MASTERCHEF: HOME COOK PREVAILS DESPITE CHALLENGE

Last night on “Masterchef” the top six home cooks were met at the Rock n’ Roll Sunset Marquis restaurant in Los Angeles by chef Ramsay and chef Elliot and, they were told that the challenge consisted of them taking over the restaurant for a dinner service.  They were divided into two teams of three and Jaimee who prepared the best dish last week and Leslie her teammate would therefore now be team captains and pick their teams. Jaimee chose Christian and Courtney, and Leslie had Elizabeth and Cutter. 

 

The Red Team got to a rocky start with Leslie and Cutter not seeing eye to eye, and it has been the case throughout the season that when Cutter is questioned, he takes on the defensive and talks down or argues with the other, he has even done it with chef Bastianich at one point, so it was not a surprise when he went off on Leslie.  Their exchange was so heated that chef Ramsay had to pull them aside and warned them that another outburst would send them home and he, chef Ramsay, would go ahead and serve their side of the kitchen.

 

The Blue Team with Jaimee at the helm could not finish their appetizers and finally Jaimee gave Courtney the reigns of the team, but this was also unable to grab a hold of the team so she handed the reigns over to Christian and finally they were able to cook up to par and finish dinner service.  Then it was judgment time and the Red Team managed to win the challenge and that meant that the Blue Team would face the dreaded Pressure Test.

 

The Pressure Test consisted of baking a croquembouche, or as chef Elliot calls it –cream puff tower- whose filling needs to be perfect, the puffs just crispy enough, the sugar decoration with the right consistency and making sure that the tower does not collapse.  Jaimee who had a position of assistant baker felt sure of her ability to be on top, Courtney was also sure of herself, and Christian who was not sure what a croquembouche is feared that his end in the competition was near.

 

And then it was critique time, and first was Courtney who was praised on all aspects of the croquembouche, and without doubt was at the top, Christian was criticized for appearance, Jaimee’s though was not tasty and there was too much sugar holding the profiteroles, so for that Jaimee was sent home and now only five home cooks remain.  But one home cook is worth mentioning as being at the top of her game and that is Courtney, who despite her inexperience has managed, week after week to rise up to the challenge and produce beautiful looking dishes and based on the chef’s critiques full of flavor and worthy of being placed on the menu of a high end restaurant.  Recaps and episodes can be watched online at www.fox.com/mastechef

 

“Masterchef” runs on Monday at 8 p.m. EDT on Fox.

 

http://www.examiner.com/article/masterchef-home-cook-prevails-despite-challenge

BIG BROTHER: THE SEASON OF OBVIOUS

On Sunday night’s installment of “Big Brother” the conclusion to the Head Of Household competition that began on Thursday concluded with Caleb winning, and Derrick, so certain that he would not be a target choosing instead to fill the jar that would give him five thousand dollars and five thousand hollas. 

 

This season of “Big Brother” has been quite predictable, and those aligned have done away with those they felt would affect the alliance’s ultimate game play.  There has not been a time when votes have been split but instead everyone has gone along with the majority and without much ado the week’s targets have been ousted, unless for some stretch of the imagination and some luck they managed to win the Power Of Veto, that by the way Donny managed to avoid for some time, however, last week his luck ran out. 

 

It would not be surprising if Derrick winds up winning the ultimate prize, he has manipulated and without putting himself in the spotlight has managed to vote out those that could at the end prove to be an obstacle on his way to being the last houseguest standing.  This week for all intents and purposes is Nicole, who was voted out, then managed to return to the house, but her social game and ability to win physically has proven to be her downfall, and she appears as naïve and out in limbo unaware of when to say something and when it is best to keep her mouth shut.  Christine is a floater, she has aligned herself with the strong players in the game, but in truth has not been a power house in competitions, nevertheless, talks a lot and backstabs every chance she gets.  Victoria is like a big lump just sitting there unable to win, or even come close to winning anything, she whines and cries, but other than that there is nothing there worth mentioning. 

 

Frankie has talked a lot and his time is near, once he goes on the block and unless he wins the POV, he will without doubt be walking out the door.  That leaves Cody, Caleb, and Derrick, and among those three is the winner, who will it be will be interesting to find out, regardless, though they all have played a great game; however, Caleb was a nuisance with his inability to realize that Amber did not want anything to do with him, and now his delusional belief that he can read people and know what they are about is laughable and mind-boggling.  And if there is something to look forward to in this season, other than watching the winner be crowned, will be the reunion and just about everyone finding out truths that have remained hidden, as far as identities and true personalities, for instance Derrick’s real profession of being not only a cop, but undercover cop at that. Recaps, episodes, and information on this show can be found at www.cbs.com/bb

 

“Big Brother” runs on Wednesday at 8 p.m. EDT, Thursday at 9 p.m. EDT, and Sunday at 8 p.m. EDT on CBS. 

 

http://www.examiner.com/article/big-brother-the-season-of-obvious

PROJECT RUNWAY: UNCONVENTIONAL WEDDING AND RECEPTION DRESSES

On Thursday night’s installment of “Project Runway”, the designers met Tim Gunn who walked along with the beautiful and avant-garde designer Dita Von Teese, and they were told that the challenge was to be in pairs and they were to create an unconventional wedding and reception dresses.  It needs to be pointed out that earlier, Amanda was called a phony by Korina, and this last designer would do herself a favor by not worrying so much about others, but rather concentrating on designing clothes, which apparently she forgot is the entire premise of the show, and not passing judgment on others.  However, she seems very insecure and only such behavior can lead those who suffer it to point fingers to others and criticize them, in reality just trying to bring everyone down to their own level.  Korina might be trying to win this season by bringing everyone down and perhaps have them bow out of the competition…Unlikely, she would do herself justice by grabbing a hold of her talent and creating according to what she initially presented to the panel and for which she was invited to participate in the competition. 

 

The teams then were chosen at random and they were Fade & Emily; Alexander & Samantha; Kini & Sean; Sandhya & Char; and the person Amanda did not want to work with, turned out to be her partner Korina. During the walk through to see how the designers were progressing Tim Gunn was not impressed with any design, except for Amanda’s that he called innovative and turning out to be beautiful and Korina on the other hand received harsh criticism for something that did not look original and she had much work to do in order to impress the judges and not wound up being eliminated.  And for Sean & Kini who were designing dresses for a gay wedding, and such concept indeed raised the challenge to a new level of unconventionality that Tim Gunn praised them for and was excited to see the final product. 

 

And then it was runway time and the first designer was Kini and although the dress was beautifully constructed, the ruffling at the bottom rather than elegant, just seem busy and out of place; Sean who had immunity, created a look that did not rise up to the level of reception post wedding for the bride, but rather something she would wear any day of the week on her way to work; Alexander’s dress was elegant and dramatic, and his partner Samantha created a dress that was also innovative elegant and sexy; Korina was next and her outfit immediately brought to mind sailor who re-imagined uniforms and Amanda’s dress was beautifully designed, innovative and her point of view clearly stated; Emily followed and her dress although elegant seem to dark, then again it is all a matter of state and what is innovative for one, could be blah for another, Fade’s was beautiful and original and he can be proud of his point of view; Sandhya was next and the dress was flawless in creation, but the bright yellow just screamed Big Bird all over and then it was Char also a bright yellow that looked unpolished and not finished up the standards this competition demands. 

 

The judges however had the final say, and they told Amanda & Korina their scores qualified them to move into next round, and the top looks were Sean & Kini and Fade & Emily and that meant that Sandhya & Char and Alexander & Samantha were at the bottom.  Sean & Kini won as the top look and Sean was the winner in the group, but it must be mentioned that Kini sawed the top of Sean’s outfit and this only created the pants, so Kini in actuality won the challenge, but of course Sean did not mention this.  And as far as bottom looks ultimately it was Sandhya & Char and the latter was eliminated from the competition.  Recaps, episodes, and information on the show are available at www.mylifetime.com/projectrunway

 

“Project Runway” runs on Thursday at 9:00 p.m. on Lifetime.

 

http://www.examiner.com/article/project-runway-unconventional-wedding-and-reception-dresses

AMERICA’S GOT TALENT: THE FATE OF 12 ACTS IS DECIDED

Last night on “America’s Got Talent” 12 acts heard what America had to say about their performances and whether they were to show more, or instead just go home and for some hone their craft, and others well perhaps their act does not quite meet the parameters necessary to qualify as America’s choice to headline and act and win 1 million dollars. 

 

The first order of business was to name the three acts on the bottom and in danger of going home, but America had the opportunity to save one by voting on their phones or online, and those were Aerial Animation, David & Leeman, and Mara Justine.  They would need to await their fate as the voting began and would go on for the first 30 minutes of the show.

 

The first three acts to be called forward were Heidi’s wildcard Flight Crew Jump Rope, Mel B’s wildcard Bad Boys Of Ballet, and Howie’s wildcard Mike Super, and the act with a second chance at winning the grand prize was Mike Super whose performance on Tuesday night was mesmerizing. 

 

The next two acts to be called forward were Andrey Moraru and Sons Of Serendip, and based on their performance the night before the winner was obvious, however, when it comes to a majority of people voting, only the unexpected can be expected, and the act moving forward is Sons Of Serendip, indeed they earned their spot in the final 12 and without doubt whether winning this show or not, these talented guys will be successful. 

 

The next acts to be called forward were Emily West, Paul Iety, Miguel Dakota, and Dan Naturman, and based on their performances three cold possibly be moving forward, because only one of them had received heartbreaking revenues for a lackluster appearance.  And the first save was for Emily West, but the other three were told to remain in their places, and the second act to move forward was Miguel Dakota.  That meant that Paul Iety who had disappointed on Tuesday night was sent home, and Dan Naturman was also eliminated something which he had suspected was going to take place, perhaps by expecting the worse he would not be disappointed, regardless he still remains a comedian with original material that hopefully audiences have not heard the last off. 

 

That meant that there were two spots left to fill, and it came down to the act that America decided to save from those three in the bottom, and Mara Justine was saved by America’s instant vote, and the judges would decide the sixth and final act, at the end it was David & Leeman who moved forward.  Recaps, episodes and contestants information can be found online at www.nbc.com/agt

“America’s Got Talent” runs on Tuesday at 9 p.m. and results are announced on Wednesday at 9 p.m. EDT on NBC.

 

http://www.examiner.com/article/america-s-got-talent-the-fate-of-12-acts-is-decided

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE: THE TOP FOUR DANCERS PERFORM

Last night on “So You Think You Can Dance” the top four dancers gave it their all hoping to become America’s favorite dancer, and thus be winners of the grand prize in one of the most fascinating and never disappointing reality television shows. Just about anyone can watch this show and realize what true passion and talent is about, as this performers give all they have in various music genres under the guidance of just as fascinating choreographers.

Tuesday night’s was no exception as the dancers performed with a partner, -a fellow contestant-, as well as with all-stars. First up were Ricky & Valerie performing an African Jazz routine choreographed by Sean Cheesman and their performance was outstanding telling a story with rhythmic precision with moves that were fascinating, intense, and wild. Next up were Jessica & Zack with a Broadway routine under the guidance of Spencer Liff and they were outstanding in a routine that not only was sexy, but as well elegant and seductive.

Then it was time for Zack & Valerie to dance a Contemporary routine choreographed by Tyce Diorio mesmerizing movements telling a story of love hindered, however, fostered no matter what, they were outstanding and beautiful.

Next up were Ricky & Jessica with a Jazz routine choreographed by Ray Leeper and if they have been outstanding during solos and paired with other dancers, during this number they told everyone watching that together Ricky & Jessica epitomize beauty and magnificence on the dance floor.

Then it was time for Jessica & Valerie to dance together in a Bollywood routine created by Nakul Dev Mahajan there was high energy and beautiful dancing from both dancers who no matter what is thrown at them always wound up mesmerizing audience, judges, and viewers. Next up were Ricky & Zack in a Hip-Hop routine choreographed by Christopher “Pharsioe” Jennings and Crystal “Phoenix” Meraz, outstanding performance of battling rivals, wow, after that number it is difficult to say that one guy is better than the other, because they were both fascinating and just outright spectacular.

Next was a Tap routine for Valerie and all-star Aaron choreographed by Anthony Morigerato and they danced beautifully, the story depicted with ease and yet fun, once again Valerie did not disappoint. Ricky was next with his solo in Contemporary and he was outstanding, fascinating, and beautiful, exquisite moves so flawless and heartfelt that it just melts the heart of anyone watching; he is a fascinating dancer and overall performer. Next up was Ricky and all-star Katherine in a Contemporary routine choreographed by Stacey Tookey and to say that it was sensational would be putting it lightly, Ricky has throughout the competition rather than appear tired, has instead gotten better if such is possible in any way, he is a superb dancer that will mesmerize audiences for years to come.

Next up was Valerie with her solo performance in Tap and she was excellent, such quick feet and facial expression of joy that is endearing. Zack was next, paired up with all-star Aaron in a Tap routine choreographed by Anthony Morigerato and the dancing was so mesmerizing and beautiful that it brought tears to everyone watching, such perfection and unfortunately there can only be one guy who wins; no question that that is unfortunate. Jessica was next with her solo routine in Jazz and once again she was outstanding and had the audience on their feet. And the final performance of the night belonged to Jessica with all-star Robert in a Contemporary routine choreographed by Travis Wall what a beautiful performance of unrequited love with such passion and fluid movement that left no room for doubt as to what the story was behind the dancing; outstanding performance. And Zack closed the show with his solo in Tap dance and he gave it his all. Recaps, episodes and information on the dancers can be found online at www.fox.com/dance

“So You Think You Can Dance” runs on Wednesday at 8 p.m. EDT on Fox.

http://www.examiner.com/article/so-you-think-you-can-dance-the-top-four-dancers-perform

FACE OFF: THE WIZARD OF OZ MEETS ALICE IN WONDERLAND

On Tuesday night’s episode of “Face Off” the makeup artists were sent to the iconic Sony Pictures Studios and there they met McKenzie Westmore, who stood near a tea party and underneath the rainbow created in honor of the all time favorite movie The Wizard Of Oz. They were told that the Spotlight Challenge will be in pairs, so they chose their partners and then they were told what the challenge involved and that is creating a character from The Wizard Of Oz that has fallen down the rabbit hole and wound up in Alice In Wonderland. Then they were to find out their characters by lifting a cup, first George & Drew got Wicked Witch Of The West; Dina & Stella will alter the Winged Monkey; Cig & Damien received Scarecrow; Rachael & Keaghlan will do makeup on the Tin Woodman; and Jason & Sasha got the Cowardly Lion. 

 

Then it was time for sketching and deciding on the concept, the teams were all in sync regarding the story behind the alteration, but Sasha and Jason were not on the same boat and Jason wishing to lean more on the creepy side and Sasha wanting to be whimsical, that by the way was to be bottom line for the challenge, went ahead with Jason because she was unable to voice her opinion due to her inability to be confrontational, something that seems counterproductive in an industry where the competition is relentless and points of view must be declared loud and clear in order to be heard; such meek attitude can be her downfall. 

And just as renowned makeup artist and mentor on the show Michael Westmore and daughter and host of “Face Off’ McKenzie Westmore went around the workroom to see everyone’s progress; Jason was told by Mr. Westmore that the lion’s makeup needed to be whimsical and not pussycat looking as it appeared then and the colors, Jason was thinking about, were too realistic, instead of what the challenge called for colorful, bright, just as it would be in Alice In Wonderland.  It was as though, Jason had not listen to a singe detail of the challenge and with blinders on opted for his own conception regardless of the consequences. Sasha on the other hand tried very hard to put her spin on the makeup that called for much playfulness and brightness, realism and creepiness was never two adjectives used to describe the challenge. 

 

And then it was time to present their finished products to the judges, first up was Dina & Stella’s Winged Monkey and as far as shape it looked whimsical and fun, but it lacked color on the face; Sasha and Jason’s Cowardly Lion was next and did not look whimsical, but rather something that went wrong during makeup in a horror show; Drew & Georges’s Wicked Witch Of The West was outstanding great expression of disgust and somewhat evil overall appearance; Keaghlan and Rachael’s Tin Woodman’s make up was outstanding, so good that the head piece looked indeed as though made out of tin; and  Cig & Damien’s Scarecrow just as they feared screamed mask rather than makeup. 

 

The judges first spoke to Drew & George and told that their color scheme did not meet the challenge, Cig & Damien were called clever as far as the colors, however, there was so much that the face got lost, Stella & Dina were praised on the most successful merging of both worlds, next up Sasha and Jason and they were told that the makeup begged for more whimsicality in colors and facial expression which was mask like without movement and nothing to do with the challenge’s parameters, and then it was Rachael and Keaghlan’s Tin Woodman and their creation was praised for the cleanliness of the work and the overall creativity. 

 

The top two teams were Stella & Dina and Rachael & Keaghlan, the winning team was Stella & Dina, and Dina was the overall winner of the challenge, and in the bottom were Cig, Damien, Sasha, and Jason, and Jason ultimately was sent home because he missed the mark completely.  Recaps and episodes can be watched online at www.syfy.com/faceoff

 

“Face Off” runs on Tuesday at 9 p.m. EDT on SYFY.

 

http://www.examiner.com/article/face-off-the-wizard-of-oz-meets-alice-wonderland

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE INTERVIEW WITH DEBBIE ALLEN

Debbie Allen has been involved with dancing her whole life, she was a dance teacher on Fame, she is also guest judge on “So You Think You Can Dance”, and is a choreographer as well.  She has created a new program called T2 Dance Crew, not only to raise awareness for a disease known as type 2 diabetes but as well to give advice to sufferers and those prone to acquiring this terrible illness, as to how to manage this disease through exercising in the form of dance and diet. 

 

Igarin Idarraga: First of all let me say that is an honor a pleasure to speak with you, I have admired your work since the days of Fame.

 

Debbie Allen: Oh thank you, it’s been quite a journey for me all the way from  Fame to now.

 

Igarin Idarraga: Ms. Allen, I have to ask, will you be in the finale of So You Think You Can Dance tonight?

 

Debbie Allen: Yes I am Igarin, I couldn’t do it this year because I have been directing, I directed Witches of East End and I just finished directing a new show Jane The Virgin and this is a great show for the Latin American community and it stars Gina Rodriguez and a lot of it is in subtitles, because a lot of it is in Spanish.

 

II: That is great, and what is T2 Dance Crew about?

 

DB: T2 Dance Crew is about people with diabetes in America and a condition that really can be managed, I mean once you have it, you have it, but it can be managed with diet and exercise. The idea behind T2 Dance Crew is for people with diabetes, or those challenged with the idea of it, if it is in the family’s gene pool to start exercising by dancing. The whole idea of T2 Dance Crew is to get people dancing as a form of exercise, dance is so popular nowadays, and it is much more fun than riding a bike, or go running by yourself is so much fun. The idea is to get people engaged in dancing with Janette Manrara and Fikshun who created some little routines that people can go online and learn and hopefully this will spark their interest and motivate them; this could start a whole trend.  I started a salsa class, I have about 12 couples and we dance and we sweat, it is so much fun and then we eat, but we eat healthy food such as salads and ceviche, you know light things, the whole thing is to create an energetic and healthy community.  Dance is life for me, it has saved me from many things, and there were so many challenges for me growing up in Texas. You know, my mother moved to Mexico that’s when I first started dancing, due to the racial divide made impossible for me to take classes at a certain level so my mother moved to Mexico and there were no barriers I went to Bellas Artes every Sunday, I trained with the ballet Nacional.  And so I know what dance can do for the world, it did a lot for me, but also what it does for my family.  My dad we lost much too early which really makes me want to call out loud for action and people need to pay attention and this is something that affects a large number of the Black and Hispanic American community, and hopefully the launch of this program will initiate a movement for a lot of our communities and households.

 

II: Yes I was reading on the illness and it is treatable through watching what you eat and exercise.

 

DB: Exactly and you know we have to look at that because we have a lot of traditional foods, and (laugh) I love fried chicken as much as the next person, but you can’t have that everyday, you can’t eat fried things every day it’s just not healthy. You certainly have to balance it out with your physical that you exude and dancing is the best salsa, hip-hop is the best.

 

II: Tango is one of the best dances in the world.

 

DB: Oh are you kidding, child please is the sexiest dance on the planet and you know what other dance is a lot of fun is Samba, I went down to Brasil, I was doing some work on television, but I was up until 3 in the morning every night at the Samba school dancing, those rhythms are so infectious and those drums I didn’t want to go home, so that is the goal if people can find that music that inspire them and just jump in there we could have a much healthier community all around.  Women specially are paying attention because we are the ones that design the activities for the family and what we put on the table and so they are paying attention.  You know obesity in our young people is at an all time high, you know the First Lady Michelle Obama has taken the time to address an issue that is of great importance to her in getting everyone to start working out, specially our young.

 

II: So Ms. Allen what is the actual website where people go to learn the routines that you and the dancers have created?

 

DB: Yes, you just have to go to www.t2dancecrew.com and you will see testimonials from me, from doctors, it is bilingual, it is in English and Spanish, you will the dances that Fikshun and Janet, but you just get a sense of how you gauge and get a sense that that one little step can make a difference for the rest of your life, I am encouraging everyone to take that first look.

 

II: Great Ms. Allen now talking about So You Think You Can Dance, who do you think is going to win?

 

DB: Now you know better that I know better than to predict (laugher) you can do it, you are not going to get it out of me all I can say is that we have two winners instead of one. It is down to the final four and any one of them is deserving of the title and it is just a matter of who is America’s favorite, because this is what this is, not always the best dancer that wins, is the favorite, the one you feel you want to invite to your home, the one you feel connected to, it is exciting we have two tap dancers and this speaks volumes of Nigel’s –Nigel Lythgoe producer and director on So You Think You Can Dance-, vision and the panel which always have encouraged tap dancers and dancers of all genres to come forward; I hope next year we have a Flamenco dancer, no one dances more beautiful than Flamenco. I think this show is amazing and I want to encourage everyone to tune in because we need big ratings because we want that network –Fox-, to keep this show on the air

 

II: The way I look at it, is who has the most fans that will tune in to vote.

 

DB: Yes we need to get people to vote instead of fussing and standing in the way, so I think So You Think You Can Dance is promoting democracy.

 

II: Ms Allen thank you so much for taking the time for this interview, I know you are busy lady, I wish the best of luck in everything you do and look forward to comments regarding this article. 

 

DB: Oh thank you for the interview and for everything you do and I will make sure to follow your blog. 

 

Thank you again Ms. Debbie Allen for taking the time to speak with me, and give us valuable information on a disease that plagues a large number of people in our country. 

 

http://www.examiner.com/article/so-you-think-you-can-dance-my-exclusive-interview-with-debbie-allen