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Tournament Of Champions

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I find it interesting that four out of five moving on were former TC contestants.  Not that that makes a difference on their abilities.  It doesn’t.   Some of us (me) feel like we  know them.   
 

Does anyone see the TOC turning into a double elimination in the future?


 

 

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16 hours ago, KayVeeTeeVee said:

Madison has gotten rather full of himself.  Oh, he's earned the praise, but his 'new' attitude rubs me the wrong way.  

I'm so glad to see you said that.  I thought I was the only one around here who had no love for Madison.  I saw him on a competition a few years back and he was a complete ass.  I think it was FN's Extreme Chef show.  To me, that was the real Madison.

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17 hours ago, candall said:

For me, Cat Cora has always been a joy.  A confident powerhouse--talented, strong, beautiful.

So why is she wearing those ridiculous caterpillar eyelashes?  

Because her kids have never seen her compete in caterpillar eyelashes. 😏

That was the best matchup of the night for me. I would eat Cat's eggplant and Michael's fish. Can't believe Aaron May didn't make his dish boozy enough. I really like him on DDD and GGG. And wtf Tiffani beating Amanda. She better not think she can take out my Darnell! I was so surprised that he was allowed to watch.

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3 hours ago, Rammchick said:

I'm so glad to see you said that.  I thought I was the only one around here who had no love for Madison.  I saw him on a competition a few years back and he was a complete ass.  I think it was FN's Extreme Chef show.  To me, that was the real Madison.

Interesting.  I only know him from his Chopped appearances.  His original Chopped episode was one of the most exciting ever, as it was the first time I could remember the judges being blown away by the skills of a cheftestant.  Actually two cheftestants, along with Lance.  

My impression is that he hasn’t hooked onto a long-term gig; maybe what you’re sensing is the reason why.

Also, I wonder why the other Chopped Grand Champions haven’t found more presence on the various channels: Danielle (impressive NY chef, can’t remember last name), Jin (handsome London guy, can’t remember last name), large, bald White chef with Jewish last name who seemed skilled and really nice too. 

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I've grown to like Michael Voltaggio since he started showing up on GGG although I'll never understand why he chooses to look so awful.  I've never warmed up to Cat Cora despite her talent so I was glad Michael won his round.  I was happy that Jet won his round too but I also like Aaron May so I was a bit conflicted.  I love Amanda and loathe Tiffani so I hated the results of the last round.  

I've never been a fan of Madison Cowan despite his charming accent.  He has always seemed smarmy to me.

18 minutes ago, Harry24 said:

 

 Grand  Jin (handsome London guy, can’t remember last name),

Jun Tanaka.  He was one of my all-time favorites so I've sort of followed his career.  He's very successful in London so he's probably not terribly interested in being on FN at this point.

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3 minutes ago, mlp said:

I've grown to like Michael Voltaggio since he started showing up on GGG although I'll never understand why he chooses to look so awful.  I've never warmed up to Cat Cora despite her talent so I was glad Michael won his round.  I was happy that Jet won his round too but I also like Aaron May so I was a bit conflicted.  I love Amanda and loathe Tiffani so I hated the results of the last round.  

My exact same feelings on all of the above likes and dislikes.  Michael seems to be actually warm and quietly funny but wow, he aggressively chooses to look borderline scary.  I like Aaron May too but Jet's food looked like something I'd eat every morsel of.  Love Amanda / loathe Tiffani plus I thought Amanda's dish looked much more appetizing.  That decision confounded me.  Clearly Amanda was shocked too.  Darnell had better beat Tiffani!  

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I don't hate Tiffani, but do love Amanda and really felt for her.  She was shocked and seriously disappointed.  I most definitely am not a fan of "anger issues" (Guy's words, not mine) Antonia and hope Jet wins that round.

 

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Fyi Cat's eyelashes had nothing on the caterpillars on the Baylor ladies' basketball team tonight.

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4 hours ago, ShortyMac said:

Ugh, Tiffani. Of course she won...

Darnell will win the next round though I bet.  Anyone else agree?
 

What about the other match-ups. Any predictions?  

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6 hours ago, Ellee said:

Darnell will win the next round though I bet.  Anyone else agree?

I wouldn't bet against Tiffani. She's a very tough competitor, and since it's only the food being judged, she's very strong. If it wasn't a blind tasting, though, Darnell is definitely a more attractive personality

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21 hours ago, mlp said:

I've never warmed up to Cat Cora despite her talent so I was glad Michael won his round.

That round went the way I wanted it to go. I am a big fan of Michael, specifically because he churns out crazy-interesting food. I want to see what he comes up with each time he cooks.  And for sure I wanted to see Cat Cora make something awesome.

And both things happened. Cat made a delicious and well received dish, and Michael made a "wow" dish.  I liked watching both of them do what they do.

 

The rest of the episode was a bit of a FF exercise for me: Skip the intros. Watch the randomizer, and stick around to listen to what each person says they're going to do. FF until we get to plating, watch the judging. Like a couple said above, I was happy for Jet to move on. He's a likeable person and I for sure want to eat his food whenever I see him cook.

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On 3/28/2021 at 10:33 PM, Svafa said:

I was rooting for Jet, Amanda and Cora. At least one of my picks made it through. I didn't like Tiffani on Top Chef and don't like her any better on Chopped. She is fingers on a chalkboard. 

Does anyone buy into the "Randomizer"? Everyone, name something you don't want so we can make sure the wheel stops on that item. At least in other competitions like Chopped or Top Chef they are intentionally giving the chefs something crazy or difficult. Here it seems they're lying to us by telling us it's random when it's not. 

Next week should be interesting, though I like both Jet and Antonia so I'm not sure who I'll be rooting for. 

Same.  Hell, Jet even gave us a tutorial to go with his dish!  

Michael Voltaggio may be a decent guy; I just didn't like the way he talked about Cat Cora. Show some respect!

Marcus is quite the stickler. I was amused when he decided to debate about Cat's dish.  I guess Arron May will now know to go heavy when he comes up against a boozy challenge! 

Now the Randomizer? Let's not make a habit of settling on what the chefs hate.  That takes the fun out of the game and is not so "random".  Although I got a kick out of Tiffani's facial expressions when it landed on an item she has never used. I know she wanted to cuss.

I wonder if all the upcoming chefs get to watch who they might go against in the next round?  I found it a bit odd that Darnell was able to see his possible opponent cook.  Will that give him an advantage against Tiffani?

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1 hour ago, Stardancer Supreme said:

Same.  Hell, Jet even gave us a tutorial to go with his dish!  

Michael Voltaggio may be a decent guy; I just didn't like the way he talked about Cat Cora. Show some respect!

Marcus is quite the stickler. I was amused when he decided to debate about Cat's dish.  I guess Arron May will now know to go heavy when he comes up against a boozy challenge! 

Now the Randomizer? Let's not make a habit of settling on what the chefs hate.  That takes the fun out of the game and is not so "random".  Although I got a kick out of Tiffani's facial expressions when it landed on an item she has never used. I know she wanted to cuss.

I wonder if all the upcoming chefs get to watch who they might go against in the next round?  I found it a bit odd that Darnell was able to see his possible opponent cook.  Will that give him an advantage against Tiffani?

Yeah, that seemed strange and unfair. He was definitely getting into her brain a bit, not fair! I don't remember ever seeing that in previous shows.

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I feel like they showed another contestant watching backstage previously. I’m pretty sure it was Brooke watching someone but can’t recall who. 
I love love love Jet Tila so of course I was thrilled, even though I have no problems with Aaron May (I see both of them all the time on GGG).

Wasn’t familiar with Tiffani before this competition but I’m really not a fan. I may have said a bad word when her name appeared as the winner. The only other competitor I love as much as Jet is Darnell, so he better bring it next week. 

During TOC last season I wasn’t a big fan of Michael, but I’ve seen his personality come out on GGG and Beat Bobby Flay, and he seems like a good guy. I’ll be rooting for him to beat Brooke as I really don’t want to see her repeat. 
 

 

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Add me to the list of people not understanding Tiffani’s win. It seemed like the tofu was the star of the dish instead of the muscles or the cabbage. She would have been the first to ding someone for that as a judge on Chopped. Amanda clearly had the better dish and featured the required ingredients. 

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I can't believe Brooke beat Michael, again. From the judges' comments, I thought MV had it. Guess the wonton empanada lost it for him.

The Christian/Brian matchup was interesting. I couldn't quite see the final scores but didn't Brian win presentation by a big margin and still lost? Can someone give the breakdown? And where in the rules does it say the chefs have to make an entree?

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I was surprised Brian Volt lost, and a little sad.  I hope Maneet trounces Christian.  I actually have come to like Christian a lot more, and his food did sound good, but I still prefer the others.

Brooke/Michael V competition was tight!  This was a tougher match again, for me.  I like them  both a lot, but I like the Brooke win - she's defending her championship!

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I was sorry to see both Volts lose.  I don't dislike Christian at all but I like Bryan better and I wanted someone, anyone, to beat smug Brooke.  Her dish did look good.  I just don't like her.  I do like Maneet so I was happy she moved on.

Also.......... C'mon Guy.  Stop using all the stupid nicknames at the top of your lungs.  You're hoarse from yelling and you sound like you're announcing a wrestling match.  Try a little dignity.

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Yes!  I was only able to watch the first match and then the judging of the second, but so glad to see Brooke win again.  I know she and Michael Voltaggio both make incredible food, so it would be both high scoring a close, but I like her more, so I was rooting for her.

I'm not excited about Bryan Voltaggio or his food, but I don't know the other guy, so I was rooting for Bryan.  Oh, well.

I'll have to watch the re-run next week to see Maneet and Madison's match.

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Why do so many of the female chefs wear enormous false eyelashes? They look ridiculous. 

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I was unhappy tonight! Wanted both of the Volts to win and I wanted to see the "unmade bed" named Petroni to lose....cannot stand him! Hopefully he loses next.

 

I am now firmly in Darnell's corner!!!!!!

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I squeeeeeeeed when Brooke played for Shirley. They were in the Top Chef finale together and some nasty people were trying to make a case that Brooke didn't get along with Shirley so I totally cackled at Brooke earning her friend $10,000!

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Petroni, though he may be a very gifted chef, also comes off as a walking collection of mannerisms and cliches that grate so. hard. And I understand that Guy is riffing on the notion of a wrestling competition with all the yelling and nicknames, but it's not working (for me). How quickly did they tape this thing, anyway? My bet is a week, at most, assuming the competitions we see each week were all recorded on the same day.

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I too was sorry that Bryan V lost. I had hopes when they made a big deal about Christian moving way up in the seedings because he beat Marc Murphy last year-- in the first round, which is exactly where he went out this year. Maybe Marc Murphy isn't all that, huh. I did kind of think that that braised sausage that Bryan put on his pork milanese looked a bit like... well.... cat food. Fortunately he covered it up with that apple salad. 

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I call foul on the "time starts two seconds after the wheel stops spinning." They have to get the chosen ingredients into the refrigerators first-- there's no way that ALL of the possible meats and veggies are in there ahead of time. Note that the bison (both ground and a couple types of whole) were easily findable. No rooting around under fish, fowl, etc. 

So I bet they have at least a few minutes to plan their meals while the fridges are being stocked.

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Petroni, though he may be a very gifted chef, also comes off as a walking collection of mannerisms and cliches that grate so. hard.

This so much. I was shocked at his win, I felt his food was hacky and was shocked he beat Voltaggio. Glad he lost in the next round. FN is trying so hard to make him happen

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5 hours ago, binky101 said:

Petroni, though he may be a very gifted chef, also comes off as a walking collection of mannerisms and cliches that grate so. hard. And I understand that Guy is riffing on the notion of a wrestling competition with all the yelling and nicknames, but it's not working (for me). How quickly did they tape this thing, anyway? My bet is a week, at most, assuming the competitions we see each week were all recorded on the same day.

So glad to hear I'm not the only one who cannot stand Petroni.  Dees, dems, dose, and he always looks, well, let's go with unkempt.  I would never eat at one of his restaurants, thank you very much.

14 minutes ago, bad things are bad said:

This so much. I was shocked at his win, I felt his food was hacky and was shocked he beat Voltaggio. Glad he lost in the next round. FN is trying so hard to make him happen

Petroni and Guy, the younger, can start their own show.  That way they're both off my screen!

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30 minutes ago, bad things are bad said:

This so much. I was shocked at his win, I felt his food was hacky and was shocked he beat Voltaggio. Glad he lost in the next round.

I'm confused. They just played the episode where he beat BV. How do you know he lost in the next round?

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2 hours ago, KayVeeTeeVee said:

So glad to hear I'm not the only one who cannot stand Petroni.  Dees, dems, dose, and he always looks, well, let's go with unkempt.  I would never eat at one of his restaurants, thank you very much.

Petroni and Guy, the younger, can start their own show.  That way they're both off my screen!

Yes I agree!  Thank goodness I didn’t bet on this bc I was confident this was going to be a bloodbath with Brian as the winner.  Still in disbelief. I didn’t even know Christian had street cred until I saw him on here- I assumed he was a joke. I still view him that way. 

For me as a viewer, this show was a smart move for FN bc I love Top Chef but have never given a damn about FN competition cooking shows.  I am really enjoying this one. 

I didn’t know the middle contenders but thought they both did a good job- would have been fine with either winning. 

I wanted both Volts to win.  I like Brooke but I love seeing what Micheal comes up with.

I think both of the guys who provide play by plays are really good. They’re professional and don’t feel the need to be any type of character- unlike the host.

 Michael used the required pan the randomizer dictated much better. To me using it to develop the spices was a cop out. But If the rule is just use it- the why and how is not important- then that is the rule so I need to get over it.

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I can't stand Christian either.  I barf every time Guy introduces him as The Great Hammmboniii!!!  It kills me that he beat Bryan.  I like the show overall but Guy is so over the top as the host that he's ruining it for me.

I noticed that Guy did not have a dumb, cutesy nickname for Maneet.  I'll bet she put her foot down and said You will not call me the Indian Queen or some such shit.

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1 minute ago, susannot said:

I noticed that Guy did not have a dumb, cutesy nickname for Maneet.  I'll bet she put her foot down and said You will not call me the Indian Queen or some such shit.

He did have some nickname for Maneet when she was entering the competition arena - the dancing [something] queen, maybe?  I don't remember what he said, but I remember he said something that had me rolling my eyes as I do at all his dumb-ass nicknames for people.

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22 minutes ago, KnoxForPres said:

Michael used the required pan the randomizer dictated much better. To me using it to develop the spices was a cop out. But If the rule is just use it- the why and how is not important- then that is the rule so I need to get over it.

yeah that one bugged me too. He made a pretty little ball with it. She just "used it as a pan." 

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Maneet has been dubbed Dancing Spice Queen.  Hot-cha!

~~~~~~~~~~~

If I've learned anything from 5000 hours of watching cooking shows, it's that you have to let the meat rest or all the juices will leak out and the meat will be dry.  And also that a lean protein like bison is prone to being dry.  

When Chef Cowan took his bison out of the oven and sliced it, I said, "Bye-bye, Chef Cowan."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The blind judging on this show is everything.  It's how the sloppy unmade beds and the dewy-eyed princesses and the hardcore cheffy tattoo necks meet on an even playing field.

I noticed that Top Chef ran all the dishes through a blind tasting for the first elimination challenge.  Good.  I hope they keep it up.  Favoritism definitely sneaks into the Top Chef judging.

 

.

 

 

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 Blind judging doesn't really work with the Top Chef format, though.  It makes sense in the first episode where they don't know the chefs (although I'm sure Tom at least is involved in casting) but with the same chefs every week they're going to figure out some of them.  For example, Shots is likely going to turn in some take on Japanese cuisine most weeks.   Here the judges don't know who's competing at all, much less in a given battle.   Plus the entire judging panel rotates.   Top Chef can say it's not a cumulative competition all they want but.... past performance matters. 

 My main complaint here this season is that they're more often than not they're knocking the winning dish.   I get that they have to say good and bad things about both to maintain the suspense, but it seems to be overboard this year.   It actually makes it come off like something's hinky in the judging.  

 It seems like everyone I don't want to win keeps winning.  I can't believe Bryan lost.   And he only got an 80?

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I didn't notice the Dancing Spice Queen nickname.  KILL SOMEONE.   Possibly I tuned it out from wishful thinking that ONE, just ONE, of the chefs told Guy to take his nickname and shove it.

Edited by susannot
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9 hours ago, susannot said:

I like the show overall but Guy is so over the top as the host that he's ruining it for me.

+1

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I’m sad the Volt brothers are out of the competition. Michael has such a different take on ingredients and it's exciting to see. 
I too was side eyeing Brooke just using the pan to toast her spices. I do think as part of the judging that how the contestants used the required equipment should be mentioned. It seems like it is done in some matchups and not others. 
 

I’d like to see either Maneet or Darnell win it all now. 

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22 hours ago, dleighg said:

I'm confused. They just played the episode where he beat BV. How do you know he lost in the next round?

You're right, I guess it was wishful thinking (and remembering last year)

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On 4/5/2021 at 7:30 AM, binky101 said:

Petroni, though he may be a very gifted chef, also comes off as a walking collection of mannerisms and cliches that grate so. hard.

This is kind of where I'm settling in on him.  I so very much didn't like him when he showed up in Food Network Star, and actually thought they were saying his food was good because of his schtick.  

Between the blind judging last year and this episode, at least I now know that I can respect the man's abilities to cook. It doesn't mean that I will actively root for him, but I will pay attention to what he's preparing.

And count me in the group of "Hate's to see Michael go, although the fact it was against Brooke makes it acceptable from a skill standpoint. 

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I'm enjoying this show once again, and I've noticed a couple of things. First, there are fewer "upsets" this season than there were last. Second -- and this may be related -- it seems that when they're describing the dishes, Simon is always the one describing the dish of the higher-ranked chef and Justin the lower. Maybe the judging isn't so blind?

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2 hours ago, dewelar said:

I Maybe the judging isn't so blind?

The judging being blind is the reason I’m into this show.  If it turns out that’s phony, I’m out.  I want to know what (most of) these judges REALLY THINK.

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I haven't watched this season, but isn't part of the blind tasting that the judges don't even know who the chefs are? I thought that's the way it was in the previous season.

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32 minutes ago, Harry24 said:

The judging being blind is the reason I’m into this show.  If it turns out that’s phony, I’m out.  I want to know what (most of) these judges REALLY THINK.

Yes! That is what Guy should do in the recap show. Get a judge on the feed and ask why this dish over that dish.

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9 minutes ago, chessiegal said:

I haven't watched this season, but isn't part of the blind tasting that the judges don't even know who the chefs are?

That's what Guy has said, that they don't even know who's in the tournament.

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55 minutes ago, Bastet said:

That's what Guy has said, that they don't even know who's in the tournament.

I thought I read Marc Murphy knew who is judges were.  Maybe that was after the judging... I don’t know. 

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14 minutes ago, Ellee said:

I thought I read Marc Murphy knew who is judges were.  Maybe that was after the judging... I don’t know. 

To me, it doesn't matter if the chefs know who the judges are. What matters for the blind tasting is that the judges don't know who the chefs are. I'd be surprised if a chef could cook something based on knowing  who the judge is. But what do I know.

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 Well if you know it's Scott Conant, you know not to use raw red onions. 

 They judges aren't supposed to know who's competing.  But there has to be at least some suspicion for at least some.  The Chopped judges in particular are part of the FN "in crowd" and I can't believe that Judge Scott doesn't have at least some whisper of what Chopped judges are competing.   I think it fairly easy to suss out Maneet as well.  Other than Aarti she's really the only Indian chef in the FN stable.  It's not 100%, but if you get a great Indian dish there's a decent chance it's her. 

 They have a lot of repeat chefs this year.  I'd like to see Anne Burrell in this (she's uber competitive and could be fun to watch when she gets negative comments) or Robert Irvine (to watch him flame out spectacularly in the first round).  

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22 hours ago, Bastet said:

That's what Guy has said, that they don't even know who's in the tournament.

Right, but if they have clues to who the higher seed is in a round, that can affect their decision, even if it's only subconsciously. I'm not saying that is necessarily the case, but it was notable to me that the same person presented the higher-ranked chef's dish each time (unless I missed something).

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