Thursday night’s new episode of “Top Chef” has to go down as one of the most predictable, and if not the worst, Restaurant Wars in the history of the show. It was more of a Restaurant Slaughter than a War of Attrition; District LA may as well have waved a white flag the moment that they walked in the door.
Is there anyone from this team we can envision winning the show right now from this group? We’re not sure. Kwame was a longtime favorite, but he seems to be in a place of doubt right now after several weaker performances in a row. Meanwhile, Jeremy and Amar showed some really terrible decision-making, not to mention a lack of passion in their overall concept and leadership skills.
The only reason that these two guys were bailed out was Phillip, who finally found himself in a position where he was heading out the door after not only cooking two pretty poor dishes, but also giving an awkward, over-the-top performance running front of the house. The show really pushed a narrative here that Phillip was somehow strong for striking out on his own and opening restaurants rather than working under a more prestigious chef, and we don’t know whether to sign off on that or not. The problem with Phillip is that he comes across as very defensive, and we don’t think anyone on his team could really help him even when some of his dishes were not working because he would not want to hear any negative feedback. They just had to go along more or less with what he was wanting to do.
Entertainment-wise, Phillip was a fun dose of unpredictability this season, but he was never going to win and therefore it’s fine to be losing him when we did.
Now, let’s focus on the positives here. Marjorie is quickly becoming our favorite person on this season, mostly because she is the anti-“Top Chef” contestant. She has no arrogance, and she will literally do anything that she can to win. She’ll run front of the house, cook a wide array of fun, bake, and even create desserts. She’s the ultimate utility player and never seems to get frazzled. It was also fun to watch Isaac rise tonight from the last person picked for Restaurant Wars to the ultimate winner thanks to running a really great expediting system for lynch to cooking some really great food over the course of the entire event.
All of a sudden, we’re starting to think that Isaac, Carl, Marjorie, and Karen are in the driving seat and nobody on District LA will come close to passing them. That’s what “Top Chef” will do to you. Episode Grade: B-.
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