After a fairly straightforward dessert contest judged by Jean Georges’ Johnny Iuzzini, last night’s Top Chef episode took a turn for the bizarre with an Elimination Challenge inspired by the Second City improv company. Random colors and emotions were paired with ingredients, and the cheftestants ordered to improvise dishes like “yellow vanilla love” and “magenta drunken Polish sausage.” The results were predictably revolting, and we and Adam Platt settled in to discuss it immediately afterward with heavy hearts.
Ozersky: You know, Platty, it’s not enough to give 110 percent. You have to give 1,000 percent.
Ozersky: I think that’s the lesson we learned from tonight’s episode.
Platt: Lisa was staring daggers as those judges. I feared for Don Colicchio’s health … what did you call her, a basilisk? She utterly failed in her attempt to interpret Polish sausage. Which stoned producer came up with that ludicrous concept?
Ozersky: A gorgon. The concept may have been dumb, but Lisa should damn well have stuck with it. Anyway, everyone knows that Polish sausage is one of the great things in the world! One of those kids from next week could make a good one.
Platt: You and I could almost fry a Polish sausage, Cutty! But I feel the show’s slowly petering out. Dale and Sharkface are clearly the two top talents. They’re going to be battling it out. Stephanie is sort of a dark horse. The other clowns — the Kiwi, Spike, etc. — are just there for our amusement. The only suspense is which ghoulish food figure they’ll drag out of mothballs next.
Ozersky: I was shocked to see Johnny Zs. He was on super-nice behavior until the end, though. Then his "bad boy" side came out, and he laid into those girls mercilessly.
Platt: Did you notice the multicolored Maori arm tattoo, creeping out from under his shiny brown shirt?
Ozersky: You know Johnny is going to rock the arm tattoo. But the thing with him is that he really is a great talent and has done a lot in his career. These cheftestants all act like they’ve won Beard awards, and for what? That’s why we love Stephanie.
Ozersky: The others, I expect, will succumb to hubris.
Platt: I liked Jen! She was one of the grown-ups. But I think we learned that grown-ups don’t fare well on reality-TV shows.
Ozersky: Maybe not. But personality aside, let me ask you this — was there anything tonight that you thought you might actually like to eat for dinner?
Platt: What a rash question, Cutty! Let me think. I’m still thinking. I’m still thinking. No to the swampy green-curry tofu, no to the weird avocado Quickfire Challenge dessert. The fact that squash soup was the de facto winner says it all. I’d have to say no.
Ozersky: Alrighty then.
Ozersky: So who’s next, Adam? Who gets the mitten next week?
Platt: Spike or Nikki. Or maybe, blessedly, gorgon Lisa.
Ozersky: Let’s hope so, Platty. I don’t think I can take another week of her. You know how I love Top Chef, but I’m beginning to have mixed feelings about the show because of that woman.
Platt: I feel your pain, Cutty! I feel your pain.