Padma wants to know how the chefs rolled with it. Todd thinks they all made a great effort, but Jesse is in the bottom for her mushy on mushy food. Eve and her off-kilter asparagus didn't impress him much either. He even says he thought her presentation could have been cleaner. I don't feel as bad about my obsessive compulsiveness now. Rounding out the bottom three is Bryan. He looks ticked off. Guess classic techniques aren't always the best way to go, especially since the first person in the top three is brother Michael and his new fangled method. I still think it looked kinda gross, which is why the at-home judging is very difficult. Jennifer's salmon hit just the right note and English was impressed with the way that Kevin married his flavors together. And the winner is... Michael V. He's not only excited about making a mark in the competition (and the cash) but also because he beat his brother. Bryan interviews that he needs to step up his game.
Elimination Challenge. Padma tells the contestants that they are experiencing another Vegas tradition: the bachelor and bachelorette party. What's next week? Strip club food? All-you-can-eat buffet? Cooking for 50 hungry Elvis impersonators? Just how far are we taking this Vegas thing this season, exactly? Kevin admits to having had a bachelor party, and that it was debaucherous. Aw, I doubt it Kevin. He's never been near a craps table, and looks scared of his shadow. I wonder if he and his friends got drunk and played some hardcore World of Warcraft until five AM or something. Ashley interviews that she had personal feelings about the challenge because she's gay. She's looking forward to the day when everyone is allowed to get married. Padma continues that they will be split into two teams, men vs. women. Then men are cooking for the bachelorette while the women are catering for the bachelor. Hector says that the guys are strong and he feels that they've got a strong chance. The winning team gets immunity and the losing team is sending one person packing.
Jennifer thinks that it is ridiculous because it doesn't matter if you are a "boy or a girl", and that makes her pissed off. I get the feeling she's pissed off a lot though. Anyway, it doesn't matter, but the show was looking for a simple way to split them up, and given the challenge's theme, it does sort of make sense. She's probably just sour because Hector had a good point about the men being stronger as a team, and since she's clearly the strongest person on her team, she's getting the shaft.
Bachelor Greg and Bachelorette Karen walk in carrying trays of shots, apparently of their three favorites; A Moscow Mule, Tequila and a Golden Delicious. The chefs have to come up with hors d'ouvres that can be paired with these shots and each team needs to make at least two dishes to go with each shot. They've got ten minutes to meet with the happy couple to plan their meal. Ash runs through the challenges again, and explains the drinks and says that the Golden Delicious is "sweet, gooey and disgusting." Bachelorette Karen explains that she's a pescetarian (meaning she eats fish but no meat or chicken) and that they also need to make at least one dish for her vegan pals. She likes spicy foods. Bachelor Greg has a sweet tooth and loves Japanese food and seafood. Robin is excited about the battle of the sexes, because when she started out cooking was a man's world. Try telling that to Jennifer.
Whole Foods madness. Bryan wants it to go well for the bride and the groom, because he's married so he likes doing things for other people? Or something like that. Seems like a nice thought, but I like it better when they are just like "I want to win." Laurine thinks that lamb goes well with the Golden Delicious, and thinks that they'll win because at these sorts of catering things people like what's comfortable and familiar, and the guys will go complicated. Interesting theory. Jennifer is yelling for an employee to help her get octopus. Eli is making tuna tartare. Ash tells the guys that the bride likes orchids and gets stuck with the responsibility of keeping a plant alive until the next day... because he's the gay guy. But he's OK with it, because "gay guys grow flowers better than straight guys."
In the Top Chef kitchen they've got two hours to cook and prep. Jesse thinks she's in the bottom a lot and doesn't want to be in the bottom again because she'll likely go home, since she was at the bottom for the Quickfire and last week's elimination. Michael's got immunity so basically he's all about beating his brother. He decides to make a frozen version of the Golden Delcious shot, paired with a goat cheese cookie. Eve feels good about designing a dish based on a shot because she has her diploma in Wine and Spirits. Just because you know about alcohol doesn't mean you can cook well. Ashley wants her team to win, despite her personal feelings about the challenge. She thinks that the women are feeling outmatched and thinks it could boost their confidence. Hector asks who's going to win and someone shouts back that it won't be him, and he starts laughing. I think I like Hector. He's making a tofu ceviche. Bryan is also out to beat his brother, and he's making a sweet and sour meringue. It melts in your mouth, but not in your hands, basically. Ash has no idea what Bryan is talking about. Neither do I, but now I don't feel so bad.
Ashley says she's got time to spare and could do another dish... as a group. Jennifer says they should keep it simple, so they have perfect execution. Wise move, don't bite off more than you can chew at this stage in the game. Jennifer interviews that it is stupid. However, Ashley wants to make the bachelor happy and give him something sweet so she decides to make a bay leaf panna cotta. And she's not a pastry chef. Good lord. People should not make desserts on this show if they don't know how to. Will they never learn? The girls start getting cocky, though, because they are all packed up and ready to go, while the guys are scrambling. Michael I. says they struggled a bit, but they pulled together. I'm so happy that we've seen blissfully little of him this entire episode.
Back at the house, Ashley is pissed that they have to basically do a "wedding challenge" when at least three cheftestants are gay and not allowed in that institution. Preeti agrees with her, but she feels guilty that she's not more fired up about it. Ashley says she realizes that she's in Vegas and knew that it was coming, but she still doesn't feel good about it. While I totally get her point, it isn't like this is the first time they've done wedding themed challenges on this show. Hell, they had to cater Gail's fake bridal shower last year. I think she had to have known that it was in the realm of possibility, especially given the amount of catering type challenges they have on this show.
The next morning they are outside by the pool at the hotel and there are cabanas, which Jennifer says are bigger than her old apartment in New York. It is a pretty sweet looking pool area. They get to work setting up the food in the hot sun. I personally have never been to a bachelor or bachelorette party that took place during the day, but maybe this is their kick-start to their night of drinking and strippers? Preeti realizes that she forgot a plate garnish, so she takes some shiso leaves and tosses them down on the plate and thinks they look awesome. Eve is having some issues with the lack of flavors in her dish, and is told she needs salt. Eve almost obliviously stabs Jennifer in the head with a big old knife. Yay, teamwork! Laurine (who has had significantly more screentime this week) says that the boys' dishes all seem so contrived and the girls are familiar and the client will be happier with this. Again, interesting theory. She'll be wrong, no matter how many times she repeats it though. Even as a non-foodie, I love trying out new things at cocktail parties. In fact, that's my favorite time for tasting new things -- they are bite size and there's no commitment issues like you face with ordering an entrée you may