Tom Colicchio

If Tom Colicchio knew then what he knows now...

on Jan 16, 20130

I know what you’re thinking, and I know how you’re feeling, and all I can say is that having now watched the episode and seen everything that went on behind the scenes, I share your frustration. I really do. 

I am going to remind you right off the bat: we judges are not privy to what happens when we’re not there. I usually take a walk-through the kitchen at some point and schmooze with the chefs (though I don’t for Restaurant Wars), but that walk-through doesn’t afford me insider knowledge. It’s really more for the chefs; it’s a chance to help steer them to make their dishes the best they can be. After that, we judges arrive in time to taste the dishes, confer with the chefs and each other, and make our determinations based on what we’ve ascertained from tasting the food and asking the chefs some questions. That’s it. I later learn what you learn the same way you do -- by watching the episode once it’s been completed.

 So here’s what we judges knew: 

· The Bouillabaisse was deeply flawed: the scallops were undercooked and the halibut was overcooked, for starters.  

· Our biggest problem with the dish, though, was that the sauce, which Josie made, was delicious, but there was not enough of it on the dish.

· Kristen plated the dish and determined how much sauce should be added.  

· Josie never stepped up to suggest that Kristen put more, ostensibly because she was deferring to Kristen, because it was Kristen’s concept.

· The gelatin was supposed to go into the dish, but Kristen decided not to use it because there wasn’t enough time; she subbed cream instead.  

· At the end of the day, Kristen, by her own assertion, was the one who approved all of the dishes going out.

Given those facts, we were faced with no choice but to send Kristen home.

427 comments
Sarara
Sarara

Bravo needs to get rid of Tom Colicchio if they wish to keep their audience over the long term. He clearly has a problem with women.

Sarara
Sarara

Uncle Tom. Really - we did go down south this season, didn't we all? And I for one am never returning to participate in the farce. There is something especially repellent about trotting out diversity in the guise of good faith, only to stick it to the true winner in the final hour. I felt disgusting for having watched it, and I will never participate in this kind of racist, sexist crap ever again. It was really shameful.

jacksonb
jacksonb

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kudzu67
kudzu67

I've been watching the show from the first season and have been loving fan of it. I have never liked restaurant wars from the first time it was introduced. The reason being is it's setup to be unfair in the judging. I understand that chefs are supposed to know how to open restaurants, that's part of their job. That makes sense. However the challenge is setup poorly. First off the executive chef more often than not takes the blame and or fall as what happened again this season. This isn't the first time this has happened and won't be the last. Since they are the executive chef they are ultimately responsible for EVERYTHING! That would be alright if the chef truly had dedicated people working under them. In the challenge they do NOT have dedicated people working under them. They have fellow competitors working for themselves. Who will do and say anything to advance to the next round. As has already been stated by the judges, they do not see what's going on behind the scenes in the kitchen and therefore cannot make an informed decision. This is a poorly setup challenge. Add to it that you are forcing chefs to do "front of the house" work, when they typically (not always) are back of the house type of individuals. Remove it from top Chef please! Stop eliminating good chefs because of a poorly devised challenge.

This pretty much degraded and brought into question the validity of this season. First as a fan I have to question Tom Colicchio's judging of last chance kitchen from that point on. I believe he is man of integrity and a great chef. The poor guy is human though. You have to believe that at some point he might have questioned himself on whether Kristen should have been let go and subconsciously he was going to pass her through last chance kitchen unless she completely botched a challenge. I believe Kristen is a great chef and is a worthy winner. However, I would have liked to seen her in the normal competition, and judged accordingly.

Second eliminating Kristen took away the possibility of great competitions in the rest of the season between her and Brooke. How would have those challenges gone if Kristen had been there? Would Brooke still have been able to gather momentum as she had done or would she have never found her stride? This could have changed the entire dynamics of the competition. 

Third I really do not like the lag between the last challenge and the finally. I never have. Some of these chefs (Brooke being a perfect example, Blaze another) find their groove/momentum during the season and then they have to take a break. Often times they come back and they either have completely lost their momentum or they decide to try something new to show the judges how diverse they really can be. Both typically end in disaster. I have to wonder what would have the finally been like if Brooke never had taken a break. She had strong momentum at the end of the season and then had to go back to her normal life of taking care of a child, running a restaurant, etc. I would have really liked to see her and Kristen go right into the finally right after the last challenge. I think it would have been a closer match. 

Finally can we in the finally just have the two chefs cook? Why do you have to bring in former contestants to help? These former contestants inevitably ruin a dish for the competing chef and that's their undoing. I want to see the two best chefs cook their best meals on their own. Let the best chef win! It's restaurant wars all over again.  

Joema
Joema

As far as the finale episode, I am in agreement with the majority of the comments I have seen on these boards. The format was lame and they should have just left things as screwed up as they already were, instead of capping them off with another horrible decision. Are the producers of this show just clueless, or are they asleep at the wheel or something? Too busy counting their money perhaps?

 

Now, what they SHOULD have done for the finale is make the contestants cook with shark. They could have had them in a huge tank between the kitchen areas, and Padma could have jumped them on a motorcycle, prior to the start of cooking.

 

While I love that Kristen came back and won, I don't buy it. As awesome as I think she is (and I think she's pretty awesome), like many viewers, I believe the whole thing was engineered after the huge backlash to the injustice she received in Restaurant Wars. That, my friends, is even more sad than the initial judges' decision which started this whole debacle. Love you Kristen and Gail. I'll be hoping to see you on any other show, in the future. Top Chef is now dead to me.

P1nkbubbl3s
P1nkbubbl3s

Whoa... 700+ comments from both Tom and Gail's blogs combined, this was by far one of the most debatable eliminations from any of the seasons. I myself started gravitating toward the freezer in search of something more gratifying to no avail (no more b&j's chunky monkey nor my beloved pistachio gelato..sigh)... And then watched the rerun that aired soon after looking for a different outcome... Just wishful thinking.. All in all... The judges deserve a little more credit and so do the chefs. Kudos to you for edumacating the average home cooks like myself. I too am a fan of Kristen's presence on the show, however whether or not it was due to execution errors or from a teammate's incompetence the judges favored Sheldon's dishes overall. Karma came knocking and Kristen got the second chance she deserved. I hope the producers and judges rally for a revamped show and embrace change in the upcoming seasons and take into consideration all the thoughtful comments posted by avid fans. Regardless, the show brings light to new and aspiring chefs. Kristen would've received the attention she deserved even if she didn't return to the show and that goes for any of the talented chefs who didn't make it to the end. Okay enough of the rambling... But dear judges, top chef empire, for whatever floats your boat, tickles your pickles and crinkles your sox we are your harshest critics for whatever thats worth. We look forward to another exciting season!

loreetaso
loreetaso

I too felt Kristen showed great character in taking final responsibility for her Executive Chef decisions, and Josie showed her true, lesser character, in not admitting to so many of the errors that brought them to Judges table as contenders for elimination.  The whole situation really highlights my real frustration with this season of Top Chef, which may have been discussed elsewhere, but I will talk about it here and now:  why were Josie, Stefan and CJ brought back at all this season?  It was a horrible decision, in my opinion. 

 

These may have been popular chefs (debatable, especially when it comes to Josie), but every new season is exciting to your viewers because there are NEW chefs, vying for those precious spots.  We get to see NEW cuisine, up-and-comers in the restaurant industry, and watch as every group discovers the challenges of quickfires and eliminations together.  They develop new and unique dynamics, as any group of people new to a situation would.  As viewers, we become attached to our favorites, we learn new flavors, trying them out at home in the next weeks.  Bringing back chefs from former seasons was like watching reruns interspersed with new season episodes, and not even the good reruns.  I would like to never again see former chefs brought back to compete with new cheftestants -- I almost stopped watching for this reason alone.  And when they start hurting the new contestants through the same old horrible behavior we disliked seasons ago, it is just not worth the time or energy to watch.  The same-ness of the characters detracts completely from the fun and surprise out of the show and makes for poor TV.  Sorry to be harsh, but these chefs from former seasons had their chance. Let them come back as Richard B. did (a truly great redemptive season), give them a chance on "Top Chef losers" or some other opportunity the rest of us can skip if we didn't like the contestants and of course their food, the first time around. 

franci
franci

One other comment,  a lot was made of Stefans not standing there explaining every little detail of every little dish to the judges.  You say this did not make for a good restaurant experience.  You seem to forget the judges were not the only "customers".  It would be an een poorer overall experience if others were ignored while the judges were catered too...and Stefan was correct in his reply to your complaints,  it is Top Chef, not Top Waiter...Perhaps I don't eat in the right restaurants but I don;t care to have the server hovering.  And perhaps that is a good thing.  If I want a sandwich or a soup or stew, that is what I will order.  Otherwise I don't want my food piled in a heap in the middle of the plate, it looks most unappetising.

franci
franci

I have to agree, Josie should have been gone waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back.

gabbyabby
gabbyabby

Oh my, dear Tom.  You *knew* there was a rat in the pot and yet you did not call the chefs back to get them to reveal what was clearly being covered up -- and not all that well -- with Kristen audibly saying 'Bite my tongue' while the grilling was going on. It's not like you haven't done it before!  Shame on you all for not drilling down to what had actually happened. Kristen's dish -- the one you packed her off for -- was doomed the moment Josie refused to start the stock the day before *as ordered*. The continued delays prevented the gelatin/sauce from developing the way it needed to, to be used as it was intended (as you well know) and good chefs have been sent home for serving "something you knew shouldn't have gone on the dish", which was the decision Kristen made with that sauce. With so much on the line, it seems inexcusable that the judge's panel did not go to the mattress on this inquiry. Your hindsight admission that you failed to ask Kristen if she would have fired Josie would have sent *you* home on my show -- Top Judge. Pack your wine glass and go, Tom (and take Padma with you - I don't know why she's allowed/encouraged to be so vocal in judging anyway. WTH are her credentials? A vegetarian cookbook? She should take a page from Ted Allen's 'Chopped' book and stick to hosting.)

mchappy
mchappy

Tom, Tom, Tom...the look on your face when you tasted Kristen's bouillabaisse.  Wow, you looked like you could barely contain the grimace and force out the words "thank you" with the amount of saffron you were tasting.  It just felt like you gave Kristen that win as a redemption for Restaurant Wars.  It appeared to me as though the chefs/producers want her back in the competition and she will have to screw up royally where there is no doubt on camera - like dropping a piece of salmon onto the ground like Josie.   I guess it's a show and you got to give the people what they want in addition to balancing what is real and true.  I think Kristen is great and would love to see her succeed.  Just want it to be real.  Hey, but its reality TV.  Back to Housewives where I know to expect plastic.  

cushbot
cushbot

Tough Love.

 

Not able to contain my disappointment; it runs so deep.  I know that this is just a tv show, but I don't watch many. My husband and I only download the occasional show that we hear is excellent, and we had heard as much about Top Chef.  Started downloading episodes (Season 1) in September and have worked our way to season 10.  There have been some stumbling blocks along the way, eliminating Tre, but we have LOVED IT.  It has enhanced our relationship with food, it has introduced us to Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, and Anthony Bourdain, and Eric Ripert (adoration for all of them), and we are both stoked and grateful for that.  But, after Restaurant Wars Season 10, I truly lost what I think may be a debilitating amount of respect for the show.  You can make all of the excuses you want (like John does, but claims he doesn't, in Season 10) but, I will never respect any of them.  There is just absolutely no reason to retain Josie...no production or entertainment-cheap drama value.  We have seen her before and we were never blown away.  I'm sure she is a fine chef and I want her to do well in life. Kristen on the other hand, there is every reason to retain, and celebrate!  She is the type of chef food lovers truly watch Top Chef to see!  So many reasons to discover what else she can do.  

 

I don't want to partake in women not supporting other women, more than anything, we just need to lift each other up...in all professions and venues.  I have respected Padma, and I have defended her as offering more than just beauty to Top Chef.  And, I just cannot fathom why anyone with integrity and vision about this show would let her assessment carry significant weight in important decision making such as the elimination of Kristen. This incident made me have shallow thoughts of which I am not proud...which would lead me to assure Padma that it is ok to have two gorgeous women on a show at the same time.  There is nothing about which she should feel threatened.  That's all I'll say about that.

 

So sadly, I don't think I can watch anymore and I'm so deeply bummed about that.  LOVED THIS SHOW.  Desperate for solutions.  I know!  Make it up to us - a huge apology owning this major error (without excuses) should happen....regain some integrity.  Yep, Kristen should be put back on in the form of some kind of public apology / challenge (aside from LCK, which would not be taking enough responsibility).  Ideally, she will need to cook "head-to-head" against Padma to earn her way back onto the show.  This would be totally legit.  People wouldn't blink an eye, and you would likely gain back some respect.  The only other redeeming possibility I can see is that you all should no longer drink before judging.  (Tom and Padma in particular.  You are grounded for the rest of the season.)  At least you should lose your drinking privileges for a while (logical consequences...and send me what would have been your next case of Terlato wine).  You are not currently proving that you can handle it, or proving  that you deserve the indulgence.  

 

Again, tough love from a former Top Fan.

 

LokisBooksNMore
LokisBooksNMore

I appreciate your blogs and their insight.  It's always made me rethink when I really liked a chef and they weren't sent home that despite the camera and the description I didn't actually TASTE the food (I believe this was on a season with Angelo) 

What I really don't understand was the adamant "mean" that came from Padma with Kristen and then again this week with Stefan in defense of Josie who was obviously sliding by each week when she didn't have immunity.

debi65
debi65

I just rewatched the episode and still am so irrationally angry at this stupid decision which absolutely does taint the rest of the season. You're picking TOP chef. If a contestant isn't someone you'd hire in your own restaurant, clearly that person is NOT "top." I hope the producers put a dictionary at judges' table for future seasons. Obviously there are some people sitting there who are desperately in need of a review of what words mean.

cba321
cba321

 

josie is the WORST chef on the show. including the chefs who were previously eliminated. she is loud, obnoxious, disgusting to look at and her food is horrific. she completely ruined kristen's restaurant - did not do what she said she was going to, did not keep to a schedule, did not explain that the reason there was no gelatin (and thus no foam) was that she was BEHIND in prepping the sauce and there was no time. she makes me want to scream and vomit and hit her in the face.

kecklund3
kecklund3

I just watched this episode tonight but read the blog first and heard the rumors. I see toms point but seeing Josie's reasoning at the table, she threw Kristien under the bus bad. She so dragged her feet to where the gelatin was impossible to execut and the dish failed. Lost a bit of respect for Padma too. Thought she was typically impartial but she definately persuaded the panel. By the way, how do we get Shas of Sunset off the air? Still much respect for Tom who was impartial. And why would Padma say "Josie you're safe." When do they ever do that? Never. Why Padma?

eviltimes
eviltimes

Repent! Repent for what you did to Kristen!

jono123
jono123

Tom,

        You have lost more than one good chef because of Josie. As far as I was concerned she should have been gone weeks ago. Basically you allowed someone who took no responsibility for anything to prevail over someone who took her responsibility seriously. I knew when Josie was picked, there would be a problem. I just couldn't imagine how bad. Josie refused to cooperate on anything in the War. Too bad Kristen could not have picked a dishwasher instead of Josie. She would have been better off.

ksuzy
ksuzy

Totally agree with Joema's posting - well said!

 

Now IF Kristen even makes it through LCK, is Padma going to just steamroll and bully all the judges to kick her off again?? I

Joema
Joema

You know Tom, I really respect you as a chef, and I usually respect you as a judge as well. You keep it very real and don't pull any punches, nor do you let contestants talk their way out of situations with BS. That said, you guys completely dropped the ball on this one.

 

What I don't understand is that during the meal, the judges (with the exception of Padma, of course), were saying the right things. Specifically, that Stephan was horrible at service and that if anybody had treated you like that at a restaurant in real life, you would never go back. Right there, by that very comment, Sheldon's team probably shouldn't have even won. On top of that, Sheldon's team had dishes that were not even in line with his theme of Filipino food. Something that was also mentioned by one of you. Frankly, with or without knowledge of what went on behind the scenes, I question whether Sheldon's team should have won at all.

 

That aside, and even with Sheldon's team winning, I can't help but agree with what everybody is saying. You guys eliminated the right person alright. The problem is that you did it a week late. Kristen is ten times the chef Josie is. That much is plain to see. I also agree that Padma seemed WAY too anxious to axe Kristen, even with lovely Gail (often the voice of reason), making extremely valid points. I don't know how you guys ultimately came to this decision, but it sure seems like Padma just steamrolled the judges into that decision. You and the the other judges obviously waffled, and that bothers me greatly.

 

Not only do I think that was by far the worst decision you judges have ever collectively made, but it has completely tainted the rest of the season as far as outcome. Someone already pointed out how this decision will affect Last Chance Kitchen, etc. C.J. got hosed by this as much as anybody, because he would have surely beaten Josie, while Kristen is obviously his equal or better.

 

I can no longer take you guys seriously and you have inspired me to stop watching your show. If you do continue the show after this season, you might want to think about reining in Padma's influence a bit, where it comes to really important decisions like this. She seems to have personal issues with contestants, which are clearly influencing her judgment. I have heard many unflattering things about Padma, but have always tried to give her the benefit of the doubt. I'm now actually seeing the things I have only heard or read about to date. That's not good.

 

I loved this show. It's very sad what you guys chose to do. I seriously hope you will take steps to make sure this never happens again. Your viewers deserve more, as do these battered and abused contestants. :(

scott.mackenzie.710667
scott.mackenzie.710667

Kristen was plain and simply robbed - Josie is a hot mess and a terrible chef - no wait she is not even deserving of the name chef, cook.

 

Ruined the whole season by your bad choice!

alphonse
alphonse

It's funny how some people are angry with a decision, like the wrong cheftestant went home and vow never to watch T.C. again. Happens every season on every episode. Lol. I bet 90% of these people are full of it and still watch. I admit I get frustrated with some of the decisions, but I won't B.S. and say I won't watch anymore.

alphonse
alphonse

Hey Tom. Kristen was a fool. How do you allow that no cook slacker Josie to get away with what she did. Why is Josie on Top Chef again anyway. She sucked the first time, why in the world is she on again. She can't cook, she only talks a good game. Kristen should have told the judges why Josie was responsible. It's a contest to be Top Chef, fight for your life. By the way, I noticed no one else on her team said a thing to account for Kristen. Bunch of weakknee weasels. Another thing Tom. You and Gail were going to keep Kristen and eliminate Josie. Why did you listen to Padma, who should only host. Big mouth Padma who should not hold favor in the judging. PACK YOUR KNIVES (if you had them) Padma. Now LCK is out of wack. C.J. should have faced weak Josie and won to stay on LCK. Did Kristen really beat C.J. on LCK Tom? Even if she did fairly, He should have faced Josie. Josie should have been eliminated once and for all. A big mess, and slaker, talker, no cook Josie stays. Good Grief.

Levans
Levans

I am now boycotting the rest of this season because of this episode.  We all know Kristen is a MUCH better chef than Josie, not to mention SO much more enjoyable to watch on a Wednesday night.  As far as I'm concerned, the judges have lost all credibility by making this decision, and Kristen needs to get the balls to tell the truth about really happened before the plate was served..

gilbert.tucker.92
gilbert.tucker.92

Akozicharow@, I agree it was awful and the person that came up with that presentation should go pack up their things and go.

 

This seems, a chapter out of conspiracy theory, Josie being saved is like a punishment to show case her sorry to say, lack of talent. Bart was sent packing for under seasoning a state that can be remedied at the dinner table with a salt shaker. 

On the other hand, she was save for serving uncooked turkey, under seasoning vs. uncooked, which plate would you choose. The last episode Emeril pointed out uncooked food. You are worried about presentation and sauce when the food being served is uneatable. 

 

Perhaps they should evaluate how they are evaluating 

 

 

gilbert.tucker.92
gilbert.tucker.92

Long time watcher first time blogger. Don’t you hate when people say that?

Why the first time, after reading Tom’s blog I felt I had to. He being in the position he is in should have known exactly what took place. Gail and Emeril knew what happened. There was no follow up when Kristen stepped up and stated she made the decision go forego the gelatin and go with the cream. That alone being a chef will tell you everything that took place up to that point. Padam stated Kristen had no idea what was going on. If she was listen intently that decision alone will tell you she was command

The person that dropped the ball is Tom.

audsmith099
audsmith099

Josie should be gone, should have been ousted 2 episodes ago, she is so heinous and super annoying. 

vpotter
vpotter

I thought this was a horrible challenge. I usually love restaurant wars, but you know from the beginning that most of the time the executive chef is the one on the chopping board. Well, splitting it over 2 episodes and awarding 2 of the chefs with their own restaurants basically means that one chef will come out victorious and the other will most likely go home.  Anyone in the middle has a much safer road. While on Top Chef, you can always be the winner one day and the loser the next, this really takes it to an extreme, and almost punishes someone for winning. Just doesn't seem very fair to me. I understand Tom's points above, but just seems like a flawed premise to me, as you can see by Josie skating through once again.

foodisland
foodisland

4 WINS by Kristen Vs. 6 LOWS for Josie. I don't understand.

 

And everyone has explained why this decision has absolutely NO common sense or reasoning behind it no matter how much you or Gail try to justify your horrible huge mistake. Not good.

tvmovielover14
tvmovielover14

I am as disappointed as everyone else that the horrid and unenjoyable Josie is still there while the lovely and interesting chef Kristen is not but I think the decision at the moment was correct.  She is not the first chef (especially in restaurant wars) to do too much and go down for it whwile some less interesting slacker skated on.  At least now there is Last Chance Kitchen, etc.  If she learns the lesson and becomes either a)more capable of leading a kitchen or b)accepts being a creative sous chef it is worth it all.  As much as I want to see another woman top chef, that woman has to be able to lead the kitchen with confidence (like Stephanie) as well as make great food.  Kristen is not there yet.

OTOH, please, please, please do not have anymore returnees from other seasons-it added nothing to this one.  I did not like Josie or CJ on their seasons and had no interest in seeing either again and Stefan's odd humor like Fabio's jokes is not as entertaining the second time around.

Also, maybe it does need to be said specifically that a chef can be thrown out of the kitchen on team challenges for slacking-or at least during restaurant wars.  It is complicated since there are so many personality clashes to determine if someone was really intentionally or unintentionally sabotaging but there must be a way.

brisketgirl
brisketgirl

Padma and Tom, please pack your knives and go.

jgraham22
jgraham22

I need to add a few comments. First, like many others I am extraordinarily frustrated with the show right now and with Tom's blog on this issue. I am even embarrassed, as I have been touting this show to my friends and can not help but feel as if there were either huge and inexcusable errors made (which give me a lack of faith in the judging despite the chef blogs) or a publicity play to showcase the "last chance kitchen" and other potential voting routes into the final. It worked to the extent that it got me to register for the site here. But I fear I will have lost much of my fun/joy for the show and my desire to convince others to watch it.

 

One other thing, but an important one. It seems exceedingly inappropriate to comment on Padma's appearance as being in any way related to her decision or to your dislike of her decision (as several people have done). I too felt as if there was something oddly strident in her commentary about Kristin in the episode. It even flitted through my mind that there might be jealously, in addition to being misinformed and making a mistake and potentially a publicity play. But her looks should not enter into this. She is a beautiful woman. But that is not really relevant. I hope that people will refrain from insulting her appearance just because they are pissed off at her role in the poor decision making -- to do so is to highlight how people (both men and women) feel comfortable demeaning a woman based on her looks and belittling her ability.

Akozicharow
Akozicharow

Dear Tom, While all the information above is certainly relevant to the issue of Kristen being sent home instead of Josie the two most fundamental aspects of the debate were left unexplained. In past seasons you may have faulted the executive chef for errors in concept, team management, or their own individual dish but you have never sent anyone home primarily for faults in another team mates dish. As Gail brought up at judges table, if you follow that logic Josie ends up having responsability for absolutely nothing. Second, even with everything stated in your post above, it seems inconceivable that you would not have chosen Kristen over Josie had last episode been a job interview for one of your own restaurants (even without the background scenes you were not privy to at the time). I am a regular at some of the best restuarants in New York, including Mr. Myers recently sold Eleven Madison Park and your own Topping Rose House (which i expect will get its first Michelin star later this year) and Kristen's technique, creativity, and level of responsability (which you clearly saw at judges table) make it easy to imagine her preparing food in one of those kitchens. On the other hand, Josie's presence is inconceivable. One last point. I give Top Chef almost exclusive credit for getting me into food and now I eat at Michelin star restaurants almost every week. I only point this out to let you know I am big fan and have generally found the show to be run with good intentions. However, in all the years of watching the show I can never recall an occasion when at the final judges table a head fake was done to make the person going home think they were safe for a moment. Padama's calling Josie's name only to tell her she was safe seemed cruel and petty. Sincerely, Adam

linjeans
linjeans

I'm so done, and I was a fan since the beginning.  Let Josie win.  Being a "Top Chef" will lose all the esteem it once had.  Top Chef was a classier show than what happened on this episode. 

mountainclimber
mountainclimber

This has to be the worst decision on a Bravo show since Brig won Sheer Elegance!  And look what happened to that show.

tubbytwig
tubbytwig

Hard as the result was to accept, I admire Kristen's attitude and that she took responsibility for what happened. It's not often you find someone with such talent, humility and integrity. Those qualities are also present in Sheldon and Brooke, so kudos to the judges for having these wonderfully talented young chefs on the show.

 

It's also great to see Sheldon win - he inspired his team mates to put aside their egos to make Urbano work. It wasn't "just his concept". The boys wanted Sheldon to succeed and the team worked hard to do that. Sheldon has heart & talent in spades and is just a joy to watch.

 

My question is - how long will the judges accept the bad food put out by Josie and her lack of accountability for her own actions. I find Josie's longevity in the competition insulting - to all the past and present TC cheftestants and viewers who believe in talent.

 

I don't quite know anymore what Top Chef is about - do we want to find a Top Chef who is talented and puts out great food, or one who is a ruthless opportunistic mediocre cook who just knows how to play the game?

brentwolgamott
brentwolgamott

Tom, what I don't get is that, if this truly was a close decision, and Gail even said it was - why not do the -  oh, I don't know -  COMMON SENSE thing and eliminate the chef who has already had her second chance (after season 2), who clearly isn't "Top Chef" material (can anyone envision Josie winning?), who has consistently landed in the bottom of almost every challenge you've had? Kristen had won FOUR elimination challenges.  She has the goods to win the whole thing.  If it's close, why not do something that makes common sense?  If Gail voted to eliminate Josie (and she says she did), that means you voted with Padma. Ridiculous. (And what the heck is up with Padma???)

joan1556
joan1556

Padma, for some unbeknownst reason, clearly wanted Kristin voted off the show. It was painfully obvious, and her conduct bordered on the unprofessional. Please, no excuses about editing having deleted more measured and fair-minded analysis by her.

 

Now, on to Tom's coimments as to not knowing then what he knows now. There is no way that the judges can really unbderstand what is going on out of their sight, right? So, why aren't they looking at tapes every evening or morning to see what went on? I'd love to hear the excuse from the producers or judges on this one.

 

Further, there were so many obvious questions the judges should have asked Kristin..why no gelatin..why so little foam? That might have unearthed the underlying Josie problem. It also wouldn't hurt if the judges were a bit more aware of the body language of the contestants. It doesn't take an expert to have seen that Josie was hiding a lot, and that Kristin was trying to be a protective leader. And shouldn't it have been obvious from Josie's prior poor performances and laziness that there was much more to the story than the judges discerned (although Tom did mention this on the show?

 

Come on judges, you are getting paid a good amount of money (and not hurting your celebrity status) to be on these shows, so work harder and delve deeper.

kwilson212
kwilson212

 @cushbot Your post was perfect. This is exactly the way I have been feeling the past two weeks. Have not watched an episode since and I would find it hard to believe anyone was a bigger fan of the show. This mistake in judgement, when they all knew that Josie wasn't half the chef Kristen is, is unforgivable. It brought the show's integrity into question. Maybe I'll watch a new season but for now I am over it.

bloom88
bloom88

 @jono123 Yes, and now we have lost Kuniko too as a result of wrongly eliminating Kristen-- another person of great skill and integrity. It's interesting that Kuniko also got eliminated by assisting another chef to the detriment of her own dish. And that chef, instead of standing up for her, insulted her abilities. It is inspiring that both women live by their values. While it's helpful to hear what the judges didn't know, I agree they need to inquire deeper in a case like this. Hopefully Kristen & Kuniko will find a way to balance their integrity with standing up for themselves.

9410jack
9410jack

 @alphonse

 I don't agree with you on this one.  I for one have not watched an episode since. And I've watched all seasons.

Kenlo
Kenlo

 @alphonse I think it might be more accurate to refer to Kristen as 'naively over-responsible' rather than "a fool".

Myko
Myko

 @vpotter

 Josie is an olympian skater I don't know why she's on Top Chef lol

halfsweet
halfsweet

 @Akozicharow I think Padma forgot where she was for a moment and thought she was on Project Runway, telling a contestant she was safe. I also think she got a sick little thrill out of twisting the knife in Kristen by changing the way she has ALWAYS told people they were eliminated. You're right that it was a particularly "Mean Girl" moment, but Padma has so many of those that I have stopped counting. I have disliked her intensely since the moment she came on the show. She knows next to NOTHING about good food, yet she bitchily steamrolls Tom, an executive chef who owns many restaurant, and Gail, a well-respected food writer and expert judge into getting her own way so she could get rid of a beautiful, classy chef she probably envied. Padma has always been jealous of any woman more beautiful than her, and for some reason, probably petty jealousy, she just wanted Kristen out of there. So she threw a tantrum, got her own way, and Tom and Gail just rolled over. Why? Every year I keep hoping to hear that she has been fired from Top Chef and they've finally brought in someone worthy of the job, and every year I spend the whole season being annoyed by her obnoxious voice, closing my eyes when she rolls her eyes and wincing when she is mean or bitchy, which is often. I just don't get how or why she got that job, and I especially don't get why she keeps it. She ruins the show for me. I still watch, but I cannot recall disliking any TV personality as much as I dislike Padma.

Levans
Levans

 @linjeans Go linjeans.  You're the winner of this episode.

Karenwil
Karenwil

 @joan1556

 Joan I completely agree with you.  Padma made if very clear she wanted Kristen out.  She even gave Tom a hard stare when he began to defend her.  She didn't even try to to hear the reasons the other judges were making to keep her.

Kenlo
Kenlo

 @Myko  @vpotter At first I thought "Olympian? I never saw her at the Olympics", then I got it.  Yep she's really, really good at skating by, probably was good on the football field as well, unless she just hid behind the quarterback.