Live Blogging Top Chef, Week 8

Happy Winter Solstice Eve! It's the longest, darkest night of the year—the perfect time to grab a cup of mulled cider, cozy up to a glowing television screen and live-blog Top Chef in the comments. That's what we're all about to do—with or without the mulled cider—so join us!

Whatever you celebrate this time of year—be it Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa or Festivus—you're welcome to join this less-than-holy ritual of Top Chef-watching and comment-posting. Some of us also wassail while we're at it-because nothing beats a good Wednesday-night wassail, does it?

And nothing beats the witty quips that commenters post here each Wednesday night, either. I've collected a few of my favorites from our last live blog here. Other highlights from last week included these:

  • Padma Lakshmi's Land O'Lakes hair-and-outfit look inspired several memorable descriptions. For example, commenter ghiagirl noted that she "looks like she bought her outfit at a souvenir stand at the Little Big Horn," while robina the first wondered, "Why is she dressed like an extra from Corky St. Clair's community theatre production of Dances With Wolves?"
  • When Sarah observed that "karma's a bitch," just.a.smore retorted: "No, karma is an inanimate philosophical concept. You are a bitch."
  • Increasingly hateful chef Heather earned a host of new nicknames from the commenting crew, including "Cake Boss" (per DahlELama, because she's bossy and once made a cake); "Ursula" (per other_asian, after the Little Mermaid witch); and "Dance Mom" (per me, because I think she's the long-lost identical twin of Dance Moms star Abby Lee Miller).
  • BabyJane noticed this irony: The only chefs who didn't squabble were the ones who cooked squab.
  • Most of us were bummed when Nyesha got "Dakota'd"—a word I just invented, which means: "unfairly punished for the mistakes of a randomly assigned partner."

As for tonight, many interesting things are in store in the final few hours before Winter officially starts at midnight—and a good many of those interesting things involve the upcoming episode. For example:

  • The show will finally relocate to a new city: Austin—home of bats, Batter Blaster and general all-around battiness.
  • The quickfire challenge will be based on Top Chef fans sending tweets—which is fairly ironic, given that a fan doing that very thing apparently caused members of the show's staff to freak out last summer. Apparently, Top Chef loves Twitter when it isn't busy hating Twitter.
  • The guest judge is Patti LaBelle, who will sing "Lady Marmalade" for all the chefs. At the time, I bet they were wondering: "Are they gonna make us all cook something with marmalade in it?"

Ok, everyone, it's to fill up our wassail-cups and get ready for a merry December night's eve of live-blogging cheer. I'll see you down in the comments!