Sunday, January 28, 2007

Top Chef Episodes 11 & 12

So around this time of the year, my priorities really take a 180 degree turn. No, I don't get really focused on school work and work-work that I don't have time for reality TV. I get really really into college gymnastics. I switch from watching reality shows multiple times to watching gymnastics meets multiple times. The only difference is I will be lazy with these recaps. I will keep pumping them out, though. Promise.

Two weeks ago on I'll Pit Your Olive
The six chefs had to split into two teams and open restaurants in like five minutes flat. Lalalina had an olive pit. Run EMC had Cliff and his horrible service. Michael got sent home kinda out of the blue.

Last week on The Bizarro Top Chef:
I've watched this episode twice, but somehow I can't remember what the Quickfire was. Oh, right.. chocolate. But first, we had a weird scene between Elia and Ilan. Since Elia is the lone girl and is all alone in the girls' loft, Ilan has opted to be her cuddle buddy.

So in the Quickfire, Ilan makes a ganache with liver inside it. I know! Ewww. Basically, Sam wins. Oh, and Eric Ripert is the guest judge.

For the Elimination Challenge, the chefs have to work together to provide a five-course romantic dinner. As winner of the Quickfire, Sam gets to choose his course first and also the protein he wants to use. Nobody else can use that protein. Which is a weird prize for winning. Anyway, I kinda wanted Sam to make a jambalaya or something crazy.

They're going to be heading to Santa Barbara to serve this dinner because, according to Padma, it's one of the most romantic places ever. You know, right up there with Paris, Milan, and Newark, New Jersey.

Sam wants first course and wants to do something intensely spicy but yet subtle or something similar to everything else he's put out. Elia wants to take a risk with dessert and redo the "Kiss" she made for the Quickfire. I really hate that in this show, someone always ends up having to do a dessert even though they aren't a dessert person. Especially in this case, there needed to be a dessert, and whoever ends up with it is difficult to compare with the others, yet has taken a risk. It just makes judging difficult. I like challenges like the beach challenge where everybody gets the same task and they have the option to do similar types of courses. Anyway, just what I think.

During service, it seems like Cliff is the worst. Elia is upset when her chocolate hearts don't come out right and the judges harp on it a little.

Back at the loft, or wherever they're staying.. a hotel.. everybody is drunk and stupid. Elia starts talking about shaving her head and Ilan says if she does it, he has to. Which makes no sense, except it helps perpetuate my "Elia and Ilan mystery affair" idea. The two have an interesting dynamic. It's always fun to pretend there's secret love affairs going on during these shows anyway.

So Elia and Ilan shave their heads. Actually, they all got this wrong. The two who need to shave their heads are Sam and Marcel. Elia and Ilan had good hair. Apparently, Cliff decides that Marcel needs to get his head shaved. So he decides to pin him down and basically sexually assault him. Marcel is understandably pissed off and ends up sleeping in the bathroom. That is just sad. A fifth grader doesn't deserve this from his classmates and a grown man certainly doesn't deserve this from his adult roommates. This situation really just sucks. I understand that Marcel is annoying and awkward, but he isn't intentionally being an ass like Stephen was last season.

The next day, Tom Colicchio arrives at the room to talk to Cliff. He basically tells him to leave because he assaulted Marcel. Cliff seems a little surprised, but understands that what he did was stupid. Ilan voices that he's really ashamed and disappointed that they all let last night become so ridiculous.

Then, they proceed to continue with judging, which is odd. Padma and Gail had no idea of the previous night's activities until Tom told them in the judging room. This just goes to show who's in charge of this show. It's funny because they have honest but odd reactions. They mention that Cliff would've gone home anyway, most likely.

The chefs come in and the girls seem surprised at Elia and Ilan's baldness. If Cliff were still there, it would've been an even split between bald and non-bald people in that room. Haha. That's kinda awesome.

The judges then berate the chefs for a bit and then Padma tries to pull a Tyra Banks but fails. She puts two chefs through and then says "Sorry," to the other chefs, "you'll both be going to Hawaii." I may have choice words to say about Tyra, but she pulled off that cycle 5 fake-out wonderfully. "Katie and Jayla. You both need to go back to the house and pack your bags.. because we're all going to London!" Aww damn, her name is Nicole. Nicole Linkletter. For some reason, she looks like a Katie to me and I always have to correct myself.

Anyway, Padma's fake-out sucked.

This week on Why Does It Have To Be Sam OR Ilan and Elia OR Marcel?:
The chefs all head to Hawaii. We're given a montage of moments from when they were at home. There's a lot of interviewing about how they plan to win.

When they arrive, they get to see their rooms and then are whisked off the next day to have a Hawaiian feast. They learn a lot about Hawaiian foods and the proper ways to prepare them.

The next day is an Elimination Challenge. They have to provide their interpretation of Hawaiian dishes. Basically, they want them to use Hawaiian ingredients make Hawaiian dishes that have their own personal style attached.

During the service, it seems the judges really like everything. They mention that Elia didn't really do Hawaiian food and it was too much of her style. They seem to really like Sam's dessert.

Oh, and throughout the entire episode, Elia seems to be really upset with Marcel and it was surprising since she kept pledging her loyalty to him throughout the season.

At judging, Elia and Ilan decide to tell the judges that Marcel is rude and doesn't respect the kitchen dynamics. I agree that it's a poor desperate effort in damaging Marcel. I don't agree, however, that it shouldn't matter. Obviously, this should hurt Marcel's chance in the finale when he has to work with a team.

Anyway, at some point, the judges have decided that of Sam and Ilan, they can only have one and out of Elia and Marcel, they can only have one. This is really odd to me. Since when were they in pairs? They seemed to like Sam and Ilan. Why couldn't they both be in the finale? Odd. Anyway, it's pretty obvious that there won't be a female Top Chef this go around. Elia is an obvious cut since her dishes stood out as not incorporating Hawaiian traditions enough. Then, they cut Sam, which is surprising but not that upsetting. Marcel is through with what seems like a huge pity vote from Padma, who's had this odd fascination and support for Marcel the entire show.

Next week on Top Chef:
SHOWDOWN! Are we ever going to get a reunion show? I liked last year's. Wasn't everybody drunk and hilarious? All I know is after the Top Chef finale, which will end at like 1am or something, there will be the Top Design premiere. I am really excited because it sounds like more of a stretch and more of a trainwreck than Top Chef and therefore, I will be watching and being as judgmental as possible.



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