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Top Chef Reunion Show - Any surprises?

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In some ways, hardly worth watching, especially since the lesser players were barely spoken to.

What was your own reaction?

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  1. I don't know about surprises, but this is what struck me:
    Eli's grudging apology to Robin.
    How many people thought Padma didn't like them.
    How much money Kevin won.
    Michael still looked like a push, aggressive putz in the kitchen. Jenn was also a powerful manager, but the difference between how they manage people -- at least based on the clips -- comes down to respect.
    The excessive drinking plus the quasi-sexual throwing Jenn in the pool.
    I guess the sexual undercurrent that surfaced among the "lesser players" (not as an attraction, but as a theme)
    Sounds like they are recruiting more than holding cattle call auditions that has impacted the apparent quality of the food this season as opposed to others. Unfortunately, they neglected to inform the editing elves who were still going for "DRAMA."

    16 Replies
    1. re: chicgail

      How was throwing someone in a pool sexual? I missed that.

      1. re: hudsonvalleyfoodblog

        I guess what was there for me was that kind of (pre-)adolescent sexuality when boys don't know quite what to do around a girl they're attracted to and they roughhouse with her to express something they can't identify. It was those guys picking her up and tossing her in the pool. It didn't look like a "one of the guys" thing.

        1. re: chicgail

          I think you may be reading too much into it. It seemed pretty clear from the reunion that there were part of a group that really got along (Mike I and Jen specifically). It may have been sexual, but more than likely it was just a bunch of drunk friends goofing around.

          1. re: gastrotect

            Absolutely possible. Mine was just one of many possible interpretations. Not right; not wrong; just what was there for me.

          2. re: chicgail

            I think they were just letting off some steam. The show is a high pressure situation.

        2. re: chicgail

          To your first point...

          Eli's begrudging apology only AFTER Michael Voltaggio said some rather nice apologetic things to Robin. It was almost like an "oh, OK - if Michael apologized, I guess I should as well" situation. But when asked, he originally said "No, I haven't apologized". Probably wouldn't have done so if Michael hadn't manned up.

          Had to laugh at Tom Colicchio raising his hand when asked how many people thought Padma didn't like them.

          At least we now know Padma's "due in the spring" - which means TC7 won't start filming until summer, which means TC7 won't be shown until next fall. (I do hope a TCMasters2 shows up before then!)

          Teed off that Fan Favorite waits until midnight tonight - yeah, I'm really not going to wait up until then just to see Andy again! LIke gastrotect, will check Bravo's site tomorrow morning.

          1. re: LindaWhit

            I thought all of the clearly not heartfelt apologizing was lame. They didn't like each other. So what? Some people don't like other people. That's life. Lying about it just makes them look self serving... Like oh I went home and everyone said I was a jerk to Robin, so now I'm going to apologize just to make myself look better...

            1. re: LindaWhit

              Leanne has said they're working on a Masters show now.

              1. re: LindaWhit

                no need to check the Bravo site if you get here first - it's Kevin. Bryan V took second place. yes, i took one for the team and suffered through the waste of airtime that is "Watch What Happens: Live" just to see it. Andy explained that the reunion show was taped 6 weeks ago, so they obviously couldn't announce it there since voting only ended a few days ago.

                and on an unrelated note, he mentioned that Kevin and his wife split up in the weeks before the finale :( methinks that may have had *something* to do with his performance in the final challenge.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  Kevin and his wife splitting up during the finale is terrible - no wonder he seemed off of his game. Poor Kevin!!!

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    Ahhh, thanks for taking it for the team, ghg! I figured Kevin or Brian would win.

                    And I had read about Kevin and his wife splitting up before the finale was filmed (mentioned in one of the finale threads). I agree - definitely has something to do with his performance. Remember he said to his mother "I don't want to talk about it"? I think that has to do with the split, not how he did in his cooking for the finale.

                    Were any of the cheftestants there? Or was this just Andy as a talking head?

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      Linda, it was just Andy and his guest - Sarah Jessica Parker. i happen to like her, but the entire thing was really odd. the two chefs "called" in via video chat/skype, Andy talked to each of them for a minute (hence the discussion with Kevin about his marriage), and then they had to sit by and wait while he continued with the other nonsense on the show. then about 10 minutes later they had *SJP* announce the winner. it was totally anticlimactic and just plain strange.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        Obviously, Andy has some really good juicy dirt on one of the Bravo execs to have done the announcement this way. Oy.

                        Next season, I really hope the end the Fan Favorite voting a few weeks early so they can just take care of it during the reunion show.

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          Andy is Senior Vice President of Production and Programming for Bravo so I think he has the juice to do as he wishes. He's had a producer credit on Top Chef since Season 1, I think.

                  2. re: LindaWhit

                    I actually think Eli's apology highlights his childish smartass tendencies. Basically saying "I'm sorry you were so annoying that you got on my nerves so, no hard feelings." He probably thought he was being clever. So, I vote not insincere but rather true to "As Seen On TV" form.

                  3. re: chicgail

                    I didn't see anything quasi-sexual about it, either. I think they would have done the same for a guy they felt as close to, had he left first. I must have missed all the sexual undercurrents among the lesser players. I just saw a lot of camaraderie and respect among the top contestants, nothing sexual.

                  4. ...and what was with NOT naming Fan Favorite? so they want us to have to watch another (unrelated) show to find out?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: ChefJune

                      That ticked me off. But I guess they have to push more programming. I'll just check the interwebs tomorrow morning to find out. No desire to watch his talk show.

                      1. re: ChefJune

                        as i said to Linda above, i watched it. they explained that the reunion show was taped six weeks ago. since voting just ended a few days ago it wouldn't have been possible to announce it at the reunion show. Kevin was fan fave, Bryan V took second place in the voting.

                      2. I thought it was entertaining. The show is not expected to be anything more than that.

                        1. I thought it was entertaining. The clips were funny, and made them seem more human. When they were discussing Padma not liking them, I thought she was lovely, and charming. I like her better after last night's show. I like Jenn better, Mike and Eli less (they did nothing to redeem themselves, even Eli's apology seemed more like his mom told him to do it). Robin managed to annoy me by the end of her run, so I see how she got under their skin, but the whole bunch of them ganging up on her seems really childish, especially since they dissected it all over again last night.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: jeanmarieok

                            I find it odd that Mike I complains about Robin talking so much. Does anyone talk more than he does? Apparently excessive babbling is okay if you're from Jersey.

                            1. re: tofuburrito

                              He did say that he just ignored Robin specifically because he talked a lot though...

                            2. re: jeanmarieok

                              The thing that I noticed was that Tom was the first one to raise his hand when Andy asked who thought Padma didn't like them. It's been written up in several places that Padma and Tom do not get along at all.

                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                The editing showed just the opposite. First the cast raised their hands and then they showed Tom raising his, to which Padma 'jokingly' said, "Well, yes that's right. I don't like Tom."

                            3. Who was fan favorite? I could not find it on the Bravo website.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: AmblerGirl

                                Hasn't been announced yet. Will be on "Watch What Happens" tonight at midnight. For some really, REALLY stupid reason that only makes sense in some Bravo producer's mind, since there are probably not all that many people watching at that hour.