Tonight: MARTHA.  I’m trying to keep an open mind. I’ve been scared of her ever since I saw a Christmas episode of her show where she covered the WHOLE SIDE of her house with chicken wire and painstakingly wove evergreen boughs into it until the the entire side was covered.  You know, for a festive look.  That is not the behavior of a sane woman.  That is the behavior of a woman who has torched Santa’s workshop out of jealous rage and had all the elves sent down to Bedford in shipping containers to spend the season making homemade ornaments out of twigs and hand-spun silk.

10:00: Last week: That was totally Gail’s real bridal shower.  Eugene fucks up rice, but it’s Daniel, who is even dumber than his beard would suggest, who gets the boot. What the fuck is up with his football metaphor at the end?  Who is the ref?  Who is the opposing team? Thank god I don’t really care.

So far, the show’s done a good job of getting rid of people that (1) suck or (2) I dislike. Keep it up, show!

10:01: Did you know that Eugene didn’t go to culinary school?  I had NO IDEA because the show NEVER told me.  And Fabio and Stefan are European? WHAT SHOW HAVE I BEEN WATCHING?

Hosea’s dad has cancer and Hosea’s not with him to be on the show. The show is the light in Hosea’s life. Harbinger?

10:04: It’s Christmas in July!  Quickfire: Create a delicious holiday meal using only one pot.  Radhika usually uses 10 “cooking vessels” so she’s a little nervous.

10:05:  MARTHA. She cooks in one pot all the time.  And then her staff cooks in a bajillion pots. She looks especially foreboding this evening, in her black-and-gray sweater and cardigan, like maybe she’s just come from castigating the elves for not glittering the ornaments quickly enough.

Like Alec Baldwin in that SNL sketch riffing on Glengarry, Glen Ross: ALWAYS BE COBBLING. “How did you get here? Well I rode here on a talking reindeer.”

10:07: Lots of people are doing the cook-and-dump with their single pots, so they’re not actually cooking the whole meal in one pot at the same time.  I’m not sure how I feel about that.  By “not sure how I feel” I mean “bullshit.”

Fabio’s nonna used to make him stir the polenta to keep him out of trouble when he was six.  And my heart breaks a little.

10:12: Cornstarch is a LOSER’S SHORTCUT.

I’m so glad Hosea’s paella is good, because it’s looking f’ing fantastic.

10:15: Jeff made a “potato risotto.”  That’s not risotto, it’s diced potatoes. Also, it kinda looks like library paste with some brussels sprouts on top, and neither of those are things I like to eat.  Martha makes a face, like Jeff is one of the errant elves and she wishes she’d left him in the burning workshop.  Her only comment: “Pungent.”

10:16: On the whole, I’m a little disappointed with the overall level of civility.  I hope Martha is more scathing in her comments, because no one is crying or anything.

Yes, Eugene, a lot of housewives use cornstarch in their cooking.  They are also not being judged by Martha Stewart.

10:18: Winner: Ariane!

She seriously needs to start watching out for Jamie, her “kitchen friend” who tastes her food and offers feedback.  You may want to find a new taster.

10:19: Elimination: Cater a holiday party for amFAR, for 250 guests.

And then the Harlem Gospel Choir comes in, which makes TOTAL SENSE. They are singing “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” which has to somehow inspire each of their dishes.

10:22: Carla’s mind can not compute the enormity of this task.  She’ll need to find some clay so she can fashion helper golems to assist her in making this happen.

Bye, Harlem Gospel Choir!  We hardly knew ye.

10:26: Interlude: the chefs sing “The Twelve Days.”  They are not good.

The chefs talk about what they do with leftovers.  Carla likes a meatloaf slider with mojo sauce.  She pronounces the “J” in mojo.  I need to learn how to make this sauce, it would be useful to be able to control my mojo levels with a squeeze bottle.

10:31: Jeff’s got “10 Lords a’ Leaping.”  Upon not finding frogs’ legs, he goes with cheese, saying he’ll “leap from cheese to cheese.”  Sure.  Sure you will.

Also: every time they put up the name of the place where he normally works, I read “The Dildo Club.” I know you all do too.

10:35: Hosea’s planning smoky flavors to represent the pipers piping, and literally smokes the kitchen out as he sears his pork.

And everyone shoves their piping hot food into the fridge.  FOREBODING.

10:37: The knife-filled watermelon on the house kitchen table.  Why?

They arrive at the kitchen: one of the fridges was left open, and Hosea could literally kill 250 people with his food, and not just because he sucks.  Radhika lost 40 ducks – not a metaphor.

10:39: Teamwork. Civility. It’s a Christmas miracle!  Except for the producers, who you know are SO PISSED at the level of camraderie.

Oooh, who is the woman with the light brownish curly hair they keep showing in the previews? I can’t for the life of me remember her name, but I remember that she’s one hot bitch when it comes to food.

10:45: Michelle Bernstein!  That’s it.  And just as much of a bitch as I remember.  Why can’t we boot Simmons and have her on full time?

Jamie cares more about amFAR, because she’s gay. No comment.

Dear Natasha Richardson:  No one would have minded if you’d bought that dress one size bigger, I’m sure.  Love, Me.

10:48: Can someone explain Eugene’s story about the golden rings to me?  Is it a real, meaningful story, or some kind of fever dream I had? Michelle is NOT impressed (Bernstein, but also me).

Oh Fabio, you made a heavy, greasy crab cake – one of my favorite foods.

10:50: Michelle Bernstein hates EVERYTHING. And I think that’s why I love her.

Hosea: tell me more about what you’ve put in your pipe.  Everyone loves his pork, though, and he’s totally shilling for his own joint back in Boulder.  The chicks are digging on him.

10:53: He’s got competition for both food and women with Jeff.  It’s because they don’t know him and his immobile face.

Natasha isreally trying to make me believe that it’s Christmas.  She is failing.  I thought she was a better actress than that.

10:56: Yes, I get it.  Benjamin Button.  He was born old!  Brad Pitt with lots of makeup.  It’s the movie that will change all our lives.  And now that I get it, please stop running the commercial every 12 seconds.

10:58: Judges’ Table, the top: Stefan, Jeff, Hosea and Radikha.

The judges loved everything about Jeff’s salad except…the cheese.  Hee.

Winner: Hosea!  But everyone gets a prize.  You know, Christmas miracle and all.  But the prize is just a book.  So it’s a pretty minor league miracle.


11:03: Judges’ Table, the Misfit Toys: Jamie (ha!), Eugene, Melissa.

Tom, about Eugene’s fish: “The fish never had a chance.”  Eugene stands by his dish 1000%.  You know who else did that? Daniel.

11:06:  In the deliberations no one likes anything and Tom wants to give the whole group a drubbing. (Is that a word?)  But Tom pretty much always wants to give the whole group a drubbing, so I can’t take it seriously.

Drubbing.  Drubbing.  Drubbing.  What do you think?

11:12: Drubbing:  “You don’t win with a deviled egg.”  Rules to live by.

In the spirit of “Christmas” no one is going home.  Happy July!  Hugs all around.  Melissa decides she’ll have to step it up in the competition, which she’ll do by “cooking better food.”  Stealthy!

11:14:  Next week: a cooking free for all!  Someone (Jamie?) is making scallops again.  Fabio: “This is Top Chef, not Top Scallop.”