November 09, 2005


Episode one is in the can and already change is underway on MY new reality tv show...

Yes. That's OPRAH WINFREY PRESENTS! Damnit. It took less than 24 hours for Ms. Winfrey to sink her business acumen incisors into the show. She's now senior producer and gets HER NAME splashed all over the logo. Worse of all, I've been relegated to the bitchy judge role! ME? Can you imagine? Simon Cowell, Janice Dickenson and now, Gayest Neil.

I knew this was going to happen. When I asked Oprah why she signed on to do this show she replied, "Let's just say if someone gonna step onto my turf, Oprah gonna step right back!" She laughed but I could see the rage in her eyes. I can only guess that's a veiled threat to Tyra Banks' new self named talk show.

So now Oprah is my boss. Hopefully she'll ask Rachel Ray to stop offering us cheap eating tips. This morning it was, "Always keep a packet of spicy Chinese take-out mustard in your pocket. It can turn a 99 cent street hotdog into an exotic, oriental treat!" I wanted to spit at her.

Let's move on to today's filming. Only one day into this culinary cardio crash and I'm intensely sick of strudel. The eight strudels are: chicken, apple, pork, shrimp, squash, mushroom, toaster and strudel strudel. Strudel strudel consists of crust wrapped crust. I'm anticipating a buttery heart attack, alas such are the dangers one faces during the quest for reality tv stardom.

Today's winner and loser. The first four episodes will be pitting randomly selected strudel against one another in pairs for a bake off, a flake off and a taste off. This morning Squash Strudel and Toaster Strudel were the randomly selected pastry pairing.

Toaster Strudel created by Nameesha Washington of Harlem, New York and Squash Strudel created by Executive Chef Sanjay Jain of San Antonio, Texas.

Bake off: Little Nameesha's Toaster Strudel was ready for consumption in roughly six minutes. The petite darling got the icing all over her hands and her little brother, Ray-Ray, begged to lick it off, much to the panel's amusement. Chef Jain's Squash Strudel consists of eight varieties of squash from three different continents! Very impressive. His pastry also wafted delicately of curry, however I'm not sure if it was the strudel or the chef I smelled.
Simplicity and cutie-patootieness won us over in the end. Winner: Toaster Strudel!

Flake off: Squash Strudel was a thinly built masterpiece of golden crust. Toaster Strudel nearly broke my fingernail. Winner: Squash Strudel!

Taste off: The Squash Strudel was by far the more delicious creation. But Oprah threatened to fire us if we didn't vote for the little girl. I certainly hope Ms. Winfrey won't be so draconian when darling Nameesha and her mediocre Toaster Strudel come up for judging in the finals. Winner: Toaster Strudel!

Toaster Strudel wins round one of Oprah Winfrey Presents: America's Next Top Strudel.

p.s. Julia Child has yet to speak to anyone. Rachel Ray keeps stealing her portions of strudel and saying she's going to make a strudel stew out of them for us to taste. (barf!) I do so hope my strudel-stamina can be maintained for eight entire episodes!

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