Back in the kitchen, the cheftestants have an hour to prep and cook. We get a THESE ARE BOXED POTATOES OMIGOD HE'S USING BOXED POTATOES close-up of the instant potatoes, and Dale tells us that while potatoes -- of any shape and non-flavor -- are carb-heavy, they are cholesterol free. Here we see him pull a full un-rotisseried, herb-draped chicken out of a stockpot. He prods at the breast meat to check for doneness and lowers it back into the pot. Food Flurry. Hung tells us that he's saving fat and cholesterol by marinating the chicken in low-fat yogurt instead of buttermilk. Okay, but I'm pretty sure that buttermilk is actually low-fat…? Lia, who's on franks 'n' beans duty, thinks her dish will be liked by the Elks and notes how easy it is to prepare. Well, sure, you bought chicken sausages from the butcher -- you won't have to do much.
Ah, the promised hot tub scene that has been promo'd up the wazoo! I was all prepared to get on my television high horse and talk at length about how no hot tub scene in a reality show has ever ended classily, but I was thwarted! Routed! Stymied! Not only did nothing skeezy happen, but we also didn't get the promised scenes of watching what happens to breast implants when they interact with water! In those misleading and Lying Liars Who Lie promos, Casey was poaching her own boobs! And while we're on the subject of Lying Liars Who Lie promos, normally, I don't like to analyze cuts and syncs too much on this show because we're not naïve, we know how reality shows work, how things are faked, etc. But the Evil Dr. Mathra is seriously freaking out about some Micah Is a Potential Bitch scenes that we never got. There's one promo that shows CJ saying, "Micah is really starting to get on my nerves" and another of Micah looking down at a countertop in the apartment and saying, "Things I would never have in my kitchen." What gives, Bravo? Maybe time should be built in so that the promos are made after the show's been edited.
The next day, the cheftestants prepare their dishes at the Elks Club kitchen, and Colicchio sneaks through the narrow space to perform an abbreviated Sniff 'n' Sneer. When he learns that Camille has decided to fill her tacos with tuna and grilled beef, Colicchio notes, "So, it's a pretty literal translation then." Okay, I get the beef, but how is a tuna taco -- get your mind OUT of the gutter and back in the kitchen, people! -- a "literal translation"? Because if we're thinking fish tacos -- STOP GIGGLING -- we're really talking about battered cod or tilapia or some other white fish, not tuna. The tuna is a reimagining of this dish. I'm sure Colicchio has seen his fair share of tuna tacos -- now REALLY, this is getting RIDICULOUS! -- but those renditions are not what were presented to the group as an Elkish classic comfort family favorite whatever food. CJ's tuna casserole is going to stay creamy using fat-free Greek yogurt, and the crunchy casserole crust, which in my Midwestern hot dish family came from smashed Ritz crackers, will be represented by a tuile composed of cholesterol-lowering flax seeds. If CJ doesn't win Top Chef maybe he can get work as playing Mr. Homn's son in a future incarnation of Star Trek Mr. Homn drank prodigiously, his son could cook and eat prodigiously. Dale is upfront and honest with Colicchio about making his dumplings out of boxed mashed potatoes, arguing, "When you have one hour, you gotta do what you gotta do." Colicchio reports back to the cameras that he's surprised -- unhappily, we assume -- that so many of the cheftestants seem to be taking a literal approach to their dishes. They aren't getting creative enough with their reinterpretation. But you don't want to scare the old people. I mean, if they're expecting franks 'n' beans and you give them a sausage gelee with bean foam, they might keel over.