Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Top Chef 12/16/09--Reunion summary

Just what we all wanted! A reunion show! Why can’t they let Tom run it like they used to let Tim Gunn do? Stupid Andy Cohen. (click for more)

See? The judges are already here. They could have run this thing. Everyone is here but Jesse, who “isn’t feeling well” and won’t be here. I’m not saying she is faking, that’s just what Andy said. They congratulate Michael, who says he’s going to start a restaurant. Someone left a comment on last week’s post that I shouldn’t only judge on personality and that Michael wasn’t as bad as Ilan and that he could cook. I never said he couldn’t cook. But since you didn’t read enough of the post to understand that I DO usually pick winners, 4 out of 6 times, probably you aren’t reading this now. Get your facts straight. Anyways, now we get a montage of Michael cursing and all his dishes. All the weird random stuff. So you know this means that he doesn’t win fan favorite, not that I think anyone assumed he would. Kmanpat brought up a good point, that if Michael won, Bryan would be happy for him, but the reverse is probably not true. Tom explains how they picked Michael for the win, which is that Bryan didn’t season his first two dishes and they were a little lower than Michael’s. Bryan says his restaurant has doubled its business, and Kevin also has more business, which is good. I didn’t think they would have any problems.

Andy rubs it in about Restaurant Wars, where Kevin and Jen’s team tried to double their money but failed. They stay on Restaurant Wars for a while, and show the clip of how Kevin and Laurine didn’t agree on how the lamb was cooked. After the episode, apparently, Kevin felt responsible for Laurine going home (which he partially was, probably) and he considered quitting. Tom reveals that Laurine thought Jen should have gone home and not Kevin. Everyone looks embarrassed because she never told. Gail points out that in a real restaurant, no one can see which chefs took on too many dishes and screwed up service, but they do see a front-of-house person who won’t stick around to explain the dishes.

And then Andy says they’ll reveal the winner of fan favorite tomorrow?!?! WTF is that? So then what is the point of this entire show? Jesus. Jen and Kevin are named, and Mike I. names Bryan. Montage of Jen. Now I can’t figure out who wins from the montages. Basically, Jen knows what she’s doing and takes charge of the kitchen. They nicely leave out the middle of the series where she started to fail. It was her strategy to be down on herself. Some guy from the internet asks about how everyone seems to be down on themselves. Aren’t chefs egomaniacs? Montage of cursing and how people think their food sucks. I especially like Ash’s litany of cursing, where he talks for like 30 seconds and only about 5 words are not bleeped. Then everyone says “suck”. Ashley says she’s competitive and hard on herself. Andy tries to get the judges to say this is a sign of insecurity on their part, but Toby feels people that are good in any field are always aware of where they could do better.

After commercial, we talk about cooking for the group of French chefs, and they show Mattin, who is still adorable but now that I’m watching “Chef Academy” with Emmanuel who is not only a French chef but a porn star? Sorry Mattin. Kevin won immunity that week and got to eat dinner instead of having to cook, but he wished he could have cooked instead. Andy says something about getting inside Kevin’s head at that table, since he doesn’t speak French, and then they have a montage of what the chefs really said and “What Kevin Heard” which is basically them making up stupid captions about Joel making fun of Kevin. It’s just not funny. I mean, it’s supposed to be, and it’s not like, offensive or anything. Not like the stupid bromance crap they pull out all the time. It’s just not as funny as it could be. See, because then they talk to Mattin about how he was in the bottom on that challenge, and then Andy says “You always seemed surprised when you wind up in the bottom”, and then he realizes what he said, and Mattin just grins and says “Always surprised”. (Kmanpat: “How can he be surprised? Who would let him be on top?”) Much funnier than the fake captions.

Andy starts talking about guest judges and he says “Joel” in an American way and not the French way which bugs me. Tom looks concerned. They imply that they’re going to talk about how the judges might have been intimidated by the guest judges, but instead they get a montage of the chefs talking about poor dishes. No one has any really quality soundbites. Toby says that watching the show later reminds him of how much they work, and gives him some insight as to why the food sucks sometimes.

Another viewer question: who had the best food out of all the seasons? First we need a montage of food porn shots and a discussion of everyone’s James Beard awards and Michelin stars, and how impressive they all were. So then of course the judges all say this was the best season.

Andy changes tack and calls Ash out, because he said he thought Padma didn’t like him. Andy asks everyone who thinks Padma doesn’t like them, and pretty much everyone except the final 4 raise their hands. And Laurine, she doesn’t raise her hand. Tom raises his though. Hee! She says it’s true for Tom but it’s not true for any of the constants. She just wants to know about their food and save the friendships for later. Tom pipes up that Toby hates everyone and Gail loves everyone.

Andy makes people claim that they went out too early. Mike says of his leek dish, the vegetarian in a steakhouse challenge, that he knew it was a bad dish and he thinks if he could have taken it back he’d have gone further. Tom just nods. Hector was pissed when he went out. That’s all he says though; he doesn‘t explain why he was pissed.

Another viewer asks if there were any scandalous romances. Missing Hosea and Leah? Ashley says she and Ash hooked up. Andy asks if they both switched teams for each other, and Ash claims that part was “tricky”. Hee. Oh you know that there wasn’t anything going on. They would have shown it. Montage of drinking, jumping in the pool at the bachelor/bachelorette party, drinking in the Stew Room, Mattin’s birthday (where he drank until he puked and also got naked), dragging Jen into the pool. Which I find interesting because other contestants put their hands on Jen while she is clinging to the walls, and yet in the end nothing happened with that. I mean, obviously Marcel was not happy about it, but Jen could have argued that too, probably. Things would have turned out a lot differently. Mike claims that chefs get drunk and then cook the next day all the time.

Someone asks about the sibling rivalry. Michael planned to take Bryan out earlier. Because it’s like “Survivor” in that you can control who goes home. It turns out that Ilan, Marcel, and Hung have all worked for them. Michael says Marcel is totally different from the person we see on TV, and he and Hung encouraged Michael to try out. When he auditioned, the people asked him for Bryan’s phone number. Awesome. Montage of the sibling rivalry. Basically they act like brothers. Except that Bryan says nice things about Michael sometimes. Michael claims he had guilt for beating Bryan. He has a story about how his mom offered to let him off punishment so he could watch “ALF” if he could stop harassing Bryan, and Michael said that wasn’t going to happen so he’d just go back to bed now, thanks. Andy brings out their mom, who says when asked, that she won’t admit which son she was rooting for. Tom offers that she must have been rooting for Kevin. Hee. She then says that since Michael won, Bryan gets the Corvette in the garage, instead of her giving Michael the Harley. She apologizes to Michael, and then Bryan points out that Michael won a Prius, while he gets a ‘79 Corvette. Hee.

Commercial interlude: montage of Ron laughing and entertaining everyone.

A viewer asks Eli why he lives with his parents (because the viewer also lives with his parents) and does it cramp his style with the ladies? Eli is all, “I’m glad you asked, Jeff” and says that he just moved in with them because while on the show he wouldn’t get paid, so couldn’t pay his rent. Yes, I know I said Jeff, because it’s the kind of tone you get when Jeff Probst asks people questions on “Survivor” and they are jerks like Silas and always say “Well, Jeff, blah blah blah.” Montage of Kevin and Eli being best buds. Best line? “I will f***ing cannonball the s*** out of that pool”, which is said by Kevin, and makes no sense at all. They talk about science and nerd things while everyone else looks really confused. Also once Padma came into the Stew Room and they were so engrossed about supersonic jets she had to wait for them to shut up. Kevin says it’s fun to be smart, and then says he’s going to get that on a T-shirt. He also shares about how he could have gone to MIT but he wanted to be a chef. Also he would have been the coolest person there and he wasn’t ready for that.

Mike says he got married at the end of the summer and that he’s really a nice guy. Padma feigns ignorance of his editing as a jerk. Tom claims no one understands Jersey boys. Now there is a montage of Mike talking about how he kicks ass and is the best. Andy brings up the time that he said he could cook better than a girl, which I just rolled my eyes at but apparently generated a lot of email. Mike refuses to explain himself and instead forces Jen to explain about how he’s a nice guy, which is pretty lame since he was talking about Jen.

Then Andy brings up Ashley’s insistence that she didn’t want to cook for a bachelor party when she couldn’t get married herself since she’s gay, because that generated a lot of emails too. Apparently people asked if she was upset about the military challenge too. She says she was shocked that “stating the obvious” was a big deal, and that she has no problem cooking for weddings. That’s not what she said at all. Saying it’s unfair she can’t get married is one thing, which is totally true and I am for that. But she said she didn’t want to cook for an institution she couldn’t be a part of, which isn’t “stating the obvious” and would imply she doesn’t cater weddings. She says she would never refuse a customer of any kind. Also not what she was edited to sound like.

Does Robin every stop talking? Let’s watch the montage! But Tom jumps in before they can start, to talk over Andy and point out that Robin hasn’t said a word all night, actually. But I will say that they never do that thing where they fade the talking in and out to make it seem like it goes on forever. She really does talk that much. They end the montage with Mike saying he wants to shove his clog in her mouth, and he and Eli are in tears laughing, but you’ll notice no one else thinks it’s that hilarious. She tries to say it’s been exaggerated, but Mike says it’s not. A viewer asks why no one was mature and adult, and just ask her not to talk to herself. GOOD POINT. Robin agrees. All that time, and not once did anyone ask her to be quiet? It sounds like no one even lost it and yelled at her to shut up. Mike claims Robin got under his skin, and she didn’t have any issue with him because he actually did tell her how he felt so she was fine about it. Clips of Eli and Robin’s fight, which was stupid all around. And people making fun of her. And then Eli’s cancer comment which was stupid. Etc. The best part is that this whole montage makes Robin look better because it’s edited to seem like everyone picked on her. Eli says that he regrets his comment about Robin using her cancer to win. Toby asks if he’s apologized, and he says he hasn’t because he hasn’t talked to her, but does NOT take the opportunity to do so now. Michael says he had conflicts with her in the kitchen, but he could also see how she took care of the house like a mother. She dealt it back to them too, and then Michael apologizes for anything he might have done. Finally Eli apologizes, and says he’s sorry for anything he’s done, and that he hopes she can “walk away from this and be civil, and all that”. You can’t apologize and then tell people to be civil. If she lays into you when you apologize, you just have to take it.

Andy asks if the contestants ever forget the cameras are rolling. Kevin, who is smart, you remember, is all, “I don’t know, Andy. Do we?” because of course Andy has a montage of just that. Outtakes, people making faces, Preeti failing at shucking clams, food falling and being dropped.

Some lecher asks how it was to serve Padma breakfast in bed, and she claims to have been wearing nothing under the robe but I doubt it. Kevin says it was awkward. Mattin asks if that’s the day she got pregnant. As everyone freaks out, she says she ate a lot of huevos but no. Ha! Then we congratulate Michael and we’re done! Woo! Oh, but first, everyone gets a bottle of Quickfire wine, which is a cabernet sauvignon, and is apparently $18.99 per bottle. Which sounds like something I should savor...which is not a Quickfire at all. (Kmanpat: "They should use it. 'For your Quickfire, here's some Quickfire! Make something to match our wine!"). That is totally a good idea.

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