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Thread: 8/1/07 Discussion Thread **Spoilers**

  1. #41
    FORT Fogey miadora's Avatar
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    Re: 8/1/07 Discussion Thread **Spoilers**

    Quote Originally Posted by texasgal26;2501285;
    Why didn't they send Sara M. home instead? She's been in the bottom like 3 or 4 times now and has yet to produce something really amazing!
    Actually Sara's been in the bottom 3 three times, same as Joey. If we were to strictly go by the number of bottom 3 appearances, Howie has the most with four appearances. Though he has two porky wins.

    I can't believe Casey won the quickfire by identifying bow tie pasta and red bell pepper. Note to producers: Way to guarantee that the "hot chick" continues on. Please make it less obvious next time. I like how Padma gave her fish paste to taste. Was that intentional under the guise of random?

    Hung seems to be losing his confidence. Don't know how I feel about that yet.
    Last edited by miadora; 08-03-2007 at 03:59 AM.

  2. #42
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    Re: 8/1/07 Discussion Thread **Spoilers**

    I can't believe Casey won the quickfire by identifying bow tie pasta and red bell pepper. Note to producers: Way to guarantee that the "hot chick" continues on. Please make it less obvious next time. I like how Padma gave her fish paste to taste. Was that intentional under the guise of random?
    I laughed at Howie complaining she got bowtie pasta when he had to identify tomato paste and a cheese slicer!

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    Re: 8/1/07 Discussion Thread **Spoilers**

    Quote Originally Posted by gizmo1;2500612;
    Hung was shown telling Colicchio that he knew the "secret" of successful frozen food - ie freezing the ingredients separately. He repeatedly tried to convey his theory to Joey. Hung tried not to place blame on Joey at the JT until cornered when he had to say "that repeating himself every two minutes" got a bit tiresome.

    As for Howie, he tried to be a team player at the JT until Sara M. began shifting blame on to his shoulders. That's when he lost it. Sara M. should have been the one to pack her knives. Only the fact that TC3 is down to three women is what saved her.
    I agree 110%, to me it didn't seem like Hung nor Howie was trying to place blame on their partners until they were called out. Hung had no choice, he was simply answering the judges question as to why he knew to freeze the items seperately but just didn't do it. I disagree with others saying Hung should have been more aggressive and put his foot down to Joey. I honestly don't see how more clear Hung could get, from what I remember he told Joey atleast three times. I am glad Tre and CJ won , their dish looked yummy!

  4. #44
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    Re: 8/1/07 Discussion Thread **Spoilers**

    Quote Originally Posted by Angelysta;2503477;
    I agree 110%, to me it didn't seem like Hung nor Howie was trying to place blame on their partners until they were called out. Hung had no choice, he was simply answering the judges question as to why he knew to freeze the items seperately but just didn't do it. I disagree with others saying Hung should have been more aggressive and put his foot down to Joey. I honestly don't see how more clear Hung could get, from what I remember he told Joey atleast three times. I am glad Tre and CJ won , their dish looked yummy!
    But how did Joey have the power to overrule him? According to the rules of the competition, the two were equal. Somehow, Hung was able to tell Joey something, and Joey didn't go along. Joey had to get the "leader" power from someone, and the only one who could have given it to him was Hung.

  5. #45
    FORT Fanatic mrs. tino's Avatar
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    Re: 8/1/07 Discussion Thread **Spoilers**

    Quote Originally Posted by miadora;2503100;
    I can't believe Casey won the quickfire by identifying bow tie pasta and red bell pepper. Note to producers: Way to guarantee that the "hot chick" continues on. Please make it less obvious next time. I like how Padma gave her fish paste to taste. Was that intentional under the guise of random?
    Ugh that bugged me too! What bothered me was that some people got really easy stuff (I mean I could identify bell paper and tomato paste) and then there were some really hard things that I couldn't identify at all (and same with the chefs). And that would have been fine if the items got harder the more rounds they stayed but it was just random. It was a crappy quickfire.

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    Re: 8/1/07 Discussion Thread **Spoilers**

    Quote Originally Posted by Veruka;2503486;
    But how did Joey have the power to overrule him? According to the rules of the competition, the two were equal. Somehow, Hung was able to tell Joey something, and Joey didn't go along. Joey had to get the "leader" power from someone, and the only one who could have given it to him was Hung.
    Joey is a bit thick. Hung kept telling him to freeze the sauce separately in a wide, shallow pan and cut it up into small cubes the next morning when they had another hour to package everything. What does this dummy do? He thinks that everything has to be packaged in one container before freezing that night while forgetting about the extra hour the next day. He says "I've got to try something." The next thing we see, he has poured sauce over three or four dishes. It's like TC1 when Miguel substituted salt for sugar. Once the error occurred, there was no fixing it. Miguel paid the price and so did Joey.

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    Re: 8/1/07 Discussion Thread **Spoilers**

    Quote Originally Posted by gizmo1;2503989;
    Joey is a bit thick. Hung kept telling him to freeze the sauce separately in a wide, shallow pan and cut it up into small cubes the next morning when they had another hour to package everything. What does this dummy do? He thinks that everything has to be packaged in one container before freezing that night while forgetting about the extra hour the next day. He says "I've got to try something." The next thing we see, he has poured sauce over three or four dishes. It's like TC1 when Miguel substituted salt for sugar. Once the error occurred, there was no fixing it. Miguel paid the price and so did Joey.
    I agree with your recap of what happened - I saw it the same way. But the two of them, in the kitchen, are equal. Hung failed to stand his ground. He let Joey bully him in to doing it Joey's way. Therefore, just like Joey failed for doing it wrong, Hung failed by going along with Joey's way.

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    Re: 8/1/07 Discussion Thread **Spoilers**

    Quote Originally Posted by pg13;2500816;
    Team challenges in Top Chef (or Project Runway, for that matter) are always a bit of a crap shoot--because being a "chef" is, to some degree, predicated on the ability to stand up and say "I know exactly what I want to cook and how I want to cook it...and when I do that, you will like it."

    Put into teams, chefs have to find a balance between asserting that dominance and showing a willingness to listen to a teammate who is trying to assert their dominance (and is, paradoxically, trying to show their willingness to listen, to...)

    The show just wants them to put out great food--there's no benefit to just "going along to get along" if the food isn't great, and there's no benefit to taking a leadership role if the food doesn't turn out.

    Still, every season, we see contestants throw up their hands and just let someone else take over when they, themselves, had different ideas that they couldn't seem to get across to their teammate...and every season we've seen teams that seem to be pulling apart throughout that challenge rather than ever pull together.

    In this challenge, Tre and CJ figured out the puzzle of the challenge (what could that extra hour "to pack" really be for?) and worked to the best of their abilities to achieve a common goal. No wonder they won.

    Casey and Dale (--just the sound of that team makes me think that the Food Network should offer them a show where they'd be co-hosts) kept their focus on one element of the challenge--what food would best stand up to freezing--rather than the puzzle...but their bizarre Vulcan Mind Meld was just team challenge serendipity. Imagine if Casey had been paired with someone more strongheaded and didn't want to do meatballs for whatever reason (--even Tom wondered, at first, how turkey and pork meatballs could be considered truly Mediterranean.)

    Hung figured out the puzzle of the challenge--but he neither had the personal communication skills to convince Joey that his way would be the way to do things...nor the bullheadedness to do it his way and not allow Joey to do things wrong. Joey, for all of the sympathy he's getting from viewers for his emotional reaction to being sent home (although, I can just imagine how his boys back home are tearing into him now), was...in every way...wrong in this challenge.

    Now, Hung's plans for the dish may not have resulted in the best dish--I've noticed a distinct lack of imagination in what he's been offering lately...certainly not what I was expecting from a "friend of Marcel...and both of the top teams ended up going beyond understanding the puzzle to creating good tasting and inventive dishes--but it would have tasted better than what they, as a team, ended up with.

    I thought it was interesting that Joey's reasoning for using the tri-color fusilli ("Why not give the people something special?") is exactly the opposite of Howie's reasoning for wanting to reject it ("that stuff is found in every banquet and shlockhouse") They KEY is that neither of them made the decision for the real reason to choose or avoid tri-color fusilli--what would make the dish more appealing? (Some pasta dishes NEED an injection of color...others have lots of stuff going on already...)

    Howie, who has been in the bottom bunch how many times, showed nothing but contempt for his teammate from the beginning. He decided that he was above and beyond her...and, after ceding a few of the early decisions to her, he basically took over the entire project. Which, I should point out, he certainly didn't figure out that the challenge included a puzzle--much less solved it--and was so focused on how he felt he was being treated by his partner that they never had a chance of succeeding here.

    If I was Sara, would I have reason to keep checking up on Howie--the guy who couldn't even get his frog legs on the plate, the guy who keeps having to explain away how he's "had better days" to save himself at Judges Table? Yes, I would...especially when they never found ANY common ground as a team to talk about how to best execute a successful vision for their offering.

    MAYBE IT WOULDN'T HAVE MATTERED...but doesn't ANYONE have the personal relationship skills to sit down with each other and clear the air?

    "Hey, Howie...I notice that you're not really talking to me...and I'm getting really short with you. I just want to win this challenge and we need to work together to do that. We need to talk. We need to be on the same page. What do we need to do to get past whatever we've got between us for us to be able to work together? Let's get it all out in the open, let's each say exactly what we think we need to do to present the best meal tomorrow...and let's see if there's a common vision that we can agree to...or let's see if we can divide up our roles that can play to each of our strengths?"

    That's how grown-ups deal with problems in the workplace.

    I think Howie is taking on some of Joey's shortcomings--blaming others for his problems, lashing out at those others and then denying his own culpability for anything that goes wrong. And simply saying that Howie "is a bulldog" doesn't change the fact that you ended up with an awful product at the end, Sara--a product that you are definitely 50% responsible for...even if you didn't end up claiming half of the responsibility for while making it.

    And then there was Brian and Sara. They didn't figure out the puzzle but they didn't fall on their face. They had differing styles (and different abilities) but they didn't let that get in the way of ending up with a good final product. Maybe Brian took the lead role--and maybe he NEEDED to. Maybe Sara takes a long time to cut vegetables--and maybe she NEEDED to. The end result is that it doesn't matter to the judges HOW you got what you got...just that what you got was good.

    pg--OK, back to writing my LCS recap now.--seattle
    Excellent post, ITA!

  9. #49
    Ms Ambusher dberk's Avatar
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    Re: 8/1/07 Discussion Thread **Spoilers**

    I thought the Quick Fire Challenge was fun. It was a crap shoot as far as what they got, but it was also a crap shoot as far as what they were able to ID.

    I thought Rocco had a Ken doll look about him whether related to mere grooming or plastic surgery seemed unclear.

    Howie and Sara were disgruntled about working together before they even started. She appeared to be riding his butt the whole time and he did his best to pretend she didn't exist. While they had to develop the recipe together, they could easily have worked separately for the most part, because of the nature of the dish. That would have made the challenge more comfortable for all of us.

    I think Hung did all he could verbally to prevent Joey's mistake. The only way he could possibly have prevented the freezing error was to physically intervene starting with the shallow pan prep for the sauce and doing the bagging himself. It seemed to me that Joey's bluster and size intimidated Hung more than anything. It was ridiculous of Joey to say that Hung should have gotten in his face about it. As much as I don't like Hung, Joey was just horrible to work with and deserved to go. I'm not surprised that he cried. He's shown himself to be very emotional throughout the competition.

    Most of the chefs talked as though they understood the "freeze separately" concept. They just didn't all execute it.

  10. #50
    Ms Ambusher dberk's Avatar
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    Re: 8/1/07 Discussion Thread **Spoilers**

    Quote Originally Posted by pg13;2500816;
    "Hey, Howie...I notice that you're not really talking to me...and I'm getting really short with you. I just want to win this challenge and we need to work together to do that. We need to talk. We need to be on the same page. What do we need to do to get past whatever we've got between us for us to be able to work together? Let's get it all out in the open, let's each say exactly what we think we need to do to present the best meal tomorrow...and let's see if there's a common vision that we can agree to...or let's see if we can divide up our roles that can play to each of our strengths?"

    That's how grown-ups deal with problems in the workplace.
    That's how grown-ups handle problems in Teamwork Workshops. In the workplace most of the time we sadly let the strongest personality or the loftiest job title have their way to avoid confrontation and job suicide. In this case we are throwing creative personalities together which often means strong emotions and egos.

    I just HAD to bust your chops about this, pg.

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