We open with Billy Joel's Child bride announcing that their quickfire challenge is really an elimination challenge. She's trying hard to sound like she isn't stoned out of her mind, but it's a losing battle. I think the sound people have gotten the voiceovers better because they have included background noise behind Billy Joel's Child Bride's explanation of their challenge. Something about cooking for different audiences in a short period of time. They start with room service customers. Tiffani jaw gets clenched, Harold looks amused and Dave looks like he's going to cry.
Scramble scramble scramble. They tour the MGM's vast kitchens and marvel at the abundance. Poor Dave bemoans his lack of time management skills and Harold bitches about the room service challenge not being his style. The "VIPs" order seafood with a hot and cold course. Dave is frantic and can barely get a tin can open. Harold goes with a soup and red snapper. Chef Tom wonders why noone chooses to use caviar or kobe beef since these are "high rollers." This is where Top Chef is vastly deficient to the far superior Project Runaway (other than the personalities of their respective hosts). Whereas Tim Gunn was so deliciously spot on in his assessments and carefully gave the competitors feedback on their pieces, Chef Tom justs snipes from the sidelines. It's a pretty useless exercise. Tiffani chooses lobster and some kind of fish carpaccio. Dear god, Dave is freaking out, but his dishes of crab stack and prawns and a fish fillet sound really interesting. Dave, get out of your own way. Hovering over the competitors is the Chef from Fleur de Lys (the first quickfire challenge).
As it turns out the high rollers are Miguel, Lee Ann and Stephen. Miguel seems to have gotten fashion advice from Stephen and is in a full-on suit with a big ass knot in the tie. Lee Ann, rocking the side-parted bangs, is relishing her role as a high roller and asking for caviar. Dave's dish comes out first. The three former competitors don't like that the shrimp is unpeeled and Miguel actually flings one across the room trying to peel it. They like the flavors, however. Tiffani's dishes are up next. The high rollers rip apart Tiffani's sashimi. Can I point out that Lee Ann looks fabulous. She's got an elegant, cleavage baring black dress that is doing her all kinds of favors. Finally with Harold's offering, they like the presentation of Harold's dish but wish the sashimi was more flavorful.
The next part of the competition is making snacks for a poker room. More scrambling. Chef Tom thinks that Dave might have an edge because of his love of snack food. Tiffani enjoys the challenge because she plays poker in poker rooms. Dave whines some more about the time crunch. Harold sensibly makes a TGI Friday's munchies platter, with onion rings, mini-pizzas, and mini grilled cheeses. This is kind of ironic when you think of how much he bitched about other challenges that involved plebian ingredients. Tiffani makes homemade potato chips with three diferent types of potatoes, quince paste goat cheese with sesame crackers, herbed crostini in truffle butter, and a brie and tomato sandwich with curry mustard. Dave does the fry-daddy route with egg rolls, chocolate covered strawberries, and deep fried shrimp and a sundried tomato panini. Noone can tell how they are doing because of the room service nature of the challenge.
At the poker table, Gail is trolling for a boyfriend by bringing the food. The poker players like Dave's egg roll and the shrimp. They don't like the fact that Tiffani's dishes need utensils and that they are so hoity toity. They eat up Harold's dishes, especially the chicken wings.
The final part of hte challenge is to make a high carb, high protein, and lowfat food for the Cirque du Soleil performers at Ka, the MGM Grand faux-Asian Cirque du Soleil show. Tiffani complains that she's cooked for athletes before and 30 minutes is not enough to do food for athletes well. Harold is stressed but focuses on pasta for carbo loading, along with chicken and gnocchi. Dave makes a Kobe tenderloin with some kind of balsamic, brown sugar and fig glaze and a huge bowl of pasta marinara. Tiffani does a blueberry and blue crab salad with pork and a kobe beef dish. Chef Tom points out that Kobe beef has a lot of protein but a lot of fat. Poor Dave, he looks like he's about to cry when Chef Tom says that the three dishes need to be plated. Dave completely forgets that he needed to make three dishes and knows that he screwed himself.
The Crique Du Soleilers show-offily do cartwheels off the stage to get to the food carts. Harold's cart is a hit. Dave's cart is also a hit although Chef Tom points out that a dish is missing. Tiffani's not so much. The performers have a lot of complaints on that one.
Miguel, Stephen, and Lee Ann come in to the MGM kitchens and Miguel announces them as the high rollers. Miguel is wearing some pretty funky sunglasses. Both Tiffani and Dave look like they're screwed. Lee Ann tries to give the final three their props for making to the final challenge but Tiffani is all kinds of defensive. Miguel, on the other hand, is going for the jugular, saying that there have been better dishes in the competition. I am impressed with Harold just keeping his mouth shut.
At the judges table the three judges report back, Chef Fleur De Lys reports that Harold won the high roller challenge with both Dave and Tiffani a distant second. The judges hate Tiffani's carpaccio plating. Gail says she had a great time with the poker players. I BET you did Gail. While Harold's chicken wings were the top dish, Dave's overall meal was the winner. In the final challenge, Dave had the best individual dish with his beef but Harold gets the overall nod with his three dishes. Tiffani is up shit creek.
Oh god another stupid voiceover that sounds straight out of a studio. So fake. ANYWHOOOO. At judging, the chefs get reamed for not having caviar or kobe beef as part of their high roller meal. Tiffani tries to justify it by saying the high rollers she cooks for like simple things. Zip it Tiff. You're digging your own grave. When Gail reports that the chicken wings where the poker players favorite, Tiffani is dumbfounded. She totally grimaces but she knows she's screwing herself so she goes, "That's. So. Good. To. Hear." Acting is so not a backup career for that one. In talking about the final challenge, Harold says he was all over the place. Dave talks all about turbo carbs and that he actually works out. He disses Tiffani's dish. Chef Tom rips him on missing a dish.
So who is in the final two? Harold is safe right off the bat. Sadly, Dave's lack of a complete meal on the final part of the challenge does him in and he's kicked out. I don't have strong feelings one way or another but it seems clear that the producers were gunning for a Tiffani/Harold final two. This becomes even more apparent in the final two competition.