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Top Chef All-Stars - Ep. #10 - 02/16/11 (Spoilers)

Oh, my - we certainly went off-topic just a *few* times on last week's thread, didn't we? ;-) While I'm glad the Mods let us go on all sorts of tangents last week, let's try and keep this one more on topic!

************************************************************************************

OK, we start off with the remaining chefs talking about Fabio being gone. Richard wishes Fabio had consulted with him - after all, he *does* run a burger restaurant! True that. Richard and Dale, both Season 4, are aiming to be in the Finale together, and then they're going to go head-to- head.

And they head into the TC Kitchen the next morning. Padma starts off by saying in a slightly sing-song voice "We're on our way, and everything's OK..." while the cheftestants look at her like she's lost her mind. She finishes with "Can you tell me how to get to...." and up pop the Cookie Monster, Elmo and Telly from behind a draped table to shout out "SESAME STREET!"

The Quickfire Challenge is cookie making! And who are they trying to impress? The Cookie Monster, Elmo, and Telly. Well, not the Muppets specifically....but the Muppeteers who manipulate those Muppets.

Richard says with his 2yo daughter, Elmo is like Elvis - so he can't afford to lose this one! Padma asks the Muppets for any suggestions - Elmo wants zucchini, the Cookie Monster wants chocolate chips, of course. And he wants them NOW! Padma says the prize is $5,000.

And they're off - 45 minutes to make cookies. The Muppets heckle the cheftestants with instructions and comments such as "Five Second Rule!" when Mike drops something on the floor. Mike is actually laughing so much at all of the comments. Dale's not used to being heckled and has to curb his impulse to swear at them! LOL Elmo asks what Richard has in his hand - it's a zucchini - which is what Elmo wanted and he's very happy! Dale's "cookies" are a combination of potato chips, pretzels, and chocolate - not really baking, but you go with what pops into your brain! Antonia's cookies are VERY large chocolate-chocolate chip cookies.

Judging begins...in tasting one cookie, Telly say, "I thought I tasted cardamom," and Padma says that "cardamom and cinnamon were related and from the same part of the world." Elmo said "Really?" :::::long pause::::: "TMI!" And turns and leaves that table. TOO funny! (Thanks momjamin, for the correction!)

Bottom group - Richard and Angelo
Top group - Dale and Antonia

While Antonia's cookies are great (Cookie Monster said the only ones that were ooey-gooey), Telly said they weren't the prettiest...Elmo said they looked like cow chips! LOL And Dale wins!

For the Elimination Challenge, they take over a Target store, and have to create dishes from items found in the aisles - including using the pots and pans and various cookware! They're playing for $25,000. They have 3 hours in the middle of the night to raid the store for EVERYTHING they might need - this includes food, utensils, cooking equipment - and cook for 100 Target employees. Padma tells them to leave their knives in the TC kitchen. They have to use ONLY what they can find in the store. This will be interesting!

They go absolutely nuts throughout the store - the store is so big it's hard for them to find everything they need. Mike and Angelo seem to team up to help each other...interesting move on their parts! Meanwhile, Antonia has two filled carts with absolutely EVERYTHING she could need - electronics, food, everything! Carla, however, still hasn't shopped for her food yet and the challenge is 1/3 done! Get going, Carla! Even Richard notices you haven't started cooking yet, and thinks perhaps you won't be finished!

Richard starts cooking first. Dale looks around as he's cooking and sees that the women have set up their tables nicely with flowers, tablecloths, etc. He says "I didn't realize this was a Suzy Homemaker competition!"

And EVERYONE seems to be making a soup or stew - except Antonia. However, her egg dish could be a problem in getting them all done on time! Carla's realizing that she spent too much time working on her tablescape vs. the food, and doesn't think her soup is a $25,000 soup.

Dale's tomato soup is just soup, but his steak and grilled cheese using an iron is pretty damn smart! LOL

Judges - at 3:00am service! - in addition to Padma and Tom, are Anthony Bourdain, Ming Tsai, and Thomas O'Brien, Target's Home Designer.

Richard's pork dish - Bourdain said the dish was butt ugly, but tasted good.

Dale's steak and grilled cheese got rave reviews for the good crunch on the sandwich. Bourdain said "perfect late night stoner food." :-D Ming Tsai was impressed with his using an iron to "grill" the sandwich, and said "Maybe he's trying to become an Iron Chef!" Ooooh. Bad pun!

Carla's curried soup - judges said it needed protein - which she KNEW she was missing but had spent too much time shopping for her tablescape!

Antonia's egg dish - Bourdain said it was ballsy of her to attempt 100 servings, but everyone loved it!

Tiffany - her jambalaya was considered "ok" and "fair". Mike's soup was also considered OK.

Angelo's baked potato soup was deemed too heavy, and Ming said it was WAY too salty. He asked the other judges if they'd eat a whole bowl of the soup, and everyone said no.

So who's in the high group? I think Dale and Antonia are going to be battling it out again. As for the low group, it's probably Angelo, Carla, and Mike, and I think Angelo might be on the way out. They seemed to focus most on his and Carla's soups as the worst, but Angelo's over-salting could be his death knell.

They're back in the Stew Room, and they're all exhausted. Padma comes in and asks for Dale, Antonia, and Richard - definitely the Top Group!

Richard gets kudos from Ming for cooking his protein two ways. Antonia's dish is favored by Bourdain with getting it all done, and Dale's inventiveness is highly praised. And Dale wins! A double win for him this time around!

Dale said back in the Stew Room that they want to see Carla, Tiffany and Angelo. I had two out of the three in the bottom group. Carla's soup *was* in need of protein and was too thin - Ming said it would have been a good sauce for chicken or salmon.

Angelo's salty soup was also too rich. Tiffany's jambalaya used dried spices, which Bourdain says accentuated the problems with the dish when she overused the spices.

Padma asks them if they have any final words to say before they make their decision - Tiffany is the only one who makes a statement about being from small town Beaumont, Texas, and she's honored to have cooked with all of them. They head back into the Stew Room, and Carla said "Beaumont cried again." But Angelo thinks he's heading home for too much salt.

At JT, while Tiffany's jambalaya was overspiced, it wasn't inedible. It REALLY seems to be leaning towards Angelo - but we know how the Elves work. Could this be Carla's swan song? Noooo! Please send Angelo first!

We're back....Tom reviews all of their dishes, acknowledging the difficulty of the challenge....and Padma asks Angelo to PYKAG! He realizes he lost control of the dish. They go back into the Stew Room, and his buddy, Mike, is astonished. But he gets a little Target dog as a farewell gift from Carla or Antonia. :-) A gracious farewell.

And WHAT? Fabio and Marcel are back next week? Noooooooo!

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  1. really nervous for Carla!!!!

    1. not a fan of this "challenge." not so much of a cooking challenge as it is a commercial for Target!!

      14 Replies
      1. re: mattstolz

        I agree, especially this late in the season- the focus should be on cooking, not stunts!

        1. re: karenfinan

          however, i DO like the new target commercials featuring Kevin and Padma!

            1. re: mattstolz

              They were kind of funny! Also one with Dale working against Kevin and Kevin having to scrape his dish out of a sticky pan while Dale's slides out of a nonstick pan? :-)

              1. re: LindaWhit

                Wasn't it Eli Kirshtein in the ad with Kevin?

                1. re: Nettie

                  Ugh. Thanks. I *knew* it wasn't Dale. But he was stuck in my brain. Yes, it was Eli.

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    No prob--I only knew it was Eli because Richard Blais tweeted about it.

                2. re: LindaWhit

                  I LOVED the Eli/Kevin commercial. Which I would not have seen had I been a more accurate DVR fast forwarder.

                  1. re: debbiel

                    AUGH! I missed it completely. well, I'll just have to watch a rerun. :)

                3. re: mattstolz

                  Especially the nod toward Kevin's pig-loving rep. "You made a ... lettuce and tomato sandwich? Huh."

                  1. re: mattstolz

                    Same here! I liked the Lettuce and Tomato sandwich one the best.

                    P: So you made a Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich?
                    K: Yes! *beaming*
                    P: Huh. *completely perplexed* (was she really acting?)

                    Pop to OM bacon.

                    1. re: Dee S

                      I thought her delivery of "Huh" in that commercial was SO much better than she normally delivers her lines in the show! Maybe they rehearsed it a lot?

                      1. re: aching

                        I agree! It was very full of meaning for a "huh."

                4. "i think dale's trying to become a iron chef"

                  HAHAHAH good one ming!

                  1 Reply
                  1. this is not the most they have every played for. the bocuse d;or challenge was 30 grand
                    http://teenchefteddy.blogspot.com/

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: tldmatrix

                      you're right - i remembered that as well while i was watching, and just looked it up to be sure. stupid mistake for them to make!

                    2. ahhhh, Angelo, he was one of the most talented, too bad. Anybody think Mike Isabella wasn't a help?

                      67 Replies
                      1. re: karenfinan

                        Hmmm...yeah. Perhaps Mike's the new Black Widower?

                        1. re: karenfinan

                          Agreed. Actually I thought Mike was a little "too" astonished.

                          1. re: LiveRock

                            I thought Mike was genuinely astonished. When he high-fived Angelo after Tiffany was saying how her dish was overseasoned, I thought his high-five was because it sounded to him like Tiffany was going to be sent home (which I thought was an obnoxious gesture, btw). Angelo was bewildered by that gesture as well.

                            1. re: lisavf

                              After some of our previous threads, my gang-inspired reactions:

                              * Mike is astonished not only that his BFF Angelo was going home, but more to the point, that Angelo was on the loser's panel with two women and still lost.

                              * Where's the outrage from the other contestants that Dale won on grilled cheese and tomato soup? Surely that's simpler than mussels.

                              All tongue-in-cheek ;-)

                              1. re: momjamin

                                Actually, I think both comments are spot-on :)

                                1. re: lisavf

                                  I also think that both comments are spot on -- I think that's exactly why Mike was so astonished (and I thought his outrage was pretty rude to the other two in the bottom), and I agree that grilled cheese and tomato soup are a lot easier than mussels! I think that it's awesome that Dale won for a deceptively simple dish, but it will be pretty pointed if there is no "just grilled cheese and tomato soup!" from the remaining chefs.

                                  1. re: JasmineG

                                    "and I agree that grilled cheese and tomato soup are a lot easier than mussels!"
                                    ____
                                    Only if you buy your soup from a can and don't bother with the rib-eye in your sandwich. Try to make Antonia's mussels dish - it's near impossible to f*** up unless you get the salt wrong. Takes like 20 minutes start to finish. Meanwhile, making the sandwich portions individually (for 100+ in 2 hours) actually put Dale's dish on the more difficult side of this challenge.

                                    Dale's dish wasn't hard. For a home cook to make for servings for 4-6 without major time constraints. The difference this week was that they were operating under pretty severe time and equipment constraints and had to produce many servings. You don't call someone out for making a soup and a sandwich if you only made soup (Angelo, Carla, Mike) or a jambalaya (Tiffany).

                                    On the other hand, If Antonia wanted to complain about the others taking the easy route (and she sorta did), I would have given her a pass this week.

                                    1. re: cowboyardee

                                      I love all of the defensive comments about how it couldn't possibly be sexism, when that's not at all what I said (people seem like they're protesting a little too much). I think that grilled cheese and tomato soup aren't that hard to make, just like mussels (though, again, I think it's a lot easier to make a bunch of big sandwiches and cut them and make a big pot of soup than make great mussels) and yet I've had really bad and really good versions of both, so I'm delighted that people are winning for dishes that look simple. I just think that it's interesting that the other chefs on the show were stunned and angry when Antonia won for mussels and there wasn't a peep when Dale won for grilled cheese and tomato soup.

                                      1. re: JasmineG

                                        Maybe it's because quite a few of the contestants made soup as well?

                                        1. re: donovt

                                          But the other two in the top three didn't -- Antonia made perfect runny eggs, and Richard made pork.

                                          1. re: JasmineG

                                            Yeah, but when 4 out of 7 made soup, it shows that what Dale made was well in line with the competition.Especially seeing as the other soup makers didn't make sandwiches.

                                            I have no problem ith Antonia winning for mussels by the way.

                                        2. re: JasmineG

                                          "I love all of the defensive comments about how it couldn't possibly be sexism, when that's not at all what I said (people seem like they're protesting a little too much)."
                                          _____

                                          What? Find me a mention of 'sexism' in my post. Were you just assuming it was there? I'm talking about food.

                                          "(though, again, I think it's a lot easier to make a bunch of big sandwiches and cut them and make a big pot of soup than make great mussels)"
                                          ______
                                          I disagree with you. Cuz you're wrong. No offense though - here's a smiley face :)

                                          Beyond that, I think a lot of people are (falsely) equating familiarity with easiness and also completely ignoring the demands of the respective challenges.

                                          The simplest explanation for why the chefs were stunned when Antonia won is the face-value explanation - her dish really was very simple and easy compared to her competitors. You can come up with all the other sinister explanations and motivations you want, but the chef-testants came right out and said her dish was surprisingly easy and all my experience cooking tells me this was true.

                                          Heck take a look at the video for Top Recipe that week. The mussels video came in at, like 4 minutes. The average Top Recipe video is over 10 minutes.

                                          1. re: cowboyardee

                                            Your comment, which was one of many, did not mention sexism, but LOTS of others in this thread did. And, again, it's not about how fast it is to cook something, it's about how good it tastes. I bet it took a long time to make bad pasta that week, but the quick mussels tasted better. Dale's tomato soup and sandwiches, clearly simpler to make than Richard's pork and Antonia's 100 perfectly fried eggs, tasted better. It's not about the time, or the simplicity -- it's about how good the food is. That's why Antonia won, and that's why Dale won this week. I don't know why 4 minutes makes you think that you're right and all the others who disagree with you are wrong.

                                            1. re: JasmineG

                                              "Your comment, which was one of many, did not mention sexism, but LOTS of others in this thread did."
                                              ________
                                              If we're talking elsewhere in this thread, then most examples are in direct response to someone outright alleging sexism. Which seems to me, in this case, unjustified. I'm sure sexism often exists in pro kitchens and it is a very bad thing, but reaction to Dale winning vs Antonia winning is not strong evidence of it.

                                              "It's not about the time, or the simplicity -- it's about how good the food is."
                                              ____
                                              It's about everything - how tasty the food is AND how much skill and work and imagination it took to make it. I'm sure taste is probably weighted most heavily in that equation, but still, you can't judge a cooking competition on taste alone and make it compelling.

                                              I don't even necessarily have a problem with Antonia winning that week. I'm just pointing out that her competition's offerings must have been flawed for her to do so, since it was such an easy, simple dish (and the blogs that week would seem to back me up). On the other hand, that episode did seem a little like the judges were being less objective than usual (and wanting mostly-faithful recreations of their favorites rather than valuing the best cooking that week), but as I didn't taste the other dishes, I can't say for sure.

                                              "I don't know why 4 minutes makes you think that you're right and all the others who disagree with you are wrong."
                                              _________
                                              It doesn't. My cooking experience makes me think that I'm right and that those who disagree with me are wrong. The video thing was just trying to strengthen my case for those who aren't yet convinced.

                                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                                Tony Bourdain (who actually ate all of the food that week and this week) would disagree with you about her competition's offerings http://popwatch.ew.com/2011/02/17/ant...

                                                For you it may be about skill and work and imagination. But for these judges it's clearly just about the taste. You may judge a cooking competition differently, but that's not how they're judging it, or what they care about.

                                                1. re: JasmineG

                                                  I could come up with a lot of counter examples, but a few off the top of my head: Sam getting dinged for not cooking anything in the second season finale (part 1), and even there he did a decent amount of work. Hung being dinged for that unimaginative and easy canape, season 3. Season 4, ep 1 big bald-headed dude staying in after thoroughly screwing up a soufflee because it was a difficult dish and skinny lady screwed up an easy one. Robin leaving rather than Jen season 6 cuz she messed up a panna cotta rather than something more difficult. Angelo getting called to the bottom this season for serving a crudo in the 8-minute quickfire. There are many more.

                                                  I also remember questioning Bourdain's judging rationale that episode in the thread for that week just as I did in my above post (though as I noted at the time, I'm a huge Bourdain fan normally). I'm not sure what you're implying here, but Bourdain certainly didn't state that Antonia's mussels were a difficult dish to make compared to her competitors.

                                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                                    I don't think any of your examples contradict what I said: it's all about how good the food tastes. If it's the best tasting food that week, no high or low level of difficulty will be the thing that will put you over the top. Conversely, the worst tasting dish goes home, so an easy bad dish will still lose, just as a hard bad dish will lose.

                                                    1. re: JasmineG

                                                      "I don't think any of your examples contradict what I said"
                                                      ____
                                                      Did you read them? Remember seeing them on TV? They were pretty clear - cases where judges based their decisions on factors other than taste. If you don't see that, I have no idea what to tell you. Read the judges' blogs. It has never been "all about taste."

                                          2. re: JasmineG

                                            Yet people have been explaining why the reactions differed but clearly the suggested reasons are not registering with you?

                                            1. re: JasmineG

                                              Was it Mike and Fabio who complained about Antonia's mussel dish being simple? Mike obviously wouldn't say the right thing and Fabio is gone. I think it's far harder to make good mussels than grilled cheese. I don't understand that there's any defense--really, grilled cheese? Dale used that preshredded Target cheese from a bag? Okay, once I was at Target, short on time and picked up some cheese. I bought cheddar cheese, instead of American, only to find once I got home that the first ingredient of their "cheddar" cheese is American cheese. So, the judges were happy w/ shredded processed cheese and gave it a $25,000 prize? I think Dale was shocked about it. How many times did he say he just did grilled cheese and soup.

                                              I also don't believe that the food that tastes the best should necessarily win. How can you compare what Dale made to what Antonia and Richard made? Why bother stretching to show what you can do then? Yes, it needs to taste good but it also needs to be more than grilled cheese.

                                              1. re: chowser

                                                I think it would be "harder" to prepare 100 runny, good-tasting eggs than grilled cheese (w/meat) and soup (or even mussels), but the judges are obviously going with what they think tastes best.

                                                I don't pretend to understand the true criteria for a Top Chef, but best-tasting food seems like a pretty important one. It's always mine.

                                                I'm not suggesting that if all else (re: how it tastes) is "equal" that other factors don't/shouldn't come into play. But it seems the food that tastes best should win--unless the best-tasting dish did not meet some key component/condition of the challenge.

                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                  I'm on the fence about this--whether best taste is all that should count. I think it would be too easy to try to take the easy way out and make something "safe" and would hate to see TC taken down to that level. It would be like watching the X Games and saying someone deserved to win because he did the half pipe w/ minimal tricks perfectly, or watching skaters only do single jumps because they knew it would be perfect.

                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                    I guess if we were to use extreme examples, not any of which I can think off the top of my head, it might not be "fair" for some delicious super-simple dish to win over something almost-as-delicious that was much more complex, dependent upon technical prowess, vision, presentation, etc. But, in general, how good something tastes, it seems to me, has to be most important.

                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                      Definitely taste is important (unless you have Mizrahi on as a QF). I wonder if he had just done a BLT if that would have won.

                                                      I'm also wondering how Dale got that Target cheese to taste good--shredded cheese in packs can be pretty bad.

                                                2. re: chowser

                                                  "I think it's far harder to make good mussels than grilled cheese."
                                                  ______
                                                  This is true, though exaggerated - both are easy. It is also a profound mis-characterization of what Dale actually cooked and the time, portion, and equipment constraints around him cooking it.

                                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                                    The point is that with Dale's soup & grilled cheese and Antonia's mussels they understood the nature of the challenge and delivered what was asked for.
                                                    If the challenge had been for the chef's to stretch their imaginations and provide the judges with an amazing dining experience those dishes would not have won.
                                                    In addition the their food being good, I think they both deserve credit for understanding what they were being asked to do, who they were cooking for, and cooking appropriately.

                                                    1. re: tofuburrito

                                                      "I think they both deserve credit for understanding what they were being asked to do, who they were cooking for, and cooking appropriately."
                                                      ______
                                                      I said Antonia's dish was easy, not that it was bad. I like Antonia and think she's a good cook, and I've said so at other times on these threads. I'm not trying to take any credit away from her.

                                                      I just don't buy that the surprised reaction to her win is indicative of some sort of hypocrisy or chauvinism on the part of the contestants- her dish was surprisingly easy for an EC winner, in a way that Dale's this week and Carla's last week were not.

                                            2. re: JasmineG

                                              The big difference is the circumstances they're working under. If Antonia made mussels with irons then we'd all be amazed.

                                              1. re: JasmineG

                                                Different circumstances. Others above and below also talk about it.

                                                1. re: JasmineG

                                                  "I also think that both comments are spot on -- I think that's exactly why Mike was so astonished (and I thought his outrage was pretty rude to the other two in the bottom)"
                                                  ----------
                                                  IMO that is doubtful.
                                                  It seems to me that Mike's reaction was "of the moment" and specifically directed to Angelo's leaving per se, as the "loss" and parting of his buddy and person he looked up to, and had little to do with the other two on the bottom.

                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                    Agree, Huiray, about Mike's reaction.

                                            3. re: karenfinan

                                              Yeah, I don't think Mike intentionally hurt Angelo, but if Angelo had just focussed on his own needs and his own dish, maybe he wouldn't have made such a critical error. I knew he was done for when, after Mike said the dish needed salt, he added salt AND bacon. Right there I thought, that's it, he's going home because of salt.

                                              Good for Dale for the win, although I really thought Antonia was going to take it. It really did take a lot of balls to make 100 fried eggs and make them perfectly using that little griddle pan.

                                              1. re: lisavf

                                                I could have sworn Mike said the dish was too salty when Angelo asked him

                                                1. re: Chaptastick

                                                  I thought he said it "needed something." Angelo suggested salt, but I don't remember Mike's response, if any.

                                                  1. re: momjamin

                                                    He didn't respond - at least not in what we saw. Mike did say "it needed something", and didn't respond to Angelo's "Salt?" query. Angelo's voiceover noted that Mike said it needed something, so he added more salt and bacon.

                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                      At least, we don't think that Mike suggested salt. That could have been edited out...

                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                        From my memory, he certainly did say it needed salt, and then also added "it needs something"

                                                      2. re: LindaWhit

                                                        So soon as I saw that I thought it was odd. Salt AND bacon? Why wouldn't you just add the bacon and retaste?

                                                    2. re: Chaptastick

                                                      I thought so too. Which is why I was amazed that Angelo acted surprised at JT when they first told him the dish was too salty. My impression was that he knew full well that it was too salty.

                                                      1. re: Chaptastick

                                                        First he said it needed something, so Angelo added salt AND bacon (and i too thought "uh-oh, that's not a good idea....") Then Mike told him it was too salty, and Angelo tried to repair by adding in bottled water.

                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                          Yes, I remember that as the sequence in what happened.

                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                            I'm surprised he didn't go with cream or milk instead of water.

                                                            1. re: Pylon

                                                              good thing he didn't - judges told him that, besides salty, the dish was too rich, didn't they?

                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                Yeah, I think so. But adding milk might have been a good answer. Besides, I'd rather produce a good soup that is "too rich" than one that is "too rich and too salty."

                                                                1. re: Pylon

                                                                  I finally watched this episode this evening. After realizing the dish was too salty, why didn't he just put in a raw potato?. He could remove it before serving, but any chef should know raw potatoes absorb salt.

                                                                  1. re: gaffk

                                                                    any chef should know raw potatoes absorb salt.
                                                                    ~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                    old wives' tale - doesn't really work.

                                                                    1. re: gaffk

                                                                      I think a lot of the errors in this episode could be attributed to exhaustion -- between the time of night (morning) and the running around the acres of Target, I'm sure their brains weren't firing on all cylinders. In his right mind, Angelo probably knows any number of ways to have fixed his soup, and Carla is often much more capable of controlling her manic energy. FWIW.

                                                                      1. re: gaffk

                                                                        I thought it was a myth that adding a potato was an effective way of dealing with something too salty.

                                                                        1. re: debbiel

                                                                          Adding more of anything that doesn't have salt in it to something that is too salty is an effective way of reducing the saltiness - but does it make it taste better?

                                                                          1. re: aching

                                                                            Adding a bunch of milk or half and half would have helped, but from the judge's descriptions I doubt it would have saved it.

                                                                            1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                              Might not have saved the dish, but might have helped enough to save him.

                                                                        2. re: gaffk

                                                                          I thought it was too late to make any significant changes by then -- there was time to dump in water, sure, but not to cook more potato.

                                                                          1. re: piccola

                                                                            from the start though, it was a TGI fridays dish. let's be honest, he was doomed.

                                                                            1. re: AMFM

                                                                              He'd probably have been better off making baked potatoes.

                                                              2. re: lisavf

                                                                Mike said, "It needs something", NOT "It needs salt", as you want to ascribe to him.

                                                                1. re: huiray

                                                                  Who knows what he said in toto, but that is certainly the way it was edited...

                                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                                    I was just going from memory, not trying to ascribe anything negative about Mike. Adding too much salt was Angelo's own mistake.

                                                                    1. re: lisavf

                                                                      True, it was Sosa's own mistake. :-\

                                                                  2. re: lisavf

                                                                    " I knew he was done for when, after Mike said the dish needed salt, he added salt AND bacon. Right there I thought, that's it, he's going home because of salt."

                                                                    That's exactly what I said to my family while we were watching. At JT when they were talking about it being inedible, well, I knew that sealed his fate.

                                                                  3. re: karenfinan

                                                                    I think Mike partnering with Angelo was reminiscent of Mike attaching himself to the Voltaggios. However, I really thought their partnership would negatively affect Mike, not Angelo.

                                                                    I was kind of surprised by how few appliances were used in the challenge. Then again I did fast-forward through a lot of the Carla mania, so I might have missed a few things.

                                                                    Also, I was really bummed out by the lack of screen time given to Ming. Heck, the whole judging process seemed abbreviated. Hopefully there is an extended judge's table video so I can get my Ming Tsai fix.

                                                                    1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                      During the previews leading up to last night's episode, when they kept mentioning the "shocking" elimination, I knew, unfortunately, it wasn't going to be Isabella!

                                                                    2. re: karenfinan

                                                                      Isn't he the one who recommended more salt in Angelo's soup? Not to go off on a feminist tangent, but like momjamin I thought his jaw dropping astonishment when Angelo announced he'd been cut was a real dis to the 2 women.

                                                                      Linda, another outstanding recap! Thank you...

                                                                      1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                        no he just said it needed "something." angelo then went too far by adding salt AND bacon.