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Reality Fix

Top Chef Goodness: Terrible Twos in “Pike Place Pickle” 

Photo Credit: David Moir/Bravo

Wow, what a fantastic edition of Bravo’s Top Chef: Seattle. There was cheftestant drama but it wasn’t too overwhelming even though the episode featured more team challenges. And we found out what happens when no one manages to succeed in the elimination round. I was shocked…and amused. I couldn’t help it.

Like I said in my catch up article, I’ve skipped the last couple of seasons, but I don’t remember a time when the judges took the prize off the table and didn’t name a single winner. Plus, they decided to send an entire team home. It all made for some good television.

Some thoughts:

  • The chefs had to break up into teams of two. Why is it so hard for creative people on reality TV shows (fashion designers, singers, chefs, makeup artists etc…) to work in teams? It never goes well — especially on Top Chef.
  • The Quickfire went OK as the duos had to make breakfast food on a stick. Sheldon and Bart won it with their green forest breakfast sandwich w/ eggs, cheese, pancetta, bacon and spinach…on a stick. It looked great. Must have tasted amazing. Both Bart and Sheldon received immunity. They didn’t need to worry about whether they tanked the Elimination challenge. That must have been a good feeling.
  • For the Elimination challenge the chefs had to stay in their teams and take on special ingredients the artisans in the Pike Place Market handcrafted themselves. These ingredients were so very quirky. Let’s just say I’m glad it wasn’t me that had to incorporate them into meals.
  • My favorite pairing (and clearly the show’s favorite pairing) to follow was Josh and John. It’s funny how those two ended up together after they didn’t get along at all in the previous episode.
  • At first, I thought it was genius how Josh and John were paired yet they each took a stance that they were going to do their best to remain drama-free. Considering I felt that Josh was saved from the previous episode partly because of the potential for these two to battle furiously, I quickly grew worried.
  • I shouldn’t have worried. The enjoyment was in simply watching those Josh and John avoid anything near the vicinity of communication. They kept saying in their confessionals (and I’m seriously paraphrasing here), they didn’t want to cause the other to get pissed off so they decided not to tempt fate. They should have tempted fate. They ended up with a poorly made meal (Pan-seared Pork Tenderloin with Truffle Popcorn Grits) that should have been heavenly. Instead it landed them in the bottom three which was the worst of the worst.
  • I really feel like Stefan and Brooke landed in the bottom three because it was Stefan’s birthday and all episode long he’d been talking about the birthday curse that plagued his season of Top Chef. I have no doubt that this team’s Rose Petal Glazed Muscovy Duck with Braised Cabbage was bad. But I feel like there were other teams that could have beat them out for the bottom. All in all, it didn’t result in that much suspense, because the other two teams up for elimination clearly made worse food. You could tell that even from home.
  • What can I say about CJ and Tyler? Tyler’s a little odd but well meaning, although he let his partner take the lead. Not a good move. CJ is not one of my favorite Top Chef alums nor is he one of my faves from the current crop of cheftestants. My opinion of him plummeted even more when he sold out another team’s dessert after the judges made their comments and critiques.
  • By the way, how awesome is a cranky and angry Tom Colicchio? Padma didn’t look happy either. She was very stoic at the judges’ table. It was fabulous. I love how Gail smiles while telling the teams their meals were awful. And Hugh….oh Hugh. I love you so. When CJ questioned what they thought about that other dessert…and how awful it was — Acheson replied it wasn’t worse than his burger — which was an unimaginative Pork Crumpet Burger with Spicy Dill Pickles. That’s how you judge, my friends. It was a brilliant moment. It may be my Moment of Goodness from the entire episode.
  • Needless to say, John and Josh got a reprieve and Tyler and CJ were sent to Last Chance Kitchen.

Last Chance Kitchen

Photo Credit: David Moir/Bravo
  • Kuniko went up against a Tyler/CJ combo — the challenge was to create a dessert. The test was really for Tyler and CJ. Could they work well together? And since CJ had sold out another team’s dessert, this was their “punishment.” Their pairing went smoothly and their creation spoke to LCK host Colicchio the most. Kuniko is out of the competition. And that makes me incredibly upset. Needless to say, I’m going to try to save Kuniko with Bravo’s Save a Chef option. The winner will end up in the finals of Last Chance Kitchen.

Top Chef: Seattle airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on Bravo. Catch Last Chance Kitchen at bravotv.com

Preview Clip: Episode 6

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