Generally speaking I have no disagreement with you Pete. And let's keep in mind, too, that there is a lot we don't get to see and hear.
But the thing is, based on what we were shown and told, maybe Jen's dish was lacking. But it wasn't the worst of the them. Apprently not by a long shot. The deciding factor had to be her words with Tom. The fact that he went out of his way to tell us it hadn't entered the equation should tell you something.
And then Casey? Nobody in that episode expected her to be sent home. There were others who not only were shocked, but who, with justification, expected to be the ones chosen.
However, from what I saw I would absolutely dread working for a guy like Marcel.
Or working side-by-side with him, or being his supervisor, or even being in the same room with him. He was an obnoxious little twit on his own season, and, if anything, has gotten work. Good riddence, I say.
.....it really is not "Top Chef" but rather "Top Dish".
It's not, necessarily, even that.
Given the nature of the formatting, it's quite possible that you could, week to week, prepare a terrible dish each time, never win a quickfire or elimination challenge, and still make it to the finale. And then, if you luck out, actually win the thing.
Keep in mind, you don't have to win to remain each week. You just don't have to lose. That was Angelo's strategy during his season, for instance, and he seems to be trying it again.