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S02.E07: The Merge: A Total Crêpe Shoot


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The classically trained bakers go head-to-head against the remaining self-taught teams; the teams must use their detective and math skills when they compete during the elimination round; guest judge Martina McBride.

 

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13 minutes ago, chitowngirl said:

“There were 6 groups of 5 tick marks-so 20 layers” … oof!

What killed me is neither of them clocked that after she said it aloud the first time…oof. 

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38 minutes ago, MsNewsradio said:

What killed me is neither of them clocked that after she said it aloud the first time…oof. 

Yep.  I get why Tarsha was mad but I think she's going to watch back and realize that she could have corrected the miscalculation.

I wish they hadn't given this episode this title. It's clever but I knew right away that a crepe cake would be one of the items.

 

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1 hour ago, MsNewsradio said:

What killed me is neither of them clocked that after she said it aloud the first time…oof. 

And when mom did in the Talking Head, the daughter still was insisting it was 20.

Those tarte tatins looked delicious.

Not sad to see Team Kitty Ears going.

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(edited)

Glad Team Kitty Ears is gone. I was surprised they kept Team Bad Math, due to the 10 missing crepes, but I guess flavor won over a hot mess. Maybe the judges were just tired of their Kawaii schtick. I know I was!

I was surprised T & Fadi won the safety bake: Tarte Tatin is done with sliced apples artfully placed, not chunks. Must've been flavor over presentation again?

At least Cherry & Steph had to finally do an elimination bake.  Wasn't terribly impressive.

My favorite part was when Martina was explaining the weird mess "salad" to the French chefs. I had pretty much the same reaction they did, which was 😨. I guess I was surprised at the lack of sophistication on a cooking show. Although Martina did pick tarte tatin, so...  (Hah. I found the recipe for "fluff salad" from her show on the Food Network: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/fluff-salad-5499173)  Chacun à son goût!

Edited by Ms Lark
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8 hours ago, mertensia said:

And when mom did in the Talking Head, the daughter still was insisting it was 20.

 Which was all a put on.  The interview was obviously filmed after the challenge (contestants are always prompted to talk in the present tense when recounting what happened) so they were already aware they were needed to be sent to remedial math. 

 That fluff salad gave me stress flashbacks to Molly Yeh.  Couldn't they get Trisha Yearwood, someone whose cooking show I've actually heard of?   She does some... nostalgic stuff but I don't think I've seen her do anything like that.  

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I agree with others that I don't think Fadi and T should have won the safety bake.  How did they have enough time to fail their first attempt, and then completely start over from scratch?  If that's the case, then the allotted time was too much.

I know the French women got critical remarks for not being caramelized enough but it was otherwise perfectly executed.

Tarsha and Kristy got lucky that Sherry and Shelly cut their cake.  Yet even if they didn't cut it, it sounded like a complete hot mess.  Yolanda said that the ganache melted the cream filling at the top layers and that their layers were uneven.  I think Sherry and Shelly were going home regardless of the cutting.

My favourite team is Amber and Yass.  They work really well together, they understand each other, they don't blame each other or snip at each other, and they are really great bakers.  I also like the French women.  I love when they speak French to each other.

I have soured a little on Steph and Cherry.  They seem like perfectly nice people, but if I was in a room with Cherry I would probably find her exhausting.  I'm not sure if she has ADHD or if she's just that naturally peppy.  I don't think she's playing things up for the camera, but the facial expressions, the clutching her partner, the falling down, etc.  Too much.

Why was Martina McBride talking about her Fluff Salad?  Was that brought up by Joel to give her some credibility as a chef and baker?  Because to me it sounded like the kind of recipe you would find on the back of the Jello package or on a soup can.  It sounds disgusting.  Cheese and marshmallows and pineapple?

I just realised that they don't even announce who won the Elimination Bake.  I guess it's because the judges aren't looking at overall performance when it comes to the final show winner, it's just limited to each bake.  It would be nice to know who they thought won the Elimination Bake, and maybe the prize could be that they get more time in the next round.  

I know the Safety/Elimination format is new this season, but I could have sworn they announced who won the second bake last season, did they not?

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Fadi and T's win of the Safety Bake was so bogus.  First, they managed to do better in 45 minutes what they had failed at in an hour and a half (the whole "I have to start over" gimmick has never worked for me.) Then, the judges gush over the other 3 tarte Tartins, but they somehow win.  Nope, not buying it.

I wish they had explained what the difference between what the twins made and a tarte Tartin was.

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5 hours ago, Mediocre Gatsby said:

That SUCKED. Besides just being a huge mistake with a given clue, making only 2/3 of the crepes gave Tarsha and Kristy more time to get everything else right. I'm really disappointed. 

I so agree with this!  The twins' ganache was still warm because they had to make/fill/stack 30 layers instead of having more time to cool it by only making 20 layers.  I also don't understand the whole 'although there were four plates in the dishwasher it was obvious they weren't used...'  How is that obvious?  Don't people usually rinse plates before placing them in the dishwasher?  Why were they even there if they weren't used/dirty?  I think so much is manufactured to get the outcome the producers want.  It could have easily been one of the judges saying 'why were dishes there if not used?'  I like this show but I think it's easily manipulated and that takes some of the fun away for me.  

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12 hours ago, JH Lipton said:

Fadi and T's win of the Safety Bake was so bogus.  First, they managed to do better in 45 minutes what they had failed at in an hour and a half (the whole "I have to start over" gimmick has never worked for me.) Then, the judges gush over the other 3 tarte Tartins, but they somehow win.  Nope, not buying it.

I wish they had explained what the difference between what the twins made and a tarte Tartin was.

Fully agree, I think it was obvious that the judges wanted them to advance straight into the next round.  Amber and Yass made pear, the cat twins made a galette.  So that only left Fadi and T, Steph and Cherry, the French women, and Tasha and Kristy.  The judges definitely weren't going to let Steph and Cherry win again.  But I don't agree that Fadi and T's second effort was the best. 

It seems to me that they advanced because they are the only men left.  I would not be at all surprised if they already booked themselves a place in the final regardless of how poorly they do, the judges will find any excuse to advance them.  As it is, in the final six we have a team of two gay Middle Eastern men, two teams of two Asian women, two teams of two Black women, and one team of two white French women.  Show did pretty well on diversity, which is nice to see.

As for tarte tatin vs. galette, I looked it up.  Tarte tatin is baked in a pan, while a galette is made without a pan or dish, it's shaped by hand and baked freeform.

6 hours ago, Mediocre Gatsby said:

That SUCKED. Besides just being a huge mistake with a given clue, making only 2/3 of the crepes gave Tarsha and Kristy more time to get everything else right. I'm really disappointed. 

Part of the issue with this show is that the judging is so subjective.  It seems clear that if you made the actual dessert, then you're safe.  In this case, all of the teams made the correct dessert.  Then they say it comes down to taste and presentation.  But it also seems like they consider who was most wrong.  The twins made an error by cutting the cake and serving onto four plates.  Tarsha and Kristy made an error by only making 20 crepes.  

So perhaps the judges considered both of these to be equal errors and then judged on taste and presentation?  We really need some kind of scorecard with elements

47 minutes ago, seacliffsal said:

I so agree with this!  The twins' ganache was still warm because they had to make/fill/stack 30 layers instead of having more time to cool it by only making 20 layers.  I also don't understand the whole 'although there were four plates in the dishwasher it was obvious they weren't used...'  How is that obvious?  Don't people usually rinse plates before placing them in the dishwasher?  Why were they even there if they weren't used/dirty?  I think so much is manufactured to get the outcome the producers want.  It could have easily been one of the judges saying 'why were dishes there if not used?'  I like this show but I think it's easily manipulated and that takes some of the fun away for me.  

I call foul on this as well.  If the four plates were "clearly not used", then why the hell were they in the dishwasher?  Most of the time it seems like the dishes in the dishwasher are dirty.  But sometimes they could be clean.  If the dishes were supposed to be dirty, then why would someone put four clean UNUSED plates in a dishwasher along with other dirty dishes?  If the dishes were supposed to be clean, then wouldn't that indicate that the four plates were washed because they were used?

Similarly, in the Safety Bake, it didn't look to me like the pan in the dishwasher was used at all.

I don't like these clues that could be twisted to whichever interpretation suits the judges' needs.  I think there are these clues that don't have a definitive answer and are put there simply to purposely screw teams up.

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2 hours ago, blackwing said:

So perhaps the judges considered both of these to be equal errors and then judged on taste and presentation?  We really need some kind of scorecard with elements.

I could see that the judges could equate the wrong number of crepes to the plate thing (I wouldn't agree with it, but I can see it), except that the wrong number of crepes was not just a mistake. It was a mistake that gave the team an advantage by saving them time. 

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Curtis said that because there was no knife present that the bakers should realize the cake was not sliced despite the presence of the plates.  Yeah.

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(edited)
11 hours ago, Josette said:

Curtis said that because there was no knife present that the bakers should realize the cake was not sliced despite the presence of the plates.  Yeah.

So no knife = no slicing, so plates, but in the "Easy as Pie" episode, "no pan for beef to be cooked" did not mean "no beef was used." 

Also, why would there be dirty pans but clean plates in the dishwasher? Bah, humbug. It seems like they're making rules up as they go.

Edited by Mediocre Gatsby
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I had the same question about the plates. It's kind of like them having to look in the lunchbox in the refrigerator to see that the apples and pears were in the lunch and not in the bake. 

 

I think the other thing they said about kitty ears' dessert was that the filling was lacking in quantity or flavor? So that with the cutting maybe eliminated them over the short stack? But then the short stack would have plenty of filling because it was shorter.

 

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From what I can recall from previous episodes, the items in the dishwasher are always clean.  It's the items still left on the counter where they find food residue.  I don't know that I would have made the leap from "there are four plates here" to "we must serve it as four slices"  but they do count on what they find in the dishwasher to lead them to the correct bake.  There's a fine line between weird but valid clues and true red herrings and TPTB are messing it up this season.  I don't remember things being this arbitrary the first year. 

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4 hours ago, Quilt Fairy said:

There's a fine line between weird but valid clues and true red herrings and TPTB are messing it up this season.  I don't remember things being this arbitrary the first year. 

100% agree. 

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(edited)
8 hours ago, Quilt Fairy said:

From what I can recall from previous episodes, the items in the dishwasher are always clean.  It's the items still left on the counter where they find food residue.  I don't know that I would have made the leap from "there are four plates here" to "we must serve it as four slices"  but they do count on what they find in the dishwasher to lead them to the correct bake.  There's a fine line between weird but valid clues and true red herrings and TPTB are messing it up this season.  I don't remember things being this arbitrary the first year. 

Agreed.  It's so hard to determine the real clues from the red herrings this season.  The Cat Twins were not the only ones to notice the plates.  Other teams commented that they were wondering about the plates too.  And when the Twins brought the slices out and explained, one team said "it makes sense".

What I would have thought was weird was that this is supposed to be about presenting a whole dessert, why would the judges want slices only?  I think I would brought out the whole cake.  Then said that there were four plates in the dishwasher indicating that four slices were served.  Then proceed to slice and serve at the judging table.  One slice for each judge and one for myself.

At least that way I would have presented a full dessert first.  I do recall that in a previous episode, Yolanda said something about how it's not possible to hedge your bets by adding something else since that would make it wrong.  I cannot recall but the example there was something like instead of just apple filling, putting in both apple and pear.

If the Twins had presented the whole cake and then sliced, I do wonder if they would have been considered less wrong than Tarsha and Kristy.  They would have had the correct 30 crepe cake on the judging table.  But then erred on final presentation.  Whereas Tarsha and Kristy would have been the only team to not have a 30 crepe cake on the table.

Edited by blackwing
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(edited)

I think the judges didn't like the twins' crepes--didn't they say they were 'gummy'?  I think if their crepes had been amazing, they would have been through to the next round.

I thought the French bakers' ganache looked more like frosting, it was so thick!  I think of it as thin and pourable, but looked it up and it can be either!  Learned something new!  Woohoo!

It was a bit of a wake-up call to the pro bakers when one of them went home first after the merge.  There were some pretty snide remarks made about home bakers early in the episode!

Edited by Real4real
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5 hours ago, Real4real said:

I thought the French bakers' ganache looked more like frosting, it was so thick!  I think of it as thin and pourable, but looked it up and it can be either!  Learned something new!  Woohoo!

I agree. It didn't look dark and shiny like I thought it should. Plus I don't like this pair who to me are coming off as stereotypically snooty French women. They can go - like right now.

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On 7/24/2023 at 10:03 PM, chitowngirl said:

“There were 6 groups of 5 tick marks-so 20 layers” … oof!

I'm math-challenged and even I know that 6 groups of 5 tick marks is 30.  Oy.

I loved that it was a self-taught team who won the elimination challenge and a classically trained team who went home.  Especially glad it was the cat ear girls who were eliminated because they annoyed the crap out of me.  I'm guessing their cake looked messy as hell and didn't taste good enough to overcome that.  And the other team, whose cake was 10 layers short, looked and tasted better.  Hard to tell when I can't actually taste the cakes.

On 7/25/2023 at 7:43 AM, Ms Lark said:

(Hah. I found the recipe for "fluff salad" from her show on the Food Network: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/fluff-salad-5499173)  Chacun à son goût!

Mon gout absolutment ne veut pas ce gachis!  I've seen an orange fluff salad at various family gatherings, but it's ambrosia, made with cool whip, and there's no pimento cheese in sight.

On 7/25/2023 at 7:58 AM, silversage said:

Not sure why T and Fadi won either. I thought the one closest looking to the secret one would be chosen. 

I think ultimately both tarte tatins were close enough looking and theirs tasted better.  The judges were very complimentary about the flavor.

On 7/25/2023 at 12:47 PM, blackwing said:

I know the French women got critical remarks for not being caramelized enough but it was otherwise perfectly executed.

I thought they used pear in theirs?  Maybe I'm confusing them with another team.  But the judges definitely praised the flavor of T and Fadi's tarte more than the French team's so I think that was really the difference.

 

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(edited)

The pro bakers better watch themselves, they all seemed pretty shook when pro bakers got sent home before home bakers! 

I might just be misremembering, but I think the clues in the kitchen were a lot easier to understand last season. It feels like so many clues are up to interpretation and there are way too many false leads. Especially the "those plates obviously weren't used" bit. Of course they're clean, they're in the dishwasher! If they were never used, why were they there besides to be a false lead?

I would think the crepe count would be a deal breaker, but they also just didn't seem to like the twins crepes at all so that presumably gave them the loss. 

Edited by tennisgurl
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