Top Chef

Episode Report Card
Chuck: B- | Grade It Now!
It's A Sabotage!

Speaking of Lisa, the judges think she should have taken ownership of her crappy dish instead of pointing fingers (Lisa again brings up the evildoer in their midst). Ted, citing the "nasty" shrimp, points to problems with her lunchbox that extend far beyond sabotage. As for Spike, Sam again expresses disbelief that Spike created what he did with the ingredients he chose -- a "failure of imagination," says Colicchio, one further compromised, perhaps, by Spike's focus on a substandard chicken salad to the detriment of everything else. Andrew, first of all, didn't follow the rules. That's not good. In addition, the arrogant responses to the judges' questions, says Ted, demonstrate that Andrew did only what Andrew wanted to do, without any consideration for his audience, and even then he didn't make it very good. More footage of Andrew and Lisa fighting. Is Lisa a Top Chef for "calling [Andrew] out under the bus?" Can she stand behind her dish instead of claiming sabotage? Is Andrew a stable individual? If you answered "no," to all of these questions, you are a winner.

The judges come to a unanimous decision. The nutritional requirements, the audience and their usual lunch fare, and "the food police up here," says Sheriff Colicchio, made this a tough challenge, and y'all three blew it. Andrew's nutritional sincerity was undermined by his failure to serve something substantial and tasty. Spike underwhelmed everyone with his unimaginative use of ingredients, and his strange-tasting chicken salad. Lisa should pay more attention to her surroundings if she's so concerned about sabotage, and, for the sake of truth in advertising, should have sold her dish as steamed vegetables rather than a stir-fry.

Ultimately, it's Andrew who goes home for a boxed lunch, and unfortunately he agrees to leave without security, but only after bowing out "with honor and respect" and shaking the hand of each judge. "I look forward to eating your food again," says Padma. "You will," says Andrew because he's going to keep on cooking. He's not going to keep talking to the other chef-testants, however, except for "mad cool" Spike, because those two love each other. Lisa, he thinks, is weak, but she believes the rule-breakers should be the ones sent home -- which, despite the way this season has played fast and loose with the rules, is a legitimate argument. Andrew's proud of his performance on the show, especially since he came in with much less experience than many of the others. Spike laments the loss of his last buddy in the house. This is guy utterly lacking in false pretenses.

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Top Chef




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