History Series / TopChef

10th Mar '16 4:20:37 PM Tropesofknowledge
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* ArcWords - "I am not a pastry chef." [[EpicFail Epic Failure]] generally follows.
** "It is what it is" could be translated as "I/we really screw up that challenge".
** "It's everybody's game right now" seems to be the franchise's motto.

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* ArcWords - ArcWords:
**
"I am not a pastry chef." [[EpicFail Epic Failure]] generally follows.
** "It is what it is" could be translated as "I/we really screw screwed up that challenge".
** "It's everybody's anybody's game right now" seems to be the franchise's motto.
9th Oct '15 4:48:37 PM littlelarciel
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* BreatherLevel: In season 12, the final four chefs get a challenge with no eliminations--as they will prepare dishes with the assistance of their family members. The winner of the challenge gets a spot in the finals.



* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The first two seasons of ''Top Chef Masters'' followed more a of a tournament-style competition. Season 3 follows much more closely to the usual format of the other shows.

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* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: EarlyInstallmentWeirdness:
** Top Chef's first season is a definite example. Katie Lee Joel was host, the starting cast was only 12 chefs, and at Judges' Table, the chefs actually took seats across the judges for deliberation! Tiffani and Stephen, when they competed in the ''All-Stars'' season, especially commented about how different their experiences were when the show was starting out.
**
The first two seasons of ''Top Chef Masters'' followed more a of a tournament-style competition. Season 3 follows much more closely to the usual format of the other shows.



** Last Chance Kitchen, starting in Season 9.

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** Last Chance Kitchen, starting in Season 9.9, a last-chance tournament before an eliminated chef is out of the competition for good. The winner of this tournament rejoins the competition during the finale.
** George from Season 12 was the very first chef eliminated during the Quickfire Challenge. He rejoins the competition when there are only seven chefs remaining, and makes it just short of the last challenge before the finals.



** [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] in Season 11 when [[spoiler: Nick was given a chance to give up his immunity and resign from the competition after he made 2 poor dishes and was the sole weak link in his group. Nick felt he earned his immunity so he opted to keep it so he can keep competing. This led to Stephanie, who had an excellent dish that was only slightly less excellent than Shirley's dish, being eliminated. Regardless on how you felt about Nick's immunity, it's pretty much agreed that Stephanie being eliminated for making a great dish was pretty crappy]]

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** [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] in Season 11 when [[spoiler: Nick was given a chance to give up his immunity and resign from the competition after he made 2 poor dishes and was the sole weak link in his group. Nick felt he earned his immunity so he opted to keep it so he can keep competing. This led to Stephanie, who had an excellent dish that was only slightly less excellent than Shirley's dish, being eliminated. Regardless on how you felt about Nick's immunity, it's pretty much agreed that Stephanie being eliminated for making a great dish was pretty crappy]]crappy.]]



* OldNewBorrowedAndBlue: The theme for a wedding challenge in season 5

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* OldNewBorrowedAndBlue: The theme for a wedding challenge in season 55.



* OneSteveLimit - Averted with the two Heathers in ''Just Desserts''. They can be told apart however due to one of them is Asian and the other has a large bandage on her face.

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* OneSteveLimit - OneSteveLimit: Averted with the two Heathers in ''Just Desserts''. They can be told apart however due to one of them is Asian and the other has a large bandage on her face.
20th Sep '15 3:11:58 PM littlelarciel
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* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Cliff from Season 2. He, Ilan, Sam, and Elia got the bright idea to shave Marcel's head... without his consent. Then, after failing, to shave their own heads. Cliff was the only one to physically touch Marcel, so he was ejected from the competition. Without his dish in the mix, the judges couldn't determine who to send home, so both Elia and Marcel advanced to Hawaii. By trying to embarrass and demean the universally-despised Marcel, not only did Cliff get himself kicked out, he also ensured his object of loathing made it to the finale and went head-to-head with Ilan for the title.
* ImNotHereToMakeFriends: This line has been used by many throughout the show's history, most notably Tiffany (season 1), Marcel (season 2), Lisa (season 4), and Robin (season 6).

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* HoistByHisOwnPetard: HoistByHisOwnPetard:
**
Cliff from Season 2. He, Ilan, Sam, and Elia got the bright idea to shave Marcel's head... without his consent. Then, after failing, to shave their own heads. Cliff was the only one to physically touch Marcel, so he was ejected from the competition. Without his dish in the mix, the judges couldn't determine who to send home, so both Elia and Marcel advanced to Hawaii. By trying to embarrass and demean the universally-despised Marcel, not only did Cliff get himself kicked out, he also ensured his object of loathing made it to the finale and went head-to-head with Ilan for the title.
** The two times that Spike wins the Quickfire Challenge in Season 4, he ends up on the bottom for the Elimination Challenge. His unique advantage for both challenges is first pick of ingredients that the other contestants can't use. For the first challenge--a healthy boxed lunch--Spike chooses bread, chicken, lettuce, and tomatoes just to make it difficult for everyone, but his own dish doesn't wow the judges, and Tom even asks if he chose his ingredients just to hinder his competitors. For the second challenge, Spike picks frozen scallops to serve during restaurant dinner service, and it ultimately gets him eliminated.
* ImNotHereToMakeFriends: This line has been used by many throughout the show's history, most notably Tiffany Tiffani (season 1), Marcel (season 2), Lisa (season 4), and Robin (season 6).



* MuppetCameo: All-Stars had Telly, Elmo, and Cookie Monsters judge the Quick Fire Challenge, with Elmo likening a contestant's cookies to cow pies.
* MyGreatestSecondChance: Three previous contestants (Josie from Season 2, CJ from Season 3, and Stefan from Season 5) returned to compete in Season 10.

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* MuppetCameo: All-Stars had Telly, Elmo, and Cookie Monsters judge the Quick Fire Quickfire Challenge, with Elmo likening a contestant's cookies to cow pies.
* MyGreatestSecondChance: MyGreatestSecondChance:
** The Quickfire in Season 5's New Orleans finale allowed one of three previously eliminated chefs to compete in the Elimination Challenge. However, Jeff had to win that challenge to advance to the Final Challenge, and was eliminated again when he wasn't announced as the winner.
** ''Top Chef: All-Stars''.
**
Three previous contestants (Josie from Season 2, CJ from Season 3, and Stefan from Season 5) returned to compete in Season 10.10.
** Last Chance Kitchen, starting in Season 9.



** Richard Blaise, runner-up in season 4 and Top Chef in Season 8, rarely did anything without liquid nitrogen during Season 8. He even tried to make a damn cookie with liquid nitrogen (and was called out for not actually making a cookie by the Cookie Monster himself). Also, in season 4, he cooked "Banana Scallops" THREE times.

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** Richard Blaise, Blais, runner-up in season 4 and Top Chef in Season 8, rarely did anything without liquid nitrogen during Season 8. He even tried to make a damn cookie with liquid nitrogen (and was called out for not actually making a cookie by the Cookie Monster himself). Also, in season 4, he cooked "Banana Scallops" THREE times.



* OneSteveLimit - Averted with the two Heathers in ''Just Desserts''. They can be told apart however due to one of them is Asian and the other has a large bandage on her face. Averted several times in the regular seasons as well, most notably between the two Mikes and two Jens in ''Top Chef: Las Vegas''.
** ''All Stars'' has two Tiffanys and two Dales (though, one Dale is Asian and one Tiffany is Black). The Asian Dale was often referred to as Angry Dale by fans.
** Season 9 has two Chrises, Chris C and Chris J. Other contestants often referred to Chris C as Malibu Chris or Malibu, as he resides in Los Angeles and is the prettier of the Chrises. He was elminated in episode 7 leaving Chris J as the lone Chris.

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* OneSteveLimit - Averted with the two Heathers in ''Just Desserts''. They can be told apart however due to one of them is Asian and the other has a large bandage on her face. face.
** Season 3 had Sara Mair and Sara Nguyen.
**
Averted several times in the regular seasons as well, most notably Season 6 between Michael Voltaggio and Mike Isabella. There was also Jennifer Carroll and Jennifer "Jen" Zavala, but the two Mikes and two Jens latter was eliminated in ''Top Chef: Las Vegas''.
the first episode.
** ''All Stars'' has two Tiffanys and two Dales (though, one had Dale is Asian Levitski and one Tiffany is Black). The Asian Dale Talde (the latter who was often referred to as Angry Dale by fans.
fans), as well as Tiffani Faison and Tiffany Derry.
** Season 9 has two Chrises, Chris C and Chris J. Other contestants often referred to Chris C as Malibu Chris or Malibu, as he resides in Los Angeles and is the prettier of the Chrises. He was elminated eliminated in episode 7 leaving Chris J as the lone Chris.
25th Jan '15 6:40:58 PM forcemajeure
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* SchmuckBait: In season 10, the chefs are sent to Alaska and asked to cook with local salmon for the elimination challenge. Their options include various kinds of prize salmon...and chum (scraps for the dogs). Sheldon takes the bait.
7th Jan '15 4:31:46 PM Gimere
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* RomanceOnTheSet: Hosea and Leah in Season 5.



* ShockingElimination: Season 3, Tre. He'd won more competitions than anyone else at that point, and yet a bad dessert sent him packing.
** It wasn't just the bad dessert, it was Restaurant Wars week and he was the executive chef of the losing team. Ergo, he got eliminated.
** Also Dale from Season 4. He had been consistently in the top. On that day, he had one bad dish, another chef made two. Most people thought Lisa would be sent packing, but team leader Dale had to take one for the team. This was the only decision that executive producer/head judge/voice of reason Tom wasn't around for.
*** Anthony Bourdain has a blog about this episode in which he explains that, yeah, Dale messed up one dish, but oh, what a mess-up that was. Not that Bourdain was a big fan of Lisa or Spike.
** Ashley in Season 6. The dish wasn't necessarily bad, but she refused to throw Eli under the bus for his mistakes with the dish and got burned for it.
*** Jennifer from the finale. Based solely on the judges' comments, they seemed to genuinely like both of Jennifer's dishes, even if one was a little too salty. Michael seemed to be in line for elimination, as he had clear problems with both his dishes.
** Tiffany from season 7. She had never been on the bottom of any elimination challenge prior to being eliminated, and in two previous episodes, she'd managed to win both the quickfire and elimination challenges.
** In Season 8, Angelo. He was a clear favorite for the title in his first season, and notched several wins and top group appearances. He went home in the [[ProductPlacement Target sponsored episode]] for putting out an oversalted baked potato soup. To his credit, he only had two weeks' rest between his finale and the next season, and he was likely even more exhausted by that time.
** The eleventh episode of Season 8 had a shocking bottom 3: Dale, who was eliminated, had won 4 Quickfires and 3 Elimination Challenges by that point. Carla & Tiffany both screwed up Southern cooking, which they each consider a specialty.
** In Season 8 again, Carla was the unlucky person to go home even though most people did not consider her to have the worst dish.
** Season 8 example, surprise: many fans were baffled when Antonia was sent home over Mike - who had admittedly stepped up his game for the finale - when the footage showed that the judges seemingly favored Antonia's amuse 4 to 3. A revelation that Tom had talked to Wolfgang Puck during a filming break before Puck changed his vote didn't help things much.
** In Season 9, Nyesha had been doing pretty well, but was sent home in a double elimination because her teammate screwed up an ingredient. [[spoiler: She then proceeded to outlast 5 other chefs in Last Chance Kitchen.]]
** Curtis in the deconstruction episode of ''Top Chef: Canada'' Season 2. Jimmy, who was also in the bottom, had been making the same mistakes with modernist cooking techniques throughout the competition, and his deconstructed dish failed so badly that guest judge Richard Blaise called it an embarrassment to modernist cuisine. Curtis had been doing quite well previously, and based on the judge's comments that appeared in the episode, his problem was a lack of familiarity with the original dish rather than any major failure of execution.
** Season 10 in Seattle's elimination of Kristen (who won many challenges and was favored to make it to the finale) over Josie (who was consistently on the bottom and ignored all of Kristen's instructions in Restaurant Wars).
** Season 11 had [[spoiler: Stephanie (who, coincidentally is Kristen from Season 10's best friend) being eliminated in the most unfair way possible. With six cheftestants left, not only did Top Chef still have immunity on the table, but also issued a 3-on-3 team challenge. In her team, Stephanie and Shirley cooked fantastic food and could've easily have been in the top. Unfortunately, their teammate Nick had let them down with two very poorly done dishes. The only thing was that Nick couldn't be eliminated because he had won the Quickfire Challenge. Nick did have a shot to fall on his sword but refused to do so. Thus, the judges decided that Stephanie was just a smidgen weaker than Shirley and got eliminated.]]
3rd Jan '15 1:16:49 PM hullflyer
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*** Also from season 6, both Michaels (Voltaggio and Isabella). Ironically, Michael Voltaggio's nicest moment was his speaking well of Robin in the reunion and genuinely apologizing for his bad behavior towards her, unlike Eli, who followed it up with an incredibly rude excuse for an apology for his comments and behavior towards RObin.

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*** Also from season 6, both Michaels (Voltaggio and Isabella). Ironically, Michael Voltaggio's nicest moment was his speaking well of Robin in the reunion and genuinely apologizing for his bad behavior towards her, unlike Eli, who followed it up with an incredibly rude excuse for an apology for his comments and behavior towards RObin.Robin.
27th Aug '14 11:48:58 PM littlelarciel
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27th Aug '14 11:48:57 PM littlelarciel
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* BaitAndSwitch: Several twists in challenges are revealed like this.
** In Season 1, the chefs were to create a seven-course dinner, and they were able to decide the order quickly and the dish they would make. Then on the day they're about to cook, Tom comes in with a knife block and declares the chefs will be cooking ''each other's'' dishes instead of their own.
** The improv challenge in Season 4 began with the chefs being told they're attending a performance of The Second City, a comedy troupe. During the performance, the actors obtain prompts from the audience and reveal that they are word combinations the chefs will prepare dishes from. They later learned that they could not use electrical appliances in the kitchen, and at the last minute they were informed they would be serving the dishes at their residence instead of the Top Chef kitchen.
** The Thanksgiving Quickfire in Season 5 was interrupted a minute into the challenge when the chefs needed to convert their dishes into soup form.



** There's also the literal "head-to-head" in some challenges, where chefs are put in pairs to cook dishes with a common element. Both dishes are served to the judges at the same time, and the winner is decided on the spot. Winners of their duels are eligible for winning the overall challenge, while the losing chefs are eligible for elimination.



** In Season 4, Antonia anticipated there would be a blindfolded taste-testing Quickfire and practiced that skill before auditioning. Her efforts paid off and she won immunity for that episode.



** Cynthia in Season 1 had to leave the competition to be with her ill father. The previously eliminated chef Andrea was brought back into the competition.



*** Well not every time. Season one had a challenge that Harold used frozen chicken wings for in Vegas and didn't get eliminated...though to be fair poker plays and not the judges ate that food.

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*** Well not every time. Season one One had a challenge that Harold used frozen chicken wings for in Vegas and didn't get eliminated...though to be fair poker plays players and not the judges ate that food.food.
* RomanceOnTheSet: Hosea and Leah in Season 5.



* SevenDeadlySins: A themed challenge in season 2

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* SevenDeadlySins: A themed challenge in season 22.



* ThisIsForEmphasisBitch: from season one, the memorable and quotable, "I'm not your bitch, bitch!"

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* ThisIsForEmphasisBitch: from From season one, the memorable and quotable, "I'm not your bitch, bitch!"
21st Aug '14 12:29:17 PM littlelarciel
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* FromBadToWorse: Zoi's elimination in Season 4. Because she was part of a three-man team with Spike and Antonia for that challenge, and Antonia had immunity, the reasons for their team being the weakest were very narrowly pointed out. After her EliminationStatement and showing her leave the kitchen, an argument breaks out between Spike and Antonia, with Jennifer (Zoi's girlfriend) also getting irate. Then by extension, Dale lets out several [[ClusterFBomb Cluster F-Bombs]] at Lisa (the challenge winner whom Dale felt didn't deserve the win), and Jennifer ends up hurling a chair to the ground that breaks. This incident was listed as the number one fight for their season.
18th Aug '14 4:40:33 AM littlelarciel
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* BackForTheFinale: The finale challenges often feature the return of the most recently eliminated chefs to assist as sous chefs.
** Season 8, ''All-Stars'', brought back ''all'' the previously eliminated contestants, with the finalists' sous chefs being decided by blind taste-testing.


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* CurtainCall: The post-season reunion specials.


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* HistoryRepeats: Literally, for the premiere episode of ''All-Stars'' titled "History Never Repeats". The chefs' first elimination challenge was to successfully recreate the dish that originally got them eliminated.


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** In the first few episodes of ''All-Stars'', both groups of chefs with the highest and lowest scores were called to Judges' Table together. After the chefs with the higher scores were commended and the winner was named, they would be excused to leave, while the lower-scoring group had to watch.
This list shows the last 10 events of 71. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Series.TopChef