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Top Chef: Seattle – Ep 11 – The Episode Where I Get Mad At Padma

That is something I have bitched about before – the judges need to know what is happening in the kitchens. I know that Probst doesn’t see everything in camp during a Survivor season, but he asks very probing questions and Tribal Council to get much of it out in the open. Also, he has no power over the vote and deciding who goes home. On Project Runway, Tim is much more involved in the work room than Tom is during his walk-throughs. It is similar and both shows have that kind of problem, but Tim does get more info to use. This is a fault that needs fixing.

I also understand why the judges do not factor in past successes or failures into the judging, but instead focus on the challenge at hand. However, there are times where you need to use the past to understand the present. They have seen The Josie Show before, and have wanted to cancel it. Kish has been really good, really often. They should use that info in their decision making.

If you haven’t guessed…the judges elected to keep Josie and send Kish packing based on being the team leader. Kish basically fell on her sword and chose to not get down and dirty to save herself. She took full responsibility for the restaurant and never outlined just how much Josie failed to execute her dish. The sauce was not prepared, Kish tried to save it with some shortcuts, Josie never tested it to make sure it was working, and it didn’t. In addition, Josie’s seafood was not cooked properly. Why the judges focused so much on Kish’s leadership and not the poor dish in front of them, I just can’t understand.

Also, what I can’t understand? Padma’s vehemence that Kish go home. Padma is never that into it when discussing elimination. What the heck was that about? And when Padma is usually upset about something it is due to some service slight, or some rather offensive taste problem with a dish. Here she was lobbying hard against Kish and her involvement with Josie’s failed dish. What about Josie’s involvement with her failed dish? Shouldn’t that be more important? Gail nailed it – she was banking on Kish taking responsibility, and chose to not take any herself. That dish did not cook itself. Although, perhaps if it did, it would have been better.

What’s up with that, Padma? Did you want to end all discussion of your status as hottest woman on Top Chef? If so, then Brooke better watch out next. And come on, Padma that title was never really at risk. You know I love you, but really, this was a bad, bad call.

As a result, the dominos are falling. With Kish out, the Top 6 is now completely wide open to see who gets to the Finals. I’d say Brooke is now the front runner, but Papa Smurf and OTV have been doing well recently. And don’t rule out Thumb, who was one Richard Blais away from beating Hosea and winning his season. Another domino that fell as a result, is that CJ’s six-challenge winning streak on LCK fell due to facing a much stronger opponent in Kish. Now, CJ will do battle with the unstoppable texting machine that is Team Yagi Bear.

I know I have wondered – and judging by fan reaction online, others have too – how is it possible that Josie is in the Top 6? Obviously, all of these chefs are talented – you don’t get on the show otherwise. However, Josie’s story this season reminds me of Lisa’s from Season 4. She barely hung on by the skin of her teeth through several eliminations – surviving only by luck and the fact that someone else usually messed up just a bit more. Some of those decisions were also controversial. The funny thing about that analogy? Lisa stepped up her game for the Finale and actually beat Antonia and Blais – two chefs would later finish in the Top 3 of All-Stars. Can Josie win this season? I don’t think so, but based on the Lisa Plan…anything is possible.

Quickfire – Ain’t no Quickfire this week. We go straight into the scouting of the space for the challenge and the shopping for food and supplies. The additional twist to the Wars – the chefs have no kitchens. They will have to build their own. If you build it, they will come. Thumb has to shop for stuff on his own, while Kish foreshadows the Josie Problem as she sent her nemesis off with Brooke to get supplies. Brooke notes that Josie doesn’t seem to get the upscale theme, as she picks out linen and plates that are not fancy shmancy. Brooke even cutely realizes that she was on her way to being a bit mean in her confessional by implying Josie’s lack of class, which it actually ended in a small giggle.

Meanwhile, Thumb is taking over the décor and seems to want to screw a farmer’s table. Brooke showed her experience by drawing up the floor plan and taking a quiet leadership role – it was hard to do much in that way because of Kish’s hands-on strategy. Kish tells her team she wants to cook to order, and I think it was here where Josie took on the strategy of putting her feet up and letting Kish either soar and thus saving them all, or crashing and going down with the ship. OTV wisely notes that cooking fish to order in this setting will make them “go down so hard.” And no jokes with that one, please.

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