Tournament of Champions II: Amanda Freitag got robbed

Competitor Amanda Freitag with host Guy Fieri, as seen on Tournament of Champions, Season 1. photo provided by Food Network
Competitor Amanda Freitag with host Guy Fieri, as seen on Tournament of Champions, Season 1. photo provided by Food Network /

It isn’t often I walk away from watching a television show angry and screaming at my TV, and it never happens when I’m watching a cooking show. But that is exactly what occurred during Sunday’s episode of Tournament of Champions II.

Why was I yelling and cursing at my television? Because Chef Amanda Freitag, the No. 1 seed in the East Coast bracket, was sent home. She was defeated by the No. 8 seed, Tiffani “Sweet T” Faison, in a major upset that brought back lots of memories of Alex Guarnaschelli being beaten in the first round last season.

The difference this time is that Freitag didn’t deserve to go home. She was robbed and anyone who knows cooking knows it and nothing will convince me otherwise.

Yes, she and Faison were dealt one of the worst Randomizer results ever seen (more on that in a minute) but when you saw what Freitag cooked and presented and what Faison did, there is just no comparison.

Just how random is the Tournament of Champions Randomizer?

Back to the Randomizer for a moment. Before he spun the wheels. Guy Fieri asked the chefs what they didn’t want to see come up. Faison said the air fryer and Freitag mentioned mussels. Well, what do you think came up? And not one, but both.

The thing is, this isn’t the first or even second time this has happened. It seems that as soon as a chef mentions something on the Randomizer that they don’t want, BOOM! there it is. If I was a suspicious type, I might think that there is something not so random about the Randomizer, that someone is stopping the wheels at certain points.

Then there was the judging, in particular the judging of Marcus Samuelsson, who this season has taken on the role of being a bit of a bully to the other judges, in particular ones that are new to Tournament of Champions.

Giada De Laurentiis had nothing but complimentary and nice things to say about the dish Chef Freitag made, calling it fun. Samuelsson had a different opinion and then proceeded to pounce on her using one of the most condescending tones I have ever heard. It was almost like Samuelsson felt that since he wasn’t impressed with the dish, no one should be impressed with it.

It is curious that Samuelsson didn’t speak to Jonathan Waxman the same way he spoke to De Laurentiis. Make of that what you will.

It is quickly becoming a trend this season for Samuelsson to act this way. When he eats something he enjoys, he champions it, when it’s something he finds lacking, he vehemently bashes it. I don’t remember anyone making him head judge or something. Just fill out your own card and let the other two judges form their own opinions.

You could clearly see afterward that Freitag was not happy with the result. Believe me, she wasn’t the only one.

I’ll be honest here. Between what happened with Elizabeth Falkner and now seeing Amanda Freitag get screwed and sent home really has me thinking how Tournament of Champions might be less a cooking competition and more another excuse for Fieri to mug for the camera.

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Do you agree Guilty Eats Nation? Or do you think I’m full of it? Do you think Faison won fair and square? Leave a comment below and let us know or join the conversation on our Twitter page.