7. I think Marcel was genuinely sorry that Cliff had to leave like that. (I think I would have been a lot less forgiving -- it must have been pretty unpleasant to be woken up to that).
8. It was a little embarrassing in front of Chef Eric Ripert. We were so proud to have him on the show and he had been impressed by the meal in Santa Barbara. It was all going so well, dignified and all about great food. Then all of a sudden we were at judges table with one chef missing and two chefs missing their hair. It was like we had been hit by a crazy-bomb.
9. It was a strange irony that the judges felt that they most likely would have eliminated Cliff anyway. They could still have decided to eliminate another chef but chose not to. I think it was the right call, as it would have felt unfair to eliminate a chef for being the second worst in the challenge -- especially with the stakes being so high. I've been producing television for about 12 years now and nothing quite like this has happened to me before -- it was a strange and uncomfortable situation for everybody. Of course it does make for a very compelling episode and for a producer 'compelling' stories are the holy grail. But this is one story I would prefer not to be telling.