They Got Game

Last night’s episode of Top Chef Texas was all about game. Or was it about Heather versus Beverly? I half-expected Gordon Ramsay to come out and start berating the cooks. As for the judges, it seemed they didn’t mind too much Dakota and Nyesha’s undercooked venison. But at judges’ table, it was suddenly a big deal. Perhaps I’m stating the obvious when I speculate the producers must have weighed in more than usual, pushing for more drama as the season progresses.

Did it seem as obvious to the chefs? Dakota Weiss told me earlier on the phone that from the contestants’ perspective, the entire ordeal is dizzying, stressful, and sleep-depriving. In other words, they often have no idea what will happen at the judges’ table until they are standing there. “There’s a lot of stuff that goes on that we can’t hear or see,” Dakota explained. “As far as we know, everyone cooked perfectly,” because they aren’t seeing what the viewers see, although “everyone understood there was drama between Heather and Beverly.”

That the contestants decided their own fate, selecting the worst among them to go before the judges, was a Hell’s Kitchen twist, which Nyesha Arrington did not appreciate. Looking back, she said, “there was no reason we should have went home last night.”

For more on the episode, click here.

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