David Steed

"I'm Trying to Be a Leader Here"

Welcome to the first Kid Nation blog!I’m assuming that just like me, you are watching this show and reading this blog because the overall concept of this is just so crazy that you had to at least give it a shot and see what all the hype was about. Forty kids building a town from scratch with no parents is intriguing. I can’t really tell yet if this is going to be a total debacle or the feel-good story of the year but something tells me there’s going to be no middle ground. Either you are going to be put off by all these chaotic kids talking over each other or you’re going to love how cute and cool they are. I’ll reserve full judgment for a few episodes to get used to the concept, but I’d certainly like to hear your first impressions on the quality. So 36 of these kids are bussed in and then four others are flown in and made the town council. I assumed the show would start off with the kids picking their own town council, but having even the slightest bi... read more

"Snacks on a Plane"

Turn the frowns upside down, friends! This week's episode was loads of fun compared to the stinker last week. There were just a ton of funny moments, some food that actually might have been good, and fan favorite Anthony Bourdain! That’s just a big old bucket 'o goodness there. I really enjoyed this quickfire challenge. I'm a breakfast man myself. If I could eat eggs and bacon for every meal, I would. Then I'd probably own a pig farm and some chickens too, seeing as I might want those things handy if I got hungry. But then I probably wouldn't have a pig farm and work at TV Guide so I wouldn't get to do this blog and that would be bad. Then again, I'd be eating bacon right now. Hmmm… I really might have to give this some thought. So anyway, a breakfast challenge is right up my alley. And what better way to start your day than have Padma walk through your door! Well OK, I'm sure my wife wouldn't want Padma just walking in our home and Dale would have rather had Ted Allen in ... read more

"Chef Overboard"

After a one-week semi-hiatus, we're back with only seven chefs remaining until we crown a champion. Now that the field has been reduced by half, it's only fitting that I'm more confused now than ever at who's good and who's going home soon. This week's episode kind of made me look at some different angles, too. It's a cooking show, so naturally I'm drawn to the dishes, but this week I really focused on personalities more. So I think what you're going to see out of me in this blog is less about the food and more about people and perceptions. I'm sure there are plenty of things I'm not picking up on, but let's see what I am and then you can tell me if you see things any differently. • The judges are really getting harsh. True, they have had judges like Anthony Bourdain who are known for not holding anything back, but I can't remember Season-1 or -2 guest judges being so bold as a whole. I mean, good for them. They are the "experts" and they should be bold, but the criticism seems... read more

"Second Helping"

Holy beef tenderloin, Batman! I usually like going in order when discussing an episode, and the past episodes this season really haven't had anything that shocking that would make me deviate from that norm. But this week was mighty different, wouldn't you say? I have to start off talking about the shocker: Tre is outta here. So many of you thought he was the favorite and even though I still think Dale's going to win, I can't say I would have totally disagreed with you in that assumption about Tre. But here it is with Dale, Howie, Brian and Sara all still in the competition while the talented Tre is packing his knives. The choice to send him packing wasn't wrong, either. Tre's been hit-or-miss this season, but when he's on, he's on. However, both Ted and guest judge Geoffrey Zakarian of Country, thought Tre's wild king salmon was one of the worst meals they'd ever had. Not just bad: the worst they'd ever had. We are still calling these people Top Chefs now, right? A crappy dish is on... read more

"Restaurant Wars"

This was the week that the chefs look forward to the most. This was the chance to basically open up your own restaurant for a day and do everything from scratch. A freeform menu with no restrictions; a blank canvas for a dining area that they can decorate any way they choose; and the chance to really show what the end result of winning this competition could be. And boy, did these eight screw it up.We start with the Quickfire, which no longer results in immunity but instead will result in a favorable start in the elimination challenge for the winner. In this case, the winner got to choose his own team for restaurant wars. Top Chef brings in Daniel Boluud, whom the chefs consider one of the top 10 chefs in the country, if not the world. One of the things he is famous for is a burger that costs $120! Lord. That better be the best thing I have ever and will ever eat in my life. It better be 40 pounds and 9 feet wide. Anyway, the challenge is to create a unique burger, sort of like the ... read more

"Guilty Pleasures"

The term "guilty pleasure" has always been interesting to me. I don't like using the term at all, but if I had to, in my mind it would define something that I really like but I know I'm not supposed to. But just because I think I'm not supposed to like Culture Club or What Not to Wear doesn't mean that anyone else thinks those shows shouldn't be liked, either. In this case, though, it seems like "guilty pleasure" is being used to describe a food that will make you fat, but you want anyway, which is a different definition than mine. I mean, who doesn't like Cold Stone Creamery ice cream? If I'm supposed to feel guilty about eating my Love It!-size cake batter with brownies and black cherries, I don't. Ever. Anyway, what school did Hung and Marcel go to that told them to use these ridiculous ingredients? We were just recently reminded of Marcel's bacon and avocado ice cream from last season, and this week his buddy Hung adds in tempura flakes with a white chocolate and cauliflower foa... read more

"Freezer Burn"

Ah, now this was what I missed so much last week. Forget reunions. I need Joey and Howie opening their big mouths, Sara whining and Hung being a “douche’ as CJ called him. Right from the moment Joey spoke for the first time, you knew it was going to be fun. He said if he had to “throw someone over the bus” he’d do so at this point in the game. I definitely would choose that over the more traditional throwing someone under the bus. I mean, under the bus you really have no shot at making it, but over it just gives you so many more opportunities. You could land on your feet or in a row of bushes. There could be a trampoline on the other side or maybe a river and you could just swim to the bank. If I were those chefs, I’d take that option rather than the second choice of throwing someone “over the balcony.” They probably can’t fly but I’d bet they could walk away from landing on the hood of a 2001 Honda Accord. In all seriousness though,... read more

Watch What Happens

So I know some of you are wondering why a reunion episode is taking place in the middle of a season. I would have asked that myself, except I have to confess that it’s partially my fault. About two weeks ago Bravo and I had a string of text messages going back and forth. Let me show you how it went:Bravo: Wazzup, dog?Dave: Just chillin’.Bravo: So what’s the 25th look like for you, bro?Dave: Out of town. Busy. Thanx for asking. Bravo: You are awesome at this blogging thing. We’re thinking of giving you a break from all your linking for a week. Dave: Word.Bravo: How about a reunion show?Dave: In the middle of a season?Bravo: Dude, don’t question what we do. Dave: lolSo that’s how we got it, folks. And it’s true, I have nothing to link up this week, so I can actually get to bed at a normal time. Nothing wrong with that now and again. The episode itself was pure fluff. We saw a few funny and interesting moments but not a whole lot of important items. P... read more

"Latin Lunch"

Oh, what a fun episode of Top Chef this week, wouldn't you say? The curveball thrown to the chefs tonight made the episode for me, but we'll get to that shortly. This week certain personalities really got to me. If you go back to my first blog, you'll see that I've liked Hung from the beginning, but he's been wearing me down a bit. His arrogance has certainly gotten notice from the judges, and while it was always prominent, it never really came back to bite him as much as it did this week. Sara N. on the other hand has always annoyed me with her whining about how hard things are, how she doesn't have some expertise, or how this went wrong or that went wrong. I wanted to strangle her when she starting whining in the Quickfire challenge. But she surprised the heck out of me during the Latin cook-off when she said she wasn't worried about the lack of time. I would have naturally assumed that she'd moan that it wasn’t fair, but for once she kept her poise. And finally, what do you ... read more

"Cooking by Numbers"

Hello folks. I missed all of you on the Fourth of July, when Bravo decided to be nice and air a rerun so you could watch fireworks instead (or if you aren't in the U.S., then revise that to read "so you could sit around in your undies and eat Doritos until you passed out"). But after the very brief hiatus, they come back with one of my favorite parts of the show: teamwork!!!I just love the first time the chefs get to work as a team. You have to enjoy seeing their brains churn as they try to make their own dish great while still worrying if they should help their teammate or let him do his own thing. The bitching, bickering and overall back and forth is wickedly fun to see. But before we get into the team challenge, we had a cool Quickfire this week. A mixologist named Jamie Walker creates cocktails made from the Bombay Sapphire Gin that he represents. The contestants have to make an appetizer to complement the drink, and each one has something different. First of all, I love the ter... read more

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