We’re rolling the finale part 1. This is Ezra. I’ll be your liveblogger for the evening. I’m also starting late — wonders of Tivo — so all timestamps are off.
10:12: Fabio has a faux-hawk. Carla has straight hair. Top Chef New Orleans is a world of madness. Also, gumbo.
10:13: Matt asks, “is America ready for a black Top Chef?”
10:14: Aren’t we supposed to have contempt for Emeril? Can someone explain the rules of being a foodie to me? (Also, Tommy thinks aged Emeril could have been an extra on the Sopranos.)
10:15: Fabio is in a faux-hawk and a pink scarf. Team Rainbow lives!
10:17: Leah, Jamie, and Jeffrey get to compete in a quickfire to reenter the competition! IFA is split on whether or not this is awesome. I believe it’s awesome. The challenge is a dish with crawfish.
10:19: IFA poll: 0 for Leah. 2 for Jeffrey. 10 for Jamie. Spencer and Miller object to the premise. Elimination challenges are, to them, sacred.
10:23: Emeril says everyone is a winner. But only one of them will win. This is sort of like the Special Olympics. Commercial break!
10:24: Jeff wins! But in order to continue on to the finale, he has to win today’s challenge. Can’t simply not lose. Top Chef is getting a bit Calvinball-ish.
10:26: Fabio keeps saying he needs money to care for his sick mother. I’m pretty sure Italy has a universal health care system. Going to have to look into this later.
10:35: They’re certainly selling a Stefan overconfidence story. He’s using sausage from the freezer and wandering out for a smoke. On the other hand, these are Emeril’s sausages. Presumably they’re pretty good.
10:37: I like Real Talk with Tom Collichio. Let’s make that a regular feature. Also, why is Carla making a dish that requires shucking oysters if she doesn’t know how to shuck oysters? It’s not like she pulled this dish out of a knife block.
10:49: Emeril says Fabio needs some “heat.” I think he means he needs to kick it up a notch.
10:52: Jeffrey is overstating his own agency.
10:56: Are we looking at a finale without Stefan? Or just some fuck you editing from the Top Chef producers?
11:03: How strange that the closer a chef was to New Orleans’ food, the better a chef did. Weird! Bet Stefan would own a Helsinki challenge, though.
11:12: Carla wins! What’s up DC!
11:14: And Fabio loses. Which means his mother probably dies. Top Chef is cold, yo. But we all look forward to his inevitable cooking show!