Seriously? This show? With the warm and the fuzzies? This is insane -- don't these people know what it means to be on a reality show? You don't GIVE each other the WINE that you WON in the Elimination Challenge because you think the OTHER guy's dish was BETTER! But see, Howie don't play that way, so after his quick-braised pork beat Joey From New York's black bean, lobster, and chorizo stew, he told the rest of the cheftestants that Joey's was much better and he was giving him his prize wine. I can't quite wrap my head around reality show contestants being that…nice to each other! Tiffani would be so confused in this environment.
Backing up: Joey From New York was already cooking golden with the immunity he won in the do-something-do-ANYTHING Frozen Pie Crust Quickfire, but he still put out a top Latin dish for the Telemundian cast of Dame Chocolate. (I don't know how many "sneaky" Dame Chocolate commercials I counted in the time it took for the cast and judges to eat the food, but it was a lot. And it was shameless. And NBC owns Bravo AND Telemundo. Just in case you were wondering.) Howie, still as addicted to pork as a Florida chef named "Kleinberg" can be, busted out something better -- even after Colicchio threw the cheftestants a "curve" and cut their cooking time from three hours to 90 minutes.
Hung had a bad night. Not only was he called out in the bottom three of the Quickfire for dry, bland chicken and rice, but he's also lined up on the Elimination Challenge chopping block, and guess what? He really doesn't know why he's there, and even argues with both Colicchio's and guest judge Maria Frumkin's opinions about his food. However, it's quiet Lia who gets sent home for a bland, mushy trout dish. And it's a tearful Casey who needs to make it all about her when she announces that Lia's going home.
It's morning, and as Lia pushes back her motel-quality quilt, she reflects on Camille's empty bed, "I think Camille was kind of just starting to come out of her shell and being a little more social. She's a really great person, I think we're all really sad to see her go." It is too bad, because I found her voice to be such good stress therapy, but hermit crabs like Camille don't usually fare well on these kinds of shows. When you're surrounded by so many other strong personalities, you pretty much have to get in the judges' faces if you want to get noticed. Obviously, you also have to cook really well, but if you aren't forward enough, the judges will conclude that you just don't want it enough.
Dale and Joey From New York make their way out to the balcony for a smoke. Joey From New York is frustrated that his past performances have kept him in the mid to bottom placement. Why have I never noticed that huge-ass mole of his before and, more importantly, why the HELL can't I stop staring at it? Out on the balcony, Dale and Joey survey the ocean view. Dale walks uncomfortably close to the rail with Joey following at a discreet distance. "It's gonna be like this from here on out, man," Joey tells Dale. Did anyone else have a weird feeling that Joey was about to take Dale by the ankles and drop him over the side? Maybe it's just me. And I don't even watch The Sopranos. Joey tells us, "You know what? I'm the grey horse right now. Nobody sees me coming." Wait, what's "the grey horse"? I've heard of a "dark horse" but I'm not familiar with this grey one. Is it a charcoal grey? Or heathered? Maybe he confusing that with an Apocalypse horse mixed up with "The Old Grey Mare (She Ain't What She Used to Be)." Hung tells us he's going to approach each day of the competition as if it were his last, "I think I can make it to the top -- it's all about finesse, style, grace, and elegance." See, he can say that, but deep down we know that he knows that it's not going to be his last day, because he's just Hung like that.
In the kitchens, Padma introduces Maria Frumkin -- chef and owner of Duo and The French Bakery Café -- as the guest judge of the day. Tre, who has renewed his Valium prescription this week, tells us that Chef Frumkin is an amazing pastry chef and he has a lot of respect for her. There's something about that name -- it's not quite "frumpy" and it's partway to "pumpkin." It sounds like a glazed puff pastry with filled with dense cinnamon and pumpkin-y deliciousness. Mmm, frumkins.