SADDEST QUOTE: After Mark wasn’t picked to return for the challenge, there was literally a one-second shot of him saying “Good luck, guys” and he was never seen again.
WHINIEST JUDGE’S TABLE QUOTE: Spike, when asked why he once again didn’t do anything in this challenge (besides transporting spare ribs back and forth) – “I had to hang Buddhas, I had to get… paintings done…”
BEST BRAVO TEAM-PLAYER QUOTE: “We hopped in the Pathfinders and headed to Pier One!” – Lisa
AAAAAAND ON TO THE EPISODE THOUGHTS:
— I nearly tossed the remote at the screen and harmonized the F-word with Dale upon his elimination, especially when he manic-depressively broke down and cried in his exit testimonial, but the more I thought about it, the more I felt his removal was semi-justified. He’s a million times better than Spike and Lisa, obviously, but he’s been on the losing team in like nine of the last five challenges, frequently assumes a confrontational do-it-all-myself role and doesn’t pull it off, and his Asian-themed restaurant, which should’ve been his time to shine, was a complete failure.
Still, seeing him go down and Spike and Lisa still around is like watching underdogs hanging around the NCAA Tournament, only in this case, the games are decided by humans and you’re not rooting for these two underdogs because they happen to suck.
– Why was Spike the only one with testimonials in the first forty minutes of the episode? Anytime something happened, it immediately cut to Spike for his inane thoughts on the matter — it was like some nightmare “Best Week Ever” episode where none of the panelists showed up to tape except for this one comedian who wears Dick Tracy hats and isn’t very good at cooking food.
— I loved that they tried really hard to make the short order cook Quickfire look difficult, with intense shots of Richard throwing away an overcooked egg and dealing with a cloudy poaching pan, when it was clear that the chefs had almost no trouble with it, even after receiving no training beforehand and not being given the common nicknames for the menu items. Next week — can the chefs handle the Subway assembly line…. AT LUNCHTIME????
After the Jump – Collins and Blagg weigh in with their thoughts, and we update the Power Rankings!
This two-comment email exchange nicely summed up the universal sentiment of the Top Chef community:
ME: I’m writing the Top Chef thing now — Alex, do you have anything you want me to add?
BLAGG: Just add that i’d like to hit Lisa in the face with a shovel. That is all.
COLLINS: I’m pretty sure someone already has….
UPDATED POWER RANKINGS:
1) Stephanie – The favorite, even if we disregard the rumors that she closed her restaurant in real life after being named the winner back when the season was taping.
2) Richard – Still the most talented chef, but my gut has him going down in the finals. I overthought the “Idol” finale too, though, so who knows.
3) Antonia – Won another Quickfire and insulated herself with a great team, but she’s still usually in the Andrew “good enough to not lose” category, which seems like it’ll catch up to her (though she’s still Blagg’s prediction to win).
4) Dale – I know he’s eliminated, but, come on, people.
T-10) Lisa and Spike.
Your thoughts and predictions please, Top Cheffies? That’s a term, right? Leave ‘em in the comments.