Who decided to air the intro of the next Top Chef on the same night as the Masters’ finale, thus requiring me to do this for TWO AND A HALF HOURS on a day when we cranked up the Abilification process and I feel drunk and my brain is working at 2/3 speed and let’s face it, it normally don’t work so great? So, you know, bottoms up. Let’s do this thing.
*Please note: this is all going by very fast and my proofreader had the temerity to go out drinking tonight, so you’ll have to give me a little leeway until after Masters is done.
It’s gonna be a long night. I’m going to choose to blame Mike Chiarello for it. I don’t know how he did it, but I know it was him.
9:00: Seventeen chefs. Awesome. So let’s get it out of the way: pretty much everyone is going to be “That Guy.” Also, if you’ve been a James Beard nominee, how do you even get on this show?
9:01: One of ’em seems to look like Scallop Jamie, so that’s what I’m going to call her. I already remember that name, I don’t have room for new ones.
One of the prizes is $100K worth of kitchen equipment. Do they also get a house in which to put it?
9:02: Okay, let’s try to figure out some people:
Kevin. MIT dropout. Beard not nearly as awesome as my husband’s.
Preeti. Short hair. We learn nothing.
Ron. He’s from Haiti. Boat person. The effort of talking seems to be giving him heart problems.
9:03: Eve is from Michigan. Really, from Michigan. Michigan.
Mattin is from France. We can only hope he is the new FABIO!! But he’s wearing a neckerchief, and FABIO!! would never do that in a non-ironic way.
And I’m already lost with these new people. So let’s go with “Bunch of Guys from Atlanta” and “Round Headed Guy Who Wears Shirts With Meat and/or Bacon.”
9:04: Ash is gay. Also, he loves men. Didn’t we get over this with the Rainbow Coalition last season?
There are several women with lots of tattoos and piercings.
Jennifer is the chef at an Eric Ripert restaurant. Again: Why are you on this show? What more do you want? Oh right, money. And you’re a fame whore.
9:05: More people show up, including brothers who I instantly dislike. They seem to enjoy cooking, yet only do it to show the other one up. Yay for scapegoats!
Some guy named Mike is officially “Guy Who Giggles Like a Little Girl.”
We’ve also got a “Woman Who Doesn’t Brush Her Hair.”
9:08: QUICKFIRE: Get Padma drunk enough to become less monotone.
Kidding! It’s a mis-en-place relay, which I always love. They split into teams, except one person who gets to sit this out and immunity for no reason.
Cue Showgirls, also for no apparent reason! HURL.
9:10: Opening clams. Cleaning prawns. Dealing with lobster. Cutting prime rib. We are in Vegas, after all. Food from people who do a good job goes to the Bellagio, the rest goes to Circus Circus.
Those are places, right?
9:11: Overly Tan Guy: “There’s no way a girl should be at the same [clam shucking] level as me.” Suck my left tit, Overly Tan Guy. You’ve gotten the brothers off the hook, you are now my scapegoat.
9:12: Mattin can destroy a lobster faster than I can make a crack about Kelly Choi’s head.
9:13: Holy shit, that’s a lot of meat. While they’re butchering the prime rib, their teams are cheering them on and if you weren’t watching the screen, you would totally think people in the next hotel room were having loud sex.
A TWEEST! Winning team has to do a cook off, winner gets $15K. So now they all hate each other, including the Eric Ripert woman, who does absolutely nothing to hide the evil that seeps from her pores like an athlete in those creepy gatorade commercials.
I dub her “Shiv.”
9:16: This season is making me tired, and there’s still an hour to go because of this stupid show and their stupid SEVENTEEN contestants, 5 of whom remain “Guy/Gal I Don’t Think I’ve Ever Seen.” I know we’re in Vegas, but it doesn’t mean the whole season has to be all Fear and Loathing.
9:19: Immune lady can trade it in for a chance at the $15K. She doesn’t. Overly Tan Guy: “That’s one less old lady I have to worry about.” Note: “old lady” is 43. Your are THIRTY FOUR.
If he’d accidentally fall into an industrial-size food processor, that would be one less misogynist dickweed I’d have to worry about.
Each person has to work with the item they worked with in the Quickfire. French guy had the lobster, lucky bastard. Shiv is making a “seveech.” I assume she means ceviche. Other Woman made shrimp and grits, so I’m predisposed to like her.
9:21: Other Woman’s name is Jesse. Good to know. Not that it matters, because Shiv wins despite the “seveech.” Which I’m sure will temper her ego and generate some good will.
9:23:ELIMINATION: Cook a dish based on a vice you display, still in teams.. Does assholery count? If there is a “douchebag” team, this show will totally have redeemed itself.
Immune woman can pick the team; she goes with blue because “She wants to be a winner” and not because “she gets off on the risk of being on a team where one of her teammates might actually try to injure her.”
A Showgirl is gonna get pushed down the stairs and there ain’t no Kyle McLachlan to save her, that’s all I’m saying.
9:27: POINTLESS INTERLUDE: Fat people in bathing suits are funny! Because they are fat! And mocking them is totally socially acceptable! Ha ha!
9:29: Commercials: Every time I see Tom Colicchio talking about good taste and shilling for diet coke, I want to poke someone’s eye out, preferably Tom Colicchio’s. You’re disrespecting the high fructose corn syrup that gives its life for regular coke, Tom.
9:32: Mike is at Whole Foods and pushes “Preeti or Perti or whatever her name is, I don’t care.” Whereas I am NOT at Whole Foods, and care very deeply about shoving Mike (Overly Tan Guy). Hard.
They get to pick their own vices. If anyone is honest enough with themselves to go with douchebag, they get my eternal respect.
9:34: One of the tattooed women will become “Tattooed Latina Lady” until I learn her name. She’s whipping out the wheat gluten. Whoa, there! Don’t play the wheat gluten card so early in the season.
9:35: Bearded Guy is doing “procrastination.” Maybe he won’t cook anything, and then cook something shitty at the last minute. Points for really living your theme?
9:36: I still hate Tan Guy more, but the brothers are really not helping their case.
Some lady is interpreting “vices” as her food vices, not a conceptual one. But she’s got bacon, donuts and beer, so two thumbs up!
9:38: Hey, there’s a guy named Hector! He cooks with cojones. Not literally.
Every time Tan Guy opens his mouth, something vile spills out and I want to shove a pork loin down his throat.
Heh, procrastination guy WAITED TOO LONG. Come on, throw him a bone.
9:39: Some woman named Eve is overcooking fish. Immune lady runs out of time to sauce her plate. General plating mayhem ensues. I don’t hear Tan Guy, but I assume he says something offensive, or pinches someone’s ass, or something.
You know if he’d gone into business he’d be the constant-string-of-affairs-with-young-hot-secretaries guy. And he would call them secretaries.
9:43: Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant is very, very shiny.
9:44: Tan Guy’s doing his filthy mouth, he’s got fish that looks like “the soap my mom would wash my mouth out with.” Despite ending his sentence with a preposition damn, that’s cute.
Other vices: cigars, arrogance, drunkenness. I feel like a lot of people are going with that last one.
Someone deep-fried a steak.
9:46: They like Tan Guy. I knew it.
Next team’s vices: Booze, cigars, alcohol, booze, and also booze. And the Jew picks pork. L’chaim!
Someone made steak and potatoes. So does another guy. Really go for it on the first challenge, guys,
9:48: There’s also some pork and fish. Again, the fish is doing well. Again, it was made by someone I already can’t stand, Shiv.
Colicchio can’t get past Jesse’s dry chicken. DISRESPECT. That chicken died for you, Jesse.
9:49: Next, we’ve got procrastination, temper, letting the past go, and the bacon/chocolate/donut lady.
We’re going to hear about this whole Haiti boat thing a LOT, aren’t we? Not to minimize it. But shut up and cook.
9:51: The wheat gluten is not going over well. Also, Wolfgang Puck threw a donut. Not a euphemism.
9:52: Next, plastic surgery (Taking someone else’s vice? Automatic FAIL), booze, being “too complex,” and procrastination.
9:53: Okay, Puck is totally smashed. “This looks like chicken testicles.” All red faced. Throw the lamb chop, Wolfgang! Throw the lamb chop!
Colicchio is the one to pick up on the rack of lamb/plastic surgery connection. He thinks it’s funny. He would.
9:58: Round-faced Bacon Guy thinks winning is important today. He’s obviously seen this show before.
First up: Ron, Mike, Kevin and Jennifer. All right! Four names potentially learned! But they’ll always be Tan Guy and Shiv to me
10:00: Okay, Ron is Haitian Boat Guy. Yes, I know that’s awful. No, I don’t care. Kevin is Guy Whose Beard is Not As Awesome as Brian’s.
WINNER: Beardy McBeard!
Losers: Hector, Jesse, Eve and someone else who I don’t know because I couldn’t understand Ron’s accent.
10:02: The deep-fried steak is not going over well, although Puck seems to like Hector’s explanation.
Eve “tends toward big, bold flavors” in the meekest, I’m-about-to-cry voice ever. Baby Jesus save me from the cognitive dissonance. Tom “My main problem is actually that everything you tried to cook sucked.”
10:04: Gail: “Using seitan was not your problem, it was that you didn’t cook it in a way that tasted good.” She’s like the Phil Liggett of this show: “He knows how to turn the pedals quickly!”
Puck thinks Jesse will have a good dish when she figures out the kinks, that’s gotta feel good.
10:07: Fine, you didn’t like the chile relleno. We get it. It sucked. We understand. Stop kicking the dead horse. Et tu, Wolfgang? Et tu? This is why you will never be Jacques Pepin.
10:11: THE BOOTING: All the people on the block are there because they executed dishes that were pretty much the opposite of their vices.
And…wheat gluten girl, AKA Tattooed Latina Lady, is out.
There are a few minutes left to go, but I need a pee break so:
THIS SEASON ON TOP CHEF: Needless drama!
Want to wade in deeper? Blog Well Done‘s got Fantasy Top Chef!