Yup, I agree: It was time for Mike to go home, and I don't know how much he even minded. Cliff's arrogance is getting a little much (and I totally agree about his decision to work the front of the house), but I think Elia needs to buck up: what kind of kitchen does she work in that's so genteel? They're brusque (at best!) places, and she shouldn't take everything so personally. That said, she should have fought to be front of the house; it would have been the best thing for the team.
Besides that disgusting dessert and lack of wine, the very idea of "Italian" was lame, IMO. Hasn't it been done to death? Nothing sounded/looked appealing and there wasn't even an angle to make it special. I thought if they did an Apuglian menu, or A taste of Trieste or something, it would say more than "another (yaaaaaaawn) Italian restaurant". I liked the snack challenge but it seemed everyone failed in the restaurant.
Oh, and I was right: the guest judge was that same nasty guy who judged last year and just sneered at everyone and was sooooo rude. Nice new 'do though.
Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt