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. . .