topchefmasters1Six left to go before we crown the next winner and resume waiting for the REAL Top Chef to come back, and this week we have to do it without Hank Azaria.

Susur, Rick, Susan, Marcus, Rick, Jonathan: make it interesting. Please. Previews show some sass, a lot of running and a possible Marcus/Rick showdown. I don’t want manufactured drama, but I also want to stay awake.

Also: Bravo, don’t pull any of this extended episode shit on me. Because I will come for you.


LAST WEEK: Susur put the beatdown on everyone, to Rick’s dour chagrin. Jody served practically raw goat and got the heave-ho.

10:02: QUICKFIRE: Cooking with legs, judged by a swimmer who is not Michael Phelps and who is apparently qualified to judge by virtue of having legs, and Jay Rayner.

10:04: Watching Johnathan smash crab: the most energy he’s had all season.

Marcus is cooking frog legs because he is RISKY and BETTER THAN YOU. Maybe it’s all the denim.

10:06: Tony is such a non-entity in this show, it’s actually quite impressive.

10:08: Tony: warm crab and potato salad with three kinds of coriander. Not Michael Phelps likes his coriander.

Susur: Indochine roasted leg of lamb. Not Michael Phelps likes. Jay thinks the meatballs are cute. Susur does not want to be cute. Cute is good! Bunnies are cute; everyone loves bunnies!

Susan: Cumin cilantro chicken with quite a lot of other things. Pickled tomatoes? Quinoa? NMP…also likes.

Johnathan: Pasta, crab legs, jalapeno, mint. NMP…still likes. He’s a real talker, this one.

10:09: Marcus: Confit of frog legs. Not Michael Phelps does not like!

Rick: Egg in a hole with octopus, which Jay calls a “workout” but Rick classifies as “toothsome.” Classic.

Not Michael Phelps, I’m glad for you than you won a gold medal and all, but why are you here? Also, that gold medal was clearly not for personality.

10:12: Commercials. Sex and the City 2 continues to vex me greatly.

10:14: Kelly Choi’s “leg” puns make me want to beat her with a frog’s leg.

Jonathan: “Not a stellar day for any of us…Kelly’s legs beat us all today.” I’ve never seen them close up, but given the rest of her body, I have a hard time imagining how they’re propping her up at all.

10:16: Susan takes it, after fairly lame scores for everyone. Susur: less than thrilled.

ELIMINATION CHALLENGE: Tailgating. Susur: “How does it work?”

10:18: Also, they’re cooking on grills. Susan’s advantage for winning: she gets to wear the home team’s hat.


Rick and Marcus have the world’s most non-confrontational struggle at the meat counter.

10:20: How does one make a “free form” taco? Doesn’t the taco by its nature have a definite form? Jonathan and Susan are both making tacos, earning them the bombastic music of immanent challenge.

10:22: Susur, your useless sniping at Tony helps no one; leave the grilled pizza be, grilled pizza is delicious. And yet, at least you have an appreciable personality.

Has Marcus mentioned that he’s taking a RISK because he is BOLD? He is. Says he.

10:25: Commercials. Who greenlighted the electric boogaloo weber grill commercial? On the next “Watch What Happens,” more shit that I don’t give a rat’s ass about, meaning: Sarah Jessica Parker.

10:27: Susur: “There are other chefs here today.” (Looking at the other tailgaters.) Marcus: “They’re not CHEFS, they’re just people.”


10:28: The hat apparently confers advantages. Tailgaters are easily swayed by branded apparel.

10:29: If there’s one thing drunk tailgaters want, it’s semolina dumplings.

10:31: You know what else they want? Soup.

10:32: If Gael had showed up wearing a USC hat, I would have forgiven Bravo for not only this season, but also for Andy Cohen. Unfortunately, she’s wearing her black mourning chapeau. At least she and unBalaban are back to matching.

10:34: Tony needs a shave and a nap.

You work that hat, Susan.

10:36: unBalaban is feeling “more like a manly American by the minute.” That must be SOME skirt steak. Has it been injected with testosterone along with the antibiotics? Oh, wait, it came from Whole Foods, so I guess that would be an all-natural manliness-enhancing herbal infusion.

10:37: Commercials. The real Top Chef returns 6/16! I never thought I’d say this, but: I miss you, Padma.

The iPad is magic. It’s already in your brain. You love it more than your own mother. Your life did not truly begin until it was discovered.

10:41: Pointless interlude: Susan Feniger spends a lot of time on the floor. Rick Moonen is scared of her. She’s more than a little nutty. Her pants are deeply unflattering.

10:44: CRITIC’S TABLE: Jonathan does not think his steak was sliced too thickly, and neither does Gael. You know who does, and is not afraid to purse his lips because of it? unBalaban.

10:47: I want this to be Rick’s night to win, I really do.

10:49: I’m bored. Everyone did a fairly good job. Tony seems as bored with the whole thing as I do.

Waxman is a little crankypants this week: “Just eat my food and shut the hell up.”

10:51: High scores: Susan, Marcus, and Susur.

Marcus needs to work on his gracious loser face. Which he currently doesn’t have at all.

WINNER: Susan and her headband, taking a double whammy Quickfire and Elimination win.

10:53: Rick, Jonathan and Tony go to face the judges. Tony’s face looks even meltier than usual. Take him and not my Jonathan, critics.  He’s clearly thrown in the towel.

10:55: Commercials. No, I am not ready to Shrek. Also, I am not the Top Chef Masters Ultimate Fan, in case you couldn’t tell.

10:56: How did I never notice how far Rick’s ears stick out from the sides of his head?

10:57: unBalaban gives Jonathan 2 measly stars, clearly out of spite.

10:58: Tony is mercifully cut loose.

Tony learned that he still loves to cook; despite his success, it took reality television to teach him that.

NEXT WEEK: Everyone goes fucking nuts.