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Rai

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  1. I went to Uruguay recently, partly inspired by the Parts Unknown episode on it. I feel a little dorky admitting that (while also eyeing flights to Senegal, partly based on that episode too), but I don't regret going. The best part was the restaurant featured in that episode -- Jacinto -- was literally across the street from where I happened to be staying. I went there as my last dinner, and it was fantastic. Could've held its own in New York, 100%. So I'm still grateful for his shows, and I hope his legacy endures for a long time.
  2. Rai

    S11.E08: Snatch Game at Sea

    I feel like Snatch Game is to RPDR like what Restaurant Wars is to Top Chef. It's the make or break challenge, and everyone knows to prep for it. Furthermore, most of the winners of Snatch Game make it to the finale and in a couple cases, are the overall winners of the show. So I see it as an important challenge, and that queens keep overlooking the most important factor (make Ru laugh), that's on them. Because Ru has always said that's the real point. Anyway, Nina was robbed, Shuga finally stepped it up, and that lip sync was everything. I liked Yvie's wig with her jumpsuit though. I always think of Roxxy doing Tamar Braxton. I had no idea who she was, and most of the queens didn't know who Little Edie was (turn in your gay cards, gals), but Roxxy took a social media personality and made her funny even though I didn't know a thing about her. And the queens who didn't know who Little Edie was learned a thing or two when Jinx slayed it. It really doesn't matter who you pick as long as you can make them funny. Be funny is number one. Close second is be funny as your chosen character, (Little Edie, Cher, Liza Minelli, Anna Nicole Smith), sure, but first and foremost, be funny.
  3. Rai

    Small Talk: Interior Illusions Lounge

    My office manager had to explain what it means to "spill the T," and it was pretty hilarious. He and I agree that Paris is Burning should be a mandatory movie night here or something.
  4. Rai

    S16.E05: Restaurant Wars Part 2

    I was convinced that they'd do another Restaurant Wars once the early LCK winner had been decided, and to do it more traditionally between two teams to see what they'd learned from the first go-round. I was wrong. But I think it would've been an interesting challenge. Your first restaurant failed. What have you learned? You could even take the two concepts that didn't win and assign one to each team and say, "Okay, do them again. New personnel, new dishes? Figure them out." Alas.
  5. Rai

    S11.E04: Trump: The Rusical

    When Silky does up her face, she's absolutely beautiful. And her Oprah was beyond. Like. Damn. Reached through my screen and pinned me to my seat. The Rusical overall was fine. Brooke Lynn was good, Nina was good, Yvie was good, and even though she just played herself again, Vangie still made me laugh so much. No one was outright TERRIBLE. It's just extremely hard for me to find joy with anything Trump-related these days. That said, Suga's outfit on the Runway was absolutely great. If I were Michelle, I probably would've gone nuts sitting next to Joel, but again, on my TV? YEAH!
  6. Rai

    S16.E15: Finale

    Yeah, not sure why I'm being quoted as if I support the appearances comments, when in fact, I said I refuse to be on board for those. I think it's about the food for Tom, and that's what I prefer to do my armchair judging on as well.
  7. Rai

    S16.E15: Finale

    Having now actually watched the episode, I'm glad that they've gone back to the super early format of one meal, then the next, as opposed to side-by-side tastings. I've long thought that eating two meals at once is a little unfair to the finalists, since how a competitor's dish tastes may not be complimentary to another's. I hope they retain that going forward. I do agree with the comments that Sara's smooching on the lips was inappropriate, particularly in this era of chef scrutiny. However, all comments on appearances, especially insinuating that Kelsey's looks were the only reason she won, that Sara a. looks frumpy, and b. that's why she didn't win, or the idea that Eric should somehow be more humble/less preachy about his cuisine -- miss me with those. Not here for them. I do not care how a female chef looks, and I think someone who is passionate about their cuisine, especially when it's a relatively unfamiliar one in this competition setting, is going to express oneself firmly. (I have never snarked on Graham's body or fashion choices, either, but of the two, I lean toward critiquing his fashion choices since he's there to present himself as an authority, not to do any cooking work, and because you don't need to snark on someone's body when discussing their fashion. Call it the TLo approach.)
  8. Rai

    S11.E03: Diva Worship

    I'm not watching Untucked, so can someone please give me the quick DL on what happened with Silky? I'm already exhausted, but I am curious. I would not have given the backstage pass win to Ra'jah, but, ya know, okay. Nina was pretty great in it, and she was a polished pro leading the Britney church, so I'm very cool with her for the win. That said, I laughed nonstop through Miss Vanjie's moment. She's just comedy gold. There are just so many other divas who are rich with material (Madonna! Gaga! Beyonce! Cher! CHER! Aretha! Patty LaBelle!), but honestly, even if they'd gotten someone who they were better acquainted with, I don't think they had the improv chops to carry it off. I do think Sugah was actually doing fine, but she had dead wood to play off. I would've been fine with her being safe right from the get go, and I was surprised she was nearly the last one standing. But once Honey Davenport fell off the stage, Ru seemed pretty clear who she was going to choose to send home. I personally have no problem with Ru taking a more active hand in both stirring the pot, but also challenging the queens to step it up. Her response to the queens dunking on Silky was to basically say "come up to her level and grab the spotlight back" and I am here for that. Telling Church Mariah some tidbits about their chosen diva and then telling them to think about doing someone else wasn't subtle, but I'm way okay with her being straight up that they're in danger, girls. They still didn't take the hint! But they can't say they weren't warned.
  9. Rai

    S16.E15: Finale

    After the first episode, I was all in for Eric and Kelsey, and I thought Sarah had interesting potential. (I also thought David would be way up there, and I worried so would Eddie.) Ever since season 12, I've felt that Top Chef has hit the comfort food level in my fandom. It's not exciting and compelling, it's just fun and relaxing now. So I don't find it a flaw that those three were so easily identified as the ones to watch, but it does mean that the finale has lost some urgency for me. Still, glad for Kelsey! Hoping someday, they do another All-Stars and Eric gets another shot.
  10. Rai

    Past Seasons Talk: The Stew Room

    Heh, Josie started out on Season 2, no less, so it's like they brought her back just because she didn't have a chance to stand out in the sea of jerks that season had.
  11. Rai

    S16.E13: Holy Macau!

    I've seen chefs from Top Chef and related competitive shows also be on Mind of a Chef, Bourdain's shows, etc. I guess I just find it a case by case basis. Someone like Phillip from season 13 does come off as a publicity whore, eager to shove his face out there for praise and to be a personality, but someone like Stephanie Izard who has now won both Top Chef and the Next Iron Chef AND was on an episode or two of Bourdain's Chicago shows -- she's doing the TV thing for publicity, sure, but her restaurant empire is steadily growing with real acclaim. But ya know, IMO, YMMV, yaddayaddayadda, blahblahblahcompetitioncakes. I wouldn't have guessed Eric had been on other shows nor Michelle because they don't give off thirsty vibes. So I'm for them getting theirs.
  12. Rai

    S16.E13: Holy Macau!

    I mean, Fatima was on Chopped (and won and was endearing there too). It's not automatically a sin to have been in more than one culinary competition.
  13. Rai

    S16.E12: Kentucky Farewell

    I love Iberico ham so much, so Sara's dish winning makes sense, but also, omg, what an extravagant use of that gorgeous chunk of ham. I hope the crew got shove all of the leftovers in their faces. Because otherwise, damn. Anyway, Sara can be tiring, but this wasn't a deep mystery as to how it won. I don't care how Sara or Kelsey look, they're here to be Top Chef, not Top Models (although the idea of Tyra and Padma being on a panel together is HILARIOUS). I also have been rooting for Eric this whole time, but insinuations that it "has" to be a woman because of Me Too and that a woman is fated to win purely on those grounds and not for her cooking is pretty insulting to the final chefs. Obviously, by the numbers, Eric's odds are pretty unfavorable, but it's not like the women haven't cooked really great food too. If a woman wins, she'll have earned it. If Eric wins, he'll have earned it too. It should be more notable that no matter what, the winner can't be a white dude, and that's pretty special for Top Chef.
  14. Rai

    S16.E11: The Greatest

    I really liked this challenge, and I liked the connections that they were able to build. I admit, I too feel that seafood for Maine is totally acceptable. Inland Maine isn't like a landlocked state here. And I liked the idea of one punch of flavor. However, lukewarm cream soup and undercooked seafood sounds AWFUL. Really surprised that Justin stayed on those merits. I also felt there were a few times when Layla Ali was thinking, "Yes, please tell me about my OWN FATHER, white dude," when Tom was talking. Anyway, go Eric! Still rooting for him!
  15. Ms. Monet has some things to say. I'm really annoyed at the amount of racism that's been visibly rising in the RPDR fandom. Like. Do you not know the actual host is Black? Do you not know the history of drag and ballroom culture? Clearly they don't, and sometimes, I wonder if this segment of fandom is even from the LGBTQ community, or if it's just stupid teens inserting themselves. But then again, there's a lot of racism in the community, so...all I know is that I'm grateful to learn more about people and communities that I don't necessarily know well in my day-to-day life, and I'm appalled that the finale just opened Monet up to more criticism as opposed to celebration.
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