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TOP CHEF Episode Six Recap: Even the Famous Come Home

It was another charged episode of Top Chef Wednesday night. Here’s my rolling commentary of the evening – and a chance for you to Save A Chef from getting knifed from the competition.



It was another charged episode of Top Chef Wednesday night. Here’s my rolling commentary of the evening – and a chance for you to Save A Chef from getting knifed from the competition.


Things I’m amped about: Ana Farris and Chris Pratt guest judging.

Things I’m bummed about: CJ getting kicked off last week. His ‘Colicchio’ was right on (he killed with that impression!) and also, I mean, can a burger really be THAT bad? (I mean, even a bad burger is usually a pretty good burger.)

But I digress…onto THIS episode. The top 12 remain.

So last week, the bottom performing contestants got reamed out by the judges, so it set the episode off with a bit of nervous energy. As a result, you’ll notice the onset of a nervous breakdown from a Danyele (the chick who resembles the protagonist from Disney’s Brave. Look left. I’m right.) If you paid close attention to her this this episode you’ll notice there’s something not okay in her eyes. Although it could be due to her excessive use of eyeliner. It’s borderline eye-black. I can’t wait to see more.

Quick Fire Challenge:

So this Quick Fire challenge kinda rocked me. It featured Marilyn Hagerty, Columnist and Writer for the Grand Forks Herald. She is the writer of one of the most adorable restaurant reviews ever – which we covered on the site once. She did an IN DEPTH (CLICK HERE TO READ IT) reviews of The OLIVE GARDEN. It was both hysterical and adorable. But again, I digress. One of the contestants compared her to “Martha Stewart’s mother” which in my opinion was a dead on description – a non-discernible accent, sensible seasonable garb, ancient, the whole nine. I didn’t know who she was at first – she was everything to me. Gotta love a small town girl (ahem) gone big time.

The challenge itself was to “make a sweet and savory holiday dish based on your family’s lineage.” Also, as an added twist (they never get off THAT easy); only one knife could be used among the 12 of them. Sharing is caring, y’all!

This challenge was designed in a way for the audience to get to know the chefs on a more personal level. I was a little disappointed with the winning dish though. Not knocking the **apple tarte** Brooke made – I’m sure it was delicious, but it was cited by Martha Stewart’s Mom that the flavors reminded her of going home for Christmas. Lady! This this challenge wasn’t about what reminded YOU of the holidays, it was supposed to represent the individual cultures of the chefs. But then again this women was alive when WWI was called The Great War, so I’m not even going to try to understand her rationale. Micah and Josie — the ones who made the tamales — they never had a chance.

Anyway, Brooke wins and gets immunity for making something safe. And American.

Elimination Challenge

After the Quick Fire, in walks Chris Pratt (of Parks and Rec fame) and a very pregnant Ana Farris. As far as Hollywood couples go, they’re actually pretty adorable together.

At first it seemed supes random to me that the two of them would be there, but apparently they’re both from western Washington, and since this season of Top Chef takes place in Seattle, it started to make a little more sense.

The challenge is to create one dish that satisfies their food cravings that will be served at a big homecoming party for the couple. The chefs had time to pick the twosome’s brains about what they liked, didn’t like, etc. What we learn is the Chris is a big game hunter. Chris Pratt holding a gun is as titillating as it is frightening.

Oh! I almost forgot to mention, the winner wins a Toyota Prius C. Pressure on.

As I continue watching the frenetic pace of the chefs prepping for the event, all I can pay attention to is Danyele (aka Brave). She starts developing some sort of Irish accent in my head. Nothing about her dish is going right. I continue to love her.

At the party, Chris Pratt starts transforming into the quintessential drunk uncle – but he’s so cute with his mom and with Ana, we’ll overlook that. He and Ana actually ripped on reality TV and did a little improve “Bachelor” scene. Again, adorbs.

Overall, the dishes got way better responses this week than last. Some seasoning issues here and there, but all-around, they didn’t suck.


Padma was looking a little Laura Croft – I didn’t hate it.

Brave is so f*^$@#^ nervous. I can’t get over it.

As per usual, the judges call out the top performers first. The girl who won the Quick Fire won the challenge, and more importantly, the CAR!

Then, the bottom performers are called in to the firing squad. ::OMG Brave, don’t give up.:: She starts crying. The judges spare her.

Eliza is the one who gets the boot. She was totally a #whocares contestant, so everyone was kind of just like, “kay bye!”

The thing I found particularly interesting about her departure is that she claimed she was sick, so she approached the judges’ panel and bowed to each one of them, as opposed to shaking their hands…I guess to not spread germs? It was so awkward. But a couple minutes later you see her hugging some of her former competition goodbye. Possible sabotage?

Now as you know, it’s not enough just to watch the show. Ya gots to get involved, people. Time to SAVE A CHEF – who should stay? Stretch your tweet fingers and let that voice inside your head be heard:

1. #savechefeliza
2. #savecheftyler
3. #savechefkuniki

Vote via Twitter or text 27286 for a chance to win $5000 for your own foodie adventure! You can vote once per day and win stuff. CLICK HERE so you can do it the right way with the box that says “I agree” to all that stuff you need to agree to to win.

Meanwhile, check out a preview of next week’s episode!

Please Note: POP goes The Week receives content, product, access and potentially other compensation for coverage of Top Chef.

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VIDEO:Rolled Ice Cream, Cheetos Bagels And Grasshoppers Are Just Some Of The Unusual Things Brian Balthazar Has Eaten On ‘The Wendy Williams Show’



You’ve seen pop culture expert, Brian Balthazar, appear on The Wendy Williams Show quite a bit over the last few years. He even co-hosted the show on three separate occasions. It wasn’t until his last visit where he and Jason Biggs chowed down on a KFC Cheetos Chicken Sandwich that it hit me: Being on the daytime talk show makes Brian Balthazar hungry!

The proof is in the pudding…pun definitely intended. Carla Hall made sure to bring some snacks for Brian when they cohosted together.

Sure, Wendy is known for telling us to “grab a snack and come on back”…

But you’d have to be absolutely famished to want to eat fish sliders at 10am.

He’s gotten so hungry he resorted to eating GRASSHOPPER TACOS on the show!

Could it be that Brian isn’t actually hungry though? Could he just be a brave soul willing to be the taste tester so we don’t have to? Could my theory be flawed?!

I suddenly feel like maybe we owe Brian a big thanks…

Either way, it’s fun to watch! Click below to take a look at a compilation of all the fun stuff Brian Balthazar has eaten on The Wendy Williams Show!

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Get The Look! A Buyer’s Guide To Brian Balthazar’s Philadelphia Home Redesign



As the world was forced to spend more time at home, Brian Balthazar found himself in a position where he had sold a house before the lockdown and had to find a new one.

“We sold our home with all the furniture in it, so not only did we find ourselves struggling to find a new place, once we found one we didn’t have any furniture to put in it.”

And so, Brian and partner Dennis got resourceful, turning to refurbishing and buying store floor models. They were inspired to make bold, fun choices in color and style when they started shopping around for wallpaper.

Below is the segment as it appeared on the Today Show, and further down, a rundown of where you can find the pieces or ones with a similar look!


Let’s start with the Dining Room!

Move the slider dividing the image to see all of the before or all of the after!

Brian saysThe dining room was the first space we wanted to do. I haven’t had a true dining room since I was a kid, and I’ve always wanted a big table for dinner parties! There were no tables within the price range we wanted, so we found a floor model at one of our favorite go-to stores, Arhaus. We easily saved 75 percent on this table by getting the one that they weren’t going to carry anymore. The chairs are from Wayfair.  On each side of the fireplace (not seen in the photo, but visible in the Today Show video) are two black tall lanterns flanking the fireplace. I got them at Target. I can’t currently find them on their app, but similar versions pop up every year. Get thee to Homegoods! Homegoods and Homesense (same parent company) are my go-to spots for home accessories for virtually every room in the house. You never know what you’re going to find, which is part of the fun.

But let’s focus on the real WOW element to this room – the wallpaper! This pattern is called Bellewood, by RebelWalls.   As you will soon see, I’m sort of obsessed with their patterns. To me, this room is magical with the added whimsy of this forest pattern. (They also have a more muted version with grays and even one with blues.) I also love that by hanging the paper from the chair rail up, you almost get the feeling that you’re standing on a balcony overlooking the forest. I surrounded the whole room with this paper, which I love, but you could easily add the same magical feeling by just doing one feature wall. Their website shows how it can translate to a bedroom or office. You might be intimidated by hanging wallpaper but don’t be! This pattern has so much going on that it really looks perfect when it goes up!



Brian says: The guest bedroom is on the top floor of the house, so it’s got roof lines on two sides that make it a tricky space to navigate if you’re not careful. The planning of this space alone resulted in a few bonked heads. On the upside, the wall where the bed goes is tall, so it was an obvious place to create some visual pop. Again, the wallpaper takes the spotlight.  Called “Nude Roses,” also by RebelWalls, I love this design. Floral wallpaper was ‘big’ in popularity back in the 1920s when this house was built, but the patterns at that time were smaller, repeated more often, and were often really bold in color. This interpretation is so fun to me! Gone are the small roses in favor of oversized blooms, and the bold colors are more subdued pink and gray hues, with touches of dark green and creamy whites.

While roses can inherently feel feminine, the plaid bedding (30 dollars for a queen set from Target) are a surprising complement that keeps everything from feeling a little stereotypical. The side tables are mismatched – partly because we didn’t want to go too “matchy=matchy” – but also to save some money – the one on the left side (hard to catch here) was from West Elm. Normally $199, we got it for half off as the floor model. The one on the right we found in the trash. It was perfectly fine, clearly someone had just gotten tired of it! Nothing some disinfectant can’t fix. That gave us some extra money to spend – To reduce the softeness we went with industrial lamps and edison bulbs. The lamps  are called “Ginyard,” from Wayfair. The headboard was on sale at Arhaus. The dark gray takes balances out the pink hues well. The pillows are from Target and Homegoods.

For the 360 degree view of this room, watch the Instagram reel below!  You’ll see the dresser, on sale for $599 from Arhaus, a lamp from Homegoods, and mobiles from Amazon which we fashioned into a ‘piece of art’ that keeps you from hitting your head on the angled wall opposite the bed. Watch the video to check it out!


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A post shared by Brian Balthazar (@brianbalthazar)



Brian says: The idea for the basement game room was to create a space that feels like a lounge you might find if you went out with friends. When you go into this basement it definitely feels like you’ve gone someplace unique! Believe it or not, I found out the Today Show had invited me to to record my house tour just a few days in advance, and so we turned around this spot in just THREE days! There was literally no pool table at the time, (although it had already been scheduled to come on Friday, the wallpaper came on Saturday, (as well as the floor tiles!) and by Sunday we were covered in paint and glue and drinking wine to celebrate it’s completion! I recorded the final video that Monday.

Some people might not think to take a bright basement and make it dark, but that was our first instinct. Clubs are dark and moody, and we wanted this to feel like that. We painted the walls Wrought Iron by Benjamin Moore, which is a very dark gray that seems to take on different hues based on where you paint it and the light that shines on it. We painted the ceiling black. This was Thursday night! Then Friday the pool table came. The floor tiles (“Tweed Indeed” in black by Flor) hadn’t arrived until the next day, so when they did arrive I meticulously trimmed four tiles to fit around the pool table legs so it looks like they were there the whole time. I had ordered the pool table online weeks before from and by sheer coincidence it was scheduled to arrive in time for me to shoot the redesign. This was the second time I have ordered a pool table from them (which was initially scary because you’re not even seeing it beforehand!) but it always arrives in perfect condition to your specific selections. I love that the felt jet black and keeps things dark and moody. In the time that has passed since this photo was taken, I’ve added more of the carpet tiles to make the carpeted floor area darker and bigger.

But once again, the wall mural steals the show in a marvelous way! This mural is called “A Priori” from Rebelwalls, and is inspired by The Allegory of Divine Providence and Barberini Power, a famous fresco by Italian artist Pietro da Cortona. Fitting, because this house is Italian in style on the outside. You can’t see it from this photo but the wallpaper runs up part of the ceiling as well. It truly gives the room a wow factor when you enter it. The lamps are from Homegoods, (we’ve since added some industrial floor lamps for extra mood lighting) and the piano was something we brought with us. The bar tables are from Amazon ($72 each) and the stools we brought with us – they were discards from someone who didn’t like their original bright colors and thought they were dated! We covered them ourselves with gray plaid fabric and they’re better than they were new!


So there you have it! Hope you enjoyed the rooms and find something you like!

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The Pentagon Has Released Official UFO Videos Because 2020 Is The Absolute Worst



Aren’t swarms of locusts supposed to be the next installment of this plague?!

Can we finally declare 2020 as the worst year ever? In January there were fears of a third World War. In February the coronavirus began its rapid spread. In March the world essentially shut down due to social distancing and quarantining. And now in April…with only two days left in the month…we have official government footage of unidentified flying objects. I’m sorry but Milton Bradley’s game of “Life” never prepared me for any of this!

The Pentagon has confirmed the authenticity of three videos that have been circulating the web but didn’t really answer what is visible in them. In the videos, now declassified by the Department of Defense, navy pilots capture “unidentified aerial phenomena” aka unidentified flying objects aka UFOs! Pentagon officials were sure to state that the videos do not show “any sensitive capabilities or systems,” meaning we probably won’t be seeing any little green men any time soon.

The first video dates back to November 2004 and the other two from January 2015. Of the Pentagon’s confirmation of authenticity, Pentagon spokesperson Sue Gough said the videos were released “in order to clear up any misconceptions by the public on whether or not the footage that has been circulating was real, or whether or not there is more to the videos.”

So great. We now know that these strange videos are real but what exactly are we looking at? Well, the Department of Defense says it has no concrete answer as to what might be floating around the skies and has classified the phenomena as “unidentified.” And…just like that I suddenly feel less defended.

Social media is having a field day with this revelation of course. The #AliensAreReal has been trending high on Twitter since the news broke. One user referenced Independence Day and said the aliens are “getting ready for July 4th.” Of the bad timing, another wrote “Et tu aliens?” And finally one user couldn’t help avoid sarcasm and wrote”Where’s the space force when you need it?”

Well 2020, you have worked your awful black magic once again. What’s next, cat videos get banned from the internet?! You’ve taken everything else from us!

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