Top Chef
Holiday Spirit

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Mia the Martyr

Mia cries in the back.

Clone-icchio talks about how Michael played it safe and that he doesn't think he's a Top Chef.

Padmadala brings the cheftestants back to the Judges' Table. Colicchio addresses all of the cheftestants individually. He wonders if Cliff would have done more had he been the team leader, he thinks Michael is just skating by, he doesn't think Mia tried hard enough to get her voice heard, and he thinks that Elia failed as team leader. "We have made a decision," Colicchio concludes, turning to Padmadala, who is preparing to speak. But wait! Mia has more to say! "I would like to ask you -- Elia does not deserve to go home. She's very talented and you know, I'm not doing this for anything -- I have done more than I thought that I would do when I came here," Mia announces, starting to break down. Elia tries to stop Mia, but Mia says, "No! Elia! Let her stay, send me home!" Colicchio doesn't believe that Mia's just going to sacrifice herself, "It's doesn't strike me as the kind of person you are. You seem like you scratched and fought for a lot of things in your life." No, you don't get to be Tim Gunn now. You said you were Head Judge, not a mentor. "I have fought many battles, you have no idea," Mia says. Somehow I think he's about to get an idea. "And I just can't believe that you're just going to throw up your hands and go, 'Well, whatever,'" Colicchio goes on. "You know, I have fought many battles throughout my life. I've dealt with being homeless, you know, I'm the only one in my family to ever make anything of myself. The only one. But if I go home tonight, I made my family proud," Mia sobs. Colicchio says, "I just don't think you're a quitter. You don't strike me as a quitter, yet you're quitting." "You gotta know when to fold 'em," Mia advises. Yes, she did go there. "Well, we did make a decision, but if you are going to walk away from this and that is your decision, we will accept that," Colicchio concludes. "Then I will pack my knives and go," Mia responds. Padmadala covers her lovely mouth and looks at Mia from her lovely "troubled" eyes. Elia covers her mouth. Michael rubs his temples with one hand. Mia scorns to wipe the snot from under her noise. Padmadala excuses all of them.

In the back, Mia announces she wouldn't let them send Elia home. Betty hugs her. "She deserves to be here," Mia says. "So do you," Betty tells her. Mia shakes her head. Mia sobs to us that she said she did not want Elia to go and she meant it. Back in the pantry, Elia hugs Mia and says, "You didn't have to do that." "I know, I don't have to do anything that I don't want to do," Mia responds. Mia tells us that she has a wonderful family and restaurant to go home to and her dream for Elia is that some day Elia will have her own restaurant and she'll be able to be as proud as Mia is of the things that she's accomplished in her life. Mia packs her knives and leaves. If Son of Sam gets ousted before the finale (which is highly unlikely), it's now going to take him twice as long to pack all his knives.

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