Top Chef: Texas Recap
By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis
February 14, 2012
1) Paul: Paul has been so dominant this season that the show should skip the middle step and name him permanent judge for next year. It's either that or put him on Top Chef Masters and watch him devour all of the more reputable chefs there. He's a better chef right now than Hugh Acheson.
2) Lindsay: History is repeating itself from Top Chef All-Stars with Lindsay cast in the role of Mike Isabella. Last season, Mike was a non-factor until he reached endgame, at which point he evolved into a dangerous competitor who almost upset Richard Blais to win the competition. Lindsay has spent the body of Top Chef: Texas describing all of her (impressive) personal accomplishments, but those did not translate into individual wins. She had a single Quickfire win with vienna sausage in the first eight episodes. That's not going to get anybody noticed in Zagat. That changed as the number of competitors dwindled. Lindsay has now finished on the high side of the elimination challenges in five consecutive rounds (one of them when she had a hideous performance in Restaurant Wars but her team won). She has also won two Quickfire challenges in addition to a pair of elimination challenges. No other remaining contestant has a resume that strong.
3) Sarah: Sarah has only two wins this season and the last of those was a long time ago. Over the past five episodes, she has finished on the bottom four times. The fifth instance was Restaurant Wars, meaning that she has been in the up-for-elimination group in four consecutive individual elimination rounds. We consider Sarah by far the least talented of the remaining players. Also, she's kind of a jerk.
4) Ed: We still maintain that Ed's gifted ability at plating combined with his lust for victory identifies him as the contestant with the best odds of upsetting Paul. Still, we cannot overlook the fact that Ed has been in the bottom group in four out of the last five elimination challenges, narrowly avoiding elimination twice. As such, we have had to move him beneath a pair of chefs we consider less talented than him. Prove us wrong, Ed.
5) ???: We will call this contestant the Masked Marauder. Or maybe the Masked Meal Maker. As the "final" four contestants discovered in the last episode, a second chance competition has been occurring after each elimination round. Beverly had attained a pair of victories prior to Grayson's elimination last week, leaving the two chefs dueling for re-entry in the competition. Whichever one wins, we do not expect a warm welcome for them from the other competitors. Nonsense like this is the bad kind of reality show meddling. Whomever wins, they obviously have been deemed the worst of the players once already, so we have to slot the Masked Meal Maker in last place as the episode begins. Surviving a single round after re-entry would be an impressive feat. Then again, the element of surprise involved may demoralize members of the "final" four enough that this is exactly what transpires.