Of the four contestants, Sonny starts last and finishes last. As a former judge of many things in the past, that position can be fifty-fifty.
The first person sometimes has the advantage. It is the first one, the first taste and viewing. There is no standard yet, and you can easily grade high. The second and third sometimes have the most disadvantage because there is a standard set from the previous contestants. The last one could be the toughest to judge, or it could be the last impression left on the judges, just like dessert leaves the lasting impression of dinner. If Sonny does well, if his dish looks good and tastes great, then going last might be in his favor because the first and last ones leave the most impressions on me.
The Meal is an analogy. You start with an amuse. It is supposed to be a sign of things to come – a great start that builds your excitement. Give me goat cheese on a crostini and it might make an impression of what’s to come — rustic farm-to-table maybe. ‘Wow’ me and I am there – I cannot wait for the next bite. Otherwise it might be a disappointment. The last one, dessert, well, sometimes the meal can be good up until that point, but you might lose it on the last course, that lasting impression. Or you can leave them with something memorable, perhaps dreaming of a return visit.
I know Sonny was thinking, “Why do I have to go last?” It means he has to wait and be nervous longer. It’s like being the last runner who is on the inside lane of the track. They seem to be so far away from the leader who always starts first on the outer-most lane way ahead. It’s an optical illusion; each lane is the same length, but runner in the inner lane seems behind until they make the final turn.
The contestants tomorrow will be in adjacent cubicles – four in a row, each with their own identical kitchens. Sonny will not be able to see the others, but I will be able to see them all just by walking around.
I still cannot sleep. It must be nervousness for Sonny. I had to laugh. The boys described the female commis as “intense.” I wonder how I would be if I were in this. Intense for sure. Hats off to Sonny. He doesn’t know it yet, but he already won in my eyes no matter what the outcome.