Maybe with this, they were looking for something that's enough of a spectacle that even if the food was lopsided, they could retain intrigue. I dont think they found it, but that's another story.
It's just an idea, and not a particularly well thought out one, but I'm curious nonetheless.
Yea, Kevin in S6 comes to mind, seeing as he didn't know how to use the mystery mushroom and he got Preeti'd.Skillet Doux wrote: Then for the middle seasons there were a lot of dumb "twists" that, for a lot of people, undermined the integrity of the finale. A few chefs really got lopped off at the knees by completely stupid surprises.
Conversely, Hosea had a huge advantage in getting Blais and assigning Stefan the alligator in his season. I would stop just shy of saying they delegitimized the results, but they came very close.
Agree with everything here. I think you describe it perfectly.. it's a final exam. Extending the analogy, RW would be the midterm. It's the closest to a 'chef' challenge that you could possibly get in TC, and I don't know anyone who didn't love it. As a bonus, the viewer really got to know the food, moreso than a normal challenge.But the past three seasons -- seven, eight and nine -- have actually had great finales. It was like the elves had finally figured out that the best thing to do was set the chefs up for success, and let them do their thing. They'd take over a restaurant, devise a short menu and do a night's service. It played more like a final exam of sorts.
I never liked Masters that much, because the challenges always seemed a bit too friendly, and I knew they were never going to put the chefs in truly difficult situations. Just not my cup of tea.Don't know who, but somebody high up the chain really wants to make Top Chef like every other cooking reality show and needs to be kept in check. They ruined Masters by doing the same thing. I think I enjoyed the first two seasons of Masters even more than Top Chef -- no artificial drama, no excessive flash -- just fabulous chefs with a great sense of camaraderie cooking together and engaged in a friendly competition with judges who were wonderful to listen to and an editor who took a very restrained approach. Then in season three they completely changed the tone, with edgy music and editing, playing up the drama, trying to frame it as an epic battle, and suddenly it was every other cooking battle show and I tuned out after two episodes.
Ostensibly the change was made to attract viewers like me; people who wanted more competition and less restraint in their show. But then it just becomes a mini version of Top Chef! Who does that attract that Top Chef doesn't? Seems to me that they didn't realize the people who watched Masters were hardcore Food Nerds, and WANTED a show that toned down the drama and turned up the food. Instead, they just replicated their own show in a half-assed way.
TV executives have a really hard job. To me, it just seems that these changes are out of insecurity. Viewership isn't what it used to be and its natural to throw the kitchen sink at the problem and hope something fixes it. I think Bourdain even mentions in Kitchen Confidential that restaurants tend to do the same thing. Instead, they should focus on what made them good in the first place.
Sorry for the wall of text, but that finale frustrated me.