Last night on “Top Chef: DC,” the theme was related to Congress, as host Padma Lakshmi introduced congressman Aaron Schock from Illinois (dude is not even 30 years old!). Anyway, Schock told the chef-testants that they had to keep lobbyists from buying them expensive dinners and so they have rules that they can only have small bites when getting together for food. So the quick fire challenge was to create a small bite that packed the punch of a full meal. The winner would win not only immunity this week, but $20K. Wow!

The least favorite dishes were Ed’s duo of tuna; Alex’s pan-seared scallop; and Kelly’s bay scallop with watermelon. The top dishes were Kevin’s pork kebab; Angelo’s cucumber cup with shrimp and cashews; and Stephens surf and turf with crispy potato. The winner was…Angelo. Of course it was. Is he annoying all of you as much as he is me? I know he’s going to be in this till the finale though.

The elimination challenge was a power lunch at The Palm steakhouse….there would be five groups of two cooking with the same protein, but this would be an individual competition. The judges would be Padma, Tom and Gail Simmons, as well as guest judge Art Smith and several Capitol Hill dignitaries and TV personalities. The winner would have their dish on the menu at this Palm location and their face on the wall of caricatures. Head judge Tom Colicchio would be watching over them all in the kitchen too. There was some drama when Ed accused Alex of stealing his pea puree….and I’m sorry, I believe Ed…Alex seems a bit squirrely.

Amanda and Kelly went first with porterhouse steaks….but Amanda cut her’s off the bone, creating a duo with NY strip and filet, but the judges liked it enough. Kelly’s, however, had too much salt.

Oh, and why did they keep showing Tom in the kitchen trying each dish, but not saying anything? That was oddly creepy.

Andrea and Tiffany had swordfish and they weren’t fond of Andrea’s, which had like mustard and vanilla flavors…blech! But Tiffany’s came out well.

Stephen and Alex made salmon and the judges were fawning over Alex’s pea puree. Hmmmm.

Kenny and Kevin had lamb, the very protein that almost had Kenny sent home last week. Kevin’s dish came out not so good this time, with too much spice.

Angelo and Ed had lobster, and Ed hung in there and found a replacement for his pea puree.

The top dishes were Alex, Tiffany and Ed. Art Smith went off about how much he loved the pea puree and announced Alex as the winner. You could see Ed’s teeth gritting, and then Kenny declared Alex to be a thief and was pissed for Ed. Wow. That was crazy….I just wonder if any of it was staged.

The bottom three were Kelly, Andrea and Kevin. Kelly’s dish had way too much salt and Kevin’s way too much spice, but in the end it was Andrea who was sent home. They didn’t like that there was too much going on on the plate, and that the flavors were beating each other up. Also, Andrea admitted she doesn’t like swordfish or cook with it, so she was almost conceding beforehand. Meanwhile, Kevin and Kelly dodged a bullet.

And Angelo, of course, was in the middle this time because he had immunity. I’m sure he sandbagged it just to keep everyone guessing. So annoying.

Well that’s it folks…this season is about halfway there…..who do you like? Who don’t you like? Thanks for reading and see you next week…