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Headscratchers / Top Chef

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  • How did the show get a season 3? Season 2 was just so infuriating to watch that almost the entire fanbase thought it was one of the worst seasons. With mediocre to bad talent, a lot of unlikeable contestants, and of course the head shaving incident, I'm surprised that season 2 didn't get the show cancelled. The head shaving incident alone would've given them bad press as we literally see a contestant get pinned to the ground which can easily be considered assault and battery (an actual crime that was relatively unedited).

  • Why does Mike on Season 8 keep winning? Nobody likes him and his food doesn't even seem better. In fact, the entire Season 8 eliminated the wrong people the entire season. Every single contestant that people liked was eliminated all the way up until the final where Mike, who nobody likes, and Richard, who is going crazy remain.
    • You seem to be forgetting that this isn't a personality competition. It's a cooking competition. That isn't to say Mike deserves to be in the finale, but it seems you're complaining for the wrong reasons.
      • The complain actually seems rather valid. Mike Isabella was only average at best throughout the season. He won one Quickfire, but other than that, he never really made anything special, absolutely nothing that made him stand out above other chefs. His only strong showing was pretty much in the finale itself. That Isabella made it to the finale over chefs who were stronger than him throughout the competition does come across as rather jarring.
  • Is it me, or are the chefs on Just Desserts the single most emotionally unbalanced group of chefs ever? Only four episodes in as of this writing, and there's been more drama between them than across whole seasons of the regular show.
    • Even with Seth gone, it looks like both Heathers will be stepping up to provide even more craziness.
  • Top Chef All Stars: Did Marcel basically took a fish that had been on the floor for the episode 5 quick fire challenge? He makes a very smart move for the extremely quick fire elimination challenge by picking up the rest of Colicchio's fish others comment on how smart it was because it saved him time, but wasn't that the same fish Colicchio carelessly tossed into the bin that then fell to the floor spilling its contents? May have been a result of the editing, maybe the fish never actually touched the floor, but from what one can see on the episode, everything points to floor fish.
    • And somewhat related, another "smart move", in episode 4 from the same season, during the quick fire in which they don't have utensils. Fabio grating cheese on a wire rack shelf, inspired? sure, but isn't that unsanitary? Even Bourdain commented about it on his blog for the show. But no comment was made about it by other contestants. Seems like the kind of thing others would criticize.
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    • Of course, some of the other chefs may have commented, but neither chef won the Quickfire, so the criticisms may have simply been cut for time.
    • Then again, Tom did not use the whole fish for his dish, so it makes sense that Tom put the rest of the fish in his basket, so as to not waste the rest of it that can still be used. Even if the basket fell, the fish likely never spilled out onto the floor, or else it is very certain that the judges would have refused to taste the dish and ripped Marcel a new one over it.
  • And, -last one, I swear-, Fabio related. What's up with Fabio's reaction to Bourdain's criticism? I mean, it is Anthony Bourdain, looks like a nice guy but he won't hesitate in destroying dishes with extremely snarky and hilarious remarks, surely they are aware of this. None of the victims reacted that viscerally, to Toby Young's remarks on season 5 about a dish being cat food and another being a chemical weapon. I couldn't help to feel this was somehow producers instigated Rule of Drama
    • Fabio's reaction wasn't necessarily about Bourdain's comments per se; it was the lack of any meaningful criticism. Bourdain's comments basically amounted to stating "I hate this dish" in half a dozen different ways without stating why.
  • I'm somewhat bugged by a couple of the judges' comments. In seasons 3 and 5, they've made comments pertaining to Hung and Stefan cooking food that is otherwise good, but lacks soul. In season 5's Restaurant Wars, they then turn right around and scoff at the idea that Carla cooks with love, when the food she made wasn't very good.
    • I'm becoming more and more convinced several strange attitudes by the judges are more the result of the editing than anything else. The editors just like choosing the reactions and comments that seem more likely to upset the fans. On the other hand, those comments in particular may be due to Carla apparently trying to disregard the bad quality of that particular dish with the notion that she was "sending love" with it. Then again, with Top chef you can never be sure if the reaction shots you're seeing are the actual reactions of the people on camera to the bit they are supposed to be reacting to, which on a side note, bugs me to no end. And then you'll notice there was emphasis, during the rest of Season 5, on the love Carla put into her food, almost like we were being shown the judges were redeeming themselves after the mentioned Restaurant Wars, and one has to wonder how much that was edited in because of Carla becoming one of the fan favorites.
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  • The whole "judge challenges individually" thing irks me in a way. I get it's supposed to be a fair and impartial way of deciding who wins/gets eliminated. The problem I have is that through a number of seasons there has one Elimination Houdini who just manages to stumble their way into the finale by the skin of their teeth, and in making a finale menu that impresses the judges enough over the competitors', that chef can conceivably be named Top Chef on the spot. Seasons 3 and 4 had Dale and Lisa respectively who put up surprisingly strong finale dinners after being remarkably underwhelming in their respective seasons, while 5 and 7 had Hosea and Kevin win when they were rather sub-par chefs compared to their respective opponents.
  • Is the food on Top Chef Canada really that much worse than the American version, or do the judges just give more negative comments?
  • In the double elimination challenge of Top Chef Texas, where both members of a team would go home, why would Heather insult Beverly and throw her under the bus? This was mentioned by other cheftestants at the time, but it still doesn't explain why.
    • I think it's just as simple as "Heather is a bitch and a bully and really hated Beverly".
  • Did we ever figure out just why the fuck Kristen was eliminated over Josie in the Seattle Restaurant Wars? Or at least why so Padma was so emphatic in the favor of Josie despite her poor performances and unprofessional behavior in not only this challenge, but the next? That was just mindblowing.

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