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10 yard penalty for sucking

Tonight's episode of Top Chef was majorly fucked up. I really like the show idea of matching this season against chefs of season past and I didn't even mind the pasted on football theme. What I do find incredibly obnoxious is the supposed 'All Stars' they brought back to the show. WTF? Did everyone with even a smidge of talent or ability turn them down? This is like going to the superbowl with your 5th stringers. Hell, it's just short of recruiting a team on gameday from the local high school. None of the people they brought back even made it to the top 3 of their season. Hell, I think most were eliminated before the halfway point of the show. I'm forced to wonder at this point whether they just weren't able to get the tier one individuals or if they 'dumbed down' the competition on purpose. Chances are the producers wanted an even mix of winners and losers for season 5 rather than an abundance of either. It wouldn't be very good for the show if everyone lost their match or (even worse) everyone won their match. That might have been the inspiration for choosing to invite back only the mediocre. It's still sort of obnoxious that they're billed as top chef 'all stars'. Top chef 'also rans' might be a more appropriate term.

In the end, this episode also seems to reinforce my general belief that this year's competitors are all a little wishy washy in the talent department. It seems that the entire competition shifts episode to episode. It's clear the completely talentless deadweight has been cut from the show, but there's not really any dominating force like in past seasons. Someone on the top one week ends up on the bottom the next. You don't really get a good sense of momentum for anyone except maybe Stefan and he took a hit this week. I am kinda curious if there was any bias in the 'fan votes' for the food. Surely these people wouldn't have yet seen episodes of the current season so they wouldn't have any dislike for Stefan coming in. Still, it's possible that Stefan actually opened his mouth at some point in their presence and I can't help but wonder if that skewed results. The food really should have been presented to the fan judges anonymously and with each judge voting in private.

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