Charlize Theron and Her Crappy Movie Take Top Chef: Texas Even Further Off the Rails

Categories: TV
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Noted Texan actress hot-as-balls celebrity who'll hopefully bring in more viewers for Bravo, Charlize Theron.
Charlize Theron is an actress from South Africa who lives in Los Angeles and is currently filming a shitty-looking Kristen Stewart movie set in England, so naturally she's the best choice for this week's episode of Top Chef: Texas. This show continues to make less and less sense the more it wears on. I could've been drunk this whole season, and it wouldn't have mattered. It's like the inevitable crazy-train third season of a Ryan Murphy show at this point.

This week's episode picks up right where the last one left off, at the end of a stressful Restaurant Wars battle wherein the exhausted contestants are still sniping at one another. O joy. Everyone on the ladies' team is pissed that Beverly won over Lindsay, but I tend to think that it's more that Grayson and Sarah are upset they themselves didn't win and are jumping on the "poor, overlooked Lindsay" bandwagon because it makes them look an iota better. It's not working on me.

Back in San Antonio, some dumb Quickfire Challenge is happening involving a dish made with three ingredients picked off a conveyor belt that's a bit like a half-assed version of Chopped, complete with one of the contestants -- Beverley -- running out of time and leaving one of her three ingredients off the final plating.

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Watching Ugly Chris run after the pot of lobsters on the conveyor belt is a bit like watching the nerdiest kid in class play musical chairs.
Some chefs -- like Ed -- are quick off the mark to grab whatever strikes them first from the conveyor belt. Others, like Sarah and Ugly Chris, are trying to wait for the choicest things to float by -- not a good strategy when you've only got 20 minutes on the clock to cook. I do get a kick, however, at the Lucille Ball-ish way Ugly Chris keeps trying and failing to grab a pot of live lobsters off the conveyor belt.

Beverley continues proving that she deserved last week's prize when the judges declare that hers would have been their favorite dish had she gotten her curried Rice Krispies on the plate. But it's Lindsay -- in a move that makes up for last week's "snub" -- who wins the challenge and immunity. No time to dally on that, though, as Charlize Theron's legs have just entered the room. (Her head and torso join the party roughly five minutes later.)

Theron tries to sell us on her hideous-sounding movie by telling us that she's playing another serial killer ("REMEMBER GUYS I WON AN OSCAR THE LAST TIME I DID THIS!") and the contestants are tasked with creating an evil fairytale-themed dinner to further pimp the movie which I still refuse to name because I'm tired of Hollywood remaking every old movie, novel, comic book, etc. to death including the upcoming rape of childhood classic The Lorax that removes all mention of Dr. Seuss's original environmental message in favor of a saccharine "love story" between the voices of Zac Efron and Taylor Swift.

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Goddamnit. This is going to be worse than that time Mike Myers and his creepy eyelashes ruined The Cat in the Hat for all time.
And also because THIS STILL HAS NOTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH TEXAS. NONE OF IT. NOT THE QUICKFIRE CHALLENGE, NOT THE MAIN COMPETITION, NOT THE GUEST JUDGES, NOT THE INGREDIENTS. NOTHING. NADA.

Paul continues to win my eternal affections, however, by being the sole chef to really show consistent respect for his fellow contestants. They shouldn't underestimate Beverly, he says, because she's the one left out of the seven who has the most cooking experience. Also -- unlike Paul -- she's smart enough to not try and cram 14 ingredients onto one plate and is instead sticking with a simple dish of forbidden rice and halibut.

Meanwhile at the judges' table, Padma's mouth toasts Charlize, but not the rest of her face. And certainly not her eyes, which glint coldly as she regards one of the few women on earth who can make her look like a lumpy bag of softball equipment. (The terrible satin pantsuit she's wearing is partly to blame too. I can't wait for this latest jumpsuit trend to die.) It's a beautiful moment.

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Paul's dish reminded me that I still want this awesome coffee mug from Etsy.
Paul has really stepped up his creativity by making a dish that represents a forbidden forest filled with delicacies and treats, curved away on one side of the plate from a giant bloody handprint that's meant to represent evil's reach. The judges love it, I love it, the viewers will love it...and Paul keeps my flame of hope alive that he'll reach the very end.

Grayson and Ugly Chris both really step up the game, however, when they present dishes that have taken the whole "wicked, evil food" challenge to new levels. Grayson's plate looks as if a chicken was slaughtered on it -- complete with a poached quail egg to represent the dead baby chicken inside (gruesome, y'all; I like it) -- and Ugly Chris has used his liquid nitrogen skillz to create a "poison apple" that melts apart with a touch to reveal a "rotten" core with "maggots." Love, love, love it. So do the judges, once again, which makes me think that some of the more standard dishes -- like Sarah's rather boring if solidly-cooked risotto -- are doomed.

The winner of the challenge ends up being Paul, bloody handprint and all. And for a guy who had so many ingredients on his plate to cook in such a short amount of time, that's pretty impressive. It's a big ol' love fest at the judges' table, as none of them really have anything all that terrible to say. "I'm nitpicking because I have to," says Colicchio as the judges haggle over tiny things later on when the bottom three contestants are announced: Sarah, Grayson and Beverly.

All the female contestants should be happy now, because Beverly is sent home. Colicchio drops a few points in my estimation by allowing the producers to make him say some hideously cheesy line about "the Queen having her head." And the preview for next week doesn't give me much more hope that the season will do anything at all to bolster the state's tourism image -- nothing in the next episode suggests "Texas" at all. Just keep that in mind when you remember how much of the state's ill-spent taxpayer money went to luring Bravo here.

Quotes of the Night:

"My God. I am making bouillabaisse for Eric Ripert, and he is gonna rip it apart." - Lindsay, who I like when she's being fun and plucky like this.

"I don't think a lot of people like bitter melon." - Paul, while making the saddest puppy dog face ever.

"Beverly should have just cheated..." - Ed. Who else.

See our previous Top Chef recaps here:



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29 comments
Philipe De La Lobos
Philipe De La Lobos

fuck top chef.  You stiff the best food city in the state and of course your final product is going to be shit.  I feel bad for the chefs...but thats about it.  I hope the franchise dies because of this travesty

Argot
Argot

Grayson has been defending Beverly for the last few episodes; you don't need to lump her in with the angry bitches. And I agree; they've been ramming the Texas stereotypes down our throats the entire season, which can muddle the competition when overdone so much. I really doubt anyone who's a longtime fan of the show or anyone not from Texas has a problem with a nonspecific challenge. This past week was probably my favorite episode because they had an inspiration but still had the freedom to show us what they can cook, and thus, they actually did well as a whole for once.

Texas Hill Country Land For Sa
Texas Hill Country Land For Sa

IGNORING NEW MARKETS: Ranch real estate is as much about good marketing as it is about good salesmanship. Now-a-days, there are hundreds of thousands of internet searches per month by people looking for Texas and Texas Hill Country ranches to buy. Some of our competitors do not have a site at all; others, because they don't optimize their sites to get placed well in search engines, might as well not have a site at all. Of those with sites, many do not give you the basic information you want and the property gets passed over.

Clumsy Plumsy
Clumsy Plumsy

Yeah! To hell with Top Chef and Charlize Theron, and all her... uh...

humina humina *must resist temptation to keep scrolling up to that picture*

nate
nate

"Waaaaa, they didnt film in Houston, I'm so mad, this sucks worse then everything.  Waaaaaa."

There.  Wrote the rest of your articles for you.  You are welcome.

pete
pete

seriously...are you kidding with this???/ 

cindy_in_tx
cindy_in_tx

The problem is many of you only started watching Top Chef: Texas BECAUSE it was in Texas and left out Houston. But I've watched it for several seasons, so I can tell you that they've talked more about the location in this season than in any previous season. In previous cities, they'd probably do two or three episodes that fit the local (like the CIA in Top Chef D.C., pizza in Chicago, breakfast for surfers in L.A., etc.).

Personally, I'd be happy if they just stopped talking about Texas and treat it like any other season. The Texas stereotypes are sometimes embarrassing.

Michael Enak
Michael Enak

"like a lumpy bag of softball equipment"

freakin' priceless.

Ed T.
Ed T.

I'm glad you noted the lack of anything "Texas" in this episode. I have noticed that the "Texas"-related content has gone from cheesy and stereotypical to cheesy to like nothing at all.  I simply can not believe how much of our tax $$$ were pissed away to bring this show to the state. Looks like Houston is the bastion of sanity here (and that's saying something!)

But - I didn't get that Grayson was upset about Beverly's win last week - that was Lindsey and Sarah.

MadMac
MadMac

What does she have in common with Texas? She's shamelessly selling a product no one wants, she's arrogant and classless and is as vapid and lifeless as this season of TC. You're welcome. Could we just give the prize to Paul and move on to TC Masters?

Lalleepop
Lalleepop

Bravo is owned by NBCUniversal. Universal Pictures is the studio behind Snow White. Movie PR is the reason for Charlize, consider it product placement. I thought she was a great judge. Texas is the setting, but every episode doesn't have to be about Texas. It was about a creative, dangerous dinner party. What's up with your Top Chef hate? 

Terry Alexander
Terry Alexander

Shilcutt, out of respect for you I really am trying to read this review. I just can't get past that photo of those boob.... Uhm I mean Charlize. #CelebrateAuNaturale.TA

Bradd
Bradd

We (the state of Texas) should demand our money back.  Just sayin'.  I can't even WATCH this shit anymore....I only read your recaps to avoid the pain.

Eric Henao
Eric Henao

I'll just say it - I love you Katharine Shilcutt. 1.) That first sentence is masterpiece (four locations in one sentence!). 2.) Any woman who can unflinchingly say that Charlize Theron is hot-as-balls, I gotta send ya some love for saying that.

Keep writing like that, I'll keep reading!

MadMac
MadMac

Do you need someone to read the articles to you?

MadMac
MadMac

How long have you been reading this column? Most of the comments have been by die-hard TC fans, like me. I even tried to defend the show, (if not the schtick) early on.

Now, other seasons, yeah. There were no spaghetti cook-offs at Big Al's house on TC Chicago. There were no Tricky-Dick-and-the-Cubans costume banquets at the Watergate hotel in TC DC. Every, single, epi in this season with the exception of this one, (the pimping episode ) has shoved these stereotypes in our faces.

cindy_in_tx
cindy_in_tx

I have to totally disagree with you about Houston. Why spend the money on the commercial when they could have gotten some real publicity on an episode? I know I personally never watch the commercials because of my dvr.  But then again, if we spent the money and then got the same treatment as Dallas, I would have been upset, so I guess it probably was a smart in hindsight.

justin
justin

oh boy my comment defending Charlize and this crap-written article was deleted. my, my, my. 

justin
justin

and you judged her being arrogant, vapid, and lifeless based on what? Natalie Portman went on to promote her self couple seasons back- is she the same? Charlize was a great job and her presence seeemed to elevate the food- first time this season really,- Charlize was smart, funny, and really into the food. 

Terry Alexander
Terry Alexander

But she makes arrogant, classless, vapid and lifeless look good.TA

cindy_in_tx
cindy_in_tx

It was not meant as offense to the commenters on this board. I just assumed by a couple of comments and Ms. Shilcutt's sentence in all caps that Charlize Theron had nothing to do with Texas meant that most only started watching because of the Houston snub (as admitted by Ms. Shilcutt in her first recap). Now I have nothing against anyone who only started watching it this season, but I did feel it necessary to point out that they've actually made Texas look a little bad by focusing TOO much on local stereotypes.

MadMac
MadMac

Justin, you gotta take the Seroquel every day for maximum efficacy, buddy.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

Nothing has been deleted, as you'll see from your surrounding comments. On the other hand, new comments occasionally take a few minutes to show up. Calmate.

MadMac
MadMac

You're smitten, I'm happy for you, really. I found Ms. Portman no more engaging and only slightly more food savvy for her challenge of a vegan menu. As for Ms. Theron, I found her comments on the food vacant of thought and her levity vacant of humor. You prefer white bread and Velveta, great. Me, I want a little more substance.   

MadMac
MadMac

C,

No harm, no foul, no hurt feelings. We're actually on the same side of this ugly, ugly turkey.

MadMac
MadMac

Did I hurt your feelings, Justin? Why don't you cry about it?

justin
justin

What you have proven with your statement is that your are nothing but the biggest Poser on the planet- who the hell do you think you are accusing me of what I like? And after that statement calling Charlize or anyone else arrogant and vapid is really a situation of the pot calling the kettle black? 

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