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Top Chef - D.C. - Finale, Part 1 (Ep. #13) - 09/08/10 (Spoilers)

And they're off to Singapore for the first part of the first international Top Chef Finale! Pre-competition, it sounds like Kevin's wife was about ready to have a baby when the finale was being filmed.

Tom shows up with the Singaporean King of Street Food, and Seito (sp?) takes them around the huge market and they try a noodle dish made by the same cook for the past 40 years, the "national dish" (according to Seito) of slices of poached chicken with rice, chilli crab, and a cuttlefish and noodle dish.

They then go to try one last dish, and who meets them? Padma! They all look stricken - something's up! The final street food dish Padma and Seito will be trying will be made by the cheftestants...they'll have to cook their street food using the most popular cooking utensil - the wok. And that's their only cooking utensil. And HUGE - for the first time this late in the competition, the winner of this Quickfire will receive immunity - effectively putting that person into the Finale!

All of the foods they are using are local, but the labels on the foods are in Malay or Chinese, so they have to taste test to find the ingredients they want and don't immediately recognize. It's a blazingly hot and humid night and cooking in the marketplace makes it even hotter for the cheftestants. Angelo switches gears with only about 5 minutes to go and deciding not to do chilli crab - what's he DOING? Frogs' legs?

Whoa - preview for the tasting by Padma and Seito shows Padma saying "What's wrong with you?" - to Kevin? Harsh!

1. Angelo - makes a chilli frogs' legs dish
2. Kelly made a noodle dish with lobster and cockles
3. Kevin made a seafood stew with cuttlefish, lobster, and he says he's never used a wok before - THAT'S why she said "What's wrong with you?" LOL
4. Ed made stir-fried noodles with lobster sauce and gai lan (Chinese broccoli)

Seito gives compliments to all four of their dishes....and the winner is Ed! He gets immunity going into the next challenge. Immunity plays a huge role in the Elimination Challenge, Padma says, because it's a team challenge!

The are charged with creating a menu for an event hosted by Dana Cowin, Editor of Food & Wine. The four of them will work as a team to create a cohesive menu representing the different cultures of Singapore. There will be 80 guests, and they will order from the menu created by the chefs, and they will be firing the orders a la minute. Wow.

Off to the Hilton they go to get their menu together. They agree to only do one dish each. But previews show Tom Colicchio saying "I just looked at the menu - you guys only have four dishes?" Hmmm....

Ed's rivalry with Angelo comes to the fore the next morning, and they're off to a spice market to get their dry spices for their dishes - and Ed decides he wants to make two dishes - interesting! And he notices that the shopkeepers use abacuses for adding up the total purchases.

And when Tom Colicchio says "I just looked at the menu - you guys only have four dishes?", we then see him say he thinks that all of them should do two dishes. So they all do it - and Kevin and Angelo are both pissed that Ed already thought and planned to do two dishes. Ed's right - they all should have really thought to pull out all the stops for the finale!

For their initial dishes:

Angelo's making a lamb tartar with Rambutan
Ed's making a sweet and sour pork bolognese over gai lan
Kevin's making a Southeastern Clam Chowder with cockles
Kelly's making seared praws with fiery coconut curry - AND she cuts herself pretty bad - can't find a bandage so she puts on a thin clear plastic glove...which doesn't make it easy to cut/chop/wrap anything.

For their second dishes, I caught Angelo's - a Shrimp Broth with Spicy Prawns - and Kelly's - a Cold Cucumber and Yogurt Soup. Didn't catch Ed's or Kevin's second dish (later noted - Ed makes Banana Fritters with Red Chilli, and Kevin makes Crispy Rice).

FUNNY in the "in-between" - they go "prawn fishing" - and while Kevin catches one, it's Kelly who actually baited his hook and THEN removed the prawn from the hook. Big baby. :-)

They head into Tanjong Beach Club, where the party is going to happen. Kelly notes in a voiceover that they HAVE to work as a team, yet they have no idea how they're going to expedite their dishes. The staff comes in and since they know the table numbers, Ed asks one of them be an expediter and someone volunteers. Ed asks that all dishes go out at the same time, and that the chefs are told which table is the judges' table. Ed seems to have taken the lead, which Angelo is happy about, since Ed has immunity.

Kevin's having problems with his cockles not opening; but they finally open up. Looks like banana fritter and crispy rice are the other two dishes I missed earlier. Ed goes out to see who the judges are - Dana, Seito, Tom, Padma, and Gail.

Angelo's noticing that the waitstaff seems confused as to what dishes to take and when to serve them. He finally directs a group of them to take certain dishes and to go out and serve them so the dishes aren't served cold...and yet they then wander around like they don't know what they're doing. Also, a few of them end up writing up tickets in Chinese, which then need to be translated by their expediter. That can only cause more confusion in the kitchen!

Tom orders for the table - the soups are all well received, but Angelo's seems to get the most praise.

Also, his lamb tartare gets high praise from Seito, as does Ed's sweet and sour pork dish from the entire table. Kevin's egg with tapioca balls also gets good praise - and Kelly's seared prawns are enjoyed as well. Boy, for as confusing as the kitchen seems, they seem to be hitting the dishes out of the park!

Ed's Banana Fritters with Red Chilli is LOVED by Tom and Dana Cowin! Seito says a dollop of coconut ice cream would be perfect with it. Looks like his dishes were great, even with immunity.

So - I think Angelo's IN the finale, and not really sure about who between Kelly and Kevin are going home. I think I'd prefer Kelly being there over Kevin.

Padma comes into the Stew Room and asks to see all of them at Judges' Table. Tom notes that he thinks this was the best food they'd had all season, and it'll be very minor points in various dishes that will separate winners from losers.

Angelo's soup is called a sauce vs. a soup - too much body, and Padma thinks it was slightly too salty. Kelly's fish dish was a little "rough" in its cut, and Seito says her guava apple salad was superb (and he's going to copy it).

Tom pretty much tells Ed he could put those fritters in a truck, park it in the East Village, and he'd have SO many stoners surrounding the truck he wouldn't know what to do! LOL I guess those fritters were GOOD!

Kevin's dishes *seemed* to not get as high praise as the others did - so perhaps he's the one going home? But both of Kelly's dishes had issues per the judges. And now Angelo's soup isn't as well favored as it seemed at the table when they were eating it? Even Angelo back in the Stew Room thinks he's going home. Wow.

So they're back in front of the judges...and Seito announces the overall winner - and it's Ed yet again! Another double win! Angelo's very teary-eyed in front of the judges...so who else is staying? CUT to commercial.....

And we're back...Angelo is VERY nervous....but Whoa! Kelly's GONE! Kevin's really staying in the finale? Wow. Well, I think he's a third placer...it's between Ed and Angelo, IMO, based on past history.

WAIT! Padma calls those three back to Judges Table! Yet another twist prior to next week's episode - and we won't see that twist until next week, of course. And in previews, Angelo is SICK - sick enough not to be able to cook? And it looks like Hung, TC3 winner - is back to help them in the finale - didn't see anyone else from previous seasons though - my back was to the computer...did anyone else see?

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  1. Interesting I don't know who to think will go home at this point

    On a side note went to the LA food festivale this week. Alex from this season...he is the one who was involved in the pea Puree scandal, he was there representing Cafe Waz, where he is executive chef. So his dish was a pea puree. He was very nice but I still haven't decided if he was trying to say ...I can make one...or being sarcastc...It was only Ok.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chris2269

      I still haven't decided if he was trying to say ...I can make one...or being sarcastc...It was only Ok.
      ~~~~~~~~~
      LOL! Well, he's had LOTS of time to practice making a pea puree. :-)

      1. re: chris2269

        Ha! Well it's kinda late for peas now, so I wouldn't expect it to be better than OK.

      2. Well I guess I am pulling for Ed?? Don't realy know...wish I was more into the finalists like in past years....missing Tiffany...

        Kevin has the whole "baby" thing going for him but who comes to Singapore and does not know how to use the wok....I agree with Padma....DUH!!!

        1. Effin' A. I'm so angry--immediately before the reveal of who was going home did you see the commercial showing who was in NEXT week's show--Angelo and Kevin? They spoiled their own ending. I'm so frosted.

          Argh!

          I've not been an Angelo fan, but I could really feel in this episode how important this is to him. And, yes, Ed was being a D-bag and he knew it.

          Actually, when they were at JT I realized I was going to be bummed no matter who went home. At this stage, it just seemed they all deserved to be there.

          But, I'm still ticked about the spoiler. They couldn't wait 2 more minutes to run that commercial for next week?

          ~TDQ

          73 Replies
          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            I didn't have that spoiler. For some reason my DVR stopped recording when they sent them back to the stew room! I had to come here to read Linda's recap to know who won and was sent home.

            I think I'm rooting for Ed, but I also don't really care at this point. Ed was pretty impressive with his cooking, not his demeanor this week. I so want some banana fritters. I'll be out there with the stoners at his truck.

            1. re: debbiel

              Yes, thank goodness for Linda's recap. I'm going to rewatch the ending tomorrow to see if I just imagined that spoiler. I don't think so.

              ~TDQ

              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                No, I saw that spoiler too. Much swearing and damning of Bravo occurred in my living room.

              2. re: debbiel

                debbiel, I meant to note VERY early on that this episode went to 11:15pm EDT...I just checked online for next week's FInale Part 2 - just 61 minutes. So DVRs/TiVOs are safe. :-)

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  Any bets on whether or not I get motivated to watch those last minutes? Maybe I'll just look at extended judge's table online. The DVR is supposed to KNOW when a show is scheduled to finish, and then record 5 minutes past that.

                2. re: debbiel

                  Debbiel, I'd be right in line with you! where can i get some of those!?!?!

                  1. re: debbiel

                    I don't share this extreme liking for those banana fritters. They're just banana pieces in fried dough, really, not that appetizing to me. Meh.

                    I never much liked the fried bananas (typically whole, or halved lengthwise, dipped in a dough mix then deep fried) widely available in SE Asia when I lived there. Ditto for other variants from banana-growing places (Mexico, Caribbean, etc)

                    1. re: huiray

                      Well, they are a little more than banana pieces in fried dough. What he did is made a little "sandwich" of 2 slices of banana and spread chile paste in between the banana slices. The dough has a beer/sesame seed/sugar batter. Then he sprinkles them with cinnamon and sugar and drizzles them with honey. So, it's got the spicy/sweet, crunchy/soft contrasts going for it.

                      ~TDQ

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        I understand that, but it's still just banana fritters to me. As I said, I never cared for fried bananas (in whatever form) and Ed's variant still doesn't grab me, plus I generally do not like sweets or desserts, and certainly not stuff sprinkled with sugar and drizzled with honey. Just stating my personal preference, obviously YMMV.

                        ETA: I'll eat them if they were placed before me, and I suppose I won't refuse them; but I won't go looking for them.

                        1. re: huiray

                          Fair enough. I just wanted to make sure for others reading along that they were a little more than your average banana fritter.

                          ~TDQ

                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                            Wow - to me they sound AMAZING!
                            I'd eat me some of those!!

                            I thought he was going to get called out for using a fritter mix....but I gueass not..

                            1. re: NellyNel

                              They sound amazing to me, too, that combo of sweet/spicy, soft/crispy, but, then again, I like bananas in sweet applications. (Only real bananas, please. I detest anything artificially "banana-flavored").

                              Did he use a fritter mix? I totally missed that!

                              ~TDQ

                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                That wasn't clear to me. He says in a voiceover while they're shopping that he saw the mix and that gave him the idea, but he may have taken the idea and then made them from scratch. The recipe on bravotv.com doesn't involve a mix, right? Though I suppose if he used the mix, they could have ginned up a scratch recipe for something not readily available to viewers.

                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                  I am not 100% sure on that now...but when I was watching it, I thought he was buying the box...

                                  1. re: NellyNel

                                    Kelly bought a bottle of something in a previous episode just for the ingredient list, IIRC...so buying does not prove guilt ;-)

                  2. re: The Dairy Queen

                    On my side of the river Comcast had the time wrong so I saw the first hour and I knew there was time left, at least 15 minutes by my guess which turned out to be right. I missed most of the judging but I saw who went home. The sad thing is I'm not invested enough to re-record. Last season I would have watched it all over again with rapt attention to things I hadn't picked up on first viewing.

                    I used to be an Ed fan, now I'm not so sure. I'm not a Kevin fan and I'm not an Angelo booster either. I've become the worst kind of watcher - an apathetic one.

                    1. re: MplsM ary

                      I hate to say it, but I have a hard time being an Ed fan after reading the Village Voice and NYT reviews of his restaurant. I know that's very unfair of me, but I just can't help but think of that... Maybe he's better at conceiving and executing dishes on a one-off basis than he is at developing menus, assembling and training a staff, and running a kitchen. What do I know.

                      ~TDQ

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        I really can't help thinking the nyt and the village voice don't like having another kingmaker in town.

                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                            no, it really isn't.

                            a) the village voice has little clout left in this town

                            b) the times is more worried about its perceived journalistic integrity than whether or not bravo has brought awareness to a chef

                            1. re: thew

                              Agreed, Thew. Also, one might suspect that Plein Sud may be suffering from an absent chef/parent. And in that regard, yes, maybe Ed isn't suited to this (but then, many restaurants suffer once mama or papa start devoting their attentions elsewhere).

                    2. re: The Dairy Queen

                      < "And, yes, Ed was being a D-bag and he knew it. " >
                      ------
                      Yes, Ed was DEFINITELY being a douchebag, particularly towards Angelo. He also misled the others (lied, actually) by stating very definitely that he wanted to make only one dish when they were planning, then quietly and sneakily going for two instead the next day - before Tom came into the prepping kitchen and told them they should have two each. Well, Ed then smugly says to Tom that he was planning on two anyway - and the others basically were blindsided by this.

                      1. re: huiray

                        Mind you I do think he was being a jerk, but...didn't Ed hedge on the one dish per person thing when they were planning? I thought he was very noncommital on that. Of course, I was skyping and fb'ing while watching, so I might not be great on the details.

                        1. re: debbiel

                          Ed stated he "wanted to do only one dish" at the planning session. I've now watched it twice, and that is what he said.

                          1. re: huiray

                            Unless he suggested and actively encouraged the others to only do one dish I don't have a problem with what he did. After all, he had immunity and they didn't -- their asses were on the line and if they felt the best way to approach the challenge was to only do one dish then it certainly wasn't his place to dictate their strategy.

                            It wasn't his fault that they were being stupid and needed Tom to tell them that one dish wasn't going to cut it for the finale. It's also quite possible that he anticipated there would be a "twist" (as there often is) and that they would be required to do a second dish and was quite appropriately thinking ahead.

                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                              Well, when the four were sitting around discussing their proteins and which dishes, someone raised the issue of how many dishes. I think Ed insisted more than once that he only intended to do one dish. As far as we know, that truly was his intention at the time. If, at that time, he knew he was going to do a 2nd dish, it's a little slimy of him to so vehemently declare that he was only going to do one dish, but, we don't have any reason to believe that that's what he was thinking...

                              The first time we the audience became aware that Ed was seriously considering doing a second dish (anticipating a possible twist) was at the spice market. Maybe that's the first time it occurred to him. And, really, it was pretty smart of him, because that was his only chance to buy anything special he thought he would need...

                              ~TDQ

                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                Yeah. But the point is: he had immunity. Even if he did "vehemently declare" that he was only going to to one dish, the other contestants weren't bound by that and shouldn't have let anything he said affect their decisions. If they did, that's their fault. This is after all, Top Chef, not Top Montessori School. And for all we know, he said he'd only make one dish in order to give the people who didn't have immunity more choices.

                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                  "This is after all, Top Chef, Top Montessori School." <snicker>

                                2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  It annoys me that this is a competition, and yet people are critical of the contestants for being competitive.

                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                    I have no problem with the contestants being competitive. What I've been really disappointed in this season is people expressing the sentiment that they want their "biggest competition" to go home, and have sometimes tried to influence the odds that way. Ed has certainly expressed this attitude in several interviews throughout the season. I found in previous seasons that competitors tended to want to beat their biggest competition at their best. And I can respect that and think it makes for a better show and that it makes winning actually mean something. I think it's cheap and weak to want win against your competitors on their worst day rather than their best day.

                                    1. re: eoj

                                      disappointed in this season is people expressing the sentiment that they want their "biggest competition" to go home, and have sometimes tried to influence the odds that way. Ed has certainly expressed this attitude in several interviews throughout the season. I found in previous seasons that competitors tended to want to beat their biggest competition at their best.
                                      ~~~~~~~~
                                      And I think that's why many of us liked Tiffany. She wanted people to be at their best so she could compete against them fairly.

                                  2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                    Oh, I don't disagree with you. It's a competition and they are grown up people who should think for themselves.

                                    My only point is that it would have been a little slimy of Ed if he actively misled them during that initial discussion, but we don't have any evidence indicating he was being anything other than completely sincere. There's no basis for saying he was being slimy that I can see.

                                    As far as we know, it only occurred to him later, during the shopping trip, that he decided planning for a second dish might be a good idea. I don't think it's slimy that he kept his newly-hatched plan to himself at that point. Seriously, what was he supposed to do, interrupt them while they are under pressure to buy everything they need (don't they have a limited time to shop?) and say, "Whoa, let me distract you with my latest brain wave?"

                                    And even though Ed says in all of the voiceovers that he realized in the spice shop that he should prepare for a second dish, and he told Tom he was planning on it, that may have just been posturing. It's not as if he was already prepping his bananas when Tom walked in the kitchen. I think he was keeping this idea in his back pocket. If Tom had said nothing, would have have made the second dish? Maybe. Maybe not. I'm not convinced.

                                    ~TDQ

                                  3. re: Ruth Lafler

                                    < "Unless he suggested and actively encouraged the others to only do one dish..." >
                                    ------
                                    He did.

                                    < "It wasn't his fault that they were being stupid and needed Tom to tell them that one dish wasn't going to cut it for the finale." >
                                    ------
                                    Well, as TDQ also points out, they DID discuss having two dishes that night and Kelly (I think) was querying if one was enough. Ed was adamant in saying one was enough and that he wanted to do only one and in practice shut down the discussion there.

                                    If he did only decide to do two the next day then he really should have said something to the others as they were supposed to work together as a team to come up with a coherent menu. At the least the others would then have been able to reconsider if they each wanted to still stick with one dish, as previously agreed, before Colicchio essentially pressed them all to do it after the fact. Then, when Colicchio did so, Ed spouts that stuff about "Oh, ABsoLUTEly" and his having planned to do two dishes all along. He was lucky he was all red from the heat and humidity because it helped to camouflage the brown on the tip of his nose.

                                    1. re: huiray

                                      We don't really have any reason to believe that Ed wasn't sincere about doing only one dish that night. The only information we (the viewers) have is that Ed says in the voiceover that he decided in the spice shop that a second dish would be a good idea after all. Even though he told Tom and said in the voiceovers that he was planning a second dish all along, I'm not convinced. It could just be posturing on his part. He likes to yank people's chains. This could just be more of that.

                                      I think it would have been MORE interesting to see what Ed would have done had Tom not intervened...

                                      ~TDQ

                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                        In other words, you are saying I should not trust anything he says. Or, assume that what he says he will do (without correction) will not be so. Well, I don't think I would like to know such a person or patronize such a person's establishment. However, Be my guest.

                                        I suppose it's kind of appropriate to this being Top Chef D.C. - where the art of politicians saying one thing and doing another, and use of other questionable tactics are commonplace.

                                        1. re: huiray

                                          Not exactly, huiray. In the real world, grown-ups have to look after themselves. I haven't watched all of this season, or any of any previous seasons, so I'm going to qualify my judgments a little. Plus, I know editing plays a huge part in how people are portrayed on these kinds of programs.

                                          I'm saying that Ed may have been completely sincere when he was adament that one dish was enough.

                                          It appears he changed his mind later. We don't really know when, only that he tells us that it was in the spice shop. I mean, did we even see him buy anything extra at the spice shop? (I'm assuming the bananas were available in the pantry and he didn't have to purchase those in advance.)

                                          The truth is, we have no idea if that is just a bunch of BS he made up for Tom and the others, "that I was planning a second dish all along".

                                          I think a bit of posturing and trash talk is part of most competitions, in many many sports, for instance.

                                          I already said in my first post in this thread, "Yes, Ed was being a D-bag and he knew it"...this in my opinion was probalby just more d-baggery. I'm stopping way short of saying it was evil.

                                          Maybe after their conversation what Kelly said started to nag at Ed and he decided over the course of the next day or so, as he mulled that conversation over, that he would at least have an IDEA for a second dish, should he decide he needed a second one at the last minute. Who knows if/when the appropriate time to communicate this to the others would have been.

                                          As I said, what if he completely derailed them during the shopping trip and had them all running around frantically trying to buy ingredients for a second dish? And what if Tom had popped into their kitchen and said, "What? You're all doing TWO dishes? In only an hour? For an event as important as F&W? What's wrong with you? Don't you think you're overextending yourselves?" And then someone got sent home because they were trying to do too much and put out some lousy dishes. Or they got sent home because they were so frantic and distracted at the spice market that they forgot something crucial?

                                          It could have just have easily gone down that way and we'd be sitting here saying that Ed deliberately sabotaged them by distracting them...

                                          If Kelly felt very strongly about a second dish, maybe SHE should have quietly conceived a second dish in her head to fall back on in the event a curve ball was thrown at her. Really, why did she let herself be silenced by someone who had no stake in the outcome of this challenge?

                                          ~TDQ

                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                            ***It could have just have easily gone down that way and we'd be sitting here saying that Ed deliberately sabotaged them by distracting them... ****

                                            Exactly!

                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                              "Not exactly, huiray. In the real world, grown-ups have to look after themselves."
                                              ---
                                              I never said otherwise.

                                              " Plus, I know editing plays a huge part in how people are portrayed on these kinds of programs."
                                              ------
                                              We go by what the magical elves show to us.

                                              "I'm saying that Ed may have been completely sincere when he was adament that one dish was enough."
                                              -------
                                              I have not said that he WAS already scheming the second dish as he spoke in the planning meeting, just that he did say what he did.

                                              "It appears he changed his mind later. We don't really know when, only that he tells us that it was in the spice shop."
                                              ------
                                              Fine. Let's assume this.

                                              " I mean, did we even see him buy anything extra at the spice shop? (I'm assuming the bananas were available in the pantry and he didn't have to purchase those in advance.)"
                                              -------
                                              Correct. They must all have known that there was a well-stocked pantry (which we see to be true subsequently - all that stuff, extra prawns, tapioca, etc etc) and that they only had to pick up odds and ends and spices that they thought they might need.

                                              "The truth is, we have no idea if that is just a bunch of BS he made up for Tom and the others, "that I was planning a second dish all along"."
                                              ------
                                              Again - we have a mismatch between what he said the night before and the following day. If it was 'a bunch of BS' that does not make his statements any less distasteful. In fact it would be a comment on society's mores that this kind of BS and falsity is just fine.

                                              "I think a bit of posturing and trash talk is part of most competitions, in many many sports, for instance."
                                              ------
                                              Sad commentary on society's mores, isn't it?

                                              "I already said in my first post in this thread, "Yes, Ed was being a D-bag and he knew it"...this in my opinion was probalby just more d-baggery."
                                              ------
                                              Yes, indeed.

                                              " I'm stopping way short of saying it was evil."
                                              ------
                                              Neither have I said it was evil.

                                              "Maybe after their conversation what Kelly said started to nag at Ed and he decided over the course of the next day or so, as he mulled that conversation over, that he would at least have an IDEA for a second dish, should he decide he needed a second one at the last minute. "
                                              ------
                                              I accept that that is plausible.

                                              "Who knows if/when the appropriate time to communicate this to the others would have been."
                                              ------
                                              I am of the opinion that it would have been better to have said something while they were still at the shops. (see also below)

                                              "As I said, what if he completely derailed them during the shopping trip and had them all running around frantically trying to buy ingredients for a second dish?"
                                              ------
                                              Possible but not that likely in my view. We have already seen that they have been able to think fast in the QF and even before then in the later episodes while still back in DC. Ed only needed to call them over and say that he's thinking of a second dish, did they want to think about another one too, keeping in mind there was all this stuff in the pantry, maybe they could think about multiple uses for what they were getting from the shops...a quick mini-discussion along those lines.

                                              "And what if Tom had popped into their kitchen and said, "What? You're all doing TWO dishes? In only an hour? For an event as important as F&W? What's wrong with you? Don't you think you're overextending yourselves?" "
                                              ------
                                              Possible, although I think it not that likely (my view). Also, in this case we are then saying that they all DID decide on two dishes beforehand, rather than have thought about the second one. I would prefer that the contestants have the chance to think about two dishes rather than be locked into just one.

                                              "And then someone got sent home because they were trying to do too much and put out some lousy dishes."
                                              ------
                                              Yes, that is the risk, true, but see above.

                                              " Or they got sent home because they were so frantic and distracted at the spice market that they forgot something crucial?"
                                              ------
                                              Unlikely, see above. If one of the others were to truly get into that bad a flutter then it says something about his/her lack of fitness at this level. In any case we see that they WERE capable of thinking fast in the kitchen so this possible panic-stricken scenario at the shops is not really likely.

                                              "It could have just have easily gone down that way and we'd be sitting here saying that Ed deliberately sabotaged them by distracting them..."
                                              ------
                                              I ascribe less likelihood to this, see above.

                                              "If Kelly felt very strongly about a second dish, maybe SHE should have quietly conceived a second dish in her head to fall back on in the event a curve ball was thrown at her. Really, why did she let herself be silenced by someone who had no stake in the outcome of this challenge?"
                                              ------
                                              Unlike in earlier episodes where the circumstances were different ( and she was the aggressor), maybe because here she also thought she should at least trust what they jointly agreed on the night before? *Shrug*

                                            2. re: huiray

                                              How is this a "questionable tactic"?

                                              At worst he said he would do something and changed his mind. He didn't force anyone to do anything or prevent them from doing what they thought was best.

                                              He was under no obligation to tell anyone his strategy -- it's a competition! In what world are people bad people for not telling their competitors their strategy?

                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                My comment about questionable tactics really applied to DC politicians.

                                                However, since you persist, I would say it is because it seems underhanded of Ed. You can be competitive without being underhanded. Even Kevin, who can also bluster himself, said in his voice-over that they were supposed to work as a team (even though they are also competitors) and Ed's action made the team look bad.

                                                If it was a pure free-for-all, with everyone for themselves then your sentiments about all-out strategy would be more applicable in this culture.

                                                1. re: huiray

                                                  Kevin thought it made the team look bad? No, their decision to only make one dish made the team look bad. That was just sour grapes on Kevin's part because he didn't want to own up to his own poor decision.

                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                    One word;

                                                    Editing

                                                    The Magical Elves are notorious for creating drama. As viewers, we aren't privy to everything that happens. We're only shown bits & peices meshed together to create interest. Take everything you see with a grain of salt & withhold judgement until you know the facts.

                                                    1. re: huiray

                                                      I'm not sure I see how it was underhanded of Ed. He wasn't competing against the other three this episode.

                                              2. re: huiray

                                                If the other contestants listened to Ed about how to go about what THEY should prepare for the finale, then they should be vilified for stupidity, not Ed for being competitive.

                                                1. re: John E.

                                                  i'm with John E. everyone's acting as though Ed had some special power that gave him the ultimate say in what the entire group did. if it WAS actually strategy and he did have a second dish planned all along, well then that's just smart game-play and he shouldn't be faulted for it. sure, he had immunity so he didn't HAVE to show up his competitors to make himself look good, but he may have done it to psych them out and rattle their confidence...and it worked.

                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                    I agree--can you imagine if it were the Olympics and someone said, "I'm not going to run my hardest. I'm going to wear old shoes and just wing it" and competitors following along and then getting angry?

                                                2. re: huiray

                                                  "Ed was adamant in saying one was enough and that he wanted to do only one and in practice shut down the discussion there."

                                                  How did Ed "in practice shut the discussion down there"? The other three were free to disagree, to overrule with regard to themselves, and let Ed be the only one to plan one dish if he insisted. They knew he had immunity and they were the only ones with elimination at stake. I don't see any evidence any of them wanted to do more than one if they can get away with only one, and in the discussion, they appear to agree that one each is enough given the time contraints. If they were somehow tacitly giving Ed authority to dictate the terms of the team challenge to them, that's on them, not him.

                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                    And as I noted, it's quite possible that by saying he was only going to do one dish he was actually giving his competitors more options, since it appeared they were limited in the ingredients they had to work with (cf Kevin asking if anyone minded if he used the cockles). If he'd laid claim to two proteins then someone else might have been prevented from using an ingredient they wanted to use (cf Spike who deliberately took ingredients so his competitors couldn't use them). Note that the second dish that he planned specifically *didn't* use one of the available proteins.

                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                      im pretty sure that had angelo been in ed's position and did this, many of you here defending ed would be condemning angelo.

                                                      1. re: thew

                                                        You are probably correct. Even taking into account his words about Angelo's girlfriend in earlier episodes, in my opinion, Ed is much more likeable than is Angelo.

                                                        1. re: thew

                                                          I certainly wouldn't. I'd defend any of them making the same choices, which I think were fair in the competition. Similarly, was Angelo hoping to mess with Tamesha's game by offering so much advice? Eh; I don't think his motivation matters. If she followed his advice blindly because she admired him, I think she wasn't a very savvy competitor.

                                                          1. re: thew

                                                            I haven't seen the entire season, but I really felt bad for Angelo in this episode. Unfortunately, he reacts badly to Ed's needling, which just makes Ed want to keep jabbing at him. I personally wish Ed would lay off. It's uncomfortable to watch, for one.

                                                            ~TDQ

                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                              I don't feel sorry for Angelo, he can dish it out at times too.
                                                              I just think he got flustered because he had that two dish thing thrown at him and he was totally unprepared. He survived though, which actually makes him look good.

                                                            2. re: thew

                                                              Well, not me. First, I don't have any particularly negative feelings about Angelo, and second, I'm capable of separating how I feel about what someone does from how I feel about them.

                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                ruth i only replied to your post to put me at the bottom of the thread, not to point you out specifically - which is why i worded it the way i did

                                                              2. re: thew

                                                                Probably, just as there are people who called Ed a douchebag or whatever and would have excused Angelo for the same actions. I don't particularly like Ed for what he does/did but it's all in the competition, as with Angelo. It's also the reason I liked Tiffany--because she didn't play games like this. But, it's all within the rules of the game and the other competitors should realize it.

                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                  perhaps - but i see a lot of (undeserved) angelo hate and a lot of excusing for ed - more than the other way around - at least here on CH

                                                                  1. re: thew

                                                                    I haven't counted but I had just finished reading the comments about Ed being a douchebag and many agreeing.

                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                      I would just like to point out that the first person to call Ed a douchebag in this episode, "particularly towards Angelo", was Ed himself! I just agreed with him. :).

                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                        I remember his calling himself one and then others using the term referring to him but I think every contestant, even Tiffany, has had negative things said about them. I don't think I've seen more anti-Angelo posts than anti-Ed posts but again, haven't really paid that much attention.

                                                  2. re: huiray

                                                    Yeah, Ed was needling Angelo a little bit, but I kind of enjoyed that because he did work hard in the kitchen on his food and in getting the food out of the kitchen and into the dining room.

                                                    We don't know at what point that Ed decided to do a second dish. I think that was just good strategy. (Although his response to Tom was a bit smarmy and smug). He said that he wanted to win this elimination challenge and beat Angelo even with immunity, an he did. I guess this post makes me sort of an Ed fan. I hope he beats Kevin for Top Chef 7 (because we all assume Angelo won't win, correct?)

                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                      So...I now expect to see comments from y'all about what a schemer Ed is...along the lines of the opprobrium Angelo got as a "schemer". :-)

                                                      1. re: huiray

                                                        I don't think it was scheming so much as brown nosing or just realizing that one dish wasn't going to cut it and being first to say so when it was to his advantage.

                                                        I was of two minds with Tom questioning the one dish thing
                                                        1) One hour, 80 guests, a la minute. Are you nuts? How will they even get one dish done? Where're the sous'?

                                                        2) Will one dish win this challenge?

                                                        Like others have said, I think Ed was just being a big ol bag of scented vinegary water.

                                                        1. re: huiray

                                                          There's a huge difference between Ed's needling Angelo and Angelo 'helping' the others with their dishes.

                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                            I was referring to Ed's surreptitious second dish in contradiction of agreed-on parameters and his shafting of the idea of 'working as a team'. It is disingenuous of you to put together Ed's needling Angelo with Angelo's 'helping' the others (as you call it).

                                                        2. re: John E.

                                                          that was sure some masterful needling though. It didn't more than a little needling to me though, it seemed more like if they were in neighboring jail cells, Ed would of needled Angelo into killing himself. He was totally under angelo's skin and pushing all his buttons. It was almost like watching a judo master fight how well and effortlessly Ed's needling broke through Angelo's positive thinking bs.

                                                          1. re: TheFoodEater

                                                            Ha! I too enjoyed this. Angelo is fun to watch, but it's even more fun when someone f's with him. Ed has been my favorite for awhile, and I think he'll pull it off in the end.

                                                            1. re: TheFoodEater

                                                              i enjoyed that also. i'm rooting for Ed. Kevin just isn't interesting enough to get my vote.

                                                              1. re: TheFoodEater

                                                                Here's how a poster on another forum described Ed and Kevin:
                                                                Quote: "Right, so we've got a drawling mushmouth Frat boy with an Angelo obsession, and a cocky ragewad who circled the bottom three for weeks with an Angelo obsession."
                                                                Unquote.
                                                                Heh. HEH.

                                                              2. re: John E.

                                                                Good point on the probability for who wins, based on who's filming the TC All-Stars. If the OTHER wins, that'll be like the Hosea or the Ilan season. The worst of the three winning. Ugh.

                                                              3. re: huiray

                                                                Another thing that qualifies Ed as Lord D-bag: When they were prepping, Kevin came behind Ed, who I believe uttered the phrase, "Don't f****** touch me, man," and then very deliberately stepped out of the way behind Angelo and belly-bumped him from behind. That didn't need to happen; that's some territorial line-cook shenanigans.

                                                              4. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                The promo you saw did not contain any shots from next week's episode, at least the shot with Kevin was not. The shot with Kevin was recorded in the TC kitchen back in D.C. but I don't know where the footage of Angelo is from. It looks like they just thought his comment fit in.

                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                  Ah, okay...it was hard to tell just in the few seconds they showed. I recognized the people, but not the setting. But, still, why show the promo at all? Even if it wasn't actual scenes from next week's episode, it clearly showed the two people who were "at risk" who are in fact moving on to the finale. It didn't show Ed, but we knew Ed was moving on anyway. And it didn't show Kelly, who isn't. It felt like a spoiler to me.

                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                1. re: huiray

                                                                  Thanks. I thought after I turned off the computer last night I probably could have Googled and found his name. But I didn't want to get back up and turn on the computer. :-)

                                                                2. Hung, Mike V, and (I think) Ilan.

                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                    1. re: debbiel

                                                                      Yes, it's Ilan. I paid attention to that quick scene in my second viewing.

                                                                    2. re: huiray

                                                                      Thanks - I *thought* it might have been Mike V. Didn't see Ilan. Oy.

                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                        Maybe Ilan's learned to cook by now?

                                                                        1. re: ChefJune

                                                                          He's got his own restaurant, so I'd hope so. It's the attitude I detest most about him. He's smarmy.