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LCK 1/16 (spoilers)

CJ was probably shocked to see Kristen, and probably will be more shocked when he sees how Josie really deserved to be there (and pissed, as I'm sure he knows he could beat Josie).

They're given the alternating choices of time, protein, type of cuisine, and cooking gadget that must be used for some part of the dish. CJ chooses 30 minutes, Kristen chooses snapper, CJ chooses a hand held smoker, and Kristen chooses French. I can't really recall what CJ made, some snapper and smoked mashed potatoes I think, while Kristen went for redemption with a bouillabaisse. She had trouble with the smoker because she'd never used one before (which is why CJ picked it, that's what he hoped) but she noted that it appeared to be "just like firing up a bong", a device that she apparently has used before! Easily the best line of the competition.

One of the contestants (John?) notes that Kristen didn't do very well in QFs, even though she kicked butt in ECs, so maybe she'll have trouble in this competition. They definitely played up her frazzled behavior.

Tom said they were both good dishes, but ultimately...

CJ goes down!

Here's hoping Kristen makes it all the way back. Not because I like her, but because she's clearly one of if not the most talented on the competition, and got eliminated in a crappy way. She deserves to be back. I sure hope that she at least gets far enough to beat Josie in a LCK!

PS Hope I didn't step on any toes by starting this. I know Linda does the episode recaps, but didn't think there was a set LCK poster.

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  1. I'm both glad to see CJ go down and glad to see Kristen continue on. CJ has been tolerable during LCK but, he was intolerable this season while on the show.

    1. i was so SO glad to see Kristen pull that one out. I was exhausted last night after the TC recap, but I quickly went to Bravo's site to watch the LCK video. Couldn't wait until this morning! And I LOVE the bong comment!

      And it's now CJ vs. Kuniko in "Save a Chef." I'd expect that BigCeej is going to win that one.

      10 Replies
      1. re: LindaWhit

        I'm not so sure, Linda. Kuniko has a really strong fan following at Bravo's site.

        This is going to be interesting.

        [A huge thank you for the recaps, btw.]

        And thank you for this, LurkerDan!

        1. re: nikkihwood

          I do think this "Save a Chef" will be the most interesting, nikki. I'm glad to hear that Kuniko has a strong fan base. CJ *seems* to have the support of his fellow cheftestants, but as we've seen, people watching still think he's a jerk, so maybe the support from the viewers isn't as strong.

        2. re: LindaWhit

          I thought that if Kristen had lost LCK, she would have wiped the floor with Kuniko in the fan favorite. I'm not so sure now. CJ doesn't seem as appealing as Kuniko or Kristen.

          1. re: DGresh

            Oh, I agree that Kristen or Kuniko are more appealing than CJ - for me. He *does* seem to have fans on the outside - we know some of the other chetestants liked him during LCK battles. Although Kristen seemed to get much more encouragement than anyone else who faced him.

            1. re: LindaWhit

              CJ has built a fan base by cooking good food and winning and not coming off as an ass (like he did before he was eliminated). It's a cooking show, so as long as someone is reasonably likeable, they will be popular if they cook really good food. I wouldn't be surprised if CJ wins by a lot, but I wouldn't be surprised by a Kuniko win. I *would* be surprised by a landslide in her favor.

              1. re: LurkerDan

                Speaking for mysself, CJ rose quite a bit on "Likeabaility" scale by not being an ass in LCK as he appeared to be on the show. Elves? I really didn't get to see Kuniko much and would have to say it's a toss up if I were to vote, which I probably won't.

                jb

                1. re: JuniorBalloon

                  On LCK it's just cooking. No time for drama. Not enough time to be an ass.

                  1. re: bobbert

                    Plus, on LCK it's a much smaller "crowd" and you're not fighting for elbow room, waiting for hours in a stew room -- much more conducive to decent behavior.

                  2. re: JuniorBalloon

                    Hopefully, his change in demeanor was due to the humbling of getting eliminated as soon as he did.

            2. re: LindaWhit

              I don't know. I've voted for Kuniko every chance I've gotten, including this time. If it comes down to Kuniko vs. Kristin, (God forbid - I want Kristin to go all the way here!) then I'd have to change my vote. Same thing for Shledon. I want him to go all the way in the regular TC, but if he ended up on Save a Chef I'd have to vote for him over Kuniko.

            3. Oh - and I know Joanie often does quick LCK recaps, but I don't do them, as I usually don't watch the video until the next day. I'm sure Joanie will forgive you. :-D

              9 Replies
              1. re: LindaWhit

                Well like I said when I wrote up the first one, I often don't watch in real time so whoever wants to put it up is fine. I just watched it and I have to say, I'm kind of sad CJ lost. His dish looked good to me and it seemed like her saffron was more of a problem than anything else. Here are a couple comments from the Bravo LCK site that I agree with:

                So a slightly dry fish plate is beat out by a dish that was heavy handed on spice? I think Kristen is one of the best chefs there, but her win here seems a little convenient.

                CJ was doomed before LCK began. Althought I love Kristen and want her to win Top Chef, this was a make-up call.

                1. re: Joanie

                  I would love to know the time frame between when a cheftestant is told to PYKAG and when they show up in LCK. A few hours? The next day?

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    I've often wondered it. On TC: Texas, they were in a few different cities -- so did they teleport them back to home base and do LCK? Have the eliminated chefs follow the production around the state?

                    In this season, they keep doing LCK challenges based on the just-eliminated chef's downfall in that episode -- there has to be at least a little logistic prep time -- for John, they hit some yard sales (or a moral equivalent) for beat-up pans; for Micah, they gathered tartare-quality raw meat. Etc.

                    1. re: momjamin

                      VERY good point, momjamin! Hadn't thought of this season's tie-in with the losing cheftestant's downfall. So there's at least a half day in between, if not longer. I wonder if anyone has asked Tom C. on his blog.

                      For Texas, I'd have to assume that they flew or drove them back to a home base city for LCK.

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        For Texas, I wondered whether they took 'em all back in batches, or one at a time -- if the early eliminees (oughta be a word ;-) sat around the sequester suite for days, then had a big day of LCK eps all at once, yada yada.

                        I did text in a Q about LCK logistics once when I was willing to sit through Andy's show (I guess Tom was on), but it didn't come up.

                        1. re: momjamin

                          Yeah, I remember speculation on this last season. Since LCK took place in the same kitchen each episode, even as the episodes wandered through the state of Texas, I thought they must have shot them in one block towards the end of filming. Given how long the shooting days are, I couldn't imagine Tom traveling that much.

                          Since they're staying in Seattle this season, it would be interesting to know how it works now.

                          On a completely different (sorta') subject: Does anyone know how to vote for Save a Chef without Twitter or Facebook? I know when they run the promos they say you can vote online, but I only see FB and Twitter options on their site (and I ain't getting sucked into either of those platforms ;)

                            1. re: gaffk

                              Yes, Text the first name to BRAVO (27286). The auto reply says "continue voting on bravotv.com, m.bravotv.com, and the Bravo Now app." I haven't looked at the app, and I assume m.bravotv.com offers the same FB/Twitter options as bravotv.com.

                              1. re: momjamin

                                Thanks Bob and mom . . .guess I'll go that route.

                2. Thanks for the recap! I so hope she makes it back.

                  1. I think her chances of getting back are better than 50/50. If someone does knock her off in LCK I would think she would be a shoe in for the save a chef voting. Therefore she would get another "last chance" to get back in.
                    This part is getting interesting as I think CJ would win in votes over Koniko which in the end could lead to a CJ - Kristen rematch. Now that plays well with the conspiracy theorists on the other thread.
                    Oh yeah, the bong line was great. All the chefs loved it. I believe bonging 101 is a beginner course in all culinary schools.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: bobbert

                      People seem to be assuming how the "save a chef" thing works. Maybe someone has some insider info, but AFAIK, we don't know exactly how that will work. Maybe the final 2 save a chefs have to actually do a cookoff against each other? Maybe the save a chef battles against the LCK champ, but has to overcome some odds to get back in (like they make 3 dishes, s/he has to win 2)?

                      I don't know, but I hope it is something like that. Because while I liked Kuniko in the little time we saw her, and she seems to be a great chef, she's been sitting on her ass this whole time. At least CJ had to win a bunch of times with his cooking. There should be a hefty disadvantage for the save a chef person.

                      And hopefully they will bring them back early enough (like NOW) so that if they go on to win the whole thing, it won't seem tarnished, like they jumped in last minute and won; rather, it will seem like they earned it.

                      1. re: LurkerDan

                        From the web site...
                        " Your vote will keep one chef alive for another week. In the end, the last chef standing will compete in the Last Chance Kitchen finale."
                        Seems fairly straight foward to me.

                    2. I like how Tom called them "two of the best chefs here".

                      CJ was surprised because he expected the same thing I did...that he and Kristen would be facing off in the finale. So I treated LCK like the finale. Too bad they only had to make one dish. I would have loved to see what both of them would do for a five course meal.

                      1. Is there a place where you can see how the SaveAChef voting is going? A running tally?

                        jb

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: JuniorBalloon

                          I don't think there is a running tally - it starts new every week. Each week it is the chef voted safe on Save A Chef the prior week and the losing LCK chef.

                          1. re: JuniorBalloon

                            JB, I don't think a running tally is shown until maybe the Monday before the next show. I know I've stopped at Bravo's website *and* station on TV, and sometimes I'll see commercials for Top Chef, and they'll have a blurb about the SaveAChef and the status. But I can't recall it being so soon after a show has aired.

                          2. "I sure hope that she at least gets far enough to beat Josie in a LCK!"

                            I sure hope that happens next week! Josie's long overdue for a PYKAG!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: momjamin

                              I dunno' . . . we've been sure of that for weeks now, haven't we?

                            2. So glad Kristen won. She to me is the one who should win TC all together.