It's that cute little way she has of staring.
Hey wait! What's this photo doing here? How did I get involved with this post and what am I doing with Guy Fieri?
Okay. I have a confession to make.
Remember that lunch I had with Sue last fall? Let's just say while we certainly enjoy the pleasure of each other's company, that wasn't the primary reason we had met in the city for lunch that day.
That's as much as the producers would let me take a photo with Emily before the show.
Yep, Sue and I had the pleasure of being in the studio audience for this year's Ultimate Recipe Showdown.
It was quite a day. After our lunch we headed to the elevators in Chelsea Market where audience wranglers herded us to the studio. While we were waiting, we saw Emily's family (whom Sue had met at last year's competition). I had a chance to meet her sweet mother as well as her aunt and uncle who were also there to see the competition. Once we were upstairs, Emily was in her kitchen but I was unfortunately unable to do anything but wave to her.
We didn't watch the first part of the competition. We were only there for the quick round. However, while we were waiting for the quick round to start, they also taped the announcement of the results of signature round. We held our breaths and wished, but had the diappointment of seeing Emily come in third. At least she scored strongly - as everyone did in that round.
We were entertained by an audience warmup guy while we waited for the next round to begin. The man was obsessed with TV theme songs and was giving away prizes for people who could sing his favorites. He was surprised that two white girls were able to rap the entire theme to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air word for word. He then said he wanted someone to sing the theme from All in the Family with him. Who could do a good Edith Bunker impression? Being the ham that I am I couldn't resist showing off my best, "OOOHHHHH ARCHIE!" to him and so we did a duet of "Those Were the Days" together. (I apologize for any shattered eardrums that resulted from my beling out Edith's "And you know who you were then," line.) For my troubles I won four tickets to Dangerfields comedy club. I never used them.
Finally the compeition began. Actually it took about 3 starts and stops on behalf of the crew before the cooking actually started. Poor Emily was putting her stuff on her counter and putting it back each time. Although they made her look frazzled and disorganized on TV, she seemed quite efficient and calm from where I was sitting.
There was just one issue. We saw Emily put her frico chips in the oven. The cooking went on. Judges commented. Audience watched. In the middle of it all, Sue and I began to smell burning cheese. We were so afraid for her. We kept whispering under our breaths, "Emily take your cheese out of the oven," hoping we could psychically get the message to her. After seeing the show on TV, I found the judges noticed it too. Although they were problematic, they weren't terribly burned and the judges' fears that Emily was headed for disaster seemed a little unfounded.
They really edited the judges' comments on TV to increase drama. What they seemed to like and not like as they watched the cooking occasionally had little bearing on what they actually thought of the dishes.
During the judging I thought they were continuing to do a little "increase the drama" effect. Michael Psilakis was raving over Emily, complimenting her, making it seem as if she would be the winner. Clearly both the judging and the editing was angled to make Emily some kind of sentimental favorite. I really don't like they way there were trying to create drama at Emily's expense. It felt as if they were almost building her up to bring her down.
While we waited for the annoucement of the winner, the warmup guy came out again. He asked a lot of movie trivia questions. Many of them were Oscar related. It's funny. I don't watch the Oscars. I shun them. I was also reluctant to answer questions that I knew because I had already won a prize. Nonetheless, when he asked the audience who the youngest person to ever be nominated for an Osacr was, everyone was cluless. I knew the answer. I finally decided to answer. It was Justin Henry for Kramer Vs. Kramer. I may not watch the Oscars, but I have an ironclad memory. When Kramer Vs. Kramer came out, I was in 4th or 5th grade and Justin Henry was around the same age. He was trotted out in kids' events a lot, and as a young talented actor, I guess he was something of a role model for me and my peers. He never left my memory. I won a Food Network cookbook, which I also haven't used. Maybe I will remedy that in my blog soon.
The announcement of the winner was agonizing for Sue and me, so I can't imagine what it must have been like for Emily. They did about three takes before they would finally get around to announcing. Again and again we had to watch Emily and the Cajun Pizza Lady step out into the middle of the floor, have a spotlight on them, and shake hands. JUST TELL US WHO WON ALREADY.
Okay. They told us. Sue and I were outraged. Poor Emily was so heartbroken. We really felt for her. I saw Guy go over and give her a big consolatory hug, which was nice of him. I finally got to actually go over and talk to her. I had hoped to be giving her a hug of victory and not a hug of consolation!
Sue and I headed back to the train to ride to our respective suburban homes. Emily's loss had put a bit of a damper on our fun day, but I was so glad we had gotten together anyway. We had a great lunch. I met Emily in person as well. Not all was lost.
I also don't believe all is lost for Emily. She is so talented. Even though she lost, she is getting herself and her name out there. People are paying attention. I know Emily is headed for greatness. She's already a celebrity in my family. I make so many of her recipes that all I have to do is mention that a recipe is Emily's and everyone knows it's going to be good. No one asks, "Emily Who?" anymore. They all know. In fact, I'm going to be going through Emily's blog to figure out what dessert I want to make for Easter.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Ultimte Recipe Showdown
Do did you watch last night? I hope you did! Emily was awesome wasn't she? Such a heartbreak. I am outraged.