What is UP. It’s SB, filling in for Heather, who is off doing something glamorous and exciting. She is awesome, which is why I’m covering for her. Meanwhile, I am no Fabio and there is no rabbit in a hat. What you are about to witness is going to be a goddamn exploration in half-assedness, so … if you’re the type to fasten your seatbelt while driving through the grocery store parking lot (and I totally am), buckle up, because it’s going to be a very meh ride.
So are you all super sick of me of saying how sick I am? Well so am I, and I’m sick of being sick, but I will NOT shut up about it, because you know what’s about as fun as it sounds? Watching shows about food while you’re sick. Uuuggghhhh. And you guys, I LOVE me some Italian food. Ask Billy–I will never say no to a trip to the Olive Garden. So yeah, I think I know a thing or two about Italian food.
But first … the Quickfire. Padma brings out fellow Bravo buttboy host Isaac Mizrahi, and Angelo squees about how he’s soooo into fashion, and my eyes roll straight outta my head because seriously? Are we still pretending Angelo isn’t gay? SIGH. Still, I did like the artistic nature of the challenge, although I thought involving Isaac Mizrahi in this one was a stretch (it would’ve made more sense with Work of Art, in my opinion), but it was cool nonetheless. There were several pretty dishes, and Angelo’s epic fail, and in the end, Richard took it home for something that looked like forest critter food, but was actually … black ice cream? I’m honestly not sure which sounds less appetizing, but it was all very modern, and I like Richard, so … good job, Richie! Also, when did everyone start calling him Richie? I think we have Fabio to thank.
As for the dinner … man. That restaurant is COOL. I instantly want to go there, and does anyone else find it kind of shocking that places like that exist in real life, still, in the year 2011? And I loved Lorraine Bracco. I’ve pretty much seen none of the big Italian classics … Goodfellas, Scarface, or any of The Godfathers, although I WILL get to The Godfather trilogy eventually because I feel like I’ll be way more up to speed with culture once I do.
But does anyone else feel like polenta always looks gross? Because I do. I’ve never had it, and as an Indiana girl, I am OBVIOUSLY a huge fan of corn, so probably it’s good. I know this. But it always looks like a yellow, slimy, gelatinous mess. Fabio’s looked a little better, I guess, kind of like grits, but still. I just don’t know what the fuss is. Anyway, blah blah Italian food, Antonia won, and everyone in the pasta course was up for elimination. I think that Mike Isabella escaped elimination for a couple of reasons–first of all, of the three in that bunch, I do think that two biggest personalities/more talented chefs stayed, and I just think that when the decision is really close, that HAS to figure in. Secondly, he was ambitious with his dish and he did know where it went wrong. And third, I think these fuckers knew that if they eliminated any of the Italian cooks on the Italian challenge, they might have an off-camera (or on-camera, who knows) suicide on their hands, and that’s probably not what Top Chef needs. Most likely.
I do feel bad for Tre, and I know he went with a risotto because he won a challenge in his season with it, as we saw in the flashback. I mean, I didn’t watch S3, and obviously there are exceptions, but does anyone else feel like risotto is usually a Top Chef death sentence? Anyway, this time he pretty much got told, and they sent him packin’. He was a really gracious loser, and I did like Tre … sort of, but mostly I just found him ignorable. So … good job, Tre. I’m just glad you outlasted Jamie. She’s a real fuckin’ bitch. (Still not over it.)
As a side note, I was surprised at how relatively sedate Anthony Bourdain was during this episode, although I did think it was sweet how he complimented Fabio and how Fabio OBVIOUSLY ate it up, because those two are always sniping at each other but I think that Anthony Bourdain is secretly entertained by Fabio and Fabio secretly, DESPERATELY wants AB’s approval. And he got it! Precious.
Also on the subject of Fabio, I’ve been kind of surprised at how far he’s been able to go in this contest, and legitimately–he hasn’t been skating by or making it through on weird technicalities. I think that he was really underestimated going into this, but he’s been bringing it. Similarly, I think that Carla also has been underestimated, and I find that odd, given that the same thing happened to her in her season. Carla is awesome–she’s not mouthy or flashy, but she knows what she’s doing, she’s thoughtful, and she gets her shit done. Yaaaay, Carla! Love me some underdogs.
Alright. That’s it for me, but OH MY GOD am I excited for next week! I looove Jimmy Fallon. I loved him on SNL and I love his show now. He always seems like he’s having a great time and it looks like he brings all of his fun Jimmy energy with him to Top Chef next week, so I can’t wait! Plus, Heather will be back, rockin’ the recap, and I’m excited for that too! (And, while you’re waiting for her to come back next week, you can follow her on Twitter at @dieslaughing.)
What did you guys think of this episode? Favorite lines or moments? Dishes you would or wouldn’t want to eat? Did you agree or not so much with the winners and losers? And who do YOU think is the most likely candidate for our first Top Chef suicide? Lay it on me in the comments!