They say cooking is just like a tennis match. Actually, they don't say that, because cooking is nothing like tennis. Except when they make it be like tennis. Then it's nothing but net-jumping disaster.
Yes, our Top Chef Tippy Tippy to the Tip Tip Top All Stars were cooking at the U.S. Open last night, but they weren't cooking for the crowd or the players, they were just serving dishes on the court and going head to head. It was kind of like those sponsored NASCARs that have the Tide logo all over the front, but it really has nothing to do with laundry or racing or winning or making your whites whiter. It's just there and it's vaguely making a lot of people a lot of money and we're just supposed to go along with it and say, "Oh, because that is associated with something we're interested in, maybe we should buy it! Good plan!" Yes, this was just a big play into fooling your belly into buying tickets to the U.S. Open because it thinks it will get filled with delicious peanut soup, but it won't be. Know why? Because Anna Wintour will be there, and Ms. Anna does not allow any eating to be done in her presence, that's why!
Speaking of being corporate shills, the quickfire was nothing but a crazy advertisement. When the chefs arrived in the kitchen Padma first introduced them to guest chef Tony Mantuano and then she said, "Alright, jerks, listen up. We have to do this fucking challenge for Swanson broth and it's going to sound completely stupid, but I asked those bitches at Bravo for a raise and they were like, 'Sure, Padma, but you're going to have to start doing commercials for Swansons,' and I was like 'Fuck no, can't we just give them a commercial on the show?' and they were like 'Fine.' So because I have a child whose father I won't reveal, I have to make all the money on my own. That means you're going to shut up while I sell America some fucking chicken broth. All you have to do is use it to make stuffing. And because I don't like any of you assholes, you have to do it without using any utensils. And you better fucking wash your hands, because if I even get a sniffle—just one lousy cootie—from any of you motherfuckers I am going to drown you in a big vat of Swanson's chicken broth."
For a change the cook, cook, cook wasn't boring, boring, boring, because all the chefs were using anything they could think of to prepare their stuffing. Richard was using a bottle cap as a spoon, Fabio used a metal rack as a cheese grater, White Tiffani used a fucking pepper mill to take apart a pheasant. I have seen someone throw a pepper mill at a peasant before, but never have I seen one taken to a pheasant. That is a whole different ordeal.
Everyone presents their stuffing, and lesbian Jamie thinks hers is a shoo-in. Why? Because she is obsessed with soup. All she ever seems to make is soup, probably because her lesbian lover is a little lady named Dinty Moore and she just steals all her recipes. She serves her stuffing with broth because she is obsessed with soup and because she thinks Swanson's wants stuffing to have broth on the stuffing. Padma comes by and says, "Fuck you. You're disqualified. Swanson's hates your girlfriend. Suck it."
Also scraping the bottom of the barely was Hootie-Hoo Carla who made some quinoa (that's how you spell "keen-wah") kitty litter, White Tiffani who can't make anything in the kitchen but a mess, and Casey who made stuffing that looked like the psychedelic mushrooms my college roommate tried to grow under a glass dome before the campus police showed up, seized his "terrarium," and kicked him out of school.
Luckily the winner was Tre, the soupiest brothmeister in the whole damn world. Tre, of course, won for his spicy stuffing. I would like to have Tre's spicy stuffing every day. Well, maybe not every day, because I don't know that my body could stand that rapturous torture, but I would certainly want him to serve me a spicy stuffing at least once a week from now until eternity. Oh yes, Tre, give me that spicy stuffing. Give it to me good!
Then Padma splits everyone into two groups by making them select balls. After Tre's spicy stuffing, that is a little much for me to take. Anyway, she tells us that the chefs will be cooking at the U.S. Open('s stadium) and that they will be going head to head, and dish to dish. The winning dish will get a point and will be nominated for winning the whole challenge. The losing dish will, well, lose, and the chef responsible will be sent home. Complicated, but interesting.
Right after this starts, Hootie-Hoo Carla, who is descended from a long and distinguished line of owl royalty, starts talking about her peanut soup and everyone is like, "Carla, that shit sounds nasty" and Carla is like "Whatever, my soup is good. I'm going to make it anyway." Yes, the producers are giving Carla the "win edit" so that you think that her soup is going to suck but then she can come from behind and say, "Behold, I am Princess Carla, heir to the Owl Throne of Yosemite and this is my peanut soup. Gaze into it's splendor and quake!" and win the whole damn thing. And win she does (spoiler alert!).
Now that we know Carla is going to win, who is going to lose? Spike wants to make sure his team doesn't lose, so he spends more time strategizing than worrying about cooking. He thinks that the other team will put their best dish first, so they should put their worst dish first, since the other team's best dish will definitely beat them no matter what, so why try to fight it? Why not "waste" the other team's best dish against one they think will lose anyway? It's not an unsound strategy, but its founded on the idea that there is no way their best dish can beat the other team's best dish, so it's already presupposing that they will lose. Way to have some faith Spike.
Cook, cook, cook; boring, boring, bor—oh shit, Carla just sliced her finger nail in half. Damn, that's not boring. But she's no loser like lesbian Jamie who cut herself and went to the hospital for like one stitch when she cut herself. No. Carla says, "I am Princes Carla, heir to the Owl Throne of Yosemite. Get me the royal physician and an orange glove for my wing—I mean hand. I will win this day!" And we already knew she would win, so this just adds more awesome to her "win edit."
They arrive at the U.S. Open tennis court and Padma walks in with Tom Cohostio, Gail Simmons, and Tony Montuano, and some other guy who must be there in case there is a tie. "Hey, jerks. This is Taylor Dent. He's a tennis player that I find moderately attractive. I tried to get Roger Federer and he said that if he appeared on a show where eating was involved his good friend Anna Wintour would never talk to him again. Then the producers were like, 'Padma, what about your old boyfriend Andy Roddick?' and I was like 'Hell no! He is married to that skank Brooklyn Decker. Do you know what she said about the necklace I was wearing? She said it was "interesting." Interesting is what you call really smart people who are ugly. Interesting is what you call my ex-husband. You don't call something I picked out "interesting." Fuck that bitch, and fuck her husband. He is not allowed on my show.' Now we have Taylor Dent who none of you have ever heard of. And if any of you makes a crack that he's the unnamed father of my baby, I will pelt you with tennis balls until you are nothing but one giant welt. Now let's get this stupid thing started. My bunyon's starting to hurt."
A PA came over to Padma and said. "Alright, Ms. Lakshmi, you're going to announce each round and the winner in this microphone, so just bend over..."
"Oh, no, excuse me? You want me to what? I show up here with some unnamed tennis star while wearing the gigantic gold necklace that cunt Brooklyn Decker called 'interesting' and the shortest shorts that I could find in all of Bergdorf's and you want me to what? Bend over? Don't you people know how tall I am? I won this motherfucking show a motherfucking Emmy. You have my comp cards on file. On the back you will find my height, weight, shoe size, bra size, country of origin, preference in bottled water, and people not to mention in my presence. You couldn't look that up, figure out how high the mic had to be, and set that up so that I don't have to bend over? What the fuck. Now every time I have to announce one of these rounds, Taylor Dent—the fuck-up son of Bucky and some tennis player no one even fucking knows—is going to be trying to peek up my shorts to get a glimpse of my promised land. Do you think that's what I want to be doing tonight? Hell, motherfucking no."
The teams are putting their first dish up and Spike's team is waiting for them to put Richard's dish up first, because it has to be the best, and they're going to put their worst dish up against it. That's the "strategy." That's the "master plan." They decide it's Jamie's because the recipe she copped from her lesbian lover Dinty Moore for some chickpea somethingorother was all fucked up and the chick peas aren't cooked yet, and she wants more time. Casey goes instead, but they put her up against Fabio, who made gnocchi. OK, the only dish that Fabio knows how to make is gnocchi. Earlier he made gnocchi stuffing. Next week he's going to make gnocchi stuffed with gnocchi. And the week after that Jamie and he will have to team up and they will make a gnocchi soup with scallops. Fabio is more one-note than a kazoo symphony. Still he wins.
Straight Dale loses to White Tiffani, who finally made something worth eating. Angelo beat Marcel. Then there was a thunderclap and all the lights flickered on and off and there was a strange spectral appearance in the arena. It was a glowing phosphorescence by the name of Antonia. She is nothing but a ghost, a ghost who doesn't know anything about sports, but smokes a lot of pot. She takes a giant hit of her glowing blunt and says, "I have brought back Scallops with lentils from the other side. Whooo-hoo-hoooo......" and then she disappeared. Black Tiffani said, "Damn, she's a ghost. I can't compete with that," and threw her hands up in defeat and went back to her corner to sacrifice a chicken and burn some sage. Richard Blais beat Spike, who thought Richard would have the best dish of the night and still had the hubris to think he would win. He was right the first time, there was no beating Richard. But that was only because Spike's shrimp were bland and Angelo spooged some yuzu jellé (an affected condiment that Stevên left behind after he was kicked off the show last week) in the bottom of his soup.
All this time Jamie's team wanted her to serve her food so that they would lose a round. I don't understand how that works exactly, because they all knew that Jamie's dish was nasty. She kept being like, "It's almost ready, guys. It's almost ready," which is such a lie. It's like when you're supposed to meet your friend at 3 and you're just leaving your house at 3 and you text and say, "Almost there!" even though you just left the house. Lies. Then Carla faces off against beefcake Tre, and she wins. The orange team wins the whole thing.
OK, judges table, Carla wins, as we know. Congrats, Princess. The losers from the yellow team are now up for elimination. They are Tre, who has immunity from his spicy stuffing, Casey, Black Tiffani, and Spike. Tre made some Salmon dish that the judges say was oily. I could turn "oily Salmon" into a dirty double entendre, but the thought of that kind of grosses me out. Tre would have gone home but the spicy stuffing saved him. It always does. Spike blames Angelo for fucking up his dish and Tom Cohostio asks Black Tiffani, "On your season they always said Angelo was sabotaging stuff so he could win. Is that true?" She said no, but it kind of is. Look at everyone who was there. Angelo stole a bunch of fish from Black Tiffani to make his dish, he put that nasty KY jellé in Spike's soup, and he is the one who overcooked Tre's fish. He is directly responsible for his team losing, yet he had one of the best dishes of the night and doesn't face elimination. Neither does Jamie because she never served her nasty bean soup. That is now two challenges she hasn't competed in. The townsfolk are getting feisty, Jamie. Watch out for those pitchforks.
It's Spike who is sent home, because his shrimp were bland and he fucked up his strategy. Should he have gone home? Probably not. It probably should have been Jamie or Tre or Angelo, but through the technicalities of the competition, they weaseled their way through. As Spike packed up his collection of hats for the long journey home, back at the house Jamie sat in the corner with a scowl on her face, her only companion, that scowl. Other than Dinty Moore, it is the only thing to comfort her, to give her solace. And she whispered to her scowl trying to figure out how she will get out of next week's exercise. Tre, no longer a fattie, was flexing his muscles in the mirror, making his pectoral muscles bounce independently of each other, and wondering how God made such a spectacular lump of spicy stuffing. And Angelo, the dastardly Angelo, retired to his room and cackled like Snidely Whiplash, happy that his plan had worked again. He stroked his long mustache and stooped over while he cackled—happy to be winning, happy that no one knows his secret identity, happy that tomorrow he would get to tie yet another damsel to the tracks.