Recap: Top Chef: Burnt (Out) Weenies and Muffled Birdsongs
By Flipit|Sunday, June 24, 2007 | 9:26 am | 16 Comments
Family barbecues can be wonderful. They can also be bloody hell. I guess it depends on your family. Mine chooses to go to restaurants. If we’re gonna spend uncomfortable time avoiding each other’s gaze, we’d rather do it with air conditioners and waiters. Stress and confontation is easier to deal with without sun and burnt weenies. This week, Top Chef taught us not to copy loozahs, if you suck, compensate by being as loud as possible, and for chrissakes, follow instructions!Micah gets up late and she’s pissy. She doesn’t like having to share a space with thirteen other people and she flips them all the bird when she comes into the kitchen. I hope the Karma God is watching, cuz I’d love to see her lose both those digits in the next challenge.
Today’s Guest Judge is the “pioneer of Florida fine dining”, Norman Van Aken, and since he’s her physical type (maybe a bit young), I suspect Padma’s crushin’.
The Quick Fire Challenge is to use good old Florida citrus fruits to create a dish in thirty minutes. When Scar calls go, Hung runs very dramatically and I shake my head.
Mica is having trouble coming up with an idea, and she just can’t believe it. She’s normally so brilliant! Stop thinkin’ and get to chopping, lady. Joey, Tre and Hung spend a good deal of their cooking time bragging to the cameras about what badasses they are, and Sara N can’t believe that her bagged shrimp has to be peeled. What kind of classy bs shrimp is this? Come on, chica. You have to peel one f’in shrimp. Buck up. It should be noted that the new GE stoves don’t work for crap. Mr. Kenmore is sitting at home laughing his balls off right now.
CJ used oranges and made a pan seared sea perch, which looks great until Chef Van Aken questions the seeds on the plate. “Was that your decision?” CJ rolls his eyes and shakes his head, saying that they slipped by. Rule Number One, do not ever admit wrongdoing. Yes, I meant to leave the seeds in there, because only white trash loozas don’t eat seeds, Van Aken!
Casey uses blood oranges and key lime to make tequila and vanilla s’mores. Van Aken’s a big fan of smores (and anything edible), but he would like to have seen more focus on the citrus and less bunny teeth.
Sara N continues her Neurotic Nancy streak and it screws her up at presentation time. She wasn’t expecting Van Aken to be so critical (really?), and she stumbles over her blood orange and tangerine salad description and gets all shifty eyed. Van Aken slaps her face and tells her to learn how to speak.
Hung looks around the kitchen and sees some slummy ass dishes, and he is positive that he’s gonna win this challenge with his sea bass and citrus crumble. Well you’re not gonna win it with that Grinch Who Stole Christmas face.
The bottom three are Sara N., Micah, and Birdsong. Sara N was unfocused and Mica was unremarkable (which she finds just hilarious!), but Aken called out Sandee because of the flower garnish in her mojito. Aken doesn’t like anything standing between food and his fat face, and Sandee looks utterly defeated.
CJ, Hung, and Tre are in the top three, and Hung takes the win. He bows like he just won a Tony and is humble as ever to the cameras. “I’m not the least bit surprised.” HATE. There are no smily congratulations, awkward gushy compliments, or even applause from Tre. Just prayer.
Joey is hellapissed and has no problem expressing his fury. He just knew he was gonna be in the top three! He’s from New Nawk and he’s got more experience eating than anyone in this room! AAAARRRGGGHHH!!!! Calm down, you’re sweating all over the cameras. OMG. The pizza guy just came over. I must have blacked out calling him. Ah, well, there’s always tomorrow. Yay fat! Go, J!
The Elimination Challenge is to throw a glamorous barbecue for Lee Schrager, who’s a fancy schmancy caterer in Miami. Hung jumps up and down and tries to hide his tiny boner. He is in love with Schrager, and I’m looking at my TV like this model chick looked at me when I said “Frack!” in the Starbucks line the other day. Geek alert!
Tre, true to form, is positive that he’s gonna win this one. He is from Texas, after all. And HESGOTPASSION!!!! Do you?
Sara N neurotically describes the Challenge to the cameras. They only have thirty minutes to shop for a glamorous barbecue. They were handed a couple hundred bucks and then had to like, go! THIRTY MINUTES? To buy things? What do they expect, the MIRACLE WORKER? Sara, shut it, cut it, and feed it to the people. Quietly.
Just in case we still don’t understand, Bunny Foo Foo lays it out for us. The meat department is always the first to get crowded, because a Chef likes to start a dish by choosing his proteins. Yeah, Bunny, it’s also crowded cuz you’re shopping for a BARBECUE. Birdsong tweets out numbers to the deli counter guy like she’s auctioning cattle. Hebede forty! Hebedededddee forty two SOLD for forty twoooooo! Hung is running around so fast he’s a little evil blur, and CJ does and says stuff, but I can’t tell what it is because he’s just a ginormous white cloud in every shot. Poor guy!
While everyone clamors over each other in the meat department, Mica wanders around the produce section aimlessly. She’s wearing two pony tails with multiple rubber bands, and I hate to sound like I’m judging a person based on the number of rubber bands in their hair, but the bitch is lookin’ awful crazy. She laughs maniacally at the camera and explains that she’s never been away from her daughter Matilda for so long and she’s afraid of making her mad. You don’t wanna make Matilda mad, cuz she can move things around with her eyes.
Micah goes on about her sour mood and little by little starts to leak crazy all over the meat counter. Finally, she settles on a leg of lamb. She laughs laughs to the cameras like, I’m CRAZY, right? YES. My dog’s ears perk up.
Back in the kitchen, Hung is sprinting around aimlessly and breaking shit while everyone else puts their heads down to work. Brian is working on a seafood sausage, which sounds hideously disgusting, but he says to trust him on this one. He didn’t back down with the snake and eel, and he’s not gonna back down…wait. The snake and eel didn’t go over so well, tiger. Back down. Back waaaaay down.
Tre chose salmon as his protein, because that’s what we all throw on our grills in Texas. I hope no one has to share his grill space, cuz anything they try to cook will have a hint of salmon. He reminds us for the millionth time that he’s a winner, dammit! Ugh. Birdsong’s making lobster with pancetta, and it looks like it will be hard to grill…is that the point? She wants to be different and not do barbecue. For the BARBECUE. Oh, Birdsong, my fingers are crossed but what the hell? You wanna be different, but Howie just made poached lobster in the Quick Fire. Copying Howie = Bad Sign.
Mica is pissier than ever, slamming ovens (you don’t want to slam those ovens. The doors might fall off) and beating the crap out of her lamb. She doesn’t care anymore! If she gets kicked off she’ll get to see her daughter! No one’s buyin’ it, and Bunny Foo Foo explains to us that Micah did poorly in the Quickfire. We know, bunny. We’re watching THE SHOW.
Sara N bought scotch bonnet peppers for her Vietnamese BBQ, which she had never used before. Good plan. Turns out they’re “the hottest peppers you can buy!!” Her hands are on fire and she calls out for help to no one in particular. She also didn’t realize that she was gonna have to pickle the peppers overnight, and now they’ll be inedible. God I hope so, cuz your very existence is grating on my last nerve.
The next morning, Tre and Hung do pushups on the balcony to prove that they’re committed and focused. Hung doesn’t seem to have ever done a pushup before, and it’s really hilarious to see him wobble and shake as he tries to compete with Tre. Oh, boys. We get it. You’re CHAMPS. Birdsong goes over stats with Joey, but I can’t concentrate on what they’re saying because her shirt is so wordy. Shirts like this make me crazy, because I always feel like a pervert as I take a couple minutes to decipher what they say.
She wants to exercise, which is all Joey needs to hear to make him go away. She does some tai chi, and I wait for Hung to run over and try to out kick her.
The glamorous barbecue will take place at Aqua Island Homes! Beautiful spacious two to three bedroom condos with all the amenities overlooking the water! Call for your dream home now!
There are 14 barbecues lined up, and shocker, Sara N can’t figure out how to get her charcoal lit. I’ll give you a hint. It rhymes with TIRE. Birdsong is at the station next to her and finds the whole thing amusing. She says “Sara’s gonna be queen of the charcoal by the time we’re done here!” Are you flirting with Sara N? Stop it. Peppers, shrimp, and charcoal have all shocked her. A vagina just might send her over the edge.
CJ hunches over the tiny tables and tells Lia this is the only time he wishes he were 5’3″ and Lia gives him a dirty look. LOL.
The Judges and the Guests arrive, and champagne starts flowing. Some pretty girl named Camille that we never ever hear from says she feels she’s at a disadvantage because she was cutting and grilling at the same time. Huh? Why are the pretty girls always dumdums on reality shows?
She grilled swordfish and served it with a chorizo, grape and artichoke potato salad. Sausage, fruit and fish. I look at that dish and I can only imagine the hideous after burp. Pass. Next! Micah’s lamb, halloumi, and pomegranate sauce looks lovely, and the guests love it. Wisely, she keeps the crazy trap shut and doesn’t moan on about her telekinetic brat.
Brian’s jumping around and his spazzy behavior has assembled a crowd, and Scar’s jealous. “You’ve assembled a crowd! That’s….nice.” His scallop, shrimp, and sea bass sausage with chili glaze get’s a “very nice”, but gets no moaning from Padma. She shot her load with the beef.
One of Tre’s guests curses and puts down his peach glazed salmon. Waay too salty. I couldn’t hear what else she said because the bleep lasted too long and I was laughing too hard. GOTTAHAVEWATER.
Birdsong’s vanilla poached lobster and pancetta wrapped date with truffle slaw looks the classiest, and she’s sure to tell a guest loudly that the lobster has been poaching on the grill all day. Did you hear that, Daddy Tom? CJ calls bullshit, because she braised her lobster the day before and isn’t technically doing bbq. He may be right, but the guy grilled a steak. I’d eat her lobster over his dirty ass rice any day. Howie made Jamaican jerk pork with mango slaw, but he sliced his pork too soon and dried it out. At least he got it on the plate this time. Bravo, Howie!
Joey flaps his mouth at the cameras and tells us he’s heard everyone saying Howie’s dish tasted like sawdust. “You do that in New Yawk, and you’re goin’ home.” Really? Cuz I bought a hot dog there once with a bug leg in it. Whatevs, Joey’s tiny drumsticks were really thoughtful and provocative, so that’s all that counts here. This boy knows his glamour! Buffoon.
I want Hung to fall on his face, so when ominous music starts to play as Guest Judge Aken approaches his station, I perk up. Hung has made flank steak on bagel chips. Alright, just to let you know, a couple things my Meemaw always has stocked in her kitchen are flank steak and bagel chips. I only bring this up because she’s never in her life even considered a glamorous barbecue. I have a feeling her and Hung are floatin’ in the same river here. One huge difference is that my Meemaw doesn’t steal. Hung has prepared a watermelon shooter very similar to the one Joey made for the Quick Fire. TACKY! And to do it in front of the same Guest Judge is severely stupid. Joey flaps his face and says that’s why Hung moved to Vegas, cuz if he did that in New Yawk he’d get his bony ass beat. Me thinks it’s time to bring a little NY to Miami, Joey! Show us what you’ve got! Squish him!
Hung says that there’s always watermelon at a bbq and Joey doesn’t have a patent on it. He gives the camera a snooty ass face, but to Joey he plays along and bends over when Joey said he’s gonna get him some knee pads. This show is getting me a step closer to bulimia with each challenge.
Coming up: Battle of the accents! And someone PLEASE get Gail Simmons a stylist.
Time for the Judges table. Everyone agrees that the Chefs did a fine job across the board, but Gail found Hung’s dish to be the simplest (not in a good way) and Padma gives Tre props for doing a decent job so far, but she found his salmon way too salty. Gail calls out Sandy for not doing barbecue, and no one argues.
Brian’s seafood sausage got points for being high end, and the Judges also liked Sara N’s Vietnamese beef and Micah’s lamb. The three Chefs are called to the table. Sara N is SHOCKED she’s there and forgot to breathe. Brian isn’t so surprised he’s in the top three. I mean, come on, “this is the same mind that tackled the snake and the eel last week!” Ew, self shoulder patter. I wish a snake and an eel would tackle you. Van Aken tells Micah that her daughter won’t be hurling any furniture her way after her fantastic performance today, but he gives the win to Brian. AAARRGGGH. He says that Brian really seems to get upscale. Sorry, Van Aken, but NO ONE with a soul patch in 2007 understands upscale.
Sara N almost cries when she has to give her colleagues the bad news. Skip it, dodo. We know the drill. Howie, Birdsong, Joey and Tre are the bottom four. Tre cops to his oversalting, but Tom said that he also had a problem with undersalting. No matter what he did, he just couldn’t make it work. Van Aken was disappointed because he had such high hopes for him yesterday and thinks he phoned this one in.
Joey gets red and sweaty as he tries to explain that his family always had chicken at their bbq’s when he was growing (out) up, and Gail says that there are lots of ways to prepare chicken that don’t suck. He should have gone with one of those ways. Birdsong starts by saying she’s shocked that she’s there, and the Judges cut in to let her know. Dates were way too strong to serve with the lobster, which didn’t taste like anything. She apologizes, but she’s pissed em off already. Padma makes a pity pouty face and softly asks to hear from Howie.
Howie makes all sorts of sorrys for yet another shite dish, and Gail asks him what he’ll do different if he’s allowed to stay. He sweats profusely and says he’ll try harder with another chance.
Padma, who obviously knows Joey is the fat mouthed blowhard of the bunch and will not shy away from drama, asks him if he tasted anyone else’s food. He only tasted Birdsong and Tre’s, but he thinks Howie should go because he didn’t finish his first challenge and he heard his pork was dry. Plus, his accent’s really ovuh the tawp and annoyin’. Howie calmly comes back at him, telling the Judges that all Joey’s done all day is complain and burp really loudly. If they send Howie home first, he’s confident that Joey’ll be next because a real leader doesn’t point fingers and blame everyone else for his suckiness. Uh, hello, have you been reading the papers? Joey is redder than ever, and he’s breathing really loudly. If there were curtains in that room, they’d be shaking.
Back in the holding room, Joey starts shit with Howie and tells him to be a man. Then Howie yells back “you be a man!” and they have a competition to see who can pronounce the most vowels. They both lose. LOUDLY.
The Judges deliberate. Birdsong didn’t even try to make bbq, but Joey’s chicken sucked it hard. Padma stuck up for him, but Tom said she’s in love with every disgusting guy she sees so she should just shut it. Tre wasn’t so great, but he wasn’t the worst, and Daddy Tom has a problem keeping Howie around when he bones it every time.
In the end, Birdsong’s the one to go. WHAT?!?!?!?????!!!!! I get that she didn’t do bbq, but how the hell did a shitty ass drumstick and some dried out pork beat out poached lobster? HUGE mistake. AAAARRRGGGGGHHHHHH. Birdsong says she didn’t think she was gonna win, but she’s a little surprised to be going so soon. She’s humble and sweet, and when she gets back to the holding room….
Next week, we get to see Joey in the hot tub. Please just kill me now.
Ronnie Karam has been with TVgasm since 2006 , which has given him the opportunity to make fun of hundreds of TV's most loved and hated reality whores. His plan in life was to be Julia Roberts but that plan was stolen by, well, Julia Roberts. He'll get you one day, JULIA ROBERTS!! When not making himself giggle for the gasm, Ronnie performs improv and sketch comedy at IO West in Hollywood a couple of times weekly while using the lovely California days to audition for commercial roles such as "ADORABLE MEXICAN UNCLE". Seriously. He would like to thank Jesus, Buddha and Xenu for the blessings they've bestowed. The writers here are the best around, and he's honored to be associated with them. Find video archives at CankleTV.com, or follow on Twitter @flipit