LAST CHANCE KITCHEN QUALIFIER: With no chef falling glaringly short, the judges had to admittedly “nitpick” in deciding who to send to Last Chance Kitchen. In the end, Lisa heard Padma utter the dreaded words “please pack your knives and go” for the first time, as she advanced to the finale during her first season on the show and had not been given that directive until now.
CHEF DISH: Just when we thought we might be the only ones who are strongly anti-Brian Malarkey, we notice not only an increase in comments about him from cheftestants and judges alike, but an obvious increase in deliberate attempts by the show’s producers to paint him into the villain corner. Not only is it working, but we’re now compelled to add a new weekly category as a result.
MALARKEY SMARM-O-METER: Between his snide asides, mugging for the camera, and exaggerated flashing of his pearly whites, Chef Brian has grated his way into our weekly recaps. Going forward, we’ll rate him on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 indicating that we didn’t even notice him that week to 10 reflecting our fervent wish that Padma will finally order him to pack his knives and go.
So, our first Smarm-O-Meter designation is, drum roll please……8! And only because we felt inclined to give ourselves some upward wiggle-room.
SNARK ATTACK: We tip our hat to Lee Anne and offer her our heartfelt kudos for earning Snark Attack honors this week for making this observation: “Here comes the Malarkey express. He’s there to save his own ass, clearly”. Well done Chef Lee Anne! Thanks too to Chef Nini for the very strong social media game!
In an unrelated quip from the Quickfire Challenge, honorable mention honors go to Stephanie for her reaction to the Trolls-themed pantry: “It’s like a rainbow threw up everywhere”.
- If she keeps it up, we may have to rename En Fuego after Melissa, who continues to steamroll her way through the competition. She said that “soup can really showcase what a chef can do” and put that conviction to work in securing her second consecutive Elimination Challenge victory.
- Hey Gregory, orange you glad you made butternut squash and carrots the focus of your two dishes this week? After earning the Quickfire Challenge win and having a strong showing for the blue team in the EC, Gregory remains a favorite to advance deep into the competition.
BRING TO A SIMMER:
- Though whether it’s entirely on her remains open to debate, Lee Anne continues to search for a spark, as teammate Brian Malarkey – yup, him again – failed to salt her dish properly as he helped her plate. Sure, she has to own it in the end, but how could we resist one last Malarkey barb to carry us over until next week?
With the field winnowed to 11, we’re looking forward to next week’s interactive family affair as Top Chef All Stars LA rolls on.