I love Top Chef: All Stars, but I’m not happy with the direction it’s headed in. With just three finalists left, the show is thisclose to crowning a winner amongst losers, and I’m not sure I can deal with the stress anymore. The latest episode saw the final trio cook “last suppers” for three culinary giants: Iron Chef Morimoto, Michelle Bernstein, and Wolfgang Puck. No easy feat.What made this elimination challenge even harder was that each of these award-winning chefs basically wanted a meal stemming from their childhood. That meant our finalists had to fill the shoes of their mothers, which was not such a simple task, especially for Antonia who wound up cooking for Morimoto. He requested a simple bento box, but it’s never as easy it as it sounds. Simplicity means little room for error, and it when it comes to tapping into Morimoto’s fondest childhood meal, that would seem to attract a whole lotta error.

The whole reason Antonia got stuck with Morimoto is another issue. It all stemmed from the tricky Quick Fire, which had the cheftestants choosing past challenges for their opponents. Richard had the enviable task of sabotaging Mike with a super difficult Quick Fire, but he choked and gave him the one-pot challenge. Not the worst setback in the world. Compared to Richard having to work with hot dogs and Antonia with nothing but canned foods, one pot was like a breeze. No wonder that Mike won the challenge, thus adding his third or fourth consecutive victory since entering the finals round.

I really hate Mike in so many ways, but whereas normally I fault him for loafing, cheating, or piggybacking his way into the winner circle, I have to admit that the guy did seem to have put some time and energy into plotting out his success throughout the finals. I can’t fault him for that. I can, however, fault him for being an asshole at every turn. I just want to smack that grinning rictus off his face.

Well, since Mike won the Quick Fire, he got to choose which chef to cook for in the Elimination Challenge, and no surprise — he picked the perceived easiest choice: Michelle Bernstein. Richard wound up with Puck, and as mentioned prior, Antonia with Morimoto. Mike’s whole rationale was that he wanted to knock Antonia out of the competition because he felt Richard was the greater competition and wanted to beat him in the finals round. Tom, however, busted him by saying that if Mike truly wanted to win against the best, why didn’t he pick Morimoto? Bullshit = exposed.

Anyway, while Richard and Antonia were stuck cooking food way out of their comfort zone (Austrian and Japanese, respectively), Mike was busy with the insurmountable challenge of… fried chicken and biscuits? Rolling my eyes.

The good news was that Mike’s winning streak came to a happy end when Richard wowed everyone with his goulash and apfelstrudel. It looked like it would be curtains for Antonia, who seemed to have missed the mark with her bento box. Luckily, there was one final twist, which was teased out endlessly over one of those annoying 40 second segments in between commercials. Note to Bravo: I HATE THOSE. PLEASE STOP.

Anyway, Mike and Antonia learned they had one last shot at redemption. They had forty-five minutes to serve up a bite to save themselves. My heart was pounding. Please let this be Antonia’s moment. Let’s destroy Mike once and for all.

In the end, the bites were both well-received. Three people liked Mike’s; three liked Antonia’s. It was up to Wolfgang to break the tie. Ultimately he chose… Mike. THAT MOTHER-EFFIN SPAGO ASSHOLE. (deep breaths) Okay, sorry Wolfgang. You’re not an asshole. Mike is the asshole. And I hated that he managed to eek his way into the final round. Our dear Antonia was sent home in tears (even Padma had to cover her face), and now we’re left in a battle between good and evil. I’m really scared at the prospects. Mike has momentum and confidence. Richard has… facial hair.

This does not look good.

Wolfgang Puck: “This Padma is so hot my right breast began to lactate.”

Padma: “Chefs, for this final Quick Fire, you must cook a meal with Carla shouting ‘HOOTIE HOO’ in your ear the entire time.”

Wolfgang: “Theees smells rancid.”
Padma: “Don’t worry, we can just give it to my dear friend Gail Simmons. She’d eat a five-month old corn chowder if you put it in front of her, bless her heart.”

Padma: “Richard, why don’t you tell us what you made?”
“Okay, first off, it SUCKS.”


Michelle: “I love a REALLY big cock.”
“Uh, I thought we’re discussing last meals.”
“Yeah, we are.”

“Richard, do you find me attractive?”

“Tonight I made a play on goulash with an herbed spaetzle and apfelstrudel. But don’t bother tasting it because IT’S THE WORST THING I’VE EVER MADE.”

“Good evening. I took the easy route; so don’t get excited.”

Antonia: “And the letter reads… ‘I want seconds. Love, Gail.'”

Antonia: “Bye Mikey. May you continue to fail upwards.”

What did you think about the episode? Will Richard choke again? How upset will you be if Mike wins the whole thing?

18 replies on “TOP CHEF PHOTOCAP: A Bite To The Finish”

  1. Mike is the WORST!!!! UGH!!!! Such an upsetting episode…….
    LOL @ the hootie-hoo quickfire challenge!

  2. I actually cried with Antonia when she was eliminated. Ah, well…

    If Mike wins, I am going to be very, ridiculously upset. I don’t know why, but I am totally invested emotionally in Richard winning the competition.

    Can’t wait to hear who wins next week!!

    Love the photocaps!

  3. Team Richard all the way! I’ll be so happy if he gets his redemption.

    I’m surprised he didn’t win the hot dog challenge, since he’s opening up a hot dog restaurant soon in Atlanta. You’d think he’d have that one down cold.

    There’s no way that cheater Mikey takes this one. No effing way.

  4. I woke up this morning sad, and then I realized that ANTONIA was gone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    very sad freaking MIKE!!! Yeah why not take Morimotot?? …. sometimes this show is so painful

  5. The vast majority of Top Chef winners have been pompous douchebags and it would not surprise me if this year they crown another one.

    Mike – you don’t have to lie. You are already slime and no one believes your bullshit so just say “Yea – I lied, I cheated and I shanked my cousin to win this mofo. JERSEY BITCHES.!”


    1. UGH!!!!

      I think Mike’s going to win! And we’re all going to have to see pout y face Richard cry! Grrr….

  6. This is by far the best TC recap of the season! It’s hilarious!

    I, too, will be devastated if Mike wins. He seemed to just “get by” during the season, and now in the finals, he has completely turned it around. I was so sick of seeing him win, and I’m just so glad that Richard beat him in last night’s competition! I hope that gives Richard the confidence he needs going into the final challenge. I think I will cry if he doesn’t win the whole thing, I’m very invested in his success!!

    Thanks for the funny recaps, I can’t wait to read Survivor’s!! Haha!!

  7. For some cruel and inexplicable reason my dvr did not record TC for me. I turned to your recap first because I often share your reactions to events and situations (except for the all Gail Simmons jabs – leave the poor girl alone!) and I am distressed that Antonia was sent home over Mike Hasabelly. (Yes, I realize that is a Gail Simmons -esque jab but the sneaky, passive-agressive cheat deserves it) I don’t care how well he cooked, he is just plain undeserving to be in the finals.

    Just my two cents.

  8. Ugh, indeed!! Cannot stand Mike and will be very upset if he wins. Padma should wear that yellow dress everyday for the rest of her life — she looks amazing!

  9. UGH!!!!

    as promised I wouldn’t watch the show after Carla got sent home, and I’ve had to only read recaps to find out that Mike and Richard are the final 2

    First off, Richard annoys me, He is a smug, meanspirited chef with a ridiculous hairstyle. BUT he does have talent. Even if I dislike them, he’s just as good as people like Jen, Carla, Angelo, etc. HE deserved to be in the finals by this point

    But Mike….. what a friggen joke. Sexist, homophobic, untalented, pompous, gross, and weak. And he had the nerve to say carla and antonia played it safe through the competition when he was the one always in the middle while the two ladies were consistantly on top most of the season. What a jerkoff. He’ll probably win because big bald daddy tom thinks that having the “underdog” win will make for a good season ending. Ugh, I’m done with the show either way unless they

    scrap tom
    scrap gail
    not have to scrape the bottom of the barrel and give us chefs like Jamie or Mike
    quit with the ridiculous over the top survival style challenges, they don’t test a true top chef
    give them equipment that doesn’t break down all the time or burst into flames (seriously can’t they give them the tools to work their lovely chef magic?)

  10. When Padma and Tom tweeted pictures from the reunion show a couple of weeks ago, Mike was sitting in front row, center. Not a good sign.

  11. Much as I loath to even consider it, Mike will probably win this whole thing. It’s a real shame the really good chefs (the two Dales, Jen and Casey) were eliminated early on.
    Carla and Antonia were the only other remaining contestants I would have rooted for, but both were also eliminated. I guess I will vote to have Kalinda win the whole thingl and I don’t even know if she can cook.

  12. We can all agree that Mike winning is a total nightmare in itself. What makes it worse is the possibility of Richard having a 5-alarm meltdown if he loses a second time. Seriously, I think he would starting pulling out clumps full of hair at the judge’s table if he loses to Mikey.

    1. Thank you for letting me see that Mike’s possible win has a silver lining. An image of Blais on the ground in a fetal position whimpering “NO NO NO NO” would be awesome.


  13. I can’t stand Richard. How many times in a half hour did he mention that he “choked?” Seriously, it was 4 years ago, get over it.

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