TV-Review "Miss USA 2008", "Hell's Kitchen 2008 aired 4/8/08, and "Top Chef" 08 aired 4/9/08

Reviews of two cooking show contests now ongoing-Fox's "Hell's Kitchen" and Bravo's "Top Chef". Both shows feature would-be chefs but the tasks, judging and prizes are as different as night and day.
The Top Chef features air,earth,fire and water entrees while Hell's Kitchen is same old, same old with the Chef wearing too much makeup sent home.

Plus a review of this past week's Miss USA pageant, the audacity of one contestant, the winners and runners-up and the judges whose pics will scare the hell out of you.

All with pictures you'll find nowhere else on the Internet.

Pic of the Day
big dog montage

 Posted by Hello

Miss USA 2008 Review-The Judges Were the Most Interesting

HERE is a review of the 2007 Miss USA contest on this Blog.

And HERE is a review of the 2007 Miss Universe contest on this Blog. It was at this Miss Universe contest when the current Miss USA, Rachel Smith, took her humiliating fall. It’s all documented, with a pic, on the Blog post.

Now, a yuk from a beauty contest winner from year’s past.

Miss America Dumb Quote

Finally, a pic listing of the first four runner-ups for Miss USA, in order from winner to 4th runner up, below.

Miss USA 2008 montage

Miss usa 2008 1st runner up-MI

Miss USA 2008 2nd runner up montage-NJ

Miss USA 3rd runner up montage-OK

Miss usa 2008 4th runner up-PA

Now some of mine own fine verbal wisdom.


Well sure being pretty is not the same thing as having talent and for sure it’s not the same thing as having actual brains.

Although, in fact, the top contenders were asked the infamous “question” which required thoughtful and insightful answers that would wow the judges that one female could possess so much beauty and yet still be so blindingly smart.

I was so expecting a talent contest that I didn’t make many notes as I watched in anticipation of the sarcastic critiques that would leave my mind as the contenders baton-twirled or croaked out a song to show us their talent.


But I have a few notes.

First, there were plenty of sponsors of this beauty contest and I don’t suppose there’s anything wrong with that. We had a fur company and a designer to the fabulous as a sponsor, companies that will likely never get my business. But hey, I felt wealthy as I sat and listened to their pitches to me, a chubby middle-aged woman in curlers, munching on potato chips out in TV la-la land.

My first annoying note is Miss Pennsylvania’s insistences that just ONE letter, a letter right smack dab in the damn MIDDLE of her name, be capitalized. Her name is LauRen. Note that capital “R”. So what does she tell folks when she has to provide her name…”It’s L a u, capital R, e n”? How full of youself do you have to be to go through this all of your life, plus irritating the hell out of people in a hurry that YOU are so important you need a letter in the middle of your name capitalized? I’d have eliminated the woman just for that idiocy but alas, Miss Pennsylvania came in as 4th runner up. Then who knows, maybe this kook would have won save for her silly self and that capital R?

Miss Missouri wore a nice gown in the evening gown competition except she was covered up with absolutely no skin showing. Which was fine with me, don’t misunderstand. Her gown even had long sleeves. It was just so different for a beauty contest where skin and its constant revelation is so important.

Speaking of showing skin, I yawned at the swimsuit competition although hey, I’m not a fellow. I know the guys like to watch this sort of thing but I must wonder, doesn’t the parading of all those gorgeous bodies in swimsuits tend to numb whatever senses would be so aroused at the sight of just a few? Isn’t it kind of like a kid who suddenly discovers you really CAN have too much candy? But ah, that’s just me. By me every one of those contenders looked great in a swim suit, a sight that I have never presented in public in my entire overweight life and something I’d like to do just one time before I die.

Miss USA 08 rachel smith and osmonds

As for the question and answer session, that one small part of a beauty contest that allows us to get to know the contender, to ascertain if she has boobs as well as brains, well I thought all five of the top group did okay. At least there were no awful gaffes like that quote in the pic above.

Miss Pennsylvania said that YES she thought beauty products for elementary school girls were fine things. Heh. Well I suppose a beauty contest entrant would think second grade a perfect time to learn the art of the eyebrow pencil. This from the broad who insists you capitalize a letter in the middle of her name you peon with a first name composed of all lower case letters.

Miss Texas, who won the thing by the way, said NO that there should not be a draft in response to a question as to whether all young people should be forced to spend a year in the country’s military. Which was a damn dopey question anyway, meant to elicit controversy as I see it. We have a voluntary army which works just fine and Miss Texas accurately labeled the question for what it was…a Bring Back the Draft question.

Miss Oklahoma thought fast with her question about what famous person she would help better themselves if she had a choice. Of course Miss OK said Britney Spears, the response that practically answers itself. I must ask one of those fine and impressive judges who asked the questions what on earth that was all about. For if one of those ladies could help anyone, why does it have to be a FAMOUS person for God’s sake?

Miss New Jersey responded correctly that children should not be denied ALL access to TV and the Internet during their childhood, what a dumb question that was. The question asserted that some parents do this very thing and I’d like to know, besides the Amish, WHO and WHERE. Miss NJ said, wisely, that these things offer so much in terms of learning and so long as parents monitored what their kids watched and where the surfed it serves no purpose to deny children these things. Translation…PARENTS SHOULD DO THEIR DAMN JOB AND WATCH WHAT THEIR KIDS ARE DOING!

Miss Mississippi responded to the query that yes, beauty contests did help her grow as a person, another dumb stock question, as hey, I’M HERE AREN’T I?

Heh, well I liked it.

I chose Miss Mississippi to win the Miss USA but the title went to Miss Texas. Which is also fine with me as I had no dog in the race. Miss Delaware was thrown over the bow early in the show.

Finally, come on guys. How about those judges? We had Joey Fantone, a guy whose claim to fame is entrant on “Dancing With the Stars” and quiz show host, a goofball from Saturday night life, the fine and personable ex-wife of Paul McCartney, Heather Mills, a couple of football players, goodness knows football players are experts on female beauty and a few flaming homosexuals, perhaps the most qualified of the lot.

If anything gave me giggles about the whole show it was those judges. Below, if you don’t believe, a pic montage of judges that should leave you ending this review with a smile.

Miss usa 2008 judge montage

Hells Kitchen Logo

Hell’s Kitchen Episode of 4/7/08-Halibut and Too Much Makeup”

Pics of Top 15 Contenders in Hell’s Kitchen 08

First, some food facts in honor of the two reviews below.

Fungi trivia for Hell's Kitchen post 4/8/08 episode

Fungi Trivia

The Death Cap, Amanita phalloides is responsible for 90% of deaths caused by fungus poisoning world-wide.
Yeasts, used in making beer and bread, are a form of fungus.
African termites actually cultivate a species of fungus, Termitomyces.
Mucor is the name given to a group of mold fungi, which grow on the surface of decaying fruit, bread, horse manure, and other organic matter.
Penicillin is made growing the appropriate species of mold on nutrients; the active compound is then extracted from the culture fluid and purified.
Most fungal species are saprophytes: they feed on remains of dead organisms or their by-products. Most forest soil has too much acid for bacteria to grow well, and so the fungi are the main decay producers.

There’s been plenty of hints that contender Sharon would soon be thrown over the bow in the 2008 “Hell’s Kitchen” contest. The very first week Gordon Ramsey made a snarky comment about how she wore too much makeup. In this episode being reviewed, Sharon was told to hang up her apron and go put on more makeup, an attempt at clever by the ever-cursing Ramsey.

Hell's Kitchen Elimination Montage 4/8/08

Ramsey began this episode by calling all the contenders early in the morn to go through the trash receptacles and cull out the kitchen garbage and toss it into a windowed cylinder that they may see, visually and up close, the extent of their prior night’s food waste.

Which was icky to watch but a rather interesting thing in terms of learning. Nature abhors waste and frankly I’d have had all those scraps in my compost pile making a fine dirt for my gardens but that’s just me.

Then Ramsey had the contenders filet a halibut and goodness I had no idea that a halibut was such a big fish! Sure I’ve had plenty of halibut in my life but it’s always been shaped like a little square, breaded and fried, served usually with two slices of bread.

Those chefs do need to know how to filet such a fish I must suppose and when all was said and done, the girl’s team failed the challenge. The guys got a special trip on a luxury yacht and shared a meal with Gordon Ramsey while the girls had to stay back and make fish stock for the evening meal service.

Hell's Kitchen food montage 2/8/08

misc. montage from Hell's Kitchen 4/8/08

Finally Hell’s Kitchen opened up for the nightly service and, as always, Gordon cussed and fussed, chef contenders failed, cried and complained. The girl’s team lost again and contender Corey was charged with choosing two co-contenders for his consideration for elimination.

Only Corey didn’t pick the contender who most screwed up that night, which would have been, by me, Roseann, who helped with maitre d’ chores and held back a slew of orders until the customers walked out from tire of the wait.

Corey chose two co-contenders who she thought were the most challenge to HER, Christina and Jen. Ramsey ignored those two choices and sent home Sharon of the too much makeup instead.

Now, judging from upcoming scene snippets, Corey will be in a constant state of rancor with the two she wrongly nominated for elimination.

Contenders, 2008 “Hell’s Kitchen”
Vanessa, 31,Line Cook-
RosAnn, 33,Receptionist/Former cook-
Craig, 30,Sous Chef-
Bobby, 37, Executive Chef-
Louross, 24,Hotel cook-
Dominic,43,Stay at Home Dad-Sent Home 4/1/08
Jen, 24,Line Cook-
Corey,25,Private Chef-
Jason,29,Sous Chef-
Shayna ,28,Owner, catering company-
Matt35,Sous Chef-
Petrozza,47,Catering Director-
Sharon, 31,Room Service Chef-Sent Home 4/8/08
Ben, 29, Electricia/former chef-
Christina, 25,culinary student-

Prior Links to Hell’s Kitchen and Top Chef Chicago 2008 Episodes
Premiere Episode
Episode aired 4/8/08

Top Chef logo

Top Chef 2008-Meals on Wheels-We’re Not Making This Up

So okay, the meals the would-be Top Chefs prepared won’t be part of the actual food delivered to home-bound recipients from this famous and noble charity. It did seem a bit, eh, audacious to have as a challenge the preparation of exotic and fancy food for a charity event that would raise money for the Meals-on-Wheels program. I’m sure that aged Mrs. Parker has never received grilled duck breast served on a platter of boiled radicchio with a side of fine white wine in her home.

The episode aired on Wednesday (this cooking contest airs on Wednesday nights on Bravo network) 4/9/08, began with a blind taste challenge. Contenders are blindfolded then given a variety of various and sundry food items to test. They are to then indicate which of the offerings provides the best taste in terms of quality. Some examples included chocolate, sake wine, cheeses, and soy sauces.

I should think that would-be chefs should pass this test easily but a few of them did really bad, including the chocolate test. Man I can tell the difference between good and bad chocolate and you could blindfold me all night and day.

Contender Antonia won this challenge and damn, the woman won a trip to Italy!

people montage Top Chef 4/9/08

The bigger challenge was for the contenders to split up into teams of three each. Each team was given a theme to present as the FIRST course for the Meals-on-Wheels charity event. The themes were air, fire, earth and water.

Thus the team with the “water” theme made some sort of fish and so on.

This was an interesting challenge to watch, at least from this foodie viewer’s perspective. The teams had to somehow work together in terms of honing in on a food and presentation as well as working together to get it prepared and plated in the time allowed.

In fact, this series is way more intriguing than Hell’s Kitchen because how many times can you watch Hell’s Kitchen open, Ramsey cuss, chef’s cry, and angry customers walking out before it all looks the same?

Top Chef, like the Food Network star challenge, does provide intriguing different cooking challenges every week and this air,earth,fire,water challenge held this viewer’s interest.

The fire team won with their presentation of a bacon wrapped shrimp and hey, of all the foods prepared and entered, this looked the only one I would eat.

Contender Jen’s “special friend”, Zoi, was sent home that night.


Winners of this contest will win $100,000, a trip to the French Alps and a feature in “Food and Wine” magazine, which already advertises this cooking series extensively.

Top 12 Contenders Top Chef Chicago 2008
Nikki Cascone, 35-
Mark Simmons, 29-
Staphanie Izard, 31-Chef/Chicago-
Dale Talde, 29, Sous Chef/Buddakan-
Richard Blais, 35, Chef/Trail-Blais-
Spike Mendelsohn, 27-
Antonia, 31, Executive Chef/Foxtail-
Zoi Antonitsas,30, Chef/Consultant-Sent home 4/9/08
Jennifer Biesty, 35, Exec. Chef/Coco500-
Ryan Scott, 28, Chef/Mgr/Café Myth-
Lisa Fernandes, 27, Sous Chef-NY-
Andrew Dambrosi, 30, Sous Chef, Le Cirque-


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