Drama (and Marcel's bad rap skillz) dominate as the cheftestants have to fish for their main dish on the high seas.
Top Chef Jamie
S8 E6
Show MoreAbout Top Chef
  • TV Show

Hey, Top Chef junkies! Mallika Rao here again. You may remember me from such recaps as three weeks ago. So I turned on this episode a few minutes late and all I saw was Marcel simultaneously flapping his arms like a chicken and trying to rap. This confused me. The show was literally only moments in and already someone seemed to be breaking down. Upon rewinding, I discovered the reason, but not before encountering She Who Cannot Be Named. Actually, what the hell, you know her name. Jamie. Jamie Jamie Jamie.

Jamie, it turns out, was as shocked as all of us that Casey, not Jamie, went home. "Sucks for her," Jamie said, "I feel bad." She swiftly reconsidered: "But at the same time it's like, whatever." Whatever indeed! Casey, who looks like Tami Taylor and is coincidentally also from Texas, probably went to some sunny place where she can wear all the fuchsia lipstick she wants, and perform needle tricks on a little doll that looks like Jamie, a contestant who is, truthfully, starting to depress me. As villainous as she can seem at times, other times she's just a sad lady who loves soup.

But things were happening on screen as I thought those thoughts, brighter, more vibrant things. The explanation had surfaced for Marcel's avian impression. He was angry at Angry Dale! It seems Marcy hated Dale for winning because Dale apparently didn't plate enough dishes to please Marcy. To illustrate his discontent, Marcy yelled. It sounded like a Chet Haze cover:

"Here's the f—ing deal/I don't know how you guys do/ in your f—ing season/but I embrace the challenges/& I make food for the f—ing people."

Meanwhile, Dale was somehow no longer Angry Dale, but Enlightened Dale. He actually looked blissful. Might he also have a tiny doll? Could he have performed some sort of anger-transference voodoo on Marcy? Consider: When Dale told us, "Marcel's salty because he thinks his chicken wings should have won," he did so in a bemused Zenlike tone, like a grizzled boxer blocking punches thrown by a kid on sugar sticks. And now, Exhibit B: MC Marcy's increasingly frantic rhymes.

"You know what/that's why they call it a f—ing game/& a f—ing challenge/& if you want to cry about it/if you want to be a little f—ing bitch/then get the f— out the game."

Dale told us Marcel was lucky he (The Artist Formerly Known as Angry Dale) took anger management training. "The old me would be like, I'm going to beat your f—ing ass if you don't shut the f— up right now," said TAFKAAD, blinking wisely. Marcy, meanwhile, continued to throw inept gang signs into the air. As for Tre, who had been sitting quietly all the while like one of those fish who burrow under the sand (Carla's description, not mine), he chose to air his views to the cameras privately: "I've definitely noticed throughout the weeks that we've been here that Marcel is kind of an asshole."

NEXT: Drama on the high seasThis was only the start, guys. The Top Chef producers seem to have wanted more drama than actual cooking this week, and plenty arrived. Instead of a Quickfire, we were treated to an unnecessarily long fishing trip building up to a double elimination challenge: to catch and prepare fish for a beach party of 200 guests, all the while working in vaguely teamlike formations that seemed neither (A) necessary nor (B) existent. The only real consequence I could see of being assigned to teams was that the members shared their catch. And while this seemed at first like a boon for Team Fabio/Blais/Marcel, since Fabio's dad is on the mysterious Italian National Fishing Team, it ended up really benefiting only TAFKAAD's group. Because Dale, newly freed of his anger problems, caught a fish he said was bigger even than Marcy, though "with the same anatomy." "A really big head and then a little body. Like a little bobble head doll," TAFKAAD said, grinning. Enlightened Dale apparently gets back at people by sending cute insults indirectly their way via confessional.

I could have done without the hours at sea. Aside from the fact that Angelo is scared of indoor pools because of Jaws, and Mike makes inappropriate jokes that aren't inappropriate so much as nonsensical, I learned little. I do have a question, though: Is the correct protocol when fishing on a moving boat to prod rapidly at the water like it's late to work and you have to wake it up? Because that's what everyone was doing. The only item of real note gleaned from this time: TAFKAAD's dad was an angler, a happy one if you believe the pictures, which showed a super-smiley man with a super-smiley baby TAFKAAD. This made for a sweet moment, when Enlightened Dale said he would never forget the day he caught his Marcel-size fish, one of the best days of his life.

But we still weren't cooking yet. It was market time, and Angelo blamed the market for "dictating the dish in itself" before pretending to hit Mike in the b—s because Mike made him taste something spicy? I don't know. I just wanted them to start cooking. Antonia introduced us to the idea of Blais and Fabio as sudden BFFs. "It's like the professor and the strange Italian immigrant," she said. Someone finally started talking about food. It was Carla, the woman with the great neck. Bluefish, she told us, is a "trashy fish." They're oily, and she caught two of them. Did this mean she was about to start cooking them?

YES. The almost Top Chefs were ready to live up to their almost titles! Jamie got started, cooking, and also complaining. The sun was right on her! The cucumber was dripping on her! She used all that sugar! Wait — that last one sounded more like an observation than a complaint, but it's cool, Top Chef editors. Just string a bunch of Jamie clips together and we'll assume she's the worst in all of them. Tre broke it down: "Jamie's going to be her own demise because she's…" Here he stopped to scrunch his face up like a baby. He made a baby noise. "It's kind of like just having a little baby in the background," he said. Get it? Jamie is a baby!

Over in her corner of badassery, Carla was busy analyzing the bluefish. Here are the things she told us. Bluefish has something called a dark bloodline, which sounds EVIL, and it can be bitter and fishy-tasting (go figure). "So I want to make sure that isn't in my lettuce wrap," Carla said. This woman is good. She was thinking about food, not about Jamie or how sharks can smell a drop of blood from two miles away. You go, Carla! Remove that bloodline!

NEXT: Carla uber alles!MC Marcy relegated Fabio to the prep-work position because he is a "baby kisser." I guess this was so Fabio could present the dish to partygoers while Marcy and Blais made it perfect. This sounded like a weird plan to me even before Colicchio deemed it so, since everyone else was geniusing equally, coming up with dish ideas and preparing them more or less on their own. Then Colicchio came along and crushed it. "Why only one dish?" he asked. "Do you guys think you're at a disadvantage, because if this one dish goes down you have nothing to fall back on?" Blais called the question Colicchio's version of "loading ammunition."

The gunslinger moved on, briefly lifting TAFKAAD's spirits by congratulating his "catch of a lifetime," only to dash them by sniffing at his store-bought flour tortillas. When he wrinkled his nose at Tiffani's bluefish, she said "it's actually a really lovely fish." Unfortunately for her, we already knew the truth of THE DARK BLOODLINE.

More drama was stirred as Blais ordered his not-so-BFF Fabio around and Fabio predicted Blais would have "an heart attack," which in his accent (I think I've decided Fabio is just a fraudster from Arkansas) sounded like "a nut attack."

As the crowd piled in, we heard Padma mention throatily off screen that she'd been to this bright white beach many times before for "a bunch of parties." Of course she has. She and the rest of the judges loved the texture of Dale's fish taco, as well as the placement of the fish on top. I'm not sure where else the fish would go. Dale credited his "beach bum style." Like I'd hoped, they all fell for Carla's smoked-bluefish lettuce wrap with pumpernickel bagel. "Carla's smoking is perfect," they murmured. Tre "took a chance" sauteing his striped sea bass and landing on the right side of it. Jamie, though — well, Jamie was having problems.

"The fish is sticking to the bottom of the pan," she said. Still, she served up her bass with watermelon salad, a dish guest judge Kerry Heffernan immediately pronounced unseasoned, like "water with water." The pickled bluefish from Tiffany, Angelo, and Mike was roundly deemed "nice," a word people usually substitute in when they mean "boring," but in this case seemed to mean "nice." Antonia's spicy porgy po'boy went over well with one diner, while Team MC Marcy's lone dish — sea bass and succotash with jamon foam — had too many "competing flavors." That still sounded better than the judges' take on Tiffani's crispy-skinned bluefish, which was "crude and lacked elegance and finishing."

Later in the containment chamber, Blais pulled out a moleskin notebook with which to "overanalyze" what could have gone wrong with his team's dish. Carla, Dale, Tre, Mike, Tiffani, and Angelo got the summons. "When they call somebody first, it doesn't mean they're on the top," said newly angry MC Marcy, looking around at those left behind. Antonia, however, was not up for wishful thinking. "I think we're on the bottom," she said. "I hope I'm not."

And guess what? Antonia was right. Carla won! "Again!" she crowed. So now she's going to Italy AND Amsterdam. She did a touchdown dance and shouted news of her victory once back in the chamber. As was his way this week, MC Marcy got pissy. "Sorry if I'm not super-excited right now, because that means we're on the bottom," he said. Carla actually looked forlorn. "I should have contained my excitement," she said, to which car salesman Angelo explained that she absolutely should never do that because she's there only to win.

NEXT: Two for the roadFacing the judges' table, the losers hung their heads. "He asked me about the corn 30 times in 10 minutes," Fabio said of former BFF Blais. "Was there a trust issue there?" asked Colicchio. At this moment the music hit a sinister BOOM. I think we all know from the music that Blais has trust issues. Colicchio praised Antonia, who but for her teammates might have won a trip to Amsterdam. The porgy was Colicchio's favorite dish!

Now for the questioning of Jamie. She sliced the cucumbers and put them in the blender with cucumber water because she wanted her dish to have a "brothy" look. Was Jamie only fed in liquid form through her adolescent years? Why does she love broth so? "It sort of seemed washed-out," Gail said. "There was juiciness, but there wasn't flavor." As for Tiffani, Colicchio said the fish's bloodline "killed her."

Antonia started to cry because she didn't want to see anybody go home.

"Neither do we," Padma said like a beautiful robot. "But unfortunately two of you will be going home."

After some debate, the judges called our losing contestants back in. And guess what? Bloodline killed. Tiffani is out. And the real kicker: Jamie is too. Like a scab, or a mold problem, Jamie had to go. She'd finally made a dish she liked (so she says; we say, made a dish, period), a faux-soup brothy fish dish that the judges told her wasn't good enough. "Jamie got stuck in her head about doing this broth and it watered down the dish," Gail intoned. There is a lesson in here, kids. Let go of your inner soups. They are holding you back.

So, Top Chef fans, did the right cheftestants go home? Share your thoughts and grievances below! And be sure to check out Gail's blog over on PopWatch.

EW's TV INSIDERS PODCAST: This week, Dalton Ross, Adam Vary, and Mandi Bierly go inside the American Idol' audition room and tell you what to expect from the new judging panel. Do they actually get along? Can they survive the loss of Simon? And does Steven Tyler make one lick of sense? Plus: we break down the season premiere of The Bachelor while asking the question on everyone's mind: Who brings a manscaping kit out on a date? Or fangs, for that matter? And listen in as Ken Tucker stops by to preview midseason TV and let you know which new programs you need to be watching — and avoiding. To join in all the fun, just click on the audio player below. Of course, we're now on iTunes! So you can also subscribe for free right here and take the TV Insiders with you on the go. And to send a question to the TV Insiders or learn about upcoming editions, follow us on Twitter @TVInsiders!

Episode Recaps

Top Chef
Tom, Padma, and Gail tell the cheftestants to pack their knives and go.
  • TV Show
  • 16
stream service

Comments have been disabled on this post