Thursday, October 15, 2009

That'll Do, Pig: The Top Chef Vegas recap

The show started with Goofus reflecting on last week’s brush with the Bottom 3:
“Even Picasso would do a paint-by-numbers from time to time,” he said.

Okay, he didn’t actually say that, but he came close!
“Babe Ruth struck out once or twice,” he actually did say.
The boy is clearly reading his press clippings. (Or Ash’s diary.)

Anyway, after last night’s show I’ve decided that I’m just too sensitive for reality TV.
I mean, does anybody else feel as badly for Robin as I do? It kills me how mean they all are to her. (Except for Gallant, of course, who doesn’t participate in such childish behavior.)

Are you all buying into this, “she’s so annoying” “she’s so undeserving” “she’s playing the cancer card” crap?
(Can one even play a cancer card? As far as I’m concerned, once you survive lymphoma, you can wield that damn card whenever you like.)

When Bravo put up its little poll—Which is Worse? 1. Eli’s immaturity 2. Robin’s passive aggressiveness—I was sure it would be a slaughter. And it was—for Eli. (He received 39 percent of the vote; 61 percent of Bravo’s viewers think Robin is Mrs. Passive Aggressive Pants).

So let me get this straight. A dude who lives at home with his parents (they are so going to ground him after they see the way he’s been treating Robin!) and calls a woman who dares to suggest that he clean up after his stinky scallops “his mother” is not immature? Whatevs.

So today’s guest judge is Chef Charlie Palmer and, just coincidentally (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) both Goofus and Gallant have history with him. I’m not quite sure what their relationship with Palmer was but it seems along the lines of when you have a chemistry teacher who just looooooved your older sister and thought you were kinda, sorta smart in your own way, but no way near the MIT-level chemistry wiz that big sis was and no matter what you did you couldn’t quite live up to the supremeawesomeness that was Felicia Weiss. . .not that I would know anything about that.

The Quickfire was to pair something with an Alexia crunchy snack and the Cheftestants have clearly been instructed not to say, “But this snack food is garbage!” Instead, they talk about the difficulty of pairing food with Alexia’s “big flavors.” Heh. Like salt.

Poor Jen, who has totally lost her mojo at this point, overcooks her pork and hopes and prays that Padma and Charlie come to her station first, as the pork is continuing to cook in its juices.
Naturally, she’s last.

So Eli wins. Which pains me more than you know—and Ash, Robin, and Jen are in the bottom. Oh well.

Ash comes up with this surprising statement: “Eli deserves a win, he’s an amazing chef.” And then it occurs to him that he’s turning into that guy—you know, the guy who has nice things to say about everyone except for himself. (Oh Ash, you are so beyond being that guy.) And he straightens up, musters his most macho voice and attempts: “Not that I didn’t deserve the fucking win.” Not convincing, buddy.

The elimination challenge is something Kevin, or Red Thunder as I like to call him, must’ve cooked up in a dream: The Pig and Pinot challenge: Pair a part of the pig with a bottle of pinot noir. So they go to this magical restaurant in Vegas where the waitresses fly in the sky to get wine bottles (or did I hallucinate that?) and taste the different wines to pair with their pork.

Eli, still flying high from his Quickfire win (not literally, in this case), sniffs: “There are clearly a lot of amateur palettes in this group.” Oh Eli, just shut up.

Back in the kitchen, everyone starts cooking their pork. There’s a little skirmish between Goofus and Gallant, but it dies down quickly. No blood is spilled.

At the Pig and Pinot event, swine flu is but a rumor, as the guests arrive, hellbent for pork.

In elimination, Goofus, Gallant, Kevin, and Jennifer are the Top 4. (With all due respect to Michael I, that’s pretty much my actual Top 4 of the competition.)

Toby Young particularly appreciates the fact that Jennifer picked a “hairy armpit” pinot noir, as opposed to the “shaved armpit” chosen by the other cheftestants.
Thank you, Toby Young, for ruining pinot noir for me for life.

But in the end, it was Red Thunder’s challenge to win and win it he did. His pork pate was apparently a revelation. His joy at winning this challenge was actually kind of adorable.

Now the Bottom 3: Ash, Laurine, and—ouch—Robin.

“I hope they make the right decision,” Goofus says ominously.
“Me too,” says Michael I.
“What is the right decision,” snaps Gallant, clearly as annoyed as I am by this tomfoolery.
“Big R, little obin,” says Michael I. Such a rapier wit. “I hope grandma goes.” (Could these people be more hateful? Aaargh!)

Judging is harsh, because there’s an awkward moment where Chef Palmer reveals that Laurine has no idea how to make a pork rillette, and Robin’s pork wasn’t porky enough, and Ash’s definition of making “my food” is apparently coming up with a good idea, panicking and making something that tastes like shit.

As the judges deliberate, Ash sits in the holding room, slaps his forehead, and says, “Oh, I forgot the flavor!” (Funny.)

Commercial break. (A question: Was that Ali McGraw in that Macy’s ad? Random.)

Judgment time: Needless to say, I’m holding my breath, hoping that Robin sticks around a week longer. (Not that it’s ever going to occur to these numbskulls that maybe they’re wrong about her—but it still pleases me to see them so lathered by her presence.)

And Ash is gone! In parting, he would like to point out that Preeti, Ron, Mattin, Jesse, Hector, Ashley, Jennifer Z, and Eve all probably deserved to stay in the competition longer than he did. But it was, indeed, an honor to work with them. . .


Allison said...

I love your recap!

I want to kill all of them regarding Robin as well. They are so catty is disgusting. And, I'm sorry, but Eli does NOT get to make fun of anyone ever again.

Lathered in her presence. Love it.

cjcat said...

You ask, “I mean, does anybody else feel as badly for Robin as I do?"

I've been restraining myself from going on a rant all over the blogs. It isn't just the way all of them, including the female chefs, use her as the whipping boy for all their frustrations. It's the very obvious fact that she's an outsider because she is an older female. That joking about Eli, the little slim ball, having sex with her that all of the "boys" found so hilarious is pretty revealing. If a woman is too old or not attractive enough to be a sex object, then she is a worthless figure of fun. Yeech. I'm loathing half of these contestants, including Jen and Laurine for joining in on it. Kevin's the only decent human being in the bunch and I hope he walks away with every prize offered from this point on.

I'm near Atlanta too, and believe me, I'll be going to Kevin's Woodfire Grill as soon as I can make the trip and I'll be avoiding “You're not my Mom” Eli like Typhoid Mary.

maxthegirl said...

Amen, cjcat, couldn't have said it better myself!

cjcat said...

Thanks, Max. And that obviously should be slimeball not slim ball. :)

Linda D said...

Well, I hate to break up the Robinfest, but look to last season, when Ariane, clearly marked repeatedly as "older female," aka "cougar," quickly became beloved and fawned over member of the kiddies' club. So . . . sorry, but when *every single person* on the remaining roster cleary hates this woman, I think maybe she's actually what she appears to be--a big, fat pain in the ass. Just don't get this Robin love--she shreds my nerves, and I'm not even in the room.
regulation middle-aged female

cjcat said...

I don't think this is a Robinfest so much as a boys' club dis. So let's look at how Ariane was treated by last year's competitors. Were any of them immature, ageist or sexist enough to declare "You aren't my mom," call her "Grandma" as if that's an insult instead of an honor or make jokes about one of the chefs having sex with her? No matter how annoying Robin is, and I'll concede she'd annoy me too, the way she's being treated has very little to do with her and everything to do with the immature personalities of Eli and both Mikes. I personally find it distasteful that the female chefs are going along with these sexist jokes as well. There's other ways of dealing with an annoying person than to bully and belittle her, treating her with contempt that is aimed at her sex and her age.

a regulation more than middle aged female, old enough to remember how it was in the days when women weren't allowed in most work places.

ePastor James said...

That's 'cause many of the retarded viewers can't make up their own minds, so they go with what the episode manipulates them into feeling: Robin being irritating. They want her to be the next Lisa, except like a crappier Lisa since Lisa had a few great dishes, including one winner and one so-close-winner, as well as an allegedly amazing finale dinner.

What pisses me off more is that Ashley was a talented underdog who seemed to have potential to win one, and then get booted around 6th or something, as all the lesbians do. But instead, they fucked that up as they have everything else this season. If Jennifer does not win, this instantly becomes my most hated season--and I didn't think anything could top season 5 (which I loved up until a point--when Hosebag got farther than he ever should've, and Goddess Carla and the awesome Stefan were robbed).