Top Chef: Wisconsin episode 12: Manny Barella eliminated

Top Chef season 21
Photo: Bravo

For the first time all season long, it felt like tonight’s Top Chef: Wisconsin really paid off the sudden Quickfire twist. After all, about midway through the season producers decided to have that factor into who was eliminated at the end of an episode, especially if you found yourself in the bottom.

Basically, the narrative found itself in an interesting place where Dan’s Quickfire dish — the result of limited ingredients and a lack of flow between them — was so bad that it could doom him. He found himself in a spot that in the event he dropped the ball in the Elimination Challenge, he was pretty much doomed. There was a real tension that came with seeing if he could raise his game.

The whole theme behind the Elimination Challenge was the story — could everyone make something that represented the totality of their journey all season long? Manny struggled seemingly with crafting something that felt like an expression of the show versus an expression of himself. That came through in the judges’ feedback, and to some extent, both Dan and Danny also struggled with trying to follow the theme properly.

Dan, Danny, and Manny were the three in the bottom and somehow, Dan managed to escape by the skin of his teeth. Him surviving here may be as much of a story as Manny going, and some of it is a certain measure of luck. Dan had a really bad week and one of the worst Quickfire performances of all time; yet, he survived thanks to Manny serving raw fish to three of the judges.

Is Savannah the frontrunner?

At this point, it’s clear the answer is “yes.” She nailed both of the challenges tonight and she took a big swing that worked. Everyone else has to up their game if they want to stand a chance.

What did you think about the events of Top Chef: Wisconsin episode 12?

Do you think that the right contestant left? Be sure to share right away in the comments! After you do just that, remember to also come back — there are a lot of other great updates coming soon.

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