They bring Elia, Michael, and Sam to the first table. They're informed that they're the three best. Padma asks Sam about the popcorn, and Colicchio says he really liked it. Ted says Elia "did chicken proud," and the meat was good and moist and well-done. Ted says it had "soul." Colicchio tells Michael he should take Vicodin more often. Ted compliments him on how well cooked everything was, and how great the fish tasted. The guest judge compliments the flavors. Or the "flay-wers." Or something. He announces that the winner of the challenge is... Michael. Sam and Elia take this well, and Michael says he was proud of winning both challenges this time around. Padma tells them to go back and send in Marcel, Betty, and Ilan. The winners go back to the waiting storage room and fetch the losers.
Loser table. Padma says they were the least favorites. She starts with Ilan, asking if he knows why he's here. He blames the funnel cake, and Colicchio wants to know why he even served the cakes when they turned out so badly. Ilan attempts to blame Elia, saying she told him to dip them in syrup. He tries to change the subject by asking them if they liked the brittle and the cake, and in a moment I just love, Colicchio makes it clear that they were only okay, too. Ted says it was at least good to have the crisp brittle when the remainder of the dessert was, as people pointed out, soggy. Ilan tries to congratulate himself for taking risks, but Colicchio wants to talk about the part where he "slammed Marcel's dish." "You slammed my dish?" Marcel turns and asks. Ilan insists that he was just trying to be playful and funny. "Whatever. C'est la vie. I don't care. Let's talk about the food," Marcel says. He's clearly more bothered than that, but at least he has the dignity not to get into it.
I'm not sure Ted Allen is totally down with Marcel being in the bottom group, because he goes out of his way to say how beautiful he thought the dish was and how much he loved the taste of fresh cherries. I think he would have had Cliff and his unsatisfactory broth in this spot. But asked to talk about weaknesses in Marcel's dish, Ted just thinks it wasn't "lusty enough." Ilan smirks. Oh my God, WE GET IT, stud. You've had half the population of your city. WE GET IT. Padma, on the other hand, wants to talk foam. As in, what's with the foam? Over and over, foam foam foam. The guest judge didn't think the foam was "belonging to the dish." Marcel doesn't say much, or what he says, we don't see.