Finale time, folks. Would Kristen become the first LCK winner to take the title? (Because if so, uh, that didn’t take long.) Or would super-dominant Brooke continue her streak of awesome food and become Top Chef?
Specific notes on the courses and on the winner in the comments!
1. What is this X-Factor crap?
I knew this was going to be a weird finale as soon as I saw Padma standing in that dark, awkwardly lit stadium. When I saw that the judges would be eating at a table that looks EXACTLY like the damned table on American Idol/The X-Factor/every other crappy reality contest ever, I cringed. I watch Top Chef because it’s so tonally different from those shows, Bravo, not despite that.
So. Production-wise not my favorite Top Chef finale ever. I’d rather see the finalists cooking in a restaurant. I was extra-unhappy that they apparently didn’t tell Brooke and Kristen about this twist. I also wasn’t sure how to feel about the head-to-head, first-to-three-points-wins approach. I wanted my five courses of food porn, dammit.
2. How were the teams chosen?
If you’d told me one team would contain Josh, Lizzie, and Sheldon, and the other would consist of CJ, Kuniko, and Stefan, I would have bet real money that the first team was Brooke’s and the second team was Kristen’s. I would have lost that money. The contestants hinted at why they chose these teams in a voiceover but I would have liked to learn more about how the two teams got assembled. It would have been more interesting than the awkwardly edited retrospectives on Kristen and Brooke. (Do they really expect that people who didn’t watch the season are going to tune in for the finale and need a recap?)
3. Stephanie Izard still rules.
When Gail asked that annoying “share your tiara” question about whether Stephanie was ready for the show’s second female winner, she didn’t miss a beat before saying it was about time. She also showed an appropriate hint of contempt for the question. Love you, Stephanie!