Top Chef
Holiday Spirit

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Mia the Martyr

Team Famine stands before the judges and told they are the losers. When asked what went wrong, Elia admits there was a lack of organization "at the end." "And you were the team leader?" Padmadala confirms. Clone-icchio says, "For four dishes, there was nothing that I left that table saying, 'Wow, I have to go back and have another one.'" That may be, but you were all just saying that Team Famine's scallops and strawberries were the best dishes across both teams. Clone-icchio admits that the best dish was the scallop-endive-marmalade thing and he asks who created that dish. "Elia created that dish," Michael responds. Clone-icchio compliments her on it and tells them they should have made eight dishes of that same caliber. Padmadala wants to know what Michael's responsibilities were. He says, "I was running, serving -- I was communication between the front and back." Colicchio wonders why they couldn't keep food on the table. Cliff says it boiled down to a lack of communication between those who were in kitchen and those who were in the front. So he's blaming Michael. Mia shakes her head. Colicchio calls her on it. "I did have a problem with the fact that the food wasn't coming out of the kitchen fast enough," Mia says. Colicchio asks Elia why this was happening. "We were cooking everything at the moment, we didn't work fast enough," Elia responds. "But you only had four dishes," Padmadala points out. "Yes," Elia agrees. Mia pipes up with her opinion that they could have done more and how she suggested they do six, "I was told, 'Let's do three.'" Cliff pulls a "wow, really? I didn't hear that" face. Padmadala asks if anyone heard Mia say that. Cliff shakes his head. Mia adds, "I felt like my voice was not heard. I felt like my professional opinion was not appreciated." Cliff interrupts to say, " I'm not gonna -- I can't allow Elia to get thrown under the bus because she was put up against some really hard circumstances." Now, this is interesting. Cliff is already leaping to Elia's aid when nothing Mia really said made it sound like she was accusing Elia of anything. I think something was cut here when it was determined why they were no longer going to tell the Elia is a Bad Leader story. It also explains why we never saw that clip of Cliff also seeming to be yelling at Elia during the challenge.

Colicchio wants to know what Elia was up against. "Some of her cooks were not in line at all times," Cliff explains. Padmadala asks, "Who were those cooks?" "Mia was definitely bitching and moaning," Cliff points out. Mia steps in, "In my defense, I was not 'bitching and moaning.' I had opinions and I disagreed with certain decisions and I made my voice be heard and when my voice was not heard and I realized that, 'Hey, this is a team,' I stepped off and said, 'Hey, I'm going with the team.'" That's a lot of internal monologue she's been having with herself. Maybe that explains why we never heard her suggest six dishes rather than four. It was all in her head. Colicchio asks, "What were the problems?" She didn't say "problems," she said "decisions." Oh, whatever. Mia explains that she had a problem with serving three seafood dishes, "And so that's when Mike and I decided, well, you know we got the money in our budget still leftover, let's go ahead and get the steak and lobster and let's do something on our own." I'm sorry, but doesn't lobster still count as seafood? It does in my world. Elia thinks they worked well as a team, but Ted Allen interrupts her to say, "Elia, I don't mean to be unkind but I think we're finding a difference between the idea of whether you guys worked well together as a team or whether you just sort of liked each other or something." Elia softly moans, "No, no, no." Ted Allen points out that the final result was that the table was half empty.

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