Anyone who watched Top Chef: Just Desserts and Survivor last night found themselves knee-deep in perhaps two of the most entertaining hours of reality TV in months and months. Both shows were absolutely hilarious and amazing on Wednesday, with Just Desserts delivering perhaps the strangest mental breakdown in Bravo history. Now listen — I adored Top Chef: DC, and I felt extremely guilty about not having phtoocapped the last third of the season — but that being said, as much as I enjoyed that installment of the franchise, Just Desserts is kind of kicking its ass in the entertainment department. Why? Well, as Gail Simmons noted, this cast is just full-on kooky. And I love them. This, my friends, is what happens when you take a handful of tightly-wound women, a smattering of catty gays, one or two mentally unstable alpha males, and throw them together in a kitchen.

Last night’s episode came down to one person: Seth. The guy who seemed so intense and prickly in the first episode full on cracked in week two. His mother had apparently been suffering from various health ailments, and so in tribute to her, Seth devised a Red Hot sorbet as part of a candy-themed Quickfire. The only problem was that he ran out of time, thus preventing him from plating his sugary maternal ode. This was the most important part of his dish, and in Seth’s eyes, his icy failure became one of enormous, filial proportions. The guy full on broke down in sobs, lamenting his inability to honor Mother. That’s right: sobs.

At first it was just weird — I mean, it’s only a Quickfire. Then it became funny as all the gayz stood around with arms crossed, one eyebrow up and complained about how Seth was really “disturbing the kitchen.” And then it just became surreal as Seth crumpled on the floor as Gail and guest judge Elizabeth Faulkner stood over him awkwardly. Gail eventually meandered off to the side, clearly wishing the whole debacle would just right itself (I can’t even imagine what Padma would have done). Elizabeth, meanwhile, stepped up to give Seth a pep talk, and that’s when things went to the strangest place of all. Amidst the tears, Seth uttered the line that will make him famous and perhaps might adorn t-shirts all across the land: “The red hots are for my mommy!”

It was such a bizarre regression that my friend jash and I couldn’t help cover our faces with our hands, howl with laughter (we’re not kind people), and then rewind to watch three more times. Astounding. I know it’s cruel, but… sorry. It was funny.

And that was only the tip of the show’s iceberg of crazy.

Later, when the gang appeared before venerable Los Angeles chef Mark Peel at his bar/restaurant Tar Pit, Seth had another breakdown, but of the pissy variety. The contestants all had to select pantry items from what was behind Tar Pit’s bar, and by sheer luck, Seth was one of the last to go. He couldn’t find the essential grapefruit he was looking for (the chefs were to make cocktail-themed desserts, and Seth’s plan was a play on the Greyhound), and when his time was up, Seth lashed out at the other chefs, accusing them of being against him. This kicked off a round of hostile bickering — all in front of Mark Peel and Gail, no less.

Seth did apologize to the others later, but the damage was done. This is not a forgiving crew. This is a catty bunch, and from what we can tell, Seth has definitely made two enemies in Yigit and Heather, who essentially browbeat the guy over and over again about his behavior. From the rest of the episode on, the two made their annoyance with Seth unmistakably clear, no matter what the circumstance. I’m not sure I blamed them. Seth is a disaster, and no one knows that more than Zac, the hilarious yet vicious pastry chef with the penchant for calling men “guuurl.” The guy helped Seth out when he was “in the weeds” during the elimination challenge, and how did Seth repay him? By (allegedly) knocking half of Zac’s dessert components on the ground. Total mess.

In the end, I thought sweet but quiet Malika would be getting the axe, but it was actually den mother Tim who went home. This was too bad because Tim’s dry, sardonic wit was much loved. Granted, he mentioned that damn Plantation drink so many times I wanted to muzzle him by the end of the show, but still, he was fun, and I felt he had much potential. Oh well.

Here’s the photocap:

Gail: “I’d like you to all welcome our guest judge, Elizabeth Faulker — a former Top Chef judge, a Top Chef Master, and, of course, the most prominent lesbian to hail from Middle Earth.”


Elizabeth: “Just so you know, Frodo’s my bitch.”

Yigit: “Oh my God. How much do we hate Seth?”
“I’ll high five to that, girlfriend!”

“Hello. I’m esteemed and celebrated chef Mark Peel. Who wants to make an ass of themselves in front of me first?”
Seth: “OOOH!!! Me me me me me!!!”

“I’m doing a play on this drink I really like called ‘The Plantation.’ It has basil in it and lots of interesting flavors. Have you heard of it? Because I’ll mention it about ten more times in the next two minutes.”

“GUUUURL, if Tim mentions the Plantation one more time, she gonna get a slap in the face from me!”

“Guuurl, if Seth knocks over any more of dessert, I’m gonna have to give her a piece of my mind. She need to get out of the kitchen!”

“Hi there. I’m Gail. Is this your first time speed dating also?”

“Samwise Gamgee is a pussy. Don’t get it twisted.”

Hubert: “Well, to be fair, zee red hots were for hiz mommy.”

“I just wanted to make a dessert from this drink. It’s called a Plantation. You ever hear of it? I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet.”

“You can laugh all you want, but my mother LOVED red hots. LOVED. They were a vibrant, vital part of her life. And now she can’t eat them. And that’s a big deal. You know why? BECAUSE SHE WAS THE GODDAMN PRESIDENT OF THE WE-LOVE-RED-HOTS FAN CLUB. THAT’S WHY.”

What did you think about the show? And how do you like the series so far?

25 replies on “TOP CHEF JUST DESSERTS PHOTOCAP: The Red Hots Are For Everyone’s Mommy”

  1. I literally had to change the channel during most of the Seth segments – my body hurt from cringing so hard. He is what I imagine would happen if Dexter and Marky Mark had a lovechild and clothed him only in crazypants.

  2. Great recap (I, too, will miss Tim) but it didn’t answer the burning question: how exactly do you pronounce Yigit? I heard several slightly different takes on his name and I want answers dammit!

    Angel, you had me at Dexter.

  3. I had a hard time watching Seth last night. He took all the focus away from the show, which should’ve been grounds for immediately disqualification. I like drama as much as the next reality show-obsessed person, but his behavior was goddamn nuts.

  4. I am so Glad you recapped this! When I was watching last night all I could think of was this is a Recapper’s Dream!
    Arent you glad we didnt have to wait for the Return of Cray Cray Kelly/ RHONYC to get our “can you believe this person would go on TV?” fix. Really is there not any filtering system in place with these shows…
    Having watched Seth unfold in such a completely inappropriate way made watching Kelly kind of easy, in comparison. Dare I say, she doesnt seem near as coo coo for coco puffs as Seth. He seemed truly disturbed. Where is Sonia when you need her…..Difuse the Situation, Difuse the Situation.

    1. Yeah! I totally saw Kelly last night going on about jelly beans. Can you imagine Seth and Kelly at Sweet Factory? Yikes.

  5. I was not excited about this show but am really enjoying it and last night was hilarious! I also had to replay the red hot scene a couple of times to make sure I was hearing him correctly and then laugh my ass off once I realized I was! Love your caption of Hubert coming to his defense!

  6. Also — Elizabeth the Lesbian Hobbit is perfect! Saw her on Martha Stewart a few months ago and Martha did not seem impressed with the signature dessert from Elizabeth’s restaurant here in Chicago. Interesting chemistry….

  7. I’m beginning to like this show. Last night’s episode made me both laugh and cringe, and now I’m looking forward to what next week may bring. While I was hoping Seth would get eliminated, I’m glad he stayed because he brings drama, hilarity and annoyance – kind of like my teen daughter does.

  8. Last week on Watch What Happens Andy Cohen named this the gayest show Bravo has ever aired. That’s all I can think of when Zac says things like “Everything I do needs some deep fried and glitter” (close to that). But Seth took the crazy cake for sure- he even made a crazy cake which was blue and also somehow contained two gins and did not taste like gin. Also I don’t know anyone who drinks gin gimlets- it’s always vodka. Such a weirdo.

    These pastry chefs are high strung. Is anyone else cheering for the baker??

  9. That was actually really sad and disturbing. Seth CLEARLY has very deep issues. Unfortunately for him, his cast mates are quite the prickly bunch (not that I hold that against them). I actually hope he gets eliminated soon to just end this horror show. He seems so broken and mentally unstable. It can’t be good for him to be on this show.

    But wow, pastry chefs do seem like a different bunch than regular chefs. Even the straight guys are so prissy.

  10. Seth is super cooky! The total breakdown over the quick fire was ridiculous.

    What’s up with the band-aid on Heather’s head. Did she get bad botox and curling iron burn, what??? How many more days are we going to have to look at it?

    1. @knnmom – I’ve been wondering about that band-aid also! Her bangs are clearly being brushed in front to try to cover it, but all it makes me want to do is tell her to comb her hair out of her eyes!

      1. It reminds me of when aliens put on human skin to blend in but then they get a small tear that reveals their true lizard self.
        (note to self – too much ScFi)


  11. I like the series. I agree get too many stressed women, gays and some kooky “Psycho”esque contestants together and you got yourself a good show. The thing I like about Top Chef is it seems so professional, so I’m not sure I can stand this arguing all season, but at least it’s funny. Next episode Seth is definitely wearing a wig and his mom’s dress.

  12. The best part of Seth’s breakdown- well after he wailed the red hots were for my mommy- was the wearing of the safety glasses. He kept them on when his Quickfire dish was being tasted- I guess so that the judges wouldn’t see the tears? Prior to that he didn’t have them on.

    I know that whenever this kind of behavior is shown everyone immediately cries Autism, but I think this case that is most likely what he has. The guy cannot deal with change in anyway and he also has no idea how to connect or talk to the other contestants. He ran around shouting at people- do you need help? Do you need help. The guy has something going on.

  13. “It was such a bizarre regression that my friend jash and I couldn’t help cover our faces with our hands, howl with laughter (we’re not kind people), and then rewind to watch three more times. Astounding. I know it’s cruel, but… sorry. It was funny.”

    I had to reread that about three times. Priceless.

  14. Craziest Seth action (so many to choose from) was when they were all waiting for the judge’s decision and he asked if anyone wanted to play cards – only to be turned down – and then put a bowl or something on his head to protect his emotions from the cameras. Yigit (Yeet?) looked like he wanted to kill him.

  15. i went on a date with seth caro after the show taped. watching this made me realize i was smart not to see him again. actually, i’m brilliant.

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