This week on Top Chef, Fleasa tries to blame her shitty cooking on sabotage, Evangelass plays dirty (and no, I don’t mean with Fleasa), and Twitch becomes the latest chef sent home for not following the rules.
“Listen all of y’all, this is sabotage!”
We open with the normal post-elimination musings about the competition getting harder, as Yoda notes it was difficult to watch Nikki go down in flames. Honey, it’s impossible to go down in flames when you weren’t even talented enough to get off the ground. If anything, Nikki hit a speed bump and spun out. Carrying over from last week’s episode is exhaustion and Dale-hatred, even though Dale says he doesn’t give a shit and just wants to focus on winning. The only one who doesn’t seem to be dragging ass is Twitch, who’s just had another fix and tells us he’s either going to stab someone or make some amazing food. Judging from his track record in this competition, I don’t think he should be allowed near the knives today…
The contestants arrive at the kitchen for the Quick Fire, where Scar is waiting with Sam Talbot from season 2. Sam is still by far the hottest guy they’ve had on this show — besides Daddy Tom of course — and finished in the top four during his season. He’s also by far the least-qualified guest judge we’ve had all season, but he’s hot so I don’t care. Antonia agrees with my assessment, as she starts subconsciously touching her face and making bedroom eyes across the kitchen at him. Someone better get ahold of herself before she winds up with another kid without a baby daddy. The challenge is for the contestants to modernize the salad, and try to ignore Scar and Sam’s repeated and outdated “Sexyback” references which is pretty damn difficult to do.
“Yes, Sam, I’d be happy to toss your salad.”
Scar shouts go, and they’re off. Evangelass is determined to do well at this QF since he usually is in the bottom. Richard is loosely interpreting the word salad, and making a ceviche of different fruits and vegetables. Fleasa scoffs at the 45-minute time limit, and then hilariously bitches to us that there are people left in the competition who don’t deserve to be there because of their lack of talent and their shitty personalities. Hello, pot? You’re fucking black too, you moron. You’re probably the blackest one left.
Meanwhile, Antonia’s making what she calls a fatty salad, meaning it’s filled with unhealthy ingredients like eggs and bacon. I’ve never understood those kinds of salads — if I’m just going to eat a lot of calories anyway, give me some pizza then. Antonia also tells us that she’s worried about Fleasa, who recently has been looking like pretty tough competition. Seeing as though she’s almost always in the bottom group, I’m going to disagree, Ant. You’re just finally noticing her because there aren’t that many other people left — or you can’t ignore her stench anymore. As time dwindles down, Yoda’s shaking like a leaf and muttering curses under her breath — and winds up not finishing plating her dish. Seriously, she should just sleep in each day until the start of the Elimination Challenge. What’s the point in even showing up to the QFs for her?
Scar and Sam arrive for evaluations, visiting Twitch first. He’s made a Thai fruit salad, which looks amazing and Sam says has good flavors. Next, Evangelass’ sensual beef salad impresses Sam with its contrasting flavor profiles. Coming to Fleasa and her banana/lobster/squid salad, the judges seem overwhelmed by the banana flavors. Chewing squid and having it taste like banana does not sound appealing to me. Antonia offers the judges a wild mushroom salad with a poached egg on top — that looks like a big glob of lard and oozes yolk when cut. However, despite its unappetizing appearance, Sam seems to really like it and compliments the flavors. Dale’s poached chicken salad is last to be evaluated, and Sam is impressed by how moist the meat is. As for Richard’s ceviche and Yoda’s incomplete pear/artichoke dish, Sam merely thanked both of them before moving on without any other feedback.
Speaking of sensual beef…
Time for the results. In the bottom are Richard, Yoda, and Fleasa (who gives Sam her best death glare… what was that about shitty personalities?). The top group is Antonia, Dale, and Evangelass (who looks oddly surprised… there are only 4 chefs left for 3 top spots, genius), with Evangelass getting his first QF win of the competition. Well if he ever had to win, at least it’s after the immunity prize disappears, so my hopes of him being eliminated can still flourish.
This week’s EC involves two large trays of greasy fast food — fries, burgers, gyros, mexican, you name it. Fleasa and I both think some of the stuff on these trays looks pretty awesome, as Scar begins harping on the increasing rate and danger of obesity. Turns out this crappy food is the typical lunchtime order for the Chicago Police Department (our men in blue are a little portly as a whole…), and the EC is to create a gourmet and healthy boxed lunch for the CPD. The contestants must use at least 1 whole grain, 1 lean protein, 1 fruit, and 1 vegetable in their boxed lunches. As the winner of the QF, Evangelass gets an extra 10 minutes to shop, and gets to pick 1 item from each category that no other chef can use.
Upon hearing this, Evangelass is all douchey smiles and chatting about showing people the tricks he has up his sleeve. Yoda mildly panics, knowing Evangelass is likely to use this advantage to fuck everyone else over rather than help him as intended. But Twitch isn’t worried, since he comes from a background steeped in nutrition (which makes sense given his large weight loss), and can easily adjust, regardless of what Evangelass decides to forbid. And if not, he’ll just stab someone instead.
At Whole Foods, Yoda’s worst fear is realized as Evangelass immediately tries to figure out the best way to screw everyone else over the most. The other contestants are forced to wait up in the front as he meanders through the store, shooting them shit-eating grins and big waves. He’s also very aware of the cameras, and keeps looking over his shoulder to treat us to the same douchey smiles. HATE. He ultimately decides to take chicken, tomatoes, bread, and lettuce — not because he has a great plan for a chicken sandwich, but because he thinks those were the four most important ingredients to everyone else.
“Anyone else wanna play a quick game of ‘Heads Down, Thumbs Up’ with the customers while we wait?”
The other contestants know what he’s up to, and give him dirty looks when he tries to claim “it’s nothing personal” and that he wanted to make a chicken-tomato-lettuce-bread dish. Twitch points out to us how easily this plan could backfire, as Evangelass now has the most elementary ingredients, and he’s forced everyone else to up their creativity. Antonia also notes that she thinks Evangelass has been so busy focusing on hurting them, that he isn’t even thinking about what his own dish will be.
At this point, everyone else is set free to shop with $175 and 30 minutes. Yoda admits Evangelass messed up her chicken-tomato dish as we see her picking out squash. Fleasa gets shrimp, telling us she also is having to scratch her original soup and sandwich idea and is now going for a stir-fry instead. I’m a little unsure how that’s going to hold up in a boxed lunch. Why not just stick a souffle in there? Richard has decided to make a burrito, and grabs bok choy and tuna. Twitch remains confident, strolling around the aisles and talking to the items on the shelves. Hey, if you were smoking that much crack you’d think Tony the Tiger was talking to you, too.
Not the first thing Twitch has shoved in a girl’s face to earn that reaction.
Back in the kitchen, the contestants get two hours to prepare their meals and pack them up for the CPD. Antonia tells us she’s making curry beef, as she dances a little close to the “lean protein” line. She thinks she will do well in this challenge given her previous success at healthy cooking challenges, and her experience as a mom. I love how we didn’t know Antonia had a kid for like 6 episodes and now it’s all she ever fucking talks about. Twitch is making sushi rolls, replacing the traditional white rice with a healthier blend of parsnip and pine nuts. While I agree that this dish meets the healthy requirement, I don’t really see the CPD being thrilled with raw fish. The CPD members I’ve encountered in my days (don’t ask) wouldn’t even know what to do with that. Yoda also presents another possible problem as she notes that sushi would never fill her up for lunch. Problem is, Twitch doesn’t have time to make the 8-piece fried chicken bucket it would take to fill you up, my dear.
Dale has figured out a way to circumvent Evangelass’s tricks by switching out lettuce for cabbage cups with bison and Vietnamese flavorings. So much for staying away from that Asian stereotype. Antonia agrees with me, and begins bitching about how Dale’s totally going to be eliminated for always defaulting to Asian. See I disagree with that… remember Ilan? That bitch cooked Spanish food every week and won the entire season. Don’t even get me started on my hatred for him, but it shows that when/if Dale gets eliminated, it won’t be for being a one-trick pony. It’ll likely be for punching one of the judges in the face.
Fleasa is starting on her stir-fry and begins making the brown rice, which she notes needs a long time to cook. As she’s cleaning the shrimp, Twitch points out that they’re high in cholesterol. I don’t think he’s telling her that to be an asshole (he’s a lot of things, but not a bad guy), but I don’t see the point in alarming her now when it’s too late for her to change her protein. However, Fleasa isn’t worried because the instructions required the meal to be low in carbs, sugar, and fat — not cholesterol. Good luck defending that technicality when your dirty ass winds up in the bottom.
Daddy Tom is in the house! Stopping to chat with Fleasa, Daddy Tom tries her homemade hot sauce, which is so intense he almost shits himself right there in the kitchen. She hurriedly assures him that’ll be toned down when it’s mixed into the dish, but he’s too busy gasping for air to pay attention. He staggers over to Evangelass, and immediately calls him out on his dickwad behavior at Whole Foods. DT holds up a tomato and asks if Evangelass is even using them, and Evangelass jokes about how he was considering just leaving them on display to taunt the other contestants. Needless to say, Daddy Tom is not really amused and Evangelass quickly explains he will be incorporating them into his chicken salad dish. DT also stops at Richard and Yoda’s tables, and seems pretty impressed with their burritos and mushroom/leek soup, respectively.
“Goddammit, doc said I had at least another 5 years before incontinence became an issue (and until Scar would notice me).”
With 30 minutes left, the chefs begin boxing up their dishes to transport them to the CPD. Fleasa tells us she’s been checking her brown rice periodically, but when she swings by for another check, she sees the burner has been cranked up to high. Now the rice is burned on the outside, raw on the inside, and there’s not enough time to make a new batch given its long cooking time. As she runs around trying to fix it, she bitches to us about sabotage and the other contestants tell us Fleasa’s full of shit and just trying to blame others for her own careless mistakes. I can’t decide who I believe here — I definitely think Fleasa’s stupid and bitchy enough to have screwed up herself and try to blame someone else, but I can also see Evangelass cranking up a burner as he walked by. Seeing as though I can also picture him drowning kittens, it’s not much of a stretch.
Now there’s just 10 minutes left, and everyone’s freaking out. Dale almost face plants into a garbage can (with his midget legs, he would have been stuck in there for hours and I don’t think anyone would have pulled him out), Evangelass spills his box of tools not once but twice, and the ladies are scrounging for lids for their boxes. But everyone finally is able to pull their shit together and head off to the CPD.
Once there, we’re treated to some footage of the cops trying to work off those burgers and gyros as the chefs get a few minutes to write out microwave instructions for their dishes. Fleasa’s added some extra sauce to her rice, and hopes the rice will finish cooking in the microwave. Or it’ll become a sticky goo. The cops walk in and stroll from table to table as the contestants try to convince the copy to try their dish over the others. Richard, in particular, is really whoring his burritos, telling us the reason he decided to make burritos was because he knew the cops would be excited over them. That is true — I always see cops in Chipotle. And strip clubs. Evangelass, dressed in homeless man chic, bitches to us about Richard’s tactics being fucking annoying — as we see Evangelass himself tricking the cops into thinking he only has 1 or 2 lunch boxes left by hiding the rest of his stock behind him. Something tells me this is neither the first nor last time he will lie to the police.
Every time I think it can’t get any worse… WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU, BLAIS?!
The judges — Scar, Daddy Tom, Ted Allen, and Sam — arrive and start with Yoda’s mushroom soup. Both they and the cops like the way the various components work together, and agree that it’s a hearty meal. It’s even praised as “better than McDonald’s” by one of the cops, which is like the holy grail of compliments from this group. The judges evaluate Evangelass’s chicken salad next. While the cops seem to like it, the judges find is very simplistic, and are disappointed in the way he barely used the bread, tomato and lettuce. As Ted points out, with 2 hours of prep time, Evangelass should have found some way to better incorporate those items than just shoving them in the box. How is that in any way being a top chef? That’s not even top lunch lady.
Dale is up next, with his lemongrass bison cabbage cups. It goes over pretty well although the judges note it could have used more spice or heat. However, they like the way the meat was cooked, and the texture of the complete dish. Sidenote: the description of the dish on the screen at this point totally says “lettuce wraps” which would be forbidden. Production typo or conspiracy? You decide. Meanwhile, Antonia’s curry beef is likewise enjoyed by both cops and judges alike. However, while Twitch’s salmon sushi receives a 50% rating from the cops, it is universally panned by the judges as Scar notes that Twitch failed to use a whole grain. And with that, my hopes of Evangelass being eliminated this week are dashed. The judges have been sticklers for following the rules of the ECs, so I’m willing to put money on Twitch going home, which sucks because I would like to see him outlast both Evangelass and Fleasa.
Richard’s burritos are evaluated next. They’re wrapped in unappetizing rice paper, but the judges note it tastes better than it looks. The cops also seem to like it, although Chipotle shouldn’t really get too worried. Fleasa is left for last, with her spicy stir fry earning mixed reviews. Some like its intensity, others find it nearly overwhelming, and the judges at least can tell the rice is undercooked.
“So guys, if we eat fast I think we still make it to Krispy Kreme for their 3 o’clock batch.”
The chefs pack up and clear out, noting that they have no idea who’s in the bottom and who’s in the top. I’ll predict Yoda, Dale, and Antonia in the top, Richard in the middle, and Evangelass, Twitch, and Fleasa in the bottom. Although I could see Dale and Richard switching places.
Back in the kitchen holding area, Fleasa’s bitching about the sabotage again and the other chefs point out to Twitch that he fucked up and didn’t use a whole grain — while Fleasa tries to hold in a smirk, realizing his mistake may save her from elimination. Scar walks in and calls out Dale and Yoda to come with her. Once before the Judges’ Table, Scar announces they are the top two chefs for this round. The judges love the way Dale went with bison since it’s healthier than beef but yet has that same familiar texture for the cops to identify with. With Yoda, it all comes back to the s-word yet again — seasoning — as they felt her soup was one of the best-seasoned dishes of the bunch. We’re racing through this because next thing you know, Sam announces that Dale is the winner, and will receive tickets to go to a winery in Napa Valley. I think he should take Fleasa with him. Or a chainsaw. They’d both do the same thing to his nuts.
Scar has them send back in the bottom three — the Douche Twins and Fleasa. Well, this should be good. This has got to be the most charming, well-mannered, and respectful bunch ever assembled. That is, besides Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini.
Starting with Twitch, Scar asks him if he really thought sushi was filling or substantial enough. He launches into a condescension-laced speech about nutrition, including the fact we’re supposed to eat multiple small meals throughout the day, rather than three large, heavy meals. That is true, but Daddy Tom correctly points out that hungry cops are not going to be pulling over for more sushi when they’re hungry a few hours later — they’ll be at the nearest drive through or 7-11. Ted Allen rips into Twitch next, arguing that cops don’t like sushi, so why didn’t Twitch make something closer to what they do like — greasy burgers — with a healthy twist? Twitch somewhat arrogantly explains he wanted to broaden the cops’ horizons, but concedes that maybe he went too far with the sushi. Finally, Daddy Tom puts the beat down on him by asking “How about serving something that’s good?” LOL.
“Healthy, gourmet AND taste good?! You guys really need to pare down your expectations.”
Turning next to Evangelass, their main problem is the way he failed to use the lettuce, tomato and bread in any meaningful way — except to screw over his competition. He claims he wasn’t trying to sabotage anyone, as Fleasa shoots him dirty looks and the judges look on in varying degrees of disbelief. Daddy Tom then complains about the flavor combinations, and Evangelass gives him total attitude, saying “Salty and sweet… I mean, what don’t you understand about salty and sweet?” Fleasa hilariously raises her eyebrows at him, as if she can’t believe he’d dare be this rude to the judges. This coming from the chick who practically spits in their faces week after week. Somewhat insulted, Daddy Tom argues back that the olives in the chicken salad were questionable, and Evangelass is all like, “well that’s your opinion, whatever.” Such a little bitch. And a stupid one. DT points out that it’s his opinion that matters here, which effectively shuts Evangelass up. I love how DT keeps getting in the last word.
Finally, Scar asks Fleasa why she thinks she’s here. Despite being so surprised over Evangelass’s bad attitude, Fleasa trots out another charming answer by saying “I mean, you guys decided to have me here. You tell me.” It’s not like she doesn’t know her rice was a mess, so this is just her being a sucky person yet again. Daddy Tom points out the beans, shrimp, and rice were all undercooked, and Fleasa jumps in to claim sabotage with the rice (conveniently ignoring DT’s other allegations). Surprised, the judges ask for clarification but ultimately conclude that even if the rice was sabotaged its irrelevant because the shrimp were so raw.
“Fuck, that sabotage card was all I had…”
After they’re done with Fleasa, Scar asks them if they have anything else they want to say before the judges deliberate. Fleasa decides to take them up on the offer, and totally rats Twitch out for not using a whole grain. Laughing in disbelief and disgust, Daddy Tom informs her that they already knew about that, but nonetheless asks Twitch what happened with the whole grain. Twitch at first tries to blow some smoke up DT’s ass about doing it on purpose, but eventually admits that he lost his rule card and didn’t realize he needed one. He sarcastically thanks Fleasa for calling him out, and she shrugs it off, saying he would have done the same thing. When he angrily insists he wouldn’t have, she decides she’s going to stop arguing out of fear she’s going to get punched. Or he could throw water on her, which would be much, much worse. On that cheery note, Scar shoos them out for deliberations.
In the back, Twitch begins staring at Fleasa with serial-killer intensity. It’s enough to make Antonia uncomfortable, even though she has nothing to do with it. Twitch points out that he kept his mouth shut over the shrimp-cholesterol issue Fleasa had, and Fleasa’s like tough shit, it’s a competition and you could have said that if you had wanted to. He yells at her to own up to her own mistakes, instead of crying sabotage, while she maintains a tough front and mostly ignores his rants. This would be the time to make sure he doesn’t have a prison shiv hidden in his sleeve.
“I will be watching you, Focker.”
The judges begin deliberating, first discussing Fleasa’s sabotage claim. This dismiss it almost immediately, and instead focus on the shrimp — which do look pretty raw in the shot of the dish we see. They also can’t get over the way Evangelass failed to incorporate his selected ingredients, and the way Twitch arrogantly ignored his audience when he chose sushi. However, despite the various reasons to get rid of each chef, the judges reach a unanimous decision. Like I said before, I don’t see this ending well for Twitch.
The losers are called back in for results. After rehashing each of their failures, Scar tells Twitch to pack his knives and get the fuck out. Stupid Twitch — if only he had followed the rules, we’d be free of either Fleasa or Evangelass this week. He takes the elimination gracefully, shaking each judge’s hand and hugging his fellow Douche Twin goodbye. He leaves us with one last douchey remark to remember him by: “I’ve never been one to stick with the rules. Again, I’m against the grain. No pun intended. But, kinda, pun intended.” So in honor of you and your crack-inspired twitchy awkwardness, I’ll use your intentional pun as this recap’s title. Good luck my friend — both with your cooking and the rehab some judge will eventually commit you to.
So what did you think? Was Twitch the right one to go home, or should Evangelass or Fleasa been given the boot? Was Fleasa right to point out that Twitch failed to use a whole grain when the judges didn’t mention it at Judges’ Table, or was that a shitty move “without honor”? And as we begin counting down to the finale, who’s your pick to take the title?