The producer's idea of having the Sesame Street muppets involved in the quickfire challenge was an embarrassing misfire. Padma, now that she has a kid, seemed to enjoy it. I didn't. Making cookies ???? Cmon.
The Target challenge was slightly better. The whole thing happened at 3:30am. They had to only use cooking and food items found inside the store. That was a nice twist. Given what they had to work with, most of the dishes looked decent. But nothing that made me hungry and say, " Wow". For me that's a sign of a good episode, that the food prepared looks great.
What also was missing was the warm, beautiful presence of Gail Simmons. She's my favorite judge. She's so pretty and makes every episode she's on, so much fun.
For me, all the years of watching Top Chef, I have never have any rooting interest in any chef to win. I just like the scenes of food preparation, the drama inherent in that, the dishes themselves.
However, when contestants are behaving like jerks or snobs, then I have an interest in watching them get kicked off the show.
Overall, hopefully Top Chef goes back to sensible Quickfire and Elimination challenges, and not these ratings stunt episodes.