topchefmasters1And then there were seven.

Carmen was sent packing back to her (presumably) tiny house last week. Who will be next? How much weed will Jonathan Waxman smoke? Who will cut him or herself on Susur’s cheekbones? Will Rick Moonen ever be vaguely happy about anything? How many times will a Sex and the City 2 commercial make me want to put out my eyes?

Also: Hank Azaria! W to the O to the OT.

RICK MOONEN IS TALKING HERE. That clip will never die.

LAST WEEK: Wedding Wars. Jody Adams took it. Rick Moonen was dour. Jonathan Waxman was a ninja, and Tony was an utter non-presence.

10:02: QUICKFIRE: Cooking dishes inspired by Simpsons characters. I’m glad the see Chief Wiggam, but am a little sad there’s no Ralph. “Oh boy, sleep! That’s where I’m a viking!” Also: Hank Azaria, who does practically every voice that Harry Shearer does not.

10:04: We’ve finally seen what it takes to make Rick Moonen happy: The Simpsons. Apparently he hasn’t been watching the last few seasons.

10:07: Susur is making edible Marges. It’s freaking me out a little.

Yes, that’s what being a Top Chef is all about: making a comeback after Susur screws all your shit up.

Apparently, Moe says “millet.” Because Moe is part bird, or possibly a baboon.

10:08: “Fried bacon honey pizza dough.” If that doesn’t say Wiggam, what does? For Ralph, it would have been a plate of worms and a raw potato.

10:10: Yes, Rick, we get it. It’s a sloppy D’oh! That’s humorous! You made a funny! Now move on.

Waxman serves spaghetti and a grilled cheese sandwich for Bart, and that dinner would totally make me happy. Suddenly my bowl of Special K is no longer looking so gourmet.

10:12: Aaand Moonen is back to dour.

I think the Apu voice has to be my favorite. “It’s Sergeant Pepper’s lonely hearts club band. I hope you will enjoy…my show.”

10:14: Commercials. Times I want to put my eyes out because of Sex and the City 2 Count: 1

10:18: Other things that make Rick happy: winning.

10:19: ELIMINATION CHALLENGE: Is the taxidermy really necessary? My vote: no. Also, is goat really that exotic? My vote: also no. They draw pot lids to see what order they’ll choose their vile foodstuffs.

What makes black chicken black? Also, why does the stuffed kangaroo look like it’s about to claw someone’s eyes out?

10:22: Susur better rock this shit out.

Jody Adams: A woman who cannot resist free cheese.

10:23: The ingredients are not speaking to Waxman today. He’s getting the slow tinkly music of doom.

There’s something slightly gross about presenting these ingredients as yucky, isn’t there? Now that I think about it. I mean, for some people, they’re just food.

Although I still think they’re yucky. But what do I know? I ate cereal for dinner.

10:28: Commercials. Times I want to put my eyes out: 2, but this time it’s because of Andy Cohen. I also want to stick forks in my ears.

10:29: Foreskin. Heh.

Marcus is using the classic rule, when in doubt, make sausage. Wise.

Rick Moonen seems angry at his black chicken for being what it is.

10:31: Waxman, on duck tongues: “They look like duck penises.” But they taste like…wait for it: chicken! So he can fry them!

10:32: Really, Moonen? The confidence level in the kitchen is shaky? Maybe you should talk to Susur and Marcus, they might beg to differ.

Tony is using a second class rule: braise that shit.

10:34: I heard “activa” as “activia,” and thought, whoa. Get out the Depends.

Marcus sagely explains that cooking is not as big a deal as having your mother die of tuberculosis. I’m sorry, and yet: no pity points.

10:36: Waxman’s rock climbing story is like a fucking zen koan. Or the world’s worst Chinese fortune cookie. “Trust in your foot.”

Coming up: unBalaban’s tie matches Gael’s hat, so all is right with the world.

10:38: Commercials. For every bucket of heart attack you buy from KFC, they’ll give money to cancer research. Cognitive. Dissonance.

I would drive two hours out of my way to get away from that talking horse.

10:42: Wherein I take an immediately dislike to Andrew Zimmern.

I’m not even going to try to keep track of what everyone made. Rick treated his protein respectfully, with unBalaban channeling Colicchio.

Zimmern makes the fine point that these foods are normal for some people. Brian: “Why are you nodding, Kelly Choi? You don’t eat.”

10:44: Andrew Zimmern’s goat story: shut up.

10:46: Is “subterfuged” a word? And if so, can it be applied to monkfish?

Andrew Zimmern expounding on geoduck: shut up.

10:47: Waxman’s proteins apparently did speak to him, and they brought him down. They’re not loving him.

Brian: “His looked gooood. Because fried shit is good.”

10:49: Andrew Zimmern talking about anything: shut up. And your bad metaphor-loving friends, too.

These are all master chefs, yes? Should they really have been THAT flummoxed? I call shenanigans.

10:52: Commercials. I take the time to check the comments thread…which doesn’t exist. I wonder if the ratings mirror my comments? Dang, I can’t wait for regular Top Chef to come back.

Interlude: If Rick can’t have fun, Rick does NOT want to do it. Brian: “People LIKE him?”

10:54: Does anyone really use the amount of mayo people are shown using in the commercials? Do the actors have to purge after the shoot.

I note that it’s getting late, and that means this episode is going to run long. At least they had a good reason, right? Oh, wait.

10:57: CRITIC’S TABLE. Every time I see Tony, I get the feeling that he’s a wax figuring that’s melting.

10:59: unBalaban takes talkback very well. unBalaban: “I’m going to ask you a question.” Chef: “Comeback.” unBalaban: “Oh, okay.”

11:01: unBalaban: “I would have wished for a finer noodle.” Why does that crack my shit up?

Susan’s sea cucumber was “very edible.” High praise!

11:04: I’m really not sure who’s getting the axe. Top scorers are Susur, Rick, Susan and Tony, with Rick and Susur in the lead.

11:05: Whoa, is Susur going to run away with the whole season? 19 fricking stars?

Rick looks like he has a perpetual headache.

11:07:  Commercials. Hearing the housewife sing is almost, but not quite, as painful as listening to Andy Cohen. Which says something about the depth of my loathing for Andy Cohen, because that is some godawful “singing.”

What is the target demographic of this show that they air commercials for both SATC2 and The A-Team?

11:09: If Waxman goes home, I don’t know how I’m going to go on.

11:11: Man, the diners are HARSH. And it’s not looking good for Waxman. I like you enough, Jody, but I hope you bite it.


NEXT WEEK: Tailgating. Lots of running. Marcus and Rick are going to rumble, and Waxman wakes from his slumber to sass the judges.