The Travelogue

In defense of Jenna. (Sort of.)

on Jun 19, 20120

Next, the teams have to head to a rice paddy and this is where all hell breaks loose. Nookie and Jon keep their lead despite Nookie's slowness. I have to say I was realy impressed with John's motivational skills. He had a lot to do with Nookie being able to push through. Nicole and Liz are a little behind, but are working well together. And then there's Avery and Jenna. Jenna's boots kept getting stuck in the patty, and rather than take them off, she chose to leave them on, and so she wasn't going that fast. And Avery was getting pissed. Remind me to never get on Avery's bad side. After planting 20 rows of rice paddies, the chef had to then race to the Ban Dient Temple. The boys got there first. (Did anyone else think Nookie would ask that random Thai man if he could borrow his motorcycle?) And, honestly, I had that Troop Beverly Hillls feeling again! Nicole and Liz weren't too far behind, and then came Jenna and Avery, much later. They walked. Avery completely gave up. I have to say as difficult as Jenna might be, I thought Avery was being kind of a pill. On a sidenote, have you read Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers? There's a great narrative about rice paddies, and that's all I could think of during this moment. For winning the Course, John and Nookie get an advantage in the Takeover.

The Takeover required the chefs to take over (har har) a food stall in the food market. Chef McDang wold guest judge. Nookie and John had the advantage of cooking two dishes, and therefore got more money for their ingredients. Jenna and Avery were left out in the cold -- literally -- not being able to use heat in their dish.

The trip to the market for ingredients was interesting. Maggots and piranhas?! Yikes. I've seen that piranha circulation thing before, but selling maggots? For what?! Obviously while going through the market, Nookie made the requisite ladyboy joke. Had to happen. We saw a weird side of Avery in the marketplace. She threatened to kick a puppy! I will say though that Avery and Jenna probably had the best experience at the market because they found a local woman to show them how to make a dish -- papaya salad. They learned from the incident with Nonna that they should listen and they did! 


Think back to Top Chef when Paul Qui chopped everyone's food out of the ice... because it "was a cooking competion not an ice chopping competion" If John wants to win by cooking against the worst cooks there then it will be a hollow victory. Without Nick and Jenna the remaining are no more than homecooks with a job.