This week’s Top Chef marked the first time in 15 seasons that we lost a competitor before the opening credits had even rolled. That would be Lee Anne Wong, the season one vet and pregnant lady who found her way back into the show through Bravo’s most-plugged web property, Last Chance Kitchen.
Turns out, last week’s episode, which involved camping in the freezing cold at 7,500 feet wasn’t great for the pregnant lady. She landed in the hospital with altitude sickness. She ended up bowing out, presumably to save Top Chef from becoming the first reality show ever to kill a contestant’s baby (citation needed). Bummer, I would’ve liked to see what kind of weird shit a pregnant lady cooks on Top Chef.
But the drama wasn’t over there! The ambulance showing up before the opening credits set the tone, but soon after that, we discovered that Brother Luck’s parents were strippers! Wait, what? This is like two seasons ago when Chef Kwame casually dropped that he sold candy on the subway to become a chef. I know I like to disparage Chopped and rip on Top Chef for their occasional human interest packages, but “my parents met as strippers touring Asia” is one tidbit of backstory that could’ve used more unpacking.
Also, while I’m always hesitant to point out that two black men look alike, is it just me or does Brother’s dad (pictured) kind of look like Cool Chris (below)?
Also, should we assume Brother is packin’? Should we give him extra credit for managing to cook this whole time without tripping over his giant dick? Perhaps, though I’m also pretty sure all black male strippers got called “Mandingo” in the 70s. It was a simpler time.
Speaking of Cool Chris, this week we found out that he’s a recovering alcoholic (a revelation that disappointingly got much more screen time than the stripper thing), thanks to a beer-pairing challenge that sent him down a spiral of depression. Nearly killing an unborn child and driving a competitor back to alcoholism? Man, this episode was really something.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. First the competitors competed in Quickfire Challenge, in which they had to take their most complicated dishes from their restaurant menus back home and try to squeeze them into 30 minutes for a Buzzfeed Tasty video. Having them make their own recipes was kind of cool, but as always, the speed cooking! challenges are a little dumb. What are they supposed to do, alter the physical properties of matter? They’re chefs, not alchemists.
Also, again with the social media challenge. They puffed it with the usual cutaways — “Being in a Buzzfeed video would so huge, you’d get five thousand more Instagram followers like instantly!”
WOOF. This might’ve been even worse than the Logan Paul cameo a few episodes ago. Is there anything more asinine than people on television counting followers on social media? Barf. Or maybe I still have a bad taste in my mouth from the time I got ejected from the hot club screaming, “Don’t you know who I am?!?! I have more than 75 friends on Faaaaaceboooooook!”
After that, local Chef Keegan Gerhard showed up to announce the elimination challenge: cooking German food for a German festival along with a radler pairing (radler being a shandy-type beer mixed with something sweet and fruity — kinda like michelada in Mexico or a snakebite in Australia, lots of cultures have a version).
Sheesh, first a camping challenge then German food? Let’s see how the respective chefs reacted to that one…
Chef Chris: Ugh. Chef Carrie: Stoked. Fatima:
I hope the producers are planning something much less white for the next challenge, just to make things fair. TO THE RANKINGS!