Top Chef Episode 14 – The End is Near

And the winner of Last Chance Kitchen was…Bev!  Much to the chagrin of everyone, she’s back in the competition for the title of top chef.  You know, I’m kinda hoping Bev wins it all now just to really piss everyone off.  The shots of Lindsay and Sarah’s faces were priceless.  Haters are gonna hate.  I expected the chefs to blatantly say something like “damn, we hoped it was Grayson” but they didn’t.  They didn’t exactly welcome her back with open arms though.  Can’t blame them really, you never want to see someone who’s been eliminated come back in.  “Gee, didn’t’ we already beat her?”

Big twist in the quickfire this week.  The winner could choose one of two prizes, a new Prius or an automatic spot in the final four.  So nice of the show to give the winner an EZ-Pass lane to the final.  They basically brought back immunity for a round but passed it off as a direct trip to the final where they didn’t have to compete in the elimination challenge.  Good job producers, both lame and lazy.  Cue the head shots of chefs saying how they pick the car because they’d want to show they earned their spot in the final.  Riiiiiiiight.  For the quickfire the chefs were blindfolded and had to use their other senses to grab ingredients from the pantry.  Once they thought they had enough to make a dish they could take off the blindfolds and start cooking.  And they had to use everything they picked up.  Pretty funny watching everyone fumble around and seeing some clunker ingredients like Ed grabbing some pork casing thinking it was pancetta and Bev grabbing an avocado thinking it was a lemon.  Sarah ends up winning with a corn soup and of course takes the one-way ticket to the final.  Which is what everyone would have done, let’s not kid ourselves here.  Padma then brings out all the chef’s mentors which gets everyone crying except Ed.  I expected a little more from a group that ragged on Bev for being a cryer.  Then again I’ve expected a lot from this show all season!  The chefs are told their mentors will be guests at the elimination challenge dinner.

Since Sarah smartly opted for the EZ-Pass she gets to go hang out with her mentor Tony Mantuano.  For the rest of the chefs it’s off to work.  Everyone does a pretty good job.  Bev seems invigorated by getting a second chance and opts to cook her dish in a wok.  It looks like she took the criticism of going outside her comfort zone to heart and impresses everyone.  Paul of course makes an awesome soup dish that leaves the judges breathless in amazement.  Ed wants to use oysters in his dish but Whole Foods was out of them (how is that possible?) so he grabs some smoked oysters which of course don’t work as well.  In fact, they work so poorly in his dish the judges can’t figure out what the flavor is.  That’s not a good sign.  Lindsay makes some sort of fish soup and decides to thicken it cream.  The judges become more confused.  They are also picking bits of dried herbs out of their teeth from her soup.

Even more chagrin for the haters as Bev joins Paul in the favorite dishes category.  They give the win to Paul (who can stop him?) and he deserved it.  Even though he made soup.  Seriously we’re here at the end, the chefs are fighting to get into the finals and two of the four choose to make soup?!?!?  Anyway, he gets the Prius.  They return to the stew room where Sarah had joined them and Sarah is not happy to see Bev come in.  You just want to tell her to let it go already, Bev has the chops so be ready for her in the finals.  Down to Lindsay and Ed.  Poor executions on both their parts but Ed’s smoky oyster sauce fails big time and he’s cast out.  As much as it pains me to see him go since he’s been one of the more creative chefs in the competition, it was the right call.  When the judges can’t figure out what’s in your dish, and you inform them it was canned smoked oysters, you’re in trouble.  Should be an interesting final, 3 gals and 1 guy.  Odds are in the women’s favor but they’re up against Paul who’s consistently shown he’s a head above everyone.  But as we’ve seen in past finals anything can happen.  You’re only one bad decision away from going home empty-handed.  And we’re only one show away of being done with this horrible season.

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