Posted in Commentary, TV Program

"Friends STAB. Friends[hips] END."

life isn’t easy.
love hurts. boys lie.
friends stab. people die.
parents yell. you always try.
you’re never good enough.
& you don’t know why.

There will always be a LIE in believe,
an OVER in lover,
an END in Friends,
an US in trust,
and an IF in life…

Friends STAB. Friends[hips] END.

I read a comment thread on dramabeans under Pasta (for episode 7) wherein the center of discussion mostly revolves around the ‘Smirky Annoying’ Se-young: how hateful the character is, how insignificant her role is, how despicable her act of screwing Hyun-wook was, or how mediocre Honey Lee’s acting is. One particular comment posted by ESTEL sums it up nicely: “I mean, screwing over your colleague is bad, screwing over a friend is worse…but screwing over your boyfriend who also falls into the previous two categories? That’s just plain inhuman.” I had no particular thought upon reading it. I just find it fun to read the comments others put their effort into making since most of them think of what I think or would’ve written should I ever post one.

The bashing echoed in my mind as I watch today’s MasterChef Indonesia elimination round in which Fero is (finally!) sent off. Another off-site challenge and The Reds consists of supposedly ‘superior’ team members than The Blues. One would think The Reds would win. But an assemblage of great members doesn’t always translate into a great team. That is what happens. The Reds loses thus faces elimination. Unlike previously, today’s method of choosing who’s going home isn’t determined by the Chef Masters but by the members themselves. One again would think (I did) that this time Kevin would be finally sent off as he is the weakest and has the least amount of contribution to the team. I’ve been wondering why he (and Priscil) repeatedly escapes elimination when ‘better’ contenders like Teguh and Ingrid were cut off. I’m wondering because the Chefs’ decisions were not clearly justified.

But who are we to judge what the outcome is. The Chef Masters ask them to decide on the one who contributed the least, who deserves to go home. The second point got me to rethink that Kevin may escape this yet again.

It ain’t an open voting. They are to write down a name and it looks like it’s gonna be anonymous. Of course it’s no fun without open conflict. One by one is asked to stand BEFORE the person they chose, explain their choice, and hole the paper. Oh~ there gotta be backstabbing involved.  Hendry is first. He chooses Fero and his reasons are quite objective – she screwed the dishes and lacked communication. Lucky is next and again chooses Fero due to her strength as a competitor. As there are five people, if Albie picks her too, she’s gone. But he is on friendly terms with her. They get along well and work well together in groups. He mustn’t –

Judging by his uneasiness and edgy behavior when called to drop his ax, I saw it coming. He tearfully states that she is his friend and it is a hard decision; but competition-wise, she is a big hurdle to MasterChef title and that’s why he chooses her. Backstabbing is finally here! Fero isn’t in tears like other axed women contestants were; instead, she finds it unfair that she is eliminated not by her cooking skills. But competition is competition and the Chefs can do nothing about it. They tell her not to hold hard-feelings against the others. Albie feels so guilty he cannot face her and bid her goodbye.

I seriously don’t get it – although it totally makes sense. She is a big competitor and having her eliminated early ease the path into winning the title. She is at times cocky and bossy that the rest won’t feel sorry that she’s gone. I remember Marcella’s last word to Rahmi when she apparently covered for Fero and chose other members instead to join her in elimination stage, “Remember that you’re here to compete, not to make friends.” To which I disagreed. I mean, yes, they’re all there to compete and win MasterChef title. They all go after one exact dream. They are working together for it and it’s impossible not to make any friends (or enemies). Only one person can be the ultimate winner, and it doesn’t hurt to befriend other contestants. It’s super easy to make enemy and they may already have some outside the competition, why bother to make more? Tho’ I agree that [while] friends are friends, it’s necessary to be objective during performance assessments. It’d do anyone good that way.

So what “I seriously don’t get it” is Albie’s self-conflicted decision. He regards her as a friend, yet he thinks she deserves to pack her bags just because she is a great competition? Isn’t it good to have a friend who happens to be a good cook too (in that competition)? That way both of you can help each other grow and compete more professionally. But then again, friends are merely friends. There’s no such thing as friend or family when it comes to pursuing an ambitious goal. If you stand on my way, I don’t care if you’re a friend, you’re dead-meat. I don’t know if I’ll go that way even if it’s for the sake of winning or achieving something I so much desire. I hope not.

Well, the Chef Masters are partly at fault here. Why change the rule in the last minute and create a chance for them to eliminate the strongest competitor? To see how far one can go, how despicable one can be? There’s a saying that a good chance will not come twice. When again such chance come to rid of the #1 most undesirable competitor?

So…maybe Se-young’s decision to sabotage Hyun-wook becomes more understandable. Because it actually happens in real-life competition. No matter how hard she tried, she always came second to him. She thus told herself, if she couldn’t win according to pure technical skills, then do it non-technically. In this case by sabotaging his core ingredient, the Barolo’s red wine. The same thing goes with The Reds’ team-members. They may not eclipse Fero by cooking-skills alone, so when given the chance to oust her by means of non-technical matter, why not take advantage of it?

It is indeed unfair. She makes a good statement that it isn’t fair to get eliminated because of her fine cooking skills while she’s competing in a COOKING competition. But life is unfair. Don’t we all know that the winner of a reality show is not determined purely on ability, but by who is the most popular thus gets the highest number of votes?

Like the commentators said it, it’s foolish of Se-young to expect that a simple sorry and a bat of eyelashes can solve everything. Hyun-wook still resents her for what she did five years earlier. Fero’s friendship with Albie may or may not be irreparable, but if she has a big heart, she’ll hold no hard feelings. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

When you’re successful, friends flock around you. Once you’re in trouble, they’re gone in a snap of a finger. I wonder if friends really are forever.



I blog sometimes, gush ofttimes, snark all the time.

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