Moving on to Orlando, the judges can't help but wonder why on earth he would use a rice cooker when true paella rice is not made in a rice cooker? Um guys? True paella is also not made with apricots, beets, compressed plums and coconut. Zip it! The judges then ask him, again, if he is scared. Orlando nods, yes, he is scared, mostly because the judges are being completely crazycakes in some desperate bid to build drama on a show that has very little, because the chefs all love each other and help each other out and are actual team mates instead of competitors.
The judges turn their gaze to Sally. Johnny is impressed that she was able to create a perfect caricature of a Cubano with only an hour and a half on the clock. Unfortunately she ruined it by using a gnarly cream cheese mousse for her pork substitute. But they loved her potato salad, and her presentation, so winner, winner, sushi-made-out-of-sugar dinner.
In the stew room, the cheftestants all mention a few more times that this is the final competition before the finale, just in case we forgot in the last five minutes. Then the judges begin their deliberations and ultimately pick a winner. Iron Chef Cat Cora gets to announce their choice: Sally, because she disappointed Johnny the least. Sally cheers and draws on some war paint in raspberry jam to prepare for battle in the finale. They also liked Chris' beef Wellington and send him to the finale, too. And then just Matthew and Orlando stand in front of the judges. Judge Johnny gives them the details all Tyra style: Orlando your flavors were good but your presentation was sloppy and your rice was mushy. Matthew had spot on details, but uninteresting flavor combinations. So who goes home? The man with the mushy rice? Or the guy who didn't put tomato in his fake tomato sauce after telling Johnny that he would? Then Gail tells Orlando to pack his knives. Cue a crying Orlando reminding himself that he should be proud of himself while dabbing his eyes. Oh Orlando, don't worry, it gets better. Now go call your mama on a Sprint phone.
Melissa Locker a.k.a. Lulu Bates is practicing shoving entire slices of cake in her mouth. You can follow her on Twitter @woolyknickers.