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Top Chef 2 early Final Four Predictions

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2 Wild cards that have a shot

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    1. I agree with sobe's picks. However I have no clue who is going to win, but I am pretty sure it won't be marcel

      1. I think Betty has a good shot at the final four. And if Marcel maintains their feud, he may too. It was all too obvious that Emily would be eliminated in the last episode--her personality paled in comparison to Frank's and Michael's.

        I'd be surprised if Sam wins--he's too much like Harold from Season 1.

        1 Reply
        1. re: gina

          I agree with Betty having a shot, unless she completely blows up a dish in a future competition. I absolutely cannot see Marcel making it - he hasn't yet done anything that the judges have really appreciated or commented favorably on, nor does he have the experience under his belt. (I did notice his Wolverine haircut was a bit toned down in Ep. 3, however. <g>)

          As for Emily's personality paling in comparison - her snottiness said in the camera asides about kids, "this type of cooking is NOT what I do", etc. was a foreboding of things to come. And once Gail said her entree was so salty she couldn't eat more, I figured she was a goner. (Plus, her "no-eyebrow" look was bugging the bejeezus out of me! LOL)

          ALTHOUGH...Michael was a close second - his arrogance and sloppy plating didn't help him any...Tom was looking none too happy with the attitude Michael was throwing out.

        2. No way will the final 4 be all men - Betty or the damn annoying french/ mexican B*tch will be in the final 4 - I'm pulling for Betty. I also don't think Marcel will make it, his cooking skills just aren't strong enough.

          5 Replies
          1. re: wingman

            Yeah, I don't think Marcel will make it either. I orginally thought Betty wouldn't make it very far, but she has won two challenges! I just watched the third episode last night and felt it was odd that they raved about Sam's dish but then didn't pick it... obviously it wouldn't sell very well at TGIF, but the chef really seemed to love it!

            1. re: Katie Nell

              Yes, I found that odd as well. I also found it strange that the fireman loved Marissa's dessert but it didn't even get considred at the judges table. Not really sure why she wasn't there over Cliff (Cliff's dish seemd to get good coments but not the praise of the dessert)

              1. re: wingman

                Colicchio's blog states that he found Marisa's dessert overwrought w/ too much going on for what should be a straightforward dessert. Although the challenge was to give a twist to classic comfort food, it's clear he didn't think she executed it well.

                While the one firefighter raved about it, I don't know how much anyone else really liked it. I thought that Marisa had a good shot given that dessert was different, her specialty, and served towards the end; however, her desserts have been lacking thus far.

                My final four would be similar to the OP's, but I would swap out Marcel for Betty or Elia. Marcel doesn't have the maturity and experience to last that long. He really lost his cool about the fryer, so I wonder how he will respond to continued pressure from challenges and peers as the weeks go by...

                I was actually surprised that Emily got the boot; I was thinking (hoping) it would be "beer is my first priority" Michael. She did relatively well the prior weeks, and I do think Michael's dish sounded like a major flop. Emily's nasty side did come out more...

                The more contestants this season makes it harder to get to know them and their skills, so I look forward to more weeding out and seeing what the strong contenders can do.

                1. re: Carb Lover

                  Is there more contestants this season? I am really finding it hard to follow all of the contestants, but I tuned in late last season, so the contestants had already been pared down by the time I watched.

                  1. re: Katie Nell

                    Yes, they started with 15 this season vs. 12 last season.

          2. Cliff is very much in the front of the pack. I think Ilan will be up there too and I'm rooting for Betty for a spot. I think she has a lot of good skills in all areas to run her own place. I do not think Marcel is going all the way - has not exactly proved himself yet although there is plenty of time to go. I'm actually kind of puzzled he has not really done so considering his background.

            Interestingly, my office is 2 blocks from the restaurant Cliff is in charge of and I eat lunch there frequently and have eaten dinner there many times (I used to live a few blocks away also). It called "Salute", Italian - quite good and draws a large business crowd. Funny thing is when it first opened a few years back a lot of locals made fun of it, but it has settled nicely into the neigborhood (Murray Hill).

            It has a "to-go" section on the side of the building, which does a brisk business and is very reasonably priced by NYC standards for great take-away food.

            Anyway - that was just a little side-note. It's kind of cool actually knowing where one of these contestants originate from, and it gives me some frame of reference of his other capabilities.

            2 Replies
            1. re: sivyaleah

              "It's kind of cool actually knowing where one of these contestants originate from, and it gives me some frame of reference of his other capabilities."

              - I agree this would be really cool! The one and *only* time I watched The Bachelor was because I knew someone (stupid) on it; unfortunately she didn't last long enough for me to truly make fun of her!! ;-) I haven't seen too many other people mention that they had eaten at any of the restaurants.

              1. re: Katie Nell

                I'm glad it's actually a place I enjoy. Although - it would be a load of fun to be able to trash a place I didn't :-)

                Actually, I picked up lunch from there today, since I was writing about it. A meat & veggies lasagna w/ a small amount of bechamel sauce (something new!), a small chicken cutlet (sans sauce), a few nicely roasted potatoes and a couple of pieces of foccacia - $8.13 w/tax. It's a huge amount of food.

                If it weren't a Friday, I'd probably have saved 1/2 of it for lunch the for next day, but I'm not dragging it home to NJ.

            2. Hmm
              I'd have to say:
              -- I'm going to duck for cover, but I cannot stand Betty. I think she's completely fake--- she definitely loves her camera time.

              10 Replies
              1. re: anna banana

                I don't know... sometimes I like her, sometimes I don't. I do agree, at times, she seems really fake, but she does seem really grateful when she wins the challenges.

                1. re: Katie Nell

                  I don't know if I like her either. It seems as though she was deliberately trying to piss marcel off and why did she have to do it in front of everyone? If you don't like someone, then pull them off to the side (even if its in front of the camera) and go off on them there (in a civilized manner). She is really immature and it makes me like Marcel a lot more

                  1. re: bitsubeats

                    I agree. I haven't seen all the shows, but I also was feeling a little sympathetic for Marcel. I thought Betty was so totally out of line for attacking him the way she did, it had to have been scripted. I'd be mad too if my equipment wouldn't work in competition. I think he handled it calmly enough ("I'm so PO'd"), while smiling into the camera, as he always does. I don't blame him a bit for trying to shake Betty's game and I was actually glad to see her grill be not hot enough. ;>)

                    It was sort of touching to see the girl chef (Elia?) trying to help him in his hour of need and being supportive afterward. Was it Marcel who was affiliated with Joel Robuchon Atelier in some way?

                    The way that Betty shamelessly works the judges is a bit much (I Love You!!!!), etc., but she seems to get what she wants from them.

                    1. re: Moka

                      "I thought Betty was so totally out of line for attacking him the way she did, it had to have been scripted. I'd be mad too if my equipment wouldn't work in competition. I think he handled it calmly enough ("I'm so PO'd"), while smiling into the camera, as he always does. I don't blame him a bit for trying to shake Betty's game and I was actually glad to see her grill be not hot enough. ;>)"


                      Keep in mind that we probably didn't see the whole scene. Producers and editors are letting us see what is probably a very small portion of what actually happened.

                      Equipment fails all the time in competitions or in any kitchen. You're saying Marcel "calmly handled it" but we have no idea what else he might have said trying to deal with the fryolator not being hot enough. I personally didn't think he handled it calmly - he was petulant about it, and to blame it on the previous chef is childish, IMO.

                      As for Marcel trying to rattle Betty during her prep time (which she recovered from very admirably, and it seemed the rest of the chefs were also rooting for her as well with the big cheers that went up!), stooping to her level wasn't the way to go either. Seems like he pissed off a lot of the other chefs with his continual baiting of Betty - several (Cliff?) was telling him to back off.

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        There's always more going on than what the editors choose to show us. I'm basing my feelings on what I actually saw, not what might have happened or what was left on the cutting room floor.

                        I didn't think he was complaining too much about the non-working fryer. He said something about it working for all the others, but not for him. I don't know how commercial fryers work, but that volume must have had something to do with it not working. I think he's justified to feel upset about that and to voice his frustrations in the way he did. It ruined his presentation. The judges liked his pork dish and had he been able to present all the elements, he might have had a good chance to win it.

                        Now, I must have missed something, because from what I remember, Marcel was just giving her a very exaggerated, non-stop "evil eye" and maybe a comment or two. If he was doing more than that, then I might feel differently about it.

                        1. re: Moka

                          Marcel was whining about it not being fair. Anyone over the age of ten should know that life isn't "fair" and by the time they're Marcel's age, they should have learned to suck it up and move on.

                          Saying that what we see is what the editors "choose to show us" makes it sound like they are being deliberately misleading when they leave things out.

                          The editors have hours of raw footage that they have to compress into about 50 minutes of screen time -- of course stuff gets cut. Editors try to stitch what they have together in a way that conveys the essence of what happened over the period of many minutes, or even hours or days, into about 45 seconds of air time, and in this case it appears they didn't quite manage to capture what was going on that set Betty off. At the season one reunion show, for example, they showed that the famous argument between Stephen and Candace, which took up about two minutes of air time, actually lasted almost 40 minutes!

                          Sometimes editors "choose" not to show the audience things to try to create misimpressions. But generally speaking, except for a few soreheads, most reality show participants say that what is shown is a reasonably accurate -- if necessarily abridged and incomplete -- representation of what happened. Also, the editors see all the footage -- everything everyone did or said. If they don't like a contestant and show him or her in a bad light, it's usually because, after watching how he/she behaves for hours, they've come to the conclusion that person is genuinely obnoxious.

                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                            Based on the interview with Emily on our sister Chow.com, she's one of the soreheads. She pulled out the old "that's not me" line about how she was portrayed on the show, and yet the whole interview she was just as snotty, rude and superior as she was on the show. Her dish couldn't have been oversalted, because after all, she works with great chefs in 3 and 4 star restaurants. It was the fact that the room was hot and everyone was dehydrated. I guess that's why all the other chefs' dishes tasted too salty, too. Except they didn't.

                            Maybe if she hadn't gone into the challenge with the attitude that it was beneath her (which she reiterated and expanded on in the interview), she might have done better. Contempt doesn't taste very good. She goes on and on about being a professional, but the mark of a true professional is that she does her best, regardless of the situation.

                            Remind me never to eat anywhere she cooks.

                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                              Bingo. Having just listened to Emily's "exit interview" on Chow.com, it was the contempt she showed for both tasks that turned me off of her. Her judgemental description of the person who tasted her chocolate/lavender ice cream and thought it needed more sugar ("grossly overweight and missing some teeth") was SO extremely condescending! AND her attitude about the TGIF's Exec. Chef isn't going to win her any points in the real world! I wouldn't care to eat in any place she works in either, with the contempt she has for her customers and coworkers.

                            2. re: Ruth Lafler

                              For whatever the reason the editors chose to omit the footage leading up to Betty's attack of Marcel, whether due to a lack of time or to build drama in the show, doing it that way left it up to the viewers to decide for themselves if it was outrageous, or not. They even ran a call-in opinion poll at the end of the show so viewers could vote on whether Betty over-reacted or not, which made it obvious to me that the show was edited for as much drama as possible.

                              Maybe Marcel should have "sucked it up", but he appears to be sort of a cocky young kid with a few lessons to learn. On the other hand, I would have expected Betty, a mature woman, to show a shred of compassion, maybe a shrug of the shoulders or at the very least, silence towards a younger chef who had just finished a frustrating cook-off and who would have done well, except for a faulty machine. This is not the time for a brutal attack. I don't like bullies or manipulators, on TV or in real life. Even though he's not my favorite and I doubt he'll win, I'd really like to see him step up to the plate and hit a grand slam -- not only to prove that he can do it, but for the satisfaction of winning a challenge against Betty.

                  2. re: anna banana

                    You don't need to duck from me. I'm mixed on Betty. She is a bit much and just smiles way too much for me. On the other hand, Sam could stand to crack a smile once per episode.

                    I don't have a personal frontrunner at this point, although I'm leaning towards Cliff. I liked when he said that if he were Betty and Marcel was taunting him, he would go bop him in the head. He seems real to me as well as a skilled chef...

                  3. Unless Cliff's performance on this show changes dramatically, I think he's already "won." The real winners on career-based reality shows are people who demonstrate that they're both professionally competent and good with people, because the networking, the personal connections within both the media and restaurant industries, and the exposure you get from these shows are worth a lot more than $100K and a kitchen they're probably never going to use (where are they going to install it?).

                    For example, let's look at Tiffani and LeeAnne from last season. Sure, Tiffani made it to the finals and LeeAnne didn't. But where is Tiffani now? LeeAnne has all kinds of projects going on, including doing stuff for Bravo, and Tiffani is nowhere to be seen. You might even argue that Top Chef hurt Tiffani's career, because her onscreen bitchiness and snobbery (not to mention her delusions, paranoia and total lack of self-awareness) are going to follow her for a long time. Meanwhile, everyone loves LeeAnne and wants to work with her; I think Cliff will benefit the same way. I can also see Betty parlaying this into a TV cooking gig somewhere even if she doesn't go much farther. She's got a good screen presence and the type of food she does lends itself well to home cooking.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      I don't think it's correct to say that Tiffani is "nowhere". She's working under Amanda Lydon and Gabriel Frasca, both highly respected Boston chefs, at Straight Wharf on Nantucket.

                      1. re: cheryl_h

                        Is that much of a career advancement from where she was before? She's still not running her own place (like Harold), and Las Vegas has a pretty high-profile dining scene, while Nantucket isn't exactly the center of the culinary world. I didn't mean to say that she would be unemployable, simply that as a career move, I don't think it paid off for her, despite the fact that she made the final two.

                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                          I think you are absolutely right. As a matter of fact, the Nantucket restaurant is closed from Oct thru May- so I wonder what she is doing now?

                            1. re: KitchenAid

                              The article mentions a boyfriend in Vegas. Didn't she make a point sometime during the season of mentioning that she was gay, or am I completely misremembering?

                              1. re: judybird

                                She said she was "queer" -- apparently she identifies as "bi."

                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                            Wow- I have to admit that this conversation sort of stuns me. I'm really not sure how in the world you can justify a conversation about whether it was a good career move for Tiffani; all you know about her was gleaned from highly-edited tidbits you saw for 42 minutes a week. You don't think it paid off for her? ummm. who cares? Anyway, Tiffani is running a restaurant in New Orleans for Todd English (and no, it isn't exactly the center of the culinary world, either, but we can't all be lucky enough to work in San Sebastian, now can we?). When Tiffani gains enough experience to open a restaurant (if that's the route she chooses), her celebrity will help her find investors, her talent will make it yummy, and her hard work will make it successful.
                            And I'll take dumpy ol' nantucket over high-profile Las Vegas any day; in fact, I did.

                        2. re: Ruth Lafler

                          I really miss LeeAnne ): She's a lot cuter, more knowledgable, and more lovable than Josie. Just saying!

                          1. re: bitsubeats

                            I so agree. LeeAnne was my favorite, too! I was so disappointed that she wasn't in the finals.

                            But, dude, I mean, dude, like, Josie and like, Michael...I mean, duuude, they have to be like, stopped or whatever, maaan.

                        3. Cliff

                          With a side bet that Betty shaves Marcel's hair off in his sleep.

                          1. Whoever wins, it looks as if Michael's got a bullseye pasted across his apron. I'm surprised he wasn't kicked off along with Emily.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: jbw

                              I was hoping Michael would get kicked off. His attitude really sucked along with his dish. Sloppy, unprofessional & downright arrogant. He put an ingredient back that he needed instead of his beer? childish.

                              I like Betty but feel that sometimes she's "playing" the sweetheart when in reality she'll push you under the bus first chance she gets.

                            2. Cliff

                              Elia is my wildcard.
                              She has chops and I like her attitude.

                              The one who I'd like to see get there that I predict will be the tragic mistake somewhere in team play is MIA.

                                1. re: Sobe

                                  I found the tone of that review/article to be pretty disproportionately mean-spirited towards both the show and Carlos, at least based on the support provided by the author for her point of view. Is she always so unpleasant to read (and so apparently confused about the difference between critique and venom)?

                                2. My picks too. Cliff and Betty at the finish with Ilan and Sam in the final four. If there's any truth to Colichio's blog, he's no fan of Michael, Marisa and Marcel- and that's just on competency, not personality. But, then you don't need to be him to come to that conclusion.

                                  1. After last nights episode it is clear that Sam, Cliff and Ilan deserve to be in the top 4. These 3 are heads and shoulders above the others. The fourth person will be a token woman. No offense intended. I know women can cook just nobody on this season of TC.

                                    1. Is anyone else happy to have Marisa and Josie gone? I was getting really tired of their getting by is good enough production in the kitchen. Except for Marisa's dish for the TGIF challenge, she really hasn't been a contender. She constantly talked up her experience as a pastry chef, but never really made it to the top three.

                                      As for Josie, I just found her smug and performing in a solid mediocre position. It wasn't just poor judgement like she said at judges table... it was a palpable sense of entitlement that was really off putting, case in point, her pathetic pho.

                                      Any thoughts?