I've literally created an account, to let you know this is the 21st century and people don't want to read 14 pages of words, to get to the point. If you happened to scroll down to the comments before reading this insanely long and useless article I will sum it up.
1. Took a friend to the taping of the show, it's 1 hour on tv and idiotically he assumed it would take 1 hour to film.
2.Stunt Doubles for the chefs, He assumed that they picked the person right there on the spot, with no consideration that the other chefs might have something else to do.
So naturally the contestant told the producer who they wanted to battle ahead of time.
3. Secret Ingredient, isn't as secret as you assume, the producers have said that they give them a list of what it might be, Pork, Fish, Chicken, Beef etc etc. Allowing the for the chefs to use the most of their time, after all, have you ever prepaired 5 meals in 1 hour before with out a plan?
And that's really it, the show isn't an hour long, they use stunt doubles instead of making those chefs come in for 5 minutes, and leave if not picked, and the secret ingredient is told to them in a manner of speaking.
4. Takes 45 minutes to film each judging, so the second person going food might not taste as good thus giving it an unfair advantage. While you have a point here, what are they suppose to do, feed them every dish at once? Any real competition you have to hand your food in hot or cold, and its up to you to keep it that way.
So I hope this helped sum up this worthless article, about a guy who doesn't realize that a 1 hour tv show takes more time, than 1 hour.