I don't want to focus all my time on Richard, but OK, I'm kind of going to. The moment when he commented on teaching Eric Ripert something new, my heart almost jumped because as a viewer I'd like to believe that that's what being a chef is all about, and that all of our chefs are as classy as Richard Blais. I unfortunately haven't had the opportunity to meet him in person yet, but he has been nothing but a pleasure in all of my correspondences with him -- even being super-busy with two babies -- Riley Maddox and his restaurant!
My affection for him grew even more in maybe the saddest moment ever when Richard admitted that he choked. And although I doubt that his idea of choking would be, well, my idea of choking, he did. He knew it. And he admitted it. At first I thought he really shouldn't have said anything -- always stand behind your dish -- but you could tell he was broken, and I felt for him. You can tell that Tom really respects him -- or maybe I'm just reading too much into body language at Judges' Table.
So, Richard was basically out of contention. In the stew room, Lisa said that she and Stephanie had split the four courses. Although Richard had already given himself up, I felt Lisa's comment was a little, for lack a better word, yucky. Lisa and Stephanie may have done better, but not once was the word "Michelin" thrown around. (Where's Todd English when you need him?)