Full disclosure: I was hard put to find a version of Wednesday night’s Top Chef I didn’t have to pay for. Even though I know better, I decided to go to Bravo.com. Unfortunately, I clicked on the bookmark that goes straight to Last Chance Kitchen, with the picture of the three chefs awaiting Twitter votes right at the top.  So I spoiled myself and knew going in Kristen was out. I was mega pissed about that and  wasted several hours and risked several viruses in a search for an episode I could get more than five minutes into to find out whatthehell happened. Now I know, and I’m still kinda pissed, but since Tom also felt she went home too early, he picked her as the winner for LCK, so I’m fairly sure she’ll be the one to return. There shouldn’t be any more than another two chefs to battle, IIRC.

As the episode developed, I got more and more pissed at Josie. I agree with Brooke that Kristen needed to place the blame where it belonged, and there was even a shot of her saying “Bite my tongue. Bite my tongue.” while Josie was happily throwing her under the bus. At the same time, I can see why a team leader would take final responsibility for a product that went out from their team. Especially since, quite frankly, as team leader Kristen needed to tell Josie to quit fucking around and roast her bones for the bouillabaisse already.  If Josie had done that the day before, there would’ve been time to both add the gelatin and then to test the sauce, and then the fact that Kristen didn’t want a lot of sauce on the plate would’ve been more squarely on her shoulders.

Also, if I’m being completely honest, judging from both the bouillabaisse and the boeuf bourguignonne, Kristen was plating the way she plates at her tasting restaurant. I’ve been to a restaurant with a similar concept, and the portion sizes are completely different than they should be for a “normal” restaurant, because the idea is not to have a meal from one dish but from several smaller dishes put together. Even though she was serving five courses, each course needed to be closer to full-sized than I think they were. Although, TBH, I’m trying to remember the portion sizes from Sheldon’s restaurant and I’m not sure they were any bigger.

Which brings me to Sheldon’s win. WTF??????????!!!!!!!!!????????????????????????????? Nowhere in the editing of the show did they make it sound like his restaurant should win. Emeril was not the only one who pointed out that Stefan being an ass and giving poor service far outweighed Josie’s f-up of the bouillabaisse. The only reason I can think of is that he had two courses that were incredibly spot on, one that was in keeping with the theme, delicious, and well-executed (and I kept hoping they’d compare it to Micah’s), and one that was delicious and well-executed but not quite in keeping with the theme, whereas Kristen had one bad dish and four that were good but the concept/theme was poorly brought out. Knowing it had to happen still didn’t make it any more believable for me.

I wonder exactly when the interviews on these types of shows take place. On some shows, you can tell by the clothes people are wearing that something was said earlier than aired, so to speak, but in this show they appear to have done them all after the season is over, because CJ has been wearing the same outfit for his LCK interviews that he did in his TC interviews. And obviously Kristen had had time to calm down and spout all that bit about a team leader taking responsibility, when at the time it happened she admitted she’d taken too much.

Finally, I’m ever so glad Gail was the voice of reason about Josie’s skating. I hope they’ll be keeping a sharper eye on her from now on, because she needs to leave. Even before Josh or Stefan, she needs to be the next to go.

As for LCK, I went into it knowing the producers were keeping CJ around, and dreading his eventual win. As it progressed, Kristen’s decision to redo the dish that got her there made me cringe, because it hadn’t worked yet this season. And Tom pointing out that she never did well during Quickfires just convinced me more.  When Tom started his spiel about the dish of the chef he was going to save, I nodded and said CJ, because that’s kinda what it seemed he was describing. Then again, he’s fooled me before with that description. And here’s something else I noticed but kinda dismissed because I was convinced the producers weren’t going to waver from bringing him back: Tom is exceptional at keeping a poker face when he tastes food in front of the chefs. But for the first time that I can remember, as he left Kristen’s table, he said, “Excellent.” Yes, I know I have a short memory. But I’m so happy for her win, since she’s my pick to win the whole thing, that I’m fanwanking as hard as I can.

If you missed LCK, there were a couple of funny moments: Tom left the peanut gallery to go talk to Kristen, but she had to dash off to the pantry, so he headed over to CJ, who also had to run off. Poor Tom barely made it back to his seat before they were both back and he could ask about what they were making. And the immortal quote of the episode, when Kristen was firing up the smoke gun, “Oh, I get it! It’s just like lighting a bong!” Loved Bart’s reaction to that, too, BTW. And I’ll admit I gave John a couple points for immediately instructing Kristen in a quick but detailed manner how to use it.

That’s all for now.

NT

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