This week on Top Chef, everyone’s got their mind in the gutter.
So that bubble bath thing… could I get in on that, dude?
After some obvious statements from the contestants – Ryan’s exit means the fug quotient is at an all-time high, if you screw up you’re probably going home (unless you’re Nikki evidently), and lesbian power lives on – we jump right into this week’s Quick Fire challenge. The contestants walk in and immediately notice the diabetic nightmare spread before them – a table laden with every dessert imaginable. Nikki in particular is excited, since she’s got a huge sweet tooth. Between that and her love of pasta, how is this woman not 400 pounds?
Scar introduces the guest judge – Freddie Prinze, Jr. No, wait. It’s actually Johnny Iuzzini, the executive pastry chef at Jean-Georges in Manhattan. So much for that brief effort of actually utilizing Chicago talent. But he’s kinda hot, so I’ll roll with it. Scar reminds all the contestants that desserts are traditionally their Achilles’ Heel (judging by his furrowed brow, a term that confuses Evangelos), and of course this challenge is to make a dessert in 90 minutes that isn’t just a scoop of ice cream and/or taste like crap. The winner gets immunity and their recipe included in the Top Chef cookbook.
And off they go. Antonia is worried because she was too stupid to come prepared for this competition with a dessert recipe, which just annoys me. It’s like those morons who show up on Survivor and have never tried making fire. Seriously? After a show’s been on a few seasons, you’d think the contestants would take note of what things are practically guaranteed to come up and, I don’t know, prepare for them! You bet your ass that if I ever get selected for The Amazing Race, you’ll see me and my partner rowing up and down the Chicago River – that is until CPD arrests us. Ugh, stupidity makes me cranky.
Dale, understanding this evidently difficult concept, has come prepared with a shaved ice recipe. Lisa, who is looking dirtier than usual if that’s even possible, complains to us that baking is much more precise than cooking, since while you can fix cooking mistakes as you go along, if you make a baking mistake, there’s no going back. For example, she says, if you forget to put baking powder in bread, you’re fucked. And an idiot.
Now where did I put that flower…?
Richard did not come prepared to do dessert, so he’s making it up as he goes along. While chopping bananas, he has the epiphany that bananas look like scallops (?), and therefore he’s going to make banana scallops (??) since he’s so witty (???). Evangelos, meanwhile, brags to us about having a chocolate molten cake recipe ready to go, but has decided to wing it with a soufflÃ© instead. Brilliant move, douche, to throw your advantage of preparation completely out the window.
Scar calls time, and the evaluations begin. Evangelos is first with his pineapple rum raisin soufflÃ©, which looks absolutely awful due to messy presentation complete with dingleberries. Hottie Johnny doesn’t comment on the taste, but praises Evangelos for taking a risk. Richard’s banana scallops are up next, which he’s serving with guacamole and a glob of chocolate ice cream that looks like baby poop. Scar comments that the flavors are strange and delicious, and Richard eats it up. Pun intended.
Beasty has made a simple chocolate cake and some delicious-looking frozen chocolate-covered banana bites, which seem to go over okay. Twitch’s dish is banana and chocolate ravioli, which is a bit disturbing but nowhere on the same level as banana scallops. Nikki’s gone with a buttermilk cake, and has a very whimsical presentation that Scar appreciates. And Yoda’s made a chocolate cake covered with a salted basil ganache.
Dale’s shaved ice dessert wound up being a pale green mixture of ice, avocado, mango, kiwi and nuts. While Dale’s dish seems successful, Lisa’s is a hot, bloody-looking mess. She’s made a yogurty-fruity blob on top of fried wontons, as well as a dirty-looking drink surrounded by tacky rose petals. When she borrowed the flower from Mutton, she should have also checked out his presentation, for it’s adorable. I don’t even care what these pavolas actually taste like – this is just so damn cute it’s my pick for the win. Antonia is the last one to be evaluated, and self-consciously mocks her bruleed lemon curd and lemon cake. Smooth.
Somewhat similar to what I imagine a yogurt parfait would look like if you left it out for a week.
And now for the results. Hottie Johnny says he could tell which contestants were excited about the challenge, and which ones were defeated before they even began (cough–Ant–cough). Sure enough, she’s the first one called out for the bottom group. Evangelos is also in the bottom, and he douchebags it up by laughing and randomly winking at someone off camera. He still seems pretty proud of his idea to throw a tried-and-true recipe out the window for his dingleberry soufflÃ© mess. As for the third loser, it’s Mutton and his little pavolas! Boooo.
The top three are Dale’s spoiled yogurt parfait, Lisa’s tacky pile of crap, and Richard’s banana scallops, with Richard’s “wit” getting the win. Ugh, don’t encourage him! With that out of the way, we’d usually hear about the Elimination Challenge – but things are a little different this week. Instead, Scar announces that they’re all going to see a show at Second City. Most of the contestants enthusiastically applaud – Lisa in particular is excited – but Chicago natives Dale and Yoda look like they’d rather watch another Evangelos/Mutton bubble bath than go to Second City. It’s not that Second City is bad or anything, but if their grade school experiences were anything like mine, they were dragged to that crap countless times growing up, and after a while it gets a little old. Mutton recites a list of famous Second City alumni to us in a voice so monotone that I’m convinced he’s never heard of any of the people he’s reading off the cue cards. I would have loved to edit that list just to fuck with him. Miley Cyrus… Eliot Spitzer… Fidel Castro…
Excuse me while I pout like a bitch.
The contestants head home to gussy up for their night on the town – Mutton choosing some nice, tight blue panties for the occasion and Richard sporting a pink button-down that’s about two sizes too small. Halfway through this show he’s going to pop a button and blind the next Tina Fey. It’s tragic.
They all arrive at Second City in Old Town (although the stock footage they show us is actually from Boystown… the rainbow-colored phallic pylons are a dead giveaway), and the show begins. Second City often encourages audience participation, and when the actors start asking for food-related suggestions, most of the contestants accurately figure out that their challenge is going to be based off what the drunkasses in the theater that night come up with. After getting their audience suggestions, the contestants head home to figure out who’s stuck with what shitty assignment. They’re allowed to pick their own partners, and then draw numbers to determine which pair has which course.
Here’s what we’ve got: Evangelos/Twitch with yellow, love, and vanilla. Antonia/Lisa with magenta, drunk, and polish sausage. Beasty/Yoda with orange, turned-on, and asparagus. Mutton/Nikki with purple, depressed, bacon. Dale/Richard with green, perplexed, tofu. Just based on the strength of the partners, Dale/Richard is my pick to win, and Evangelos/Twitch is my pick to lose.
At Whole Foods, Mutton and Nikki are looking at making pork tenderloin, while Beasty’s trying to figure out how to convince Yoda to have a threesome with her and Zoi – which may or may not also involve goat cheese and a cheesemonger. Dale and Richard decide to marinate their tofu in beef fat because witty Richard thinks that would be perplexing – and then he treats us to a horrible Seinfeld impression that he clearly has been working on for weeks. Seriously, Richard’s head has swelled bigger than his gut in that pink shirt and he’s starting to piss me off.
I’m not gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Yuk, yuk! I’ll be here all night, folks!
As for Antonia and Lisa, they’re both annoyed with getting stuck with drunk polish sausage and refuse to serve that. Instead they’re “improving’ a fish dish using tequila in the sauce. I agree that they don’t necessarily have to use polish sausage, but what fish has to do with their assignment is beyond me. Although I’m always in favor of anything with tequila. Which brings us to Evangelos and Twitch – who have no idea what they’re doing. They just run around the store like douchebags, grabbing everything that catches their eyes until they’re over budget and debating what to put back at the checkout counter. Bless your heart, patient check-out girl. The Douche Twins seem confident that their dish will come together, and I hope Evangelos has the same success with this as he did with his soufflÃ© idea.
Back in the kitchens, the contestants note there’s a table set for dinner in the middle of the room and figure they’ll be serving their dishes right in there. That would be really odd – and not match the previews for this episode – so we’ll see about that. With three hours to cook, the Douche Twins get to work on their vanilla squash soup, with Twitch wielding a meat cleaver in a frighteningly aggressive way. Are they sure they have the right guy for that NYC meat cleaver murder? Evangelos is all excited about finally doing a squash soup, and Antonia tells us that if he wins for it, she’ll throw up in her mouth a little. I’d love for him to really screw this up after all his talk about great soup.
Richard is getting to work grilling the beef fat while Dale goes in the back to grab a pot to start making a curry. While he’s back there, however, he notices that they all may have a big problem – those Second City rascals have snuck in and removed all the electrical equipment for this EC. Get ready to improv! Surprisingly, Dale and Richard immediately share this news (who else thought they’d so keep that to themselves?), which seems to affect the Douche Twins the most (yay!), given that they had planned to puree some of their ingredients. As Lisa and Antonia laugh in delight, the Douche Twins debate ways to prepare their dish. Twitch optimistically tells us that he thinks this is a blessing in disguise, for his hand-mashed squash will now have more “love” in it than if he had just used a machine. That and lumps.
As the Douche Twins compliment each other on how well they can work a sack, Mutton and Nikki adjust to the lack of machines while Beasty and Yoda debate whether propping up an erect piece of asparagus is too literal of a take on their turned-on theme. Meanwhile, Antonia’s stopped laughing at the Douche Twins long enough to start worrying that her and Lisa’s sea bass/chorizo dish looks terrible and unrefined
Vanilla Love: Almost as douchey as Vanilla Ice.
Daddy Tom’s in the house, but instead of making his rounds, he announces that the contestants have 20 minutes to pack up their shit and go home – where they’ll be serving their dishes. Looks like this is another heavy-handed stab at the improv theme. No one’s thrilled by the news, but they all gamely pack up and get ready to move.
Once they arrive at their place, they all immediately begin jockeying for elbow room in their relatively small kitchen. Evangelos tells us that all he and Twitch have left to do is get the soup right where it needs to be… which is very informative. As the Douche Twins make slight seasoning adjustments, the dinner guests arrive. This round we have the Second City cast along with Scar, Daddy Tom, Ted Allen, and Hottie Johnny from the QF.
The Douche Twins are up first with their vanilla squash soup that looks like a reversed sunny-side egg. They’re very confident in the dish, and rightfully so as the dinner party loves it (sigh). Scar says she’d totally lick her bowl – if there weren’t cameras around. I find this odd, for we all know Scar has the table manners of an inbred dog. What’s stopping her this time?
I don’t see any men in the 60+ sect she’d worry about impressing.
Yoda and Beasty are up next with their mÃ©nage a trois of orange, asparagus and goat cheese. Their presentation is nice, but Yoda frets to us that the bread crouton in the dish isn’t the right consistency. The ladies put on a little comedy routine of their own while introducing the dish, which won’t be enough to keep them out of the bottom two as their dish bombs (due in large part to the bread crouton).
The third course is Dale and Richard’s beef-flavored tofu, which the boys plate while Evangelos looks on judgmentally and complains to us that Richard’s food is always weird. I agree, but until he stops winning with the weird food, I would STFU. During their introduction, several of the Second City cast members stare down at their plates with varying degrees of disgust and apprehension, which greatly amuses me. I’m sure when they signed up for a free dinner cooked by the Top Chef contestants, they weren’t expecting a block of tofu. But it turns out Dale and Richard can make believers out of anyone, as the dinner party loves the dish and the camaraderie between them.
The Chinese method of frying evidently involves an unhealthy amount of laundry detergent in your colon.
This brings us to Antonia and Lisa, who are having some plating problems with their fish dish in the kitchen. Evangelos, always the first one with a catty comment, gossips to us that he doesn’t understand how they could have gotten polish sausage as their assignment and not used any sausage whatsoever. He also thinks their dish is cold and looks like turds. From the edit of this episode so far, I suspect his bitchings may be accurate this time.
The girls enter the dining room for their introduction, and after babbling for a few moments, they each do a shot of tequila, given that “drunk” had been one of their assigned words. Hottie Johnny pouts that there isn’t tequila for the dinner guests, and I think it’s a valid point. Either give everyone the shot, or cut it out completely. What they did made no sense. It was almost taunting – at least for someone who likes booze as much as me. You know what else made no sense? Serving fish. Once Antonia and Lisa leave, the dinner party complains about the dish’s failure to embrace either the polish sausage or drunk theme, and further bitches about the tequila slap in the face.
Finally it’s Mutton and Nikki’s turn. Their pork tenderloin looks nice, and the guests seem to like it overall, despite a little chatter about how it wasn’t depressed enough to fully embrace the theme. They’ll probably wind up in the middle and be safe. I swear, Nikki must sneak out in the middle of the night and sacrifice chipmunks to some pagan being or something – how else is that bitch still in this thing?!
In the kitchen, the contestants are cleaning up and trying to convince themselves that they’re not the one going home. Beasty tells the camera that she’s packing up her knives, and hopes it’s not a bad omen – as some threatening music plays. I really hope it isn’t her, but I’m fairly confident she and Yoda will be in the bottom with Antonia and Lisa.
Time for the Judges’ Table. Scar comes in and calls out Dale, Richard, Twitch and Evangelos as the top two teams. Turning to the Douche Twins first, the judges compliment the soup as being the best-seasoned dish of the whole season, and Evangelos tries not to cry as his perfect soup dreams come true. Somewhere in the back, Antonia vomits in her mouth. On their turn, Richard and Dale both recognize the contributions of the other, showing that these two egomaniacs seem to keep their shit in check when working with someone else they respect. The judges loved the beef fat-tofu idea, and give Richard and Dale the win as a result. Ten bucks Richard races home to start working on his Ray Barone impression. God help us.
After this, you’re welcome to join our bubble bath any time you like.
True to my predictions, called out as the bottom two teams are Antonia, Lisa, Yoda and Beasty (leaving Mutton and Nikki in the middle and safe). Starting with Antonia and Lisa, Daddy Tom wants to know whose idea it was to not use polish sausage when one of their inspirations was supposed to be polish sausage. Both Lisa and Ant claim it was a simultaneous decision – much to DT’s disbelief and annoyance – and then proceed to talk over each other in explaining the thought process. Hottie Johnny says he would have cooked polish sausage in beer, and Antonia snottily starts saying “Well, from now on, trust me, I’m gonna be like–” only to be interrupted by Daddy Tom muttering “If there’s a ‘from now on’.” HAHA. Stupid bitch. I used to like Antonia, but she’s really sucked these last couple of weeks. Antonia shuts her trap and Lisa jumps in to point out that this is her first time in the bottom group, which is a dick move that nevertheless entertains me.
Scar then turns to Yoda and Beasty to ask them about their mÃ©nage a trois dish. Daddy Time tells them that his biggest issue was that the goat cheese was hogging the bed covers, and overpowered the asparagus and orange, which were two of the inspirations they were given. Hey, at least they were in the dish at all, unlike Antonia and Lisa’s! They’re also bitched at about the composition of their plate, and as Beasty tries to explain their decision to make their dish look phallic, Daddy Tom giggles like a 5th grader in sex ed class. Scar’s covering her mouth and trying not to lose it as well, as Hottie Johnny asks – deadpanned – whether the ladies wanted the asparagus to look erect or not.
Yes, erect. Now I haven’t seen one in a long time, but I’m pretty sure they stand up like this.
The judges get control of themselves, and bitch at Yoda and Beasty about the bread – soggy on one side, toasted on the other, with hard crust. Beasty concedes the bread was a mistake, and Hottie Johnny tells her that the dish as a whole lacked finesse. Scar asks them who was responsible for what, and when Beasty admits she prepared the bread, I get nervous. I really like her! With that, the contestants are shooed out for deliberations. Basically, the judges liked the taste of Lisa and Antonia’s dish better, but thought that Beasty and Yoda embraced the nature of the challenge more. So which is worse?
In the back, Lisa’s bitching about how she should have just braised sausage in beer, and how the people at Second City suck for sticking her and Antonia with polish sausage. Ant whines that this challenge was supposed to be about improv and interpretation, but please explain to me how fish is an interpretation of polish sausage? Lisa and Antonia, negative? Who would have seen that one coming?
The bottom two teams are called back in to hear the results. Daddy Tom tells Antonia and Lisa they went too far off-track with the fish, and criticizes Yoda and Beasty for making goat cheese the focal part of their dish, which wasn’t one of their inspirations either. DT apologizes that someone’s going home over such a technicality, and says they just had to go with which one was their least favorite dish. Shit, shit, it’s not looking good for Beasty because you know they’re not tossing out Yoda if they decide they’re the bottom team.
Sure enough, Beasty is told to pack her knives and get the fuck out. She tears up and admits she thought the dish was great, but respects their decision as Antonia makes a fake crying face (which may also be from the aftertaste of the vomit in the mouth) and Lisa stares at the ground. In the back, everyone hugs and kisses Beasty goodbye, with Richard seemingly taking it extra hard as he watches his long-lost twin ride off into the sunset.
Ew, that sweatband was so on Dale’s head during this challenge. GROSS.
So what did you think? Did Beasty deserve to go? I would have rather seen Antonia get the boot out of those four. Would you have eaten Richard and Dale’s beef-fat tofu? (Nope – if it looks like tofu and smells like tofu, then it’s tofu). And is Yoda in danger of being knocked from her place as King of the Mountain?
Sorry for the late recap guys! Thanks for your patience!