'Top Chef': Sweet tooth

104752__mike_lI blame it all on the tooth. The tooth — in some mystical connection with a Top Chef tooth fairy  and guest Debi Mazar’s disorientingly glorious cursing — did something crazy to me.

I guess I could kind of see it coming. It started before Mia’s teary self-sacrifice, I think around the time the beach breakfast happened. I couldn’t help myself. My heart started twitching involuntarily every time Mike‘s puffy face (pictured) showed up. And then this tooth thing — the guy gets a wisdom tooth pulled, and it looks like he asked some wolves to do it instead of going to the dentist. How could I hold anything against him after hearing him say "OWAGE" instead of "orange"? I really wanted him to be a loser (call me a Hater Princess if you must), but I’ve got to hand it to the guy — he’s been scrappy, and he’s growing on me.addCredit(“Top Chef: F. Scott Schafer”)

I was glad that big Mikey won both challenges last night. Really, Iwas. Will he win? I would rather eat a thousand of Marcel’s foams thansee Mike win. However, I’m glad it’s his turn to have a (somewhat) goodday.

Essentially, what I realized last night during last night’s episodeis this: I do not miss Gail Simmons. Actually, I hope that Ted Allengets a permanent seat at the judges’ table next season. And, I really,really hope, for the safety of the group, that Marcel goes next.


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  • Lex

    Marcel is not that bad! Sure, he’s focused and confident, but he keeps to himself for the most part. Ilan is a complete ass– what a child. He is obviously too immature, what with bringing up Marcel’s sex life…totally inappropriate. Sam is also a big baby, ripping on Marcel loud enough for him to hear. Grow up already. I was impressed with Marcel during the elimination judging. He was far classier than Ilan and Betty, who thankfully is gone. Woo hoo!

  • Anna

    ew, i hate marcel, have from day 1. i dont think anyone could really like him, maybe just feel bad for him.

  • Jeff

    I agree with Lex. Marcel has been unfairly given a bad rap. They say he snapped at Betty last night, but I didn’t think it was rude at all. Granted, I do think Marcel is incredibly egotistical and he isn’t the best in the group by far, but I think that Ilan’s and Betty’s treatment of him was unnecessary. I was happy that Betty packed her knives last night as she had coasted along for way too long (and should’ve been eliminated when she changed her fitness camp recipe). I think it’s going to come down to Sam, Cliff, and Elia (the dark horse who’s come on strong in recent weeks).

  • amy

    ted allen is top chef’s tim gunn. why is there no tv watch for this show? ilan and sam were totally inappropriate and it didn’t seem like marcel snapped at betty (she’s kinda hypersensitive anyway, and always complaining–glad she’s gone)…however, it does appear that sam, cliff, and ilan are the best chefs there..

  • jenn

    Ilan acted like a baby last night. I think Marcel has a personality that grates on other’s nerves but whatever. As long as he cooks well… Good that Betty is gone, would still like to see Marcel go next. Michael is a better chef when he is in pain…who knew.
    By the way, was I the only one who laughed when Padma called Ilan’s funnel cake “flacid”???

  • Lisa

    We so need a PopWatch. We need to storm the EW offices for one. I don’t like Marcel, and part of me thinks there has to be more than what we have seen for that many people to dislike him that much and to completely lose it with him that much (Frank, Betty, Sam…). Anyhoo Michael is my new favorite. He’s like a lost puppy you pick up by the side of the road. Maybe ‘fat drunk and stupid is now way to go through life’-flounder as we know him is gone. How he screwed up the TGIF challenge and then came thru last night – maybe it’s all an act. Glad Betty’s gone – it was definitely her turn. Once Marcel and his cat-spit foam (whoever said that had me on the floor) I’d be happy with any of them winning.

  • amy

    to jenn–padma called the funnel cake “limp” and “flacid”! hahaha
    also, anyone else wondering why extreme’s guitarist was present and accounted for at debi mazar’s dinner?? haha

  • Ned

    I kept hoping Mike would do something to cover up that festering sore on his face. Hasn’t the man ever heard of a band-aid?

  • Elizabeth

    My fiance and I watched this last night. We were convinced that Debbie Mazar and company (including Padma and Chef Tom) were wasted.

  • Melissa Algaze

    People don’t realize how talented Michael is. They don’t realize he has been trained very well because all they see is the cover, not the book and you know what happens when you judge a book by it’s cover. I never counted him out. He is the Santino of Top Chef.

  • kriselda jarnsaxa

    Betty DEFINITELY should have been gone after she cheated during the fitness camp challenge (I simply cannot believe she didn’t know it was a problem to change the recipe the next day – everyone else knew and there was no way to verify that the changes would be in compliance with the limits since the dietitians weren’t there like they had been on the day they developed the menus.) I was SO glad to see her gone last night.
    Marcel strikes me as the kind of guy who probably makes more than a few social missteps – not out of any malice but because he’s a socially awkward geek – who irritated a few people early on, and once a few people started bitching about him to everyone else, they all started focusing only on his negative qualities, and nothing good he does has a chance to register. Note that everyone’s biggest complaint seems to be that he’s “selfish” and yet I’ve seen far more instances of him trying to be genuinely helpful to other (such as offering to take time out of his own limited time during the quickfire to help colour-blind Cliff find foods that will work for the purple theme he’s been assigned and being the first to offer to help Sam get his service started during the elimination challenge EVEN AFTER Sam’s blow-out in the restaurant supply shop) on more episodes than any other cheftestant. Yet they all still call him ‘selfish’ (and he may well be selfish in other ways – but it’s certainly not “all” about him.)
    Sam really irritated me last night with his attitude at the restaurant supply shop. They had a $150 budget for their supplies – if someone was getting even a 10% discount, that’s an additional $15 they have to work with. Unless EVERYONE gets the same discount, its not fair. Marcel was *well* within his rights to ask as to about whether or not they could accept discounts, especially if some of the chefs had already checked out and NOT gotten a discount, or had declined the discount because they believed it was not allowed. (And you know if the situation had been reversed – if Marcel had gotten a discount that Sam didn’t, Sam would have brought it up – most likely waiting until the Judging Table and then tossing it out there to stir things up, like he did with the Olive Oil and at least one other thing (I forget what specifically, though, at the moment))
    While I don’t mind Marcel nearly as annoying as others might (as you may have noticed), I don’t know that I think he should be one of the last finalists. I do hope, however, that he outlasts Ilan, who, as far as I’m concerned, needs to go next. As ecstatic as I am about Betty’s knifing, after Ilan’s performance last night, I would have felt sending him home was well justified. Not only was his food badly done and unpalatable (and yeah, I really laughed at Padama’s description of his funnel cakes as “limp and flaccid” after all his cracks about Marcel’s virginity), but his smack at Marcel IN FRONT OF THE GUESTS (saying that cherries are actually supposed to lower your libido, not raise it, right after Marcel served a cherry desert as his interpretation of the Deadly Sin, lust) was not only uncalled for, but HIGHLY unprofessional. But Betty’s soups looked and sounded positively disgusting, so either one of them could have gone based on the food alone.
    Micheal’s pretty cool, though – and I was glad to see him win last night. Right now, he, Elia and Marcel are my faves, with Cliff right behind. I think for the finale, though, I’d be happiest if it came down to Elia and either Cliff or Marcel. People seem to react well to Sam’s food, but almost everything he’s fixed sounds completely unappetizing to me, which is why I don’t rank him more at the top.
    Anyway, interesting episode last night – and next week looks like a lot of fun, too!

  • Lisa

    One thing I thought was interesting is that it’s very clear Sam watched last season – he commented last episode about Colicchio not liking skin on peppers, something he said season 1 (thank you, Bravo, for the marathon since the season STILL isn’t on dvd) and then he did the popcorn ceviche, bringing to mind Harold’s junk food reinvention…

  • Kay

    I’m now rooting for Elia to win, as she is the only woman left in the competition. Also, she’s the only one who hasn’t ganged up on Marcel. My feelings for Ilan, Sam, and Betty totally changed last night with their immature, unprofessional behavior. Especially Sam, with his passive-aggressiveness.

  • jenn

    Thanks Amy! I forgot about the “limp” part. I just cracked up at the creative editing last night!
    Good call on the Sam watching season 1…I thought of him and Harold together when they kept showing him standing a little back from the group with his arms crossed and his hands tucked away (Mary Katherine Gallagher/Superstar style). Harold always stood like that…

  • MeNY

    Lisa – Season 1 is available on iTunes for $1.99 per episode. I got tired of waiting for the DVDs, so I bought it there.

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