Top Chef
Holiday Spirit

Episode Report Card
Keckler: A | 1 USERS: A+
Mia the Martyr
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

So, watching the previews that got tagged onto the end of last week's episode, which Bravo aired right before the current episode, I see what people are saying about what happened to Cliff yelling at Elia in the Krapmore Kitchens. I think if Mia hadn't sacrificed herself, we would have seen a show during which Elia was seen to be at odds with her team, possibly making the decision that cost them the challenge: cooking during the event, rather than before. Whoever's behind Bravo's subsequentlies is clearly asleep at the wheel since that is not the episode we were given.

Of course, all of what did end up happening in the episode we got means that if Elia does win the whole thing -- and I really, really want her to win -- it will all be because of Mia's sacrifice.

Morning. Marcel reflects on Frank's departure, "I know I'm going to start sleeping a lot better, considering he's not going to be snoring in my room." Forget the snoring, Marcel, you no longer have to sleep with one eye open because you're afraid you'll wake up in a meat grinder. "Check that out, baby!" Michael commands and lifts his towel up to show off an expanse of sunburned flesh. Elia does more yoga. Son of Sam mutters to the camera that when Frank grabbed him goodbye last week, he broke his knife roll. Random. Mia, getting the loser cut early on, tells us how much she misses her family.

Krapmore Kitchens. The cheftestants file in, and Betty makes loudly obnoxious happy noises. She tells us, "We show up at the kitchen for our Quickfire challenge and there's LOADS OF BOOZE!" I just really want her to shut up. Like, forever. Bottles of Bailey's Irish Cream are rowed up, some with pour spouts, some without. Hey, I didn't know there was more than one kind of Bailey's these days! It looks like there's a mint-chocolate one and a caramel one? I love that the Scots call those kinds of liqueurs "stickies." That's exactly what they are. Padmadala introduces their guest judge, Kristin Woodward, whom she describes as an "award-winning mixologist" from Oysters restaurant in Corona del Mar. Notice how no one's just a bartender anymore? They all have to be "mixologists" or "elixirticians." Actually, there are no elixirticians, but I like the sound of it, so I'm going to coin it. After all, I'm an elixirtician in my own house, and I'm now a published elixirtican. How many elixirticians does it take to screw in a light bulb? Actually, I don't have a good answer to that. Padmadala reminds them that they are still pretending it's not the middle of summer in LA by announcing that the holiday season is all about drinking and eating and partying. For the Quickfire, they must create an "original Bailey's cocktail" along with a "small snack or bite to accompany it." So... like an amuse bouche? Cliff's all, "I'm a cook, not a bartender" to us. The cheftestants have twenty minutes.

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