This is a recap of Top Chef Season 5, Episode 13 entitled “If This Is The Finale, How Come I Barely Give A Sh*t? Part I”, originally airing February 18, 2008. If you didn’t see the episode yet, meh, no biggie. Read on.
– Wow, how’d they get EMERIL LAGASSE to do a television appearance? That dude’s so reclusive, he’s like the J.D. Salinger of chefs! How’d they even track him down??
— The only funny part of the Quickfire was the shot of Emeril lording over the competition from the house balcony, as though he was gonna snipe the losing chef and yell “Bam!” as the bullet connected. On a related note, he made it through the entire episode without saying “Bam” or “another notch.” It was like watching a recovering coke addict happily sipping water in a nightclub.
— Fabio wasn’t in peak form last night, but he still had the best line of the episode by far:
“My car is-a piece of……………………………………..pooooooooooooop………”
– Runner-up for best line of the night: Stefan, who I believe (and I rewound it on DVR twice, cause I just assumed I was wrong, but I kept believing I heard it), made the intense declaration “This is not a butt-rubbing contest.”
— Onto the Elimination Challenge… Each judge drank five cocktails? Carla’s was non-alcoholic, but I was still hoping that by the end a slightly slurry Emeril would be talking about how Padma should “take off more than just her mask, heh hehh hehhh…” As always, I’m going to assumed that this happened verbatim and Bravo cut it out.
— Real smooth, Hosea, making a ‘hurricane’ in New Orleans and repeatedly asking people if they want to try one. Even worse, then he kept going up to people in wheelchairs going “Yo, you want some crab legs? Seriously, you need some legs, they’re AWESOME.”
After the jump, a tearful farewell…
– Carla’s certainly gone from “good dessert-maker” to “couple lucky weeks” to “legitimately good chef,” putting herself in a great position heading into the Final Three. Unless more chefs come back from the dead, of course. Now I’m hoping that’s the twist next week — Zombie Jeff and Zombie Fabio return, and the secret ingredient is BRAINS. Or as Zombie Fabio would say, “You-a could put-a dees brains over monkey ass annit still taste good!”
— I didn’t really understand Carla’s quote, “That’s what all the men say, ‘one second, Honey,'” but if Fabio had said the exact same words I would’ve thought it was the funniest thing ever, so I won’t judge.
– Oh! One more Fabio quote (don’t know why I’m treating this like I’m speaking off the cuff, I could easily just cut and paste this up with the other Fabio quotes earlier in the post, but I also loved “Everybody wearing masks – it-a kind of remind me of an old porno movie, those masks.” What old porno movie would that be? Eyes Wide Shut? Mask-F***ers? The Mask with Jim Carrey?
— That being said, of all weeks to eliminate the fan fave, they chose a week where he probably out-cooked Stefan. Stefan’s now sucked it up a few weeks in a row and is clearly resting on his laurels, but he’ll have to either turn a heartwarming attitude 180 next week or he’ll just simply lose — Tommy C isn’t gonna let someone who isn’t taking the game seriously win, no matter how halfassedly good his food is. Bravo is still clearly trying to set up a Stefan/Hosea baldy rivalry showdown in the Final even though Carla’s crushed them the last two weeks.
— Bravo tried to outdo Lost with the non-secret secrets – in the preview clips from the finale, Padma says “…and you’re gonna have a little help!” and a quick shot of three shadowy figures who are NEVER REVEALED. OOOOOOOOOOH!!!!! Who could they be???? Probably not three previously eliminated contestants from this season, as in every Top Chef finale INCLUDING THE ONE LAST NIGHT, right? Guess we’ll have to wait and see! I can’t even SLEEP!!!!!
Though the momentum may have shifted towards Carla, I predict Stefan is humbled by his subpar showings from the last two weeks and actually becomes a sympathetic character, embracing his new role as a semi-underdog and thanking the judges and his co-competitors too emphatically en route to a victory. Hosea has no chance, especially once he keeps asking people if they want to try his Lower Ninth Ward Flood Cake.
Episode thoughts, favorite lines, Fabio mourning, and Finale predictions — leave ‘em in the comments!