Top Chef

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Chuck: C | Grade It Now!
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Block Party

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.

After shipping off Red Team to stew in anxiety, the judges seem bemused by just how surprised Red Team was by their loss. Ted and Bayless poke holes in the condescending "cooking for the people" defense by sagely reminding us that good food sells to everybody. In weakest dishes round, Bayless rehashes Ryan's watery mess of a salad, Padma, sounding like a non-English speaker (or a robot) who's simply memorized dialogue, "The other really big clunker on that table was the corn dog." Ted liked its looks, but it did not deliver good mouth feel, and the pasta salad couldn't stand up to your garden-variety grocery store version. And, opines Ted, even if Zoi didn't want to make the damn stuff, she should have given it her all.

Meanwhile, Zoi's still upset that she got stuck with the pasta salad, and makes sure her teammates knows that she's upset that she didn't fight to jettison the dish in the first place, rather, apparently, than the fact that she delivered a bona fide stinker. Jennifer tries her best to look comforting and supportive, which generally entails looking mildly confused and apprehensive.

After revisiting the three most horrid dishes, Colicchio bluntly dismisses Erik's corn dogs with "it shouldn't have been done." Although the head judge has delivered his verdict, Padma proceeds with formality by telling Erik his time has come. Sad but resigned, Erik reveals that he'll most miss "the camaraderie that I made with sixteen phenomenal chefs here." I can't say I'm sad or surprised to see him go, but he seems like a genuinely good guy, and the rest of the cheftestants dig him. Especially Zoi -- it totally looks like they make out when they hug goodbye, as Jennifer watches, but making out is nothing if you've bonded over soufflé.

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Top Chef

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