So I had the thought that 15 didn't seem like a very large contestant pool (usually it's more like 16 to 18), but I still didn't see the twist where the veterans became competitors coming. It made for an interesting surprise. CJ was one of my favorites in his season, and I'm happy to see him back. Season 2 is the only one I haven't watched, so I don't know Josie, but she seems cool. Stefan, on the other hand, is one of my least favorite Top Chef competitors ever, and his ego doesn't seem to have shrunk one bit in the last three years. I have to admit, it would have been satisfying to see him be eliminated in his very first episode back, but overcooked fish is the cardinal Top Chef sin, so I'm not surprised that Jeffrey went instead.
Overall I like the look of this group, although Carla is on my nerves already, and unless there is a major turn-around on Stefan, I can't see changing my opinion on him at all. Let's hope he makes another arrogant mistake -- changing your protein at the last second? Really? -- and doesn't last long.
We also have most of Life After Top Chef on the TiVo, but... I don't know. I like Fabio well enough, and Jen, but I've never been too keen on Spike, and I soured quite a bit on Richard during All-Stars. I recently re-watched the Season 4 finale, and I'd forgotten how childish he came off with his whole "I choked" routine during the final Judges Table, when the judges were mostly complimentary about his meal. I didn't really notice at the time, but it seems to me now that he came in expecting to dominate that finale, and when the other chefs also did well, and better in some respects, it threw him off. That's the Richard that was on display during the first episode on Life After, and so I'm not exactly feeling compelled to keep watching. dagas_isa, any other Top Chef watchers out there, did you see the other episodes? Recommendations, or should we just let them go?
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