Top Chef – The Finale (Spoilers!!!)

A legitimate surprise – let’s dispense with the recap … it came down to one meal, four courses, for the money.  Immediate quick thoughts:

  • The comments on the show sure made it seem like Brian would win.  The food was a little safer than Michael’s, but was the least flawed of the final 3.
  • Kevin my heart goes out to him.  Just had a bad day.  In the pause between Vegas and Napa, felt like his work just got shoddier.  He made technical errors he was not making earlier.  Maybe the facebook fan page for his beard got to his head.
  • Michael was daring as usual, but it looked like there were errors.  I am not sure how close it really was, the judges blogs might help here.

Really any of these three guys “deserve” to win.  I’d love to eat at any of their restaurants – and that includes Jennifer.


Really, I thought this was a shoddy finale.  The finales in the 5 seasons previous had sort of varied as the show tried to get the formula down – including the high cost, Survivor style LIVE finale.  The episode seemed rushed, only 60 minutes instead of the 75 minute episodes they fashioned at times during the season.  The final challenge itself did not seem to unfold in a crisp narrative manner – in stark contrast to last season where Carla’s downfall was foreshadowed and fans of her (raising hand) could sense it with mounting dread.  Sure the challenge given was clear, and the eliminated chefs came back (not as cool as Todd English as a sous chef but no matter) to be picked as sous chefs for the finalists – but it felt perfunctory.  Kevin got saddled with awful sous chefs relative to the other two – but the show lacked key scenes where Kevin frets about his pork belly, or Preeti’s incompetence is shown threadbare.  The twist of cooking for mom was nice – but not memorable.

In addition, judges table was edited poorly, even more than normal.  The episodes have been edited to maximize suspense granted, but it sure sounded like the judges this week liked Bryan’s main course and dessert more than the other two guys’.  The discussion was all pro Bryan and while they hinted he dared less, he also made the fewest mistakes.  The choice of Michael as the winner was sort of out of nowhere – and in a bad way – the show did not seem to play fair.  Well, at least his mother has a favorite child now.


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