Top Chef: Seattle

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Anyone watching Top Chef? The internets are going nuts over this week’s decision to send Kristen rather than Josie home. Colicchio attempts to defend the decision on his blog here:

but it rings false to me.

It was far and away the worst decision I have seen on a reality TV show. Even without the behind the scenes knowledge, Jose was such a swirling distaster in front of the judges on numerous occassions. They had multiple chances to send her home and didn’t.

Something that I’ve come to accept about Top Chef and a lot of these reality shows is that I don’t get to see everything that goes on, and I only get to see what the producers want me to see. Of course, I also don’t get to taste the food! So I’m always mitigating my /nerdrage when it comes to stuff like this.

That being said, yeah, my wife and I were pretty gobsmacked by the decision. Josie, IMO, has been the weakest chef by far this season, and as presented by the producers at least also the least appealing personally of all the chefs. She pretty much phoned it in for restaurant wars, and didn’t even get the stock going in a timely fashion–almost, given her comments about doing what it takes to win, deliberately it seems. OTOH, Kristin made a couple of really bad errors. One was not being enough of a hard ass in riding Josie to get stuff done, and another in not delegating enough–her decisions on the menu and the degree to which she had to have control of everything were bad calls. Together with her resolute but probably foolish refusal to slam Josie at the judges’ table gave the judges the push to boot her off.

As for Padma’s role, I really love looking at Padma (who doesn’t?), but I have to agree that it seemed really weird this time, with her almost passionate defense of Josie and seemingly irrational dislike of Kristin. I’m not sure I agree with the more outre comments about her fitness to judge–really, she’s done this often enough that I can trust her food sense–but as depicted on the show this judging session was really out of kilter.