Commercial Interruption: Lamb-a-rama-ding-dong, Ariane's gone!
Sara: Here's what I wrote before last week's episode: "I refuse to accept that Ariane is here to stay." Oh, if only I had stuck it out one more week and reflected those sentiments through my Power Rankings. But alas, if this is the price I had to pay (conceding to Ariane, and actually *gulp* believing she may have had a chance no matter how talentless and hack-ish she was) than so be it. The good news is -- she's gone. She tricked the judges for far too many challenges, somehow surviving and dear God, winning!, with dishes like cold watermelon salad, a regular, old turkey and ahem, deviled eggs. While I feel like it truly was Ariane's time to leave, I couldn't help but feel like others were just as deserving this time.
Leah and Hosea's lovefest is enough to make me wish them both off the show, regardless of talent and based solely on the "gag" factor. May I remind them, they are both in committed relationships and um, are being followed by a camera crew. The worst possible thing that "Top Chef" could do is become a "Real World" wanna-be, complete with make-out sessions and booze-filled confessions revealing contestant crushes. That said, Stefan's continual refusal-to-believe-sexual-preferences crush on lesbian Jamie "DJ Tanner" is hilarious and should be reoccurring in the show. This week we have Restaurant Wars -- arguably one of the best challenges of "Top Chef." The challenge that separates the pros from the amateurs, the creative from the uninspired and apparently with HoLeah (yes, Hosea and Leah a la Brangelina), the faithful from the adulterous.
Malavika: Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead!
Araine's departure -- although unforeseen by those of us here who believed that "Top Chef" would continue to reward her mediocrity -- was a welcome respite from the blahity of the rest of the episode that, quite honestly, I can barely remember. Her walk to the slaughterhouse -- er -- judge's table was long overdue, but it's telling that I almost went "really?" because anyone else at the bottom could have easily gone home instead. Still, her hack-i-tude shall not be mourned.
But everything -- and I mean including Stefan's ridiculous crush on Jamie -- was trumped by the news that for the first time EVER, there's a rumor of a "Top Chef" romance that frankly makes me want to barf-ait. "Ho-Leah" as coined by Sara is the lamest attempt at making this show "reality" television. Give me more product placements, fewer shots of those two canoodling, please! (Oh, and more Fabio!)
We can only hope that "Restaurant Wars" this week will divide the wannabes from the real chefs.
Adam: Being a relative "Top Chef" newbie, this whole upcoming Restaurant Wars thing reminds me of the movie "Demolition Man," when Sandra Bullock informs newly de-thawed Sylvester Stallone that, in the aftermath of the Franchise Wars, all restaurants in the future are Taco Bell. So I guess what I'm saying is, there are worse possible fates than a hack like Ariane winning "Top Chef."
But luckily for us that's not going to happen either. Ariane is toast -- which is ironic, since she probably can't cook toast anyway. To be fair, I can't really remember what Ariane did wrong to justify her expulsion -- something about not being able to butcher a lamb correctly -- but I was having such trouble recalling anything about that episode anyway, I needed to find a recap online. This doesn't say much about my abilities as a "Top Chef" viewer, and I'll understand if, of the four of us, I'm the one the judges let go next.
I am, however, looking forward to more of Hosea and Leah betraying their significant others, as I think this show desperately needed a touch of "Temptation Island" to lend it some respectability. I'm kidding, of course. Bravo, stop stealing air time with those two knuckleheads making googly-eyes at each other, at the expense of Fabio and his hilarious attempts at speaking de English.
Thomas: Wow. I must be getting more sympathetic in my old age, because I actually felt kinda bad for Ariane. Now, I know she's never been a viable candidate, and I suppose the fact that she won me over with her persistence (and yes, a large slab of luck) is causing this glimmer of goodwill. But I feel in some respect she was wronged by two conspiratory no-goodniks caught up in puppy love.
Seriously, is this fifth grade? Do they pass notes to each other in the kitchen? I really ended up loathing Ho-Leah (um, brilliant!) after this episode. And I will now root for their demise. Both were lazy and uninspired in their preparation, but most of all, this so-called telepathic communication they demonstrated reeked of sex-peration (if Boyd can play with hybrid words, I can merge sex and desperation.)
Mostly, it put Ariane in a tough spot. Yes she's a pedestrian chef who should know how to tie lamb, but the fact that she was given the lead, failed, and then Hosea confidently says, "Oh yeah, I've done that a million times, blah, blah, blah." That's worse than any egocentric behavior Stefan has exhibited. It was a setup from the start with no designs on helping the team. That shadiness bothers me.
But whatever ... Ariane's uninspired dishes won't be missed and now I have a villainous pair of lovebirds to root against. That always makes for great TV.
Oh, and for those of you having trouble remembering the episode, I give you this: "I'm the only cock in the stall."
Stefan is giving Fabs a run for his money.
Now, onto this week's Power Rankings ...
First place, 16 points
6. Mimbo Jeff
8. DJamie Tanner
-- Friend of Channel Surfing, Kelly McBride, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor's note: Our dear friend Kelly is on assignment in sunny California, and frankly, she doesn't deserve our sympathy for that alone. But because she's the leader and didn't have a chance to submit new rankings this week, we're posting last week's list minus Ariane with the hope that it proves a fair compromise.
Second place, 12 points
1. Mimbo Jeff
6. Crazy Eyes Carla
-- Thomas Rozwadowski, email@example.com
Third place, 10 points
2. Mimbo Jeff
-- Malavika Jagannathan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fourth place, 6 points (tie with Ms. Quarter)
-- Adam Reinhard, email@example.com
Fifth place, 1 point (technically sixth place if you count ACon, who didn't submit a list last week ...)
1. Stefan, aka: Mr. DJ Tanner
2. Eeeets-a time for a comeback! Fabio
3. What girlfriend? Hosea (of HoLeah)
4. Watch me put 8 different things on a plate Jeff
5. Promiscuous Girl Leah (of HoLeah)
6. For the last time, I'm a lesbian! Jamie DJ Tanner
7. SQUAK! Ostrich Carla
8. Give me an hour, I will make corn Radhika
-- Sara Boyd, firstname.lastname@example.org