"That's fine," responds Tom, "but does that mean you should dumb down what you're doing?" A particularly stinging accusation for Erik, defender of the people, and I'm not so sure it was a dumbing down as much as it was a dumb choice, but whatever. Point made. Speaking of Middle America, Ted would like to speak of the Waldorf salad, which Ryan believes stood up to the heat and the length of the day -- he kept all the ingredients separate and "put it out in spurts." I'll be starting junior high in the fall, thank you very much. Unfortunately, says Bayless, while Waldorf salads signify "crunch and crisp," Ryan's excess of chicken made everything -- uh oh -- soggy.
Spike takes this opportunity to assail the judges as "four people on the panel that have very good palates, intense palates, and you can taste food better than others." Jennifer backs him up, asserting their commitment to "cooking for the neighborhood." They're treading a very a fine line here, which Ted immediately seizes upon by schooling everyone that "whether you are making a jelly doughnut or sous vide duck breast, I think we can still tell whether it was done as well as it could be or not." And even though Zoi claims they didn't dumb anything down, this new line of defense says otherwise. Spike's not giving up, though, now trying to climb out of the hole by bringing up the collaborative nature of the team, that everyone tasted everybody else's dishes and provided input. If they all tasted Zoi's pasta salad, says Tom, then "you guys collectively have really poor palates." Bland, oily and flavorless, it sounds like too many of the pasta salads I've endured in the past -- but it can be awesome, and Zoi should be just a little ashamed of standing up for the common people and then showing such disdain for an American staple.
Erik steps in to defend Zoi since she didn't want to make the pasta salad in the first place, but that's entirely beside the point. Bayless comments on Red Team's camaraderie, but sees a downside in all that teamwork, since dishes seasoned by committee tend to have less flavor, since no one wants to be too critical. Now Andrew enters the ring, refusing to believe that their effort could have resulted in a loss. When Colicchio reminds him that someone from Red Team is leaving, Andrew gets a little aggro, claiming that, "As far as me going home right now, you'd have to drag me out with security guards, more or less, 'cause I ain't going nowhere. This is my house." At least that would be kind of interesting to watch, which is more than I can say for this season.