Spoilers for the latest "Top Chef" coming up just as soon as I make peace with my inability to use "Snacks on a Plane" as a subject line because the Bravo people beat me to it...
Who woulda thunk that all of a sudden Casey would be our frontrunner? She's won two Elimination Challenges in a row, and Colicchio and Bourdain have gone out of their way (on the show and in their blogs) to rave about her sophisticated palate. Bourdain's Top Cook vs. Top Chef thing sure sounded like him annointing his chosen one.
And yet Casey (as even she admitted) was agressively mediocre for the first two-thirds of the season, doing just enough to get by while more disastrous chefs/dishes took the hits. Of course, that's a description that could be applied to anyone left not named Hung (when Brian started talking about how the top six are there because they brought their A game every time, I had to wonder if there was some other top six he was referring to). I'm in general not a fan of Fly Under the Radar players on Survivor and I'm not crazy about contestants on shows like this aiming for the middle ground for as long as possible. So I guess that means I'm rooting for Hung to edge out Casey (or maybe Dale) in the final, I suppose.
(And speaking of Casey, was this the first time we saw her hair down in a very close approximation of The Rachel?)
After having some issues with both of last week's challenges, I liked these quite a bit. The Quickfire was a good chance to show off, with only time and the meal type as constraints, and the Elimination was a good balance of real cooking and made-for-TV complications. Ordinarily, I'd get my state pride backbone up after all the grousing about being stuck in Jersey, but I have to say that Newark Airport and its immediate surroundings create one of the most depressing places in the continental United States. (I've picked people up at those hotels around the airport; I'm sure most of them have to have suicide stops on the windows.)
Always good to have Bourdain around, as he manages to be cranky and highly critical in an entertaining way, where Colicchio often (this season, anyway) just seems like this is all beneath him.
What did everybody else think? Is it too early to be predicting the winner and runner-up?