Tonight: Natalie Portman. I believe she’s a vegan (?).
Prepare to hear the same kind of complaining we heard when they did this EXACT SAME CHALLENGE on Top Chef Masters.
LAST WEEK: Restaurant Wars, the anticlimactic Super Bowl of the Top Chef season. The brothers will be sleeping with one eye open. Not Jonah Hill looks ridiculous in a suit, Mousy got the axe, and everyone still hates Robin.
10:01: Robin is “here for a reason” and is “holding her own.” All of which means “Robin is going home.”
10:02: Padma’s Italian “accent” makes the entire nation of Italy wince.
The TV Guide Fucking Quickfire Challenge. Seriously.
10:03: They have to make TV dinners inspired by a variety of shows they pull on knives. Several of them make a point of telling us they haven’t/don’t/would never/are horrified by TV dinners. Not Jonah Hill claims to be too young to be truly familiar with Gilligan’s Island.
They’re all like that one friend you have: “Oh, I don’t even own a television.” Shut up. You know what the fuck Gilligan’s Island is.
Shiv has The Flintstones and likens herself to Pebbles, suggesting that she might enjoy being clubbed and dragged around by the hair. I mean, really, she says this. Explicitly. I know, I know. And you know she’s totally imaging Eric Ripert doing it.
10:05: Beardie enjoys a “well prepared frozen meal.”
I enjoy Beardie.
10:07: Who gets “Cheers” and does anything other than a burger? Also, if you get Seinfeld? Serve a bowl of cereal: the end.
Padma’s jumpsuit is making me cringe as much as all her TV puns. “Who’s going into syndication?” Not that jumpsuit, I’ll tell you that. Or the belt.
10:09: WINNER: Beardie! No immunity, but he gets his food made into a real frozen meal. Which I guess is exciting, but also seems like Gasteau’s line of corn dogs from Ratatouille.
10:10: ELIMINATION: Craftsteak takeover. WITH A TWEEST!
10:14: Commercials: In the Shaft-esque Gladware commercial, with which Brian usually sings along: “Viceroy!” in falsetto. He is brilliant.
Everyone is planning out their meat dishes and shooting their wads over Craftsteak because they don’t know about THE TWEEST. The walk-in fridge is packed with meat, gorgeous meat! It’s almost too good to be true!
10:16: THE TWEEST! Hello Natalie Portman, noted vegetarian.
Let the bitching begin.
Not Jonah Hill: “The only good thing she ever did was in Star Wars, which is the only good thing anyone can do.” Yes, and living with your mom? Still SO COOL, right?
There is a scramble for the mushrooms and eggplants, because those are not in any way cliched ingredients that meat-eaters use when they’re trying to cater to vegetarians.
10:19: Beardie gives up meat for Lent every year. Of course he does, bless his Jesus-loving heart.
Robin, who’s into healthy cooking, is over the moon and freaking with joy over all the ingredients. Read: “Robin’s going home.”
10:20: Not Jonah Hill thinks vegetarians are a lesser life form. He tried to take it back, but we all heard it. NJH goes on: “I may be immature in terms of my career, but (something something something overcompensation about how he is awesome).”
Also immature in: sense of humor, tact, self-awareness and life, generally. I note that he does not point these out to us.
10:22: Shiv: “I’m not a vegetarian, and I never, ever will be.” I appreciate her brutal honesty.
Weed is doing this leek “scallop” thing, which: Haven’t we seen banana “scallops” like, a thousand times? Also, when you don’t separate the leeks, aren’t you just asking for them to be full of grit? And aren’t you a giant ass and I will gladly take another week of Robin if it means you’re going home?
10:27: Robin’s got a squash blossom, and a duo of GET THE HELL OVER THE DUOS. Meaning beets. If ever I’ve wanted more of something on my plate, it’s definitely beets.
10:28: NJH has eggplant and creamed lentils.
Brian: “It looks like there’s poo on his plate.”
10:30: Brother Michael is riskier than the other chefs, and better than them all around, and they better know it. Natalie Portman will walk away from this dish “scratching her head,” which is totally what you want.
She does, in fact scratch her head. Okay, not really, but she is confused. Unfortunately, it’s in a good way, cementing his hubris.
Shiv’s plate looks like the standard vegetarian mixed vegetable plate, and she’s so nervous that she nearly douses everyone in hot verjus.
10:32: Weed’s got his leek thing, which he explains as standing in for a protein…which no one buys. Even his use of the color purple – Natalie’s favorite, squee! – doesn’t save it. Also, Gail Simmons’ giant ruffled sleeves are eating her neck in a most unflattering.
10:34: Brian’s got an asparagus thing with garlic blossoms. Padma is WASTED: “These garlic bites are like a little prick in my mouth.” And then everyone LOSES THEIR SHIT ENTIRELY and the dick jokes are flying left and right. I will not dignify them by repeating the rest of them; I may curse a blue streak, but I have my decorum.
Beardie’s got a mushroom-fest with kale, which Portman proclaims “manly.”
10:37: Next week: Top Chef reunion dinner instead of a regular Top Chef, and there appears to be a FABIO!! vs. Marcel showdown. I was one of the few who liked Marcel, but you DO NOT stir some shit with FABIO!! Because I? Will not brook that.
10:40: Pointless interlude: Beardie is not one to turn down food: being fat is a “personal choice.” Also, he once ate ten thousand chicken wings at a sitting. And he is adorable, even his bald spot.
I’m not just saying that because I’m married to a bald guy with a giant beard who loves pork and chicken wings. TOTAL COINCIDENCE.
10:44: Top 3: Brother Michael, NJH and Beardie. NJH is so excited to be here, he’s literally licking his lips.
10:45: Natalie Portman just called Michael a cokehead on national TV. Maybe she does have a personality.
Kevin’s kale was “special.” There was something very Drew Barrymore about that.
10:46: WINNER: BEARDIE! I’ll say it again, just give him the damn prize.
He wins a suite of GE appliances. His awesome reaction: “Oh…okay.”
10:47: Michael could have made Beardie’s dish the “second year of [his] apprenticeship.” It was just a “pile of mushrooms on some puree.” Because he is a graceful loser, and not a GIANT DOUCHE.
Bottom 3: Weed, Robin and Shiv.
10:48: Gail, incredulously, to Weed: “You know leeks aren’t protein, right?” He still seems not to be getting it. What’s so hard? Cutting a vegetable into the shape of a fish does not turn it into a fish.
Robin talks about what she did, and all the things she’d never done before, and it’s all a lot of talking and very very fast and also a LOT of talking.
10:50: Gail, you are not a long-necked woman. As a sister of yours, I must tell you with candor: you can not wear the giant poofy sleeves, you just can’t.
Shiv is crashing and burning and pretty much says “Thanks, bye,” before she actually loses. It’s unfortunate that it’s too late in the season for me to change anyone’s nicknames. Company policy. Also I’ll confuse myself.
10:52: Is “whatever whatever” an actual phrase, or just something idiotic that Weed says? I’m guessing the latter.
I gotta say, Natalie Portman seemed boring at dinner but is acquitting herself well as a judge.
10:57: The final knifing: No one understanding why Weed couldn’t cook a leek in 2 hours, Robin served a hot mess and Shiv served a garnish.
JESUS LOVES ME AFTER ALL!
10:58: You know he HATES that he went before Robin, and I LOVE it. The schadenfreude, she is strong in me tonight. It’s pulsating, like a living thing.
NJH is so pissed that Robin is still there that he kicks something weakly. What a statement!
NEXT WEEK: Toby Young is back, and he’s still not funny.