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Top Chef-Improv

Richard is a two time winner. Quickfire and elimination. Dale also wins elimination with Richard. I loved this challenge. Playing tricks on them with the loss of appliances and the moving of the service to the house was brilliant.

Perplexed played to Richard's strength. He has shown that he likes making things that look like one thing and tasting like another with the Willy Wonka dish, so this is great for him. And Richard and Dale make a formidable team, they complement each other well.

So Spike finally gets to do his soup, now maybe we can not hear about it anymore. Not a big fan of sweet soups, but I would like to try their soup.

You know, Antonia and Lisa totally missed the boat, the defense was pretty flimsy. Colors and emotions are enough to riff on, you don't need to riff on everything, when it says polish sausage, it is going to kill you to do as you are asked. An dI would have been pissed too if I didn't get the tequila. But they really didn't like the asparagus dish.

Nikki and Spike stays for another week, dammit!!!

And Jennifer is gone. Which is pretty sad because she is a whole lot better than the aforementioned schmucks.

Oh yeah, I think they cut the scene where Antonia threw up in her mouth, as she had promised if Spike got to the top with his squash soup. ;)

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  1. Oh my goodness! Jen is gone and Nikki lives to play for another day? No room for a misstep since they don't use cumulative points. Wow!

    2 Replies
    1. re: smtucker

      i agree. it is just incomprehensible to me that nikki is still on. i am kindof hoping she does something interesting to make her presence a little less ridiculous, but i doubt she will.

      1. re: Adrienne

        Nikki just got really lucky this week she paired up with Mark, who's a better, more inspirational chef than she is.

    2. Wow, where to start with the Asparagus Boner episode: Two teams of women undone by the most phallic ingredients imaginable; female team slammed for replacing sausage with...fish; guys praised for their pillowy piles of creme fraiche and tofu; last lesbian booted by an asparagus boner....
      Paging Dr. Freud!

      4 Replies
      1. re: newhavener07

        Lisa is gay... so there is still one lesbian standing.

        1. re: smtucker

          Whew! Plus all the homoerotic banter between the guys, despite the tragic loss of the pretty boy. Is it me or has this season got all kinds of weird sexual subcurrents going on? Perhaps I'm missing the out-and-proud-but-not-making-too-big-a-deal of it gay men of earlier seasons. Ted Allen, despite his sausage comment last night, doesn't count.

        2. re: newhavener07

          ! hilarious. i laughed out loud. thank you.

          1. This episode was pathetic. If you don't cook what the challenge dictates you lose, period. I've watched Top Chef off and on since the beginning and the only consistency in the judging is their lack of consistency.

            1. Agreed - loved the "improv" of removing the electric appliances and Chef Colicchio coming into the kitchen only to say "you've got 20 minutes to pack it up and move it to your own kitchen." Great job for whoever came up with this challenge idea!

              When I heard what the words were and who drew what, and when I saw Richard and Dale team up, I knew they'd be part of the top group. Good on both of them.

              Thought that Antonia/Lisa would be in the bottom while they were shopping in the supermarket when I heard they weren't doing Polish sausage and were putting fish on top of their chorizo. Huh? It's nothing like what the challenge said! Why are others booted for not conforming to the challenge in past episodes, but one of them wasn't? The judges continue to be inconsistent in how they judge. I have a feeling the Bravo blogs are going to be slamming about this tomorrow.

              And will someone tell Lisa to *uncross* her arms and stop tilting her head and frowning when she's standing in front of the judges? She is so obviously pissed off, and is projecting so much negativity by her body language, I'd kick her off just for that!

              When Jennifer/Stephanie were deemed the bottom 2, based on the questions asked before deliberation, I had a feeling it was going to be Jennifer....but held my breath until Jen's name was said by Padma. Phew.

              As for Jen, while she might have been way better than Nikki and Spike, at least we won't have to hear that she was doing this for Zoi anymore. Started off this episode (yet again!) that way and she ended the episode that way. Thankfully, we don't have to hear that again. At least not until the reunion show.

              10 Replies
              1. re: LindaWhit

                to me, that sound bite of jen insisting, once again, that she was doing it for zoe, was a flashing neon sign that she was getting the boot tonight.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  That and the "I'm packing my knives -- a bad omen" said cheerfully...

                  1. re: momjamin

                    I remember thinking "Yeah, right... as if they will send Jen home, when Nikki and Spike are still their, slinging that garbage."

                    Gulp

                2. re: LindaWhit

                  I agree with your comments about Lisa. She was so mopey during this episode. Even when Jen was saying her goodbyes. I was actually yelling at the TV when she mentioned (a couple of times) that she got a raw deal because someone got drunk at an improv show and yelled "polish sausage." Blah. I think Lisa is my least favorite now just because of the negativity.

                  1. re: Boudleaux

                    I agree -- I thought they both should have been on the block for their snotty attitudes.

                    1. re: Boudleaux

                      I also think Lisa has beat out the guys in her use of profanity. There seems to always be something that's F**ked in each episode.

                      1. re: Boudleaux

                        I couldn't agree more. I mentioned this thread in my interview with Jen: http://www.chow.com/stories/11077

                        I was especially glad to hear that I'm not alone in thinking Lisa should have been the one to go. Shouldn't negativity play some role in the judging? Then again, if you're eating in a restaurant you never know what's happening in the back. I'll never forgot the time I met the old chef at Falstaff's and he was so rude to me that I decided then and there to never go back. But it's rare that you would even meet a chef if you were just at the restaurant for a meal.

                        Meredith

                      2. re: LindaWhit

                        Forgive me if someone has mentioned this, as I haven't been following all the Top Chef threads this season... it's not Lisa's negativity that gets me the most, but it's her greasy hair! What is up with that? It gives me the heebie jeebies (sp?) when I watch her cook, picturing hair grease dripping down into the food! Urp!

                        1. re: Katie Nell

                          Yeah no kiddin. they got after curly top about his hygiene on the tailgate show, what about her personal hygiene. Wear a hat, hairnet or something.

                          1. re: Katie Nell

                            I always think she does her interview right out of the shower and couldn't find a comb.

                        2. Okay, so we have one team that at least attempted the challenge, even though their dish wasn't very good. Then we have another team that basically said, "#@$% you, we're not playing." And the ones who PLAYED BY THE RULES got sent home?! That ain't right.

                          11 Replies
                          1. re: revsharkie

                            "And the ones who PLAYED BY THE RULES got sent home?! That ain't right."

                            Agreed. I think judges' (Colicchio's?) defense was the asparagus didn't take center stage, but at least it HAD freaking asparagus in it!

                            Trying to think what would make beer braised polish sausage "high end"...flash-fried onions and cabbage with a sour vinaigrette? Cause anything would be better than the fish dish. Chorizo is NO polish sassage.

                            1. re: charlesbois

                              I think they should have MADE a polish sausage from scratch, adding fish to the sausage itself if fish was a goal (maybe a shellfish sausage with polish seasonings). Then they could have boiled in beer and then grilled the sausage and served it with a homemade dipping sauce and maybe some beer-batter pancakes... it doesn't have to be that fancy so long as there are techniques involved and the product is tasty.

                              1. re: Adrienne

                                You can't really make a polish sausage in the time they were allotted. It requires drying and cold smoking. They could make an analog, but I don't think it would really taste that similar.

                                1. re: vanillagorilla

                                  not if they made fresh polish sausage. there are multiple types. :) fresh would have been very easy to pull off and is, imho, better than the smoked stuff.

                                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kie%C5%8...

                                  i definitely agree they should have made their own. fresh would have been a breeze. they obviously don't know that you never mess with midwesterners and their sausage!!

                                  1. re: vanillagorilla

                                    I feel like if they made ANY type of sausage, hand made, they would have been better off. Something resembling polish sausage would have been fine. A a rift on it using seafood would have been fine.

                                2. re: charlesbois

                                  I thought polish sausage and maybe mussels in a beer broth would have worked. And I agree, making their own sausage would have won them points, since its been proven that judges love that.

                                  1. re: charlesbois

                                    Seems they flip flop on these rules. In the past people were sent home because they didn't complete the assignment over a bad dish and in this case the bad dish was enough to send Jen packing even though the other team clearly didn't follow the rules. Although If I heard I'm winning this for Zoe one more time I think I would lose it.

                                  2. re: revsharkie

                                    Yes, I agree completely. Granted they had an ingredient that perhaps was less interesting than the others, but I agree that they could at least have made some sausage. And, Jen and Stephanie were chastized for, among other things, the cheese playing more of a role in the dish than the asparagus, yet the Polish sausage team had fish as the main ingredient. And it was supposed to be drunken Polish sausage and there wasn't much drunkeness about it. Bad call by the judges, IMO, this time, though at least Stephanie didn't get booted.

                                    P.S. I do think asparagus team went way too far w/ the phallic/menage a trois thing.

                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                      I agree that the judges messed this one up.

                                      Antonia and Lisa not only used the wrong kind of sausage but also made a freakin' fish dish. Moreover, there was little alcohol flavor, and most of the dish was the wrong color. I don't think there's any question that one of them should have been sent packing.

                                    2. re: revsharkie

                                      THAT was so absolutely aggravating. COnsidering last week's decision, it made no sense. Jennifer seems better than the other two, and they at least tried to tackle the challenge. I'd probably get far if I was the only one cooking what I wanted despite the rules.

                                      1. re: revsharkie

                                        I totally agree here. But it seems as if the judges decided taste mattered more and even though Antonia and Mopey Lisa half-a**ed it, they at least like how their dish tasted.

                                        I thought it was a bad decision though. I think Antonia or preferably Lisa should have gone home...not Jen.