Top Chef Texas - Ketchup

Let's just lay it out quick and easy.

-Grayson Schmitz has the honor of issuing the single greatest verbal takedown of Tom Colicchio. "Like a meatball?", she spat -- and won a spot in my heart forever. Sorry to see her go, and even sorrier to find that she didn't look upon her Last Chance Kitchen opportunity with much anticipation.

-Chicken salad was a terrible idea.

-Chris Jones is no Richard Blais.

-Peach is without question the ingredient of this season. Tell me otherwise.

-"Bike, Borrow and Steal" was a brutal-ass Elimination Challenge.

-I didn't mind Pee Wee. At least he wasn't pitching anything, and if you're looking for something non-obvious to tie the Alamo into the action, what's better? "In honor of the Last Stand at the Alamo, create a dish that stands up on the plate"? Come on. I'll take Pee Wee.

-I don't think Grayson had any business going home at the end of "Bike, Borrow and Steal".

-Of the five chefs that competed in the mentor challenge, I didn't particularly care for three of them -- and it's not a gender bias thing. I don't think I'm alone in wishing that it had been Grayson, Nyesha, and even Heather in that round instead of dour Lindsay, unstable Sarah, and spastic Beverly. Still, the tears and nerves and hugs were genuine this week, and that's appreciated at the tail end of a somewhat dry season. Nice to see Tony Mantuano (Wisconsin native, dontcha know), even if his mentee didn't have anything to do in the challenge.

-Packaged oysters? Oh, Edward.

Dude, have you never watched this show?
-Is there any question that Paul's going to have to give this one up for anyone but him to win?

-On January 19, I at least nailed the final five. I'm willing to accept that Beverly has another gear she can shift into -- if the sound of the transmission grinding doesn't freak her out and force a fatal error.

Paul: 3 to 1
Lindsay: 5 to 1
Beverly: 9 to 1
Sarah: 15 to 1, 14 to 1 that she develops frostbite in British Columbia and has to retire.

See you in the final round!