Top Chef
Season 2 Finale, Part I

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The Poke's On You

The cheftestants are brought back out. Colicchio tells them there are no losers tonight, they just have to choose two winners. Colicchio goes down the line and gives them all their individual props. Lots of looking around at each other. Finally, Ted Ilan bleats up, "Um, Elia and I were talking a little bit in the back... " "Um, I don't even know if it's worth it to be said or not," Elia starts. "Say it, please," Padmadala orders. They must be so annoyed by this bullshit by now. "I just want to say that, um," Elia stutters. "We all feel," Ted Ilan says, gesturing at Sam, "That there are some people who disrespect the kitchen and disrespect food." Marcel makes an amused face like, "This oughta be good." Colicchio closes his eyes, rolls his eyes, closes them again, and slightly shakes his head. He is so pissed. "We're here to showcase ourselves, and I think there are some people who tried to thwart that," Ted Ilan continues. "Yeah, gain advantage," Elia adds, warming up to the smack talking, "With ways that should not have been there." "You don't need to say 'some people,' you're obviously talking about -- " Marcel begins disgustedly. "Yeah," all the judges say. "So, why don't you just come out and say it -- just fucking say it, say it outright," Marcel insists. "Come on, Marcel," Elia smiles, "You cheated several times." Marcel just looks at the judges. Padmadala puts her head in her hands. They're harshing her buzz, dude. "Today?" Colicchio asks. No, not today, Elia explains, "Today, it was just the same behavior -- I had my steamer going on and --" Marcel flings a hand out, like he can't believe this is what she's talking about, and says, "The burners weren't even on!" Elia explains that he moved her steamer without asking. "I specifically was like, 'Is anybody using this?' and I looked underneath, no burners were on, I'm going to move this aside!" Marcel explains. Colicchio asks, "Is that specifically something that injured your dish?" "No, I just -- am I just the only one here?" Elia asks, turning to Ted Ilan and Son of Sam for support. Yeah, I think you are. We still haven't heard any concrete evidence that Marcel "tcheeeted." Moving a steamer, whether it's handcrafted or not, is not cheating when it wasn't even cooking anything at the time. I'm glad you do yoga, Elia, because you are really reaching.

Son of Sam suggests, "Why don't you let them finish and then see what happens." Gail asks for more examples of tcheeeting. "I don't know," Elia says. Gail explains that it's hard for them to do anything about these allegations if Elia can't even be clear about what she's saying. This is so embarrassing. Elia says, "It's just an example of a behavior." Okay, but there's "behavior" and there's "cheating," and they aren't the same thing. "Elia, you know what? We're not judging your behavior in the kitchen -- we're judging your food. I really don't care what happens in there, to tell you the truth," Colicchio says. Yeah, seriously. Just shut up forever, Elia. Elia says, "It's hard to hear that, but it's cool." No, it's not cool -- you bring up tcheeeting and then you can't back it up? That is, like, the opposite of cool. Finally, Padmadala tells Marcel he's staying. Elia shakes her head in anger and is then told she's OUT! OUT! OWWWWWWWWWWT! When Padmadala says, "Please pack your knives and go," to Elia, she's all choked up. Will someone get the poor skinny thing another spliff? Ted Ilan kisses Elia on the tcheeek. Sam is told he's going home and again, Padmadala is very upset. Marcel is shocked. Padmadala looks like she inhaled a bug when she congratulates Ted Ilan. It's a bitter pill she swallowed here. Hold me now, oh hold me now.

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