Judging of Round One. Carla is up first and her first sardine looks just okay but the second one is a mess. Carla tries to preempt the criticism by telling Ripert that his sardine is beautiful, unlike hers. She goes all down home-y and says, "Girrrrrrrl! It's butchered, chile. You don't have to say it. We all know what it is." Ripert just laughs and shakes his head, and then moves on without comment. Carla interviews that she "pushed Chef Ripert on" because hers "looked like crapola." I enjoy Carla's honesty, but I wonder when that's going to bite her in the ass. It seems like you can only be self-deprecating for so long because people start to wonder when you're going to make something that makes you proud. Leah is next, and Ripert compliments her speediness and lack of bones, though it's not perfect. Ripert tells Stefan that his look nice, although he left some bones in. Jamie is already laughing at her performance, perhaps taking the Carla approach to judging. Her sardines look pretty sad. There is hardly any meat left on them, which Ripert notes. Fabio's look the best so far, and he says that when he started cooking in Italy, all he did was clean sardines and chop onions. Ripert runs his finger over them and notes that there are no bones at all. Hosea also takes the Carla approach, saying that he's disappointed in himself since he's a seafood chef, but his hands were shaking. Ripert still thinks they look pretty good, despite those issues. Now that he's had an up-close and personal look, Padma asks Ripert who did the best job. He names Leah (who is shocked) and Fabio. Padma asks who did the worst job and Carla, embarrassed, raises her hand, which makes Ripert laugh some more. Ripert names Jamie and Carla, and Carla interrupts him to say that he doesn't have to explain why. See, it's kind of charming, but also maybe she should let the chef speak. It seems kind of rude to be constantly interrupting him to tell him that she knows that she sucks. Everyone is laughing, though, so I guess it played differently in the room.
Round Two. The four remaining cheftestants have five minutes to filet an Arctic char. I wasn't familiar with this fish, but it's related to both the salmon and the trout, to give you a sense of its size and texture. Leah makes some big mistake while removing the bones and sort of half-laughs and half-cries. Behind her, Jamie and Carla are watching and whispering and giggling, and Leah starts playing to their audience, throwing her hands in the air and saying that she gives up. She keeps muttering that she can't do this, and stops when she has only one filet on her tray. Meanwhile, Fabio, Stefan, and Hosea are quickly removing small bones from their filets as time runs out.