Ever since Top Chef secured the Emmy win for one year, beating out the extraordinarily difficult to beat The Amazing Race, the show has been working to change up its format a bit. I honestly don’t know if the Emmy thing actually helped to introduce the changes, but I do know that I like those change. Though it sucks for a lot of would-be chefs to get invited into the initial competition only to get sent home before they get their chef’s coat, I actually think this ensures that the competition is a little tighter.
Season 10 of Top Chef premiered on Bravo on Wednesday (don’t worry, if you missed it, I’m sure the network will be airing reruns). The season will be set in Seattle; however, before anyone gets the chance to see the city’s famous Space Needle, the first 21 contestants are put to the test to see if they have the mettle to be a part of the Top Chef competition.
For the first episode, the 21 initial contestants are asked to join one of the four judges in one of their restaurants. Several are sent to work Tom Colicchio’s kitchen at Craft during a regular evening of service. Several are sent with Wolfgang Puck and asked to make the best omelet of their lives. A few more are sent with Emeril Lagasse and asked to make soup. The last group are sent with judge and former Top Chef: Masters contestant Hugh Acheson, who asks the group to create a perfectly proportioned salad.
There are no standards for who will go home and who will stay. Each judge can choose to take all of the contestants, none of the contestants, or any number in between based on how the contestant stacks up to his or her competitors. A few of the judges are nice and only send one person home. A few of the judges are tougher (Colicchio being one of them, unsurprisingly), and send more than one home. At the end of the day, Anthony Gray, Daniel O’Brien, Gina Keatley, Jorel Pierce, Stephanie Cmar, and Tina Bourbeau are sent packing, leaving 15 players in the race.
The Top Chef Power Rankings are a weekly ordered list put together by Cinema Blend writers Jessica Rawden and Mack Rawden. Each week, the two writers will rank the players from highest probability of winning to lowest, using win and loss records, quickfires, grace under pressure, respect in the kitchen, and a slew of other factors to determine who is likely to stay and go. Although this week was an elimination round, it wasn’t a standard episode, so tune in next week to catch TV Blend’s first full list.
Until then, the chefs left in the competition are…