Top Chef Masters: Biggest Loser

E: Sigh.  I think the judges made the right call this week, but man, it’s depressing.

M: You know, I thought I would be more depressed, but it was truly earned, so I wasn’t upset when it went down.  We’ll get to that in good time, though.  Let’s start with the Quickfire.

E: Okay, let’s.

M: So, I have complained a few times about the 20 minute Quickfires, and it’s nice to see that the producers aren’t tied to that 20 minute number.  Dropping it to 12 minutes, however, not as nice to see!  Come on, give them a decent amount of time for once, maybe we’ll get some good dishes, instead of a bunch of dishes that get beaten by a slice of cheese.

E: It’s weird to me, Tracy winning for a cheese “carpacio.”  What was it, really, that she did?  Put a chunk of cheese on a plate?  A cheese that happened to come from the region that the judge likes the best?  I kind of feel like both her Quickfire wins have been cop outs.

M: I didn’t think the first one was as much of a cop out as this one was, but it wasn’t exactly the stuff of Top Chef lore, either.  When they first showed her working with that huge, yummy looking block of cheese I got excited.  Then when she said she was making a cheese “carpacio”, I felt the same way you did, pretty confused.  Basically, I think what she did was take a rounded off thin slice of the cheese, and garnish it.  Yes, she showcased the cheese, but a slice of a strong cheese with a Ritz cracker would showcase the cheese, too; that doesn’t make it a winning dish!  Beyond that, the cheese shop guy annoyed me.  I was glad that Floyd called him out on the preparation of his dish being correct and traditional, and thought that George should have done the same with his onion dish that the judge felt wasn’t good because he could taste the onions.  Oye vey.

E: Of course all judges are going to have their personal prejudices and preferences, but I definitely agree – this guy’s kind of obviously got in the way.

M: Just thinking about him again annoys me, so let’s move on to the elimination challenge, shall we?

E: Yes, by all means.

M: I usually love The Biggest Loser, but it lost a DVR battle with shows my wife is interested in on Tuesdays, so I haven’t watched it at all this season.  I was excited, however, that they were cooking for the BL contestants for the elimination challenge.  Former Olympian Rulon Jones was the only one I recognized, and there was no Bob or Jillian, so it was a little odd, but still good.

E: Who were those other trainers, and why were we supposed to care about them?  Bah.

M: Since I’m not watching the show I’m not sure, but Bob and Jillian are still on the commercials for it, so maybe they’re just assistant trainers?  I don’t know.

E: I hated seeing snooty mini-Oseland on the judging panel again, too.  “I guess the berries are okay,” he admits grudgingly as he picks at Naomi’s breakfast plate.  Seriously?  What’s his issue?  I don’t even get it.

M: Well, you know what a cop out putting fresh berries on a low calorie breakfast is.  Plus, it’s soooo gauche.  Seriously, they need to bring back Gael Green if the other critic they had (Ruth something?) isn’t going to commit to the whole season.  No more mini-Oseland!

E: Oh, Gael Green.  You were wonderful. Though I have to admit, Jay Raynor was my favorite.

M: Oh, how did I forget about Jay Raynor!  You’re right, he needs to come back.

E: For them to lose the judges I enjoy and respect, claim to be replacing them with a famous critic and then never show her?  I’m not cool with this.  The Skinny Girl is good enough, but Oseland and Mini-Ose is just – uck.  Things were just doomed from the start.

M: Umm, I hate that I know this, in fact I REALLY, REALLY hate that I know this, but the other critic is the “restaurant girl”, the “skinny girl” is Bethenny Frankel from the Real Housewives and various other Bravo shows.  Like I said, I really hate that I know that.

E: Gross.  I’m ignoring this.  I get this move, though, and I’ll tell you why I think that.

M: Wait, I’m confused, why you think what?

E: Suvir deliberately decided he wasn’t going to give the Loser what she wanted.

M: Ohhh, why you think the judges made the right call!  You know, you do this all the time, jump back to a previous conversation point, but only use pronouns and assume everyone followed your train of thought.  We never follow.

E: Oh, whatever, you figured it out, didn’t you?

M: Well, I suppose.

E: So now that you’re with me, I’ll continue.  Suvir didn’t want her to have meat.  So, fine.  But he promised her a veggie burger that would make her forget about meat, and he didn’t deliver that.  I think it’s pretty simple.  Mary Sue is totally on the chopping block, next, though.  Girl has to step up her game big time.

M: I agree with both points.  Addressing the second one first, I like Mary Sue, but other than that one deviled egg dish she’s been at or near the bottom every time.

E: That’s not true – she’s been at the top of two of the Quickfires.  She’s odd – she’s almost always on top or bottom.  I think this Quickfire was the only time she ended up in the middle.

M: You’re right, I was forgetting about those Quickfires.  Still, she’s got to pick it up if she’s going to survive another week.  As for Suvir, he had two problems.  The most important was that he didn’t deliver on what he said he was going to do, which was make a veggie burger that would satisfy the craving of the woman that wanted a bacon cheeseburger.  The other thing he did wrong was get preachy.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with people standing on principle, but this is a guy that fried veal a couple episodes ago!  He was espousing how you can be a vegetarian and still cook good tasting meat dishes.  All of a sudden meat is the sole cause for the obesity “pandemic”?

E: Well, not all of a sudden.  I think it’s a cultural/religious thing, actually.

M: No, he doesn’t eat meat because of the cultural/religious issues, however the “meat is the root of all evil” bit was all of a sudden.  Anyway, quick tangent…  what happened to the good, old fashioned epidemic?  We don’t have epidemics any more, now everything is a pandemic, as if someone attaching the Greek god of the wild to it makes it more appropriate.  And yes, before you jump in, I know that it is not in reference to Pan (or his flute), but is the prefix pan- that means “everything” or “all”.  Epidemic was perfectly fine and covers global events, so I don’t get why it got the boot.

E: No, I’m with you.  It’s just trendy jargon, and kind of annoying.

M: Back to Suvir, it is never a good move to talk down to your diners immediately before they eat the food that you prepared for them.  All that’s going to do is piss them off.  Now, if your food is other-worldly, you’ll be fine.  But if there’s any doubt, you’re going to get extra points off for being a prick.  And that’s why I was ok with seeing him go.  I knew, from the moment that he opened his mouth, that he was gone, and that he earned his exit.  It’s too bad, he was highly entertaining, and most of the time was putting out great dishes.

E: Yeah.  It’s a shame.  He was so proud to be sent home for a sticking to his guns, but I thought that he’d have done much better to have kept his mouth shut and let his food speak for him.  And because his burger didn’t taste good, I think that he really did the opposite of serving his cause.  So I found the whole thing kind of depressing.

M: Now, one of the things I find interesting, is that I see a couple people rising toward becoming a top echelon…  can you guess who?

E: Well, Naomi and Floyd seem to do pretty well.

M: Exactly the two I was thinking of, well done!

E: Alex has had missteps, but also great success, and Traci’s clearly the queen of the Quickfire.

M: True, and I think someone like George could step up, because he’s been pretty solid.

E: I agree with that.  Especially now that John C and Suvir (both of whom had won challenges) are now out of the picture.

M: However Naomi has put up pretty or very well received dishes pretty much every time, especially in elimination challenges, and even twice while running either the kitchen or the front of the house, which is awfully impressive.

E: It surely is.

M: Floyd has been steady, and has put up a few really awesome dishes, including the ambrosia one, which is REALLY impressive.  They seem, to me and clearly to you, to be starting to build a little bit of a lead.  We’ll see if they can hold it!


One comment on “Top Chef Masters: Biggest Loser

  1. Krizzzz says:

    Strictly speaking, an epidemic and a pandemic are different: an epidemic is a rapid, widespread outbreak — from epidemia (noun: the prevalence of an epidemic disease) which in turn is from epidemos (adjective: prevalent). From the prefix/preposition “epi” (which means an annoying number of things, including at/against) and the noun”demos” (people).

    It’s rapid and widespread, but it’s not spread everywhere, the way a pandemic is (causing panic, from Pan, god of the…wait, no no no — it’s from the stem of the adjective “all”). And actually, the first entry I find for this in the dictionary doesn’t look all that different from epidemic…until it goes on to add “epidemic over a wide geographical area.” So it’s an epidemic on steroids.

    But do I agree that “pandemic” is getting way overused? Heck, yes. One might say the epidemic of pandemia (pandemices?) is getting way out of hand.

    But two words or so down, we find “pandowdy.” I think the next challenge should involve pandowdy, which does NOT come from Greek, but is mighty tasty anyway.

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