Of the three finalists, Stephan, Hosea and Carla, Carla was all about the love. Stephan was extremely talented, smug, snarky and insufferably cocky. Hosea, who ultimately won, was also talented but not as experienced, a bit whiny and continually engaged in a culinary pissing match with Stephan. Carla was calm, quirky, funny as hell, talented and always tried to infuse her food with love. Ultimately it was the love that did her in.
Each of the contestants was given a sous chef to help them prepare the dishes of their final challenge. When Carla's helper started suggesting a different way to prepare her meat and a souffle for dessert instead of a tart (which Carla was known for) you could almost see Carla not wanting to dampen her helper's enthusiasm. She didn't say, "No. I'm the chef here and we'll do things my way." Instead she saw her helper and herself as a team and she agreed to try some things the way her helper suggested. Bad move this time.
When the judges tasted her food their response was, "This doesn't taste like what we expected from you. You got to the finals by cooking your own way. Why would you change now?" You could see Carla deflate before your eyes, like a souffle that's been startled before its time. She knew immediately what mistake she'd made. All the nurturing women watching knew instantly what had happened because we've probably all done this to ourselves in the past. You take care of everyone around you before you take care of yourself.
I'm not saying this is a bad way to be. I think it may make you a better person, providing you don't overdo it. It makes you a great team player. It makes you a great mom. If you run a restaurant it may make your kitchen more harmonious. In this case, it just didn't make Carla a Top Chef and for that I'm sad.
Carla accidently threw herself under the bus and reminded all of us out there that there are times when putting ourselves first is absolutely okay and is, in fact, "being all about the love."