Oy, Tre mal! Part of me is really quite sad that Tre has made it into the scrap pile this week. Because while he was fairly boring and probably on a regular sedation schedule, I still thought he was solid enough to make it to the final three. On the other hand, once CJ started reminding us about his sole testicle, I got panicky that he was the one going home. (Whenever they bring up their life stories, you can be pretty certain they're on their way out. See: Clay's dead dad and, this week, Tre's "school of hard knocks.")
However, even if this episode ousted Tre, it also brought us the coolest Quickfire yet. In this episode, the restaurant teams run a culinary gauntlet during which they have to dice onions (Sara ruled, Casey drooled), shuck oysters (MALARKEY! handed Howie his ass on a plate of rock salt), break down chickens (Hung was awesome, Tre not so much), and hand-whip egg whites to a satisfying stiffness (Dale did fine, but CJ didn't even get a chance).
The two restaurants are given a chance to rethink both their menus and décor, and the winning team -- Quatre, nee The Garage -- is awarded more money for food and wine as well as their own personal Champagne-sabreing sommelier, in the form of…STEPHEN! (I am not ashamed to admit that raucous, Barbaresco-fueled cheers could be heard from my apartment as the camera panned up on Stephen Asprinio's thoroughly made-up face.) Meanwhile, both teams are punished with a forced design consult with the Raging Bitch from last week, Christopher "Madonna Has a Brother?" Ciccone.
While The Garage/Quatre rethinks not just their name and décor, but also their menu, Restaurant April doesn't go as far to fix their issues from last week and ends up as the losing team. Both CJ and Tre seem ripe for Padma's knife, but it's Tre's repulsive salmon dish, misconstrued bread pudding, and overall lack of leadership that send him and his santokus all the way back to Dallas…and I am Tre désolé.
I came to a realization today: the surprise ousting of Tre aside, this season is SO FLIPPIN' BORING! Don't get me wrong, I welcome the respite from the foot-peeing, bullying, purple-faced antics of the second season, but I miss the douche-bag screaming, FISHHOOK saber-ing, big face-osity of the first season. Comparatively, everyone's very nice this season, and I do applaud them for being better people than those that have gone before but still…BORING! Like, we're on what? Episode nine? And we still have about five more to go? Ugh.
Today's scenes from Miami include random exteriors boutique and film studio shots as well as teams playing Jai Alai. Oh, and Casey lying out in the sun with one of the Brians. Tre makes breakfast and tells us that he has to stay focused. CJ tells us he is highly competitive and explains how he was diagnosed with testicular cancer at twenty-nine, "At not one point did I ever think that cancer would ever, sort of beat, me." Then CJ gives us the new Best Line Ever, "I've only got one testicle left, but it's more balls than those guys got combined." Is he getting the Cancer Edit? Hung finds a note slipped under their door addressed to Restaurant April and The Garage. It's not an eviction notice, coupled with some Chinese delivery menus, it's Andrea Strong's notes on how the two restaurants can do better next time around. But which notes are they? The ones Colicchio, et al read aloud? Or the ones that went up on the Bravo site, which say nothing about Billy Idol? Meanwhile, my personal feelings of Strong's critiques aside (and they are, uh, strong), I despise how Top Chef strategically hobbled her last week.
"Oh, it's long," CJ mutters. "This is that blog lady," Dale says, cracking me up. He says it with a weary tone of: "This is that bag lady who lives in the alley, pretending she's Holly Golightly's cat." Also, if you aren't Jerry Lewis or the Queen of England, calling someone "lady" is nothing if not dismissive. The teams take their lumps, most of which we've heard already. Howie wonders how an oyster can be a "disaster." "I can guarantee it was delicious," Dale comments. The Garage had oysters? "There's no way an oyster can be a disaster, it just doesn't work that way," Howie goes on. It does when the Red Tide is ebbing and flowing in your upper GI. Or when there's so much sand or shell shards left over from shucking that you treat yourself to a free tooth filing. Sara and Hung both feel that while some of the points are harsh, they need to take the criticisms as guidelines to improve the restaurant.