Nick was absent from the challenge due to strep throat. If he didn't get better by the Elimination Challenge, he'd have to forfeit, which seemed a little harsh. I'm sure we've all eaten food prepared by a chef suffering from far worse than strep. Let's all think about that for a second.
After four rounds, the chefs ended up with mostly muddled dishes in which too many fingers had fumbled with the ingredients. Landing in the bottom was Louis for a roasted rosmary okra with frog's legs, which Kermit said "weren't tasty." It's funny how many times Kermit referenced frog's legs in this episode. Also unimpressive was Justin's dish, a marinated tofu salad with crispy bacon and cucumber. Justin blamed his loss on Shirley and Patty messing the dish up, which could absolutely be true as far as anyone can tell.
Patty and Carlos managed to tickle Kermit's palate, but Brian took the win — and immunity — with his "sea and land" duck with mussels and Asian flavors. Brian made sure to give props to the chefs who'd worked on the dish, which was a classy move. He vowed not to slack off — or, in his words, go "shoes off, socks off" — just because he had immunity.
Padma then announced the Elimination Challenge, which was to serve a potluck in three teams of four (holy crudité, there are still 12 chefs left??) at Kermit's own New Orleans establishment, Kermit's Treme Speakeasy.
Blue Team: Shirley, Justin, Louis, Sara
Green Team: Carrie, Stephanie, Carlos, Nina — clearly the strongest team.
Gray Team: Patty, Brian, Travis, and Nicholas if he's well. Clearly the weakest team, with or without Nicholas.
After bossing his team around over the phone as they went grocery shopping — "touch it, sniff it," Nicholas demanded of Travis — Nicholas made a miraculous recovery. It took me a second to understand Stephanie's joke about Nicholas and performance-enhancing drugs because that was some dry delivery.
By the way, at first, Brian totally looked like he was relaxing a bit. What's that smell? Oh, it's Brian's toes. He took his shoes and socks off.
NEXT: A bad potluck dish is like a bad White Elephant gift. Heaps of shame are piled on the person who brings it.