Seems like Stephanie's got the edge as the judges move to the dessert course, but Lisa has made a far better showing that I expected (and Richard has really underperformed). His dessert gets first scrutiny, with Gail asking him to explain, which he doesn't really do when he says that he has a banana for breakfast every day. He's also made bacon ice cream before. Yeah, and banana scallops. Colicchio liked it, Padma's seen it somewhere before, and they move along to Lisa. Padma thought her rice pudding "delicious," as did Colicchio, and they zoom along to Stephanie's pound cake. Was she happy with it, wonders Padma. Well, she was pleased with the flavors, and added the salty banana cream because she wanted an element of salt in the dish. "I had some issues with it," says Colicchio. The cake was fine, the banana cream "unidentifiable," and the overall dish "a miss."
Padma offers each cheftestant the opportunity for some last pre-deliberation words. Stephanie recalls words of wisdom from Dale, leaver-out of pork belly: he counseled her not to second guess herself, which is precisely what she did on her weakest dish. But she can learn from the experience, and has what it takes! Lisa, confident in herself and the menu she offered, thinks she has what it takes! Richard thinks he has what it . . . oh, never mind -- he admits that he "choked a little bit." He worries that he over-thought the meal, and that he's strongest when he's spontaneous. Ergo, it was not his best performance. Better him saying it about himself, I suppose, than the judges.
Padma calls Richard's remarks "very interesting," while Gail claims to be "shocked," but Colicchio deflates their drama balloon by pointing out that Richard did, in fact, choke, if by choking he meant a few small mistakes. Gail mentions that Richard wanted them to know that he knew that he didn't do as well as a could have -- he could have taken the title, says Gail -- which could be seen as strategic, or simply as too little too late. Richard wasn't alone, though, opines Colicchio. Both Lisa and Stephanie screwed up as well, so let's take a course-by-course poll and see where we land.