*Zzzzzz* Oh sorry about that. Last night's Top Chef sorta knocked me out there. Did you guys watch it? What did you think? Although Ted Allen was finally there, and the guest judge - Alfred Portale - had the potential to make it all work, I have to admit, I was utterly bored. Even the challenge - update old school American classics - seemed recycled. I know I'm being a bit hypocritical, first I complain that it's too dramatic and not focused on the food, and now I'm complaining that there's not enough drama. Can't I have my cake and eat it too? Or should that be, have my conch and eat it too? If you're still curious to see what happened, and there is actually one small off-air controversy,

The show begins with Padma unveiling a large tank full of shellfish. Each contestant then steps up to the tank and fills the net as full as they can. They each can only take what they get in one scoop. Hung is up first and immediately begins fishing around for the best bits. His fellow cheftestants seem a bit upset by this and Sara N. even declares, "Jesus Hung, save some for the rest of us."

Once he's done with his haul - he actually drops one and disrespectfully says he doesn't need it - the rest of the folks get theirs. Tre ends up getting a small amount, while others get things they've never worked with. In the end the bottom 3 quickfire dishes are Micah's (girl really needed some help getting the conch out of its shell), Camille's (who?) and Tre's (looks like my current fave is really slipping). The top 3 are: Howie (who's back from the chopping block), CJ (who's dish actually looked unappetizing to me) and Brian (who works with seafood on a regular basis). The overall winner is Brian who receives immunity from the elimination.

After the quickfire, the chefs now select "traditional family favorites" to update. Only there's one small catch, instead of just updating them, they have to update them into modern low cholesterol meals. Hung, who the editors have started to make out as the "bad guy" declares to the camera, "All those dishes look disgusting to me." Unfortunately for him, since he got to choose shellfish first, he had to choose his traditional dish last (fried chicken). Once dishes are selected they have $75 to shop, 30 minutes to prep and two hours to cook on location at the Miami Elk's Club Lodge.

We keep getting info about Dale's pre-cooked chicken and instant mashed potatoes, making us believe he's going to be ousted, but woah ho! That's just fancy editing! Dale actually ended up in the top 2 - that's right they only chose 2 top dishes - along with Howie. In the end Howie wins with his Fennel Crusted Pork Chops. However I think it was only because Dale's chicken & dumplings were partially store bought.

So now that you know the winners, how about the losers? Oh my there were actually quite a few disasters. In fact 5 people are called into judge's panel: Micah, CJ, Lia, Sara and Brian. Since Brian has immunity they can't kick him off, however they bring him in to yell at him for serving a high-cholesterol lobster and for playing it safe with seafood.

Once Brian leaves, the judges then start ripping into the other dishes. Sara M.'s chicken a la king was more like (as Tom said) "chicken don king" as it bore absolutely no resemblance to its dish. Lia didn't do enough cooking on her franks & beans - to which she retorted, "I guess I really didn't understand how complex franks & beans are." CJ's tuna casserole was too green, too muddy and too frightening - although they did give him props for cholesterol-reducing flax seed chips and the fact that he took a risk. However it is Micah, with a terrible meatloaf - Alfred said it was, "Bad. Really Bad." - who is asked to leave.

Now's when I'd like to mention something about Micah. When she served her dish, she made a mention of how "Us Americans" eat it with ketchup. I thought it was condescending, as did the judges. She also makes several references to her not knowing anything about American food - she did this last week too. Now, I'm not one to judge, if she says she's from South Africa, then she's from South Africa. However, there's been a few things uncovered to suggest that she's not really from South Africa after all. Either way, she sounded happy to get off of the show before things turn ugly.

Whether or not it gets uglier, I just hope it gets more interesting. Now back to that nap...

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