I don't believe that Gail, Ted, or Padma get a vote. Colicchio mentioned that he has already picked a winner and a loser at the start of the JT and it is up to the other judges to get him to change his decision if they differ from him.Originally Posted by Veruka;2572996;
By the way, Gail shares judging duties with Ted because of her Day job at Food And Wine magazine.
As for replacing Tom as head judge with Tony, that's a bad idea. Tom is a multiple James Beard award winner among many other accolades. He is a world class chef and a successful businessman who knows the restaurant business from the ground up. Tony Bourdain, by his own admission, is a "journeyman chef" whose writing skills are what got him to where he is today.
As for having a mentor in the kitchen, Colicchio explained last season why there isn't a Tim Gunn in the Top Chef kitchen.
As for cumulative scoring, that is good if you are a multiple winner, not so good for the nonwinners. Cumulative scoring could create the situation where one guy gets so far ahead that he/she cannot lose in the finale (unless the points are set back to zero at the start of the finale), or somewheres in the competition it becomes mathematically impossible for several chefs to have a chance of making the final four and they just pack up their knives and quit. So we are somewhat in agreement on this aspect of cumulative scoring. I for one like it the way it is now. Every challenge is a new day and previous successes and failures are thrown out. In other words, you have to bring your A-Game every day. If you screw up, you can only hope that someone screwed up worse than you did. At least one guest judge has said that in real life a restaurant cannot afford to have a bad day. Maybe that is why so many restaurants fail.