1) That quickfire challenge was COOL
2) I Love Restaurant Wars! It’s always one of the best episodes of the season.
3) The splitting up of the teams was brilliant; putting the Voltaggios together on the same team as Robin (the weak link) and pitting them against Jen and Kevin (the other two frontrunners) was great. The concept of “picking teams” is always fun and competitive and to make the two team captains Michael and Jen really made for dynamic groups. It also meant that the top 4 (Michael, Bryan, Jen and Kevin), 2 let-downs (Robin and Laurine) and 2 middle-dwellers (Mike and Eli) were all divided equally, giving each team a solid chance at the win and guaranteed that one of the 2 worst chefs would deservedly go home.
4) The editing around the Michael Volt sequence was flat out mean. To edit in scenes of him yelling and stressing out around an interview where he declares the importance of calm leadership and decorum in the kitchen seemed like a blatant attempt by producers to cut down the obvious fan favourite (the younger/cuter of the two genius brothers). That said, it was kind of hilarious, in a sad kind of way. And they had a point, Michael’s intensity is even getting to cool-headed big-brother Bryan.
5) Aww, Michael split the money with his team. The mean editing did NOT work- bah, he’s awesome!
6) The right person went home. Laurine did the worst job this week. Even though the general consensus among the chefs is that Robin shouldn’t be there anymore, she did well this week. Her dish was among the most successful of the night (though Michael V did help her out a lot), it didn’t hurt, though, that she was on the better team (has Bryan ever been in the bottom? Ever?). But why was Kevin so upset? Did he think someone else on their team should have gone home? Or was he just upset about having screwed up at all?
All in all, fantastic episode! I think this may not just have been the best restaurant wars restaurant ever on Top Chef, I think this may just be the best season of Top Chef, period. It’s certainly not hurting for talent, drama or character (three characteristics each Voltaggio has in spades on his own, put them together and you’ve got one hell of a TV show. Did someone say Food Network?)