Jacquelyn: Were You At “The Taste 2” Finale?

English: Jean Claude Szurdak and Jacques Pepin...

English: Jean Claude Szurdak and Jacques Pepin (right) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Guest judge: Chef Jacques Pepin. In the finals, Marina, Lee and Louise.

The season of “The Taste” is over. As I’ve stated in earlier posts my highpoint of the show was when Jacquelyn exited mid-show, literally walking off stage. She is my Norma Rae. Nigella seriously needs to learn to play with others.

The first test was to make something for the poor and for the rich. It was so uninteresting it really didn’t matter what they made. Basically for the “rich” they added a lot more butter, truffles and caviar. For the “poor,” they all made a stew or soup.

Many past contestants in the audience: I see Cassie and Sarah, Shellie and Don, Audrey and Jay, among others; I am not making this up or exaggerating, I swear, I didn’t know who Audrey was because she didn’t mention “her fans” and she wasn’t complaining.The one person I wanted to see but DIDN’T was Jacquelyn. What, no invite? You people have NO sense of humor.

Final challenge: “Basic cooking: Make me breakfast, lunch and dinner bites that showcase your most dazzling skills.”

They tried. They did TRY.  I didn’t really think anyone made anything over the top that the judges actually swooned over. We’ve all seen good before, the last few episodes missed “stunning and amazing.”The finale did not break the “just ok” pattern. Shame.

Lee: Breakfast: Parmesan flan with bacon quail egg. He forgot that he left his parmesan flan in the oven but remembered at the last second. He saved his behind and put them in the cooler (not his behind, the flan) with bacon, eggs. Pure luck. Lunch: crab cake (he wastes a lot of time trying to get the crabs out of the shell) with avocado. Dinner: strip steak, cauliflower purée..” He was absolutely frazzled,or should I say fried?   Lee plates too soon doesn’t listen to Chef Jacques Pepin who advises him to plate later. Lee is acting cocky, doesn’t listen to the guest Chef.  Poor judgment. Dinner: Strip steak, parmesan tulle, mustard demi glace. Even with his fan favorite girlfriend Cassie giggling (did anyone else notice that rapid fire laugh) nothing could stop him or slow him down.

Marina:  (Chef Pepin looked a little befuddled around her) Marina starts with an (English muffin,?) quail egg, onion, fig and bacon. (“well executed”) :Lunch: Fried spring roll, oyster and pork, deemed (“not that successful.”) Dinner: short ribs, rice, kale, port wine.  She forgets to taste her own food, a definite no-no. Marina won’t take advice from anyone,she listens to no one, she prides herself on that. Marina used chicken testicles and pork blood. She certainly is imaginative. Have you cooked with chicken testicles and pork blood? Me either.

Louise: Breakfast: Fried quail egg with tomato sauce, (similar to Chef Pepin’s model that he displayed.) Lunch: fried oyster po’ boy sandwich, Dinner: steak with red wine sauce (which Chef Pepin salvaged)  potatoes, makes food look beautiful (she is also a food stylist.) She touches the steak and isn’t sure it is ready, Chef Pepin touches it and says 5 more minutes, in it goes. She is more needy and ready to listen to Jacques Pepin and believe me it shows. Her sauce breaks, she can’t use it. Chef Pepin helps her find a teaspoon of meat drippings again. Lousie feels like the underdog (again) and complains about something, was it brioche again? Much to everyone’s surprise, including Louise, she won “The Taste.”  As if she was in “Survivior” Louise flew under the radar, bothered no one, smiled a lot and portrayed herself as the victim.

3rd place LEE, 2nd place Marina, First place Louise

Congratulations? I mean, Congratulations.

The show is over. I’m done. We are all grateful. Would I watch it again? Probably.

*any error of description of food was unintentional and due to extreme fibromyalgia tiredness. I still am annoyed at the amount of alcohol on TV, just sayin’ sponsors?

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(Pop Cop) Adios, American Idol -Repost

Crystal Bowersox visiting her hometown of Tole...

Image via Wikipedia

I should have known better than to watch American Idol this season after all these years. I wanted Crystal Bowersox to win, the clear favorite who wowed the audience (and the judges) with her 3 performances last night and for most all of the competition.  I voted. I voted ten times to try to help. Then, I hear Simon Cowell on The Ellen Degeneres show predicting Lee DeWyze as the winner. There were also articles written on how Crystal wouldn’t win…”can’t people be silent for at least 24 hours before the voting?

Is America not ready for an indie artist who also happens to be a single mom? Half hippie, half eclectic, this young woman’s voice is unbeatable. So she wore her hair in dreadlocks, so what?  She has a marvelous range and her singing is clear and simply delightful; like the call of the morning birds or a beautiful pond you just discovered. You can’t help smile when Crystal takes the stage.  Apparently, people felt more comfortable with Lee who as the judges always commented “came from working out of a paint store.” Does that really matter?  How about Crystal? A single mom working to make ends meet and having a tough life?

My only consolation is that in the past some winners were not as successful as the first runner-up. Remember Ruben Studdard? Barely, his runner-up was Clay Aiken who produced a lot more than Ruben ever did. There were plenty of others as well.

This is my gripe: Crystal was definitely a better singer than Lee, throughout the entire season. So, why did she lose? Last night, it was obvious that she was the leader, all the judges giving her props, the audience practically hugging her along with her powerful voice. Crystal drew people in. At least to the people who would LOVE an indie-style artist (yes, I said artist) that may look a little different or have the courage to voice her opinions.

America? I’m disappointed. Were you just not ready for an original artist? Really?   Please remind me in the fall not to tune in because I am tired of rooting for the best artist and having the more: “popular”heartthrob artist win.  Crystal: I’m counting on you to have an absolutely magnificent career, a recording contract (probably with Simon Cowell) and lots of money to spoil your sweet, blonde-haired son.

As for Simon Cowell, I will miss you and I think the tribute to you was magnificent and well-deserved. As for Paula Abdul’s appearance, all I can say is “Awwww.” It was nice to see her again, looking so pretty in shocking pink puff. Good luck Simon, not that you need it. Cheers!

Lee, congratulations for being the winner. Crystal, congratulations for being the champion.

Seacrest and me, OUT.