A particular joy in Food Network's "Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off" (Sundays) is knowing that the two remaining contestants who are not self-proclaimed, gotta-win-it foodies have done well so far.
Until this week. Low-key Hines Ward continues to turn out some of the most-liked plates. In this week's episode, he managed to create some nicely done quesadillas and miniature cupcakes.
Not so fortunate is figure skater Johnny Weir, who knew he was in trouble from the get-go. When the chefs arrived to find the grounds done up for two kids' birthday parties, Mr. Weir said, dryly, "This could be an issue. In general, kids don't like me."
His teammate, Dean McDermott, is trying to build a brand as "The Gourmet Dad," so he was thrilled and riding on his culinary coattails. They almost pulled out the win. When there was a tie between Team Rachael and Team Guy, the lowest-scoring celebs were given 10 minutes to cook up a creative hot dog plate.
Singer Carnie Wilson went nuts, making homemade potato chips as a side. Mr. Weir made a gourmet sausage sandwich, which scored points for taste but missed the point: There was no hot dog there.
Johnny, we hardly knew ye.
Next up Sunday, food trucks!
Pittsburgh drag queen Alaska acquitted herself well on the Season 5 premiere of "RuPaul's Drag Race" (Logo, Mondays), although things did not go swimmingly at first.
After the usual meet-and-greet (air kisses all around), the contestants were hustled off to a photo shoot where they had to jump into a huge tank of water and try to look glamorous.
A few took to it in fishy fashion, others floundered. Alaska, aka, Justin Honard, outright fretted and was washed out almost from the start.
He made up for it later, however, when the 14 queens went dumpster diving in Hollywood.
Trash bins filled with bolts of fabric (thank you, Mood) and artsy materials were made available for one minute of frantic hoarding. Editing made it look as though Alaska was going to be down in the dumps, but in fact, he pulled off a chic runway look made of aqua-colored plastic: one of the night's best looks.
Devil in the details
It was a week of multicultural demon worship on "Face Off" (Syfy, Tuesdays). Teams of artists working in twos chose demons from around the world and, after a day of design and sculpting, were thrown a curve.
Turns out, it was "Hell freezes over" week. They had to take their creations and adapt them to a frozen climate. Eric Zapata, a graduate of the Tom Savini Special Make-Up Effects school, worked on an Egyptian-themed creature. Arnold native Autumn Cook and her partner came in for a boatload of criticism after the face sculpture for "Pazuzu" was declared "very, very rough" by judge Ve Neill.
Ms. Cook begged to differ, calling it "the cutest little gargoyle I ever saw in my life."
Although her team was in the bottom two, it advanced to next week's competition.
Schmo getting suspicious?
It's another week of escalating silliness on "The Joe Schmo Show" (Spike TV, Tuesdays), when actors playing "convicts" are shackled to the "Full Bounty" contestants. Pittsburgh's Chase Rogan continues to good-naturedly accept bizarre scenarios, including host "Jake Montrose's" hilarious, straight-faced anecdotes about the bounty hunting life.
The episode ended on a strange note, however, when Mr. Rogan noticed crew from the show out his bathroom window. There's nothing alarming about this -- would not the fake "Full Bounty" program have crew walking around? -- but when he says this is "a setup," he no doubt was referring to the so-called escape of "his" convict.
Mitch looks for match
Former Steelers punter Mitch Berger is no stranger to reality TV. Last year he appeared in an episode of Velocity's "Saw Dogs" with Butler's Ken Tynan. But this time, he is looking for love.
"Millionaire Matchmaker" Patti Stanger and former NBA star John Salley will be giving Mr. Berger tips in the March 5 episode. The show airs Tuesdays on Bravo.
Maria Sciullo: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1478 or @MariaSciulloPG.