One of the things that “Top Chef” does so well is that they completely trick you with their editing. Going into Thursday’s episode, we would have never bet in a million years that we would’ve seen Jim Smith go home, let alone in a sudden-death quickfire.
Yet, that is precisely what happened, and on the first half of Thursday’s two-part “Last Chance Kitchen” (watch below), we saw him square off with Silvia Barban, an under-the-radar contestant on the show who really came into her own over the course of the past two episodes of the web series. The challenge, ironically (or not ironically, given that the show devised this on purpose), was to give him a chance to use two ingredients that were under consideration before he went home: Steak and potatoes.
Even though the two chefs had a wide degree of ingredients at their disposal, what we ended up seeing here were two dishes that were very much similar. Both used a green sauce, and they also had around a similar cook on their beef. The two of them also had some flaws with the finished product. This was an episode where we could have imagined Tom Colicchio going either way with his decision, but in the end he opted for … Jim! He ultimately felt as though he did a better overall job when it comes to capturing the essence of what the goal of the challenge was, and delivering on the end result (even if the steak was sliced a tad too thin.)
This meant that Jim would have a chance to move forward and take on Jamie, which is exciting mostly in that this is the most interesting showdown we’ve seen to date: A favorite who was eliminated far too early in the minds of many, and then a guy who willingly gave up immunity, even if he realized in the process that it would lead to him going home. Episode Grade: B.
What do you think about Jim’s win? Share below, and head over here to get some more news, including our take on the second part of tonight’s “Last Chance Kitchen” episode. (Photo: Bravo.)