The QuickFire was a great one, and as someone who used to do kitchen prep for Red Lobster, I know a little something about the time consuming nature of shucking and cleaning seafood, though hardly to the extent that they were asked to do for the Challenge. It made things interesting, and almost all of the dishes looked like something I'd like to try, except for Hung's oddly titled Scallop Head and Bellies. Do scallops really have a head and a belly? This isn't the first time he's used seafood innards in a dish and while it seems to have been reasonably successful, it still sounds nasty!
Moving on to the Elimination Challenge, I thought this was going to be a great opportunity for the chefs to display some creativity, but all we got was bad diet food! Even Dale, who obviously made something more tasty than the rest, just switched American homestyle for Lithuanian. It may be new for Americans, but it showed no originality or innovation, unless you count using boxed potato flakes instead of real potatoes as innovation. A reasonable time-saving device and a successful one, yes, but not an "update" by any stretch of the imagination!
I can't argue against Micah being sent home, but just looking at the dishes, the one I'd least like to try is CJ's. I'm not a fan of peas, and my mother never put them in her tuna casserole, but even if I was a pea lover I can't imagine thinking that CJ's dish looked at all appetizing! Just by looking at it I got the impression that he didn't even use albacore tuna, since it looked fairly dark, which meant it had a stronger flavor to it. Maybe he thougtht he needed that to stand up to all the peas, but I still wonder.
I have to say that I was a little disappointed by the Judges criticism of Sara M.'s chicken ala king. At least she used her imagination, and while I couldn't see the relationship her dish had to the original by just looking at it, knowing ahead of time that her dish was that classic I could see what she was going for. It might have failed as a dish, but at least she thought about it and tried to innovate, and she was one of the only ones to do so. All in all, a fairly weak episode in a relatively boring season.