It's the continuation of last week's play-in round, with the third and final group heading into the Top Chef kitchen for their chance at earning the white coat and making it to the show. The judges for this round are Tom, Padma, and Hugh Acheson. Their challenge is to each choose one of ten ingredients to cook. After they've chosen, they find out that they each have different lengths of time in which to cook their dishes, from twenty minutes up to sixty minutes.
The first group only has twenty minutes to cook; one guy gets through, one lady gets sent home, and the third guy is on the bubble. The second group has forty minutes. The guy (who I really liked!) who had to make risotto just barely missed getting it plated and gets sent packing immediately. Two others also get sent packing and a Frenchie gets put on the bubble. That group did NOT do well! Three women make up the final group: two get through and one gets sent home. So that means that from the group as a whole, three more have made the cut and two more have been sent to the bubble group. And if my description of that segment was boring, just know that the segment was super rushed and kind of boring as well.
And speaking of the bubble group, after most of them have waited around for a loooooong time, they finally head back to the kitchen to cook again. Their challenge is to cook one dish, anything they want in forty-five minutes. Edward practically chops his finger off and doesn't even stop cooking while the medic is trying to bandage it.
The bubble group of six all present together, competing for two last openings. Janine (Butchered Tenderloin) and Ed (Cut His Finger Off) make it through and everyone else gets sent home, including Janine, who got dumped and lost her dad this year.
BUT WAIT! Janine and Andrew, the last two out, will have some sort of Redemption Island cookoff? I don't even know what that is about. Developing…
We begin by revisiting the cheftestants who are "on the bubble" and waiting in the Stew Room to cook again. Those cheftestants are Grayson (Lack of Loin), Molly (Cruise Ship Chef), Edward (Asian Guy) and Janine (Dead Dad). They discuss what their next challenge might be, and if it will be the same challenge they already did. Edward jokes that maybe there aren't any spots left, and Tom will just come in and tell them to go home. Even this show isn't that cruel. Edward interviews that they are getting to know one another while sitting in the Stew Room, but he kind of doesn't want to get too close since they are his competition. I get what he means. You don't want to feel bad about winning. The group discusses how there is still another group to cook, so they will probably be welcoming two more people soon, and that's a perfect segue to...
The Third Qualifying Challenge. The final group of ten walks in. Padma greets them and introduces Tom and the third judge, Hugh Acheson. One of the cheftestants, Chaz, says that he has a crush on Padma, and he had her picture in his locker in middle school. I think he's joking? Not about Padma being beautiful (thought I prefer Gail, honestly) but about the locker thing.
Now it's time for the cheftestants to introduce themselves. We have Beverly the Asian Gamine, Ashley the Rockabilly Try-Hard, Paul Who Kind Of Looks Like Jon Gosselin, Jonathan with Crazy Eyes, Laurent the Old French Guy, Andrew the Bear, Berenice the Non-Descript, Kim Who Looks Like a Teenager, Lindsay the Reese Witherspoon Crossed with a Giraffe, and Chaz Crush on Padma Guy. Chaz wins introductions because he says that he was nominated by his mom as one of her two favorite sons. I feel like he should get a chef's coat just for using humor. We need that if we're going to make it through the season.
Padma says, "Let's get started" in the most bored voice possible. Drink a Red Bull and suck it up, Padma. The challenge is to choose one of ten ingredients on a nearby table, and each ingredient is matched with a covered dish, which they are not allowed to uncover. Ooh, a twist. Whatever could it be? Everyone assumes it's an ingredient swap or some weird second ingredient they have to incorporate. They have three minutes to choose ingredients, so of course, it's a clusterfuck. Chaz the Crush Guy says that his wife is Italian-American, so he knows how to make risotto. My husband is Italian-American and I have no fucking clue. Let's not pretend like your spouse's ancestry helps with cooking. Andrew and Ashley both want the mushrooms, so they do Rock Paper Scissors, and Andrew wins (scissors over paper). Ashley ends up with oxtail, which was her second choice, so don't feel bad about it or anything.