Top Chef
Seven

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Miss Alli: B- | Grade It Now!
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Hate the Sin, Love the Dinner

In better news, Ted thought Sam's dish was the prettiest. He thinks Cliff did a good job, considering that there isn't that much purple food to choose from. He also thinks it was clever of Michael to pick the pink fish that turns orange. And the carrot chips were, of course, delicious. Michael smiles, and you can see what looks like a gaping hole in the side of his mouth, and ew. The winner is... Michael. Man. Now it's really too bad there's no immunity. Sam says that it was good to see Michael get his first win, and claims to have been happy for him. I'm sure it's all relative. Happy it wasn't Marcel, I would certainly believe. Michael interviews that beating strong players Sam and Cliff was great, but not getting immunity was less great. You can tell he wasn't kidding when he said that he just wanted to take the damn day off and soak his teeth in vodka.

Padma explains to the cheftestants that their next challenge involves "inspiration." The inspiration here is that the seven of them will create a seven-course dinner inspired by the seven deadly sins. Cliff immediately loves it. He comes very close to rattling them off accurately, except that he leaves out gluttony and repeats "envy" as "jealousy." They'll work here for three hours, then they'll pack up and go elsewhere to present a dinner party for Debi Mazar and friends. And Ted is sticking around, because Gail is off blowing on her nails or something. They'll draw knives to find out what sin they get. Michael pulls lust. Sam gets anger. Elia pulls pride, Ilan gluttony, Cliff greed, Betty sloth, and Marcel envy. It turns out that Michael's reward for winning the Quickfire, even though he doesn't get immunity, is that he can swap his knife -- "lust" -- for any one he wants. Surprisingly (to me, anyway), he decides to switch with Marcel and take envy instead of lust. Marcel thinks this was crazy, because lust is "a gold mine." I'm sort of inclined to agree that envy is more conceptually challenging than lust, for which you can probably make something extremely rich and beautiful and be done with it.

When we return from commercials, Ilan reminds us about the nature of the challenge. They start talking as a group about who's going to do what, and Marcel would like a few minutes to think before they have the group discussion. He's clutching the pepper mill, incidentally, but it's like nobody has any respect for tradition anymore. Marcel says he's not "totally set" on anything, but Ilan says he's "totally set on dessert." Note who's the first to show inflexibility and me-me-me-ness in this scenario here. Marcel thinks he might want to do a dessert, but he's not sure they should do two. Basically, they seem to be offering Marcel a choice between going sixth and going second, and he's taking a minute to think. And it's like because they all took what they wanted and he took too long to pick between his TWO CHOICES, he's the asshole. Like, boo hoo, Betty. Ultimately, Marcel settles on going second to last, and says he'll be doing something sweet. Sam tells us that Marcel's "aura gets him in trouble." That's interestingly nonsensical. Sam and Ilan have a little talk off to the side, in which Sam tells Ilan that Marcel is scared to make something that probably won't stand up to Ilan's awesome dessert. Oh, yes. I'm sure that's it exactly. Marcel interviews that he thinks two desserts is okay with seven courses, but obviously, it sets up something very competitive between him and Ilan, considering that they already can't stand each other.

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