Thursday, January 13, 2011

Review: Top Chef - We're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat (8.6)

© Barbara Nitke/Bravo
I have to give the producers a lot of credit. When I saw there wasn't going to be a quickfire challenge I was kind of disappointed. I understand why they had to do it. Instead of spending their time planning and shopping, the chefs instead had to sit on a boat and try to catch fish. I had forgotten that I missed out on a quickfire as soon as Carla made that face to Tre when she said she had gone fishing all the time, but never has held a rod.

Either that water in Montauk was chummed (a lot) before the chefs got there, or we all need to head to New York to do some fishing. I'm glad the obvious disaster of a team not catching enough fish never happened. That would have been the extreme end of bad luck in Top Chef history. Its rules and challenges like this that keep you interested in the show week to week. Sometimes, though, I think these rules need to be more precise during these challenges.

Tom Colicchio, as he tends to do, instantly called Marcel, Richard, and Fabio's team for only making one dish together. Even though they knew they probably were playing it too safe and would be called out, if you listen to the rules at the start of the challenge it simply says that each team of three is responsible for catching and cooking fish for 200 people. I don't understand the point of making this a team challenge if you aren't supposed to work as a team. One team made a single dish, another team made two dishes, while the other two teams made three individual dishes. This is really the first time this season we get to see some of these contestants use their knowledge of the show itself to give them the best chance to move on each week. By three people only doing one dish they know how tough it would be for the judges to pick which two should go home.

After last weeks episode I said to a friend that Tiffani and Jamie better be the next to go. They both had overstayed their welcome and twice each I thought they were going to be the ones sent home. So you can be sure that I'm pretty happy with the results. I was extremely worried about Richard going home though. I was almost certain that he would be safe and if anyone from their team was going home it would be Marcel. But with how their dish was being talked about at judge's table there was a little seed of doubt that really got me nervous as I fast-forwarded through the final commercials to get to the verdict. In the end it made sense that the two girls were going home. They made obvious, simple mistakes and those tend to end cheftestant's seasons more often than anything else.

Next Week's Preview: Let me just say that I am so glad to see Anthony Bourdain back on the next episode just in time for restaurant wars. A lot of people (including myself) were very excited when it was announced he was going to be a regular, full-time judge this season. Why he's only be in four of the six episodes so far I'm not sure, but here's hoping he'll stick around from this point forward.

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