“Top Chef: California” had almost everything that you could possibly hope for in its new episode Thursday night: There were funny moments, sentimental ones (how can you not get emotional watching Padma Lakshmi marry 25 same-sex couples at once?), and also some great, chaotic ones that remind us of why this is excellent reality television.
There are many reasons to love this show, but from a dramatic standpoint, we love how authentic most of the arguments are. These are not people seemingly interested in the idea of going on the show just to get on some other tacky celebrity-based show in the future; they want to further their careers, and this is why the drama feels authentic when we get it. Case in point: Karen and Giselle going head to head over their collaboration during dish in the wedding reception. Karen was quick to point out that in her mind, Giselle wasn’t really a team member. Instead, she went along with what she wanted and seemed rather scattered. Giselle eventually fought back … but at Phillip while awaiting the judges’ decision!
The decision to go after him was an interesting one. He was also in the bottom for some weird potato concoction that he claimed was intentionally gummy, something that the judges did not care for. We’re not sure that anyone left this season really loves having the guy around, mostly because he feels like one of those contestants you see on a Gordon Ramsay show who thinks their food is always awesome, even though it’s not. This isn’t the first time that we’ve seen his overconfidence play a role in a challenge; remember how he expected to kill vegan food a while back?
With Giselle now gone Phillip and Angelina seem to be the show’s weaker links, though the latter did fight back tonight and help to produce a very good dish. Kwame took home his second win and three weeks, and is working to establish a rather great reputation for himself in the process.
The only flaw this week? The Quickfire Challenge featuring Chrissy Teigen and dates was fun, but other than “dating” leading up to the wedding it was completely forgettable in retrospect. We had to look up that Jason even won minutes after watching the episode based on how big of a non-factor he was in the second half of it. Episode Grade: A-.
We’ll have a review of the latest “Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen” episode up over the weekend at the link here! Also, sign up over here to get some more TV news on everything we cover, sent right over to you via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: Bravo.)