Top Chef

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Chinatown Breakdown
nt of the challenge was speed, and there was no speed. Tom asks if they had a plan at all, and Antonia says that Mike was supposed to be down in the kitchen with them, making sure that the food got out. He was? He didn't seem to think so. He seemed to think his job was to be upstairs and push the carts out as needed. I think he probably should have been down in the kitchen, so he could call people out who weren't sending out enough food, since he had the overview.

Padma adds that in addition to the poor service, the five people standing there had the worst dishes. Jamie's not surprised about her dumplings, because she knew the wrapper was bad, and she's never made them before, and she steamed them. Susur explains that the wrappers she used were supposed to be boiled, not steamed. Oops. Gail brings up the long beans, and says there was too much oil. Jamie looks like she's about to cry, but then they cut to a different reaction shot where she's not crying. Wouldn't want to show her having emotions that might make her sympathetic to the audience! We need to keep the storyline going that she doesn't give a shit. Antonia says that she prepped the dish, but Jamie cooked it, and Tom says that the beans were overcooked and greasy. They did like Antonia's shrimp toast though, and Gail says it's a conflict between her two dishes, since one was good and one was most definitely not.

Casey wanted to try something different with the chicken feet. Gail points out that a lot of them were left uneaten, because they weren't cooked enough. The pancake was supposed to be light and playful according to Casey, but Tom tells her that it was really heavy and like lead. There's a weird edit where Casey says that Antonia was in charge of her dish and Antonia says she's going to cry and then wishes they had more time to help each other. I have no idea what's even going on with that storyline. It seems like there was a lot cut for time, because it doesn't make much sense. Tre explains that the heat in the kitchen kind of ruined his dessert. Tom says that it didn't work as a dessert and Gail adds that it was a great idea but poor execution. Carla knows that her rice noodles soaked too long and got mealy. Gail tells her that it looked great, but didn't taste great, and Susur concurs. Carla acts like she's taken an arrow to the chest, because food that looks good but doesn't taste good goes against everything she stands for. Padma dismisses them.

The top group is Tiffany, Angelo, Dale, and Fabio. Hmm. No Blais, who is supposed to be the superstar. And whose dish we didn't even get to see. Anyway, Fabio jokes that he didn't think there would be a winner due to the poor service, and then admits that he knows nothing about Chinese food or culture. Gail calls Tiffany's dumpling "a savory marshmallow." Tom compliments Dale's rice and Susur liked the flavor imparted by the banana leaf. Gail has great things to say about Angelo's spring rolls. So who's the winner? Susur thinks the winner was authentic, with well-executed food. And it is...Dale! Damn. Dude is on a roll. In an interview, Dale says that they were all morons and service sucked, but he'll take the win anyway.

The judges now have to decide who's going home. They start out with Jamie's scallop dumpling, which had no flavor. Not to mention, she was the one who cooked the overcooked long beans, which tasted like they'd been sitting around. But Jamie does get points for trying to do two dishes. Padma brings up Antonia's involvement, but it looks like Antonia's shrimp toast is going to save her this week. Gail even says if Antonia had only made the shrimp toast, she might have been in contention for the win. I guess they aren't going to take into account what happened with Casey's dish, since ultimately it's Casey's responsibility. Tre's dessert was half soup, and it wasn't set and tasted bland. Tom thought Casey's chicken feet was "a terrible dish" and Susur calls it "a disaster." What about Carla's food? Susur thinks that it can't just be about looks, and Tom says that the lack of taste made him wonder why anyone would bother eating it. Seems like it's down to Jamie or Casey, since the other dishes had problems but weren't quite as bad as those two.

The bottom five are called back in to find out whose dish was the worst, according to the judges. Jamie looks pretty sure she's going home, and even seems resigned to it. Tom tells Antonia that she played a role in one of the worst dishes, the long beans. Jamie executed the long beans poorly, plus made a bad scallop dish. Tom adds that they like that Casey took a chance, but it didn't pay off. Tre's food was "insipid" and lacked personality, and Carla's food was also bland. A lot of that going around. So who's going home? Casey. Jamie gasps and Casey looks surprised. Guess they all thought it was going to be Jamie. So did I! I was sure of it. She made two bad dishes, while Casey only made one. Casey walks back into the Stew Room and everyone is surprised that it's Casey, not Jamie. In her exit interview, Casey says that she took a big risk, and it doesn't always pay off, but Casey leaves with class. Jamie tells everyone that she's shocked that it's Casey, because Jamie took the brunt of the judges' criticism. Blais smiles at that. I think he doesn't like Jamie much. I'm kind of with him, at least from what we've seen this week. I'm not that worried. I don't think Jamie is going to squeak through much longer unless she really ups her game.

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