Top Chef Cuts Down to the Final 4!

Last night's Top Chef brought a new level of intensity to the competition as the chefs were all dying to not make it this far, then not make the final four.

Bad news, kids, when there's five of you, someone's dream is going to be crushed. With the surprising elimination of Dale last week, our final five were Stephanie, Antonia, Richard, Lisa, and Spike.

While the quickfire challenges aren't usually of much note, this one was a bit more as it led very directly to their elimination challenge, and it led Spike to his victory and downfall all at once.

The expected bottom two at the point of the final five would be Lisa and Spike as they've shone the least out of the bunch, and have both already made some nearly fatal flaws. But, in the quickfire, it was actually Spike and Lisa who were a cut above the rest as they beautifully cut up some enormous Tomahawk steaks.

But oh, Spike, the mistakes made with the infamous frozen scallops! Since immunity is out for winning the quickfire, when it came to the elimination competition of cooking an appetizer and main course to serve at guest judge, Rick Tramonto's steakhouse, Spike's win meant he got first dibs on his choices for his dishes.

The pressure was high in the kitchen, and was even more amped up when the VIP guests arrived to help judge - all our previous Top Chef winners, Harold, Ilan, and Hung.

Mostly these guys were kind and very impressed with the food, but they didn't hold back on the criticism either!

Spike's frozen scallops ended up as bad as he feared they could be, though Spike seemed confident in their taste when they left the kitchen. The other suspected flop was Lisa's peanut butter mashed potatoes, which actually were well liked by the judges!

Despite this success for Lisa, she was left in the bottom two with Spike, after Stephanie got the win and Antonia and Richard were told they had the favorite appetizer or main dish, so they were going on to the finals as well.

And so it was the judges' table showdown! Lisa was pretty much her usual extremely defensive self, standing there looking bored and angry at the same time. But Spike really stole that insult-the-judges show as the frozen scallop incident officially went down as a new infamous Top Chef moment.

Not only did Spike bring his usual spicy attitude, he actually went so far defending himself that he blamed the guest judge for his own bad dish. Hm, not a wise choice! So, yeah, those bad frozen scallops were indeed picked from the chef's freezer, but telling a famous guest judge to his face that, with all due respect, those scallops were allowed into your kitchen... maybe not the winning move.

Surprisingly, this outburst wasn't even really the focus of Spike's elimination. The scallops, sure, but though Rick gave a snappy comeback to Spike's insult, he then told the judges he liked Spike's spirit.

But pack your knives it was for Spike, and final four for Lisa! Really, judges? That's an interesting move considering Lisa's head has been on the chopping block many a time for good reason.

We'll see how she measures up and maybe with the 3-1 odds here, we'll get our first female Top Chef!

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1 comment

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May 29, 2008 4:53PM EDT

That Lisa is in the Final 4 is laughable and almost makes me question the credibility of the program. What has Lisa ever done to deserve this slot beyond being abrasive and magically escaping elimination each week? Though I liked Spike (and his spunk), I didn't really find him to be particularly deserving of the spot either. The real crime occurred last week when Lisa got to stay over Dale (I mean, really, what were they thinking?). Yes, Dale was the executive chef in the situation and in Restaurant Wars this seems to have been the precedent (cut the exec chef if things go wrong, even if they are a frontrunner), but Lisa screwed up just as badly as Dale last week and there was arguably more of a reason to dump her anyway (Dale had some good, some bad...Lisa was all bad).I never really liked Dale as a person, but nobody can deny that he stood out as a top level chef over the course of the competition waaay more than either Lisa or Spike.Let's hope that Lisa is the first one to be bumped out of the finals!

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