Previously on Top Chef: Two chefs were eliminated. DickyDale won for making a molecular-inspired egg dumpling. And both DandyDale and Top Fop Stephen were sent packing for making the worst dishes on their teams. We'll miss one of them.
Dear reader: I'm assuming you're busy enjoying your holiday week. Surely you've spent all day boxing, as is the custom. Myself, I've had many things to which to attend. Those Angry Birds won't pummel the shit out of those pigs all by themselves, you know.
But seriously, I was traveling and didn't get to see this episode when it aired. (What is it with hotels? They simply must have 16 different sports channels, but, oh nooooooo, we can't have Bravo. ... Fuckers.) Plus, not only was I spoiled on the outcome by various people on Twitter and Facebook, but one dear blogger had pre-spoiled the ending for me over a week ago. So ... In any case, before you get back to your leftovers, here's my ultra-brief take on things.
The chefs drink and reflect on last week's double elimination. It's decided; GayDale will be missed.
At the ...
... the chefs are met by Pads and a Top Chef Masters non-winner. They are to make stuffing. A new stuffing. A great stuffing. A stuffing made with no regular cooking implements.
But they are to be rewarded with buckets of cash if they agree to make fools of themselves, cooking without knives and such. Fabio proves to be the most inventive, grating cheese with shelving. But it's Tre who scores the win for his improvisational stuffing.
The chefs will split into two teams and cook head-to-head at the U.S. Open. I assume it won't look like this ...
Anyway, the teams (and Tom) seem to think that there's some benefit to be had by employing "strategy" in the order the chefs' dishes are presented. This ends up with Spike insisting that his team serves up its weakest dish first, in order to have the other team "waste" its strongest dish (presumably Richard's).
When the whole mishegoss is done, it turns out Spike's strategy wasn't worth a bucket of frozen scallops, since, not only did his team not use its weakest dish first, but also Richard's wasn't the opposing team's first volley.
And at the end of the competition, Carla wins the whole shooting match, as she had the best dish and her team beat the opposition.
On the other end of things, Spike gets the hook for making shrimp with which he let other people (namely, Angelo) screw around. Bad Angelo. Bad Spike.
So here are the observations, chef-wise.
- Spike Mendelsohn: Poor Spike. As much as I hated him in his season, I'd become quite fond of him this time around. Plus, we finally saw why he always wears the stupid hats: The all-powerful and world-encompassing Jewfro.
- Richard Blais: Are we ready to give him the trophy already? Because it sure seems everyone else is. Just sayin'.
- Tiffany Derry: As adorable as ever. Sadly, wound up on the losing end of things this time. Still, she amazingly stood up for Angelo in deflecting the criticism that the man is a one-person sabotage outfit (who may or may not have been behind the Kennedy assassination as well).
- Tiffani Faison: Is sure as hell the winner of the redemption prize this season. For having been the lead villain in her season, she's proving to be quite the adorable and affable champ this time around. Plus, she didn't freeze her melons this time.
- Carla Hall: Sliced off a nail in the process of cooking her Elimination Challenge dish. And yet managed to not only finish her dish with a bandage and glove on her hand, she won the damn thing. Take that, Jamie.
- Mike Isabella: Still growing as a chef. And in the waist. May soon require his own kitchen. Showcased his drumming talents, though not his cooking ones, since, like Jamie, he didn't get to present a dish in the Elimination Challenge. Which, to me, only speaks to how badly that thing was planned out.
- Jamie Lauren: Speaking of people who didn't get to present final dishes ... This one is really proving to be quite the entitled little princess, isn't she? First, she makes a dish she doesn't stand behind, even when it wins. Then, she contributes next to nothing for a dish that was conceived while she tended to a boo-boo. And now she gets all defensive after passive-agressively avoiding participation in the aforementioned badly designed challenge. Is she waiting for the a scallop-themed one to play?
- Antonia Lofaso: Good chef. Better dancer. We learn she smoked a lot of pot a while back. This may be a transparent attempt to ingratiate herself to Padma.
- Angelo Sosa: What is it with this guy? Is he really trying to be helpful? Or is he specializing in helping other folks right out the door? And, if so, why aren't these "all-stars" wise to this already?
- Dale Talde: Managed to keep his awfulness under wraps for a week.
- Casey Thompson: Misses her pal DandyDale. Probably because she hadn't yet seen him compare her to an unkempt cavewoman at this point.
- Marcel Vigneron: Almost won the Quickfire this time. Amazingly, also let Angelo out-foam him this time.
- Fabio Viviani: Just as fun to watch as ever. Grates cheese with shelving. Jumps the net to celebrate victory. Atsa' spicy meat-a-ball.
- Tre Wilcox: Clearly an amazing chef. Plus, should give Isabella pointers on losing weight and getting into great shape (considering the pics we got to see of him a few years back when he was far heavier). But did he purposely phone in his dish in the Elimination, knowing he had immunity? And another thing: Has anyone else noticed that he's been called a "beast" and an "animal" by his competitors. And wasn't Kenny (last season) called a "beast" repeatedly. Is this a black thing? Is this pure coincidence? Am I missing something? Am I being way too sensitive? Who knows?
Next time on Top Chef: Big Trouble In Little China.