So, as Tyra says on America's Next Top Model, Top Chefs, here are your individual evaluations:
Hung: At the beginning of the season I thought you were going to be the obnoxious, annoying one that everyone hates but somewhere along the way you became really funny instead and I'm now kind of a fan. That Smurf village Quickfire plate was hilarious and your little confessional comments totally crack me up. While your dishes for the yacht party this week were not in the least bit creative at least you know what tastes good and looks pretty (unlike some other people). You've been a bit in the background these past couple of weeks though, I think you need to do something really impressive, and soon.
Brian: I didn't like how the judges blasted you a lack of leadership. I really appreciated your comment about how you were leading a team of chefs, not line cooks. This wasn't just a challenge for you, everyone is still in the competition and I think that it was a good decision to let each chef kind of control his or her own destiny. And I thought you were great at helping everyone with their budgets and keeping motivation up in the kitchen. That said though...you haven't really been cooking much lately man. There was the raw bar in the roach coach episode, you were front of the house during Restaurant Wars, and this week you made some raw fish...again. Kudos for winning the Quickfire (especially with Spam, which I really don't think is so bad) but we're going to need to see a lot more of where that came from!
Dale: I'm still a big fan of yours, even though I feel like I haven't seen anything that hot from you lately either. Thank goodness you had a dish during round 2 of Restaurant Wars, because two weeks with no cooking on a show called Top Chef just can't be good (see: Brian). I really liked the idea for your hors d'oeuvre but unfortunately without the goat cheese it fell flat. I think you're a really thoughtful, interesting chef, but your dishes need to always be well executed.
Sara: A few weeks ago I felt like you were just coasting, but I'm glad to see that you've started to get some more recognition. I thought it was funny that you decided to do a bread pudding when that was one of Tre's downfalls last week, but evidently you did a much better job.
Casey: First of all, what is up with the disparity in prizes from week to week? A Macbook Pro is an AWESOME prize, as was the trip to Italy, but other weeks have had books or bottles of wine or nothing at all. I would totally be bitter if I won on a week with a crappy or nonexistent prize. That said, a very good week for Casey. You've been coasting a bit too, but I always find your flavor combinations interesting and hopefully you'll continue to do well. We don't want this to be all boys' club.
CJ: I still can't believe how TALL you are. I know, I know, I should get over it. But seeing you bump your head on the ceiling in the yacht kitchen was pretty funny. I can't remember what you made this week...oh yeah, a seafood sausage. Why are there so many seafood sausage/patty things this season? Anyway, CJ, despite your height, you're becoming a little forgettable...
Howie: You know, that you're gone, there's really no villain left. Everyone else is pretty likeable and drama-free, which is so the opposite of last season. While I'm glad there's no stupid drama to focus on that takes time away from the challenges and food, I wonder if it'll be a bit dry. Anyway, Howie, your number's kind of been up since the very first episode. Once again, you failed to present a dish, this time in the Quickfire, which maybe shows that you'd rather not put out a dish than put out a bad one, which is a good thing, but also maybe shows that you're just not that quick thinking on your feet. And both of your Elimination items were pretty unappealing looking. You were definitely the worst this week, but at least you won a few challenges before you had to go.
And for good measure:
The Judges: I'm getting a little annoyed at them, Tom and Padma in general. I really hate how they made every mistake that the chefs make sound like the worst possible thing they could have done when we know that had they not made that mistake, the judges would be harping on something else. Maybe the food really hasn't been that good lately, but I wish they'd be more positive. This week we didn't have either Gail or Ted and I have to say that they were sorely missed. They bring a more sunny disposition to the panel that I think is really needed to balance Tom and Padma's disapproving tones. Next week Anthony Bourdain is back though, and well, I don't have to say any more about that. (LOVE HIM!)
The Challenges: I really wish they would get these annoying restrictive challenges out of the way earlier in the season. I want to see what these chefs can do with ingredients that they'd be using normally in a restaurant, not on a tiny budget that seems to have stifled creativity. There are 6 chefs left, let's really see what they can do.