Top Chef: Texas Recap
By David Mumpower
January 18, 2012
It was a sad loss for everyone who enjoyed looking at Malibu Chris last week, but now we press on to the final eight contestants, which means Restaurant Wars are here. Let's take a look at how the cheftestants stack up at the moment:
1) Paul Qui - Once again, Paul has found himself with the winning group. Until he really shows some vulnerability, there is simply no reason whatsoever to drop him from this top position. He's established himself as the biggest risk taker as well as the most consistent performer so far. Even better, he elevates the performance of those around him. It was certainly his creative barbecue idea that took his team over the top.
2) Edward Lee - Yes, Edward was in the bottom group last week, but he certainly wasn't in the bottom bottom group. The judges still like what he has to contribute, and he was pretty much screwed over by Sarah's heat exhaustion, doing the best he could to keep his team afloat. Sure, he was a little bitchy about the situation, but when you go back and watch the episode a second time, you can see that his read on Sarah was pretty much dead on. He's got the skill, but he can occasionally struggle in team situations. Restaurant Wars also is known for eliminating good contestants.
3) Lindsay Autry - Along with Paul, she was one of the winners in last week's challenge. She's been pretty darned quiet for the most part, but she has only been on the bottom during an elimination one time. She is at least doing well enough to elevate herself above other competitors. It's a little concerning that her one win comes thanks to Paul's great idea and execution, but she still played her part well enough.
4) Ty-Lör Boring - Ty has had a weird few episodes. He won the elimination round a couple of weeks ago, and last week he won the Quickfire, giving him immunity - which was a great thing to have in his pocket since Sarah was his team member and she disappeared (for legitimate reasons) for awhile. Both Ty and Edward had a monumentally difficult task in comparison to the other contestants. Ty still seems to be a pretty decent talent, but his up and down performances are definitely a concern.
5) Grayson Schmitz - Like Lindsay, Grayson followed Paul's lead to find her team with a win. It seems like she is a talented chef and she's definitely the kind of person you want to root for, but until she shows more consistency, she has to rank in the lower half. If she starts taking some risks and succeeding, she could prove to be underrated.
6) Sarah Grueneberg - It feels really wrong to knock someone because of legitimate health reasons, but her absence from last week's Elimination Challenge was a huge detriment to her team. Worse, when she came back after being ill, she pretty obviously cared about nothing except her dish and stayed only long enough to be certain it was plated. It didn't do her much good, because the judges had plenty of critical comments for her. She might be talented, but she does not work well with others and she's prone to make mistakes.
7) Beverly Kim - She's definitely the underdog and you want to root for her, but she was in the worst of the bottom two groups last week and the judges just didn't have anything nice to say about much of their stuff. She has good ideas; unfortunately, she can't get anyone to listen to them when she's working in a team situation.
8) Chris Jones - Moto Chris will continue to stay on the bottom of these rankings until he is either eliminated or he wins. He is always overthinking his dishes, making them needlessly complex or icky. He seems very nice, but there is a definite divide between him and the other seven chefs. It's miraculous that he continues to survive.