Review: 'Top Chef' - 'Island Fever': Sandy situation
Liane Bonin has a more thorough recap of last night's "Top Chef" - plus a Padma bikini photo, for those who enjoy such a thing - up at our Monkeys as Critics blog, so I'm going to keep my thoughts brief this week, coming up just as soon as I shamelessly plug another NBC Universal reality competition from Magical Elves...
No problems with the elimination, as Tiffany spent most of the season bottom-surfing. Not entirely sure for whom I'm rooting to win now, though, because Richard has become such a complete emotional wreck that he's kinda unpleasant to watch, Antonia has been struggling since they got to the Bahamas and Mike is... Mike.
As to the rest of it, I'm really annoyed that both of the Elimination Challenges so far in the Bahamas have placed ridiculous physical constraints on the chefs. Last week, the horrible kitchen (plus the "royalty" bait-and-switch), and this week they had to not only catch their own conch but cook everything on a windy, sandy beach with subpar equipment.
The show always has to walk a fine line between providing entertainment and letting the chefs seem like they can really cook. There's a time and place for challenges like this one, and it's much, much earlier in the season - not when we're this close to the finish line and the idea is for us to be able to see just how brilliantly these people can cook. I know there are two more weeks' worth of show - prolonging this stage of the competition even beyond the extension we got after no one was eliminated on the Ellis Island challenge - and I'm going to be really irked if both those weeks don't feature better kitchen environments and challenges that are only slight variations on "Cook the best thing you can possibly think of."
What did everybody else think? You as annoyed as I am that they're making the chefs cook with one arm tied behind their backs? And whom do you want to see win?