San Francisco chef bares his guts and nabs Season 4 crown
Beating out 12 of the country's best cooks, Chris Cosentino took the title on "Top Chef Masters" in Wednesday's Season 4 finale. The last episode of the series brought some of the cycle's most consistently strong chef'testants, who were impressive on their own but had very distinctive culinary characteristics.
Final challenge food critic Karen Brooks called the showdown between meat expert Cosentino and classically trained Kerry Heffernan "polars in the restaurant world today. One is 'I'm going to nurture your into a blissful coma', and one is a 'I dare you to eat this' bravado." In the end, the panel of some of the country's most acclaimed food critics decided to go with their guts and award Cosentino with $100,000 and an additional $41,000 from previous challenge winnings for his charity, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, and he was crowned the "Top Chef Master." In the last themed elimination challenge, Cosentino proved to create the best dishes in the form of letters.
The first course was a love letter, which the San Francisco-based chef dedicated to his wife, creating a literal heart -- beef heart tartar with fois gras and puffed beef tendon. The second course was an apology letter, again dedicated to his wife and the rest of his family. Admittedly "married to the kitchen," restaurant owner Cosentino dished up a scallop, pork, and uni dish that won over the judges, who called it "the sexiest dish ever served." Cosentino's third course was a "thank you" letter to his great-grandmother, who hailed from Naples, Italy. As a child, he ran out of the house when she made her famous tripe. His version of Trippa Napolitana helped him win it all. Lastly, Cosentino's final course was a "letter to yourself" -- a meal that received mixed reviews from the critics' table. He considered his plate of blood sausage, poached oysters, and fried egg as his last supper, quite literally. While critic John Curtas said the course was "embarrassingly bad ... he should have brought his A-game and this is a D-game," Francis Lam dubbed it the "best thing I've eaten in maybe the last 30 years of my life."
After the last course was served, Cosentino believed he had no chance of winning at all, so when host Curtis Stone announced him to be the winner, the chef was left stunned. He exclaimed, "I took a chance, and did what I did. I wouldn't have done it any other way. Guts prevailed. Winning is a big apology to my family -- for being away, for working, for never stopping. It's kind of my way of justifying I'm doing the right thing for once."
Rapper-singer acknowledges the responsibilities, challenges ahead
New "American Idol" judge Nicki Minaj has deemed her upcoming stint on the singing competition a "milestone for young black women". Come next year, the "Starships" hitmaker will be seen weekly on the small screen, as she joins Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson in finding some of the best untapped talent in America. But knowing that the show has set a precedent for finding some of the most talented singers in the country, Minaj understands and accepts the challenge of becoming the best judge she can be.
She tells MTV News, "It's a milestone for me. It's a milestone for hip-hop. It's a milestone for young black women. Has there ever been a black woman judging on the show? This is a show that 20 million people watch so I feel like we should be represented on that show and I'm very proud of my decision to do it." The best-selling singer admits she was apprehensive at first when signing on to "Idol," but in the end it was her drive to go into unknown and risky territory that made her decide to seal the deal.
She divulges, "Of course I had doubts but I had to realize that my fears of doing the show came a lot from what I thought people would say. I had to really think and realize that a lot of decisions I've made in my career, people thought I was f***king crazy and I made them, and I continue to make the hard decisions. "I continue to make the decisions that people don't have the balls to make. And that's what separates me from everybody else ... This is just gonna be another tough decision that Nicki Minaj makes ... I'm very, very excited. I can't wait for my Barbz to watch."
"American Idol" returns January 2013 on FOX.
Emmy-lauded duo developing 'Dash for Cash'
TLC orders three 'Honey Boo Boo' holiday specials
Honey Boo Boo is coming to help you celebrate the holidays. TLC has ordered new specials pegged to Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
And you thought holidays were for spending time with your own dysfunctional family.
"What you see is what you get and we are excited to share even more of Alana and her family's unbridled hilarity, sincerity and love with our viewers," read a statement from a TLC spokesperson that noted that America has "redneckognized" seven-year-old breakout "Toddlers & Tiaras" star Alana Thompson.
In addition, an unspecified number of regular "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" episodes were ordered.
Will that be enough for you guys now or what?
The Season 1 finale of "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" airs Wednesday, Sept. 26, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on TLC.
Dallas businessman returns after landing in the final three of last season's 'Bachelorette'
Sorry, Ryan Lochte fans. But it looks like the Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer and incipient fashion designer will not be making his reality TV debut as "The Bachelor."
That honor, as announced by ABC and reported by People.com, goes to Sean Lowe. Fans may recall the Dallas insurance agent from the most recent season of "The Bachelorette," where the 28-year-old nearly wooed Emily Maynard. While Lowe did not ultimately win Emily's heart (she ended up choosing Jef Holm), he came quite close, landing in the final three.
Said Lowe to People.com about last season's turn of events: "I was standing at that rose ceremony thinking I was going to marry her." Hopefully, things turn out better for the businessman and entrepreneur as he sets to star in the 17th season of ABC's popular and long-standing "Bachelor/Bachelorette" franchise. He confessed: "I'm an open-minded optimist, and I believe the process can work. If I found my wife, it would be worth it."
ABC's announcement caps a typically interesting off-season of casting speculation. Aside from Ryan Lochte, rumors among fans and show followers focused on former "Bachelorette" Ali Fedotowsky's ex-fiancé Roberto Martinez, among others.
"The Bachelor" returns in January 2013 on ABC.
'RHoNJ' star still not recovered from finale, unsure about future seasons
"The Real Housewives of New Jersey" regular Melissa Gorga has still not recovered from the blow up with sister-in-law Teresa Giudice during Sunday's season finale, revealing their feud might be the deal breaker in returning for another season. The Season 4 finale ended with one of the most dramatic scenes in the show's history, as Teresa managed to break off ties with her few remaining friends, as well as her own family.
Although Melissa and her sister-in-law have been feuding for years, the two seemed to come to amicable terms in the past few episodes of Bravo's hit show. However, when Teresa allegedly set up a scheme to reveal Melissa as a former stripper, the niceties came to a screeching halt. A year after the explosive confrontation, Melissa reveals to entertainment site HollywoodLife.com that even after the recent cast reunion, her relationship with Teresa is still non-existent. She admits, "They’re not perfect right now. We haven’t seen each other since the reunion, which was filmed earlier this month. I think the reunion will clarify where things are today. It was a crazy reunion. It was crazy, but we’re not there yet. Things are not good. And it’s a bumpy road right now. Things are not good. I’m a firm believer that time heals all wounds. But after watching this (season finale), I was very heated again and very upset ... She’s putting the barrier with our kids and with our family. And now she’s making it really hard for me to sit down with her and have family dinners. It didn’t have to be this way."
As for her future with the show, Melissa is still unsure how she would handle filming if Teresa is still part of the cast. She says, "I can’t even picture myself having to film with her again right now. I really can’t. I’m at that spot where I can’t even look at her in the eye. I can’t look at her." Part one of the three-part "New Jersey" reunion begins Sunday.
"The Real Housewives of New Jersey" reunion begins Sunday, Sept. 23, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.
Melissa Gorga and Jacqueline Laurita confront Teresa Giudice in Season 4 finale
The Season 4 finale of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" was packed with tantalizing revelations including Teresa Giudice's role in the Melissa Gorga stripper-gate controversy and why Giudice and Jacqueline Laurita aren't BFFs anymore.
The episode, which aired Sunday and was the second half of a two-parter, also revealed why Laurita didn't appear on the Season 3 reunion episode. After Laurita learned the truth about Giudice's plans to embarrass Gorga with dubious evidence that Gorga was once a stripper -- a shiny-headed bald dude named Angelo Vrohidis said Gorga once danced for him at a gentleman's club -- Laurita wanted nothing to do with Giudice.
Before severing ties with Giudice, Laurita confronted her only to have Giudice accuse her of sabotage and trickery. When Giudice tried to turn the tables and make it seem like Laurita had planned stippergate, Laurita said she'd had enough of Giudice's shady ways.
Producers shot the combative finale more than a year ago but the confrontation between Laurita and Giudice happened less than a day before the Season 3 reunion was shot. So that's why Laurita was MIA. Mystery solved.
As for Gorga and Giudice, the two were never close but Gorga's belief that Giudice tried to ruin her marriage and her life with rumors of an exaggerated stripper past were enough to make Gorga confront and disavow her sister-in-law. Joe Gorga, Giudice's brother and Melissa Gorga's hubby, also cut ties with Giudice as a result.
In the finale, Joe Gorga came to berate (i.e., beat up) the shiny-headed bald guy and upon learning he was gone, turned his wrath on Giudice, who he yelled at for causing so much trouble with his wife. Joe Gorga later sent a text to his sister that read: "You are dead to me." Wow.
With so much vitriol being thrown in Giudice's direction, the Season 4 reunion is going to be a scorcher.
"The Real Housewives of New Jersey" Season 4 reunion airs Sunday, Sept. 30, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.
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Singer admits she'll miss fellow judges while on hiatus from the show
"The Voice" judge Christina Aguilera has bonded with her fellow panelists despite their bickering past and will miss the team during her hiatus from the show. The "Ain't No Other Man" singer has held her post on the singing competition since its inception in 2011, alongside Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green and Blake Shelton.
But as fans of the show have seen on camera, Aguilera hasn't always been extremely amiable with her fellow judges, especially Levine. However, now that NBC execs have decided to make "The Voice" a two season per year program, Aguilera is taking a temporary leave of absence from the show to focus on her own singing career --- and admits she will miss the reality TV show family she's finally come to love.
In an interview with E! News, she reveals, "I so enjoy being a coach to my team on 'The Voice,' and and at this point in Season 3, all of us coaches have truly bonded. When me and Adam are on breaks backstage, you know, we're writing profanity with my red lipstick all over Blake's trailer while he's napping inside. It's like we have definitely become like brother and sister. We goof around and play around. I'm going to miss it." The Grammy winner will finish the current season of NBC's hit program, but is already busy promoting her new album, "Lotus," due in November of this year. She adds, "It's bittersweet ... In order to be the best coach I can be on that show is to go out and be able to have the experience as an artist ... create new experiences for myself so that I can then come back to the show and share that much more."
And even though Aguilera will not be present for the spring 2013 edition, she is grateful for executive producer Mark Burnett's open offer to return to the show after the album release and tour. She explains, "He (Burnett) understands that we're artists first. In order to remain great coaches and to stay relevant, we have to go out and we have to still tour, see our fans one-on-one. I have to feel creatively fulfilled in order for me to then do my job as a coach and be on that show." R&B artist Usher and Latin singer Shakira have been tapped to fill in for Aguilera and Green, who will also be leaving "The Voice" to fulfill his commitment to his TV development deal and residency in Las Vegas.
"The Voice" airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.