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akr

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Posts posted by akr

  1. Looks like a good range of ages and backgrounds. I like this fellow's motivation:

    "Born in Trinidad, Jairzeno started his baking journey after losing faith with delicious-looking products that didn’t taste as good as they looked."

    Similarly, "[Jürgen] started baking after being unable to find traditional German bread in the UK, and is now well-known for his Jewish challah bread, and for celebration cakes that he bakes for friends and family."

    (Plenty of others who have really interesting sounding bios, too, and several who enjoy the decorating aspect of things for people who enjoy that. Perhaps we will get some discussion of style vs substance . . . .)

    • Like 5
  2. 3 hours ago, cardigirl said:

    They did, it was called BrainDead and it was perfection, but it came on in the summer of 2016, and people wanted a Good Wife replica, and didn't watch it. I LOVED IT!  Aliens controlling both sides of the senate in Washington?  As political satire and science fiction, it was a masterpiece. 

    I agree - it was great! It's also on Paramount+ so if you've paid for that to watch The Good Fight and still have some time on your subscription, you might enjoy it as a binge watch.  

    • Like 1
  3. 21 minutes ago, zenithwit said:

    The queens that do well and/or have a good edit on this show can go on to quite lucrative careers (Shangela is a great example).  So it's understandable when Jan fans or Scarlet Envy fans or other fans get frustrated when they feel the show is short changing their queen.    

    I didn't think I'd appreciate an all lip synch battle episode, but I did - because ALL of them got a good edit, and a timely reminder that they were all stars, too, and why. Everyone got to go out on a high note, even if they didn't win, and even if they were out in one of the first episodes, we were reminded that we should want to see more of them, too.

    Aside from Silky, I think Jan benefited the most from this. I thought that one was a tossup but probably would have given it to Silky, too (Jan ahead for most of it, and then Silky slowly caught up and then passed her with the guitar antics (if she hadn't done so many things with it, it wouldn't have been enough, and I can see why others may have tired of the props by then, but "robbed," as some see it, seems pretty hyperbolic. Both did a great job.)  Seeing one superb performance from Jan might even have been better for her than seeing her twice - no chance of diluting that excellent last impression. I was happy for her, even though of course she would have preferred to win.  

    Quote

    100% agree!  Also, I kinda wonder how long Trinity, Rajah, Ginger and Kylie had to sit there watching all of the battles.

    They didn't film them all at once, just showed them all at once, so it probably didn't take much longer to watch for them than it did for us. They would have had the whole thing edited in advance aside from the one with Eureka.

    • Like 5
  4. 1 hour ago, Ananayel said:

    Man, reading all these threads, it turns out I'm actually not disappointed about missing this season. If it ever does turn up on cable, I might not even bother. Ru needs to get it together.

    I've actually quite enjoyed it, even though there's plenty to pick apart (and I will never watch Drag Tots). The formula may be getting old, but the queens are easy to root for and I've enjoyed the camaraderie among this particular group. I'm also glad that, at least so far, they've been voting based on perceived merit rather than trying to get rid of their biggest competition. Maybe at this point they worry that it will turn the fandom against them. 

    I suppose it helped that I had very low expectations, and that I never watch anything without also doing something else - checking email or news or such - so I can tune it out when there's just too much filler. But mostly, there are just a bunch of them who I didn't remember very well and have enjoyed getting to know again.  

    • Like 2
  5. 5 hours ago, stormy weather said:

    I think Ra'jah didn't put any effort on that lip sync on purpose.

    Apparently she said on social media (instagram?) that "sometimes we just don't vibe with a song (no shade)" and that she hadn't expected to be lip syncing and so hadn't prepared enough. (There was a screenshot of her post about this on reddit.) Makes sense to me. It's not as though she could hide who she voted for forever anyway, so why throw away a chance at the cash? 

  6. On 7/30/2021 at 6:47 AM, cardigirl said:

    I'm wondering who sent the goons to hurt Jesse Tyler Ferguson's character enough to make him pay out the $3 million.  Suddenly that fake court is looking kind of dangerous. 

    I suspect the wealthy benefactor. He was centered in the shots of the spectators in Wackner's courtroom at the end, with him giving a slow clap and a nod of satisfaction in the midst of the applause in the last shot. Then they cut from him to Marissa, looking as though she's pretty sure she's figured out the connection. Wackner, however, does not seem to have put it all together. 

    • Like 7
  7. Thanks for the recaps. I actually haven't been able to get myself to watch these last two episodes; I might go back & catch the first one, for Kishwar's daughter & maybe a few of the recipes, but the second sounds interminable, especially since it's a pressure test. I would only care if I was invested in more than one of them, and didn't already know that she was almost certainly not going to win because the betting odds had been decisively towards Justin all this time. I tried to set that knowledge aside, but by the very end, there wasn't much suspense left, either in how it was going to come out or in how it was likely to be edited; and when I saw that he had in fact won, I found that I just had no motivation to watch. I've been tired of the Pete & Justin (& Andy & Jock) show for quite a while, so just knowing who won is enough. I wish them all well, but I've had my fill of watching them. I'd be happy to see more of my favorites, though (Kishwar, Depinder, Minoli, Tommy, Linda, & Sabina).

    I find it's usually harder to keep my interest at the very end. There aren't enough cooks left to fill the time, and I don't care for pressure tests that much even when the stakes are lower. I suppose if it had been three of my favorites, though, I would have been interested in seeing all the interactions and such. 

    • Like 4
  8. Pete has updated his instagram to give credit to Relae for various recipes, in response to the criticism. It turns out with some of them (including the recent zucchini one) he did not have recipes, only the photos (from the restaurant's website), and he worked it out from there. Hard to do! I still think he should have given more credit from the get-go, but the judges may have led him to believe he'd done enough. In any event, he's made the adjustment, so good for him. 

    (Honestly, based on the diner reviews of the zucchini dish, it sounds like Pete's version may have been an improvement. His filling sounded more appetizing.)

    • Like 3
  9. 6 hours ago, monicageller said:

    We've been campaigning this for the last 5 years (she's 29) but no to avail— Leah is eternally 23. Just like me.

    I suppose it's an accomplishment that she hasn't racked up any new last names since she was 23. 

    • Like 1
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    • Laugh 6
  10. Yes, thanks for the link. I suppose the only upside is that he's under a microscope now. Any behavior or decision that's even a little bit questionable should be a lot harder to get away with, at least in the near term.

    • Like 5
  11. Since I've been critical: It seems Pete at least tweaked the oyster dish a bit; the original uses a leek emulsion rather than an oyster emulsion. It's still awfully close (and the original sounds better), but credit for not doing things exactly the same way. I imagine he got the oyster emulsion from him somewhere, though. Puglisi's book encourages people to mix and match components.

    (Side note: if I went to a seriously fancy restaurant, I think I'd be a little annoyed at other diners taking pictures of all their food. It's fine if you're reviewing a local takeaway or more casual spot, but somehow in that expensive setting it feels like it gets in the way of the mood for other people.)

    • Like 2
    • Useful 1
  12. I found that exact same article featuring the oyster dish almost instantly! Oh, Pete. 

    The zucchini one was harder to find, but probably also from Relae. I found this picture in a diner's review of their meal there:

     image.png.90bdf983dcf02c3f2a0585515efa6761.png

    https://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g189541-d2045377-i337415457-Relae-Copenhagen_Zealand.html

    As for whether this approach is already a bit dated, it appears Puglisi, at least, is moving on. Here's this on his decision to close Relae & another of his restaurants:

    "Puglisi’s restaurants are less exalted than Noma on the international stage, but his approach to hyper-seasonal, organic cuisine influenced a generation of Copenhagen restaurants, and the closing of his first two restaurants signifies an end to a certain era of avant-garde defiance in the local food scene, even as it embraces other Puglisi influenced. (Puglisi’s three other restaurants — the bakery and restaurant Mirabelle; vermouth and snacks bar Rudo; and Bæst, an Italian restaurant with award-winning pizza — will remain open.)"

    https://www.eater.com/2020/9/17/21439564/christian-puglisi-interview-closing-relae-manfreds-copenhagen-restaurants

    It's reasonable that other people should want to play with these ideas for a while, but ultimately it's rather intellectual and after a while the conceit gets old. I'd rather have Elise's & Kishwar's recipes from this set of duels than either of Pete's (cough, cough, Christian's); at least Kishwar's curry is up (and appears more doable than many of hers, although I doubt I could do half as good a job at it.)

    Another diner was unimpressed (for the price tag), and snapped this picture:

    image.png.dc5b58a9f63d4f9735d129ad0ecd1460.png 

    https://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g189541-d2045377-i301199542-Relae-Copenhagen_Zealand.html

     

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  13. I wouldn't mind eating this dessert, but watching 5 people try to recreate it wasn't particularly interesting to me. It's the sort of episode that reminds me why I don't watch (most) dessert competitions (GBBO is an exception), even though I am a sucker for competitive reality shows where the contestants actually have to be good at something. I don't enjoy watching fiddly things.

    At least I had people to root for. Well, just Kishwar at this point. If it's Pete & Justin in the finale, I'm not sure I'd watch - I'm tired of both of them. If one of them deserves to win, congratulations - they're both nice guys, although to continue the discussion from above, although I don't mind that Pete is turning to specific recipes for guidance, I do think he needs to credit his sources more (I checked and he is not doing so at all in his recent instagram posts, where people go on in the comments about how incredible it is that he would think to make a croissant out of celeriac & he just says thank you. Well, it's great that someone did, and it turns out nori can also make a good filling for one - which I think would actually be pretty hard to pull off, so kudos there - but credit where credit is due, Pete. You can say, I got this great idea from one of my favorite cookbooks/one of the chefs I'm most inspired by, to make a "croissant" out of celeriac, with a savory filling. It's pretty technical, but I thought I'd give it a try and see if these flavors would work with that. Is that so hard? (or, he could skip the "croissant" part of the presentation & just do a layered thing with the same technique, and I think then he wouldn't need to credit anyone at all. He could call it a millefeuille or something.) I give him credit for trying things that are hard and doing them pretty well, but not credit for coming up with them. He doesn't have to say it's Puglisi every time (at least once it was Heston Blumenthal), but it seems very poor form to be essentially taking credit for someone else's creativity. Just acknowledge that the idea came from somewhere. 

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  14. 3 hours ago, displayname said:

    ...So is Pete's dish his own creation, or another riff from a chef? I think there's a difference between learning a technique (which this might well be) and copying a dish from a chef. I find it hard to believe he came up with such a dish all on his own?

    It appears to be a takeoff of another dish from Relae (Christian Puglisi's restaurant), although the nori filling was his idea. The original is reviewed here: https://www.somemeals.com/p/copenhagen-is-killing-it ("The best thing we ate [as part of a 4-course tasting menu] was hands down the celeriac 'croissant'—layers and layers of crispy, caramelized root vegetable infused with savory herbs and, if I remember correctly, a briny olive paste").

    (I found this by googling "celeriac croissant"; there was an image that looked almost exactly like Pete's except for the plate (Relae used a less pretentious plate than Pete did, although that may be more to do with the options available at Society than with Pete)): 

    89b55dfc-b9fd-44db-bde1-0355ef3cbb91_640

    (you can even see where the string held the celeriac bundle together during cooking in the Relae version.)

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  15. You pretty much knew as soon as they said 4 savory & 2 sweet that it would be one of the desserts that would go home. On Masterchef UK (the professionals, maybe?) they do something very like this challenge but without anybody going home just from the restaurant challenge; after that, they get to go back to the studio & cook something where everyone is cooking under the same constraints. I prefer the level playing field. 

    Oh, well. I didn't really expect Sabina to go all the way, and she did well to go so far.

    I'm not at all interested in going to this restaurant - seems a pretty stuffy environment, no matter how good the food is ("contemporary" if contemporary is corporate expense account lunch c. 1990?) - and I found it a little implausible that they all met the standard with only 2 1/2 hours & no prior thinking on what they might do. That's not what the actual 3-hatted chef is going to do for his first service.

    It seemed Justin got dish of the day mostly just by using the most expensive ingredients - which suggested to me that the praise for the other dishes was overblown. Yes, butter, lobster, & tarragon is bound to taste good - you'd be hard pressed to mess that up. Tarragon was probably one of the easiest assignments (along with the yuzu, perhaps). I thought the dessert assignments were much more challenging, and am not sure any of them would have been able to do much better. If Sabina drew the tarragon & savory, you can bet she'd still be there. If Linda had the peppercorns or the yuzu, same.  

    My favorites of who's left are Kishwar & Linda; I find Justin & Pete a little exhausting. However, even though I'm not drawn to the same recipes that Pete is, I disagree with people who assume that because his stuff looks weird it can't possibly be good. Maybe you wouldn't order it off the menu, but many of these things are on the menu, and loved, at highly regarded restaurants, and I'm going to assume that all those critics and diners are actually enjoying the sort of dishes he's inspired by. I'm completely sold on the notion that his food is very tasty as well as highly conceptual (except for on a few occasions where he got caught up in an idea & let taste be secondary). No, he's not inventing the concepts, or quite replicating them (because his inspirations are often recipes that would take days to recreate), but none of them are. Still, I prefer something like Elise taking familiar techniques and adapting them to highlight the ingredients at hand, or Kishwar using her deft hand with spices, etc.

    • Like 3
  16. 1 hour ago, snarts said:

    Even more details including clarification that he was fired for repeated harassment (rebuting his claim that it was one person one time, he's now learned from his mistake, blah blah blah)

    Thanks for the links. I read both the articles, though, and think it suggests the repeated violations were for his interactions with the one employee with whom he'd had an affair, and it's just that they're referring to a series of unpleasant and/or unprofessional interactions they may have had during or in the aftermath of the affair. I believe in only holding people accountable for what they actually did, and I'm not going to assume there's more without evidence. It was a huge mistake that rightly cost him his job, but if that's all it is it's not the same as someone who's a serial offender. 

    I think Top Chef handled it in part in the editing. You can't really edit out the winner, even if they wanted to, but they did edit him so that we won't particularly remember him even though he won. He'll be the guy who won that season that Shota & Dawn were on - oh, and Maria, and Jamie, and Sarah, & Byron. And Sasha who had that really long run on Last Chance Kitchen, and Avishar from Ohio who made some quirky food, and Gabriel who used to work for Tom Colicchio. The big thing we'll remember about Gabe is not that he made great mole and was the first Mexican-American winner, but that there was a scandal and there were other people we were rooting for instead of him. 

    • Like 13
  17. Linda's dish sounded amazing - so glad she won (and that ice cream and granita didn't. Why didn't Justin change it up when the oranges didn't even taste like he imagined they would? Surely he could have added some other element.).

    The MasterchefAU instagram has a bit where the judges say what they would do with these options; Andy opted for chocolate/pistachio but would do a mole with them; both Jock & Mel went the sweet hibachi route. Jock recalled Amina's quail with pomegranate molasses glaze from a team challenge last year, and Mel was thinking pina coladas, so: caramelized roasted pineapple, coconut rum ice cream, lime granita ("and it would be glorious!"). (After I saw that I went looking for Amina's quail recipe but it doesn't seem to be on the MC website. The general idea seems pretty straightforward, though, and there are recipes from others online. It was in a service challenge, so I doubt her version was overly complicated. The flashbacks show all the judges loving it, with Mel coming around the judging table to give her a hug for it.) 

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CQx853rBWKG/

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  18. 4 hours ago, akr said:

    I agree with your general point about the mentoring. I'm not persuaded they're as good at it as the last group of judges was (I don't think they have as good a feel for how much they can push them),

    I wrote this before watching the most recent episode - and the judges really stepped up their critiques, I thought! So many times they have limited themselves to things like, "are you sure?" but this time the comments were a lot more substantive. I don't know if they were doing as much of this earlier on, and I just missed it; if they weren't able to do as much of this until the contestants were already at a certain level; or if they're getting better at that part of the role (a bit different dealing with amateur adults, as opposed to children or the all stars). Some of it may  just be the show finding its way with the editing; with not that many people left, they have to focus more on what they're actually doing. 

  19. 1 hour ago, babs1226 said:

    @katisha I think what happened with Justin is that he did his homework and figured out what kind of cook he wanted to be, like Jock told him to.  Jock obviously saw his potential and guided him in the right direction. 

    Also, Justin said something a couple of weeks that suggested he'd just been aiming for middle of the pack for the first half of the season, and at some point he realized that wasn't going to be good enough anymore. If Depinder played all her best cards at the beginning, Justin saved his (and picked up a bunch of new ones) for the end. The pacing also probably helped him avoid running out of steam. It's a bit risky, of course, as you can go home anytime, but if you're good enough, and you're not doing anything too crazy, early on you can usually count on somebody else to screw up. Late in the game, when everybody's very good, taking some risks is necessary if you're going to stand out, or even stay out of the bottom.

    I agree with your general point about the mentoring. I'm not persuaded they're as good at it as the last group of judges was (I don't think they have as good a feel for how much they can push them), but we're definitely seeing growth in those who are left. However, if you're isolated with a bunch of cooks for months, with no access to social media and little other outside stimuli, but lots of cookbooks around and other food-obsessed brains to pick, you ought to be picking up a lot of new ideas!

    I'm not sure that Depinder was less capable of adjusting so much as that she ran out of steam and was hampered by self-doubt at the end. The others' deference to her, and the multiple wins, show that she really was one of the true standout cooks of the season. However, the editing seems a bit heavy-handed on who we're supposed to root for and when (were Connor and Therese ever really that good? Or were we just supposed to be shocked that someone was leaving "early," and they thought these were personalities that the fanbase would gravitate towards?Not saying they weren't good, of course, just that maybe they were never all that likely to go much further, because of limitations they showed from the get-go.).   

    • Like 1
  20. What an inspiring location. I've not generally been all that interested in the native ingredients (I'm not from Australia), but in that place, and with the people they've allowed us to hear from, and the food that Kishwar and Pete in particular were able to create in response to it - there's an emotional connection to the place even through my laptop screen. Well done, show. All three successful dishes looked wonderful to me (I worried a bit that Tommy's rushing would leave the flavors unbalanced in the end, but it was pretty clear all along from the editing that we were meant to see that Kishwar, Pete, & Tommy were cooking from a connection with the place, and that Depinder was having some trouble setting aside her fear that she wouldn't be able to do well and that this was holding her back. If I've been guided to root for Depinder to go home throughout the episode, she's going home - it would be too disruptive to the theme of the episode for that not to be the outcome.) 

    I'm glad Depinder didn't go out on a bad dish, though, and that she had a wonderful run on the show. Pete is finally doing things that are not just intellectually interesting; here there was something that appealed to the heart as well as the brain. At this point everybody's acquitted themselves well and I'm fine with whatever order people go home in. 

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  21. I don't think you can just count how many mistakes or limitations a dish may have (and we only hear some of the critique anyway, so who knows what the real count is) - it's how significant the flaws are, and whether the dish works well overall. And, I don't think it's that they couldn't taste pumpkin or walnut at all in Depinder's dish, but rather that the flavors were too muted. It certainly left her vulnerable.

    As for Minoli's, I don't think they explained it well enough, but the taste of green mango can be quite assertive (sour and/or bitter) and likely didn't blend well with the other flavors; and it certainly wouldn't pair with the flavors of the broth in the same way the noodles might have, or provide a similarly pleasing texture. She made the broth with the idea of pairing it with noodles, and it may have needed significant adjustment to pair with the mango, if it could work at all. So - I think it's that the noodles actively spoiled her dish - getting in the way of the things that worked - whereas Depinder's was just underwhelming. If Depinder had doused her cake in a clashing syrup, that would have been a more comparable error. Neither was successful, but neither was a complete disaster, and, as usual, they tried to keep it ambiguous enough about which flaws were worse that there would be some suspense about who was going home.

    In general, I'm not conspiracy-minded about this show. There are certainly judgment calls when things are close, but if they haven't explained their choices well enough for me to understand it, I don't assume that they made a dishonest call, just that they didn't explain themselves. Andy and Jock are often completely inarticulate about their reasoning, so the editors may not have a lot to work with in trying to make sense of things for viewers.   

    I was expecting Depinder's problem to be time - that either the cake or the ice cream wouldn't be done. She should have known that pumpkin cake wouldn't have much flavor, though. It never does; it just makes the cake moist. Pumpkin cake needs spices to be of any interest. She would have needed some concentrated pumpkin flavor to complement it & bring it out - maybe some candied/caramelized pumpkin to go with it.   

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  22. Good episode! My favorites remain my favorites (Kish, Linda, Tommy, Sabina, Depinder), although the order moves around & Depinder isn't at the top of it for me anymore. (Minoli was up there, too, for me, but oh, well). Justin & Pete look strong & deserving to be there, too, but I'm not as interested in their food. 

    It was interesting to see Elise step it up at this stage - nice to see her taking the techniques she knows so well and branching out with more creative flavors. Have we ever seen any hint of her Sri Lankan heritage in her cooking? I don't know that it meshes well with the pasta focus, but I don't think she's drawn on that at all. Well, sometimes one side of the family just isn't very food-focused, I suppose, and it's probably a very hard thing to do well if you're not steeped in it. 

    I wish they'd given Scott some more air time along the way. It's really kind of mystifying! We hardly even know he is, except that he seems like a really nice guy, cooks some more traditional food than some of the others, and blinks a lot. I don't even remember what, if any, aspirations he has going forward. Some sort of low-key cafe or restaurant in the countryside would seem to suit the vague image I've got, but it's really vague. There would be some desserts. Not sure what's for dinner. Fish, I suppose, because he just made fish, and I can't remember what he's done before.

    Sabina was delightful on the gantry. Nice to see her relaxed & happy again, and very attuned to all of the other contestants. Much better comments than we usually get from up there, I thought. 

     

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  23. I'm not sure why people have been so down on this group - I'm interested in what almost all of them cook, even though I'm not likely to attempt to reproduce the 40+-ingredient recipes that some of them put out. (I'd go to their restaurants instead, and let them do the cooking.) It took me a while to warm up to most of the crew (aside from Depinder, who was obviously a star from early on), but by mid-season a lot of them were looking very strong. (It helps that my top 6 are in the top 10.)

    At this point, are Scott & Elise the weak links? I have liked (what little we've seen of) Scott all along, but his braciole seemed a little unambitious, and simultaneously something that couldn't properly be done in the time allotted (so, he changed the cut of beef, but the dish suffered from it).  He seems a solid middle of the pack guy. I like his soft spoken manner, but the fact he couldn't pronounce (or spell - see his instagram re his "bricole") - his partner's favorite dish, makes me wonder if perhaps he's not great at talking about his dishes, either. When we suddenly get a lot of focus on Scott, I suppose it will be a dead giveaway that he's a goner. Elise has been hit or miss for a while now (peaked early? already accomplished so hasn't had the room for growth?), but succeeding, or not, with the cannoli doesn't mean that much. I'm glad she got to give it a go, even if it didn't work, but even if it had I just wouldn't have been that impressed compared to some of the others, even though I love cannoli, & it's an undertaking.

    I've had a soft spot for Sabina all along so I'm glad she did so well this time! And I've also been a big fan of Depinder, Kishwar, Minoli, Linda & Tommy for quite some time, so obviously I'm pretty happy with who's left. (I can respect what Pete & Justin are doing even if I find the bromance & the over-reliance on concept a bit wearing. I do not need high concept PB&J, and frankly think the moment for that sort of thing may have passed anyway. It's useful to work on the techniques, though, I suppose.) I guess if people were tuning in for fancy desserts, it makes sense that they miss the people who were inclined towards that sort of cooking, but that's never been what I enjoy about Masterchef, so I don't miss it at all. 

    Usually I spoil myself with the twitter thread but yesterday (for the vanilla challenge) I went in completely unspoiled & was surprised at how much more I enjoyed it. I'm going to try to exercise a little more self-control & do that more often as the season winds down. (who am I kidding? I will not pull this off.)

     

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