Top Chef 11/11 (expect spoilers)

What, no Top Chef thread this week?

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As often happens, I think the wrong one went home.

How can you keep someone whose dish was virtually inedible?

By dumping the pain in the ass who has produced more crappy food than anyone left in the competition?

And who’s incapable of successfully making an incredibly easy dish?

And who is never proud of her dishes yet perpetually claims that she’ll make something decent next week?

Thank god. I agree that Eli’s dish looked worse (and was received more poorly) but Robin sticking around had just gotten painful. I felt bad for her. She knew she was outmatched but there was nothing she could do about it. She needed to be gently put out to pasture. Hopefully, Eli will not be too heartbroken with the departure of his love interest.

Unfortunately, the Jen Meltdown continues unabated. I really wanted her to make the final four (instead of Eli) but it doesn’t look likely. The only question now is which Voltaggio will come in second to Kevin. I don’t share the Mikey Volt hate that many have expressed, but he’s not doing himself any favors with his petty bitching about Kevin. The dude can cook, probably better than you. Deal with it!

I think that past accomplishments had a lot to do with this decision. Eli’s may have tasted worse but his food hasn’t been as bad as Robin’s overall. Plus, Eli’s dish was more of a risk and Jennifer’s just didn’t sound as bad as the other two’s dishes. Let’s face it, we all knew it would be her when she said she was going to make a panna cotta, right?

Shit on a shingle? She actually served SOS for breakfast to the judges? I am now sure Jen is tanking the competition so she doesn’t have to admit she got beaten.

Jen’s on a roll. For the EC she did that beef with a brown (shit) smear on the plate. One of the judges even commented there was something angry about that dish.

I think the judges cut Eli some slack because he won the quickfire this week, and he was in the top group in the elimination challenge for the last two episodes - Restaurant Wars and the Natalie Portman episode. I admire Michael V as a chef but he needs to get a life (per his comments about Kevin’s cooking).

Finally. Robin has been “not the worst” for too many weeks now, like Lisa in a previous season. Plus, what was up with her attitude towards one of the brothers in the Quickfire kitchen? He’s only got 30 minutes to make a dish, and she gets in his way and then has the nerve to get angry at *him *when he tells her to move? She had a (clean) empty kitchen to work with.

Colicchio has always said that in the past the loser was always determined based upon the meal served at the challenge, and not on prior performance. Last night he said something about “now it’s about who is the best chef” (paraphrase). At that moment I knew who was going home.

It was all about cumulative performance, because Eli’s dish was awful in every way. He blew the concept and the execution. That was the worst dish in the entire season, including the one Colicchio spit out.

Well… Tom disagrees with you.

Yeah, I noticed Eli getting the dreaded “Loser Edit”, what with all of the extra focus given to him in this episode. With Tom’s blog comments above, I now understand why Robin was booted, and I believe the editors were intentionally telegraphing an Eli elimination so that we could be pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be Robin instead.

I’m thinking that the editors know that we know all their tricks now so they’re trying to change it up a bit. Like when Bryan was shown making the phone call home, in the past that is often a bad omen and that person ends up going home.

Yeah, I was actually expecting Bryan to have a total meltdown in this episode.

You know, just looking at the stats for this season it’s ridiculous how one sided the contestants are. Mike, Kevin, and Bryan are all tied for three wins, with Kevin and Mike being in the bottom only once. In fact, so far only 4 different people have won Elimination challenges (the fourth being Jen), which as long as Eli doesn’t win one will set a new record. Season 1 had 5 winners, but they had 2 less challenges and they had two challenges with no winner either.

I agree about Robin being unreasonable about Michael V’s barking at her. Obviously, she was walking right in the middle of his work and he was already po’d that she had left a mess. I bet it was one of those things where she thought about it later and she was over-reacting, but the more they show of that kind of thing, you can see why most of the chefs dislike her.

Jennifer seems to have something going on besides just performance anxiety- it all seemed to go down hill when she was sick but she just is no where near the same person she was that the start of the competition.

I find it interesting that in the blogs the last couple weeks Tom has basically seemed to say that while Jennifer was on the bottom, she wasn’t really in danger because the other ones were clearly worse. But when they’re at judges table, it seems like they try to make everyone think they might be going home. I suspect Jennifer thinks she’s doing worse than she really is, which can only be further eroding her already shaky confidence.

Another interesting blogging tidbit:

Kevin did a blog after the previous episode, and was super gracious with regard to Mike V.'s snarky comments about his dish. He basically said he and Mike V. had talked and worked it out, and also that with all the pressure they felt to win that it was easy for people to get carried away in their comments . . .

I got the impression from the edits that Eli’s dish wasn’t as horrible as they were trying to make it sound. I think they all agreed it was a failure, but it was at least an attempt at something interesting. Padma made the comment, “I would not eat that again”, which doesn’t seem as damning as wanting to spit it out or saying it made you feel ill. I expect it was Robin going down the whole time; even if she’d got the ‘Chihuly sugar’ in the dish it showed a complete lack of ability, according to what they said.

There may well have been some element of the past coming into it. Also, this makes the next episode potentially more exciting, essentially pitting Eli vs. Jen, with the faint possibility of a blowout by one of the Voltaggios.

I think you may be on to something here. While she was making her presentation to Nigella and Padma, I kept saying, “Don’t call it shit on a shingle. Don’t call it shit on a shingle.” Sure enough, she did. That’s just not how you win. If it’s not self-sabotage, it’s complete lack of self-awareness.