After last week’s episode in which everything was Las Vegas puns this and Sin City themes that, the show has finally settled into focusing on the food, because ultimately this is a show about cooking and food and competition, not outtakes from The Hangover 2: Full Throttle. Oh wait. The Quickfire Challenge features a fucking Craps table and the Elimination Challenge centers around a bachelor and bachelorette party? Nevermind. This show is TOTALLY The Hangover 2: Full Throttle.
The guest judge this week is Todd English. He is standing in front of a Craps table. For the Quickfire Challenge, everyone has to roll the dice, and however many dice numbers (official Casino terminology) they get is how many ingredients they can (must) use in their dish. Plus olive oil, salt, and pepper. Whoever wins will get a poker chip worth $15,000, because they’re in Las Vegas, so they can’t just GIVE someone $15,000, what are you crazy? Everything has to be in a poker chip. Every morning, for breakfast, they have to trade in their pancake chip and their coffee chip. At night they gamble over blanket chips and pillow chips. It’s a mess, really. Whoever loses the Quickfire Challenge has to explain to a hopeful high school junior why there’s no more money left in the College Fund and why mommy or daddy isn’t wearing any pants.
Anyway, the two brothers, Michael and Bryan V. are going head-to-head this episode. Mano-e-mano. They are going to Cain and Abel each other to death. I wish it was like Dead Ringers. What I mean is, I wish they were both Jeremy Irons and this was a movie about malformed vaginas and dangerous sociopathology. I guess it kind of is. Anyway, one of them makes a frozen gazpacho or something? And the other one makes cod. (Only their mother can tell them apart.) The one who makes cod is like “sometimes my brother gets out of hand with his ideas. I’m going to make cod in a sous-vide, so I’m using those classic flavors.” The classic flavors of cod and…carefully temperature-controlled water? OK, well you lose. The other one, Doctor Gazpacho, wins.
Kevin also does well. Here he is, barely able to control himself:
Jesse is on the bottom again. She is like “maybe I should have focused more on technique and less on making terrible face decisions.”
For the Elimination Challenge, it is a battle of the sexes (but isn’t it always?) in a bachelor/bachelorette party cook-off. Ugh. WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS BARFS IN VEGAS. Even worse, the bachelor and bachelorette have brought in three of their favorite shots with which the chefs have to pair their food. Not all of their favorite shots, silly, just three of their favorite shots. The Top Chef producers spent months scouring our nation’s shittiest sports bar to find this happy couple who bonded over their love of sugar and liquor. “It was the funniest thing, I was sucking Goldschlagger from her navel, and I looked up, and our eyes connected, and I just KNEW. I turned to my best friend, Cody, and I said ‘Cody, I’m going to marry that girl,’ and Cody said ‘whatever, faggot,’ and the rest is history.” Beautiful story!
Speaking of faggots: Ashley is NOT HAPPY about this challenge. She finds it incomprehensible that the makers of Top Chef would make them do a “wedding challenge” when “at least three” of the contestants (at least three? Secret Gays!) aren’t allowed to participate in the institution. Oy. First of all, it’s not a “wedding challenge,” it’s a “bachelor/bachelorette party challenge.” And bachelor/bachelorette parties are lame and kind of gross. You don’t want to be part of that institution. But more importantly, COME ON, ASHLEY. Like, I genuinely believe that gay rights are the single most important civil rights issue of our generation, but even I am pretty sure that this is a lazy and unnecessary non-battle in that important war. We’re all here, we’re all queer, we all want to get married on the ocean. But you’re on a reality TV show. With a history of wedding challenges. And a history of gay contestants. In Las Vegas. Let’s move on.
So, the party. Just a traditional bachelor party in the middle of the day right next to your fiancee’s bachelorette party with cameras and judges and 50 people who probably aren’t your friends. The judges sit in a cabana that is bigger than some of Sarah’s New York apartments LOL (NEWS FLASH: SOME APARTMENTS IN NEW YORK ARE SO SMALL IT IS RIDICULOUS). The brothers V continue to kill it. The ladies seem to be struggling in the judges’ eyes, but they have nothing but confidence in their own eyes. Everyone is doing so many shots in the 100 degree heat. You can almost hear the attending ambulance idling just off camera.
At one point, the bride-to-be says “I wish I could eat like this every night.” You mean you wish you could taste a small plate of hors d’oeuvres and then do 15 tequila shots? Because a) yuck, and b) you can if you want, Drunky McBadIdeas, this is America. Oh, excuse me, MRS. Drunky McBadIdeas.
Eventually, the guys take their shirts off and jump into the pool, and the girls can’t believe it. “Who would you rather see in wet clothes? Girls, or fat boys?” Um, why is everyone on this show the fucking POOL POLICE? Pools are the best and everyone deserves to go in them (now). Doesn’t anyone know how to have fun anymore?
Oh, and in that 45-second between-ads interstitial, that douchebag from last week, Paulie P. or whatever his name is, talks about all the great nicknames he’s given everyone. We’ve got a real Sawyer on our hands, don’t we, Freckles?! His nicknames are stupid, naturally, and make no sense, of course, like he calls two of the dudes “Pickles” because “they’re like two pickles…like…in brine or something.” Right. But also? He says that he doesn’t even know how to say Preeti’s name? So he just calls her Perty. Perfect. So he’s not just sexist, he is also racist. IN LAS VEGAS THAT IS CALLED A DOUBLE DOWN. (I don’t know.)
The boys team wins. The brothers are in the top four with their guacamole meringue (which sounds inedible, to be honest) and their apple sorbet with goat cheese cookie (again, huh? I guess you had to be there). Two other dudes are in the top four, but we have to pace ourselves. There are a lot of people on this show, still, and our brains can only contain 80MB of information at a time (160 with a doubler). The brother who didn’t win the $15,000 does win the Elimination challenge. Aw. They hug.
So the girls are the losing team. Eve, Jesse, Ashley, and Preeti are in the bottom four. Ashley is basically going to be safe because she did make one good dish (watermelon carpaccio), but she is in the bottom because she also made one bad dish (bay leaf panna cotta, which even just sounds bad). What is it about Top Chef contestants who don’t know how to make panna cotta always making panna cotta? That NEVER works out. I’m surprised that Ashley doesn’t spearhead a gay marriage protest right there at Judges’ Table, but she bites her tongue and fiddles with her What Would Harvey Milk Do? bracelet in stony silence.
It is clearly between Jesse and Eve. Jesse thinks that she’s going to go home because she is “too crazy.” Clearly, Jesse has no idea what show she is even on, because that is not what judges are looking at. Unless “too crazy” means “too bad at cooking,” in which case she might have a point. In the end it is Eve, though, who goes home. In the spirit of full disclosure (JOURNALISM!) I have actually eaten at Eve’s restaurant. I thought it was pretty good. What do I know. Goodbye, Eve.
Next week: Someone gets yelled at for trying to go in a pool, probably.