Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fantasy Top Chef DC: The Draft!

With two episodes of the newest season of Top Chef, it was time for our intrepid contestants to draft their teams for Fantasy Top Chef glory. As a reminder, here is the scoring system:

Win Quick Fire: +3 points
Place in Quick Fire: +1 point
Bottom in Quick Fire: -0.5 points
Win Elimination Challenge: +6 points
Place in Elimination Challenge: +2 points
Bottom in Elimination Challenge: -1 point
4th place overall: 10 points
3rd place overall: 20 points
2nd place overall: 35 points
1st place overall: 50 points

Saunter did the honours, and picked names out of a hat to set the draft order:

1. All-Star
2. Gracie
3. Saunter
4. Daddy
5. Garthmeister J.

Drafting was snake-style.

First Round

No. 1: Angelo (All-Star). All-Star makes the no-nonsense pick, selecting the consensus favourite. The only "slip-up" for Angelo so far was in the most recent Elimination Challenge, which appeared to be nothing more than an attempt to rid himself of a perceived rival. Time will tell if such nefarious tactics are his undoing.

No. 2: Kenny (Gracie). Kenny has been considered the second best chef ever since he blew through the competition in the mise en place that kicked off this season. He has had good showings in all but the last Elimination Challenge, which may not have been his fault.

No. 3: Kevin (Saunter). Kevin got off to a good start, being a finalist in the mise en place, as well as having one of the top dishes in the Elimination Challenge. Saunter is hoping he continues in that vein and remains a contender.

No. 4: Ed (Daddy). A dark horse pick! Ed has not yet made much noise, but his background suggests he may be a contender. Notable for being picked last in the first Elimination Challenge (when the idea was to pick the weakest chefs first), so he at least has the respect of his competitors. Received some criticism for his spiced sweet potato dish in the last Elimination Challenge, but the "not for kids" angle may indicate the judges secretly liked it.

No. 5: Timothy (Garthmeister J.). Garth was all ready to scoop Ed up in this position, but instead selected local boy Timothy. Tim did well in the mise en place quick fire, but stumbled in the first Elimination Challenge. Obviously Garth sees some potential, and is looking for more.

Second Round

No. 6: Kelly (Garthmeister J.). It took until the second round before one of the two Elimination Challenge winners got taken! Kelly is shaping up to be one of the villains of the season, and Garth is looking for her to stomp all over the competition on the way to many more victories.

No. 7: Tamesha (Daddy). Something of a surprise, Tamesha has not yet managed to make her presence felt, but Daddy obviously feels she has what it takes to make a deep run here. It appears from the early episodes that she doesn't feel that comfortable in a team environment, so perhaps the solo challenges will be where she can strut her stuff.

No. 8: Alex (Saunter). Alex appears to have won a few admirers with the deconstructed borscht from the first Elimination Challenge. He was notable mostly in the second episode for being afraid his fingers were going to be cut by his partner. Saunter is hoping that Alex didn't play his trump card first up, and is able to bring more to the table.

No. 9: Stephen (Gracie). Perhaps considered another surprise to be selected this early, Stephen has not yet been on solid ground, being in the bottom of the judging too often for many people's liking. But Gracie stays true to the MGM Grand, and hopes that this sous-chef from Seablue can turn it around.

No. 10: Amanda (All-Star). With his second selection All-Star picks someone who was much further down others' draft boards. Perhaps taking a shine to Amanda's hard-headedness, All-Star hopes she can channel her competitiveness into positive results. The fear is that she will stay wedded to a poor decision like her sherry-braised chicken, and there will be no Jacqueline around to take the fall instead.

Round 3

No. 11:
Arnold (All-Star). Rounding out his alliterative team of chefs, All-Star selects Arnold. Arnold has so far performed admirably, while not setting the world on fire, and could definitely be the type of contestant who sneaks up on everyone. A solid third pick for All-Star.

No. 12: Lynne (Gracie). Lynne has been somewhat of an enigma thus far, though she was part of one of the better groups in the last Elimination Challenge. Gracie hopes that Lynne's background as an assistant professor at the Culinary Institute of America at least assures that her technique is sound.

No. 13: Tiffany (Saunter). Tiffany appears to be one of the "nice guys" in the competition, though it still has not been determined whether she will be able to hold her own on the culinary battlefield.

No. 14: Andrea (Daddy). Daddy was a little surprised to find Andrea at fourteen, as both he and Garth had her higher on their draft boards. While not yet making a real mark in this competition, Daddy considers Andrea to be a worthy third chef for his squad.

No. 15: Tracey (Garth). The final chef available, Garth selects Tracey by default. Another of the potential villains of the show (despite opening up about a child at home), Tracey hasn't done much besides realising that she should let Angelo take command if she is paired with him. Time will tell if the lucky last pick will prove to be a winner.

So, to recap, here are the Fantasy Top Chef players and teams:

Team All-Star: Angelo, Amanda, Arnold
Team Gracie: Kenny, Stephen, Lynne
Team Saunter: Kevin, Alex, Tiffany
Team EAT (Daddy): Ed, Tamesha, Andrea
Team Garthmeister J.: Timothy, Kelly, Tracey


Finally, I neglected to give a rundown of the Bravo fantasy game. So far we have 12 contestants, with Bobby Bracelet pacing the competition, mainly due to Amanda's shenanigans. It's not too late to enter: go here, and use the passcode "Quickfire4267".


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