Having tasted all the food, Charlie is ready to tell us what sucked and what rocked. He didn't like Robin's dish, and didn't think it worked with her chip, and he thought Ash's dish just tasted weird. Jen's pork was overcooked, duh. So Robin and Ash are in the bottom because their whole concept sucked, while Jen's was just a matter of execution, and at this level, you can't screw up like that and expect to skate by in the middle of the pack anymore.
So who was awesome? Charlie liked Eli's concept, and it was well-executed. Bryan also executed well, even if his dish was a little safe. Kevin incorporated his ingredients well. Note that all of the top three used the onion-flavored snack food. Coincidence? Winner? Eli. Great. Just what he needs. More confidence. Ash interviews that he thinks Eli is a great chef, although he himself deserves a win too. Does he really? What have we seen Ash do that deserved a win?
Elimination Challenge: The cheftestants draw knives with the names of parts of a pig on them. Michael V. tells us about how Charlie loves pork and how one day when they worked together, Charlie shot a wild boar and brought it into the restaurant for Michael to cook. Where does Charlie live, Lost island? Who has wild boars in their backyard? I need more details on this development. Kevin interviews that he loves pork and pigs so much that he got a pig tattoo. This is sweet, but also unfortunate in that Kevin is a little piggy, facially, since his eyes are kind of close together and his cheeks are chubby. It's just not something I would emphasize, were I him. Jen gets the wild card and chooses pork belly, because she's no dummy and all of the pork belly dishes this season have gotten lavished with praise.
Charlie explains that he runs a charity event every year called "Pigs and Pinot," so their challenge will be to create a pork dish to be paired with a specific Pinot Noir. For the event, they have to create 150 tasting portions. Eli, who I've mentioned might be overly confident, interviews that he knows he's going to nail the pairing, because he went to culinary school, and he's awesome, and he's going to be the first one this season to win both challenges. Good luck with that, dude.
The cheftestants go to Charlie's restaurant. It's the one in Vegas that I've seen either on this show or something on the Travel Channel or Food Network -- they have "angels" (women on harnesses) who fly around in a vertical wine tower to pluck bottles of wine off the rack. I find the whole thing vaguely sexist. Why aren't there any male angels? I'd like to see some dudes flying around in there. The cheftestants get a chance to sample nine different pinot noirs to determine which they want to use for their pairing. Charlie gives them some tips, and then each cheftestant chooses a bottle of wine. Eli, who the editors must really hate, interviews that he's super awesome at choosing wines and he knows tons about wine and pairings and did he mention how awesome he is? Because he's awesome. After everyone chooses a wine, Eli interviews that he could tell that some of the chefs have really amateur wine palates, unlike him, because he knows a lot about wine and pairings, and he's awesome.
Wines chosen, the cheftestants go shopping. Kevin has leg as his meat, so he's looking for more pork fat. Invisible Laurine has decided to make a pork rillette, even though she's never made one before. She explains that it's a peasant dish resembling a potted pate, and she has made one out of rabbit previously. It sounds pretty gross, but I'm not a big fan of pate. Ash knows that he needs a win, because he's fading fast in the competition, and he's decided to make a pork tenderloin with polenta and cherry demi-glace. Kind of traditional, but if it's executed well, it could save him. Bryan interviews that he and his brother both want to impress their mentor.
Back at the house, everyone is making dinner and trying to relax. Kevin interviews that dinner can be interesting (i.e. dramatic), but he just tries to get along with everyone. Meanwhile, Robin is standing in the kitchen and WILL NOT SHUT UP about her dish. Did anyone even ask her what she's making? She just has zero ability to read the room. It's obvious that no one is interested, although Kevin and Laurine (the overly polite ones) are sort of pretending to listen while they prep their dinners. Robin just goes on and fucking on about her sweet potatoes and her wine and blah blah blah and I really don't get why someone doesn't just say, "Robin, I know you're nervous about your dish, but I'm nervous too and I have a lot of thinking to do, so can we just have some quiet for a while?" Instead, they're all passive-aggressive about it. Mike I. says that if you say one word to her, Robin will talk all night, so he just doesn't talk to her. And for once, I don't blame him. I mean, the guys (both Mikes anyway) are sitting right there in the kitchen openly laughing at her and she has no clue.
Later that night, Eli is making seared scallops and Robin walks through the kitchen and can't not comment about it. Eli cuts her off kind of abruptly. Robin interviews that there's tension because some of the cheftestants think she doesn't deserve to be there. Well, that's part of it, and then there's also the part where she NEVER STOPS TALKING. Seriously. She's driving me nuts, and I don't have to live with her. So anyway, Eli blows up at her in a fairly immature way, but Robin was kind of being a bitch. She knows that people don't like her, so it's like she's purposely getting in their faces to force a confrontation, and then she can claim to be the victim when they lash out. She's also one of those people who has to have the last word. Believe me, I don't want to side with Eli, of all people, but she is the worst. Robin interviews that she's awesome because she's old, and then she continues to talk to herself in the kitchen, knowing that the cameras are recording her so she can get the last word. For some unknown reason, Robin then goes downstairs where everyone is eating Eli's scallops, and has to try to insert herself in the conversation. Like why not just go to bed and leave it alone? Gah. It's like living in a dorm all over again.
The next day, the cheftestants have four hours to cook for their event. Ash was nervous about overcooking his tenderloin, so Mike I. advised him to serve his tenderloin chilled. I really can't imagine anything grosser than cold pork. Does that sound good in any way? And remember how Ash was going to cook his food his way from now on? What happened to that idea? Kevin has what looks like the entire back end of a pig to make his pork leg pate. His dish only has three ingredients, and he knows that leaves him little room for error.
Bryan is nervous about cooking ribs in four hours, since he usually takes a full day. Michael V. is nervous cooking for Charlie, and he interviews about the differences between him and his brother: Mike is more adventurous and has traveled and experimented with food more, while Bryan stayed in one place and got really good at one type of food. I have to say that I wasn't a huge fan of the whole brothers angle when this season began (and I thought Mike was a dilettante who only made the show because of Bryan), but I can admit when I'm wrong. I feel like the brother angle has made the show more interested and thus far, they haven't hammered us over the head with it too much. Robin, meanwhile, whatever. I'm so over her.
Jen wants to redeem herself after her poor performance with pork in the Quickfire. Eli interviews that he and Jen are both using pork belly but, and this is going to shock you, Eli thinks his dish will be more awesome, because it's more creative. He hasn't even won an Elimination Challenge yet. He was really lucky to not go home when Ashley did. I just don't get where this dude's confidence comes from, unless it's because his mommy and daddy pump him up.
Colicchio stops into the kitchen to chat with the cheftestants. Ash is sure that his dish is him cooking his food, despite the fact that h