Top Chef

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Grease Fire Is The Word

And then there's Tiffany, who I kind of forgot was still on the show. She interviews that she feels like an underdog, which she should, because she hasn't won any challenges this season, has she? Okay, I just checked Wikipedia and she has never won a Quickfire, and for the 12 Elimination Challenges, she has never won, but has been on the top three times and on the bottom six times. Ouch. To contrast, Mike has won two Quickfires and, while he hasn't won an Elimination, he's been on the top twice and the bottom twice. The remaining contestants have all won at least two Elimination Challenges. At least I know that my perception that Tiffany doesn't really belong there isn't totally without base. I like her as a person, but she hasn't impressed me that much this season. But remember, these challenges are judged in and of themselves, and the cheftestant's history is not taken into consideration.

The cheftestants head inside a nearby fort (you know, as you do) to find out what's next. They walk into an arena, where they find tables with past winners behind them: Kevin from S7, Mike from S6, Hosea (blergh) from S5, and Stephanie from S4. Also present are Padma, Tom, and Eric Ripert (the Ripper!). It is apparently a million degrees in this arena already because everyone is super sweaty. Mike Isabella hopes that it's a team competition and he gets to cook with Mike Volt, because we all know that Isabella loves to ride some Volt-tails. See what I did there? Instead of coattails, I said Volt-tails. Genius. Anyway, Mike Volt is not looking so great. He looks grouchy and hot and his hair is a freaking disaster. He's growing it out or something? It is BAD TIMES.

Tom explains the Quickfire Challenge: cook head-to-head against the chef that won your season. Isabella is sad, but Blais is excited because he always thought he was better than Stephanie, because she's just a girl. He doesn't say that, but that's the subtext. Padma says that the winner of each head-to-head challenge gets $10K. Tom has chosen an ingredient for each station, and the dishes have to highlight that ingredient. Everyone hugs and dons chef's coats. And time begins!

The Season 4 crew (Blais and Antonia vs. Stephanie) have a rack of veal, and all three have to split it somehow. Blais points out that it's not a very Caribbean ingredient which is a good point. Also, it's been sitting out in the heat for God knows how long. I would not want to judge these dishes. The Mikes got a giant duck. Isabella has no problem letting Voltaggio butcher the duck, because why do the work himself? Carla and Hosea got lamb, and Hosea interviews that he wants to prove to "the haters" that he deserved to win. It's good that he knows his reputation, I guess, but you should never do anything to appease the haters. They cannot be appeased. Just live your life, Hosea. Tiffany and Kevin have a pig. Kevin seems to be struggling. Stephanie interviews that she has to beat two people, but she also has the chance to win $20K, so game on.

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Top Chef

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