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?Perhaps the most overused phrase, theme or idea behind anything on television between the summer of 2008 and now is/was “these tough economic times.” So who are we to judge when Top Chef jumped on the bandwagon?

The elimination challenge for this week was to create a family-style meal for a dinner party, you know, because of the economy…except there’s a crap-ton of cooks in the kitchen and the dinner guests are some of the most famous chefs in America. So, because we’re all trying to save money, we’ll cook some halibut ($20/pound), spot prawns ($24/pound), Kobe beef (up to $100/pound) and any other scraps we can find around the house.

Apparently, the economy is so bad Top Chef couldn’t even afford to keep the only remaining lesbian on the show. We were taken by surprise when Ashley was suddenly tossed aside like yesterday’s fish, when Ash still sucks and has yet to impress us with any of his dishes.

We did notice that there was enough money in the budget for Padma to sport a Leprechaun’s version of a disco suit for the quickfire, where, not surprisingly, Kevin won again. The green goddess’ bun in the oven must be affecting her wardrobe choices, and not for the better.

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