Some random points:
1. I'm not sure I totally get the deconstruction trend in haute cuisine; even chefs, on this last episode and in previous episodes of Top Chef, often mess up when trying to do a deconstruction of a dish. (Ron, who was sent home last night, seemed particularly clueless.) I think this is one of those instances where simply seeing the food and watching people react isn't enough; you have to actually taste it for yourself to see how the deconstruction works.
2. Toby Young's return was not particularly welcome; who would ever pronounce "paella" like it rhymes with "Stella"? That said, he seems be less snide than he was last season. Also: Where did Gail run off to?
3. The gap between the front-runners and the rest is becoming enormous, more so than in any other season. Ash, Laurine, and Robin don't look like they'll be around much longer. Ashley and Mike I. have some talent, but have had some serious execution problems. Even so, the general level of talent seems to be vastly above that of last season; there's no way someone like Hosea would still be in contention by now, much less win it all.