Four episodes in to “Top Chef”, and we finally have a controversial elimination. This was one of the strangest episodes in terms of construction we’ve seen on the show in a while — there was no guest judge for the first challenge, practically a billion for the elimination, and at one point people were literally making baby food.
For the kiddies
There was certainly appeal for a production standpoint for this week’s Quickfire Challenge — what better way to push chefs out of their comfort zone than making them cook a dish for both adults and infants? However, there was a distinct problem in that some chefs either didn’t have kids or were never trained to make the stuff.
That said, there were some chefs who excelled in the challenge rather easily. Tamesha appeared out of nowhere to deliver a dish with licorice oil (before going back into obscurity the rest of the week). Meanwhile, Kenny and Angelo had their weekly chest-puffing contest and each guy produced what was a pretty strong dish.
In the end, though, Padma and Tom declared Tamesha and Kenny the winners, and they each received a generous $10,000 check for their pleasure. As for the week links, Alex (who is quickly becoming the creepiest man on reality TV with his constant comments about sex) and Timothy needed to step it up the next time around.
Three courses for disaster
As chaotic as making baby food was, it really didn’t compare to the epic disaster that was the Elimination Challenge. The goal for this was to have the groups work in pairs (which is okay), making them cook three courses (which is also okay), and then have the weakest team go home (not okay). The double elimination threw a massive curveball into the mix, since one bad chef could theoretically ruin the whole team.
This trick instantly had Tiffany worried about her success — she was paired with Timothy (who has seen his share of struggles), but they got along just fine. Selected teams were declared safe after breakfast and lunch, and of course Angelo survived the lunch round after making some Asian cuisine.
In the end, there were a few major surprises — first of all, Alex and Ed managed to be declared safe at lunch despite bombing breakfast out of control. In addition the bottom three teams (Kenny & Kevin, Kelly & Angela, and Arnold & Lynne) all had a past challenge winner on their team. Heck, Kenny has won practically everything Angelo hasn’t.
The groups squared off making a dinner dish suitable for the Hilton, and both Team Kenny and Team Arnold had some flaws. The former group didn’t put enough glaze (or have enough flavor) in their short ribs, whereas the latter used pasta that was undercooked in the dish.
However, you have to look at things a little more closely. Lynne stalled on making her pasta, and her attitude really rendered Arnold useless. Meanwhile, Kevin was questioning the amount of horseradish Kenny was putting in the dish, when really he needed more.
Do you see what I’m getting at here? The judges should have eliminated the two weaker chefs — Lynne and Kevin — even though they weren’t on the same team. Instead, Lynne ended up causing Arnold to go him. What a shame, since the guy was both extremely likable and a pretty creative guy. As a matter of fact, he wasn’t particularly awful in anything all season.
Nevertheless, this is the world of reality TV. Are you upset by this elimination? Feel free to share your thoughts with a comment and stay tuned for more TV news.
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