CJ says that if he goes home already, he'll feel like a huge loser. Brooke interviews that she misses her family terribly, but she's doing this for them. Josh is wearing a shirt that says "Bacon is Meat Candy" so he's THAT dude. Like isn't bacon celebration so 2010? Aren't we done with that now, Mr. Ironic Handlebar Moustache? Anyway, Tyler gets philosophical about how his time may be up and it's out of his hands at this point, and Josh gets PISSED at him for giving up and starts yelling at him and calls him a "fucking idiot." Tyler apologizes and Josh interviews that he hates that defeatist attitude. Tyler's right, though -- at this point, the decision is out of his hands so why not get mentally prepared to leave?
Weird interstitial. Stefan tries to explain Last Change Kitchen to the group, but they are a bunch of idiots and can't understand. Also, Josh thinks he's an arrogant asshole but likable, like Stefan. Dude, you are no Stefan.
The next morning, the cheftestants are all dreading facing the judges. Stefan is worried that the Birthday Curse is going to send him home. But they have to go face the judges, so off they go. As they're sitting in the Stew Room, Padma comes in and asks to see John and Josh, Stefan and Brooke, and CJ and Tyler. I would love to see John and Josh sent home, except you know John would claim that it's all Josh's fault.
After many whooshing close-ups on the cheftestants' and judges' faces, Padma says that they are the bottom three teams. Tom asks what happened, since these people have put out good food prior to this challenge, so it's not incompetence or lack of food knowledge. Josh says he was stymied by his ingredient and CJ says that they didn't want to mess with the "integrity" of the pickle. Hee! Tom points out that they should have been thinking about what they could MAKE with the ingredient instead of thinking about what would go well with it.
Gail says that the execution was just bad and the food didn't taste good. She tells Stefan that their cabbage was too sweet. Brooke says she made the duck and Padma tells her there was no heat, even though Brooke added black pepper. Stefan says he didn't add much sugar to the cabbage, but with the rose petal jelly it was just too sweet. He tried to counteract it by adding red wine vinegar etc., and Hugh points out that it was STILL too sweet and Stefan should have done more. Stefan doesn't claim he ran out of time or anything, but I wonder if at some point, your palate just gets so overwhelmed by the sweetness that just "a little less sweet" tastes fine to you.