Loyal Top Chef fans who use Amazon Prime Video to watch the show are livid over the fact that the most recent episode is
missing from the digital library four days after it premiered on TV [Update: see the note at the bottom of this post]. Making matters worse, this episode is the second half of a Restaurant Wars cliffhanger — typically, one of the most popular episodes of each season. Users have flooded Top Chef Kentucky’s Amazon page with one-star reviews complaining about the mysterious omission.
Currently, Season 16 of the hit competition show has a 1.5 star rating, with more than 80 one-star reviews, most of which were submitted over the last four days. The situation is particularly vexing for viewers who plunked down $22 for a season pass, ensuring that they’d be able to stream all of the new episodes hours after they aired on TV. “I own all past 15 seasons plus all of the Top Chef spinoffs on Amazon — and had subscribed to Season 16,” one reader tells Eater. “I LOVE watching all past seasons while I spend hours cooking in my home kitchen. However, I bailed out yesterday given the delay, and was given a full refund for the season by Amazon. Instead, I purchased the season on iTunes.”
This morning, an Amazon customer service rep told Eater that the “issue is reported to the technical team and they are working on it,” while also noting that “situations like this are rare.” All five episodes of Top Chef Kentucky are currently available on Amazon Prime’s direct competitors iTunes, Google Play, and YouTube.
If anything, this incident proves that there are still a lot of people who care about basic cable’s longest-running culinary competition show, even as Netflix and other streaming-only players continue to make more advances in the realm of food TV. Hopefully, Amazon and the Top Chef crew will work out this glitch soon, because the Kentucky-themed season of the show is just starting to get really interesting. The last episode, in particular, featured a lot of drama, including a dinner service that went totally off the rails, and a double elimination involving a fan favorite.
Stay tuned for more updates on the Top Chef StreamingGate as they become available.
Update: Well, it seems that all the complaining and one-star reviews did their trick, because this afternoon, Amazon finally made Episode 5, “Restaurant Wars, Pt. 2” available to stream, nearly five whole days after it aired on cable. Now Amazon Prime Video users can finally see the colossal meltdown that occurred during this memorable episode of Top Chef Kentucky.
• Top Chef Season 16 [Amazon Prime]
• ‘Top Chef Kentucky’ Recap: Slip-Sliding Into Restaurant Wars [E]
• All Top Chef Coverage [E]