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S16.E15: Finale

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Both finalists had problems with a dish...Sara with the pork belly and Kelsey with the crab. Both had a dish that the judges raved about...Kelsey's oysters, Sara's beef dish. Personally, and I know I'm going to be chastised for this, I think the decision came down to which one would be a better ambassador for the brand "Top Chef" and would be easier to promote. I think it was a decision made by the producers ultimately. Kelsey is a pretty blonde who happens to be a great chef but also has a cheerful personality and a sense of humor. Sara is a kick ass chef but isn't as personable and is frumpy. Don't fool yourselves...the Top Chef producers and Bravo TV are thinking of expanding the brand after every season and Kelsey will be a huge plus for them. Having come from an advertising background I can safely say that this was a business decision. Sara will do just fine...all the finalists do.

I could not DISAGREE more-I think they always pick the cheftestant that turned out the best dish that night and they don't take other things into consideration...I don't think Tom would put up with it otherwise and he doesn't need to put up with that. I think that Sara's problems with the pork/bacon were too much to overcome and were much worse than Kelsey's with the crab. Unlike the final between Kristen and Brooke, something they have NOT repeated since, it is not a round by round competition-instead, the judges look at the entire meal and give their decision.

And, as I pointed out above, Tom did NOT say how close this was, something he has done in the past.

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However, all comments on appearances, especially insinuating that Kelsey's looks were the only reason she won, that Sara a. looks frumpy, and b. that's why she didn't win

See my comments above-I think they pick the best meal that night and don't take other things into consideration, whether it is appearance or promoting the brand or even the optics of having a black woman win (as people argued in TC Colorado). Bravo is only too aware of optics, and that is why I think Tom etal don't let those thing stop them from picking the cheftestant that made the best meal THAT NIGHT.

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Yeah, not sure why I'm being quoted as if I support the appearances comments, when in fact, I said I refuse to be on board for those. I think it's about the food for Tom, and that's what I prefer to do my armchair judging on as well.

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The whole thing with the Lotus chips being to thick was a bit surprising to me.

The slices look really thin.  Was Eric supposed to essentially do like paper thin lotus chips?  I wonder if his oil was too hot when he was frying them.

Overall season was okay.  I feel like its kind of like Top Chef Seattle.  When you have the early front runners go home, you really lack consistency.  It was weird to see so many times the person who won the last episode go home on the next.

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The Pack Your Knives podcast that dropped last night had all 3 finalists on discussing the Finale and giving a lot of inside info. I won't ruin it for anyone, but they all come off very well as being open, genuine  and hardworking and generally as good people. YMMV.

As suspected, they did have their 4 course meal very planned out before they got on the plane...as a matter of fact they had to give them a list of ingredients within 2 days of getting home. While no one said it directly, I have a hunch those dishes were cooked more than a few times in those 2 weeks. And in case you couldn't tell, Sara was well prepared for the battle-she researched the menus at the place they were staying so she knew what products were available.

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On 3/16/2019 at 12:13 PM, All That Jazz said:

Thank you. This notion that a "pretty" woman cannot excel and achieve great things by working her butt off at her passion is toxic. Also the notion that a woman who is not conventionally "pretty" is "frumpy" and therefore unlikable is equally offensive. It was obvious in the finale that Tom admired the two women as accomplished chefs and as human beings. And so do I.

And actually, being conventionally "pretty' can be a hurdle to overcome, since people don't take your talent seriously and think that you just get by on your looks. I'm so glad that she's a bright, attractive, smart, hard-working person who's not afraid to show on the outside that you can be serious and talented without looking grave and unkempt.

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On 3/15/2019 at 5:39 PM, ChitChat said:

The local news has been following her journey on TC, so I'm sure that garnered her a lot of viewers in this area.  I quit watching TC years ago, and when I read that someone local was competing, well, I was all in! 

So, the possibilities for fan favorite could be:  a) A strong voting bloc in this and the surrounding areas; b) other chefs not getting much exposure in their home towns; c) most viewers liked her!   Could be a combination of all of those things.  I was just happy to see that she is a genuinely nice person.  There have been some mighty big egos on TC over the years!  She helped make the local finale party last night a chance to focus on our local animal shelters.  They asked for donations of money or food for the shelters.  From the pictures in the paper, there was a big turnout.  

 I hope the other chefs had similar positive experience in their communities.  I hope they all have lots of hungry diners knocking on their restaurant doors too!  

I'm happy to hear this!

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I actually shed a few tears when Eric was eliminated.  I was so hoping that they would just let all three of them cook for the final meal/competition.

I found it very interesting who the chefs chose from the eliminated contestants to help them.  

I wish all of the cheftestants (finalists as well as those eliminated earlier) well and hope they all get a lot of acclaim and business from their time on the show.  I would happily go to any of their restaurants if I was ever in the area.

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On 3/15/2019 at 10:03 AM, AriAu said:

7. Anyone else notice that, unlike many of the finales (like last year), Tom did not say how close it was....which means it wasn't.

I did not notice this, but glad you did.  I thought it was odd Sarah made it this far, a couple times saved because of Eddie's cooking I believe so I was glad by the final result.

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9 hours ago, Mardo2044 said:

I did not notice this, but glad you did.  I thought it was odd Sarah made it this far, a couple times saved because of Eddie's cooking I believe so I was glad by the final result.

Agreed.  Sara's food just seemed dull.  I really wanted Eric to make it through to the final two.  But I'm not upset with a Kelsey win.  She was definitely the better of the two, by a long shot.

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