Saturday, December 27, 2014

BMN Superfan season 3, episode 2

The "official cast" of 13 moves into the Barefoot Family Farm, and everyone is in awe.  "I watched this family a million times, and I never thought I'd be here," says Julie.  Shandi greets the cast and has them meet Labell, one of Popeye's 10 siblings (and five brothers).  When asked to guess how many children he and his wife have, all the guesses are wrong, then Labell says, "The actual number will blow your mind."  He then opens the door and the contestants see all 20 children. "Oh my God, I was about to drop to the floor in shock," Aubrey says.  This is followed by the first morning challenge: In teams of four, place the names of the kids and their parents with each of their faces, as shown in a picture, correctly.  The team with the fastest time wins lunch with Labell, wife Allene, and all the children.  Since Curtis had the fastest overall time in the go-kart challenge, he picked all the teams.  Here were the results:
1. Ryan, Maurice, Shannon, Jamie
2. Curtis, Alecia, Julie, Rob
3. Michael, Aubrey, Keiji, Vicky
Phil is not picked and has to clean poop from the barn while the others compete.  "Phil seemed to be the most unhappy with what's ahead, so we got him out of there pretty quick," Curtis explains.

The teams are retained for the main, after-dinner challenge, which will result in elimination.  The featured piece of the memory wall is Brenda's prized apron representing her skills in the kitchen.  Before the task is explained, Sgt. Gillian Jacobsen, director of recreational services, and Staff Sgt. Lindsay Hall, member of the season 1 cast, are introduced.  For this task, the assignment is to feed 100 guests from Fort Bragg, the huge nearby U.S. Army base, a three-course meal.  Two members of each team actually cook, one takes the orders, and the final team member serves the food.  Ryan got the first choice of course and selected entree, while assigning Curtis et al dessert and Michael et al appetizer.  Here's what the troops ate:
  • Appetizer - Shrimp ceviche, cooked by Aubrey and Michael
  • Entree - New York strip steak, red-skinned potatoes O'Brien, cooked by Shannon and Jamie
  • Dessert - Banana cheesecake shooters, cooked by Alecia and Rob
Phil joined the troops in the dining room and was guaranteed immunity for the week.

During service, Aubrey and Michael had to struggle to find enough shrimp, Ryan bungled the orders resulting in two tables being held up and going hungry for a time, and Alecia and Rob debated the correct temperature for the bananas.

Once finished, it's on to the farm's great room for the first panel of the season.  Brandon McLamb, the Barefoots' publicist, is also in New Jerusalem, so replacing him is someone else from season 1, Barbie Blank.  Also new this year is Bill Leslie, TV anchor, reporter, and award-winning recording artist.  Finally, Staff Sgt. Hall is the guest judge.  Hall, a fan of the series Hell's Kitchen, warns that she will be especially tough tonight.

The teams meet one at a time; it's determined who was responsible for what in the kitchen.  Standouts were Aubrey on appetizers for finding the shrimp in time, Jamie for a batch of perfectly-cooked steaks, and Maurice for amusing the troops who had to wait longer than expected for their food.  On the other hand, "some of what I saw too closely remembered what Gordon Ramsay has to go through each week.  You just couldn't get it together," Sgt. Hall complains to Alecia and Rob.  Of course, Ryan was also in the bottom three for the bungled orders.  "As in the Army, there are no excuses, and I will do better next time," he says.  Bill isn't satisfied: "No excuses isn't always the same as no explanations.  As far as I'm concerned, maybe he's simply trying to coast through this competition.  At times, I looked in his eyes as if he didn't even care.  That's just a shame."

Judges eventually pick Aubrey the winner; she takes home not only an apron, but also an estimated $1,700 worth of kitchen appliances.  The total in the grand-prize kitty is now nearly $37,000.   Because Ryan's leadership skills were placed in question by the panel, he is the obvious choice to be eliminated.  In disgust, he responds, "I can't believe they're not giving me a second chance.  These judges are tougher than even in my wildest fears.  Oh, well, I'll keep watching BMN TV anyway."

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