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'Top Chef: Las Vegas': Oh ye of little faith

October 15, 2009 |  9:30 am

Padma's reckless overuse of oversized accessories -- that belt with those boots! the hat! -- nearly distracted me entirely from watching Ash take nosedive after nosedive, even after last week's reprieve. But really, that hat! (Sadly, she had removed it for photographers and all we can see is the belt -- and without the boots. Meh.)

No surprise to see him go home, a judges' decision I suspect based not on his clammy cold pork, but on his lack of brains. Really. Ash is nice, but not too bright. His calling Mike V. the culinary world's Picasso, a man he'd gladly "wash paintbrushes" for, will go down as one of most entertaining and stupid moments in history. Halfway through Wednesday night's episode, he informs viewers that, oh, Mike I. had a really great idea -- Ash shouldn't do what he originally planned! Ash should serve cold pork! Just because! Of course, the pork is lackluster.

But what does him in, again, are those speeches. "Oh Charlie Palmer, I didn't mean to serve you cold pork. What I really wanted to give you was braised pork with cheesy polenta, a perfect pairing with the pinot!" Palmer's shock would have matched my own had I not fully expected Ash to say something that would reveal just how clueless he is.

You should have outlasted Robin, my friend. But then again, maybe not.

At this point, I could care less about Robin, and thanks to the show's editors and my own fickle attitude, I now even feel sorry for her, without a friend trapped in that house of frat boys. She still should have gone awhile ago -- her chlorine-like shrimp should have done her in -- but while she's there, she has my pity.

I actually find Laurine far more offensive than Robin. Laurine with her dead eyes and lack of spirit. Does she even want to be there? Can you imagine, if we lived in some alternate universe, if she won? Ugh! How terrible for the "Top Chef" legacy. It was such a treat to watch her get a smackdown from Charlie Palmer -- Charlie Palmer! -- on what a rillette is (far better than hearing Toby compare the texture to cat food, but I enjoyed that as well).

And the waiting game continues.... Who's next? Just four more until we're down to The Final Four. Does Kevin have this whole thing in the bag already? Who do you think is his next biggest rival? Jennifer? Or the Brothers Voltaggio?

-- Denise Martin (follow me on Twitter @denisemartin)


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Photo: Charlie Palmer and Padma Lakshmi in "Top Chef: Las Vegas." Credit: NBC Universal