I love the mise en place relay. It's always one of the high points of the season. But I hate that they put it first this year. Partly because it's already gone and I don't get to spend half the season looking forward to it, but mostly because for the first power rankings, I only have one dish to go on for three-quarters of the field. I realize this isn't significantly different from last season, but it's still frustrating. And we couldn't even get a peek at the technical skill of three of the contestants because Preeti was still mangling clams while Bryan was frenching prime rib.
No complaints about the start of the season, though. When, after the first episode, you're looking at positions 12 and 13 -- and even 14 and 15 -- and thinking, "Hey, they made mistakes, but there's still some compelling stuff here," it's an embarrassment of riches. Seriously... seventeen dishes (21 if you count the quickfire), only two complete flops. Ted Allen is thinking he jumped ship a little too soon (I keed, Ted!).