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Everything posted by Rai

  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. LOCAS! We always say never again, and yet. And yet. This is a really interesting all-stars cast. Not the least because there are only two white queens. And one out trans queen. And my favorite commentator, the glorious Jasmine Masters. https://ew.com/tv/rupauls-drag-race-all-stars-4-cast/?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=social-button-sharing Also really happy to see some all-stars who didn't get a good season AT ALL back in the mix. Discuss.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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!
  16. 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.
  17. Rai

    RPDR: In The Media

    I gather the way All-Stars 4 ended has probably sparked even more awfulness from these "fans." It makes me really uncomfortable to be sharing the same fandom with such trolls, tbh.
  18. Rai

    S16.E10: Hoop Dreams

    I recall Brian doing that on the houseboat challenge, and everyone basically ignored his whining. And I was okay with that . because I really felt Brian was more in love with his own cooking than was necessarily merited.
  19. Woof, this is one episode where I feel like I'm on a very different page. Trinity did fine as a performer, but pretty terrible as a Kim Cattrall impersonator. I don't know if Money could've really stuck that landing, but her confessionals were definitely on point. Everything should be knowing and purring and slightly breathy, but mainly with confidence (you can tell who was one of my faves). Alaska updating her Mae West impersonation would've been PERFECT. What could have been. So I thought Trinity was clearly on the bottom, underwhelmed as I was by almost everyone except Monique. I also liked Monet's look because the pink panther has those weird-shaped ears, so her inspiration seemed really clear. And her face was so transformed. So basically, what do I know. Naomi's SJP was the worst by a mile, no lie. She should kiss Trinity with tongue for still being in the game. I didn't love Latrice in the sketch and I hated her dress, but Naomi was just so terrible.
  20. Rai

    RPDR: In The Media

    Here's an article recounting some of fandom's worst moments in regards to RPDR. I don't really follow the queens on any social media, and these forums are about as much fan talk as I tend to do online, so I knew it was bad, but I didn't know how bad. I don't know how people can be a fan of queer personalities who have all been marginalized in one way or another and still think racism is cool. I know race issues are something the LGBTQ+ community struggles with, but I'm still shocked. We need to talk about toxic fandom, folks. https://www.out.com/entertainment/2019/2/04/8-times-drag-race-fandom-was-actually-terrible?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=entertainment (Minor spoilers for All-Stars 4 included)
  21. Rai

    S16.E10: Hoop Dreams

    Trash talk in a basketball setting seemed totally appropriate to me, and Sara needs to toughen up a bit. But I get why she feels humiliated. It's just she could've laughed it off (although if she'd gone home, I'd be more sympathetic, I guess, it just seemed like her fear of going home made her oversensitive). Still rooting for Eric. Still rooting for Kelsey too. And now I'm rooting for Michelle to come back from LCK. I actually don't have much to say about this episode, but the preview for next week made me tear up unexpectedly. Muhammad Ali tribute? I love it. Don't know what he has to do with Top Chef, really, but any excuse to honor the Greatest is fine by me. Lastly, I'm not sure how I feel about Padma's braids, but the reasons why Black communities historically have been torturing themselves with hair straighteners and skin bleachers are rooted in unfair beauty standards and white supremacy, so calling that cultural appropriation is so far off the mark, it's mind-boggling.
  22. Rai

    RPDR: In The Media

    Locas! If you haven't ever read Tom and Lorenzo's recaps for RPDR, you have been missing out (they introduced me to the show all the way back with season 1). But now they've upped their writing game and have announced a whole book about Drag Race! Specifically, it will examine and explain queer history through the lens of Drag Race. I'm stoked to hear about this, and I can't stand waiting a whole year for it! The details!
  23. Rai

    S16.E09: Music City USA

    For some reason, I could've sworn she kept saying "Gumbo" was the song title. Oh well!
  24. First of all, Naomi, I didn't even know you were a bitch. But I mean that with love. Of course I hate that Manilla went home and was in the bottom for such BS reasons. I hate that Trinity wasn't in the top over Monet. Monet looked great, but her Judy's make-up was unblended and clown white and messy. It was okay in the werk room, but HORRIBLE on the stage. I hate that we don't get the worthy top two of Manilla and Trinity. I think Monique also skated by unfairly, although her costumes were marginally more interesting than Manilla's. I hate that Manilla stuck herself and her husband in graduation gowns and called it a day when the makeup was so flawless. I hate that the top five are going to be a little less exciting now without the heights of Manilla pushing them upward. But I love that finally someone has embraced the cut-throat drama that having the power to eliminate someone is supposed to generate. And I dig that Naomi is kind of a stealth bitch this whole time. I found her lip sync delightful but absolutely nothing to do with Judy Garland. Monet really looked like "Chocolate Judy" as she called herself and she channeled her beautifully in the lip sync. However, she probably should've thrown in a tiny bit of hoofing for the younger audience out there. I have no quarrels with Naomi winning it, but let's be clear as to who was actually channeling La Garland. Naomi will be bounced next week if the queens get a chance to do so, I'm sure, but yeah, bitch. You go for it. I hope future all-stars take note.
  25. Rai

    S16.E09: Music City USA

    I thought making a salad with grilled cheese croutons was a great idea and one I would like to see more often out there. My love of grilled cheese knows no bounds. I don't know how everyone is supposed to eat a dish after a real downer of a story. It's not wrong that Michelle shared it, but I have to say, I'd be feeling incredibly awkward shoving something in my mouth after learning about her father. I wouldn't even be able to register what I was eating at that moment. It's so sad. Also, I found it hilarious that Sara's dad would sing a song about gumbo -- so she made jambalaya. Probably that's more realistic to make in a competition than gumbo, and I'll support her strategic thinking, but still I'm amused, and I'm surprised no one said anything. I'm rooting for Eric and Kelsey and maybe Adrienne or Michelle. I'll probably get Justin or Eddie though, as much as I hate to admit it.