Well, it’s another season of Top Chef in the books. I don’t mean to brag, and also spoiler alert, but I’d just like to point out that I called this season’s winner after the first episode, no big or anything. This isn’t amateur hour, I’m like the Nate Silver of reality cooking competition handicappers, only without the ultimate disgrace (yet).
Okay, okay, I’m done bragging. We opened this week’s episode with a new twist. Or rather, a new twist on an old twist. Which is to say, they started by doing that thing where Padma introduces the challenge, and then says, “…but it’s a big challenge, so we figured you’d need some extra help!”
And then she brings out all the previously eliminated contestants. Which of course isn’t even really a twist (even though it’s still structured like a reveal) because pretty much every reality competition ever has been doing it since the beginning of time. IncludingTop Chef itself. One episode ago. Top Chef‘s new twist on that twist was that for the third sous chef, they brought out the actual chefs de cuisine from Brooke and Shirley’s actual restaurants. Pretty cool twist, right? …Guys?
I like the idea, especially since at this stage of their careers, a lot of Top Chef‘s chefs are more managers and business people than chefs. But I can’t say that it added much drama. The chefs de cuisine got about 150 seconds of combined screen time.
In fact, all I could think about during the sous chef picking was the continued humiliation of the early elimination chefs. According to Brooke and Shirley, those people still have to hang around the set doing nothing for all seven weeks, even if they got kicked off in the first challenge. Then on top of that, Top Chef does two or three challenges where the chefs have to choose from the eliminated competitors. Only, guess what, no one picks the chefs that got booted off first. So they just have to trudge out there, accept their not-getting-picked humiliation, and then trudge back to their not-good chef quarantine shack, eating gruel and peeling potatoes. On top of the fact that they had to take like seven weeks off from their jobs in the hopes of getting some name recognition and TV time that never came.
Top Chef should do a season where it’s every chef who got kicked off first in their season. Top Chef Redemption. I bet the producers already thought of this but couldn’t get it insured for when the first one kicked off inevitably kills themselves. Lawyers, man.
Anyway. No Quickfire Challenge this episode. Just a four-course progressive meal for a hundred people. Tom Colicchio showed up to announce it lookin’ like he ’bout referee an Aussie Rules Football game.
I wouldn’t normally explain my references, but in case you doubt me…