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I need these characters to light it up a bit. Most of them seem painfully boring. Ariane needs some cheese with her whine. She spends all of her time whining and complaining. Don't complain and don't explain. The Quickfire was the hot dog task. I liked the idea of Radhika's Indian dog. It was clever, inspired and took her from last week's bottom to this week's immunity. Jill's dog was store bought and inside rice paper which looked vile. I think this was the beginning of her demise.
There were a few surprises. Stefan's world dog looked good but was ill received and labeled a global disaster. It probably was good to humble him and get his ego in check. Donatella liked Fabio's goat cheese Mediterranean dog. Jamie's hot dog had bones, which is quite disgusting. Hosea's smoky hot dog looked good, as did Danny aka Strong Island's pork hot dog.
As for the main challenge, it took place at Craft and the Top Chef reject contestants were going to be the judges. Already, we're prepared for them to be negative nelly's, but it is a zero sum game and there still has to be a winner and a loser.
At the market, we saw the makings of the mishaps. Hosea's canned crab and Jill's alien ostrich egg were risky choices. As Jamie said, Jill was playing it ridiculous. Ariane continued to whine throughout the task about her not being a baker, the sweetness. Even in the hot dog task, she said she just wanted to get two dogs into the buns much less worry about the taste. Her comment about her dessert was: "this is what i made. This is what I'm going to serve." She is mediocre which is irritating to watch. At this point, I'm packing her bags. Jamie's corn soup was a favorite. I thought the chiffonaded mint was so delicate, the chili oil gave it a little bit of a spice and it looked light and rich at the same time. Yum. Hosea's crab and mango salad was a turnoff, because it was under seasoned and canned. Truthfully, it didn't look like a disaster. The dish was uninspired and it was not a winner, but it wasn't a total train wreck. Especially given his performance last week and during this Quickfire, he seemed safe.
There were lots of underwhelming dishes, such as Leah's 80s scallops, Melissa's odd grilled avocado and peach mess and Eugene's deconstructed meatloaf. The utter disasters were Jill's ostrich quiche and Ariane's painfully sweet dessert.
Other high points were Stefan's halibut with light ravioli, Carla's apple tart, Daniel's ricotta pound cake and Fabio's carpaccio with arugala, spherical olives, grilled lemon and shaved Parmesan. I would order that right now. yum. It was surprising that Carla didn't like her dish and it was a favorite. Typically, when you don't like your dish, it probably isn't good. Then again, when I failed a test growing up, I knew it ahead of time.
The winner was Fabio despite the fact that he was defensive and thought he had lost. He is adorable and although he's a bit arrogant, he seems humble. He really takes pride in his cooking and he is so lovable. I also love his relationship with Stefan. We have two back-to-back European winners. The Americans need to step up their game. There is always a dispute over California versus French wines. Now we need to prove that American chefs can rival those of Europe.
As for the losers, I could have seen Jill and Ariane both go. Jill's weak and "deer in headlights" defense showed that she wouldn't be able to withstand this competition. Ariane's whining could make me pray for nails on a chalkboard. Jill went home, but Ariane isn't far behind. Ariane knew it should have been her, yet Carla made her feel better by saying "there is no mistake in the universe." I agree with that quote, but there may be some mistakes in the kitchen. I hope next week gets more dramatic. I need more action.