Colicchio decides to dispense with Casey and put out of her misery. He tells her she's been a fierce competitor, but that "tonight's" menu never came together for her. See? "Tonight's" menu?! THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES OH MY GOD WHERE ARE HIS FREAKING CLOTHES?! "But we know you are a great chef," adds Colicchio. "And when I'm in Dallas, I know where I can get a fabulous meal." Casey thanks him and swallows hard.
Colicchio turns to Dale and tells him that they are so delighted he found his inner chef. We get a close-up of Dale, and it must be the video quality versus the usual film that makes me feel as though I'm suddenly watching Dales Of Our Lives. Colicchio tells Dale, "The culinary world is definitely stronger for having you cooking in it." There's a random singular whoop from the audience. Colicchio says that Dale put together a fabulous menu with strong flavors and that he is cooking with a ton of confidence.
Finally, Hung. Colicchio says that Hung has proved throughout the competition that he has the technical skill, and this time, he finally "married it with passion." Colicchio says, "You put together a fabulous meal, and we're really happy to see you in your food." And then Colicchio goes all Highlander: "But as you know, there can only be one Top Chef." (Except that Highlander is grammatically correct and Tom...isn't.) Hung sighs hard and loud.
Colicchio turns to Padma. She tries really hard not to laugh. Hung looks dangerously pale, actually. Padma turns her eyes to her right, making it abundantly clear that she's about to say, "Congratulations, Hung! You ARE TOP CHEF!" Hung jumps and screams and punches the air and hugs Casey (good thing he did it in that order) and bounces. Hung's family bench stands and applauds. Marcel can barely contain himself in this proxy victory for his kind. Gail hugs and kisses Hung, after which the other judges walk over to give congrats and "I'm sorry"s. Kinda thought Ted was going to make a beeline for Dale, but he hugs Hung first. With her "I'm going to Disneyland!" mic, Padma asks Hung how he feels. He's speechless. But he can tell us he's speechless, which sort of negates the speechlessness. He's so happy, he's worked so hard to get there to prove himself, and he's had so much help from America, he's sure they'll hear more from him later. There's a bang and confetti falls, Hell's Kitchen-style. Hung's family is finally allowed to approach him, and Marcel hugs and lifts Hung off the ground. Hung hurls himself into his brother's arms, and his mother's, and those of two random women who sort of look alike and I wonder if those are sisters-in-law, and then at another brother, who is crying.