When Khristianne became the first cook to get 3 gold stars (likes), she joined them.

Then the suspense got intense with only one slot left, and Lauren, Jeff, Paul, or Diane to fill it.

Lauren had prepared octopus, which she’s never tasted or cooked before, and it was good. So they sent her home and wiped out Nigella’s team.

Paul got sent home because Ludo hates him and has never given him the first break.

So it was between Jeff and Diane. Jeff had actually gotten one gold star; Diane none. And Diane had the pedestrian dessert.

If you think Diane went home, you’re wrong. They eliminated Jeff — and all doubt that politics isn’t a factor. Any IDIOT can see it is.

If Diane got the axe, both Bourdain and Nigella became spectators in the finals, watching Ludo and Malarkey duke it out with 2 cooks apiece.

Bourdain had to keep a dog in the fight, and no way was a little old down-home cook like Lauren, who stuck her neck out and succeeded, staying instead of Ludo’s new girlfriend Sarah.

Gracious, classy Nigella was the most likely judge to accept irrelevance in the finale. (Tony could have pulled it off, but as an exec producer and the show’s “big draw,” why should he?)

At the end, we got a glimpse of the coveted trophy, optimistically engraved “Season 1.”

Now, I love most of Anthony Bourdain’s work, and he’s often just brilliant. But if he never wastes another minute of his life producing crap like The Taste, the world will be a better place.


The Latest Bourdainia

November 23, 2009

By Karen

Actually being with Anthony and Ottavia Bourdain temporarily interrupted my usual cyber-hunting, but my Bourdain calendar is blank the rest of 2009, so I think Tony may be wrapping up his appearances this year. Here’s some catch-up…

Hill’s Kitchen caught a pic of Tony when he was in Des Moines on November 5.

Des Moines will be included in a Midwest episode of No Reservations during Season 6. Tony killed 2 birds with one stone by filming a scene at Bistro Montage while he was there.

AnnArbor.com snagged an interview before Tony’s appearance there on November 7.

Go Ahead and Snicker saw him in Ann Arbor and offers favorite Tony quotes.

While in Ann Arbor, Tony ate in some restaurant where he met chef and cookbook writer Max Sussman and posed for a picture. Sussman wrote Freshman in the Kitchen: From Clueless Cook to Creative Chef with Eli Sussman.

ClubFood shot a really creepy video about why Anthony Bourdain is her hero. Not sure about her dates, since I wasn’t aware he appeared anywhere on November 9. But between her drugged/hung-over(?) demeanor and her peeling orange nail polish, I’d say he has much more to fear from fans like this than the middle-aged ladies who read Cats Working. ClubFood even caught a snippet of illicit footage from his appearance. which you’ll find at about 5:30. And then her first commenter, the charming Deathrape2001, gets Bourdain totally wrong in every way.

Washingtonian.com had the most interesting recap of the Capital Food Fight on November 11 I’ve seen, and they critiqued Tony’s garb for the evening.

Next, Bourdain and family headed to Miami for a celebrity chef event with Eric Ripert and Jacques Pepin on November 13, and allpurposedark snagged a little Q&A. (Note to Morgan: Tony uses the word douchebag.)

Miami New Times reveals that Bourdain is on the short list of chefs (with Ripert and Ramsey) whom Ingrid Hoffman of the Food Network’s Simply Delicioso would like to cook naked with, in the answer to what has to be one of the most stupid interview questions ever.

TimesUnion.com interviewed Tony by phone before his appearance in Schenectady on November 15, after which he was flying to Ecuador to film No Res.

Speaking of Ecuador, We Travel World did a little fixing and got to meet Tony and crew while they stayed at the Mandala for 2 nights. Bourdain apparently wasn’t much-recognized outside of Quito.

Here’s what the TimesUnion reporter had to say after Bourdain’s Schenectady appearance.

Denver Post got an advance phone interview before his sold-out November 18 appearance there, and learned that Bourdain is now actively seeks to undermine the “bad boy” tag he can’t seem to shake.

Just to rub it in that Bourdain once vowed never to return to Denver after saying he couldn’t find any good food, Mayor John Hickenlooper presented him with the “Fork to the City.”

Café Society ran a contest to recommend 3 good restaurants for Bourdain in exchange for a pair of tickets, and this was the winning entry. After his appearance, they also posted one of the worst pictures I’ve ever seen of him.

A.V. Club reports on what Tony said in Denver and offers a bit of illicit video from the Q&A portion.

ROCNow scored an advance phone interview with Bourdain before his appearance in Rochester, NY, on November 20. Bourdain says he realizes that writing will be his fall-back after TV, and hints that maybe he’s getting weary of No Reservations.

James Leach with Rochester City Newspaper got another advance interview where Tony talks about becoming famous and offers a tiny preview of Season 6 of No Res.

DemocratandChronicle.com reports that Rochester gave Tony a standing ovation just for showing up.

AskMen.com did its annual ranking of the most influential men and places Bourdain at No. 73, although readers rank him 94th (the lower the number, the more influential). In 2007, he was No. 19. I’m guessing the husband-father thing may explain the slippage.

Karl Klockars, a food blogger in Illinois, wants to know what Bourdain has written lately to deserve the laurels he’s resting on, and criticizes his diligence in following Web buzz about himself.

Alice at Uncommon Sense writes an eerily lyrical love/hate letter to Bourdain that makes her regret her humdrum existence as a college student in Texas.

Finland has launched a campaign to get Bourdain to pay a visit.

In honor of the upcoming holiday…

Here’s a video clip of Bourdain preparing a turkey and stuffing from his only holiday special. It’s the closest Tony may ever come to doing a cooking show. Pass me some of that stuffing, Tony!

If you’re in New York City, Tony will be at the Union Square Barnes & Noble TONIGHT with David Chang at 7 p.m. and it’s free.


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