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Just Desserts 7: Dessert Wars!

I guess TC:JD has really lost its Hound audience - no posts on last night's episode yet! I was irritated by last week's episode but this far into the season I can't give it up. I enjoyed this episode much more than the previous one, especially the Quickfire Challenge, where we finally got to see some technique (and I learned that I should never, ever try to make strudel at home!). Team Diva was clearly riding for a fall, and it was no surprise that Heather was sent home - although I think Danielle is by far the weaker chef. I think Morgan is going to take it all - his desserts just seem a cut above everyone else's, both in concept and in execution.

Anyone else out there still watching? =)

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  1. Yes, but I missed the first half of it.

    Morgan is extremely annoying. I think it's between Morgan and Idgit or whatever his name is.

    1. Barely. Just when you think it can't get more boring, it does. I flipped back and forth between this and a couple of other stations. Heather H couldn't have come off as more unlikeable in this episode. I don't think it occurred to Team Diva that it would be better for them to be split up since there would be a chance one of them would be sent home if they lost (I don't think it occurred to them that they could lose). I agree that Danielle is the weakest link and I don't think I can put up with another week of her odd voices and faces. I like Yigit, even if he's a member of Team Diva, he doesn't seem as Diva-esque, though I like Eric best. There's a chance Morgan could take it and I'd hate to see that happen. I have to say, though, that I'm impressed at the number of desserts they can make w/out a recipe, in the portions they're given, from one to hundreds. It's not just a matter of multiplying/dividing a recipe to make enough. In that vein, I don't understand why Eric didn't ask his teammates when he drew a blank on the banana cake leavening.

      9 Replies
      1. re: chowser

        What is it about Morgan that you all find annoying?

        1. re: huiray

          His comments like saying his mannequin was going to be one sexy bitch, his response after elbowing Heather comparing it to going up against Shaq and you'll get hurt. There were quite a few that made me think, What??? There was a whole series where they showed a bunch of them, a few episodes back. And, there was the way he was acting in last night's episode when things didn't go his way.

          1. re: chowser

            Hmm. Seems like a lot of the stuff many alpha-male hets would do or say. <Shrug> Can't say I'm bothered/surprised much by his comments or behavior. (At the same time, he seems to me to not pick on the gays, FWIW, from what the editors show us.) From what I remember, he seems to display restrained satisfaction and frequent relative humility at his successes. His apparent skill seems clear. YMMV.

            Team Diva, OTOH, makes my hackles rise. Glad it is no more.

            1. re: huiray

              Alpha male hets. Yeah, they bother me. Guys who aren't secure enough in their masculinity that they have to beat their chests and feel good about knocking into someone else and causing injuries. And, he was a whiner in the last episode.

              1. re: chowser

                aching, lol streudel!
                (I'm still watching, on DVR. Don't do sweets often, so I'm learning something. Incredible that they are doing all this without recipes.)

                Co-sign everything chowser said above. **Except real alphas don't throw elbows -- that's pure beta pack fighter.

                Morgan was waaay more sympathetic this episode, even with his teammate who likes him calling him a dick. Go figure. He obvi has skill, but I sure hope he doesn't take the prize.

                I don't love where Heather went, but I can see how frustration messes her up. She has remarkable skills - I totally feel bad for her getting cut. I thought she went out with grace "woulda coulda shoulda", yup.

                1. re: chowser

                  Amen! It does seem like those hets are the biggest whiners on earth when things aren't going their way. And heaven forbid they get sick! Bring me my mommy! I just think he's obnoxious. Love the divas.

                  1. re: Parrotgal

                    So far, you seem to be in the minority. The divas are annoying. Morgan can be annoying as well, but he was a good loser in the quickfire and a gracious winner in the elimination challenge, unlike Heather before and after her loss.

                    1. re: John E.

                      We also see him apologizing to Eric at the end of the day for his grumpiness that day. (He may have done so to others too, but we don't see that?) It takes a big man to do that.

                      1. re: huiray

                        Morgan does not remind me of any alpha males I know, and I work in an industry with many of them. He has poor impulse control and is borderline violent in both thought and action. And, it does not take a big man to apologize. It takes a thoughtful human being, and certainly Morgan does have this side of his personality (it just is not all that special). He should let this side of his personality take over his other far more unpleasent side.

        2. Yes, still watching but am really looking forward to Top Chef All Stars.

          Agree that Danielle is the weakest, but glad that Heather got sent home. I had issues with her from the second episode, and am surprised that some people actually think she's likable. Loved what Iuzzini said in his blog about Heather and karma. I actually like Danielle -- she's very entertaining to watch, but think that she should be the next one to be sent home.

          I think it will come down to Morgan and Yigit and Zac (if there's a third finalist). I think Yigit is more sophisticated with his flavors but Morgan does more crowd pleasers. Zac is good (having eaten his desserts before), but doesn't have the wide range of skills as the other two.

          And, yes, I will never attempt strudel at home.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Miss Needle

            Regarding that studel; last night I was watching a "Challenge" episode; it had four families competing on making a personal-familly-style Thanksgiving dinner. One family was Serbian and the mom-chef pulled out a studel dough BY HERSELF as far as I could tell with so much finesse I was blown away. But anyway, the thing I noticed reminded me of what I thought when I watched this Top Chef episode; after pulling out the dough, team diva just dumped the filling at one end and rolled it up. My thought was, this can't be the best way to do it; wouldn't you want the filling in between each layer? So this home cook from Serbia did just that; she had the spiced mixture and just sort of scattered it around very sparsely over the entire dough, then rolled it up. Any studel experts out there to comment?

          2. Still watching but a bit under the weather and couldn't post last nite. Glad Heather went home although I warmed up to her a bit with the post-chop interview. I think she's had a tough life and she's taken on the role of "kitchen shrew" to compensate. I'm sure she'll mellow out with time. I
            As for the "dessert wars," I think the concept was a little sketchy so it wasn't quite fair for the judges to be so harsh about ambience and the selections. Yigits dish looked nasty--like a puddle of motor oil, but that could also be the poor quality of my TV picture. Morgan's seemed the most appealing but not quite fitting to the concept, more of a fine dining dessert. I still love this show and love how the relative limitation of desserts allow for creativity using ingredients I might actually have at my disposal. (Regular TC is getting so meat-focused I think it's out of range for many budgets/health-focused diets.) In addition, Gail and Johnny aren't so campy/bizarre that they distract from the proceedings, unlike Padma and some of the characters they drag out for regular TC.
            I love TC:JD! More Sylvia!

            5 Replies
            1. re: newhavener07

              I agree that it was Heather's turn to go home. Danielle may not be as accomplished as Heather, but her desserts this time were better (at least the ginger ale was). I think Morgan's dish was fitting since the point of the dessert wars concept was dessert, not just stuff found in an average bakery.

              I think regular TC might be too fish centric, but not too meat centric. That's what the majority of people eat at restaurants. As for campy characters, I've never seen anyone on any TC as campy as Sylvia the wedding cake baker.

              1. re: John E.

                Sylvia's not campy, she's a goddess!

              2. re: newhavener07

                I hear what you're saying. What I like about TC:JD is that it's....simpler (?) to follow - not a huge menu to remember for each cheftestant. Or maybe I'm such a Dora Dessert that I like it better! But I'm enjoying the format of it. I also respect that they can pull this all up on the fly with no recipes - that's impressive to me.

                1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

                  So true. I'm totally neurotic about following a recipe to the letter when I'm baking. And I have nightmares about mixing up baking powder and baking soda! The thought of improvising a recipe for dozens of people on the fly without confusing Dawn Hand Renewal for egg whites gives me the shakes. And on regular TC they're always pulling out scallops or foie gras, which even in my much more carnivorous days I was unlikely to have on my shopping list. Almost everything for the TC:JD recipes I have in my pantry right now.

                2. re: newhavener07

                  Per my cable guide, there will be more Sylvia in the episode after next!

                3. Still watching! Very good episode. No point in trying to convince people; either they like it or don't. It has it's problems but is very interesting to us and we hope it will be around for seasons to come!

                  1. Ugh. Could Heather H be more horrible? Seriously? She even was implicating at the end there that one of her own teammates should have gone instead of her. And the whole, "Shut up" thing with Zac - incredibly immature.
                    Morgan does seem really talented, but he's just a big blowhard - that's why I think he's unlikable. His pretzel stick though looked AWFUL - is it just me or did it look burned and totally unappetizing??

                    I don't think I can take another week of Danielle's weird faces and interviews. They're almost uncomfortable to watch at this point.

                    I want a huge plate of Eric's cookies and big slab of that malt cake - it looked amazing.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

                      I agree that Morgan is talented, but does not seem too tolerent of others. In this episode, Morgan was an honorable loser in the quckfire and an honorable winner in the end. I can't say that about Team Diva. I like his desserts however. Heather was the most unlikeable in this episode (I skimmed through it). I actully find Danielle amusing with her facial expressions. If I had to be in a room with her very long my attitude might change. The personality thing that bugs me the most is the whole Team Diva thing. Hopefully that will die now.

                      On all of the Top Chef shows the whole 'the others are afraid of me or are intimidated by my talent' seems a little like an inferiority complex to me. Yeet is the latest to do that.

                      1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

                        Yeah, that whole "shut up" scene was awful and then she repeated it after he asked her not to say it. Really? He's your friend, but even if not, it's immature, at best. I thought it was funny that she thought her other teammates should have gone, too. Before she said that, I was thinking she must have known it was her going home, given how poorly all her desserts were made. She seems like she's full of herself.

                        1. re: chowser

                          That shut up thing was so incredibly immature that I was happy she was gone. Although Danielle should have been gone a couple of weeks ago. And maybe we could still have Erika? would have. could have, should have........

                          1. re: chowser

                            The one decent thing Heather did do was step forward and take responsibility for the pastry shell in Yigit's tart. That was the least she could do for making it so thick and almost inedible.

                            1. re: cmvan

                              I agree that was decent of Heather, and it was also decent of Yigit not to throw her under the bus when the judges started criticizing the pastry.

                              1. re: aching

                                I'm not certain Yigit had an opportunity to throw Heather under a bus even if he had such an inclination.

                                1. re: John E.

                                  He did respond briefly to the judges' criticism (prior to Heather copping to it) and didn't say that he HADN'T made the crust, so I thought that was good on him. Actually, it's only what anyone should do in a team environment, but many times the first thing out of the competitors' mouths is how it's someone else's fault - not classy, and, since the judges always call them on it, not smart, either.

                        2. I'm watching.

                          I think I'm fatigued, there are just so many cooking competition shows, it seems there is no off season.

                          I do like TCJD better than last season's TC. I barely remember that TC.

                          Dessert Shop wars! I kind of thought Team Diva would be vulnerable because they are too much alike in their dessert style, thus a lot of overlap and echo chamber debate. Whereas team "Loser" has a dessert shop owner, a baker, and a jack of all trades in Morgan.

                          I like'm. The personalities, if not the food styles, are all very distinct and particular.

                          I looked up Eric's "Baked" which has a very large number of press clipping, though Eric is not mentioned, whereas the non-baker co-owners get all the press. Perhaps they are getting all the success off of Eric's tasty baked goods. Hoped TCJD well propel Eric on his way to his own shop and glory.

                          1. of all the desserts on this last episode, Morgans appealed to me the most. i don't always care for his bluster, but boy can he cook! and I really appreciated his making that special "no nuts, no processed sugar" dessert on the fly (since I have p.i.t.a. food allergies).
                            i was glad to see Heather go, her attitude was not pretty. I thought it was good she stepped up and said she was the one who did the pastry shells... i think yigit is very talented at what he does but next week it looks like he totally gets lost! I'll be watching til the bitter end. :)

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: jujuthomas

                              He did step up to the plate at that point and come up with a dessert, no complaining, and I do respect that. Tough call in a pastry shop to ask for no processed sugar and no nuts.

                              1. re: chowser

                                I know, and the customer said it was REALLY good!

                            2. I can't believe it, but I'm actually starting to really like Morgan. Thought the mise en place whipping challenge was hilarious. I couldn't believe the lack of class displayed by Heather. There is no reason to call the opposing side "team loser." Plus, it came back to bite her in the ass when they won the Restaurant War. The whole "shut up" incident...ugh. Can you imagine having to work with that woman? So arrogant and unlikeable. I'm rooting for Morgan and Eric. I had actually deleted TCJDs from my series recording, but added it back on when Sylvia made an appearance. Love her!

                              1. It was ok. Glad Team Diva lost. They're a bit cocky.
                                I did miss the episode where that wackadoodle (whatever his name is) was voted off.
                                Anyone remember what he did wrong? < to get voted off?

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: iL Divo

                                  You probably mean Seth. He never technically got voted off, he had a huge meltdown during the quickfire challenge and was asked by the producers to leave.

                                  1. re: AmblerGirl

                                    oh wow, thank you for telling me that.
                                    I didn't know that.
                                    I don't always know what times shows are on or what channel in places other than home.
                                    meltdown, not surprised, he seemed to be on the edge a lot.

                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                      They had an ice cream sundae challenge, and when he found out they wouldn't get to make their own ice creams but had to use Breyer's, he apparently went off in the stew room (they were waiting while the shoot was set up) and stormed out. Then he had a panic attack and fainted (and was medically attended to), and said the producers wouldn't clear him to return. The other contestants were frankly relieved, along with the viewing public.

                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                        oh, wow. wonder if they'll do reruns leading up to the final show. that would have been a tv moment for sure. I wonder if he's all right or if there really is something wrong with him. his behavior made it a hard show to watch, in my opinion anyway, maybe why I wasn't dead set on making sure I recorded it.

                                          1. re: huiray

                                            No I'd not seen it. Thanks for link. I'll read it on real computer not this phone as there are 98 replies. My eyeballs would pop out if I read that much on a tiny screen.

                                2. Ok I came into this show late 'cause it's not on "On Demand" and that's the only way I can follow these things (I discovered they do the repeats on Saturday so I've watched just the last few episodes). When did "Team Diva" get "born"? What is the reference to? Have they been "Team Diva" from the beginning?

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: DGresh

                                    that would be Heather, Yigit and Zac... they just became really good buddies a few weeks ago and call themselves team diva.

                                    1. re: jujuthomas

                                      I thought they deemed themselves Team Go Diva during a Godiva chocolate challenge somewhere around episode 3. Or maybe I dreamed that so that I could stomach their incessant "Go Diva!" cheers before the challenges. Seems like a clever Zac-ism.

                                      I think Zac is funny and cute as a button plus I think he's savvy enough to have created a character for the show so that he gets camera time. I think he's given an obvious shout out to the sponsoring product in every episode so far.

                                      Yigit and Heather annoyed to no end. I find Yigit's ego to be unbearable and he comes off insincere. Yigit's desserts also don't appeal to me. Does everything need to have a gelee? , Heather's sourpuss became too much to watch.

                                    2. re: DGresh

                                      Zack is rather flamboyent so I suspect he was the originator. He and Yeet seem to be pals and they included Heather. It is more or less a clique and seems rather immature to me. From what I've seen of the last few episodes, I expect the final three to be Morgan, Yeet and either Zack or Eric. If I had to wager money, I'd bet on Morgan to win with Yeet a close second and one of the others a distant third.

                                      1. re: John E.

                                        Not picking on you, John E, but this seemed as good a spot as any to point out that "Yeet" is how his name is pronounced by people on the show (I don't remember his pronouncing his own name) but his name is spelled YIGIT according to the bravotv website.

                                        1. re: huiray

                                          Yea, I know. I'm being childish because I have found Team Diva to be annoying and Yigit is the least annoying of the three.

                                    3. The Quickfire challenge in this episode should be what all Quickfire challenges be all about -- a test of raw pastry/baking technique and skill. Reserve the actual dessert making and creativity to the Elimination Challenges.

                                      I'm definitely on the Team Morgan bandwagon.

                                      1. I like Morgan. I very much appreciate his skill. He has some rough edges but it seems to me he has taken more abuse than he has given.

                                        I do wish everybody got along more but we have to have our drama, apparently. It does seem to be shaping up to a battle between Yigit and Morgan.

                                        The audience and the focus group the show used during the filming really seems to like Eric. I like him, too. It will be interesting to see how far he goes. He will almost certainly out last Danielle. Will he outlast Zack?

                                        1. I wonder if any of these contestants will get their own show regarless of whether they win big here. Like the show that the guy that came in 3rd I think on next tv network star. he does that obnoxious show, it's hard for me to watch. Adam Gertler too has his own show. guess you don't have to be the ultimate winner to get your face on tv.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                            This is Top Chef, not Food Network Next Star, so the winner doesn't get a cooking show. Bravo doesn't do cooking, unless it's incidental. Most of these contestants are chefs whereas FTV Next Stars are not, mostly people looking to TV stars.