Marcel raps. I don't even think I need to write anything else, because Marcel? He RAPPED! But far from being street, it really had that weird slam-poetry vibe. He's so white. I have to admit, though, it was the most hysterical thing I've seen in a long time. Can't you just see him in a black turtleneck and dark glasses, peering through a smoke-hazed coffeehouse where all his listeners are high or Bob Dylan?
Sadly, a recapper can't live on rap alone -- if so, "Christmas in Hollis" would carry me through all of 2007 -- so, I'll tell you that the Quickfire brought the ever-PLEASANT Mike Yakura back to our television sets. He judged the cheftestants' Kraft-sponsored snacks, and the whole time I was screaming, "Where are my plastic-wrapped caramels? How come no mac and cheese? Dammit -- microwave me some trashy pre-shredded cheddar on Triscuits!" Yakura picks two winners -- Marcel and his lamb kabobs with curry mayo (although, considering it was Kraft, I think it was curry Miracle Whip, which makes me retch five different ways), and Sam's take on Po'Boys.
The real challenge comes with the Elimination bit, when the remaining six divide into two teams and have to open a "raw restaurant space." Sound familiar? It should -- they did the same thing last season. However, this time, instead of sticking the cheftestants in an actual space on busy Market Street in San Francisco, the perspiring grease monkeys have to deal with Yet Another Westfield Mall. Team Marcel contains Elia and Cliff, who do an upscale diner, and Team Sam combines the serial killer, Mike, and Ted Ilan for their take on Italian dining.
Both teams bomb out on front-of-the-house service -- that would be Cliff and Ted Ilan's faults -- and the food wasn't really that good either. Tempura veggies came out as the only winner, and you can thank Marcel for those. Where to put Team Sam's olive pits seemed to be a well-documented concern for some people, but Team Marcel's undercooked chicken drumstick in coffee barbecue sauce isn't anything to be sneezed at. Or food poisoned by.
It all shakes out with Michael getting knifed, largely for not really doing anything during the entire challenge, and also for not buying plates on which to put those Machiavellian olive pits.
And then there were five.
Shall we talk about previously on Top Chef? Well, I could not be any happier that Betty's gone; I'm especially happy that Marcel outlasted her. You know, I had no reason to ever champion Marcel until Betty led the bully parade that has continually stomped all over him throughout the season. I don't even particularly LIKE Marcel, nor do I think he should win, but I absolutely refuse to stand by and say nothing while this pile-on of bullies continues to trump up erroneous statements and pass them off as fact.
I took the time to do what anyone at Bravo could have done, I went into my Top Chef archives and I counted -- I COUNTED -- how many foams Marcel has done. You might say, "Wow, what a colossal waste of time," but see, I believe in having an informed rant. Unlike the judges, I want all the facts in front of me before I announce or denounce something. Do you want to know how many foams Marcel has made on this show? Including last week's double feature? FIVE. And one of those shouldn't even count; remember the cocktails Quickfire? Michael made a Guinness foam, Ted Ilan had an egg white foam on his cocktail, Elia's cappuccino cocktail had foam, and Marcel had milk foam on his coffee cocktail. So, what I'm saying is, milk foam on coffee isn't really a molecular gastronomy foam; it's about as cutting edge as a puree. Furthermore, among Marcel's four legitimate foams, one -- the Thanksgiving foam -- was done because the cheftestants were specifically instructed to be CUTTING EDGE in their dishes. Bourdain even PRAISED Marcel's use of foams in that episode. Do you know what that means, Son of Sam? There haven't been nine foams in nine episodes, so you can just kiss my aspic. So can Padmadala, matter of fact, since she stated that they have "had foam at every meal."
Including the cocktail foam, which, as I've already ranted, shouldn't even be considered a real foam, there have been five foams confined to three episodes. In fact, he didn't have ANY foams until episode six, which is when Frank made his dumbass statement about Marcel's dishes all being carbon copies of each other.
Finally, Ted Ilan has fully come out of the closet as the dick I always suspected him to be. I am giddy over the judges calling him on bashing Marcel's dish. His bandwagon-jumping of "Let's not help Marcel" was weakly and pathetically based on Marcel "snapping" at Betty. Marcel didn't snap at the precious and sensitive Miss Betty. He was frantic to bring his dish back before it was served too soon. It wasn't even close to the tone Cliff used with Elia and the M.E.C. server in this episode. However, both Ted Ilan and Betty decided to take serious umbrage that Marcel spoke in less than cooing tones and hurt her fragile feelings. Please. Nothing about that woman is fragile. Except maybe her over-processed hair.