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Marcel exposed?

i was rooting for marcel during the finale because i thought that the other chefs were totally ganging up on him and being childish. i didnt understand why everyone hated him so much. however, when i watched the live bravotv post show interview, it all suddenly became clear...MARCEL REALLY IS THAT ANNOYING!! He couldnt shut up and had a smart-alek comment for everything. HE was the sophmoric idiot and ilan really did come across as the mature, dedicated chef. people would call in and ask a question for ilan and it was like marcel had to get in a comment first. lol one caller actually interrupted marcel and told him the question was specifically for illan. without all the editing, i saw marcel for what he really was. he is full of annoying phrases (i'm not gunna lie..., like...) and by the end of the interview MY nerves were on edge. i cant imagine having the live with him for 16 weeks!!!! anyone else who saw the interview agree?????

PS--i cant believe marcel choose applebeesque-Mikey....(?!?!) even if mia was the weaker cook (i highly doubt it...) at least she wasnt all anti-marcel and she said she WANTED to work with him (unlike mikey).

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  1. TOTALLY!!!! I hated Marcel from the very beginning, but sort of started to feel bad for him. Since we only really see snapshots of what the chefs were really like, I just couldn't figure out why they all reverted into junior high kids, with the way they treated Marcel. But seeing him in the interview, I'm so with you! He kind of like acts like he's the only person in the room. And did you see his freakin' face when they announced that Ilan was the Top Chef??? I mean, he couldn't even congratulate the guy? What a freakshow, man. I'm not a chef, but I'm married to one, and I am familiar with the type of personality it takes to be successful in the kitchen. I can't figure out how anyone could work with Marcel. He seems really difficult to work with. Anyway, I'm glad Ilan won.

    1. For someone who doesn't care much foir Marcel, the aftershow really just kind of made me feel bad for him. He was obviously highly uncomfortable, probably feeling like crap and more than likely a little drunk.

      It's hard to deny Ilan's slimy ways ("I'd love to pee on Marcel"?? UGH), so I feel for the boy. Even after Marcel lost Ilan continued to tell the press how much he hated him, but continued to harrass him with phone calls? Despicable. How would you feel if you were forced by contract to sit next to him and field questions after successfully avoiding him since the time taping ended?

      That's not to say that Marcel didn't come off looking totally awkward. That show was the best trainwreck ever.

      2 Replies
      1. re: gingersweetiepie

        gingersweetpie, you seem to know Ilan so let me try out a hypothesis on you regarding Ilan's ultimately successful scheme to get the better of Marcel.

        Realizing that Elia was Marcel's sole friend, Ilan took it upon himself to coax by whatever means possible Elia over to his side. The first obvious attempt was when Ilan moved into Elia's room and prompty suggested to Elia that Elia's team blame Marcel if the team lost. Elia refused then.

        It is not shown, but though the next episodes, Elia and Ilan seemed to form a bond, perhaps culminated when both decide to shave their heads and after Elia had ignored Marcel's pleas for help when being held down by Cliff in the head shaving incident. Fast forward to the plane trip to Hawaii and Elia joins in the Marcel bashing, and then to the finale part one, where she is persuaded by the boys to accuse Marcel of cheating.

        Having lost Elia as a comrade, Marcel must then turn to Sam as his sous chef selection. And Sam in turn persuades Marcel to pick Mikey over Mia. Had Ilan not been successful in alienating Elia from Marcel, he probably would have chosen her as his teammate, as he did on a prior occasion, and really, as pointed out elsewhere, it was Elia's sous chef skills that help Ilan win as much as anything. True, Sam was of some assistance to Marcel, particularly with the save. But I have to wonder, if Elia were the Sous Chef, she no doubt would have recommended Mia, and maybe Elia might have been able to talk Marcel out of the plain salad dish, or at least enhance it. And Mia would have been much better for Marcel than Mikey, who as I said elsewhere, acted like a minimum wage kitchen helper rather than a sous chef.

        this is all conjecture, but i would suggest that a key to Ilan prevailing was alienating Elia from Marcel. For this, he truly deserves the title of top conspirator.

        1. re: sushidog

          Although I don't think that Marcel would necessarily have won if Elia had still been his friend (kindof too many steps of inference for me...), I definitely agree with you that Ilan went after Elia as a friend in order to make sure Marcel had no friends. I don't think it was that calculated though, I think he just didn't like him and was mean and wanted to steal his only friend so he wouldn't have anyone nice (Elia) being offended when he made fun of Marcel.

      2. I was going to say the EXACT SAME THING!!! He really was something... painful to watch and listen to. For those of you who missed the post show interview... I was in SHOCK to see how annoying he was.

        I think Marcel is an idiot savant in the truest sense. He can be pure genius with food... but unfortunately does not have the social skills and leadership to be much of anything.

        My predictions for his life: One day he's going to be like 70 yrs old without a job and without friends because of his social awkwardness. He's going to have spent his entire adult life experimenting and perfecting his craft in the comfort of his home kitchen (kenmore pro that is!). He's going to craft some of the most amazing food ever made and will end up feeding it to his cats... the only living organisms that can stand him. He won't care, because he'll be in such awe of his own creations. And sadly, the world will never get a chance to taste the greatness that could have been Marcel.

        3 Replies
          1. re: asiansensation007

            I'd loooove that story more if Marcel actually had the chops. He'll be reading about the innovations of the real chefs, and imitating them years later with his one geek friend, who is no doubt deaf and so able to hang happily.
            And the cats can eat well.

          2. re: mr_fro2000

            //He's going to craft some of the most amazing food ever made and will end up feeding it to his cats//

            That gets my vote for the best hound line of the year.

          3. Okay, so Marcel was over talkative and a bit long-winded, but look...this kid has been attacked verbally by the other chefs, man-handled by Cleef, but he was attacked with a bottle by some sick female in a nightclub in Vegas! WHAT THE HELL??? No matter how you feel about the kid, he doesn't deserve any of that. He was shaken, he was probably a little embarrassed, he was confused and like the other poster stated, he was probably just a little lit. And who can blame him. I would be blazed too. He just lost to his arch rival with the help of his number one nemesis. And by the way, isn't Betty a little too damn old to be hating on a kid?

            I also disagree about the editing of the show. I think that if Marcel was like that that Bravo and the producers of Top Chef would have been more than happy to share that side of him with the viewing audience. At least that would have given us a litte insight into what it was about Marcel that was rubbing all the other chefs raw. But they didn't; hell, in the beginning Elia liked him, she said that she had to defend him a lot of the time to the other chefs. Then in the lamest excuse ever to turn on someone, she says it's because he took her burner or turned off her burner and was rude to her in the kitchen during the final 4 challenge. How pathetic. She didn't have anything better than that. And clearly the chefs didn't care. She just wanted to whine, and cry and try and garner sympathy about everything. Even Ilan, who initially put her up to lying on Marcel...and yes I said lying because I believe that it was...even Ilan just shutup after he saw that it wasn't going to work. I like Marcel. He appeared to be creative, not the same ol' same ol', and I think that he will go far in his aspirations of becoming a top chef.

            8 Replies
            1. re: Keiwei

              Marcel didn't "just lose" - he lost 2 months ago. That time frame between the actual taping and the live post-interview show would have given any reasonable person time to get over the loss and deal with it in a mature manner. Marcel was anything BUT mature during post interview. And "kid" is stretching it - he's 26/27yo....more than old enough to know how to deal with something like this. But he's so full of himself and lacks any humility that he continues with his childish, petty actions.

              1. re: LindaWhit

                Linda, I think you overestimate the maturity level of my generation. I can think of 31 y/o line cooks who are brattier than Marcel and would take the loss poorly. =)

                Marcel has a long way to go but he takes his food and career very seriously and put a lot of stock (imo too much) in winning this thing as some sort of validation. I don't think you can put a time limit on how long to mourn over the crushing loss . Even though the taping had finished he was live on camera while processing the way it was edited and aired. I don't think any of us can judge when we haven't had a bottle smashed in our face for no good reason.

                (It didn't help that he seemed drunk or high - that was irreponsible and flat-out dumb, I'll give you that.)

                1. re: gingersweetiepie

                  I think you overestimate the maturity level of my generation.

                  How very disappointing, then. At 26/27, I at least knew how to act at least semi-graciously in a public setting -- which this live interview was -- even when in an uncomfortable situation. The fact that he didn't learn at all from the reaction of the public to his actions throughout the show says a lot about his character - or complete lack thereof.

                2. re: LindaWhit

                  Thank you for that observation -- it matches mine. Remember Stephen from season 1, who is younger than Marcel, learned enough about himself from watching the show, that he was ready to apologize to Candace at the reunion show. I found Marcel (in the 5 minutes I was able to watch the after-show) to be exactly how the other contestants were trying to portray him -- unable to shut up, disrespectful (in his body language and interruptions), disdainful/arrogant, etc.

                  Now, I did catch him on the View yesterday (it was on in the gym), and he came across much better then, but Rosie was lovin' up on him.

                  I don't excuse any of the other contestants' behavior, but I do feel like their perception was validated. Several of them have said it's hard to put a finger on why he's so annoying -- it's not specific instances, it's the whole package.

                  1. re: momjamin

                    Exactly. Comparing Stephen to Marcel - while irritating during his show, Stephen is the much better person for having learned something. Marcel? Completely oblivious to what is around him.

                    And having Rosie lovin' up on him isn't saying much, IMO. :-)

                    1. re: momjamin

                      Well, like he said on the final show, he was there to compete, not make friends. Personally, I didn't much like any of the contestants, but I thought Sam and Marcel were the best chefs of the lot. But then I liked Stephen last year. I thought he was the one of the more inventive chefs there.

                  2. re: Keiwei

                    on Elia
                    I think she was acting in a professional manner throughout the competition
                    she knew Marcel before -- he had cooked under her when she was sous and he was whatever --
                    so he wasn't a problem for her. In the earlier episodes, she always stood her ground and defended tastes in a professional way.

                    But eventually . . . please, the guy just wears on everyone!
                    Then he starts messing with her stuff, which I'm sure she never caught him doing before . . .
                    can you IMAGINE touching someone's pot or dish or oven in the final of something like this?
                    Not cool.

                    1. re: pitu

                      I think Elia succumbed to group think.

                  3. I'm wondering... does Marcel have asperger's syndrome? he's brilliant with food but he doesn't know thing one about dealing with people!

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Kajikit

                      You're too kind. He is reasonably adept with food, though extremely undeveloped and he exhibits none of the signs of Aspberger's. He is simply immature and suffers from high self esteem.

                      1. re: Kajikit

                        Sometimes a jerk is just a jerk- there is not always a physical, mental, genetic or organic reason- he is simply a jerk!!

                        1. re: macca

                          Lord do I again....I get so tired of new ways we can explain away the fact that someone is simply choosing to be a jerk.....ENJOY>>>>>>OBX

                          1. re: macca

                            Ooops.....should be Lord do I agree.....OBX

                            1. re: obxspiritdreamer

                              Yup- Sometimes things are just as they appear- no matter how politcally incorrect that may seem.

                        2. None of the syptoms of Aspberger's? Here they are direct from Yahoo Health:

                          Not pick up on social cues and lack inborn social skills, such as being able to read others' body language, start or maintain a conversation, and take turns talking.
                          Dislike any changes in routines.
                          May appear to lack empathy.
                          Be unable to recognize subtle differences in speech tone, pitch, and accent that alter the meaning of others’ speech. Thus, your child may not understand a joke or may take a sarcastic comment literally. Likewise, his or her speech may be flat and difficult to understand because it lacks tone, pitch, and accent.
                          Have a formal style of speaking that is advanced for his or her age. For example, the child may use the term “beckon” instead of “call,” or “return” instead of “come back.”
                          Avoid eye contact.
                          Have unusual facial expressions or postures.
                          Be preoccupied with one or only few interests, which he or she may be very knowledgeable about. Many children with Asperger's syndrome are overly interested in parts of a whole or in unusual activities, such as doing intricate jigsaw puzzles, designing houses, drawing highly detailed scenes, or astronomy. 2
                          Talk a lot, usually about a favorite subject. One-sided conversations are common. Internal thoughts are often verbalized.

                          SOUND LIKE MARCEL?

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: lintygmom

                            MCM below is completely correct. Marcel does not have the stereotypical presentation of Asperger's at all -- the symptoms sound like things awkward people do, but when you see someone who truly has a clinical syndrome like this, all of those symptoms take on new meanings.

                            1. re: lintygmom

                              No. Or rather, Marcel could be said to have some of those qualities but in the scope of actual autistic and Aspberger's symptoms he is not even close.

                              1. re: lintygmom

                                I don't think Marcel would be so direct and confrontational and problematic for other contestants if he had Aspergers . . .
                                He sure didn't have any trouble giving Betty the evil eye, directly.

                              2. Asperger's is the new diagnosis of the moment. It's the new ADD. Believe me, if you'd ever met anyone who REALLY had Asperger's, you'd realize Marcel doesn't.

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: Mill City Modern

                                  Asperger's is a spectrum. And yes, I've met people who REALLY have Asperger's. I'm a doctor. I think someone who is like Marcel could fit in the upper end of the spectrum.

                                  In fact, I believe you mistake Asperger's for REAL autism.

                                  1. re: lintygmom

                                    I don't think that one can ever say that based on a television performance any of us could know for sure that Marcel could or could not possibly fit into the spectrum of Asperger's, I think the point people were trying to make is that he is not a good example of Asperger's syndrome.

                                    (I am a medical student, but I also spent several years working in clinical psychiatric research, so I have had a lot of interaction with people with various psychiatric diagnoses, and Marcel does not remind me in any way of any of them).

                                    1. re: Adrienne

                                      I would be shocked if a physician were to offer that kind of speculation based on a television show, in part because Marcel is not a particularly good representative of Aspberger's behaviors. But more importantly because it would be both irresponsible and inappropriate.

                                      1. re: Kater

                                        I won't say anything more on the subject except that I am quite familiar with Asperger's Syndrome, and I agree with Kater here.

                                        1. re: Kater

                                          I was not speculating on Marcel per se but to say that I felt I was witnessing someone who seemed unable to adapt his behavior to achieve success and cameraderie with his fellow contestants and the vehemence and immaturity of their behavior bore that out.

                                          And I hope all of you get the point of "spectrum." You may not find people at the upper end of a spectrum in clinics but they deserve our sympathty and understanding, too. So try to find it in your hearts for Marcel who seemed driven to piss people off, whether or not he fits in the definition of a syndrome. Of course I wasn't trying to diagnose him.

                                          1. re: lintygmom

                                            This definitely has nothing to do with food anymore but I think it is really important to balance the "upper end of the spectrum" sympathy you mention, which of course I agree is important, with a desire not to minimize the suffering of people with serious mental illness by diluting our definitions of disease.

                                            On some level, I believe all behavior has genetic influence as well as environmental influences that are well beyond our control, and I am sure that applies to Marcel, and that we shouldn't assume he is trying to be annoying -- but we can still understand how other, seemingly reasonable, people had a really difficult time working with him.

                                      2. re: lintygmom

                                        Well I'm a psychiatrist, and the usual caveats aside for the limited exposure of Marcel we get from a carefully edited TV show, I find it highly doubtful Marcel has Asperger's syndrome. He's probably just an immature narcissist. He still interrelates with people (albeit awkwardly) and as annoying as he was on the after-show with Ilan, he did have quite a few funny lines (I liked when he suggested Ilan go buy a copy of Glitter with his winnings) and just sounded like a wannabe stoner. And yes, sometimes a jerk is just a jerk. I think it is problematic for people to explain away everyone's behavior with misused diagnoses.

                                    2. It's obvious that these two had some skills or they wouldn't have made it this far.
                                      Of the two, Ilan probably does have the skills right now to be a "chef". He's able to motivate people and getting things done. He'd probably be a good used car saleman too.

                                      I think Ilan played Top Chef like someone would play Survivor.
                                      1. Ilan instigated stuff, but blended into the background when called out.
                                      The finale pt1 shows that clearly. He chided Elia to say her peace, implying he agreed with her and had her back. When she said something (you know she would), he left her hanging.
                                      2. Ilan divided and conquered... As someone posted above, once Elia flipped sides Marcel was lost.
                                      3. I wouldn't be surprised if Ilan was the one sabotaging stuff for the other chefs and Marcel on the finale. It's seems like a weasely thing that he's capable of doing.

                                      I wonder if Marcel and Ilan both had an unbiased team of sous chefs if the results would have been different. I felt like Marcel's teammates sandbagged.

                                      I don't understand why people HATE Marcel. He may be annoying. He may be insecure and his constant talking is his way of dealing.

                                      I can somewhat relate to Marcel.
                                      My brother and I worked at the same restaurant. I'm more outgoing and talkative. My brother was very shy around people. He is polite and talks to people, but not good at bs'ing around with people, but the coworkers thought he was being stuck-up and didn't want to talk to them because he didn't like them. Only after I explained that he was shy that they eased up and were more accepting and nicer.

                                      I just goes to show that people should look into themselves before they judge others.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: dave_c

                                        I would much rather have a co-worker that was shy or didnt speak up as much than someone who is a "know it all" and whos lips are always flapping...

                                        its when you open your mouth that people realize that you in fact ARE a fool...

                                        1. I saw it - he was nervous and drunk. so what. He had reason to be ungracious, considering how he was treated.

                                          1. it's interesting to see how socially inept Marcel came across on the show (although i don't think it was as bad as some posters do). it's hard for me to understand as i met him before Top Chef and he was perfectly social and nice. it makes me laugh that he got positioned as this total nerd and it wasn't the guy i met

                                            11 Replies
                                            1. re: nuxvomica

                                              That's what he said in an interview - that he always got along well with everyone at his various jobs and that in high school, his house was the party house (so the idea of him being the nerdy kid in high school doesn't apply). He seems truly baffled by the portrayal of him as an annoying weirdo.
                                              I think he comes across as funny and charming - I think the others didn't get his humor. For example, when Sam's pan was flaming, Marcel quipped that he should save that dish for the flambe' challenge. Everyone gives each other a look, like "what a jerk."

                                              1. re: Gigigirl2

                                                I, too, thought Marcel's flambe comment was quite funny.
                                                I'm surprised the other cooks are so thin skinned.
                                                I thought razzing was part of the job?

                                                1. re: dave_c

                                                  yeah, i agree. i thought it was very typical guy humor. if that had been ilan or sam, most people would have thought it very funny

                                                2. re: Gigigirl2

                                                  That comment I *did* find funny and actually said "good for you!" at the TV. But I don't look at this as a "portrayal" by the editors - this was how he portrayed HIMSELF, and it obviously rubbed everyone else the wrong way.

                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                    I think if Marcel were truly as awful as the other contestants claimed, Bravo would have hours of Marcel awfulness captured on film. And they would've crammed minutes of it into each show, considering how the showed has shifted the focus from food to personality conflict. I can see his stubborness sticking to his approach towards cooking and his refusal to be fake-friendly, which can rub people the wrong way. But Bravo's editing hasn't convinced me that he's a terrible jerk ('cause if they had the material, they'd used every frame of it). As it stands, he comes up much cleaner than the other bullying, whining jerks. Seeing how Ilan, Elia, Betty, Cliff, Sam, and Frank acted, I don't believe for one second they're less horrible than Marcel.

                                                    1. re: dty

                                                      'cause if they had the material, they'd used every frame of it
                                                      No, they wouldn't. It's *not* the Marcel Show. It's Top Chef. Supposedly about cooking - not about what a dink Marcel is/was. That was just one facet of the show. Unfortunately, too much personality (all around) and not enough cooking.

                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                        I'm no Marcel fan, but I'm not so sure... I used to watch "Real World" back in the day and if someone was extra crazy, extra rude, or literally insane, they would show endless hours of them. And the reunion show would be all about them. And isn't that what Top Chef was this season- Real World with cooking?!

                                                        1. re: Katie Nell

                                                          And isn't that what Top Chef was this season- Real World with cooking?!

                                                          God, I would hope not - although Season 2 leaned more towards Real World than not.

                                                          I see Top Chef as (hopefully) a few rungs higher on the reality show ladder than Big Brother or Real World, where the intent seems to be for the people to be as whacked as possible. If Season 3 continues to focus on personality conflict vs. inventive cooking, I predict it won't last long. Or I won't be as interested in watching it as I once was (although I suspect I still will!).

                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                            I'm less interested in watching it already. I really DO want it to be about food. I've watched an episode of Top Designer and you can see them setting up the conflict between the rough guy and the prissy gay guy (though it's not been about sexual orientation.) So it's a show technique.

                                                            I loved watching Marcel try to encapsulate the salad dressing in little sugar ampules and was upset it didn't work.

                                                            I think they're misjudging their audience. People are getting tired of "reality shows" based on personality--at least the people with love of food and money to spend on higher end cooking stuff. (ADVERTISERS take note!)

                                                          2. re: Katie Nell

                                                            Yeah, htey sure went out of their way to make Stephen look like an ass from Season 1. And the reunion show WAS mostly about him, or Tiffani, both of whom were made to look like they had massive personality issues.

                                                            1. re: Katie Nell

                                                              You're pretty much hit the formula for these reality tv shows...
                                                              Find the wackos, the conceited types and pair them up with the other end of the spectrum.. Voila... You have compelling television.

                                                              Just like the American Idol tryout shows. They have the good singers, but the terrible singers get just as much air time. In fact, I bet a lot more viewers watch the tryouts than the elimination shows.

                                                              In regards to Top Chef, I did find the personality conflicts interesting and did add another dimension to just another cooking show.

                                                              Yes, I'd like the show to go into the dishes a little more and hope the producers tighten up on the editing. It's funny to see and hear scenes where people are cut off in the middle of a word.

                                                  2. It would be better than watching cartoons to see how most good kitchen staff employees would handle this kid. I know as for the resort club kitchen that I manage my staff would eat him alive. And I can only imagine what the wait staff would do...OBX

                                                    1. The Chow.com interview with him is interesting. He is a little goofy, a little nervous, a little arrogant...Don't we all have our quirks?

                                                      And since when have personality flaws made someone unqualified to be a chef?

                                                      1. Didn't anyone see the interviews with Marcel and Ilan during Top Design?

                                                        What struck me was that Ilan denigrated Harold for being boring. Marcel only denigrated Ilan for being unsanitary when he cooks (not washing his hands, sticking fingers in food being cooked).

                                                        Ilan came off as a very ungracious winner and an a**. Marcel as a bit bitter (which is understandable).

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: RBCal

                                                          Marcel had plenty of good reason to bad mouth Ilan. All things considered he handled things quite well. Better than I would have.

                                                        2. As annoying as Marcel is, he deserved to win the final. Salad aside, his dishes had more invention and were presented beautifully. Ilan will make a fine chef in a Spanish restaurant, whereas Marcel could make a real name for himself, probably getting punched several times in the process.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: ooroger

                                                            seeing how he handled almost everyone ganging up on him on the show, he'll weather those punches well tooand learn a lot. i think we'll hear about him again

                                                          2. They were both on 'Today' the morning of the finale(The winner was not yet known.) They each cook their winning dish from part 1. And yes Marcel did do most of the talking...And do you know why?

                                                            Because Ilan has absolutely nothing constructive to say. He was awkward on camera and incoherent when he spoke. It wasn’t because Marcel was interrupting. Even when prompted…nothing remotely intelligent or entertaining came from Ilan.

                                                            1. Too bad Bravo didn't have some of the chefs from season 1 as sous chefs for the finale... At least they would have been unbaised.