In today’s edition of Ask Andy, two questions about two different reality contests: A question about the filming schedule of Excellent chefthe version of Redemption Island, Last Chance Kitchen, and a question about Survivor why players need flint to light camp fires once they have a lit torch.
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When and how is Last Chance Kitchen filmed? Is it immediately after the elimination of a leader? The potato challenge was incredibly specific and thought after Sam got the boot. What is the deadline? -Mast
I had this same question while watching Last chance kitchenthat I called Excellent chefThe version of Redemption Island around the time it premiered as part of Season 9.
Since then, it has metamorphosed and changed.
More importantly, the LCK winner initially joined the competition towards the end of the season. But from season 15, Grand Chief: Coloradoone of the eliminated chefs returns mid-season, while another returns towards the end of the competition.
Last Chance Kitchen was also used to give chefs from previous seasons a chance to work their way into the current season, which I’m glad is gone, as I thought it contributed to Last’s spiraling out of control ChanceKitchen.
At the beginning of The Best Houston Chef episode 6, Ashleigh Shanti joined the competition, having defeated Leia, who won the first three. As you mentioned, challenges are often designed to give the eliminated chef a chance to redeem themselves for the mistake that caused them to pack their knives and leave.
So how and when Last chance kitchen filmed episodes?
First, Last chance kitchen use the regular Excellent chef kitchen, but the lighting is different, darker and more dramatic. Our take on the kitchen is also different, if a little more obvious this season, thanks to the very distinctive HOUSTON doors and windows that sit behind eliminated competitors as they cook.
For the program, a Bravo spokesperson told me this: “We film Last Chance Kitchen in batches between regular episodes.”
These prizes mean that contestants shoot back-to-back challenges, which makes series like Leia’s even more impressive. It also means that they are not filmed immediately after an episode, which gives the producers Last chance kitchen time to build these challenges.
Top Chef Kentucky competitor Brother Luck – who joined the competition in episode six after winning in LCK, then was immediately eliminated –Told Paradeby Mike Bloom that his five episodes of Last Chance Kitchen were filmed on the same day. Here is the exchange:
On that note, you’ve gone from cooking a three-course meal to the elimination challenge. Do you think fatigue may have contributed to your ultimate loss?
It was actually a full day of filming 5 episodes in a row of Last Chance Kitchen, a three course finale, the Whole Foods Shop and prep, and then elimination day. It was one of the toughest 72 hour stretches I have ever been through and I felt totally incoherent at the end. Who knows if I would have made a better decision with a little rest?
Five consecutive challenges in one day is a lot! It doesn’t matter then to jump straight into an elimination challenge.
The Best Houston Chef himself filmed 12 episodes in five weeks in Houston, a little less than three days per episode. And the Last Chance Kitchen episodes were included in there.
At the start of the sixth episode of LCK, after Ashleigh returned, Sarah remained in Last chance kitchenbut none of the previously eliminated Chiefs were there as an audience, which suggests to me that this was the start of a new batch of episodes.
Why don’t the survivors use their torches to start their fire?
If everyone comes back from Tribal Council with their torch lit, why do they even need to worry about flint? Can’t they just start a fire with a lit torch? —Scott
Alas no. the Survivor players don’t actually return to camp with lit torches.
While their torches remain at camp with them, they carry unlit torches to Tribal Council, and the torches are lit just before the tribe enters the Tribal Council set.
There is considerable downtime before Tribal Council begins; players see medical staff individually and also receive lavalier microphoneswhich are hidden in their clothes.
Likewise, the torches are extinguished off-camera once the tribe leaves. It is therefore not only the person who has been rejected who has their torch extinguished!
There is a very practical reason for this: unlike Survivor: Borneowhen players actually traversed the island to the Tribal Council board, players are now transported, sometimes a significant distance, between their camp and other locations.
In Fiji, players are transported by boat; in the landlocked seasons, which now seem like a thing of the distant past, the show uses vans with darkened windows. Neither mode of transport would allow players to carry lit torches with them.
Andrew Torrens, a Australian survivor player, commented on Reddit that the process is also similar for this version of the show:
After your first tribe where you light it in the fire the torches go with you to the tribe and are lit while you are in the waiting area getting mic’d and waiting forever then they give you a lit torch to take away in the tribal set. Once done at tribal, you come out with the lit torch, place it in the same area you picked it up when it was lit, go back to the holding area, then the unlit torches go back to camp with you.
Basically, the torch is a symbolic accessory for the tribal council only, and therefore the flint is very important!