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As we’ve seen for two weeks now, these episodes can be cut in half: the first preliminary competition doesn’t necessarily influence the decision the judges will make at the end of the episode, and then a second challenge will directly influence the contestant sent home.
The theme for this episode is food trends. In the first challenge, contestants are tested as much for their photography skills and the visual presentation of their prepared dish as much as they are the taste. One thing neither Bobby Flay or Giada De Laurentiis mentioned in their description of this challenge is that the food their preparing is of smaller size than normal, a “tray of food” that they can photograph after it’s prepared.
Emilia, who faced elimination last week, made Thai red curry mussels.
Rue, whose personality shines because she continues to lean on her Zimbabwean heritage with every dish, made Thai eggplant in a tomato ginger sauce.
Rosa, the “first generation Italian American,” made polpette di carne, a/k/a Italian meatballs.
Dom made an eggplant parmesan with basil pesto. As with last week, there’s something so endearing about his presentation to the camera. In fact it makes his hesitation during the live presentations to the judges so surprising.
Former NFL’er Eddie made seared scallop with “mojo” sauce, mojo being a Cuban sauce. The episode opened with a number of the contestants identifying Eddie as the one to beat so far.
Jay of New Orleans made a grilled steak with roasted purple potato and chimichurri. To be clear, these are like appetizers they’re making. Later when they start plating these foods, they’re all bite-sized hor d’oeuvres more than anything. It’s almost as though one of the two hosts stressed it when they introduced the challenge on camera at the same time that the other one sneezed. Or maybe something more subtle, that only a video editor might catch and feel it necessary to delete. Like a burp. That’s the only way I comprehend how completely on-point these guys are with something so vaguely described from the beginning.
Michelle made a deconstructed ratatouille, on a teeny little piece of pita bread.
Arnold didn’t even get to tell us what he made before we learned his dilemma: by the time it came to plate his dish(es), all the plates were spoken for. He was left with bowls, and “I’m got gonna stick a crostini in a bowl,” he said. “I decided to flip the bowl and make the base of the bowl the plate.” He made a Korean BBQ grilled shrimp crostini with apple slaw.
Sita, who the judges seemed very interested in sending home last week, made these fascinating sweet and savory fried chicken skewers. She added, “I have a sauce that will knock your socks off!” I’ll tell ya, these skewers looked… interesting. Big fresh strawberry pieces alongside small bites of fried chicken.
Alex, the sandwich man, made crab cake sliders with sambal remoulade and rocket radishes. As he described it, the “slider” part was clearly secondary. The irony now is that, while he’s a self-proclaimed “sandwich man,” he made sandwiches only on the first episode of the show. Also: immediately after that description, the deep booming background music came forward and Eddie announced (to the camera only) that “Alex made a critical mistake because you can’t see the inside of his sandwich so all we know, it could be air in between two pieces of bread.”
Of them all, the judges like Dom’s eggplant parmesan with basil pesto. In fact, they chose whose dishes they would test based only on the photographs the contestants took of their food. Two photographed so poorly that the judges didn’t offer to taste the food itself. The bad news there was for Alex and his mini-burger bun mystery sandwiches and Ru’s Thai eggplant. They both really didn’t look appetizing.
The judges liked dishes from Eddie, Jay, Arnold, and Emilia, but weren’t quite so hot for offerings of Michelle (though they were critical of the presentation from the latter two), Rosa, and Sita, of whom they acknowledged time-management was an issue specifically. Sita had time to just include the “knock your socks off” sauce with one of the two dishes the judges tested.
The second part of the episode took up 3/4ths of the time. Dom, winner of the first challenge, won the right to choose his team for the second challenge and, by default, the remaining team as well. The chose a team made of all the men, further entrenching the idea among everyone that the men are frontrunners so far this season.
The second challenge, then, included five courses and each member from every team took ownership of one. They were tasked to create the “opposite of comfort foods.” Each course of the team meal had to incorporate one of these five “anti-comfort foods”: burnt, slimy, stinky, incendiary, and raw. The appetizer must be raw, the soup slimy, the burnt salad, the stinky entrée, and an incendiary dessert. Guest judges this week were Geoffrey Zakarian and Sunny Anderson. They had 45 minutes.
And it all fell in line like this:
Raw Appetizer: Rue, who made a steak tartare with bone marrow. The judges found it bland, and unintentionally cooked.
Slimy Soup: Michelle — cream of spinach soup. The judges loved what appeared to viewers as a near last minute addition of grilled octopus tentacles.
Burnt Salad: Rosa — burnt fennel with lemon vinaigrette. Judges hated it.
Stinky Entrée: Sita — crabmeat and veggie penne. In her presentation, she said the words “heart & soul” too much. Judges had to ask what her stinky elements were and, to the camera after the fact, she seemed as though she’d failed because of it. You get the impression, then, that they were time-limited with their presentation of the food. No mention of it to the audience, though. Judges didn’t detect anything stinky about the dish.
Incendiary Dessert: Emilia — spicy mango napoleon with torched meringue. The judges loved it.
Raw Appetizer: Alex — a tuna crudo (which is apparently another way of saying “raw fish”) with yuzu, daikon radish, and coconut oil. Judges liked the food, not the presentation.
Slimy Soup: Jay — chicken and okra gumbo. He knew it wasn’t good and tried to sell the dish via his presentation. The judges loved the presentation, still didn’t like the food. Later, they took him to task for it.
Burnt Salad: Eddie — burnt citrus and pistachio salad. His description included a lot of “um”s, proof that they maybe should have rehearsed a bit going in. Somewhere in the middle of a sentence, Giada just cut him off (“thank you, Eddie”) and he walked away. There had to have been a time limit. Later, Giada said it was “probably the most disappointing dish you’ve given us so far.” Uh, no. It had to have been.
Stinky Entrée: Dom — roast chicken with stinky polenta. Judges loved it, and acknowledged his presentation: “notice how he was trying to walk away?”
Incendiary Dessert: Arnold — spiced hot chocolate with bruleed banana gingersnap. Judges loved it. “Classy, elegant, I’d bathe in this.” Not using the word “incendiary” seemed a problem.
Arnold had lobbied for the salad immediately upon the start of the competition but, when it seemed nobody else could do it, he was tasked with the dessert.
Before they completed their tasks, competitors were critical of Eddie’s salad items not being burnt enough, the likelihood that Rue’s steak tartare might unintentionally cook once it’s placed over a warm item, Sita’s time management, and that the time necessary for Jay to prepare gumbo exceeds their allotted time. All items that came back to bite them with the judges.
Overall, the judges agreed the men’s food was better and the women’s presentation was better. Don’t forget, this is a show about becoming a television star alongside your food. They said, then, that there was no clear team winner and that they’d have to critique them individually.
A bit of a letdown, yes? Reality TV is all about the debatable injustice and that moment that flips the entire competition for an individual who gets sent home, when they look back at the close of the episode and say to the camera, “… but I didn’t do anything wrong!” and it would be true. That’s what makes it all so fun for us at home.
People who did best in this challenge:
Those who did well enough to come back next week:
The judges deliberated and, when the three were called in, they basically said, “Eddie, you did well the last couple weeks, so you’re safe.” Uh… no. Part of their discussion was that he may have coasted during this challenge. You’re supposed to make him sweat a little. Make him think that he could go from top to bottom and out in the span of one episode. So he walked away and all the drama was gone.
There was no way Rosa was leaving. Sita had to go.
She popped in the green room where the remaining contestants were hanging out, and said a quick goodbye and the show was over. It was that fast. She didn’t get to ceremonially place her apron on the cutting board like on MasterChef, or pack up all her wigs like on RuPaul’s Drag Race, all the while ruminating about what might have been.
You’d think it was the end of the season. Have you noticed that these reality competition shows really aren’t good with endings? They all tend to crown a winner and, within the span of a minute, the shows over and we’re watching the news.
If that’s the case on episode three, I can’t help but picture the finale: Bobby or Giada will crown a winner in a mad dash for the door as the other reaches to flick off the lights and pull the studio door closed behind them.
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For those with a thirst to celebrate, Red Bull Unlocked is the key. In city after city, the most exciting bars, clubs, mixologists, performing artists, and more take over a local landmark building to showcase their signature ambiance while also collaborating for a must-see mashup. And now it's Music City’s turn to seize the spotlight, as the event brings 10 bars together in East Nashville’s Five Points neighborhood.
Fueled by the best of Nashville’s thriving music scene, Red Bull Unlocked has curated an eclectic night of show-stopping entertainment performances including a pop-up Whiskey Jam show, DJ sets, musicians, and more. The full lineup is here:
- Whiskey Jam (feat. Dozzi, Willie Shaw, and Johnny Hayes)
- A.B. Eastwood
- Daisha / Rap Girl
- Boom Bap (DJ Collective feat. DJ-Rate, Case Bloom)
- Whiskey Disco (DJ Collective feat. Coach, Jim O'Shea)
- Old Crow Medicine Show’s Jerry Pentercost (DJ Set)
- DJ Stretch
- DJ Griffin Green
- The Play Mates (Drag Show feat. Sasha, Vanity, Deception, Aura Mayari, Corlis Todd, and Carmin Triple C)
Counting down to the epic celebration, Daisha shares, “I never thought I’d have the opportunity to perform in so many of Nashville’s top spots all in the same night. Fans can expect a lot of bops and high energy. I want people to dance and have a good time.”
Ward Guenther, Whiskey Jam Founder, adds, “Red Bull has been enjoyed at Whiskey Jam since the very first night, so it's only fitting Whiskey Jam is enjoyed at Nashville's first Red Bull Unlocked. Looking forward to this!”
Red Bull Unlocked Istanbul
Photo courtesy of Red Bull
Local favorites including Pearl Diver, Tin Roof, Lipstick Lounge, White Limozeen, and more will join forces for one epic night. Full list of bars and partners below:
- The Dive Motel
- Lipstick Lounge
- Pearl Diver
- Play Dance Bar
- Rosemary & Beauty Queen
- The Stage
- Tin Roof
- Whiskey Jam
- White Limozeen
- Woolworth Theatre – Opening Fall 2022!
- Eleven Eleven - Opening 2023!
Date: August 21, 2022
Time: 6 PM – 11PM CT
Location: 1102 Forrest Ave, Nashville, TN 37206
Entrance: Ticked event
Rumble Boxing, the boxing-inspired group fitness studio, opened its doors for the first time in Nashville on June 20 at 609 Overton St, Nashville, TN. The hottest workout on the block is hosting its official grand opening from August 4th-7th with daily classes, membership specials, and prizes from local vendors. The new Rumble Boxing studio is currently offering a buy one class, get one free promotion for the Nashville community.
Rumble Boxing delivers 45-minute, 10-round, strength and conditioning group workouts, crafted around teardrop-style aqua boxing bags and high-intensity strength training circuits. This brings all fitness levels together to experience what Rumble is known for: combining the sweet science of boxing with high energy and positive vibes.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
This boutique fitness brand offers serious benefits like increased stamina and strength, with cardio that’s actually fun. The seasoned trainers at the new studio are thrilled to serve their local community while offering this fun, new modern approach to boxing and welcome members of all fitness levels to the Rumble family.
The new Rumble Boxing studio is owned and operated by Blake Baskin and Antonio Compton. With their background in the fitness industry, this dynamic duo is excited to bring their passion for boxing and group fitness to Nashville. As business and life partners, Blake and Antonio aim to create a strong community within their new Rumble Boxing studio and share their message of non-apologetic inclusivity.
Black and Gay-Owned Business
Rumble Boxing Store with Dolly Parton Mural
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“We own who we are, and this brand aligns with that perfectly,” said Antonio. “This is what we want to create and bring to this community: a fitness class that is designed for anyone and a place for people to be who they are. As a Black and gay-owned business, we want to help lower the division we see in the world right now. Our goal is to bring people together through Rumble, set everything aside, and have fun.”
To echo their message of acceptance and inclusion, Blake and Antonio commissioned a local Nashville artist to paint an 11 X 6-ft. mural of Nashville icon and philanthropist, Dolly Parton. The massive portrait features the country star in Rumble Boxing gear in the lobby of the studio.
The excitement and buzz around Rumble allowed Blake and Antonio to recruit top-tier trainers to head up the new studio, including Head Trainer Oronde Jones, a well-known celebrity trainer in the Nashville market.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“Compared to other fitness classes, Rumble is a class you can truly get lost in for 45 minutes. With the dark room, you don’t have to worry if anyone is paying attention to you. The music is awesome and inspiring, and the beat drops right when you need it the most. Also, with boxing being a sport you can never truly master, you’re always improving and crafting your skill. On the floor, you’re consistently doing something new, which prevents you from ever hitting a plateau.” Said Oronde Jones about his favorite part of Rumble.
Rumble has massive brand loyalty and widespread appeal, partly thanks to attracting top names like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Jason Derulo, David Beckham, and Kevin Hart to its studios.
About Rumble Boxing
Founded in New York City in 2017, Rumble is a group fitness concept delivering a mix (or combination) of boxing-inspired circuits and the transformative power of resistance training. Pro and amateur fighters glove up together, no matter their fitness level or skill, to reveal their inner fighter. The experience is a 45-minute, 10-round, full-body cardio and strength workout crafted around specially designed water-filled, teardrop-style boxing bags. Rumble was founded by Noah Neiman (former Barry’s Bootcamp Master Trainer, and cast member of Bravo’s Work Out New York), Eugene Remm (Co-Founder of Catch Hospitality Group (Catch Restaurants, CATCH STEAK, Lexington Brass), Andy Stenzler (Co-Founder Cosí, Kidville), and Anthony DiMarco (13-time IRONMAN, former Managing Director, Google).
Who would have thought that we would have to get through a pandemic in order to appreciate the small things we have, such as the ability to simply pack our bags and hit the road?
For two years, there’s been nothing left for us travel junkies to do but sit at home and try to find new destinations that we will conquer once we defeat what appears to be the biggest villain of the 21st century. But once that happens, hold your bags tight because we will be up for some of the most interesting travel experiences. Take a look at some ideas for your post-COVID traveling plans:
A Gay Cruise
One of the best options to have in mind when all of this passes is a good, nice and long (pun intended) gay cruise. Or cruise in general, for that matter. Bear in mind, social distancing will still be a thing in the post-COVID world. But COVID-19 likely doesn’t mean that cruises will cease to exist. On the contrary, though cruise ships will probably keep the number of passengers smaller than before, it is believed that they will become an even bigger hit in the following period, especially because they are all going to go a lot more environmentally-friendly. On the bright side, is there any better way of celebrating the end of the pandemic than by cruising around some magnificent seas, stopping by at great cities and having romantic dinner nights at nice restaurants?
A getaway in nature
On the other hand, there is always the option of stepping away from the hustle and bustle of large cities, and spending some time in a place that’s not only healthy, but also beautiful. Some of the destinations that plenty of people will look for are the ones that can cater for both peace of mind and amazing things to see or do. One such destination is New Zealand, one of the greenest countries on Earth right now. Not only will you be visiting the magnificent country that gave us the beautiful Shire from Lord of the Rings; this is also a destination that’s excellent for everyone who prefers relaxing to partying. If you’re up for some partying, you will be able to hit Auckland, while if you’re for something calmer, there’s plenty of amazing places that you can see and visit.
Dancing Around at Pride
Pride parades are also events that you want to have in mind for the post-COVID world. Such events have always been quite important, but it seems that they are now more important than ever. The virus has canceled more than 75 Pride parades all around the world, which is one of the reasons why we must support the ones that will see the light of day once the pandemic stops. Truth be told, the upcoming Prides will perhaps be the best Prides ever organized. Give the gays a couple of weeks of quarantine, then let them outside and see what kind of party they are able to throw!
A road trip
If you’re, as well, waiting for the day to wake up and say “long gone are the days when we were not allowed to go wherever we wanted?”, and if staying at one place gave you a lot to think about, then your first post-COVID travel experience should definitely be a nice road trip. You can practically choose which country you want to tour, and you can either take your own car (you have probably missed it so much), or rent one at your destination. Australia is an amazing country for this, though, as it offers the possibility of seeing the Great Ocean Road, which is an amazing thing to see and experience. On the other hand, if you do not want or cannot leave your country, you can also choose to go on a domestic road trip – there are amazing things to see in your vicinity as well.
Holiday for a single guy
If you’re single, or you’re traveling someplace with another single friend, then you should definitely organize a nice vacation for yourself or for you and your single friend, and hit one of the best European cities. Europe has been greatly affected by the virus, which means that now it’s time to pay it back and get it back on its feet by traveling there and seeing all the amazing things it offers. Any city you choose in Europe – you will not make a mistake. Apart from being able to see great landmarks, you will also have the chance to have a drink at great gay clubs and pubs, and join unforgettable gay parties. And if the gay scenery is not your forte, worry not, as Europe indeed has to offer so many different and magnificent things.