Well, I’ll admit it, Howie stuck around a lot longer than I initially expected. In the first 2 or 3 weeks, Howie was screw-up-mcgee, fumbling, making errors and producing generally bad dishes. Then somehow he summoned up his skills and won a couple in the middle rounds. Last night was back to the old Howie.


Howie’s “I didn’t realize until now the importance of being a team” speech was total B.S., as were his attempts to quit. He clearly knew he had the worst dishes, and he wanted to quit so the judges wouldn’t have the satisfaction of sending him home. His statement in the kitchen while the judges were contemplating, “If I’m going to go home, it’s going to be on my own terms” says it all.

Howie is a sore loser and knew he was going home, so instead of just accepting the decision he knew was coming, he tried to make it look like he was leaving under some grand banner of teamwork.

Howie’s performance last night was one of the worst of any chef, on any episode the entire season. First, he produced NOTHING in the quickfire challenge. I actually agree with his idea that if you don’t have something good, a chef shouldn’t put out something they think is substandard. I mean how many times have we heard the judges say to the chefs, “well why did you serve it if you didn’t think it was good?”

That being said, its still a total failure to produce nothing, and Howie deserves to lose points for that. The elimination challenge was his opportunity to bounce back, but his food looked greasy and unappealing.

My boy Brian put out a mediocre performance. His dish was middle of the pack, as were his leadership abilities. I agree with him that he was a leader and each chef still needed to fail or succeed on their own merits, and while I liked that he gave everyone control over their own dishes, he did need to exert more leadership in determining the menu and limiting people to one dish. My other favorites, CJ and Casey, turned in strong performances.

It was surprising to see Casey win, and makes me wonder if she will be a contender. Even though Sara and Casey have turned in some good performances, it’s hard to envision them in the finals. I’m thinking Dale will be the next to go, followed by Sara. I see Casey, CJ, Brian and Hung as being in the top 4. I expect to see Hung totally bring it for the remaining episodes after being on cruise control the past few weeks, and as of right now, I’m betting on a Brian/Hung final.

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