Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Top Chef 4.12

Wherein Final Four Baybee!

It's been a long and eventful week and I'm still bitter about the ousting of Dale. Not that he didn't give the judges enough reason to dump him...but....Common on, people! Lisa train-wrecked that big time! Screwed up her dishes so badly that intensive care by Dale and Spike couldn't rescue them. Oh yeah, nice of Spike to take time off from hanging Buddhas to poke his head in the kitchen. What was interesting was hearing Dale mention that he, Richard, and Stephanie had discussed strategy for Restaurant Wars and were prepared, if able, to form a Super Team. If Richard and Stephanie enjoy working with Dale, I really don't care what Spike and Lisa have to say.

Let's look back at episode 4.7, the first controversial deknifing when Jennifer went home instead of Lisa. This was also the first week I rolled out the cumulative scoring and Lisa was a solid 4th place, with Antonia completely undistinguished in the bottom half. Adding in Jennifer's scores, here's how week 7 ended:
  1. Richard Blais, 6
  2. Dale Talde , -1
  3. Stephanie Izard, -4
  4. Lisa, -6
  5. Andrew, -7
  6. Jennifer -9
  7. Antonia, -10
  8. Mark, -11
  9. Nikki, -14
  10. Spike, -16

Since then, let's just isolate the performance of Lisa and Antonia for weeks 8-11. At the beginning of week 8 after 14 competitions, Lisa had a 4 point lead over Antonia. Since then, Lisa has been the 2007 NY Mets and Antonia is chasing the 1916 New York Giants:


Now let's chart the final 5 through the last eight competitions. Despite her not plating anything that excites me, Antonia is cheffing a solid game and it's hard to argue with the results (for comparison, Dale would be at -2):
  1. Antonia, 9
  2. Richard, 0
  3. Stephanie, -1
  4. Spike, -9
  5. Lisa, -13

That's where we are going into week twelve and the selection of the final 4. From what Bravo has shown us, these are the chefs I'd be interesting in dining with: Richard, Stephanie, Dale, Andrew, Mark.


...waiting for the show


Whew, that was stressful. Richard and Stephanie take the bottom in the quick fire, then give us solid performances in the elimination round. At this point, that's all I really care about.

Antonia is her usual competent self, while Lisa and Spike battle it out for top of the bottom of the heap.

I'll probably come back later and add some more. Until then bask in the gloriousness of my charts.
Chart 1

Chart 2

  • We kept waiting for the judges to reveal that they purposely placed crappy frozen scallops in the freezer just to see if anyone was stupid enough to take them. Update: Chicagoist >> Hungrymag: "Spoke with Tramonto and Cenitare Group PR guru Jeffrey Ward tonight. He says of the rogue scallops that brought Spike down. '…that was Top Chef's product, not ours, for sure…'"

  • Anthony Bourdain comments

  • Curious to see/here about any preparation/training they were doing before the finals.

    I've read rumors that Stephanie was cooking/catering dinner parties all over Chicago to train. Richard was consulting on one restaurant that opened in December, then about 6 weeks ago took over a more upscale, kitchen and redesigned the menu. Antonia opened a restaurant just as the show was starting. Lisa, I have no clue what she's been doing.

  • Paraphrasing here, need to review the tape for the actual quotes:

    Stephanie & Richard: Totally new dishes that I rocked out because I rule the kitchen like a T-Rex mainlining testosterone.

    Lisa: I memorized a recipe from the last restaurant I worked at.

  • The Child picked Spike to go home and named Stephanie and Antonia, along with Richard (obviously!) as her favorites. She doesn't like Dale because he punched a locker.

  • STORK REPORT: It's a girl!

    Home executive chef and "Top Chef" contestant Richard Blais and his wife Jazmin Zepeda welcomed little Riley Maddox Thursday. We hear Riley weighed in at 7.9 pounds and was 21 inches. The Atlanta couple got engaged after Zepeda trained Blais for and he completed the Peachtree Road Race in 2005.


Blogger reader_iam said...

Man, I'm hoping this is the episode in which they stick a fork in Lisa and declare her run on the show dead. Of course, I have zero use for Spike, too, so that'd be fine, too. Either way's OK with me.

(By the way, I've decided that the host has the hots for Spike; that, or he reminds her of a boyfriend or something. I saw a couple of episodes again recently, and it seemed striking. One example is, "Hi, Spike [with a lilt], nice to see you in a suit." Oh, ugh.)

5/28/2008 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger bill said...

Ugh is right. I thought he looked even greasier in the suit.

Time for a double-elimination and an excuse to bring back Dale on a technicality.

5/28/2008 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger reader_iam said...

I have to say that the spectacle of Spike being hoist on his own petard (remember a bit back?)--that is, in the end screwing himself over choosing an ingredient with an eye to screwing over his competitors and then, once again, not knowing what the hell to do and how to handle what he got--is so delicious that I'm perfectly OK with the delayed-gratification of seeing a fork stuck in Lisa.

Re: Spike ...

Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small

... or whatever that exact quotation is.

(Pretty sure you get my drift, Bill.)

5/29/2008 02:09:00 AM  

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