Andy wants to know "how shocked" the judges were when Richard copped to choking during the final challenge. Gail wasn't shocked he knew it, but was shocked he said it, and no one else gives a fig. If you do, re-read last week's recap. Next! Did Lisa think she was going to win after her final performance? She thought she had a fighting chance, but she's okay losing to Stephanie. Colicchio wonders, with all the fuss about a lady Top Chef, if Stephanie would rather be known as "the winner of season four, or the first female Top Chef." Chef before gender, says Stephanie -- qualifying her win according to her plumbing is demeaning, she implies, since it smacks of sexism and diminishes her talent. Not one to rest on her laurels, she's already using her winnings to open a new restaurant in Chicago. Gail mentions, correctly I think, that "it's going to be a pretty big deal for the hometown girl," and Stephanie mentions that it is in fact kind of strange to be accosted by fans while she's holding her dog's poop bag. So down to earth, that one.
Tony from New Jersey emails about the experiencing of watching oneself on television, and whether any of the cheftestants harbor regrets. Dale immediately offers that he would not have made the nasty-ass butterscotch sauce for his scallops. "We regret that too," quips Padma. Had he made it before? Nope. And probably never again. Jen really regrets using the too-big crouton and the word "phallic" on national television -- she says "it's come back to me a lot," which, in San Francisco's lesbo-gyno-industrial complex, could mean any number of things. Spike brings up the bubble bath he shared with Mark, who explains that at the end of a hard day, all one wants to do is relax in a hot bath with a glass of bubbly. "And a dude," adds Erik. It's all so funny because they're not even gay!
All of this is just a ham-handed segue into a montage of all the bromances: Spike and Mark in the bath, framed by a big red heart. Spike likes Mark's curly hair and soft, full lips. He's confident in his sexuality, and if he wants to get in the bathtub with a dude and make some foamy tower, he will, thank you very much. Dale and Richard, heart frame. In the chez chef kitchen, Dale mentions that "some people" were watching Dale apply lotion, particularly to his nipples, but when we see Dale rubbing lotion on his titties while giving a tongue-out "I'm so sexy" look in the mirror, it's definitely the "unable to turn away from a terrible car crash" kind of watching. Richard compliments Dale's gorgeous nipples, mentions it's been while since he got a topless show but that they have the room to themselves now, and Dale discusses the power of man-cuddling to alleviate loneliness. Next, Spike, house slut, gets the heart treatment with Andrew. "I'm not gay," says Andrew, "but I'd probably let him bang me," which sums it up nicely and elicits peals of laughter. Funny, I'm gay, and I wouldn't. "Like soldiers trapped on a submarine," says Ted. I've definitely seen that movie.