Regroup. Tonight's Quickfire appears to be sponsored by Bailey's, for which the cheftestants have to create "original" Bailey's cocktails and an accompanying snack. Mia and Betty end up on the bottom, Mia for her pedestrian glassing of her cocktail (do you think I can use that word? The mixologist's answer to "plating"?) and Betty for curdling the dairy in hers. It really did look chunky enough to make anyone blow, well, chunks. Methinks the cream could hear Betty's voice and acted accordingly. Sam and Michael make it into the top three, but Cliff wins the Quickfire with a tasty combo of beef, nutmeg, and dark chocolate (that's the snack, not the drink. Althoughâ¦) and a nice glass of Bailey's, rum, vodka, and vanilla bean.
The Elimination Challenge has the cheftestants dividing into two teams (again) and catering a Hollywood event for two hundred people. The teams take totally opposite approaches, with one team making about thirteen hors d'oeuvres and the other banging out about four. Team Famine can't keep food on the table, but when they do, it appears to taste above average. Team Feast keeps their table groaning but maybe fell short of truly excellent food. However, Team Feast wins, and since Son of Sam emerged as the team leader (something that Marcel bitchily, BITCHILY tries to override), he's the ultimate winner and gets to take home a big ol' basket of Global knives as a door prize.
Team Famine is brought before the judges, and since Cliff got immunity, he's safe. Elia, Mia, and Michael are on the butcher's block. Elia was the team leader, so she's in serious jeopardy for not bringing her team together. Cliff, however, refuses to let this happen and throws Mia under Top Chef's popular, proverbial, and increasingly bloodthirsty bus. At this, Mia lets loose with all sorts of name-calling. She tells him to put his dick away. She tells him she "doesn't give a black bone"! I have no idea what that means, but it sounds really, really bad. She completely and entirely loses it. In the back, during deliberation, Mia keeps losing it, talking about how she's the only one in her family to make it and how she once sold crack on the street to feed her family. In the middle of this -- which is making Elia cry and Betty eye-bug more than usual -- Cliff tells Mia to stop being a martyr. DAMN!
In front of the judges, Padmadala is JUST about to announce their decision when Mia dramatically stops them and says she can't let Elia go home (it's not at all clear Elia was the one they were sending home, by the way) so she's going home herself. After some back and forth about Colicchio refusing to believe Mia's a quitter, the judges accept Mia's tear-stained culinary suicide.
In the back, Mia tells everyone that she did it all for the love of Elia. I'm emotionally drained, but I'm not telling you whether it's from laughing or crying.
So, watching the previews that got tagged onto the end of last week's episode, which Bravo aired right before the current episode, I see what people are saying about what happened to Cliff yelling at Elia in the Krapmore Kitchens. I think if Mia hadn't sacrificed herself, we would have seen a show during which Elia was seen to be at odds with her team, possibly making the decision that cost them the challenge: cooking during the event, rather than before. Whoever's behind Bravo's subsequentlies is clearly asleep at the wheel since that is not the episode we were given.
Of course, all of what did end up happening in the episode we got means that if Elia does win the whole thing -- and I really, really want her to win -- it will all be because of Mia's sacrifice.
Morning. Marcel reflects on Frank's departure, "I know I'm going to start sleeping a lot better, considering he's not going to be snoring in my room." Forget the snoring, Marcel, you no longer have to sleep with one eye open because you're afraid you'll wake up in a meat grinder. "Check that out, baby!" Michael commands and lifts his towel up to show off an expanse of sunburned flesh. Elia does more yoga. Son of Sam mutters to the camera that when Frank grabbed him goodbye last week, he broke his knife roll. Random. Mia, getting the loser cut early on, tells us how much she misses her family.
Krapmore Kitchens. The cheftestants file in, and Betty makes loudly obnoxious happy noises. She tells us, "We show up at the kitchen for our Quickfire challenge and there's LOADS OF BOOZE!" I just really want her to shut up. Like, forever. Bottles of Bailey's Irish Cream are rowed up, some with pour spouts, some without. Hey, I didn't know there was more than one kind of Bailey's these days! It looks like there's a mint-chocolate one and a caramel one? I love that the Scots call those kinds of liqueurs "stickies." That's exactly what they are. Padmadala introduces their guest judge, Kristin Woodward, whom she describes as an "award-winning mixologist" from Oysters restaurant in Corona del Mar. Notice how no one's just a bartender anymore? They all have to be "mixologists" or "elixirticians." Actually, there are no elixirticians, but I like the sound of it, so I'm going to coin it. After all, I'm an elixirtician in my own house, and I'm now a published elixirtican. How many elixirticians does it take to screw in a light bulb? Actually, I don't have a good answer to that. Padmadala reminds them that they are still pretending it's not the middle of summer in LA by announcing that the holiday season is all about drinking and eating and partying. For the Quickfire, they must create an "original Bailey's cocktail" along with a "small snack or bite to accompany it." So... like an amuse bouche? Cliff's all, "I'm a cook, not a bartender" to us. The cheftestants have twenty minutes.