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Emmys 2017
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Top Chef season finale recap: And Then There Were Three

In part one of the New Orleans finale, Emeril Lagasse helps decide which of the remaining Creole-cooking contestants belong in the final three. Plus, one eliminated chef makes a surprise return.

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Hosea Top Chef

Top Chef

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Gail Simmons
Reality TV

”One is going to be hard. Two Europeans in the finale? That would be impossible. I think they did this for you.” So were Fabio’s parting words to Hosea after our poor, charming Italian chef that was knocked out of the competition in last night’s Top Chef for making a not-so-successful Creole dish in New Orleans. Yes, it looks as though Team Euro has officially been reduced one-half — and the significantly less entertaining half at that — but Stefan should really be thanking his stellar track record for his place in the final three. Because last night, we finally saw that cockiness that Hosea has been trying to convince us of all season. Not only did Stephen haphazardly prepare his dishes, but also essentially shrugged his shoulders in front of the panel when confronted about his own flawed menu. He got a pass for the time being, but methinks that was only to create a little competitive drama for the finale.

So to start off, let’s welcome back our four finalists! There’s Hosea, boasting that he’s been studying up on Creole food! There’s Stefan, who’s inexplicably decided to go for the thug-cap look! There’s Carla, doing a jaunty little jig in the airport! And there’s Fabio, who apparently decided to watch the previous four seasons ofTop Chef, where he learned you had to have a faux-hawk to make it on Bravo!

But since we’re on the topic of reunions, let’s talk about this week’s quickfire. To our cheftestants’ utter confusion, Padma and guest judge Emeril Lagasse told the chefs that they would not be cooking in the quickfire, but three previously ousted contestants — Jamie, Leah and Dr. Jeff — would be. Hosea, for one, was nervous about the challenge, since it meant the return of his former paramour, Leah, prompting him to be all like, ”Aaawwkkward.” Now, I’m not sure why Hosea would find this particular reunion all that awkward — the two chefs did perform side-by-side in the kitchen following their couch tryst — unless he thought it was some sort of ”recreatio n of favorite- Top Chef -sex-scenes-on-this-picnic-table” quickfire challenge. Nope, Hosea, it was far from that. Padma told the chefs that the three eliminated contestants would be fighting for a chance to cook in the finals. But the winner of the quickfire would have to win the elimination challenge in order to advance to next week.

So let’s get cooking. The secret ingredient for last night’s Top Chef: Gross-Out Quickfire Extravaganzawas crawfish, which were not only alive, but spent most of the quickfire crawling aimlessly around the table, probably trying to find a way to get into Dr. Jeff’s pants, because, c’mon, who doesn’t want to? With Emeril the Don watching from above, the two girls turned out their best dishes: Jamie cooked a corn cake with greens, and Leah prepared, as she said, ”like, crawfish soup?” Ultimately, Emeril was as impressed with Dr. Jeff’s crawfish and grits as I was with the TV personality’s ability to not say ”Bam!” once throughout this entire episode. So Emeril opted to hand Dr. Jeff the win for a dish that I’m sure tasted delicious, but really looked like a giant pile of dog vomit. I was, however, happy to see Dr. Jeff’s return, because this final four was severely lacking without the presence of season five’s pretty doorknob.

NEXT: The Creole test