"So, now we've just gotta decide who's going home," Gail says back at the table. Oh my god -- you haven't done that yet?! This episode is taking for-freaking-EVER!
All four losers are finally back in front of the judges and Colicchio ONCE AGAIN goes over the concept of the challenge before going down the line and again telling each cheftestant why they sucked. Padma tells Joey he's going home. NOOOOOOOOOO! Joey drops his head and chokes, "Okay. No problem. Thank you for the opportunity. It's been a great time." Colicchio tells him, "Personally, I think you're a great guy, I think you did some great stuff -- this was just not your day." His face getting redder and redder, Joey thanks them again and tries to head out but Hung is in his way as he bows to the chefs. Hung sticks his hand out to Joey to show no hard feelings, but Joey just engulfs the short cheftestant in a huge walking hug. The two of them walk out together. Joey tells us he was not going to go out screaming like a lunatic: "I came in like a professional, I want to leave like a professional." His face is wet in the confessionals and he's all stuffed up. Joey walks into the back and barely gets out, "Sorry guys, I'm goi --" And bends over into sobs. Brian reaches out a long arm to pat him and Joey stands up to hug him. Joey tells us he regrets his stubbornness. CJ hugs Joey, Tre hugs Joey. Joey tells us that his whole life people have told him he's not good enough to do certain things, "You know what? You know, out of all the people in the world, I made it onto Top Chef season three." Joey and Howie hug long and hard and one of them says, "I'm proud of you." Okay, THAT'S when I lost it. Given how Howie and Joey had been before, this just killed me. Joey, his voice continuing to break, tells us he's going to go back to New York with his head held high and he's going to take a lot of new friendships with him. He shakes his head, sobs, and covers his eyes, "And it's hard." Joey finally lifts Sara N. in a twirly hug and grabs his bag and leaves. Joey sobs to us that he's going to miss everyone and scrubs at his eyes with a crumpled napkin. Joey promises this isn't the last we'll hear or see of him. He's a fighter. Bye, Joey From New York, I really will miss you.
Next week: the cheftestants go out drinking and dancing, and Sara N. is crying and telling Howie he's "more of an asshole every day."