Top Chef

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Kim: B | 1 USERS: B+
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Gone Fishing

Mike explains that he made chicken oysters, but he served them on an oyster half shell, and he also made a mustard gravy with oyster liquor. That mustard gravy looks like a pile of puke. I am interested in exactly how much of this recipe was inspired by Blais. Just the idea of chicken oysters? Serving them on the half shell? Serving them with mustard gravy and oyster liquor? I feel like that detail makes a difference. Anyway, Blais says to the camera that it's his dish, and Mike won't catch his eye, and Mike interviews that it's not Richard's dish, and it's been done before, and Blais should have made it himself if it's so great. Defensive much?

Now that the dishes have been tasted, Paula is ready to talk about her least favorite dishes. She tells Dale that his dish didn't have any flavors that popped. I'm telling you! A sauce would have helped! Paula goes on to tell Carla that her hush puppies tasted "like spit balls, kinda." See? She should totally be a permanent judge. She tells it like it is.

Some of Paula's favorites were Antonia's. In fact, she thought Antonia's dish was the best, hands down, and she's mad that Antonia didn't make two dishes. But because she didn't, Antonia is disqualified. So the top two are Richard, whose mayonnaise was "out of this world" and Mike, whose chicken oysters were had great presentation. But did they taste good? Blais points out that Mike stole his dish, so he's competing against himself.

Paula says flat out that Antonia was the winner, but since she can't win, the winner is Mike. Okay, here's why what Mike did sucks. It's not a terrible thing to use someone else's recipe or be inspired by someone else's recipe. It happens all the time. I'm sure if even happens all the time on this show. Maybe Angelo makes some crazy watermelon tuna concoction for a challenge, and Dale thinks it's cool, and he puts something on his menu at his own restaurant that is similar. Fine. I'm sure Blais isn't the first person who thought of taking a chicken oyster and serving it like a real oyster. That seems obvious. What is problematic is that Mike used a very similar recipe, the day after (approximately) it was discussed, in a competition against the guy who created it. What Mike did is legal (according to copyright laws and the show's own rules) definitely. But it's a dick move. And it's an even bigger dick move that he didn't immediately say to Paula, "You know what? I should share this win with Blais, because it really was his dish." Mike executed it well, and should get props for that. But he should have shared some of the glory (if not the money) with Blais, even if only to avoid the appearance of impropriety. But he doesn't, because he's a dick. If I had even started to soften on him this season, it's over. What an asshole.

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