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9-X: "Reunion" 2012.03.07


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#91

Nittany84

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Posted Mar 9, 2012 @ 7:59 PM

The Grayson segment further convinced me that Grayson needs her own show. It could be about cooking, or it could just be her and her girlfriends hanging out. Preferably, she would be BFFs with Carla Hall.

The best thing about Mediocre Chef was the slight subversiveness of it. The whole running gag was a critique of the way this season was run, with even more physically demanding challenges, more sleep deprivation, even more insane challenges, even fewer opportunities to just cook good food. Airing it was almost like the producers were admitting, "OK, we took it too far this season." I almost buy the judges' excuse that the chefs were so good they had to make it ridiculous ... but I would have preferred less foolishness.

Paul joins Stephanie Izard for that illustrious honor of being my favorite Top Chefs. Both of them seem like kind, funny human beings as well as great chefs.

#92

Narya

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Posted Mar 9, 2012 @ 8:14 PM

Perhaps oddly enough, I ended up liking Heather MORE. Go figure. Sarah, on the other hand, just keeps getting worse and worse. And I never thought Lindsay was bad; I rather liked her, and that increased over the season. I also thought that she gave an interesting perspective about both of her bad episodes--with Keith and the shrimp and RW. She pointed out (w/o excusing herself) that it was the first challenge and they're all just trying to figure out what's going on--and one could certainly wonder if it was sabotage (peanut butter and celery, anyone?). Keith also said straight up that he got PYKAGed because of his dish, not because of anything else. And RW was heat of the moment, which was my take on Lindsay at the time.

The problem with the responses to Heather and Sarah is that death threats and calls to their workplaces really were over the top (Heather notes that NBC security became involved)--and they have the effect of actually preventing people from learning or changing their behavior. Same with all of the fat comments: Heather and Sarah have been hearing those insults all their lives, and dismissing anything that comes with that insult attached would be a reasonable response. I do think that Ty-Lor's support for Heather counts in her favor. I also think that the exact same behavior gets seen/heard/read differently depending on the sex of the person saying the words.

But Sarah! Good lord, that woman won't learn a thing. Heather owns it, and says like it or don't, and doesn't care if she's Loved. Sarah denies that she has done or said anything that could possibly ever be interpreted badly, and boo-hoo, I'm getting picked on because of my weight, and I'm not really mean or bitchy, and by the way I deserved to win. The lack of graciousness about that is very grating.

#93

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Posted Mar 9, 2012 @ 8:31 PM

Keith also said straight up that he got PYKAGed because of his dish, not because of anything else.


I never bought the complaint that Sarah (or was it Heather) threw Keith under the bus - I always thought he burned himself with bad decisions. But seeing him step up and own his mistakes during the Reunion made me wish he'd stuck around longer. Similarly, I didn't completely buy into the theory that Nyesha was unfairly eliminated, but she so totally brings the pretty (especially with the nerd girl glasses) that I wish she'd stayed longer. I wouldn't have cared how bad the challenges were if I got to see more of Nyesha and Grayson.(/shallow)

Edited by pez10s, Mar 9, 2012 @ 8:32 PM.


#94

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Posted Mar 9, 2012 @ 8:54 PM

Paul outdid 29 chefs and won nine(?) out of 14 elimination challenges. His humility at the end was interesting to watch.


Yeah, I just looked at the Season 9 chart on Wikipedia earlier today and was amazed at how dominant Paul was this whole season. Often there will be two or three chefs who dominate, but I've never seen anything quite like this. I think he deserved the win based on that fact alone. Really wish they would have spent more time on Paul at the reunion show, although I did take some perverse joy in watching the Mean Girls squirm.

I'm stunned that Malibu Chris won fan favorite. I don't even think he's all that cute, and his personality was pretty nonexistent. Even if you take Paul out of the equation (since he's won plenty of stuff already), I'd give the prize to Ed or Grayson - or even someone like Moto Chris, who at least had some personality.

#95

Not Lenny

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Posted Mar 9, 2012 @ 9:19 PM

The Grayson segment further convinced me that Grayson needs her own show. It could be about cooking, or it could just be her and her girlfriends hanging out.


Would they have their clams out?

Perhaps she should take over hosting duties on The View?

#96

Butch718

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Posted Mar 9, 2012 @ 9:52 PM

What did bother me, though - by all accounts kitchens are profane, testosterone-driven, aggressive work environments. And many of the chefs (not all, but many of them) are aggressive, competitive and egocentric. Yet I've never once heard a man called out for using foul language, and I can't imagine production "tattling" or Andy "outing" a male contestant who dared to use the f-word. It seems to me that they did pick on Sarah in that instance. Now, it might be because she's horrid, which is fair enough: she is horrid. But I think it's somehow more acceptable because she's also female, and not traditionally attractive. After all the softballs he lobs, I don't think Andy would have picked on a guy chef for using the word, whether or not a judge was involved. You're going to tell me that none of the male competitors ever cursed at a judge? Mike Isabella? Spike? Stephan? But it's Sarah that you pick on, and you don't even have footage; you just use an unnamed production member's gossip to call her out? It's just, in my mind, a subtle form of sexism, and I think Bravo and Andy might want to re-examine some of their choices there.


I doesn't have anything to do with sexism at all. When Sarah allegedly cursed at Emeril she wasn't in the Kitchen. It was the aftermath of the judging process. It reinforces the pattern of behavior that we've seen from Sarah throughout the competition. If a male chef had done that to Emeril, Andy definitely would have put them on the spot. Bravo lives for the drama whether it's male or female.

Also Grayson was a potty mouth all season and people love her despite it.

Edited by Butch718, Mar 9, 2012 @ 9:54 PM.


#97

Nena

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Posted Mar 10, 2012 @ 1:00 PM

I never bought the complaint that Sarah (or was it Heather) threw Keith under the bus - I always thought he burned himself with bad decisions.


For me the issue was not why he went home, but that Sarah tried so very hard at judging to make sure he went home. They are two separate things. One is the communication between the judges and Keith, where the judges decide Keith should go home, and another is the communication between Sarah and the Judges, where Sarah is doing her damndest to make sure if anyone goes home, it's Keith. The fact that the judges ignored her doesn't change that she tried. She had conniving moments like that all season, and I noticed her coming back to only do her chicken and then sit out again didn't make her lowlight reel.

#98

Penny Robinson

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Posted Mar 10, 2012 @ 4:14 PM

Perhaps oddly enough, I ended up liking Heather MORE.


Me too. I like that she owned up to what she said and didn't take the easier road just to satisfy others. She has her opinion about Beverly (which I share, btw) and she is entitled to it. Also, getting death threats? Who watches this show, psychopaths and lunatics?

I'll take Heather or even Sarah (and their food too) over Beverly any day of the week.

#99

Narya

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Posted Mar 10, 2012 @ 4:35 PM

Also Grayson was a potty mouth all season and people love her despite it.

I actually love her BECAUSE of it. Lindsey, too. But that's me (and my own potty mouth). One of the interesting challenges in my life has been moving from jobs where everyone has a potty mouth to jobs (sometimes in another field) where people do not have potty mouths.

Also w/r/t Heather & Beverly, I started to think that in some ways it was a miscommunication. Beverly thinks that Heather was questioning her work ethic, but I took it that Heather was questioning her speed, not her desire to work hard or her willingness or ability to do so. Beverly is hearing "You're not working hard enough" while Heather is saying "You're working too slowly." Finally, when Beverly starts going on about her family, and how she's giving up being with her son, so no one can question her work ethic, my eyes start rolling.

I end up thinking that I would learn a lot about flavor, particularly all sorts of Asian flavor, if I worked in Bev's kitchen, and I would learn a lot about working in a high-intensity, high-output kitchen if I worked in Heather's kitchen. Both useful things to know (which is why so many chefs work in multiple kitchens), but not the same experience at all.

#100

Not Lenny

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Posted Mar 10, 2012 @ 5:06 PM

Beverly thinks that Heather was questioning her work ethic, but I took it that Heather was questioning her speed, not her desire to work hard or her willingness or ability to do so. Beverly is hearing "You're not working hard enough" while Heather is saying "You're working too slowly."


It wasn't a case of Beverly mishearing. Heather did specifically question her work ethic at Judges' Table. She said something about "a certain work ethic" that Bev didn't have. And it wasn't something that was said "in the heat of the moment" or while they were cooking, trying to get her to speed up. It seemed very much like a calculated personal attack.

#101

Narya

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Posted Mar 10, 2012 @ 6:26 PM

She said something about "a certain work ethic" that Bev didn't have.

Ah; thank you; I didn't remember that.

Despite what I said above about liking Heather more after this ep, I still don't much like her (or Bev, for that matter, though for a completely different set of reasons). Give me Pebbles Chris any day, or Nyesha, or Paul, or Ed.

Speaking of Ed, he provided an object lesson in how Sarah should have responded: he completely admitted to being a dick, and had the grace to be sheepish about it.

#102

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Posted Mar 10, 2012 @ 11:43 PM

I think that Heather is still an awful person. An asshole doesn't become any less of an asshole just because she recognizes her asshole-ishness. And Heather complaining about people calling her a racist? My heart bleeds for you, Heather.

Heather's simply a more self-aware asshole, whereas Sarah is a deluded asshole. But they're still both assholes of the highest order. I didn't end up liking Heather more at all. They both still really suck for different reasons. I guess it might be annoying to deal with someone as deluded as Sarah, but... for me it's also annoying to deal with people who "own" their bitchiness, as if that gives them license to continue being jackasses.

Edited by tip and fall, Mar 10, 2012 @ 11:48 PM.


#103

danusia

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Posted Mar 11, 2012 @ 8:44 AM

I think that Heather is still an awful person. An asshole doesn't become any less of an asshole just because she recognizes her asshole-ishness. And Heather complaining about people calling her a racist? My heart bleeds for you, Heather.

Heather's simply a more self-aware asshole, whereas Sarah is a deluded asshole. But they're still both assholes of the highest order. I didn't end up liking Heather more at all. They both still really suck for different reasons. I guess it might be annoying to deal with someone as deluded as Sarah, but... for me it's also annoying to deal with people who "own" their bitchiness, as if that gives them license to continue being jackasses.


Ditto, ditto, ditto!

Someone who owns their bitchiness is actually more repulsive to me. If you're self-aware enough to know you're cruel and you're self-aware enough to know you hurt people's feelings and your only response to this is to somehow seem proud of this and require others to accept this personality defect, then you're a repugnant personality.

Heather obviously thinks being aware that she can be a nasty human being makes up for the fact that she can be a nasty human being. Instead of working on that problem she expects her victims to work on accepting her flaws.

I'm surprised people actually like her more after the reunion because I liked her far less--and I thought that was impossible given how much I disliked her. She doesn't get credit from me for 'owning' her bitchiness. If you know you're a bitch I'd rather hear that you're working on that aspect of your personality. Don't tell me that it's your victim's problem because they can't accept you as you are.

#104

seltzer4

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Posted Mar 11, 2012 @ 3:09 PM

I just went to the website for top chef, and the headlines read "Did Heather confront Emeril?" That's pretty embarrassing, mixing up Sarah and Heather like that, even if it is really easy to.

#105

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Posted Mar 11, 2012 @ 4:01 PM

What I thought was interesting was 1) her face/tears when he first brought it up then cut to 2) her face as she's apologizing to "the judge" she swore at. Some tears - to a face COVERED with tears, and red and either tears or sweat on her upper lip. I can't IMAGINE what ended up on the cutting room floor!


I wondered if they'd caught Sarah cussing Emeril on tape. The way she crumbled in her reactions sounds like somebody said, "Well, here- it was recorded." Sarah truly struck me as being caught in high school. There are 29 contestants. The odds are 28 to 1 that any given person is going to lose. And Paul truly won an astonishing number of challenges. Anybody rational would reflect on how they'd react if they lost: disappointed, obviously, but the sportsmanlike thing is to approach the winner and congratulate them, and keep post-show comments to "I'm proud of what I did, but the judges make the call, and he obviously did an amazing job." A reasonable, intelligent person would have planned what they'd say. I bet Paul did! Cussing at a judge? Cussing at EMERIL? People love Emeril and he's well-respected. We had a restaurant here that specialized in Cajun food where the chef had worked with Emeril, and I swear: I could tell when my food was cooked by the chef and when the sous-chef did it. It didn't taste the same.

Tom has said in the past, this is a season-long job interview. They need to remember this. I don't care how delicious her pasta is; I don't even care how undercooked she claimed her risotto wasn't: I wouldn't want to reward Sarah for her poor sportsmanship. What would she do if a customer complained?

#106

AladdinSane

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Posted Mar 11, 2012 @ 5:10 PM

SELTZER
That is too rich-even Bravo gets 'em mixed up.
How about this nugget from Tom's Blog

I know you heard us say more than once in the episode that this was The Best Food We’ve Ever Been Served in a Finale. I want to reiterate right off the bat that it was. For all of you haters out there who kept posting all season long that you didn’t think Sarah was good enough and that you couldn’t understand why she was advancing… and then why she made the finale…and the final two… I trust that this episode made it completely clear to you that she’s a very, very good chef.

Just... incredible.

#107

Rich1230

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Posted Mar 11, 2012 @ 10:25 PM

Note to Heather: When many different people tell you you're a bully and a bitch and hurt others, it just confirms what they're saying when you shrug and say,"That's how I am, and proud of it. Deal with it, weaklings."


And then complaining about the lambasting she took on line? Heather, sweetie, they are just being honest. That is what you value isn't it?

What I thought was interesting was 1) her face/tears when he first brought it up then cut to 2) her face as she's apologizing to "the judge" she swore at. Some tears - to a face COVERED with tears, and red and either tears or sweat on her upper lip. I can't IMAGINE what ended up on the cutting room floor!


I like to think that after she denied saying it Tom piped up with, "I heard you say it". And then Padma chimed in, "I heard it also". Followed by Hugh saying "Me too". Followed by Gail saying, "We all heard it you lying bullying bitch!"

I also loved Emeril's final comment, "I loved your food". With the between the lines unspoken comment, not you, you bitch, just your food.

#108

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Posted Mar 15, 2012 @ 9:59 AM

Just finally caught the reunion. I am always inclined to give people the benefit of the doubt and almost always find that these reunion shows humanize people and make me more forgiving toward supposed "villains."

Not this time. Sarah was unpleasant. The thing with Emeril—huh? Glad to hear others said that he said he loved Sarah's food—I thought he said "and I love you" and I found that strange. Heather's "I'm just honest" defense was RIDICULOUS.

The thing about those two being bigger women: That criticism of them always bothered me. So many tweets/comments mocked their weight, which just doesn't make sense to me. There were so many things to dislike about them; I'd prefer to focus on those rather than the fact that they are overweight.

I also agree with Sarah that there was plenty of creative editing that went on to reinforce the anti-Beverly storyline. I recall in my original viewings that there were several times that Sarah's comments about Beverly sounded spliced together.

However, I wish they'd addressed a couple of things:
- Heather, why were you so critical of Beverly for "only cooking Asian"? You were called racist, which may not be true, but then why did it bother you so much when a chef was cooking to her own style? Why didn't you have a problem with Sarah continually cooking Italian, for example? -- it would be so great if TPTB at Top Chef (Tom, Padma, Gail, in particular), would stop letting those comments slide by.

- Sarah, what does the inside of Lindsay's butthole taste like? It must be delicious, because your tongue was up there quite frequently.

I also would have liked for Sarah, in particular, to answer before her terribly condescending manner toward other chefs, especially Beverly. To me, that treatment of her said more about the chefs' lack of regard for Beverly than their questioning of her work ethic/shrimp peeling skills.

Speaking of which, I loved Emeril's supportive head nod when Beverly was defending herself in that regard. Emeril was a pleasant surprise this season. Very unassuming and warm.