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Last LCK week 15 (spoilers)

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Always wanted to write up one of these even though it being Valentine's day I'm sure Mrs. Bobbert thinks I should being doing something else.

We're back in almost real time as this episode had to have been filmed this week.  They're in Tom's restaurant in L.A. where the LCK finale takes place this year.  Josh would be aware that he'd be facing off against Kristen and either CJ or Lizzy - whichever one won the save-a-chef vote.
 CJ and Lizzy come in and Tom announces the save-a-chef winner -it's Lizzy!  Everyone is surprised: me, presumably you, and most of all Lizzy.  She even apologizes to CJ for more people voting for her.

So the third chef in the finale will be either Kristen, Josh or Lizzy.  the challenge: use whatever you can find in the restaurant and make a great dish.  Simple enough. So they're off to the pantry.  

Josh finds some venison which looks good and appears to be in his wheelhouse. He looks better than at the end of the last EC, well rested and happy but hey, trim the beard.  Lizzy finds some "lovely black cod". Kristen sees some semolina flour and decides on pasta. Josh does coriander venison. Is 30 minutes enough time? Lizzy has the cod in black pepper with some spaetzle.  Looks good.  Kristen has an orecchiette with Brown butter and pomegranate. Tom seems to enjoy.  He get's to Josh and, I don't know, it looks fairly pedestrian compared to the womens dishes and boy does that venison look rare. The verdict: yeah, that venison was too rare - Josh is not going to the finale. His head is in a good place - he's OK with the decision.  

So now it's between Kristen and Lizzy. Tom praises both dishes and both look really good. Could go either way. The winner is... drum roll... we'll find out next week at the finale!

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  1. Based on Brooke's reaction of surprise at the reveal it could go either way. Depends on who she thought was the strongest chef that went to LCK. Since the chefs seem to think that is Kristen, I'll put my money on Lizzie being the winner of LCK. And if so, deservedly. I think she is a very good chef, but she seems plagued with doubts about her ability, but that women can cook.

    jb

    7 Replies
    1. re: JuniorBalloon

      Based on Brooke's surprised reaction - edited in to create suspense and generate some buzz for the next week that it might be Lizzie coming back.....it will be Kristen.

      1. re: Stiflers_Mom

        Ha ha, I realize those elves could be messing with us, but assuming the reaction is from the reveal I could just as easily see her being surprised at Kristen surviving that many challenges. How many episodes back was it that K was eliminated? Quality of cooking aside, odds of surviving, when one slip in a 30 min challenge can send you packing, has to be pretty high.

        jb

        1. re: JuniorBalloon

          dammit, now i think it is Lizzie ;)

        2. re: Stiflers_Mom

          I thought the same thing - edited in to create suspense. Maybe Brooke's shocked reaction is actually to seeing Padma walk in cloaked in another head-scratching get-up.

        3. re: JuniorBalloon

          Yeah...I think it could well be Lizzie in the final. Her dish looked really solid, whereas Kristin's seemed a bit more incoherent (relative to the other awesome things she's put together this season...macaron/macaroon fiasco aside). Pea tendrils, pomegranates & citrus with ...was it caraway orecchiette and brown butter? I'm having trouble working that through in my mind.

          The way it was edited, at least, Lizzie's dish seemed to be focussed from the start.

          I'm a fan of both and think Kristin probably deserves it more, but something in my mind wonders if Lizzie didn't just pull out an upset here.

          1. re: reiney

            I just watched, and think that it's still going to be Kristin. I don't trust those elves and they're probably trying to trick us. Although... I agree that Lizzie's dish looked very good and a possible win.

            1. re: breadchick

              Yeah I think they were messing with our heads. Just like in the elimination challenge, they showed a clip of Wolfgang saying "her quail was overcooked" leaving out "but I still loved it" or whatever he said. I think it will be Kristen. He liked her sponteneity of what she added to the dish.

        4. Thanks to mrs. bobbert for allowing you some time to write up the final LCK! LOL

          And yup, I was very surprised that Lizzie had won the Save-A-Chef - really thought CJ would have taken it all to re-compete against Kristen. Even Kristen noted that Josh had lost weight when he walked into LCK: "You've lost weight!"

          Lizzie's and Kristen's dishes both looked good - and based on the reaction of Brooke in the finale previews of TC, I'm thinking it's Lizzie who gets to come back to TC. Sad for Kristen if that's so - I am still hoping it's Kristen, Brooke, and Sheldon. But if it is Lizzie, I think it's Brooke's contest to lose.

          10 Replies
          1. re: LindaWhit

            Those elves are devious, though; there's no guarantee that the reaction they showed for Brooke was her reaction at the LCK reveal. For all we know, that was her reaction at the announcement of the challenge, the guest judge, or something else.

            But I agree with all of what's said above. Lizzie is obviously a very good chef, but if it is her, then Brooke is the clear favorite with Sheldon second favorite. If it's Kristen, then I'd say she and Brooke are even money, with Sheldon the third choice.

            1. re: LurkerDan

              At first I thought you had written "Those elves are delicious" and thought "LurkerDan eats elves?" LOL

              And very true - the edited reactions are sometimes from other situations; that's been proven out in past seasons where clothing was different. So fingers crossed the Elves are trying to be delicious. ;-)

              1. re: LurkerDan

                You're exactly right, LD. It's easy to splice in a reaction shot from wherever. I'm pretty convinced it will be Kristin.

              2. re: LindaWhit

                Brooke's look. Very easily could be those elves at work again. But...it could easily be Lizzy. If so, would she have bothered preparing for being in the finale? The others presumably have a small repertoire perfected for the finale. I think Lizzy would be winging it.
                By the way, she reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where he was dating a woman who looked great in a certain light but less so in different lighting. When she smiles, I think she's quite fetching. No smile, dour.

                1. re: bobbert

                  I would suspect that Josh, Kristen, CJ, and Lizzie were *all* told to prepare for being in the TC finale, as the most recent LCK was filmed very recently. If they weren't, and they didn't prepare? Shame on them.

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    Agreed. It was filmed, along with the finale, last week. I have no clue when the rest of the series was filmed, but it was probably 6+ months ago -- PLENTY of time to prep.

                    1. re: davis_sq_pro

                      They were filming in Seattle starting in July, IIRC.

                    2. re: LindaWhit

                      It's just that of the four, Lizzy had lost already to Kristen during the summer filming, probably didn't even know about the save-a-chef until the season started airing and then, if her reaction was any indication, didn't think she had a chance against CJ. So my thought was she might have just thought wtf, why bother. Stupid, yes but possible.

                      1. re: bobbert

                        I would think any of team the reach the final 4, or even much earlier, would be giving some thought to what they would do in a finale.

                        jb

                  2. re: LindaWhit

                    I hate Save a Chef. Why did they even bring CJ out there, it seemed mean. And yes, surprising since he'd been on top so long (and I'm one of the few who's NOT a Lizzie fan).

                    Plus the odds are unfair for that last LCK. Not that Josh was gonna beat Kristin, but he goes from a 1 in 2 chance to a 1 in 3. That venison dish tho just looked rare and haphazard. I'd def. rather eat Lizzie's food in this instance but I hope somehow Kristin pulled it off.

                  3. Not a fan of this save-a-chef because if Kristen had lost a LCK she would probably have easily won save-a-chef.

                    However either of them could be very interesting in the finale.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: tjinsf

                      I agree with you. Not a fan of the Save-a-Chef, either. but I still think it will be Kristen rejoining the lineup next week. For those who have not seen the LCK's, I'm sure both Brooke and Sheldon would be surprised to see that Kristen had lasted so many weeks.

                      1. re: ChefJune

                        They shouldn't be surprised by anything; this was filmed last week. So presumably they were watching, along with us, during this whole process.

                        More likely:

                        Producer: "Brooke, go ahead and give me your best 'surprised' look. Now say 'wow!' for me. Great. Okay, let's break for lunch. This afternoon we'll film you cooking with Hefty garbage bags -- and Sheldon, PLEASE do not laugh this time if Padma can't remember to say 'they're extra strong.' She's doing her best."

                        1. re: davis_sq_pro

                          Agree. Brooke and Sheldon know it's one of 4. I'm going with Kristen because they're trying hard to make us think it's Lizzy.

                    2. I know they're trying to build suspense, but I have to say my first reaction to the end of LCK was, "What a cheat."

                      Based on what Tom said, I believe it has to be Kristin. Her dish was much more original than Lizzie's. Also, wearing his producer hat (or maybe talking to the producers), he would have to be thinking about what was going to make more compelling television. For my money, it's the return of Kristin, who except for taking the fall for Josie, hasn't really put a foot wrong. There is no one else who can give Brooke a run for her money, and mine is on Kristin returning.

                      1. with regards to kristen vs. lizzy, i completely agree with roxlet. and will also add that i'd be sad if kristen wasn't in the finale.

                        normally i have a clear favorite in the finales, but this is the first time i think kristen, brooke, and sheldon are all fabulous and would be happy if any of them won.

                        my real question is... how DID lizzie win save-a-chef? i think i'm even more surprised than lizzie was! not that she doesn't deserve it - she's very sweet and has proven to be a good chef, but everybody loves "the big ceej". how did that happen?? and it wasn't even close, with lizzie getting 61% of the vote.

                        10 Replies
                        1. re: jen223

                          I agree with you, I would be happy with Brooke, Sheldon, or Kristen. I'd be disappointed if Lizzie won it, but not extremely disappointed. I think she's a nice person and a great chef, just a cut below them.

                          As for how Lizzie won SAC, well, voting didn't even last 24 hours, so that may have helped her, as she was fresh in people's minds (including her sob story).

                          1. re: LurkerDan

                            Wow. Mind meld on the "fresh in everyone's mind". LOL

                            But had forgotten about the shortened time frame on voting.

                          2. re: jen223

                            Ditto being OK with any of those three winning TC10.

                            As for Lizzie, perhaps because she was fresh in everyone's mind AND had made it longer in the actual competition than CJ had?

                            1. re: jen223

                              I don't get it, either, given the short amount of time since she was voted off. CJ had a long time to rack up the votes. Unless they reset the vote counter each week. I admit that I never checked that out at all, so I have no idea.

                              1. re: Leepa

                                I seriously don't get the Lizzie-meh I see here.

                                I really liked her for what seemed like inventive cooking (or at least lingers that way in my memory), solid skills, surprising and constant kindness within grueling circumstances. The fact she was surprised and apologised makes me want to filter this through a feminist lens (which I will one day, I imagine) but it produces a character who is refreshingly free from arrogance.

                                'Sob story'? Maybe. But this didn't seem so much queen for a day performance as recent grief and profound affection. Maybe that's it: This a television character who comes off as honest. (I'm not making claims to 'truth' or anything, just noting a particular characterisation that developed...)

                                I really need to give this more thought, but I like her and I like Brooke, and I like Sheldon... I'm even surprised that I came to like Josh in the last episiode, since up until then, I had been indifferent. I gave in to the narrative!

                                1. re: Lizard

                                  I agree with you about Lizzie. She's grown on me the last few weeks.

                                  Was it just me that thought she was going to do something special with black paper and vinegar? LOL It took me a minute or so to realize she meant pepper. :)

                                  1. re: Leepa

                                    The first time I watched I too was wondering what she was going to do with the paper.

                                  2. re: Lizard

                                    I liked Lizzie. I liked her relatively calm demeanor; I liked her quiet determination, and often her food looked very good.

                                    What I didn't like? The confessional interviewers and editors bringing up her father's death SO many times within a short period of time (two episodes). There was a point where I was "OK, we GOT it."

                                    So my blame goes on them - not on Lizzie.

                                    1. re: Lizard

                                      I liked her, too. I thought she was humble, hard working, kind and creative.

                                    2. re: Leepa

                                      I'm pretty sure they reset the counter each week, otherwise it would be incredibly unfair to the newcomers.

                                  3. I should have expected that they wouldn't announce the LCK winner until next week... but I still yelled at my tv at the end, LOL.

                                    Glad to see Lizzie get another chance, but would still love to see Kristen go to the finale! I admit, I didn't get Kristen's dish really, glad it came together for her.

                                    1. Does anyone know how to come up with an "episode specific" LCK link? I have a friend who is one episode behind and wants to watch LCK but doesn't want to just go to Bravo's site because he knows he'll find out who lost this week. He asked me for a link to the "Lizzie v. Kristen" battle (unbeknownst to him, this week is also a Lizzie v. Kristen battle ;-), but I can't figure out how to give him a link.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: LurkerDan

                                        Just realized there is NO WAY to get an individual LCK episode...they don't seem to have a separate URL. They're all in this one - and of course, the most recent one is on top in the playlist on the right hand side of the page, so he will end up seeing who lost this week's regular TC. Sorry!

                                        http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/seaso...

                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                          Yep, that's what I found too. What's funny (though he obviously doesn't know this) is he wants to watch "Kristen v. Lizzie" without finding out that it's Kristen v. Lizzie again in the next LCK.

                                      2. Based on the editing it could go either way. But reading both of their twitter accounts (yes, I have no life) I'm leaning towards one of them.

                                        12 Replies
                                        1. re: Miss Needle

                                          Well? Which one?? (I have also read both of their Twitter accounts. *sigh*)

                                          1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                            I've got my money on Kristin. It's gotta be. Otherwise, they might as well just hand the title to Brooke.

                                            1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                              This is a total hypothesis but I think it will be Kristen. There was a lag in twitter postings from all finalists. I'm assuming that's when the finale was taping. Then the contestants started posting again. Kristin posted something about it being a very successful trip. She probably wouldn't think it was successful it she didn't win Last Chance. So I think at the very least she will make it into the final 3.

                                              Kristen hasn't really been strongly campaigning Fan Favorite as much as the others (especially Lizzie). In fact she even tweets something about just voting, whether it's for her or for the others. I have a feeling Kristen will go on to win the competition.

                                              What I'm more surprised by is how often the chefs are tweeting. When do they find time to do this? This is coming from somebody who doesn't tweet.

                                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                                Social media is a necessary evil of the restaurant business these days - they ignore it at their peril. Though I wouldn't be at all surprised if there's a PR consultant paid to manage Twitter et al on the chefs' behalves.

                                                1. re: Miss Needle

                                                  Twitter is easy -- and addictive. Takes about 3 seconds to write a tweet on a smart phone. So it's really not at all difficult to tweet a lot and still lead a more or less normal life. The downside is the addiction factor. It REALLY ties you to your phone. (At least, it does me.)

                                                  1. re: Miss Needle

                                                    Not a betting woman but my money is on Kristen as well. Something about her shit eating grin...

                                                2. re: Miss Needle

                                                  I just discovered that if you watch the previews carefully (one at the end of Last Chance Kitchen and one for next week's episode on Bravo's website), you can pretty much deduce who won LCK. There was an unintended shot of the third finalist. For those who are really interested, pay attention to who's grating carrots (video at end of Last Chance Kitchen) and the person handling the sweetbreads (next week's preview).

                                                  I guess all the time not tweeting is being spent overanalyzing this show! I don't think I have room in my life for both.

                                                  1. re: Miss Needle

                                                    Didn't see anything telling re: the grating of the carrots. And couldn't find the sweetbreads part in next week's preview. Oh well - guess I'll be surprised! :-)

                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                      The "telling" part of the grating of the carrots is way up at the top of the frame. This shot could have been pulled from anywhere though.

                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                        Do you mean the tattoo? But Kristen's tat is on the left arm and the carrot grating chef's tat is on the right arm. She doesn't appear to have any ink on her right arm. And neither does Lizzie. Brooke, maybe?

                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                          Brooke definitely has a tat on the inside of her right arm. Hard to see what it is in this video though.

                                                          http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/seaso...

                                                          1. re: Leepa

                                                            You're right.

                                                  2. I thought there might have been two winners at the LCK last week - Kristen AND Lizzie.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: RUK

                                                      I had wondered the same thing. That would put a look of surprise on Brooke's face for sure.

                                                      1. re: RUK

                                                        That would be a pretty good twist. Two winners, then double elimination in part one of the finale...

                                                        1. re: RUK

                                                          Yes! This thought also occurred to me. Tom looked very torn (for whatever that piece of editing is worth).

                                                          1. re: RUK

                                                            Since one of the on-going themes year to year is "always change it up" you may well be right.