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  1. S15.E11: Cooking High

    Thanks for putting this up. I heard them say Carrie's had no concept and that confused me a bit. This helps put that in context. That said... I'm unclear what "concept" means for food outside of the gimmicky challenges. What makes duck with cherry puffs conceptual? Does it mean creativity? Whimsy? Unity of the elements? It's not like I'm unfamiliar with fine dining -- I grew up in a foodie household and we ate at amazing restaurants around the country. For my 4th birthday I requested my parents make me beef wellington for dinner, seriously. (And they did!) If Carrie had done beef wellington, would that have been a concept? It's high-end, but is it a concept? Just curious! Musing out loud more than anything. ETA: Whatever possessed Carrie to admit she was afraid to cook BW for the guest judge?! Just make up a story, any story. And why didn't Joe S stick to "puff" and not add the part about not knowing what a profiterole is?! Edit yourselves, people. Don't give them more reasons to judge you negatively. Nervous overtalking is killer at this stage.
  2. S15.E11: Cooking High

    I give Carrie more credit for her toasts BECAUSE they are so simple and not TC-worthy. How amazing and creative must her toasts be for her to win twice with them?! (Tho in the first ep, the "pot luck" she crashed and burned with bruschetta.) And in this case, Dufresne said the winner was who highlighted sarsparilla the best, so I imagine she did something special there. Plus she had a high degree of difficulty with no protein or real vegetables. It's like the win for a veg side dish (didn't mushrooms win once?) or a salad. It's rare, but speaks to how perfectly they were executed. Really sad to see Chris go. His dish was just too homey, not fine dining enough. :(
  3. S15.E10: Red Rum and Then Some

    I'm the opposite. I always liked Bruce, but when some other chef picks up the box, reads the directions to him about something as stupid as gelatin and suddenly: "OH NO, I'M SCREWED"--I have to think he's not Top Chef material, or else he's not operating on all cylinders and he just subconsciously wants to get home and see the baby. A "risotto" with undercooked barley pellets? Plus that slop must've tasted like a salt lick for Tom to complain. Go now. Skip LCK and go get your hands on that baby because your head's not in the game anymore. I'm with you on Carrie, though. I enjoyed her speech about thinking she was pretty average, but now realizing she's better than that. It could have sounded strategic and disingenuous from someone else, but I believed her. Very nice. Which would be nice except Bruce CAN'T go home. They have to go to the sequester house after they pack their knives. (Which sounds terrible -- stuck in a hotel in secret with no phone, no wallet, and what amounts to limited "yard time".) He's stuck there until the bitter end either way. If Joe won I'd be bummed but wouldn't be outraged (*cough* Hosea). He's my least favorite of who's left by far, but at least he has put out some really good food. What sucks is he's also scraped along the bottom several times when better (IMO) chefs have gone. I love that Carrie admitted her expectations were low and she's gained confidence and self-awareness. The bluster of so many reality show competitors kills me -- everyone says they are sure they can win and that's just something I would never think no matter how good I am. I'm pulling for her and Chris.
  4. Ah, that explains it. There were a few times I was sure they were off beat but the judges didn't stop them ...now I realize I was the one who was wrong! I instinctively wanted to put accents on the on beats. It did seem like judging got easier. I could justify where the skiers had to spend extra rounds because they were focusing on the words and not doing the "confident performance" part, but Cody didn't get either right and they still passed him through. I was neutral on Yale, but after Jessica's tantrum and the targeting of them I'm rooting for them now.
  5. S06.E04: Balls Out!

    Marie Claire is an interesting case. If it's meant to be French it should sound like MAIR-ee, accent on the first syllable and a hard A, but the "accepted" U.S. pronunciation is probably Muh-REE. Same spelling, different pronunciations in French v American English. Regardless of what the magazine intends, it's not surprising Heidi would naturally favor a european pronunciation.
  6. S06.E04: Balls Out!

    Do we know for sure it's Mer-leen? Her last name is Labissiere, which is French, so it could be Mare-leen -- with that little bit of swallowed H sound on the R, the way you'd say la mer (the ocean). It's really hard to maintain a foreign pronunciation, though, so I have no idea what she or her family meant it to be. Surprised Stanley won...I thought it was dowdy. I'd have given it to Fabio. And as much as I wanted Helen to get bounced, it was definitely Candice's turn for that dress.
  7. S04.E12: And the Echoes of Memory

    Huh. So that happened. Agree the resolution wasn't given enough room to unfold, or something dramatic was missing. I was right that Flynn didn't leave voluntarily. Wasn't right that the new people finding out about the Library would boost memory power to resurrect it. On that note, it felt too easy to restore memories. Baird just had to hold on and then they had to find each other. Flynn kept lots already. Not a very difficult journey for our heroes! And why where they all in one place, so easily reunited, anyway? In an alternate reality, couldn't Nicole have put them anywhere, or wouldn't they be back in their own hometowns if the Library never existed? Certainly letting 2 of them be on TV and 2 more end up in the same asylum is bad villain craft. IJS. A two-parter might have given time to reunite more slowly and have the whole thing feel more earned. It also seemed too easy that Flynn could pop back in time and with so few words "fix" Nicole. Any rate, Jenkins is back. Which is great because I love Jenkins! But it means our Librarians don't find out the Library went psycho and killed him, which made them all resign. (The writers didn't pick up the thread I was questioning last time, was that actually the Library or Nicole.) If it was the Library, they learned something important about its character and that's been erased. Is there any hope that they still had the Jeff case and he's still a dungeon master? Overall this season didn't work very well for me. Episodes were hit or miss. The two-fers were distracting. As charming as I've found this show, maybe it's time for it to end. :(
  8. S04.E11: And the Trial of the One

    I'm tempted the believe the Library never inhabited Jenkins or wanted them to kill each other. That was all Nicole somehow. Sure, it could be bad writing, but the Library becoming a raging homicidal jerk overnight just doesn't feel right. The Library chose all 3, so why do this now? Why kill Jenkins at all? And why would it even demand tethering for that matter? Unless I missed something, my impression was the Library itself didn't need to be tethered -- that's for humanity's benefit. Without tethering, it would simply "protect itself" and become feral. Maybe they'll be able to explain all this next ep but for now I am skeptical. I agree that all the outsiders finding out about the Library is about to pay off to save it. (Yes, very Doctor Who!) The writers usually wrap up loose threads, so that's why I expect there to be a reason why the Library went psycho beyond "protecting itself", if it did at all.
  9. S30.E06: "The Claws Are Out!"

    Yes it was a good strategy. Still, I was surprised it didn't take longer. (Hard to be sure. I wish TAR showed clock timers but obviously I get why they don't.) The lectures appeared to be on a loop, so whenever a team entered the room they simply started at that point. Each time through, the firefighters would have re-entered at a random point and simply have had to wait til their next answer rolled around. That might take a few seconds or a whole loop, depending on luck. The lectures must have been pretty short, just a few minutes each?, for them to do this 9 times without falling behind.
  10. S30.E06: "The Claws Are Out!"

    Yeah, I figured Yale would be unhappy when they found out what else they could have done. I was so impressed by the violinists! While they seemed intelligent, that kind of memorization is special -- the very first answer, one recalled a 7 digit number correctly. I'm very good at this kind of task and still would have taking a few tries I think, given the volume of details they had to sift and recall. They did almost the whole thing in 1 shot. They were always a bit of a non-entity, but they were gracious and delightful. Still chuckling over "earnest words of encouragement". Would have loved to see more of them and am very sorry to see them go. The firefighters took *9* tries -- more than the number of questions! -- but they handled it competently and calmly. And clearly it didn't take them that long. They're growing on me. I'll start paying more attention to Evan and Henry -- I heard some nag undercurrents in this episode, but not as much as others perceived. (I often don't listen closely to the interpersonal stuff bc I don't care much.) I would defend her for calling him out for diverging from whatever agreement they had made -- in a race, communicating clearly and being aligned matters. It's not unreasonable to say if you want to change an agreement, you have to verbalize it. "Risk calculus" is something I would say :)
  11. My BF and I cringed at the "you had one job" comment -- that thought makes a funny meme, but it's just not something you should say to your partner.
  12. S15.E08: Restaurant Wars

    That's my take. He might have been trying to be tricky or taking the easy way out, but this is also plausible. She likes to be in charge -- so put her there. Her lack of team-player-ness would have been terrible on the line. This was the only job she could have done well. And who knows, maybe she could have if she wasn't so busy ducking responsibility. The judges area always critical when the captain doesn't ask to be the EC. They believe everyone should WANT to be the EC. That's what truly being a Top Chef means. But then they are so hard on the EC and FOH, it's no wonder many play it safe and take the line position. They didn't find a cohesive concept because they didn't even try. Mustache Joe rubbed me wrong almost this entire episode, but he was right here: You need a cuisine or at least a theme. I wasn't sure, but I was hoping!
  13. S15.E08: Restaurant Wars

    Agreed it was total domination, but there was more to their dislike of that plate than it being hot (which cooked her plate sauces, a serious problem) -- they also didn't like the taste and Tom asked why anyone would put that pickled cauliflower on the plate. They pretty much hated that dish from what I saw. When she said she added that pickled cauliflower to make it more "earthy" like the other entrees, I had a guess that would go sideways. Still! Just one bad plate out of 9. And she did great at her others. Versus a team where most of the food had major criticisms. It was a blowout on food. However, noticeable this year was neither team had a full-on meltdown in either kitchen or FOH. Some lame food and service, but nothing on fire. I'm not usually prone to schadenfreude but I do kind of look forward to RW meltdowns :)
  14. I hope they do something interesting with this. When Sophie asked about her "character" I thought...she's already playing one everyday! Perfect, marvelous Midge is the act. She constructed the perfect life and perfect appearance....but it's all just a veneer. There's no authenticity to her daytime persona. There's a lot of masks in the show. Joel. Sophie. Midge. Susie. People aren't who they pretend to be. There's some good storytelling there, if they take advantage of it.