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Just Desserts 6: I want a retraction

Noooooo, not Erica. That really hurt. Does it make sense that they pimp soap the entire hour, shamelessly and relentlessly, then kick a chef off for making ice cream that tasted like...soap?
Why did Heather get hit for not sticking with the color scheme when Zac's dish was distinctly brown?
What a painful episode.

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  1. I did like her in the beginning but Heather needs to go or at least get an attitude adjustment. I feel like she is a sore loser even when she is in the top three.

    Boo too on Erica going home. The judges could seriously say her dessert, while it wasn't the tastiest, was worse than Danielle's? Who made pedestrian number cookies that didn't even layer together as a true plated dessert.

    1 Reply
    1. re: septocaine_queen

      In her blog, Gail says that Danielle's petit fours, while visually less interesting, tasted good and that Erika's dessert was without a doubt the worst tasting - and that they do put flavor above presentation.


    2. I'm getting tired of the showtune diva thing going on with some of the contestants of this show. Erica was the only really likable person on the show and now she's gone. I realize the producers ask them questions about their competitors, but they could answer with a little more class. I've never seen so much petty sniping on a TV show.

      1. I'm glad Heather got snagged on the bottom, though clearly she wasn't going home. She gets called out for lack of creativity and arrogance in her food.

        This such a Zac heavy episode. The editors really love him, and Morgan. Yigit and Heather are also major players.

        Won't miss Erica. The editors hated her. I had mild positive impression of her. She must've been even more mousy (boring) than we could see. They never showed Erica outside of her food. Though she is clearly a very talented chef that got done in by bad batch icecream. Made me wonder if it was sabotage... I doubt it. Maybe she used bottled lemon instead of fresh? That would be a big mistake... I hate the taste of botted lemon concentrate, which can taste metallic / soapy.

        Daniella is clearly dangling by a thread. But in RW is most likely for a strong competitor to get eliminated before their time.

        Next week is "Restaurant Wars / JD style" it's great to see Team Diva versus the rest of the house. Morgan versus Team Diva... For some reason I envision it Morgan in Superman outfit punching out the Axis of Evil. -.-

        What did you think of the guest judge? Reminded my of Adams family butler. Pastry chefs are weird.

        1. Biggest Missed Opportunity at JT: Heather could have said, "But it is like a newspaper: black and white and red all over!"

          4 Replies
          1. re: momjamin

            That would have been great! Wow, they would have shut right up.

            1. re: momjamin

              Funny--but too clever for Heather.

              1. re: momjamin

                I thought that too! =) But I don't think Johnny has that great a sense of humor. Honestly, I think he came down on her so hard because he was mad that she had not heeded his warning from the previous day.

                1. re: aching

                  Gail would have gotten it, even if Heather wouldn't have come up with it or Johnny appreciated it. And Heather survived despite Morgan stealing her sense of humor.

              2. Thank you, Newhavener07, I thought EXACTLY the same thing! How could they give Heather such a hard time about her red fruit (which looked pretty dark, at least on my TV) when Zac's dessert was golden brown?!?!? He even called it, "Whoopie Pie with a TAN"! That just made no sense to me.

                Although I know it's true with all reality TV, I've had much more of a sense with TC:JD than others that there is a lot going on off-camera, and the editors are not doing much to pull together a cohesive storyline. It seems like they're just choosing the bits of tape that they like or that have the most humor or drama, without worrying about whether or not it is logical. For instance, they made such a big deal in the commercials about Heather's missing rice krispy treats (I think that's what it was?), but then in the episode it was a total non-event.

                Danielle should have gone home. Her desserts are consistently ill-conceived and poorly executed. And she's annoying.

                4 Replies
                1. re: aching

                  ITA about Danielle. she makes the craziest faces when they interview her! I wonder if she's sitting at home cringing?

                  1. re: jujuthomas

                    I was wondering if she would think that too, after watching herself. She's so animated!

                    1. re: chowser

                      She sort of bears a resemblance to Jay Leno.

                2. Heather's sour attitude and constant complaining is really bothersome. I think she's going to become her own worst enemy - she's so wrapped up in talking trash about Morgan, that it's like she's not focusing on her own items.

                  The judges specifically commented that when you bit into or cut into Zac's dessert that it was a striking black and white. (And it looked incredibly delicious to me!) I guess that was what Danielle was going for.

                  While Danielle's plating and concept was pretty lame, it was clearly black and white, while Erica's wasn't and had taste issues.

                  Did they mention at all that the chefs weren't allowed to use food coloring? I mean, I immediately though black and white cookie.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

                    The judges seemed to tell Heather that a dessert had to be 100 percent black and white. That wasn't the case with Zac's dessert, so why didn't he hear about it? And there was also mention that Morgan's cake tasted nothing like it was supposed to and he himself said it didn't work out right, yet he's in the top 4. Heather does seem unpleasant, but I think she's also getting a bad edit and an unduly hard time from the judges.

                  2. I think the editing on this show is haphazard at best. When there are only 7 contestants they could certainly show all of their efforts in the quickfire. They didn't show Erica's quickfire effort. Ok, so she was in the middle, but they still could have shown it and not shown the elbow to Heather's mouth. Wait, they didn't show an elbow hitting Heather's mouth, just her complaining about it. If Morgan belted her on purpose there would be an issue. If he did, they would have kicked him off. I'm getting tired of Heather, even more so than Danielle. The three divas are annoying in general. One of the cutaways had Yigit saying the others were intimidated by them. No, that's kind of like Marcel in TC Season 2 thinking the reason the others disliked him is because they were afraid of him. Uh, no it's because you're a knuckle-head.

                    1. It makes me slightly crazy that we're not getting this in Canada....grrrrrr. Even Top Chef DC is many episodes behind.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: SherBel

                        So why are you relying on a network that doesn't care about you? People upload the episodes to youtube and to torrent sites. Problem solved.

                      2. Nooo, not Erica! She and Eric are the only ones who try to focus on the baking and stay out of all the bitchy drama. I was really disappointed in this episode - it is becoming very obvious to me that the judges and the producers are playing favorites, all they do is focus on Team Diva vs Morgan. Eric and Erica hardly get any face time. Plus it is not impartial/fair to come down so hard on Heather for having some red in her dessert when it was clearly obvious that Erica (the light purple layer in her dessert) and Zac (the entire whoopie pie was golden brown) both had violated the black/white rule just as much, if not more than Heather did.

                        I seriously thought Danielle would go home. She has consistently been in the bottom for both quickfire and elimination challenges and Johnny Iuzzini said as much. Plus her "dessert" looked so pathetic.. it is NOT creative to make a 1, 2 and 8 that looks like it was just piped onto the plate. The other female judge even said the number 2 which was the meringue did not taste like anything.

                        I can tell I am fast losing interest in this show because I don't rush to watch it on DVR the following night like I normally do with TC episodes.

                        1. I want a retraction too. Erica had been so much more consistently good than Danielle, I just don't get it. So, she bonked the ice cream. Danielle bonked the whole plate! Does this fit some sort of TopChef/reality show playbook where someone who appears subpar stays on well past what the audience imagines possible? Also totally don't get why Zac got a pass with the color "toasted" when the blackberry folks got flayed. Brown is black, but purple is not? Arbitrary.

                          On top of all that, the weird free-floating hostility and threat of violence from Morgan makes the show less fun all the time. I liked him fine at the start of the show, but not anymore. It's a little gross that Gail and the other female judges seem pretty extra thrilled to have a macho straight guy doing well. And WTF with his Shaq analogy? Cooking is not a contact sport. I'm waiting for him to be disqualified for hitting someone.

                          Heather radiates genuine hospitality and the good kind of pride in her desserts when presenting to crowds and judges -- paired with her skills, she's pretty sympathetic to me even when she's irritated behind the scenes.

                          23 Replies
                          1. re: pitu

                            Morgan's threats of violence were mostly to the camera when he was asked questions by the producers. When he supposedly bashed Heather in the mouth it was a mad dash for ingredients. They were all doing that. He happens to be bigger and she was smaller and things happen. If he did anything on purpose he would have been tossed out. I also can understand some of his machismo. He's in a room full of women and is apparently the only hetero male left in the contest. I haven't noticed the female judges giving any extra attention to Morgan. Gail did come on to Yeet however. I don't think Heather is sympathetic at all, she's always complaining about something. Danielle was left because although she didn't make an impressive dessert, it was black and white. Erika's wasn't impressive and it was purple.

                            1. re: John E.

                              Machismo because being the only hetero male means it's okay to elbow someone (accidently even) and not care? Sorry, I know plenty of hetero males who have no need to beat their chests and think that's fair game to elbow anyone w/out apologizing and feeling bad causing a bruised lip. I feel bad for anyone who's in a relationship with him if he has to act "macho" to prove his masculinity.

                              1. re: chowser

                                You seem to be under the impression that he elbowed her on purpose. We don't even know that he did it since it wasn't shown on TV. We also don't know what happened on the portion of the video recording that we didn't see. All we saw was Heather accusing him, complaining and holding a towel to her mouth. Morgan got machismo when he was interviewed. I didn't hear him saying he was glad he did it to Heather's face. You don't know he didn't apologize. We see so little of what actually goes on there. My point really is that Heather is not a sympathetic person on this show. My other point was that his reaction is normal for a hetero male in those surroundings. Not everyone would act upon those feelings, but again, we're only seeing what the editors choose to let us see. I suppose the same could be said for Heather.

                                1. re: John E.

                                  No, I'm sure it was accidental. Heather said he didn't apologize and his comment later about hey, if you're playing basketball with Shaquille, be ready to be elbowed showed he didn't care. Sorry Morgan, you're no Shaquille, even in the chef world (added to which, elbowing is part of the game in basketball, not in baking). I know plenty of hetero males who would feel sorry about accidently elbowing someone else enough to cause a swollen lip and would not brag about it. It's not editing that he said it. He did. I'm not a fan of Heather's but whether she's sympathetic or not, that doesn't mean she deserved what she got. Morgan is less sympathetic than Heather, or maybe I don't fall for the "ooh, poor hetero guy" schtick. Heather is the only non-white left. Is she allowed to play the card?

                                  1. re: chowser

                                    I never said she deserved what she got. Morgan bumped her. He should have apologized. Should he be disqualified for it as you have implied? Of course not. I think Morgan is easier to like on this show than is Heather. She complains too much, bitches and talks smack to the others and is part of the click that is a bit annoying. So what if she is the only non-white left. Diversity is a fact, not a virtue.

                                    1. re: John E.

                                      Please sahow me where I implied he should have been disqualified. I said he needed to apologize and still stand by that.

                                      I only mentioned Heather being the only non-white left because you seem to excuse Morgan's actions because he's the only hetero male left. If being the only one of a type of person excuses actions, then Heather also has an excuse now. Personally, I find it hard to like a man, hetero or otherwise, referring to a woman as a sexy bitch, as he did with his mannequin. He's a sexist pig. Sure, Heather is a whiner and I don't like her. I won't excuse it by saying she's a minority on the show and so it's excusable as you seem to with Morgan.

                                      1. re: chowser

                                        Sorry it seems it was Pitu that made the remark to which I referred. You misunderstood my posts. I never made an excuse for anyone's actions, I merely wrote that I understood what he said in the interview. I take comments made in the kitchen with a grain of salt, so to speak, I hear it but I don't care too much about it. He might be sexist, I don't really care. I was simply saying I understood some of his words in reference to the others. Why is Heather being a minority relevant to anything? The point I was making about Morgan being the last hetero male on the show is only relavant to understand some of his words. That's not an excuse or an endoresement, it's just facts. I'm tired of this because this exchange is making it seem like I care more about this show than I really do. I find it interesting to watch the personalities, but so far, the cooking is less than interesting, especially the dress episode.

                                        1. re: John E.

                                          Funny, I was thinking the same thing that I've vested more time in this discussion than I have interest in the show. I'm only half heartedly watching and wish they'd focus more on technique and what they're actually doing. Show me the petit fours being made, how they make them so uniform, how hard it is to ice and assemble so many and less drama.

                                          1. re: chowser

                                            Speaking of how uniform their petit fours are, did you see that cool tool that they use to cut them - kind of like a bunch of pizza cutters attached together? It's one of those things that I couldn't justify taking up room in my kitchen to own, but I think it's awesome!

                                            1. re: aching

                                              So clever--I'd love to visit a real pastry kitchen to see the tools they have. Didn't they say that at one point, something about pastry chefs and their utensils?

                                          2. re: John E.

                                            Nope, I made no such remark - I implied that he is a powder keg edging closer to the edge -- I anticipate an explosion. What I said was "Cooking is not a contact sport. I'm waiting for him to be disqualified for hitting someone." I don't think it has a thing to do with Morgan's avowed heterosexuality, which I agree looks threatened when he's "sexy bitching" his food, or wrenching beets from another contestant's hands (we saw that) OR elbowing anyone hard enough for swelling (not on the video we saw, but I believed her.)

                                            We can all agree that we'd rather watch cooking technique.

                                            1. re: pitu

                                              Sorry if I misunderstood your meaning. What is mildly interesting about this show is that the contestants are even more unlikeable than any other Top Chef group. They seem to peck at each other and are mean to each other and are petty. Stealing all the bacon was the latest. Was it Morgan that took all the butter, but he did annouce that anyone could have some. I don't care if he grabbed the beets first, it's a contest after all. I don't think he took them all however.

                                              1. re: John E.

                                                Some don't appeal to me, others do. Some have great skills, some don't, etc. - I don't find them as a group any more unlikeable than any other crop of TC contestants.

                                                In this Rashomon-like tale, Morgan didn't get the beets first, he grabbed them out of someone else's hands; the aggression at that moment in the video looked out of place in a cooking competition of pro chefs. Morgan compares himself to Shaq under the net, so he comes off as a tool.

                                                Bogarting the butter or the bacon is lame and annoying, fo'sho. As I recall, Morgan announced that *nobody* could have *any* butter, like an out of control parent flailing. This week apparently there were enough beets for everybody, since both guys had them in the dish.

                                                1. re: pitu

                                                  I didn't see him grab the beets out of someone else's hands.

                                                2. re: John E.

                                                  It's like Lord of the Flies all over again. We need to watch for the skewered pigs head. I think he took the butter and Team Diva took the bacon. How do the normal chefs handle all the drama--normal at this point meaning Eric and only Eric.

                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                      Was the bacon and butter grabbing from the same episode? Eric is the only one left that is mostly ok. He mopes a bit too much for me.

                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                        I can't remember--they kind of all meld into one. Eric does seem to have an inferiority complex, as a baker, but at least he embraces the challenges. His dress might have been a disaster but he did it and didn't do the odd vegetables as clothing thing. He seems to be out of the fracas, and maybe it's the side of me that prefers a great tasting dessert to something that defies gravity and needs instructions on how to eat. I mean, I thought Zack's putting his face in brown sugar and pouring chocolate into it to make a mold was interesting but something I'd do with a Brownies troop as a project, not food that I'd eat. I like to eat, not just with my eyes.

                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                          , "I thought Zack's putting his face in brown sugar and pouring chocolate into it to make a mold was interesting but something I'd do with a Brownies troop as a project, not food that I'd eat. I like to eat, not just with my eyes."

                                                          It was a showpiece. Showpieces are not meant to be eaten.

                                                          1. re: babette feasts

                                                            Which is why I was saying I far prefer bakers to pastry chefs, at least based on this show. I'd prefer great tasting food over inedible food.

                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                              It is edible, just not meant to be eaten. Besides, it is sugar and chocolate, neither at all friendly to microorganisms.

                                                              Showpieces may be silly, but I did enjoy how zack just dove right in and had someone shove his face in the sugar. That is really getting involved and personal!

                                                              1. re: babette feasts

                                                                I thought it was very clever with the mold. It looks like a fun project. I know it is edible but edible and not meant to be eaten is inedible in my mind, plus one someone's face has been in it makes it inedible in my mind. Overall, I was just expressing not that showpieces are bad but that I'd prefer something tasty over something showy.

                                                        2. re: John E.

                                                          Butter hoarding was back a bit -- maybe the 2nd episode? 3rd? They made a mini scene out of it.

                                                          p.s. o google you make these nagging insignificant questions so easy
                                                          "There’s some drama between Heather C and Eric which involves Heather taking all the peanut butter and leaving none for Eric, which causes Morgan to decide to steal all the butter and leave none for the opposing team. It’s mildly entertaining, but feels very JV squad after last week’s “The red hots are for my mommy!” epic fiasco. Maybe if Morgan took the butter and spread it all over the floor under the other team’s feet causing a mild concussion in a contestant, we could start to approach that bar."

                                  2. Guys...don't take any of this too seriously. The show is entertainment, not a real contest. Clearly the producers think Danielle is more dramatic than Erica and kept her for that.

                                    This entire series looks thrown together and not of Top Chef quality. To find people who can make pastries and confections without recipes the producers scraped the bottom of the barrel. For example, they found a clearly bipolar contestant (Sean) who had to be carefully moved off the show.

                                    It's a shame this is such an amateur production. Johnny and Gail are engaging individuals and deserve a better vehicle.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Discerning1

                                      I find this show to be entirely forgettable. I watch it every week but I have just a vague memory of the contestants, eliminations, etc. I have no idea why. Maybe because it's very boring, and I love the Top Chef franchise, just not this one.

                                      Looking forward to the next TC, the one with previous contestants. As for the TC Just Desserts, I'm about done and I don't care who wins because the show is just so bland, and I love desserts.

                                      1. re: marcia

                                        Agreded . . . .Very boring. Love desserts, but don't care who wins.

                                        In case BracNot cares-- NOTT watching..

                                    2. I wonder what the judges use for a palate cleanser between each dessert sample?

                                      Why hasn't Perrier or Evian jumped in with a marketing appearance?

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                        I can't imagine the cloying sweetness after a while. They had to taste 18 desserts last night?