Put it on toast

You know what consistently surprises me about Top Chef? The apparent unanimity of taste among the judges. The last thing you expect to find, especially at the highest levels, is conformity of aesthetic opinion. Think about painters. It's uncontroversial to say that Van Gogh, Picasso, Rubens, Matisse, O'Keefe, Rembrandt and Vermeer were all great painters. Imagine, though, being shown one painting by each and then being asked to pick a winner. Do that to a panel of expert judges and what you'd expect is a debate. So what gives with Top Chef? There's some back and forth between the judges, but rarely any sharp disagreements. How can it be so easy for the judges to agree on a winner to each challenge? Honestly, I suspect that the producers play a larger role than is acknowledged.

Also, I think Marcel gets a raw deal. Yes, he's kind of annoying. On the whole, though, he strikes me as less of an asshole than the median Top Chef contestant.

Addendum: And, of course, ten minutes after I post this debate breaks out. Go figure.

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