Greetings, and happy Human Rights Day — a good day to donate to Amnesty International, if you're so inclined. It's also a good day to watch Padma Lakshmi grapple with two enormous melons on her chest, and to chat about it online – which you can do in our open thread discussion of tonight's episode of Top Chef. Join us!

Here's how it works: Just tune in to tonight's episode — which airs at 10 Eastern on Bravo (and is also simultaneously streamed online) — and then join the rest of us as we all post witty observations about the show in the comments section below this post. To give you an idea of just how witty such observations can be, I've collected a few of my favorite comments from last week's open thread in this separate post — so be sure to check that out (especially since it includes a photo of a dog that that bears an uncanny resemblance to judge Hugh Acheson, which you won't want to miss).

By the way, before you ask, I don't know why Padma is grappling with those melons in the picture above. I just know it's a scene from tonight's episode, which includes a supermarket-shopping trip undertaken by the show's judging panel. Padma will also spill fish heads on the floor. Grocery shopping doesn't come naturally to her, it seems. Who would have guessed?

Something I'm particularly looking forward to on tonight's episode is the return of a big group of eliminated chefs, who will apparently get a chance to re-enter the competition by engaging in a "battle royal" (presumably not the professional-wrestling variety). This means we'll get to see the (at least temporary) return of Stacy Cogswell, who is a particular favorite around these parts because her sister participates in our open threads every week. And also because she's been an entertaining competitor and a class act. #teamstacy

Here are a few other things to watch for on tonight's episode:

  • In the Quickfire challenge, the contestants will make chowder for chef Jasper White —about whom Mei Lin will remark: "If you make a shit chowder, Jasper White is gonna be the one to tell you." So Jasper's refined palate, it seems, will alert him when a chowder has been made using shit as an ingredient. You can't sneak that shit past Jasper!
  • In the elimination challenge, the chefs will have to cook for 75 Top Chef "superfans" — who were reportedly selected from 16,000 people who responded to an open invitation from Bravo to participate. So these 75 folks rank among the top 0.47% of fans in on the "superness scale," apparently.
  • Gail Simmons will add to her long tradition of making inadvertently (?) quasi-obscene-sounding judging-table comments with this observation: "It sort of slimed around your mouth a little bit."

So, did Gail spit or swallow? Perhaps we'll find out when we watch the show, which should get underway soon. I'll see you in the comments!