DISCLAIMER: Last night was the season finale of American Horror Story, which also airs at 10 pm. Since that show is just bonkers, Donkey-Kong-level BANANAS, there was no way I was gonna miss it. Or even wait an additional minute to watch. So I watched that first and then attempted to watch Top Chef afterwards, at 11 pm, because I am so very dedicated to you people or something. But I am also very, very old and lame, so I couldn’t really stay awake for the whole thing and barely remember anything about it.
I would watch it again but my preschooler is home for his TWO WEEK LONG winter break and has commandeered control of the television. If you guys are interested in hearing the outcome of a thrilling episode of Blue’s Clues, holla. So far it’s looking like it was the Salt Shaker, in the Library, with the hydrochloric acid, but it’s probably too soon to guess for sure. We better find that last clue.
ANYWAY. Last week, our season’s villain arose from the boringness to wreak terror and bitchery all OVER the place. I actually went and tracked down Heather’s Twitter account, since it’s always kind of interesting to see how these reality show people react the day after the nation saw them edited in the worst possible light. Sometimes it’s just a PR disaster of shut-up-shut-up-shut-up you’re making things so much worse proportions, and sometimes you find them happily chatting away with the very person they were fighting with on-air, having kissed and made up a long time ago.
Heather stood by her opinion that Beverly is useless but that it was nothing personal, peppered in supportive retweets and that whole “it’s only because you’re a STRONG WOMAN that you got called a bitch, a man would just get called a LEADER” thing. (Which. No. We’d just be calling him different names. Two in particular. That both start with “D.” Try to guess what they are!) (coughMIKETHEDOUCHEcough.) Comedian Lisa Lampanelli came out in support of Team Heather. Anyway, it was mostly predictable until I saw this retweet:
1) Way to keep it classy there, and
2) ZOMG HAVEN’T YOU GUYS EVER SEEN CARRIE? HAVE YOU LEARNED NOTHING FROM CARRIE?
Anyway. Last night’s episode opened with Beverly talking about karma, which essentially telegraphed EXACTLY where things were going. They might as well have just sent Heather home right then, for all the suspense they were able to work up about her eventual elimination.
(Heh. I just spoiled my own recap. WIN!)
And SPEAKING OF TWITTER, what in the ever-loving hell was that Quickfire about? Crowd-sourcing from the Top Chef Twitter account? How edgy! And…complicated. The last time they did an improv-like challenge they at least took the chefs to see a Second City show. This time they just shouted a couple tweets at them as they cooked. Start with bacon, then incorporate a hash, and then an ingredient chosen by another chef. That last one mostly involved everybody just grabbing whatever thing was closest to them and handing it over, like, HERE’S SOME SALT OR WHATEVER I DON’T CARE.
See, the bird hops up on the slingshot, then you pull back and aim…
Paul wins, again. $10,000. Does that dude even need the grand prize at this point? He’s cleaning up, double Showcase Showdown winner style.
The elimination challenge was basically a single-dish version of what they usually do in the final round: Tell us a story about your culinary inspiration and journey and whatever. Also make some food. Basically we hear a LOT about people’s grandmothers. Everybody learned to cook from their grandmother! Except me. My grandmother preferred restaurants and microwaveable meals, though she did always used to give me this one seemingly fancy kind of cookie that I liked as a kid. I found them years later at a Sheetz gas station.
Paul didn’t learn to cook from his grandmother. He was inspired by his drug dealer. Or…from being a drug dealer? Or from the ghosts of vengeful murdered chefs in his basement? I dunno, I was pretty checked out by this point but only semi-perked up for the drug talk.
Oh, and I should probably mention that Patti LaBelle was there. For some reason. Like the Rich Cilantro Haters from a few weeks back, she doesn’t seem to be a particularly adventurous eater or a very insightful judge. I think Emeril might have kind of hated her. Though I think Emeril might kind of hate everybody, a little bit. He’s very grumpy.
Speaking of Emeril, though, I just remembered that Emeril Live was pretty much my grandmother’s favorite show in the world, and we would watch it together. And she bought me one of his cookbooks for Christmas one year, my first cookbook ever. And I basically learned to cook from it, and a few other old-school Food Network shows, ERGO I LEARNED TO COOK FROM MY GRANDMOTHER.
Even though I never, ever actually saw her cook anything other than Lean Cuisine because my mom would throw out everything in her fridge as soon as we got there because she never paid attention to expiration dates and it was all rancid.
Heather lands in the bottom (who are called first this time, for extra cruelty kicks) for her beef stroganoff, along with Grayson and Pretty Chris. Grayson made a weirdly gigantic steak and Pretty Chris made something…else. Food of some kind. Was probably pretty yet ultimately unmemorable, like him. A brownish grayish area. With points.
Since this was a purely individual challenge, Heather is unable to blame sink-hogging shrimp-peeling Beverly. I’m surprised the producers didn’t find a way to make that happen, like calling the top three and the bottom three at the same time in hopes that hearing Beverly praised by the judges would cause Heather to completely short circuit and lose it. Way to show restraint, producers!
Similar restraint is shown when the judges are allowed to send our villain packing, instead of sacrificing someone else in order to eke some more drama out of her. I have little else to say other than GOOD. Also, riddance. Ugh.
Beverly’s karma komment komes full circle at Judges’ Table, as she winds up in the top 3 (along with Ed and Sarah) for a very delicious looking Korean (AND ALSO ASIAN!!!!1!) short rib. But it’s Sarah’s pork sausage (OMG AGAIN WITH THE SAUSAGE!!!1!ONE!) that wins. She cries and Beverly gives her a giant hug. And I’m glad for her too, because she seemed to be getting more and more weepy and down on herself every week, once again proving that we, the Top Chef viewers of Mamapop, were TOTALLY off on our collective prediction that Beverly was going to be our Delicious Mental Breakdown Champion of the season. Our little manic pixie is remarkably resilient!
PS. Heather lost on Last Chance Kitchen, too, and Nyesha is the first eliminated chef since Keith to win more than one round in a row.
PPS. Hugh Acheson is promising to lose the unibrow for charity. If Top Chef fans donate $100,000 to Wholesome Wave by March 1st, he’ll live-tweeze it (DUDE, WAX IT, TRUST ME) on Watch What Happens Live. I officially love that guy, intensely. Donate here!
PPPS. No new episode next week! Enjoy spending time with your awful family, or something.