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Top Chef - Texas - Last Chance Kitchen (spoilers)

I have a theory about the Last Chance Kitchen. While any chef can be told to PPYKAG due to one bad dish or even a bad element to a dish, I think that we will not see a singe chef be the reigning LCK champion for too long. I think that the longer a chef lasts in the main competition likely means that chef is either more talented than those who lost before them or at least they know how to play the game better. What will probably happen now is that I will be proven wrong.

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  1. Thanks for starting this John.

    I think I agree, no chef will reign long in LCK. I don't think it's necessarily a matter of talent, but more so a matter of experience at high pressure timed challenges.

    And yeah, we'll probably now see Whitney go to the end ;)

    1. That's a good point.

      On the Nyesha, Dakota, Whitney contest, it would have been ironic if Dakota had won. There's no amount of groveling she could do at that point. Whitney was very gracious.

      I was thinking that with LCK, chefs have to be sequestered for longer now, after losing. In the past, once their elimination episode was aired, they could go home, couldn't they? But, now the entire cast has to stay until the end and that adds months to their exile. Exciting when you're on top, but not if you've lost. And, do these chefs get to see the competition, or what happened or does the newest chef(s) just show up and they're just as surprised?

      This is a good idea to start w thread like this--it's nice to be able to talk about it and not be worried about spoiling the end.

      7 Replies
      1. re: chowser

        I read an interview with Richie Farina after he was eliminated, in which he mentioned something about how much he and Chris learned on the show and how they made various menu changes when they both got back to the restaurant. Which leads me to believe that everyone is back home at this point.

        How long ago was this thing filmed? I'm guessing several months?

        1. re: davis_sq_pro

          Yeah, I think eliminated chefs are holed up until they film the episode that determines the finalists. Then everyone can go home but be hush hush until they reconvene to film the finals.

        2. re: chowser

          No, chowser, all eliminated cheftestants are sequestered for the entire 30 days of filming (pre-finale). It doesn't take months to film; Tom's noted in a previous season's blog that filming is about 30 days. Each QF/EC challenge takes a maximum of 2-1/2 to 3 days, usually only 2 days. They get a night of rest and are back at it the next morning.

          This is what they sign up for - a 30-day (or so) sabbatical from their restaurant, and then most of them are part of the finale a month or so later. By having all of them fly to wherever the finale is, it's yet another way to avoid letting the cat out of the bag as to who didn't or did win. The finale is usually filmed pretty close to the end of the season, IIRC.

          If eliminated chefs were sent home, the word would be out immediately that they didn't win, making watching the show a moot point.

          1. re: LindaWhit

            That makes sense--sorry I don't know what I was thinking.

            1. re: chowser

              And I believe they did the filming this past summer - hence the 100+ degree temperatures for the entire season.

          2. re: chowser

            I agree, Chowser, except for one point. If you have already lost the competition, you can hang out in town and be the ultimate tourist on THEIR dime! :D Wonder if their families could come for a visit if they have lost already? Plus, that "face time" on future shows is probably pretty valuable for future employment/cookbooks/speaking engagements!

            1. re: Lesjes89

              I don't think they're allowed to tell anyone how they did or didn't do before it airs. These shows all have nondisclosure contracts with huge penalties.

          3. Here's LindaWhit's wrap up of week 7's LCK.

            For LCK - both Nyesha and Dakota get their envelopes at the TC house. They show up and see Whitney. And the four previous guys all show up to watch. The challenge is to use only a wok as their cooking pot, and they have to use one special ingredient in honor of the hosting state - cactus. 30 minutes using cactus and any other ingredient in the TC pantry. Richie asks Keith quietly if you can eat cactus raw, and Keith replies yes. Keith asks how Dakota is doing; she's shaking. Keith asks Nyesha what direction she's going in - she said Asian. Keith tells them they have 10 minutes to go, and then Andrew asks Whitney what she was going to do - she's doing a chicken-fried rice with cactus.

            Whitney does a Cactus and Chicken-Fried Rice with Sriracha.
            Nyesha does Asian Style Scallops with Prickly Pear Garnish, Cilantro and Thai Basil
            Dakota does a Shrimp Tostada with Watermelon and a Prickly Pear Shooter

            Tom then calls over the 4 guys to try the dishes. Tom tells the 3 cheftestants that they all worked the cactus into their dishes very well. Interesting winner!

            Thanks Linda for letting me copy & paste this.

            At the end Nyesha ousted Whitney. I'd like to see Nyesha make the come back but it's going to get prgressively harder each week to keep the jacket.

            10 Replies
            1. re: jcattles

              YAY, Nyesha! The one eliminated contestant I was bummed about.

              1. re: jcattles

                After reading Hugh's blog, he thinks very highly of Nyesha, she could go the distance. In this case her elimination was more Dakota's then her fault, though as pointed out she should have/could have done more checking on the progress of the most important element, but she either had put her trust in Dakota or felt she didn't want to be shrekish. In any case she has the skills to beat many of the chefs that remain.

                jb

                1. re: JuniorBalloon

                  shrekish has made the TC lexicon on Chow very quickly!

                  1. re: LurkerDan

                    Is that from my usage or is there really a Chow Lexicon of popular words?

                    jb

                    1. re: JuniorBalloon

                      Just saw its multiple usage on the other thread, and then it jumped to here. And I knew what it meant.

                2. re: jcattles

                  Nyesha ousted Whitney but what about Dakota? She wasnt asked to take off her jacket.

                  1. re: C. Hamster

                    My understanding was that the 3 of them were competing against each other for the jacket, not Dakota & Nyesha against Whitney, Therefore, Nyesha is the reigning champion on LCK. Dakota & Whitney are done.

                    1. re: C. Hamster

                      Dakota and Nyesha were wearing chef's jackets, but not a Top Chef jacket (Dakota's was dark, so it may have seemed like a TC one). Dakota didn't have TC jacket on to take off.

                      1. re: LurkerDan

                        Thanks, jc and ld

                        I get it. Now Nyesha gets her Top Chef jacket back until someone beats her.

                    2. re: jcattles

                      "I'd like to see Nyesha make the come back but it's going to get prgressively harder each week to keep the jacket."

                      Well, considering that they've kept several chefs who don't seem to be of her caliber, if those are sent packing in the next few weeks she may not have as difficult a time for a while. And, more to the point, it's getting tougher for all of the chefs (still in competition) to stay each week and not have to PYKAG.

                    3. I generally agree, but Nyesha may be an exception, because she didn't get eliminated because of her poor food, she got eliminated because of Dakota's mistake.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: LurkerDan

                        It's so arbitrary and unfair. For both Nyesha and Dakota--I felt bad for both, especially w/ how Dakota acted about it.

                      2. My favorite LCK moment thus far is when Keith gave Chuy his chef's jacket and it enveloped Chuy when he put it on.

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: John E.

                          That was funny. It's also interesting and nice to see how the eliminated chefs appear to watch out for the other chefs. Asking questions and keeping them thinking about what their doing.

                          jb

                          1. re: JuniorBalloon

                            Oh, I think that's just the ex-cheftestants wanting to have good footage to put together an audition tape for Next Food Network Star. :)

                            1. re: debbiel

                              That is such a snippy, internetish thing to say! :)

                              jb

                              1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                I got the impression that they are encouraged to ask the questions; some of the questions seem far too wooden to be spontaneous.

                                1. re: LurkerDan

                                  That absolutely could be. One that sticks out was during the burger competition. Someone asked if they were going to grill or pan fry, they answered pan fry and that someone said you better start heating a pan as they were running out of time and the chef had clearly spaced on it.

                                  I'll have to listen more closely next time for the sound of wood. :)

                                  jb

                                  1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                    I think that was Chuy. Maybe. I just remember it actually drew an "Aw" out of me.

                                  2. re: LurkerDan

                                    The peanut gallery is all set up by the producers, not that they do not actually like each other. I'm also sure questions are suggested by the producers before hand.

                              2. Is Last Chance Kitchen broadcast on Bravo and, if so, when? I haven't been able to find it on the program guide, though it's advertised during each showing of Top Chef.

                                3 Replies
                                    1. re: acgold7

                                      You're lucky. It's not on my on demand.

                                  1. Anyybody know when the LCK kicks in? Do they duke it out until the finales? I'm just wondering when the "hidden" contestant reappears.

                                    25 Replies
                                    1. re: gaffk

                                      As I understand it they will be one of the finalists or possibly the last episode just before the finale.

                                      1. re: John E.

                                        Thx John. Seems a little unfair to me, but I'm still "meh" on this season.

                                        1. re: gaffk

                                          I remember feeling that way during TC 7 but seemed to warm up to the contestants. I don't know if that will happen with this group. I would not mind if the focus would be less on the strife in the kitchen and more on other things going on.

                                          1. re: John E.

                                            True. Maybe once the drama queen is gone, we'll see more of the others' personalities come through.

                                          2. re: gaffk

                                            i actually think it's a fair process. head-to-head challenges tend to be more intense than competing against a bunch of other chefs, and your odds of losing are obviously much higher. so the LCK winner really has to prove him- or herself to earn/keep that spot. in a way, it's almost a means of correcting for situations like the one this week where a chef was basically eliminated for someone else's mistake.

                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                              Good point. (But still meh on the season).

                                              -----
                                              in a way, it's almost a means of correcting for situations like the one this week where a chef was basically eliminated for someone else's mistake.
                                              ___________

                                              Hadn't thought of that, but it's a good argument.

                                              1. re: gaffk

                                                it seems that every season there's at least one instance where a chef gets screwed or sent home before his or her time, so this seems like a good way to counteract it. (on the flip side, it's really too bad that there's not also a way to get rid of the chefs who overstay their welcome.)

                                                oh, and i'm definitely meh on the season as well. i think it was inevitable - the only *really good* back-to-back seasons were 3 & 4 - aside from that, it's been really up and down. 1 was great, 2 sucked, 3 & 4 were great, 5 was meh, 6 was arguably the pinnacle, 7 was a letdown, All-Stars was great...and here we are.

                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                  the only *really good* back-to-back seasons were 3 & 4 - aside from that, it's been really up and down. 1 was great, 2 sucked, 3 & 4 were great, 5 was meh, 6 was arguably the pinnacle, 7 was a letdown, All-Stars was great...and here we are.
                                                  ~~~~~~~~~

                                                  I've got to agree - other than I'd call TC3 "good", not great. :-)

                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                    I kind of liked watching TC 5 but looking back it is likely because I had zero expectations because it was the first time I watched Top Chef. I saw the previous seasons all on reruns which is why I would like to see the early episodes of the first four seasons, but the desire is not strong enough for me to purchase them.

                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                      I've got to agree - other than I'd call TC3 "good", not great. :-)
                                                      ~~~~~~~~~~
                                                      [gasp!] how can you say that when Season 3 brought us Tre?! ;)

                                                  2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                    That's a good point--I'm thinking back to TC All Stars when Jen left arguably because Jamie left for the hospital during the challenge. I wonder if that made them reconsider. I hope this challenge makes the reconsider team eliminations because one chef can do nothing wrong and still be sent packing. I'm rooting for Nyesha--it's nice to see how much all the other chefs and the judges respect her talent.

                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                      They do these types of eliminations because of the drama and because one chef can get sent home for the performance of another chef. The key is to keep an eye on each other to make sure no mistakes are made.

                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                        I don't remember this ever happening before when they sent home an entire team, do you? In the challenge w/ Jen, the team wasn't sent home. Jamie didn't cook and was allowed to stay. Jen was alone and sent home.

                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                          During TC 7 they sent home a team of two. I don't remember their names but one was a cooking school teacher that undercooked squid ink pasta and her partner was a Filipino from Nashville with two restaurants. She did not seem to be as upset as Dakota was in getting her partner booted too.

                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                            it was a hotel room service challenge that they set up tournament/round-robin style. the eliminated pair was Arnold & Lynne - i had to look it up, i can't even conjure a mental image of either of them.

                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                              I didn't remember their names but I did remember the challenge which tells me it was a better, or at least more memorable, season than the current season, at least so far.

                                                            2. re: John E.

                                                              I can't remember that one at all--but I do vaguely remember a hotel scene one for Padma in bed? Was that the one? I probably would have remembered it if one of my favorites had been sent home.

                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                The Padma in bed contest was TC 6 which also included Nigella Lawson which Eli won despite being quite embarassed at serving them while they were in bathrobes on the hotel beds. (I had to look it up).

                                                    2. re: gaffk

                                                      I'm so glad to hear someone else say how blah this season has been. My partner, who watched TC religiously for years, scarcely made it through the first episode. I'm forcing myself to FF through the DVR each week. I find it really difficult to root for any of these people. TC feels really tired this time around. I must admit how much I detest Texas, but it's not just the Lone Star State and its obnoxious inhabitants. These contestants are either nasty or dull, with little in between. I'm sick of all the posturing from Padma, Tom and Gail. If I hear one more person talk about how there's just the Texas way to do BBQ, I'm going to scream. I'm not a BBQ fan either, so that hasn't helped.

                                                      1. re: terrierboy

                                                        somewhat agree with what you say but when I read your take on Padma, Tom and Gail, you hit a note.
                                                        with the snake challenge, when Padma came in to the cheftestants and said
                                                        "I wanna see some MF'in snakes on some MF'in plates, that did it for me. she lost me as a fan and the show really scooped low IMO

                                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                                          i may not be Padma's biggest fan, but you can't blame her for the Snakes on a Plane riff. she's a talking head who says what's scripted for her by the writers & producers.

                                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                                            That just made me love her even more. I don't want some prissy host or judges for the show.

                                                  3. WOOT! WOOT!!!
                                                    Ding Dong the witch is truly dead!!

                                                    It was significant wrt the conversations elsewhere about whether Heather Terhune was being bashed by armchair critics who didn't know what had been "edited out" that Nyesha Arrington expressed very clear negative sentiments about HT at the start of tonight's LCK. In the event - yes! - HT bites the dust and Nyesha fulfils her desire to wipe HT's smile off her face and she (NA) gets to keep her TC jacket.

                                                    22 Replies
                                                    1. re: huiray

                                                      Yeah, really glad to see Nyesha put the nail in the coffin.

                                                      1. re: LurkerDan

                                                        The only down side is that Heather will still be hanging out in the LCK for the rest of the season. It was so good to see her lose to both Bev and Nyesha!

                                                      2. re: huiray

                                                        I love Nyesha. It would be tough but I'd love to see her at the end.

                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                          I love her even more now, too. And Good Riddance to HT.

                                                        2. re: huiray

                                                          Yes, I found it very telling that Nyesha was so pointed in her comments about how nasty and bitchy Heather was. It kind of showed that we weren't the only ones seeing this nastiness from Heather.

                                                          Loved that she took Heather down. I was *slightly* afraid that Tom was going to give the win to Heather, however....until he said her prawns were overcooked. Phew!

                                                          Wonder what Heather's Twitter account is saying *now*? :-)

                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                            Yes!

                                                            However, that "cliff-hanger" TPTB interposed in the LCK where they lingered over the declaration of who won was, uh, so....not unexpected from them wrt the drawing out of the draaahmaaah, though. :-)

                                                            As for HT's twitter feed - I guess someone who is a 'confirmed follower' will have to tell us what is going on down there, if they care to.

                                                            1. re: huiray

                                                              Heather's potential latest "Tweet":

                                                              Busy in resto. Didnt watch. But I shouldn’t be in bottom for QF and EC because I actually think like a chef and don’t always cook Asian!

                                                              1. re: huiray

                                                                Heather Terhune @heatherterhune 1h Reply Favorite · Open
                                                                @TopChefJacket we shared the station. I only spilled on the sheet pan not her prep trying to get the butter in the injector. No harm done
                                                                Heather Terhune @heatherterhune 16h Reply Favorite · Open
                                                                Thanks everyone! This was an amazing experience. I loved every minute. @BravoTopChef #topchefheather

                                                                1. re: kubasd23

                                                                  Nothing earlier from just before she locked it when the uproar was going on? ;-)

                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                    hmmm let me see if i can find something..... I hate that we're giving her so much attention.... ugh lol

                                                                    ETA..... ouchhhhh she just blocked me! haha that's amusing, I was following her until about an hour ago. I shall cry now

                                                                    1. re: kubasd23

                                                                      NO WAY!!!!!!!!! She seriously did? TOO funny. Hey Heather....if you can't take the heat, maybe stay out of the Top Chef kitchen? ;-)

                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                          I don't think it's at all unusual for people who are particularly abusive with others to have very thin skins themselves. Maybe that's why they put up such a tough front. But, hey, I'm getting psychological and what do I know?

                                                                          1. re: chicgail

                                                                            I agree. You see it early on at school playgrounds (at least I did) where one of the kids most likely to get picked on decides to "get others" before they can "get him." It does make other people wary, but doesn't lead to many friendships.

                                                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                  I just hope that Heather changes her tune when she sees the show in full, a la Tiffani, Stephen and Dale, all of whom were mortified by their on-screen behavior.

                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                    Do you think her prawns would have been cooked properly if she took a little extra time prepping them? Heh, heh.

                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                      She locked her twitter account! Must have been overnight, because I looked a couple of times last night to see if she would say anything fun. I guess the pressure got to her.

                                                                      1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                        She locked her twitter account at least a day or so ago. :::BIGGRIN:::

                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                          I also loved Nyesha's reaction when she took Heather down. You don't see much extreme emotion with her so that was priceless.

                                                                          1. re: chowser

                                                                            I loved that stupid laugh of Heather's an Nyesha's response that she was going to knock that smile off her face. And I really loved the fact that she did :)

                                                                      2. I love that Heather was done in by shrimp.

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: jsandler

                                                                          Heh, that irony was lost on me until you pointed it out.

                                                                          1. re: jsandler

                                                                            I really wonder if Tom was nudged a bit in choosing a winner by how Nyesha got eliminated (and who knows, also by how obnoxious Heather was). It would be only human to want to give the nod to Nyesha if you are really torn.

                                                                            1. re: DGresh

                                                                              I think Nyesha is a far better chef, one of the top there and I was wondering if that might be part of the decision making, maybe even subconsciously. Added to which the unfairness that placed her there might contribute to it. I wouldn't complain--I'd love to see her back, sooner!

                                                                          2. If only Nyesha had won with something asian ...

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. Nyesha is a great competitor for this sort of competition. She thinks on her feet very well and she is focused.

                                                                              I couldn't tell if Heather was trying to ruffle her feathers or if she was just really trying to get her fishy juices in to Nyseha's food.

                                                                              I think Nyesha could be the contender with the longest streak, not that she will win, she's got a long way to go but of the ones left I can see several I think she could beat.

                                                                              and I loved Keith giving Nyesha the thumbs up for her idea. I'm just a little sad he wasn't invited to taste them.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                                I'm guessing there are too many eliminated chefs now to share one plate, so the competitors would have to make more if everyone was to have a taste.

                                                                                1. re: piccola

                                                                                  They always make at least two plates (one for the judge, one to be photographed). This last episode actually showed them prepping two plates.

                                                                              2. Well, Nyesha the Giant Killer continues to slay 'em in LCK - another one knocked down (see ya, Chris Crary!)

                                                                                As she said - two more to go and she's back in the main competition - will be interesting to see if she can do it! At this point, she deserves it!

                                                                                70 Replies
                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                  I would really love to see her do it. And only two more? There are certainly a few people left she could take on. And I assume she has the advantage of being rested (ie, not doing LCK after 40 hours of cooking.

                                                                                  It sure was nice of her to let Chris know his soup was about to boil over.

                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                    Go, Nyesha, go! It's all good from here on.

                                                                                    How is it only two more? I'm sure I could google around, but I bet someone here is on it!

                                                                                    1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                      I'm just going on what Nyesha herself said in the confessional.

                                                                                      1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                        I really want to see her back, I think she's probably the best chef the show has this season, and the most interesting person.

                                                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                                                          I would love to see her compete against Paul--both quiet and determined, seem to have garnered the respect of the other contestants and the judges, both outside the box thinkers. That would be a great competition of skill and not drama.

                                                                                          1. re: chowser

                                                                                            THAT would be a brilliant finale with Nyesha and Paul. :-) But who would be the third? Ty-Lor? Grayson? Edward? I'd lean towards Edward as the third.

                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                              I'd love to see Grayson. As long as she doesn't sing any more stupid camp songs. I sing enough of those myself for all of us.

                                                                                              1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                I think Grayson is pretty weak. IIRC she has not won a single QF, and has been in the bottom several times. I expect she'll be off shortly.

                                                                                                I think Sarah is the strongest contender after Paul, this week's issue not withstanding. She has serious skills, if she can just leave the drama aside. Edward is also skilled, but again, he wastes too much energy on things that don't matter.

                                                                                                Lindsay might be skilled but either due to her demeanor or the editing of the footage I can't ever seem to remember anything about her. Would be interesting if she makes it to the end by just standing back and letting everyone else go down in flames.

                                                                                                1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                                  Sarah is skilled as her techniques go but she's not, or hasn't struck me as, an outside the box thinker like Paul and Nyesha. She's the antithesis of Chris who does tricks for the sake of tricks (which he again did with the MG quick fire challenge). It would be nice to have a combination of Chris and Sarah. I agree w/ you about Ed.

                                                                                                  1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                                    While I do not believe she is the strongest contestant left, Grayson won the QF where they were using a sauce with Dean Fearing as the judge. She has been in the bottom of the EC twice which is the part of the contest that really matters. Three remaining chefs have been in the bottom more than Grayson while two, Paul and Lindsey, have been in the bottom of the EC fewer times than Grayson putting her right in the middle with Sarah and Ed. I think Lindsey has gone the farthest in TC history without doing anything particularly noteworthy.

                                                                                                    1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                                      +1 on your Lindsay assessment. I have no idea whether or not she's any good. Nada.

                                                                                                      1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                        hey, apparently lindsey can make a *fantastic* saltine and canned sausage sandwich.....

                                                                                                        ell-oh-ell ;-P

                                                                                                        1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                          :) That's particularly funny right now. Cuz a liverwurst thread on general chowhounding has me thinking of including saltines and liverwurst on a snack plate for a family gathering tomorrow. Of course, I will top it with lettuce foam.

                                                                                                          1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                            Foam makes everything better. :-)

                                                                                                    2. re: chicgail

                                                                                                      "I sing enough of those myself for all of us."
                                                                                                      Ha!!
                                                                                                      Ohhhh...They built the ship titanic, to sail the ocean blue...

                                                                                                    3. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                      No idea. I'm not that enthralled by any of the other chefs at this point.

                                                                                                      1. re: chowser

                                                                                                        Exactly. It has just been a rather lackluster season overall, hasn't it? Other than Chuy and probably Paul, no one has really wowed me. I still wish Chuy was in it.

                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                          Yeah, I liked him, too, as little as we've seen. I figure the third person in the finale will just be a place marker, like Lisa was with Stephanie and Richard.

                                                                                                          1. re: chowser

                                                                                                            ::But....but.....:::: But Lisa came in SECOND, remember? She TOLD us she did! ;-)

                                                                                              2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                I thought she said "a few more." With eight chefs left in the competition I don't see how it could only be two. But anyway, I think she has a great chance of winning LCK. She seems far more skilled than the bottom-rung chefs still left in the competition (Bev, Chris J, Grayson, maybe Ty depending on the day--he's kind of a wildcard in my mind at this point.)

                                                                                                1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                                  I heard "a few more" as well. I don't see why they'd let her back in when 6 contestants still remained.

                                                                                                  And yes, she seems to have a good shot, as she is every bit as good -- and better -- than some of the chefs remaining. But it's tough to keep up a win streak like that. All it takes is one slip...

                                                                                                  1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                    And I don't see why they'd let her back in when there was only 4 more cheftestants remaining. I'd be kind of ticked if I were one of the remaining 4. I dunno - at the 6 count seems about right to me.

                                                                                                    But then again, I didn't make the rules. :-)

                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                      So you think (or know?) that the winner will get back in before the end of the competition? My assumption all along has been that the LCK winner will return at the very end -- final episode -- to do battle with the remaining two chefs. What you suggest probably makes a lot more sense from a fairness point of view. What I suggest would probably make for better drama :-)

                                                                                                      1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                                        I'm only surmising that they'll be back *near* the end, but not *at* the end. Yes, I agree with you, DRAAAAAAAMAHHHHHHH would ensue if they came back at Final 2 or 3. :-)

                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                          I can envision exactly how it will go down if they do it in the final episode: As in every final episode, they'll march in all of the eliminated people to act as assistants for the remaining two chefs. And then Tom C. will say, "oh, there is one more thing..." and will then reveal the LCK winner. After which the camera will pan back and forth to the bitter faces of the top two, and we'll see some angry confessional moments...

                                                                                                          I can't imagine that they'll do it any other way. But we shall see!

                                                                                                          1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                                            Interesting idea. I think they'll come back in when there's 4 or five left. I don't know why but I don't want to see someone get knocked off, beat let's say Nyasha, and then be right back the next week - which I guess is how it could work no matter what week they return - nevermind.

                                                                                                        2. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                                          I figure the same. The only way I could see it working with "only 2 more to go" is if they eliminate an entire restaurant team next week. That would be WAY too mean, so Nyesha must have said "a few more." I'll be rooting for her. Wouldn't it be great if she managed to go ALL the way and won Top Chef?!

                                                                                                          1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                                                            I just watched it again, she definitely says "few", not "two".

                                                                                                            1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                              Oh good! Eliminating one team in restaurant wars would have also eliminated all the cheftestants of one gender or the other. Definitely not cool.
                                                                                                              I still hope Nyesha takes it all the way to the end. I think it would be wonderful for one of the eliminated chefs to become Top Chef. It would be awfully hard on the chefs who had to continue competing against all the others, week after week, though.

                                                                                                          1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                            Before you click the link, note that it shows someone in LCK whom we haven't seen go there yet. Spoiler alert, I guess.

                                                                                                            1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                              Thanks for the spoiler alert, acgold. I'll forgo reading the LATimes blog. Damn them.

                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                Besides, the writer called the previous season "Top Chef: Masters" [sic]. Yes, he did. :-)

                                                                                                                1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                  Why don't these writers proofread?!?! Rawr. Thank you for alerting us to the spoiler, acgold. I would have read it then gotten mad at myself :P

                                                                                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                    Some writers are just morons and need to go back and learn how to proofread AND fact-check.

                                                                                                                    1. re: C. Hamster

                                                                                                                      +1 for C. Hamster's comment. I'm glad I looked too! :)

                                                                                                                      1. re: SeoulQueen

                                                                                                                        You guys are killing me - I want to look (No, don't look!) I want to look (No, don't look!)

                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                          You know you're going to look. Just give it up, Linda.

                                                                                                                          1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                            Nope. I haven't yet done so, chicgail. :-)

                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                              Let us know when you can't hold out any longer. I bet you can guess in either case.

                                                                                                                              1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                Well, maybe it's Chris J? Grayson? Beverly? Lindsay? Sarah?

                                                                                                                                :-)

                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                  Would you like to know the gender of the person, at least? ;-)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                    STOP IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-P

                                                                                                                                    And no - I don't. :-)

                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                      Male. Or female. Or other. Who are we to make gender assumptions based on what we see in this very edited television show? :-)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                        I forgot about the spoilers in that link..... and I clicked. Does anybody have that flashy thingy from Men In Black?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: kubasd

                                                                                                                                          "Yo, Kay, check it out, when do I get my own little flashy-thing memory-messer-upper? "

                                                                                                                                          LOL! But then, kubasd, you'd forget you were watching Top Chef in the first place. :-)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                            TRUE. And that would be a horrible tragedy of as yet unseen proportions! I was somewhat pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn't a spoiler for this episode.... just for the season as a whole. My night became semi-unruined.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                          Well, I now know who you all were talking about! Dammit, dammit, sonofabeeetch! Grrrr...

                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                            Uh, LW, the person shown in that LAT article photo wasn't the "new entrant" to LCK tonight. :-)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                              DAMMIT! So I *still* don't know who it is. OK, I shall remain in the dark. :-)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                Right, so the spoiler alert still stands.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                                                                                                  What if the "spoiler" was a red herring created by the elves to mislead and THAT PERSON wasn't actually eliminated?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                    I actually wondered about that. What if it's a random shot of a cheftestant in a kitchen? Do we KNOW that that is the last chance kitchen? But maybe I am just rationalizing my spoiler.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                                                      Shrinkrap, I think that could be the case. The person pictured is plating food on four plates, and in LCK, we've only seen them do two. Doesn't mean the pictured person makes to the end, only that the LA Times used a random TC pic, perhaps.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                      Here's something I had decided not to post in response to kubasd yesterday...(I saved a draft):
                                                                                                                                                      "Oh, don't worry - after all, as debbieI says above and lots of other folks keep reminding us of, the editing is *so* nefarious on the show that what we see and hear is never what really occurred nor what the truth is - so what you see in that photo could well have been *someone else* entirely, or was *another universe* altogether . ;-) :-P The trick to viewing this show successfully is to simply disbelieve and disregard everything that you see and hear. :-) :-D "

                                                                                                                              2. re: SeoulQueen

                                                                                                                                so am i :) but the LAT editors are idiots for letting that one slip through.

                                                                                                                          2. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                            Ooooooo! So sorry! Thanks for catching that.

                                                                                                                            The gist of it was, that someone thought winning from LCK would be more admirable, since it meant winning many times, while in past seasos, some made it pretty far without winning at all.

                                                                                                                            "If you start crunching the numbers, whoever finally prevails in the “Last Chance Kitchen” might have to win a dozen or more head-to-head challenges. While that’s still a lot easier than working in a coal mine, it does require a remarkable run of execution and luck, and ultimately subverts one of the underlying (yet not always visible) tenets of “Top Chef” -- namely, that you can make it very far into the show having never won anything.

                                                                                                                            Last season, in “Top Chef: Masters,” Tiffany made it to the final four without winning a single elimination challenge. A season earlier, in the regular “Top Chef,” Amanda made it to the final six also without taking one elimination challenge prize. The loser’s bracket, in other words, is materially harder than the winner’s bracket. Whoever triumphs through the parallel “Last Chance Kitchen” contest could very easily win more direct matches than any of the finalists. And did I mention you have to get up from the TV to see it?

                                                                                                                            “I think it would almost be cooler,” Andrew said, “to win it from the ‘Last Chance Kitchen.’ ”
                                                                                                                            We have to agree."

                                                                                                                            Hope I didn't mess up again...

                                                                                                                            1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                              Ahh, that helps, Shrinkrap - thanks for the copy/paste here! And no harm, no foul. I think acgold's warning was done in time for those of us who didn't want to see any spoilers. :-)

                                                                                                                              And I agree with the writer that if Nyesha wins more of the LCKs, it'll prove she *does* deserve to be there.

                                                                                                                              I really hope that the Elves or TPTB do NOT have a team elimination again so as to *not* have someone eliminated due to their partner's screw-up.

                                                                                                                            2. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                              Hm, interesting... given that Grayson was the final "entrant" to LCK, and the photo in the article liked above shows a person who has *never* been sent there, maybe the photo is not, in fact, from LCK. Could be just a random production still. Perhaps deliberately chosen to throw us off or *not* be a spoiler?

                                                                                                                                1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                                  The odd thing is, though, the person is in their restaurant's chef coat, not the TC coat. Perhaps from the first "cook-in" episodes?

                                                                                                                                  I thought sure I knew who was eliminated last night, and was suprised it was Grayson. (I read it, I could not bear to watch another silly challenge. Maybe I'll return to viewing for the finales. But so help me, if they have the finalists snatching ingredients while speeding down the Olympic bobsled run . . . )

                                                                                                                                  1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                    I noticed that about the chef's coat as well. It's possible that they had each of the initial 16 do a photo shoot solo in the kitchen just for use as production and publicity stills.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                                    I wondered about that too....I am withdrawing my apology!

                                                                                                                        2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                          Count me in as part of the cheering squad for Nyesha!

                                                                                                                          1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                            I'm such a fan that I haven't watched TC LCK yet but had to see if she won because I was anxious to make sure she was still in. I'm off to watch it now.

                                                                                                                        3. Was this filmed before or after Nyesha was on Chef Hunter for (I believe) Wilshire Restaurant in L.A.?

                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: rccola

                                                                                                                            It would have to be after as her Bravo bio lists her as chef at the Wilshire Restaurant.

                                                                                                                            1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                              And her "civilian" chef coat on the show says Wilshire as well.

                                                                                                                          2. It was finally revealed! After Tom announced Nyesha as the winner against Ty, he said that she had to win 3 more to get back into the competition. So, there's 7 left, 3 get eliminated down to 4, but then the winner of LCK (the 3rd person eliminated and the reigning LCK chef) comes back in? A finale of 5? That seems off, I sense another double elimination.

                                                                                                                            47 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                                Glad to read Nyesha won yet another one - will have to watch this evening after I *finally* get to see the full regular ep of TC. And interesting that the *last* person kicked out of TC will get to go back. THAT seems very unfair to me.

                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                  Well that last eliminated person still has to win an LCK round to get back in. That doesn't seem unfair to me. Easier perhaps, to only have to go through one LCK, but there has to be a last ast some point.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                    I don't know if easier is the word either because that person will have survived, I'm not going to count them up, many elimination challenges.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                      Good point. I should have just said shorter tenure in LCK.

                                                                                                                                2. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                                  Just because they have decided the LCK winner will get back into the main competition when there are 4 left that have not been eliminated does not necessarily mean the next episode is the finale.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                    I thought they said that the LCK winner gets to come back for the Finale, not just gets to come back at some point, but I could be wrong. Also, we don't exactly know how they come back, whether they just walk on or is there some additional competition.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                                      I also do not recall any mention of which episode the LCK winner will re-enter the main competition. Last night's episode really does not completely clarify it either. I remember in TC 5 they gave Jeff a chance to get back in but he had to WIN the last EC challenge to get back in it for the finale, that is if I recall correctly.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                        In the first LCK, Tom says that the winner of LCk will have to beat "every eliminated chef in the competition" and says that the winner of LCK will get to compete for the $125k. He didn't explicitly say that they would be in the finale, and I may be parsing words more than the elves did, but the implication is certainly that the LCK winner is in the finale.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                                          I'm not aware of a 5 chef finale. Heck, they've never even done a 4 chef finale.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                            However, they do two-part finales (that is, at a later time at the finale location) with more than three chefs, with one being eliminated in a preliminary round. They did a five-person finale in Season 5 (Carla beat Fabio in a head-to-head round, then there was an elimination round with the final four, and then the final three).

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                              I am aware that there are two-part finales. Even though they brought 5 to the Bahamas, those episodes were not the 'finale'. TC 8 had only one finale episode while TC 7 had a two-episode finale. I got this from the wikipedia entry that includes details of all the TC seasons.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                They took five to New Orleans. I consider it the "finale" when it's conducted separately from the rest of the competition, i.e. months later in the "finale" location.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                  The folks doing the stats at Wikipedia don't label the episodes that way, but they're not always correct. I consider the 'Finale' to be when no chefs are eliminated and at the end one of them is declared the Top Chef.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                                    A finale of 5? That seems off, I sense another double elimination.
                                                                                                                                    ~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                    you're probably right. maybe Sarah & Lindsay try to shave Bev's head next week and they both get the boot.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                        LOL! I actually never thought the LCK person would be brought back at the very end. I think it would be better to get back in, have a couple of elimination challenges to go through and then the finale.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: bobbert

                                                                                                                                          That's what I've been thinking all along. Come in at around 6, go through a few more regular TC elims, and then the finale.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                            Yeah, and you have to think about it from the TV perspective as well. What percentage of the TV viewers are going on the web to watch LCK? I bet it's not all that high. Whoever it is that makes it back into the competition (hopefully Nyesha) will have to be reintroduced to a lot of the non-internet people so doing so in the finale would not have made too much sense.
                                                                                                                                            Another thought: Athough Nyesha has been facing elimination each week which is a daunting task (even though a growing part of me believes Tom is let's say "rooting" for her to where a tie goes to Nyesha) there is a lot of tough stuff she's been missing out on. While the others go without sleep, drive all over shopping, stab each other in the back and cook in 100+ degree heat I visualize Nyesha waking around 10am, go for a jog then maybe a swim. Meet up with the other eliminated chefs for lunch, maybe a quick nap, another hour at the pool and then mosey on over to the kitchen to slay yet another beaten down just eliminated probably depressed chef. Yeah, she has to get back in long before the finale. Oh yeah, I'm very much rooting for her.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: bobbert

                                                                                                                                              Your description of the eliminated likely schedule of eliminated contestants sounds great! Where do I sign up for this? I'll probably have to come up with at least a killer signature dish....

                                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                I'm making some assumptions like - they're probably staying in a descent hotel??? In Texas, they all have pools. They are all air conditioned. For restaurant wars, Nyesha had a couple of days off (at least) to "chill". Imagine if Sarah (as much as I don't care for her) had lost the BBQ challenge and then had to head on over to face Nyesha - it would be like losing a boxing match, get cleaned up, and then being told you get to now fight Mike Tyson - pretty tough task of maybe questionable fairness. So, even though it's pretty tough to keep winning week after week in LCK, on any particular challenge, Nyesha probably has at least a slight advantage which also to a slight degree offsets the mathematical disadvantage she is faced with.
                                                                                                                                                To be really fair, Tom maybe should not know who created which dish???

                                                                                                                                                1. re: bobbert

                                                                                                                                                  It would be interesting to know how LCK works behind the scenes. They are always in the same kitchen, so while the competition moves from Dallas to San Antonio to Austin, the eliminated contestants no doubt stay in one of those cities. This means the eliminated contestant and Tom would have to travel back to that city, right? So it's likely there is time between the elimination and the LCK?

                                                                                                                                                  Hell, it's even possible that they shot all of them in a 2 or 3 day window.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                    You hit the nail on the head. They did these LCK cook offs all in one or two days after everybody was eliminated. There is no way that Tom travelled back to Austin (if in fact that's where the LCK kitchen is located). They need a production crew there. It would cost less to do them all at once rather than one at a time.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                      Another great observation! This blows a lot of my perceived theory of an advantage that Nyesha might have right out of the water. Lucky for me, I'm pretty used to being wrong. I hope they tell us all about it at the end of the show. I'm going to look back to see if the non-contestant chefs change clothes - the editors probably are all over that but just in case they missed it....

                                                                                                                                                2. re: bobbert

                                                                                                                                                  "What percentage of the TV viewers are going on the web to watch LCK? "

                                                                                                                                                  I do because it's most convenient for me that way. Usually, I watch it right after I watch the episode on DVR and before I go check LW's recap and the discussions here.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bobbert

                                                                                                                                                    I think they're sequestered in an apartment and I don't think they're allowed to be seen. Can you imagine being stuck in a little place w/ Heather and not be able to leave? I think it would drive me crazy. Now, if they'd just rent out a resort on a remote island somewhere--that would be awesome.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                        That actually makes sense in that they can't be seen - hadn't really thought about that - thanks. I really can't imagine a dozen or so people stuck in an apartment for that long. Maybe a descent house on the outskirts of town?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                          The only time I remember seeing the hotel suite where the eliminated chefs end up is episode 2 of TC 7 where John "3 foot dreadlocks" greeted the mousy blond that made banana pudding with two pounds of sugar. It looked like a hotel suite, but I don't remember seeing much of the room, just the couch they conversed upon.

                                                                                                                                                          So the employees won't spill the beans do they bring them inside in disguise, lock them inside and don't let them leave the suite?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                            They showed every eliminated chef in TC7 up to and including Tiffany Derry (i.e. before the 2-part finale) turning up in the sequester suite in a series of separate videos on the website.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                              My reference was to what is shown on Bravo. Until this year, when forced to because of LCK, I had not watched any videos on the TC website.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                              And no room service? The linens need changing at least weekly, and if they can't leave they need either prepared food delivered or groceries they can use to cook meals.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                My understanding is that it's not just not having the eliminated contestants returning home and running around giving away that they're off the show, but also that in order to not give it away when they're shooting, they'll bring the sequestered ones along when they're out in public, e.g., at Whole Foods. That way when random people see them (as opposed to people at challenge events, who sign no disclosure agreements), they won't know who's gone and be able to spill once the show starts airing.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                  So that brings up a question-- somehow I doubt they go as far as having the eliminated people actually shop for cartloads of stuff-- does Whole Foods clear out the regular folks for these shopping expeditions? Seems they must; I don't recall seeing them bowling over any soccer moms in there. Then do the eliminated folks join them as they load the stuff into the roomy Toyota Sienna? Or are the cars parked somewhere where no one can see them? Now I'm all curious :)

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DGresh

                                                                                                                                                                    "Now I'm all curious :)"
                                                                                                                                                                    Me too. Must be incredibly complex. As you allude to, they must clear out the whole foods and go very early or late. I've never seen a quieter whole foods. All the chefs must pull up in the Sienna's and go inside. It's all fake and contrived. I'm starting to question my faith in the reality of reality TV.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bobbert

                                                                                                                                                                      But we saw Beverly Kim shove her way to the front shrieking her special-fluffy-domness in WholePaycheck with those other shoppers around...
                                                                                                                                                                      Or were they "hired extras" with ND contracts?

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                        Were there that many customers around? Or, could that even have been the 1st episode once they settled on the cheftestants? If so, it would not have mattered who was around as no one had been eliminated yet. I'll have to look back at Linda's recap on this one.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bobbert

                                                                                                                                                                          Good point, it *was* the 1st episode proper with the full complement of cheftestants – so it didn't matter for that one.

                                                                                                                                                                          I do remember that in the NYC TC season it was reported that they filmed in WholePaycheck with signs posted outside advising people that such filming was going on and that folks should stay out if they didn't want to be on camera. Eater.com published photos of said signs and of shots sent to them of some of the cheftestants shopping and I do remember there were some extraneous folks in some of the photos. (Yes, these "surreptitious shots" were the source of much speculation of who was competing in TC, and who were still "in" for some shopping trips believed to correspond with a particular episode (e.g. RW).

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                          It occurred to me a while back that another perfectly reasonable explanation for Beverly's behavior is that when they shop at Whole Foods they're supposed to be given priority. After all, they only have half an hour. They must have some kind of agreement with Whole Foods about how the contestants are going to be handled, especially if, for some reason, they have to shop during normal business hours and not before or after closing.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: DGresh

                                                                                                                                                                        I worked at WF during Top Chef and was in the store during the filming. They did NOT clear the store out. In fact, they shopped at a peak time on the weekend because it was when they could fit the shopping into their production schedule. I imagine that it has everything to do with the way things are edited. I never signed a non-disclosure agreement since I was shopping at the time and not working but I know that it was packed in the store at the time. I even got to see Heather and Beverly push each other around at the seafood counter in Dallas.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: melanita

                                                                                                                                                                          Do they tell the employees at WF when the TC people are coming through? As someone mentioned on the regular TC thread, you could count the chefs, see who's coming through, and at least know who was in the last 6 cheftestants.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                    Can you imagine being stuck in a little place w/ Heather and not be able to leave?
                                                                                                                                                                    ~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                    no doubt Chris Crary is locking his bedroom door at night ;)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                          And his knife roll already unrolled and at the ready.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                            Assuming he still has to share a bedroom with others he *might* scare his fellow roomies, maybe? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                          2. I wanted to say that Nyesha's choice of Heather as sous really shows that she knows how to win this game. At this point I am totally rooting for her to take it all the way!

                                                                                                                                                            52 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: centralpadiner

                                                                                                                                                                She's definitely shrewd, a calm thinker. But, hold a grudge much, Nyesha? I'm rooting for her but she remembers all the wrongs and holds onto them. He could be lying but it seems Ty-Lor has a lot of respect for her cooking but came off rude on how he made some comments.

                                                                                                                                                                I was thinking the hardest LCK for me would be Paul vs Nyesha because I'd like to see both in the final.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                  The most unsettling comment from Ty-Lor B. was his statement (again) of how he was very, very good friends with Heather T. Very strange. To me, anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                    why is this strange? they worked together for years...

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                                      It seems to me they are such different people. One can work for years and years with someone else and still dislike (if not hate) each other at the end. Just working together does not mean you become bosom pals by default.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                        We really do not know what it is like to work in the real world for/with Heather based on a reality television show.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                          Correct. But as has been discussed over and over again, what we talk about here by necessity is largely based on what we see on the show.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                            right, but the logic would follow that these folks are more multidimensional than what we have seen on the show.

                                                                                                                                                                            i don't find it unfathomable that 1) people who are different, but who walk through the same crucible together, can wind up w considerable mutual feelings of loyalty, respect and friendship. see also military comradeship. 2) that those folks who are given the "bad guy" edit to create drama in a reality show may not be all so nightmarishly horrible, and the converse is also true, with folks portrayed as nice and likeable... maybe having some serious personal negatives.

                                                                                                                                                                            nobody is a perfect angel, nobody is evil incarnate. i find the editing easier to disbelieve than that a friendship between two folks who may appear on the surface to be quite different, is impossible. doesn't everyone with a rich life experience maintain some quirky friendships?

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                      It came across to me as code for "we slept together at some point in the past."

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                        I'm quite sure ty-Lor has not slept with any woman for a while.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bobbert

                                                                                                                                                                          Ya think? Who knows with these guys!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                            In this case, I think he's said so in interviews. Plus there's the whole "posing for gay porn" thing, though of course that wouldn't necessarily reflect his own sexual orientation.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: piccola

                                                                                                                                                                              In his casting video he said directly that he is gay. The video also included scenes of him with other men in circumstances that appeared unmistakably to be in a gay milieu, IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                I think it was Ty-Lor who stated in the casting video that he left a very religious, conservative home at 18 because of conflicts over his sexual orientation. Although he also said somewhere that he left home at 17 to travel the world, no expenses spared. Does he have a trust fund or something?

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                  Good question - re: the financial resources. I don't know.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                              And I believe he actually stated he was gay during one of the car rides. It's understandable if you missed it - it's so easy to become transfixed on the spacious interior, comfortable and versatile seating options and premium sound systems in the Toyota Sienna that a lot of the dialogue can be missed.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bobbert

                                                                                                                                                                                I agree with you, those Toyota Siennas are well equipped. If we were in the market for a mini-van, the Sienna would be at the top of our list. The sonar would be especially helpful for my wife.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bobbert

                                                                                                                                                                                  Heh. Those luxurious motorized chariots are so distracting, aren't they!

                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, that's right, he mentioned it on that drive - to Dallas, I believe, when they got "diverted" to that field in the middle of nowhere for that ridiculous QF. He also mentioned his boyfriend.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                    He didn't say "I'm gay," but someone asked if he was married, and he said he had a boyfriend, so same thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                      Ah, OK.

                                                                                                                                                                                      He does say he is gay on his casting video as I mentioned above.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                          I was about to write a post that used a possible stereotype but based on part of the thread for Episode 10 I will refrain from doing it blatantly. Some people (men?) can have harsh words with one another and a few minutes later are over it and still be on civil, if not friendly, terms. Other people hold a grudge and roll those words over and over in their thoughts.

                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: centralpadiner

                                                                                                                                                                          Agreed. I was definitely rooting for her before but now I'm a confirmed Nyesha fan. Hope she makes it back and takes it all the way to the finale (I'm not quite enough of a fan at the moment to want her to win the whole thing, but I definitely want to see her compete).

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: centralpadiner

                                                                                                                                                                            Although I got the sense it was primarily to deny Ty-Lor Boring the opportunity to have Heather T. as his sous chef.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, I just watched this and Nyesha makes it clear that the reason she chose Heather was to deprive Ty-Lor of his friend and former colleague.

                                                                                                                                                                              And to her credit, Heather went all out. And to her credit, Nyesha approached it as a collaboration. She is one smart competitor--she may hold grudges, but she can let them go too.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                                                Totally agree with you on all points. While it seems logical to pick the person with prior pastry experience, I don't think Nyesha really needed that level of support. I think her choice of Heather was to throw a loop in Ty's plans. I think Ty thought he had Heather as a lock; did you see the look on his face? I thought chef's knives were shooting from his eyes!!!

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                Don't deny that one bit, but the point really is that she made the decision that would best help her win the competition, rather than picking the person she "likes most" "has the most in common with", etc. that we have seen on Top Chef in the past. She chose the person her competitor would most want to work with, who had strong skills in an area she was weaker (pastry, in this specific case) and put personal feelings aside to collaborate and make a good dish, even when this chosen person got a little pushy and tried to take over.

                                                                                                                                                                                IMO, she made wise choices in situations where I have seen poor choices on this show over and over again. (This season, and all past ones as well.) I suspect that the higher level of rest and relaxation provided to the eliminated chefs is part of the equation, but I still think is shows Nyesha as a thoughtful, mature and skilled competitor and if she keeps it up she could get back in and maybe even win it all.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: centralpadiner

                                                                                                                                                                                  True. The end result of her choice was the same, whatever the motive.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                  <Although I got the sense it was primarily to deny Ty-Lor Boring the opportunity to have Heather T. as his sous chef.>

                                                                                                                                                                                  I think it was the elves again. Nyesha is a shrewd player, and Heather is a pastry chef. She would rather have her on her team than on the opposing one, which certainly would have been the case.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                                                    Is she? I thought she had maybe more experience baking stuff than perhaps most of the other chefs but was not a pastry chef per se.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Nyesha Arrington's motives may have just coalesced into the same thing in effect, but that does not negate the fact that she apparently *said* that she did not want Ty-Lor B. to be able to have Heather Terhune as his sous chef.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                      Heather's bio on Sable's website has this:

                                                                                                                                                                                      "Terhune then moved to Durham, North Carolina, to work at Pops Trattoria as Executive Sous Chef and Pastry Chef."

                                                                                                                                                                                      it doesn't say how long she made desserts for that establishment, but any experience is a plus in Top Chef.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Aha, thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Certainly, any pastry experience is a plus in Top Chef, no argument there!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: centralpadiner

                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh yeah, she definitely thought her strategy through. I was a bit worried that choosing Heather might backfire on her though. I'm glad Heather remained professional & did her best to help Nyesha.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jcattles

                                                                                                                                                                                      There have been very few instances of sabotage by "returning" chefs (I can't recall any, but maybe I'm forgetting). They are all professionals, I think they are all driven to make the best food they can, and they all know (even if they occasionally forget) that they are on TV and need to do what they can to further their careers. Heather wants to be on the winning team making good food, I'm sure, more than she wants to help her friend Ty.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                                                                                        Agree mostly LurkerDan, but I think Dave and Stephen were a bit less than professional working with Tiffany in the S1 finale. There might be other instances, but none that I can come up with right now.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                          Tiffany was a b*tch to work for in that competition and Dave and Stephen showed their displeasure at working for her but I don't think they did any sabotage to her food. I believe Tom indicated she may have won had she not done a 'duo' for every course.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                            It's been a while so who knows how accurate my memory is. But, it seemed to me that they most definitely did not put their best effort out there for her. That said, yeah, she lost, not them.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                              Was it that competition in which Tiffany used (I think it was Dave's) dessert recipe and did not mention this when talking to the judge's, but Dave did talk about it? Sounds kinda like Heather and Ed, eh?

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kubasd23

                                                                                                                                                                                                I think the difference is that Dave actually made the dessert for Tiffany and she did not mention it to the judges. I think Ed has let the cake 'recipe', I think it was more like proportions, thing get to his head.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  oh, I thought Dave had "given" the recipe that he had brought to Tiffany. Ed's "recipe" WAS more of a proportions thing, you are right, plus it was a basic cake, whereas Dave's was a whole dessert concept.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                                                                                          On the finale of the Next Food Network Star, Peggy (I think that was her name) came back to be the sous chef for one of the finalists. She was so slow that the judges commented on it. But I don't think any Top Chef contestants have deliberately sabotaged to such a degree. The Dave and Stephen show from the season 1 finale was close but they got drunk because Tiffany was so bitchy to them.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chefhound

                                                                                                                                                                                            Ah, the villanous Penny . . . I had forgotten her.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, Penny, who wished to make food 'sexy'. I hate it when the contestants refer to their food as sexy or making love to their food. I don't want to eat it after hearing that. I most remember Angelo making comments like this.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Angelo was always making love to his food. Skeeved me out. And very different than Carla sending dishes out with love.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Angelo making love to his dishes didn't bother me - in fact I found it charming. Carla sending stuff out with love was sigh-provoking to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I find the whole 'I make my food with love' thing annoying. Almost as annoying as Angelo making love to his food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Nope, the visual of "making love to my food" is definitely more disturbing than making food with love.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Go back and re-read my post. It seems you may have misunderstood it the first time.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        By the way, I did not mention nor did I intend to mention any visuals. I have not seen any.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: chefhound

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, I thought of Penny, but not only was it on a different competition show but also a very different type of competition with different types of contestants.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LurkerDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes. Definitely a different type of contestant. No professional would deliberately perform so badly.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: centralpadiner

                                                                                                                                                                                              http://discoverlosangeles.com/play/di...

                                                                                                                                                                                              Apparently, Nyesha grew up peeling garlic, making wontons, and eating kimchi!

                                                                                                                                                                                            3. i would like to see video of the eliminated chefs outside of LCK. The Elves should produce an extra episode with video from both 'houses' from throughout the competition. It would be relatively easy to produce and would likely get ratings just as good as any other episode of TC outside of the finale.

                                                                                                                                                                                              24 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                We might get to see some more interesting food that way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    They did this a few seasons ago on their website. Forget which season, but remember it wasn't very interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Nyesha has done well since she was eliminated but I don't get why she is held in such high regard. While she was in the competition she had zero wins and in her 4 elimination challenges prior to being eliminated she was on a losing team, a low finish, a middle finish, and a high finish. I'm just curious what people saw from her that they found so impressive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: californiabeerandpizza

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think it's difficult to judge someone who lost early on due to being part of a shoddy team. The fact is that there's a major luck component to the whole thing. Get with the right -- or wrong -- people in a few of the early challenges and it can make all the difference for the long run. LCK evens things out a bit and the fact that she's been able to hold on as long as she has reveals, to me at least, that she was removed quite prematurely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: californiabeerandpizza

                                                                                                                                                                                                          take a closer look at the stats for the elimination challenges:
                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_Chef...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          aside from the day she was sent packing (and many of us think she got a raw deal because she wasn't the one who under-cooked the meat), she was part of a losing *team* but her dish was NOT one of the judges' least favorites. she was only solely responsible for landing herself in the bottom once, and she wasn't sent home that time. she may not have won any QFs, but she was only there for 4...and based on her LCK performance i think it's safe to assume she might have fared well in some other QFs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          i think some of us who are loyal to the Los Angeles crew were also hoping/expecting to see her fare well because her food at Wilshire Restaurant is terrific.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: californiabeerandpizza

                                                                                                                                                                                                            To win that many LCK's in a row? These people are getting mowed down week in and week out. It's not luck. If she's somehow able to make it all the way through I think that, in and of itself, is a pretty incredible feat. You make it sound like she was that self espousing cat that got thrown out in the very beginning that couldn't butcher meat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ladybugthepug

                                                                                                                                                                                                              If she's somehow able to make it all the way through I think that, in and of itself, is a pretty incredible feat.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              ~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                              heck yeah. in fact, i think these head-to-head wins are more impressive than much of what the other chefs have done throughout the season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                DEfinitely! I mean, I'm pretty pretty sure they made it very difficult for someone who was told to PYKAG early on to make it to the finale on purpose.... It makes for a much more exciting story if they do, and a much more dramatic announcement. Not to mention the fact that they had to triumph against contestants that made it much further in the competition than them. It takes much more skill to win a myriad of competitions utilizing different skills based (mainly) solely on their own merit as opposed to (again mainly, so far at least) group competitions. Consistently winning head to head competition in a win or go home scenario is much more impressive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: ladybugthepug

                                                                                                                                                                                                                She's done well that many times in a row in a bunch of odd challenges, been able to win with desserts and with gas station items. She's doing more than a million variations of barbecue and short ribs!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ladybugthepug

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm starting to root for her now. It's so against the odds that she'll make it, the interest factor leaps with each of her wins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ladybugthepug

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I was so afraid they were going to keep the show's intro where Tom sent him home for the entire season (luckily it only lasted about 2 weeks). I was like, please don't make me watch that at the beginning of each show for the entire season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: californiabeerandpizza

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A big part of it, for me, is the respect she's garnered from Hugh and Tom, as well as the other chefs/contestants and guest judges. Her skills have been praised, as has been her work ethic. Her parts of most meals had been really good. Her background is impressive and she was great in Chef Hunter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Her flavors were highly praised in a couple of challenges, too, before she was eliminated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tom's comment that she might want to consider cooking semi-Mediterranean, like she did at LCK, more often was interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I believe chowser's comments were directed at Nyesha, not Beverly to whom I believe your comment was referring.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sorry if I misread. I've said before that I was all for Nyesha and was hoping she'd go the distance. That said, now I have to hope that maybe 2 of the top cheftestants from LCK get a chance to cook off against each other or both get to cook against the last cheftestants standing in the regular TC. I would dearly love to see Nyesha cooking against Paul, and am not sure which of those 2 I'd prefer to see win. They're both so good, and have such mad skills.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, they're my favorites, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: californiabeerandpizza

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I thought highly of Nyesha because I liked her from her Chef Hunter appearance; she seemed capable and calm. In a season of chefs I found irritating, Nyesha stood out as someone worth cheering on. I felt awful to see her trapped on some bad teams.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: terrierboy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm so incredibly bummed that she's not going to get the chance to compete for Top Chef.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            i'm with ya on that. i would have loved to see her compete in the finale. the woman is fierce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yep, she's fierce and she managed to make components that stood out as wonderful flavors in crummy group challenges. If only...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        AAAHHHHH!!!!! Nooooooooo....So many swear words are coming out of my mouth right now, I can't even fathom it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm SO SO mad! I now know who the "spoiler" was noted above in this thread. I'm bummed. REALLY bummed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          BTW - did anyone notice that the first guy kicked off, Andrew Curren, never clapped for Beverly? At least Heather did - half-heartedly, but she did clap when she won.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LW, the "spoiler" issue was, uh, addressed a bit upthread. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Regarding Andrew Curren not clapping - yes, I noticed that too. I suppose, if one wanted to think in a certain direction, that Heather Terhune would have had some time to spill her guts about her opinions regarding Beverly Kim to all and sundry whilst in the sequester house... ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Interestingly, Heather T. very quickly piped up about favoring Nyesha when Tom Colicchio asked whom the past cheftestants thought would win tonight's LCK - followed a little more slowly by Keith Rhodes. When Tom C. asked if anyone thought Beverly K. might win everyone else seemed to shuffle uncomfortably a bit and stayed silent. Heh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh, Ty-Lor Boring was another non-clapper when Beverly Kim was declared the winner.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Heather T. had a frowny face, Keith Rhodes a stone face but he did go over and hug Beverly K. at the end.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Now I wonder what we are supposed to make of all these bits the elves show us.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And yet we really do not know if Heather actually WAS the first and only chef to announce that Nyesha was favored...the Elves editing and all....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Uh, Keith Rhodes also favored Nyesha Arrington as I mentioned above. Heather T. was not the *only* one; and the sequence to me seems correct for her to be the first. Sure, others might have voted for Nyesha A. too but Tom Colicchio's words seem to indicate not all did, if any others - editing would not have made Tom C. ask the eliminated panel if anyone wanted to go for Beverly Kim.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Heather was APPARENTLY the only chef to speak up when Tom first asked the question, but we really don't know if others spoke up before or after Heather did when Tom first posed the question, that was my point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Watch LCK again.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In sequence:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      (The panel stands pretty montionless and with only faint facial expressions) Tom C. asks for votes, Heather pipes up. Tom comments about the bad blood between Heather T. and Beverly K. BK comments about HT crossing the line again. Panel body movements and faces show more motion, Richie Farina turns towards HT, smirking/grinning. TC asks "Anybody else here". Keith R. points at Nyesha A., and HT turns towards KR, raising her hands. Body motion, facial expressions on panel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What we don't know is what the editors chose to NOT include. We don't know throughout the entire competition what was said that did not make the final cut. There are hours of video recorded at judges table and we see just seconds of it. The same can be said for LCK. If we keep this up, it will really be much ado about nothing as because it already has attained more status than either I intended or care about.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If that is so, why are you even bothering to watch the show? Since you seem to disbelieve everything that you see, you might as well just turn your TV off.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Exactly. Maybe the elves cut up her response to make it seem like Heather said Nyesha but that was in response to another question.:-p

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't disbelieve everything I see. I do however question conclusions drawn from what is shown on TC since I know how the editing process works. It's a reality TV show, it's not reality.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It seemed like Tom was really milking that question of who was favored by the eliminated chefs, which was kind of odd. But if I'd been, say, Andrew or Keith or Richie, one of the early LCK participants, whether or not I'd been poisoned by Heather et al's attitudes about Bev, I'd go with Nyesha. They've all seen Nyesha on quite a winning streak, and most of them hadn't had Bev's winning short ribs or any other highlights -- they'd just seen her quirks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I agree. And just because anyone would choose to think Nyesha would come out on top, especially after seeing her defeat 5 chefs in a row, does not necessarily mean they disrespect Beverly or her cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That was the 2nd or 3rd tipoff that Bev won. The first was Nyesha saying how glad she was to see Bev because it would be an easy win. The second was Nyesha saying how she knew exactly what she was going to make and how she had her dish all planned out. The third (slightly out of order) was Bev not getting a single vote. When I saw that, I knew she won.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The other thing that occured to me was that Tom may have asked that question at every other LCK and never got an answer worth airing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I haven't watched any other LCK competitions, and I have a question about last night's contest. Is there typically some kind of twist?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I ask because last night's twist seemed to me to reflect a lot of producer manipulation. A win by Nyesha would have been routine, but a win by Beverly ratchets up the fan outrage and folks investment in watching.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There hasn't been a twist like that that I can recall, Indy. Read the bottom of each of my recaps for confirmation where I do a mini-LCK recap, but I'm pretty sure that was a first.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I didn't like it, personally. But keep in mind that this was filmed months ago. The producers really have *no* idea how the viewing public will respond to Beverly or Nyesha, other than how they think we'd respond based on the editing they give us. And Tom made the decision as to who wins - and he judges on merit - not on ratings. (And I really REALLY don't want to get into another discussion as to whether the results are manipulated by the producers!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We're in agreement that the editors shape public reaction to a large degree by choosing the material that makes the screen. I'm reasonably confident that several episodes have been filmed by the time the first show gets edited. And, of course, everything has been shot long before the first show gets aired. This schedule allows the editors to feature scenes/comments from the beginning that build a storyline for each contestant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Beverly's behavior from the first offered a great opportunity to edit the show to emphasize conflict and mean girl behavior. With our focus on all that psycho-drama, her chops as a chef came as a great surprise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But her talent as a chef comes with a very irritating style. By the time Beverly arrived at LCK, she has set grilles on fire. Overheated cookware to the point of discoloration. Sprayed foam on Padma. Upended trays of food and cooking utensils. And the list goes on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Now the editors have a chance to create a new story line. Beverly VS the mean girls becomes Beverly VS the reigning champ. Tom isn't going to let the producers tell him who should win, but Tom isn't going to dictate the terms of the twist. The specific details favored Beverly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Beverly inherited an assortment of food and equipment that is likely to be complete. (At the very least, Nyesha has been cooking in that setting for several challenges.) Based on her performance in the TC kitchen, Beverly has seemed incapable of getting stocked up and organized in one fell swoop.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Beverly's own talents as a chef capitalized on her situation, and the Beverly VS the world storyline can continue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bev has come across as a bit klutzy, messy, and scatterbrained during the show, but neither of those things mean she isn't a great chef. Some of the most brilliant 'big picture' type of people I know seem to thrive in an environment of constant chaos and improvisation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Beverly had to pack her knives and go because she accidentally left one element off of her dish in the quickfire - Padme even said during the challenge that had she just thrown on the rice krispies the win and the immunity with it would have been hers. Her food has consistently been well executed and shown attention to the little details when she has had time to get it right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In the rodeo episode Bev went up against Nyesha during the elmination challenge, and the judges all said that they preferred Beverly's chili re-purposing vs. Nyesha's. In fact, had Rich not completely dropped the ball Nyesha would have been sent home even earlier in the season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TuteTibiImperes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "If the dog wouldn't have stopped to take a crap he would have caught the rabbit'. That's what I always heard when people did the 'what if' speculation. I am referencing Beverly's failed QF dish. The fact is she did not get it plated. She had the same amount of time as everyone else, so I would not put it the way you did. If Ed would have chosen different ingredients he might have won too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: TuteTibiImperes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Bev isn't a great chef because she can't think outside the box. She got eliminated because she couldn't come up with a dish that fits the theme of the challenge. Some times a contestant can get away with it but she didn't, because no one else failed miserably. Bev creates chaos but she doesn't thrive in it. Case in point, she couldn't get her quickfire dish assembled on time. Her food hasn't been consistent at all, either good or bad. One day she'll make a great short rib and the next day she'll totally screw up a coleslaw, f*ck up a duck, take a mild chili and not cook it, make a soy based sauce instead of a mother sauce, or totally bomb a modernist challenge. Compare her record to Paul's. That's why I don't think she's a great chef.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "Compare her record to Paul's. That's why I don't think she's a great chef."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You can say that about every other chef too. Paul is the only one with impressive stats.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: californiabeerandpizza

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In the end though, the stats don't matter. What matters is who is crowned Top Chef at the end of the season. Any of the chefs could float in the middle all season long and end up in the finals and potentially win the whole thing. (Hosea, Ilan??) Sure we can get a feel who the better chef is, but for purposes of the contest, it's who produces the best dish that day. Even the best chef has an off day or makes a poor choice & will get get beat by a less skilled chef. We've seen it happen time & again over the years. Hell we just saw it happen between Nyesha & Beverly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: californiabeerandpizza

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've said from very early on, this group of contestants are pretty mediocre except for Paul.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think that Sarah's food has looked very good, as well as Beverly, Nyesha, Ed and Paul. Malibu Chris has the best hair of any season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            With their two histories on the show, I believed Nyesha had the advantage over Beverly. Sure, maybe Beverly might have been better "set up" but set up for what? No "Asian" (for the sake of my point please cut me some slack on the use of the word) ingredients for Beverly? She's not supposed to be able to cook outside of her comfort zone and, as I myself would have thought, she's not supposed to be able to make the kind of adjustments required in the challenge.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The swapping of places should have been a huge advantage for Nyesha because, as most of us have been proclaiming, she's just super bad-ass. When the swap was made my first thought was that's the end of Beverly for sure. What we learned from this is something the chefs and us viewers are very slowly and grudgingly starting to accept: Beverly is a pretty darn good cook and if you want to beat her, don't underestimate her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: bobbert

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "The swapping of places should have been a huge advantage for Nyesha because, as most of us have been proclaiming, she's just super bad-ass... this is something [we] are.. grudgingly starting to accept: Beverly is a pretty darn good cook and if you want to beat her, don't underestimate her."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              __________
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think you hit the nail on the head. Beverly has some fairly obvious deficiencies. But these deficiencies have caused her competitors and viewers to overlook her strengths.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              When her ONLY task is to stand over a table of ingredients, focus on her own station, and make something that tastes good, she is probably one of the strongest chefs this season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In a way, she is kind of like Carla Hall, but without the charisma. If the remaining LCK contests aren't too convoluted or esoteric, she has a fine chance of making it back to the competition.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This is true. Whatever else you have to say about her, her food tastes good. As for this match-up, didn't she beat Nyesha head to head in the "repurpose the chili" challenge?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't disagree with *anything* you said about Beverly's style. However, per Lee Ann Wong, who used to do be part of the Bravo staff that conceived and created the challenges, they're all decided *long* before the show starts filming. There's a lot of pre-prep that has to be done behind the scenes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Constructing the conveyor belt that was featured in the Quickfire last week requires prep work. Getting permission to film in an existing restaurant requires prep work. Identifying ordinary citizens and celebrities who will be the focus of an episode requires prep work. Telling contestants to stop and switch food and equipment requires no prep work.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't know that Nyesha would have beat Beverly without the switch. Nyesha's sense of condescension might have gotten the better of her. Nyesah simply might not be as good a chef as Beverly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think somewhere, a producer is having sweet dreams over the prospect of Beverly re-appearing as a finalist after the abuse the Mean Girls have heaped on her. That's pure gold on reality TV. Therefore, I wouldn't put it past the producers to try to enhance Beverly's chances for success.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But Nyesha lost because her food was underseasoned, not because she had bad ingredients. I don't think we can blame Beverly for not giving her enough to work with when she might have won if her dish had been seasoned.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sharonlouk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not blaming Beverly. Nyesha's food was underseasoned. Tom is notorious in his dislike of overly salty or underseasoned food. So Beverly wins on merit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am saying that by introducing the switch, the producers were subtly trying to force an error on Nyesha's part since the underdog story line is pure reality TV gold. The producers would have had no way of knowing that Nyesha would lose on an unforced error.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Look, I can't prove my theory. All I can point to is the fact that this twist was atypical of previous LCK competitions.That makes me wonder why introduce a change? Why now?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Maybe because they'd run through all the basics? Even though they hadn't done one like this for LCK, they've certainly done things like that for quickfires.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As someone noted, challenges are planned well in advance, for a couple of reasons. First, because it takes a while to set them up, and second, because they don't want to be accused of doing exactly what you're suggesting (it''s also possible that Top Chef is governed by the game show laws, under which they would be prohibited "To supply to any contestant in a purportedly bona fide contest of intellectual knowledge or intellectual skill any special and secret assistance whereby the outcome of such contest will be in whole or in part prearranged or predetermined....
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    (3) To engage in any artifice or scheme for the purpose of prearranging or predetermining in whole or in part the outcome of a purportedly bona fide contest of intellectual knowledge, intellectual skill, or chance.")

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Now that would be great to know if they *are* governed by game show laws, Ruth!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Linda Holmes, a lawyer who wrote recaps for Television Without Pity, wrote an article about whether quiz show laws apply to Survivor (and basically said probably not, but it was possible: http://public.getlegal.com/articles/s...). I think Top Chef is much closer to qualifying as a quiz show than Survivor. I'm pretty sure none of the producers of these reality competition shows wants there to be a definitive lawsuit, and one way to avoid it is to behave as much as possible as if the rules do apply.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Why does a Sole Survivor earn $1 million but Top Chef only gets like $100k (or whatever it is they offer as a prize nowadays)? I think they need to step up the prize money so a winner can actually open their own restaurant. I don't know what kind of sh!thole you can open with $60k (after taxes).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Why should they offer more if they can get people to do it for less? The whole point of Survivor is the big prize/high stakes. The whole point of going on Top Chef is to boost your career, make some contacts, generate publicity for your restaurant, etc. The money is almost incidental.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  No, but WWD did, and I disagree that the difference is cable money vs. network money. First, Survivor was developed by an independent production company and sold to the network (IIRC ABC passed on it), so "network money" wasn't at stake. CBS then put it on as a summer replacement series, basically the low-rent district, having no idea it would become such a huge hit that would reshape the face of television.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Basically, the reason the prize money is different is that the shows are completely different. Part of the "drama" of shows like Survivor (or even The Amazing Race) is that the stakes are so high. Shows like Top Chef and Project runway are driven more by the fact that it's actually interesting to watch creative people being creative.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm really bitching about the producers of the show. I think they can step up the prize money. They don't have to, but they could afford to. I also think money + prestige will get even more talented contestant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The prize money is not paid by the producers, but by the sponsor. The production is relatively lean, hence all the product placements. The prize can only go up if they can scare up a sponsor willing to foot it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Your point about prize money seems well-taken, WWD. People never take into account that the original prize shrinks after taxes. $60,000 doesn't stretch far when trying to open a restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ruth, my conclusion is different than yours, I hope that's ok with you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          mcf, I'm pretty sure the lead-in promo for the show actually says that the prize is paid for by several sponsors, like Glad did a few seasons ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              and cooked in a GE oven after going shopping at WF in their Toyota Siennas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sure, but network TV gets a lot more sponsor bucks than Bravo/cable does, hence smaller prizes on cable. I don't think it's because they wouldn't like to make a huge splash with big prize money. It's all about the Benjamins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.advertising180.net/blog/te...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.legalzoom.com/business-man...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        +1. How many Survivor contestants or winners have been able to really boost their careers from the show - yeah, a couple have but generally speaking, if you've gotten this far in Top Chef, you're well on your way to some good things. Even Heather, as much as most here don't like her or how many 1 star Yelp reviews those who hate her throw at her restaurant is now a star! Apparently, because of Top Chef, the restaurant is busier than ever. Granted, by the measure of other reality shows with huge prizes, Top Chef is pretty cheap but in the long run, it can be quite lucrative for the cheftestants.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hugh Acheson had the best take on Beverly: ".... it has become abundantly clear that Beverly comes from a happy place where everyone moves in a slow way, where there is no malevolent force, just clouds shaped like smiley faces, and chirping birds of encouragement. Every time I watch her I wonder how the hell she gets through a day in a professional kitchen, but then again, she often pulls out pretty darn fine dishes out of her dime bag of tricks." After a few weeks, Beverly reminded me of some of my non-cooking friends when they try to help in the kitchen. They just don't do things in a logical way. It should not take so long to clean shrimp, etc. I'm furious she beat Nyesha.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "ratchets up the fan outrage and folks investment in watching."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Not for me. I didn't even bother watching....but I will...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          They haven't do a twist specifically like that in LCK, but they certainly have done twists like that in the past (either a QF or elimination). It didn't seem geared towards manipulation at all. In fact, if the general consensus on Beverly is right -- that she's not great at QFs and time pressured competitions -- switching things up like that should have benefited Nyesha.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I thought it was a very interesting twist.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't think the "twist" helped Beverly more than Nyesha. As people have noted, despite the conventional wisdom that Beverly is slower and less organized then Nyesha, she was actually farther into her prep. Also, while Nyesha may not have planned to use "Asian" ingredients (any more than Beverly planned to use Mediterranean ingredients), she's quite familiar with them, as she herself has noted (having a Korean grandmother).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              But it came down to not enough seasoning, but a little bit. I don't think that was due to the twist. If it were about the conception and execution of the dish otherwise, I might buy the twist mattering.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The elves have me wrapped around their little fingers because when Heather called out how much time was left I yelled (to my laptop!), "Shut up, Heather"!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nooooooooooooooo!!! I haven't watched yet, but based on the posts here....noooooooooo!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I haven't watched any prior LCKs. Are there twists? I'm sorry that Nyesha got hosed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There hasn't been one like that one, that's for sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    *sigh* how has ponytail Chris survived another episode...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      you know, i do have to give him credit for that dessert - they all really seemed to love it. but i'm still not blown away by him, and i was really hoping to be - i watched that series "Future Food" on the Planet Green network, and he and the other guys from Moto did some really cool stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My problem with Chris is that he's been poor to mediocre the entire season. His one highlight came from giving the judges miraculin powder, arguably the least done by any chef the entire season (maybe ever? other than the vile and phallic chocolate dipped cheeto amuse bouche), to prepare/cook a dish. At least Chris Cray is nice to look at with his sumptuous sable hair. Ponytail looks like roadkill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "His one highlight came from giving the judges miraculin powder, arguably the least done by any chef the entire season (maybe ever?...), to prepare/cook a dish."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ________
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          He made a trio of tasting options to go along with that powder (actually a tablet). Probably did more work than anyone else did that challenge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Here's the thing about Moto Chris: yeah, he has not generally wowed the judges or taken this season by storm. But that's not for lack of trying. Probably more than anyone, he's been the contestant willing to take risks with his cooking, to try his damnedest to surprise and delight. That he's often found himself in the bottom 3 is beside the point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          One problem with this season, much like season 5, is that the chefs who are talented (as well as those who are less so, Moto Chris aside) aren't taking risks, stretching themselves, or using their imaginations. The reason this most recent episode was thrilling is that several of them did. But Moto Chris has been cooking that way every chance he's gotten.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Why should we as viewers dislike the one chef who's tried to make this season interesting with his food? I for one am not in the least bit interested in watching someone win by cooking recipes out of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, regardless of how damn delicious they might be. Deliciousness doesn't translate well through the TV. Creativity does.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You really have to admire his persistance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              He made a trio of tasting options to go along with that powder (actually a tablet). Probably did more work than anyone else did that challenge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              _________________________

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I know it's a tablet, which is totally besides the point. And you must be joking about his "trio" one of which was seltzer with lemon and lime juice. I was a top chef at age 5 then...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I appreciate creativity, but this guy cannot execute. Look at the potato cage, where he promised Grayson to wow. Worse than someone who executes boring dishes well is someone who cannot execute at all.