Top Chef

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Etched in My Mind
hat he and Marcel had a miscommunication, and he explains it in a way that really doesn't make him or Marcel look terribly bad, and even gives Antonia points for stepping in and straightening them out. But of course, Marcel has to give his version of the story, where Mike refused to answer his questions.

So then, Mike has had enough and he's like "Oh, you're going to pull my card? Because that's what you're doing." And then he yells that Marcel was trying to plate desserts on their pickup. I don't really know what that means, but it's clearly a bad thing. And also that Marcel tried to do two dishes, and he wasn't strong enough to pull it off. Angelo nods in agreement. So Marcel yells that Mike hasn't worked a line in years, and he was slow. Mike delivers the line that had the editors squealing with delight: "You did a poor job. No one wants to say anything because you're a time bomb." And that's what's really going on. Tiffany tries to get the boys to shut up, because clearly the judges don't care. I mean, they care in that they're eating popcorn and giggling, but I don't think this will have any effect on their final decision. Marcel starts to list off all the ways that his suggestions were ignored. Antonia's like, "Okay, we're going there" and says that Marcel should have stepped up as team captain, and he didn't. Marcel claims they all ignored him, and Tiffany says it's because he was barking orders instead of working with them. Colicchio puts his head in his hands.

Angelo apologizes for them being so unprofessional and adds that it was a shit show. Tiffany bursts out laughing, I think more from shock that Angelo said that than anything, and Padma chides her for laughing because it's not funny. Oh, come on Padma. They're not the United Nations arguing over disarmament. Stop taking yourself so seriously. This is a little bit funny. And Tiffany isn't a child. I mean, yes, I'm glad one of the judges stepped up and put an end to the horseshit, but let's all relax. Padma excuses them and asks to see Team Bodega.

Marcel walks in and tells the other team that they won, and to his credit, he congratulates them and tells Blais to stop worrying. Team Bodega heads out. Team Etch is still rehashing what went down. Mike says he knew they lost, and Antonia says that they needed someone to take charge, but Marcel is still insisting that he can't force people to do things. No, you can't. But you can stop being an asshole and maybe they will listen to you. Asshole.

Padma officially tells Team Bodega that they won. Ludo tells them that what they accomplished in twenty-four hours was amazing. Dale was the executive chef and Blais was the technical advisor. They all give credit to Blais for the idea of the chips in a bag, which Bourdain loved, and Carla adds that Blais helps everyone elevate their food. It's a Blais lovefest. Ludo loved his tuna in a can, and Colicchio compliments everything Fabio did, from greeting to directing the staff to his dessert. Bourdain calls Dale's egg dish "stoner food at its finest." They have nothing but praise for Tre's food, as well as Carla's. So who's going to win? Ludo admits that it was tough to pick a winner, but Blais is the winner. He's surprised that Dale didn't take it, but his whole team congratulates him and obviously thinks that he deserved it. I mean, it was totally his concept and he had a finger in all of the dishes.

The judges discuss who should go home from Team Etch. Bourdain says that they screwed up in concept, execution, and service. Antonia's food was too salty. Marcel's dessert was terrible, and Ludo points out that he was an awful manager too. Mike made the lamb that had to be sent back by some diners, and his pork belly wasn't great either. Angelo's dish was boring, and Bourdain thinks that Angelo knew things were going poorly so he kind of stepped back and stayed out of it. Tiffany was lost in the front of house, and her dish had no flavor. Padma wonders if Tiffany should go home for making a bad dish and having poor service. Bourdain points out that it was disorganized and just awful from start to finish. This is really bad. I don't think they liked any of the dishes at all. Yikes.

Team Etch stands in front of the judges. Tom tells them that they failed miserably. Antonia's dish was too salty. Mike did two dishes that were just okay, and could have done more to bail his team out. Tiffany produced a disorganized service, and her dish wasn't great. Marcel was the leader and let everything fall apart. Angelo took a back seat when he knows better, and the judges felt he could have stepped up. But he didn't. So who's going home? Padma tells Marcel to pack his knives and go. Marcel of course has to say, "That's the first time I've heard you say those words." God, he is awful. In his exit interview, Marcel claims that he didn't make any mistakes other than picking a bad team. Which is a mistake. Mike thinks Marcel is a good person but doesn't know how to talk to people. Marcel also thinks he's notorious and diabolical. He really has no idea how he is perceived, does he? I would love to meet his parents. I mean, not really, but maybe just see them on TV. I can't imagine who produced this disaster.

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