BOILERPLATE: Have you heard? I’m a finalist in the 2009 Bloggies. Best-Kept Secret Blog! No shitting. I’ve added a new page to the site specifically to showcase my best work pander for votes.

Tonight: Top Chef all-stars return, where all-stars means “we still haven’t been able to get the kinds of jobs we think we deserve, because we’ve embarrassed ourselves on national television.” Which means that we’ll be subjected to the likes of Andrew and Spike. Let us all pray to the baby Jesus that Ilan is not involved.

I did think I spied Season 1’s Miguel in the preview, though. Miguel is responsible for what is possibly my favorite line in Top Chef history, a line that is still routinely used around my house: (in reference to Tiffany): “You’re like a snake. Sssssssss. (making rattlesnake fang motion with hand).” Genius. See you at 10.

WARNING: Both my ancient computer and our internet connection are a little whack, so this might be less like “liveblogging” and more like “15 minutes after the fact-blogging.”

Last Week:  Carla sent the love out with her inedible desserts. THAT IS HER BELIEF, Tom. Fabio was predictably slick as front-of-the-house guy.  Leah and Hosea I’m ignoring entirely because I am DONE DONE DONE.

10:01: Okay, just one thing: Leah “guessed” they kissed.  You “guess”?  You can’t “guess” it happened because IT WAS CAUGHT ON FILM.

Okay, I was going to go on about that, but I stopped myself.  Serenity now.

10:03: Ooh, the judge is the guy who just opened Scarpetta, I’ve been wanting to go there SO BADLY.  Because if you want good Italian, you go to a restaurant opened by a guy named Cohen. I joke! I love the Jews. And I do want to go to Scarpetta.

Quickfire: There’s some kind of convoluted cross-referencing board to decide who cooks what, it’s all very “Price is Right.”  Plingo!

Fabio has to cook vegetables: “There is no reason to eat vegetables where there is meat and fish around?”  Indeed.

10:05: They all have different food groups to work with, plus oats.  Because this?  Is the Quaker Oats Quickfire Challenge!  My Official Goodyear Tire Ass is getting REALLY TIRED of this.

Did Hosea just pronounce wienerschnitzel with a “W” instead of a “V”, like the dangle?  Heh.

10:06: Carla: “Jeff cannot quiet the creative monkeys.”  Man, I can’t even see the creative monkeys. One of us is really missing something.  Or on something.

10:08: Does Fabio secretly have a mushy little heart?  Because when he thought he was being made fun of, I thought I saw a little red-rimmed eye there.

I can’t lie, all these things look really gross.  Judge to Leah: “Why did you choose to use bacon?” “I just really like bacon.”  That’s the only real answer to that question, is it not?

10:11: Jeff: “Sometimes doing too much can put you behind.”  And sometimes I like to read Pottery Barn catalogs on the shitter.  E.g., EVERY DAY.  When will you learn?

Winner: Stefan.  Dammit!  I’m still rooting for dark horse Carla, because it seems like my boy Fabio is going down.

10:12: Fabio: “We’ve been told there’s a present in the Stew Room for us…a dog?”  Seriously, people.  Seriously. There’s only so much I can take.

10:13: Elimination Challenge: Top Chef Bowl! Returning contestants.  Andrew, Josie, Andrea, Spike, Camille, Nikki “the human pasta machine” and Miguel.  Jamie is intimidated. I’m not sure why, because half of these people? Completely sucked.  Who the fuck is Camille?  She’s like the Melissa of whatever season she was on – and I can barely remember Melissa, who was on not 2 weeks ago.

10:18: Cook off, based on the regional cuisine of an NFL team. How (not) exciting!  Each side will field one player for each NFL team.

Like the quickfire, this all seems needlessly complex.  Can’t we just cook some food? And I’m not just saying that because Bluehost is acting up and freaking me out while I’m trying to write this. All I know is, if this show runs to 75 minutes, heads will roll.  Hopefully Spike’s, if I can find a way to get close to him quickly enough.

10:21:  Dramatic twist!  Any non-winning player is up for elimination.

10:24:  Spike is surprised that all the tension is back, even though he’s not actually in the competition anymore.  Also back?  The hats.  The hateful, infernal hats.

Apparently Andrew’s culinary boner is gone, because he’s just threatened to urinate on the bodies of the Season 5 contestants and I don’t think you can have both of those things at the same time.

If Andrea beats Stefan I will run naked through the street wearing nothing but cabbage leaves.  I totally will.  You are so glad you don’t live where I live, because even though it will be joyful, that is not something you necessarily want to witness.

10:29: Useless interlude.  This time, there’s too much Spike.  AND he calls my Fabio the wrong name.  Interlude, FAIL.

10:33: Apparently, mornings are stressful when you’re in a reality show competition.

Fabio just called his bed a “bunky bed.” I COULD JUST DIE.  He wants to win because his mamma is sick and he could use the prize money.  Therefore, he is getting the boot.

10:36: Shockingly, the scoring rules for the “Top Chef Bowl” are also needlessly complex, so I stopped paying attention.

10:37:  Round 1: Nikki v. Leah, New York.  KICK HER ASS, NIKKI. Whoops, I mean, good luck everyone!

What is more New York than chicken livers?  Come on, now.

10:39:  Round 2: Hosea v. Miguel, Seattle.  They’re smack talking.  “Sssss.”  Hosea sweeps, whatever that means.

Is Andrew taunting live scorpions?

10:41:  Round 3: Carla v. Andrew, New Orleans. I want to smack Andrew’s fake accent off his face.  Carla’s putting the “quick love” into her gumbo.  That kinda thing usually goes for about $15 in the alley behind the movie theater, doesn’t it?  Keep it safe, that’s all I’m saying.

Is there a woman in the audience who is not wearing pants?  A FOOTBALL JERSEY IS NOT A DRESS.

10:43:  Round 4: Stefan v. Andrea, Texas. FINGERS CROSSED.

Shizznit!  Stefan, you have been pwned, and I HATE using that word, but I am so excited that I will bust it out here, yes I will.  BRING ME THE FUCKING CABBAGE, BECAUSE I AM ON MY WAY.

10:50:  Round 5: Jamie v. Camille, San Francisco.

Ariane is the one wearing no pants!  Lady’s got gams.  Jamie takes all the points over “Camille Who?”

10:51:  Round 6:  Jeff v. Josie, Miami.  Battle ceviche.

What Jeff has no quad of dishes with a trio of garnishes and 17 cocktails?  There appears to be a single dish on the plate.  And yet, the judges still think there were too many things going on on Jeff’s plate.  Brother cannot catch a break.

Jeff would have been embarassed to serve what Josie served.  Not so embarassing? Winning.

10:54:  Round 7:  Fabio v. Spike, Wisconsin. I want Fabio to win as much as I wanted Stefan to lose, but the editing monkeys have not been telegraphing good things.

Fabio overcooked his venison: dishonor.

But the crowd loves him!  Because he is the Fabio!  But he’s still probably going home.

10:57:  This episode IS running long.  Because we needed a fucking Plingo! board and football helmets instead of just cooking some damn food.  Not that this is a cooking competition or anything.

11:00: Judges Table: Jamie, Carla, Leah and Hosea.  Jamie manages to somehow look smug while also wearing a glittery gold headband, and I’m having a lot of trouble reconciling that.

Toby Young tasted Carla’s love.  That’s an extra $5, Toby.

11:02: If Toby has to eat food while watching football, he likes to dispense with utensils.  And then he throws the bones and scraps on the ground for the servants and royal hounds to dispose of.

WINNER: CARLA!  She won Super Bowl tickets, and I swear to Jesus, I thought her eyes here going to come out of her head.  For real, not in a cartoon-character way.

11:05: Losers:  Stefan, Jeff, Fabio.

Fabio, don’t talk back.  Don’t talk back.  Don’t talk back. Shutting up has always been your strong point.  Do that now.

11:06: Jeff thinks he should win because he did more.  Apparently, he was thrown by having to serve food on plastic plates.

Padma thinks Stefan’s salad was intolerable.  But he’s still not going home.

Wait, Jeff pre-cooked the shrimp for his ceviche?  This is what you miss when you’re typing.  So you didn’t make ceviche, you made poached shrimp.  AND you’re wigged out by plastic plates.

A lifeline for my Fabio?

11:12: LOSER: JEFF!  A reprieve for my boy!  Who then sucks up a little with some crap about second chances, but it was somehow still charming.

But who will share Fabio’s bunky bed?

Jeff thinks he will be haunted by this loss for at least a decade.  He is the Dave Mustaine to Top Chef’s Metallica.

NEXT WEEK: ERIC RIPERT! ERIC RIPERT!  Everyone is terrified!