While the Quickfire speaks to the quiet complexity and sophistication of beer, the Elimination nods to beer's boisterous public persona. It's an individual challenge, with each cheftestant cooking a dish for a Chicago Bears pre-game tailgate; the tailgaters, not the judges, will choose this week's winners.
Armed with a grill (Mark chooses charcoal and makes a mess of his work, while everyone else chooses the more consistent gas option), the gang dishes out a generally safe array of ribs, wings, chicken sandwiches, sausages, and burgers (although Richard has to make a pun and calls his burger a paté melt). Nikki runs out of food before the judges arrive at her table, and Ryan miscalculates how much acting like a douche will compensate for serving poached pears and bread salad to hungry Bears fans.
Although Stephanie shows up on the winning side again, Dale wins for his unusually flavored ribs, and gets one of those fancy grills, which should easily make up for not winning last week's prize, which would have required him to go to the airport. The tailgaters selected the bottom three, but the judges choose the one who leaves. Oh, and the chatty woman judge-chef from earlier has been replaced by her boss-chef, who thinks Nikki should have made her own sausage. She slips by once more, though, as Ryan goes home for failing to grasp the basic tenets of the tailgate.
As day breaks in Chicago, Spike's feeling a bit down because he's heard some "gossip" that plenty of people think he should have been sent packing instead of Zoi, but chalks it up to the others feeling "threatened" since Spike is "a talented dude, and I've got a lot of passion." If by "passion," he means stupid hats, then he's totally right. Calling Zoi "the love of my life," Jen reveals that she really hoped that they'd get to compete for longer -- apparently competing turns her on -- and says that she wants "to win for both of us." She sounds strained and whimpery, like she's really trying to inject some quavering emotion into her words, but it seems pretty insincere. Not the sentiment, necessarily, but the presentation -- Jen must be bummed that she's facing judge-imposed lesbian bed death. Just imagine the night you're reunited, Jen. Chin up.
Stretching in his pajamas, Ryan calls the air "super tense" and says that, for some reason, Zoi's departure "really stirred the pot," and that some people are going to "stew about it." Nice puns, broseph. Ryan hopes this stewage will make others weaker, because he needs all the help he can get, although if the Quickfire is about ham-handed phrasing, then we already have a winner.
Lisa's pleased with her victory, but not the aftermath -- the sight of Dale cupping his testes while screaming obscenities understandably being too much for anyone to handle. Despite her prickly demeanor, Lisa doesn't "want that kind of confrontation." The two adversaries make nice over coffee and yellow Evian; or sort of: Dale says he perceives Lisa as "negative, and I can't handle that." Lisa maintains that, while Dale is entitled to his opinion, she can't change who she is, and they need to learn to coexist. She says, "If you have a problem with me, you need to come to me," nuts in hand. Next, Dale tries to explain that he's just looking out for Lisa by letting her in on the secret that "some people in the house" are frustrated by Lisa's attitude. Dale makes a point of explaining that he's apologizing to Lisa for his tirade, but not for the fact that he thinks she's a negative bitch (her personality "is a horrible thing to be around"), which at this point is the pot calling the kettle black. Lisa takes issue with the fact that Dale's lackluster apology was offset by strident, and repeated, remarks about her shitty character. Dale, says Lisa, "can go fuck himself." Amen, you totally negative bitch.
As the remaining cheftestants file out of the manse, the camera moves in for a close-up of the eleven ball on the pool table, reminding us how many people are still there (about seven too many), and emphasizing how many more agonizing weeks we have to endure of what, so far, has been a pretty mediocre season.