Last episode, we lost Luca, to my great surprise. But you commenters are smarter than I am, and have figured out that eliminating Luca sends the sexy Italian to Food network’s ridiculous Star Salvation, and therefore increases the chance that we’ll log on to their website in order to keep watching the sexy Italian. Sorry, Susie Fogelson. Still not gonna watch it.
Meanwhile, however, the actual contestants, sans Luca, head into the test kitchen to find they are in an episode of Cutthroat Kitchen. This is another Food Network show (you can hear The Network chanting, “Synergy! Synergy!”), hosted by Alton, in which contestants can bu various tricks and traps to sabotage their fellow contestants in a cooking competition. The people I feel sorry for are the judges, who end up having to eat the revolting results without knowing, for instance, that one chef had all his flour stolen, and thus became an unwilling representative of the gluten-free contingent in baking his cake. So I guess the fun of this contest comes from watching our contestants try to sabotage each other, and gang up on the contestant (Lenny) they consider (Lenny) to be the biggest threat. Hint: starts with L, ends with enny, and wears a gigantic cowboy hat.
First group is Loreal, Chris, Chris, Nicole, and Aryen. They are assigned to make spaghetti and meatballs. Chris 1, who we learn was a contestant on the actual Cutthroat (synergggyyyy), explains that he’s grabbing all kinds of options, never knowing how he’ll be sabotaged. Nicole, who has not been a Cutthroat contestant, forgets to grab pasta. So that should make the “spaghetti” part a little more challenging.
Sabotaging. Loreal buys a pasta spoon, which she gets to have taped to Chris’ hand for the entirety of the challenge.
So I can use this as a backscratcher, too?
Alton next brings out three grinders — hand grinder, spice grinder and a snow-cone machine. The successful bidder can make three fellow contestants grind their meat with those machines. So Chris 1 gets it and immediately revenges himself by giving the snow cone machine to Loreal. The hand grinder to Nicole, and the spice grinder goes to Chris 2.
Mess ensues. Loreal is, unsurprisingly, less than successful in grinding her meat in a machine made for Snoopy snow cones. So she dumps a ton of cheese and alcohol into the mix. Normally, I’d be a big fan of cheese and alcohol, but this is not looking like an improvement.
If this doesn’t work, she’s going to set it on fire.
Random interruption by Alton, bidding off the right to make one contestant stop their work and stomp grapes. Really? This is a cooking show? These sabotages seem one step up from getting slimed on Nickolodeon. So Nicole is forced to stomp grapes, thanks to Loreal. She’s a little bitchy about it too, making clear that she’s doing it to laugh at Nicole looking less than elegant. As soon as Nicole is released from stomping duty, she rushes back to try to create some sort of gnocchi substitute from cheese and flour.
Grape-stomping. A skill every Food Network host needs.
Aryen is trying to make a spicy penne, recognizing that her “international” angle has thus for resulted in uninteresting and bland food. So let’s see how that works out for her, as the clock counts down.
Bobby Flay is the judge, joined by some dude who is apparently a regular judge on Cutthroat. So they don’t know what sabotages may have happened in the kitchen, and are supposedly judging the dishes on their own merits.
Random Cutthroat Kitchen judge, dreading what he’s going to have to eat.
First up, Chris 2, the New Orleans guy, who presents his Bloody Mary version of spaghetti and meatballs. His dish goes over well. Chris 1, the Cutthroat veteran, presents a meatball with elk and pork shoulder. His presentation is rambling and ends up cutoff for time. So the judges like the food, hate him.
Nicole presents her meatballs and “bread crumb gnocchi,” which she tries to link to her Jersey Shore background. Bobby tells her she should have made a meatball with fish. Bobby is wrong. Next up, Aryen. Her presentation is great, but her dish is far too spicy to eat.
First too bland, now too spicy. I’m like Goldilocks over here.
Finally, Loreal presents her dish with a wink, which comes off as annoying and fake, and Bobby focuses right in on the unpleasant texture of the meatballs.
Before we find out who won in that group, we have to watch the next group (Lenny, Ruben, Emma, Crazy-eyes Sarah and Kenny) prepare a breakfast plate. Contestants scramble to gdb ingredients. Kenny starts grabbing fruit, deciding he wants a sweet breakfast, while Crazy-eyes grabs for salsa, cilantro and everything else Southwestern, telling us her “date night” philosophy is to cook for someone, and here, she’s cooking for Bobby Flay.
I accept this sandwich as a sign Bobby and I are meant for each other. Why are you laughing at me?
Immediately after the contestants return with their baskets, Alton gives them the opportunity to bid on bacon. The successful bidder can force three contestants to swap out their bacon for the bacon contained in a BLT, a Cobb salad and a platter of chocolate-covered bacon. Kenny jumps at it, and passes the chopped, stale and chocolate-covered bacons to Lenny, Crazy-eyes and Emma, respectively. Interestingly, Kenny shows his awareness of his level in the competition by explaining that he expects to be competing with Crazy-eyes for the bottom, and hopes to sabotage her.