When we last saw our cheftestants, five had won the Quickfire Challenge, namely, Sam, Cliff, Ilan, Frankie the Bull and Josette Eber. The five losers were in state of shock, Miss Elia Aboumrad foremost among them. Chef Colicchio liked her beef hash and her fruit salad, and yet she had ended up with the losers. She was especially puzzled and incensed because she tasted the dish by winner Cliff, and, as she says, “I speet out Cleef’s food.” Miss XaXa emits a low, throaty growl and says, “If it was Cliff, I wouldn’t…”
“Miss XaXa!” we protest, interrupting her. Clearly, the measuring cup got the better of us when we made the evening’s first round of sidecars.
The Elimination Challenge is to create a cutting-edge Thanksgiving dinner, which, as Carlos tells us, is both “oxymoronic” and “diametrically opposed.” Miss XaXa breathlessly whispers, “Can’t you just see him in wire-rimmed glasses and a thick, uh, volume?” We take Miss XaXa’s sidecar away and down it ourselves.
The losers will cook Thanksgiving dinner for Padma, Tom, and Gail, and guest judge Anthony Bourdain, and for the five winners. The idea behind this was clearly to amp up the Lord of the Flies atmosphere, and it worked splendidly. Trying to come up with a game plan for dinner in a cheftestant tribal council was as successful as those meetings in Lord of the Flies. Spice Rack revealed herself once again as a sort of Napoleonic terrier (we giggled during the Quickfire Challenge as the diminutive would-be dictator battled her lack of height and the gravitational pull of her breasts as she leapt up to reach cans of food in classic terrier fashion). She hijacked the meeting like Fidelia Castrata until Carlos defied her, grabbed a pepper mill and said, “I make a rule that nobody talks unless they have the pepper mill.”
“You know why they refer to the pepper mill as a Rubirosa, don’t you?” asks Miss XaXa. We blush and feign ignorance.
Carlos’ Rules of Order were damned. We thought of one of our guilty pleasures, cheerleader magnum opus Bring It On, where Kirsten Dunst says, “It’s not a democracy, it’s a cheerocracy.” Curse of the spirit stick and all, that’s how the situation played out. Generalissima Spice Rack shot down all the good ideas by arch-nemesis Marcel and everyone else. In the end, Beer Bong was assigned appetizers, Carlos a salad, Elia a soup, Marcel the turkey, and Spice Rack herself would do the dessert.
Elia tells us how deemoralized and deemoteevated she ees. She slinks away, sighing bitterly and dramatically about how instead of soup she would simply serve the judges “a shot of veenegar.” This concerns her pal Marcel, who warns her against “kamikaze action,” and confesses his fear that she will do something “suicidal.” Miss XaXa’s Carlos tells us his game plan for staying in the competition: “Middle, safe, is fine with me.” Oh dear. There’s that Bravo Foreshadowing™ again.
Elia goes shopping for plates and sauceboats, and gets to perform a few Hamlet-like soliloquies, with “To be or not to be” transformed into, “Ees there any point for mee too cook?” The others have gone shopping at the supermarket, and we get to see Beer Bong ask a question we thought would never come out of his mouth: “Do you have any fresh honeycomb?”
Carlos can’t find the queso fresco or the chipotle, and calls Elia. We wince a little, for, much as we love him, it’s clear that he is the one Cuban out of a hundred who doesn’t speak Spanish. Elia adorably refers to him as, “Carlitos,” and Miss XaXa sighs, then mutters something about “cutting that bitch.”
Meanwhile, the five winners are given the afternoon off, but before they can play, they have to go to the food bank and deliver the leftover cans of food from the Quickfire Challenge. Josette Eber goes for more sympathy by telling us about how she and her mother were homeless, and how important food banks were to them during that time.
All well and good and noble, but completely spoiled as a greasy-haired and self-satisfied Sam hands a turkey to a food bank worker, who obediently thanks him, and says how welcome the turkeys are, since they’re getting ready for the season. Now, the episode was filmed in June, so the notion of stockpiling turkeys for Thanksgiving is just ludicrous. Bravo made the poor man playact in order to get turkeys and canned food. Tsk tsk. As if that weren’t enough, we are subject to Frankie the Bull oozing smarminess about “giving back” to homeless people. We took a swig of eau de vie to get rid of the taste of oily smarm.