tc_crewAs we saw in last week’s episode of Top Chef Las Vegas, the stakes and drama are getting higher and it’s getting harder to predict who will be going home next (with the majority of the weak links now gone). We’ve seen some of the heavy-hitters, like Ceveech (Jen), slipping up and some of the underdogs, like Robin, excel. I’m just excited that we’re finally getting to the meat of this competition, after cutting away the fat like Phranc (Preeti), Mary Kay Letourneau (Eve), and cleaner of Picasso’s paintbrushes, Ash.

Tonight’s episode looks entertaining because the cheftestants are getting all kinds of curve balls thrown at them. Their Quickfire Challenge is to cook a TV dinner (complete with plastic tray) inspired by a classic television show, i.e.: M*A*S*H, Gilligan’s Island, etc.

After viewing the preview video below, it looks as if some of the chefs are out of their element, like Eli who claims to have never eaten a TV dinner. And why would he when he lives at home with his mother who probably waits on him hand and foot? Our one-time favorite, whom some of us had in their top three, Ceveech, looks like she’s drowning in self-doubt again this week as well. Will this affect her power ranking or even her spot in the finale? (I know I’m changing my bet on the finale trifecta.)
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Wow. I have to say this has been the first episode of Top Chef Las Vegas where I was actually on the edge of my seat and cared about who won or lost. It also showed us that maybe nice guys do finish last.

For the Quickfire, we saw the cheftestants divided into two teams of four and they had to compete in a blindfolded and gagged (no talking) relay race to complete a dish. Though the blue team, lead by Ceveech (Jen), didn’t really work cohesively for their dish they seemed to pull it off and take the win. I’m sure this added fuel to Angry Bro’s (Mike V.) fire to kick their asses in the Restaurant Wars Elimination Challenge.

tc_blindfoldsAt the beginning of the Restaurant Wars challenge, I really believe it was up in the air as to who would take the win. Though by service time, we had a much better idea of who would be on the chopping block. The red team, though led by a cruel tyrant, Mike V., bickering like school children, took their heated passion and directed it into their food – coming out on top and taking the win. Success stemmed from the leaders this episode and Ceveech’s stressing out (again) really took a toll on her team. Everyone on the blue team were just too nice and agreeable, leaving no one really in charge and a line of dishes that were ill-prepared.

In the end, Whatsherface (Laurine) was spared another grueling week on the show – as the majority of Top Chef fans probably wanted and/or predicted at the beginning of the episode. And then there were seven.

I hope that the action and excitement carries over into next week because this season has been blander than Jersey Mike’s dish that he served to Padma last night. Next week we get to see the cheftestants’ “oh shit” faces when they receive their orders from Natalie Portman – Super Vegan Challenge! What will Redbeard cook – tofu bacon?

Podcast highlights: We rag on the show’s fashion foibles, comparing the V. Brothers to characters in a Jane Austen novel, the Top Chef Las Vegas drinking game, and Jeff gives us more intriguing information as to the possible winner (no spoilers, though).

Hear the hilarious podcast after the jump:
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This week, we’re back in the Champagne Room (aka: the podcast bunker) to rag on episode 6 of the new season on Top Chef.

I have to admit that the “Angels and Devils” theme for the Quickfire Challenge was a bit cheesy (and so were some of the dishes, and I’m not talking dairy here). The cheftestants had to create a duo dish using one main component two ways. Some of the chefs were a bit peeved at Robin’s win with her apple salad and apple crisp. Was Eli right to mock her for playing the cancer story card? No. But I do have to say that Penn and Teller were awesome. Anyway, we welcomed back the lovely Michelle Bernstein from Miami (a past judge on Top Chef) as guest judge this week.

eli_robinFor their Elimination Challenge, the chefs had to deconstruct a classic dish but keep the same flavors of the original dish. The judges table was very- how shall I put this – bitchy this week. The claws were out with Padma and Michelle and it was no-holds-barred with the critiques to the chefs on the bottom of the barrel this week. It was also great to see Michelle put Toby Young in his place concerning the pronunciation of “paella” (and the city of “Barthelona”).

We also got to see Ben Folds (Ashley) on top again this week (surprisingly), as well as Redbeard (Kevin) and Angry Brother (Mike V.). From all of the flack and hate comments we received over last week’s post/episode, I won’t reveal the winner or loser. (But, seriously, why listen if you haven’t seen the episode yet?)

Highlights: Eli hates on Robin for pulling the ‘cancer card’, Ron “The Chowder King”‘s not-s0-deconstructed paella, how to pronounce “paella”, Jeff’s new bell, Katie’s thing for married chefs, and our response about the spoilers from last week’s episode.

Hear the hilarious podcast after the jump:
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This week, we’re back in the Champagne Room (aka: the podcast bunker) to rag on episode 5 of the new season on Top Chef.

I have to say that I really enjoyed the theme of this episode, cowboy/ranch-themed cookery, and that the Quickfire and Elimination Challenges went along with the main theme. I do wish, though, that the viewers would’ve chosen rattlesnake as the Quickfire ingredient over cactus. Rattlesnake “ceveech” anyone? It was also nice to see “What’s-her-face” (Laurine) pull out from the middle and get recognized for her food. Is she the next Carla? I don’t think so, but we have yet to see.

For the Elimination Challenge, I thought it was great/hilarious to see that the chefs had to not only cook outdoors on a camp site, but sleep there as well. We really got to separate the chefs from the line cooks when we saw who utilized their makeshift kitchen properly and who didn’t get that raw fish and 150-degree weather don’t mix. And Ron “The Chowder King” will now be referred to as “The Voodoo King” after voodoo ritual he performed on his tent.

mattinHighlights from our Podcast: Angry Brother’s incessant cockiness and whining, Ben Folds (Ashley), really needs a shower, Padma’s “cowgirl chic”, Frenchy (Mattin) makes the judges sick (literally), and Chef Tim Love’s p-p-p-poker face.

Check out season 4’s Richard Blais’ post on his thoughts about last week’s episode and on the Wonder Brothers, Bryan (“Hot Brother”) and Michael (“Angry Brother”) Voltaggio.

(Editors Note: There is a spoiler concerning the gender of the winner of this season of Top Chef in this episode of our podcast. It may or may not be correct, but don’t listen if you don’t want to hear our speculation.)

Hear the hilarious podcast after the jump:
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