By Rebecca Greene
This season of Top Chef was supposed to be about All Stars back for redemption, competing at the highest level, pulling out all the tricks from the sleeves of their chef coats. Instead, the season has passed quite predictably and unexceptionally: other than a bizarre meltdown by Jen Carroll in episode 2 and an inexplicable climb to the top 4 by Mike Isabella, I was able to predict when the season first started (see Dec 4th article Top Chef All Stars Predictions) who would make it into the top 8 just by analyzing the chefs' performances from their previous seasons. Ironic, because episode 1 of this season was called "History Never Repeats." But that's exactly what's happened.
In the first of a four-part finale in the Bahamas featuring 5 contestants (nothing says competition more than when 30% of contestants make it to the finale), Top Chefs from previous seasons squared up against this season’s contestants in an all-to-quick fire challenge. For the elimination challenge, the chefs cooked for the King of Jonkanoo, Antonia set fire to a fryer (say that 5 times quickly), Blais finally revealed his I-might-actually-be-a-serial-killer-on-the-weekends side and Carla, unfortunately, got eliminated. How have the chefs not yet figured out to save the best portions for the judges, as opposed to the ones with the raw pork? At least there’s vindication in it for Casey, who was unfairly blamed for Carla’s loss in the Season 5 finale (Casey was her sous chef).
Anyway, enough with the 7-day-old recap...here's my take on what's gonna happen tonight. Sadness over Carla leaving...realizations of wow, no one’s safe at this point, this shit just got real...a throwaway quick fire challenge won by Antonia...Buitoni product placement...Fabio returns to reveal that he's Antonia's & Mike’s uncle...the judges present a seemingly straightforward elimination challenge, only to pull a last minute switchero...more Buitoni product placement...the chefs second guess their dishes...the judges find Blais’ dish wonderful and complex, Tiffany's not so much...Gail eats twice her share...unnecessarily ominous music plays...and the judges reach a consensus: Tiffany’s a goner.
Next week, Mike Cinderella gets the boot. And finally, the week after that, Richard wins it all and storms off in a Blais of glory. Isabella and Antonia fall in love and storm off in a Blais of...gory details to follow.