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Fighting takes center stage on ‘Top Chef’

It was a hot week in the “Top Chef: D.C.” kitchen. Tempers flared, no one wanted to share and backstabbing (may) have occurred, all thanks to Angelo and Kenny.
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It was a hot week in the “Top Chef: D.C.” kitchen. Tempers flared, no one wanted to share and backstabbing (may) have occurred, all thanks to Angelo and Kenny.

Someone get these two a sitcom.

This week’s Quickfire Challenge was a “Biparti-Sandwich” — insert groan here — challenge. In groups of two, the chefs had to make a sandwich. To make things interesting, they were attached to each other, Siamese-twin style, by an special apron, rendering one hand from each of them useless. (Cheftestant Timothy described it best when he said, “Who got high and came up with this idea?” Maybe someone who watched “Human Centipede” and was inspired to bring a G-rated version to the show?)

Tiffany and Lynne created a messy concoction that they brushed off as a “knife and fork kind of sandwich,” which guest judge, White House assistant chef Sam Kass, said had a horrible texture. Jacqueline and Stephen’s dry chicken and bland white bread sandwich underwhelmed the judges. It begs the question: If anyone can make a decent sandwich, why couldn’t these guys pull it together?

Of course, Angelo, who on top of winning everything to this point also runs a sandwich shop in Hell’s Kitchen in New York, won immunity with the help of Tracey, whom he called his twin. (Yeah, Kass mentioned that he didn’t see the resemblance either.) This angered Team Kenny, who was partnered with some guy named Ed. Both teams had brought forth a fish sandwich, but Angelo, with his evil, maniacal laugh, won.

The chefs were allowed to choose their own teams of four for the Elimination Challenge. In honor of Michelle Obama’s fight against childhood obesity, the contestants all had to head to the school cafeteria to make healthy lunches. The meals had to consist of a main course, a couple side dishes of vegetables or fruits, and a desert for 50 kids — and each team had a budget of only $130.

Angelo told Tracey to pick Kenny first, like they were back in P.E., and Kenny was the best athlete in the bunch. His show of brotherly love confused everyone, but we shrugged it off as we looked forward to Team Chef Supreme (and sidekicks Tracey and Ed). Strange considering the group was made up of the top contestants, Team Chef Supreme came up with an odd grouping of a slightly healthier version of kids’ favorite foods. It got more fishy when Angelo enthusiastically volunteered to take on celery and peanut butter, but everyone seemed to be happy with their assignments.

When elimination time came, it became clear what Angelo’s motives were. In an “Et tu, Kenny?” moment, it seemed that Angelo purposely put forth a lackluster effort, knowing he would still be safe. Backed into a corner, Kenny’s worst fear became a nightmare, and he tried to talk his way out of trouble.

Kenny was saved by Team Amanda/Jacqueline/Tamesha/Stephen, who completely ignored the fact that the dish had to be for kids AND healthy. The bottom two teams engaged in a verbal showdown of whose dessert was more destructive to a child’s health, debating the nutritional value of peanut butter and what consists of a vegetable dish.

The judges recognized that at least Team Chef Supreme made food school-aged children would want to eat. Amanda’s alcohol-fueled sherry chicken dish burned away the groups money, and Tom Colicchio compared the kid-repelling course to someone putting a turd on the table. But it was Jacqueline with her bananas, a few strawberries and two pounds of sugar who got eliminated. The sickly sweet dish was too starchy to enjoy and had more sweetener than a Pixy Stix.

Oh, yeah Kelly won the elimination challenge with her taco dish, which actually looked delicious and could appeal to people of all ages, but no one cared. When Kenny and Angelo are in the room, nothing else matters.