Last night was the final episode of the series, and it looked like it would be a very fitting end to a wild ride. Johnny Trigg staged his own rib competition with his own rules and hand-picked judges. An added twist was that the pitmasters got the opportunity to hear real-time direct feedback from the judges.
Caution: The following clip contains profanity.
I'll just come right off the top rope and get to the bottom line. This was my least favorite episode of the series. The general concept was good and had potential, but it just fell flat for me. A single-category contest? Really? You might be able to stretch it into two "mini categories" (baby back and spare ribs), but that was a serious letdown for me. Even competitors cooks in the backyard division have to cook two meats (generally chicken and ribs).
Allowing the competitors to watch the judges was very revealing, and mostly not in a good way. I could not believe that professional cooks would whine so much about the opportunity to hear real opinions. As a competitor, I would absolutely love to have that opportunity. I also can't believe that they left Myron's venomous name calling in the episode. Calling judges SOBs just because you don't like their critique and commentary? Come on! That was a very serious low point in the series for me.
I'm sorry, but I have to be honest and say that the finale was largely a yawn for me. The concept had potential that, to me, wasn't capitalized upon. However, as I mentioned in my guest post on the show blog, I feel the series was a great success and a net benefit for competition barbecue. TLC would be very foolish not to continue the series. I just hope it's more family-friendly next season.