By Ezra Klein
Due to a near-historic lack of computers among present IFAers, I’m on my own tonight ‘s dual elimination Top Chef. One liveblogger, two casualties. This. Is. How. I. Roll. But before we begin, one comment on Colicchio’s realization that everyone’s cooking has been repulsively cautious. “You don’t win with deviled eggs,” he said. But Are deviled eggs really so much simpler than feta and watermelon salad, which Ariane won with the week before? If you want ambition, reward it. If you’re going to prize defensive play, embrace it. But this is more erratic than late campaign McCain (oooh, did you see that? So smooth!). Here we go.
10:01: Eugene still stands behind his dish 1000%. If he’d gone to culinary school, he’d know that’s the same as 100%.
10:04: A “Diet Dr. Pepper quickfire.” They want a guilt-free dessert with sugar free ingredients. Think Colicchio ever pulls this shit at Craft?
10:06: Apparently no one feels guilty about butter. The medical consultants for this episode were clearly dentists, not cardiologists.
10:08: Did they demand that the contestants phrase their desserrts in the form of a burrito and I just missed it?
10:10: This French judge whose name I can neither pronounce nor write is by far the cruelest judge the show has had. His accent makes the word “interesting” sound like “vomitorious, you talentless tumor.” He chooses Radika, though. Interesting choice. Also, only Ariana rolled with the Diet Dr. Pepper. Because that stuff is vomitorious, you tumors.
10:14: This is not actually related to food save in a lexicological sense, but the commercial is right. Milk is a good movie.
10:16: Good challenge. They can cook whatever they want.
10:20: Prediction: Eugene and Bangs are done. Bangs is “showing what she’s capable of” with some tuna tacos. You don’t win with tuna tacos. It’s like bragging about cooking spaghetti. And as Kay notes, Eugene should recreate his greatest hits and go out with another DIY experiment. Just put some shit on a table, Gene. Let them worry about it. If they can’t make a decent meal out of your ingredients, it’s their fault, after all.
10:25: In comments, APV notes, “I’m interested in how this sous vide lamb comes out. I think of lamb as something that really demands a nice char.” And sure enough, seconds later, Fabio notes that his sous vide lamb is grossly undercooked. APV>Fabio.
10:30: Ted Danson is in something! Good for him!
10:32: Half the contestants are cooking at any given time. The other half are judging their housemates. As are the normal crew of judges, plus the much-hyped Toby Young.
10:34: Toby Young should stop reaching for metaphors. He’s sounds like a creative writing major (over)writing his first cover letter. And yes, I know I just dissed his metaphors with a metaphor. It’s meta, baby. Also, the chefs are vicious to one another.
10:44: Second group of Top Chef judges much kinder. As you’d expect. The first crew didn’t know they were being broadcast on closed circuit camera to the cooking team. The second group does. Social pressure kicks in. It’s the difference between anonymous internet trolling and telling someone off in person. Seems unfair. The echo effect at the table probably made the judging of the first group harsher.
10:47: Toby Young frequently eats in wood cabins in the middle of the Alps. In this, he’s rather like a character from Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air, where they climb a mountain and eventually find themselves desperater for good food. or something.
10:48: Jamie wins Top Scallop Chef!
10:49: Carla is shockingly coherent. She’s with Eugene and Bangs at the loser’s circle, but she seemed to defang the judges with an extremely compelling explanation of what happened. Meanwhile, Bangs is getting beat up for tuna tacos. Eugene says “I do crazy things and think outside the box and I should probably just do simple things.” I’m just too awesome and sophisticated for you philistine judges. Who may or may not have gone to culinary school. Carla, realizing she should say something stupid, chirps, “take away my scallops, and my dish was perfect!”
10:58: Bangs and Eugene are out.