'Top Chef' recap: Final four's culinary Olympics

Well Top Cheffers we are at the beginning of the end for this epic ninth season of "Top Chef." With Bev, Lindsay, Paul and Sarah as the final four, they are shipped from the blistering heat of Texas to the biting cold of British Columbia.
Even as they great each other at the airport in Vancouver it is clear that Bev is still the odd man out and will have to fight tooth and nail to prove that she deserves to be in the finale.
With that all said and done I just want to point out that, without fail, every season at the finale, each chef has changed their hair.  Like they saw part of the season and thought "Woof," so they pull a Topanga from "Boy Meets World" and fix their hair. All four chefs have grown their hair out, and while I don't think Paul really was going for a new look, the ladies let their close-cropped hair grow, and it looks fabulous!
The chefs are brought to Whistler Mountain, home of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. A more fitting place for the finale of "Top Chef" there never was. Part one of the finale is the Wither Culinary Games. There are three events that will decide which three chefs that will go into the last challenge of the season.
Event One:

The chefs show up to the top of Whistler Mountain looking ridiculous in their snow gear, and are met by Tom and Padma, who looks hot in a freaking parka (cough)...bitch... (cough).
The first event in their challenge, the chefs must cook a meal in a moving gondola with the given ingredients, and then at a midway point in the mountain pick up a new ingredient to incorporate with their dish. With all the moving around, the frozen temperature, and the altitude, it seems inevitable that one chef will mess up big time.
Paul gets into the first gondola and is not happy with his plate. He is so humble that he says that he can't blame the cold, the gondola, or his motion sickness, but only himself for his lacking dish of lamb tender loin.
Sarah jumps in next and is thrown by the cold. Umm, that is kind of expected no? She works through the elements to cook a chorizo sausage dish.
I know what you are thinking. Bev in a moving vehicle with a box full of knives and boiling water can only lead to destruction. But no! She actually does well in the small enclosed area because her spastic-ness is contained. I mean other that the first bump of opening her box of knives UPSIDE DOWN, she smartly makes a cold salmon tartar.
Lindsay is not sure about her salmon and red risotto dish because she fears she did not make enough for each judge.
The judges are impressed with every dish, and mush the same as most of the season there is no clear winner and loser in this challenge. However Lindsay gets the Gold medal in this challenge, Bev gets close Silver, followed by Sarah with the Bronze, and lastly Paul gets an Honorable Mention for his dish.
Lindsay not only wins $10,000, but also she is the first to be pushed through to the end and does not have to compete in the next event.
Event Two:
The following day, the three remaining chefs are brought back to the mountain. This time their event entails creating a dish from ingredients that are frozen in huge blocks of ice. The chefs must pick away at the ice in order to retrieve their ingredients. Basically Paul, Sarah, and Bev are running around, and the judges are making a lot of "Psycho" and "Basic Instinct" jokes.
To be fair, Paul is much stronger than the girls, so he is able to get his ingredients first and start. But since he is such a gentleman, he helps the girls break through their ice while he is waiting for his food to thaw.
With little time, Paul makes a king crab leg dish, Sarah cooks up a spinach and pea soup with a hint of crab lent to her from Paul, and Bev sears up some scallops.
Paul clearly wins the gold on this one, and even though Tom doesn't say the order of the next two dishes I am going to give Bev the Silver because Sarah's soup just looked, well, a little like a can of Campbell to me.
Paul receives $10,000 and a ticket to the big show, leaving Sarah and Bev to duke it out mano-a-mano.
Event Three:
The Culinary Biathlon is the last challenge to decide which lady will make it to the finale. It is no secret that Sarah and Bev have not gotten along all season. Yes, it was mostly on Sarah, but in her defense, Bev was kind of annoying, tough, but nonetheless annoying. So it is only fitting that the face each other in a challenge that includes guns.
The ladies must ski a short cross country course, than they have ten bullets to shoot a target for a certain ingredient. Hilarity ensues. Neither chef can ski. Half the challenge is basically a series of pratfalls. Bev even takes Sarah out at one point with their comically long skis. Both women are decent shots and walk away with four to five ingredients.
Once they race to the kitchen and start cooking it is clear they are going down two different routes. Bev decides to cook her artic char with an untried recipe by mixing the fish with very earthy ingredients that she thinks will work. On the other hand Sarah chooses to cook her rabbit in a style from her German background by braising it and making sauerkraut.
In a final challenge, chefs are either praised for being ballsy and risk taking with an untried dish, such as Bev, but at other times they are also praised for killing a traditional dish and really kicking ass with something simple.
The judges enjoy both of the dishes, but in the end Bev's side components over powered her char, and the judges send her packing. Bev leaves the "Top Chef" kitchen, this time for real. She leaves us with one final motivational mantra, "It's about what have inside, no matter what people say, who you are will shine in the end." Oh you crazy Zen little chef, I hate to admit it, but I am sad to see you go.
With that, Top Cheffers, we come to the last leg of the competition. Are you excited for the finale? Do you think that Paul, the clear front runner, will choke under that pressure a la Richard Blais in his first season in Chicago? Do you think past chefs will show up to be their sous chefs in the finale? Leave your comments below!
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