The gantry stuff is mostly cheerleading anyway. It's like a bunch of little kids cheering on their teammates at a sporting event: come on, Nushie, you got this! etc.
I've decided to take as positive a view of things as possible going forward. I'm not finding nitpicking to be much fun. I like Larissa's boldness in choice of flavors, & don't really care that much about the use of parfaits as one element of such desserts. Re Simon - although I don't always quite get why, for example, coffee & parsnips work together, I take them at their word that they do, & in surprising ways. Tessa is just damn impressive, & the latest butter sauce really wasn't similar to the two prior ones. Tim & Nicole have been more hit or miss, but the hits are strong, & Nicole seemed to be peaking late. She probably made a mistake in trying to do things to impress - shows a lack of confidence that what she does well will be enough - but I don't know if that's smart risk-taking because of who she's up against, or a tactical error that she can correct in time. Tim - I'll wait till tomorrow to come up with something to say. He doesn't bother me but again the mistakes seemed to be more about editing (leave off the cracker) than fundamental lack of skill or ambition.
They're not going to reinvent food, & I appreciate that the show was trying to move away from gimmicks a bit the last few years. Gimmicks can get tiresome & tend to detract from taste. If they're in the flavor business, though, they need to step up their descriptive game so that the audience better understands why people are doing well. I'm not going to be more impressed if they go back to over-reliance on domes & foams & mirror glazes & tempered chocolate & so on. I do think they would have been well served by a trip abroad with ingredients, techniques, & master classes that could get some new ideas swirling in their brains, though.