While I knew Dale, Lisa, and Spike would go with an aggressive Asian theme, I'm not sure you could pay me to be on a team with the three of them. You could sense the tension and unstable energy, and quite frankly, there's not enough air in the room to sustain all of their egos at the same time. Not to say that they are not talented, because they are. They just all seem a little conniving, contrary, and condescending to each other once in interview. There's no "I" in team, except for with these three. Spike actually lucked out and skated by, by taking on the front of the house role (the suit was a nice touch, but he's no Stephen Asprinio). We provide wait staff for each team and one of the things that I am always looking out for is how the chefs address and manage their wait staff. As you can see, Dale doesn't handle stress so well and took to calling his staff names and cursing at them (could you imagine being one of them?). At Judges' Table, it became a blame game between Lisa and Dale, both being equally at fault for the team's failures. The laksa tasted like you were chewing on burnt wood. The butterscotch miso glaze was cloyingly sweet.
The only real successes were the short ribs and the dumplings. Many would argue that Lisa should've gone home for both of her dishes being bad. The fact that Dale refused to take responsibility as the Executive Chef, the role he so eagerly deemed himself, and for Lisa's mistakes, got him sent home. There have been cases in the past where the Exec can take responsibility and still send their sous-chef home (Season One and Season Two ring a bell?). Deliberation is the last chance you have to state your case, and if you can do it diplomatically, or at least intelligently, you may be able to save yourself. I think Dale was overconfident and in denial that he could be at fault for any of his team's shortcomings.
Competition is a strange thing, because Dale is one of the nicest, happy-go-lucky guys I've ever met ... off-camera. Wildly talented, and certainly passionate, I have no doubt his emotional goodbye should let you all know he's a little soft on the inside and just how much the competition meant to him. He should just be thankful he never let the dam break, like Joey. His reputation as a tough guy would be ruined.