There's really only one word to use for this episode:
No rushing around from any of the 4 Master chefs, everything very methodical and easy-paced. Quite unlike the regular season TC. Even Gail Simmons talked about how friendly and helpful the chefs were towards each other....vs. what she usually sees on TC. But it also made for a less interesting show, IMO.
The Aisle Shopping Quickfire....Have to say that chocolate dessert by Cimarusti looked heavenly - chocolate and ginger - two favorite flavors together.
Interesting little sidebar bit (what do they call these throwaways that are not part of the show but almost like a little extra of the hours between the taping?) where they went to Kelly Choi's "apartment" and make dinner together.
Elimination Challenge - the Mystery Box. Again - all chefs very accommodating to each other - no one was going to sabotage the other by buying something they'd not be able to deal with. I was really hoping for Waxman to win. Although his plating definitely wasn't attractive, his dish sounded the best to me. But Smith's Mango Cobbler did look wonderful - a nice touch to go with the two (fried & smothered) chicken dishes.
So we now have the final 6. OH - and Gael Greene's blog is already up.
ETA: Choi's and Oselund's blogs are also up - and it turns out (per Kelly Choi's blog) that THIS was actually the first episode taped, albeit the last one shown!