Top Chef

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The Big Apple

Padma congratulates the top nine and says that since Stefan finished first, he gets individual immunity in the Elimination Challenge. Stefan interviews that it's nice to have, but he doesn't think he'll need it. Cocky, or just honest? We'll find out. Padma says that in the next round, the cheftestants will have to brunoise the apples until they have two cups, and the pieces have to be to Tom's liking. Lauren explains that a brunoise is like a fine dice, except harder. Padma says that the top four in this round will be safe, while the bottom four will have to compete in one last round. They begin. Melissa and Jamie can't believe how stressful this must be for the cheftestants, and seem relieved to have won safety in the first round. Patrick says that he could hear a knife flying on the cutting board next to him, and Daniel (Weird Beard) (who is the source of the knife sounds) says he was flying through that apple. Daniel finishes first and is pronounced safe by Tom. Jill Snyder, 28, Executive Chef at Red Maple, finishes next, but Tom notices some uncut misshapen pieces in her cup, and makes her fix it. Jill, who kind of looks like a low-rent Anne Hathaway (i.e. not nearly as pretty but similar features), says that her hands started shaking, making her task more difficult. Alex and Eugene finish and are pronounced safe, and finally Jill straightens out her situation and is also safe.

So moving on to the final round of loserdom are Patrick, Lauren, Radhika, and Leah. Tom and Padma announce that they have to cook something using their apples to convince the judges they should be allowed to stay. They have one burner, a number of additional ingredients, and twenty minutes. Lauren is freaked out about how embarrassed she would be if she were the first to go home. Radhika thinks twenty minutes is usually only enough time to set out your knives and spices. Really? That explains a lot about her performance, actually. Tom will be judging the dishes, and the creator of the weakest dish will go home right now. Radhika goes for apple chutney, despite saying earlier that she doesn't want people to think she only cooks Indian food. I get that this is a challenge where you should cook something you know well, but it was ironic. Leah sees Radhika choosing pork, so she goes for scallops to differentiate herself. Lauren makes a salad, and so does Patrick. Patrick explains that he doesn't move very quickly, because he's more concerned with perfection. The other cheftestants are cracking me up because they're trying to watch the cooking but they're being made to stand like fifty feet away, so there's a lot of squinting and guesswork and discussion about what's happening.

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Top Chef

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