April 7, 2022 at 10:20 pm #1204908302
Ashleigh made it back in during a quick run in “LDK,” so good for her! It’s more satisfying to see a very early elimination return to the competition, but Leia just couldn’t rally in the end. Nice to see her thrive in the fun gelato Quickfire, which helped her greatly when she flopped in the main challenge with needed immunity. Sadly, it doesn’t look like Ashleigh will be the first black female winner this series is desperately lacking. Making the dishes inspired by powerful Texan women seemed to bring out the best in most of the chefs. Evelyn shined brightly with her Selena inspiration, which I guess was fairly telegraphed in the editing. Monique doubted herself too much with her broth dish and splitting up the fried oysters. She didn’t make it past Sarah, unfortunately, in “LDK,” so that’s that.ReplyCopy URL
vinnyJoined:May 20th, 2011Topics:Posts:April 8, 2022 at 11:27 am #1204908965
I feel like Evelyn and Buddha are getting a winner edit last night. Turns out Evelyn and Buddha were in the top 3.ReplyCopy URLApril 14, 2022 at 9:53 am #1204916723
Episode Title: “Swallow the Competition”
Synopsis: The remaining chefs expand their horizons in a master class on Nigerian flavors guided by local chef Ope Amosu and all-star Kwame Onwuachi, and they need to make a stew that pairs perfectly with traditional Nigerian swallows; another contestant is eliminated from the competition.
Discuss.ReplyCopy URLApril 16, 2022 at 2:23 pm #1204919378
Expected exit for Jo, who could never seem to rise above the middle of the pack in the tight field of chefs this season. She couldn’t get past Sarah in “LDK” either, who’s killing it right now. Am I rooting for Sarah lol? Her personality continually annoys me, but I like seeing long-ousted chefs return and shock the remaining chefs for the title. It was sort of deflating to have Leia do so well in “LDK” yet falter at the end, but Ashleigh return to active competition after only a week. All the “Jurassic Park” shilling was sad and eye-rolling. I thought the high caliber of this series (re: top-tier ad buys) would prevent that sort of nonsense from happening. This should have a single focus on Nigerian cuisine, which gets far less attention here versus the heavy Eurocentric mindset. Regardless, it’s time for Restaurant Wars next episode, usually the highlight of the season for me, so I can’t wait!ReplyCopy URLApril 21, 2022 at 11:01 am #1204926071
Episode Title: “Restaurant Wars”
Synopsis: The remaining chefs are put to the ultimate test; they have to build restaurants from the ground up; “Top Chef”‘s signature challenge levels up yet again, requiring the chefs to satisfy their VIP counter and a dining room full of guests; another contestant is eliminated from the competition.
SarahvsAwardsJoined:Jun 14th, 2021Topics:Posts:April 22, 2022 at 2:13 am #1204926903
Jackson’s elimination is no surprise at all, been waiting for it since week one. Ignoring the judges and not even presenting the food to them was…quite the choice. I guess it lets Luke hang on another week, but he’s in the bottom constantly and I have to think he’s next to go.
Evelyn ran a great kitchen despite the questionability of their Southeast Asian theme she was largely responsible for (how after 19 seasons have folks not learned to try and teach other chefs new dishes and flavors for restaurant wars??) I think Evelyn is making the top: the judges love her food, she cooks with heart, she has a great story, great cultural connection to her cooking, and she can be a great leader.
Right now, I think finalists are Damarr, Buddha, and Evelyn. Spoiler is Nick. I’m also sensing a potential comeback narrative for Ashleigh despite her underperformance. She did well this episode, already battled back from LCC, has the credentials…I could see her hanging around to be a late elimination just before the finale. But maybe I’m projecting because I love her.ReplyCopy URLApril 22, 2022 at 4:54 pm #1204928010
Wowwww. I had Jackson in the finale. Pretty monumental exit, and he didn’t make it against seemingly unstoppable Sarah in “LDK” either, so this was truly the end of the road for him. His cockiness always rubbed me the wrong way, and as far as Restaurant Wars goes, genius Buddha called this one pretty easily. Bad front of the houses have sent MANY strong contenders packing in the past, regardless of what potentially great dishes or overall records they had. It was blunder after blunder for Jackson with choosing family style over individual plating, blending courses together, poor dessert (major red flag), and unattentiveness at judges’ table (so dumb). Jackson didn’t even explain the courses or who made what until it was demanded he do so. I give Luke a bit of slack with getting so much assistance from Evelyn with the team’s curries. His failure in many respects is also hers. But overall, Luke has remained unimpressive as the “famed” Noma chef who plated nothing for the first Quickfire and has routinely had difficulties seasoning food. Redemption for Ashleigh, which was wonderful to see! They had notes about her salmon tartare, so I thought Damarr would win for his uniformly praised carrot cake or Buddha for being one of the best front of the houses ever. Not awarding the female executive chef of “Matriarc” would have been churlish in hindsight. If Sarah can make it back in the main competition, then she makes the final four as well. Have to completely rethink the rest now. I think Damarr can go the distance, and maybe this starts the narrative of the first black female winner with Ashleigh (shameful AF @ 19 seasons). Who takes Jackson’s slot? My early bet’s on Evelyn. I wanted her to rip Jackson a new one for hiding his no covid tasting/smelling issue for so long. They relied on him to taste EVERYTHING on the menu for “No Nem”! Bye, Felicia.ReplyCopy URLApril 28, 2022 at 4:55 am #1204935416
Episode Title: “Freedmen’s Town”
Synopsis: The remaining chefs are tasked with creating a monochromatic, plant-based dish for their Quickfire Challenge; for the Elimination Challenge, the chefs are tasked with creating dishes that speak to their souls for a block party fundraiser; another contestant is eliminated from the competition.
Discuss.ReplyCopy URLApril 29, 2022 at 3:54 am #1204936717
All POC final six! Never thought I’d see the day lol. Luke was so up and down throughout the competition that it’s not a total surprise, though Ashleigh has had just as rocky a season as Luke. She was lucky enough to swoop in at the last minute in “LDK” to get back in the competition. Maybe Luke shouldn’t have been so hyped up as the famed Noma chef in the promos? That raised expectations unnecessarily for him, but at least he endeared himself well in his final episode. Sarah took him down in “LDK,” and his seasoning woes got the better of him AGAIN! Salt, man, salt! She wasn’t unstoppable this time with her pesto error. Now watch Sarah win the entire season outright. Nice challenge inspiration with Freedman’s Town. Somewhat surprised Jae managed a win. She’s been mostly a middle-tier contender in my eyes, but the judges love an ascendant chef with a narrative at this point in the season. I expected Damarr to win even with his final Quickfire immunity. It was an easy editing trick to have multiple scenes hyping up his hoecakes burning as being such a disaster, when in reality, he rallied in the end like he always does. I’m sensing a potential winner’s edit with Damarr. Buddha sort of needed this one to cement his frontrunner status after Restaurant Wars. Damarr has an effortless calm about him that’s surprising on such a high-intensity series as this is. I get the feeling that he’s on the spectrum in some regard with his low affect, which is perfectly fine, but sometimes the judges clearly want emotional fireworks and sentimentality from him that he just can’t provide them. Regardless, great challenge execution and judging throughout. Also like Dawn getting a nice redemption arc as repeat guest judge. She’s much better suited for this as an alum than all of her plating issues during her season. I sense a future “All-Stars” run as well. It’s some needed course-correction with this show’s sad history of awarding no black female winners yet. The next best thing is to give them cushy judging slots, I guess (Tiffany, Nina, Dawn, etc.). Hope that pays well.ReplyCopy URL
vinnyJoined:May 20th, 2011Topics:Posts:April 29, 2022 at 9:43 am #1204937006
The one week Luke didn’t annoy me and he is gone…go figure. Evelyn is still my winnerReplyCopy URLMay 4, 2022 at 11:37 pm #1204942459
Episode Title: “Dinner in Zero Gravity”
Synopsis: The competition reaches new heights as the remaining chefs voyage to the Houston Space Center; they’ll have to create a stellar new menu item that they would crave if they were on a multiyear mission to Mars; another contestant is eliminated from the competition.
Discuss.ReplyCopy URLMay 6, 2022 at 2:59 am #1204943908
Nice N.A.S.A. tie-in with tonight’s episode. That made much more sense in terms of the elimination challenge than whatever nonsense the “Jurassic World” one was. Lots of creativity on display across-the-board, with Buddha really putting his mad scientist cap on and easily winning the challenge. Jae’s elimination isn’t too surprising. She’s had some highs in the competition with a victory to her credit, but she never had a winner’s edit to me. I thought she was middling cannon fodder from the beginning, but she proved herself to be more than that in a competitive field, so kudos. The big news is Sarah making it back to the competition in “LDK.” Lots of shenanigans to reach that point, but she’s tied with the most victories ever to return to the main competition. That’s what I like to see, bitches! Even though I find Sarah’s personality incredibly annoying, she’s earned her returning bid fair and square, and now I absolutely have her in the final four. Multiple “LDK” winners have ended up winning the season outright, so there’s no new narrative with that, but having her go through all of that just to be eliminated next episode would be churlish. Final four predictions: Buddha, Sarah, Evelyn, and in a surprising turn of events, Nick “the Baker.” Nick might be the most quiet-storm contestant I’ve ever seen on the series, but his $$$ monetary haul doesn’t lie. I’m not seeing it for Ashley anymore. She’s too inconsistent, so unless she wows in the home stretch, I don’t think it’s happening for her, despite having the ULTIMATE narrative with being the first black female to ever win the crown. Damarr showed his first signs of weakness with his overcooked rice (twice), which is a glaring mistake for a professional chef. He didn’t rally like usual when confronted with a cooking obstacle. I could easily swap Nick for Damarr, but I have a gut feeling either one or the other makes it to the finals, not both. If my theory about Damarr’s health is correct, that’s also a strong narrative, but the editors aren’t playing that up much at all. The shock exit of the season already happened with Jackson, but maybe another one is possible too. Anything’s possible with this strong a final six. The plot thickens…ReplyCopy URLMay 11, 2022 at 9:06 pm #1204949535
Episode Title: “Family Vacation”
Synopsis: The remaining chefs head to the Gulf of Mexico in Galveston, Texas; “Top Chef” alum Shota Nakajima presents them with their next Quickfire Challenge, using the freshest gulf shellfish to create a seafood tower with one hot and one cold dish; another contestant is eliminated from the competition.
Discuss.ReplyCopy URLMay 13, 2022 at 6:52 am #1204950956
Sad for Ashleigh. I hoped she had the narrative to win the season outright, but that was clearly not the case with her inconsistent run. Sarah struggled in her return to the competition in both the Quickfire and elimination challenges, which goes to show you that the main competition and “LDK” are two entirely different skillsets. Great edits for Evelyn, Buddha, and Damarr tonight. Didn’t expect Nick to struggle with a “home cooking” challenge, but maybe cooking for his mother got in his head too much and made him overthink his dish. This field of finalists seem pretty evenly matched going into the home stretch. My final four predictions continue to change weekly. It would seem like such a waste for Sarah to go home next week after dominating “LDK” like she did, but that could so happen. And who wins the season? It truly could go in multiple directions now.ReplyCopy URL
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