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Top Chef: Just Desserts Recap-Celebritea Party


And then there were five.  Danielle immediately points out that she is the last woman standing and if this is not the kiss of death for a reality show contestant, I have no idea what is.  Yigit, meanwhile, is upset that Heather’s gone and feels that losing Dessert Wars was a huge blow to his confidence; I’d say that probably translates to a win at the end of this hour.

Quickfire!  The guest judge is “renowned cake decorator” Shinmin Li, who Zac claims breathes fire.  Excellent, the judging on this show has been a little on the nicer side…let’s see if Shinmin can make somebody cry.  Between her name and Yigit’s, my spell-check is already in hysterics.  The challenge is to create an edible bouquet, and the winner receives $5,000.  The Quickfire itself is light on drama, outside of Yigit’s spun sugar vases collapsing and putting him behind.  Shinmin quickly starts shooting the promised fire: Zac’s chocolate work is messy, Eric’s looks like a pile of icing, and Danielle didn’t finish the backs of her flowers.  A bouquet is beautiful 360 degrees!  Morgan wins the challenge for his professional presentation.

Elimination challenge!  The chefs are catering Dana Cowin’s Celebritea Party, and I’m having an extremely adverse reaction to that name.  I hate purposeful misspellings in an attempt to be cute.  It would be like writing that previous sentence “I h8 purposeful misspellings in an attempt to be qte.”  It’s beneath Gail to be associated with such idiocy.  Aaaaanyway, rant over; the chefs have to create a two tea party desserts inspired by a contemporary celebrity (not a celebritee?) duo.  Danielle will be doing Conan O’Brien and Andy Richter, which is actually quite clever and unexpected.  Zac will be doing Julie Andrews and Blake Edwards…far be it from me to ever turn my nose up at Julie Andrews, but is she really contemporary?  Morgan is doing Reggie Jackson and Kim Kardashian because he picked up an US Weekly and read a story about them, since he doesn’t know anything about celebrity (not celebritie?) couples.  Yigit is doing Madonna and Guy Ritchie, and they definitely aren’t contemporary since they’re no longer together, but hey, we’ll let that slide.  Eric is doing Oprah and Stedman, and I’m too frightened of Oprah to make a comment about that.  Kathy Griffin taught me well.

The chefs return to the kitchen and find out that all of the chocolate is gone from the Top Chef pantry.  Just as I’m sure that I’m going to get to see a gay gasp happen in real time, James Dean walks in!  Oh, wait, no that’s Johnny Iuzzini who tells them that chocolate is off the table for this challenge, because they want to test the chefs’ creativity.  In a side note, everyone who says the name of this challenge keeps accenting the final, misspelled syllable: it’s a Celebri…TEA Party, and it is chapping my ass.  Zac and Danielle are unaffected…Yigit, Eric and Morgan not so much.  I’m not sure how I feel about this twist, since I don’t see the point in not telling the chefs before they went shopping;  after all, the three who are affected aren’t going to get extra points for adaptation.  Frankly, I think it’s time for the affected chefs to adjust what couples they’re using if necessary.  Except, of course, for Morgan since now he knows exactly one celebrity (not celebriteh?) couple, and couldn’t possibly come up with another one.

It’s time for service, and Eric is up first.  He’s sweating like whore in church, both figuratively and literally as Yigit points out that it’s steaming hot in the kitchen.  Eric, as usual, gets high points for flavor and low points for presentation.  Zac is up next, and he gets excellent marks across the board; he also manages to shoehorn about 400 Sound of Music references in, and it’s making me wonder why he didn’t just make crisp apple streudel and be done with it (did anyone get that?).  Danielle gets high marks for the idea of using Conan and Andy and the variety of flavor, but low marks for everything else.  The judges remark that variety is what makes tea parties interesting, and I’m confused because I would have guessed sneaking in a boot flask and adding some alcohol to the tea would be what makes a tea party interesting.  Morgan goes next and gets middling grades for flavor and low ones for not making his desserts bite-sized.  Yigit goes last, and he’s still in a downward spiral.  Yigit’s Madonna gets low marks, but his Guy Ritchie gets somewhat better reviews.

Judge’s table!  Morgan, Zac and Danielle get called in first, and it seems fairly obvious that Zac will win given the completely middling reviews that everyone else received.  The judges go through hoops to try to make us think that they actually liked Danielle and Morgan’s entries, even though they all were completely underwhelmed when they were actually eating them.  This whole judging would have more suspense if they just called Zac in, gave him the win, and then brought the rest in for beatings and humiliation.  Unfortunately, it’s Zac and Eric in the bottom and as they are my two favorite contestants still in the competition, I’m sad.  Neither chef attempts and kind of defense, and basically admit that their entries flopped.  I’m guessing that Yigit will get by simply because he demonstrates more technique than Eric.

Ultimately, Eric takes the fall, which I’m guessing surprised no one.  I don’t even feel like I can take credit for getting one right for the second week in a row.  Eric leaves classy, reveling in the fact that people are now calling him a chef rather than a baker.  And now I realize that this result means that my entire first paragraph was completely incorrect, but I’m leaving it there anyway.  That’s how I roll.

And the icing on the cake:

– So I re-read the bios on Bravo’s website, and realized that Eric’s bakery is one neighborhood over from me in Brooklyn.  So I went.  Run, don’t walk.  Book your flight.  It was that good.

– Gail is so different from Padma.  Padma always has a sense of icy distaste with the chefs on the bottom.  Gail actually seems disappointed, like a teacher who’s favorite student bombed a test.

– Fan favorite voting is open!   Who are you voting for?  I think Erika was too under the radar of a contestant…I’m saying it goes to Zac or Abs.  I mean Yigit.