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Top Chef: Just Desserts Recap- Lucent Dossier

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I generally try to avoid pictures of eliminated chefs, but this guy deserves a tribute. And a valium.

Another week of Top Chef: Just Desserts, another week of wondering how long before someone tries to bludgeon someone to death with a Kitchen Aid Mixer.  In the first 60 seconds we find out that Seth thinks his biggest weakness is psychological, that he refers to himself as a “cat,” and that he shaves in the kitchen sink.  I’m considering offering money for a look at Seth’s audition tape.  Malika is still whining that the competition is, like, REALLY HARD.  Get over it.

Ice cream quickfire!  Hold please, I need a bowl of fudge swirl.  Mmmm, much better.  The chefs are creating the ultimate ice cream sundae; Seth is at first excited because he thinks he’ll be making his own ice cream.  When Gail informs him that they’ll be using Breyer’s, what ensues is a completely ridiculous display of immaturity.  “Weak saaauce” he intones.  He punches his fist in the air.  He mutters under his breath.  He huffs.  He puffs.  He does other things that villains in children’s stories do.

At this point, we cut to the stew room while the crew is setting up the quickfire challenge.  I’m fairly certain that this has never been shown in any episode of Top Chef or any of it’s spin-offs.  It seems that Seth is having a mental breakdown again; I’m honestly not sure what it’s about except that I know it has something to do with paper cups that he brought from home, that he threw out in response to some misinformation from the TC producers.  He calls the producers liars.  He says it’s not fair that he doesn’t have his paper cups.  And then, as Zac states…”he disappeared.”  For a moment I’m hopeful that we’ve actually gotten into the Harry Potter universe and Seth disapparated and splinched himself, but my hopes are dashed when suddenly everyone hears sirens.  Seth has merely given himself an anxiety attack and is passed out off-set.  Luckily, at this point, even the Bravo producers have to admit that they have a liability on their hands and send Seth packing; my guess is that a lawyer over there got a hold of some footage and hit the “Eject Crazy” button.  There’s fun crazy and then there’s just unstable.  I’m now wondering if no one will get the axe at elimination to keep the numbers correct.

Moving on, or rather moving back, the quickfire is on!  Yigit is glad that the enormous pink elephant in the room is gone, but if I’m not mistaken Seth was one of the few non-pink elephants in the room, no?  Gail is there and says without a hint of regret “I guess it’s just the eight of you.”  Gail does not appreciate crazy in her face, please remove it.  Eric, Danielle and Erika wind up in the bottom of the quickfire but since there’s no penalty for this who really cares?  Zac, Yigit and Morgan wind up in the top with Morgan taking the top prize for his mint chocolate chip sundae inspired by his Sundays with his son (Sondays?).  Morgan gets immunity for the elimination challenge, and it seems deserved.  Besides, now that Cray-cray is gone, we need a villain and Morgan definitely has potential, so he’s not going anywhere.  Then he starts crying, and that sound you heard is the noise of thousands of women’s panties all hitting the floor at the same time.

The next challenge calls for three teams of three, so Heather C is back in the competition!  Dammit, now I have to type “Heather C” and “Heather H” again.  On the other hand, perhaps at some point we can now solve The Case of the Mysterious Forehead Band-Aid.  The top three in the quickfire are the captains and get to pick their teams, as if this show needed to ramp up the drama.  Morgan winds up with Heather H and Eric, Yigit chooses Erika and Danielle while Zac gets Malika and Heather C.  The teams are watching a show by the Lucent Dossier Experience and creating desserts inspired by the performance.  Gail somehow manages to keep a straight face while informing the teams that they are looking for a “flaming experience;” come on, the only show more flaming than this one right now is Project Runway.  Each team must create a showpiece that represents a theme of the room that it’s in, as well as three individual desserts and one flaming dessert.  I must say, this seems like a gigantic task.

The teams prep, and in the interest of keeping this recap to a manageable size, I’ll shorthand a bit: Heather C is so nervous and unsure of herself even Malika thinks she’s emotional, Yigit doesn’t trust Danielle to complete simple tasks and Eric is sure that if his team goes down he’ll be the one going home.  The day after prep, Heather C is feeling a lot of mixed emotions; Morgan is sympathetic while Heather H tells her she needs to suck it up and perform for her teammates.  Now if only one of them would yell “What’s your DAMAGE, Heather?!?!”

It’s time for service, and even as the teams start ripping on each other’s showpieces I have to say that they all look pretty impressive to me.  Team Morgan gets excellent reviews until Johnny winds up with a piece of star anise in his flaming dessert.  That just sounds dirty.  Team Zac gets excellent reviews except for Heather C, who’s dessert is universally disliked.  I mean even she didn’t like it.  Team Yigit somehow didn’t realize that their dessert was supposed to be flaming and served a pre-flamed dessert.  Horrors!  However all three of their individual desserts get excellent reviews; I’m really not sure where this is one is going to land at Judge’s Table, but it’s not looking good for Heather C.

Team Morgan winds up as the winners at Judge’s table and Morgan wins the challenge.  This seems odd, as Heather H created a dessert that the judges loved as well as an excellent showpiece.  Gail sends them back to the stew room, but doesn’t tell them who to send back in for their lumps.  I thought that with Cray-cray having left, the stew room might get a break from all the drama, but as they sit down Heather H snarls “you’re WELCOME, Morgan” at her team leader, saying that she and Eric both produced two desserts to Morgan’s one.  Um, Heather H, you know I agree with you as I wrote it down two minutes ago, but this is not a good color on you.

Gail enters, wearing an odd dress that coincidentally is not the best color on her and informs the chefs that they want to speak to both remaining teams.  Team Yigit gets called in and smacked down for having a non-flaming dessert.  Team Zac gets called in and Malika asks to be eliminated.  Seriously, no wonder this show is an hour and fifteen minutes.  Every contestant is a reality show producer’s wet dream.  Malika says that she’s ready to go home and takes the fall for I suspect Heather C, who seemed headed for the second axe in a row.  This means that I am wrong as to who goes home  for the fourth time in a row.  I should go have some more ice cream to comfort myself.

And some bullet points:

- Zac having Malika press his face into a tub of graham cracker crumbs is one of the funnier images in Top Chef history.

- Re: the Bravo text poll, people really think Yigit is more stuck up than Morgan?  Those panty-dropping tears worked miracles.

- Heather H is starting to come off harsh, but I wonder if that’s just the result of a mature person being surrounded by drama queens.  If I ever picture myself in a reality show, I could definitely see myself becoming…shall we say blunt?

- First promos for Top Chef: All-Stars!! Who’s pumped?  Hootie?!  Hoo!!