In the back, Sam bids M.E.C. good luck and tells them someone from one of their teams is going home. M.E.C. stands before the judges for the same treatment. Starting with the chicken, Marcel says the idea was his and that they collectively decided to go with a coffee barbecue sauce. Cliff sort of twitches at this. Colicchio calls him on it. "It was Cleeeef's sauce," Elia explains. Cliff looks at Marcel and says it sounds like he was taking credit for the entire dish. "Which could go either way, you have to be careful for what you're actually taking here," Cliff says. Marcel says he wasn't taking credit for the sauce. Before this turns into Saucegate, Colicchio finds out that Marcel cooked the chicken and then tells him they hated it, "It was raw." "Scary," Gail adds, "Your customers will be outta there." On stretchers. Okay, but now it's suddenly raw when it was only rare in the diner. Marcel rubs his head and mumbles he doesn't know how that happened. Marcel admits he did the tempura, which Colicchio says most of them enjoyed. Elia thinks the burger went smoothly. Andrea might disagree with you. Colicchio found the added parsley and onions to be too coarse, "It was not the best burger I ever had." Padmadala dramatically reads a comment, "Burger. Was more. Likemeatloaf." Did Captain Kirk write that? Colicchio agrees with the meatloaf assessment. They turn to Cliff's FOH issues. Padmadala thinks it was unacceptable that they waited for their food for so long and that Cliff hardly spoke to them during that time. Yakura adds that Cliff barely even smiled at anyone the whole time. Maybe your hair scared all the joy out of him. Cliff doesn't think he should go home, he thinks either Marcel or Elia should. Safe move, Cliff. Padmadala sends them away.
More deliberation by the judges. After the commercial break, all six cheftestants are called back in and told (AGAIN!) that there is no clear winner. In true Project Runway fashion, various cheftestants are excused, leaving only Cliff, Sam, and Mike. Mike's gotta know he's out, right? I mean, Cliff and Sam have shown themselves to be solid, leader-y chefs even if they aren't nice people. Colicchio dings the remaining three for their faults, before Padmadala tells Mike to pack his knives and go. After doing manly hand-shake and fist bangs with Cliff and Sam, Mike thanks the judges, does a "solid" hand pump to the air, and leaves.
In the back, he bids the other cheftestants goodbye. Mike tells us, "I don't have any regrets, man. Had some good times, some great experiences, made some crazy dishes I would never make." In the back, Mike bangs Marcel's fist and says, "I almost made it to the end and shit." He tells us, "I'm kind of, like, a really humble guy, you know? Like Charlotte's Web? That pig, you know?" He giggles. Wow, what an unbelievable reference from Mike. I mean, even if it is from the animated movie and not the book, I'm impressed. Mike hopes people learn from him that it's okay to take "the laid-back approach" and that it's "cool to stay cool." Whenever someone says "stay cool," I think of Julia Roberts saying it to Hector Elizondo at the end of Pretty Woman and it pretty much robs the phrase of all coolness. I would have killed for Mike to say "stay gold."