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S17.E04: You're So Fresh

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Kelly Clarkson drops into the "Top Chef" kitchen for a Quickfire based on her new movie, "Trolls: World Tour," where the chefs are tasked with combining colorful ingredients from six different musical lands to make one delicious dish.

Original Air Date: April 9, 2020

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Trolls is being released on DirectTV pay-per-view channels because of the quarantine. I wonder if they are going to get together and use a coupon code to view the show in their homes. 😉 

 

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“Padma’s Angels” made me smile.  I like the little glimpses of life in the TC house they open each episode with, especially when showing the rapport among the women.

Kelly Clarkson made me laugh with how she just kept eating the first QF dish, rather than taking one taste and moving on to the next.  I would have done the same thing; Karen’s dish looked delicious.  As did Gregory’s.  Like Kelly, I’d have happily eaten everyone’s food.  But those two really looked good.

It seems like it would be hard to judge the progression in the EC when eating each course head to head rather than one team's food all the way through, but they’re obviously better at keeping track of that than I am.

In the first course, Kevin’s salad looked delicious.

Second, I wanted to reach through the screen and grab a bowl of Melissa’s soup.  No surprise that was the winning dish!

Third, Karen’s was very appealing visually; I’d have dug right into that.

Fourth, both looked great, especially Stephanie’s.

Fifth, I wasn’t terribly excited by either one just from looking at them, but the flavors of Jenn’s sounded good.

Dessert is not my course; I almost never order one (appetizer is my preferred addition to a meal) and generally enjoy one when it’s served to me, but don’t tend to get fired up about a great dessert the way I do about a great savory dish.  Nini’s would have been my pick if invited to eat just one.

Whatever suspense they tried to create at JT, Lisa seemed the clear loser to me -- not that it was an awful dish, but it had more/more substantial problems than the other two, which garnered more nitpicky criticisms.

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13 hours ago, AttackTurtle said:

Okay, I normally like Leanne, but it seemed that she threw the first stone in blaming someone else for the seasoning. Malarkey’s delivery was bad, but I don’t fault him.  

I actually said this out loud in my house to no one but myself.  Leanne absolutely asserted first that Malarkey (“someone else”) had done the finishing on her dish (which he did to be helpful BTW) so give me an f-ing break about the BUS TRACKS she said were running over her.  I hate passive-agressiveness so much.  Own it, Leanne.  I didn’t blame him a bit for standing up for himself.

Beyond glad that Lisa’s gross Brussells sprouts dish sent her packing.  That dish sounded like a fail all the way around.

Count me in for the Gregory love — he’s my favorite.

I did not like the judges setup in this setting.  Yes, they must have enjoyed watching the cooking but it allowed the chefs to hear what was being said.  I prefer more anonymity in judging.

Edited by MerBearHou · Reason: Fixing Brussells sp
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Oh, Melissa! "I'm a force to be reckoned with! I'm coming for you! Watch your back!" C'mon, that had to be a joke, right? She's too cool to indulge in three cliches in a row!

40 minutes ago, catrice2 said:

Lea Ann has too much drama.....and she always seems like she is struggling. 

Agree that Leeanne didn't have bus tracks. She doesn't seem to be able to finish a dish, that's on her. She didn't check the seasoning, that's on her. I think she's lovable, and she's certainly  a great chef, but I won't be sad when she goes. She's just not cut out for this.

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16 minutes ago, MerBearHou said:

I actually said this out loud in my house to no one but myself.  Leanne absolutely asserted first that Malarkey (someone else) had done the finishing on her dish (which he did to be helpful at her asking BTW) so give me an f-ing break about the BUS TRACKS she said were running over her.  I hate passive-agressiveness so much.  Own it, Leanne.  I didn’t blame him a bit for standing up for himself.

Yeah.  She basically made it sound like someone had taken over her dish when she needed and asked for help in order to get any seasoning on.

It was deflection of responsibility in at attempt to save her own skin so she really shouldn't be throwing stones when she's surrounded by her own glass house.

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And halleluf’in’uah Lisa Is not going to skate by to the finals on crappy, but not crappiest, dishes this year.  

No spoilers because I don't watch (and haven't read the thread) but as Tom said, there's always Last Chance Kitchen. 

Edited by Irlandesa
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4 minutes ago, Irlandesa said:

Yeah.  She basically made it sound like someone had taken over her dish when she needed and asked for help in order to get any seasoning on.

It was deflection of responsibility in at attempt to save her own skin so she really shouldn't be throwing stones when she's surrounded by her own glass house.

No spoilers because I don't watch (and haven't read the thread) but as Tom said, there's always Last Chance Kitchen. 

I haven’t watched this week’s episode, but I feel pretty confident that there is no frickin way she pulls a nearly season long comeback.

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Finally. As cliche as Malarkey’s dish was  Brussels sprouts aren’t exactly a daring choice either.

Leanne is living on borrowed time, she’s been on the bottom this entire season.

96D7DAB4-0CBA-43FB-A9A6-940BDED1D11C.jpeg

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I've always liked LeeAnne but this is two weeks in a row now where she couldn't get her food plated without assistance. That's a time management issue, not a "someone else seasoned my dish" issue. The judges saw it too, because they commented on how the whole team was working to get LeeAnne's dish out, while Melissa was doing fine all by herself. Malarkey wasn't exactly a prince about her hummus though. I did like the way Bryan V. stepped up for the group to say that they had not had enough discussion about the progression of the first two courses. The teams may not have had named captains, but Bryan's leadership came through anyway.

Jen was impressive to be able to recover from whatever happened with the stovetop. Her dish received good reviews even though it wasn't served the way she had originally envisioned it.

Melissa's certainly on a roll! Two beautiful soups in a row. As a soup lover, I wish I could have tasted both. 

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3 hours ago, MerBearHou said:

I hate passive-agressiveness so much.  Own it, Leanne.  I didn’t blame him a bit for standing up for himself.

This is why I've never cared for Leanne. I've always had a passive aggressive vibe about her and add to that with her being incompetent this season I cannot wait to see her leave.

 

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Not to be all tin-foil-hat, but I'm suspicious about the editing surrounding Lee Anne's "bus tracks" comment. For some reason, I suspect that she was reacting more to Malarkey's assertion that he made his tomato-and-burrata simpler and "cleaner" once he heard how "substantial" Lee Anne's hummus was going to be, rather than to the addition of salt and oil to her course. Though she might have been commenting on how he felt the need to emphasize how under-seasoned her main component was, that it wasn't just the lack of salt and oil that the judges were citing. To me, Brian's defense of his finishing touch on Lee Anne's dish did seem like he was making sure he dragged her under the bus with him.

To their credit, the judges were fully aware of how much attention each chef paid to his or her dish, having watched the plating of each course, and had definitely noticed that Lee Anne needed more help to get her hummus out than Melissa needed with her soup. 

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With some exceptions (I'm looking at you brussel sprouts) those plates in the vegetarian challenge were gorgeous.

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We might be seeing why LeeAnn is having difficulty so far next week.  She has seemed and looked stressed.  
 

I was originally going to say that I kind of think that LeeAnn and Malarky were there for the TH’s and their personalities more than the competition.   By choice is my bet along with a nice healthy paycheck for a certain number of shows.  I don’t know. 
 

Bryan V looked surprised at Kelly’s comment about mushy shrimp.  For not originally remembering Melissa ... I like her and I think I’m rooting for her among the women.  
 

Among all the remaining chefs the odds are that I’ll be happy with the winner.  

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Melissa is definitely the sleeper pick with Kevin/Gregory/Bryan V being the Faves to win it. So I would t mind that being the final 4, with a Eric rounding out the Top 5.

Malarkey vs Leann: there are no winners. Not them, certainly not the audience. Good lord.

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8 hours ago, hula-la said:

I can’t remember the season, but I remember when the cheftestants were tasked with making a vegetarian meal and they freaked. It was cool to see them wholeheartedly embracing this challenge. There were a lot of great sounding dishes. 

 

Season 6. The judge was Natalie Portman. I think Michael Voltaggio won with some kind of banana polenta thing or maybe it was Kevin with his smoked kale. My memory is a little fuzzy.

I'm a Bryan Voltaggio stan so I was happy to see that his dish was well received, even though his team was on the bottom. Especially since he had to completely rethink what he was going to prepare because the mushroom guy was a no show at the farmers market.  

 

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I do love Lee Anne, but I remember that time management was an issue for her at times in her season too (she and Tiffany had a big fight about whether Lee Anne could go over the time limit or not). I don't think it was a great move to talk about the seasoning done by others because judges will always say, "It's still your dish," but she didn't name Malarkey specifically. He volunteered his name and then threw in the bit about the hummus, which was totally unnecessary.

I'm pretty neutral on Malarkey overall, but he does not take setback well, and the way he kept "apologizing" in the stew room was where he really lost me in this fight.

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Lisa's dish sounded so gross. Greasy Brussels sprouts that were raw in the middle? I'm gagging just thinking about it. She seemed to genuinely think that they were rustic and be confused. Rustic does not equal disgusting. 

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49 minutes ago, bravofan27 said:

Lisa's dish sounded so gross. Greasy Brussels sprouts that were raw in the middle? I'm gagging just thinking about it. She seemed to genuinely think that they were rustic and be confused. Rustic does not equal disgusting. 

I cook Brussels Sprouts almost every week. My husband loves them. I was shocked when I saw Lisa's dish. It looked so unappetizing. I felt sorry for her. She can do better than that but not sad she is gone.

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At one point Lisa was  digging through a contained of the cooked sprouts looking for the best ones and all I could think was "ew."

For some reason, I can't remember any of the good dishes from this episode. I don't mind eating fresh or vegetarian, although I enjoy meat. I probably eat meatless 20% or more of my meals, not as a dietary decision, but because salad/pasta/hummus are all tasty. 

On the other hand, Tom's dish from WWTD looked delicious. Not to cross threads, but that man can cook.

Leeann seems to be a whiner. She can shut up. And Malarkey would do better if he just shut up more often. 

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Ding Dong the Gorgon's gone! While she was not as unappealing/whiny/nasty as in TC Chicago, the memory still lingered. And her dish looked kinda gross-it was one of those rare times where I looked at the dish and actually thought I could do it better....and in fact we do, almost every week! I get frying a few leaves for crunch, but not the whole thing.

I loved the look of almost every dish, especially Bryan V's and Nini's, and wish I could have tasted the seasoning that they brought to each dish, which is obviously what sets these chefs apart from what any of us can even dream of at home. By the way, knew that Jen was safe once they sorta dropped the story line about (apparently) Eric turning up (and not off) the heat. I would have liked to know what she was making.

Was worried about Karen once she made the phone call of doom....but good fake out.

When did Malarky turn into Spike, with the whole Eddie Haskel, "who me" routine? He has come off as really over the top  and his mannerisms all seem so forced....and he got no help from the edit. I am sure there was more than came out on the screen since I agree that Lee Anne, who was the culinary advisor on his season and likely knows him well from the west coast food scene, certainly took a shot at who ever put the final seasoning on her dish before he brought up the seasoning on her hummus TOO.

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Padma’s Angels” made me smile.  I like the little glimpses of life in the TC house they open each episode with, especially when showing the rapport among the women.

I sorta thought the same thing and then I thought..."interesting, they cut out Jen Carrol" and then about a second later I realized "where is Melissa.......where is Leanne....where is Lisa?????". It is not that the women are sticking together......it's that THESE 3 women are sticking together. No evidence of Mean Girls.....yet, but odd.

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1 hour ago, BlackberryJam said:

And Malarkey would do better if he just shut up more often. 

He is very noisy.  He is very noisy in everything I've ever seen him do.

If you are another person in this competition and can't adapt to the way he goes about things, you are not playing the competition of this thing correctly. 

Melissa is fantastic, both as a chef, and understanding that every challenge is her versus the judges. Puts her head down, executes. If she gets eliminated, she's doing everything she can to make it because of something SHE did and not because there were other people around doing other things. Love her right now.

12 hours ago, hula-la said:

IThis came across my IG feed, and just makes me happy. 

 

Aww! That makes me happy as well.  

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11 hours ago, ProudMary said:

Jen was impressive to be able to recover from whatever happened with the stovetop. Her dish received good reviews even though it wasn't served the way she had originally envisioned it.

I seem to recall she was like that in her prior season.  I think she might be overly hard on herself and/or dramatic.  I do think she'll go far.

Thank god surly, bullying Lisa is gone.  I disliked her in her season and she seemed exactly the same this time around, no matter what she claimed.

Love Gregory, aka Grown-Up Urkel.

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I’ve been a vegetarian since age eight ( over 50 years) so I am always happy to see the rare vegetarian challenge. Melissa’s soup looked great as did many of the top dishes. I cook a lot of veggie dishes but I often think TV chefs add too many ingredients which hides the flavor of the vegetables.

Malarky is just annoying but it wasn’t his responsibility to season another dish. The Brussels sprout dish looked unappetizing and raw in the middle is gross.

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The criticism Malarkey got was exactly the same as criticism that he got during his original season. The challenge was I believe a Final Four challenge. The chefs cooked for a group of hoity toity French chefs from a prestigious school or something like that. They each had to cook something with chicken, potato, and onion. Malarkey made a Chicken Pot Pie. Tom's comment was "Of all the things you could've made, you gave us chicken pot pie. It was fine, but it's chicken pot pie." Whether or not you agreed with Tom, he's still judge lo these many years later and he's not looking for a good version of a time-tested dish.

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The quick fire dishes all looked so good, but the look on Bryan's face when Kelly Clarkson said his shrimp was mooshey, was hysterical.  

 

Edited by CrazyInAlabama
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Hurray Lisa is gone!

All the colors in the Quick Fire dishes looked hideous.  Why not have them pick 3?

But I spent the whole episode saying Sailer Malarkey?  Who would do that to their child?

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25 minutes ago, meep.meep said:

But I spent the whole episode saying Sailer Malarkey?  Who would do that to their child?

Don't you hate it when you can't enjoy a show because you're fixated by someone's idiocy?

Is it my TV or did everyone have black bands at the top and bottom of the screen, making everyone short and fat (or shorter and fatter in some cases)?  Can I blame coronavirus for everything that's wrong in my life?

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Most of what I eat is vegetarian or vegan, but I have yet to come across "avocado tofu".  Anyone able to explain this, beyond pretentiousness?

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5 hours ago, AriAu said:

I sorta thought the same thing and then I thought..."interesting, they cut out Jen Carrol" and then about a second later I realized "where is Melissa.......where is Leanne....where is Lisa?????". It is not that the women are sticking together......it's that THESE 3 women are sticking together. No evidence of Mean Girls.....yet, but odd.

That was just one segment; there have been others with more of the women included.  And in one shot of everyone leaving a venue, Jenn and someone I can't remember were walking out with their arms around each others waists.

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Lee Anne is completely out of her depth. I remember really liking her on her season, being happy for her when she got the behind the scenes job at TC, but her subsequent appearances have been less than stellar. I think she's not cut out for competition. Not all chefs are good competitors.

Didn't like Malarkey before... don't like him now. Successful or not, he grates. So does Jenn. I don't know what it is about her, but I can't warm up to her. 

I'm pulling for Kevin, Gregory and Melissa. While Bryan is a great chef, he's blah and I don't feel he's "owed" a win. 

So glad Lisa is gone. She really thought she was something -- the only person on all stars to never be told to pack her knives and go? That was only by default. Her Brussels Sprouts sounded gross and I love Brussels Sprouts. Her whole defense of being rustic... like posters said above, rustic doesn't mean messy. And who would fry them? Yuck. 

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1 hour ago, Bastet said:

That was just one segment; there have been others with more of the women included.  And in one shot of everyone leaving a venue, Jenn and someone I can't remember were walking out with their arms around each others waists.

I'm pretty sure it was Leeanne.

MALARKY! Caprese salad????? When it's something you can get at the supermarket deli, it's not something to make for a Top Chef competition.

I used to hate Brussell Sprouts. Until I had them at a restaurant we used to go to way back in the pre-COVID-19 days about once a week to ten days. When we first started going there, we'd notice everybody was ordering the Brussell Sprouts appetizer. So, we ordered it. Me, a little trepidatiously. But it was really tasty! I love cabbage, and people would tell me Brussell Sprouts were like mini cabbages. Uh, no. I cannot stand the taste if they're underdone. At this restaurant, they're cooked through and very crispy around the edges in a wonderful balsamic vinegary sauce. Thank dog for take-out being an essential service. Lisa's just looked and sounded nasty.

 

Edited by carrps
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Was anyone else a little put off by Kevin and Brian V's mocking of NiNi's signature jumpsuit?  ("Hey, you want to maybe change the oil over here later?" followed by Voltaggio's signature heh-heh-heh-heh-hehhhh laugh...)  It just seemed like it set a toe over the the line between good-natured ribbing and misogyny, and felt a little icky.  I was surprised to hear that from Kevin.

And file this under "Things I Never Thought I'd Say..." but I was a little disappointed that Lisa was eliminated.  I mean, those sprouts were gross, sure, but to me she seemed MUCH improved in the attitude department, and I was finding it kind of refreshing.  Ah well, off to LCK to see what her fate is...

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Lee Anne last week in the stew room: "I really need to edit myself". This week Malarkey is like "Lee Anne is buying up the whole market." Nice job editing there. She seems to be turning into Lisa 2.0 – always on the bottom but there is that one chef that did just a wee bit worse so she skates by another week.

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58 minutes ago, Lovecat said:

Was anyone else a little put off by Kevin and Brian V's mocking of NiNi's signature jumpsuit?  ("Hey, you want to maybe change the oil over here later?" followed by Voltaggio's signature heh-heh-heh-heh-hehhhh laugh...)  It just seemed like it set a toe over the the line between good-natured ribbing and misogyny, and felt a little icky.  I was surprised to hear that from Kevin.

It was off-putting to say the least.  3 grown men making fun of, and laughing at a younger woman was not funny.  Nor was the high-fiving when Nini left the room.  Very mean boy.

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20 hours ago, catrice2 said:

Lea Ann has too much drama.....and she always seems like she is struggling.  For some reason I am really pulling for Gregory.  It is kind of sad when I watch the show and wonder how all the chefs are doing with this pandemic.   Tough to survive and it will be tough to come back.  

Yeah, I hope Gregory is going to be okay. His restaurant is in a beautiful, popular spot in Portland (rooftop of a beautiful hotel right downtown), so I hope he’s able to bounce back. His food is delicious.

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As soon as the words "brussels sprouts and apples" came out of Lisa's mouth, I thought she sealed her own fate.  Happy to see her go.  Haven't watched LCK, I'll skip it this week in hopes she loses so I don't have to watch her again. 

With her gone, there isn't anyone on my "Completely Insufferable" list remaining.  It's early and so this makes me happy for the rest of the season.

I never had brussels sprouts until I went to then-Malarkey's restaurant (Seersucker? I think?) in San Diego a few years ago.  They were actually delicious.  I'm still convinced it was a one-off thing lol

 

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6 hours ago, Bastet said:

That was just one segment; there have been others with more of the women included.  And in one shot of everyone leaving a venue, Jenn and someone I can't remember were walking out with their arms around each others waists.

I believe it was Karen.  I remember rewinding to see, and then thinking, why couldn't I tell the first time around, no matter how quick, since Karen's hair made it so obvious?

The making fun of Nini rubbed me the wrong way, too.  I'm not saying race or racial stereotypes had anything to with it, either, but in terms of optics - that made it even worse.  Not only are the loud, outwardly cockier men making fun of a younger woman more subdued in her confidence, but they're white men making fun of an Asian woman, who is, like, timid and submissive and just going to take it, right?

(I'm an Asian woman and rarely experience being treated negatively because I'm an Asian woman, but when it happens, I go internally bananas.)

I also think it's interesting the producers/editors chose to put that bit in, out of allllll the interaction at the house.  It's not like the rest of the interaction is boring as hell.  Did the editors think it was just SO funny?  Or did they see what was bothersome about it?

Leanne and all of the contestants with time management problems need to stop trying to get through each challenge with luck and a prayer (or the thought "this time will be different," without approaching it any differently).  If the time allotment is 3 hours, they shouldn't be cooking something they think will take 3 hours to cook and plate.  They should cook something that they think will take 2.5 hours to cook and plate.  Yes, it may take certain things off the table in terms of what they can do in the challenge, but it's not better to do the more time-consuming things and fail at execution.  And even if you wind up with 10 extra minutes, then double-check stuff and really get that plating to be superb, instead of plopping stuff down, having other people help you, worrying that it's terrible, and saying this isn't what you intended to produce?

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I watched this again tonight without my distracting husband. I thought Kevin's comment was good natured, but Brian's laugh was douchey. I don't know if Kevin is a douche or not, but Brian seems  either punch drunk or douche. Maybe both. Nini is clearly adorable so I think the guys are paying attention to her because she's so cute. It seems in good fun, and it seems that they like her. Or maybe I just think she's cute and like her. She seems fun to interact with.

On that note, I think that Karen, Nini and Stephanie have bonded organically. They are also the younger ladies ( remember doing the Charlie's Angel's thing with girlfriends in my late 20's) and may just get along well. Jenn Carrol and Leanne are probably a bit stuck up. Not sure about Melissa, she seems sweet, but she also doesn't really talk to anyone. Maybe she's just more introverted.

In terms of the guys, I really like Kevin, Erik, and Greg. I think they are super sweet and fun. I thought Lisa was okay and I felt bad for her since she didn't seem to have an identity-- or too many. Portuguese, Jewish, female, lesbian, and on top of that she was kind of a jerk and egotistical. it was a lot. 

 

 

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I vented my spleen on last week's art-as-cuisine theme, so I have nothing left for this week's Rainbow Troll debacle.

As far as the elimination challenge, Lisa's Brussels sprouts brought back terrifying memories of my mother's version of eat-your-vegetables-they're-good-for-you.  Poorly cooked and visually off-putting.  Yuck.

None of the dishes in this ep would compel me to leave the house and drop cash in a restaurant.  (If we ever have actual restaurants again.)

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34 minutes ago, bravofan27 said:

. I thought Kevin's comment was good natured, but Brian's laugh was douchey. I don't know if Kevin is a douche or not, but Brian seems  either punch drunk or douche. Maybe both.

Brian may be a great chef, but I don't think he's overly gifted in the social skills department. 

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