You know the pressure in the Top Chef kitchen must be something fierce if Angelo is falling apart.
The ordinarily unflappable, over-confident chef from New York was a disaster from start to finish during Episode 10, in which the contestants had to "disguise" a classic dish and serve it to the CIA.
We know that something's up right off the bat when Angelo tells us he's "mentally exhausted." Those are some strong words from a dude who's usually all revved up to convince us of his supreme awesomeness.
Later, during the Mystery Box Quick Fire Challenge, Angelo admits that for the first time in the competition, he's lost and without a vision. Kevin notices that he looks like a "chicken with no head." And even Tiffany -- who won the QF! -- weighs in on the situation:
"I've never seen Angelo this nervous. I don't know what happened but he's losing confidence in himself."
Sheesh, even I've started to feel bad for the guy.
My sympathy runs dry, however, when he buys frozen puff pastry (for Beef Wellington) during the CIA Elimination Challenge. Apparently, his brain isn't working enough to remember that John Somerville -- the first chef to go -- was sent home for using premade pastry dough. Duh! Tell us about it, Ed:
"I see Angelo buying pasty. I mean it's definitely a shortcut. If you are going to serve something like that, you are almost asking to be eliminated from this competition. It would be nice to have Angelo go home because he is definitely a threat."
And, the judges have no use for the dish with or without the pastry: Guest judge Wiley Dufresne calls his plating "sloppy" and says, "I guess I was excited to see where you were going and unfortunately you didn't go very far." For the first time ever, Angelo is in the bottom three. Eeps!
I'm guessing that Kenny's departure from the show has shaken Angelo's confidence to the core. Angelo considered him his biggest competition -- if Kenny wasn't safe then maybe Angelo isn't as well. Either that or conceiving of and cooking fantastic dishes in less than an hour over and over again really does take a toll.
Luckily for Angelo, you can always count on Amanda and Alex to suck worse than everyone else. In true form, Amanda disguised "onion soup" as ... soup? And Alex had brick-hard veal and overall poor execution.
Finally, the judges put him -- and us! -- out of his misery and sent Alex home. I predict Amanda will follow next week.
Will Angelo pull it together or continue to hover on the brink of mental breakdown? What did you think of last night's episode?
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