All season long, “Top Chef: Texas” has hyped up a major twist in their “Last Chance Kitchen” — a rather welcome online twist that has played out like what “Survivor: Redemption Island” hoped it would be. The duels were creative, the rapport between the contestants fun, and the dynamic of the show means that the person genuinely gets a second chance versus just getting voted out again right away.
This twist is now over, and on Wednesday night it was revealed that lovable underdog Beverly (otherwise known as the bane of Sarah’s existence) ended up being the one to return … only to end up botching her quickfire in undercooking the fish. Meanwhile, Sarah actually won the challenge — and ended up making a rather controversial decision in opting to take immunity rather than winning a car. Was this a move based out of fear? Sure, but it’s also understandable to be afraid — and winning the show is a far better prize than a car. (The fact that we say this without being the biggest supporter of Sarah is even more of a surprise.)
Would Beverly actually validate her win more in the Elimination Challenge? The premise itself was something that thankfully did not have the sort of gimmicks we have seen throughout this season — a challenge where the chefs had to present a dish in order to impress their culinary mentors in addition to the judges. They were given full creative freedom to create something fantastic, and while Sarah chose to sit around with her mentor and pop open the tequila, the others went to work.
The chefs did not disappoint, and everyone presented dishes that were true to their mentors’ hearts, such as Ed going with hearty cuisine or Paul making a rather simple soup featuring perfectly balanced ingredients. The latter “cheftestant” has had an incredible streak throughout this season, and he ended up scoring yet another win this week with a car to boot (bringing his total to around a trillion dollars). Meanwhile, Beverly also joined him when it came to being safe — and thus, she cemented her place in the final four.
The final debate here between Ed and Lindsay, and in many ways it became a discussion of whether or not the show wanted to reward taking a risk or playing more to your strength. Surprisingly, each chef made a strange mistake — Lindsay used dried herbs and a cream that she didn’t need, and Ed decided for some reason to stick canned oysters on a gourmet plate.
It was really this latter “really?” mistake that sent Ed home, and it’s a shame — he was full of energy, often hilarious, and had the sort of southern-with-a-twist cuisine that we love. Nonetheless, the road continues for the final four in British Columbia … and Bravo can pat themselves on the back for creating a twist that may end up impacting the season in an even bigger way if Beverly makes it to the grand finale.