Padma says that they have a surprise waiting for them in the Stew Room and she and the crew needs a chance to set up. Fabio wonders if the surprise is a dog. Yeah. It’s a dog. In actuality, they have football jerseys with their names on the back. Each of them is given the number five. Leah wonders why and is told…um…duh…season five. Jeff says he played football but was too small to be any good. Hosea suspects that they are cooking for the New York Giants. Leah doesn’t know any Giants but is hoping for Tom Brady, because he’s “hot, dude.” Leah. One word. Gisele.
Hey! A Dolphins helmet!! I’m a life-long Dolphins fan. Maybe Dan Marino will be there! Sorry. I have a problem when it comes to Dan Marino. Fabio is hoping that the challenge will be to put on the helmet and “knock somebody off.” Is it wrong that Fabio has totally grown on me? The one thing that bothered me about him early in the season – his impossible to understand confessionals – has become my favorite part of the show.
Padma announces that this will be the Top Chef Bowl and calls in the competition. In bursts the “All-Stars.” I say “all-stars” because…well…it’s not exactly Murderers Row of Top Chef stars. No Harold. No Tiffani. No Ilan. No Marcel. No Hung. No Casey. No Steph. No Richard. It’s almost like Micronesia. Or Amazing Race All-Stars –except worse.
The “all-stars” – Andrew from Season 4. Josie from Season 2. Andrea from Season 1. Spike and his hats from Season 4. Camille from Season 3. Nikki and her pasta from Season 4. And Miguel from Season 1. Jamie is a bit intimidated. I wonder if she would have peed herself if Blais was there.
Commercials – Hey, look! Quaker Oats. Who would have expected that?
The team helmets represented are the Miami Dolphins, Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, Seattle Seahawks, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers, and New Orleans Saints. The challenge is to go head to head with an “all-star.” Finn gets to pick his team and opponent as a result of his Quickfire win. He takes Dallas and Andrea. He thinks that she was knocked out early in Season 1 and can only cook vegetables. He has this challenge in his pocket.
Fabio has no idea what is going on so he just accepts the leftover team. The Packers. He is looking forward to the opportunity. Each side huddles up and selects their teams. Jeff picked Miami – as did Josie. Fabio will be battling Spike in Wisconsin cuisine. Hosea and Miguel are cooking Seattle fare. Leah and Nikki each picked New York – this challenge cried out for The Nanny. Jamie and Camille are going to the City by the Bay. Carla and her hero Andrew will be in the Big Easy. Carla thinks this is cool.
They begin their two hours to plan – and are given ingredients to use. Jamie thinks that she would catch too much sh*t back home if she didn’t pick San Fran. However, she has blanked on what to do. Carla points out the Jamie is usually poised and not so much now. “Now you know how I feel for every challenge,” says Carla. Jeff and Hosea talk about rock shrimp for a bit. Jeff knows Miami cuisine, as his sort of dirty-named restaurant is located there. Josie played women’s football for the New York Sharks. So a food/football combo is down her alley. There’s a female football league?
Miguel seems to have shopped at Leah’s School of Fish as he is having some bone issues with his cedar plank salmon. Hosea thinks that choice of fish is uninspired. He is trying to be a bit more modern. Miguel says something unintelligible. Great, another accent.
Spike thinks it is crazy being back. Hey, Spike – who’s watching the burger joint here in DC if you are in New York? Fabio is preparing his venison and thinks that a 20-minute to cook challenge is ridiculous because that is not cooking, that’s rushing. He thinks he can handle it because he could make monkey ass and fried bananas and he’d be fine. Fabio seems to like monkey ass analogies.
Carla is going with gumbo but that is hard to accomplish in such a short span of time. Andrew proves that he is still a quote machine – “If Season 5 doesn’t bring their A Game, they’re gonna get stomped and I’m peeing on their bodies.” Thanks, Andrew. Welcome back.
Leah is almost set on fire by Hosea – literally this time. She comments that New York doesn’t have specific cuisine – which is interesting, and true – and she will keep it simple. Nikki says NY is a sports town so she’ll be good at this challenge. I didn’t understand that one either.
Andrea says she is not a vegetarian and can cook other things. She and Finn have a toast with some beer and he confesses that perhaps she has found out how to cook. Oh, Finn, setting yourself up for a fall, aren’t you?
Commercials – What is this awful looking Renee Zellweger rom com? Boy, January releases are just awful.
In the extra scene, Spike has put on the Packers helmet and he and Andrew are juggling and being goofy. Spike jokes that they should not even have cast a new Top Chef after the awesome Season 4.
Back to the show, we are back at the apartment. Finn takes a smoke in the morning and Hosea stresses out over some cereal. Hmm, I wonder what company makes that cereal. Jeff is shirtless one more time for the ladies watching at home. Fabio comments that he is 30 years old and sleeping in a bunky bed. HA! Jeff quietly corrects him.
It is here that I predicted Fabio’s demise because he goes on about how he needs to win because his mama is sick. Carla sits on the sofa and zones out. Finn is amused and asks if she is meditating. She is – specifically she is getting centered and in her green outfit looks like a female Gumby. In a good way. Finn tosses around something with Hosea and says he should play football and Carla barks. She really does bark.
Padma comes out to the screaming fans at the culinary school wearing a referee shirt. Sexiest ref ever – of course, not much competition in that contest. Toby looks wildly bored. The rules – two chefs cook per round for 20 minutes, the judges’ vote will earn them a touchdown, and a group of five fan tasters’ vote will earn them a field goal. Hey is that Eugene in the crowd? Wait a minute; it’s all of the eliminated chefs except for Tank Top. Man, she really got screwed didn’t she?