The short and sweet of this episode is that Stephanie continues to impress. The long and sour of the episode is that Dale has emerged as the #1 asshat. His not even thinly veiled jealousy of Lisa winning the elimination challenge - and a trip to Italy - led to him drinking too much, picking a fight, and ridiculously posturing while, wait for it...clutching his crotch. I honestly believe that had his booze addled brain thought of it, he'd just have whipped it out and stood there waving his bits around. At first I was almost embarrassed for him, but then not so much. Clearly he thought that he was being intimidating, which is hysterical (and more than a little sad) because Lisa could soooo take him if he decided to bring it on. Dale isn't a bad cook by any means, but he's nothing special either. He falls in the middle of the spectrum and no amount of clawing and bitching is going to lift him into the culinary stratosphere, partly because of skills and partly because of mindset. Actually, I'd say largely because of mindset. He just doesn't seem able to grasp the larger scheme of a dish, evidenced by his out of hand dismissal of Lisa's bacon and miso syrup. If there's one thing that we know in this competition it's that you have to bring something delicious and unique to the table, not deviled eggs. Lisa's insistence that the Fire Team (Stephanie, Dale, Lisa) actually push the envelope on the fire theme worked in her teams favor. Stephanie's spicy grilled shrimp drew raves from the judges as well. Dale's relish? They didn't hate it and it tied in well with the other dishes. Dude, face it, you weren't going to win a trip to Italy with relish. Had Lisa not won, Stephanie would've.
The other ugly in this episode falls to Zoi. By episode two I told Miss Kitty that Zoi was in over her head. She seemed stressed to a breaking point, and it couldn't actually have helped that her real life partner was also in the competition and doing much better. I think that Jennifer does have talent and originality, and now with her girlfriend gone maybe she can focus on seriously kicking some ass. We all know that Spike heads her shit list.
Two worst cheftestants remaining? Nikki and Spike. Ryan flew under the radar this week, as did Mark. I don't know what to make of the Kiwi. Can he step it up? Anything is possible considering how the first couple of shows Lisa played a long and played it safe and was on the chopping block more than once because of it. She's definitely stepped it up. I just haven't seen one impressive thing from Mark or Ryan, and Nikki, apart from making her own noodles early on and impressing the judges with that, she's done nothing.
Next week looks like more drama than ever!