(1) Padma is not very good on live TV. Makes us wonder how many takes it takes her to say, "Please pack your knives" on the taped episodes.
(2) Why did the judges all wear the same thing that they wore at Aspen judges table? We knew it wasn't the same day, they knew, everyone knew. Kinda weird.
(3) Love the twist to have Rocco DiSpirito, Todd English (Mr. "I can't even remember" all the restaurants I have) and Michelle Bernstein as sous chefs the first day. What a treat for the cheftestants. As expected, CJ, was back ("vacationing with family" our foot), with Sara and Howie. Brian got a seat at the dinner table, but was too scairt to say what he thought unless someone else spoke first.
(4) The Eater Curse lives on. We picked Casey---she did not win. Dale impressed us, and we're sure he has a future in food entertainment. Everyone loves him.
(5) Did we think Hung would win? In the back of our minds, we knew he was the best chef, as the judges and even he reminded us over and over and over again. We wanted Casey to win because she's a female (second time a woman was the runner-up, third if you count Marcel last season), but also because she really had what it takes. Interesting how her Asian-inspired dishes, her "thing," never panned out as well as her rustic ones. So it's Hung over Dale, by a knife blade. And yes, Marcel was more excited than even Hung's family.