If you haven't participated in one of our commenting fiestas before, here's all you have to do: Settle down in front of the TV with your laptop or keyboard handy, watch tonight's episode (which starts at 10 pm Eastern on Bravo), and join the rest of us as we all post a running commentary on the show in the comments section below this post. It's easier than falling off a horse!
- We came up with a few more good nicknames. For example, commenter Fry_Bread_Power dubbed judge Hugh Acheson, who has a unibrow, as "Hughnibrow." And thanks to commenter overnightly, the burly, bearded, and beloved Keith is now "Black Santa."
- Commenter chatcat2000 noticed that Emeril Lagasse has something about him that's reminiscent of Nick Tortelli, Carla's ex-husband on "Cheers." Is it the slouching, or the eyebrows?
- After on-the-bubble chefs Edward Lee and Grayson Schmitz were awarded post-bubble "cheftestant jackets," commenter GoOnWithoutMe wondered: "Are they going to pop some bubbly now?"
- When Janine—whose sad back story included an engagement broken off over the telephone—was told by Padma to pack her knives and go, commenter spaceystacey observed: "Well, at least she got dumped to her face this time."
And in general, we continued be bewildered by whirlwind of chef-eliminating and chef-jacket-giving that characterized early-elimination round of this season, during which 29 cheftestant-wannabes were whittled down the current crop of 16 cheftestants proper. So it will come as a relief to most of you, I'm sure, when tonight's episode returns to the traditional Top Chef episode format we all know and love—including quickfire challenges. Remember those? How I've missed them! Here are few highlights of what's in store:
- Padma Lakshmi will introduce tonight's quickfire test—cooking rattlesnakes—with a "Snakes on a Plane" joke that might have been witty and timely back in 2006.
- Guest judge Johnny Hernandez will give the following rattlesnake-preparation pointers: "It's a meat that's very delicate … It's gonna have to have a gentle touch." He will then probably shoot meaningful, off-camera glances as Padma, who will wink back at him.
- Keith will screw up during a team challenge by buying the wrong kind of shrimp, and may be at risk of elimination. I hope we don't lose Black Santa so soon—we only just came up with his nickname!
OK partners, it's 10 o'clock—time to saddle up and mosey on down to the comments. I'll see you there!