Gail Simmons

Gail Simmons explains why Craig's win and immunity says a lot about the fairness of the competition.

on Sep 10, 2011 
On to the Elimination Challenge, we had the Real Housewives invading Top Chef.
It was crazy and amazing. I have to say I had so much fun with this challenge! I was skeptical as the Real Housewives are not known for their love of food necessarily, and I had never met the Beverly Hills ladies before. But they were excellent judges. They took their job very seriously. They were a lot of fun to hang out with on set. They weren’t divas at all. They were game for whatever we threw at them. And I think our chefs did a phenomenal job presenting Lisa with beautiful dessert tablescapes. Lisa is a serious player in the L.A. restaurant industry. She knows her stuff. 
They were basing what they did on what Ken told them were her likes, pink, Giggy, etc. What do you think maybe they dwelled on too much?
I don’t think the issue was that they dwelled on what Ken said too much, I think it’s how they chose to translate it that got some of them in trouble. They had meld what they perceived her personal style to be with their style of pastry and dessert making. While both teams did a few beautiful that day and both teams tables looked absolutely gorgeous, the final decision was really about capturing Lisa’s aesthetic and the elegance of Villa Blanca. Craig’s team’s table looked slightly too childish. It was a beautiful table for sure, but it would have been more appropriate for a 10-year-old girl’s princess birthday party. The desserts they served were sophisticated, but the presentation, which was such a big part of this challenge, was tipped a little bit in the Chris/ Amanda team direction because they really captured a more modern elegant feel with their design and their desserts. I think it was much more “adult.” Also some of their desserts were better executed. Johnny kind of made a point to tell Craig that he would have gone home. 

GS: Yes, that was true. But again, it was a great instance of how the game is played.  And that’s what makes it fair: Anyone can win the Quickfire, and if you do, and you get immunity, you can’t go home. That’s the game. I thought it was great that Craig should have gone home, but because he had immunity (and he won that immunity fair and square) he didn’t. He was safe. He really was in over his head, as he has been from the beginning. And his lemonade was terrible, but he had immunity and that’s the way the cookie crumbles… pun intended.