Casting Rumors – Gossip by NoMoreDrama
Real Housewives of Orange County is coming back to Bravo in April. Yay?? Admittedly it’s not my favorite of the franchises. Anyway, this season they are bringing back all of Season 7’s cast (including Alexis who quit/didn’t quit/quit/didn’t quit more times than I can remember since Season 7 aired), plus a new Housewife – Lydia McLaughlin – that we first saw with the other ladies in the airport on her way to Tamra’s bachelorette party. Tamra’s wedding was supposed to be a story line this season, but she’s still engaged and the wedding is a few months off. She also opened a fitness club. Rumors have been afloat that Gretchen and Slade were being dropped because they weren’t advancing their story line. They were still caught up in the – I want to have a baby but not with you until you clean up your crap – situation. In real life, Slade’s son Grayson underwent brain surgery to remove some tumors last fall. There were complications and he was in the hospital for months. Heather was busy being an actress all fall and winter, with guest star roles in a few sitcoms. Vicki broke up with Brooks and got back with Brooks and worked on finalizing her divorce. As for the new lady, Lydia. Well she’s not an overworked blonde so that’s a start. She’s 31, a wife and mom of two young children – so a real housewife. She’s been very quiet on social media since she was discovered as a housewife months ago. Here’s what Bravo has to say about her:
“Lydia McLaughlin joins The Real Housewives of Orange County in Season 8. Lydia is the granddaughter of Canadian media mogul Geoff Stirling, founder of NTV, the first 24-hour television station in Canada. Lydia and her husband Doug live in Dana Point with their two sons, 4-year-old Stirling and 2-year-old Maverick. This young, kooky mother always puts her family and faith first, but in her spare time, she and her husband channel her grandfather’s entrepreneurial spirit by running a magazine highlighting the glamorous life in Southern California. ”
She also has a jewelry line – “Owner of Lydia M Jewelry and SKYLAB Modern Art, Managing Editor of ‘Beverly Hills Lifestyle Magazine'”
They list her hometown as St. John’s Canada. If Bravo got the apostrophe right that means she’s from Newfoundland – which is just about as far from Orange County as a person can get. There is a possibility they meant St. John, which is in New Brunswick and not quite as remote as Newfoundland. Now my interest is peaked. I have known quite a few people from Newfoundland in my day, and they tend to be an interesting bunch.
Real Housewives of New York – There hasn’t been much news on that franchise. My guess is they are filming some new ladies and then will make decisions soon and start with the remainder of the cast.
Real Housewives of Beverly Hills – This franchise seems to be more leak/gossip prone than any but New Jersey. There are various rumors swirling. Perez Hilton even has them all on the chopping block with the exception of Brandi and Lisa. But we know from Brandi’s twitter feed that she heard a rumor Lisa wasn’t coming back – a rumor Lisa said was just a rumor. Taylor has said that the show hasn’t even been picked up for Season 4 and no casting decisions have been made. Adrienne seems sure to be out – given how little she filmed last season and the C & D letter – but she’s pulling out all stops with her new
fake boyfriend to make herself seem interesting. I say drop her. She’s not willing to share her real life with viewers – so why bother with her. I’m specifically talking about her separation with Paul that was going on behind the scenes when they pretended nothing was going on – on screen. No one is talking about Camille but I wonder if she’ll be back. Kim Richards should be dropped. Yolanda will have to figure out a way to make time to film with the others if she wants to come back. It’s a show about relationships – and she has had so little screen time with the others it’s hard to understand how she made it as a full time housewife. I suppose we have MONTHS of this before we learn who is back.
Project Runway “A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock and Roll” by BB
Last episode Joseph Aaron Segal, Providence RI, was eliminated.
The 12 remaining designers are: From The Dream Team: Benjamin, Matthew, Samantha (1 Win), Tu, Stanley and Layana (1 Win): From Team Keeping It Real: Daniel (2 Wins), Amanda, Kate (1 Win), Patricia, Richard, and Michelle.
Host and Judge: Heidi Klum; Judges: Zac Posen and Nina Garcia; Mentor: Tim Gunn; Guest Judge: Miranda Lambert
At end of last week’s challenge, Tim informs the designers there is still some business to take care of that night. They go back to the runway and Tim and Heidi come out. Heidi is holding the infamous “button bag.” She thinks it’s time to change things up a little. They will be working in smaller groups of two. Samantha won the last challenge and she can choose her partner first. She chooses Daniel.
Heidi chooses a name from the button bag, Richard. He chooses Stanley as his partner. Patricia is next and she chooses Layana (Layana is not that thrilled about working with Patricia). Matthew is next and he chooses Michelle. Kate chooses Tu. That leaves Benjamin and Amanda as partners. Since Amanda’s team tried to throw her under the bus last challenge, he’s not so sure about her. He is going to try to push her to be more adventurous. Amanda is a little hurt that her teammates were so dramatic about wanting her to go home.
This week the designers meet at a bar called Johnny Utah’s. Tim tells them to get into a country western frame of mind. The challenge will be to design a performance look and a red carpet look for country music star Miranda Lambert. Samantha has immunity for this challenge. Amanda is excited that Miranda Lambert is more of a rock and roll country star and thinks she’s cool. They will get a dossier of what Miranda has worn in the past. Miranda loves her curves so they should think about that in their designs. She wants her performance look to be a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll. She wants her red carpet look to be chic, but not overdone.
Patricia wants to do Miranda’s performance look, so Layana will be doing the red carpet look. Ben will do the red carpet look and Amanda will be doing her performance look. Amanda is from Nashville, so Benjamin thinks this should be an advantage. Michelle will be doing the red carpet and Mathew will be doing the performance look. Daniel will be doing the red carpet look and Samantha will be doing the performance look. Richard will be doing the performance piece and Stanley will be doing red carpet. At this point, I can’t tell what Kate and Tu have planned to do, only that they seem to be in synch with each other so far.
At Mood, when Michelle goes to get some Navy material, she notices that almost every designer is in the leather department looking at Navy, so she decides to go in a different direction. Mathew is looking at denim, but wants to make sure it looks special. Benjamin and Amanda have $130 left over from their mood money and Benjamin automatically thinks they screwed up. We shall see.
All the designers are feeling good about what they are planning. Tim comes in to check in with them. He tells them that since they are still teams, the team on the top will have the winning designer and the team on the bottom will have someone going home. They can have the best design, but if their partner has a stinker of a design, it won’t matter.
Samantha and Daniel are first and Tim likes Samantha’s leather jacket look and thinks Daniel needs to tone his design down a little. Layana is worried about the time element for her design, but Tim likes where she’s going. As for Patricia, Tim says she is truly not boring and her idea is innovative. Layana doesn’t know how Patricia is going to pull it off.
Kate is making a red leather dress and Amanda has never seen anything like it on Miranda Lambert. Tu has things on the side of his dress and Tim is worried about the exaggerated shapes. Tim says Tu has Lady Ga Ga’d his dress and he’s worried. Seems maybe Kate and Tu could be in trouble unless they make some adjustments. Kate gives Tu some suggestions and Tim agrees. Tu goes along but he’s a little frustrated.
Tim believes in Stanley’s vision and tells Richard he has a fabulous idea happening, but he’s thinks it needs something underneath to cover up. Tim likes Amanda’s fringe idea. She always gets a good critique from Tim, but not on the runway, so she takes it with a grain of salt. Tim also loves Benjamin’s idea. Benjamin seems more confident this time around.
Michelle is making a leather bodice with a denim long skirt for the red carpet. Kate’s not so sure that’s going to work. Mathew is still not sure about his plan and Tim wants him to believe in what he’s doing and be more decisive. Tim tells Mathew he has a great partner too. He gives Matt a pep talk.
Tim leaves them telling them he thinks Miranda will be happy.
Mathew and Tu are worried about their designs. Richard doesn’t think he will have time to line his dress. Michelle does a good imitation of Nina Garcia like Santino used to imitate Tim Gunn.
Daniel has been gushing about his creation all day and Kate thinks all his winning may be going to his head. Amanda is getting nervous about her fringe because it’s so tedious and she keeps getting ahead of herself. She is from a family of over-achievers so she always feels the pressure to do well. Michelle is concerned. Her garment is almost finished and Mathew is nowhere near finished.
It’s runway day. Who is confident and who is stressing? The confident ones seem to be Michelle, Kate and Daniel. The nervous ones are Matt (because he’s not finished) and Richard (because of its uniqueness and coverage) and Stanley. At the last minute, Richard uses some Mood T-shirts he and Stanley bought with leftover Mood money, so it’s part of the budget. Michelle tries to help Matt with his skirt. Stanley and Tu are the last to get their models dressed and off to the runway. Here we go.
Team Daniel and Samantha: Samantha’s vest and ruffled skirt looks cool, but it may not have enough movement for the stage. I also like Daniel’s red carpet look. It’s a dark Navy/purplish color and the top is pretty.
Team Kate and Tu: Tu’s outfit doesn’t look performancy to me at all. Kate’s red leather dress looks different with the red leather top and red chiffon bottom, but I’m not sure it works.
Team Richard and Stanley: I think Richard’s design is a great performance look. It has lots of movement. Stanley’s dress looks really well made and pretty from what I can see and he seems more confident about it now that he sees it on the runway.
Team Patricia and Layana: Patricia’s dress definitely looks Native American. Layana’s dress is elegant looking but you can’t really see the detailing on the top as Layana says.
Team Benjamin and Amanda: The performance dress is fringy and flirty and has the movement for the stage. Miranda has a smile on her face. Benjamin’s dress is very pretty, but I don’t see a smile on Miranda’s face when she’s looking at it.
Team Michelle and Mathew: Matt’s top and skirt look is a little plain. Michelle’s top and skirt is very different looking and cool. I kind of like it, but it’s not your normal red carpet elegant look.
The safe teams are Kate and Tu and Patricia and Layana and they leave the runway. That means the rest have the highest and lowest scores.
Richard and Stanley and Amanada and Benjamin have the highest scores. That means Michelle and Mathew and Daniel and Samantha have the lowest scores. Shows you what I know because I didn’t think Daniel and Samantha were on the bottom!
Zac loves the movement of Richard’s dress and Heidi thinks it looks expensive. Nina thinks it plays up Miranda’s curves. Miranda thinks it’s a really good length. Miranda loves the plunging neckline of Stanley’s dress but usually goes with less fabric on the bottom. Zac likes the elements of the dress. Nina’s not sure it’s perfect for Miranda because it’s a lot of dress. Heidi thinks it’s sexy.
Nina thinks Benjamin’s dress is elegant and beautiful. Zac likes the styling and the overall look. Miranda is worried about the fabric not being forgiving, but Heidi thinks it would look great on Miranda. Nina thinks Miranda could rock the dress, so Miranda says lets go for it. Miranda thinks Amanda’s dress is cool and it’s something she would wear. She likes that she could wear a normal bra and there’s no chance of an accident. Nina loves the easiness of the dress and it could be easily accessorized. Heidi tells Amanda it’s good to see her on top after last week.
Now, the teams with the lowest scores. Heidi thinks if Miranda wore Michelle’s dress on the red carpet, she would wind up on the worst dress list. Miranda doesn’t like the fringe necklace (I didn’t like that either, but I thought the skirt looked cool). Zac thinks it’s too casual for red carpet. They all like the back. Nina says it looks dated and like “bad” rock and roll. Michelle says she loves it and defends her look. Miranda says she appreciates what Michelle tried to do.
Heidi sees that Matt put a lot of detail in his dress but she doesn’t see the performance in it. Zac says he didn’t go for it. Miranda tells Matt he has no confidence in his craft and she can tell he can do better. Michelle takes up for Matt and tells him his look for the last challenge was amazing. Miranda thinks Matt needs to find his confidence.
Miranda says Daniel’s dress is what people think a country star should wear on the carpet, but it’s not. Nina thinks it looks inexpensive and a cross between a table cloth and napkin. Nina is so surprised at Daniel’s look. She says it’s just bad, bad, bad. Zac needs to see Daniel’s look evolve. Heidi thinks Samantha is lucky she has immunity. Zac wants more wow. Miranda would rather wear what Samantha is wearing than the outfit she designed for the runway. Heidi tells Samantha not to design something that is far away from what they would normally do.
So who’s the winner and who’s going home? I don’t want to see Daniel, Matt or Michelle go home! I really don’t.
Samantha has immunity and leaves the runway. Heidi tells Matt he has lost his way, tells Daniel his dress looked cheap, and tells Michelle the judges question her taste level. Matt is out. He had his chances just like everyone else, but just didn’t believe in himself enough. I hope he can come back on another version of project runway one day because I think he has the talent for it. As for Michelle, she needs to figure out how to keep from being on the bottom or losing team every time.
Top Chef Seattle Finale by SugarMagnolia
2 chefs remain, Brooke and Sheldon. Very sweet scene between the two of them in Alaska. Maui–Sheldon has been home for 6 months, working, and waiting for the finale. He did a stage during the off-time, because he knows Brooke has worked for some of the best and he needs to level the playing field. His dream is to open his own restaurant. I adore Sheldon, such a gentle soul but a beast in the kitchen. His daughters are beautiful. Brooke, home in LA. Her son is precious! She has 2 restaurants and shares her struggle of running the businesses versus just wanting to cook. We meet her hubby and find out that she hired him as her sous, and then fell in love. I have mad respect for a woman who is succeeding in a man’s world. I enjoy seeing the family stuff. I am at a serious loss for who I want to win the title. Sheldon, Brooke, Lizzie, and Kristen were my choices at the beginning of the season, and I would be more than happy to see any one of them take it. They are keeping us in suspense on who will be the third in the finale.
It’s finally time for us to find out who is coming to compete from the Last Chance Kitchen. Sheldon and Brooke are en route to Craft, where it will time to get this show on the road. Both of them are laser focused on the prize. Who will it be? They meet Padma, Hugh, and Emeril. Only 2 challenges stand between them and the title of Top Chef. We get a montage of LCK–and my favorite tall guy CJ. *Top Chef fun fact–on CJ’s first season, they had to repaint the kitchen pre-production because he is so tall, he was towering over the unfinished ceiling.* And finally, our third cheftestant is revealed. It is……..Kristen. YESl!!!! This is going to be an epic battle! All 3 are so deserving to be the last one standing. I wish they could all win, but there is only one winner.
3 hours until service begins. The cheftestants will be cooking at Craft this evening. Tom will be expediting. They are each responsible for an appetizer, entree, and dessert. Sheldon feels the proverbial heat of this challenge, but wants to honor Tom, his kitchen, and his customers by giving serving a great meal. Tom’s advice is to not “screw this up.” And time starts….NOW.
It’s a race to the walk-in to survey the product they have to work with. Sheldon eyes spot prawns and jokes that they are whispering to him “I will help you win.” Brooke is overwhelmed with choices. Her first thought is short ribs, but then changes her mind. Kristen is doing duck, tuna, and chocolate for her courses. Sheldon is doing spot prawns, quail, and a white chocolate and fennel dessert. Quail is way out of Sheldon’s comfort zone but he wants to show his range. Brooke has finally decided on sweetbreads for her first course, but is still not committed to a protein for her entree. As we have seen this season, she is a superstar at editing her dishes as she goes. Although having a plan in place is ideal, she has proven she does her best work under pressure. Kristen is ready to redeem herself, and she is brilliant. Gosh, I wish I could taste their dishes! I love duck and any kind of organ meat! They are busy cooking, and Hugh is doing Tom’s usual job by visiting them in the kitchen. He is going over their menu’s with them and gives Brooke big kudo’s for her creativity. He is very proud of her. Sheldon is warned to not burn down Craft! Enter Tom meeting with Kristen. She is doing a veloute–very traditional French. ***The best voluete I have ever had is Naomi Pomeroy’s from Portland’s Beast restaurant. She does a celery voulete that is out of this world. If you find your way to Portland, I highly recommend that you spend the $70 on her 6 course dinner service. Reservations are necessary, as she does 2 services per evening. *** I am sure that Kristen will knock it out of the park with hers. Her weakness is over-thinking her dishes, so keeping it simple is key to her success tonight. Emeril meets with Sheldon and it’s not so much of a strategy discussion as it is a pep talk. Both of them started washing dishes and worked their way up. Surprisingly, no one seems to be in the weeds except for Brooke. But we know she can get it done. She is quiet and focused, but we still don’t know what she is serving. As per usual, all chefs are struggling with dessert. Sheldon makes a funny when he finds out that Kristen is going an Asian route for her entree. “You don’t cook Asian, you Asian!” 20 minutes left on the clock. Brooke is doing short ribs after all.
Tom is ready to expedite. For those of you who have never worked in a restaurant, the expediter is basically the most important person other than the chef. They manage the tickets and alert the chefs when to fire a course and ensure that the diners all receive appetizers, entrees, and dessert, hot, and served at the same time. And they do it for every table in the store. It is a juggling act and requires fitting together pieces of a moving puzzle all at once. It takes talent, focus, and experience. They also ensure that every plate that goes out is done to order, i.e. if you order a steak medium rare, it goes out medium rare.
Enter Judges for Service
Padma informs the judges that Tom will not be joining them because he is expediting. They joke that they will blame him if their courses are not spaced appropriately. See what I mean about expediting? And our judges are not introduced, but they are Padma, Hugh, Emeril, John Besh, and Martin Yan (Yan Can Cook).
First Course (as usual, judges comments are in parenthesis)
Sheldon–Sashimi spot prawns, court bouillon, radish and asian herbs (prawns perfectly cooked, very delicate, and highly difficult dish to execute)
Kristen–Chestnut Veloute, duck rillette and brussel sprouts (surprised by her choice of rillette, they would’ve liked a little more acidity)
Brooke–Crispy veal sweetbread salad with kumquat, beets and mustard (great flavors, aromatic, but sweetbreads could have been cleaned a little more)
We see Tom is doing it doing it and doing it well. He is on top of all tickets, and sadly, Brooke is still in the weeds. He asks her to replate a dish because it’s cold and tells her he really needs her dishes fast because she is causing service to get backed up. In her TH, she is certain she’s not going to make it through this round of competition.
Kristen–seared ahi tuna with veal mustard jus and meyer lemon puree (perfectly seared, moist on the inside. lemon puree a little overkill, a little too salty. Besh and Acheson throw Tom under the bus for possibly salting their plates. Big chuckle)
Brooke–braised short ribs, parmesan sauce, nettle puree and squash dumplings (perfectly cooked, and the flavors compliment each other wonderfully)
Sheldon–roasted quail, pine nut peruee, garam masala and tangerine (quail is done very well, but overall, the dish does not represent Sheldon. His strategy was to surprise them, but it seems it did not go over well.)
Tom is still busting heini as expeditor, and Brooke is still in the weeds. He insists on tasting every dish before it gets plated and is very irritated with Brooke.
Brooke–brown butter cake, whipped goat cheese and blackberry sauce. (that is really really good…not over buttery, and the texture is perfect)
Kristen–curry chocolate with cashews (the descriptives were mixed–“interesting”, “basic”)
Sheldon–white chocolate mousse with apple and fennel ***why do they call it white chocolate when there is no cacao in it?** (the fresh fennel distracted the judges from the other flavors)
And it’s done…Tom congratulates them on a job well done, and now it’s time for Judges Table.
Tom heads out to the dining room of Craft to get the opinions of the judges. Besh gives 2 thumbs up with an “overall Awesome” rating, Hugh thought they were too safe, Yan felt they could have put more attention to individual elements. Padma thanks Yan and Besh for joining them, Tom has to get changed out of his chefs gear, and they will meet back shortly. The chefs are berating themselves for the few mistakes they made, and have general anxiety about what comes next. But, the stew room is full of Red Hook to help placate their nerves.
And it’s time…
Stern faces….For one of you, the road ends here, says Padma. ***I almost want to keep it on pause, because I don’t want any of them to PYKAG.*** Sheldon’s spot prawns were cooked perfectly, and the quail was well seasoned and prepared, however the pine nuts did not translate. Especially because he did not roast them first. Emeril, who was Sheldon’t mentor for all intents and purposes, mentioned their conversation. “You said we were going to see a new Sheldon. Well, I don’t know what was wrong with the old Sheldon. That’s what got you here.” Perhaps he overreached, because the judges were not impressed by his decision to show range. Dessert–almost no point to recap. None of them are strong in pastry so the commentary was the same as it has been for the last 9 seasons. I sometimes wonder why they even waste the production time on this course. None of them do it well, that’s why there was a TC Desserts spin-off! Unless one cooks in a very small restaurant, they never do dessert; there is usually a pastry chef for that. Ugh…Kristen–appetizer was good, but here goes Unibrow, continuing to pontificate on how “safe” her choice was. Acheson is particularly tough on her tonight. Why did she choose tuna? Like Sheldon, it was a departure from her typical classical French influence. She had plenty of time to reflect on her last elimination, so she wanted to keep everything simple and easy to execute. Dessert–again, I am boycotting this topic of the episode. Boooring, and I hope the TC gods just get rid of this for the coming seasons–they always fail, because it’s NOT WHAT THEY DO!!! Brooke–appetizer was great–well cooked, crispy, bright notes from the kumquots, but Unibrow reiterates that he wished she had cleaned them more. Again, Tom berates her for her time management. Brooke’s second course was delicious–the short ribs were perfectly cooked, and her sauce was phenomenal. Padma admits that she was tempted to finish Kristen’s tuna with Brooke’s sauce. Dessert # 3–Sug Mag is not going to write about it! It matters not.
Chefs are dismissed while the judges discuss. Tom is having a mental battle with himself, because past dishes are not supposed to be in play, just the plate in front them. But he can’t help but think about their evolution through the competition. You’re breaking your own rules Colicchio! A basic reiteration of their previous comments, while our beloved chefs stew in the stew room. And now, we wait. (BTW, what is up with that ghetto table? Come one Magical Elves, get a better set coordinator!)
A brief recap of the season by Tom. Sheldon, please PYKAG. Ugh, that was painful! Of course, in his usual gentleman nature, accepts the decision and thanks the judges for their mentoring and for the amazing experience. I am sad to see him go, but hot damn, we are finally going to have another woman with the title! It’s about time! Sheldon is humble and thankful and he wishes all of us viewers Aloha. ***To you Sheldon, I say Mahalo. It has been a pleasure to watch you this season.***
Brooke and Kristen high-five, but know that they have to compete against each other now. And they both want it. Badly.
Next week–for the first time ever, the finale is taking place in a live cook-off (hello Iron Chef!). A lot of blood, sweat, and tears while past winners watch them battle to the $125k. ***I honestly couldn’t pick one of them, so glad I just blog and not judge! Stephanie Izzard, it is time to hand over your chef crown to our second female victor!*** I can’t wait!
See you next week fellow foodies! I apologize for missing 2 weeks, but my computer died, the flu hit, and I have been having to borrow my hubby’s laptop for the few hours he is home each night. I promise to have part 2 posted on time next week.
Friday Night Lineup, February 22nd by BB
8PM – Undercover Boss (CBS); Nikita (CW); Dateline NBC (NBC); Last Man Standing/Malibu County (ABC); Kitchen Nightmares (Fox); Washington Week with Gwen Ifil/Need to Know (PBS); Four Weddings (TLC); Gold Rush Live Finale (Disc); WWE (SyFy); E! News Special (E!); Police Women of Dallas (OWN); American Cougar: Revealed (NatGeo)
9PM – CSI NY (CBS); Shark Tank (ABC); American Masters: Sister Rosetta Tharpe (PBS); Say Yes to the Dress (TLC); Fatal Attractions (Anpl); Ghost Adventures (Trvl); Cat Wars (NatGeo); Alpha Dogs (NatGeoWild)
10PM – Blue Bloods (CBS); Rock Center with Brian Williams (NBC); 20/20 (Robin Roberts’ Journey); Touch (Fox); House Hunters (HGTV); Something Borrowed, Something New (TLC); Yukon Men (Disc); Merlin (SyFy); Fashion Police (E!); Best Week Ever/Jenny McCarthy (VH1); Who The Bleep?:Balloon Boy Incident (ID); Alaska Fish Wars (NatGeoWild)