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Live-Blogging Top Chef 4.12 May 28, 2008

Posted by Amy Yen in Top Chef, TV.
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8:59 (b/c yes, I am now on Central Time) – Previously on Top Chef, Spike & Lisa are inexplicably still around at the beginning of the episode. Restaurant Wars return. Team Disaster predictably bomb. And Spike & Lisa are inexplicably still around at the end of the episode. Which mean Dale is preemptively eliminated. Aw.

9:01 – Everyone is excited that they’re close to the final 4. OMG, one of Spike & Lisa is going to make the final 4. That is so wrong!

9:02 – The Quickfire is at a place called Allen Brothers, where they will be butchering stuff. All the chefs put on comical gear & head in to a giant warehouse of meat. Time starts & the chefs all start struggling with the dry age meat. Spike seems to be doing well (dang it!) but everyone else seems to be having trouble.

9:05 – When time is up, the chefs pack up the meat & go back to the Top Chef kitchen, where apparently the challenge isn’t over. Padma is there with guest judge Rick Tramonto. Richard tells us Rick is known for new American food. The Quickfire challenge is to cook a perfect steak. Rick requests medium rare.

9:06 – Food frenzy. Spike explains how to cook a piece of meat medium rare & it actually makes sense, but he says it in such a smarmy, arrogant way, I still wish horrible failure on him. Antonia tells us how she bastes her steak in butter, which sounds delicious. Mmmm…steak.

9:09 – Tasting. Rick doesn’t have a whole lot to say. Mostly he just says “okay” after having each chef explain how they cooked their steak. Rick picks Stephanie & Richard as the least favorites, Lisa, Spike & Antonia as the favorites. Annoyingly, Spike wins again. Argh. Bno immunity, but he does get to make an “important decision” to make for the elimination challenge.

9:10 – The Elimination Challenge is to take over Rick’s new restaurant for a night. Each chef will do an appetizer and an entrée based of the ingredients already in the restaurant. As the winner, Spike gets to choose first again. But then, we saw how well that worked out to him last time. Padma says the restaurant is booked full…no pressure!

9:14 – Back in the apartment, everyone discusses how much it would suck to go home now. Spike thinks Stephanie is the strongest of the 3 girls left, which I would agree with, but he can’t decide if Antonia or Lisa is stronger, which is ridiculous because Antonia is CLEARLY stronger. I mean, it’s not even a question. Then again, I think I’d still rather have both of them than you, Spike.

9:16 – Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List returns. Ugh. Doesn’t D-List mean she’ll have to eventually go away & not show herself in public anymore? Can that happen sooner rather than later?

9:17 – In Rick’s kitchen, time starts, so Spike chooses his items. He takes the Tomahawk steaks that they used in the Quickfire and frozen scallops, which no one else seems to mind him taking.

9:20 – Spike discovers why no one wanted the scallops: they are wet & torn. Instead of abandoning them for something else though, he tries to salvage the situation by patting them down to dry them. Tom C comes in for consultations. He touches a nerve with Richard by saying his menu sounds a little basic. Red flag! He thinks Lisa’s peanut butter mashed potatoes sound “interesting.” I don’t, I think they sound disgusting.

9:24 – Tom C asks if Spike was disappointed with the scallops, which he was, but he tries to play down the problem. Tom calls for attention and tells the chefs that the judges will dine with 3 VIP guests and that he (Tom) will expedite the meal, which means he’ll coordinate service. Antonia is excited about this, but I don’t really know why. Sounds like an opportunity for Tom C is yell at them a lot.

9:29 – Again, the fact that they let Kathy Griffin host the Bravo A-List Award simply assures that I will not watch them.

9:30 – Richard tells us that everyone is on edge and we hear Lisa yell at someone to get out of their way. God, it’s so ironic how much she hated Dale. She’s like 14 times worse than he was. Tom C introduces the “VIP guests,” which turn out to be Harold, Ilan and Hung, the former season winners.

9:31 – Service begins. We see Tom C yelling back orders. Richard’s dish goes over well, but predictably, Spike’s scallops get attention for being “dehydrated.” Antonia does her poached egg salad again, which seems not to go over as well as it did in the Quickfire.

9:34 – Tom C repeatedly tells Richard he’s “killing him” for being slow plating. The judges like the dish, but not the construction. It seems like no one ever likes ultra-deconstruction, so I don’t know why people keep doing it. Spike’s Tomahawk goes out. Rick says, “um…it was okay.” Heh. I think I like Rick.

9:43 – Spike is thrilled to be in the backroom for the last time. Padma, who is rocking a really nice red dress, asks to see all of the chefs this time. For one of the chefs…the journey ends here. Tom C says Stephanie never looks nervous under pressure, but she does now. She says the judges are freaking her out. Heh. They love her sweetbreads. Rick wanted to hate Lisa’s mashed potatoes, but couldn’t. Antonia’s ribeye goes over well, but Spike’s scallops and steak don’t. The judges were surpised that he didn’t put the scallops back when he realized how bad they were. Spike—I seriously can’t believe this actually came out of his mouth—questions Rick for having them in his freezer in the first place. Rick is clearly a little pissed, but rationally points out that Spike didn’t have to use them. The chefs are dismissed. In the back, Spike can’t believe he said that either. Spike’s idiocracy surprises even himself.

9:46 – Judging. Gail was impressed with how they saw something new from the chefs today. Stephanie is clearly the best overall. Richard’s appetizer was the single best dish of the night. Gail thinks Antonia “cooks from the heart.” I bet it took the producers everything they had not to put in an image of her kid just then. The judges all agree that Spike was disappointing. Tom thinks Lisa is always kind of apathetic to what she’s doing. Her shrimp was the least favorite dish for a lot of the judges. They agree that it seems like Spike put a lot more work into his main course. Man. It doesn’t even matter to me, one of Spike or Lisa is going home & I’m happy. It doesn’t even really matter to me which one. Is there any way we can send them both? That would be the only way to make it sweeter.

9:54 – Tom’s self esteem destruction speech is preempted tonight for warm feelings. The chefs all hold hands as Rick announces Stephanie as the winner. She receives Rick’s new book & a new set of product placement kitchen appliances. In interview, Stephanie celebrates adorably. Richard and Antonia have the favorite single dishes of the night, so they are also both safe. The three of them, who along with Dale, were clearly the best chefs of the season, head off to the back to celebrate.

9:56 – Tom C tells Lisa & Spike they both kind of suck, as measured by the number of times they’ve been on the bottom, & one of them will be going home. Lisa stands with her familiar defensive stance & makes disgusted faces as Tom tells her there’s something missing from her cooking. Tom turns to Padma…Spike, please pack your knives & go!! YESSS!!

9:58 – I mean, in no way does Lisa deserve to be in the final 4. In fact, based off of Spike’s recent wins, you could say he probably deserved it more between the two of them. But like I said, there’s no losing tonight. Ciao, Spike! Auf Wiedersehen!

10:00 – Next time on Top Chef, welcome to Puerto Rico! The season finally, FINALLY comes to a close.

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