Hung joins us this week, as do live chickens. Toby Young continues his stint as guest judge, and it’s a toss-up whether his pithy remarks will continue to amuse me, or whether he will Bourdain-ify before my disappointed eyes.
10:00: Last week: Jamie won and we were all kinda disappointed that Ariane didn’t beat her again. Because this is Top Chef, not Top Scallop. Melissa finally went home despite finally showing her true colors. Those colors? Watery and with an unpleasant odor. And Leah and Hosea are JUST FRIENDS despite Bravo’s insistence otherwise.
10:01: Quickfire: Hung is here. With a big “fishtank” behind him. Which is actually a pile of processed and canned pantry foods. In honor of Hung’s quickness, they only have 15 minutes to make something edible. Hosea and Fabio nearly come to blows over a can of artichokes.
There are more potted meats than I normally like in my presence.
Radhika doesn’t like to use products like these, products that “housewives” use. Aaaand 50% of their demographic is gone. Way to go!
10:02: Spam hording! Jeff is making a whole bunch of shit, surprising no one.
I can’t remember Hung’s last name and I keep wanting to call him “William Hung,” which I know isn’t right.
10:07: There is a lot of soup. With spam. Soup with spam.
There’s also turkey spam. This does not raise my opinion of spam is not raised.
10:08: Hung doesn’t like Jamie. SUCK ON IT. Unfortunately, he does like Stefan and he wins. His soup is “something I would eat at 3 in the morning.” That’s praise? There are a lot of things I would eat at 3 in the morning that are shameful, shameful things. Don’t get too excited, Stefan.
10:10: Elimination Challenge: Team challenge. They’re broken up into teams by protein, and each team will cook family-style for 16.
Ariane is stuck in a Hosea and Leah sandwich. Stefan is teamed with Jamie. Apparently their love is as dead as my feelings about spam.
I know more than one of you is going to write in about how you like spam, spam isn’t that bad, spam is economical, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam. I don’t care. Spam is only 1 step above scrapple, and scrapple is below a bar of soap in terms of things I want to eat.
10:14: Ricky Gervais on Inside the Actor’s Studio? The commercial is better than most full episodes.
10:15: Carla cannot create amongst the friction of Stefan and Jamie. Her spirit guides need some spirit Xanax.
10:16: Jamie-Stefan throwdown! He is not changing the menu! Someone is a douchebag! Everyone is running away! It is anticlimactic so I have to use lots of exclamation points to make it more exciting!!
Everyone is worried about making things seasonal enough. My question: what season? We all know it’s summer, we all know they’re pretending it’s winter, I give up. I need my own spirit Xanax. Or, you know, a real one.
10:18: The country scenery clues Fabio in that they are not going to Whole Foods. My boy is sharp as a tack.
And they’re going to…Stone Barn at Blue Hills! Dan Barber! Who wants to take me to dinner there? I will totally say nice things about you on TNS. The cheftestants get to cook there, for the farmers. I’m looking forward to it, but am a little worried about the potential for offal.
10:21: Livestock. The lambs are adorable, as is the dog tending them. OH MY GOD THOSE PIGS ARE HUGE.
Jamie, bonding with the animals: “Hi, chicken!” They are total BFFs.
10:25: Hateful random interpersonal interlude: Stefan, with Jamie, Carla and all the female chickens: “I’m the only cock here.”
The jokes, they write themselves.
10:29: Everyone’s readjusting menus frantically. Radhika: “I was going to do a bread pudding, but there were no figs, so that was out.” Her bread pudding apparently has a different base than mine.
Ariane is working with some truly daunting hunks of lamb.
10:31: By “working with” I mean “beating the shit out of with a pot.”
He asks team drama who their leader is and Carla nominates Stefan. That seems to be all Colicchio needs to know, and he walks away.
Colicchio: “Once something’s on the bone, I don’t know why you’d want to remove it.” Again: I’m not even needed here!
10:32: Those are some S & M looking lamb roasts.
10:35: The colors of all the produce are beyond gorgeous. Just stunning. I want to decorate my living room with those tomatoes.
Team pork: used caul fat. Caul fat icks the shit out of me but damn, that’s some good looking pork.
Team chicken: is it just me, or did they spend most of the time forming the tomato salad into perfect little cubes?
10:38: Colicchio is going on again with honoring the protein, like with Eugene’s fish last week. You know what, Colicchio? If you want to honor the protein, DON’T KILL THE ANIMAL.
Toby Young is relatively restrained. Or maybe he’s just starting to get to me and I’m tuning him out.
10:40: Carla is like the dessert queen of Top Chef. I’m totally making a fruit tart with a thyme crust.
10:44: Judge’s Table: Jamie, Stefan and Princess Shangri-la are called in – they’re on top. Suddenly they’re all friends. Or they’re all drunk. Winner: EVERYONE! All the joy of winner, none of the personal glory yay!
10:46: Heading in for the shaft: Everyone else.
10:47: Team Pig: Toby asks, wisely, why take the fat off the pig? THAT’S WHY WE LOVE PIG. Radhika basically grilled corn for three hours. She is a waste of a human being.
Team Lamb: Dan points out, wisely, that baby lamb is already tender, why beat it to death? There’s also a way too extended discussion about rolling and tying.
I sense a bus coming, and Ariane is about to cross the street.
10:51: Toby wants to have sex with his meat.
AAARGH. I feel so useless.
10:53: So who goes home? The woman who dishonored the lamb but has done really well in the past, or the people who stood around being useless? Personally, my vote is always for the useless. Trim the fat, I say. Unless we’re talking about pork; in that case dear god, don’t trim that fat.
10:56: Final judging. Radhika, you were useless. Jeff, you de-fatted pork. Fabio, you killed the ravioli. But Team Pork is not the loser, because Jeff honored the tomatoes. Sigh.
Hosea and Leah, you let your teammate flounder. Ariane, you dishonored the lamb and brought shame upon your household and ancestors.
Ariane, pack your knives and go, but not before you commit ritual haru-kiri with them to atone for your actions against the lamb. Only then will Colicchio be satisfied.
10:58: We knew it from the start: Being the meat in a Leah-Hosea sandwich is not a good place to be.
NEXT WEEK: Restaurant Wars! More Hosea and Leah crap. It’s officially old, as if it weren’t already. And we can assume that Stefan will continue to be a dickweed.