Thursday, January 6, 2011

Top Chef All Stars: Casey Thompson Packs Her Knives & Leaves Because of Bad Chicken Feet

Incompetent Jamie keeps on cooking badly, while good chefs get sent home on Top Chef All Stars.

First Jen Carroll, then Spike Mendelsohn. And now Casey Thompson have been rolled over by the Jamie steamroller.

After a couple week absence the first Top Chef episode of the New Year started off annoying, with creepy Mike Isabella winning the Quickfire Challenge, getting both immunity from elimination and a brand new Toyota Prius.

Isabella was as insufferable winning as you can imagine. And then was a mess handling the dim sum expediting on the bizarre Dim Sum Elimination Challenge.

Now, I know a lot of the actual Top Chef All Stars, like Bryan Voltaggio, and others, turned down being on TC All Stars because they were too busy. But were the producers so desperate that they had no other options but to add Isabella as an All Star? Do not they read the Internet TV Forums. Viewers can not stand this guy.

Putting Mike Isabella on Top Chef All Stars is as bizarre as Big Brother putting the repugnant non-All Star, Mike "Boogie" Malin, on Big Brother All-Stars. Boogie won BB All Stars. Does this portend an equally bizarre ending to Top Chef All-Stars?

The Quickfire with Tom Colicchio whipping out a dish at warp speed, with the Chefs then having to whip out a dish just as fast, well, that was entertaining. Except for Isabella winning.

Dale's attempt at Pad Thai was a disaster in the Quickfire. Not a good omen for the Elimination Challenge. Which Dale won anyway, despite his Quickfire woes. But, Dale got no good prize for winning, nothing, no car, nothing.

The Elimination Challenge seemed a setup for failure. Cooking in an alien kitchen in New York City's Chinatown. And then making 2 of the chefs be the dim sum servers. That is just wrong. If you are testing how well they do as chefs, why throw such a curve? Casey and super lovable Carla volunteered to be the servers, leaving the final preparation of their dishes to their competitors.

How fair is that?

Carla's spring rolls did not require much help. But, Casey's chicken feet did. Antonio was supposed to send out Casey's feet, but didn't. At some point Casey headed back to the kitchen to work on her feet. But it was too late.

Everyone hated Jamie's two dishes. Everyone also hated Casey's. Everyone thought it would be Jamie who was sent packing, including Jamie.

Instead it was my Fort Worth neighbor, Casey Thompson, who Padma told to pack her knives and go. Somehow I think Casey was not all that sad to be free of that madhouse.

From next week's previews it appears the chefs will be cooking on a boat, along with fishing. Will Jamie slide on by another week? Or will someone throw her overboard?

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