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Top Chef Holiday Party Episode

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Mia saved Michael, not Elia.

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  1. I was thinking the same thing, but actually Mike should have had immunity from his drink.

    1. Mia definitely saved Mike. Elia didnt have the experience and I think the judges saw that. And I didn't see Cliff with all his immunity busting ass. It was just a bad deal. I think they were probably going to send Mike home for just being lame. Will Marcel please shut his mouth and wear less makeup?

      1. If you read Tom's blog, you will find that Elia was the one who was going too be sent home, not Mike.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Miss Needle

          I didn't see any mention of who was going to be sent home.

          "Mia felt herself out of her league and truly believed, but for tonight’s error in judgment, Elia had a shot at going all the way. So she volunteered to go home so that Elia could stay."

          The last sentence might lead you to believe this but I think it was just written in Mia's POV. That she was sending herself home to save Elia.

          1. re: KTinNYC

            You may want to reread Tom's blog. On page 4 of his blog, he says:

            " WE were ready to send Elia packing when a funny thing happened: In one of the first acts of genuine selflessness I've witnessed on thie show to date, Mia asked to go home instead of Elia"

            I think that is pretty definitive that were going to send Elia packing.

              1. re: KTinNYC

                No problem- though I am not sure I agree with the judges opinions of the contestants personalities. I don't think Mia was being selfless- I think she missed her family, and did not think she would be in the final few. And, in Padma's blog, she was describing the contesteants on the winning team, and she labelled Betty as the "smiley, warm caterer." I just don't see it. To me, she comes off as a lunatic. I hope their judgement of the food is better than their character judgement!

                1. re: macca

                  Seeing as you are much more observant them me, did you happen to see Stephen from season 1? He was featured in the preview but I didn't see him on the episode? If he was on I totally missed it. Maybe I was taking a bathroom break?

                  BTW, I totally agree with you about Betty. I thought her head was going to do the full 360 when she was screaming at Marcel.

                  1. re: KTinNYC

                    I didn't see him in the show itself, but I was doing Christmas cards at the same time. But there is a bonus clip on the Bravo site with his conversation with Elia behind the kitchen trailer.

                    1. re: KTinNYC

                      I didn't see Stephen last night- but I am one of those crazies who will watch the reruns this weekend. WIll be on the look out!

          2. Whoever she saved, and however noble that move was, this show is officially no longer about food at all.

            My favorite thing though was that Bravo bleeped over the wrong words, so that we could fully hear the explitives but not the random words surrounding them, as in "F*** BLEEEEEEEEEEP" instead of "BLEEEEP You!"

            1. You know full well they'll bring her back, if only for the F words, just good theater. I think she intended to act nobally and save herself, and was stunned when they took her up on it.

              1. Mia deserved it. Especially considering her catering backround, to be even partly responsible for that fiasco-with a party of that size-is inexcusable. Outenzie!
                I am kind of surprised that Cliff blew it as well, although he did make a mess of things at the beach, come to think of it.
                Elia comes up with really interesting combinations and I'm glad she didn't get dumped.
                Mike keeps dodging the bullet somehow-his stuff has to taste better than it looks! I just hope he's honing his knife-packing skills in time for next week's show...

                1. Mia saved herself. She wanted to go home; she was feeling homesick, missed her family and the competition was getting to her. This gave her the opportunity to drop out and still make it seem as if she was trying to do something noble.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: mielimato

                    actually, i can't believe i was so sucked in by the drama this week.

                    1. re: soypower

                      her whining was weak. she deserved to go home and I'm glad she's gone.

                      The legend of Mike lives on!!!!

                      drooled over that global knife set...whoa.

                  2. just when I was starting to like Marcel he pulls that self centered jazz at the judges table. Just shut up, you won! Just when I was starting to hate Mia she stands up for herself and then bows out, now I kind if like her - but why wasn't she in charge with all her experience? Do you put the best chef in charge or the one who can organize it and then let the best chef's just cook?

                    Also, is it just me or is it a waste of time to watch the previews? Every time they show one of the judges making a comment and then show a reaction of one of the chefs, if you watch the show the two are totally unrelated.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: clam sauce

                      I agree with you about Marcel, I was starting to think that he wasn't that bad of a guy, and then he proved that he truly is!

                      1. re: clam sauce

                        I am totally in Marcel's corner on that. They basically rushed him in the beginning and said, "We agree to agree that Sam is the leader, right? Right? Right?" He was completely reluctant about it, but knew he'd get stomped on if he didn't agree right then and there. He didn't want to make waves, folks! At the end, when the judges queried the others as to Marcel's comment that he just did what needed to be done, "leadership" or not, the others were totally patronizing of him. "That's just Marcel." Well, shut up, Ilan. Marcel can't win either way. The team worked great together, and I don't see that Sam had a whole lot of influence either way.

                        1. re: Atomica


                          Same made Betty and Marcel put aside their difference, identified the strengths of the team and allowed the tallents of the individual chefs to come through - exactly what a leader is supposed to do. Had Marcel taken the leadership role the menu would have been much closer to the mistakes Elia made; Marcel simply isn't a team player.

                          1. re: wingman

                            I wasn't suggesting Marcel take the role of leader. Sam didn't "make" them put aside their differences. He simply asked them if they could do it. I don't think they needed his guidance for that. Marcel absolutely was a team player in this challenge, and there's no way you can back up the theory that his leadership would have ended up like Elia's.

                            1. re: Atomica

                              Read Marcel's interview on bravotv.com and it begins to back up what I said. Additionally, he performed tasks on his own and completly disregarded suggestions by Sam - the kid thinks he knows more than everyone else and frankly he's going to get put in his place sooner or later.

                              1. re: wingman

                                I would have done exactly the same thing as Marcel. Sam wasn't his supervisor. Take what makes sense to you, the guidelines, and put your own spin on them. Disregard what doesn't make sense to you. I think Marcel's judgment is honed enough so that he can make those decisions for himself and still do a great job for his team. He's competing with Sam, not working for him.

                                He's been "put in his place" constantly. Do you remember the words, "I'll beat you so badly even your own mother won't recognize you"? Did he deserve that? No. I'm not saying he's a saint, but I think his very short statement at judge's table was thoroughly sane. If someone were as dismissive and patronizing towards me as Ilan was towards Marcel at that point, things would end badly.

                                1. re: Atomica

                                  There's a difference between being intimidated and being put in your place - eventually huberis will get Marcel, a boss will rain down on him and let him know that his 5 years of professional experience give him no right to act and treat others the way that he does. Deos he have talent - of course, no one is questioning that; but he does not have the skill and the knowledge that he thinks he has. He reminds me of alot of arrogant people who first start out working in finance in Manhattan (myself included) eventually you get a boss who makes you realize you don't know everything, calls you out in a few meetings, humbles you and eventually you realize you have to put in the years, hours and dedication to reach that level.

                                  1. re: wingman

                                    Wingman and Atomica,

                                    I just read this part of the discussion about Marcel and I gotta say - the kid does come off as a know-it-all and NO one likes a know-it-all even if they do, in fact, know it all.

                                    Remember this - people keep having run ins with Marcel....what is the common denominator? Marcel.

                                    And anyway - he's simply HeatMiser from Year without a Santa Clause, isn't he?

                      2. Whatever! I so don't think Mia was "taking the high road" or any crap like that! She wanted to go home and this was the perfect opportunity to "look good" *and* get to go home- win, win for her! And puh-lease with the sob stories!

                        It's hard to imagine that Sam's team's food wasn't that good- it all looked pretty damn good to me!

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: Katie Nell

                          Mia's move was genius (though the tears and the pain seemed very real)! She gets sympathy and great publicity for her restaurant. And she can forever say "I was never sent home."

                          She would never have won. This is by far her best option for an exit.

                          As for Elia, she makes a great soup and a nice frozen waffle breakfast treat. But I believe that it will take years before she's a star chef, which requires leadership (just failed at that), flexibility (please, stop whining!!), judgement (four items was a bad decision), and planning (food ran out).

                          1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

                            That sob ghetto story was so lame, IMO. She had that scripted to go out like that when she probably realized she wouldn't win the whole thing. So rehearsed.

                            I still like Marcel, cracks me up. "This encapsulates the vapor" and "Don't put the mussells in plastic, you've got to let them breathe". haha

                            1. re: Xericx

                              Actually, mussels will suffocate if sealed tightly in plastic. Long live Marcel!

                              1. re: MaspethMaven

                                Yeah, it made sense when he said it. You want mussels to be live when you cook them, not dead....Love that guy, he's so ballsy.

                                1. re: MaspethMaven

                                  Hey -- Marcel already has a moniker, Wolverine. If you are going to comment on him, please refer to Wolverine or Wolf Boy.

                                  1. re: nosh

                                    We call him "Troll Hair" in my house.

                                2. re: Xericx

                                  HAHAHA I agree. I like his hair.

                                  1. re: Xericx

                                    on the encapsulation of the vapor. That was a vanilla bean right? I wasn't watching intently. Did he use the rest of it in the drink or his dish. I despise the waste of such a valuable element.

                              2. Mia was saving Elia (although her motivations were more complex than just that). Elia was going to be sent home as the team leader who failed to conceptualize and execute an effective catered event. However, unless I missed something, Elia wasn't designated as team leader until the planning and shopping was done and they were getting to the event. Cliff definitely took the leadership role (although unstated) during the planning, and led the way in running over Mia.

                                That was part of Mia's frustration, IMHO. Cliff had immunity, and he tapped Elia as the "leader" for the cooking. Mia didn't want Elia to go because of the failed plan when she knew it was mostly Cliff's fault for not listening to Mia's catering experience. He wasn't open for discussion -- when he called them to say "lobster's out" he didn't offer any reasons -- Mia couldn't have a discussion with him.

                                I might suggest that Mia might have expected a little more camaraderie from Cliff because of race -- like I said -- her motivations here were complex. All of the women (especially Elia) have articulated how hard it can be for women in the professional kitchen to gain respect. Mia may be feeling a double-whammy with being a black woman. And she's overcome a lot and was missing her support system, and had just had enough. She could leave feeling successful and stop putting up with any more (perceived) prejudice (whether that's race or gender or both).

                                OK, analysis done ;-)

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: momjamin

                                  I think you're dead on - Said everything I was thinking. I think it sealed the deal for her when she felt 'betrayed' by Cliff even if she wasn't aware of it.

                                  We all do things we want to believe are 100% altruistic and giving and sacrificing. If we've spent out lives sacrificing (even unhealthily) or being victims we believe that sacrifice is the way to go - the Jesus figure. The reality is there are always complicated emotions rolled into most decisions.

                                  (It was interesting to me that she accused Cliff of throwing her under the bus when she did EXACTLY the same thing to Betty several weeks back, and much less justified, as I see it.)

                                  But again - complicated - but I do believe her caretaking of Elia was genuine, even if that wasn't the WHOLE story.

                                  1. re: krissywats

                                    Well, "throwing under the bus" is as much the tag line of this season as "it is what it is" was in season one ;-) I predict that phrase will make it into the reunion show.

                                  2. re: momjamin

                                    I was thinking that race might be the problem here, rather than the solution. When Cliff was basically steamrolling Mia my first thought was "Oh my god, he's got a problem w/ a black woman daring to suggest he's wrong." I think he intended to get rid of Elia (Who I wish would just leave in a lit match of ignominy) but he was still able to get rid of Mia. His work was done either way. I'm hoping it's he or Elia next.

                                    1. re: bryan

                                      A friend of mine suggested that he wanted to distance himself from Mia-as-stereotype (former crack seller, yada yada).

                                      1. re: bryan

                                        Looked to me like Mia's problem when they were discussing the menu was that she wasn't sophisticated enough to come up with dishes that would "wow" a Los Angeles crowd. She took that personally and didn't work hard enough to educate the others about the reality of catering.

                                        Though from what we saw on screen, it wasn't clear that she recognized that four dishes weren't enough.

                                    2. I thought the episode was absolutley fantastic until Mia's empowerment speech. Two episodes in a row have been about the food and how people can adapt to different cooking situations. It was great to see one team really take the right approach to catering and another team get it completly wrong. As Collichio said in his blog, Elia (and Sam) couldn't get past their cooking egos and put themselves in the place of their clients. Sam listened to the advice of Betty (a caterer) and realized they didn't need perfect high-end dishes they simply needed alot of pretty good dishes.

                                      But, two things were made clear during the episode - Marcel is truly a complete a** and anyone who had disagreed with this point in the past need only look at the supermarket scene and the judge's table scene - now do you see why everyone hates him?

                                      Second thing, the chefs who are unable to put personal distractions aside during the competition have no chance to win. Mia went into that challenge with a chip on her shoulder, was not assertive during the planning process and then became passive agressive. Her story at the end seemed to be done for dramatic effect. Yes it's great that she overcame the odds but that didn't make her any better at dealing with the challenges of the show - as Collicho said she wasn't forceful enough at the beginning.

                                      I for one can't wait until Elia is off the show - she questions every decesion and may be a fine cook but has no idea how to plan or work in a team.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: wingman

                                        Yes, I was one who started to like Marcel but now after last night think he is an A** again..

                                        1. re: King of Northern Blvd

                                          Yeah, as another supporter of Marcel, I realize he did not do himself any favors with his antics last night. Still like him more than most of the people that are left though.

                                      2. I agree with what everyone has said thus far about Mia, and the episode. I'd like to add that I enjoyed having Ted from Queer Eye there instead of Gail, who I find really annoying.
                                        From the way she sounds, Padma Laksmi seems more knowledgable about food than Gail-- who purpordtedly is knowledgable

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: anna banana

                                          I've enjoyed watching Ted in all the shows I've seen him in -- Queer Eye, Iron Chef, and now this epi. He can give useful criticism without being condescending.

                                        2. anyone want to post a short summary of what happened besides for the mia contraversy

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: chai18

                                            Quickfire: Make a cocktail out of Bailey's and a snack to go with it. Cliff won. His snack involved beef.

                                            Elimination: Make Hors D'ouvres for 200 people, in L.A. They were split into two teams: Betty, Sam, Marcel and Ilan were on one team and Cliff, Elia, Mike and Mia were on the other team. First team makes 12 different items, coming out in two rounds so that there were essentially two spreads of 6 items, the second round had some dessert involved. Second team makes 4 items, two of which are apparently the best (a glazed scallop and a strawberry with cream and pancetta) but they run out of food mid-stream. First team wins (Sam, as captain, wins 20 expensive looking knives). Elia was the captain of team 2 so if you believe that the captain takes the win or the fall, she should really be kicked off but Mia left.

                                          2. I agree Mia's speech definetley seemed contrived; she went to the judging table ready to jump into the deep end and instead of just doing a double back flip she landed in Marianna's Trench - at one point I thought she might have taken what she used to sell when she told Cliff to put it back in his pants.

                                            1. I thought that Elia became the "leader" after the decision was made to make 4 items. Elia was appointed leader when they started cooking. Actually, Cliff appeared more as a leader when they were debating about what to make.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: WHills

                                                That's what I thought too. It certainly looked like Cliff was the leader when the 'emergency' call was made when they were shopping.

                                                It is like the Bush administration switching from "weapons of mass destruction" to "unseating the despot Saddam Hussein" to "a beacon of democracy in the Arab world." Last week, I think it was Sam who thought the herbs made his eggs look brown/grey instead of his intended Green Eggs & Ham. So he switched to the "toad in the hole" and got no credit for correcting his mistake as he and everyone else seemed to adopt that story. This time Cliff was the leader for awhile, but then it switched to Elia for cooking and execution and the old regime was never mentioned again.

                                              2. I'm surprised that all the comments are focusing on just Mia and Elia and so few about Cliff and what a jerk he was. I thought he was this easy-going chef all along but in reality he's a mule. He didn't let Mia talk during the initial team meeting and didn't offer any flexibility to fully discuss Mia's concerns. It really seemed like he and Elia were running the show. I really felt that Cliff, if he didn't have immunity, should have been the one to go.

                                                But I do agree with everyone that Mia played the martyr card a bit too much.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: singleguychef

                                                  Yup. I used to like Cliff, but the way he behaved throughout this episode, he's dead to me. He was an obnoxious bully at the beginning, and a flat out lying a-hole at the end. And in between, I didn't see him doing all that much.

                                                  I think the reason Mia was shut out of her team-making decisions is that Cliff and Elia got all snobby about how they're trained "chefs" and she's just a self-taught caterer. Which was stupid, because the task was not to create a restaurant menu or work a line, but to CATER. Elia took the lead when they got to the actual food prep and production stage (and she certainly shared some of the blame for the fact that they couldn't keep the table stocked), but Cliff definitely took the lead in the planning phase of the task, which is where the major problem lay. And any group leader who does not take full advantage of the expertise of the members of his team deserves to fail, and fail miserably. Unfortunately, since Cliff had immunity, someone else had to take the fall for his arrogance and poor leadership.

                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                    I finally got to watch the show last night, and agree with Singleguychef and Ruth - as Mia said, it was Cliff's way or no way. And then he passed the "leadership" role over to Elia? It was a shared leadership role, but because he had immunity, it all fell on Elia. He definitely deserved part of the blame.

                                                    But when I heard their team was only doing 4 apps, I was thinking "HUH? You've got 200 people - that isn't going to cut it!" And Elia's firing the items "as needed" was a big mistake.

                                                    Marcel's whining he didn't need any supervision or leadership at the Judge's Table was frustrating - he's determined to "stand out" but all he's doing, IMO, is standing out as a complete jerk who can't work with anyone. I thought Sam's asking Marcel and Betty to put aside their differences and assign appropriate areas to work on during the catering gig showed an organizational skill that most others haven't done.

                                                    I think Sam and Ilan will be Final Two based on their overall ability - but Ilan's blow-up with Marcel in the previews for next week could prove differently. Although their previews tend to be bits of the show that don't have any effect on the actual outcome.

                                                2. I have loathed Marcel all along but he outdid himself last night, IMO.

                                                  He's such a sidewinder.

                                                  1. In the end, it's about food, right? The judges agreed, before they brought either team out, that Elia's dish was the best of any. I don't think she should have gone home. Geez, Marcel, shut your pie-hole, and...did you notice how much better his hair looked when he was just rolling out of bed before adding all the goop to it??!!

                                                    1. BTW: Where were they shopping for their food? Warehouse-y...didn't look like smart and final.....dunno....anyone?

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Xericx

                                                        It was Restaurant Depot. You can see it in one of the opening shots.

                                                      2. How is Michael managing to stay on this show? Ironically, he was nearly eliminated on the TGI Friday's show (for that weird and upsetting steak sandwich), but everything else he's ever cooked would have been absolutely perfect for TGI Friday's (twice-baked potatoes stuffed with shrimp, chicken breakfast tacos, etc.)!

                                                        8 Replies
                                                        1. re: frenetica

                                                          AMEN! Especially after the guest judge stated, "Is he a Top Chef? No." Or something like that. He is no top chef. At best, he's a cook for TGI Friday's. Why do they keep him around?

                                                          1. re: QueenB

                                                            probably because he's not the WORST performing during the eliminations.

                                                            1. re: Xericx

                                                              I know!!! I can't believe he squeaked by AGAIN!

                                                              1. re: Xericx

                                                                I disagree. He's the overall worst. He must be the only remaining chef who hasn't won anything at all.

                                                                1. re: frenetica

                                                                  but was there any challenge where he absoutlely was the worst one as far as the challenge went? i don't know. they took other factors in the eliminations......his food for the most part tasted ok or had effort...where do you think specifically he should have been eliminated when he was on the chopping block?

                                                                  1. re: frenetica

                                                                    I think he won a Quickfire Challenge once.

                                                              2. re: frenetica

                                                                Amidst the tense and unhinged he is a good buffer.

                                                                1. re: frenetica

                                                                  All I know is that The Restuarant Guys podcast interviewd Tom C about a month ago, and he says that Mike stays around for quite some time.

                                                                  I was shocked that Tom blurted that out!

                                                                2. Ok - first, I was so glad Gail was not on this show. Her constant hair in the mouth thing when she is tasting the dishes makes me want to puke. I just cannot stand to see her picking her hair out of her mouth. It's like - tie it back or don't get that haircut lady. Dang. It is so gross.

                                                                  Mia might have wanted go to home. Didn't they have her saying "i really miss my family/kids" at the beginning of the show? But that is cut in to make us think that she did this so she could go home. I agree w/the earlier poster who said she didn't really think they would take her up on the offer. It's like she started to say it - and then couldn't stop and they were like ok. It seemed like she was expecting the judges to say - oh, no no no crack seller - you can stay. But she got bamboozled.

                                                                  Her rant was absolutely rediculous. I find cursing when (1) you generally don't and (2) you *know* that you're being recorded an on TV is so fake and phony. It's like - oooh, i'm tough, look at me. And her thing behind the curtain re selling crack and being homeless? It's like - who cares. Just cook lady. Dang.

                                                                  Marcel's hair is enviable - but he is such an amazing jerk. Why rain on someone else's parade? Sheesh.

                                                                  Mike is such a tremendous joke - I think they keep him on b/c they like to hear him talk or something. He's a total nothing. I am not that good at cooking and can do better than that.

                                                                  I liked Betty until she cussed out Marcel. It's like she should have stayed with her happy go luck friendly personality and would be more likeable. Now I think she is a back-stabbing nut. Her fake smiling and crazy eyes prove that I guess.

                                                                  1. Mike has some kind of weird power. I used to laugh at him, but now I find myself rooting for him in an odd way...like, if he's lasted this long, there must be SOMETHING there other than the frat boy Belushi lookalike clown. I think he's putting weed in the judges' tastes or something.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: megamalone

                                                                      I know, it's like what Bourdain was saying...Mike's so perverse that you kinda start rooting for him. He seems to be toning it down in the past couple of challenges though, and it seems to be working as he just skates by. His days are numbered though.

                                                                      I feel for Mia. She was obviously pushed to her limit and had a breakdown on national TV. The episode really touched upon race and class issues, and Mia was probably very hurt that Cliff, a black man, wasn't supportive of her. Unfortunately, she got out of control and very hostile w/ her words and then pulled the martyr card. Would have been alot more graceful if she had just said her peace (in a more controlled way) and then said that she was withdrawing because she was homesick and felt she needed to be elsewhere. Her saving Elia bit was too much...

                                                                      Marcel and Elia are showing their immaturity and know it all attitude more and more. I was surprised that Cliff wasn't a better and more open leader. Sam did very well bringing his group together.

                                                                      At this point, it's between Sam and Ilan for me. I like Ilan's flexibility and youthful creativity, but I wonder if he has the capability to really lead and make decisions. It will be interesting to see the drama surface between him and Marcel next week.

                                                                      As much as I like Colicchio's food and respect him as a chef, I don't really care for his personality on this show. I wish Ted Allen was a permanent host.

                                                                    2. We think he looks like the Joker in the old Batman TV series. (Marcel).
                                                                      I agree that it was great not to have Gail on this week, Ted gives a much
                                                                      better perspective and comments constructively and intelligently. Does
                                                                      anyone know if Sam actually shared the knives with others? I was thinking
                                                                      imagine if the guest judge were Lee Hefter considering he and the Puck
                                                                      organization have set the gold standard on large scale events for years
                                                                      now. I was glad to see him there, he added so much as well.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: manomin

                                                                        I doubt Sam would share his knives with anyone. He loves himself way too much for that.

                                                                      2. Thought on the show as a whole: why is so much emphasis placed on versatility and inventiveness, when the last couple of episodes are going to come down to "fine dining"/"tasting menu"-style food anyway?

                                                                        Isn't this what happened during the first season? A bunch of crazy-ass challenges, and then they end up in the Craft kitchen doing classic, European-style fancy food. Someone could conceivably win every single one of the out-of-left-field quickfire challenges and still be totally at a loss when it came to the final round. Even if we don't know who's necessarily going to go at the end of each episode, it's been clear since the very first who has the training to do a haute cuisine tasting menu and who doesn't. So why all the pretend suspense? Isn't it kind of irresponsible to take on pastry chefs, simple caterers and inexperienced line cooks when we all already know they can't provide the michelin-starred food porn that will be a prerequisite for the final challenge?

                                                                        1. Think about how little there was in terms of fighting during this episode. There were some attitudes but that's it. I have more arguments with myself on a daily basis. I'll bet the chefs are really getting along pretty well.

                                                                          1. Personally I felt that Cliff deserved to go (I know he had immunity). However, their team lost due to Cliff's actions not Elia's.

                                                                            Cliff is overbearing and dictatorial and he actually led the team not Elia. Marcel is growing on me. He is immature but has potential to grow out of his attitude. Cliff does not.

                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: RBCal

                                                                              yeah, but elia was the one who wanted a small number of high quality dishes vs. an assortment....no? She was the one who was explaining that.

                                                                              1. re: Xericx

                                                                                I think they were all taking Tom C.'s advice from a prior episode where the bottom contestants were told "why not focus on one thing and do it well?". I just think they were focusing on that advice.

                                                                                Mia had it right and they should have taken advice from her on how to present to such a crowd.

                                                                                I have a feeling Mia's resignation had more to do with the fact that her team lost the challenge. She mentioned earlier in the show, as did Betty, that as a caterer, her reputation was on the line. Maybe she resigned to save her reputation? I'm guessing, just like all the rest of us.

                                                                                I'm on the fence about judging who is/is not the "bad guy". I understand producing a TV show involves creative editing. Who knows what Marcel said and when it really was said; it could have been edited out of context. I think he's a bit arrogant (tad bit) and may need his butt kicked a bit. But we'll see what happens. Main Line Tracey mentioned that nobody talked to the judges about the leadership change. Again, creative editing may be the culprit.

                                                                                I do like this show!

                                                                              2. re: RBCal

                                                                                EXACTLY! I wondered why noone had mentioned about Cliff being mostly to blame for the team doing so poorly. Also, why noone had mentioned it when they were on the chopping block.

                                                                                Cliff led the team in the beginning of the challenge, and then Elia was told to take over after he had already made the major decisions. I don't feel that he was TOTALLY to blame, but I wondered why he got no credit for his part in screwing things up.

                                                                                It really was a team screw up this time.

                                                                                1. re: Main Line Tracey

                                                                                  They may have felt it was pointless to point fingers at Cliff, since he had immunity. The judges clearly got the point that Mia was mad at Cliff more than Elia for not listening to her.

                                                                              3. Okay what I want to know is why when the show is supposedly based on, "cooking and their chef talents" why are people such as Mia, allowed to quit. I guess their is no contractual obligation and they can just leave?

                                                                                The producers have a committment to its viewers, when engaging in such a project, contestants should be made to stay, beginning to end and only the judges decide when they leave.
                                                                                To allow the participants to "throw in the towel" midstream is just outragerous, becuase it was not at all based on talent.
                                                                                And another thing, I realize this is reality tv, but I for one could do without the stupifying theatrics. The outburst that Mia displayed in front of the judges looked strange due to unkind editing.

                                                                                Who knows what was really going on, first Cliff was the lead then the next thing you see, Elia is the lead, slicing filet mignon at the pace of the Slowskys. She is preparing at the time the food is needed??? Good grief!!

                                                                                As far as leadership, obviously, Elia couldn't lead herself out of a paper bag, and she has proved that before. For Thanksgiving, she contributed mushroom soup for Gawds Sake! Her dish at the beach was a frozen waffle ( how creative) of course they loved it, the testers were around 14 years old! Then leave it to Gail Simmons to give her a thumbs up on that one, how ridiculous. Is she a chef???

                                                                                Elia has never shown leadership, she's a complainer, and a fence sitter and she is not creative whatsoever. So what gives with the decision to let her stay on and Mia go. I don't get this part AT ALL. There just must be more to the story than what they are letting us in on.

                                                                                Mike was useless, for this competition he was supposed to be the communications between the kitchen and servers??? He is like the worst person that they could of given that task to. He is an airhead. Why didn't he show some leadership seeing that they were falling behind, and pitch in, helping prepare the food??? Why didn't the so called leader tell him to help?

                                                                                As Mia put it "Elia has more talent in her little finger....blah blah blah..." Made me laugh. She was obviously so fed up with Cliff that she deflected her anger, choosing to to bail rather than deal. But to justify her accomplishments to the viewing audience was poor.

                                                                                Too bad she didn't decide to hang in there, it would be great to see her kick Cliff's arrogant butt.

                                                                                And for Marcel's outburst as well, I think that that is evidence of unkind editing again. I think that there are questions being put to him and then they are editing only the answers to keep Marcel looking like a selfish brat.

                                                                                Actually I think that Cliff knowing he had immunity set the stage for disaster to get rid of his competition, only I think he was hoping to get rid of Elia....

                                                                                1. Mia's outburst was childish and obscene-what on earth does her "nobody knows the trouble I've seen" have to do with anything? That said, however, she deserved a pass on this challenge because she was the one who was charming and welcoming out front covering for the idiots who couldn't even make enough food for 200. Was it really only 200?!!!!

                                                                                  1. 79 posts and hardly a mention of the food or cooking!

                                                                                    I think Cliff won the immunity challenge partly because he made a savory item. The guest judge said something about dessert being the easy choice.

                                                                                    I called the winner on the elimination challenge as soon as they drew the knives. The orange team was just much stronger, and they demonstrated it immediately by choosing a leader and listening to Betty's advice as a professional caterer. It was an amazingly unbalanced competition.

                                                                                    In his video clip on Bravo, Sam said that they'd been up for 25 hours straight by the time Mia quit.

                                                                                    1. Fantastic quote from www.televisionwithoutpity.com: "...throws Mia under Top Chef's popular, proverbial, and increasingly bloodthirsty bus."

                                                                                      1. Mia strongly objected, and rightly so, about her team's focus on seafood, so she made a surf 'n turf?

                                                                                        1. it just comes down to execution. just 4 items done really well vs. many items done ok could have been a winning decision if the team had been able to keep their table full of said 4 items. obviously, this is where mia should have lended her catering advice on how much quantity should be served at a cocktail party for 200. that's where mia should have fought her battle, not about the variety or recipes of the food but how to make sure there was enough. it was supposed to be a hip cocktail party for la magazine and one of the guests did like their food better noting that the other team's food was pretty run-of-the-mill and not special.

                                                                                          in other words, their ideas and creativity could and should have won if they had been able to execute keeping their table full.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: soypower

                                                                                            According to Colicchio's blog, that's not true. He pointed out that variety is an important factor in "wowing" people, especially at a cocktail party. Once they've tasted your four things, people are going to be off to try something else. The orange team not only had more offerings, but they staged them so that there were new items that had people coming back to try them. And there's no indication that all four of the items the black team had were superior. It appears, in fact, that only two of them were real standouts, so even on the quality scale they didn't "wow" anyone.

                                                                                          2. Actually surf and turf was Michael's idea.

                                                                                            Also, Tom said that two of the losing black team items were better than anything the orange team cooked.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: RBCal

                                                                                              "Although the Black team’s hors d’oeuvres were tasty and skillful, guests grew bored with the meager selection and quickly drifted back to the Orange team’s table. ... four items -- even perfect, delicious, beautifully executed items – were not enough. And worse, [Elia's] decision to make the hors d’oeuvres à la carte meant that she could never get ahead of her guests’ appetites, or even just keep up."