This week, the role of Keckler's intimate knowledge of food and cooking will be played by my familiarity with cereal and Lean Cuisine. But that's okay, because this week's episode is mostly about people acting like idiots, and that's sort of the universal language. In the Quickfire, Ted Allen judges a bunch of monochromatic plates, concluding that Betty's plate of green didn't measure up, but Michael's study of orange was a big success, despite the fact that he's nursing a pulled wisdom tooth. The elimination challenge is an elaborate dinner in which each cheftestant prepares a course based on one of the seven deadly sins. The good: Sam's angry ceviche, Elia's proud chicken, and particularly Mike's envious fish thing, which is the big winner. The bad: Marcel's inadequately lustful cherry dessert, Ilan's inadequately gluttonous chocolate bog, and Betty's really unappetizing roasted soups, which are -- as Colicchio points out -- certainly lazy enough, but kind of gross. Despite the fact that Sam, Betty, and Ilan spend the entire episode tormenting and picking on Marcel to the point where he actually becomes sympathetic, Marcel's foam doesn't get him sent to pack his knives. Instead, Betty, who started out looking like a fun, enthusiastic goofball, goes home a bitter, mean jerk. Not a good week for cheftestant behavior.
READERS' NOTE: I am not a chef. Dinner last night was a Lean Cuisine BBQ Pizza, and breakfast this morning was a mini-bagel with whipped cream cheese. I certainly can cook, but you are undoubtedly going to find my vocabulary lacking and my viewpoint peasant-like. It's safe to say this will be your first recap written by someone who has occasionally had Cheez-Its for dinner, and I have to admit, it's making me feel very inadequate.
Anyway, in news of other people's crippling insecurities, we find the cheftestants in the apartment the day after Mia axed herself, and Betty is just stretching and waking up, yawning to Elia that seven of them are left. Elia interviews that it was awkward for her to be there when she had barely avoided elimination very recently, and only courtesy of Mia's very silly gesture. She says she's not sure what Mia was thinking in auf-ing herself, but she's just glad to still be in the game. One would think. She suggests that it's like "being reborn again," and for a minute, I fear that Elia has found Jesus and is going to tell us all about it instead of making food, but happily, this does not occur. I don't think I'd want to see religious-themed appetizers. [Several incredibly offensive jokes omitted.]
Glad ForceFlex bags get a glorious, adoring, semi-porny, Cybill-Shepherd's-face-on-Moonlighting kind of close-up that probably earned Bravo a few thousand bucks. The music grows tense, and we move to the apartment kitchen for the Great Skillet Skirmish Of 2007 (So Far). Ilan is doing something with the taking out of trash, and Marcel has fried himself a couple of eggs and is now dropping some bread into the toaster. "How'd you sleep?" Ilan asks. "Great," Marcel responds. "I always sleep great," Ilan adds, and you can already tell that he is absolutely spoiling for a fight. Ilan points imperiously at the pan in which Marcel's eggs are sitting, and he says, "You want to take those out so I can make myself an egg?" Any time someone starts with "you wanna" instead of "would you," you know that he's trying to start a fight. It's why you don't hear people saying, "Would you like to have a piece of me?" Marcel pauses for a minute and says of his eggs, "I kind of want to keep them warm so I can put them over the toast." Ilan considers this for a minute and then announces, "You're very selfish. Anybody ever tell you that, Marcel?" Marcel earns a little of my stingily distributed love by actually answering the strictly rhetorical question, and rather cleverly: "I think Betty told me that, like, a week ago." Boy, I loved that. It's like he's either incredibly dry in humor, or he has a brain issue that keeps him from interpreting anything other than literally. Ilan explains in an interview that he thinks Marcel is cocky and "full of himself," and "comes off as if he's better than everybody else."