Philly’s Courtney Lapresi Wins Season 5 of MasterChef

courtney lapresiCourtney Lapresi caught a lot of flack on MasterChef this season for what her competitors deemed a questionable background as a stripper at Delilah’s and later an aerial dancer at The Golden Nugget in Atlantic City. But last night on the show’s finale, the Philly chef proved she’s got more than, as one contestant put it, “boobs out on a pole.”

There were breasts involved in the finale, however: a sumac duck breast. That was part of the final meal that also included crispy pig’s ear and cherry meringue that wowed judges Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich, and Graham Elliot, and earned her the top prize.

She walks away from the show with a whopping $250,000 and a cookbook deal. Many congrats!

[Entertainment Weekly]

Sheinelle Jones to Anchor Today Weekends

A familiar face is getting a new, high-profile gig.

The Today Show reports:

Sheinelle Jones has joined the TODAY team as the news anchor of the weekend program.

Jones joins NBC News from FOX in Philadelphia, where she spent nine years serving as a co-host of its Emmy Award-winning show “Good Day Philadelphia.”

Jones is taking over for Jenna Wolfe, who will be moving to the weekdays as TODAY’s first-ever lifestyle and fitness correspondent. Jones will take up her new role beginning on Saturday, Oct. 4.

Read more »

WATCH: The Roots and Jimmy Fallon Square Off On Family Feud

Last night Steve Harvey stopped by The Tonight Show to host a round of Tonight Show Family Feud that pitted host Jimmy Fallon (along with Jason Segel and show announcer Steve Higgins) against Questlove, Tarik, and James of The Roots.

The teams were asked to come up with alternative names for marijuana, and a fill-in-the-blank question that started “I love to play with my … ”

Check it out up top.

PHOTOS: Girls Star Allison Williams Does Boy Drag as Peter Pan

Girls star Allison Williams shared the first photo of herself as the boy who never grows up in NBC’s upcoming production of Peter Pan Live! 

“The transformation begins!,” reads her Instagram photo. (She was a day late for Transformation Tuesday, but whatever.)

She also shared that crew members talked her out of shearing her locks. “I was all ready to cut my hair, then was told by the folks who actually know what they’re doing that a wig works better for everybody.”

Welcome to the world of boy drag!

Peter Pan Live! airs December 4th. So set your alarms for an evening of fun live-tweeting.

[People]

Haverford Writer Joe Gangemi’s Red Oaks Debuts on Amazon Instant Video

RedOaksKeyArtFB

Amazon Instant Video just rolled out a host of pilots, asking viewers to watch and vote on what they want to see become a regular series on the site. Among them is Red Oaks, a comedy co-written by Haverford Township’s Joe Gangemi.

The Steven Soderbergh-produced series is set in a New Jersey suburb in the 1980s. It’s a coming-of-age tale about David Meyers (played by Craig Roberts), a recent college grad who’s working at a country club during his last summer before he has to face the world as a real-life grown up. Paul Reiser and Jennifer Grey also star.

The series has gotten all kinds of praise from media outlets calling it the best of Amazon Instant Video’s new lineup of comedies. I recently caught up with Gangemi, who took some time to answer some questions despite being barraged by phone calls from friends congratulating him on his debut. He was born in Wilmington and studied at Swarthmore. He now lives with his family in Haverford Township. This is his first pilot to get an order, though he’s written film screenplays, including Wind Chill and the upcoming Stonehearst Asylum, and authored two novels, including the Philly-set Inamorata.

Check out our interview and a behind-the-scenes look at the series below.

Read more »

Four Lessons Philadelphia Can Learn from The Simpsons

simpsons-philadelphia-flyers-940x540

A scene from The Simpsons, “Jury of the Damned.”

I’m not (necessarily) proud of it, but I spent most of my weekend with The Simpsons. At best, I’m a casual fan, but on a rainy Saturday, FXX’s 24-hour, 552-episode Simpsons marathon proved to be a pretty seductive mix of cozy nostalgia, surprisingly timeless writing, and non-judgmental hangover company.

Then, things got weird. After six or so uninterrupted hours in Springfield, it became apparent that the allegedly fictional town is based on none other than Philadelphia.

Officially speaking, series creator Matt Groening claims that Springfield is inspired by a number of generic small towns, and the ambiguity of where, exactly, it could exist is a long-running joke on the show (trust me — I haven’t got off my couch in days). Briefly, the honor went to Springfield, Vermont, when Fox held a contest promoting The Simpsons Movie.

However, Philadelphians will recognize the mix of casual corruption, enthusiastic alcoholism, rabid fandom, and blood-sucking, soul-crushing monopolies as, well, home sweet home.

Personally, I’m OK with this — I can get down with a place where my jeans stay in style for 25 years. My issue is that Springfield has, over the years, figured out how to do Philadelphia better than Philadelphia.

Here’s what we could learn, or at least stand to remember, from our four-fingered friends.

Read more »

Mo’ne Davis Set a TV Ratings Record Last Night

Although the Taney Dragons lost last night in the Little League World Series, the TV ratings were still high. Taney’s game against Mountain Ridge of Las Vegas became the highest-rated LLWS broadcast in the history of ESPN.

SI writes:

For comparison: The 3.4 rating ESPN received tops CBS’ final-round rating (3.1) for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational​ last Sunday, as well as that night’s Yankees-Red Sox broadcast (1.7).

Additionally, the LLWS broadcast drew 10 times the number of viewers that the Angels-Red Sox game got on ESPN2 at the same time.

Read more »

Kate Plus 8 Returning to TLC in December

shutterstock_103045721

People can’t get enough of Kate Gosselin and her brood. TLC just announced it has ordered more episodes of Kate Plus 8 that will air in December.

According to People, the premise of the new season will revolve around Gosselin and her kids traveling to the East Coast, exploring Boston, New England, and—just guessing here—Philadelphia?

Evidently filming is already in progress. People reports that the special will also include snippets of Gosselin getting the clan—now in eighth and fourth grades—ready for school at the end of summer.

« Older Posts