Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Top Chef:All Stars 4/6/11--"Reunion Special" summary

Is Andy Cohen hosting this too? I mean, they already let him have half an hour right after the finale. So he gets another hour? Can’t Padma and Tom host? (click for more)

Padma, Tom, and Gail apparently are not as qualified to host the reunion special as Andy Cohen. We congratulate Richard, and then Andy asks him if he wishes he’d won his season, or if it was sweeter to come back and win. Mike interrupts to say he wishes Richard had won Season 4. Shut up, Mike. You’ll get your chance to pretend to be a gracious loser in a minute. Richard tells us he thinks he learned a lot about himself by not winning back in his season. Tom says it came down to what moved each judge. Gail goes on about Mike’s pepperoni sauce.

Montage of Richard. He says when he lost the first time, he thought about not cooking again. They’ve had some deaths in the family, so it’s been rough. Aww. He’s gotten over being creative just to be creative and do crazy things. They show the interview where Mike says he’ll punch Richard in the face. Mike laughs. Yeah. You know where they have the insets of the reunion show? They show the moment where he won, and then an inset shot of Mike looking pissed. He also says it’s about his wife and family, and that his wife is the only thing he’s ever won up until then. Aww! And hee! He’s still kind of choked up, and Gail jokes that he might be easier on himself, now, maybe. Fabio is like, “He won and he still freak out! Jesus Christ!” I love Fabio. Richard also tells us that he has a new daughter. Andy also reminds us that Richard promised Mike some money if he won. Oh yeah, he did. Richard says they’re going to talk about it, he might invest in Mike.

Now let’s talk to Mike! He says he “went the distance” and it was an honor. Tom thinks Mike won more than anyone else, especially when you take into account things like how Mike never cooked Italian food before the Ellis Island episode, and now he’s gotten that back. Andy makes Antonia talk about how she lost on an amuse bouche, and she says that was easier because everyone was nitpicking. Montage of Mike being gross and Antonia being disgusted, and then they discovered they were related.
Montage of Jen and how everyone respected her and then how in the second episode she went off on the judges and argued with them about everything. And then she was eliminated and everyone freaked out, and she left the room and forgot to turn her mike off and let loose with a string of profanity. She tells Andy she was disappointed in herself, and Gail admits she was shocked it took so long for anyone to go off on the judges.

Pretend viewer questions! OK, I know these are probably real people. But they always seem to ask the same questions and it’s just as likely the producers wrote questions they felt would cause the most drama. First question: did the guys have stylists or are tight T-shirts and hair gel their own idea? Then he makes fun of Angelo. Montage. There are clips from the shots in the intro, which are cut together to make Angelo look like a cologne model or something. That’s kind of funny, actually. Tre says he cooks in $300 pants. Really? He walks around in the house in tight lavender pants, which he looks very good in, to be fair. Dale tells him he looks like he has an avocado in his pants, and Angelo says they’re Padma’s pants. Hee. Mike says to Fabio that Angelo tells people he has an avocado in his pants, and Fabio laughs and says “More like walnuts, Mike.” Ha! Dale says he feels uglier around Angelo. OK, that was hilarious.

Viewer question! Gail, would you rather go on a date with Angelo, Fabio, or Spike. Duh, Fabio. Gail says she and Spike have “a Canadian connection” and then there’s a shot of some guy…oh, damn, that’s Spike. I didn’t recognize him without any hat whatsoever. Then she very carefully reminds everyone she’s married. Padma gets the same question, and she says, “Elia, or Casey.” Oh, now you’ve opened a can of worms. “Or I could motorboat Antonia.” WTF!?! “I just learned that word!” Is she high?

Montage of Jamie. She figures out it’s about her when Andy says it’s about a chef whose “heart wasn’t in the game”. God, then we have to bring up again about how she went to get stitches. Look, I understand that she only got two stitches. But you can’t tell a grown woman she can’t go get stitches if she wants to. It’s her decision. And then they show the tennis match thing, where she never finished cooking her chickpeas and then she wouldn’t go first or whatever. And as I read on another site, and totally agree with, if you were so dead-set on your stupid strategery, you could have just yelled her name when asked and threw her under the bus that way. Plenty of interview clips of people making fun of her. A viewer asks if Jamie feels bad after watching everyone else not getting stitches. Jamie rolls her eyes and she says she stopped watching the show so she has no idea. She gets really defensive, and I think sort of tries to drag Fabio into it, but not really, and bottom line, this is stupid. Tom points out that for all of them to be satisfied she was really hurt, she probably would have had to come back without her thumb. True that.
Tiffani admits she was a total bitch her season and “wrote the manual” on how not to do this show. She is also glad she didn’t win because it would have validated her bullshit. She wanted to compete but not become that person. Someone asks all of them if they’d come back a third time. Richard, Jen…a lot of people. Mike says it would depend on who was competing, because he would rather do Masters. Please.

So, apparently, Xbox Video Connect is a thing where you can have people join you in a videoconference via Xbox, I guess. Curtis Stone shows up and asks them who they would send up to Top Chef Masters. Jen would go herself, DaleT says they should send Richard obviously, and Spike tells Tiffani he’d send her and then when called on he says he’d send Marcel.
Montage of Fabio and Richard, and Angelo and Mike, having bromances. I know Fabio and Richard had a thing, but Angelo and Mike? Do I need porn music for this montage? No. No I do not. Do I need to watch Mike spank Angelo? Andy, no one wants to watch whatever footage you’ve found to watch late at night in bed. Fabio says he and Richard’s wife have an agreement.
Viewer question: is Antonia really the Black Hammer? Montage of Antonia’s teammates falling one by one. Seriously, it’s like…every time. Creepy. They argue over whether or not Antonia has a curse, and if it extends to her roommates. Hee. Another question: DaleT, does your girlfriend have the ring you said she deserves? DaleT is like, where’s my money bitches? He has everything picked out but Bravo hasn’t sent the check. Hee. Andy then says that apparently 97% of female viewers want to know if Fabio has a girlfriend. First of all, it can’t be that high unless you are lumping gay men in there too. And secondly, Fabio says he does but his private life is private. Montage of Fabio being Italian and telling crazy stories and charming women. And trying to pronounce words. Nothing beats “monkey ass in clam shell” though. Fabio insists to Andy that all his stories are true. Jen doesn’t believe Fabio walks his turtle. She’s kind of belligerent. Also everyone wants him to say “burger” because he sort of says “booger”.

Kids being healthy, for some reason this question goes to Antonia. What is the difference between cooking for adults and children? She goes off on a tangent about how she hates when a restaurant has a kids’ menu because it’s condescending and it says kids are stupid. Montage of outtakes from the Muppets. Hilarious. You have to remember there are adults under there saying things and making fun of Padma and probably looking up her skirt. Richard says when his daughter saw how Elmo said “hi Riley, Elmo loves you” she loved it. Montage of the museum challenge, and how some chefs were like “I don’t like kids…shhhh.” Padma tries to shush them, which doesn’t work, and Dale interviews that Padma probably just saw the next 10 years of her life flash before her eyes. Heh.

Commercial interlude: OK, so now we’re making a music video of Marcel being an asshat? With autotune? This autotune sucks ass. SUCKS. ASS. Don’t think I don’t know good autotune. Don’t clap! Jesus!

Now we have to bring up how Mike stole a dish from Richard that time. Oh, yeah, you can’t steal ideas or whatever. He totally did it and then was an asshat about it. Mike says everything has been done before somewhere, so that absolves him of blame. Richard says it was probably best labeled as “inappropriate”. He also admits that he wouldn’t have made it the same.

Montage of Judges’ Table outtakes. Lots of cursing. Tony says he’s an “egg whore”. Even Paula Deen curses! Wow. Someone calls Padma on being super upset when Tre was eliminated. She says she has a “sweet spot” for Tre but she hates eliminating anyone. The judges’ tell their favorite dishes: Padma liked DaleT’s egg dumpling at Wylie Dufresne’s; Tom loved Carla’s chicken pot pie she made for Jimmy Fallon, hamachi sweetbread from Richard, and Mike’s conch/fish dish on the beach. Tom wasn’t nervous to cook in front of the chefs, but he was nervous to cook in front of the cameras.

Oh, now we’re going to get into what Elia said about Tom after she got eliminated. I almost forgot about this. She said that he was a sellout and was not all about the food, not supporting farmer’s markets, not using grass-fed beef. She says she went to Craft in Vegas and they told her they only had corn-fed beef. After he published his reaction to what she said, she claims she went back and there still wasn’t any grass-fed beef. She also admits she called him a sellout, and she tries to get out of talking about it but Andy is insistent. She says she doesn’t believe in his selling Diet Coke because it has “bad stuff” in it, and that chefs of his caliber shouldn’t sell it, or drink it, or something. DaleL starts to stand up for…someone…and says it’s tough to know where to draw the line when you’re looking at endorsements. Tom is like, I drink Diet Coke and I sell it, so there’s no line. He says he buys food from small farmers, and he never said anything bad about what Elia said. She tells him she’s admired Tom since she moved to the U.S., but she saw the animals that were brought into his restaurant. He stops her and asks her if she actually went back into the kitchen. She says she did, but Tom clarifies and she says, “Into your kitchen? No.” Then whose kitchen is she talking about? Tom tells her that she really didn’t see animals being broken down, then. Spike is making finger guns and rolling his head around like he’s super bored. The argument continues, and basically, Tom is trying to get a name out of Elia but she doesn’t remember who she talked to. The other chefs are tired of hearing about it and start a shouting match about how they should drop it. Tom finally just flat out tells her she’s wrong, they’ve always served corn-fed beef, and grass-fed beef too. Elia’s argument is that he’s so successful, and such a great businessman, he should only buy grass-fed animals. How is that relevant? Tom says you can’t have a steakhouse and only serve grass-fed beef, and then he’s like, “I understand you were the first person to go, and it was hard, but it wasn’t personal, and there are 3 other people on the panel and the decision was unanimous”. Oh, good point. What about Gail and Padma? DaleL says something about questioning integrity throughout careers or something. Tom tells everyone that he’s eaten at some of their restaurants, outside of the show, and he feels it’s off limits to comment on it. Then he reminds everyone to be careful what they say in the press. Yeah…I think Tom won that. Andy asks Elia if she regrets what she said, and Padma tells her she doesn’t have to comment, but Elia says no, she stands by what she said. Oo.

Montage of judges, especially Tony. Because Tony Bourdain is great for soundbites. They say lots of mean things. Padma doesn’t think they were harder on these chefs, just that it depends on what else is on the table. One more viewer question: why doesn’t Carla say “Hootie Hoo!” anymore? Yeah! I missed that. While she saw her husband on Ellis Island, they were together, and “hootie hoo” is for when they can’t find each other. Montage of Carla being crazy. So much fun.

It’s over! Everyone gets fleeces! Congrats to Richard, and bye Andy Cohen!

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