Time for fireworks, swimming pools and weenies! July 4th? Nope. Tonight my friends, Bravo brought us loyal fans together to celebrate freedom. Not from Great Britain (that’s old news), but from another psychotic, neurotic, discombulatic freakshow. I’ll celebrate The Declaration of Independence next Wednesday. For tonight, The Declaration of Pack Your Knives and Get the F Out will do just fine, thank you.
This week, Top Chef taught us that conch shells are a sign of doom, family dinners made you the fat ass you are, and if an old person gives you no reaction, they probably hate you. With Birdsong gone, tonight’s episode starts out with a bore snore whimper. The most prevalent personality type left is anal retentive A hole, so the editors waste no time on the Fountainbleau. Straight to business, people.
Today’s Guest Judge is Alfred Portale, chef and owner of Gotham Bar and Grill in NYC. Joey is starstruck. Portale is known for his plating perfection. “It’s like the Sistine Chapel! You don’t even want to eat it!” Am I the only one who’s impressed that Joey doesn’t want to eat the Sistine Chapel? Nice restraint, tiger.
Something’s draped in the center of the Not Kenmore kitchen, and my guess is a movie popcorn machine. Nope! No popcorn challenge on Lee Anne’s watch! It’s an aquarium of shell fish. Hung jumps up and down and claps like he guessed the correct number of jelly beans in the big jar at the county fair. Yay shellfish!
Brian is a seafood chef, and fears if he loses this challenge, he won’t be able to afford any more cheeseball straw hats or troll patch groomings. You can do it, Malarkey!
The Challenge is to take 30 seconds using a net to scoop out their fish and cook it up in half an hour. I think a Net Challenge is unfair to people like Sara N, who gets flustered trying to figure out how to light a grill. My fingers are crossed for the girl. Hung, of course, runs to the tank so fast he looks like a blur. He heaps so much fish into the net that he grosses out Baldhawk.
Sara N says “leave some for the rest of us, Hung!” When his bowl is so full that a crawfish drops on the floor, everyone groans. “What do you want me to do?” Lia tells him to clean up after himself and gives him a dirty look. I snap for her.
Tre ends up with less product than everyone else and cries like a little baby. No fair! His net gave out on him! Um, no. You all used the same net, you’re just a dumbass.
Lia explains that this is a really tough challenge because cleaning shell fish alone can take half your time. Most people deal with this by using the easiest shelled fish, but Micah (of course) decides that her time would be better spent grabbing a pan and a pair of scissors and losing her shit on a conch shell. Matilda! I miss yoooouuu!
Howie sweats all over his product and I work on resisting massive amounts of puke from coming up.
Brian’s big plan is to not do much to the fish. Throw some lemon, wine and garlic in there and it’ll be fine. Most everyone else seems to follow his lead, and Hung tells us “Simple! A monkey could do that!” Aw, Marcel shout out! How cute. Time is called and Howie’s nervous. And very very hot. His ceviche looks like a corsage at Global Warming Prom.
Guest Judge Alfred is one snippy little bitch. He liked the taste of Howie’s sweat ceviche but says it was a pretty hack idea in the first place. Then he rolls his eyes at Camille when she says she likes using cheeses to flavor her food. She looks like she’s gonna cry, but come on, Camille. Cheese? Get some adobo. The best part is when Alfred complains about the crouton proportion on Hung’s plate and Hung rolls his head and snaps his fingers at the camera, telling us that the “biggest chef in the world” just doesn’t get his deep concept. Yeah, giant croutons are totally deep, Hung. Tool.
Time for the bottom three. Micah’s up first. Alfred didn’t like her conch ceviche and suggests that next time she use heat and seasoning. You know, like, cook something. She, of course, smiles like it’s the first time she’s hearing a knock knock joke. Next, he calls out Camille on her overpowering and unsuccessful use of cheese in her crayfish and mussels flavor profile and then moves on to Tre’s corn dish. Where’s the fish?
Alfred liked Howie’s hack “traditional” ceviche (wait, he said it was expected and typical ten minutes ago), Brian’s simple preparation of his shellfish medley, and CJ’s pan roasted fruits de mer (even though the plate looked unappetizing). He picks Brian’s dish for the win and says it’s because he liked the thoughtful progression from raw to cooked, but I think his reason is way shallower. Troll patches gotta stick together in 2007.
Hung is hellapissed, and is the only one that doesn’t applaud good-naturedly. Get over yourself, Squirt.
Time for the Elimination Challenge. The fish tank has been replaced with a large table. The Chefs look at it like they’re gonna throw up. What could it be?!? Offal? Snakes and alligator heads? Hung’s dish from today’s Quickfire?
Nope! It’s American Family Favorites!! Mac and cheese, corndogs, and fried anything. Time for a celebratory trip to Popeye’s! BRB.
The challenge is to take these artery cloggers and turn them into healthy, low cholesterol meals. WHAT?!? The diet challenge? BS! How come they don’t have to go to fat camp this season? I want my fat kids! I blame the Betty Sugar Sabotage Scandal for this. Damn you, Betty! Craaaaaack!
Lia is worried as she’s never cooked anything low fat in her life, and Hung says that his family’s favorites are steamed fish. Well, you couldn’t exactly pull that off in the last challenge, so why don’t you just shut it?
Each Chef gets to choose a heart killer from the table, and they do so in the reverse order they chose in the Quickfire, which means Hung is last. I hope they leave him with tuna casserole. There’s no possible way to save that dish. Sorry, Meemaw, but it sucks. DAMMIT! CJ goes second and takes it! Damn you, Gigantor!
Howie tells us that there’s heart disease in his family. Really? I’m stupefied. He chooses pork chops and apple sauce, because there’s no way you can be expected to make a pork chop low fat, so the Judges can suck his bum. Then he sweats some more.
They will have $75 and thirty minutes to shop before preparing their comfortless comfort food to the Elk’s Lodge. LOLOLLLLL. Ok, so it is like the Fat Camp Challenge, only fifty years later. The Elk’s Lodge always makes me think of Fred Flinstone. Yabba Dabba Dooooooooo!
The only one psyched about this challenge is Baldhawk, because his style is reinventing the classics. Like male pattern baldness. And the mandanna.
Since Casey is only allowed to speak when she’s regurgitating information we’ve already heard, she explains the challenge to us like she’s teaching a two year old not to cross the street before looking both ways. The challenge is to make American classics, but make them healthier. Lower fat, lower cholesterol. I want to stomp on Bunny Foo Foo. Please stop filming her.
At the store, confusion abounds. Hung is in the cheese section (uhhh….you picked fried chicken, dildo) and Brian’s buying lobster, which Micha points out is extremely high in cholesterol. Sara N wanders around in a mild panic, which is always fun, and Lia decides that she’s gonna bring out the beer flavor in her chicken sausage with a six pack of Guiness. I’m glad to hear alcohol’s not only a Flipit family favorite.
Baldhawk chose dumplings, and he buys an already cooked rotisserie chicken and instant mashed potatoes. Classy. So are you gonna actually cook anything? If Birdsong’s not at home throwing shit at her TV, she’s Mother Theresa.
That night, the Chefs chill in the hot tub and relax. Howie sits off to the sidelines. He tells us that it’s cuz he doesn’t want to make friends with his competition, but me thinks someone’s a little insecure. Come on Howie! Be like me in the fifth grade and swim with your t-shirt on! If Joey can jump in, you can. PS, dear editors, thank you for only showing Joey completely submerged. My Popeye’s is digesting just fine. LOVE.
The next day, we are treated to a montage of seniors sitting around a pool and playing horseshoes at the Elk’s Lodge. Woah, old dude. You’re supposed to be aiming for the little stick in the ground. Watch it. You’re gonna hurt someone with that thing.
Daddy Tom comes in to check on progress, and he’s not impressed. Everyone has taken an extremely literal route on this challenge, and it’s not looking good.
Sara M goes to check on her chicken skewers, and someone has turned her oven off. You know it was Squirt. Sure enough, Hung rolls his head at the camera and snaps his fingers. He was done with his chicken so he turned off the oven. Sara should have checked on her food. Not his problem. AAAARRRRGGGGHH! He’s all saucy and bitchy to the cameras, but when Sara asks him if he did it, he lies right to her face. If he’s not automatically disqualified, I swear I’m gonna lose my shit with this show. You little BITCH!
CJ’s version of tuna casserole looks even grosser than the original, which is really saying something. He knows he’s screwed, and I feel for the guy. Some of you have commented on what a brat he is, but he’s got a sense of humor in a room of anal little droids, so I like him still. How can you not like a guy who says “Hello Chefs! And Padma!” LOL, Gigantor. That said, I wouldn’t touch his dish with Howie’s tongue.
The Judges don’t like it. Ted Allen’s in the house, and he thinks it’s too grassy, but Tom sticks up for CJ, saying it was a good idea that went sour. Like Katie Lee. Sara M gets her chicken a la king update finished just in time, and she says that her chicken is cooked “right on the edge”. Basically, she made a chicken kabob with a side of what looks like morning after food poisoning sauce.
Lia’s frank and beans has turned into grilled chicken sausage over Dijon lentils with a side of Guiness. Hers is the only dish that looks edible so far, but the Judges immediately ask her if she made the sausages. Good point. What’s with the pre-prepared foods today? One lady says “if I don’t like it, you’ll know because I just hesitate!” You’re like a hundred years old. Getting out of bed looks like hesitation.
Back in the kitchen, CJ tastes Lia’s lentils and he thinks they’re underdone. Well, she wanted it to have a texture. “It does!” HA. Still not feeling the love? The Judges are pretty mortified by the food so far, and Ted Allen needs some “Wow!” Cue the electric guitars for Baldhawk’s pre-cooked chicken and boxed mashed potatoes. They can’t be serious. Yup. They are. The Judges ooh and ahhh and Padma declares the dish a winner.
Hung is next, and it’s awesome to see that he threw some chicken drumsticks on a plate with a side of pasta. Does it look too simple? Well, it’s not, ok? He took all the skin and the fat off the bird, rendered it in the oven, and recoated it, leaving a “transparent chip of skin”. The look on Daddy Tom’s face is priceless and going on my fridge.
One of the Elk ladies says it’s certainly not like Grandma’s chicken, and her friend replies…
Sara N overcame her confusion at the store and came up with a really nice variation on fish and chips that went over well with the B.C.s, and even though crazy Micah’s meatloaf looks pretty to me, Daddy Tom tops himself by giving this look:
Guest Judge Alfred doesn’t like that she says “you Americans like ketchup, so I made a roasted pepper and tomato sauce instead.” He thinks she’s a snippy bitch. And if this Guest Judge is saying it, you’re out of control. He seeps snippy bitch. Go back to South Africa, you psycho. One guest says “I didn’t expect it to be crunchy” and I laugh and laugh and laugh. The Judges all describe Micah’s dish with the same word: terrible. Matilda! Mommy needs you!
Brian’s served a side of iceburg salad with his lobster cabbage rolls, maybe to offset the fact that he put a cholesterol heavy protein on a diet dish. He wants the world to know that it’s ok to have a little cholesterol. “Everything in moderation!” This coming from the man with the widest troll patch on record. And take off your hat, Tommy Bahama. You’re inside.
Camille chose tacos, Casey did a rib eye sloppy joe, and Tre presented a variation of cordon bleu, which Padma says isn’t too bad. The gloomy suspense music is cued for Howie’s dish, but it’s misleading. Everyone loves his variation of pork chops: pork chops. Brilliant! I told you this Flinstone would have no problem today. He knows his people!
Watching the B.C.s fill out their comment cards is my favorite moment of television all week. I laughed so hard a fry came up.
CJ thinks the top 3 dishes will be Lia’s, Tre’s, and Howie’s. I only relay this to you because we saw that he knows Lia boned her lentils, which means Gigantor has a crush. I hope you know how to play softball, big boy.
Baldhawk thinks he’s definitely gone “much more upper scale than everyone else”. One thing the Four Seasons always has stocked in their pantry? Powdered potatoes. Dumbass.
The Judges get together and discuss. CJ’s usually really good, but the only nice thing Daddy Tom can say about his dish is that he hates it as much as he hates the real tuna casserole. Ha. The most hated variation across the board is Mica’s crunchy meat loaf. It’s called “the gift that keeps on giving, and not in a good way.” Wow. Just like Micha. Crazy ho.
Baldhawk’s pre-prepared cheater dish got high marks from both the Judges and the B.C.s, but Troll Patch is lucky he has an immunity, cuz Snippy Ass Alfred says simply: “He blew it”. Baldhawk and Howie are the only two called into the Judges as the top dishes.
Scar asks Baldhawk about his boxed items, and he cops to the potatoes, but not the chicken. Ass. HOW IS THAT OK???? I feel a little better when Howie beats him, but come on. It’s Howie. How excited can you get? He should have been kicked off the first week for not finishing his dish and last week for sucking balls. I close my eyes and mutter “It’s just a TV show. It’s just a TV show. It’s just a TV show.”
Howie’s prize is three of Guest Judge Snippy Ass’ cookbooks and a week working at the Gotham Bar and Grill. Wow, I get to promote your book and be your slave? Thank God he wore his lucky second chin today. It totally paid off.
Micah , CJ, Sara M, Brian and Lia are all called to the Judges Table. Oh, snap. Troll Patch doesn’t get it! He has immunity! I feel like the Judges are trying to win me back, even though I know that’s completely narcissistic of me. Anyhoo, it’s working.
Daddy Tom assures Troll Patch that he’s safe, but warns him against ignoring the rules. Also, he may work in a seafood restaurant, but he’s gonna have to play with meat at some point if he wants to win. Daddy Tom, you devil you. Troll Patch is excused.
Scar tells Micah that she scored lowest with the B.C.s and she shrugs like “I don’t listen to liver spots.” They ask her if she was proud of her dish, and she copped to the wonky texture, but added that meat loaf is disgusting and hers is better than the American caca they asked her to emulate. No one agrees.
Sara M’s there because her chicken kabob bore no resemblance to chicken a la king. Snippy Ass says he doesn’t know what she was thinking, but Sara stands up for her dish and adds “I’m from Jamaica!” Um, you’re not helping.
CJ states that he’s proud of his dish and he’s gonna win this thing! Not with that green nightmare, you’re not. Daddy Tom thought the flavors were muddy, but he’s gonna let him slide because of the flaxseeds, which lower cholesterol. So does bulimia. Doesn’t make it right.
Daddy Tom calls Lia out for taking an hour and a half to hardly cook anything at all, and she responds “I guess I didn’t understand how complex frank and beans were.” LOLs all around. She’s safe.
During alone time, Guest Judge Snippy ass says as bad as Micah’s dish was, Sarah M’s chicken a la king was worse. She didn’t even try to make it like the original, and Daddy Tom says it was more chicken a la Don King. Wow, Tom. You’re on a roll!
Micah is asked to pack her knives and go. YAY!! She tells us she’s relieved.
I usually feel horrible seeing someone cry, but I rewound Micah’s goodbye speech three times and smiled bigger with each view. Unfortunately the news isn’t so good for Matilda. Mommy’s coming home! I just heard a dresser slam into a wall from across the country.