Was I the only one bored and a little annoyed by last night's reunion episode of Top Chef ("Watch What Happens")? I'm not sure why Bravo decided a.) to interrupt the flow of episodes halfway or so through the current season and b.) why you would schedule a look back at the first two and a half seasons rather than after the third season concluded.
In any case, Bravo rounded up Top Chef's judges and several contestants from all three seasons for what they intended to be a wink, wink, nudge, nudge trip down memory lane and an update on what previous winners Harold and Ilan are up to. So what did I learn whilst watching this strictly promotional episode of the culinary challenge? Sit back and let's review.
Bravo's Andy Cohen has got to be one of the most irritating people around right now. I can't put my finger on what it is about him but I simply cannot stand him. Perhaps it's his fawning over the show's contestants or the fact that this executive has gone out of his way to make himself as famous as the series he's meant to be promoting. In any event, he makes me cringe every time he opens his mouth and I don't know why Bravo keep trotting him out at every opportunity they get. Let Lee Anne host these things.
Men's tailoring really helps. So does wearing socks with a tuxedo. So, why did Ilan not follow either of these obvious rules by wearing a tuxedo that was far too short for him and neglecting to, you know, wear socks with the ensemble? I'm not entirely sure. I thought he looked ridiculous and I can't help lately but be rubbed the wrong way by him ever since the head-shaving incident in Season Two. Am I the only person sort of weirded out by him now?
Gail Simmons and Ted Allen are NOT the same person. I was really quite stunned to see these two in the same room for the reunion special. Given that Ted was introduced as season three's judge, it was surprising to learn that his participation was only forthcoming whenever Gail was unavailable. Still, it was good to see them both here as they are fantastically astute judges in their own right. I just wish their joint participation had been for an actual challenge-based episode rather than this muck.
Lee Anne and Harold are not dating. Do you feel better now that this rumor has been dispelled? That said, I thought Lee Anne looked gorgeous last night; she was svelte and stunning and had a radiance about her. It's clear that even if these two aren't a romantic item, there's a strong friendship between them.
Is it wrong to laugh at Padma not only for her dubious wardrobe choices (highlighted last night) but for her insistence that she gained a tremendous amount of weight half way through Season Two?
Tom Colicchio laughs when nervous. And continues to laugh when he's really, really, really nervous. You know exactly what moment I'm talking about, as Tom visibly wished to extricate himself from the conversation. My question is who taught the master chef how to hold a fork and knife? That clip package was seriously odd...
Ken has night terrors. To anyone who watched his brief appearance on Top Chef Season One shouldn't be surprised by this in the least.
Despite what Ilan says, Sam is not insecure. Just wanted to make that clear. His insistence that it was insecurity that made Sam tick made me like Ilan even less (if that was possible). And for the record: Sam definitely should have made it into the final two.
Harold's restaurant, Perilla, looks really good. If I make it home to New York this fall, I'd love to try it out. I love restaurants run by what Tom calls "chef's chefs" that offer great, unfussy food in sleek surroundings without pretense. As for what Ilan's up to, it seems to be a whole lot of demos around the country with no plans to open a restaurant of his own any time soon. And I was glad to see master chef Jacques Pepin take down the young upstart at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic cook-off. Take that, you cur.
Next week on Top Chef ("Freezer Burn"), the show's producers trot out a now terrifying-looking guest judge Rocco DiSpirito (complete with bleached hair and overly tan skin!) from under whatever rock he's been hiding since the demise of The Restaurant.
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Jace is an LA-based television development and acquisitions exec who watches way too much television for his own good and would love a TiVo for every room in the house. (He’s halfway there.) His blog, Televisionary, can be found at televisionaryblog.com.