Top Chef judges defend elimination decision

Top Chef All-Stars‘ judges are defending their decision to send Casey Thompson home instead of Jamie Lauren, and they say it was simply because Casey’s food was inedible–perhaps because she volunteered to work in the dining room during the dim sum challenge, an example of a chef once again being eliminated for doing too much instead of taking the easy way out. (And it’s another somewhat controversial elimination for this season, which is perhaps inevitable considering the amount of talent.)

Gail writes that “Casey’s was the most flawed, given that the chicken feet were cooked so poorly you were not really able to eat a full bite in order to gauge its flavor. Although Jamie’s dish was undercooked and bland, at least it was edible. I believe Casey’s downfall was not an inability to cook her food well, but the fact that she simply took on too much in the name of the ‘team’ and at her own expense.”

And Tom addresses “all the Casey fans out there who are about to write in to tell me that Jamie should have been sent home instead, I have one word for you: ‘inedible.’ I like Casey very much, too, and I applaud her for going out on such a limb by making chicken feet. … She was sent home because the particular dish she made with them was inedible. Not just bad, but inedible. Jamie’s dishes, and those of the other contestants on the bottom this week, while poor, were edible.”

Tom also gives some behind-the-scenes details about his quickfire challenge participation, including a mishap with olive oil, and that producers really wanted him to complete his meal in less than 10 minutes.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.