‘Top Chef’ – ‘Fit for a King’: Fire in the hole!

Senior Television Writer
03.10.11 32 Comments


Liane Bonin continues to ably handle recapping duties for “Top Chef” on our site, and you can find her account of last night’s episode here. I, meanwhile, have some random thoughts on “Fit For a King” coming up just as soon as I compare nuts to music…

First, I’m very concerned for the emotional state of one Richard Blais. I haven’t seen too many reality show contestants be this close to cracking up at the end – or, at least, not that many whom I like as much as Richard. Ordinarily, that long gap before the “Top Chef” finals begins tends to bring people back with their mental batteries recharged, but it seems like Richard spent the interim just obsessing and feeling the weight of expectations as the overwhelming favorite. I’m not saying he will win, or that he deserves to simply to spare his psyche, but I don’t especially want to see his reaction if he falls to somebody like Mike Isabella.

Second, I’m sorry to see Carla go – especially with Tiffany yet again skating along as the 2nd-worst – but like Liane, I couldn’t believe she let herself make the same mistake that cost her her own season. She has tremendous natural instincts as a chef, and only ever gets in trouble when she second-guesses herself and tries something outside those instincts.

And speaking of Carla’s loss in her season, Hosea’s brief talking head about “all the haters”(*) spoke several volumes about what his life has been like since that season ended. Though he did win some challenges back in the day, his season was dominated by Stefan early and Carla late, and everybody (myself included) acts like he snuck in and won something he didn’t deserve. In some ways, that’s got to be as big a burden as Blais not winning his season.

(*) And if there exists a better “Haters Gonna Hate” image than the one on this t-shirt, I have yet to see it.

After all the great cooking last week, it was disappointing to see everyone so frazzled and mostly underwhelming. I know there’s not much that could have been done about the fire, but all the contestants were on edge well before that happened, and I generally like to see everyone at the top of their game this late in the process. Hopefully things are more exciting next week (above and beyond Padma in a bikini, that is).

What did everybody else think?

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