TOP CHEF RECAP: No Day But Today

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This is a recap of Top Chef Season 5 Episode 4, airing on December 4, 2008. If you haven’t seen the episode, please continue to read on then get mad at me in the comments for spoiling things.

VieiraAriane? Really, Today Show? Maybe she really has turned it around, but I’ve never seen anyone start out a Top Chef season so badly then end up actually being good. It’s like getting new co-worker and finding out they’re incompetent in the first week; they never just randomly become awesome, smart workers after four weeks. I’m confused.

Jamie ended up in the bottom three but survived, meaning that all three Team Rainbow members were almost eliminated after only four episodes. As pointlessly nicknamed groups of humans go, even the Brat Pack didn’t fare that poorly.

Rocco DiSpirito seemed surprisingly subdued and rational on the episode, but I couldn’t believe when he gave Leah a copy of his own book as the prize for winning the Quickfire. That’s not a gift, that’s rewarding someone by doing more self-promotion. That’d be like me going “Merry Christmas Aunt Patty, here’s a link to my 300 Rapper Names post! Send it around at work!”

– What the f*cking sh*t was that one-minute interstitial with Leah and Hosea sitting on each others’ laps? A friend of mine (accurately) suggested that Bravo is trying to slip in some clips to stop people from completely fast-forwarding through commercial breaks when they watch the episodes on DVR, but that’s no excuse for us ever needing to see those two chefs climbing on each other like turtles in a tiny Kindergarten classroom cage.

Alex made a valiant effort to complete a crème brûlée in just sixty minutes, but as you can see from his plate, he came up a bit short:

Alex's Creme Brulee

TC Alex– When Alex said to the judges “I thought I had a good idea, I was just short on time,” two people in the room with me both simultaneously yelled out “…and short on pants!” I like my friends a little more today.

– I’m not usually as prophetic with Top Chef as I like to make myself appear in these recaps, but when Alex said “I feel like making a dessert is an easy way to get through to the next round,” I immediately said out loud (for no other reason than to get the prediction on the record) “That is exactly the kind of sound byte Bravo would make sure to air right before someone is eliminated. He’s definitely gone.” I also predicted that Padma would not have a heart attack on this episode, so I was two-for-two. I am awesome.

– I can’t think of anything that would be more angering to a chef than watching Kathie Lee Gifford spit out your food. Maybe, like, seeing Carrot Top piss on your food. Even that might not be as bad.

– In my “Judging Contestants By Their Looks” Season 5 preview, I referred to Daniel as “Guy Who Lost Already,” but he’s still alive and looking strong after five weeks, even though he’s constantly out of breath whenever he does anything. He reminds be of Rocky the Fish from TV Funhouse. Anyone?

Rocky The Fish

– Also, nice movie by Daniel sneaking “Baba Booey” into his non-airing fake television audition. If I ever get on that show, I’ll make sure to slip in “Where’s the beef?” or “I like Ike!” or something else topical.

Updated Power Rankings:

1) Stefan
2) Fabio
T-3) Leah, Jeff, Carla
6) Radhika, Hosea, and Gene; they’re #6, as in, they’ve gotten about 6 seconds of airtime combined in the last two episodes. Not a good sign.
Ain’t Happening) Ariane, Melissa, Jamie
7) Texas Longhorns

Leave your episode thoughts and season predictions in the comments, please, Top Cheffies.