Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Top Chef Season 4

Another season of Top Chef has started. I have been watching this series since season one with my wife. We had mixed feelings about the first season because some of the competitors were weak, but each season the quality has been improving, though there were some serious clangers in season three (Clay and Sandee).

Why the series works for me is because it has strong production values that enhance the suspense and drama. I remembering watching the Knorr Junior Culinary Challenge. I was hoping to see the best of the new young Canadians, instead I was bored into submission. The producers did not create the character and tensions of good reality TV

Top Chef season four has some amazingly skilled people competing:

The Final Four:
Richard Blais
I can not believe that he is on the program - he was on Iron Chef America. He has some serious skills. I believe that he is the favorite to win the competition. He likes playing with new technologies and ideas. So far he has not taken a major step wrong, though he seems weaker on the leadership he should have.

Andrew D'Ambrosi
He is arrogant and has a bad attitude and is putting on a stupid persona, but he is good, he is someone that can win the whole thing.

Stephanie Izard
The hometown girl in the competition. She seems to be in doubt about her own skills. She does not seem to have much presence on the show so far. I would put her down as someone that will last till there about 6-8 contestants and then be eliminated expect for the fact that she has won two of the competitions. Her weakest moment was in episode number 2, Zoo Food. Her team did badly, though I would not say that it had that much to do with her skills, but with the weakness of her team. IF she had the leadership skills she should have, she would have killed the blini. Though her own salad was a failure as well.

Mark Simmons
A Kiwi on the show. He has skills, though he may go down for the same reason Micah suffered in season three, people that did not grow up in North America do not know traditional America classics. If he manages to avoid this problem, he should make it through to the end. While we are on the foreigner thing, I would love to see the show expand into Canada and have 2-3 Canadian contestants. I am sure this would allow the producers to access some Canadian production dollars.

The Others
Dale Talde
He has not impressed me with his skills to date. He looks like a competent mid range elimination. I figure in episode seven to ten he will be eliminated because he will be the weakest left.

Jennifer Biesty, Lisa Fernandes and Nikki Cascone
They have not shown themselves to be great or bad, they have not been making much impression on me to date. Safe for now unless they make a big mistake, but gone before the final four.

Spike Mendelsohn, Ryan Scott and Zoi Antonitsas
These three are the ones I see for elimination next. They are weak in skills and each try to make up for that in their own ways. If it were not for errors from someone of the ones already eliminated, some of these contestants would be eliminated.
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