Another episode of Top Chef, another episode of the same: Angelo and Kenny continue to whoop everyone's ass, and homegirl Andrea floats around in contestant purgatory, which isn't a good place to be. Her food is passable for now, but how long will it be before the judges start calling it boring and safe? Time to step it up, Andrea! (Yes, we know the show was taped months ago, so any encouragement given now is basically useless.)
But on to what happened this episode: Contestant (I refuse to call them cheftastants) Amanda had a case of the sads 'cause she was on the bottom last week and she claims everyone thinks she was the one who should have gone home for trying to get the future of America drunk on sherry wine. Heads up, Amanda, because this is about to be your episode.
This season's indisputable villain, Angelo, admits Amanda has potential to be a great cook but thinks her youth and inexperience are working against her. But there is little time to sulk in teevee land, so it's on to the Quickfire Challenge, where Top Chef plugged its new show, Top Chef: Just Desserts, by having future host Gail Simmons and head judge Johnny Iuzzini judge. Guess what they made? Desserts, of course. What could be more American than
freedom fries pie? Andrea made -- what else? -- a key lime pie that left her with neither positive nor negative comments from the judges.
Alex, Tracy, and Ed were called out. Ed was shocked his banana cream pie with celery espuma (yeah, you read it right) didn't go over well with the judges. The blue ribbon went to Kenny and his banana's foster pie with Chinese five spice. Poor Kenny was glad to finally get out of Angelo's shadow and show that he was more than just a runnerup.
Then it was on to the Elimination Challenge, where the chefs celebrated another American tradition, which according to Padma is the "summer picnic." Let me interject here: We get it, Top Chef -- you are in D.C., so stop it with the cutesy challenges revolving around this season's location and have these chefs really prove their cooking skills.
Anyway, the mission was to cook for Capitol Hill interns at Mount Vernon. It was painfully obvious from the start who would go home -- Tracy was getting unnecessary camera time this episode, and she seemed lost during the entire challenge, having to change her dish at the last minute.
Amanda had a bit of a bitch fit when someone took her oven. When Tom Colicchio called her out for yelling, she claimed it was "prison rules."
"I've never been to prison, so I don't know what the rules are," Tom retorted.
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"Neither have I," Amanda said. So now you are a liar too, Amanda? Our children are doomed.
Andrea cooked a spiced root beer skirt steak that the judges complained was "too sweet," but luckily it wasn't bad enough to land her at the bottom. The surprise of the challenge was whiny Amanda, whose baby-back ribs had even Angelo admitting they were better than the slop he served.
Ultimately, the winner was Arnold, whose lamb meatball dethroned Kenny and Angelo as this season's kings. And it was time for
Rosie O'Donnell Tracy to go home, thanks to her overly fenneled sausage sliders.
Next week, let's hope Andrea finally gets some airtime -- for the right reasons, of course.