The ranks of this season's chefs have been winnowed down to nine, and will be further winnowed to eight tonight. We're live-blogging the episode in the comments, so why not join in and help us document the winnowing process?

And if you're so inclined, you can winnow down your alcohol supply while you're at it. I know I will! Allow me explain how the process works, in case you're new to it (the process of live-blogging, I mean, not drinking). First, turn on your TV and tune it to Bravo, while keeping your computer keyboard handy. Next, use the comments section below to post a running commentary on tonight's Top Chef episode, which starts at 10 pm Eastern. The rest of us will be doing the same. It's like a big jamboree of jaded jocularity! And nothing beats a jaded jocularity on a Wednesday night, I always say.

As evidence of that, check out this selection of a few of our last live blog's most jocular comments—all of which happened to involve last week's eliminee, Marcel:

  • Capt. Snarky: I think Marcel is fractally unlikeable. In other words, he's a douche at every level of analysis.
  • Saxon 212: Marcel needs to learn about respect if he wants to become a great rapper.
  • son of spam: Marcel has a superpower. He makes other douchebags sound nice and normal.
  • cletar: I fear Marcel is going to reach some sort of Douche Event Horizon and create a cataclysm that engulfs them all.
  • rebeccarosse: Angelo mediating between Marcel and Mike I. … it's like the Douchebag Yalta Convention.

Ah, Marcel, we'll miss you—if only because you gave us such good fodder for witty comments! Speaking of which, I've collected many more witty comments from our last live blog, so be sure to read it when you get a chance.

Time to direct our attention to the present—namely, tonight's episode. Based on what I spotted in the preview clips, here are a few things for us all to watch for as we live-blog tonight:

  • In the quickfire challenge, famed fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi will judge the food by looking at it—which makes about as much sense to me as James Beard judging clothing by eating it.
  • The elimination challenge will showcase famed Italian eatery Rao's, where guest judge Lorraine Bracco will offer gastro-psychological insights like: "The matriarchal presence in all of our lives is always surrounded by food." It sounds like she reverts to being Dr. Melfi after she's had a few glasses of wine with dinner.
  • Mike Isabella will complain: "I don't like being the favorite because there's a lot more pressure"—something he really doesn't need to worry about. I think the only challenge that Mike could be the favorite in is a "who's got the fattest neck?" contest.

OK, it's nearly 10, so I'm heading down to the comments. It's jamboree time—let the jaded jocularity begin!

[Image via Shutterstock]