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Top Chef Recap: For Today, She's the Top Scallop

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Top Chef finally returned last week after a three-week holiday hiatus, and while it was an OK episode (no, let's be honest: it simply wasn't), we're going to keep things short and sweet this week. To the recap:

1) Quickfire Challenge We're not even going to comment about the inherent ridiculousness of the "Diet Dr. Pepper Challenge," but it did reveal one of Jamie's Achilles heels that could haunt her in the later challenges: she admittedly can't do desserts. While JL finished in the bottom trio for the quickfire, Radhika won immunity from the double elimination, which was huge because she later hid weapons of mass destruction in her soup. Or something like that.

2) "I'm French. I'm kidding! ... Mousse comes from Finland. I'm kidding!" —Stefan, being the worst kidder ever.

3) Elimination Challenge: On the heels of the recent gimmickry, Tom told the chefs to cook any dish that showcases "who they are as a chef" for their new judge Toby Young and a group of "food experts," which (twist! twist!) turned out to be their fellow cheftestants.

4) Sadly, the product placement wasn't the most cringe-worthy part of the episode. That honor belongs to the aforementioned Young. Now, he could very well turn out to be serviceable once he settles in, but heavens, everything about him last night—from his canned similes to the manufactured terror of the chefs—was just painful. Also, when you're stealing zingers from Meredith Brody, that should tell you something. Just sayin'.

5) Winner!: At long last, Jamie conquered scallops and finally shed her bridesmaid status to notch her elusive first win. And a huggy Stefan may or may not have attempted a congratulatory kiss on the lips.

6) Losers: Of the bottom three Lady Urkel Carla got spared, mostly because she has pizzazz and is a producer's dream. But two chefs were eliminated who should have been cut weeks ago: Melissa (the clueless blonde who can't cook) and Eugene (the tattooed guy who can't cook).

7) As Fabio so eloquently pointed out, "Eeez Top Chef, No Top Scallop!"; so for everyone's sake, let's hope we've seen the end of scallops for a few episodes. For more deep thoughts from last night, head over to Eater NY for two of the best images ever (FACT) and some words of wisdom regarding Sir Toby.
· All Top Chef Coverage [~ESF~]

Your thoughts on last night's episode in the comments below, please.

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