Top Chef All Stars – Setting up the Final 3

Another day, another elimination.  The scene shift to the Bahamas has not really done anything for me (ok, one important thing – more on that), and ultimately the Final 3 are the right Final 3 – based on what has happened.

  1. Quickfire was smart this time and had some added value.  Precision and consistency are what make restaurants work – that what I order is what they wanted.  It was an interesting challenge, although the result was shaky.  Clearly Mike and Richard made a trickier dish – their dish was much harder than Antonia and Tiffany’s.  But yeah the latter looked yummy anyway.  I am not sure the quickfire judgment was correct – but who knows.  The random selection of plates was a nice touch.
  2. After being much hyped – we get the Padma in a bikini scene.  On the down-side, it was no more exposure than what we saw in the previews, but then … it’s Padma in a bikini for crissakes!!
  3. A desert island challenge was almost preordained here.  The fishing for the conchs made for terrific television.  There is always something mysterious about watching stuff shot underwater.  However, I am not sure swimming should have been a requirement of the chefs.  But it was a nice touch.
  4. Mike of the overrated Zaitinya, deservedly won.  He had the combination of flavors for the judges and challenge and thematic coherence.  Richard was brilliant of course, but I can see why Mike got the nod.  Of course if this sends Blais into a confidence death spiral, it will make good TV.  Antonia seems to be lacking a level of creativity and imagination to step up the game to contest winning level.
  5. Tiffany’s elimination made sense.  Everybody did well, and she might have been victimized by the weather.  However, the dishes are close enough and she was just a little less good than the others.
  6. Power rankings: Blais > Isabella > Antonia.  I want Antonia to win, and I really want Isabella to not win … but Blais is pretty clearly the cream here.
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