Before we get into the course vs course culinary cook off, can we please acknowledge just how tatted up Brooke was on Watch What Happens Live? So I've noticed in last chance kitchen Kristen has quite a few tatts on her arms and when she came back for the finale during the hiatus she got a couple more tatts, but did you notice Brooke's shoulders on Watch What Happens Live? They are some kind of symmetrical image and I noticed something peeking through from the back. I didn't expect that one, here I was thinking she was just a mommy running two restaurants, but girl's got some goth hiding under her chef's coat. So are tattoos a requisite of being a chef? I wonder what Tom is hiding under that conservatively intimidating demeanor? Anyways, I just had to acknowledge this.
Ok, now how awesome was last night's finale format? It was a highly needed change! The whole concept of two opposing restaurants where the judges go into each restaurant to taste the food just wasn't working. There was too much cheating going on. And by cheating I mean that the competitors would listen to the responses of people and go back and change the food for the next service to make it better for judges. Remember Richard and his fois gras ice cream in Top Chef All Stars, he went back and made a new batch for the second set of judges! Or in last season Sarah's boyfriend informed her of a flaw in her dish so she was able to go change it. This year's format of Iron Chef style actually put each dish head to head. There was no changing it for a second attempt. Everything was happening in front of the diners and nothing could be changed after one tasting, I loved it!
Click below for the winner reveal.
Like I said, the competition was a refreshing twist to the somewhat lack luster end of the season post Kristen's unexpected departure. Which led me to beg the question, are the Top Chef slots much more coveted than in the past? Think about it, in previous seasons there was much more hostility but also camaraderie between the contestants. There were rivalries but also comical moments that lighten up the show. Ever since Top Chef won the Emmy it seems that the contestants are James Beard nominees, owning restaurants and just impressive resumes all around. So in the past did producers choose chefs based on who would make ratings and now that they are more of a legitimate show are they choosing legitimate chefs? Think about it, we all love Fabio but is he really going to win a James Beard Rising Star Award? Yes, he can cook gnocchi, but outside of Italian food how versatile is he? If this theory is true, it explains how there isn't as much excitement in the show, other than in the food, and we don't even get to taste it! Don't get me wrong, I prefer there to be elite chefs on the show, but I now understand how producers cast reality show. I guess the only way we can prove this theory is if they do a Top Chef Winners Competition and we can see who comes out on top!
Ok, now onto the finale episode. So the Iron Chef format really sparked some pizzazz in the predictable Top Chef finale where you take over a restaurant and cook whatever you want. I thought the concept of five courses going head to head and the first one to win three courses wins was genius! All the crazy clapping and applauding the background and Padma screaming over them as she was attempting to host was a bit much, but refreshing nonetheless.
Now, if you read my post last week, you know I predicted Brooke to win. Ok, so I made this prediction thinking that the format would be similar to how it is every season. I predicted Brooke would win because she owns two restaurants and is comfortable being the jefe. Kristen, on the other hand, is a sous chef and lost in restaurant wars because she could not run the kitchen herself, thus being her downfall. So I assumed she would struggle again and Brooke would win. I know, I know I'm just making excuses I should admit I was wrong, but seriously I think Brooke has the advantage in a restaurant style, granted she too lost in restaurant wars. Ok, I'll go get some ketchup to eat my crow.
Don't get me wrong, I was ecstatic that the comeback queen won Top Chef! She goes from having a much controversial exit from Top Chef, to persevering her way through Last Chance Kitchen to make it to the finale and to take home the prize! The girl deserved it. And then it makes you wonder in previous shows if they had the same concept would someone else have won?
From watching Watch What Happens Live after the show with Kristen and Brooke I thought I could smell some sour lemons protruding through the television, did you? When Brooke was asked the question who does Tom like best, Kristen chimed in with Brooke only for Brooke to give Kristen a slightly snarky look. Hmm, did Tom want Kristen to win? Did Brooke even have a chance? Granted there are other judges for checks and balances, but they all work for the same boss. Was it all just damage control? Since so many people claimed they would stop watching Top Chef (According to Andy) because of Kristen's early exit did they intentionally have her win and bring her to the finale? Ok, no no no. I know I am quite the cynic, but I refuse to believe that Top Chef has taken a page out Quiz Show's book.
And then Fan Favorite was awarded on Watch What Happens Live. I really thought it was going to be Kristen, but no it was Sheldon! Mr. Lahaina himself earned 10k and what was his response via phone from Hawaii with how he was going to spend the money? Probaby the best line I've heard all season, "I'm going to pimp out my 2013 Avalon!" Sorry Sheldon Jr. and Sheldona, nothing for you we're going to call up Xzibit and pimp our ride.
And that's it, folks! Another season end to Top Chef. Unfortunately we'll have to go through a round of Top Chef Masters and Top Chef Desserts before we get the real stuff again, I'll just have to find consoling in Housewives, it's not quite so cerebral as Top Chef (Trust me, if you watch Housewives TC is far more intelligent a show) but it'll do.