HOLLYWOOD—It was a competition series that I thought was genius when I first heard about it on “Food Network.” After the premiere episode, I soured a bit, but I did indeed continue to watch as I was intrigued by the concept. A competition where you are forced to cook for 24 hours, it just seems crazy right? Yeah, it does.

With that said, “24 in 24: Last Chef Standing” crowned its winner. SPOILER ALERT: if you have not watched stop reading now. The winner is Chef Marcel Vigneron. Yes, Marcel has finally earned that victory after being so close in cooking competitions in the past. However, let’s rewind a bit and talk about how Marcel earned it.

Our last four chefs remaining were Chris Oh, Marcel (of course), Mika Leon and Carlos Anthony. I will admit this has been a duel between Marcel and Carlos the entire tournament, especially when you see a chef of the caliber like Elizabeth Faulker go out in the first episode. The final challenge or ‘Shift 8’ as hosts Michael Symon and Esther Choi coined, was all about Elevation, which would see the chefs cooking a full course meal that include a ‘Muse,’ a term I had never heard before, but it’s like an appetizer of an appetizer before the actual appetizer. Don’t even ask me to explain because it truly made no sense to me.

If anything, the series should have done, an appetizer, entrée and dessert, but that is difficult to do ONLY using a protein. So, to kick-off the final round, the chefs would return to the first challenge they endured which involved speed: cutting and dicing eight onions, turning eight artichokes and pitting eight avocados. It was Marcel who finished first by a mere hair, and he chose seafood, something that Carlos also wanted.

Carlos settled for pork, which forced Chris Oh to choose beef, and because Mika was last she was given chicken and she was not too pleased by that option. Honestly, the biggest mishap with the series is the judging. It should be blind judging; it just opens the door for things to be fair and balanced. You’re not going to tell me some of these chefs who know these other chefs don’t have a slight bias when they judge.

Out of the final three judges of the competition, I was only pleased with Scott Conant. I respect his authority to a degree, whereas Jet Tila and Iron Chef Stephanie Izard, I didn’t care much for their judging, I just didn’t; I’m sorry. So for the ‘Muse’ round I thought Mika had the best dish. It was simply impressive what she did utilizing the flavor from the chicken wing to create a broth for a tasty treat. However, it was not strong enough to make it to the next round and she got the boot, unfortunately.

All the chefs had flaws in each dish they crafted, so I would have preferred some sort of scoring or something to explain why the chef who lost, actually lost. The viewer didn’t receive any of that which was an absolute bummer in my opinion. In the second round, the ‘Appetizer’ Chris Oh looked like he was headed in the right direction, but his Japanese beef inspired croquet fell apart in the fryer and he had to adjust on the fly. It was so obvious from that point he was getting the boot, which he did.

The editing the entire competition was pointing towards a Marcel and Carlos final duel, and that is what the audience received as Marcel crafted a near perfect Flounder dish, which Carlos’ double pork chop was well-executed, but he needed just a bit of acid and/or brightness to the dish based on the judges’ critiques. However, that did not seal the deal for me, it was when Marcel shared his tale of hoping to win the $50k to help purchase a cochlear implant for his mother who lost her hearing at an early age.

How could that not bring tears to your eyes? Not saying the tale he shared would automatically grant him the win, but the editing wouldn’t put that into the show if it didn’t have a element of importance. After the final judging, Carlos Anthony was so close to victory, but Marcel the frontrunner all competition earned his first culinary cooking competition victory in his career. It was damn impressive and brought not only Marcel to tears, but the judges as well.

With the $50,000 prize, Marcel also won a $24,000 trip to Hawaii and it was well-deserved. However, if “24 in 24: Last Chef Standing” returns for a second season, here are a few fixes to consider. You cannot eliminate half of the chefs after the first competition; it felt like such a slap in the face to the viewers and the premise of the series. In addition, you have to introduce blind judging. It is a must have to ensure no actual bias unfolds in the competition.

In addition, throw in a few more risks. How so? You can earn or trade in cooking time for the opportunity to rest for the chefs if they choose to. Raise the stakes make the competition a game full of surprises and not as predictable, and this original concept could become a massive hit.