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  1. When I saw that, all I could think of was Scrump from "Lilo & Stitch" -- which would have been totally appropriate if he'd actually sold it. Instead, it was just sad. Not much else to say this week that hasn't already been said. Andrew definitely deserved to go, but I cringed a little when the judges started actually praising his scarecrow as abstract or whatever. I felt like they were making an excuse to the viewers about why they were keeping him, and it was painful. Between that and the airing of Zac's splintered fondant soapbox, the judges did not acquit themselves well this week.
  2. Small Talk: Boo!

    You know, somehow it seems very appropriate for a Halloween show that the contestants have to hypnotize all their ingredients to get into the pan and cook themselves... :D But no, I don't believe they're allowed to actually have recipes with them, although since most of them are professional bakers, I expect they would know many of them by rote anyway.
  3. As far as I can remember these have always been the judges. This is the second season for this team. Carla's the only one who's been on the show all four seasons. The first season had Ron Ben-Israel and Sherry Yard with Ms. Hall, which I still think is the best team of judges they've had for any of the Baking Championships. Second season had (ugh) Damiano along with Sandra Lee. This episode was definitely a breath of fresh air after the just-completed mediocre Kids cycle. It seems like they've amped up the Halloween...ness of things this year, which suits me just fine. The main challenge was interesting, since they recently did something similar on GBBO, and a lot of the posters on that board (and I) had never seen it before. And yes, I agree that Andrew got lucky that Brian bombed harder than he did. Neither of his creations worked very well. I also wasn't a big fan of Lyndsy at first, but the fact that she actually told a story around her creation earned her that win. Looking forward to the rest of the season!
  4. Season 5 of KBC

    My first reaction was "well, I suppose a disappointing season deserves a disappointing result". I wound up liking Natasha best of the finalists, and I agree that Taylor seemed a bit more caustic than usual in this episode. However, to me Taylor's cake looked by far the best, and it sounded like at least some of her flavors came through as opposed to none of Natasha's. Then again, I am not a big fan of rosettes, and when your only decoration on your cake is rosettes I'm going to hate it, not to mention that her work on the rosettes was sloppy. Yes, the leprechaun was sort of cute, but he was sitting in a bed of cake crumbs -- yes, she baked them into cupcakes, but as they pointed out it was the same batter as her cake, so she barely met the twist. It feels like she beat Taylor entirely on the strength of her leprechaun legs, because every other part of Taylor's cake was better, and that's just wrong. But, you know, standard disclaimer about not being able to taste things, blah blah blah... Actually, that about sums up my opinion of this season as a whole: blah. Maybe go back to doing this once a year and the talent level will go back to what it was.
  5. Season 5 of KBC

    Which, sadly, is a sizable step up from most of the season. This was the first episode that felt even remotely like last season, even if it was only from a flow standpoint rather than a talent standpoint -- no meltdowns, no truly catastrophic errors in the final products, and I didn't feel like I wanted anybody to GET OFF MY SCREEN FOREVER ;-) . The most annoying thing to me was already mentioned (sherbeRt). Still, none of these kids would have made the top 5 last season, I think, but at least it's back to being a nice show to watch as background/filler instead of making me uncomfortable. So...yay?
  6. Season 5 of KBC

    I don't think anybody is doubting that it's believable that these kids are melting down. The problems are that (a) nobody really wants to watch a meltdown happen to a child (a villain/cocky type on a non-kid version of a show, I can see, but not a kid), (b) there have been a lot of them this season, and (c) the show is milking them for all they're worth. It's making a show that should really be almost pure fluff and turning it into something uncomfortable. Bad form, Food Network. Anyway, it's now four weeks in, and I'm still not enjoying this show like I did last season. It may be time to drop it for this cycle and hope that the Halloween version is better.
  7. Season 5 of KBC

    That's possible. I haven't really looked at the ages of the bakers. I understand meltdowns will happen here and there (even with adults!), but two per episode is well into "uncomfortable to watch" territory. Either way, this lies squarely at the feet of the producers. I remember the lunch-box bit, but I remember it being more an example of one type of impostor as opposed to a demonstration of exactly the thing they were going to do. I don't remember how the galaxy one worked, but if it was of that nature then obviously my memory ain't what it used to be ;-) .
  8. Season 5 of KBC

    Two episodes in, and I think I can now officially say that this season feels like a huge dropoff from the previous one. I like Taylor, but she almost feels like a ringer compared to the others. Too many meltdowns already, and it feels like Duff and Valerie are having to help much more than last season. Also, I don't remember ever seeing them give a full-on demonstration of how to do a challenge like they did tonight. That felt odd. Anyway, this season just isn't clicking with me yet. Was last season a fluke? Also: interesting that Davy busted out "the ceiling" to "what's up?", since I thought last season's Beverly had that trademarked ;-D .
  9. Dream Contestants

    While my first instinct was to answer "nobody, because this show has outlived its purpose", I did come up with something that could be interesting. In acknowledgement of the show's true endgame, they could change its name to "Food Network Judge". Then, they could invite a dozen food critics from local TV news, newspapers, radio, new media, etc, and have them compete. Then, at the end, if they decide to give someone an actual show, it could be a show of actual restaurant reviews instead of an hour of gushing over whatever place paid them to come visit. This would be interesting to me, honestly, since every place DDD or other shows visits gets the same level of fellatio from the host, and thus none of said fellatio winds up being meaningful. I lived in Boston for ten years, and there was a great show called "The Phantom Gourmet" on one of the local channels. It was an hour long, they usually did four restaurant reviews and a few other local food related segments, and the reviews actually came off as objective. They would occasionally give restaurants a failing grade, and effusive praise was relatively rare. The problem was that the show was turned over to the Andelman family, and over the course of several years the reviews went from four per show, to two, to one, to eventually none, and the show basically became one big festival of paid product placement for local business. The thing is, the show as it originally was was solidly entertaining, but when they started changing it by taking away the things that made it special, it became boring. That is what has happened with this show -- as originally conceived it was entertaining, but over time they've taken away all the worthwhile aspects of the show piece by piece until now, we're left with a boring, by-the-numbers show. The ratings may be there, but then they're also there for every other formulaic reality show that just goes on and on (Survivor, Big Brother, Amazing Race, etc), which makes me wonder: do people actually WATCH these shows, or are they just background / conversation fodder? Heck, how many people watch THIS show just so they can discuss it on social media (e.g. here on the boards :D)?
  10. S14.09 The Newest Star

    Well, that was eight hours of my life I won't get back. The second Bobby and Giada opened their mouths to announce the winner, I called it. Well, technically I said "oh, we're doing this again, I guess", and Mrs. Dewelar replied "looks like it". As far as the pilots, I thought Manny's was the best, if only because it was straight, by-the-numbers FN show. The problem is that if I'm going to watch Manny, I'm watching him for his infectious energy and different approach, not for another samey-same show, so it still sucked. Christian's show felt disjointed, and felt like he was making it all about him when Antonia was right there, and I know she's more entertaining than he was being. Plus, I don't really want to hear about Italian food from a lumberjack. Jess, who I still think gets way too much flack around here, was the worst of the three. She felt more like she was hosting a segment on a local news show instead of a food show, and I kept getting distracted watching her fiddle with her hair. Bleh. If there's another season of this, I may not bother.
  11. S14.E06 Shark Night Dinner

    Look and rewatch the episode, and you’ll se some of them. These are not mutually exclusive. They might be fancy, but Christian seems to have the ability to make them look like they came out of a dumpster.
  12. Just watched this episode, then came back to read this and lol'ed, because Celia actually called her Felicia! Too perfect!
  13. Last week Jess did well. This week she did not. None of the things she did well last week were components of this week's challenges, and I'd still defend her on the basis of those things if they were relevant. Just because I didn't find her pretentious or entitled at any point doesn't mean she didn't deserve to go this week based on performance, because she kinda did. I was referring to all the criticism of her or statements suggesting that she deserved to go based on her being pretentious, entitled, being a food novelist (and that getting old), wearing too bright lipstick, etc., not comments specifically about her performance in this episode. Ah, OK. I ignore those types of comments when I can, since I'm not a fan of pettiness. Thus, I have no idea if the any of the people making them now were defending Jess last week, and I have no inclination to find out :D .
  14. Last week Jess did well. This week she did not. None of the things she did well last week were components of this week's challenges, and I'd still defend her on the basis of those things if they were relevant. Just because I didn't find her pretentious or entitled at any point doesn't mean she didn't deserve to go this week based on performance, because she kinda did.
  15. Well, whatever magic Jess found last week disappeared just as quickly. Perhaps judging is just her wheelhouse, and everything else is...not. I didn't necessarily like her, but I also never thought nearly as negatively of her as it seems many people here do, which was enough to put her among my favorites on this turkey of a season. Which leads to the fact that the magic that left Jess left the show as well. After the reasonably good episode last week, this week was just flat out boring. When your show repeatedly aims for "train wreck" and misses the "train" part, this is the product. The Hotel Transylvania movies...exist, and I guess they're harmless, but I don't need them invading my space, and none of the resulting presentations were memorable. Then, in the forced-theme challenge, nobody seemed to really get it, least of all the person who picked the themes. Amy escaped because Jess was even worse at grasping the concept. And did Food Network really need MORE Alex Guarnaschelli? Because I am beyond tired of her now and am almost to the point of wanting to turn off my TV when I see her. Go Christian, I guess?