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Top Chef: Season 3


KristiB50
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If it's rigged, shame on Bravo. Someone should expose it. Even if it were, it's beating the hell out of the rest of the swill they're showing these days. Ever been searching for Top Chef and landed upon Flipping Out? Worst person on television showdown between he and Paula Abdul. Horrible, horrible programming, those two.

I don't think it's rigged but I'm curious as to whether it is more intensively scripted/directed during the parts of the show that are not specifically set in the kitchen.

It would be clearly unethical to script or direct the competition as it occurs in the kitchen.

I'm watching the show in two ways: the first way just accepting what I see as "real", or real enough. Just watching a TV show. The other way I'm watching it is in a mode of analysis with not the eyes of a chef or as someone who cooks or just as a television viewer seeking entertainment, but rather with the eyes of someone who would have this show placed before them with the instructions "Direct this and produce it. Make this show catch the viewer's attention and keep it."

Writing a good story, fiction or not, means using a certain bag of tricks to do it best. Just as in any recipe for cooking, there are lots of technical things one has to remember and use in order to make it work well. If it were me in charge of this show (ha, ha, I do have an ego don't I :laugh: ) I would use everything at my (ethical) disposal to make it simmer and simmer and simmer till the bitter end.

So I do wonder about image styling and high heel possible trickery because all these things do matter in terms of creating and maintaining an entertaining drama, even in small ways. These sort of things are like the glue that helps hold the (larger) story together. An image stylist is not always used to create the most beautiful things - they are used to create the thing that is most useful for the final goal.

Yeah, I definitely think Casey's green top was chosen by an image stylist. And I won't say anything more about why. :biggrin:

If scripting or outside-of-kitchen directing is as intensive as I am only guessing it might be, will that finally affect who wins?

I sort of doubt it, actually. It's just interesting to watch and consider it all. :wink:

If Casey's top had been picked by am "image styleist" I think they would've picked better pants. They just didn't "match".

I also think the carping about the high heels was just sour grapes on Sara's part. She was looking forward to going out and partying and when this was taken away, rather than complain about the change she focused on high heels.

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Sara specifically mentioned having to do their "shopping" in high heeled shoes, but I wouldn't at all be surprised to find out that, while they were working, they were wearing different shoes.  Now, I don't think we ever got a shot of the dressy gear footwear the ladies were wearing before or during the challenge, which is curious given the attention the matter has drawn.  I'm sure the party shoes weren't comfortable and sturdy, and the floor of the roach coach was probably, what?, perforated metal planking or something like that?  If so, you simply could not walk on it in heels, and bare feet would be painful.  But even with the best floor everyone involved would have known the dangers of open toes, high centers of balance, cramped quarters and sloppy floors (and why don't I ever get invited to those kinds of parties), so I suspect shoes were swapped and it wasn't considered an issue in the event and thus no camera shots of them, and it only arose later when Sara complained about shopping in them.  Of course, if she said she cooked in them then a good deal of what I just said is of no use whatsoever.

Ok. I'm a complete nutbag but after all this shoe talk was mentioned I went back to Tivo and freezeframed every time a woman's feet was shown. :wacko:

First, Sara M. was wearing flats to start so her disdain towards Casey and Sara N. was ridiculous because she wasn't "in the same shoes".

The women were allowed to change into closed toe shoes. You can tell in a couple of the scenes and it becomes obvious when they're back at the studio at the end and there are sneakers next to their bags under the chairs.

Given that, do we still think there was a disadvantage to the women?

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Ok.  I'm a complete nutbag but after all this shoe talk was mentioned I went back to Tivo and freezeframed every time a woman's feet was shown.  :wacko:

:laugh: That's hilarious.

Hmmm. Virgo or Capricorn you may be. :wink:

Given that, do we still think there was a disadvantage to the women?

Nope. I don't.

But it sure was fun talking about it. :biggrin:

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Ok.  I'm a complete nutbag but after all this shoe talk was mentioned I went back to Tivo and freezeframed every time a woman's feet was shown.  :wacko:

:laugh: That's hilarious.

Hmmm. Virgo or Capricorn you may be. :wink:

Yup. You've nailed my Virgoness.

Edited by hshiau (log)
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I wonder if sriracha is sponsoring the show. After I ate it a while ago (and hated it), I simply forgot it on the fridge...In TC3 it's been used about 3-4 times already.

Oh and it seems they're stimulating the use of foam!!! Or would they naively put an ISI canister expecting that Hung would make just the classic Chantilly? :hmmm: Poor Marcel had to keep struggling with the immersion blender and no stabilizer! :biggrin:

I've lost my hope for Hung and now I'm 100% sure that Stephen was the most talented guy to attend to the show. His dishes had a modern appeal as well as a coherent construction. :wub:

From now on I'm rooting for Casey cause she's hot.

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Stephen the most talented in the show? Damn, I found him nearly unwatchable except for the comedic value of his overt vanity.

Re-watching the last episode, it seems Sweaty Bear Howie should have gone. People seemed to like the burgers better than his rock-hard Cubans, and his outbursts are ridiculous. Again, I go back to something I posted long ago: you have to compose yourself a little bit knowing that your utterances will be broadcast on TV.

And speaking of which, today they re-ran some Season II and I had forgotten how god-awful it was. I think I'd have to add Ilan to Paula Abdul and that house-flipper guy in the battle between worst humans on television. And in every rewatching, I think Sam comes off horribly, too, just entirely frattish and cooool, brah. People loved him, but I think he intended this and was very calculated in his persona. Betty was also unwatchable.

For the third or fourth time I watched that series of episodes (culminating in the unfortunate hazing debacle) in which people ganged up on Marcel in a very herd mentality, and it comes off (no matter how awkward the kid was or annoying to work with) as totally middle-school BS. I think he came out of it looking better than the rest.

Unfortunate for Cliff, too, because I think he could've been a finalist.

Let's hope this season doesn't devolve in a similar fashion. Maybe Howie should go now.

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It's either Brian or Sara M. I think tonight. Decision coming soon.

(Edited at 10:51) No, wait it's ...... nobody? (10:58) Ah, puppies and kittens and scented candles and smoked potatoes, oh my. It's a mulligan.

Edited by chappie (log)
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First: It's interesting that over on the Top Chef site it's announced that Tony Bourdain has gone from "guest blogger" "filling in for Colicchio" to permanent blogger. Guess Colicchio got tired of being hammered for his inconsistencies and obvious favoritisms in the comments.

Second: They took a pretty good concept of "Restaurant Wars" from season 1 and, and I thought after season 2 they couldn't possibly do this - screwed it up even worse. Just as "less is more" in the food - the original restaurant wars - real simple was the best: a real space - small furnishing budget and no outside help no "designers" (season 2 - what a disaster) and no lackluster waitron units who have no stake in the outcome but can influence it

This season's RW's the food took such a back seat to everything else it was the judges who should have been sent packing.

Dale should have been instantly stoned for the scented candles. I mean WTH?

Poor Tre was doomed with those potatoes. They're over smoked, he knows it, he shouldn't serve them, he knows it, but which path to take? Get beat up for the dish or get slapped for no side (you know they would have)

Brian got beat up for service problems (silverware) yet he has waitrons who are supposed to be taking care of that.

Nice call by CJ taking charge and sending Casey out to calm Brian. Hey he learned from the club food fiasco and spoke up when there was a problem but did the judges mention it? nooooo.

Oh well, next week, we'll see.

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Link to Andrea Strongs blog

Is it me or did they really take her opinion into account more than their own?

I couldn't decide who to send home either given the failure on all sides.

But I was worried they were going to send 2 home.

When has anyone ever seen scented candles in a restaurant? WTF were they thinking? And Dale has front of the house experience!

I think Howie made the worst dish. If he had been on Hells Kitchen, where they're always messing up risotto, he would have been wearing it.

Tre knew his potatoes were bad yet used them anyway. Couldn't he have salvaged a little bit of them?

Edited by KristiB50 (log)
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Some of these problems could have been avoided by one word: management. Even better if they were avoided by good management. *

Just as the work of the kitchen requires management, not just doing . . . so does the work of FOH.

I didn't see much management going on, either BOH or FOH. It was just "go go go!" The eyes of a FOH manager walking around making constant corrections and the eyes and palate of an executive chef doing the same are never wasted and always crucial to each plate happening right.

Management is crucial to success. "Go go go" simply doesn't make it happen.

(*As a matter of fact, not just some but most. Not all, given the situation of time crunch.)

Edited by Carrot Top (log)
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This is ridiculous. I have to get this off my mind and go do other things. :laugh:

I have to make a correction - I did see two examples of management: Sara's decision to make a braised item was a good time management decision but not a good overall decision. And Casey's covering FOH when things started getting screwed up was good management as an afterthought, but it worked to help ease the screw-up.

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This is ridiculous. I have to get this off my mind and go do other things.  :laugh:

I have to make a correction - I did see two examples of management: Sara's decision to make a braised item was a good time management decision but not a good overall decision. And Casey's covering FOH when things started getting screwed up was good management as an afterthought, but it worked to help ease the screw-up.

It seemed to me that once Casey came out we didn't see Brian FOH again. She introduced the rest of the dishes. I think he went into that supply room in the kitchen and never came back out.

Someone remind me why we give a crap about this blogger? You're right Kristi, they kept intoning the words of this blogger like what she wrote meant something. I guess they were simulating the effects of having an anonymous food critic in the restaurant. The contestants thought they knew who they had to please, but you never know who's going to be in your restaurant.

Like that dickhead in the striped shirt. Who the hell was that guy?

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