Has Crazy Culinary Crapper Andrew Jumped the Shark?

Joshua David Stein is back briefly to talk about Bravo's Top Chef whose fourth episode aired last night. In one of the first shots of last night's Quick Fire challenge, presided over by special guest and legitimate superstar Daniel Boulud standing next to a Padma Lakshmi whose dress fell like a cataract of silk and sex over her rear end and opened up like a yawning chasm in the front to reveal two perfectly shaped bosom mounds, we see Andrew, the red-bearded manic chef from Ft. Lauderdale, currently working in New York as the sous chef at Le Cirque. While Boulud explains the challenge, remarkably sponsor-free, the chefs eye him respectively. Some nod. They are actively listening. And then there is Andrew who is rocking back and forth with a ferocious intensity written furrowing his brow. He looks like a schizophrenic Wallace from Wallace and Gromit but scary and at the same time sad. It wasn't ever like his weirdness was an act but previously his mania seemed controllable.

This week, especially when he actually suggested he shuffle around on his knees as an Oompah-Loompah, one began to wonder if his quirkiness passed into DSM-IV territory. And then it's no longer fun to watch. It's kind of creepy and sad. It's like when you find out your weird and crazy uncle actually is schizophrenic and paranoid and then you hide every time he comes over. You know what is fun to watch? Angry lesbians and it seems like next week, the back room of Top Chef's kitchen is a rage-filled Sapphic playground!

I guess what I'm saying is the teaser for next week's episode was exponentially more interesting than anything that went on this week. Manuel left. Clearly he had to go. Next week, I hope it's Nikki. The following week that eyebrow-pierced lady has got to skedaddle. In fact, let's just cut to the final three: Stephanie, Richard (the mohawked tweety-bird who is weirdly growing on me) and Dale. Next week though, the super cool mohawked lesbian (she is great, I think) knocks over a chair in what looks like a confrontation with Spike who I can totally see being an enormous prick. Bets made at the time of viewing indicate that she is made violent in the course of defending her girlfriend, the bad-vibey Zoi. But what I really really want to see is Dale go batshit nuts. If I am remembering correctly he says something like, "You feel the need to justify all your mistakes and blame them on other people." Pause. "I feel that is bullshit." This is accompanied by athletic hand motions in which his palm is facing downwards, his arm is upraised and his elbow is bending like a metronome, emphasizing his points. I found it sweet that even when he is yelling at someone he introduces his opinions with "I feel..." which is a sign of a good arguer. Anyway, thoughts, hypotheses and bets on what goes down taken in comments.