Back of the House

‘Top Chef’ Boots the Weak, Keeps the Obnoxious

Will this be the week Spike gets booted?
Will this be the week Spike gets booted? Photo: Courtesy of Bravo

On this week’s Top Chef, the rivals gathered to show off their classic skills to Daniel Boulud, in an enjoyable quick-fire challenge, and then were called upon to make a movie-themed feast for a dinner at Chicago movie critic Richard Roeper’s house. Everything came out pretty well, but someone had to go, and it wasn’t who we hoped it would be. Adam Platt felt exactly the same way.

Platt: Clearly, the gentlemanly Manuel got jobbed.

Ozersky: How in hell did Spike not get the ax last night? The worst dish was all his fault!

Platt: If there’s a pattern thus far, it’s that if you act out in front of any rolling camera and have scraggly facial hair and/or faded tattoos, you will be spared. Most importantly, if you persist in wearing ridiculous hats, you will be spared.

Platt: Spike’s stupid hats saved him.

Ozersky: I would agree, but Erik did those things and got the mitten. No one screwed up last night. That doesn’t happen much. Ryan’s duck was a big hit, and it didn’t even put them on the gold-star list.

Platt: Erik was in over his shiny head. Spike can talk a better game. He suckered poor Manuel into cooking that dreck-ish summer roll. Manuel was way too nice, as you could see by the way he exited. He’s too much of gentleman for reality TV.

Ozersky: And for Dos Caminos, too, apparently. They handed him his papers last month.

Ozersky: A tough season for Manuel.

Platt: I would guess he has a bright future in private chefing. He will cook endless bland taco preparations for Paula Zahn.

Ozersky: I love when they have Daniel on these things. They all quiver when they remember that they are supposed to know how to cook, and don’t.

Platt: The great Frenchman was a mild presence in his shiny Euro shirts. But he seemed to scare the crap out of them and make them cook decent food.

Ozersky: It’s true. They either glower like schoolboys caught smoking or stand up and sparkle like the winner of the spelling bee when they see he’s there.

Ozersky: He personifies how you’re supposed to cook, but he’s not threatening, like Tom.

Platt: The real cooks, like Dale and “Shark Face” Richard, seemed to blossom obsequiously in his presence.

Ozersky: I have to say, Dale finally lived up to his self-image a little bit this week. I’m starting to hate him a little bit less.

Platt: Dale’s going to become more hateful as the show progresses and much more formidable.

Ozersky: The team of him, “Shark Face,” and “Spazzy” Andrew was like a supergroup — the Cream or Asia of cheftestants.

Platt: Who were all those people sitting around the table grinning like mad little elves? They just sat there being bullied by the high-handed Über-judges. Ted Allen was particularly full of himself this evening. Padma looked very nice in her electric-blue satin dress.

Ozersky: Ted Allen is the worst judge ever.

Ozersky: He’s not hot like Padma or Gail, doesn’t have chef cred like Tom…I never even liked him on Queer Eye!

Platt: As a card-carrying snooty critic, who deals in these kinds of inane food descriptions for a living, I have to say, I was cringing on my couch.

Ozersky: He makes us all look bad.

Ozersky: So who’s next to go?

Platt: After this week’s travesty, Spike’s days are probably numbered.

Platt: They keep Spike around because he’s annoying. If you were on the show, Cutty, they’d keep you around well past your sell date, too. It’s the oldest reality-TV trope in the books.

Ozersky: If I were on the show, you would be, too. We’d be Statler and Waldorf — the two old Muppets who mock everybody from their box.

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