Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Cheese! Let's All Smile and Act Happy. #BB17

Well it's Tuesday afternoon, and that can only mean one thing...it's HoH picture day.  

Steve is excited, sprawled across the next-door dentist chair.

Outside Austin take a picture with Liz and Vanessa.  Vanessa says she just got out of bed (or, a dentist chair) and reserves the right to delete the picture if she doesn't like it.

Turns out both Liz and Vanessa hated that picture, so they deleted it and moved to a shady spot for a do-over.

OK...yes I know that Austin and Liz have moved their relationship to a more physical level in the "privacy" of her HoH Suite.  And that happened at least twice yesterday, that I know about.

And that's all I want to know about that, for fear of puking.  Please refrain from graphic comments about it in hopes that we can all move on with our lives.

Liz wanted to pose with Gronk the Shark, but didn't know what to do.

So she left him on the fake grass, for the time being.

Meg, Becky, Liz and Vanessa posed on the hammock, with James laying on the ground at their feet.

And look at Johnny Mac, suddenly so interested in HoH picture day.  I assure you that normally he doesn't give two shits about HoH picture day.  Amazing what being on the block does to your motivation level.

(And both Becky and John fully expect to stay at this point.  One of them is probably correct, and the other is being lied to.....but which is which?  And will the which be the same which on Thursday, which is at least two weeks from now....in BB time.)

Johnny Mac's back is so bored-looking, as he tries to pretend to care about this process.

Becky wants a selfie with Liz, but they both HATED this picture and deleted it immediately.  They did two more poses after this one.

Sorry girls, but I did not delete it.

I think Johnny is pretending to be eaten by the shark.  Or maybe he is supposed to be caught in a Sharknado.

Meg encouraged Liz and Austin to "make out" for this picture, but they did this instead.

Liz did a group selfie shot but was angry later to find that Austin held up a bar of Irish Spring.  She knows that CBS will never use that shot, due to lack of promotional consideration.  I have heard them say that bars of Irish Spring are scattered all over the house now.

For the freshness you can feel, and taste.  Which doesn't even make sense, of course.

Liz took a selfie with Steve and Austin was just behind them, telling Steve to "watch his hands".

(No, let's not comment on that comment, please.)

Body language doesn't lie.

Johnny Mac doesn't give a crap.  He's just playing a house guest who might give a crap on TV.

They went inside to film some shots in the kitchen, a call back to last night's BB Chopped competition.  Becky says all of the pictures they take in that house really pop with color due to the decor.

C'mon...he can't see the picture from there, at that angle.

They posed for a picture on the staircase, with Vanessa behind the camera.  This is somewhat of a famous shot for Vanessa and everyone loves the way it looks every week.  She takes her time framing the shot, telling various people to move their head, their arms, etc.

Steve said yesterday that he really needed to lay it on thick with Becky, so she wouldn't hate him too much on her way to the Jury.

He's worried about the votes at the end, of course, and also what Becky would do if she is the one who returns to the game.

(And Julie Chen didn't specifically say that a Juror would come back into the game---she said they may be able to influence it, or something like that.  We all just assume that someone is coming back in.  It's probably true---I'm just throwing out a curve ball here.)

Julia finally appeared for the photos.  She was upset earlier that the HoH room was locked, but all of her makeup was in there.  (Production locks the room while they retrieve the laptop Liz blogged on, etc.)

I guess she finally got in there and took care of her beauty business.  You can't really see her here, but Liz is in the picture next to Julia.

And here is Meg in a Twin Sandwich.

And James in a sweeter version of the Twin Sandwich.

I'll bet Julia will FLIP OUT-AH when she finds out what Liz and Austin have been up to.  She might even want to evict Austin, to keep Liz out of trouble, and her family from further disgrace.

That would be an interesting plot twist, wouldn't it?  If Julia wins HoH, I think she wants Johnny Mac out of the game, but I'll bet Austin would be a close second.

This is the Final 9 of BB17.


Earlier today I wrote about the appetizer and entree rounds of the BB Chopped competition last night.

The dessert round was even more competitive, and controversial.   This is a blurry shot of the Team Hisss desserts as they were being plated.  The blurriness isn't my fault...the cameras were trying to focus in on the food and this is what happened.

Previously, Team Liztin planned to share items from Liz's HoH room with Team Hisss, but after Team Hisss won the appetizer round they changed their mind, saying they would not be willing to share their jar of Nutella.  Liz did agree to share her carton of slightly moldy strawberries, though.

Team Hisss presented their "pancake crepe", saying they are "taking the judges to France now", and they should "visit the Eiffel Tower on their way home".  The crepes are covered with carmelized bananas and strawberries, with a side of vanilla ice cream and a Hershey's chocolate sauce.

When they set the plates down, both judges said "WOW" in unison.  Liz turned around from her frantic work on her dessert to see what the fuss was about.


They both took big bites and Meg made noises as she finished her bite.

Vanessa:  Is it good?

Meg:  Yes, it is good.

Vanessa:  The Have Nots are all salivating....damn.

In the background, Liz is yelling at Austin, telling him to put the blueberries in.

Austin:  But how much?  I don't know how...you need to tell me.

Liz:  Oh, I'll just do it-ah.

All of a sudden it was like the needle on the record stopped----Becky found a hair in her dessert.


James:  We've been sabotaged!

Julia:  Look----I wore a headband, and put my hair up.

Becky pushed her plate away but ended up eating more of the ice cream, assumed to be untainted by the hair.  Meg says the crepe was cooked perfectly and she was impressed by the skill level.

Julia:  Thank you.  We tried really hard.

Meg:  I think it might have been better with only one fruit, though.

Becky:  I don't agree. I enjoyed tasting both fruits, but unfortunately the chocolate sauce tasted burnt.  There was potential there, but it tasted like it was burnt.  I also would have enjoyed some confectioner's sugar on top, as a garnish.

Liz and Austin frantically put the finishing touches on their desserts, with Austin basically watching Liz work.

Also, take a look at the green plate in the upper right corner of the picture.  This is the Hershey chocolate sauce smeared by Team Hisss on the side of the plate.  The judges later said this wasn't a very appetizing sight, and Austin said it looked like Steve's shorts after a competition.   Steve took offense to that, of course.

So Team Liztin presented their dish...gluten free french toast with maple glazed bananas, vanilla ice cream and pistachios.  Becky announced she was allergic to pistachios, but will not hold it against the team because she didn't tell them ahead of time.

Meg took a big bite and was obviously in love with the dessert.  Team Hisss started throwing stones, saying they "found that french toast in the freezer", but Liz retorted that "no one was using it".

(I'm assuming they found the bread in the freezer, and made it into french toast, or else the entire outcome of this is grossly unfair.  Julia announced that they made their pancake crepes from scratch.)

Becky ate around the pistachios, and did not seem to find any hair, fingernails, or any other gross items in her dessert.

The judges took it to the hammock room to deliberate, and they discussed the plating and the consistency of the way the dishes looked.  Vanessa actually thought Team Liztin did a better job on plating this time, but admits that neither she nor John could eat anything, so they would need to rely on the girls for their opinions on taste.

Meg says the french toast was delicious, with a cinnamon aftertaste.

John:  You know they are going to blame the Nutella not being shared for the win....

Meg:  But the french toast was bangin'...that is what made the difference.

So Team Liztin won the BB Chopped competition, leaving Team Hisss to do the dishes and clean the kitchen.

Which Team Will Be Chopped? Which Team Will Win? #BB17

Last night the house guests had a lively game of Chopped, which was one of the most fun events I've ever watched on the live feeds.  I'm sure it will be mentioned somehow on the CBS show, but Julie will probably just call it a "cooking competition".

BB Canada brought in some celebrity chefs for a competition like this one time, and they also brought back some former BB US house guests to judge slop recipes, but this was solely the house guests entertaining themselves and having fun.

There were two teams:

Team Hisssss - Julia & James
Team  Liztin  - Liz & Austin

This post documents the appetizer round, which featured a lot of sisterly rivalry and insults.  And a lot of bossing of James, by Julia.

I don't think they have specified ingredients, but they do seem to be restricted from going to the storage room for more ingredients.

So that is a little like Cutthroat Kitchen.  I don't like that show, because it makes me too nervous.   I like to see people actually cook, not have to cook while laying in a hammock, or wearing oven mitts, or whatever.

There is a lot of sizzling and rushing round, as the teams trash talk the other team's efforts.  And the judges don't seem to have issues with cleanliness, as evidenced by Austin's hanging hair and beard.

(Rest assured, I have been inside food production plants for my job, and hair nets are always worn by employees making or even warehousing food near the production line.  And beard nets are required, too.  Except if there is a rabbi there to supervise kosher production, but that's more detail then I want to go into here.)

Becky is not only a judge, but a color commentary announcer, reporting the live action from the judge's booth.

Such as:

*  We have 11 minutes to go....11 minutes until your appetizers must be in front of the judges!
*  There is a tortilla down...we have a tortilla down!
*  You need to start plating.....only 5 minutes to go!
*  And now they are throwing lemons...lemons are being thrown!

And so on.

Meg is also a judge.

Julia is really riding James hard here, chastising him for not cooking the chicken more evenly.  She is shredding the chicken using the sort of language you would likely hear in the bowels of any restaurant kitchen with a high table turnover.

The spectators love watching the action.  I heard Vanessa say later that watching them was so entertaining, but not being able to eat any of this is pure torture.  She wants to have another round of BB Chopped tomorrow night, but featuring slop creations.

Team Liztin has started plating.

While they work on their five -cheese quesadilla.

Team Hissss is making a soft taco, and begins their assembly as well.

Here is Team Liztin's final appetizer plate.  Julia announces that she is concerned with the discoloration of their guacamole, but Liz shoots back that it is an avocado salsa.

And this is Team Hisss' finished plate.  I think we can all agree that it is a better-presented plate, and the portion is much more appropriate for an appetizer portion.

Although Austin argued later that the quesadilla was meant to be an appetizer shared by the table, not an individual portion.  But that excuse does not make up for the lackluster plating,

Julia presents her plate to the judges, saying she is taking them to Mexico City with this dish, a corn tortilla with diced chicken marinated with lemon and fresh garlic.

Julia:  I also made a fresh salsa, never bottled...fresh ingredients for fresh taste.  And I made my own famous guacamole on the side.

Becky bites, and there is tension in the air.  And insults, too, as the teams continue to insult each other's dishes.

Becky announces that it is very fresh-tasting, just as advertised, but feels the dish could have used a touch of dairy, like sour cream or cheese.

(Well, just last week I heard Becky Burgess say cheese and sour cream were both disgusting to her on a burrito, so I'm confused by this comment.)

Meg disagrees with Becky's criticism, saying that she loves the lemon in the dish, but says it was a bit difficult to eat, and she wasn't sure how to use the accompanying guacamole.

Then Austin and Liz presented their five-cheese quesadilla, and salsa with a hint of garlic, avocado, and peppers grilled with garlic.

Julia immediately started trashing the dish, saying that the portion was clearly more of an entree size.

Meg bites down, and it sounds crispy.  Meg makes a sound that is difficult to interpret, but then takes two more consecutive bites.

Becky:  I noticed the pepper right away....right away.

Vanessa:  But is that good?

Becky:  Yes, it is .

Meg says it was good, but the amount of cheese was overwhelming.  It was good though, she says.

Austin:  Can you save some so we can eat, too?

As the judges deliberated, the teams took a 10 minute break and chowed down on each other's food.  Julia liked the quesadilla, but says it was too big to be an appetizer.

Steve came in the kitchen to cook a pork chop and the teams berated him about it.

Julia:  Steev-ah.  You can't do that now.

The scoring was complicated, involving plating and creativity, with separate scores for several elements, but in the end Team Hisss won over Team Liztin, with an overall score of approximately 8.5 to 6.5.


I have some real work to do today, but here are a few pictures from the entree round.  Before the round started, Julia asked the judges if they would eat bacon.  Becky said she wouldn't, so Julia said she would cook with turkey bacon.  Pretty sure Meg agreed with that, but Becky was the vocal one.

Team Hiss is making a five-cheese macaroni dish, and Julia is furiously giving James orders about how to prepare his portion of the dish.

James was responsible for the turkey bacon, and Julia ripped him a few times for not focusing on the crispiness.

Johnny had to handle the commentary, and said that they all needed to step it up and take some risks in this round.  He actually recommended someone roasting an owl, since he has never seen that done before.

James diced his turkey bacon.

At one point Meg was the only one watching this round, as people scattered or scampered, as the case may be.

Johnny Mac and Steve definitely scampered, and sat outside and talked about Vanessa.  I guess she had some sort of outburst this afternoon, and Johnny thinks she might be alone in the game right now, after fighting with Austin.

Steve:  Or do you think she wants us to think that?

Johnny:  I don't think she's a good enough actress for that, long term.  I think she knows that things have turned against her.

John thinks they should go with the AusTwins to be a group of five, rather than a group of four with The Goblins.  He reasons that they are the top targets right now for The Goblins, and if they go with the larger team then they will get an extra week of not needing to be in power.  Johnny also thinks that if Shelli comes back, she will align with Vanessa.

John:  Of course, all this could change depending on who wins HoH...huh huh huh.

Meg came and called them back inside for the scoring, probably forgetting they are hungry Have Nots.  John went inside and Steve paced around the backyard.  I thought he would say something to us about  his current strategy, and what he plans to do, but he didn't.

Team Liztin presented chicken cordon blue, which certainly looked good on the plate.  Both judges enjoyed it but Becky says it is a bit salty.

Team Hisss made a five cheese mac and cheese dish, garnished with a cornflake crunch and maple bacon.  I think there is also a maple sauce drizzled on the plate.  The dish was actually in a huge baking dish and  Julia points out that there will be leftovers for everyone.

Team Liztin says that that is clearly an appetizer portion, but Julia says this is a fine dining portion.

Meg and Becky both liked the dish, and Meg can really taste the maple.  She later put them on blast for reading the instructions for cooking the macaroni off the side of the box.

Both teams dug into the dishes while the judges deliberated.  Liz and Julia argued about whether the chicken was dry or not.

James announces that the losers have to clean the kitchen.

The cameras show us a clean macaroni plate.  But in the end after deliberating in the hammock room, the judges said it was a close call, but Vanessa announced that the overall winner was Team Liztin for this round.  Their presentation was better for Team Hisss, but the overall flavor went to Team Liztin, with an overall score of 8.5 to 8.

Meg:  Oh, they're going to be mad.

Vanessa:  Please remember that you can't blame the Have Nots for this, because we couldn't taste it.

There is a dessert round coming up, but you should be able to watch it on BBAD....I have to earn a living today!

(But of course, I ended up covering the dessert round, too.  I love to talk about the BB food...)