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Top Chef: Just Dessert Episode 8: CelebriTea

Well, I still want to talk about this show! Where's the wrap up thread?
: )

Whatever their perceived personality flaws, I missed our eliminated competitors this week...the remaining desserts were mostly a mess. And I think it would have been appropriate for Yigit to mention that one of his competitors accidentally elbowed his sugar glass vase. It doesn't sit right for Morgan to win a challenge when he destroyed the other potential winner. Morgan was doing an awful lot of table jiggling (and did you catch him saying STFU to Danielle when she called him on it?)

I'd prefer cumulative scoring on these things - the level of competition would be higher if the mid pack players like Danielle couldn't slip through to the end. On the other hand, I was glad that Eric made it as far as he did without spinning sugar/plating experience - fun for someone like me that goes for flavor over pretty, and couldn't plate like that to save my life.

As for the challenges...disadvantaging half the people (those who planned and shopped with their chocolate dessert in mind) and not ALL the people seems super wrong to me. Of course two of the chocolate planners were the bottom players. Okay, duh, it's a tv show and they want maximum drama, not maximum skill display. Well, I watch a cooking competition for the skill display. Make them all have to deal with the loss of their main ingredient if you want to see how they work under added stress!

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  1. I have to say I did enjoy seeing a pretty much completely drama-free episode last night.

    I do agree that the elimination process needs to change on these shows. I believe the thinking is that "one bad dish" is enough to make a chef lose a customer for life. BUT, these are such artificial situations, where a chef can not refine a dish until they are happy with it. We've seen the "Masters" make dishes that are pretty bad, but they are still great chefs.

    My solution is to start with less chefs--especially on TC where they have a ridiculous amount at the beginning; so many it's hard to keep track of--and either have some kind of point total (maybe like the way they do the stars on TCM, but have it carry over week to week) OR I'm thinking maybe something like a "three strikes and you're out" situation, where if you have the worst dish three times they are out. (or maybe a combination of the two ideas?)

    3 Replies
    1. re: skoolpsyk

      The problem with a cumulative total is that someone could have such a big lead that the last few episodes wouldn't matter.

      1. re: saeyedoc

        The only way a cumulative point system would work is if it took on a Jeopardy! model. The more points you accumulate, the more money you get as the winner. Still, it would not solve the problem of crowning the eventual winner moot; only preserve the competitive spirit of each episode.

        I like the way it is now. It's like the NCAA Basketball tournament. You can blow out your first round opponent by 50 points, but lose on a last second buzzer beater in the second round and have to go home.

        Such is life ...

        1. re: ipsedixit

          Well, the final 6 are generally the ones to watch anyway, so you could use the points to get to that point, and then go to the single elimination/sudden death they use now.

    2. If they had said no chocolate prior to shopping, I would have been ok with it, but once everything is planned and bought...totally unfair. Considering how talented Erica and Heather were, I can't believe Danielle gets the honor of being the last woman standing. I am enjoying the show much more now. Whatever we say about Morgan...that boy can bake. He is truly talented.

      1. I agree that it's a shame that Danielle has managed to make it to the top four, when she is clearly so much weaker than the last few eliminated chefs. Personality aside, her concepts seem so unsophisticated to me, and they don't look good either. However, I think there is some integrity to the idea that "you're only as good as your last dish", as Yigit put it. Although it may not necessarily lead to the best chef winning, it makes more like the Olympics or other athletic competitions where you have to perform each time you compete and can't rest on your laurels.

        That Quickfire Challenge was a hot mess - apparently, making pretty flowers out of sugar and chocolate is REALLY hard! And I thought it was interesting that they struggled so much with making tea cakes, when most of them did such a good job with the petit fours a few episodes ago. Aren't they basically the same thing?

        I stand by my statement from last week - I think Morgan's going to be the winner. His desserts have an assurance and consistent quality that none of the others seem to have.

        6 Replies
        1. re: aching

          I agree I don't really like Morgan but his dessert always come out perfectly and are very sophisticated..

          1. re: aching

            Morgan and Yigit are probably the most talented of the contestants left.

            But Morgan's got the intimidation factor over everybody else on that show -- maybe it's his heterosexulity or mere physical size -- which gives him an edge over Yigit.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Don't discount Yigit on that... think he can hold his own...

            2. re: aching

              What is the purpose of those sugar flowers? None of them looked that appealing to me. Has anyone seen the guest judge's work or been captivated by a sugar flower? Another thing I don't really get is fruit/veg carving. Yes, they look nice but what a waste of time and edible food.

              1. re: aching

                Wow, google search sugar flowers and check out some of the bakeries out there. People are nuts.

                1. re: newhavener07

                  I looked at a LOT of bakery websites in the course of wedding planning a couple years ago, and I also concluded that people are nuts. While I can't help but admire the artistry, why would you WANT a cake that looks like a bouquet of flowers (or a cigar box or a pan of paella or a hat)? What's wrong with having a cake that looks like a cake? It all made me think of the armadillo cake from Steel Magnolias - gross.

              2. I admit that I fell asleep in the middle of it ...

                Who got the boot?

                3 Replies
                  1. re: aching

                    Oh, too bad. I liked him.

                    I hate Morgan, Zac is grating on my nerves and Danielle should have been sent home a ong time ago.

                    So I'll root for Idgit (i know i misspell t)

                  2. re: C. Hamster

                    Related to that, I wish they would run the show at 9 instead of 10. It IS hard to stay awake for the whole thing!

                  3. In the QF, I thought that Eric's cupcake thing looked like something that you'd see at a supermarket bakery and Danielle's bouquet looked like a craft project we would have done in my girl scout troop. Yigit's made me think of an artificial flower arrangement my parents had in the 80s.

                    Is it me, or was this episode just a dud. It seems like they're running out of dessert ideas. I was actually looking forward to the no chocolate thing because I'm not much of a chocolate person and I was excited to see what they could come up with.

                    I didn't think the celebrity couples thing really translated to dessert all that well, or maybe it was just boring to me. The competitors didn't seem terribly enthusiastic about it either, except for Zac. Maybe they're just getting tired.