Top Chef
Sunny Delights

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Keckler: B | Grade It Now!
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Bye, Bye Birdsong

NORM! gives the bad news, he didn't like Sara N.'s dish because "there was no focus," Sandee's dish suffered because he had to take the flower sprig out to drink the mojito, and Micah's was an "unremarkable bit of food." The top three favorites for NORM! were CJ's, whose dish was clearly so good that his flavors and execution overcame out the citrus seeds, Hung's, and Tre's, which didn't appear to have ANY citrus WHATSOEVER. I'm so confused. Bravo, are you now truly TRYING to drive me nuts? Because, you know, good job! Hung wins it and bows to NORM! and the ensuing applause. But, as he tells us, "I didn't expect anything less." Joey From New York bellyaches to us, "I thought I did a tremendous job on my dish. I was expecting to be in the top three. I am pissed off."

Padma describes the Elimination Challenge: they will be cooking at an "ultra glamorous Champagne barbecue, thrown by famous Miami foodie Lee Shrager." Excitement galore. Hung, grinning, tells us, "He throws, like, the best barbecues I've ever seen -- Champagne, beautiful women, I respect the guy a lot." His tone implies that he respects him more for the beautiful women than for the Champagne and 'cue. The "Kingsford Charcoal Elimination Challenge" orders them to take a $200 budget and create high-end barbecue fare for the sexy and sophisticated guests of Lee Shrager. Tre, being a Texan, thinks he's got this one in the briquette bag. Howie tells us that, being from Florida himself, he has something to prove in this challenge.

The cheftestants shop for thirty minutes. Most of them converge on the meat counter. Casey asks CJ how many slices he thinks she can get out of a steak. "You know what, I'm going the same route, I'm not helping you here," CJ says and then grabs Casey's shoulders massagingly to take the bite out of his words. Casey, probably annoyed that her feminine and mammarian wiles didn't work on CJ, shoots back, "I'm doing other shit, I don't need you!" Then why did you ask for his advice, freakshow? Brian (MALARKEY!), who walks a very different path from everyone else, zeroes in on seafood, saying, "Go big or go home." Okay, now I have to go get the tee-shirt, because I have finally heard that expression used and thus can begin to understand the inner workings of Glark's mind. Micah, who is vegging out in the produce section, says she feels like "dog shit" because she's never been away from her daughter, Matilda, and misses her. She stands aimlessly in front of the meat counter and spies a sign, "semi-boneless leg of lamb on sale," and shruggingly goes for it. In order to do a Vietnamese barbecue, Sara N. wants twenty pounds of rib eye, which she later downgrades to ten pounds after Hung calculates how much it will cost her. That was nice of him. Sara N. blusters, "This is so aggravating!" and Hung slings an arm around her shoulders, saying, "I'm here!" Camaraderie because he doesn't really see her as a threat, potential romance, or just generally nice guyness? You decide. More shopping. Arms full, CJ sings that he doesn't know where he put his cart. I like him. He's cute. Yep, and we can see that they are all still driving their Toyota Rav-4s.

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