Few Top Chef eliminations have been as controversial as the elimination of Kristen Kish, the mightily talented chef who took one for the team when she bit her tongue and took full responsibility for her Restaurant Wars team rather than speak up about Josie Malave. Fans flooded Twitter and our comments section to voice their feeling that the wrong decision was made, and even the judges in their blogs showed a bit of if-we-only-knew remorse about sending Kristen packing. So, what does Kristen, who's still alive in Last Chance Kitchen, have to say?
The Dish caught up with Kristen to talk about it all, from whether she regrets not voicing her opinion during the challenge to what it was like beating Josie in Last Chance Kitchen, and how her fame has had some dangerous effects ... namely that a fan who noticed her in the street nearly plowed her down with her car. Enjoy our chat below, and if you missed Kristen vs. Josie in LCK, here you go:
So Kristen, seeing the reaction from fans after you were eliminated, what was it like? There was a lot of support, but also a lot of people who were pretty fired up.
I didn't realize there was going to be so much outrage until I started seeing it. When we were in the moment, actually shooting the show, you can't really foresee what's going to happen. Even during the episode when I was watching, it was stressful and everything but I didn't realize people were going to get so pissed off. I didn't know until I started reading things.
What kinds of reactions were you seeing?
Instantly. Everything from really supporting to a little bit supporting ane a little negative towards Josie or just encouraging and amazing things. Saying regardless of whatever happens... It's pretty fantastic.
Was there anything that you were surprised by with the elimination and the blowback from it?
The thing that I was most worried going into it was, and looking back at the episode, was well people are going to think that I wasn't capable of handling her or running a staff or anything. But it's been quite the opposite, with people saying it showed leadership, or I can't wait to work with you someday or can't wait to go to your own restaurant when you open it.
Even the judges hinted in their blog that had they seen what was going on in the kitchen, their decision might have been altered. What's it like seeing things like that from the judges?
Yeah, when I read Tom's blog, it was definitely a really good feeling. It was very nice. I loved when Gail called me stubborn in her blog, because she hit it right on the head. I was completely stubborn in that situation, and it's funny that she called me exactly what it was. They were all very accurate with their comments.
Stubborn because you bit your tongue? Or something else?
Stubborn in the fact that I like to do things a very specific way, and I'm not going to switch that. Fortunately, where I am now I have the opportunities to do a lot of really great things that I like to do and the company trusts that I'm going to do a good job. It's both ways -- stubborn biting my tongue and stubborn that I wasn't going to budge.
Do you wish you had said something?
Um [pause], that's hard. [Laughs] Yes and no. I think given that situation and that time, if I had said something it would have made me look stupid. I needed time to formulate my words with the proper things to say so it doesn't come off as sounding bitchy or whatever. In the moment, for now I'm glad I didn't say anything. But trust me, there are times where I formulate these long answers and I'm like 'God, I wish i just would have said that!' But that took me weeks to come up with.
i just got to see the recent episode here in Canada where Kristen was voted off. I was dumbfounded. I believe Josie chose to undermine Kirsten's lead right from the beginning. Shame on the judges for voting Kristen off. I though Josie's behaviour was juvenile, selfish and very unsupportive of her fellow chef winner. She was not a good sport, nor a good team player and I certainly would not want to work for someone like her. I was glad to come here and see that Kirsten won...........I think we have 2 more episodes to go in Canada. I'm so very happy to see Kirsten win and her style and grace throughout every episode was wonderful. Big props to you Kirsten. Very happy and very proud! xoxox
Kristen is beautiful inside and out. Grace, humility, talent, what a combination. My wife and I are huge fans and wish you the best in all your future pursuits. Top Chef is only the beginning I'm sure. Rock on, rock star.
Kristen is my favorite contestant of all the seasons. She's super talented, gracious, and has a great personality! Too bad the same can't be said for Padma. I'm more interested in watching LCK than the actual episodes. Can't wait for Kristen to come back!
Padma better not bulldoze the judges again and prevent Kristen from winning!
Josie is a total idiot for letting Kristin take the fall for her WAY too relaxed attitude. Not a team player.
The most amazing and well balanced chef in the house! I hope she is the Top Chef as she SO deserves it!
I cannot believe how beautiful Alaska is, I have to visit!
I have a lot of respect for the way she handled the whole Josie situation and the aftermath. I wish I were as classy as she is- I'd probably get caught up in it and be negative about my competitor. So far from everything I've read she hasn't. That's pretty impressive.
does anyone else is thinking that Kristen won in the end? I think she made it through LCK and won the whole thing. she is the most talented chef beside the Voltagios