Next, Colicchio drops the bomb that he thinks Lisa, with her cooking (especially in this challenge), is "slightly apathetic to what she's doing", which strikes me as one of the most insulting things one could say about a chef and, in the grand scheme of things, a greater offense than using frozen scallops (not that Spike isn't a turd in general). Padma's take is that Lisa "has an amazing palate", but that she focuses on flavor at the expense of technique. "But technique is how you make flavor", says Colicchio, which inspires Padma to skip a response and move straight to comparing the respective shortcomings of the people everyone knew would be in the bottom two.
It's a tough call -- Rick mentions that Colicchio's words of wisdom ("It's a cooking competition") have been in his head all through the challenge, so he's trying to stay focused on the food, rather than on the personalities. The judges wrestle with whether Lisa's shrimp or Spike's scallops were the worst appetizers, because they were both pretty awful (although Rick saw a glimmer of hope in Spike's). They agree that Spike put much more work into his dish that Lisa did hers, but that the focus needs to be on the main dishes, since both firsts were atrocious. Unfortunately, Spike's attention to salvaging the scallops both failed and short-shrifted his tomahawk chop, which the judges agree did not showcase a great deal of effort. Ready the hatboxes, Spike -- you're going home.
But first, Colicchio praises the remaining five for making it through twelve Quickfires and Eliminations (I can attest that it's been grueling season). As the cheftestants join hands (it's Hands Across the Judges' Table!), Padma turns the floor over to Rick, who proclaims Stephanie -- "the one that really stuck out and really brought the whole thing together for me in both appetizer and entree" -- the big winner. She looks genuinely surprised, very local girl done good, and Richard looks like he wants to cry. Rick offers Stephanie a copy of his new cookbook, which will complete Stephanie's collection since she already has the other two, and which seems like a crummy prize until Padma throws in "your very own suite of GE Monogram kitchen appliances". Yes, please. GE? Are you there? I just mentioned your product -- can I have some too? Stephanie's pumped for Puerto Rico, where she'll land as the one to beat, and dutifully expresses gratitude for her GE Monogram appliances. Look, I just mentioned GE Monogram again!