Project Runway and Top Chef – Evil Queens and Muppets

I’m not sure either of them really deserve a standalone post.

Top Chef was actually a pretty fun week. It’s a good challenge, and, as ever brings out the best in them. These are the best kind of challenge – it’s a specific task, and not a hugely easy one, but other than that it just lets them cook. No teams, no weird ingredients, no staying up all night. That sort of challenge has its place, but should be the exception rather than the rule. So, as it was in the All Stars season when the challenge was ‘make a dish inspired by your ancestry’ and all the meals were so good that they refused to send anybody home, again the judges kept going on about how it was one of the best meals they’ve had in the competion. Learn from this, show – give them parameters and let them cook. You’ll get to eat better food and we’ll still get good TV.

I think that Bev pretty much sealed her fate with the quickfire. The show is open that the producers sometimes have a hand in eliminations and I’m fairly sure that they would have found the ‘She would have had immunity, but she didn’t! Oh, Cruel Fate!’ shebang too hard to resist. I mean, this is the second time Sarah has made bad (or, rather, not excellent) risotto, pretty much a Top Chef sin of the highest order, up there with using pre-cooked ingredients. Unless it’s a pre-cooked ingredients challenge, of course. But still. Imperfect risotto makes Colicchio almost as angry as Elia calling him about for shilling Diet Coke. ‘Whatever! I don’t even REMEMBER what Elia said. I’m TOTALLY OVER that bitch. I’m sure she’ll do brilliantly in her career that’s MUCH LESS SUCCESSFUL THAN MINE.’ So I find it hard to believe that Sarah wouldn’t have gone home for it without the drama of Bev’s lost immunity.

Tom trying to be funny was gross and lame. Charlize Theron isn’t going to sleep with you dude. And I know it’s not a popular opinion in the Top Chef-verse, but Eric Ripert creeps me out. He’s not sexy. His lips look like slugs. Grayson’s black chicken looked incredible on the plate, as did Chris’s poison apple. I wasn’t so impressed by Paul’s handprint. It was a cute idea, but Chris’s presentation was an enormous amount of work, Grayson’s was daring, and Paul’s was just … a handprint splatted on. But I’d totally eat it and, ultimately, what do I know?

As for Project Runway, first off, congratulations to all concerned for maintaining absolute stoney-faced discipline and seriousness with the concept of designing for Miss Piggy. Some of them seemed genuinely delighted with the prospect (although not all; Mila’s look of undisguised repulsion when it was announced was wonderful.) Especially excellent was Gordana, for being concerned about Miss Piggy’s comfort. The comfort. Of a puppet. It’s still a less absurd proposition than when the Top Chef contestants had to make cookies for Elmo, Telly and Cookie Monster (the pieces of cloth can’t eat; ‘Ripley, she doesn’t have bad dreams because she’s just a piece of plastic’), but as this episode didn’t feature Elmo sassing Padma Lakshmi, I’m afraid Top Chef still wins.

If Michael Costello continues to make not-hideous clothing then I won’t mind his inevitable dragging all the way to the final, despite him being massively objectionable. I mean, seriously. ‘I wasn’t worrying about who doesn’t like me’. You’re a grown man. You have a child. Who SAYS that? Mondo also seems to be heading down the road to insufferable..ness. I liked him in his first season when he was all weeping because he had so much talent and sometimes it just comes out as tears, but this new whiney Mondo who’s making ugly clothes, I am not on board with. Give Kara the gloves or don’t, but don’t give them and then piss and moan about it. If you can’t do something with good grace, don’t do it at all. This entire series exists for him to win, so it’s a shame they seem determined to make me hate him. April’s growing on me still. She’ll be gone in three weeks.

As for clothes, Gordana’s was pretty. Mila’s was Mila and I love her for her steadfast refusal to do anything except Mila clothes at all times. Kenley’s was great and should have won. Michael’s was good. Mondo’s was hideous. Jerell’s was ugly. Rami’s was repellent and I thought it was going to get him sent home. It looked like Carmen Miranda advertising kitchen paper. Anthony and April were fine. I didn’t really like Kara’s, except for the pink piping, which was a really nice touch. Austin’s was just straight-up ugly.

Closing thought: This is Project Runway, not Project Feathered Shoulders.