A lot of times, I think what makes this show for me is the guest judges. Someone like Anthony Bourdain (yeah, I know, I really need to stop mentioning him) or Alfred Portale really brings the show to another level. But then sometimes you get these sort of random people, like last week's "mixologist" and this week's Maria Frumkin. I know she must be an excellent chef and obviously they wanted someone who knew Latin food to judge Latin food but I found her to be not so interesting.
The Quickfire was a bit odd this week because they had 90 minutes for it, which is the same amount of time they got for the Elimination challenge. I mean, I can understand why, because pie crust generally points to baking, which needs time. But some of the chefs decided that all this extra time meant that they should make 2 or 3 or even 4 dishes. Very very strange. I have to say that everyone's dishes looked pretty good. Although I have to say, I like making my own pie crust!
The Elimination was definitely tricky. This challenge reminded me of the one from last season where they had to do Vietnamese and Korean food. Doing a specific cuisine can be rough if you don't have the knowledge and experience and that's really where Lia fell down, which is a shame because she was really starting to show her talent last week. With Lia's elimination I have to wonder whether Top Chef will ever have a female winner. There are only a few women left in the competition: Sara M., Sara N., and Casey, and based on their past performance I really doubt any of them are going to make it to the finale unless they really step up their game.
I'm actually really pleasantly surprised and happy to see Howie win his second elimination challenge. He really had a rough start to the competition and he definitely could have been gone weeks ago but it's nice to see that he's really rose to the challenge. Also funny is seeing how buddy-buddy he is with Joey now. It's not often that conflict leads to actual friendship on a reality show like this. Glad to see both of them doing well in fact.
And then there's Hung, the biggest egomaniac this show has ever seen. The other cheftestants seem to be doing a good job at steering clear of him though (literally in this episode as he goes waving knives around the kitchen) so maybe he'll take the hint that his attitude is getting him nowhere.